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Title: Harper's Round Table, August 18, 1896
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's Round Table, August 18, 1896" ***

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

[Illustration: HARPER'S ROUND TABLE]

Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS. All Rights Reserved.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *





It was the day before a great storm. Any one familiar with the face of
the sea could have told that. The sky was a dead, dull sheet of cold
leaden-gray cloud, and the color of it was reflected in a darker shade
in the vast expanse of heaving waters. From the southward and eastward
long, broad, oily swells were rolling in a formidable procession. As
each one swept into the shallow water close to the shore it reared
itself in a curving pinnacle of gray shot with green. Then it whitened
in a quivering, broken line along its crest, and rushing forward, hurled
itself upon the beach in a crashing swirl of snowy foam. Not a breath
of air was stirring. The atmosphere was damp and heavy, and it seemed to
clog the lungs. Sounds along the shore were preternaturally clear in the
intervals between the thunder-bursts of the surf, and the crowing of a
cock at a farm-house half a mile away could be distinctly heard. Not a
sail was to be seen except far away in the northeast, where the light
canvas of a schooner showed above the wavering line of the horizon.
Nearer at hand a south-bound steamer was ploughing her way seaward,
rolling so perilously that the yawning throat of her fuming black
smokestack lay wide open toward the land at every starboard lurch of
her. The Old Sailor was sitting in his accustomed place on the pier,
gazing around the horizon and shaking his head. There was no doubt that
the day or the ship in sight had aroused in his mind some reminiscent
train of thought. So Henry and George, who had caught sight of him,
determined to join him. They walked quickly out on the pier, but before
they reached their friend, he turned his head and called out,

"Wot d'ye think of 't?"

"Of what?" asked Henry, as they paused beside him.

"O' the weather."

"It looks as if we were going to have a severe storm," said Henry.

"Werry good; werry good indeed," declared the Old Sailor, gazing around
the horizon once more and indulging in one of his silent laughs. "An'
s'posin'," he continued, "I was to go fur to ax you wot quarter would
the wind come in, wot'd ye say?"

"Southeast," answered George, confidently.

"Not so werry good," commented the Old Sailor. "Ye can't allus say that
the wind are a-goin' fur to come from the same quarter as the swells is
a-comin' from. I reckon we'll git this fust o' the no'theast, an' then
east, an' then southeast, an' so on around to nor'west, w'ere it'll
clear off. It are a-goin' to be one o' them there cycloons wot ye read
about. An' w'en it comes, w'y, gimme plenty o' sea-room an' a good stout
main-torps'l; that's wot."

The Old Sailor relapsed into a deep silence, and the boys waited
patiently for several minutes, knowing that if there was any memory at
work within him it would surely work its way out. In about five minutes
the old man suddenly broke out thus:

"Ye may paral and sarve me with fish bones ef this ain't the werry
identical kind o' day wot it happened on, 'ceptin' as how it didn't
really happen till night, an' it are now not more'n five bells in the
arternoon watch. I were a-takin' the brig _Banana Peel_ out from St.
Paul de Loanda to Delagoa Bay with a cargo of frankfurter sausages,
condensed milk, leather shoelaces, an' beeswax. The Cap'n, Jerubabel
Moxon, were took sick o' coast-fever in St. Paul, an' had to be left
there. So bein' I were the fust mate an' it were my dooty fur to take
command an' perceed with the woyidge aroun' the Cape an' into Delagoa
Bay, I called at Cape Town fur some fresh purwisions an' water, and we
laid at anchor in Table Bay fur two days. W'en I were a-gittin' ready
fur to git under way a old boatman sez to me, sez he, 'Ef I was you, I'd
wait a day or two longer. It are a-goin' to blow putty fresh from the
east'rd, an' ye won't be able fur to double the Cape.' But seein' as how
there weren't no other signs o' weather 'ceptin' his talk, I reckoned
I'd go ahead, an' I did.

"Waal, boys, we hadn't no more'n got clean out to sea nor she come on in
stiff puffs onto the east'rd, an' in about three hours it were blowing
half a gale. I laid the brig close-hauled on the port tack, but she made
leeway by the rood, and I knowed I were a-headin' a good deal nigher fur
the antarctic continent than fur the Cape o' Good Hope. Fur three days
an' nights that easter blowed. It warn't never a whole gale, but it kep'
us under short canvas, an' riz enough sea fur to keep us way down to
leeward all the time, an' when it bruk we was two hundred miles sou'west
o' the Cape. Now we got a southerly wind, an' in twenty-four hours we
doubled the Cape o' Good Hope, and I laid the course to weather Cape
Agulhas. Blow me fur pickles, ef it didn't fall a flat calm w'en we was
off that cape, jess like this one to-day, with a mos' disorganizin'
swell a-runnin' in from the southeast. I seed that it were a-goin fur to
come on to blow, but wot could I do? We was about ten miles off the
land, an' them swells a-settin' us in toward it all the time at a mos'
amazin' pace. I wished as how I were back on the other side o' Good
Hope, w'ere them same swells would 'a' bin a-settin' us off shore.
Howsumever, it warn't no use wishin'; 'cos w'y, wishes ain't
steam-engines or perpellers, an' won't make ships go w'en there ain't no

"Waal, there we was, a-buggaluggin' aroun' in the mos' permiskous
fashion, like a fly in a plate o' butter. Night come on darker'n the
inside o' an empty mess-chest with the lid shut down. We was a-rollin'
an' a-rollin' so that I were more'n half afeard as how we'd roll the
masts out o' the bloomin' hooker, an' most o' the men was on deck
hangin' on fur dear life, an' waitin' to hear the wind begin fur to
howl. But I kinder b'lieved myself that we wouldn't get it afore
mornin'. Waal, all on a suddent down to the south'ard an' west'ard, on
our stabboard quarter, there comes one o' the mos' awful ear-splittin'
screeches I ever heerd in all my life. We all held our breath, an' I
reckon most on us turned white. 'Cos w'y, none on us ever heerd any sich
sound afore. In about three minutes we heerd it ag'in. Then the whole
sky down there lit up with a big green flash, as ef all the green
fireworks on 'arth'd gone off at oncet.

"'Wot in bloomin' Africa are it?' sez I to Hiram Sink, my mate, sez I.

"'Ghosts, sure,' sez he to me, sez he.

"I were jess a-goin' to tell him that ghosts didn't walk aroun' at sea
an' set off fireworks, w'en a shout from the hands forrad stopped me.
There, broad off our stabboard quarter, about a mile away, were a brig
lined out against the sky in a reg'lar skellington o' waverin' fire. It
were the palest greenest sort o' fire, an' she looked like the ghost o'
a brig.

"'The _Flyin' Dutchman_!' sez Hiram Sink, sez he.

"'By the great anchor flukes, them's it!' sez I.

"An' at that werry identical minute there were another one o' them awful
screeches, an', pst! that there brig jess went out, like as ef ye'd
turned off the gas.

"'We 'ain't got no show to git out o' this,' sez Hiram Sink, sez he.

"'Nary show. We got to go on them rocks sure,' sez I to he, sez I.

"A werry few minutes arter that a hand forrard yells, 'Steamer on the
stabboard bow!'

"An', sure 'nuff, we could see the lights in her cabin. Nex' thing I
knowed, there were a launch off our quarter, an' a voice hailed us,

"'Aboard the brig there!'

"'Hello!' sez I. 'Who on 'arth are you?'

"'I'm the owner o' that steam-yacht up there, an' I want to come aboard
you,' sez he.

"'Come on, then,' sez I.

"So the launch come alongside, an' the man comes aboard. He sartinly
were a pikooliar pusson. His face were so full o' wrinkles it looked
like it were made o' rope, an' he had a stiff mustache as white as
chalk. His eyes was little an' black an' piercin'. But he were dressed
in the swellest kind o' yachtin' toggery ye ever seed, an' spite o' his
lookin' a hundred years old, he skipped over the side like a midshipman.
He come up to me with a jolly laugh, slapped me on the back, an' sez he
to me, sez he,

"'How'd ye like the show?'

"'Wot show?' sez I to he, sez I.

"'W'y, my show down yonder--shrieks, lightnin', ghost ship, an' all

"'W'y,' sez I to he, sez I, 'we thort it were the _Flyin' Dutchman_.'

"'So it were,' sez he to me, sez he, jess like that, me bein' Cap'n o'
the brig, an' him a grinnin' Methuselah in yachtin' togs.

"'Wot d'ye mean?' sez I.

"'I'm the Flyin' Dutchman, the only one in the business, Cap'n G. W.
Vanderdecken,' sez he.

"'But it ain't reg'lar at all,' sez I. 'Wot are you a-doin' of with a
steam-yacht an' them clothes?'

"'Wot did ye expect? W'y, I'm up to date, I am,' sez he, laffin' like
he'd bust hisself. 'I ain't no old moth-eaten barnacle-covered, worn-out
spook. I'm a real, live, wide-awake Flyin' Dutchman, right down here in
my own partikler latitoods, an' out an' 'tendin' to business w'en
there's thick weather a-brewin'. It'll blow a livin' gale by mornin'.'

"An' with that he went into sech a fit o' laffin' I thort he'd putty
well choke hisself to death, an' I 'mos' wished he would, him a-comin'
aroun' scarin' sailor-men, an' makin' fun o' 'em w'en they was in danger
o' shipwrack an' death.

"'Waal,' sez I to he, sez I, 'ef you be the Flyin' Dutchman, you'd
better go back to wherever you come from, an' let us get wracked in
peace. We ain't in no humor to be laffed at,' sez I to he, sez I, jess
like that.

"'W'y,' sez he, 'ye might jess as well laff as cry, 'cos w'y, arter
ye're all dead ye can't do nothin'.'

"'Waal,' sez I, gittin' putty mad, 'there's one thing I can do afore I
goes to Davy Jones's locker; I can throw you overboard.'

"I made a move toward him, an' he jumped back an' pulled a whistle out
o' his pocket an' blowed it. The nex' second the air jess shook with
them awful screams ag'in, an' the yacht blazed up in streaks o' fire. I
stopped like I were shot.

"'Good show, ain't it?' sez he. 'There ain't nothin' like it a-scourin'
the high seas.'

"With that he dances aroun' on one leg an' laffs ag'in like a crazy

"'Look here,' sez I to he, sez I, 'I don't see wot business you got with
a steam-yacht, anyhow.'

"'W'y,' sez he to me, sez he, 'you made one kick about that already. Wot
d'ye s'pose? D'ye think I'm goin' to be behind the times? 'Ain't I got
as good a right to have all the modern improvements as any other man

"'But the last time I seed you,' sez I, 'were about ten year ago, an'
you had a old-fashioned sailin'-vessel then.'

"'An' wot good were she?' sez he, speakin' kind o' mad like. 'I couldn't
git to wind'ard in her in any sort o' weather at all.'

"'O' course not,' sez I to he, sez I. 'Ye ain't expected to git to
wind'ard. You're expected to be down here a-tryin' to double this 'ere
cape in a gale o' wind an' gittin' blowed back.'

"'Waal, my son,' sez he to me, sez he, 'we got all that old story
changed now. That's wot used to happen to me, but it don't happen no
more. I got a steamer now, an' I can git to wind'ard in putty poor
weather. An' as for doublin' this 'ere cape, I jess do that two or three
times a year fur my health, an' to keep up my repitation. It wouldn't do
fur me never to be seed down here at all; 'cos w'y, a lot o' you
ignerent sailor-men'd git so ye wouldn't b'lieve in me, an' then my
occupation'd be gone. I jess showed up fur you as a matter o' business,
an' I'm sure I give you a mighty good show, too. An' now here you are
a-grumblin' an' a-kickin' an' a-talkin' about throwin' me overboard. Not
as I'd mind bein' in the sea werry much, 'cos ye can't drown me, ye
know. But I got feelin's, I have, an' I don't like to be treated bad by
nobody at all, I don't.'

"An' blow me fur pickles ef the old willain didn't pull out his
hankercher an' wipe his eyes jess like he were a-cryin'.

"'Ef you don't want to hear hard words from sailor-men,' sez I to he,
sez I, 'don't go fur to come fur to appear to 'em off this 'ere cape an'
bring on foul weather an' shipwrack.'

"'Ah, say,' sez he, takin' the hankercher from his eyes and commencin'
fur to laff ag'in, 'd' you b'lieve that tommy-rot?'

"'Wot!' sez I, 'ain't you the cause o' this 'ere weather?'

"'Naw-w-w,' sez he, disgusted like.

"'Waal,' sez I, 'you're the sign o' 't.'

"'Not edzackly,' sez he. 'I allers turn on my show w'en there's bad
weather comin'. I got to. I got to keep up my repitation. W'y, wot'd
Herne the Hunter, the Erl-King, the Headless Horseman, an' old Mother
Erda think o' me ef I didn't attend to business? I'd git kicked out o'
respectable spook society, an' w'ere in goodness'd I go then?'

"There not seemin' to be no fittin' answer to that there inquiry, I
didn't make none. No more did Hiram Sink, him havin' lost his breath
w'en Vanderdecken first came aboard, an' not bein' able to speak.

"'But I want to tell you one thing,' sez the Flyin' Dutchman, sez he;
'ef it's the weather an' the lee shore you're a-worrin' about, I can
prove to ye that I 'ain't got no sort o' interest in it.'

"'How can ye do that?' sez I to he, sez I.

"'I'll tow ye round the cape,' sez he.

"Waal, my sons, ye could 'a' knocked me down with a compass-card. Who
ever heard o' the Flyin' Dutchman doin' sich a thing?

"'All right,' sez I to he, sez I. 'Will you give us a line?'

"'Sure,' sez he; 'look out there forrad.'

"He blowed that whistle o' his a couple o' times, an' the end o' a
heavin'-line lit onto my fo'k's'le deck. The hands was 'mos' afraid to
touch it, but bime-by Hiram Sink got the hawser aboard an' made fast.
The Flyin' Dutchman's launch were dropped astern, an' his bloomin'
steam-yacht went ahead, towin' us along at about seven knots an hour. As
fur him he walked up an' down the deck mumblin' to hisself like he were
puffickly disgusted with the entire perceedin's. Arter he'd towed us
putty well past the cape, an' I commenced fur to feel a leetle easier in
my mind, I walked up to him, an' sez I to he, sez I,

"'Look here, Mr. Flyin' Dutchman.'

"'Waal, Mr. Sailin' American, wot are it?'

"'I'd like fur to have the privilege o' axin' you a fair question.'

"'Heave ahead,' sez he, 'an' I'll answer 't ef I likes.'

"'What brought ye aboard o' my vessel, anyhow?'

"'Waal,' sez he, 'I'm out o' baccy, an' I thort as how ye might let me
have a little.'

"'Oho!' sez I to he, sez I, 'I s'pose ye can't lay in a cargo 'cos ye
kin only land once in seven years.'

"'Aw, gammon!' sez he, 'I can land w'enever I wants to.'

"'But how about keepin' up yer repitation?' sez I.

"'That's all right,' sez he. 'Who's goin' to know me in broad daylight
with a steam-yacht an' in these togs? W'y, I'm goin' up to Calcutta as
quick as I can get there.'

"I told him to wait a minute, an' I went an' got him a box o' smokin'
baccy, an' he were werry grateful fur 't, too.

"'Now,' sez I to he, sez I, 'I got to tell ye somethin' afore ye go.'

"'Waal,' sez he, 'wot are it?'

"'I can't jess edzackly b'lieve,' sez I, 'that you're ginuwine.'

"'Ginuwine wot?' sez he.

"'Genuwine Flyin' Dutchman.'

"'Wot!' sez he. 'Waal, jess you wait a few minutes an' I'll show ye.'

"With that he jumped over the rail. I thort he were in the sea, but I
seed him in his launch goin' out ahead o' us. At the same time the
tow-line gave a jerk an' parted right under our fore-stay. The nex'
minute them awful screams bruk out ag'in, an' then the Flyin' Dutchman's
yacht came down past us at a twenty-knot gait. She were red hot all
over, an' steam hissed from the sea as she passed. Her masts and spars
looked to be all afire, an' on the bridge in a cloud o' smoke stood the
Flyin' Dutchman hisself, smokin' a pipe o' the baccy I give him. An' he
looked like he were a sheet o' white fire.

"'Ha, ha, ha, ha!' he yelled. 'Ye don't believe I'm genuwine, eh? I'll
show ye!'

"An', pst! him an' the yacht an' the fire an' the steam was gone, jess
like that, leaving the sea blacker'n ink. An' the nex' minute whee-oop
come the gale, not out o' the southeast, but out o' the no'theast. An'
it blowed us back two hundred mile, dismasted us, an' generally used us
up. An' I don't want to be towed by the Flyin' Dutchman ag'in."



There is no pleasanter way of spending a day than snipe-shooting, and
there are many reasons why it is so popular. The birds are to be found
almost anywhere where water and sedge-grass abound, though the best
shooting-grounds are the salt-meadow-bordered bays on the coast. When a
bird is shot there is small danger of losing it as compared to that in
upland or thicket shooting, and a dog is not a necessity, as all
wing-shots are generally made over water or short grass, where the bird
can easily be recovered. Most boys are not so fortunate as to possess a
good dog, and as very fine snipe-shooting can be had without one, it is
especially fitted for them. The bird when "flushed" anywhere near the
water will fly out over it.

[Illustration: THE BEACH SNIPE.]

The bird that will be especially referred to in this paper will be the
ordinary little beach snipe that is so common everywhere, though what
remarks apply to him will, with very slight exceptions, apply to all of
the snipe family.

The sand-piper always flies on a dead level, about a foot above the
water, unless the flock is flying high to escape some obstruction. He
propels himself with a jerky motion of the wings, a stroke, and then an
instant's soaring, at a pretty fair rate of speed. The "yellow leg," a
larger variety, on the contrary, flies quite high, and sometimes in the
formations adopted by the wild-duck. They can always be recognized by
their peculiar whistling call. The predominating colors of the snipe
family are gray and white, though some few have a touch of brown on the
back plumage. There is also a slight variation in the length and shape
of the bill, though the character is about the same in all. The legs of
the snipe are long and a greenish-yellow in color; those of the "yellow
leg" being almost a bright yellow. The sand-piper is a very rapid
walker, or perhaps, more properly, runner, and this remarkable facility
should always be borne in mind when a bird is only "winged." When not
frightened they usually travel in a very irregular course along a beach,
but when frightened they will make as straight a line as the best
sprinter. These little birds are very good swimmers and divers,
remaining under water for a long time, propelling themselves with great
rapidity by the use of their wings.

Sand-piper Snipe is a very sociable little fellow, and travels with lots
of company, though the snipe are split up into small flocks during the
latter part of June, July, and the first part of August, when they are
breeding, usually beginning to flock again about the middle of August.
No true sportsman will shoot during this season. Aside from that, it is
against the game laws; the old birds are not fit to eat, and there are
in the latter part of the breeding season large numbers of small flocks
of young birds who are too small to be of any use, and are so tame that
it is possible to decimate a whole flock by a single barrel as they are
bunched on the beach. This is not the aim of the sportsman.

A word about the game laws. You should always respect them. They were
made for your and all sportsmen's benefit, and not as a means of
annoyance. If you kill the birds whilst breeding, or destroy the young,
there will soon be little left in the country to shoot.

There are three times to find the snipe at rest: in the early morning,
shortly after sunrise; at low tide, when the ground usually under water
is exposed, so they can pick up the sand insects and feed on the
sea-grasses that the high-water has brought up; and in the evening, when
the flocks are coming to rest for the night. The early morning and
low-water are the best times, as the birds will be found along the
water's edge feeding, whilst in the evening they usually retire some
distance inland on the meadows, and after they are settled in the grass
for the night it is pretty hard to get them up again. There is sometimes
a pretty fair show of finding the birds on the beach feeding just before
sundown. It must be remembered, however, that the strength and direction
of the wind have much to do with the number of snipe. The above is in
fair weather, and now for the ideal "snipe weather."

If you live on the Jersey coast, or any of the neighboring ones, and
wake up one September morning with a good southeaster, which has been
blowing since the previous evening, rattling around your windows,
accompanied by drizzle, get up and put on your shooting "togs," oil your
gun well, and prepare for a good day's sport. The birds do not like to
fly in a high wind, and will almost always come up into the coast bays
and rivers to feed on the overflowed meadows that such storms produce.

It is a rather difficult thing to determine on what kind of ground you
will find snipe; some days they will be found in great abundance in one
locality, and the day after hardly a bird will be seen. The weather has
something to do with this, and by a careful study of it some idea may be
gained as to where to find the birds, though this will not always prove

When the wind in a storm is not too high, the birds usually remain on
the sea-beach, but when it is violent you will run a pretty fair chance
of finding them inland. During the southeaster mentioned, if the wind is
rather high and there is a heavy tide, Sand-piper likes nothing better
than to spend the day paddling around on the flooded salt-meadows,
picking up the little worms and bugs that have been soaked out of their
homes in the grass and soil. Here you will find him in large flocks,
travelling by short flights from one end of the meadow to the other,
showing very little disposition to move on. But above all his happiness
seems wholly complete if he can find a meadow on which the grass has
been cut and not collected in mows at the time of the overflow. The
floating grass affords a refuge for all the washed-out bug inhabitants
of the meadow, and the snipe make the most of the rare treat offered.
This kind of meadow-shooting is very pleasant, as the birds will not fly
far when "flushed," and it is possible to follow a flock all around the
meadow, securing several shots before it takes flight for good. The
sedge islands at the mouths of rivers and bays are great feeding-grounds
when the wind is not so high, and tide not sufficient to flood the

Sometimes on the day after a storm pretty good shooting can be had on
the meadows that have been overflowed. The soil is usually of a clayey
character, and the water does not drain off in the lower places very
rapidly, forming puddles and patches of slimy mud around which the birds
like to feed. They are usually found on the sea-beach just before or
after a storm.

The favorite haunts of snipe in fine weather, at low water, are the
little sand or mud beaches bordering the sedge islands and meadows, and
in the inlets along the water-front.

There are three methods of shooting snipe: tramping the beach, crawling
up on them by boat, and by using decoys.

[Illustration: TRAMPING FOR SNIPE.]

Tramping the beach or following up on land requires the smallest outfit
of any, all that is necessary being the gun and your equipments. It is
best to wear rubber boots, unless you intend to shoot along hard beaches
or dry meadows. This tramping of the meadows will afford rather good
sport when they are flooded, and although you may not get as many birds
as by decoying, the action it necessitates adds much to the pleasure.
However, if the birds are plentiful and inclined to move about, I should
advise the use of a blind and decoys.

Let us suppose we are going out at low water to look out for the birds
on the beaches. You have arrived at the scene of action and loaded your
gun. Put it in the hollow of either arm; if there are two shooting,
carry the guns in opposite arms. In walking along the water you should
not walk on the beach, if there is one, but about fifteen or twenty feet
back, going up to the beach at frequent intervals to study it for a
distance ahead. By this means the birds behind the sedge-grass will not
be able to see you until you are quite near. If when studying the beach
ahead you do not see any birds, you should make a careful note of the
likely places behind which snipe may be, and use corresponding care when
approaching them. The snipe do not take to wing until you get quite
near, and there is little danger of frightening your birds by these
short examinations. You have been walking along the shore in the
described manner for some time, and in one of the above examinations you
locate some birds, let us say two hundred feet off. Crouch down in the
grass and make a study of the lay of the beach where the snipe are,
noting with care the positions of any high tufts of grass, bushes, or
anything by which you can locate the place without seeing the beach, and
it is best to select two between which the game is. Now strike inland
some fifty feet, more if level meadow, and move up parallel to the beach
until opposite the marks noticed. When directly in back of where you
think the birds ought to be, work up to the beach, cocking your gun, and
holding it in a position for instant use. You will probably get within
twenty or thirty feet of the edge of the grass, when the shrill whistles
of the snipe will let you know the birds are off. It is then only a
question of your skill as to whether you bag some. In approaching this
way, the birds will usually fly directly off-shore and away from you for
a distance, thus affording the best kind of a shot. Taking the birds by
surprise, you can afford to let them get steadied in flight before
shooting. Do not shoot as the bird first starts off, as his twisting
will destroy the aim; but let him get settled, cover him with the muzzle
of your gun, following him with it for an instant until your hand is
steady, and then pull the trigger.

Perhaps it should be mentioned here that if the wind is at all heavy you
will never find the birds on a lee shore; always look for them on the
windward. If the snipe is "flushed" on the meadow, or any other place
where he has the choice of direction, he will always rise against the
wind; so if you approach up wind you will get mostly driving shots, but
if down wind good shots will be presented.


Following the birds by boat is sometimes very effective. Perhaps before
coming to the shooting proper we should consider the boat. The best kind
of boat for this work, where there is a great deal of running up on
beaches, is a sneak-box (description of shooting-boat in HARPER'S ROUND
TABLE No. 818). The long bow overhang makes it easy to land without
running the boat hard aground. We will consider the sailing first. No
special equipment is required, but if you are going out alone a
yoke-line attachment will be necessary for steering (see sketch). By
this device you can steer the boat from any part of the cockpit by
simply catching hold of the line at the nearest place, and pulling
either way you wish.

If alone, it is best to sit pretty well aft, as you are less liable to
be bothered by the sail, but if there are two in the boat, one shooting
and the other sailing, the man with the gun should sit as far forward as
convenient, and on the side next to the shore. If the sail happens to be
on the shore side, if possible sit on the forward deck so as to be able
to shoot ahead of the mast; if not, you will have to shoot under the
sail or in whatever manner a shot offers.

[Illustration: ROWING AFTER SNIPE.]

The pleasure of the expedition may be greatly marred by mismanagement of
the boat. There are no particularly new problems in sailing presented,
but there are several points that must be borne in mind. Above all, the
boat must not race alongshore, but should only drift along about thirty
or forty feet off, because, when going at only a fair speed, objects on
shore pass so rapidly as to make all accurate shooting impossible; and,
also, a boat travelling even slowly in shallow water will kick up such
large waves, that these, breaking on the beach, will frighten all the
birds within hearing.

There is one peculiarity of snipe that perhaps ought to be mentioned.
When the flock is feeding on small beaches broken up by patches of grass
extending down to the waters edge, the birds, if approached on the water
in a direction parallel to the beach, will run along it until they are
all bunched at the grass before taking wing. This affords a good shot,
and you can usually bag several. If you prefer to row after the birds,
select a two-oared light flat-bottomed boat, and sit in the front row
seat, the person pulling occupying the rear. Sometimes the boat is
propelled with a pole used over the stern. There is one indispensable
article in shooting snipe from a boat--a crab-net. By this, the dead and
wounded birds can easily be picked up.

[Illustration: DECOYING SNIPE.]

Decoying, though requiring quite an extensive outfit, under proper
conditions, will yield fine results. The blind is of first
consideration, much depending on its location. Before building it you
should try to determine where the birds are flying the day in question,
though the following general locations may be of help in the selection:
a neck of land separating two streams or arms of a river; a sedge
island; or a flooded meadow. In choosing the site try to find a spot
where natural conditions give as much cover as possible, as behind weeds
or tall grass, and try not to alter the appearance in the construction.
If you intend to shoot on a meadow, place the blind at a convenient
distance from some spot where you notice the birds feed. If on a beach,
try and place it so as to get a raking shot. In the meadow-blind, if you
have been able to find a convenient clump of weeds, cut down the extra
ones so as you will have a thin circle around you, or as near so as
possible, and line the inside with hay or anything procurable, filling
up the thin places in the barrier of live weeds with those you cut down.
If no clump can be found, look over the meadow until you find some
stiff-stemmed weeds, and cut them quite near the roots. Carry these to
the selected spot, and construct the blind by sticking the ends in the
ground, and finish as before. The beach-blind may be constructed like
this, or a hiding-place can be made in the sedge-grass.


The decoys are an essential part of the outfit. They can be made at
home, and should be at least twice life size. Their construction may be
understood from the sketch. In painting them, try to lay the colors in
the same relations as in the live bird.

Suppose we have constructed our blind near a beach, and set our decoys,
some twelve or fifteen, fairly bunched. A flock is seen approaching.
They see our decoys, and head in, apparently just skimming the water.
Let them land, if they will; if not, fire as they wheel off. They will
most likely land, and if clear of the decoys use the right barrel,
reserving the left (usually choked) for when they fly off. You have most
likely bagged some birds, but do not attempt to recover them now, for a
flock will often return if any birds are lost. If there are any dead
birds on the water, you had better keep an eye on them, as the crabs are
fond of dead snipe.

A few words here about the gun. The dangers of mishandling have been
gone over so often that it is unnecessary to repeat them. A boy is
perfectly safe with a gun if he will bear in mind the old and perhaps
rather ambiguous saying, "A gun is always loaded." A gun should not be
allowed to stand for anytime with the remains of previous discharges in
the barrels, as the acid contained in the powder will pit them. It is
best to follow the rule of swabbing it clean after a day's sport; first,
perhaps, if very dirty, with the wire burr, and polishing with soft
rags. Sometimes the barrels become so much coated that they cannot be
cleansed by these means, and it will be necessary to wash them out with
water. If this is the case, be sure to remove every trace of moisture
afterwards. Always keep every part of the gun well coated with oil, and
never forget to oil the barrels after swabbing them clean, bearing in
mind also that the heat of the discharge will dry the oil off the

A great deal might be said about shells, but it is not essential here.
Machine-loaded shells with suitable charges for snipe can be bought for
about $1.40 a hundred, and will answer all purposes very well. There is
room for discussion as to the proper charge. I should say 2-3/4 or 3
drams of powder and 1 ounce of either No. 8 or No. 9 shot is a good load
for a 12-bore gun. The smaller shot is best for flock shooting. In the
sketch is represented a section of a shell showing the position and kind
of wads, and there is also shown a light home-loaded shell to kill
crippled birds. Many sportsmen load their own shells, but this takes
much time and trouble, and the saving is not as great as would be
supposed, unless expensive powders are used. The boy learning to shoot
should by all means buy his ammunition, at least for such a time, until
he will know exactly what he is doing when loading his own shells.




The port of Prairie Flower was in the eastern part of the then Territory
of Dakota. It stood out on an open plain a half-dozen miles wide, which
seemed to be the prairie itself, though it was really the valley of the
Sioux River, that funny stream which could run either way, and usually
stood still in the night and rested. To the east and west the edges of
this valley were faintly marked by a range of very low bluffs, so low
that they were mere wrinkles in the surface of the earth, and made the
valley but very little lower than the great plain, which rolled away for
miles to the east and for leagues to the west.

It was a beautiful morning a little after the middle of September that
the Rattletrap got away and left Prairie Flower behind. The sun had been
up only half an hour or so, and the shadow of our craft stretched away
across the dry gray plain like a long black streak without end. The air
was fresh and dewy. The morning breeze was just beginning to stir, and
down by the river the acres of wild sunflowers were nodding the dew off
their heads, and beginning to roll in the first long waves which would
keep up all day like the rolling of the ocean. We shouted "Good-by" to
Grandpa Oldberry and Squire Poinsett, but they only shook their heads
very seriously. The cows and horses picketed on the prairie all about
the little clump of houses which made up the town looked at us with
their eyes open extremely wide, and no doubt said in their own
languages, like Grandpa Oldberry, that they had no recollection of
seeing any such capers as this for many years.

"See here," I said, suddenly, to Jack, "where's that dog you said was
going to follow us?"

"You just hold on," answered Jack.

"Oh, are we going to have a dog too?" asked Ollie.

"You wait a minute," insisted Jack.

[Illustration: SNOOZER.]

Just then we passed the railroad station. Jack craned his head out of
the front end of the wagon. Ollie and I did the same. Lying asleep on
the corner of the station platform we saw a dog. He was about the size
of a rather small collie, or, to put it another way, perhaps he was half
as big as the largest-size dog--if dogs were numbered like shoes, from
one to thirteen, this would have been about a No. 7 dog. He was yellow,
with short hair, except that his tail was very bushy. One ear stood up
straight, and the other lopped over, very much wilted. Jack whistled
sharply. The dog tossed up his head, straightened up his lopped ear, let
fall his other ear, and looked at us. Jack whistled again, and the dog
came. He ran around the wagon, barked once or twice, sniffed at the
pony's heels and got kicked at for his familiarity, yelped sharply, and
came and looked up at us, and wagged his bushy tail with a great

"He wants to get in. Give him a boost, Ollie," said Jack.

Ollie clambered over the dash-board and jumped to the ground. He pushed
the dog forward, and he leaped up and scrambled into the wagon, jumped
over on the bed, where he folded his head and tail on his left side,
turned around rapidly three times, and lay down and went to sleep, one
ear up and one ear down.

"He's just the dog for the Rattletrap," said Jack. "We'll call him

"That looks a good deal like stealing to me, Uncle Jack," said Ollie.
"Doesn't he belong to somebody?"

"No," said Jack, "he doesn't belong to anybody but us. He came here a
week ago with a tramp. The tramp deserted him, and rode away on the
trucks of a freight train, but Snoozer didn't like that way of
travelling, because there wasn't any place to sleep, so he staid behind.
Since then he has tried to follow every man in town, but none of them
would have him. He's a regular tramp dog, not good for anything, and
therefore just the dog for us."

Snoozer was the last thing we shipped, and after taking him aboard we
were soon out of the harbor of Prairie Flower, and bearing away across
the plain to the southwest. In twenty minutes we were among the
billowing sunflowers, standing five or six feet high on either side of
the road, which seemed like a narrow crack winding through them. Ollie
reached out and gathered a handful of the drooping yellow blossoms. The
pony was tied behind, carrying her big saddle, and tossing her head
about, and showing that she was very suspicious of the whole
proceedings, and especially of a small flag which Ollie had fastened to
the top of the wagon-cover, and which fluttered in the fresh morning
breeze. Snoozer slept on and never stirred. At last the road came to the
river, and then followed close along beside its bank, which was only a
foot or so high. Ollie was interested in watching the long grass which
grew in the bottom of the stream and was brushed all in one direction by
the sluggish current, like the silky fur of some animal. After a while
we came to a gravelly place which was a ford, and crossed the stream,
stopping to let the horses drink. The water was only a foot deep. As we
came upon the higher ground beyond the river we met the south wind
squarely, and it came in at the front of the cover with a rush. We heard
a sharp flutter behind, and then the wagon gave a shiver and a lurch,
and the horses stopped; then there was another shock and lurch, and it
rolled back a few inches.

"There," exclaimed Jack, "some of those wheels have begun to turn
backwards! I told you!"

I looked back. Our puckering-string had given way, and the rear of the
cover had blown out loosely. This had been more than the pony could
stand, and she had broken her rope and run back a dozen rods, and stood
snorting and looking at the wagon.

[Illustration: THE FIRST ACCIDENT.]

"First accident," I cried. "She'll run home, and we'll have to go back
after her."

"Perhaps we can get around her," said Jack. "We'll try."

We left Ollie to hold the horses, and I went out around among the
sunflowers, while Jack stood behind the wagon with his hat half full of
oats. I got beyond her at last, and drove her slowly toward the wagon.
She snorted and stamped the ground angrily with her forward feet; but at
last she ventured to taste of the oats, and finding more in the feed-box
on the rear of the wagon, she began eating them and forgot her fright.

"I guess we'd better not tie her, but let her follow," said Jack, "As
soon as we have gone a little ways she'll come to think the wagon is
home and stick to it."

"Yes," I said. "I think she is really as great a tramp as Snoozer, and
just the pony for us."

"Are we all tramps?" asked Ollie.

"Well," said Jack, "I'm afraid Grandpa Oldberry thinks we don't lack
much of it. He says varmints will catch us."

"Do you think they will?" went on Ollie, just a little bit anxiously.

"Oh, I guess not," said Jack. "You see, we've got four guns. Then
there's Snoozer."

"But will they try to catch us?"

"Well, I don't know. Grandpa Oldberry says the varmints are awfully
thick this fall."

"But what are varmints?"

"Oh, wolves, and b'ars, and painters, and--"

"What are painters?"

"Grandpa means panthers, I guess. Then there's Injuns, and boss-thieves,

"There's a prairie-chicken," I cried, as one rose up out of the long

"Perhaps we can get one for dinner," said Jack.

He took his gun and went slowly toward where the other had been. Another
whirred away like a shot. Jack fired, but missed it. We started on,
leaving the pony tossing her head and stamping her feet in a great
passion on account of the report of the gun; but when she saw that we
paid no attention to her and were rapidly going out of sight she turned,
after taking a long look back at distant Prairie Flower, and came
trotting along the road, with her stirrups dangling at her sides, and
soon was following close behind.

"We can depend on the life-boat," said Jack.

Before we realized it the chronometer showed that it was almost noon. By
this time we had left the sea of sunflowers and crept over the wrinkle
at the western edge of the valley, and were off across the rolling
prairie itself. Still Snoozer never stirred.

"I wonder when he'll wake up?" said Ollie.

"You'll see him awake enough at dinner-time," said Jack.

"Well, you'll see me awake enough then, too," answered Ollie. "I'm

"We hardy pioneers plunging into the trackless waste of a new and
unexplored country never eat but one meal a day," said Jack. "And that's
always raw meat--b'ar-meat, generally."

"Well," said Ollie, "I don't see any b'ar-meat, or even
prairie-chicken-meat. Why didn't you hit the prairie-chicken, Uncle

"I'm not used to shooting at such small game," answered Jack, solemnly.
"My kind of game is b'ar--b'ar and other varmints."

Just then we passed a house, and down a little way from it, close to the
road, was a well.

"Here's a good place to have dinner," said Jack; so we drove out by the
side of the road and stopped.

"If I'm to be cook," said Jack to me, "then you've got to take care of
the horses and do all the outside work. I'll be cook; you'll be rancher.
That's what we'll call you--rancher. Rancher, feed the horses and look
out for hoss-thieves and sich like cut-throats."

I unhitched the horses, tied them behind the wagon, and gave them some
oats and corn in the feed-box. The pony I fed in the big tin pail near
by. The grass beside the road was so dry, and it was so windy, that we
decided that it was not safe to build a fire out-doors, so Jack cooked
pancakes over the oil-stove inside. These with some cold meat he handed
out to Ollie and me as we sat on the wagon-tongue, while he sat on the
dash-board. We were half-way through dinner when we heard a peculiar
whine, followed by a low bark, in the wagon, and then Snoozer leaped
out, stretched himself, and began to wag his tail so fast that it looked
exactly like a whirling feather duster. We fed him on pancakes, and he
ate so many that if Jack had not fried some more we'd have certainly
gone hungry.

"I told you he was a true tramp," said Jack. "Just see his appetite."

After we had finished, and the horses had grazed about on the dry grass
some time, we started on. We hoped to reach a little lake which we saw
marked on the map, called Lake Lookout, for the night camp; so we
hurried along, it being a good distance ahead. All the afternoon we were
passing between either great fields where the wheat had been cut,
leaving the stubble, or beside long stretches of prairie. There were a
few houses, many of them built of sod. Not much happened during the
afternoon. Ollie followed the example of Snoozer, and curled up on the
bed and had a long nap. We saw a few prairie-chickens, but did not try
to shoot any of them. The pony trotted contentedly behind. Just before
night I rode her ahead looking for the lake. I found it to be a small
one, perhaps a half-mile wide, scarcely below the level of the prairie,
and generally with marshy shores, though on one side the beach was sandy
and stony, with a few stunted cottonwood-trees, and here I decided we
would camp. I went back and guided the Rattletrap to the spot. Soon Jack
had a roaring fire going from the dry wood which Ollie had collected. I
fed the horses and turned them loose, and they began eagerly on the
green grass which grew on the damp soil near the lake. The pony I
picketed with a long rope and a strap around one of her forward ankles,
between her hoof and fetlock, as we scarcely felt like trusting her all
night. Snoozer got up for his supper, and after that stretched himself
by the fire and blinked at it sleepily. The rest of us did much the
same. After a while Ollie said:

"I think that bed in the wagon looks pretty narrow for two. How are
three going to sleep in it?"

"I don't think three are going to sleep in it," said Jack.

"Where are you going to sleep, then, Uncle Jack?"

Jack laughed. "I think," he said, "that the rancher and the cook will
sleep in the wagon and let you sleep under the wagon. Nothing makes a
boy grow like sleeping rolled up in a blanket under a wagon. You'll be
six inches taller if you do it every night till we get back."

"Well, I don't think so," said Ollie, just a little alarmed at the
prospect. "I'd prefer to sleep in the wagon. Maybe what Grandpa Oldberry
said about wild animals is so. You say you like to shoot 'em, so you
stay outside and do it--I don't."

At last it was arranged that Ollie and I should sleep inside and Jack
under the wagon. We were surprised to find how early we were ready for
bed. The long ride and the fresh air had given us an appetite for sleep.
So we soon turned in, the dog staying outside with Jack.

"Good-night, Uncle Jack," called Ollie, as we put out the lantern and
covered up in the narrow bed. "Look out for painters."

[Illustration: "WHAT'S THAT NOISE?"]

I was almost asleep when Ollie shook me, and whispered, "What's that

I listened, and heard a regular, hollow, booming sound, something like
the very distant discharge of cannon.

"It's the horses walking on the ground--always sounds that way in the
night," I answered.

Again I was almost asleep when Ollie took hold of my arm, and said,
"What's that?"

I once more listened, and recognized a peculiar creaking noise as that
made by the horses cropping off the grass. I explained to Ollie, and
then dropped off sound asleep. I don't know how long it was, but after
some time I was again roused up by a nervous shake.

"Listen to _that_," whispered Ollie. "What can it be?"

I sat up cautiously and listened. It was a strange, rattling, unearthly
sound which I could not account for any better than Ollie.

"It's a bear," he whispered. "I heard them make that noise at the park
back home."

I was puzzled, and concluded that it must be some wild animal. I took
down one of the guns, crept softly to the front end of the wagon, raised
the flap, and looked out. The wind was still, and the night air met my
face with a cool, damp feeling. The moon had just risen and the lake was
like silver. I could see the horses lying asleep like dark mounds. But
the mysterious noise kept up, and even grew louder. I grasped the gun
firmly, and let myself cautiously out of the front end of the wagon.
Then I climbed back in less softly and hung up the gun.

"Wh-what is it?" asked Ollie, in a faint whisper.

"It's your eloquent uncle Jack snoring," I said. "He's one of Grandpa
Oldberry's sim'lar varmints."





It seemed to George that he had not been in bed an hour before he heard,
in the gray glimmer of dawn, Billy's voice crying:

"Chris'mus, Marse George, Chris'mus! an' jes listen to dem niggers
singin' under de winder!" Although a sound sleeper, George always waked
quickly, and in an instant he recognized the Christmas melody that
floated upward from the ground outside. A dozen or so of the field hands
were marching around the house just as the first faint grayness of the
Christmas day appeared, and singing, in their rich, sweet, untrained
voices, a song with the merry refrain,

  "White folks, black folks, Chris'mus am heah,
  An' Chris'mus comes but oncet a year,
        An' dis is Chris'mus mawnin'!"

Sounds showed that the house was stirring. Laurence Washington, as the
master, had to dress and go down stairs to give the singers the treat
they expected. Betty got up and dressed herself at the first sound, and,
tapping at George's door, called softly, "Merry Christmas, George!"
Nobody could sleep much after that, and soon after sunrise everybody was
up, and "Merry Christmas" resounded through the whole house. The negroes
were most vociferous, as this was their favorite holiday, and no work,
except the feeding of the stock and the cutting of wood, was to be done
for several days--that is, as long as the backlog on the Christmas fire
remained unconsumed. The putting of this log on the fire was an annual
ceremony, that George thought most amusing. The English officers thought
so too, and watched it with the greatest interest. Before breakfast was
served, when all the guests were assembled in the hall, Uncle Manuel,
the butler, who was very tall and very black, and who wore, on great
occasions, a pair of scarlet satin knee-breeches that had once belonged
to Laurence Washington, appeared, and announced, with a condescending
smile, that "de boys" had come with the backlog.

Amid much grinning and shoving and jostling and chuckling four stalwart
negro men walked in the house carrying a huge log, which was placed at
the back of the great fireplace, upon the tall iron fire-dogs. It was of
unseasoned black gum, a wood hard to burn at all times, and this
particular log had been well soaked in a neighboring swamp. It was the
privilege of the negroes to select the backlog, and although the masters
and mistresses knew perfectly well that everything was done to make it
as noncombustible as possible, the plantation joke was to pretend that
it was as dry as a bone and would burn like tinder.

"We fotch you a mighty fine backlorg dis time, mistis," grinned the head
man. "Hit gwi' bu'n same like light-wood." At which Mrs. Washington
looked grave, as she was expected to look, while a general guffaw went
around among the negroes.

"I spect we ain' gwi' to have no holiday 'tall ef we has to go ter wuk
as soon as dis heah lorg b'un up," chuckled another.

"'Tain' gwi' lars' mo'en fer Christmas day!" chorussed the others
standing near by.

"I think I saw a black-gum log soaking in the swamp a few days ago,"
said Laurence, smiling at the grinning faces before him: but there was a
chorus immediately:

"Naw, suh; dis lorg ain' never had a drap o' water on it, an' we-all's
been dryin' it fer a whole mont'." The log was then steaming like a
tea-kettle, and the negroes yah-yahed with delight at the ready
acceptance of their _ruse_.

"Very well, then," cried Laurence Washington; "you can all have holiday
until this log is burned out, and if I am not mistaken it will last the
week through!"

Immediately after breakfast horses were brought out, and the great
coach, and several gigs and chaises, to take a party to old Pohick
Church. There was to be a service, however, on the _Bellona_, and the
"church flag" was flying from her peak. Admiral Vernon invited George to
go with him on board the ship. They went to the landing, where the
captain's gig awaited them. On board the _Bellona_ everything was as
clean as hands could make it, the ship was dressed, and the men, being
excused from work that day, were in their Sunday clothes and prepared
for their holiday.

The service, performed by the chaplain, was held upon the gun-deck. Four
hundred sailors, in spotless clothing, and each with a sprig of
mistletoe in his glazed hat, were assembled, seated on capstan-bars,
which made improvised benches. In front of them their officers were
assembled, the captain at their head, while in front of the officers
were the Admiral and his guests. Never had George seen a more beautiful
and reverent service. The sailors were reminded of their homes in green
England, far away, and every heart was softened by the recollection. The
officers needed no reminder of their families and friends at home, and
all felt drawn together in sympathy at their common separation from
those dearest to them.

After the service the Admiral took George over the ship, showing him all
the beauty and strength of her. The boy gazed with wonder and delight at
her trim yards, her immaculate decks, and at the rows of menacing guns
in her batteries. Until then he had strongly inclined to the army, but
in the first flush of his new enthusiasm he longed to be a naval
officer. There were several midshipmen of his own age on board, to whom
the Admiral introduced him, and George yearned, boy fashion, to wear a
smart uniform like theirs, and to carry a midshipman's dirk. He said
little; his enthusiasms were all of that silent kind which burn the more
furiously because their blaze is concealed. But the moment he reached
the house, after leaving the ship, he went straight to his brother
Laurence's study, and marched in with this bold announcement,

"Brother Laurence, I want to serve in the King's navy."

Laurence looked up smiling at George's earnest face, in which a fixed
purpose was plainly seen.

"I should have preferred the army for you," responded Laurence. "But if
a youngster _will_ serve in the King's navy, in the King's navy he must

"And will you get me my warrant?" eagerly asked George.

"The fact is," cautioned Laurence, "I have a midshipman's warrant
offered me for you at this very time. Admiral Vernon has the privilege
of nominating a midshipman on the _Bellona_, and some days ago, in
speaking of your arrival, he asked me, as my old friend, if it would be
agreeable to my family to appoint you in his Majesty's naval service. I
told him I had not yet consulted with Madam Washington, but I had no
doubt whatever that it would be highly agreeable to her, and the Admiral
assured me that it would be at my service at any time."

George stood perfectly breathless with surprise. His first thought was
that surely he was the most fortunate boy in the world. At that moment
there was a knock at the door and Admiral Vernon entered.

"Ah, Admiral!" cried Laurence, "you see before you a very happy lad. He
is overjoyed at the notion of entering the naval service."

"It would be a thousand pities to lose so fine a fellow from the King's
navy," said the Admiral, smiling. George wished to thank him, but when
he tried to speak he felt a choking sensation, albeit he was so happy.
It was so exactly what he wanted at that very time; and how few there
are who get what they want before the wish for it has departed!


All the rest of that day George felt as if he were walking on air. He
made plans for his whole life ahead, and already saw himself an admiral.
He thought it would not be right to speak of this beautiful plan for him
to any one until his mother knew it, and so he would give no hint to
Betty, or even tell it, as he longed to do, to Billy. But when in his
room in the afternoon, before the Christmas dinner, Rattler jumped upon
him and licked his hands, George could not forbear whispering to him,
"Good dog, your master will soon be a midshipman!" He had gone to his
room to carry out his intention of reading every day something out of a
useful book; but his heart was too full to read, and his book lay
unopened while he sat before the fire in a happy dream, slowly passing
Rattler's silky ears through his hand. From his chair he could see
through his window the handsome frigate lying motionless in the stream.
Some of the men were dancing on the fok'sle to the sound of a fiddle and
tambour played by two of the crew. In George's eyes, infatuated as he
was with the navy, she was the stateliest beauty of a ship he had ever
seen, and he thought every man on her must be altogether happy.

At five o'clock there was a grand Christmas dinner. The ladies wore
their gayest gowns, the officers were in full uniform, and the other
gentlemen present were in all the splendor of velvet coats and breeches
and ruffled shirts. There was much laughter and many toasts, and at the
end of the dinner Uncle Manuel, gorgeous in his scarlet silk breeches,
entered, bearing aloft, on a huge platter, a plum-pudding blazing with
blue flumes, and with sprigs of mistletoe stuck in it. Afterwards, in
the hall, came off the ceremony of placing the branch of mistletoe on
the lantern that hung from the ceiling. Then there was great jollity and
a merry scramble, for, according to the hearty custom of the time, any
lady caught under the mistletoe could be kissed by any gentleman who
caught her. George and William Fairfax secretly longed to act the
mannish part and join in the sport, but both felt quite overcome with
bashfulness at the idea, and only watched the gay doings from afar. Not
so Betty, who quite assumed the young lady, and who not only treated
William Fairfax as if he had been an infant, but gave herself lofty airs
towards George, whom she had heretofore regarded with the greatest
respect. Then, soon after dark, the coaches of the neighboring gentry
drove up with the guests. In the hall the negro fiddlers were in great
force, and sawed the air from eight o'clock in the evening until
daylight next morning. Besides the minuet and rigadoon there were jigs
and reels, and at last everybody, young and old, danced Sir Roger de
Coverley, while the candles sputtered in their sockets and the chickens
crowed outside. George danced all night with the greatest enjoyment, not
finding any difficulty in obtaining partners, all of the ladies being
willing to dance with so handsome a stripling. Among the guests who came
from a distance was a remarkably pretty young girl of about George's
age, Miss Martha Dandridge. With her George danced Sir Roger de
Coverley, going down the middle swinging partners, and making the grand
march to the music of the crashing fiddles and dancing feet. When at
last it was over, and in the gray dawn the coaches and chaises rattled
off, and the ball was over, George thought it was the finest ball he had
ever seen in his life.

For a week gayety and jollity prevailed at Mount Vernon. There were
fox-hunts, when the huntsmen assembled by daybreak, and the winding of
the horns, and the hounds with tongues tuned like bells, echoed across
the river and among the hills; and after a day's hard riding there would
be a jolly dinner and dancing afterwards. Then there was a great party
aboard of the _Bellona_, where the decorations were all of flags and
warlike emblems. George's enthusiasm for the navy did not decrease in
the least, but rather gained by being in company with so many officers,
and feeling obliged to keep his delightful secret of a promised
commission to himself. He became friends with the midshipmen, and in his
heart he enjoyed more his visits to the cockpit, with all its
discomforts, than the luxury of the Admiral's cabin and the comfort of
the ward-room. He was never weary of listening to the officers telling
of their adventures; and his expressive young face, with the blood
coming and going like a girl's, showed his overpowering interest in what
he heard. No real doubt of his mother's consent entered his mind; and if
the thought occasionally crossed him that her consent must be asked and
might not be given, he dismissed it, as all young and ardent natures
dismiss unpleasant possibilities.

Among the quieter pleasures which he had at this time was that of making
friends with little Mildred, the two-year-old daughter to which his
brother and sister were so devoted. They had lost three other children;
and in a time of the utmost sadness after their deaths, when Laurence
Washington realized his own delicate constitution, and the chances that
none of his children might live, he had made his will, giving Mount
Vernon and all he had, if he should leave no children, to George. But
this little one bade fair to grow up into a healthy and happy child.

Betty, who was by nature a little mother, was never more at home than
when she had charge of the child, and could take as good care of her as
any grown person. George, on the contrary, although his heart went out
to the little girl, regarded her as a piece of china that might be
broken by touching her. But Mildred took a violent fancy to him, and was
never so happy as when carried about in his strong young arms, or
sitting on his knee while he made rabbits out of his handkerchief and
pictures out of the shadows on the wall, and was ready to do anything
and to give her anything that would amuse her. He had never been thrown
with a child of that age before, and regarded every instance of her baby
cleverness as the most extraordinary thing in the world, to the
amusement of his brother and sister.

The year before George had found William Fairfax a delightful boyish
companion, but this year, with his new experiences, and the company of
the young officers on the _Bellona_, George unconsciously neglected him.
But William, who had a sweet and forgiving nature, showed no ill-humor
over it, and said to himself: "Never mind; when the ship goes away, and
all the visitors, George will again find me good company."

And such was the case. On the morning that the _Bellona_ loosed her
topsail, as a sign that she was about to trip her anchor, George felt
utterly forlorn. He wondered how he should get through the time until he
could go to Ferry Farm, and, securing his mother's consent, join the
ship before she sailed from the Chesapeake. So eager was he that
Laurence, in the goodness of his heart, had ordered, at his own expense,
George's uniforms to be made in Alexandria, and he was given his
side-arms from the stores on board the _Bellona_. George in fancy
already saw himself Midshipman Washington. Admiral Vernon, on parting,
had said some kind words to him which sank deep in his heart. "I shall
look forward with pleasure to your joining, Mr. Washington," he said.
"It is just such youngsters as you that we want in the navy."

On a bleak January day the _Bellona_ went out. George watched from the
shore as long as he could see her, and sighed as he turned back to the
house. On his way back he was joined by William Fairfax.

"George," said William, diffidently, "I am afraid we are not as good
friends as we were last year."

"Why?" asked George, in surprise. He had almost forgotten William's
existence in the last few busy and exciting days, and he had felt so
immeasurably older than he that companionship seemed out of the

"Because you do not seem to care for me any longer."

George stopped, and his heart and his conscience smote him. William was
his sister's cousin and his brother's guest, and he had been neglected
by both George and Betty; for Betty had grown about ten years, in her
own estimation, since dancing with officers and being allowed to come to
the first table. George thought this rather ridiculous of Betty; but was
it not equally ridiculous of him to lord it over William, as if there
were twenty years between them?

"I see how it is, William," said George, after a pause. "I dare say I
have often made a fool of myself in this last week, talking to men as if
I were their equal, and to boys of my own age as if I were a man. But,
although you may laugh at me, I do feel a great deal older in the last
two months--I suppose because I have been with men like Lord Fairfax and
Lance, and then Admiral Vernon and his officers. But if you will be
friends again with me I will promise not to treat you as I have done,
and I acknowledge it was not very gentlemanly of me."

The house seemed strangely quiet after all the company had left, and
there were no more routs and balls and romping and hunting. Snow had
fallen, and George and Betty were waiting for good weather before
attempting the journey back to Ferry Farm. George spoke to Betty about
William, acknowledging that he had been as much to blame as she; and
Betty, being of a generous nature, felt ashamed of herself, with the
result that William enjoyed the latter part of the time much more than
the first. But he was destined to have one more clash with George before
their friendship became so firmly cemented that it lasted during the
whole of their lives.



  They gave him a chest full of wonderful tools when he got to be six
      years old,
  And he made up his mind to go forth in the world and become a carpenter
  "I've gimlets and saws, and hammers and nails, I've jack-planes and
      awls," said he;
  "I've rulers and screws. How can I refuse a carpenter-man for to be?

  "The first thing to learn is to hammer a nail." And he got out his
      hammer and tacks,
  And he hammered, and hammered, and hammered away till he'd used up a
      half-dozen packs.
  He nailed up the doors, and he nailed down the floors, and he nailed
      'em again and again,
  And he made no mistake till he hammered a tack through the nursery

  Then he took up his saw, and he tried its teeth. "I must now learn to
      saw," he said;
  And he sawed in two some bureau drawers, and he sawed off the legs of
      his bed.
  And he sawed on the lock of the nursery door till the teeth of the tool
      grew rough,
  And then he sat down and remarked to himself, "Well, I guess I have
      sawn enough.

  "I will now try the awl and the gimlet too, and learn what different
  Of holes they make--for they're not alike"--and he bored on the outside
  He bored six holes in the shutter slats, and then made a change again,
  And tried his luck on the bureau top with the beautiful two-inch plane.

  And then, poor boy! some one came in, and oh, what a fuss was raised!
  They spanked that boy for trying to learn when he thought he'd be
      surely praised;
  And his father was mad and his mother was mad, and even his sister
  Because he'd taken her desk apart to see what there was inside;

  And the baby, too, was as wrathy as they, because for a little while
  He'd used the ruler to find how wide was the dear little fellow's
  And that's why Bob--the poor little chap!--has changed every future
  And is going to be a policeman bold instead of a carpenter-man.



The C. and V. Railroad half encircles Riverdale on the south and west
sides. For the most part it runs along a narrow shelf on the
mountain-side many feet above the village, but toward the southwest is
the valley of the little Jewell River, and this is crossed by a long,
narrow embankment and a high bridge, where the track curves sharply

A few years ago an important part of the traffic over this line
consisted of long trains from the far West loaded entirely with hogs.
"Earle's excursions," the boys called them, in allusion to the famous
pork-packer to whom they were consigned. One afternoon--it was in
midsummer--a train of thirty-eight cars and a caboose started from the
summit, five miles above Riverdale. The grade is very steep, and the
train soon attained a terrific speed as it thundered down the mountain.

No one can tell the cause of the accident, but just as the train struck
the embankment at Riverdale it doubled up in the middle like a startled
snake, and five cars were forced out of the train and went down the
embankment, carrying rails, sleepers, and a foot or two of the road-bed.
Fortunately none of the trainmen was on these cars, so no one was
injured. But as the cars went crashing down they broke in pieces like
kindling-wood. Many hogs were killed and injured, but it is certain that
about four hundred large, able-bodied, hungry, half-crazy hogs were let
loose upon the outskirts of the lovely village of Riverdale.


Without a moment's hesitation the invaders began their work of
destruction. Near the foot of the embankment was the cozy parsonage, and
the Rev. Mark Sanders was at work in his garden when the accident
occurred. Startled by the crash, he stood staring at the splintering
cars until one of them brought up almost against his garden fence, and a
dozen screeching hogs were trying to squeeze through the gate together.
Then he struck out valiantly with his sharp hoe, and thought he drove
all back, and locked the gate. But when he turned about, three hungry
hogs were feasting on his early potatoes, and they led him such a chase
that he heartily wished that every hog in the world had been in that
herd which in ancient times ran violently down a steep place into the
sea and were choked.

Meanwhile the main body of the army moved toward the centre of the
village, sending out foraging excursions to every garden and lawn,
unmindful of shrill threats or fluttering aprons. On the bank of the
Jewell River stood a little photograph saloon, and there Miss Sally
Graham, for twenty years the village dressmaker, was having her picture
taken. It was a critical moment. The photographer's head was underneath
the green cloth behind the camera.

"Please turn your head just a trifle toward the left, and look a little
more cheerful, Miss Graham," said the artist.

Miss Sally turned her head so that she looked toward the open door. She
was just saying "besom" for the last time when two large hogs, one of
them as black as Erebus, scrambled into the room and came directly
toward her.

"Oh, horrors!" shrieked Miss Sally, jumping up and whirling wildly about
in search of a way of escape. She rushed into the dark room and slammed
the door, overturning a bottle of some malodorous compound. There she
stood amid the horrible smells till, after much squealing, shouting, and
crashing of glass, the artist bade her come forth again.

By this time the hogs began to arrive at the centre of the village.
Those who saw them coming were first amused, and then amazed, and then
alarmed. Several of them climbed up four steps to the piazza of
Boynton's fruit-store, and began to eat a bunch of bananas and other
fruit exposed for sale. Oscar Boynton's wrath was great, his arm was
mighty, and his weapon was an iron poker; but all these produced no
effect whatever until he hooked the end of the poker into the nostrils
of the hogs, and so persuaded them to turn aside.

The situation was in truth growing serious. The hogs began to collect in
large numbers on Main Street. They drove the people into the houses,
especially where the men were not at home. They spread across Depot
Street until they came to Prospect Street. This was known as "Ladies'
Row," because so many spinsters and widows lived there. It was the
street of flower gardens, and all summer long it was a glorious rivalry
of violets, pansies, daisies, roses, asters, and every sweet and
beautiful blossom. Into this paradise the hogs entered, and began to
root up and destroy.

Toward the lower part of Main Street stood the grocery-store of Mr.
Heman Hemenway, Chairman of the Board of Village Trustees. Trade being
very dull, Mr. Hemenway sat dozing behind the counter dreaming of better

Suddenly quick footsteps tapped along the knotty floor. Mr. Hemenway
sprang up and put on the expectant smile with which he greeted every


It was Miss Placentia Hannum, of Ladies' Row, who stood before him. Her
face was flushed, her dark eyes blazed with indignation, and her voice
was pitched on a very high note as she exclaimed, "Mr. Hemenway! aren't
you going to do _anything_?"

"Do--do--anything? What--?" stammered the chairman of the trustees.

"Don't you know?" cried Miss Placentia, with an eloquent gesture of
disdain. "A whole train of hogs has run off the embankment, and they are
just pouring into the village, thousands and thousands of them, and now
they are on our street tearing up my beautiful flowers."

Mr. Hemenway was a man who intended to do his duty, and he went out to
the street at once. He was met by a deputation of hogs of such numbers
that he believed that Miss Hannum's statement was literally true. He
also began to feel that here was a condition of things not provided for
in his _Manual for Village Officers_. He saw the hogs swarming down the
street. He saw the people retreating into their houses after disastrous
conflict with the enemy. Yet he kept bravely on up the street as far as
the hay-scales, and there he met his fate.

Two hogs saw Mr. Hemenway approaching, and they immediately gave him
their entire attention. They were the humorists of the herd, and they
played with Mr. Hemenway. When he went toward the right, they gently
swayed in the same direction. He went toward the left, and they imitated
him, smiling very widely. He stopped, and the hogs stood patiently
before him.

"Whey!" cried Mr. Hemenway, waving his hand.


Apparently the hogs were startled by so harsh a word, and they fell back
a few paces. Then they darted forward so suddenly that Mr. Hemenway
nearly fell over his own heels, and when he recovered himself he stood
with his feet far apart. This was an opportunity not to be lost. One hog
ran between Mr. Hemenway's feet and upset him. He came down just in time
to take a short ride on the back of the other, and then rolled off into
the street. It seemed to him that a hundred hogs gathered around him in
a moment. With the energy of despair he sprang to his feet, ran hatless
up the steps of the harness-shop, and mounted the very lifelike wooden
horse which the harness-maker kept there as a sign.

Across the street a door was cautiously opened, and the head and
shoulders of Gran'sir Pease appeared.


"Heman!" he cried, in a shrill, quavering voice, "go 'n' git the ol'
Fo'th o' July cahnern and shewt 'em. It used to be 'round thar under
Simon Hyle's shed." But this did not seem to Hemenway a feasible plan,
especially as he knew that the "cahnern" had been at the bottom of the
mill-pond for three years.

A horse came rattling down the hill and across the mill bridge near the
harness-shop. It was driven by Norris Wood, who had been out among the
farms buying cattle for his meat market. He drove up to the harness-shop
and hitched his horse. Three or four hogs stood in the way, but it
seemed a very easy thing for Norris to set his great boots against them
and send them sprawling along the ground. He looked so big and strong
that Mr. Hemenway dismounted from the wooden horse.

"Well, Heman, what have you got here?" said Norris, widening his bushy
whiskers with a beaming smile.

"Norris," said Mr. Hemenway, solemnly, "the village is overrun with hogs
from a wrecked train, and I rely on you to drive 'em out. I give you
full authority to do or take anything you want to."

"They've got pretty well started," said Norris, "but if I had a few good
helpers I guess we could master them. Hi!" he continued, "here come the
academy boys."

There were about twenty of them coming across the mill bridge. They were
Riverdale Academy boys just out of school. They were on the
double-quick, for they had seen the hogs, and felt sure there was fun

"'Arma virumque cano!' Come here, every one of you!" cried Norris, who
was an old academy boy himself.

The boys immediately gathered around him, some of them, and Harry Burton
in particular, inventing a great terror of the sniffing hogs.

"Norris! Oh, Norris!" he cried, "protect us from these wild beasts of
the desert. Let me ride in safety upon your broad shoulders," and he
made as if he would suit the action to the word.

"Quit your fooling," said Norris, sternly. "I want volunteers to drive
these hogs out of the village. Every one who is willing to help, step

With a hilarious cheer the whole company stepped forward.

"Now," said Norris, "you see that pile of wood by the hay-scales? Every
one of you go and get a stick."

In less than a minute every boy was armed with a stout cudgel and
waiting for further orders.

Norris quickly scanned the crowd. "Julian Ross," he said, "you take six
boys and stay here. Don't let a single hog get by you up the hill. Harry
Burton, you take seven with you down to the bridge. Don't you let a hog
pass over it into the lower village."

Julian and Harry selected their followers. "Friends, Romans,
countrymen," cried Harry, "follow me!

  "'Still is the story told
  How well Horatius kept the bridge
  In the brave days of old.'"

And they went down the street on the double-quick.

"All the rest of you come with me to Prospect Street," commanded Norris.

They arrived at the scene of destruction none too soon. As they ran down
the street they were greeted with tearful pleadings by the ladies to
save their gardens from utter ruin.

At length they outran the hogs and faced around to drive them back. The
boys formed a line across the road, and beat them unmercifully with
their cudgels. "Hit 'em on the snout every time," said Norris.


And now began a high and piercing symphony which mingled and harmonized
with a blood-curdling melody from Main Street. Norris, like the great
Cæsar, was everywhere at one time. His methods were very interesting. He
had persuasive powers with his big boots which caused a hog to point to
the sky with four feet at a time. He was very dexterous in seizing a hog
by a hind-leg and casting it out of a flower-bed into the road. And just
as an enormous hog was about to root up Miss Placentia Hannum's
rose-bush, Norris calmly took the animal by the ear, and led it
squealing to the street.

At last the hogs were beaten back and driven across to Main Street.
There they mingled with the others slowly retreating before Julian Ross
and Harry Burton and their followers. The boys were nearly exhausted,
but Harry encouraged them by shouting, "Charge, Chester, charge! On,
Stanley on!" and like historic exhortations.

The hogs were now all brought together, filling the street in a solid
mass. And there they stuck in spite of every effort to induce them to
move on. Gran'sir Pease advised Norris to "slarter 'em" where they
stood. It was time for a stroke of Napoleonic genius or the day would be

Norris unhitched his horse and jumped into the wagon. "Boys!" he cried,
"hold 'em right where they are till you see me again. Go on, Bill." And
he galloped away up Depot Street, and disappeared under the small
railroad bridge.


Ten long minutes the boys waited and shouted and fought the obstinate
hogs. Then Norris was seen coming far up Main Street. He drove down to
the hogs and turned his cart around. In the wagon was a box, and out of
it Norris shovelled some yellow stuff into the road. The hogs nearest to
him saw, smelled, hustled, and gobbled. In an instant others followed,
pushing and upsetting each other. Norris drove on and cast out more
meal, and in a minute the whole rushing, squirming, squealing herd
glided away like the mill-pond when the dam broke. They followed the
trail of corn meal up the street, and in a short time they were all
safely enclosed in Norris's cattle-yard.

Then the boys carried their sticks right shoulder shift, and came down
the street singing, "When Johnny comes marching home again."


Broiled trout washed down with an ice-cold draught of spring water is
not the worst supper in the world, and when you are out in the woods
cozily perched on a log near a roaring camp-fire of crackling birch,
with a ravenous appetite, it tastes as good as a dinner served at the
Waldorf in New York. But your trout must be cooked by Bill to be
enjoyed, for Bill owns no superior in that line. Bill is a hunter, not
for market, but a sportsman for sport, and his delight is to guide some
gentleman through the forests of Maine, or, as he terms it, his

One fall he and I started up in the Moose-head Lake region, and slowly
worked down over the trails, until one evening we found ourselves near
the head of the Cupsuptic River, on the Rangeleys. We had fairly good
sport on our way, bagging more or less game, with many a long and weary
chase on a deer trail. When we struck the river it was too late to make
for a large camp that lay some eleven miles below on the lake, so we put
up a lean-to, and went into quarters for the night. Bill got out the
lines, and in a short while he had some fine trout broiling, so that
though all our provisions were exhausted, we had made a fine supper of
the trout.

After supper we lighted our pipes, and throwing an extra log or two on
the fire, we lounged around, recalling different adventures. It was but
a short time before Bill got off on to some of his own experiences, and
it was then that I relapsed into silence, and puffed my pipe with that
peaceful enjoyment that comes to a lover of nature and sport. I lay
admiring his magnificent physique, my admiration doubled by the
knowledge of the wonderful strength that lay in his powerful muscles.

"Well, boy," said Bill at last, with a yawn, "it's gettin' kind er cold;
seems to me it's er bit more than frosty. Had to crack ice down on the
stream to ketch them trout. Guess it'll freeze tight by to-morrow, and
with a little fall of snow we might sight a buck's tracks 'tween here
and the camp below. I rather think we'd better turn in now. Wrap
yourself good or you'll be stiff in the mornin'."

Raking the ashes into the fire, and banking it a little with some damp
logs, we rolled up in our blankets and went to sleep.

I do not know what time it was, but it seemed to me I had no more than
closed my eyes when I was suddenly awakened by the sounds of a fierce
struggle, with a great amount of low choking, growling, and subdued
muttering. I sprang up, forgetting my blanket, which tripped me, and
nearly pitched me headlong into the fire. When I finally reached my feet
and saw the cause of the row, I was more than amazed. There was Bill
hugging and being hugged for dear life by a good-sized bear. It was nip
and tuck, and seizing my rifle, I danced around trying to get a shot at
the bear. Bill caught sight of me, and cried out in jerks: "Boy--I'll
never--forgive you if you kill him. It's the first,--chance I've had to
strangle--a bear, and, by gum, I'm er-goin' to strangle--this one!"

I could appreciate that sort of a desire on Bill's part well enough, but
nevertheless it was dangerous work. The bear's claws had already played
havoc with his clothing, and his legs were bleeding in more than one
place. Back and forth they struggled, one of the bear's fore-paws around
Bill's neck and the other around his waist. Bill had the bear by the
throat with one hand, and with the other held his head away to stop him
from biting.

Suddenly they tripped on the edge of the slope that led in a gentle
descent to the stream below. I jumped forward this time, determined to
put an end to it, but before I could reach them, down they went, rolling
over and over the sloping ground, fighting away like mad, until, with a
crash, they struck the thin ice on the stream and plunged out of sight.
It was a bright moonlight night, and the hole they made in the ice
looked black and ugly. I jumped down the bank, and seeing the roots of
an old tree running out near the spot, I made for it. Bill came up by
this time, and I was hoping that they had separated, but they were
hugging and fighting as hard as ever. I crawled out on the roots and
yelled to Bill to let me settle it.

"If yer tetch him, boy, I'll never forgive yer. I'm not done yet by a
long shot, and I'll down the critter if it takes all night."

When Bill talked that way I know he was game to the finish and his blood
was up, so I ran up the bank and got my rifle, and sitting on a log near
the water, I watched the fun, altogether too serious for fun, I thought.
Their struggles were fearful, and I screamed, and would certainly have
fired at the bear had it not been for the fear of hitting Bill. By this
time they had worked over to the roots, and then I realized what Bill
was up to. He got one arm around them to brace himself, and with the
other clutching the bear's throat, he slowly and by main force pushed
those fearful red gaping jaws away from him. Slowly and with almost
superhuman strength he pushed the head further away until finally he
forced it under water. I could see the claws of the animal's fore-paw
dig into Bill's shoulder. I could see his violent struggles as he strove
to get his head above water, but Bill held him under. It was a frightful
but a grand sight. The moon lit up the scene, and through the steam
rising from the struggling pair Bill's grim-set jaws and determined face
showed the true hunter in the height of his glory.

The fight grew weaker and weaker, and then all was still except the
quick panting of Bill. At last with a deep sigh his chest relaxed, his
hand gave up his prey, and a few bubbles showed where the bear sank.
Slowly Bill made his way to where I was standing, and putting out his
hand, said,

"Thank ye, boy; you had nerve to obey me, and that makes a good hunter."

He was pretty nigh exhausted and badly clawed. While I helped him to
patch up his wounds temporarily I learned that the bear, evidently
attracted by the trout, had sneaked into camp during the night and
stumbled over Bill, who grabbed him. The next morning we fished him out
of the water, and found him a large specimen and a foe well worth
letting alone.




Every patriotic American is proud of our famous White Squadron,
illustrating as it does to all the navies of the world the perfection of
ship-building, motive power, ordnance and _personnel_. Although two or
three other navies have a much longer list of men-of-war in their
registers, there is not a foreign power that can show, class for class,
anything superior in battle-ships, cruisers, and coast-defense vessels
to those which float under "Old Glory," and it is not making a rash
claim when it is asserted that in a competitive exhibition the laurel
wreaths would in all probability be hung upon the mast-heads of the
ships that belong to Uncle Sam.

And yet how weak and lowly in comparison was the birth of our navy!--but
still a navy that even in its infancy humbled almost to degradation the
strength and vanity and hauteur of that of the British, that mistress of
the seas, against which for more than a century the most magnificently
equipped and powerful fleets in Europe had hurled themselves, only to be
beaten back from its "walls of oak," crushed and shattered.

On October 13, 1775, one hundred and twenty-one years ago, or nine
months before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the
representatives from the thirteen colonies authorized the building of
two vessels, one to be armed with 14 guns and the other with 10 guns.
When completed it was designed that these ships should escape through
the English fleets blockading the coast, and then prey upon the commerce
of the enemy. On October 30 Congress ordered the building of two
additional cruisers, one to carry 36 guns and the other 20 guns. These
measures so aroused the patriotic fire and zeal of hundreds of American
seamen whose vessels were locked up in idleness in our seaports, owing
to the embargo, that they petitioned Congress to provide ships and put
them on board, so that they might go out against the enemy's vessels
that tantalizingly kept watch before the approaches to our harbors.
Appreciating the spirit of the petitioners, and realizing that a
possible opportunity was offered them to deal a serious blow to the
supremacy of the English along our line of coast, Congress ordered, on
December 13 (or just two months, to the day, following the first
authorization, for ship construction), the building of thirteen vessels
of war, of which five were to carry 32 guns, five 28 guns, and three 24

Work was immediately commenced on this fleet; but as the builders
demanded six months' time to complete them, Congress passed a law to
purchase and arm suitable merchant-ships for immediate service. It
cannot fail to interest the reader to give the names of the first
vessels of the American navy. Among the many merchant-ships lying idle
in the Eastern and Southern ports the following fourteen were selected
by a committee, and, after being purchased, were armed with the number
of guns set opposite their respective names: Ships--_Alfred_, 24;
_Columbus_, 24. Brigs--_Lexington_, 16; _Cabot_, 16, _Reprisal_, 16;
_Andrea Doria_, 14; _Hampden_, 14; _Providence_, 12. Schooners--_Wasp_,
8; _Fly_, 8. Sloops--_Hornet_, 10; _Independence_, 10; _Sachem_, 10, and
_Mosquito_, 4.

Had the guns with which these vessels were armed been of uniform and
suitable calibre, the odds in favor of the English men-of-war would
still have been enormous; but when it is considered that the batteries
of the ships were made up of every description of ordnance, from the
antiquated Dutch cannon brought over by Peter Stuyvesant, to the
ridiculously small and obsolete saluting-guns that had been preserved as
relics on the public greens in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and other
cities, the wonder grows that with such implements, served by men green
to naval warfare, and mounted within lumbering merchant-ships, the
stateliest frigates of the enemy were again and again beaten and
captured, and the proud white ensign of old England lowered repeatedly
to the flag whose motto was "Don't tread on me!"

The difficulty encountered by Congress in equipping, officering, and
manning the little American fleet in the absence of arsenals and
dock-yards, and when men trained to the service were not obtainable,
finds only one parallel in history, when Alfred the Sailor King fitted
out and conducted a fleet against the Danes one thousand years and more
ago. But if system and order were at first lacking, patriotism
compensated, and the old guns were served by men whose love of liberty
breathed in the shot they hurled against their foes.

On December 22, 1775, Congress appointed Ezekiel Hopkins as commodore
and commander-in-chief of the navy, and the following officers, all
drawn from the merchant marine of the colonies, to serve as captains:
Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle, and J. B. Hopkins.
Leading the list of first lieutenants appointed on the same day, we find
the immortal name of John Paul Jones, and in succession those of Rhodes
Arnold, James Stanbury, Haysted Hacker, and Jonathan Pitcher. Next,
under the head of second lieutenants, the records preserved in the Navy
Department in Washington show the names of Benjamin Seabury, Joseph
Olney, Elisha Warner, Thomas Weaver, and James McDougal, while the three
third lieutenants appointed were John Fanning, Ezekiel Burroughs, and
Daniel Vaughn.

Immediately after assuming command, Commodore Hopkins sailed, with the
_Alfred_ as his flag-ship, for a descent upon the English possession
known as New Providence, and was accompanied to the West Indies by the
_Columbus_, _Cabot_, _Andrea Doria_, _Providence_, _Wasp_, _Fly_, and
_Hornet_. The expedition was successful, and the ships of the little
flying squadron were loaded with captured stores and one hundred cannon,
which latter were afterwards mounted on the American men-of-war under
construction at the time. The commodore returned north, carrying back
with him the English Governor of New Providence, and several other high
officials of that colony. When within view of the Long Island shore
three of the leading American vessels sighted and later on engaged the
English frigate _Glasgow_ and two brigs-of-war. After a spirited contest
the latter surrendered, but the former escaped by a great display of

The entire fleet with its prizes arrived safely at New London on
April-fool day, 1776. This was the first and last naval command that
Commodore Hopkins enjoyed; for, not acting with sufficient energy in
refitting his fleet, Congress dropped him from the naval service.

In June, 1776, a marine corps was established, and Samuel Nichols was
appointed to command it, with the rank of major. The junior officers
consisted of nine captains, ten first and seven second lieutenants.

At the time that the Declaration of Independence was signed the thirteen
vessels ordered to be constructed during the previous year were reported
finished, and Congress assigned officers to them, as well as to other
ships that had been captured from the enemy. The standing of the
American navy when the Liberty Bell in the City of Brotherly Love pealed
out the anthem of the free on July 4, 1776, is shown in the following,
and the numerals attached to the names signify the number of guns with
which they were armed: _Washington_, 32; _Virginia_, 28; _Boston_, 24;
_Warren_, 32; _Trumbull_, 28; _Randolph_, 32; _Raleigh_, 32; _Congress_,
28; _Effingham_, 28; _Delaware_, 24; _Reprisal_, 16; _Montgomery_, 24;
_Lexington_, 16; _Hampden_, 14; _Andrea Doria_, 14; _Providence_, 28;
_Providence_ (2d), 12; _Alfred_, 24; _Cabot_, 14; _Sachem_, 10;
_Independence_, 10, and _Fly_, 8.

To the command of some of these vessels were ordered men who proved
themselves heroes in many a notable encounter, and whose names will
endure as long as this great republic lasts; but the two most prominent
figures in the historical group are those of John Paul Jones, promoted
to the rank of captain for bravery in battle and for services rendered
to his country, and Nicholas Biddle, the brave old sea-lion, who
recognized no odds, but who would engage a vastly superior enemy with
the same readiness and confidence that he laid his vessel alongside of a
sure prize.

A few words concerning four of these vessels will be found not to be
devoid of unusual interest.

The _Reprisal_ audaciously sailed across the Atlantic, being the first
American vessel to visit Europe, and commenced a wild work of capture
and destruction among the British merchant-ships in the Channel, right
under the noses of their great fleets of war. Being joined a little
later on by the _Lexington_, these two vessels, assisted by several
prizes that they had armed, caused such havoc that rates of insurance on
all English vessels were advanced twenty-five per cent. In the year 1778
the _Reprisal_ foundered in a gale, and only the ship's cook was saved.

The _Andrea Doria_ received the first foreign salute ever paid to an
American man-of-war. Upon visiting St. Eustatins, the Dutch Governor
greeted the vessel with a grand salvo from the fort; and this courtesy
proved a very costly one for him, as his nation had not recognized the
United States, and he therefore paid the penalty of his politeness by
being dismissed from his high office.

The _Randolph_, on the night of March 7, 1778, engaged the British
line-of-battle-ship _Yarmouth_, and while the fight was being gallantly
conducted by Captain Biddle against a vastly superior foe, the
_Randolph_, blew up. Out of 310 souls on board only four seamen were
left alive, and these were picked up, four days later clinging to a
piece of the wreck of their old ship.

One other vessel was ordered to be built by Congress during the year
1776, and that was a line-of-battle-ship of 74 guns, the name of which
was to be _America_. This fine vessel was constructed at Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, but was not completed until the end of the Revolutionary
struggle. She was then fitted out and presented, in the name of the
United States, to Louis XVI. of France, as a mark of appreciation and
gratitude by this republic, in whose cause he had so nobly and
generously assisted.

It does not come within the scope of this story to tell of the gallant
actions that took place between our modest vessels and the towering
ships of England, but some measure of the great honors that we fought
for and gained may be appreciated when it is known that American
men-of-war made over 800 prizes at sea during the struggle for




  Do not dream it was only in olden romance
  That the knight and the hero were given their chance.
  Nor think for a moment that history's page
  Will be blank when it tells of our own passing age.
  The deed waits the doer, the hour the man,
  And he is the hero who does what he can.
  Jim Langan was up there at Pittston the week
  When the mine walls gave way. Then with fast-blanching cheek
  To that black-yawning grave's mouth rushed women and men.
  Their dearest were buried there. Sheep in a pen
  Not so helpless, if any yet breathing were kept
  To face death in the dark, as on surely it crept.
  Men stood there, wives sobbed there, naught was there to do,
  Till Langan stepped boldly the huddling crowd through.
  "If the boys are alive, we must reach them. I'll see!
  If I find a path, you can then follow me."
  Over rough rocks and ruins, o'er falling débris,
  He crawled and he pushed, with the blood dripping free
  From torn hands and knees. In the dark, in the dole,
  Jim Langan fought on to the desperate goal.
  Above him the dusky roof shuddered and shook,
  A menace each inch of the black way he took;
  The foul air was stifling, the night wrapped him round
  As he wormed his slow progress deep under the ground.
  The great pillars sagging, his thick gasping breath--
  A strife of the heart against threatening death--
  Jim Langan fought on--there were men pent up there
  In that tomb of the mine shaft, a prey to despair--
  Fought on, and fought back, for the help that must save
  Those poor prisoned men from a horrible grave.
  The red line of valor is still on the earth;
  The true and the fearless we prize at their worth.
  And, lads, never dream that the heroes are gone,
  That they only loomed up in the world's early dawn,
  For Homer to sing, lest the world should forget.
  The valiant man leads us, is king of us yet,
  Redeeming our time from its strife after pelf
  With the sacrifice laid on God's altar--himself.


[Illustration: 1.--FORWARD BREAST STROKE.]

[Illustration: 2.--FLOATING.]

[Illustration: 3.--SCULLING BACKWARDS.]

[Illustration: 4.--SCULLING FORWARDS.]

[Illustration: 5.--OVERHAND STROKE--THE REACH.]

[Illustration: 6.--OVERHAND STROKE--THE START.]

From instantaneous Photographs of Professor Gus Sundstrom, Champion
All-round Swimmer of the United States.

Although it is preferable to have some one to teach you how to swim, it
is not absolutely necessary, and any one who has failed to learn as a
youngster may, by following out the instructions here given, learn how
to swim and float and dive by practising in the water all by himself.

One of the most important things for the beginner to have, of course, is
confidence. He must not fear the water any more than a rider should fear
his horse; on the other hand, he should not be overbold or reckless and
attempt too many risks. The beginner should not go to a stream where
there is a current, or in sea-water where there might be an undertow. He
should choose a lake or a pond or, if at the sea-side, a bay; and he
should stick at first pretty closely to shallow water. Salt water being
so much more buoyant than fresh water, it is much easier to learn how to
swim in the sea; in fact, if a man who has absolutely no knowledge of
swimming will only keep control of his head, and retain his hands
_under_ water, he need never fear of drowning should he fall overboard
into salt water. It is advisable, however, when first attempting to
swim, to have some one on the bank near by who could come to your
assistance should anything happen.

And now for the preliminary steps. First drive a stake into the bottom
of the pond where the water is from three to four feet deep. Then take
hold of the stake with both hands and stretch the body straight out on
the surface of the water, with the back upward, of course. I might just
as well say here as anywhere that the first thing to do when going into
the water is to submerge the entire body, head included. In fact, it is
a very good thing for timid people to go into shallow water and put
their heads under the water and open their eyes, for this very soon
gives them confidence in themselves. The head should always be wet, too,
because otherwise, with all the body under water and only the head in
the sunlight, the blood is apt to rush upwards and eventually cause a

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--DETAIL OF BREAST STROKE.]

To return to the stake. The first motions to be learned are those of the
legs, and they may be divided into three parts. The first motion of the
legs is to draw them up, with the knees bending outward, and the feet
kept as closely together as possible. The second motion is to extend the
feet outward and move the legs backward, and the third motion is to draw
the feet quickly together, extended as far out from the body as
possible. These motions are clearly shown in Fig. 7, and they are also
displayed in illustration No. 1. This photograph was taken while the
arms were going back and the legs were starting to come up.

It will take the novice some time before he can master these motions
absolutely, and unless he is careful he will never master them at all;
and although he will learn to know how to swim, he will not swim
correctly, nor will he be able to get the greatest advantage out of the
labor expended. To acquire this leg motion correctly a beginner should
go through this kicking action twenty or thirty times, counting one,
two, three, as he does so, and keeping his mind all the time on the
theory of the thing. Then he should come out of the water and rest a few
minutes, and then go back again to the stake and go through the
exercises again.

After the leg motion has been thoroughly mastered, the proper use of the
arms must be learned. It is a common fallacy that the beginning of the
stroke in swimming consists of holding the hands in front of the face
palm to palm. This is the wrong way. The hands should be held flat out,
thumb knuckle to thumb knuckle and forefinger to forefinger, under the
chin and almost touching the breast (see Fig. 7.). As soon as the stroke
is begun the palms should be turned a little outward so as to assist in
moving the body forward. The hands should not be separated to any great
extent until they have been pushed out almost to arm's length, and when
they are brought backwards in the stroke they should not be allowed to
pass much behind the line of the shoulders.

A good way to learn the arm stroke is to kneel in shallow water, or to
lie across a plank in the water, and practise it. The most difficult
part of the early stages of swimming is to learn how to combine the
stroke of the arms with the stroke of the legs. It is absolutely
necessary that the arms and legs should work in harmony, and therefore
the following rules should be strictly observed:

1. When the hands are being thrust out forward, the legs should be
coming together, as in the third part of the leg motion described above.

2. When the arms are straight out in front the legs should be straight
out behind.

3. When the arms are passing back in the act of performing the stroke,
the legs are being drawn up.

The beginner should not try to swim any long distance at first. As soon
as he finds that he can keep his body floating easily on the water by
means of the strokes he has learned, he should aim to perfect his form
rather than aim to cover long distances. The stroke which has just been
described is technically called the forward breast stroke, and although
there are a great many other kinds of strokes in swimming, this is the
easiest of all strokes to learn, and the one that is most generally
used, except, perhaps, for racing.

One of the most common of the fancy strokes is the overhand stroke. This
is performed by placing the body on the right side, with the legs held
out behind perfectly straight. One leg is then brought up in front and
the other is lifted up behind, and the next motion is to bring them
together with a swift, scissorlike motion, exerting as much force as
possible. In the mean time the right hand is moved out in front and
brought down through the water as far as the left thigh, while the left
hand passes out of the water from the rear forward, and is drawn back
similarly through the water, thus pulling the body ahead, just as one
might pull one's self along by means of a rope. The start and finish of
the arm-work in this stroke are well shown in illustrations Nos. 5 and
6. It is a stroke which requires considerable practice.

But perhaps before trying to learn fancy strokes, it might be well for
the beginner to learn how to float. It is, of course, much easier to
float in salt water than in fresh water, and it is therefore advisable
when possible to learn in sea-water. The method is simple, and any one
who has perfect confidence in himself ought to be able to float the
first time he tries. The first thing to do is to fill the lungs well,
and then cut off the air at the curve of the larynx instead of up in the
nostrils. This is done by holding the muscles of the throat as they are
when performing the act of swallowing. This keeps the bulk of the air in
the lungs, and consequently under water; any air held in the mouth does
not give buoyancy to the body.

Fat people, of course, float much more easily than thin people, just the
same as a piece of fat will float on the water, whereas a piece of lean
meat will in all probability sink. In the same way men with greater
lung-power will float more easily than others with a lesser lung
capacity. To float, a beginner should not thrust himself backward
violently. He should take a long breath, and then fall backwards in the
water gently, making a sort of sculling movement with his hands, at the
same time raising his arms upwards until they are stretched as far out
from the shoulders as he can and slightly above the lines of the
shoulder-blades. The arms (which, of course, must never be lifted out of
the water) should be raised no higher than this above the head,
otherwise they diminish the capacity of the lungs by pressing them in.
The feet should be worked up slowly from the bottom, and the legs should
be spread out. (The correct position is shown in illustration No. 2.)

The first attempts will naturally result in the beginner's head going
under water for a moment at a time, every now and then; but this should
not alarm or discourage him, for if he holds the air in his lungs and
follows the instructions just given, the head will soon come above the
surface again. Then, after the body has settled into the proper
position, the floater may breathe naturally, but he should take long
breaths, and when driving the air out of the lungs he should do it
rapidly, and likewise inhale rapidly, holding the air in the body as
long as possible.

After one has learned to float, a pleasant diversion is to learn the
forward sculling stroke. This is a fancy stroke, and is of no particular
service, except perhaps that it is restful. The hands should be held in
the same position as in floating, but the feet should be brought
together. (Illustration No. 4.) Then both hands should be worked at the
wrists in a sort of semicircle--this is called the sculling motion.
After a few turns of the wrist the body will take a slow forward
movement, which gradually increases, and this aids materially in keeping
the swimmer afloat. Nevertheless he should keep his lungs full of air,
as he does when floating.

There is also a backward sculling stroke, but this is performed by lying
face downward on the water. (Illustration No. 3.) The body is held
rigid, the feet are pointed forward, and kept moving up and down at the
ankle to keep the legs from sinking, the legs are held stiff, and the
hands spread out as before, and moved in the same manner.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--SWIMMING ON THE BACK.]

The stroke which should perhaps first be learned after one has mastered
the art of floating is that which enables one to swim on the back. The
fastest and easiest way of swimming on the back is called the double
over-arm, and the method is well illustrated in Fig. 8. In order to
practise this the swimmer must, of course, first come to the floating
position, and then he should bring his feet together and keep them
moving up and down, so as to hold them near the surface of the water.
The movement of the arms is a sort of windmill motion, and as they pass
through the water the palms and forearms propel the body onward. This is
an easy stroke to learn when one knows how to float.

These are perhaps the most important points about swimming that can be
given in so brief a paper. It will take the beginner some time to master
these, and after he has learned them and has become familiar with the
water, he should practise diving. At an early date this Department will
be devoted, in text and illustration, to the interesting subject of

The Hon. Alfred Lyttelton, M.P., made a speech on the subject of
athletics recently when he delivered prizes to the boys of the King's
School at Warwick, England, and the London _Sporting Life_ quotes a few
of his remarks, which, I believe, are just as true concerning American
sport as they are of English sport, and must consequently be of interest
to our American school-boys. Mr. Lyttelton said that nobody could accuse
him of saying anything against athletic games, for he is a great lover
of sports; but he added that he feared there was a tendency to overdo
matters, and to allow athletics to occupy a more important place in the
world than they should--to make a business of them, in fact, instead of
keeping them as a recreation which should make us more fitted to do our
work in this world.

The speech created a good deal of comment among sportsmen abroad; and
_Sporting Life_, a week later, devoted considerable space to editorial
remarks on what Mr. Lyttelton had said. I quote a few sentences: "Few
will deny the 'growing professional spirit in most of our games' decried
by that famous sportsman [Mr. Lyttelton], or venture to contradict his
statement that the majority of them are being reduced to a mere matter
of _£ s. d._ by exponents galore nowadays.... But above and beyond this
lamentable endeavor to reduce all things to pounds, shillings, and pence
there is an excess of enthusiasm in sport equally to be decried by
all.... The fact is that many devotees of sport make far too much of it
by having allowed themselves to be taught that ordinary success in any
branch thereof is not worth having. They do so in the spirit of the old
saying that whatever you do you should do well, which, like many other
old sayings, is very untrue, and very dangerous in its lack of truth.
And nowhere is this more untrue than in reference to our amusements."

The editorial then goes on to give some examples, saying that to play
billiards, for instance, is the amusement of a gentleman, but to play
billiards pre-eminently well is hardly that. The writer argues that a
man who makes it his life's work to become a successful billiard-player
can hardly, in the mean time, have continued to be a gentleman in the
best use of the word. As another example, the writer states that chess
is perhaps, of all recreations, the one most adapted to intellectual
persons, but to be pre-eminent at chess, he argues, is generally to be
that and nothing else.

There is a good deal of truth in this, and it may well be said that the
athletes who go in purely for record-breaking, even if they stick
strictly to the amateur spirit so far as the letter of the law is
concerned, devote themselves so fully to their endeavors that they have
little time to cultivate the gentler arts and amenities of social life.
They consort so constantly with trainers and rubbers and professional
sports that they grow more or less to be like these; they talk like
them, they act like them, and they begin to shun more elegant society;
and while still remaining amateurs, they are unquestionably amateurs of
a lower social caste. This degradation is due solely to their own
conduct. There is a wide difference between a healthy and keen
indulgence in sport and a passion for breaking records, putting aside
any mention of the money-making feature of the question.

It would seem that Mr. Lyttelton is not the only man in England whose
attention has been called to this weakness among their amateurs; for the
Hon. A. J. Balfour, M.P., who was present at Stamford Bridge on the
occasion of the athletic meeting of the Association of Conservative
Clubs, made remarks in a similar vein when he distributed the prizes to
the winners. He said that there were critics of athletics who watched
the rapid growth of interest in sport with something like suspicion, not
to say dislike. He asserted, however, that he did not share their views,
for he had always held that the healthy interest in athletic sports was
one of the most distinguishing and characteristic marks of our age, and
he considered it an admirable sign of the times. Nevertheless he warned
the young men who were listening to him to beware of the danger of
carrying their sports too far, and he said that that point was reached
when training or indulgence in sports ceased to be a pastime and became
an occupation. There is fruit for considerable thought in the remarks of
these two prominent English gentlemen.

The Interscholastic Tennis Tournament at Newport has been postponed
until August 19, and will therefore not be treated in this Department
until the issue of August 25.

     R. W. NEAL, Salem, Mass.--1. The price of _Track Athletics in
     Detail_ has been printed conspicuously at the bottom of the second
     page of this Department for the past six weeks. 2. I do not know
     the book you mention. 3. _Track Athletics in Detail_ is the only
     volume so far published in the HARPER'S ROUND TABLE Library. 4.
     Other good books on athletics are Walter Camp's _Book of College
     Sports_ (Century Company), and Blaikie's _How to Get Strong_.

     F. F. SMITH, Cumberland, Md.--The articles on canoe-building
     appeared in the ROUND TABLE, August 13 and 20, 1895.

     F. E. D., New York.--You will find the advice you seek in Blaikie's
     _How to Get Strong_ (Harper and Brothers, $1); and _Sound Bodies
     for Boys and Girls_ (Harper and Brothers, 40c.).

     V. W. HALL, Portland, Me.--See answer to F. E. D.

     C. W. GILLESPIE, Terre Haute, Ind.--It was assumed, in writing the
     article on "Hammer-throwing," that the athlete was more or less
     familiar with the various track-athletic events now practised, and
     consequently it was thought unnecessary to go into various specific
     details concerning the "turn" which puzzles you. In throwing the
     hammer you only turn once. The act is merely that of jumping about
     and facing the other direction. If you are confused at the start,
     practise this turn without a hammer. The shoes should have spikes
     both in the toes and the heels.



       *       *       *       *       *


"Well, that looks natural," said the old soldier, looking at a can of
condensed milk on the breakfast-table in place of ordinary milk that
failed on account of the storm. "It's the Gail Borden Eagle Brand we
used during the war."--[_Adv._]



A cream-of-tartar baking powder. Highest of all in leavening
strength.--_Latest United States Government Food Report._


[Illustration: THOMPSON'S EYE WATER]


     This Department is conducted in the interest of Bicyclers, and the
     Editor will be pleased to answer any question on the subject. Our
     maps and tours contain many valuable data kindly supplied from the
     official maps and road-books of the League of American Wheelmen.
     Recognizing the value of the work being done by the L.A.W., the
     Editor will be pleased to furnish subscribers with membership
     blanks and information as far as possible.

[Illustration: Copyright, 1896, by Harper & Brothers.]

Continuing the trip from Chicago to Waukesha, we give this week the
second stage of the journey, which is divided into three parts. As was
stated last week, it is probably well for the rider to stop at Wheeling
for dinner, rather than stay there for the night. The ride is a short
one, and can be done by any one who had ridden for a season with
comparative ease in the early morning hours before it grows too warm. If
this is done, the rider may stop at Wheeling for dinner and for three or
four hours' rest, and then in the cool of the early evening continue on
as far as Lippencott's on Fox Lake, about 23 or 24 miles from Wheeling.
Here is a good place to stop for the night, and the run from
Lippencott's to Waukesha will not be too great for the second day. For
convenience in making maps, however, we have divided this journey into

Leaving Wheeling, still on the Old Milwaukee Toll Road, run a little
west of north four and a half miles to Halfday. At Halfday turn
westward, taking the left fork, cross the railroad about two miles out
of the town, and run on to Diamond Lake, four and a half miles from
Halfday. Keeping straight on the main road, continue to Dean's Corners,
three and a half miles from Diamond Lake. Again keep straight ahead,
running into Fremont Center, keeping to the left about a mile before
entering the town, and then by turning sharp to the right half a mile
further on, run into the village itself. On running out of Fremont
Center keep to the left at the fork across the stream, and then bear to
the right up towards Fort Hill. Instead of running to Fort Hill,
however, you should keep to the left about half a mile before reaching
the town, and keep to the main road running up to Lippencott's between
Fish Pond on the left and Wooster Lake on the right. The road is easily
found, with the exception of one or two turns just before reaching
Lippencott's, and these can be more easily found by making inquiries
than by attempting to describe them here. Lippencott's is a pleasant
place with a good hotel on Fox Lake, where it is moderately certain that
you will pass a cool night and feel refreshed for your ride to Waukesha
the next day.

     NOTE.--Map of New York city asphalted streets in No. 809. Map of
     route from New York to Tarrytown in No. 810. New York to Stamford,
     Connecticut, in No. 811. New York to Staten Island in No. 812. New
     Jersey from Hoboken to Pine Brook in No. 813. Brooklyn in No. 814.
     Brooklyn to Babylon in No. 815. Brooklyn to Northport in No. 816.
     Tarrytown to Poughkeepsie in No. 817. Poughkeepsie to Hudson in No.
     818. Hudson to Albany in No. 819, Tottenville to Trenton in No.
     820. Trenton to Philadelphia in No. 821. Philadelphia in No. 822.
     Philadelphia-Wissahickon Route in No. 823. Philadelphia to West
     Chester in No. 824. Philadelphia to Atlantic City--First Stage in
     No. 825; Second Stage in No. 826. Philadelphia to Vineland--First
     Stage in No. 827; Second Stage in No. 828. New York to
     Boston--Second Stage in No. 829; Third Stage in No. 830; Fourth
     Stage in No. 831; Fifth Stage in No. 832; Sixth Stage in No. 833.
     Boston to Concord in No. 834. Boston in No. 835. Boston to
     Gloucester in No. 836. Boston to Newburyport in No. 837. Boston to
     New Bedford in No. 838. Boston to South Framingham in No. 839.
     Boston to Nahant in No. 840. Boston to Lowell in No. 841. Boston to
     Nantasket Beach in No. 842. Boston Circuit Ride in No. 843.
     Philadelphia to Washington--First Stage in No. 844; Second Stage in
     No. 845; Third Stage in No. 846; Fourth Stage in No. 847; Fifth
     Stage in No. 848. City of Washington in No. 849. City of Albany in
     No, 854; Albany to Fonda in No. 855; Fonda in Utica in No. 856;
     Utica to Syracuse in No. 857; Syracuse to Lyons in No. 858; Lyons
     to Rochester in No. 859; Rochester to Batavia in No. 860; Batavia
     to Buffalo in No. 861; Poughkeepsie to Newtown in No. 864; Newtown
     to Hartford in No. 865; New Haven to Hartford in No. 866; Hartford
     to Springfield in No. 867; Hartford to Canaan in No. 868; Canaan to
     Pittsfield in No. 869; Hudson to Pittsfield in No. 870. City of
     Chicago in No. 874. Waukesha to Oconomowoc in 875. Chicago to
     Wheeling in 876.

       *       *       *       *       *

If one is a collector of antiquities, he has doubtless in his possession
one of those beautifully chased and ornamented timepieces that at one
period at the court of France were so much in vogue, it being the
fashion to wear several of them at one time. Invariably set with jewels,
they were very costly, but for usefulness in keeping time they were
practically worthless. A good story is told of a nobleman who was
showing two or three of his beautiful watches to a friend. Being jostled
by a passer-by the friend accidentally dropped two of them on the floor.
He was very profuse with his apologies for his awkwardness, to which the
nobleman replied,

"Oh, pray don't mention it, my dear friend. It's the first time I ever
saw them go together."

[Illustration: STAMPS]

     This Department is conducted in the interest of stamp and coin
     collectors, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question
     on these subjects so far as possible. Correspondents should address
     Editor Stamp Department.

The new Spanish Congressional stamp has been received on letters. It is
a very handsome stamp, printed in carmine, bearing the Spanish coat of
arms, with the words "Congreso de los Diputados." The cancellation is a
crown with ornament attached bearing the words "Congreso de los
Diputados." The cancellation is the same as that hitherto used on the
ordinary Spanish envelopes bearing the regular issues of stamps when
mailed by a member of the Spanish legislature.

This is the time for the annual conventions of all kinds, even of
stamp-collectors. The Southern Philatelic Association has already
adjourned. The Sons of Philately met August 5, at Gettysburg, Pa. The
American Philatelic Association will meet at Minnetonka.

The two new Japanese stamps are to be issued September 12, 1896, the
second anniversary of the Emperor's leaving Tokyo to go to Hiroshima, so
as to be near the seat of war between Japan and China.

The inhabitants of the small group of islands situated on the south of
Iceland possess a very curious method of communication in their
so-called "bottle post." When the wind blows from the south, and one of
the islanders wishes to communicate with the mainland, he puts his
letters into a well-corked bottle, and to insure their delivery he
incloses at the same time a plug or twist of tobacco, or a cigar. The
wind speedily impels the bottle to the shores of the main island, where
people are usually on the lookout, who are willing to deliver the
letters in return for the inclosed remuneration.

Africa is coming to the front with a multiplication of new stamps. The
French in Madagascar have issued three different sets, two provisional
and one regular. The British East Africa new series of fifteen
denominations, and Zanzibar with fourteen denominations, have been
issued. In the near future specialists in African stamps will grow

This reminds me of a prophecy by one of the old dealers that soon there
would be albums made for each country and for each hemisphere for the
advanced collector with money, and one simplified album for the use of
the general collector, who with less money, but with equal enthusiasm,
would get just as much enjoyment out of his modest general collection as
the millionaire specialists out of their marvellous collection of
varieties, etc., of one country.

     W. W. WOOD.--The two coins are sold by dealers at a slight increase
     over face.

     J. M. F.--There were five varieties of the $5 red Internal Revenue,
     first issue, viz.: Charier Party, Conveyance, worth 15c. each;
     Mortgage and Probate of Will, worth 50c. each; and Manifest, worth
     $1.50. These prices are for perforated copies; unperforated copies
     are worth from $1.25 to $10. The second issue, blue and black, and
     the third issue, vermilion, are worth 50c. or 60c. each. Cuban
     stamps are not much collected, and any one can buy them in
     quantities, therefore there is little prospect of an advance.

     W. R. WHEELER.--The $10 Charter Party, perforated, is worth 60c.;
     unperforated, $8; the $3 Charter, 15c., and $1.50 respectively; a
     pair of $2 Mortgage, unperforated, is worth $4; the $2 and $5
     Probate, worth $1 and 50c. respectively.

     W. R. C.--The 3c. U.S. red, 1851, is worth 35c. per hundred; the
     1857, about 25c. per hundred; the 1861, about 10c. per hundred. The
     1c. blue, from 1851 to 1860, are worth much more, depending on
     condition of the plate, etc. The U.S. Internal Revenue 2c. are not
     worth anything, the other 2c. Revenues are worth various prices.

     F. E. COWAN.--I do not know the value of Mexican Revenue stamps.
     Probably some St. Louis dealer could quote prices. Hitherto they
     have not been collected generally, but I believe they will soon be
     more popular. When that time comes prices will become more stable.

     G. LEONARD.--I cannot repeat the long list of coins previously
     published in the ROUND TABLE for December 17, 1895, and January 14,

     A. A. HALL.--English Revenue stamps, or rather stamped papers, have
     been used for several hundred years. You will doubtless recall
     England's attempt to force the American Colonists to use stamped
     paper in 1765. The law was repealed in 1766 in consequence of the
     disaffection and riots.

     J. SCHWANMAN.--"Gumpaps" is a nickname or term of contempt applied
     to stamps issued primarily to sell to collectors, especially those
     condemned by the Society for the Suppression of Speculative Stamps,
     usually called the S.S.S.S.

     W. T. WILLIAMS.--No. Never paste your stamps down. Always use
     hinges, and buy the best hinges, as it will pay you in the end. I
     frequently see old collections containing stamps pasted down, with
     the result that almost every stamp has been damaged. Blues, greens,
     and some reds disappear altogether. I am told it comes from using
     dextrine from which the acid has not been thoroughly removed.

     J. J. SINGER.--In perforating postage-stamps a die plate is placed
     before the needles of a machine carrying hundreds of needles. As
     about 180,000,000 holes are punched per day, the wear on the die
     plate is excessive. Brass plates wear out in a day, and even steel
     plates are rapidly destroyed. The use of aluminium bronze has
     caused the die plates to last for months without renewal. Usually
     the parallel horizontal rows are perforated first, and the vertical
     rows next. Both rows have been perforated at one time, but this
     method has proved impracticable.

     FAITHFUL READER.--The 1850 dime can be bought of the dealers for
     20c. They are still in circulation.

     M. C. HALDEMAN, Thompsontown, Pa., wishes to exchange stamps and
     philatelic literature. Also wants samples of amateur papers.

     V. M.--The 1851 1c. U.S. is worth $2 unused, 25c. used. But there
     are two varieties (from the early impressions) which are worth much
     more. Do not cut any pairs or strips of any unperforated stamps.



[Illustration: COLUMBIA BICYCLES.]


Established Dorchester, Mass., 1780.

Breakfast Cocoa


Always ask for Walter Baker & Co.'s

Breakfast Cocoa

Made at


It bears their Trade Mark

"La Belle Chocolatiere" on every can.

Beware of Imitations.

Postage Stamps, &c.


to agents selling stamps from my 50% approval sheets. Send at once for
circular and price-list giving full information.

C. W. Grevning, Morristown, N. J.

[Illustration: STAMPS]

100 all dif. Venezuela, Bolivia, etc., only 10c., 200 all dif. Hayti,
Hawaii, etc., only 50c. Ag'ts w't'd at 50% com. List FREE! =C. A.
Stegmann=, 5941 Cote Brilliante Ave., St. Louis, Mo


=10= stamps and large list =FREE!=

L. DOVER & CO., 1469 Hodiamont, St. Louis, Mo.

STAMPS on Approval! 50% disct. _List free._

W. C. Shields, 30 Sorauren Ave., Toronto, Canada.

[Illustration: THOMPSON'S EYE WATER]

Reader: Have you seen the

[Illustration: Franklin]

It is a Collection which no one who loves music should fail to own; it
should find a place in every home. Never before, it may truthfully be
said, has a song book been published at once so cheap, so good, and so
complete.--_Colorado Springs Gazette._

[Illustration: Square]

This Song Collection is one of the most notable enterprises of the kind
attempted by any publisher. The brief sketches and histories of the
leading productions in the work add greatly to the value of the
series.--_Troy Times._

[Illustration: Collection?]

Sold Everywhere. Price, 50 cents; Cloth, $1.00. Full contents, with
Specimen Pages mailed, without cost, on application to

Harper & Brothers, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Theban Chariot.

     When in Florence we started for the Egyptian Museum one morning at
     ten, and got there in about twenty minutes. I was disappointed when
     I first looked at the chariot. As I examined it I saw how
     wonderfully it was made. There was no metal in it, and the only
     substances besides wood were leather and fossil bone. There are
     very few pieces of wood in the chariot, as you will see in the
     picture. The collar is like a wishbone with the point down. The tip
     is round instead of flat, and is of fossil bone. The ends of the
     yoke are finished with the same bone, and also the heads of the
     wooden spikes that hold the wheels on the axles.

     [Illustration: THE THEBAN CHARIOT.]

     The pole is about the same length as an average carriage-pole. The
     yoke is about four feet long, and the wheels the same height. The
     place where the driver and warrior stood is made of leather,
     plaited like a split-bottomed chair, and this platform is
     semicircular. The yoke and pole are held together by a bone-headed
     spike. The spokes, pole, and hubs were originally covered with
     birch bark. The authorities say that from the quality of the wood
     and the absence of metal, it may be presumed that this chariot,
     formerly belonging to some warrior of the north, had been taken to
     Egypt as one of the spoils of war over 3300 years ago.

     I have seen a photograph of a Roman chariot. It was the same as
     this, but filled in with bronze, and thirty times as heavy. The
     pieces of leather which go from the breast-work of the platform to
     the pole have been put there recently. There is a bow, that was
     found with the chariot, leaning against it. It used to be covered
     with leather, and is about five feet long.


       *       *       *       *       *

A Man-eating Russian.

In the church of St. Alexander, St. Petersburg, are the remains of a
Russian general, Hannibal. A guide once said to a traveller, "There lies
a Cannibal." This startling remark was all due to the fact that the
Russian alphabet is H-less.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Infallible Guesser.

When Thomas was compiling one of his first almanacs his clerk asked him
what forecast he should enter opposite a certain week in July.

"_Thunder, hail, and snow_," promptly replied Thomas--and, lo! the
prediction proved to be true! Thomas's almanac was thereafter considered
well-nigh infallible.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Order Now for "S.Z.B." to Explain.

Some weeks ago a letter reached us, signed by what appeared a
responsible name, and dated at Kingman, Arizona, telling us of the death
of Lady Florence E. Cowan. As Miss Cowan lives at Kingman, we believed
the statement, and as she had contributed to the Table many delightful
morsels, which thousands had enjoyed, we made a minute of the news. A
letter from Miss Cowan expresses her natural surprise, and gives us and
the Table the glad tidings that the information of "S.Z.B." was

       *       *       *       *       *

Some Odd Pastimes.

     Spinosa, after studying assiduously for hours, would amuse himself
     by setting spiders to fighting. His laughter was said to have been
     positively alarming on the occasion of especially exciting combats.
     Socrates loved to play with children, and Tycho Brahé to polish
     spectacle glasses. D'Andilly, a translator of _Josephus_, spent his
     leisure in cultivating trees, while Barclay, author of the
     _Argenis_, was as devoted to his flowers as Celia Thaxter. Balzac
     collected crayon portraits, and the Abbé de Maroles, prints.
     Politian was never so happy as with his lute. The learned monk
     Petavius would gravely whirl his chair for five minutes at the end
     of every second hour of theological research, while Dr. Samuel
     Clarke was an expert chair and table jumper. Swift was often seen
     running up and down the steps of the deanery. Shelley's fondness
     for sailing paper boats is well known, but few know that he once
     folded a fifty-pound bank-note and sent it bobbing down the current
     of the Serpentine. But all will be glad to know that the shallop
     was finally moored in safety lower down the river. This launching
     somehow reminds us of the first stanza of Lear's _Owl and Pussy


       *       *       *       *       *

Two Apt Anagrams.

A person once wrote this anagram of the name "Napoleon Bonaparte": "No,
appear not on Elba."

When it was rumored that the Duke of Wellington intended marrying a rich
heiress, Angelina Burdett Coutts, this anagram appeared:

  "The Duke must in his second childhood be,
  Since in his doting age he turns to A B C."


       *       *       *       *       *



  Pray find, without much tribulation,
  Full many a neat e_jac_ulation:
  The Jack^1 that flies at vessel's prow;
  Before it all good Jack Tars bow;
  The Jack^2 that on a darksome night
  May well inspire one's soul with fright;
  The Jack^3 that rears its massive trunk
  O'er flowers that of the brook have drunk;
  The Jack^4 whom ev'ry butcher greets
  With offers of all lean-fleshed meats;
  The Jack^5 whom sober-minded people shun,
  So great his size he fills a tun!
  The Jack^6 who makes the strong and hale
  Before its very name turn pale;
  And now I'll tell you of _one_ Jack--
  The Jack who has the happy knack
  Of making sunshine out of shade--
  The dearest Jack that e'er was made!


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 20.--A QUARTUS.

  First is a state that is surely in debt;
    Second, a stone that in truth is _a door_;
  Third, an odd gem which dilates in a pet;
    Fourth is a stone that may mean _a horse poor_.


       *       *       *       *       *


  The stone (1) that will capture the "mackerel-guide";
  The stone (2) which might have the term "measures" applied;
  The stone (3) that "O, Partner!" cries out with _esprit_;
  The stone (4) that may grow 'mid the tall _fleurs-de-lis_;
  The stone (5) that means "steward" in Persian, 'tis said;
  And, lastly, the stone (6) in which gas burns o'erhead.


       *       *       *       *       *


In the following jumble find these mythological personages, Greek and
Roman: nine female and five male divinities, two giants, two heroes, a
legendary king, a monster, a Greek maiden metamorphosed into a white
heifer, the most beautiful of all mortals, and the mother of a
well-known god and goddess:

The miner vacantly began to leer--ostentation at last! He cater to a
maniac? Hill escaped; an oven used to mar Smith's arbor. Eastwardly the
coach ironically accompanied Jan. "Usually _I_ owe; _he_ bears genuine
grief amid astounding trials, surpassing any Medes." The ice restored
her; attentive Lucas tore the vest at the hem; the shy mender let oats
fly, while the poacher messed his porridge--the color I only conjectured
to be bice.


       *       *       *       *       *

Questions and Answers.

Are you interested in music and natural history? Inez M. Brush, Chelsea,
Iowa, wants to correspond with you if you are. If you live in Baltimore,
P. Dettelbach, 1905 Druid Hill Avenue, wants you to join the Monumental
City Chapter. Corresponding members are also received. William J.
Smith,--No badges are now in stock. When more are prepared, notice will
be given in these columns. We know of no active Chapter in Detroit near
you. It is better to form one among your own friends than to join one
whose members you have no acquaintance with.

"Disputants,"--Austria is on a gold and Russia on a silver monetary
basis. "Amateur Newspaper,"--There are several methods by which writing
is cheaply duplicated. None are perfect--that is, as perfect as
type-printing, and none can, unless done far better than the average
amateur is able to do, deceive the recipient to the extent of making him
think it an original letter. For HARPER'S MAGAZINE, and for prices apply
to your bookseller. Directions go with the apparatus.

Henry F. Brown, a Massachusetts Knight, who won a Round Table
Illustration prize, asks if the late Horace Bradley is the same person
who judged his picture: "for," he writes, "I find 'H. B.' on the back of
it." We cannot say with absolute certainty, but it is probable that it
is. Mr. Bradley, who was one of the most obliging of men, passed
judgment upon much work sent in by Round Table members. Pressed with
responsibilities, he often took time to look through a pile of members'
drawings, giving a word of criticism here or of commendation there. In
half a dozen instances he wrote letters to members of artistic promise,
giving them helpful advice. You should prize your drawing with its
initials "H. B." highly.

Eugene B. Benton, who says he hopes one day to enter the navy, asks what
became of the old vessels of the Revolutionary navy. There were about
forty of them, and they had different fates. Two, the _America_ and the
_Ariel_, were presented to France. The famous _Bonhomme Richard_ was
sunk in 1779, and the _Washington_, _Independence_, and _Montgomery_ in
1778. The _Saratoga_ was lost at sea, and the _Lexington_ was captured
by the British in the English Channel, in 1778. You are in error in
thinking the _Constitution_ was in the war of the Revolution. It was not
launched until 1797. It was in service, with some lapses, until
December, 1881, when it was consigned to "Rotten Row," in the Brooklyn
Navy-yard. The earliest built of our new navy, or White Squadron, was
the _Chicago_, in 1886. Previous to 1862 enlisted men in the navy were
granted a "spirit ration." In July of that year Congress passed a law
abolishing it, and enacted that "hereafter no distilled spirituous
liquors shall be admitted on board of vessels of war, except as medical
stores." Read Admiral Gherardi's article on the navy, in HARPER'S ROUND
TABLE for June 30 last. It can be had for five cents from the
publishers, and it authoritatively answers all of your questions about
entering the navy, the pay, etc.



Many letters come to the editor of this column asking advice in regard
to the purchase of a camera, style, price, etc., and a short talk on the
subject may not come amiss to the members of the club.

There are so many makes of cameras, each with a seemingly equal claim to
merit, that the would-be purchaser--unless he has had some experience in
photography--is often at a loss what sort of an instrument to select. To
simplify the description we will divide the cameras into four classes:
1. The tiny snap-shot. 2. The hand camera. 3. The hand and view camera
combined. 4. The view camera.

If one has had no previous experience in taking pictures, and simply
wishes to make pictorial reminders of his summer outings, the tiny
snap-shot-camera, which makes pictures about the size of a silver
dollar, is a most satisfactory investment. This camera carries a spool
of film long enough for twelve pictures, which is easily and quickly
changed for fresh film. The lens has what is called a universal focus,
so that there is no focussing. All that one has to do to make a picture
is to point the camera at the object and press the shutter spring. The
result is sometimes very good and sometimes very amusing, according to
the skill with which the instrument is managed. Some of these miniature
pictures are perfect in detail, and such pictures may be enlarged four
or five times their diameter with slight expense. Even if one owns a
larger camera one of these pocket-cameras is a desirable addition to
one's outfit. This snap-shot camera costs from $3 to $5.

No. 2. The hand camera may be bought anywhere from $8 to $50. The size
of the picture made varies from the small 3-1/4 by 4-1/4 to the 5 by 7.
The camera which takes a 4 by 5 picture is the most convenient and the
most satisfactory size. These cameras are made with an interchangeable
arrangement, so that one may use either plates or films. For general
work the plates are less trouble to handle, and the fact that one can
carry only eight to ten plates in the camera leads one to be more
careful in making pictures. Films are more convenient to carry on a
journey, for the weight of film enough for one hundred pictures is not
equal to eight plates. A good 4 by 5 hand camera may be bought for $12.

No. 3. The hand and view camera combined is one of the best cameras for
all-round work. A 4 by 5 camera fitted with double swing-back, rising
and falling front, and a rapid rectilinear lens may be bought for $20.
The object of the swing-back is to adjust the plate so that it may be
parallel with the object to be photographed.

No. 4. The view camera is one made specially for out-of-door work, and
is the style used by professionals who make a specialty of landscape
views. The camera and lens are bought separately, and one may have
several lenses for the same camera. Most of the view cameras fold up
compactly, so that a 5 by 8 camera, three double plate-holders, two or
three lenses, and a focussing-cloth may be carried in a case about
twelve inches square and five and a half inches wide.

[Illustration: IVORY SOAP]

  A wise young woman understands
  That Ivory Soap is best to use
  For outing flannels, sunburned hands,
  Light summer gowns and tennis shoes.

Copyright, 1896, by The Procter & Gamble Co., Cin'ti.




has earned more money for boys than all other presses in the market.
Boys, don't idle away your time when you can buy a self-inking
printing-press, type, and complete outfit for $5.00. Write for
particulars, there is money in it for you.


Baltimore, Md., U.S.A.


Sample cards and circulars describing the latest and greatest
educational game. Fascinating, entertaining, and highly instructive.


602 25th Street, Milwaukee, Wis.



We wish to introduce our Teas. Sell 30 lbs. and we will give you a Fairy
Tricycle; sell 25 lbs. for a Solid Silver Watch and Chain; 50 lbs. for a
Gold Watch and Chain; 75 lbs. for a Bicycle; 10 lbs. for a Gold Ring.
Write for catalog and order sheet Dept. I


Springfield, Mass.

[Illustration: THOMPSON'S EYE WATER]


       *       *       *       *       *


Compiled by the Editor of "Interscholastic Sport" in HARPER'S ROUND
TABLE. Illustrated from Instantaneous Photographs. 8vo, Cloth,
Ornamental, $1.25. In "HARPER'S ROUND TABLE Library."

     A good book to put into the hands of the athletically inclined. It
     is capitally illustrated with instantaneous photographs, and is
     full of expert and sound advice and instruction.--_Outlook_, N. Y.

       *       *       *       *       *


     Captain King has in large degree the rare faculty of placing in the
     mental vision of the reader a clearly limned picture of the scenes
     described.--_Newark Advertiser._


Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.25.


And Stories of Army Life. Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, $1.25.


Illustrated by R. F. ZOGBAUM. Post 8vo, Cloth. $1.00.


A Story of the War. Illustrated by GILBERT GAUL. Post 8vo, Cloth, $1.25.

       *       *       *       *       *

HARPER & BROTHERS, Publishers, New York

       *       *       *       *       *


  Said Tommy Tadpole to his Ma,
    "I wish I were a frog!
  Then I could make a great big noise,
    And sit upon a log!"

  "You'll find, my dear," his mother said,
    "More things than noise and log
  Complete the sum of daily life
    When you've become a frog."

       *       *       *       *       *


"Bobbie," said Tom, "let you and I go into business."

"What business?" asked Bobbie.

"Oh, I don't care," said Tom. "I'll be senior partner, and you be head
clerk and attend the business."

       *       *       *       *       *


"Hoh," said Wilbur, when Wallie wanted to swap an American two-cent
stamp for a silver shilling, "you're pretty mumpy, I think."

"Mumpy?" asked Wallie. "What's mumpy?"

"When your cheek gets big," said Wilbur.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Papa," said Arthur, "I read somewhere that people became what they

"So it is said, my son."

"Then why don't cannibals become missionaries, papa?"

       *       *       *       *       *


"Did you see how that bull tossed his head?" asked Mollie.

"No," said Allie. "I saw him shake it. He didn't toss it."

"Yes, he did," said Mollie.

"Where did he toss it to?" asked Allie. "I didn't see it land anywhere."

       *       *       *       *       *


"Billie," said little Tommie, "won't you come and play with me?"

"You're too little, Tommie," said Billie. "I couldn't play anything with

"I'll be anything, Billie," pleaded Tommie. "I'll roll myself up into a
ball, and maybe you'll have a splendid time bouncing me about."

       *       *       *       *       *


It was a very blustery day. The breeze from the sea was so strong that
it blew in one or two panes of glass, and brought down the curtains with
a clatter to the floor.

"I see now," said little Harry, "why they call windies windies."

       *       *       *       *       *


"What a splendid jumper your little dog is, Sammie," said Mr. Hicks.

"Well, he ought to be," said Sammie. "He swallowed a rubber ball last

       *       *       *       *       *

Floods in lowland countries have their humorous side as well as their
tragic ones. A gentleman recently returned from the West relates a
little experience he had with a swollen river in Missouri. The country
had been a veritable swamp for some days, and after travelling through
it on horseback for a week doing business here and there, he says he
arrived at the bank of the river. There was no way to cross it except by
swimming, so, dismounting, he tied his clothes to the horse, and drove
him into the river, swimming after him. Reaching the other side, he
dressed and continued on his way. Before going twenty feet, however, he
came to the forks of the road, and not knowing the correct direction he
wanted to go, he looked around for a sign. There was none, but just
across the river, near the spot he had entered to swim across, he saw a
board nailed on a tree. Well, there was nothing to do but to get in and
swim across again, as undoubtedly that was the sign containing the
directions. He swam across, and after climbing up the bank he read the
following notice:

"Five dollars fine for crossing this bridge faster than a walk."

He says that under the circumstances the sarcasm of that sign put him in
bad humor for the rest of the day.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the rush and crush of business in the general post-office the other
day an Irishman's answer was heard that is worth repeating. It was at
the general-delivery window, and the Irishman was poor, and a typical
son of the sod. He had applied for a letter.

"Letter? All right, sir. What name?"

The Irishman gave his name, but the clerk, not catching it, asked,

"How do you spell it?"

"Spell it!" answered the Irishman. "Shure, if a foine smart clerk loike
you can't spell it, how d'ye think a poor man loike me can?"

       *       *       *       *       *


  There was a man in our town
    Who was so wondrous wise
  That nobody dared speak to him;
    And so he winked his eyes,

  And said, "I don't know anything,
    But all these people here
  Are so afraid, they dare not speak,
    And call me sage and seer;

  "But, oh, if some one should forget,
    And speak to me some day,
  I really haven't an idea
    Of what I then should say!"

  And so this sage pretended that
    His temper was most vile,
  And people, when they met him,
    Turned and ran away a mile.

  And so it is unto this day--
    He's magnified in size,
  So that though he knows nothing,
    All the town folks think him wise.

  J. K. B.

       *       *       *       *       *


"What are you going to be when you are a man, Jack?" asked Uncle George.

"A man," said Jack.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's Round Table, August 18, 1896" ***

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