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Title: Fairy Tales from Gold Lands
Author: Wentworth, May
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: _The Moorish Pearls._      _p._ 31.]



                              FAIRY TALES
                                 FROM
                              GOLD LANDS.

                           BY MAY WENTWORTH.

               List to these legends quaint and old,
               Tales of the marvelous land of gold,
               Rich in its mines of shining ore,
               Rich in romance and mystic lore;
               List to these tales, they come onto thee,
               From over the waters—the boundless sea.

                               NEW YORK:
                    A. ROMAN & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.
                            SAN FRANCISCO:
                     417 & 419 MONTGOMERY STREET.
                                 1868.



  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867,
  BY A. ROMAN & COMPANY,
  In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
  for the Southern District of New York.



DEDICATION.


  TO
  CHILDREN EVERYWHERE,
  A Merry Christmas
  TO YOU ALL,
  WITH MUCH LOVE, I DEDICATE THESE STORIES,
  ESPECIALLY TO MY
  LITTLE NIECE AND NEPHEW,
  Mamie and Wentworth.

  MAY WENTWORTH.



PREFACE


As a child, I was fond of stories, and well remember the dearth of
the intermediate season, when "Jack the Giant Killer," had ceased to
please, and I was yet unprepared to enjoy works written for older and
more cultivated minds. Children require stories ingeniously written,
with a pleasant tinge of romance about them to fix their attention, and
a touch of pathos that goes to the heart, to make them good and happy.

In writing these Christmas Tales, I have earnestly hoped they may serve
to while away many a weary hour, which finds its place even in the
sunny days of childhood.

The scenes of most of these Tales, will be laid in California, a land
full of romance and beauty.

It is not strange to hear from the miners of "the early days," tales as
marvelous as those of the "Arabian Nights."

Of these "early days" I shall write, and of the Spaniards, and
Mexicans who inhabited the country before the coming of the
gold-seekers.

Now as I send away the first volume of the series, I think of the
children who will read it, of their sweet, innocent faces, and
guileless hearts.

May the blessed Christ, who smiles upon them in this holy Christmas
season, never leave them, but dwell in their hearts making them pure
and happy forever.

  MAY WENTWORTH.

  _San Francisco, 1867._



TABLE OF CONTENTS.


                                               PAGE

     I. SANTA CLAUS AND THE CHRIST-CHILD          9

    II. THE MOORISH PEARLS                       17

   III. THE TWO GOOD-FOR-NOTHINGS                46

    IV. CHING CHONG CHINAMAN                     77

     V. ZALETTA                                 108

    VI. THE STRONG MAN OF SANTA BARBARA         136

   VII. JUNG-FRAU MALEEN                        152

  VIII. JUANETTA                                162

    IX. EMPEROR NORTON                          185

     X. DEATH'S VALLEY                          204



FAIRY TALES.



SANTA CLAUS AND THE CHRIST-CHILD.


It had been raining all day, and the mist hung so heavily over the
bay that the vailed waters tossed their troubled billows in unseen
restlessness, like the swelling of an aching heart that the mantle of a
fair face covers.

Down Pine Street a hundred rills were rushing, as though each had its
special and important mission to perform in advancing the prosperity of
the queen city of the Pacific. Men passed along fearlessly, cased in
the invulnerable armor of India-rubber coats and glazed caps, and now
and then a woman dared to trust her dainty little feet to the mercy of
mud and water.

Minnie Bell had been very uneasy all day, for she had been promised the
pleasure of a walk on Montgomery Street, and she intended to choose a
few rare gifts from all the Christmas treasures that brightened the gay
shop-windows.

Minnie had not yet learned the woman's lesson, to smile when the heart
aches, and be gentle in disappointment, so tears filled her large
blue eyes, and the rosy lips pouted with vexation, as she looked out
on the pouring rain. Her mamma was a fair, dashing woman, who loved
Montgomery Street as well as Minnie herself; doated upon the theatre,
opera, and every thing gay, but, of all things in the world, disliked
to be annoyed by the petulance and nonsense of children. She lay all
day upon a luxurious couch, reading "Les Miserables," leaving Minnie,
poor little _miserable_ of the household, to take care of herself, and
thus I found her alone in the hall, picking in pieces the flowers of a
pretty worsted lamp-mat, the very spirit of discontent and mischief. It
takes so little to make a child happy, that I am always sorry to see a
shadow upon their young faces at the time when this life should be all
sunshine, so I called the little one to me, and taking her upon my lap,
told her the story of Santa Claus and the Christ-child.

More than eighteen hundred years ago, one fair bright night, when the
moon was casting her floods of silver light upon the mountains and
valleys of Judea, it seemed to pause in worshipful wonder over the
little village of Bethlehem.

Diamonds sparkled in the dew-drops, and emeralds in the green grass
of the meadows, where the shepherds fed their flocks by night. The
shepherds were amazed, as the holy light shed its soft brilliancy
around them, and even the grazing flocks forgot the dewy grass, as a
sweet, unknown voice, from the viewless air, told them how that night
the fair Christ-child was born at Bethlehem, and lay cradled in a
manger, with horned oxen feeding near him. A thousand angel voices
joined in the rich deep melody of praise and gladness, and the first
Christmas carol echoed and re-echoed through the mountains and valleys
of Judea.

Wise men from the East, brought golden treasure, jewels, and rare
perfumes, as offerings to the pure Christ-child. There he lay in the
arms of his fair virgin mother, Mary, with all the native beauty of
infancy brightening every feature of his lovely face, and that rare
halo of divinity about him that even the inspiration of Raphael
and Murillo has but half portrayed. These immortal artists had only
the colors of earth to paint the brightness of heaven. The wise men
bowed in adoration before the Christ-child and worshiped him as their
temporal king, and for their rich gifts received blessings, and went
away well pleased to their luxurious homes. Then came an old man,
trembling with timid humility. He was but a poor keeper of the flocks
upon the mountains, and brought only the few pale flowers of winter, as
tokens of his devoted homage.

"Sweet mother," said he, kneeling, "I have nothing but these poor
flowers and the unchanging love of a devoted heart to lay at the feet
of the dear Christ-child; but, thrice-blessed mother, do not turn away
from this humble offering. I bring thee all I have." Smiles, like the
golden light of morning, shone upon the face of the fair Christ-child,
and he took the flowers more pleased than with all the rich treasures
of the East, that lay unnoticed around him.

The holy mother blessed the poor man, and with a voice teeming with
maternal love and divine richness, she said: "Thy pure, loving heart
is an offering dearer to the Christ-child than all the riches of the
world, and these flowers are a fitting token of thy love. Thou shalt
not die as other men do, but thou shalt sleep, to awaken each Christmas
eve, and gladden young hearts through all time, and in all lands, with
thy welcome Christmas gifts, and the blessing of the Christ-child shall
rest upon the spirits of childhood through the holy Christmas season."

And thus it is that in all countries we hear of the good Santa Claus,
who brings such beautiful presents on Christmas eve. In the cold north
countries he wraps himself in furs, and rides swiftly over the crusted
snow in a sleigh drawn by reindeers, his long beard shining with the
frost of winter. In the sunny South he rides in a light car decked with
flowers.

"But, May," said the now happy Minnie, smiling; "when Santa Claus comes
to San Francisco he'd better bring his India-rubber coat and overshoes."

"I've no doubt he will, darling," said I, kissing the little face
beaming with earnestness and beauty; "and perhaps he'll bring his
umbrella, too, but 'twill make him no Paul Pry—I'm sure he won't
intrude."

"No, indeed," said Minnie, "I want to see him too much for that. Do you
think, May, if I sit up till ten o'clock, I shall see dear old Santa
Claus?"

"I think, little one, if you go to bed at eight and sleep sweetly,
he may come to you in your dreams. He generally manages to come when
children are sleeping."

Thus it was that little Minnie forgot all her sorrows and disappointments
in the anticipated vision of the good Santa Claus. The rain fell heavily,
but in the sunny heart of childhood all was happiness.

Now, a "Merry Christmas" to you all—young and old! May the blessing of
the pure Christ-child attend you, and Santa Claus be munificent in his
beautiful Christmas gifts!



THE MOORISH PEARLS.


Many years ago, near the Mission of Santa Barbara, there lived a
wealthy Spaniard and his wife, who had been married a great many years,
and were still childless.

It was the cause of great regret to both, especially to the mother, who
loved little ones dearly.

Every day she made an offering to the blessed Virgin, and prayed her to
have compassion on her loneliness, and give her a dear little child to
take care of, and love.

At last her prayers were answered.

One Christmas eve, when gifts in memory of the blessed Christ-child,
were making so many young hearts happy, a beautiful little daughter
was given to her, making her the happiest, most thankful woman, in all
Santa Barbara.

As the parents were very rich, all the great Spanish families in the
county were present at the christening; and all the priests from the
Mission of Santa Barbara were invited.

There was a great feast, and every one was delighted; but, above all,
the father and mother blessed God for his precious gift, which they
prized more than all their great riches.

The little girl grew finely, and was very beautiful, not like the
lovely children of the North, fair and golden haired, but her
complexion was a rich olive, with the pure crimson blood of health
tinging her cheeks, and her lips were red as ripe cherries. Her hair,
in the sunshine, had a soft purple hue; in the shadow, it was black as
a raven's wing, and her dark eyes were as soft as a young gazelle's.

She possessed in a wonderful degree, the symmetry and grace of the
Spanish women, and her hands and feet were so small and exquisitely
formed, that they were the marvel of the whole country.

In the family there was an old duenna, who had taken charge of the
mother when she was young, and, to her superintending care, the little
one was intrusted.

Years before, the old duenna came from Spain with the mother's family,
and her love for the beautiful lady whom she had nursed in infancy,
almost amounted to a passion; but for the proud Don Carlos, the
husband, she had a jealous hatred, though he was always kind to her,
and made her life in the "wilds of the strange country," (thus she
always spoke of California,) as pleasant as possible.

Though she called herself a Christian, the wild blood of the Moors
flowing through her veins, tinged her life with the mysticism and fire
of that fated race.

Sometimes she would give herself over to strange devices and
superstitions, which were very displeasing to her devout mistress, but
the old woman covered these distasteful habits with so much art and
affection, that she enjoyed the confidence and love of the good lady,
and generally every thing moved on very smoothly and pleasantly, at the
Buenna Vineyard.

The house was large and commodious, built, like most Spanish houses in
California, in the form of a square, with an open court in the center,
and broad piazzas on all sides. It was very cool and pleasant, with its
latticed windows, and vine-covered porches.

In the rear was a beautiful garden, surrounded with a high, strong
wall, and massive gates with bolts and bars.

There, in a grape-vine covered arbor, the purple fruit hanging within
reach, the old duenna loved to sit, spinning lazily with her distaff,
now and then stopping to see that no harm came to the little Lenore in
her play, and often calling her to her side, to listen to some quaint
old Moorish legend.

The father and mother were very fond of their little daughter, and gave
her every thing that heart could wish. One day, when the little girl
was about ten years old, the father called her to him, and said: "Papa
is going away, far across the waters to the fair castellated land,
which has been your childhood's dream, to dear, beautiful Spain, and
what shall I bring back for my little daughter?"

Lenore's eyes grew large and liquid. "Beautiful Spain! beautiful
Spain!" she exclaimed, clasping her hands in ecstasy.

"Every thing there is so lovely, how can I tell what to ask, dear papa;
but wait one moment," and she ran to the garden arbor, and told the
duenna all, and said, "What shall I ask?" The old woman frowned till
her brows met, then she laughed strangely, and said, "You shall ask for
a string of pearls, as pure and white as snow, and as large and clear
as the dew-drops."

Lenore ran into the house, and throwing her arms around the father's
neck, ran her pretty fingers through his hair, and said, "I would like,
papa, a string of pearls for my hair, as pure and white as snow, and as
large and clear as dew-drops in the first flush of the dawning."

The father looked at the little lady with a heart full of love and
pride, and he kissed fondly the little, pure, oval face that was
lifted to his, and said, "My little daughter shall have her wish, let
it cost what it may."

The little girl clapped her hands, dancing about the room, full of
happiness, saying, "The dear papa! the dear papa will bring me the most
beautiful pearls in the world."

Her childish joy was subdued when she looked at the mother, who had a
smile of love on her lips, but a tear of sorrow in her eyes.

Then the father said, "What shall I bring mamma?"

The mother answered, laying her head upon his shoulder, "Only yourself,
dear husband, and your precious love." A tear came to his eye, but he
brushed it hastily away, and whispered, "I shall soon return, dear
wife, to my dearest treasures;" then he kissed them both, tenderly,
and went away, leaving Lenore and the mother weeping bitterly.

Lenore soon sobbed herself to sleep, with the tears resting upon her
eyelashes and cheeks. The sunlight stealing in, and shining full upon
her innocent face, made a tiny rainbow over her head.

The sad mother saw it, and thanked God that the bow of promise
overbends its beautiful arch over all childish griefs, and she wiped
away her own tears, saying, "He will return again, my dear husband, why
should I distrust kind Heaven."

When Lenore awoke, her pretty face was wreathed with smiles, and,
kissing her mamma, she ran out into the garden to seek the old duenna.

She found her in her favorite arbor, spinning, but when she saw
Lenore she laid aside her distaff, and drew the child to her, with a
mischievous smile upon her dark face.

Her treatment of Lenore had always been marked by a strange commingling
of the love she bore the mother, and aversion she felt for the father,
but through it all, she wove a web of fascination, that gave her great
power over the susceptible heart of the young girl. Lenore sat down by
her side, and for a while she talked of Spain, smoothing the child's
hair caressingly with her wrinkled hand, then she told her a curious
legend; of how Boabdil, the Moorish king, had once a string of pearls
like those she had asked the father for, and how, after the Spaniards
had overcome the Moors in a great battle, he intrusted these lustrous
gems, with much other treasure, to one of his servants to be hidden
upon a distant island, but, by some strange misfortune, as they neared
the landing, the Moor dropped the pearls into the sea.

Now this Moor was an enchanter, and, because he could not recover the
lost treasure, he cast a spell upon it, that would bring death to the
first, who should touch the pearls, perpetual servitude to the second,
and riches, honor, beauty, and love to the third, who should retain
them in the family forever.

"No matter how many years should elapse, this would surely come to
pass," and again the old duenna laughed that strange, unpleasant
laugh. Lenore, trembling with fright, sobbed convulsively, "Oh! the
dear papa! the dear papa! he will die! I will call mamma, she will
send a messenger for him, he shall not touch the horrid pearls," and
she started up to go, but the duenna caught her. "Silly child," she
said, "I will tell you no more pretty stories, that was only a legend,
and the pearls were not real and true, but only dream pearls, just to
please my pretty child." She soothed Lenore and laughed again, till
her tears were dried, and she joined to the shrill voice of the weird
duenna, the merry, childish laugh of trusting innocence. The days of
absence passed by in dreamy quietude at the Buenna Vineyard.

The wife was very lonely, for no one could supply the place of the
loved husband in her heart. The pretty, dark-eyed Lenore missed the
dear papa sadly, but her time was much occupied by the master who
taught her music, French, and English. Spanish she learned from the
duenna, who in this language was quite a scholar.

Everywhere she followed the young Lenore, and, in her varied moods,
treated her with a curious combination of love and selfishness,
tenderness and severity, but, through all, maintaining her unbounded
influence over her charge.

Full of wonderful legends of the Moors of old, she fostered a love of
the marvelous in the mind of the maiden, till often she would waken
in the darkness of the midnight, from fearful dreams trembling of
superstitious dread. One morning early, she ran into her mother's
chamber and woke her kissing her eyes and cheek.

"Oh mamma" she said, "do wake up, I have had such a beautiful dream
about Boabdil's pearls, pure and white as snow, and large and
glistening as the dew-drops. Some one from Spain brought them to me, so
noble and handsome, mamma, that I could not help loving him dearly, and
I was so happy." "But, Lenore," said the mother, "where was the dear
papa." "Oh, mamma," said Lenore, "I did not see him, he was not there."

A strange terror filled her heart, and looked out from her startled
eyes, and she buried her head in the pillow and wept piteously.

"'Twas only a dream, my daughter," said the mother, tenderly, but
still Lenore sobbed. "How could I forget the dear papa, for a stranger
and a string of pearls." Then the mother kissed her, and soothed her
till she was comforted. Soon after a ship arrived, bringing letters
from the father. "I am now in Spain," he wrote, my dear, native land.
Bright Castile! the world has nothing like thee! No mountains like the
snow-capped Sierras, no valleys like Granadas, and no river like the
blue Guadalquivir, but, "where the treasure is, there will the heart
be also," and my greatest earthly treasures, wife and child, are in
California, and, though far away in castellated Spain, my heart wings
its way homeward, and every delight is treasured, to be renewed again,
with you. "I shall soon return to you, dear wife, the husband you love,
but little daughter, the pearls, 'pure and white as snow, and large and
clear as the dew-drops,' I have not found in Spain, but have heard of
them, and if possible you shall have them at any price."

He wrote a long letter, glowing with hope and affection, promising a
speedy return, and the mother took heart again, and was happy, while
Lenore thought with delight, how beautifully the rare, Moorish pearls
would glisten in her purple hair.

She seemed to have forgotten the dream, and the legend that frightened
her so much. Even the name of pearls chained her listening ear, and
the duenna often talked of them, their great beauty, and how pure and
lustrous they shone among the crown jewels of the Moorish king, till
the imagination of Lenore was spell-bound, by the magic beauty of the
wondrous pearls. Often she would say, "Mamma, show me your pearls."

Then she would take them in her hands and count them, or twine them
round the bands of her purple hair.

"Beautiful," she would say, as the sunlight kissed them, "but not clear
and large enough. 'Pure and white as snow;' and large and clear as
the dew-drops, these are not so, but the dear papa will bring them."
Lenore's great gift was music.

She would often sit in the twilight, and improvise rare snatches of
melody, and when the mother would say, "What is that Lenore?" she would
answer, "My string of pearls, mamma," and go on playing as though the
genius of music thrilled her dainty fingers. One day the duenna called
her to an old lumber-room, to see a picture. The picture was really a
good one, but had been cast aside because the frame was broken. 'Twas
of a fair young girl, standing upon a rocky shore, looking eagerly out
upon the waters, at the white sails of a ship the wind was wafting
toward her.

"What does the picture represent, Lenore?" said the duenna. "'Tis
a maiden watching on the shore, for the ship that brings her dear
papa and the Moorish pearls, clear and white as snow, and large and
glistening as the dew-drops." The old duenna smiled, as Lenore took the
picture to her room, and hung it over her bed where she could see it on
waking.

Every day they went to the sea-shore and looked out upon the waters,
for the white sails of the ship that was to bring the father, till at
last one evening, when all the west was gorgeous with the radiance of
golden sunset clouds, the ship seemed to rise out of the waters, and
there, on the sanded sea-shore of Santa Barbara, was the living picture
of the lumber-room.

The duenna had called Lenore from the garden early, saying, "At sunset
the ship will be here; come pretty child, let us hasten to the shore,"
so Lenore ran and kissed the mother saying, "Mamma! mamma! the ship,
with its white sails spread like the wings of a bird, is flying to us,
and I must go. Oh! my snow-white pearls! my beautiful pearls!"

"Lenore! Lenore!" called the duenna, and the maiden ran away dancing,
and clapping her hands, as she always did, when very happy. On came
the ship till it was moored in the harbor, and with one great rush the
passengers came ashore.

Lenore's eyes dilated with delight, but by-and-by an anxious suspense
filled them.

"No more! no more!" she cried, "all landed; where is the dear papa?"

The snow-white pearls were forgotten only the father filled her heart.

The duenna cast her eyes around. Don Carlos was not there, and who
better than she knew that he could never return.

There was a handsome young stranger in the crowd, and, from his lordly
bearing, she knew he must be a hidalgo of the old dominion, so she
approached him and asked him for her master, Don Carlos.

"He is not here," said the stranger, "but I bring a rare and beautiful
gift for his daughter—the famous Moorish pearls."

Lenore gave one glance at the stranger, she had seen him before in her
dreams; and she trembled so that she could not move or speak.

"He is dead," said the duenna.

"He is dead," said the hidalgo, in a low tone, fixing his piercing
eyes upon the sharp, eager face of the duenna.

Low as the words were spoken, they reached the strained ear of Lenore,
and with a wild, broken wail, she fell insensible upon the ground.

The stranger handed the box which contained the pearls to the duenna,
and taking the young girl tenderly in his arms, carried her home to the
mother.

Poor, heart-broken wife! The pearls had come, but not her treasure.
Lost! lost! God, pity all such!

The mother's love was all that saved her from madness; for her child,
her beautiful Lenore, she bore the burden of life.

The stranger was kind and gentle.

He told the bitter story as soothingly as possible.

When they arrived at the island, Don Carlos was suddenly taken ill,
and just as the ship was about sailing, he breathed his last, first
sending his undying love to his devoted wife, and the Moorish pearls to
Lenore.

"Tell them," he said, "my last words were to bless them."

In the confusion of the first moments of their grief, the duenna stole
from the room, her sallow face flushed with feverish eagerness.

"The pearls," she said, "Don Carlos was the first to touch them, he is
dead! This brave hidalgo was the second, and I will be the third to
hold this wonderful talisman in my hands."

"Rich, fair, and beloved!

"Can I be fair, so old as I am?

"We shall see!"

She pressed the secret spring, and pure and white as snow, large and
glistening as the morning dew-drops, lay the Moorish pearls in their
golden casket. She took them in her hand, and held them to the light,
and it seemed as though they absorbed whole floods of sunshine. "How
beautiful," she exclaimed, then suddenly she dropped them upon her lap,
and pressed her hand to her heart.

What a strange, agonizing pain.

It seemed as though chains were riveted about her vitals.

"Can I be the second to touch the pearls, and forever a slave? No! no!
It cannot be!

"Don Carlos the first, the hidalgo the second, I am the third.

"Rich, fair, and beloved! But this pain," and again she pressed her
hands upon her heart. Slowly she replaced the pearls in the casket, and
the pain passed away.

When Lenore recovered she would not look at the pearls.

"Take them away, do not mention the hated gems to me," she said, with a
shudder. So the duenna kept them.

Day by day Lenore sat by the dear, sad mother, who only smiled when
she looked upon the beautiful face of her child, who grew more lovely
with every rising sun, at least so thought the young hidalgo. In their
sorrow he never left them.

All that a devoted son could be, he was to the mother, and to Lenore he
was every thing.

Very often the duenna sat alone in the garden-arbor, plying her
distaff, for Lenore seldom came to her. Often she would steal a glance
at the beautiful pearls, saying: "I am surely the third, why am I not
rich and fair?"

"Don Carlos is dead, the hidalgo was the second, I must be the third.

"I have the pearls, the rest will follow;" then the distaff would
fall from her hands, and she would dream curious day-dreams, and build
castles of her own in air.

One evening, just one year after their deep grief fell upon them, the
young hidalgo and Lenore persuaded the mother to walk with them on the
beach.

The time had been very long and lonely to her since the
sorrow-freighted ship came in, and as she sat upon a moss-covered
stone, and saw the white sails of a gallant ship, winging its way to
the shore, the tears filled her eyes, and, that her sorrow might not
sadden the hopeful young hearts of her children (as she loved to call
them), she bowed her head upon her hands, that they might not notice
the grief she could not restrain, when suddenly a joyous shout from
Lenore sent a warm thrill through her heart, and the blood danced
through her veins with renewed life.

"The dear papa," cried Lenore, and sure enough, the proud form of Don
Carlos was before them.

One moment and the happy wife was folded to the warm, true heart of her
returned husband, and Lenore clung to his arm, weeping for joy.

Once more light and happiness dawned upon the Buenna Vineyard, with
the return of the loved husband and father. How beautiful home looked
to the wanderer, as he sank into his own chair, upon the vine-covered
piazza. His grateful wife sat beside him, and Lenore stood leaning upon
his chair.

"How tall you have grown, my daughter," he said, looking proudly upon
the young maiden, just blooming into womanhood; "but where are the
pearls, my darling?"

"I have never seen them," said Lenore, "how could I think of pearls
and you; dear papa, gone!" And again and again she kissed his bronzed
cheek.

"Call the duenna," said the mother, smiling, "we must see the pearls."
So Lenore called the duenna from her dreaming in the garden.

"Don Carlos returned! Not dead!" exclaimed the old woman, while her
heart stood still with fear, as she entered the room pale as death, and
trembling with an unknown dread.

"The pearls," said Don Carlos, after a kind greeting, to which her
palsied tongue refused a response.

She gave them to him with a trembling hand, and, as he pressed the
secret spring, the golden casket opened, and there lay the wonderful
Moorish pearls, pure and white as snow, and large and shining as the
dew-drops in the flush of morning.

"Take them, Lenore, daughter," said the happy father, fondly, and the
fair taper fingers of the maiden clasped the luminous treasure.

The duenna's eyes were fixed upon her.

How beautiful she grew with pleasure. Her dark eyes soft as a gazelles,
were radiant with light, her red lips parted with smiles, and the
Moorish pearls adding a new luster to her purple hair.

"Can she be the third?" thought the duenna, and in a voice husky with
emotion she gasped: "Don Carlos, those pearls! How came you by them?
What hand has touched them?"

"Tell us all, dear papa," said Lenore, not noticing the duenna's
agitation, in her own delight.

"In all Spain," said the father, "I could not find the pearls, but I
heard of them from an old Moor.

"He said they were lost near the shore of a distant island, and he
promised to procure them for me for a large reward, which I agreed to
give him; so we sailed for the island, but I became so ill at sea that
when we arrived I was confined to my bed.

"At length the old Moor brought me this beautiful casket, and pressing
the spring I saw the pearls, radiant with all their snowy whiteness,
but I was so ill I did not take them out, and when I handed them back
to the old Moor to place in my cabinet, the pearls fell out into his
hands, and flooded the whole room with light. Great Allah! exclaimed
the old man, in terror, and, as he replaced them and closed the casket,
he fell down and expired instantly.

"The physician said he died of heart disease. I grew much worse, and
fearing I should die, confided the pearls to the care of our friend,
who brought them to you, and soon after I fell into a swoon so like
death that all thought me dead, and the ship sailed without me.

"The white sails were not hidden from sight when I began to recover,
but a long, lingering illness detained me from home, but thank God I am
with you at last, darlings, well and happy."

"And now that my dear papa is home again, I can enjoy the pearls, the
beautiful pearls," said Lenore, still toying with the luminous gems.

"More beautiful in your hair than in the golden casket," said the
admiring hidalgo.

"The señorita was the second to touch them," he continued, "since
Boabdil's minion consigned them to their hiding-place."

"No, I was the second, shrieked the duenna, clasping her hands to her
heart, where the chains of servitude were riveted.

"Always a slave," she moaned, as they bore her from the room, flushed
with the delirium of fever.

For many days she lay prostrate upon a bed of sickness, but when at
last she recovered the evil spirit had passed from her forever.

She was kind and gentle, ready to serve any one, but especially the
master.

"I am but the servant of servants," she would say. "I will do my duty
in the station whereunto I am called. God have mercy upon my soul."

Don Carlos and the mother lived to see Lenore wife of the handsome
hidalgo, and the mother of a maiden beautiful as herself, whose purple
hair often glowed in the luminous rays of the wonderful Moorish pearls.



"THE TWO GOOD-FOR-NOTHINGS."


A long time ago, in a little village on the banks of the Rhine, lived
the young boy Karl, in the low, rude cottage of his father, Hans
Heidermann, the carpenter.

Karl was the second son in a family of ten children, all boys but the
baby in the cradle—the little, blue-eyed Ethel, the pet and darling of
the household.

The good Lord had sent to the cottage plenty of children, "the poor
man's blessing;" and in their youthful days, when Hans and his good
wife were strong and full of hope, the little ones were greeted with
smiles of love.

Later in life, when the mother found that, with all her patient labor,
the tiny feet must go unclad, and eat little as she possibly could, the
supper was not only poor but very scanty, the boy Julian and baby Ethel
were wept over at their coming, yet with tears so full of compassionate
tenderness that the mother's love shone through them more sweetly than
through the sunshine of smiles that dawned upon their first baby.

The youthful days of Karl were passed in toil, and though the natural
joyousness of childhood would sometimes bubble up and overflow, the
mantle of care fell upon him very early.

When he was only sixteen, he was quite a man in his ways, and able to
contribute not a little to the comfort and support of the family, and
he, more than all the rest, was ever ready to lighten the burden of the
mother's weariness and cares.

When Karl was eighteen years old, he was guilty of a great piece of
folly for a poor boy, though I am sure he was not to blame. It was the
pretty, violet eyes and sweet voice of the young maiden Chimlein that
made him so much in love with her.

Poor, foolish Karl! with nothing but his handsome boyish face and
honest German heart to give her, even his strong willing hands still
belonged to the father and mother.

Poor, foolish Karl, to be in love! But he was very hopeful! The
brothers were growing strong, and even now all but the little Julian,
could add something to the family store. What brightness, wealth, and
happiness might not two years bring them all.

One evening, about this time, Karl received from the merchant, his
employer, for a successful month's work, quite a present over his
usual pay, as a reward for his faithful industry.

He was very happy as he started homeward, and, looked smilingly upon
his patched clothes, thinking "Now I shall be able to buy the new
suit I need so much, and I can take Chimlein the beautiful, to hear
the rare music that she loves so well, and she will store it away in
her bird-like throat, and some day it will gush forth in loving songs
in our own cottage home." Then he sung gay snatches of his favorite
opera—for even the peasantry of Germany are born musicians—and,
looking at the sunshine as it danced upon the bright waters of the
Rhine, he blessed the good Lord for the brightness, beauty, and
happiness of life.

Soon the shadow of the cottage fell upon him, and he entered to find
tears dimming the eyes of the mother as she went silently about her
work. She wiped them hastily away, but Karl had seen them, and all his
bright dreams melted at the sight of the dear, pale face, shadowed by
age and sorrow.

Throwing his strong arm round her, he softly said, "What ails thee,
mother?"

Then she told him how an old debt of the father's became due on the
morrow, and how she feared, she knew not what, because there was no
money to pay it.

So Karl put his hand into his bosom and drew forth the treasure that was
to bring him so much happiness, and placing it in his mother's hand,
said: "Take it, mother, dear;" and before she could reply, he had gone
out into the soft, summer air, down to the banks of the dear Rhine River.

The sun had sunk in clouds of crimson and gold, and the gray twilight
cast its cold shadows upon the waters, and Karl's heart had grown
very heavy as he thought of the sweet-voiced Chimlein, and her
disappointment. "But 'twas for mother," he said. "Poor mother, how pale
she looked, her eyes wet with tears."

He walked on, silently, looking with dreamy eyes out of the dim present
into the untried future.

One year after, he stood by the mother's new made grave, and, while
his heart swelled with sorrow, he blessed God that he had been to
his care-burdened mother a loving and dutiful son. And then came the
thought of the old clothes that, for her sake, he had worn so long,
and he could have kissed the dear old clothes, grown so patched and
threadbare, for her sake, the _dear, dead mother_.

After the mother's death, the family was broken up.

The little Ethel and Julian went away to another part of the country,
to live with a good aunt, who was very kind to them, and the younger
brothers went to trades, and only Karl and the father remained at the
cottage. Then it was that Karl brought home the sweet-voiced Chimlein
to be the angel of his house.

"The dear father is lonely," she would say, as with her quiet words,
and small, white hands she smoothed his pathway down the rugged vale of
dim old age.

The good God only lends us the presence of his angels for a short time,
and in the spring-time he called Chimlein from her home by the blue
Rhine River, to her home in heaven, the golden, and from the heart of
Karl, her husband, to the bosom of the blessed Mother.

The cottage was very dark and lonely after Chimlein went to heaven.
Karl went out to his work with a sad heart, and returned in silence
to sit by his desolate hearth-stone, till the fire went out in the
midnight darkness.

The father (now an old man with locks white as the driven snow) sat
during the long, summer days by the little willow cradle, and sang in
the shrill treble of broken and sorrowful old age, to Chimlein's little
one; or, when the babe was full of playful innocent life, he would take
it down to the banks of the clear Rhine, to revel in the sunshine and
listen to the voice of the waters.

To the old man's desolate heart, that child was a priceless blessing,
and in his eyes she was the most beautiful of all the good Lord's fair
creation.

When she was three months old, he dressed her in snowy white, and bore
her to the baptismal font, where she received the name of Gretchen,
though to the grandfather she was always "mein schönes kind" (my
beautiful child).

A circle of golden curls played around her baby face, and the violet
eyes of her mother shone clearly in the fair light of the morning, as
she looked steadily into the face of the priest who took her in his
arms and blessed her with the baptismal water which consecrated her "a
child of God and an heir of heaven."

The old grandfather gazed wonderingly at the child, as in the softened
light of the sunshine stealing through the cathedral windows she looked
so like the rare picture of the divine Christ-child.

"She is even now a bird of Paradise," whispered tremblingly the old
man, as he received the little one from the priest's hands. "The angel
soul is looking out from her violet eyes, and heaven's blessed light
falls like a halo of glory upon her golden curls."

With a shudder, the old man sunk away into the shadow until the
sunshine had faded from her hair, and rocking her to and fro, while a
master's hand sent rare, glorious music from the grand cathedral organ,
he watched the violet eyes till they closed, and the rich brown lashes
rested upon her fair baby cheeks. One little soft hand was tangled in
the old man's beard, and the tone of her gentle breathing told him that
his darling slept the pure, refreshing sleep of healthful infancy, and
once more his heart was calm and happy.

Karl loved the beautiful child; but when he looked at her, and saw
her mother's eyes reflected in the dewy light of hers, a deep sadness
filled his heart, and often he turned quickly away to hide the
glistening of his eyes, and drew his rough hand over his face to drive
back the unshed tears.

"Poor little motherless thing," he would say: "If it was only a boy!"
"Poor little daughter, ever too much you will need a mother's care."
Then he would snatch up his hat and go out to the banks of the blue
Rhine, where the body of the angel Chimlein rested. To the man, nothing
is so dear as the pure, true woman of his heart.

Two summers had passed over the head of the little Gretchen, making
her more charming than ever, with all the winsome ways of her innocent
childhood.

The grandfather was becoming every day more infirm in body, and every
day brought his mind nearer to the innocent child who was the darling
of his heart. Nearer and nearer to heaven, the golden, he walked with
faltering steps through the darkened vale of second childhood.

When at home, Karl would watch sorrowfully over these two children, the
old man and the beautiful child; but when he was away at his work, they
were a constant care upon his mind.

In passing his neighbor's door, Karl often noticed Elizabeth, the
thrifty daughter of the house. He saw that her restless hands were
always busy; not one speck of dust escaped her sharp, black, eye.

Though her voice was loud and shrill (Karl knew too well he could never
find another sweet-voiced Chimlein) he hoped her heart was kind, and
he thought she might take better care of the father and the little
Gretchen than he could. So he asked her to be his child's mother, his
father's daughter, and the mistress of his cottage.

Elizabeth felt keenly that he was no ardent lover; but he was her
first, and might be her last; so with no more intense feeling than a
desire to secure a home for herself and a provider for her wants, she
consented to be his wife, and become mistress of the cottage.

Elizabeth was full of energy, and after she went to the cottage there
was a great change in its appearance. Every nook and corner was made
thoroughly clean, the rents in the curtains were neatly mended, the
bits of carpet were all washed and spread down upon the sanded floor,
and there was always a clean shirt for Karl when he came from his work,
and a button, was never known to be missing.

Altogether there was not a more notable housewife in all the burg than
Elizabeth. But her shrill voice grated sharply upon the sensitive ear,
and, worse than all, it seems as though the old grandfather and the
little Gretchen were always in her way.

From morning till night the old grandfather had a vile pipe in his
mouth, and the smoke made every thing black and dirty. She then would
look at her clean curtains and whitewashed walls, and frown. He was
continually dropping the ashes about, and sometimes would even spit
upon the floor, which was too much for mortal woman to bear; and then
there was no end to the trouble the little Gretchen made her in a
thousand ways.

To think that she, who always disliked children, should be obliged to
take care of another woman's child!

At first she would bite her lips and choke down the angry words that
strove for utterance, but in her heart she called them "THE TWO
GOOD-FOR-NOTHING'S," and would cast such angry looks upon them that
in their shrinking sensitiveness they would steal away to the banks
of the blue Rhine and try to forget Elizabeth and their trouble. But
alas! poor unfortunates! too often they would return with torn or
soiled clothes, and then the mistress would be more angry than ever.

It was only for a short time that Elizabeth confined her anger to black
looks. Before she had been in the cottage two months, her sharp voice
would ring its angry changes upon the _Two Good-for-Nothings_, as she
now loudly called them, and both the grandfather and little Gretchen
went about silent and trembling, like two culprits who feared detection
and punishment.

She would have them to go to bed before Karl returned in the evening,
for she was very careful to conceal her unkind treatment of them from
him. He was obliged to go very early in the morning to his work, and
saw but little of them, and as the cottage looked clean and cheerful
when he returned, he thought they were well cared for.

Sometimes, for whole days the old grandfather and the little one would
wander on the banks of the beautiful Rhine River, and in her sweet
infantile voice she would rival the songs of the birds.

So wonderful a development of voice in the child was a marvel to all
who heard her, and the fond old man's heart swelled with pride as the
neighbors gathered round to hear her sing. Every one loved them but the
mistress, and they were always sure of a welcome at the noon-day meal
from any of the neighbors. The silver-haired old man was "grandfather"
to them all, and the little child "mein schonest liebes."

The mistress did not object to their long strolls from home. "The
Good-for-Nothings" were only in the way; it did her good to have them
out of her sight a few minutes; while they, poor innocents, escaped
many a rough scolding, and the little child many a blow from the hard
hand of the mistress.

How they enjoyed those days together.

As Gretchen grew older, and the grandfather more feeble, she would lead
him by the hand and run to the neighbor's for a coal to light his pipe,
saying: "The dear grandfather must smoke." Then they would sit down on
the green bank, and with the smoke-wreaths curling above his head the
grandfather would tell old legends and fairy tales to half the children
in the village, and "little Golden Hair," as the children called her,
would sing to them.

One day, when Gretchen was about five years old, they returned from
their accustomed stroll to find a new inmate at the cottage, and Karl
called them to look at the little sister baby. The old grandfather
looked sad, for he could not love the mistress's child as he did
Chimlein's, and he feared it would bring yet greater trouble to his
little Gretchen. But the unsuspecting child opened her large violet
eyes full of wonder and delight, thinking, as all little girls do,
there is nothing in the world so pretty as a baby.

But that baby was her destiny.

No more days by the dear Rhine River. No more songs with the village
children, or fairy tales told under the waving trees with the fresh
air blowing round them. But the little, golden-haired child became a
fixture by the cradle. The baby would not go to sleep unless soothed
by Gretchen's voice, which now was oftener full of subdued pathos than
childish joyousness.

The grandfather, too, had his hours of care and watching. But day by
day he was drawing nearer the dark river that rolled between him and
heaven the golden. His earthly love seemed all centered in Gretchen.
Karl he seldom saw except on Sundays, and then, in his rough manhood,
though he was always kind to his father, he seemed a great way off with
the harsh Elizabeth for his wife.

Only Golden Hair, knew and shared the old man's cares and sorrows. At
night she slept in his bosom and always rested in his heart.

The two "Good-for-Nothings!"

Alike sufferers from the mistress's harshness, how they loved each
other, though they dared not show it when the mistress was near. She
was angry at such nonsense, as she termed their holy affection.

The winter after Gretchen was six years old, was very cold and stormy.
The blue waters of the Rhine had grown black and sullen. In the cottage
times were not improved. The baby was teething. The mistress was not
well, and visited her accumulating ills upon the poor Good-for-Nothings.

She would not have allowed Gretchen to sing at all, but for the baby,
of whom the little girl now had nearly the whole charge. And very thin
and pale she looked, with the rich flush of her golden curls falling
upon her white forehead, and her violet eyes large and languid; but her
little hands were red and hard, poor little hands that had so much to
do.

Child as she was, the woman was growing in her heart, and with
tenderest care she watched the grandfather who had no one but her who
understood his sensitive feebleness, and loved to care for him. Many
times in the day, when the mistress was out of the room, she would put
her little hand in his, and kiss him. Only the sick and sorrowful know
how sweet was the pressure of that loving hand.

One day, in that miserable winter, the baby had been more troublesome
than usual, the mistress more unkind and exacting, and the Two
Good-for-Nothings more silent and depressed. Gretchen had been whipped
because she did not sing; but how could she, when the grandfather's
chair had been moved to be out of the way, into a corner far from the
fire, and he was trembling with cold; and, more than this, Gretchen saw
by his heavy eyes and pale face that he was ill—how much, poor child,
she did not know.

After a time the baby slept, and the mistress left the room. Then
Gretchen stole to the old man's side, and threw her arms round his
neck, and begged him to draw near the fire.

"Never mind, Golden Hair," said the old man, "grandfather is going
where he will never be sick or cold any more. But, oh, mein kleines
kind (my little child), 'tis thou that break'st my heart. To leave thee
alone! mein liebes, mein schonest."

Tears gathered in the dim eyes of the old man, and the cold, withered
hand stroked lovingly the golden hair of the little maiden, who looked
wonderingly at him with her large, violet eyes glistening, and the big
tears rolling down her pale face.

"Mein kleines Gretchen, she'll whip you, and call you
_Good-for-Nothing_ when your old grandfather's gone; but sing, mein
liebes, sing all you can; the good Lord will hear the voice of his
own. Oh! to leave you, kleina, 'tis so hard! so hard!" And the old man
rocked himself to and fro, weeping and trembling with cold and sickness.

The little Gretchen threw her arms around his neck, kissing his tears,
and, half choking with sobs, she whispered: "You'll smoke, grandfather,
darling; your little Golden Hair'll get your pipe." Little child! she
could think of nothing else, and she must do something for the dear
grandfather; and often before, the pipe had been a great solace to him,
when the mistress had been unkind; so the little nimble feet ran for
it, and brought it to him filled, and with the red coal glowing in the
bowl.

Just then the baby cried out, and Elizabeth entered in time for her
sharp, black eyes to take in the whole scene.

Snatching the pipe angrily from the little child's hand, she threw it
against the chimney, breaking it into many pieces. "I'll teach you to
leave the baby to be playing with fire. Take that, Good-for-Nothing."
And she gave Gretchen a sharp blow upon the little golden-crowned head,
and pushed her toward the cradle, adding, "see if you can sing now!"

And Gretchen tried hard to obey, but 'twas a wail, broken with sobs,
that rose from the bursting heart of the child, through the winter cold
air of the Rhine land, to the feet of the good Lord who took little
children in his arms and blessed them.

That night when little Gretchen was sleeping, her weary head resting on
the grandfather's bosom, his troubled spirit passed alone and silently
through the dim portals of the dusky way, and, entering the pearly
gates, found perfect rest in heaven the golden.

In the early morning, Karl was awakened by a wild, piteous cry.

'Twas little Gretchen. The grandfather was cold, icy cold, and she
could not warm him, though she had rubbed him till her own little hands
were like ice, and had pressed her soft, warm cheek to his.

She could not warm him! He could not speak to her—not one word from
the dear grandfather for the poor, little, motherless child, now the
lone "Good-for-Nothing."

When Karl found that the grandfather was really dead, with the big tears
rolling down his cheek, he took the little Gretchen in his arms, and
wrapping a blanket round her, walked to and fro, trying to soothe her.

He loved the old father and the little daughter. But the poor man's lot
leaves little time for endearing cares. He must work early and late to
procure even coarse food and clothes for his family.

Little Gretchen's bitter, but uncomplaining grief brought tears to the
eyes of the kind neighbors, as they looked upon her sad, pale face, and
large eyes, so filled with the shrinking loneliness of her sensitive
nature. Even the mistress's heart was touched by the hopeless agony of
the little one, and while the grandfather lay dead in the house, she
was more gentle and kind to her than she had been before.

In a few days they buried him under the trees, by the blue Rhine River.
By Chimlein's grave, where he had so often listened to the sweet voice
of his little Golden Hair, the poor old "_Good-for-Nothing_" sleeps his
last, cold sleep.

Very wearily rolled now the years for Gretchen.

As she grew older, the household drudgery fell upon her. The mistress
seldom gave her a pleasant look or word, and no matter what went
wrong with the house or children, the burden of all fell upon the poor
"Good-for-Nothing."

The mistress had now four children, of whom Gretchen had almost the
entire charge; and, at the age of fourteen, in the frail form of a
delicate child, she bore the heart of a subdued and sorrowful woman.

She had had no opportunities for improvement, always at work in the
cottage; yet her voice, a marvel in infancy, increased wonderfully
in strength and clearness. It was a God's gift, and she sung with
matchless sweetness and taste, heaven taught.

One day, as Gretchen sat rocking the youngest child in her arms, and
singing as only she could, there came a knocking at the door. The
mistress opened it, and saw a tall, sweet-faced lady dressed in deep
mourning.

There was a fine carriage at the gate, and she knew by the lordly
coat-of-arms, her visitor was no ordinary person, so she dropped a low
courtesy and waited.

"Was it you, my good woman, I heard singing just now?" said the lady.

"Ah, no, madam, 'twas only Gretchen, the Good-for-Nothing, putting the
baby to sleep."

"But the Good-for-Nothing can sing beautifully, and I would hear her
again."

So the lady entered the cottage, to find Gretchen bending over the now
sleeping child, with the flush of shame crimsoning her cheeks, for she
had heard Elizabeth's coarse reply. But she rose and courtesied to the
lady, and, as she did so, the old broken comb fell from her hair, and a
shower of rich golden curls covered her neck and shoulders.

Poor little Gretchen! How the accident confused her. She did not
know that she looked very beautiful, and that her modesty was an
inexpressible charm.

"Sing again, my child," said the lady, kindly.

And Gretchen sang a little German song, full of pathos and beauty; and
though her voice trembled with agitation, it lost none of its pure
richness.

Tears came to the lady's eyes, and, as if speaking to herself, she
said:—

"My little Adela was about her age; these golden curls are like hers,
and she sang sweetly, but not like this child."

Then the lady drew Gretchen to her, and asked her if she would be her
little girl, and love her.

She told her how her own little daughter had died, and Gretchen told
her of the dear grandfather; then she threw her little, weary arms
around the fair lady's neck, and they wept together—the _childless
mother_ and the _motherless child_.

Elizabeth was very angry when she found the lady wanted to adopt
Gretchen. "The miserable Good-for-Nothing," after all the trouble she
had had with her, and just as she was beginning to be able to "earn her
salt." And she was to be the rich lady's child, while her own children
must remain in poverty. 'Twas too much, and she determined to prevent it.

She went out to meet Karl, and told him her querulous story.

But Karl loved his child, and when the lady told him she would make
Gretchen as her own child and love her dearly, he kissed his little
daughter, and placing her hand in the good lady's, told her he had
never been able to do for Gretchen as his heart desired, and he blessed
the good Lord that she had at last found a friend who would give her a
mother's care and love.

So they went away together, the high-born Countess and the beautiful
peasant child.

The little Good-for-Nothing grew up to be a lovely and accomplished
woman. Her matchless voice became the marvel of the gifted and
high-born, as it had once been of the village peasantry.

After she had arrived at a proper age she married the countess's
nephew, who had loved her tenderly for years, and lived to see her
children's children noble, prosperous, and happy.

In her prosperity, Gretchen did not forget her toil-burdened father,
and even Elizabeth and her children shared the favors heaped upon him
by the once despised _little Good-for-Nothing_.



CHING CHONG CHINAMAN.


In the "early days" a gallant ship left the harbor of Hong Kong, in the
land of the Celestials, bound for the port of San Francisco.

Among the emigrants was a young China boy, of the better class, whose
father and mother had both died suddenly, leaving to their son only the
memory of the happy days of the past, over which a fleeting prosperity
and paternal love had cast the halo of perpetual sunshine.

His father was a merchant, supposed to be immensely wealthy, but after
the debts of the house were paid Ching Chong found himself alone in the
world, and very destitute.

One evening as he walked out through the suburbs of the city, he met a
merchant who had been a great friend of his father. The old gentleman
stopped the boy, and kindly inquired what he was doing, and how he had
been getting along since his father's death.

Ching Chong was feeling very desolate, and at these expressions of
interest the unbidden tears began to flow down his cheeks, till, unable
to restrain himself, he bowed his face upon his hands, and sobbed as if
his heart would break.

The old man gave him time to recover himself and when the boy dashed
the tears proudly away with the back of his hand, trying to call up the
dawning manhood in his heart, he said: "I will help you, you are the
son of the friend of my youth, you shall be my son."

He took the young Ching Chong by the hand, kindly, led him home to his
own house, and provided him with the best instruction the city afforded.

At the age of fifteen, Ching Chong was as handsome and intelligent a
boy as could be found in the city of Hong Kong.

One day his benefactor called him to him, and told him of the distant
gold land. "There, my son," he said, "you shall go to seek your
fortune. I will provide you with every thing necessary for the journey,
but you must keep a strict account, and at the end of five years
return, and share the gains with me."

"If you do well in all things, I will reward you doubly, for I love you
as my own son."

Here the merchant embraced him so tenderly, that the eyes of Ching
Chong were moistened with tears of gratitude.

Then the merchant gave him much good advice, which the young Ching
Chong promised faithfully to follow.

As the dusk of evening came on, both grew thoughtful and silent; at
last the old man took the boy's hand in his, saying: "I have been
thinking of a curious legend which our fathers believed."

Then he told him how years before two Chinamen, a giant and a dwarf,
went out into the great world, far beyond the shining waters, to seek
their fortune together. How, after a weary time and great labor, they
found a cavern full of gold and precious stones, but at the entrance
sat two men guarding the treasure.

The Chinamen were very cold and hungry, and the two men gave them food
and warm blankets, but they would not allow them to touch even one of
the lustrous gems that sparkled around them.

At last the Chinamen went away quite rested, and with plenty of food in
their sacks. They had gone only a short distance down the cañon, when
in the darkest shadow the giant stopped.

"Let us rest here," he said, "and talk over our plans for the future.
There is a great treasure near us, I am strong, you are active, and we
are separated from our wishes by only two men of ordinary strength."

The dwarf sighed heavily. "They have been kind to us, but for them we
must have died of hunger."

"Fool," replied the giant, "there is enough for all."

Then it was they sat talking till the stronger prevailed over the
weaker, and, at the still hour of midnight, they went back to the
cavern of gold.

The dwarf had begged hard for the lives of the men, but the cruel
giant was obdurate.

"Let them die," he said, "and the treasure will be ours."

In the darkness he struck the blow, but instead of falling upon the
men, as he had intended, he struck the stone on which their heads
had rested. A harsh ringing sound resounded through the cavern, and
suddenly a great light flashed up, and almost blinded them, so that
they covered their eyes with their hands.

When a moment after they glanced fearfully around, they saw not two
common men, but two horrid monsters. Whether immense giants or genii,
they could not tell, but the giant Chinaman before them seemed but a
boy in size.

The poor Chinamen trembled with fear, and begged the monsters to spare
their lives.

"I did not wish to kill you," said the dwarf. "Oh, dear! have pity!
have pity! and he clasped his little hands imploringly; while his teeth
chattered with the intensity of his fear.

"You would have robbed us," replied the monster, "and for this you
shall be punished."

Then he laid a spell upon them, condemning them to remain far from
their beloved China. Wandering through the gold land, and finding
treasures, but never possessing them.

To the dwarf he said, "because the good had not all gone out of your
heart, you may be permitted to aid the future gold-seekers, and they
shall be blessed by your guidance. But a curse shall follow the gifts
of the giant, and his bones shall bleach upon the mountains of the
stranger land."

"Strive by deeds of kindness, poor dwarf," he continued, "to wipe out
the stain of this present great sin of your life, so that at last, when
you die, your body may be wafted to the pleasant shore of the celestial
country."

Then he drove them out of the cave, and they began their weary
wanderings. The giant filled with angry bitterness, and the heart of
the dwarf subdued and penitent.

For some time after the merchant had finished his story, Ching Chong
sat in silence. At last he exclaimed, eagerly, "who knows but they are
now in the gold-land to which I am going."

"I had thought of that," answered the old man. "It may be all a myth,
but as you say 'who knows!' At all events there is no harm in my
saying, _beware of the giant, and look out for the dwarf_."

Just as the ship was about sailing, the merchant gave to Ching Chong
a curious black wand, saying, "this is a divining-rod, and will help
you to find the treasure. Remember all I have said to you. Especially
_beware of the giant_."

Again Ching Chong promised, and they embraced with much affection.

At last the signal was given, the anchor weighed, and the merchant
hastened on shore, to look out upon the waters, till Ching Chong,
leaning over the railing of the deck, faded from his sight.

Thus Ching Chong became a gold-seeker, and many were the gorgeous
dreams that filled the mind of the youth, as the ship sailed lazily
over the placid waters.

At last, after the usual amount of winds and calms, storms and fair
weather, the good ship sailed through the Golden Gate, and into the
pleasant harbor of San Francisco.

Ching Chong disembarked with the other passengers, a stranger in a land
of strangers, where even the language of the country fell upon his ear,
the unmeaning jargon of an unknown tongue.

Fortunately for him, he was not the only Chinaman in the country,
though at that early day they were few in number. The Queen city of the
Pacific was then a city of many sand hills, and a few poor shanties,
but it was full of energy, perseverance, and hope.

Ching Chong was a quick, active lad, and soon learned enough of English
to procure a situation, and for some time remained in San Francisco.

At night, when his work was over, he would take a look at his
divining-rod, and he often noticed it would turn in his hand, till
it pointed to the mountain country, awaking all the wild dreams, and
eager longings that in the leisure hours of the sea-voyage filled his
imagination.

At last he could resist the impulse no longer, and joined a party of
prospectors for the mining districts.

For months Ching Chong wandered over the mountains with his comrades,
till his shoes were worn out, and his trousers and blue shirt so
patched with flour-sacks, that it was impossible for the uninitiated to
distinguish the original material.

Still he found nothing, even the divining-rod seemed to have lost its
power, save when he was alone.

One night he sat apart from the others, feeling very sad, and wishing
he had never left China. The homesick longing to see his native land
growing continually in his heart, oppressed him greatly.

The thought of the kind old merchant who had been as a father to
him, pursued him, but deeper down in his heart was cherished the
memory of the merchant's daughter. The gentle Ah Zore maiden with the
almond-shaped eyes, and tiny feet.

Just as he was yielding himself to tender dreams, his wand rested upon
his bosom, and there he felt his secret talisman, the divining-rod.

Rising up hastily, he resolved to go off alone, and yield to the
impulse of the wand. Hoping he might be more successful than in the
weary months he had passed with his companions.

With this resolve, the pressure of the rod became greater, awaking
joyous hopes that had long been strangers to him.

He thought of the curious legend the merchant had told him, and
whispering softly to himself, he said: "Where the wand leads I will
go—on to fortune, or death; any thing is better than the weariness of
my present life."

It was a beautiful, balmy night. The silvery moonlight and the stars
brightened even the dim cavern, and flooded the mountains with a
luminous beauty.

Ching Chong went silently up the mountain path until he came to a ledge
the miners had been prospecting that day.

Still the divining-rod urged him on, till he had gone miles farther
into the mountains than ever before.

About twelve o'clock, he began to be hungry and weary, for it was the
early evening when he started, and after a hard day's work.

Suddenly the divining-rod changed, and pointed downward, and as Ching
Chong looked, he saw what appeared to be the entrance of a cavern, but
a huge stone was rolled against it.

He perceived a small opening which the stone left uncovered, through
which he might have crept, but the darkness within was so dense that he
dare not enter.

He threw himself down upon the ground quite overcome with hunger and
fatigue, and taking a piece of hard bread from his pocket, began
eating, and thinking almost hopelessly of the future.

He was aroused by a harsh voice, and looking up, saw, just before him,
the immense form of a giant Chinaman.

"What are you doing here, countryman," said the giant, opening his huge
mouth, and glaring with his ugly eyes upon the startled boy.

"I am thinking of home," replied Ching Chong, sadly, "and fearing I
shall never see that dearest spot again."

"Thank God, the bodies of all true Chinamen are carried back to repose
in death in the bosom of their mother-land."

"Do you mean to insult me, minion," cried the giant, while his face
grew livid with rage, and he would have killed Ching Chong with one
blow of his heavy club, but the boy sprang lightly out of his way.

"Foiled again," he muttered, between his teeth. "Come here, boy," he
added, "I will not hurt you, silly fool."

"I was only joking, just to see you jump out of the way;" and he gave a
loud laugh that made the mountains echo.

The rod in his bosom urging him on, Ching Chong drew cautiously near
the giant.

"Sit down, and tell me of your wanderings," said the monster, with a
rough voice, into which he tried to throw the semblance of kindness.

Ching Chong told him all, only omitting the merchant's story and his
secret of the wand.

"Never mind, boy," said the giant, "you shall win the prize, and go
back to China a rich man. See, the morning sun is rising. Now we will
enter the cavern, and you shall have as much gold and precious stones
as you can carry away."

Ching Chong felt a momentary thrill of joy in his heart, which was
saddened by the memory of the merchant's last words, "beware of the
giant."

"I have wandered in this cold, stranger land for three long years, and
found nothing until now.

"Wealth is within my grasp; if I do not seize it, I may never have
another chance! To be poor forever! No! no! I will take the risk." Then
he spoke aloud, in a resolute voice, "Lead on, I will follow."

The giant gave the great stone a push with his foot, and rolled it away
as though it had been a pebble.

As they entered he struck a torch, then, before proceeding, rolled back
the stone and closed up the opening.

When Ching Chong saw himself shut into the cave with the giant, he
trembled with fear, for he saw there was no way of escape. He felt now,
he had only to follow where the monster at will might lead him.

They went through a long, narrow passage, then down many steps, until
at last they entered a hall, which was lighted by a large lamp,
suspended from the dome of the cavern.

Ching Chong was almost blinded by the reflection of the luminous
crystals that, with curious prismatic effect, flooded the hall with a
hundred glowing tints.

Great masses of gold lay scattered about, and huge seams ran through
the rugged sides of the cavern.

"Is this rich enough for you?" said the giant, laughingly.

"Help yourself, lad, you remember I told you you should have all you
could carry away."

The delighted Ching Chong began to gather up the gold and precious
stones into his sack, and when he had secured all he could carry,
throwing the sack over his shoulder, he thanked the giant, and begged
him to let him go out of the cave.

"Go on!" replied the giant, with a mocking laugh. "You're welcome to
the treasure, but I'm thinking you'll find it hard work to move that
stone from the mouth of the cave."

Then Ching Chong threw down the treasure at his feet, crying, with
tears in his eyes, "Take back your riches, and let me go out into the
sunshine! the beautiful sunshine! Oh! good giant, take back your gold,
and give me my poverty, and my liberty!"

"What a pretty actor! go on! go on!" said the delighted giant, and when
Ching Chong threw himself on his knees before him, wringing his hands
in silent despair, he laughed till the mountain cavern rung.

"Do you think I will let you go? You are my slave now! and the
sunshine! the beautiful sunshine! you shall never see again."

Ching Chong saw there was no help for him then.

He spurned the bag of gold and precious stones, pushing it with his
foot, as he followed the giant into the inner cave.

The giant ordered him to build a fire, and prepare supper, and, after
the master was served, he was permitted to eat and go to sleep upon
the rough but warm skin of a grizzly bear.

Weeks passed by! Still he was a prisoner in the cavern, serving the
grim old giant, who was very capricious, and hard to please.

One evening he came home in great good humor, and, while he ate his
supper, he talked and laughed with Ching Chong very pleasantly.

He told how that day he had given a quantity of gold to some miners.

"Great luck it will bring them," he added.

"Already they are quarreling over it," and a malicious grin disfigured
his monstrous face.

"'Tis such fools as you, boy, who make things lively. Ha! ha! You may
have all the gold you can carry away!

"Why don't you move the stone? Ah! boy, if you had the famous
divining-rod, you would only have to touch the rock, and it would obey
your wish, but you might as well hope to wake up in your beloved China,
as to obtain it."

How strangely the words of the giant thrilled the heart of Ching Chong,
and, pressing his hand against his bosom, the famous divining-rod
awakened the hopes that in his heart lay sleeping.

In the excess of his emotion he was obliged to hide his face from the
giant, lest he should see his secret written there.

That night after the loud snoring of the giant announced that he was
sleeping soundly, Ching Chong rose carefully, and lighting the torch,
crept softly out of the large cave, and through the narrow passage that
led to the entrance.

He took nothing with him. "The treasure of the giant is cursed," he
said.

When he came to the rock he took the divining-rod from his bosom, and,
pressing it lightly against the rock, said: "Giant rock remove quickly
at the spell of the divining-rod."

Quick as thought the rock moved from its place, and the silver
moonlight poured in at the entrance of the cave, and lighted up the
face of Ching Chong, beaming with the bliss of recovered liberty.

Once more he touched the rock, saying: "Move back giant rock at the
spell of the the divining-rod, and remain forever so firmly fixed that
even the giant's powerful hand cannot remove you."

The great stone rolled back, striking the ledge with such force that
the whole mountain shook, and the mighty echo was reverberated from all
the neighboring heights.

This great commotion aroused the sleeping giant, and he called loudly
for Ching Chong, and, when he received no answer, he was very much
enraged, and searched the whole cavern in every nook and corner. At
last he rushed to the entrance, and pushed his broad shoulder against
the rock, but he could not move it one inch from its place; then he
became so furious that his voice sounded like the roar of a wild beast,
but with all his efforts he could not move the rock. Ching Chong sat
without in the calm moonlight, now and then calling to the giant to
come on, and that he was welcome to all the treasure he could bring
with him.

After a time the giant became so exhausted that he ceased his efforts
to move the rock, and begged Ching Chong to touch it again with his
magic wand, and let him out, promising him all the treasures of the
cave; but the boy only replied: "Your turn has come now, keep your
treasure, you are welcome to it, and to your underground castle."

"Good-by, kind master, good-by! Come out when you can, and you may have
all the treasure you can carry."

With this Ching Chong started for his old cabin, but for miles the deep
howlings of the giant were wafted to his ears.

He reached the cabin at sunrise, just five weeks after he left it.

When he entered he found his old companions just eating breakfast. They
were greatly surprised to see him, for they supposed he had been killed
by the grizzly bears with which that district abounded.

They gave him a hearty greeting, and he sat down to breakfast, telling
them only the last of his marvelous adventures, omitting the secret of
the divining-rod entirely.

When he had finished, he asked them what luck they had had.

Nothing very good, they replied. Some placer diggings of a little
promise, but their fortunes were not yet made.

Ching Chong went out with them, and entered again upon the hard life of
prospecting. Many months passed on in the same old way, and again Ching
Chong began to feel very much disheartened. Four years and a half had
gone, and still he was poor, no nearer the realization of his dreams
than ever.

The intense longing for home was ever gnawing in his heart. He thought
sadly of the old merchant who awaited his return, and sighed often as
he dreamed of the beautiful Ah Zore.

Again he resolved to follow the guiding of the divining-rod, hoping for
greater success than in his former expedition.

Again he started at nightfall, without saying any thing to his
companions.

He had provided himself with a sack of food, which he carried, with his
pick and shovel, upon his shoulders.

He was young, healthy, and accustomed to the hardships of a mountain
life.

For hours he walked on as the divining-rod guided him, until near
morning, when, overcome with fatigue, he threw himself upon the ground
among the thick sage brush, and soon fell asleep.

A thousand golden imaginings mingled with his dreams, and, when he
awoke with the sunshine pouring its flood of warmth and light upon him,
he rose full of bright hopes, ate his scanty breakfast, and started
upon his way with a happy heart.

Thus he wandered on for several days, carefully examining every ledge
of rocks that he passed over.

His stock of food was nearly exhausted. The divining-rod and his
hopeful nature urged him on, but his dread of a lonely death in the
mountains warned him to return.

One night he struck a fire in a lonely place, and sat down to eat his
supper, just as the twilight gave place to the stars of night.

He was getting quite disheartened. "I must start for the camp in the
morning," he said to himself, "'Tis no use of trying any longer."

He fell into a sad train of musing, from which he was aroused by the
soft tinkling of a silver bell, and looking up he saw before him the
dwarf Chinaman.

He wore the round hat, blue blouse, big pants, and pointed shoes of the
Celestials, and his words fell upon Ching Chong's ear in the language
of his native tongue. His face was wrinkled and sad-looking, yet there
was a kindliness in its expression, and Ching Chong's heart warmed as
he pleasantly asked, "Why so sorrowful to-night, my boy?"

Then Ching Chong told his story.

When he had finished the dwarf said: "Be thankful that you did not
attempt to carry away any of the treasure."

"If you had taken but one ounce of gold the wand would have lost its
power in your hand, and you would have been the slave of the giant as
long as you lived, and after death your bones would have whitened the
floor of the mountain cavern, instead of reposing in the dear native
land."

"Your industry and perseverance shall now be rewarded. Lie down and
sleep to-night upon this soft turf. In the morning rise and follow the
direction of the divining-rod, and where it points downward strike your
pick."

"Now good-night, my boy. In the days of your prosperity, sometimes
think kindly of the poor dwarf of the mountains."

Before Ching Chong could reply, he found himself alone, and though he
looked round carefully, he could not discover where, or how the dwarf
had disappeared. So he lay down, and was soon sleeping soundly.

In the morning he rose early, and following the direction of his wand,
stopped where it pointed downward, and striking a blow with his pick,
turned up a beautiful pure nugget of gold.

He marked the spot, and collecting a few specimens, returned to the
camp.

Again his companions surrounded him to hear his story.

No one but the poor, toiling miner can understand the excitement and
delight of the weary prospectors, as they listened to him, and examined
his specimens.

"Now, boys," said Ching Chong, "you have been the sharers of my bad
luck, and you shall share my good fortune."

"There is gold enough for all."

Then the happy miners all shook hands with Ching Chong, saying a hearty
"God bless you, boy," while the tears glistened in their eyes, as they
thought of the dear ones in distant lands.

That night they all dreamed golden dreams, full of love and happiness.

In the morning they all went together to the newly discovered treasure,
which proved to be a large tract of the richest placer-diggings ever
known.

In six months they were all rich men, and left the mountains for their
different homes, blessing forever Ching Chong Chinaman.

About that time a good ship sailed for China, and on the deck sat the
happy Ching Chong, and all his great wealth was on board.

After a prosperous voyage, he reached his dear, native land, and
was able to give his friend the merchant, an account of himself, so
satisfactory that he rewarded him with the hand of his daughter, the
beautiful Ah Zore, and in all Hong Kong there could not be found a
happier man than Ching Chong Chinaman.



ZALETTA.


Once upon a time there lived in a little cane hut on the borders of a
hacienda, a poor old Mexican woman and her grandchild.

The parents of the little one were both dead, and the old woman
maintained herself and the child by spinning, sewing, and washing for
the rich Spaniards, to whom all the fine houses and cultivated lands of
the country belonged.

The mother of the child had been a beautiful señorita of good family.
She foolishly loved and married the poor but light-hearted Mexican, who
would have given his life for her, but could not shield her from the
misfortunes which poverty and sickness brought upon them.

After the birth of her little daughter, she died, and very soon the
father was lost in a fearful storm at sea; so the child was left
alone in the world, with none to care for her but the silver-haired
grandmother, and no home but the little cane hut.

For some years every thing went pleasantly with the child; she had
never known luxury, her necessities were supplied, she returned the
fond devotion of the old grandmother, with the ardor of her Southern
nature; and, all day long, her innocent voice, full of childish
happiness, woke cheerful echoes around the little hut.

One night, when she was about ten years old, the old woman fell sick.
She felt the dim shadows creeping over her spirit, and her strength
growing less; and calling the child to her side, she said, feebly: "I
have nothing but a well-worn distaff and the poor hut to give you.
The Holy Virgin pity and protect you; you have been a good child to
your old grandmother." Then she kissed her, and blessing her, bade her
good-night, adding: "Never forget to say your prayers before you go to
sleep. God bless you, my poor, poor child."

The grandmother turned her face to the wall, and folded her thin hands
as if in prayer, and Zaletta crept softly into bed beside her, feeling
very sad; but soon her innocent heart was happy, roaming through the
pleasant land of dreams. In the morning, Zaletta slept till the sun
rose above the hills, and cast its glowing warmth down into the shaded
valleys, then woke full of life and joyousness.

There lay the grandmother just as she had last seen her the night
before. "She sleeps long this morning, the dear old grandmother,"
said she to herself, as she moved round quietly, preparing the scanty
breakfast.

When it was all ready, she became impatient, and laid her little warm
hand upon the old woman's arm. Cold, very cold, the poor child found
her, and motionless. She would never move again.

Zaletta called her, sobbing and weeping, but there was no reply. The
heart so ready to sympathize with all her childish sorrows was at rest.
The old grandmother had died, praying for the little lonely child, who
had been dearer than all the world to her.

The next day the people from the hacienda came and buried the old
woman. After the last sod was cast upon the grave, the innkeeper's wife
took the child by the hand, saying: "Poor little thing, she can not
stay here alone, I will take her home with me;" and she smoothed the
tangled hair of the helpless orphan with her hand, and in her harder
heart she thought, "By and by this girl may be made of great service to
me, and even now I'll see that she earns all that she eats and wears."

She was very careful to take to the inn with her, all the poor little
hut contained. "'Tis but little," she said, "but I'll take it for the
child." All the neighbors said it was kind in the innkeeper's wife, and
the rich señor, to whom the whole hacienda belonged, gave her a shining
gold-piece, saying: "'Tis for your charity."

The cold-hearted woman went home, leading by the hand a little weeping
child, very desolate and sorrowful.

The innkeeper was naturally a kind man, but he had become too indolent
and corpulent to resist the strong will of his termagant wife. "When he
saw the sad-eyed little one that she had brought home, he brushed away
a tear with his big brown hand, and determined to save the unfortunate
from all trouble, as much as he could; but when he thought of his
wife's cruel disposition, he earnestly wished her in other hands.

"Poor little thing! poor little thing!" he said, pityingly, and calling
his own little boy and girl to him, he placed her trembling hands in
theirs, adding: "Here is a sister for you, be kind to her, my children."

The daughter drew her hand away, and curled her lip in scorn. She was
like her mother, proud and cold in her nature, and, looking at the
coarse clothes of the child, she said: "Ah, no, papa, she is only fit
for a servant. Sister, indeed!" and she shook the skirts of her pretty
muslin dress, and ran away.

The boy felt the manhood dawning in his heart, as he saw the tears
glistening in the pretty dark eyes of the silent child, and the little
red lips quivered with suppressed emotion.

"She shall be my sister, papa," said he, softly, as he took her by the
hand, and led her out in the clear sunshine. Children understand each
other best, thought the old man, as he sat watching them, while they
walked up and down the garden together, talking pleasantly.

Soon the mother's sharp eye detected them, and with a harsh voice she
bade the little girl haste to the kitchen, and see if she could not
help the cook prepare the supper.

Then she called the young Guilerme to her, saying: "I hope to make a
rich señor of you, my son, though your father is only an innkeeper. We
are making money, and every year increases our gains. There is good
blood in my veins, and I am determined to raise my children above my
present condition. For this I save every thing. Every thing! For we
must have money; but remember, my son, I would not have you notice that
miserable girl I have brought here for a servant; by and by she may do
for your sister's maid; now she is the kitchen scullion."

Thus began the days of servitude and sorrow for the young Zaletta.

The inn was a spacious adobe house, with an open court in the center,
and surrounded on all sides by a broad piazza. The kitchen and
store-rooms were upon one side, while the receiving and sleeping rooms
were on the other sides of the square.

The hacienda was in the southern part of California, where though
the warmth of the days produces many kinds of tropical fruits, the
evenings are often quite chilly, and the excessive heat of the noon-day
renders all very susceptible to cold. In the large receiving-room (with
the bar at one side), on such nights, a cheerful fire always burned,
and there all the guests of the house assembled, and talked over the
news of the day. Sometimes 'twas of the discovery of a rich gold mine,
but often 'twas of a fearful robbery in the wood.

After all the work was done in the kitchen, Zaletta would steal
silently into the receiving-room, listening to the conversation, and
warming her chilled feet and hands before going to her miserable bed in
the out-house.

This did not please the señora. It did not look respectable to have the
miserable child about, she would say; but in this the innkeeper was
resolute. "The little one should warm herself before going to bed." So
Zaletta came in at evenings, but very quietly.

Guilerme was always kind to her; indeed never a day passed but
something nice found its way to the hiding-place in the out-house, so
that the child was never hungry.

He brought her the ripest bananas, and the sweetest oranges, and when
she would look up to him, with her soft eyes dewy with love and thanks,
he would kiss her brown cheek, and say: "Never mind, little one, you
shall be _señora_ one of these days." Then they would laugh and be
happy, till the mother's sharp voice would ring through the house,
calling the unfortunate to some new task.

The sister was changeful in her treatment to Zaletta. Sometimes she
would call her pleasantly to come and play with her, but very soon
she would become angry and strike her, calling her "only a pitiful
servant." Then the mother would whip Zaletta for making her little
mistress angry. The father and Guilerme always took her part, making
the mother more displeased than ever.

One day, when Guilerme was about fourteen years old, and the girls
were twelve, the mother called the boy to her, telling him in two
weeks a vessel would sail from the nearest sea-port for the Atlantic
States, and that, he must be ready to take passage in her, for she
had determined to send him to New York to school. "Your father is now
rich," she said, "and you must be educated like other rich men's sons."

Poor little Zaletta! What a blow it was to her. Her best friend going
away so far over the waters. When he told her the morning before he
sailed what his mother had said, her pretty dark eyes filled with
tears, and she sobbed bitterly.

"Listen to me," said the boy, soothingly; "I have something to tell
you, and must be quick, or mamma will call me before I can finish. You
know I am going away to be educated like a gentleman, and shall want
a lady for my wife; so you must study hard to become one, for I am
determined to marry you as soon as I come back. I have taught you to
read, and you will find all my books in the hiding-place, where I have
left them for you, and you must study hard and see how beautiful you
can grow while I am gone, for I shall make you the greatest lady in
the hacienda;" and he took the little eager face between his hands and
kissed it with much affection. Just then the mother called, "Guilerme!
Guilerme!" so he kissed her again, and said, "remember, my little
wife," and was off in a moment.

That night Zaletta wept herself to sleep, and many succeeding nights;
but she did not forget to study very hard, and though she labored under
great difficulties, her progress was wonderful. She was working for the
approval of the only one that loved her since the dear silver-haired
grandmother died. After Guilerme went away the señora took Zaletta into
the house as maid for her young daughter, who every day was growing
more proud and selfish.

For some years the innkeeper had been greatly prospered. The family had
used economy in all things until they had amassed considerable wealth.

"Now," said the señora, "the children are growing up, and we must not
spare the money—they must have position." She engaged a governess to
teach her daughter, and a master to give her lessons on the harp and
guitar.

Zaletta always sat in the room with the young señorita, and listened
eagerly to every word the teachers uttered, though her hands were busy
with her needle.

Every day she grew in knowledge and beauty. Her dark eyes were soft as
a fawn's, and her pure olive cheek glowed with a clear rose-tint, while
her form and features were cast in beauty's most exquisite mold. Both
mother and daughter were often cruelly unkind to her, more especially
when they saw that her beauty, and innocent sweetness of manner,
attracted more attention than all the young señorita's fine clothes
and accomplishments. The señorita was pretty and full of airs and
graces, but Zaletta, in her coarse dress, was far more lovely. Every
day increased the envy of the mother and daughter, and new and harder
tasks were invented for the weary little hands to perform.

One sultry afternoon all three sat upon the piazza of the inner court.
A ship had arrived from New York, with letters from Guilerme, and a
large box, filled with beautiful fabrics for dresses, shawls, and
ornaments, for the mother and daughter; but Zaletta received nothing,
not even a word of kind remembrance.

All the long night before she had wept. Guilerme, the gentleman, had
forgotten the poor maid; but she, alas! remembered him too well.

The mother and daughter sat looking over their treasures with great
delight, and for the time she was unnoticed. Stitching away upon a
beautiful organdie muslin, at last overcome by fatigue, loss of sleep,
and the excessive heat, she fell asleep, and in her dreams she called
out in a piteous tone, "Guilerme! Guilerme!" and the tears ran down her
pale cheeks.

"What is she saying?" said the mother. She rose and looked at her, and
again she called, "Guilerme! Guilerme!"

"Hear her, mamma," exclaimed the enraged daughter, "I'll give her a
lesson for her impertinence," and she raised her hand to strike the
sleeping girl.

"Stop, daughter," said the mother, softly, with a malicious smile, "we
can do better. The foolish Guilerme has sent her a letter and presents
of books. The letter I have burned. The books you can do as you like
with, but I have a present for la señorita, she will not like, perhaps."

She shook the young girl roughly by the arm, saying, "What, sleeping
over your work. Wake, and hear what Guilerme says. He sends you this!"

The señora held out to the young girl a coarse apron, such as the lower
servants wore. "He hopes his sister will train you to be a good servant
for you must know he is in love with a rich and beautiful señorita,
and though they are both young now, it is thought best for them to be
married before his return, which will be in about two years."

"Mamma, what is the matter with her? How pale she looks!" cried the
affrighted daughter, as Zaletta with closed eyes sank fainting upon the
floor.

"She has fainted, the miserable beggar. To try to creep into my family,
and to think that foolish boy should talk of love to her. I'll fix them
both," and in her anger the señora and her daughter left Zaletta lying
cold and pale upon the floor.

Evening came on, with the calm, silver light of the stars, before
Zaletta recovered. At first she could not remember what had happened,
and then it all rushed upon her, a mighty flood of sorrow.

"Guilerme has forgotten me! I remember now: this apron for the servant
of his bride. Ah! Guilerme! Guilerme!" Wrapping the apron about her
neck, she rushed out into the night. "I cannot stay in this house
another night. It will kill me!" she said, and she hurried on as though
she could fly from her great sorrow.

At last she came to a deep wood, and, after wandering about till
her wearied limbs refused to carry her any further, she saw a light
glimmering through the trees, and pressing on she came to a little
cottage.

Looking in at the window she saw an old woman at her distaff spinning.
The faggots upon the hearth burned brightly, and lighted up the little
room, but especially the face of the old woman shone with the glow
of a kind heart. Timidly she knocked at the door, but there was no
reply. Then she knocked again louder, and the old woman called out in a
cracked voice: "Who knocks at my door so late in the night!"

"Only a poor maiden, who has no home, no friend on earth. I pray you,
good woman, let me in. The night is cold, and the starlight chills me.
I am so tired! so tired! Good mother, let me in!"

The old woman opened the door and led her in. She sat down in the
corner, gazing silently into the fire and wondering why the good Lord
in pity did not let her die; and big tears ran down her pale cheeks.

The old woman baked a fresh tortilla and gave it to her with a cup of
milk.

"Eat, child," she said gently, "you are hungry," and she laid her hand
on the bowed head, saying again: "There! there! eat, child! and sleep
away the sorrow of youth which is fleeting as the dew of morning."

Then she turned away and commenced spinning and singing in a low,
monotonous tone, which was strangely soothing, while Zaletta ate
her supper, and soon the sad, weary maiden fell asleep by the warm,
pleasant fireside.

For some time the old woman went on spinning and singing, till another
knock came at the door, and again she said: "Who knocks at my door so
late in the night?" "'Tis I, mother," replied a thick, rough voice.
She opened the door to a most curious looking dwarf. He was round
shouldered and thick set, with heavy, black hair covering his forehead,
and shaggy brows meeting over his eyes.

"How fared thee, to-day, son?"

"I haven't struck the lode yet, mother," said the dwarf, cheerfully,
"but I am sure the mine is rich. See what I have picked up among the
loose rocks!"

He handed her a small nugget of gold, almost pure, and turned to the
corner to put down his pick and shovel. "But who have we here? A young
girl, and very pretty," he added, looking admiringly upon the sleeping
maiden.

"Only a poor friendless child, who came to the door a little while ago,
weeping and asking shelter," answered the woman.

"Treat her kindly, mother; she will be company for you, and by-and-by I
may marry her, but I have no time to think of women now."

The dwarf sat down to the hot supper the mother had prepared for him,
and ate heartily, for he was very hungry. Then he drew his chair near
the fire, and sat for sometime looking dreamily into its glowing
embers.

"I must strike the lode soon," he mused. "Oh, my rich gold mine; it
must come at last." Then he rose, saying, kindly, "Good night, mother,"
and climbed up into the little loft, where in a few minutes he was
sleeping soundly.

The old woman woke Zaletta, and they retired for the night, sleeping in
the same bed.

In the morning Zaletta was awakened by a kind voice calling, "Get up
now, daughter, and help me to prepare my son's breakfast, he has been
at work for an hour, and will soon come in very hungry."

Zaletta rose quickly and helped to prepare a breakfast of fresh
tortillas nicely browned, fried plantain, and venison, which, with
plenty of ripe fruit and goat's milk, made a repast fit for a prince.

Soon the dwarf came in, so smiling and cheerful, that though Zaletta
thought him the ugliest looking person she ever saw, she felt sure
his heart was in the right place. "You are welcome, my pretty girl,"
he said, "but don't mind me; I've no time to compliment women, though
by-and-by, when I strike a rich lode, I may marry you."

Zaletta's face flushed a deep crimson, and she looked as though that
would be any thing but desirable; but she made no reply, and in a
moment the dwarf seemed to have forgotten her presence, and she became
more comfortable.

Two years passed by and Zaletta remained at the cottage, helping the
old mother, who was very fond of her, and reading books with which the
dwarf kept her constantly supplied. All this time he was working hard
in his mine, but could not "strike the rich lode." Sometimes he grew
quite disheartened, then he would be joyous and hopeful, and would say
to Zaletta: "Though I have no time to think of women now, by-and-by,
when I am rich, I will marry you." She soon got used to this, and only
laughed, for he was always very kind to her, and she learned to look
upon him as a brother.

One dark night in the rainy season she and the mother sat by the fire
waiting for the dwarf to come in to his supper. The old woman was
spinning, and Zaletta reading a pleasant book of travels.

"My poor boy," sighed the old mother. "How it rains; he will be wet
through. Oh, dear! I fear he will never be able to strike the rich
lode." Just then a loud knock came at the door. "Who knocks at my door
so late in the night," said the old woman.

A voice, young, strong, and pure, answered, sending all the warm blood
from Zaletta's heart to her face: "A stranger, belated and lost in the
wood, begs for shelter from the storm."

The old woman opened the door, and Guilerme—dear, handsome Guilerme,
dripping with rain, and very cold, entered.

Zaletta's book dropped upon the floor, and her tongue refused her heart
utterance, but Guilerme's eyes rested upon the beautiful girl with
delighted surprise.

"Found at last, my own Zaletta." His arms opened, and the trembling,
lonely heart of the maiden found its true resting-place.

They sat down side by side, hand clasping hand, and explained all the
past to each other, how Guilerme had written and received no answer,
and at last returned to find her gone, and his heart desolate.

Zaletta told him all she had suffered, and of the kindness she had
received at the cottage. Then Guilerme took the old woman's hands and
thanked her with a voice trembling with emotion.

The mother rejoiced with them, but there mingled a sorrow for her son
with the joy. "Poor son," she thought, "He is very fond of the child."

Soon another knock came, and again the old woman asked, "Who knocks at
my door so late in the night," and the dwarf answered:—

"Mother! mother! I've struck the lode at last."

She opened the door, and he threw his arms round her neck and kissed
her, then he came in, and saw Guilerme; and they both told their
stories.

"So," said the dwarf, when Guilerme had finished: "You have come to
take my pretty maid away? Well, if she loves you, 'tis all right, I
have had no time to think of women; but, somehow, I have grown fond of
her," and he sighed heavily. "I have struck the lode at last. I am a
rich man, but I must find some one to share my good fortune with me,
some pure, good little girl like our Zaletta."

In the morning, when Guilerme and the dwarf went to the mine together,
they found it even richer than the dwarf had thought it, the night
before. Guilerme offered to furnish the money to build a mill to crush
the ore, for one-half the mine; and so they became partners.

Soon after this, Guilerme and Zaletta were married at the cottage in
the wood, and in time the good dwarf was united to a pretty Mexican
lass, who made him very happy.

After a time, Guilerme built a fine house for his wife, and, when they
had two little children, he took his family home to the old hacienda.

The mother and sister did not recognize their old servant in Guilerme's
brilliant señora, but the old father (God bless him) knew her, when she
placed her little soft hand in his, and kissed him; and very dearly he
learned to love his dutiful daughter.

So they were all rich and happy, as long as it pleased God to spare
their lives.



THE STRONG MAN OF SANTA BARBARA.


Many years ago, in the old Spanish mission of Santa Barbara, lived an
old Mexican, named Joza Silva, with his wife and child, in a little
adobe house, containing but one room.

There was a small window, rudely latticed with unplaned laths, and a
door opening upon a pleasant view of the golden-sanded beach and the
restless waves of the ocean.

At that time, the Spaniards, Mexicans, and Indians were the only
inhabitants of the country.

Over these people, the padres, who established the mission, had
acquired a most unlimited sway, ruling them more completely than even
the Pope his subjects of the Holy See of Rome.

The Mexicans are an indolent race. The luxurious climate of Santa
Barbara is not favorable to the development of latent energy in
any people, least of all to the inert Mexicans; yet the padres,
by awakening their superstitious fears, made them work until the
wilderness became a vineyard, and the golden orange glowed amid the
leaves of the fragrant trees.

Poor Joza disliked any exertion, and, if left to his own inclination,
would have lived on the spontaneous productions of that almost tropical
climate, and been happy after his oyster fashion.

Often he obeyed very reluctantly, those whom he thought had power, not
only over the body, but could doom his soul to unnumbered years of
suffering, in the fearful fires of purgatory.

The padres lived in great ease and comfort; though so far from the
elegances of the great world, their own ingenuity and the rapid growth
of the country, furnished them with many luxuries.

Their quaint adobe houses were very pleasant, built after the Spanish
style, in the form of a square with an open court in the center.

Beautiful gardens flourished around them, in which grew the fragrant
citron, the lemon, with its shining leaves, and nearly all the rare
fruits and flowers of the tropics.

For some years, Joza labored in the vineyards and gardens; but the
ambitious padres were planning a greater work. A new church was to be
built, and elaborately ornamented; a convent and college was planned;
extensive grounds to be laid out and cultivated, and all to be
surrounded by the enduring adobe wall of mud and stones.

One evening, after a weary day in the vineyard, just as Joza was about
starting for home, padre Antonio called him.

"On the morrow," he said, "we will begin to lay the foundation of the
new church, the Grand San Pedro; you shall be permitted to aid in the
blessed work, by carrying stones and mortar, for which great mercy
thank the holy Mother and all the saints, especially the blessed San
Pedro, who is the patron saint of this great enterprise."

Then the padre blessed him, and wandered off into the delicious shade
of the garden.

In the gathering gloom of the twilight, Joza returned to his cottage,
more disheartened than ever, wondering how much more torturing the
fires of purgatory could be, than carrying stones under the burning sun
of Santa Barbara.

As he approached his cottage, he saw his wife sitting before the door
with a stranger, both smoking, with the greatest apparent enjoyment.

His son, and a large dog, were rolling about on the soft earth, near
them, raising a cloud of dust, and making a great noise, which seemed
to disturb no one, and to afford them much pleasure.

When Joza came up, his wife introduced the stranger as his old
playmate, and her brother Schio, who, many years before, had gone away,
and, until that evening, had never been heard from.

Joza welcomed his old friend in the cordial Spanish way, placing his
house at his disposal.

For a short time, in pleasant memories of their boyhood, he forgot the
weary present. After they had eaten their frugal supper, and were again
seated in the vine-clad doorway, Joza looked out upon the great ocean,
dusky with the shadows of evening, growing sad and silent.

"What ails thee, brother," said Schio, in his clear, ringing voice,
that sounded like the strong notes of a clarionet. "You are changed;
you are growing old, but see me, I am as young in heart as your boy,
and strong as a bullock."

He lifted a great stone that lay near him, and held it at arms' length,
laughing loudly, till the caves of the ocean sent back a hundred echoes.

With many sighs, Joza told the story of his troubles; how, for years,
till his back had grown old and stiff, he had worked in the vineyard of
the padre, but the purple harvest had brought no blessing to him.

How a harder task was to be laid upon him. He was to hew and carry the
heavy foundation-stones of the Grand San Pedro, and even at the thought
of so great labor, the beaded sweat rolled down his forehead.

His sympathizing wife sobbed aloud, but the brother only laughed, till
again he woke the mysterious voices of the ocean caves.

Half angry, Joza turned to Schio, saying: "'Tis all very well for you,
Schio, to laugh; you who roam at will in the cool of the evening, and
rest in the delightful shade, while the scorching sunshine is burning
my life out."

Poor Joza buried his face in his hands and sighed wearily.

"Cheer up, brother," said Schio, pleasantly. "Listen to me. Go in the
morning, to padre Antonio, and tell him you are getting old and feeble,
and cannot work through the heat of the day, but if he will appoint
your task, you will accomplish it after the burning sun has gone down.

"Tell him if you carry those large stones in the day, your life will
be consumed like the burning candles before the altar; but that in the
cool of the evening, your strength returns as in the days of youth."

"And what, then?" said Joza, wearily.

"I will see that the morning finds your task accomplished," replied
Schio.

That night Joza dreamed that his tasks were ended, and that all day
long he luxuriated in most delicious ease, under the shade of olive
trees, and, when he woke, his heart grew sad, that it was only a dream.

He rose in haste to go to his task, for he had overslept himself; then
he thought of Schio's advice. "I will do as he told me, though I fear
'twill do no good," thought he. "I can but fail, and who knows what
may come.

"Schio is such a strange fellow; when he's talking, it seems as though
a hundred voices rung changes on his words. God grant he's not in
league with the devil."

Joza crossed himself, and muttered prayers most devoutly until he
reached the house of the padre Antonio.

After he had told the padre all Schio had directed, his task was
appointed, and he returned home, all day long resting in the shade of
his favorite lime-tree, smoking his cigarettés, and was happy as only
a careless, indolent Mexican could be, enjoying the luxury of complete
repose.

Toward evening he began to be a little uneasy, but with the dewy
twilight, came Schio, waking the mysterious echoes, with his ringing
laughter, and, as the darkness deepened, he placed a lantern in Joza's
hand, saying: "Now, brother, we will go to the task you complain of so
bitterly."

Silently they pursued their way, until they arrived at the huge pile,
upon which the padre had appointed Joza to begin his work.

Many days would have passed before he could have hewn the rock as the
padre desired, but, with one blow of an immense drill, in Schio's
powerful hand, the rock was cleft in twain. As he reduced it to its
proper size and shape, Joza stood by, trembling with fear; then pointed
out the chosen spot, and, in silence and darkness, the first stone of
the Grand San Pedro was laid.

When the full moon arose, clear and bright, shedding its floods of
golden light over the mission of Santa Barbara, and the blue waves
that washed its sanded shore, the laborers had gone—Joza, to sleep
peacefully in his little cottage, and Schio, down to the echoing
caverns by the sounding sea.

Morning came, gorgeous with sunshine and beauty, and the padre walked
out to inspect the site of his ambitious dreams.

He was an avaricious and unscrupulous man.

In building this new church, he hoped to erect a tower of strength and
greatness for himself, more than an edifice in which to worship the
blessed Christ, the immaculate Virgin, and the holy saints.

When he saw the huge foundation-stone that Schio had laid, he was
greatly amazed.

Even the hewing of it, he knew to be the work of days, and there it
was, cleanly cleft, and in its proper place.

"There is a mystery here," he said; "the people will believe it a
miracle; be it as it will, I must make the most of it."

He called Joza, who came to him smiling and happy.

"You have done well for the beginning," said the padre, "but to-night,
you must lay two stones like this."

"Holy San Pedro, help me!" exclaimed Joza. "It is impossible!" and he
turned away, very sorrowful.

At night he told Schio what the padre had said. Schio frowned, and
answered, "The padre should not ask too much; but this shall be as he
desires."

Again they went out in the twilight, and before the rising of the
golden moon, two more foundation-stones were laid.

At daybreak the padre arose, and hastened to see if the task had been
accomplished, and before his wondering eyes, lay the three immense
foundation-stones, smooth, and in their proper places.

"Holy Virgin! I will give him enough to-night," exclaimed the amazed
padre, and again the task was doubled.

Thus it went on, night after night, and week after week, till the Grand
San Pedro began to rise up like Aladdin's wonderful palace, but, Schio,
the man of iron, grew very angry, as the full moon arose upon him,
bending over his unfinished task.

"Joza," said he, "the padre may go too far for even Schio to bear; bid
him beware!

"If the morning sun finds me here, I will not answer for the result;
too much pressure will burst open the hidden recesses of earth, and
cause the caverns of ocean to resound with fearful echoes of mystery.

"Can he think San Pedro will bless avarice and oppression, even in the
padre Antonio?"

In the morning Joza went to the padre, and entreated him to lessen the
task, but he only laughed, and said: "You are getting fat and lazy. I
will not double your work to-night, but you shall do four times as much
as ever, and I will be there to see it accomplished."

Joza departed with a heavy heart, dreading to meet Schio; and when he
told him in the evening, he made no reply, but a black frown covered
his whole face, and his eyes shot fire.

That night the padre Antonio went out to watch Joza, and when he saw
Schio cleaving the huge stones with one blow of his wonderful drill, he
thought he had not imposed task enough, and resolved he would command
him to finish the Grand San Pedro in one night.

Just after midnight the moon arose, and the startled Joza heard, at
every blow of the drill, a hundred echoes ring out from the ocean
caverns. But Schio worked steadily on.

"Schio," said Joza, suddenly, "what is it makes these mournings from
the sea caves?" But Schio only answered by a heavier blow from his
hammer, and under their feet the ground shook violently, then opened,
and, where the Grand San Pedro should have stood, yawned a great
gulf, that closed upon the labor of many nights; and with the great
foundation-stones went down the ambitious padre.

The morning sun rose on a scene of great desolation, but only Joza was
there, with trembling voice, to tell the tale of the padre Antonio and
the Grand San Pedro.

When others spoke of the great earth quake, he said: "'Twas all Schio's
doings.

"The padre would never be satisfied, and the man of iron grew so angry,
that he struck the great stone from the heart of the mountain, and
then the earth shook, opened, and swallowed up the padre Antonio and
the Grand San Pedro."

Schio was never afterward seen at the mission of Santa Barbara, but
often, at evening, his ringing voice was wafted along the shore, from
the cave of echoes, down by the sea.



JUNG-FRAU MALEEN.


In a small village upon the shore of the German Ocean lived a man whose
wife had golden tresses so long and heavy that when they were unbound
they covered her like a cloak of sunbeams, and reached to her feet. Her
complexion was so fair, and her eyes so beautiful, that her equal was
not to be found in all the Fatherland.

At last she fell sick and died, leaving her husband all alone in the
world, except one wee baby, who lay sleeping in the cradle. At first
the father was heart-broken, and noticed nothing, but after a time
all his love turned to the helpless infant, who every day grew more
lovely, and at last became as fair as her mother, with the same wealth
of golden hair and soft violet eyes, and all the Fatherland, from far
and near, was filled with the story of her great beauty.

When she was only a little maid, she would go down to the sea-shore
and dance upon the sand, until her light straw hat would drop from her
head, and her waving tresses fall about her like a shower of pure gold,
and her violet eyes beam with the brightness of stars, while the flush
upon her cheeks rivaled the soft, fresh bloom of the peach.

The maiden was called the fair Jung-frau Maleen, as she grew older
and every day added to her charms, till half the young men in the
country were ready to lay down their life for her; but though her ways
were winning, and she had a pleasant smile for all, no one could be
familiar with her. In her guileless innocence and beauty she seemed
a great way out of their reach, yet she danced with them, talked and
laughed with them, till her clear, sweet voice rang out upon the air
like the soft notes of a silver bell, but when she turned away, they
felt that she had gone from them forever.

Among her lovers was a bashful student named Handsel, who worshiped the
Jung-frau Maleen with all the devotion of his great noble heart, but
ever at a distance.

He seldom spoke to her.

Even the rustle of her dress as she passed along would set his heart to
beating wildly, and the sound of her voice, or one glance of her violet
eye would send the hot blood rushing through his veins, dyeing his face
and neck a deep crimson. Poor Handsel!

He would say to his heart, "Down, fool, the star of heaven is not for
you, look for some lovely flower of earth," but in all the Fatherland
he knew there was not another maiden who could satisfy the hunger of
his heart.

At all the village festivals he looked on in the distance, and saw
others worship at the shrine he dared not approach. "I have nothing
worth offering her," he would say, and so he was silent.

He was handsome and manly, and Maleen always looked for him in the
crowd, and when she saw him standing far apart with his large dark eyes
fixed upon her, she was more content than in his absence. If she had
questioned her heart for the reason of this she would have blushed with
confusion, for Jung-frau Maleen was not one who would willingly yield
her heart unsought.

Maleen always loved the bright, sparkling sea, and often she would go
out alone in her little boat, and sail for hours over the blue waters,
gathering the pretty sea-weed, and indulging in the day-dreams that
German maidens love.

One morning as Handsel was going to the college, he saw the Jung-frau
step into her boat and push away from the shore.

He took off his hat and bowed.

She looked at him with that rare, sweet smile that always made him
happy for days.

He stopped and looked back after her as the boat glided from the
shore, and it seemed as though the sunshine of heaven and its bright
reflection upon the waters were united, and was poured out in one rich
flood of glory over her golden hair.

Handsel passed on out of the light into the quiet seclusion of the
college, and bending over his book did not notice the rising of a
thick, black cloud that from a tiny speck soon swept over the whole
sky, then burst into wind and rain.

He was living over the heroic ages of the olden time, when the darkness
fell across his book, and looking out the window he saw the fierce
storm gathering, and heard the wailing winds crying out, Maleen!
Maleen! 'Twas but the work of a moment to rush out into the storm and
down to the lashed sea-shore and there, he saw a crowd of anxious faces
all turned hopelessly out upon the pitiless breakers.

He looked, and there tossed wildly upon the white-capped waves, rose
and fell the frail boat, and pale and hopeless sat the pride of the
Fatherland, the beautiful Jung-frau Maleen, her matchless golden hair
hanging like a damp shroud about her.

There were the hosts of her admirers standing upon the shore wringing
their hands and weeping, they saw only death in an attempt to save
her, and no one was so mad as to venture out upon the storm-lashed sea.

Even her father stood paralyzed in the hopelessness of his agony.

A strong, manly voice burst in upon the echoes of the storm. "A boat! a
boat!" cried Handsel, with a stout-hearted determination in his voice
to brave the danger of the breakers, and save the maiden he loved from
the angry waters.

A long rope was tied about his body, and in a moment more the life-boat
was tossing upon the crested waves, with the brave student at the prow,
and the poor helpless Maleen rose up and held out her white arms toward
him.

On over the cruel waves, the boats were nearing each other. The agony
of suspense that filled the breathless crowd! Great God! if they
should meet and crash together!

Down they went into the great sea gulf; Maleen with outstretched arms,
and Handsel with his great heart beating like a signal-drum in his
bosom, pale but unfaltering.

Down! down they went!

Now up came the billow, but only one boat, and Handsel at the prow was
struggling for the shore.

"Oh, Maleen! Maleen!" burst from the father's white lips, then a tress
of rich golden hair hanging over the side of the boat met his sight,
and he knew that Maleen was in the boat with Handsel.

On it came to the shore, like a charmed boat it escaped the perilous
breakers, till at last, no one could tell how, only through God's great
mercy, they were saved, and Handsel stood upon the shore with Maleen in
his arms.

He gave the maiden to her weeping father, then sank away, and no one
thought of him, all were gathered around Maleen, who had fainted.

Soon she opened her violet eyes, and looked around searchingly through
the crowd with a strange fear. "Where, where, is Handsel?" she cried,
in wild excitement.

Then they all wondered how they could have forgotten him, and looking
round they saw him sitting alone, with his head bowed down upon his
hands. He did not want their thanks.

'Twas joy enough to him, that he had saved Maleen, and, brave man as he
was, he sat there weeping like a child.

Maleen rose up, and walked feebly to him, and kneeling down upon the
sand, she put her hand upon his shoulder, and whispered "Handsel!"

Handsel raised his head, and saw what he had never dared hope for, in
the soft violet eyes upturned to his.

He answered only, "Maleen!" and, throwing his arms around her, pressed
her fair golden-crowned head to his bosom.

Thus it was, that in the presence of God, the storm, and all the
people—there by the the wild sea-shore, Handsel was betrothed to the
most beautiful maiden in all the dear Fatherland,—The Jung-frau
Maleen.



JUANETTA;

OR,

THE TREASURE OF THE LAKE OF THE TULIES


A great many years ago, before the discovery of the wonderful gold
mines of California, there lived in Los Angelos an old Spanish family
of pure Castilian blood.

Don Carlos De Strada was very rich. Far as the eye could reach his
broad acres were spread out to his admiring view, and his flocks and
herds almost literally fed upon a thousand hills.

His house was large and commodious, built after the Spanish fashion—an
adobe house—surrounded on all sides by a wide piazza, and in the
center an open courtyard. The windows were guarded by latticed bars of
iron, and all the gates and doors were opened by massive keys. Bolts
and bars belong as much to a Spanish house, as light elegancies to the
hotel of a Parisian.

When Don Carlos left the banks of the Guadalquivir for the wild Lake of
the Tulies, he brought with him a beautiful young wife, who loved him
with all the passionate ardor of a Spanish woman.

It was a great change for the dainty lady, from the stately halls of
castellated Spain to the wilderness of Los Angelos, although it was a
wilderness of sweets, and the most enchanting climate in the world.
Though the Don was a thorough-bred aristocrat, he was a shrewd business
man, and so intent was he on becoming a great lord of the soil in the
new country, that he did not notice the roses fading from the olive
cheeks of his wife, and the soft mellow light of the woman's eye giving
place to the more ethereal brightness of spiritual fire.

Spanish women seldom work, but in their hours of apparent listlessness
they indulge in wild and ardent imaginings; and thus she would sit on
the vine-clad piazza of the inner court, looking up to the clear sky,
unrivaled even in Italy, until she would almost fancy, from the heavens
above, she heard the rippling of the blue waters of the Guadalquivir.

There was one great hunger of her heart the Don seldom satisfied.
She was his wife, and beautiful; as such, he loved her; but he never
lavished the thousand little endearments upon her that is the natural
food of woman's heart.

As the evening drew near, she would go to the barred window and look
out upon the luxurious landscape, thinking only of the coming of her
lord; and when she saw him, she would go timidly out to meet him, and
hold her beautiful oval face up for a kiss, longing for him to throw
his arms around her, and, if only for a moment, hold her to his heart.

He would kiss her lightly, saying, coldly: "There, that will do; be a
woman now, not a baby." Then she would call up a quiet dignity, until
she could steal for a few moments away, unobserved, and press her hands
tightly upon her heart, saying: "If he would only love me! If he would
only love me, I could live away from home, away from Spain, from every
thing, for him! I must learn to be a woman, and then, at least he'll
respect me.

"Oh, dear! I wish he didn't think it so foolish in me to want to be
loved! But I must go to him. I'll try and talk like a woman, but I
don't know any thing about the business that occupies his thoughts and
time. He never tells me any thing because he thinks I'm such a baby. If
he'd only love me, and let me be a baby sometimes, I think I'd be more
of a woman."

Then the young wife would try to call up from her weakness new
strength, and wiping away the traces of her emotion, would go out to
be what pleased her lord, only a little paler, but with heart-strings
quivering like an Æolian harp in a cold north wind.

One year passed in the strange, new country, and a beautiful babe was
born to the ancient house of De Strada, but the mother died, and was
buried by the clear Lake of the Tulies.

Don Carlos wept for his beautiful young wife, whose heart had been a
sealed book, "Love, the Secret of Happiness," written for him in an
unknown tongue.

His days of mourning were few. The rain fell upon the new-made grave as
he gave the infant in charge of an Indian nurse who had just lost her
own little baby. The savage mother took the child to her bosom, while
the polished father turned away and looked out upon the green hills
rich in verdure, counting the probable increase of his flocks and herds
in the coming year, and, in the pleasant prospect, forgot his sorrow.

The little Juanetta grew to be a beautiful, healthy child, under the
care of her indulgent nurse.

She knew where all the wild flowers grew, could shoot an arrow very
well, or climb a tree, and, in many of the curious arts of the tribe,
was quite skillful.

She was well versed in all the Indian traditions, and believed them
with childish credulity. She seemed to have drawn the wildness, of the
Indian nature from the dusky bosom of her nurse, and with her little
bow and arrow would roam the woods for whole days.

At times her father would ask the nurse, "How is Juanetta?" and, at
the reply, "The child is well," he would forget that every day she was
growing less and less an infant, and needed more and more a mother's
care.

Thus things went on until she was eleven years old. She was very
tall of her age, with her long black hair hanging over her graceful
shoulders, her rich olive complexion deepened by the glowing sun, and
her dark eyes, fawn-like in their softness and timidity, she looked
like a beautiful child of the wild wood.

Her father would look at her, and say: "The girl is a perfect savage;
she must be placed at a convent; the Sisters would soon make a lady of
her, for the De Strada blood is rich in her veins;" and then he would
smile proudly at her rare beauty.

The summer following brought a change to Don Carlos. Till then he had
been prosperous; but there had been no rain, and the grass withered and
dried up until the famished cattle died by thousands, and the hills,
once covered with animal life, were left bare and desolate. Don Carlos,
who lost heavily, became more than ever absorbed in business cares, and
again the child was forgotten.

Juanetta saw that her father was greatly troubled, and she thought if
she could only find some of the treasures hidden so many years ago
by the great Chief of the Tulies, she could make him rich again, and
he would smile upon her as he sometimes used to before the cattle
died—since then, his dark frowning face had frightened her.

She had often listened to her old nurse, sitting by the clear lake, as
she told her how, years ago, a great ship came to Los Angelos filled
with fair men, with long flowing beards, golden in the sunshine, and
eyes like the blue summer sky, and how there was one among them, taller
and nobler than all the rest, who was their Chief.

For days they rode about the country, making their camp by the Lake of
the Tulies, and tradition said they brought beautiful shining stones,
that glistened like the stars of night, and great sacks of yellow gold
to the lake, and buried them there at midnight; then went away in the
great ship over the water.

They were seen by an old Indian woman, who was gathering magic herbs,
but from that moment it seemed as though a fearful spell had fallen
upon her, for when she tried to tell the story, just as she was about
to speak of the place where the treasure was hidden, her tongue would
cleave to the roof of her mouth, and she could not utter a word; and
when she attempted to go to the spot where it was buried, her feet
would fasten themselves to the ground, and she could not move. From
that night she seemed bewitched, and she soon died, taking the secret
of the buried treasure with her to the unknown spirit land.

Juanetta had nothing to do but listen to the wild Indian lore, and roam
through the woods and down by the Lake of the Tulies; and it was not
strange that with her poetic temperament, she reveled in the marvelous,
till it seemed to her the natural and the real.

She longed for the magic talisman to point her to the hidden treasure,
and show her the wonders of the deep, until she felt sure that one day
she should discover it. She told all these fancies to her nurse, who
was almost her only companion, and who encouraged her, believing her,
in her fond love, to be one of the Great Spirit's chosen children.

The winter came on with rare beauty. The rain, so long withheld, fell
copiously, until the hills were covered with luxurious verdure and
gorgeous flowers. Don Carlos's heart grew lighter; he might hope to
recover his losses in time. The orange orchard was laden with fruit,
and the lemons fell to the ground from the bending trees. Juanetta
loved the green grass, the fragrant flowers, and the golden fruit, and
her wild nature expanded into the poetry of the year.

One morning she rose with the crimson dawning, and, stealing away while
her old nurse slept, she ran softly to the Lake of the Tulies, and
bathed her face in the clear water till the brightness of youth and
morning seemed united in her radiant beauty.

Suddenly Juanetta stopped, her tiny hand dripping with water, half
raised to her glowing face, and her soft, dark eyes sparkling with
strange excitement. Upon the brow of the distant hill, still covered
with the mist of the morning, she saw the Chief of the Lake of the
Tulies. She knew it was him by the soft, purple light that gathered
around him; by the glow of perpetual youth that enveloped him, and by
the crimson clouds that dropped their fleece so near, and yet could not
conceal his noble bearing.

To her eye, there seemed a shining glory about his bronze beard, and
his brow and cheeks glowing in the early sunlight, were fairer than
any she had ever seen among the dusky Indian tribes or olive Spaniards.

Down the hill he came, a light straw hat in his hand, and the air
playing with the light waves of his abundant hair. On he came to the
lake, and to the spot where the little maiden sat, full of wonder and
admiration.

He, too, seemed a little surprised when he saw her, but in the soft
Spanish tongue, bade her "Good morning," and asked whose little girl
she was, and what had brought her so early to the charmed lake.

"I am Don Carlos's daughter, Juanetta," said the child, "and you, the
Chief of the Lake of the Tulies?"

A smile gathered around the lips of the Chief, and filled his blue
eyes, with a light so pleasant that the child drew near him, and placed
her little brown hand confidingly in his. He drew her to him, saying,
kindly:—

"You know me, then? I am the Chief of the Lake of the Tulies, and what
can I do for the little Juanetta?"

"Tell me," said the child, "of all the wonderful treasures hidden by
the lake, and of the palaces of the sea, and the coral groves under the
great waters!"

The Chief led her to a rock that overhung the lake, and told her to
look over into the waters, and she saw them clear and sparkling in the
morning sun, and it seemed as though the light of a thousand brilliants
was stealing through the shining waves.

He told her of glittering diamonds beneath the sea, richer far than all
the hills and valleys of Los Angelos, covered with flocks and herds;
and how the coral trees outshone the trees of earth, in beauty, and of
the crystal palaces of the deep, and of the maidens of the sea, whose,
purple hair like sea-weed, sometimes floated above the waves.

Juanetta told him she had often found locks of their silken hair upon
the beach, and how beautiful it was. He told her of the sounding
shells, and ocean harps breathing their rich, deep-toned melody,
and the thousand mysteries of the wild sea lore, till the delighted
Juanetta begged him to take her with him down, down to the crystal
caves, and let her become a sea-maiden, and gather pearls under the
blue waters of the deep.

But he replied: "You are a child of the woods, not of the wave; you may
become an immortal spirit in the sky, but never in the deep, deep sea."

Tears gathered in her eyes, and she said: "You are cruel to Juanetta,
Chief of the Lake of the Tulies. You of all your wealth of beauty,
will grant Juanetta nothing. Juanetta must live alone, in the woods and
fields, with only the old nurse and the father who always forgets her."

He soothed the little maiden gently, and told her he would grant her
greater treasures than those of the deep, if she would obey him; and
she kissed his hand and promised.

Then he took from his bosom, a talisman, and gave it to her, saying:
"Juanetta, this cross will guard you from evil spirits. When you are
troubled or angry, take it from your bosom, and ask the great Father
above to bless you and help you. Do this earnestly five minutes, and
the evil spirits will leave you." And Juanetta kissed the cross and
promised.

"I have yet another talisman" he continued, "and very powerful. It
opens a new world of delight and beauty, to those who are willing to
give their time, care, and diligent attention to the study of it. Would
you like it, Juanetta? You could no longer wander all day through the
woods, hunting wild-flowers, or dream away your life by the Lake of the
Tulies. Could you give up the wild pleasures of your present life, for
the gifts of the talisman I have promised?"

Juanetta's face was glowing with wonder and delight; she longed to
enter the unknown promised land:

"I will do any thing, I will give up any thing you tell me, she cried,
with enthusiasm."

She was enchanted with the unseen gifts that left so much to her fervid
imagination to picture, and she was delighted with the giver, the
handsome young Chief of the Lake of the Tulies, whose pleasant smile,
and pleasing words, made morning's golden sunshine in her heart.

"But won't you show me where the treasure of the Lake of the Tulies
lies hidden?" she said, blushingly. "All those rare gems, crimson,
purple, golden, and diamonds sparkling like the morning dew. What can
be more beautiful than these?"

All her life, Juanetta had heard of the matchless luster of these
hidden jewels, and now to be so near them, with the Chief of the Lake
of the Tulies by her side, she felt that her day dreams of beauty
might, with one word of his, or a touch of his magic wand, be realized.

"Do not ask for too much in one morning, Juanetta," he replied,
laughing. "Now for talisman number two," and he took a book from his
pocket, and until the sun had risen high in the heavens, they sat
bending over it together with mutual pleasure.

Then the Chief of the Lake of the Tulies arose, taking her little
bronzed hand in his, saying: "I must go, my little Juanetta. Keep the
talisman, and study it well. The new morning is dawning for you now;
what a queen of light 'twill make you?" And he passed his hand over the
thick waves of tangled hair that fell in long masses over the shoulders
of the beautiful child.

Tears gathered in the dark eyes of the maiden. "Are you going now,
Chief of the Lake of the Tulies?" said she, sadly: "Going to the
crystal palaces of the sea? And shall you take the treasure of the lake
with you? Take the talisman, I can do nothing without you! Here alone!
Only the old nurse, and the father who never thinks, never thinks of
Juanetta! And you, too, will forget Juanetta!"

"No! no, Juanetta, I will not forget you, but will come again
to-morrow. I will not go to the sea, since you cannot go, but will stay
and teach you the use of the talisman, and the treasure of the lake
shall rest till we can find it together! So now good-by to-day."

And then they parted, and Juanetta was very happy in the light of the
new dawning.

All day long she studied, and many successive days, and the Chief of
the Lake of the Tulies always came, either at morning or at evening, to
hear her lesson.

Sometimes she would ask him about the hidden treasure, as they walked
by the lake; he would smile and say, "I have found a treasure by the
Lake of the Tulies richer than all the gems of the ocean," and when
Juanetta begged him to show it to her, he would tell, her to look into
the water; but she could see only the reflection of her own sweet
face, full of wondering happiness.

Then he would laugh again, and say, he could not tell her now of his
treasure by the Lake of the Tulies, but he would describe the rich gold
mine he had discovered in the cañon, and tell her there was gold enough
in it almost to fill up the lake.

Thus weeks and months passed by. Juanetta was twelve years old. She
had improved rapidly in her studies, and had learned to call her
young teacher by another name, not so long or high sounding, but very
pleasant to them both, and often they would laugh at their first
strange meeting by the charmed Lake of the Tulies.

At last her father was aroused to the sense of her increasing beauty.
He saw, that the years of childhood were fast passing away, and that
she stood upon the threshold of dawning womanhood.

He was greatly surprised, and delighted to find her proficient in
studies of which he supposed she knew nothing, and he made all possible
haste to have her placed at a convent, where she could enjoy every
advantage of culture and refinement.

The young stranger who had been her teacher, became a great favorite
with Don Carlos. He was engaged in developing a mine, in the San
Francisco cañon, in which he succeeded in amassing great wealth, though
in after years the mine failed to yield its store of golden treasure.

Four years passed away, and Juanetta returned to her father's house, an
accomplished, and beautiful lady. Again by the Lake of the Tulies, she
met the Chief of her childhood's dreams, and there together, they found
the treasure greater than all the wealth of land or sea, the pure and
earnest love of their youthful hearts.

They were married, and Don Carlos's heart swelled proudly, as he
thought of the great wealth their union had brought into his family,
while they blessed God for the lifelong treasure He had given them, by
the charmed Lake of the Tulies.



EMPEROR NORTON.


Once upon a time there lived near a small village on the shore of the
Atlantic, an honest farmer named Norton, who had three sons.

The two elder were smart, active lads, but the youngest was quiet,
and so much given to dreaming that his brothers ridiculed and often
slighted him.

"He is so stupid," they would say, "he will be a disgrace to the
family;" but what annoyed him most, they gave him the unpleasant
_sobriquet_ of Dumpy, on account of his fat, rosy cheeks.

As the boys grew up, the eldest took the farm, and was to take care
of the father and mother, the second became clerk to a merchant in a
neighboring city, but poor Dumpy, in the indolence of his disposition,
did nothing. He was always hoping some impossible thing would "turn
up," but he had no rich relations, indeed no one seemed to take much
interest in him but the mother, who would always say, "Poor Dumpy, he
is a good-hearted boy," then she would sigh heavily, as though there
was nothing more to be said.

At last the father became quite out of patience, and calling the boy
to him one day, he said: "You are now twenty years old, and never
have earned so much as your salt, and it is quite time for you to do
something for yourself. Your brother, who has taken the farm, complains
that he is obliged to support you in idleness, which certainly is not
right."

"For the farm he will take care of your mother and me, but you and
your other brother must look out for yourselves."

"Give me," answered Dumpy, "what money you can spare, I ask nothing
more, I will go and seek my fortune, and you shall hear of me when I
become a rich man."

The father gave him what money he could, and he went away, no one at
home knew whither, leaving only the mother to weep for him.

When Dumpy left the farm-house he walked on to the village, feeling
that he was going into the great world full of promise, but he never
dreamed of disappointment.

When he arrived at the village inn the stage was standing at the door.
"I will go," he said, "where fortune leads me." So he took his seat in
the stage, and paid his fare to the end of the route, which happened to
be the great city of New York.

All day long he was very happy looking out of the windows upon the
changing landscape, and indulging in day-dreams. Sometimes he would
come to a pretty village nestling among the hills. "I would like," he
would think, "of all things to stop here, 'tis so very pleasant, but I
have paid my money, and I must go on."

It was night when the stage entered the city, its heavy wheels rumbling
over the paved streets, and crowding along past carts, omnibuses, and
carriages, till poor Dumpy, who had never been in the city before,
began to feel very much bewildered and confused.

"Where shall I go," said Dumpy to the driver, when the stage stopped.
"'Tis so noisy I can't hear myself think. Oh, dear! I don't know what
to do," and he looked so pitiably helpless that the driver was sorry
for him, though he could not help laughing. "Come with me, my boy," he
said, so he went with the driver to the cheap lodging-house, where he
stopped when in town.

To enumerate all poor Dumpy's adventures while in New York would be
impossible. Enough to say it was not long before his money was gone,
and he shipped before the mast in a merchant vessel for California.

Poor Dumpy! Now came woful experiences, for a time he was wretchedly
seasick, and he soon found that to go before the mast was no joke, but
in his way he was quite a philosopher, and after a few weeks became a
very good sailor.

As he was pleasant and obliging he became a favorite with all on board,
but he loved most of all when off duty, to sit by himself in the soft
starlit evenings as the good ship sailed over the tropic seas, and
dream of the land of gold to which he was going.

He possessed a vivid imagination, and his visions of the wealth of the
new Eldorado were most glowing.

He would picture to himself how like a prince he would luxuriate in
riches, how great and generous he would be, even to the brothers who
had despised him. It is a happiness to be able to revel in dreams as he
did, for the pleasures of anticipation are but too often greater than
the reality.

He loved his mother, she at least had always been kind and gentle to
him.

"My dear mother," he would say to himself, with a bright tear in his
eye, "she shall yet live in a palace. God bless her, dear mother."

Then he would sigh till a bright thought drove away the sad one. "Oh,
'tis so delightful to be rich," he would say.

Then he would rub his hands as complacently as though the wealth of the
Indies lay at his feet.

"I shall give the father every thing he wishes of course," he would
continue, "and I will make the brothers rich men, for to be generous
and forgive is the attribute of true greatness, and for myself I will
marry the prettiest woman in the world, and I will give her every thing
she can possibly desire."

Often the sharp quick bell, for change of watch, would call him to
duty, and scatter his gorgeous dreams, leaving only the dull, hard
present in his mind and heart.

At length the good ship arrived in San Francisco, and there again Dumpy
found all the wild bustle and confusion of the early days.

Gold was plenty in dust and bars.

When a man bought any thing he would take out of his bag of gold dust
as much dust as he was to pay for the article, and he would be off.

The highest price was paid for labor, and Dumpy soon engaged to drive
a cart for two hundred and fifty dollars per month, but he determined
to make this arrangement only for a short time, till he could get money
enough to go out prospecting in the mining districts.

This he soon accomplished, but he found a life in the mines even harder
than before the mast, but the golden future was before him, and he
persevered.

He and another young adventurer built a cabin together by a little
spring of clear, bubbling water.

They worked early and late, with the wearisome pick and shovel for
the precious gold that was to pave the pathway of their lives with
happiness, but often night found them disappointed and weary, and they
would return to their lonely cabins, cook and eat their coarse supper,
and lie down upon the hard floor, wrap their blankets around them,
with heavy and hopeless hearts. But thank God, sunshine and the fresh
morning brings renewed life and hope to young hearts.

One morning when Dumpy awoke he found his companion had risen and gone
out before him, so he went out alone, thinking, "who knows what will
turn up before night, I may become a millionaire. I'll try my luck
alone to-day;" so he did not go to the ledge they had been prospecting
the day before, but started off in a new direction.

All day long he worked diligently, but the sunset found him as poor as
the dawning, and quite worn out, he threw himself down upon the ledge
to rest a little before going home. "Ah, me!" thought he, sadly, "how
long the poor mother will have to wait for her palace."

As the sunset deepened into twilight, he rose, and shouldering his pick
and shovel, started for the cabin. "I can not call it home," he said to
himself, "there is no mother there."

He had not gone far, before a little shrill voice arrested him, and
looking down, he saw a little old man, sitting among the loose stones,
rubbing his foot and ankle, and groaning piteously.

He was very quaintly dressed, in a little red jacket, and wore a
Spanish hat with little gold bells around it, and his long gray beard
swept the ground, as he sat dismally among the rocks.

"Oh, dear! I cannot move," said the little man; "I have sprained my
foot, will not you help me home? Oh dear! oh dear!" and he moaned so
piteously that Dumpy, who was kind-hearted, was very sorry for him; so
he took the old man up in his arms as tenderly as if he had been an
infant.

The old man pointed out the way, and Dumpy trudged wearily on, for
though he was no bigger than a child of eight years old, he seemed
quite heavy to Dumpy. After working all day with the pick and shovel,
and finding nothing, his heart was heavy with hope deferred. "If I had
found gold to-day," thought he, "a light heart would have made a light
burden; but thank God I am well, and this poor man suffers fearfully."

Poor Dumpy! He went on, down the cañon, then up the mountain, it seemed
to him for miles; at last the little man pointed to a crevice in the
rock, through which Dumpy managed with some difficulty to creep; but
as he went on it widened, and suddenly opened into a large cavern.

"Go on," said the old man, sharply, as Dumpy stopped and gazed around
with astonishment. So he went on till they came to a large hall
sparkling with crystal, and glowing with precious stones.

A large chandelier hung from the roof, and cast a flood of softened
light through the whole cavern, and Dumpy could see in the stone floor
large masses of pure yellow gold.

He saw in the huge irregular pillars that rose to the dome of the
cavern, great veins of the precious ore, and everywhere it was
scattered about with the most lavish profusion.

Curious golden figures, carved with strange devices, stood in the
niches, and there were couches with golden frames, and tables of gold,
so that the light, reflected from the clear crystal dome, glittering
with shining pendants, by the softening yellow tinge, was mellow and
pleasant.

Poor Dumpy had been so long in the twilight and darkness, that he was
dazzled by the brilliant scene, and for a few moments was obliged to
close his eyes, and when he opened them, he saw that he was surrounded
by a large crowd of the little people, who were full of anxious fears
about the old man he held in his arms, but he assured them he was
suffering only from a sprain, which, though very painful, was not
dangerous. They gathered anxiously around the little man as he laid him
upon a couch.

He soon discovered that the man he had assisted was king over the
little people who guard the mountain treasures, covering the rich
places with unpromising stones and earth, and often misleading the
honest miner by scattering grains of the precious metal in waste
places; thus it is we hear so often of disappointed hopes, and
abandoned mines.

After they had in some measure relieved the suffering of their chief,
they turned to Dumpy, who stood in the most profound astonishment,
drinking in all he saw or heard.

"You have done me a great kindness," said the chief; "and, though it
is our business to mislead miners, we can be grateful, and you may now
claim any reward you desire."

"I have saved your ruler," said Dumpy, looking at the crowd of little
people, and trying to think of something great to ask as a reward.

"Our chief! our king!" cried all the little people, together. "Ask what
you will and it shall be granted."

"I would be great as well as rich," thought Dumpy, so he said aloud:
"Make me emperor of all the mines, and let all the miners pay tribute
to me."

"It shall be so," said the king. Then he called one of his servants
to bring the golden crown and scepter, and bidding Dumpy kneel before
him, he placed the scepter in his hand and the crown upon his head, and
striking him a sharp blow upon his shoulder, he said, "Arise, Emperor
Norton.

"As long as you preserve this crown and scepter from moth or rust, dew
or fog, you shall be the true emperor of all the mines in California
and Nevada, and all the miners shall pay you yearly tribute, but if you
lose either crown or scepter, or moth, rust, midnight dews and damps
fall upon them, they will fade away, and you will be emperor in name
only, and the miners shall pay you no yearly tribute."

"So let it be," said the newly-made emperor; and they all sat down to
a table spread with every delicacy, and feasted till the noon of the
following day.

When the emperor bade the knights of the mountain adieu, the little
gray king said: "Beware of the dews and damps of the night," and he
started for his cabin.

"I will first visit my old comrade," he said, "though he is now one of
my subjects, I will not be proud and haughty."

One of the little men ran before him, and led the way out of the cave
into the sunlight, which was so bright that the emperor shaded his
eyes with his hand, and when he had removed it the little man had
disappeared.

The emperor looked around, but could see no trace of him; even the
crevice through which he had passed, was nowhere to be seen.

"It is a wonderful dream," said he; but no! there was the golden crown
upon his head, and the scepter in his hand.

"I will find that cave," thought he; so he began to look for it very
eagerly, till the lengthening shadows told of the coming of evening,
and he thought of the gray king's warning, "Beware of the dews and
damps of night."

"Oh dear! if I should lose the tribute money," he said, in great
distress; "I should be emperor but could build no palace for the
mother, nor could I marry the prettiest woman in the world, and supply
her innumerable wants;" so he started in great haste for the camp,
always keeping fast hold of the crown and scepter.

On he rushed till the shades of twilight filled the deep cañon, through
which he was obliged to pass, then he broke into a run, crying, "Oh
me! if I should be too late! too late! now that my hopes are crowned
with success. Too late! too late!"

"Haste makes waste," and so the emperor found it. He lost the path and
became entangled in brush and rocks, until he became almost wild with
despair.

The night came on with a heavy mist that near morning deepened into
rain.

With the gray twilight of the dawning, weary and worn, he reached his
cabin door, but the golden crown and scepter had passed away into the
mists of night.

The poor emperor told of his wanderings to his comrades, and mourned
over the night in which his crown and scepter had departed from him,
but they only laughed, saying, "You have been dreaming again, Emperor
Norton."

He never took the pick and shovel again. "Shall an emperor work," he
would say, "while thousands of his subjects roll in luxury?"

An emperor, he thought, should reside in the chief city of his realm,
so he left the mines and came to San Francisco.

Here for years he has lived, always wearing a well-worn suit of blue,
with epaulettes upon the shoulders, which, perhaps, might have been an
unmentioned gift of the gray king of the mountains.

At the table of all restaurants and hotels he is a free and welcome
guest, and all places of amusement are open to him; in fact, wherever
you go in San Francisco, you are almost sure to meet the Emperor
Norton.



DEATH'S VALLEY;

OR,

THE GOLDEN BOULDER.


Years ago, even before what Californians understand to be the "early
days," Dick Fielding was promoted to a captaincy in the United States
Army.

Merry days were those, while he was stationed near the metropolitan
city. Good pay, little work, brilliant parties to attend, and beautiful
women to make love to. Love making seemed the natural element of
the gay young captain, and thanks to his handsome face and shining
epaulettes, he was very successful.

In this world our dear delights are but fleeting as the smiles of
an April day—so thought poor Dick as he sat one morning about
eleven o'clock at his luxurious breakfast, reading a dispatch from
head-quarters that doomed him to the wilderness of Fort Tejon, far
below the quaint old Spanish town of Los Angelos.

'Twas a sad day for the gallant young captain, but all his sighs
and regrets were unavailing. There was no reprieve—orders must be
obeyed. Fortunately Dick was of an elastic temperament, and the love
of adventure and the charm of novelty which the new country possessed
for him soon returned to him that zest for life which youth and health
seldom entirely lose.

Southern California has a most generous climate, producing in the
valleys the luxurious vegetation of the tropics, and on the hills and
mountains the hardier products of the temperate zone.

Dick was a favorite among the officers, social and joyous in his
disposition, he became the life of the garrison. He was a fine
horseman, and often he would join a party of the Mexican rangers in
their excursions, and ride for days over the beautiful country round
Fort Tejon.

He could shoot an arrow very handsomely, and by his easy good nature he
was soon on friendly terms with the Indians, who in that part of the
country are so mixed with the native Californians or Mexicans that it
is difficult to distinguish the races.

He became an expert in all the athletic sports of the country, but
with all he could do, the monotony of a life at Fort Tejon was very
wearisome to him; so when he found a beautiful young girl among the
Indians, he plunged recklessly into his old habit, of love making; and
in a few weeks he was domesticated in a little adobe house near the
fort with his pretty Indian bride, who amused him for the time like any
other novelty of the country.

She, poor simple child of the wild-wood, worshiped her handsome,
blue-eyed husband, and thought his hair and beard had stolen their
golden beauty from the glowing sunshine.

After a time a little one came to the cottage, and the young Indian
mother was very happy in loving the father and child who made the
wilderness a heaven for her.

Weeks, months, and years passed by, and Captain Fielding longed
intensely to visit the gay world again. He had grown weary of his
Indian wife, and his son in his eyes was only a young papoose, of whom
he was very much ashamed.

At length the order came for his reprieve. He was summoned to return
to the Atlantic States; but of this he said nothing to his wife. One
bright spring morning he left her looking out after him from the door
of the little adobe, holding her three-year old boy in her arms,
smiling and telling him in her own soft language that dear papa would
come back at evening.

The burning fingers of remorse pressed heavily upon the father's
heart as he looked upon the pretty picture—but only for a moment. He
turned away, saying with a sigh of relief: "She'll soon forget me, for
some Indian Chief, perhaps," and was gone from her sight out into the
distance, on toward the great busy world.

Night came on with its damps and darkness, wrapping the heart of the
young wife in its shroud of shadows, never to be lifted till the
brightness of the spirit land made glad morning shine about her.

Day by day she watched the shadows lengthen, hoping when the sun went
down in the crimson west he would return; but the golden moonlight
found her watching in vain, swaying her sleeping boy too and fro in her
arms, and drearily singing the song of her heart, in a voice from which
the gladness of hope was fast dying out.

She called him Dick, for his father, and with a perseverance which only
deep love could give her, talked his father's language to him in her
pretty, imperfect way.

The little one grew to be a strong, handsome boy, with a dark Spanish
face, and eyes full of fire, or love as his mood moved them. In some
things he was like his father; gay, dashing, and attractive in his
disposition, he became a great favorite with the officers at Fort
Tejon, who taught him to read and write and many other things, much to
the delight of his mother, who would say with tears in her dark eyes:
"If his father lives to return he will thank you better than I can."

In the spring she would say: "Before the orange-flowers ripen to golden
fruit he will return," and in the autumn, "before the fair buds gladden
the green hillsides he will be here!"

But springs and autumns passed, till the broken spirit, hopeless and
weary with waiting, passed into the unknown future, and they buried her
where the first rays of the morning sun fell upon the graveyard flowers.

Dick loved his mother fondly, and after she died he grew more wild and
daring than ever, but with the undercurrent of his nature flowed all
the subtle instinct of the Indian.

Often at Fort Tejon he heard of the great world far beyond the
wilderness, and he learned that gold was the talisman that opened the
gates of earthly paradise. So he said in his heart, "I will have gold!"

Young as he was and wild in his nature, he saw a witching paradise in
the soft blue eyes and sunny curls of the Colonel's young daughter
Madeline, but no one knew that he worshiped her, no one but God and his
own heart.

Among the Indian and Spanish boys Dick was chief. To the lowliest he
was gentle, to the proudest, superior, and by a wonderful magnetic
power in one so young he bowed them all to his will. No one among
them thought to question his bidding; he was the ruler, and without a
thought they obeyed him. He could ride fearlessly the wildest horse,
send the truest arrow from the bow, and laughed carelessly at danger as
though he bore a charmed life.

One evening he lay upon the green grass before an Indian encampment,
looking dreamily up at the great golden moon as it sailed along through
the clear summer sky, surrounded by the paler light of the modest stars,
and thinking how Madeline was like the moon, queen of all maidens.

The rest were beautiful, but in comparison with the sweet Madeline were
but attendant lights. Then he thought of the great world where one day
Madeline would shine fairest of the fair, and that before he could
enter the charmed circle he must win the talisman that would give him
every thing, but best of all, sweet Madeline.

Near him the Indian youths and maidens had gathered round an old man of
their tribe, who was telling them the legend of the "Golden Boulder."

"Yes," said the old man, "white men would risk their lives for it, if
they could only find the valley, but even the Indians except one tribe
who make war upon all others, have lost trace of it; but there in the
center rises a great round boulder, yellow as the full moon, all gold,
pure gold!"

"Where?" cried Dick, springing with one bound into the circle. Then for
the first time he listened to the old tradition of the Golden Boulder
in Death's Valley.

"Far to the south," said the old Indian, "lies a country rich in gold
and precious stones. The tribe who inhabits that region makes war with
all who dare to cross the boundaries of their hunting-grounds. In some
way they have become possessed of guns from which they shoot golden
bullets with unerring precision.

"The country is shut in by mountains, and the great Colorado pours its
waters through it. Far into the interior, deep down in the shadows,
lies Death's Valley, and in its center rises the great Golden
Boulder, and round it are scattered innumerable precious stones, whose
brightness pierces the dusky shadows with their shining light."

The tradition came from an old man of the hostile tribe who many years
ago was taken prisoner. Many adventurous Mexicans and Spaniards had
sought Death's Valley, but none had ever returned from its shroud of
shadows.

Dick listened to the story with deep attention. For days the thought of
it pursued him, and at night when he closed his eyes the great round
boulder of gold rose before him, and the glittering stones made the
night shining as the day.

He could learn nothing more from the Indians than the old tradition,
but every day he became more resolved, at any hazard, to win the great
talisman, gold, which alone could open the door of happiness and
greatness for him; even if he were obliged to seek it among the shadows
in Death's Valley, he would win it.

It was the early days of February, which in Lower California is the
spring time of the year. Golden oranges still hung upon the trees amid
the shining leaves and snow-white flowers, the buds of promise for the
coming year, while everywhere gorgeous flowers brightened the fragrant
hillsides and dewy valleys.

Without a word of farewell to any one, Dick started out into the
trackless wilderness alone, with only his rifle and a small hatchet to
blaze the trees now and then. Guided by the Indian's unerring instinct,
he reached the Colorado, strong and vigorous as when he left the
neighborhood of Fort Tejon.

He had wanted for nothing; his trusty gun had supplied him with
game, and the fruits of the wild-wood had furnished him dessert. Thus
alone in the luxuriance of that sunny clime he wandered for days, but
still no trace of the valley, or the Golden Boulder; but he was not
disheartened.

Day and night, the gorgeous imagery that decked the future, gathered
round him. As the reward of all this toil and lonely wanderings, he
saw his golden hopes fulfilled, and the sunny curls of the Colonel's
daughter resting upon his bosom. For this hope more than all others he
labored on.

It was the close of an excessively hot day. The dewy coolness of
evening was delightful to the weary gold-seeker, and he threw himself
down upon his couch of leaves, under the shadow of the forest trees,
thinking the way was long and weary, and feeling the desolation of the
solitary wilderness, casting its long shadows upon his heart.

But toil, is the mother of forgetfulness, and sleep was casting its
drowsy mantle over his saddened musings, when his quick ear, detected a
sound like a light, but rapid, footstep among the dried leaves. Nearer
and nearer it came, snapping the brittle twigs that covered the ground.

He hastily concealed himself, and waited in almost breathless stillness
the approach of wild beasts, or wilder Indians.

A moment more, and a young Indian girl appeared, bearing upon her head
a birchen bucket. Light and graceful, with the freedom of the woods,
she walked along until she came to a clear spring, and bending over,
she filled her bucket with the pure fresh water.

Just then, a rare cluster of flowers attracted her eye, and with a
maiden's love of the beautiful, she stopped to gather it, then poising
her bucket upon her head, she would have started for the encampment,
but she was fastened spell-bound to the spot, by an unconquerable
terror.

Just opposite, and crouched ready to spring upon her, she saw a huge
panther, his large eyes, like great balls of fire, glaring out from the
intense shadow, already devoured her. She was paralyzed by an intense
terror. The fearful eyes fascinated and bewildered her. In them she saw
the frail bridge, that separated her from the spirit land.

She could not move, or utter a sound. The panther crouched lower among
the tangled grass. A moment more, and he would spring upon her. The
stream was drawing nearer, the bridge was shorter, from those fearful
eyes, she could see the gleaming of the lights of spirit land, then
a flash! a sharp report of the rifle, and the panther sprang into the
air, and fell at the feet of the affrighted maiden!

She lived! but the waters of the spring were glowing red and warm
with the lifeblood of the terrible beast. His glowing eyes grew dim
and sightless, in the river of death, and in its place, to her sight
appeared the handsome young gold-seeker.

With all her intense emotion, she was calm, as only an Indian maiden
could be, but a deep glowing flush burned through the darkness of her
cheek, as with timid grace, she gave her hand to her deliverer, and
through the dusk of evening led him to the encampment, and to the
chieftain, her father.

There was great excitement in the encampment when they saw the young
girl returning with a stranger. Fiercely the Indians of the hostile
tribe gathered round them, for the girl clung tremblingly to his hand,
and by the fitful firelight he saw the dark scowls of passion gathering
upon their faces, yet a thrill of joy filled his heart, he now knew he
was by the camp-fire of the wild tribe of whom nothing was known, save
their uncompromising cruelty, and that with them rested the secret of
Death's Valley, the great Golden Boulder, and the glittering stones.

He had saved their chieftain's daughter, and they would not harm him,
for well he knew the power of gratitude upon the savage heart. Calm and
resolute he stood among them, without the shadow of a fear darkening
his face, until he saw the fierce fires of cruelty that shot from their
wild eyes soften into the kindly light of gratitude and friendship, as
the young girl told her story with all the pathos and ardor which the
almost miraculous escape, had awakened in her heart.

The old chief loved his daughter with a savage intensity. She was all
the Great Spirit had left him, of many sons and daughters, and he felt
that he would be ready to battle with death itself, but he could not
give up his only child.

There was a mist over his fierce eyes, and a trembling about his cruel
heart, as he bade the stranger a kindly welcome, who but for his good
fortune in saving the girl, would have been condemned to a torturing
death, unheard of.

So it was at last by this unforeseen accident, that the young
gold-seeker slept peacefully by the smouldering camp-fire of the most
cruel, relentless, tribe of the Colorado, and dreamed of his blue-eyed
darling, far away over the desert waste, safely sheltered in Fort
Tejon.

The morning dawned rich with the glowing warmth of a Southern climate,
and though our young hero woke early, he was wearied from long travel,
and lay for some time with half-closed eyes, lazily watching the
Indians as they busied themselves about the encampment.

He was thinking how he should turn the advantage he had gained to the
furtherance of his plans, when suddenly he felt, more than saw, that
dark, jealous eyes were upon him. He feigned to be sleeping, while by a
stolen glance he understood every thing.

The tall, stalwart, young Indian, who bent over him with dark, knitted
brows and flashing eyes, loved the girl whom he had saved, and was
already his enemy, and one not to be scorned, as his proud bearing, and
the deference shown him by others attested. That he was in danger,
Dick realized; yet he rose with a free and careless manner, greeting
the young men with a smile, which was returned.

"Worse than I supposed," he said to himself; "treachery! but they shall
not find me unprepared!"

The old chief and his daughter treated him with marked kindness, and
he, by his modesty and pleasantry, tried to make friends among the
young men.

After breakfast preparations were made for a hunt, and Dick was
furnished with a fresh horse, and invited to join the company.

The day was warm and sultry, and, toward evening, the hunters, in
starting for the camp, became scattered, and, on entering the shadows
of a deep ravine, Dick found himself surrounded by five of the
strongest young men, and, prominent among them, his enemy.

In an instant of time his hands were pinioned, and he was ordered to
prepare for death. Looking calmly upon the dark, scowling faces around
him, he said: "I am ready, only I would make one request of Tolume (his
enemy), 'tis this; that if in his wanderings he should ever reach Fort
Tejon, he would bear a message for me to the woman I love."

The face of Tolume brightened, and he ordered the prisoner unbound, and
leading him to a mossy stone, listened to the story of his love for the
fair, blue-eyed maiden, of Fort Tejon, and of all his hopes and plans,
till the sun went down and the silver moon looked into the ravine.

Tolume was jealous no longer; so they became friends, and after
listening to the story of Death's Valley and the great Golden Boulder,
he promised to go with Dick in search of it.

Nothing was said on their return to the camp of the closing event of
the day's hunt, but Dick saw with great satisfaction, that his new
friend and the dark-eyed girl he had saved from death, were again
mutually happy.

Indians generally care but little for gold, but this tribe had mingled
enough with the Spaniards to know something of its value; so the young
Indian was very ready to accompany Dick in his adventures, and to
accede to all his proposals, for he soon learned to look upon our hero
as a superior being.

"To-night," whispered Dick, as he passed carelessly by the young
Indian, "when the moon rises above the mountain-tops, we will start."

The Indian bowed assent, and looked fondly upon the young girl he must
leave, and whom he loved with all the fierceness of his wild nature.

During the afternoon he told her he was going away for a short
time, but would return bringing her beautiful feathers, embroidered
moccasins, strings of shining beads, and all that the heart of a pretty
Indian girl could desire. Then they parted, as all lovers part, with
mingled hopes and fears.

When the moon rose clear and bright, casting its soft, mellow light
over the glowing landscape, the young men met silently upon the brow of
the hill, and started upon their journey.

They were well equipped with guns and ammunition. Each had a good
horse, and as much food as they could carry; the only thing they had to
fear was lack of water and hostile Indians.

For two days they traveled on without encountering any difficulty;
but on the third they entered a dry, waste tract of country entirely
destitute of vegetation.

The ground was covered with a formation of salt and soda, and when the
wind blew it nearly suffocated them.

"This must be Death's Valley," said Dick, as they rode on, talking
cheerfully, looking carefully for any signs of gold. By noon they began
to feel very thirsty, but there was no water, no cooling spring in all
the vast desert spread out before them.

The burning rays of the noontide sun seemed to dry up their blood, and
their tongues were parched and feverish, but there was no shelter;
no water. Heat, thirst, and travel began to tell upon their horses,
so they dismounted, and led them by the bridle, till night came on,
finding them weary and faint, and, above all, perishing with thirst.
Their fevered tongues began to swell, and it seemed as though the salt
dust permeated their whole bodies; but they dare not stop, even for a
moment, they were dying of thirst, and there was no water.

At last the clear, full moon rose over the desert waste of Death's
Valley and over the wayworn prospectors. They thought no more of gold,
only of water—clear, cool, bubbling water.

It seemed to Dick as though he could hear the murmuring of the brook
that rippled by the cottage of his childhood home, near Fort Tejon.

He walked along, every moment growing more hopeless, when suddenly he
saw something bright and shining on the ground. It was a curious bow
and quiver ornamented with little bells of silver and gold.

"Some one has been here, and only a short time ago, or the wind would
have swept away the track," said Dick, as he bent down and examined a
footprint upon the ground. "'Tis too small for a man," he said. "'Tis
very strange."

Then he gave a loud shout, and they both listened eagerly, till they
heard a low faint voice in reply, and, looking around, they saw by the
clear moonlight an odd little figure trying in vain to rise from the
ground. The young men hastened to his assistance, and found a queer,
little dwarf, with a long grey beard reaching nearly to his feet.

"Give me water!" said the man. "My horse has thrown me, and all day
long I have lain here in the burning sun, too weak to move, for I am
dying of thirst! Oh give me water, only a drop of water!"

"No water! No water!" cried Dick, in despair. "We, too, are famishing
for want of it! We must on, we have not a moment to lose, or we shall
die here in the desert."

"Do not leave me," cried the little man. "I can show you water, but I
cannot move!" So they placed him upon one of the horses, and he pointed
out the way.

Dick would have thrown aside the bow and quiver, but as he looked at
the curious little being beside him, quaint old Indian traditions came
to his mind.

"This bow may serve me yet," he said, as he secured it to his leather
belt. "Who knows but it belongs to one of the dwarf treasure-guard of
the valley."

All night they traveled on and till nearly noon the next day, when a
little green spot in the desert's sand met their sight. The horses
snuffed the refreshing smell of water, and horses and men, faint,
weary, and famishing, exerting all their strength started on the full
run for the blessed Eden before them, and soon sank down upon the soft
green grass by the side of a clear, bubbling spring.

"Now I will leave you," said the little man. "Give me my bow and
quiver. We are even, I showed you the water, and you brought me to it."

"Not quite so fast, my little friend," said Dick. "Before I give you
the bow and quiver, or permit you to leave us, you must lead us to the
treasure of the valley, then furnish us with a guide, two good mules,
and as much of the treasure as we can carry away."

"I accede to your proposition on one condition! Never attempt to point
out the treasure to any one, or to return to it yourself. If you do,
death will swiftly follow, and the treasure you shall carry away will
be lost to you and your family for ever."

So they gave the promise he required, and as they were very tired they
concluded to wait till morning and made their frugal supper under the
trees, drinking plentifully of the clear, delicious water; and slept
peacefully till morning.

The little gray man woke them early. "Come," he said. "The sun is
rising, we must away." So they arose, and taking a drink of water and
eating a tortilla, started.

For some hours they traveled on in the pleasant morning air, and just
as the sun was beginning to be scorching in its heat they entered a
deep ravine, and there they saw the wonderful Golden Boulder, and
countless precious stones, and nuggets of bright yellow gold scattered
round it upon the shining sand.

Dick and his companions, were bewildered by the glittering spectacle,
and a thousand glowing visions filled their minds. The little gray man
blew a shrill whistle. Another little gray man appeared, and bowing
low, said humbly:—

"What is the will of the master?"

"Food and drink!" answered the master.

The slave prepared a more comfortable meal than the young men had
enjoyed since they left the encampment, and they ate heartily while the
slave served them.

When they had eaten, the chief ordered the slave to lade the mules with
treasure and conduct the young men to the confines of the valley.

Then Dick returned the bow and quiver to the gray chief, and bid him
good-by.

"Never forget your promise, or beware!" said the gray man, as they
turned away, and looking back they saw in the distance the last of the
little man with up-raised fingers.

"He is saying again beware!" said Dick, laughing. How they went,
neither of the young men could tell, but in a wonderfully short time
they were out of Death's Valley. The Indian returned to his tribe, but
Dick, with a happy heart, started for Fort Tejon, and after a speedy
and safe journey he reached his early home.

It soon became rumored about, that he was the richest young man in
the whole country. In a short time, poor Dick, the half-breed, was
forgotten, but every one courted Don Richard Fielding, the rich and
elegant Spanish gentleman.

There was a great feast made at the fort, when Don Richard was united
in the "holy bonds of matrimony" with the Colonel's lovely daughter,
and never was man more happy than he, when he led his golden-haired
bride through the halls of his pleasant mansion.

"We will travel by-and-by, love," he whispered. "But first we will rest
and be happy in our own dear home!"



Transcriber's Note


  Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
  in hyphenation have been standardized but all other spelling and
  punctuation remains unchanged.





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