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Title: Rollo at Play; Or, Safe Amusements
Author: Abbott, Jacob
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Rollo at Play; Or, Safe Amusements" ***

Rollo at Play;



by Jacob Abbott




 The Setting out.
 A Visitor.
 Hearts wrong.
 Hearts right again.

 The Way to catch a Squirrel.
 The Way to lose a Squirrel. 
 How to keep a Squirrel.
 Fires in the Woods.

 A Round Rainbow. 
 Who knows best, a Little Boy or his Father!

 Maria and the Caravan.
 Small Craft.
 The Principles of Order.
 Clearing up.

 Old Trumpeter.
 Little Mosette.
 Going up.
 The Secret out.

 Getting in Trouble.
 A Test of Penitence.



Rollo Learning to Talk.
Rollo Learning to Read.
Rollo at Work.
Rollo at Play.
Rollo at School.
Rollo’s Vacation.
Rollo’s Experiments.

Rollo’s Museum.
Rollo’s Travels.
Rollo’s Correspondence.
Rollo’s Philosophy—Water.
Rollo’s Philosophy—Air.
Rollo’s Philosophy—Fire.
Rollo’s Philosophy—Sky.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1855, by
in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of
the District of Massachusetts.


Although this little book, and its fellow, “ROLLO AT WORK,” are
intended principally as a means of entertainment for their little
readers, it is hoped by the writer that they may aid in accomplishing
some of the following useful purposes:—

1. In cultivating _the thinking powers;_ as frequent occasions occur,
in which the incidents of the narrative, and the conversations arising
from them, are intended to awaken and engage the reasoning and
reflective faculties of the little readers.

2. In promoting the progress of children _in reading_ and in knowledge
of language; for the diction of the stories is intended to be often in
advance of the natural language of the reader, and yet so used as to be
explained by the connection.

3. In cultivating the _amiable and gentle qualities of the heart_. The
scenes are laid in quiet and virtuous life, and the character and
conduct described are generally—with the exception of some of the
ordinary exhibitions of childish folly—character and conduct to be
imitated; for it is generally better, in dealing with children, to
allure them to what is right by agreeable pictures of it, than to
attempt to drive them to it by repulsive delineations of what is wrong.



One pleasant morning in the autumn, when Rollo was about five years
old, he was sitting on the platform, behind his father’s house,
playing. He had a hammer and nails, and some small pieces of board. He
was trying to make a box. He hammered and hammered, and presently he
dropped his work down and said, fretfully,

“O dear me!”

“What is the matter, Rollo?” said Jonas,—for it happened that Jonas was
going by just then, with a wheelbarrow.

“I wish these little boards would not split so. I cannot make my box.”

“You drive the nails wrong; you put the wedge sides _with_ the grain.”

“The wedge sides!” said Rollo; “what are the wedge sides,—and the
grain? I do not know what you mean.”

But Jonas went on, trundling his wheelbarrow; though he looked round
and told Rollo that he could not stop to explain it to him then.

Rollo was discouraged about his box. He thought he would look and see
what Jonas was going to do. Jonas trundled the wheelbarrow along, until
he came opposite the barn-door, and there he put it down. He went into
the barn, and presently came out with an axe. Then he took the sides of
the wheelbarrow off, and placed them up against the barn. Then he laid
the axe down across the wheelbarrow, and went into the barn again.
Pretty soon he brought out an iron crowbar, and laid that down also in
the wheelbarrow, with the axe.

Then Rollo called out,

“Jonas, Jonas, where are you going?”

“I am going down into the woods beyond the brook.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I am going to clear up some ground.”

“May I go with you?”

“I should like it—but that is not for me to say.”

Rollo knew by this that he must ask his mother. He went in and asked
her, and she, in return, asked him if he had read his lesson that
morning. He said he had not; he had forgotten it.

“Then,” said his mother, “you must first go and read a quarter of an

Rollo was sadly disappointed, and also a little displeased. He turned
away, hung down his head, and began to cry. It is not strange that he
was disappointed, but it was very wrong for him to feel displeased, and
begin to cry.

“Come here, my son,” said his mother.

Rollo came to his mother, and she said to him kindly,

“You have done wrong now twice this morning; you have neglected your
duty of reading, and now you are out of humor with me because I require
you to attend to it. Now it is _my_ duty not to yield to such feelings
as you have now, but to punish them. So I must say that, instead of a
quarter of an hour, you must wait _half_ an hour, before you go out
with Jonas.”

Rollo stood silent a minute,—he perceived that he had done wrong, and
was sorry. He did not know how he could find Jonas in the woods, but he
did not say any thing about that then. He only asked his mother what he
must do for the half hour. She said he must read a quarter of an hour,
and the rest of the time he might do as he pleased.

So Rollo took his book, and went out and sat down upon the platform,
and began to read aloud. When he had finished one page, which usually
took a quarter of an hour, he went in to ask his mother what time it
was. She looked at the clock, and told him he had been reading
seventeen minutes.

“Is seventeen minutes more than a quarter of an hour, or not so much?”
asked Rollo.

“It is more;—_fifteen_ minutes is a quarter of an hour. Now you may do
what you please till the other quarter has elapsed.”

Rollo thought he would go and read more. It is true he was tired; but
he was sorry he had done wrong, and he thought that if he read more
than he was obliged to, his mother would see that he _was_ penitent,
and that he acquiesced in his punishment.

So he went on reading, and the rest of the half hour passed away very
quickly. In fact, his mother came out before he got up from his
reading, to tell him it was time for him to go. She said she was very
glad he had submitted pleasantly to his punishment, and she gave him
something wrapped up in a paper.

“Keep this till you get a little tired of play, down there, and then
sit down on a log and open it.”

Rollo wondered what it was. He took it gladly, and began to go. But in
a minute he turned round and said,

“But how shall I find Jonas?”

“What is he doing?” said his mother.

“He said he was going to clear up some land.”

“Then you will hear his axe. Go down to the edge of the woods and
listen, and when you hear him, call him. But you must not go into the
woods unless you hear him.”


Rollo went on, down the green lane, till he came to the turn-stile, and
then went through into the field. He then followed a winding path until
he came to the edge of the trees, and there stopped to listen.

He heard the brook gurgling along over the stones, and that was all at
first; but presently he began to hear the strokes of an axe. He called
out as loud as he could,

“Jonas! Jonas!”

But Jonas did not hear.

Then he walked along the edge of the woods till he came nearer the
place where he heard the axe. He found here a little opening among the
trees and bushes, so that he could look in. He saw the brook, and over
beyond it, on the opposite bank, was Jonas, cutting down a small tree.

So Rollo walked on until he came to the brook, and then asked Jonas how
he should get over. The brook was pretty wide and deep.

Jonas said, if he would wait a few minutes, he would build him a

“_You_ cannot build a bridge,” said Rollo.

“Wait a little and see.”

So Rollo sat down on a mossy bank, and Jonas, having cut down the small
tree, began to work on a larger one that stood near the bank.

After he had cut a little while, Rollo asked him why he did not begin
the bridge.

“I am beginning it,” said he.

Rollo laughed at this, but in a minute Jonas called to him to stand
back, away from the bank; and then, after a few strokes more, the top
of the tree began to bend slowly over, and then it fell faster and
faster, until it came down with a great crash, directly across the

“There!” said Jonas, “there is your bridge.”

Rollo looked at it with astonishment and pleasure.

“Now,” said Jonas, “I will come and help you over.”

“No,” said Rollo, “I can come over myself. I can take hold of the
branches for a railing.”

So Rollo began to climb along the stem of the tree, holding on
carefully by the branches. When he reached the middle of the stream, he
stopped to look down into the water.

“This is a capital bridge of yours, Jonas,” said he. “How beautiful the
water looks down here! O, I see a little fish! He is swimming along by
a great rock. Now he is standing perfectly still. O, Jonas, come and
see him.”

“No,” said Jonas, “I must mind my work.”

After a little time, Rollo went carefully on over the bridge, and sat
down on the bank of the brook. But he did not have with him the parcel
his mother gave him. He had left it on the other side.

After he had watched the fishes, and thrown pebble-stones into the
brook some time, he began to be tired, and he asked Jonas what he had
better do.

“I think you had better build a wigwam.”

“A wigwam? What is a wigwam?” said Rollo.

“It is a little house made of bushes such as the Indians live in.”

“O, I could not make a house,” said Rollo.

“I think you could if I should tell you how, and help you a little.”

“But you say _you_ must mind your work.”

“Yes,—I can mind my work and tell you at the same time.”

Rollo thought he should like to build a wigwam very much. Jonas told
him the first thing to be done was to find a good place, where the
ground was level. Rollo looked at a good many places, but at last chose
a smooth spot under a great oak tree, which Jonas said he was not going
to cut down. It was near a beautiful turn in the brook, where the water
was very deep.

Jonas told him that the first thing was to make a little stake, and
drive it down in the middle of his wigwam-ground. Then Rollo
recollected that he had left his hatchet over on the other side of the
brook, together with the parcel his mother gave him; and he was going
over to get them, when Jonas told him he would trim up the bridge a
little, and then he could go over more easily.

So Jonas went upon the bridge, and began to cut away the branches that
were in the way, leaving enough on each side to take hold of, and to
keep Rollo from falling in. Rollo could then go back and forth easily.
He held on with one hand, and carried his hatchet in the other. Then he
went over again, and brought his parcel, and laid it down near the
great oak tree.

Then he made a little stake, and drove it down in the middle of the
wigwam-ground. Then he asked Jonas what he must do next.

“That is the centre of your wigwam; now you must strike a circle around

“What?” said Rollo.

“Don’t you know how to strike a circle?” said Jonas.

Rollo said he did not, and then Jonas told him to do exactly as he
should say, and that would show him.

“First,” said Jonas, “have you got a string?”

Rollo felt in his pockets in vain, but he recollected his little
parcel, which was tied with a piece of twine, and held it up to ask
Jonas if that would do. Jonas said it would, and told him to take it
off carefully, and tie one end of it to his centre stake.

And Rollo did so.

“Now,” said Jonas, “make another little sharp stake for the marker, and
tie the other end of the twine to that, near the sharp end.”

Rollo worked busily for some time, and then called out,

“Jonas, it is done.”

All this time, Jonas was at work in the bushes, at a little distance.
He now came to Rollo’s wigwam-ground, and took hold of the marker, and
held it off as far from the middle stake as it would go, and then began
to make a mark on the ground all around the middle stake. Now, as the
marker was tied to the middle stake by the string, the mark was equally
distant from the middle stake in every part, and that made it exactly
round. Then Jonas laid down the marker, and pulled out the middle
stake; and they looked down and saw that there was a round mark on the
ground, about as large as a cart-wheel.

Then Jonas took the crowbar, and made deep holes all around, in this
circle, so far apart that Rollo could just step from one to the other.
But Rollo could not understand how he could make a house so.

“I will tell you,” said Jonas. “You must now go and get some large
branches of trees, and trim off the twigs from the lower end, and stick
them down in these, holes. I will show you how.”

So Jonas took a large bough, and trimmed the large end, and sharpened
it a little, and then he fixed it down in one of these holes, in such a
manner that the top of it bent over towards the middle of the circle;
then he went back to his work, leaving Rollo to go on with the wigwam.


Rollo put down two or three branches very well, and was very much
delighted at seeing it gradually begin to look like a house, when he
thought he heard a voice. He listened a moment, and heard some one at a
distance calling, “Rol—lo. Rol—lo.”

Rollo dropped his hatchet, and looked in the direction that the sound
came from, and called out as loud as he could, “What!”

“Where—are—you?” was heard in reply.

Rollo answered, “_Here,_” and then immediately clambered along over the
bridge, and ran through the woods until he came out into the open
field; and there he saw a small boy, away off at a distance, just
coming through the turn-stile.

It was his cousin James. It seems that James had come to play with him
that day, and Rollo’s mother had directed him down towards the woods.

James came running along towards Rollo, holding up something round and
bright, in each hand. They were half dollars.

“Where did you get them?” said Rollo.

“One is for you, and one is for me,” said James. “Uncle George sent
them to us.”

“What a beautiful little eagle!” said Rollo, as he looked at one side
of his half dollar; “I wish I could get it off and keep it separate.”

“O no,” said James, “that would spoil your half dollar.”

“Why, they would know it was a half dollar by the letters and the head
on the other side. What a pretty thin eagle! How do you suppose they
fasten it on so strong?”

James said he thought he could get it off; so they went and sat down on
a smooth log, that was lying on the ground, and laid Rollo’s half
dollar on the log. Then he took a pin, and tried to drive the point of
it under the eagle’s head, with a small stone. But the eagle would not
move. They only made some little marks and scratches on the silver.

“Never mind,” said Rollo; “I will keep it as it is.” So he took his
half dollar, and they walked along towards the brook.

They showed their money to Jonas, and told him that they had tried to
get the eagle off. He smiled at this. The boys went back soon to the
wigwam, and James said he would help Rollo finish it. While they were
at work they put their money on a large flat stone, on the brink of the
brook. They fixed a great many boughs into their wigwam, weaving them
in all around, and thus made a very pleasant little house, leaving a
place for a door in front. When they were tired, they went and opened
Rollo’s little package, and found a fine luncheon in it of bread and
butter and pie; which they ate very happily together, sitting on little
hemlock branches in the wigwam.


After their luncheon, the boys began to talk about the best place for a
window for the wigwam.

“I think we will have it _this_ side, towards the brook,” said James,
“and then we can look out to the water.”

“No,” said Rollo, “it will be better to have it _here_, towards where
Jonas is working, and then we can look out and see him.”

“No,” said James, “that is not a good plan; I do not want to see

“And I do not want to see the water,” replied Rollo. “It is _my_
wigwam, and I mean to have the window _here._”

So saying, he went to the side towards Jonas, and began to take away a
bough. James came there too, and said angrily,

“The wigwam is mine as much as it is yours, for I helped make it, and I
will not have a window here.”

So he took hold of the branch that Rollo had hold of. They both felt
guilty and condemned, but their angry feelings urged them on, and they
looked fiercely at each other, and pulled upon the branch.

“Rollo,” said James, “let go.”

“James,” said Rollo, “I tell you, let my wigwam alone.”

“It is not your wigwam.”

“I tell you it is.”

Just then they heard a noise in the bushes. They looked around, and saw
Jonas coming towards them. They felt ashamed, and were silent, though
each kept hold of the branch.

“Now, boys,” said Jonas, “you have got into a foolish and wicked
quarrel. I have heard it all. Now you may do as you please—you may let
me settle it, or I will lead you home to your mother, and tell her
about it, and let her settle it.”

The boys looked ashamed, but said nothing.

“If you conclude to let me settle it, you must do just as I say. But I
do not pretend that I have any right to decide such a case, unless you
consent. So I will take you home, if you prefer.”

The boys both preferred that he should settle it, and promised to do as
he should say.

“Well, then,” said he, “the first thing is for you, Rollo, to go over
the other side of the brook, and you, James, to stay here, and both to
sit down still, until you have had time to cool.”

The boys obeyed, and Jonas went back to his work.

The boys sat still, feeling guilty and ashamed; but they were not
penitent. They ought to have been sorry for their fault, and become
good-natured and pleasant again. But instead of that, they were silent
and displeased, eyeing one another across the brook. Jonas waited some
time, and then came and called them both to him.

“Now,” says James, “I will tell you all about it, and you shall decide
who was to blame.”

“I heard it all, and I know which was to blame; you, James, came here
to see Rollo, and found him building a wigwam. It was _his_ wigwam, not
_yours_. He began it without you, and was going on without you, and
when you came, you had no right to assume any authority about it. You
ought to have let him do as he wished with his own wigwam. You were

Here Rollo began to look pleased and triumphant, that Jonas had decided
in his favor.

“But,” continued Jonas, “you, Rollo, were playing here alone. Your
little cousin came to see you; and you were very glad to have him come.
He helped you build, and when he wanted to have the window in a
particular way, you ought to have let him. To quarrel with a visitor
for such a cause as that, was very ungentlemanly and unkind. So you see
you were both very much to blame.”

The boys looked guilty and ashamed, but they did not feel really
penitent. They were not cordially reconciled. Neither was willing to
give up.

“But,” said Rollo, “how shall we make the window?”

“I think you ought not to make any window, as you cannot agree about

They wanted to make a window now more than ever, for each wanted to
have his own way; but Jonas would not consent, and as they had agreed
to abide by his decision, they submitted. Jonas then returned to his
work, and the boys stood by the side of the brook, not knowing exactly
what to do. Jonas told them, when they went away, that he expected that
they would have another quarrel, as he perceived that their hearts were
still in a bad state.


The boys sat down on the bank of the brook, and began to pick up little
stones and throw them into the water. They began soon to talk of the
window again.

Rollo said, “Jonas thought you were most to blame, I know.”

“No, he did not,” replied James. “He blamed you the most; he said you
were unjust.”

“I don’t care,” said Rollo. “You do not know how to build a wigwam. You
cannot reach high enough to make a window.”

“I _can_ reach high,” said James. “I can reach as high as that,” said
he, stretching up his hand.

“And I can reach as high as _that_” said Rollo, stretching up his hand
higher than James did; for he was a little taller.

James was somewhat vexed to find that Rollo could reach higher than he
could, though it was very foolish to allow himself to be put out of
humor by such a thing. But boys, when they are ill-humored, and
dispute, are always unreasonable and foolish. James determined not to
be outdone, so he took up a stick, and reached it up in the air as high
as he could, and said,

“I can reach up as high as _that_.”

Then Rollo took up a stone, and tossed it up into the air, saying,

“And I can reach as high as that.”

Now, when boys throw stones into the air, they ought to consider where
they will come down; but, unfortunately, Rollo did not in this case,
and the stone fell directly upon James’s head. It was, however a small
stone, and his cap prevented it from hurting him much; but he was
already vexed and out of humor, and so he began to cry out aloud.

Rollo was frightened a little, for he was afraid he had hurt his cousin
a good deal, and then he expected too that Jonas would come. But Jonas
took no notice of the crying, but went on with his work. Now, Jonas was
very kind and careful, and always came quick when there was any one
hurt. But this time, he knew by the tone of James’s crying, that it was
vexation rather than pain that caused it.

James, finding that his crying did no good, gradually became still; and
in a few minutes, as he happened to look round, his eye rested on the
stone where they had put their half dollars, and he saw that only one
of them was there.

“O, Rollo,” said he, “one of our half dollars is gone.”

They went to the stone, and, true enough, one was gone. They looked
around, but it was no where to be found. Boys that are out of humor
with one another, are never at a loss for subjects of dispute; and
Rollo said he believed James had taken it, and James charged it upon
Rollo. Then there was a dispute who should have the one that was left.
James knew it was his; he said he remembered _exactly_ how his looked;
and Rollo knew it was his, for the head and the stars were very bright
on his, and they were very bright on this. James, however, had the half
dollar, and would not give it up; and so Rollo went to Jonas, and told
him that James had got his half dollar.

Jonas came, and heard the whole story from both of the boys. James said
he _knew_ the one that was left was his, for he remembered exactly how
it looked, and he also remembered exactly the very spot on the stone
where he put it down.

James did not mean to tell a lie, but he was a little angry and
excited, and when boys are in that state of mind, they are very apt to
say they know not what.

Jonas looked at both sides of the half dollar very attentively.

“Which half dollar was it,” said he, “that you tried to get the eagle
off of?”

“Mine,” said Rollo; “let me see.”

Jonas held down the half dollar, and showed to Rollo and James the
marks and scratches made by the pin; proving that this was Rollo’s half
dollar. James looked ashamed and confounded; Jonas just waited to hear
what he would say.


James stood still a minute, thinking presently he said,

“Well, Rollo, I suppose my half dollar is lost, but I am glad yours is
safe, at any rate.”

“I am sorry yours is lost,” said Rollo, “but then I can give you half
of what I buy with mine.”

“Where did you put the half dollars?” said Jonas.

“On that rock,” said Rollo.

They walked along towards the rock. It was by the edge of the water;
Jonas thought that as they had been dragging boughs of trees along near
the rock, some little branch might have reached over and brushed off
one of the pieces of money into the water. So he walked up to it and
looked over.

In a minute or two, he pointed down, and the boys looked and saw
something bright and glittering on the bottom.

“Is that it?” said James.

“I believe it is,” said Jonas.

Jonas then took off his jacket, rolled up his shirt sleeve, lay down on
the rock, and reached his arm down into the water, but it was a little
too deep. He could not reach it.

“I cannot get it so,” said he.

“What shall we do?” said James. “How foolish I was to put it so near
the water!”

“I think we shall contrive some way to get it,” said Jonas.

He then sat down on the rock and looked into the water. “We can go home
and get a long pair of tongs, and get it with them at any rate,” said

“O, yes,” said Rollo, “I will go and get them;” and he ran off towards
the bridge.

“No,” said Jonas, “stop; I will try one plan more.”

So he went and cut a long straight stem of a bush, and trimmed it up
smooth, and cut the largest end off exactly square. Then he went to a
hemlock tree near, and took off some of the gum, which was very
“sticky.” He pressed some of this with his knife on the end of the
stick. Then he reached it very carefully down, and pressed it hard
against the half dollar; it crowded the half dollar down into the sand,
out of sight.


“There, you have lost it,” said James.

“I don’t know,” said Jonas; and he began slowly and carefully to draw
it up.

When the end of the stick came up out of the sand, the boys saw, to
their great delight, that the half dollar was sticking fast on. They
clapped their hands, and capered about on the stone, while Jonas gently
drew up the half dollar, and put it, all wet and dripping, into James’s

The boys thanked Jonas for getting up the money, and then they asked
him to keep both pieces for them until they went home. Then they began
to think of the wigwam again.

“We will make the window as you want it, James,” said Rollo; “I am

“No,” said James, “I was just going to say we would make it your way. I
rather think it would be better to make it towards the land.”

“Why can you not have two windows?” said Jonas.

“So we can,” said both of the boys; and they immediately went to work
collecting branches and weaving them in, leaving a space for a window
both sides. Their quarrelsome feelings were all gone, and they talked
very pleasantly at their work until it was time for them to go home to

[Illustration: They went to work collecting branches and weaving them



The afternoon of the day when Rollo and his cousin James made their
wigwam in the woods by the brook, they were at work there again,
employed very harmoniously together, in finishing their edifice, when
suddenly Jonas, who was at work in the woods at a little distance,
heard them both calling to him, in tones of surprise and pleasure—

“O, Jonas, Jonas, come here quick—quick.”

Jonas dropped his axe and ran.

When he got near them, they pointed to a log.

“See there;—see;—see there.”

“What is it?” said Jonas. “O, I see it,” said he.

It was a little squirrel clambering up a raspberry-bush, eating the
raspberries as he went along. He would climb up by the little branches,
and pull in the raspberries in succession, until he got to the topmost
one, when the bush would bend over with his weight until it almost
touched the log.

“Let us catch him,” said Rollo, very eagerly; “do let us catch him; I
will go and get our steeple trap.”

Jonas did not seem to be so very much delighted as the boys were. He
said he was certainly a cunning little fellow, but “what should we do
with him if we should catch him?”

“O,” said Rollo, “we would put him in a little cage. It would be so
complete to have him in a cage! Do, Jonas, do.”

“But you have not got any cage.”

“We can get one,” said James. “We can buy one with our half dollars.”

“Well,” said Jonas, “it will do no good to set the trap now, for he
will be away before we could get back. But I will come down to-night,
and set the trap, and perhaps we shall catch him, though I do not
exactly like to do it.”

“Why?” said the boys.

“O,” replied Jonas, “he will not like to be shut up all night, in a
dark box, and then be imprisoned in a cage. He had rather run about
here, and gather raspberries. Besides, you would soon get tired of him
if you had him in a cage.”

“O no,” said Rollo, “I should not get tired of him.”

“Did you ever have any plaything that you were not tired of before

“Why,—no,” said Rollo; “but then a real live squirrel is a different
thing. Besides, you know, if I get tired of him, I need not play with
him then.”

“No, but a real live thing must be fed every day, and _that_ you would
find a great trouble. And then you would sometimes forget it, and the
poor fellow would be half starved.”

“O no,” said Rollo; “I am sure I should not forget it.”

“Did you remember your reading-lesson this morning?”

“Why,—no,” said Rollo, looking a little confused. “But I am sure I
should not forget to feed a squirrel if I had one.”

“You don’t know as much as I thought you did,” replied Jonas.


“I thought you knew more about yourself than to suppose you could be
trusted to do any thing regularly every day. Why, you would not
remember to wash your own face every morning, if your mother did not
remind you. The squirrel is almost as fit to take care of you in your
wigwam, as you are to take care of him in a cage.”

Rollo felt a little ashamed of his boasting, for he knew that what
Jonas said was true. Jonas said, finally, “However, we will try to
catch him; but I cannot promise that I shall let you keep him in a
cage. It will be bad enough for him to be shut up all night in the box
trap, but I can pay him for that the next day in corn.”

So Jonas brought down the box trap that night. It was a long box, about
as big as a cricket, with a tall, pointed back, which looked like a
steeple; so Rollo called it the steeple trap. It was so made that if
the squirrel should go in, and begin to nibble some corn, which they
were going to put in there, it would make the cover come down and shut
him in. They fixed the trap on the end of the log, and Jonas observed,
as he sat on the log, that he could see the barn chamber window through
a little opening among the trees. Of course he knew that from the barn
chamber window he could see the trap, though it would be too far off to
see it plain.


Early the next morning, James came over to learn whether they had
caught the squirrel; and he and Rollo wanted Jonas to go down with them
and see. Jonas said he could not go down then very well, but if he
would go and ask his father to lend him his spy-glass, he could tell
without going down.

Now Jonas had been a very faithful and obedient boy, ever since he came
to live with Rollo’s father. He had some great faults when he first
came, but he had cured himself of them, and he was now an excellent and
trustworthy boy. It was a part of his business to take care of Rollo,
and they always let him have what he asked for from the house, as they
knew it was for some good purpose, and that it would be well taken care
of. So when Rollo went in and asked for the spy-glass, and said that
Jonas wanted it, they handed it down to him at once.

Jonas took the glass, and they all three went up into the barn chamber.

Jonas opened the glass, and held it up to his eye. The boys stood by
looking on silently. At length, Jonas said,

“No, we have not caught him.”

“How do you know?” said the boys.

“O, I can see the trap, and it is not sprung.”

“Is not sprung?” said James, “what do you mean by _sprung_?”

“Shut. It is not shut. I can see it open, and of course the squirrel is
not there.”

“O, he may be in,” said Rollo, “just nibbling the corn. Do let us go
and see.”

Jonas smiled, and said he could not go then, but he would look through
the spy-glass again towards noon. He then gave the glass to Rollo, and
it was carried back safely into the house.

James soon after went home, and Rollo sat down in the parlor to his
reading. Afterwards he came out, and went to building cities in a sandy
corner of the garden. He was making Rome,—for his father had told him
that Rome was built on seven hills, and he liked to make the seven
hills in the sand. He made a long channel for an aqueduct, and went
into the house to get a dipper of water to fill his aqueduct, when he
met James coming again. So they went in, and got the spy-glass, and
asked Jonas to go up and look again.

Jonas adjusted the glass, held it up to his eye, and looked some time
in silence, and then said,—

“Yes, it is sprung, I believe. Yes, it is certainly sprung.”

“O, then we have caught him,” said the boys, capering about. “Let us go
and see.”

“Perhaps we have caught him,” said Jonas, “but it is not certain;
sometimes the trap gets sprung accidentally. However, you may go and
ask your father if he thinks it worth while for me to leave my work
long enough to go down and see.”


Rollo came back with the permission granted, and they all set off;
Rollo and James running on eagerly before.

When they came to the trap, they found it shut. Jonas took it up, and
tipped it one way and the other, and listened. He heard something
moving in it, but did not know whether it was anything more than the
corn cob. Then he said he would open the trap a very little, and let
Rollo peep in.

He did so. Rollo said it looked all dark; he could not see any thing.
Then Jonas opened it a little farther, and Rollo saw two little shining
eyes, and presently a nose smelling along at the crack.

“Yes, here he is, here he is,” said Rollo; “look at him, James, look at
him;—see, see.”

They all peeped at him, and then Jonas took the box under his arm, and
they returned home.

Jonas told the boys he was not willing to keep the squirrel a prisoner
very long, but he would try to contrive some way by which they might
look at him. Now, there was, in the garret, a small fire-fender, which
had been laid aside as old and useless. Jonas recollected this, and
thought he could fix up a temporary cage with it. So he took a small
box about as large as a raisin-box, which he found in the barn, and
laid it down on its side, so as to turn the open side towards the trap,
and then moved the trap close up to it. He then covered up all the rest
of the open part of the box with shingles, and asked James and Rollo to
hold them on. Then he carefully lifted up the cover of the trap, and
made a rattling in the back part of it with the spindle. This drove the
squirrel through out of the trap into the box.

When Jonas was sure that he was in, he took the old fender and slid it
down very cautiously between the trap and the box, so as to cover the
open part entirely, and make a sort of grated front, like a cage. Then
he took the trap away, and there the little nut-cracker was, safely
imprisoned, but yet fairly exposed to view.

That is, they _thought_ he was safely imprisoned; but he, little rogue,
had no idea of submitting without giving his bolts and bars a try. At
first, he crept along, with his tail curled over his back, in a corner,
and looked at the strange faces which surrounded him. “Let us give him
a little corn,” said Rollo; “perhaps he is hungry;” and he was just
slipping some kernels in between the wires of the fender, when Bunny
sprang forward, and, with a jump and a squeeze, forced his slender body
between two of the wires that were bent a little apart, leaped down
upon the barn floor, ran along to the corner, up the post, and then
crept leisurely along on a beam. Presently, he stopped, and looked
down, as if considering what to do next.

The moment he escaped, the boys exclaimed, “O, catch him, catch him,”
and were going to run after him; but Jonas said that it would do no
good, for they could not catch him again now, and had better stand
still and see what he would do.

He soon began to run along on the beam; thence he ascended to the
scaffold, and made his way towards an open window. He jumped up to the
window sill, and then disappeared. The boys all ran around, outside,
and were just in time to catch a glimpse of him, running along on the
top of the fence, down towards the woods again.

“Do let us run after him and catch him,” said Rollo.

“Catch him!” said Jonas, with a laugh, “you might as well catch the
wind. No, the only way is to set our trap for him again. I meant to let
him go, myself; but he is not going to slip through our fingers in that
way, I tell him.” So Jonas went down that night and set the trap again.

For several days after this, the trap remained unsprung, and the boys
began to think that they should never see him again. At last, however,
one day, when Rollo was playing in the yard, he saw Jonas coming up out
of the woods with the trap under his arm. Rollo ran to meet him, and
was delighted to find that the squirrel was caught again.


Jonas contrived to tighten the wires of the lender, by weaving in other
wires so as to secure the little prisoner this time; and when he was
fairly in his temporary cage, the boys were so pleased with his
graceful form and beautiful colors, especially the elegant stripes on
his back, that they begged hard to keep him; and they made many earnest
promises never to forget to feed him. Jonas said, at last,

“On the whole. I believe I will let you keep him, but you must do it in
my way.”

“What is your way?”

“Why, after a day or two, we must carry him back to his raspberry-bush,
and let him go. But you may give him a name, and call him yours, and
you can carry some corn down there now and then, to feed him with,—and
then you will see him, occasionally, playing about there.”

James and Rollo did not exactly like this plan at first, but when they
considered how much better the little squirrel himself would like it,
they adopted it; and Rollo proposed that they should tie a string round
his neck for a collar, so that they might know him again.

“I can get mother to let me have a little pink riband,” said he, “and
that will be beautiful.”

“It would be a good plan,” said Jonas, “to mark him in some way, but he
might gnaw off the riband.”

“O no,” said James, “he could not gnaw any thing on his own neck.”
Rollo thought so too, and they both tried to bite their own collar
ribands, by way of showing Jonas how impossible it was.

“I don’t know exactly what the limits are of a squirrel’s gnawing,”
said Jonas. “Perhaps he might tear it off with his claws.”

“Or he might get another squirrel to gnaw it off for him,” said James.

“Yes,” said Jonas, “and there is another difficulty. He might be
jumping from one tree to another, and catch his collar in some little
branch, and so get hung, without judge or jury.”

“What can we do then?” said Rollo.

“I think,” said Jonas, “that the best plan would be to dye the end of
his tail black. That would not hurt him any; and yet, as he always
holds his tail up, we should see it, and know him.”

The boys both thought this would be excellent, and Jonas said he had
some black dye, which he had made for dyeing some wood. Jonas was a
very ingenious boy, and used to make little boxes, and frames, and
windmills, with his penknife, in the long winter evenings, and he had
made this dye out of vinegar and old nails, to dye some of his wood

“I am not certain,” said Jonas, “that my dye will color hair; I never
tried it, except on wood. Do you think that black would be a pretty

“No,” said Rollo, “black would not be a very pretty color, but it would
do. Yellow, and red, and green, are pretty colors, but black, and
brown, and white, are not pretty at all.”

“I have not got any yellow, or red, or green,” said Jonas. “I don’t
know but that I have got a little blue.”

“O, blue would be beautiful,” said James.

Then Jonas walked along into the barn, and Rollo and James followed
him. He went up stairs, and walked along to the farthest corner, and
there, up on a beam, were several small bottles all in a row. Jonas
took down one, and shook it, and said that was the blue.

He brought it down to the cage; Rollo went into the house, and brought
out an old bowl, and Jonas prepared to pour out the dye into it. They
then concluded that they would carry the whole apparatus down into the
edge of the woods, and perform the operation there; and then the
squirrel, when he was liberated, would easily find his way back to his
home. Jonas carried down a pair of thick, old gloves, to keep the
squirrel from biting him.

As they walked along, Rollo proposed that Jonas should dip the
squirrel’s ears in as well as his tail; “because,” said he, “we may
sometimes see him when he is half hid in the bushes, so that only his
head is in sight.”

“Besides,” said James, “it will make him look more beautiful if his
ears and tail are both blue.”

Jonas did not object to this, and after a short time, they reached the
edge of the woods. They found a little opening, where the ground was
smooth and the grass green, which seemed exactly the place for them. So
they put down the cage and the bowl of dye, and Jonas began to put on
his glove.

“Now, boys,” said he, “you must be still as moonlight while I do it. If
you speak to me, you will put me out; and besides, you will frighten
little Bunny.”

The boys promised not to speak a single word; and Jonas, after
unfastening the fender from the front of the box, moved it along until
there was an opening large enough for him to get his hand in. Rollo and
James stood by silently, and somewhat anxiously, waiting the result.

When the squirrel saw Jonas’s hand intruding itself into the box, he
retreated to the farther corner, and curled himself up there, with his
tail close down upon his back. Jonas followed him with his hand,
saying, in a soothing tone, “Bunny, Bunny, poor little Bunny.”

He reached him, at length, and put his hand very gently over him, and
slowly and cautiously drew him out.

Rollo and James gave a sort of hysteric laugh, and instantly clapped
their hands to their mouths, to suppress it; but they looked at one
another and at Jonas with great delight.

Jonas gradually brought the squirrel over the bowl, and prepared to dip
his ears into the dye. It was a strange situation for a squirrel to be
in, and he did not like it at all; and just at the instant when his
ears were going into the dye, he twisted his head round, and planted
his little fore teeth directly upon Jonas’s thumb. As might have been
supposed, teeth which were sharp and powerful enough to go through a
walnut shell, would not he likely to be stopped by a leathern glove;
and Jonas, startled by the sudden cut, gave a twitch with his hand,
and, at the same instant, let go of the squirrel. Bunny grasped the
edge of the howl with his paws, and leaped out, bringing the bowl
itself at the same instant over upon him, spattering him all over from
head to tail with the blue dye.


The boys looked aghast for a minute, but when they saw him racing off
as fast as possible, and running up a neighboring tree, Jonas burst
into a laugh, which the other boys joined, and they continued it loud
and long, till the woods rang again.

“Well, we have spotted him, at any rate,” said Jonas. “We will call him

The boys then looked at Jonas’s bite, and found that it was not a very
serious one. In fact, Jonas was a little ashamed at having let go for
so small a wound However, it was then too late to regret it and the
boys returned slowly home.

As they were walking home, James said that the squirrel’s back looked
_wet_, where the dye went upon him, but he did not think it looked very

“No,” said Jonas, “it does not generally look blue at first, but it
grows blue afterwards. It will be a bright color enough before you see
him again, I will warrant.”

So they walked along home; the fender was put back in its place in the
garret, the bowl in the house, and the box in the barn. Jonas soon
forgot that he had been bitten, and the squirrel, as soon as his back
was dry, thought no more of the whole affair, but turned his attention
entirely to the business of digging a hole to store his nuts in for the
ensuing winter.


All the large trees that Jonas had felled beyond the brook, he cut up
into lengths, and hauled them up into the yard, and made a great high
wood-pile of them, higher than his head; but all the branches, and the
small bushes, with all the green leaves upon them, lay about the ground
in confusion. Rollo asked him what he was going to do with them. He
said, after they were dry, he should burn them up, and that they would
make a splendid bonfire.

They lay there drying a good many weeks. The leaves turned yellow and
brown, and the little twigs and sticks became gradually dry and
brittle. Rollo used to walk down there often, to see how the drying
went on, and sometimes he would bring up a few of the bushes, and put
them on the kitchen fire, to see whether they were dry enough to burn.

At last, late in the autumn, one cool afternoon, Jonas asked Rollo to
go down with him and help him pile up the bushes in heaps, for he was
going to burn them that evening. Rollo wanted very much that his
cousins James and Lucy should see the fires; and so he asked his mother
to let him go and ask them to come and take tea there that night, and
go out with them in the evening to the burning. She consented, and
Rollo went. Lucy promised to come just before tea-time, and James came
then, with Rollo, to help him pile the bushes up.

Jonas said that the boys might make one little pile of their own if
they wished; and told them that they must first make a pile of solid
sticks, and dry rotten logs as large as they could lift or roll, so as
to have a good solid fire underneath, and then cover these up with
brush as high as they could pile it, so as to make a great blaze. He
told them also that they must make their pile where it would not burn
any of the trees which he had left standing, for he had left a great
many of the large oaks, and beeches, and pines, to ornament the ground
and make a shade.

Rollo and James decided to make their pile near the brook, between the
bridge which Jonas made of a tree, and the old wigwam which they had
made some time before of boughs. They got together a great heap of
solid wood, as large pieces as they could lift, and at one end they put
in a great deal of birch bark, which they stripped off, in great
sheets, from an old, decayed birch tree, which had been lying on the
ground near, for half a century. When this was done, they began to pile
on the bushes and brush, taking care to leave the end where the birch
bark was, open. After they had piled it up as high as they could reach.
Rollo clambered up to the top of it, and James reached the long bushes
up to him, and he arranged them regularly, with the tops out. So they
worked all the afternoon, and by the time they had got their pile done,
they found that Jonas had thrown almost all the rest of the bushes into
heaps; and then they went home to tea.

They found Lucy there, and they were all so eager to go to the
bonfires, that they did not eat much supper. Their father told them
that, as they had so little appetite, they had better carry down some
potatoes and apples, and roast them by the fires. They thought this an
excellent plan, and ran into the store-room to get them. Their mother
gave them a basket to put the potatoes and apples into, and a little
salt folded up in a paper. They were then so impatient to go that their
parents said they might set off with Jonas, and they themselves would
come along very soon.

So Jonas and the three children walked on. Rollo carried the basket,
and Jonas a lantern; and Jonas, as he went along, made, with his
penknife, some flat, wooden spoons, to eat their potatoes with. They
came to the bridge, and all got safely over, though Lucy was a little
afraid at first.

They played around there a few minutes, as the twilight was coming on;
and, soon after, they saw Rollo’s father and mother coming down through
the trees, on the other side of the brook. They stopped on that side,
as Rollo’s mother did not like to come across the bridge. Pretty soon
they called out to Jonas to light the fires.

Jonas then took a large piece of birch bark, and touched the corner of
it to the lamp in the lantern, and when it was well on fire, he laid it
carefully on the ground. The bark began to blaze up very bright,
sending out volumes of thick smoke and dense flame, writhing, and
curling, and snapping, as it lay on the ground. The light shone
brightly on the grass and sticks around.

“There,” said Jonas, “that will burn some time; now you may light your
torches from that.”

“Torches?” said Rollo, “we have not got any torches.”

“Have not you made any torches? O, well,—I will make you some in a

So he took out his knife, and selected three long slender stems of
bushes, and trimmed them up, and cut off the tops. Then he made a
little split in the top end, and slipped in a piece of birch bark. Then
he handed them to the children, one to each, and said, “There are your
torches; now you can light your fires without burning your fingers.”

So they took their torches, and held the ends over the flame of the
piece of birch bark, which, however, had by this time nearly burned
out. Lucy’s took fire, but Rollo’s and James’s did not, at first; and
as they pressed their torches down more and more to make them light,
they only smothered what little flame was left, and put it out.

“O dear me!” said Rollo.

Lucy had gone a little way towards a pile; but when she saw what was
the matter, she came back and said, “Here;—light it by mine.” So the
boys held their torches over hers until they were all three in a bright
blaze. They then carried them along, waving them in the air, and
lighting pile after pile, until the whole forest seemed to be in a

The children stood still a few moments, gazing on the fires, and on the
extraordinary effect which the light produced upon the objects around.
It was a singular scene. Flashing and crackling flames rose high from
the heaps which were on fire, and shed a strong but unsteady light on
the trees, the ground, and the banks of the brook, and penetrated deep
into the forest on every side. Rollo called upon James and Lucy to look
at his father and mother, who were across the brook; they stood there
under the trees, almost invisible before, but now the bright light
shone strongly upon their faces and forms, and cast upon them a clear
and brilliant illumination, which was strongly contrasted with the dark
depths of the forest behind them.

The children were silent, and stood still for a few minutes, gazing on
the scene with feelings of admiration and awe. They expected to have
capered about and laughed, but they found that they had no disposition
to do so. The enjoyment they felt was not of that kind which leads
children to caper and laugh. They stood still, and looked silently and
soberly on the flashing flames, the lurid light, the bright red
reflections on the woods, the banks, and the water,—and on the volumes
of glowing smoke and sparks which ascended to the sky.

Before long, however, the light fuel upon the top of the piles was
burned up, and there remained great glowing heaps of embers, and logs
of wood still flaming. These the boys began to poke about with long
poles that Jonas had cut for them, to make them burn brighter, and to
see the sparks go up. Presently they heard their father calling them.

The boys all stopped to listen.

“We are going home,” said he; “we shall take cold if we stand still
here. You may stay, however, with Jonas, only you must not sit down.”

So Rollo’s father and mother turned away, and walked along back towards
the house, the light shining more and more faintly upon them, until
they were lost among the trees.

“Why do you suppose we must not sit down?” said Lucy.

“Because,” said Jonas, “they are afraid you will take cold. As long as
you run about and play around the fires, you keep warm.”

“O, then we will run about and play fast enough,” said James. “I know
what I am going to do.”

So he took a large flat piece of hemlock bark, which he found upon the
ground, and began tearing off strips of birch bark from the old tree,
and piling them upon it.

“What are you going to do?” said Lucy.

“O, I am going to play steam-boat on fire,” said he; and he took up the
piece of bark with the little pile of combustibles upon it, and carried
it down to the edge of the brook. Then he went back and got his torch
stick, and put a fresh piece of birch bark in the split end, and
lighted it, and then came back to the brook, walking slowly lest his
torch should go out.

Lucy held his torch for him while he gently put his steam-boat on the
water; and then he lighted it with his torch, and pushed it out. It
floated down, all blazing as it was, to the great delight of the three
children, and astonishment of all the little fishes in the brook, who
could not imagine what the blazing wonder could be.

The children followed it along down the brook, and began to pelt it
with stones, and soon got into a high frolic. But as they were very
careful not to hit one another with the stones, nor to speak harshly or
cross, they enjoyed it very much. When at last the steam-boat was
fairly pelted to pieces, and the blackened fragments of the birch bark
were scattered over the water, and floating away down the stream, they
began to think of roasting their corn and potatoes, which they did very
successfully over the remains of the fires. When they had nearly
finished eating, Rollo suddenly exclaimed,—

“O, I will tell you what we will do; we will go and set our wigwam on

Rollo pointed to the wigwam. James and Lucy looked, and observed that
it had been dried and browned in the sun, and Rollo thought it was no
longer good for any thing as a wigwam, but would make a capital
bonfire. He proposed that they should all go into it and sit down, and
put a torch near the side so as to set it on fire, as if accidentally.
They would go on talking as if they did not see it, and when the flames
burst out, they would jump up and run out, crying, Fire! as people do
when their houses get on fire.

Lucy said she should not like to do that. She should be afraid, she
said. The sparks would fall down upon her and burn her. So the boys
gave that plan up. Then James proposed that they should make believe
that they were savages, going to set fire to a town. The wigwam was to
be the town. They would take their torches, and all go and set it on
fire in several places.

“But, then, I could not help,” said Lucy, “for women do not go to war.”

“O yes, they do, if they are savages,” said James. “We play that we are
savages, you see.”

So it was all agreed to. They lighted their torches, and marched along,
waving them in the air, until they came to the wigwam, and then they
danced around it, singing and shouting as they set it on fire in many
places on all sides. The flames spread rapidly, and flashed up high
into the air, and soon there was nothing left of the poor wigwam but a
few smoking and blackened sticks lying on the ground.

The children then crept along over the bridge, and went towards home.
There were still great beds of burning embers remaining, and in some
places the remains of logs and stumps were blazing brightly. And that
night, when Rollo went to bed, he lay looking out the window which was
towards the woods, and saw the light still shining among the trees, and
the smoke slowly rising from the fires, and floating away through the



About six miles from the house where Rollo lived, there was a mountain
called Benalgon, which was famous for bears and blueberries. There were
no bears on it, but there were plenty of blueberries. The reason why it
was so famous for bears, when in fact there were none there, was
because the boys and girls that went there for blueberries every year,
used to see black logs and stumps among the trees and bushes of the
mountain, and they would run away very hastily, and insist upon it,
when they got down the mountain, that they had seen a bear.

Now, Rollo’s father and mother, together with his uncle George, formed
a plan for going up this mountain after blueberries, and they were
going to take Rollo and his cousin Lucy with them. Uncle George and
cousin Lucy were to come in a chaise to Rollo’s house immediately after
breakfast, and Rollo was to ride with them, and his father and mother
were to go in another chaise.

Rollo got his little basket to pick his blueberries in, all ready the
night before, and he got a string to tie around his neck, intending to
hang his basket upon it, so that he could have both his hands at
liberty, and pick faster. He also thought he would take all the heavy
things out of his pocket, so that he could run the faster, in case he
should see any bears. He put them all on a window in the shed. The
things were a knife, a piece of chalk, two white pebble stones, and a
plummet. When he got them all out, he asked Jonas, who was splitting
wood in the shed, if he would not take care of them for him, till he
came back.

“Why, yes,” said Jonas, “I will take care of them if you wish; but what
are you going to leave them for?”

“O, so that I can run faster,” said Rollo.

“Run faster? I do not think you will run much, up old Benalgon, unless
he holds his back down lower than when I went up.”

Rollo did not mean that he was going to run up the mountain, but he did
not explain what he did mean, for he thought that Jonas would laugh at
him, if he told him he was afraid of the bears. So he said, “Jonas,
don’t you wish you were going with us?”

“I should like it well enough, but I must stay at home and mind my

“I wish you could go. I will go and ask my father if he will not let

Rollo ran into the house with great haste and eagerness, leaving all
the doors open, and calling out, “Father, father,” as soon as he had
begun to open the parlor door.

“Father, father,” said he, running up to him, “I wish you would let
Jonas go with us to-morrow.”

Now, Rollo’s father had come home but a short time before, and was just
seated quietly in his arm-chair, reading a newspaper, and Rollo came up
to him, pulling down the paper with his hands, and looking up into his
father’s face, so as to stop his reading at once. Heedless boys very
often come to ask favors in this way.

His father gently moved him back and said,

“No, my son, it is not convenient for Jonas to go to-morrow. Besides, I
am busy now, and cannot talk with you;—you must go away.”

Rollo turned away disappointed, and went slowly back through the
kitchen. His mother, who was there, and who heard all that passed, as
the doors were open, said to him, as he walked by her, “What a foolish
way that was to ask him, Rollo! You might have known it would have done
no good.”

Rollo did not answer, but he went and sat down on the step of the door,
and was just beginning to think what the foolishness was in his way of
asking his father, when a little bird came hopping along in the yard.
He ran in to ask his mother to give him some milk to feed the bird
with. She smiled, and told him milk was good for kittens, but not for
birds; and she gave him some crumbs of bread. Rollo threw the crumbs
out, but they only frightened the little thing away.

That night, when Rollo went to bed, his father said, that when he was
all ready, he would come up and see him. When he came into his chamber,
Rollo called out to him,

“O, father, look out the window, and see what a beautiful ring there is
round the moon.”

“So there is,” said his father; “I am rather sorry to see that.”

“Sorry, father! why? It is beautiful, I think.”

“It does look pretty, but it is a sign of rain to-morrow.”

“Of rain? O no, father; it is a kind of a rainbow. It is a round
rainbow. I am sure it will be pleasant to-morrow.”

“Very well,” said his father, “we shall see in the morning.” Then he
sat down on Rollo’s bed-side some time, talking with him on various
subjects, and then heard him say his prayers. At length he took the
light, and bade Rollo good night.

Rollo’s eye caught another view of the moon as his father was going,
and he said,

“O, father, just look at the moon once more; that _is_ a rainbow; I see
the colors. I expect it will grow into a large one, such as you told me
was a sign of fair weather. I will watch it.”

“Yes,” said his father, “you can watch it as you go to sleep.”

So Rollo laid his face upon his pillow in such a way that he could see
the moon through the window; and he began to watch the bright circle
around it, but before it grew any bigger, he was fast asleep.


The next morning, Rollo awoke early, and he was very much pleased to
see, as soon as he opened his eyes, that the sun was shining in at the
windows. He was not only pleased to find that the prospect was so good
for a pleasant ride, but his vanity was gratified at the thought that
it had turned out that he knew better about the weather than his
father. He began to dress himself, as far as he could without help, and
was preparing to hasten down to his father, to tell him that it was
going to be a pleasant day. When he was nearly dressed, he was
surprised lo observe that the bright sunlight on the wall was gradually
fading away, and at length it wholly disappeared. He went to look out
the window to see what was the cause. He found that there was a broad
expanse of dark cloud covering the eastern sky, excepting a narrow
strip quite low down, near the horizon. When the sun first rose, it
shone brightly through this narrow zone of clear sky; but now it had
ascended a little higher, and gone behind the cloud.

“Never mind,” said Rollo to himself. “The cloud is not so very large
after all, and the sun will come out again above it when it gets up a
little higher.”

Rollo came down to breakfast, and he went out into the yard every two
or three minutes, to look at the sky. The cloud seemed to extend, so
that the sun did not come out of it, as he expected, but still he
thought it was going to be pleasant Children generally think it is
going to be pleasant, whenever they want to go away.

His father thought it was probably going to rain, and that at any rate
it was very doubtful whether Uncle George would come. However, he said
they should soon see, and, true enough, just as they were rising from
the breakfast table, a chaise drove up to the door, and out jumped
Uncle George and cousin Lucy.

Lucy was a very pleasant little blue-eyed girl, two or three years
older than Rollo. She had a small tin pail in her hand, with a cover
upon it.

“Good morning, Rollo,” said she. “Have you got your basket ready?”

“Yes,” said Rollo; “but I am afraid it is going to rain.”

While the children were saying this, Uncle George said to Rollo’s

“I suppose we shall have to give up our expedition to-day. I am in
hopes we are going to have some rain.”

“In _hopes_,” thought Rollo; “that is very strange when we want to go a

Rollo’s father and mother and his uncle looked at the clouds all
around. They concluded that there was every appearance of rain, and
that it would be best to postpone their excursion, and then went into
the house. Rollo was very confident it would not rain, and was very
eager to have them go. He asked Lucy if she did not think it was going
to be pleasant, but Lucy was more modest and reasonable than he was,
and said that she did not know; she could not judge of the weather so
well as her father.

Rollo began by this time to be considerably out of humor. He said he
knew it was not going to rain, and he did not see why they might not
go. He did not believe it would rain a drop all day.

Lucy just then pointed down to a little dark spot on the stone step of
the door, where a drop had just fallen, and asked Rollo what he called

“And that,—and that,—and that,” said she, pointing to several other

Rollo at first insisted that that was not rain, but some little spots
on the stone.

Then Lucy reached out her hand and said,

“Hold out your hand so, Rollo, and you will feel the drops coming down
out of the sky.”

Rollo held out his hand a moment, but then immediately withdrew it,
saying, impatiently, that he did not care; it was not rain; at any rate
it was only a little sprinkling.

Lucy observed that Rollo was getting very much out of humor, and she
tried to please him by saying,

“Rollo, I would not mind. If it does rain, I will ask my father to let
me stay and play with you to-day, and we can have a fine time up in
your little room.”

“No, we cannot,” said Rollo; “and besides, they will not let you stay,
I know. I went yesterday to ask my father to let Jonas go with us
to-day, and he would not.”

It was certainly very unreasonable for Rollo to imagine that his father
and uncle would be unwilling to have Lucy stay just because it had not
been convenient to let Jonas go with them. But when children are out of
humor, they are always very unreasonable.

“Why would not he let Jonas go?” asked Lucy.

“I do not know. Mother said it was because I did not ask him right.”

“How did you ask him?”

“O, I interrupted him. He was reading.”

“O, that is not the way. I never _interrupt_ my father if I want to ask
him any thing.”

“Suppose he is busy, and you want to know that very minute; what do you

“I will show you. Come with me and I will ask him to let me stay with
you to-day.”

So Lucy and Rollo walked in. When they came to the parlor door, they
saw that their parents were sitting on the sofa, talking about other

Rollo stopped at the door, but Lucy went in gently. She walked up to
her father’s side, and stood there still.

Her father took no notice of her at first, but went on talking with
Rollo’s father. Lucy stood very patiently until, after a few minutes,
her father stopped talking, and said,

“Lucy, my dear, do you want to speak to me?”

“Yes, sir,” said Lucy, “I wanted to ask you if you were willing to let
me stay here to-day and play with Rollo, if you do not go to the

“I do not know,” said her father, hesitating, and patting Lucy on the
head—“that is a new idea; however, I believe I have no objection.”

Lucy ran back joyfully to Rollo, and after a short time, her father
went home. Rollo, however, did not feel in any better humor, and all
Lucy’s endeavors to engage him in some amusement, failed. She proposed
building with bricks, or going up into his little room, and drawing
pictures on their slates, or getting his storybooks out and reading
stories, and various other things, but Rollo would not be pleased.

Rollo ought, now, when he found that he must be disappointed about his
ride, to have immediately banished it from his mind altogether, and
turned his thoughts to other pleasures; but like all ill-humored
people, he _would_ keep thinking and talking, all the time, about the
thing which caused his ill-humor. So he sat in a large back entry,
where he and Lucy were, looking out at the door, and saying a great
many ill-natured things about the weather, and his father’s giving up
the ride just for a little sprinkling of rain that would not last half
an hour. He said it was a shame, too, for it to rain that day, just
because he was going to ride.

Just then, his father spoke to him from the window, and called him in.

He and Lucy went in together into the parlor.

“Rollo,” said his father, “did you know you were doing very wrong?”

Rollo felt a little guilty, but he said rather faintly, “No, sir, I was
not doing any thing.”

“You are committing a great many sins, all at once.”

Rollo was silent. He knew his father meant sins of the heart.

“Your heart is in a very wicked state. You are under the dominion of
some of the worst of feelings; you are self-conceited, ungrateful,
undutiful, unjust, selfish, and,” he added in a lower and more solemn
tone, “even impious.”

Rollo thought that these were heavy charges to bring upon him; but his
father spoke calmly and kindly, and he knew that he could easily show
that what he said was true.

“You are _self-conceited_—vainly imagining that you, a little boy of
seven years old, can judge better than your father and mother, and
obstinately persisting in your opinion that it is not going to rain,
when the rain has actually commenced, and is falling faster and faster.
You are _ungrateful,_ to speak reproachfully of me, and give me pain,
by your ill-will, when I have been planning this excursion, in a great
degree, for your enjoyment, and only give it up because I am absolutely
compelled to do it by a storm; _undutiful_, in showing such a repining,
unsubmissive spirit towards your father; _unjust_ in making Lucy and
all of us suffer, because you are unwilling to submit to these
circumstances that we cannot control; _selfish_, in being unwilling
that it should rain and interfere with your ride, when you know that
rain is so much wanted in all the fields, all over the country; and,
what is worse than all, _impious_, in openly rebelling against God, and
censuring the arrangements of his providence, and pretending to think
that they are made just to trouble you.”

When he had said this, he paused to hear what Rollo would say. He
thought that if he was convinced of his sin, and really penitent, he
would acknowledge that he was wrong, or at least be silent;—but that
if, on the other hand, he were still unsubdued, he would go to making

After a moment’s pause, Rollo said,—“I did not know that there was need
of rain in the fields.”

“Did not you?” said his father. “Did not you know that the ground was
very dry, and that, unless we have rain soon, the crops will suffer
very much?”

“No, sir,” said Rollo.

“It is so,” said his father; “and this rain, which you are so unwilling
to have descend, is going down into the ground all over the country,
and into the roots of all the plants growing in the fields, carrying in
the nourishment which will swell out all the corn and grain, and apples
and pears. In a few days there will be thousands and thousands of
dollars’ worth of fruit and food more than there would have been
without this rain; and yet you are very unwilling to have it come,
because you want to go and get a few blueberries!”

Rollo was confounded, and had not a word to say.

“Now, Rollo,” continued his father, “all the rest of us are disposed to
be good-humored, and to acquiesce in God’s decision, and try to have a
happy day at home; and we cannot have it spoiled by your wicked
repinings. So you must go away by yourself, until you feel willing to
submit pleasantly and with good humor. Then you may come back, but be
sure not to come back before.”


Now there was in Rollo’s house a small back garret, over a part of the
kitchen chamber, which had one small window in it, looking out into the
garden. This garret was not used, and Rollo’s father had put a little
rocking-chair there, and a small table with a Bible on it, and hung
some old maps about it, so as to make it as pleasant a little place as
he could; and there he used to send Rollo when he had done any thing
very wrong, or when he was sullen and ill natured, that he might
reflect in solitude, and either return a good boy, or else stay where
his bad feelings would not trouble or injure others. His father had put
in marks, too, at several places in the Bible, where he thought it
would be well for him to read at such times; as he said that reading
suitable passages in the Bible would be more likely to bring him to
repentance, than any other book.

Rollo knew that when his father told him to go away by himself, he
meant for him to go into this back garret. So he turned round and
walked out of the room. As he passed up the back stairs, the kitten
came frisking around him, but he had no heart to play with her, and
walked on. He then turned and went up the narrow, steep stairs that led
to the garret; they were rather more like a ladder than like stairs.
Rollo ascended them, and then sat down in the little rocking-chair. The
rain was beating against the windows, and pattering on the roof which
was just over his head.

It is sometimes but a little thing which turns the whole current of the
thoughts and feelings. In Rollo’s case, at this time, it was but a drop
of water. For after having sat some time in his chair, his heart
remaining pretty nearly the same, a drop of water, which, somehow or
other, contrived to get through some crevice in the boards and shingles
over his head, fell exactly into the back of his neck. The first
feeling it occasioned was an additional emotion of impatience and
fretfulness. But he next began to think how unreasonable and wicked it
was to make all that difficulty, just because his father was preventing
his going out to stay all day in the rain, when a single drop falling
upon him vexed and irritated him.


He also looked out of the window towards the garden, and the dry
ground, and all the trees and garden vegetables seemed to be drinking
in the rain with delight. That made him think of the vast amount of
good the rain was doing, and he saw his own selfishness in a striking
point of view. In a word Rollo was now beginning to be really penitent.
The tears came into his eyes; but they were tears of real sorrow for
sin, not of vexation and anger.

He took up his little Bible, to read one of the passages, as his father
had advised him. He happened to open at a mark which his father had put
in at the parable of the prodigal son. The first verse which his eye
fell upon, was the verse, “I will arise and go to my father.” Rollo
thought that that was exactly the thing for him to do—to go and confess
his fault to his father.

So he laid down his little Bible, wiped the tears from his eyes, and
went down stairs. He met his father in the entry. He went up to him,
and took his hand, and said,

“Father, I am really very sorry I have been so naughty; I _will try_ to
be a good boy now.”

His father stooped down and kissed him. “I am very glad to hear it,
Rollo,” said he. “Now you may go and find Lucy. I believe she is up in
your mother’s chamber.”

Rollo went off quite happy in pursuit of Lucy. He found her sitting on
a cricket in his mother’s room, looking over a little picture-book.
Rollo ran laughing up to her, and said,

“What have you got, Lucy?”

“One of your little picture-books. Will you lend it to me to carry

Rollo said he would, and then they began to talk about what they should
do. It rained very fast, and they could not go out of doors; and, after
proposing several things, which, however, neither of them seemed to
like, they turned to Rollo’s mother, and asked her what they had better

“I always find,” said his mother, “that when I am disappointed of any
pleasure, it is best not to try to find any other pleasure in its
place, but to turn to _duty_.”

The children did not understand this very well, and they were silent.

“What I mean,” she continued, “is this: When we have just been
disappointed of any pleasure which we had set our hearts upon, it is
very difficult to find any thing else that we can have in its place,
that will look as pleasant as the one we had lost. You see that you are
not satisfied with any thing you propose to one another. Now, I find
that the best way, in such cases, is to give up pleasure altogether,
and turn to some duty; and after performing the duty a short time,
peace and satisfaction return to the mind again, and we get over the
effects of the disappointment in the quickest and pleasantest way.”

Rollo and Lucy looked at one another rather soberly. They did not seem
to know what to say.

“I presume, however, you will not do this,” continued his mother.

“Why?” said Rollo.

“Because,” said his mother, “it requires a good deal of resolution, at
first, to turn to _duty_ when you have just been setting your heart on

“O, we have got resolution enough,” said Rollo.

“What duty do you think we had better do?” asked Lucy.

“If I were you,” replied Rollo’s mother, “I should first of all sit
down and have a good reading lesson.”

Rollo and Lucy hesitated a little, but they concluded to take their
mother’s advice at last, and went to Rollo’s little library, and chose
a book, and then went down to the back entry, and sat down there, on a
long cricket, and began to read.

At first, it was rather hard to do it, for it did not look very
pleasant to either of them to sit down and read, just at the time when
they expected to be gathering blueberries on the mountain. Rollo said,
when they were opening the hook and finding the place, that, if they
had gone, they should, by that time, have just about arrived at the
foot of the mountain.

“Yes,” said Lucy, “but we must not think of that now. Besides, just see
how it rains. It would be a fine time now to go up a mountain, wouldn’t

Rollo looked out of the open door, and saw the rain pouring down into
the yard, and felt again ashamed to recollect how he had insisted that
it was not going to rain.

Lucy said it was beautiful to see it pouring down so fast. “Look,” said
she; “how it streams down from the spout at the corner of the barn!”

“Yes,” said Rollo, “and see that little pond out by the garden gate.
How it is all full of little bubbles! It will be a beautiful pond for
me to sail boats in, when the rain is over. I can make paper-boats and
pea boats!”

“Pea boats?” said Lucy; “what are pea-boats?”

“O! they are beautiful little boats,” said he. “Jonas showed me how to
make them. We take a pea-pod, a good large full pea-pod, and shave off
the top from one end to the other, and then take out the peas, and it
makes a beautiful little boat. I wish we had some; I could show you.”

“Let us make some when we have done reading, and sail them. Only that
pond will all go away when the rain is over.”

“O no,” said Rollo, “I will put some ground all around it, and then the
water cannot run away.”

“Yes, but it will soak down into the ground.”

“Will it?” said Rollo. “Well, we can sail our boats on it a little
while before it is gone.”

“But it is so wet,” said Lucy, “we cannot go out to get any pea-pods.”

“I did not think of that,” said Rollo. “Perhaps Jonas could get some
for us, with an umbrella.”

“_I_ could go with an umbrella,” said Lucy, “just as well as not.”

The children saw an umbrella behind the door, and they thought they
would go both together, and they actually laid down their book, spread
the umbrella, and went to the door. It then occurred to them that it
would not be quite right to go out, without leave; so Rollo went to ask
his mother.

His mother said it was not suitable for young ladies to go out in the
rain, as their shoes, and their dress generally, were thin, and could
not bear to be exposed to wet; but she said that Rollo himself might
take off his shoes and stockings, and go out alone, when the rain held

“But, mother,” said he, “why cannot I go out now, with the umbrella?”

“Because,” she replied, “when it rains fast, some of the water spatters
through the umbrella, and some will be driven against you by the wind.”

“Well, I will wait, and as soon as it rains but little, I will go out.
But must I take off my shoes and stockings?”

“Yes,” said his mother, “or else you will get them wet and muddy. And
before you go you must get a dipper of water ready in the shed, to pour
on your feet, and wash them, when you get back; and then wait till they
are entirely dry, before you put on your shoes and stockings again. If
you want the pea-pods enough to take all that trouble, you may go for

Rollo said he did want them enough for that, and he then went back and
told Lucy what his mother had said, and they concluded to read until
the rain should cease, and that then Rollo should go out into the

They began to read; but their minds were so much upon the pea-pod
boats, that the story did not interest them very much. Besides,
children cannot read very well aloud, to one another; for if they
succeed in calling all the words right, they do not generally give the
stops and the emphasis, and the proper tones of voice, so as to make
the story interesting to those that hear. Some boys and girls are vain
enough to think that they can read very well, just because they can
call all the words without stopping to spell them; but this is very far
from being enough to make a good reader.

Rollo read a little way, and then Lucy read a little way; but they were
not much interested, and thinking that the difficulty might be in the
book, they got another, but with no better success. At last Rollo said
they would go and get their mother to read to them. So they went
together to her room, and Rollo said that they could not get along very
well in rending themselves, and asked her if she would not be good
enough to read to them.

“Why, what is the difficulty?” said she.

“O, I do not know, exactly: the story is not very interesting, and then
we cannot read very well.”

“In what respect will it be better for me to read to you?” she asked.

“Why, mother, you can choose us a prettier story; and then we should
understand it better if you read it.”

“I suppose you would; but I see you have made a great mistake.”

“What mistake?” said both the children at once.

“Why is it that you are going to read at all?”

“Why, you advised us to, mother.”

“Did I advise you to do it as a _duty_, or as a _pleasure_?”

“As a _duty_, mother; I recollect now.” said Rollo.

“Yes: well, now the mistake you have made is, that you are looking upon
it only as a pleasure, and instead of doing it faithfully, in such a
way as will make it most useful to you, you are forgetting that
altogether, and only intent upon having it interesting and pleasant. Is
it not so?”

“Why—yes,” said Rollo, hesitating, and looking down; and then turning
round to Lucy, he said, “I suppose we had better go and read the story

“Do just as you please,” said his mother. “I have not commanded you to
read, but only recommended it; and that not as a way of _interesting_
you, but as a way of spending an hour _usefully_, as a preparation for
an hour of enjoyment afterwards. You can do as you please, however; but
if you attempt to read at all, I advise you to do it not as _play_, but
as a _lesson_.”

“Well, come, Rollo,” said Lucy, “let us go.”

So the children ran back to the entry, and sat down to their story,
taking pains to read carefully, as if their object was to learn to
read; and though they did not expect it, they did, in fact, have a very
pleasant time.

The rest of the adventures of Rollo and Lucy, during this day must be
reserved for another story.


The story that Rollo and his cousin Lucy began to read together, in the
back entry, looking out towards the garden, that rainy day when they
were disappointed of the excursion up the mountain, commenced as


Maria Wilton lives in the pretty white house which stands just at the
entrance of the wood, where the children find the blackberries so thick
in the berrying season. It is not as large or elegant a house as many
that we pass on a walk through the village; but yet, with its
neatly-painted front and blooming little garden, its appearance is
quite as inviting as that of many a more splendid mansion. Certain it
is, at least, that there is not a more pleasant or happy dwelling in
the town. Neatness and good order regulate all the arrangements of the
family, and where such is the case, it is almost needless to add that
peace and harmony characterize the intercourse of the inmates. It is
seldom that confusion or uproar, or disputes or contentions, are known
among the Wiltons.

But it was of Maria that I was intending to speak more
particularly,—her kind, and yielding, and conciliating manners towards
her brothers and sisters. Maria was not the oldest of the children; she
was not quite nine, and her sister Harriet was as much as eleven, and
her brother George still older. And yet her influence did more to
maintain peace and good feeling in the family group, than would have
been believed by a person who had not observed her. In every case where
only her own wishes or inclinations were concerned, Maria was ready to
give up to George or Harriet; because, as she said, they were older
than herself; and again, she was quite as ready to yield to little
Susan and Willy, because they were younger. Her brothers and sisters,
in their turn, were far less apt to contend for any privilege or
advantage, than they would have been, if she had shown herself more
tenacious of her own rights.

Mr. Wilton used occasionally to go into the city, a few miles distant,
upon business. He usually went in a chaise, taking one of the children
with him. The excursion was to them a very pleasant one, and all
anticipated, with a great deal of pleasure, their respective turns to
ride with their father. It happened that the day when it fell to
Maria’s turn, was to be the close of an exhibition of animals, which
had been for a short time in the city. Maria’s eye brightened with
pleasure as her father mentioned this circumstance at the dinner table,
and inquired if she would like to visit the caravan.

“O, father!” exclaimed George, eagerly, as he laid down his knife and
fork; “a caravan!—Mayn’t I go?”

“You cannot both go,” replied his father; “and I believe it is Maria’s
turn to go into town with me.”

“Well,” said George, “but I don’t believe Maria would care any thing
about seeing it;” and his eye glanced eagerly from his father to Maria,
and then from Maria to his father again.

“How is it, Maria?” said Mr. Wilton; “have you no wish to visit the

Maria did not answer directly, while yet her countenance showed very
plainly what her wishes really were. “Is there an _elephant_ there,
father?” she, at length, rather hesitatingly inquired.

“There probably is,” replied her father.

“An _elephant_!” repeated George with something of a sneer; “who has
not seen an elephant? I would not give a farthing to go, if there was
nothing better than an elephant to be seen.”

“What _should_ you care so much to see?” inquired Mr. Wilton.

“Why, I would give any thing to see a leopard or a camel.”

“A leopard or a camel!” repeated his father in the same tone in which
George had made his rude speech; “I am sure I wouldn’t give a farthing
to see either a camel or a leopard.”

“No,” said George, “because you have seen them both; but _I_ never

“Neither has Maria seen an elephant,” returned Mr. Wilton; “so what is
the difference?”

George looked a little mortified at the overthrow of his argument. But
still his eagerness for the gratification was not to be repressed.—“I
shouldn’t think a _girl_ need to care about going to see a parcel of
wild beasts,” he remarked, rather petulantly, as he gave his chair a
push, upon rising from the table.

“O, George, George.” expostulated his father, “I did not think you were
either a selfish or a sullen boy.”

“No, father, and he is not,” said Maria, approaching her father, and
taking his hand; “but he wants to go very much, and I do not care so
_much_ about it; so he may go, and I will stay at home.”

“You are a good girl,” said her father; “but I shall not consent to any
such injustice; so go and get ready as quick as possible.”

“But, father, I had really a great deal rather that George should go,”
insisted Maria.

“But I cannot think that George would really, on the whole, prefer to
take your place,” said Mr. Wilton, turning to George.

“No, sir.” replied George, who—restored by this time to a sense of
propriety and justice—was standing ready to speak for himself. “No,
sir; Maria is very kind; but I do not wish to take her place; I am very
sorry indeed that I said any thing about it. I certainly shall not
consent to hike your place, Maria,” he said, perceiving that she was
ready to entreat still further.

“O! but I do wish you would,” said Maria. But just here her mother
interposed. “If Maria would really prefer to give up her place to her
brother,” said Mrs. Wilton, “I certainly shall like the arrangement
very much, for I am to be particularly engaged this afternoon, and, as
Harriet is to be absent, I shall be very glad of some of Maria’s
assistance in taking care of the baby.”

“O! well,” said Maria, brightening up, “then I am sure I will not go:
so run, George, for father is almost ready to start.”

Thus the matter was amicably settled. George went with his father, and
Maria remained at home to help take care of little Willy.

Maria loved her little brother very much, and she never seemed tired of
taking care of him, even when he was ever so fretful or restless. She
would leave her play, at any moment, to run and rock the baby, or to
hold him in her lap; for, even if she felt inclined, at any time, to be
a little out of patience for a moment, she would recollect how many
hours she had herself been nursed, by night and by day, and she was
glad of an opportunity to relieve her mother of some of her care and
fatigue. Her cousin, Ellen Weston, called, one afternoon, to ask her to
accompany a party of little girls, who were going to gather berries in
the wood near Maria’s house. It happened that Maria had been left with
the care of Willy, just as her cousin called; and it happened, too,
that Willy was that afternoon unusually fretful and difficult to
please. If Maria left him for a moment, or if she did not hold him
exactly in the posture which suited him, or if she had not precisely
the thing ready which he wanted at the moment, he would act just as all
babies of nine or ten months sometimes take it into their heads to act.
With all her patience and good-humor, she hardly knew how to manage
him; and especially after having been obliged to reject so agreeable an
invitation as the one her cousin brought, she found her task a little

She could hardly repress an occasional expression of impatience, as she
tried in vain to please the wayward little fellow. But her patience and
good-humor were very soon restored; and as she reflected that she was
doing her mother a great deal of good, by staying at home with Willy,
she felt quite willing to dismiss all thoughts of the berrying
expedition. The girls, however, did not forget her. It was proposed by
one of the party, when Ellen had stated the reason why Maria could not
join them, that each should contribute some portion of her berries to
be carried to her on their way home. All agreed very readily to the
plan, and each took pains to select the largest and the ripest of her
berries for Maria’s basket. The gratification afforded Maria by this
little token of kind remembrance, more than compensated for the
self-denial which she had practised. It is almost always the case when
persons cheerfully submit to any privation, for the sake of other
persons, or because it is duty, that they are amply rewarded for it.
They enjoy, at least, the consciousness of doing right, which is one of
the very highest sources of pleasure. Maria would, at any time, have
been satisfied with only this reward; but it very often happened, very
unexpectedly, that something more was in store for her. This was the
case upon the time when she gave up her ride, and her visit to the
caravan, for the sake of her brother. I have not said that it was
absolutely Maria’s duty to yield to her brother, in this case: perhaps
it would have been perfectly right for her to have maintained her own
claims; and yet there is no doubt that she felt a great deal happier
for the sacrifice she had made.

But we were going to speak of some further reward that her amiable
behavior, in this instance, procured her. As her father opened a
package which he had brought on his return, he silently placed in her
hands a beautiful copy of a newly-published work, upon the fly-leaf of
which she found written—“Maria Wilton—a reward for her kind and
obliging manners towards her brothers and sisters.”


When they had finished the story, Lucy shut the book, saying, “Maria
was a good girl, was not she, Rollo?”

“Yes,” said Rollo, “she was an excellent girl. I would have done just
so; would not you, Lucy?”

“I ought to, I know,” said Lucy, “but perhaps I should not.”

“I should, I am sure,” said Rollo.

Lucy was a polite girl, and she did not contradict Rollo, though she
recollected how much selfishness he had shown that morning, and it did
not seem to her very likely that he would have been willing to make any
very great sacrifice to oblige others.

“My father says we cannot tell what we should do until we are tried,”
said Lucy.

“Well, I _know_ I should have been willing to stay at home, if I had
been Maria,” replied Rollo.

“But, only think, that would be preferring another person’s pleasure
rather than your own.”

“Well, I _should_ prefer another person’s pleasure rather than my own.”

Rollo was beginning to get a little excited and vexed. People who boast
of excellences which they do not possess, are very apt to be
unreasonable and angry when any body seems to doubt whether their
boastings are true. He was thus going on, insisting upon it that he
should have acted as Maria had done, and was just saying that he should
prefer another person’s pleasure rather than his own, when Jonas came
into the entry from the kitchen, with an armful of wood, which he was
carrying into the parlor.

“When is it, Rollo,” said Jonas, “that you prefer another person’s
pleasure to your own?”

“Always,” said Rollo, with an air of self-conceit and consequence.

Jonas smiled, and went on with his wood.

It is always better for boys to be modest and humble-minded. They
appear ridiculous to others when they are boasting what _great_ things
they can do; and when they boast what _good_ things they do they are
very likely to be just on the eve of doing exactly the opposite.

In a moment Jonas came back out of the parlor, and said, as he passed

Goes but little ways;”

a short piece of versification which all boys and girls would do well
to remember.

Now it happened that, all this time, Rollo’s mother was sitting in a
little bedroom, which had a door opening into the entry where Lucy and
Rollo had been reading, and she heard all the conversation. She knew
that though Rollo was generally a good boy, and was willing to know his
faults, and often endeavored to correct them, still that he was, like
all other boys, prone to selfishness and to vanity, and she thought
that she must take some way to show him clearly what the truth really
was, about his disinterestedness.

In a few minutes, therefore, she went out of the room, and took from
the store closet an apple and a pear. They were both good, but the pear
was particularly fine. It was large, mellow, and juicy. She then went
back to her seat, and called, “Rollo.”

Rollo came running to her.

“Here,” said she, “is an apple and a pear for you.”

“Is one for me and one for Lucy?” said he.

“That is just as you please. I give them both to you. You may do what
you choose with them.”

Rollo took the fruit, much pleased, and walked slowly back, hesitating
what to do. He thought he must certainly give one to Lucy, and as he
had just been boasting that he preferred another’s pleasure to his own,
he was ashamed to offer her the apple; and yet he wanted the pear very
much himself.

If he had had a little more time, he would have hit upon a plan which
would have removed all the difficulty at once, by dividing both the
apple and the pear, and giving to Lucy half of each. But he did not
think of this. In fact his mother knew that, as he was going directly
bark to Lucy, he would not have much time to think but must act
according to the spontaneous impulse of his heart.

But though he did not think of dividing the apple and the pear, he
happened to hit upon a plan, which occurred to him just as he was going
back into the entry, that he thought would do.

He held the fruit behind him; the apple in one hand, and the pear in
the other. Lucy saw him coming, and said,

“What have you got, Rollo?”

“Which will you have, right hand or left?” said he in reply.


Rollo held forward his right hand, and, lo! it was the pear. But he
could not bear to part with it, and he brought forward the other, and

“No, you may have the apple.”

“No,” said Lucy; “the pear is fairly mine; you asked me which I would
have, and I said the right.”

“But I want the pear,” said Rollo; “you may have the apple. Mother gave
them both to me.”

“I want the pear too,” said Lucy; “it is mine, and you must give it to

Just then a voice called from the bedroom,


“What, mother?” said Rollo.

“I want you both to come here.”

Rollo and Lucy would both have been ashamed of their contention, were
it not that the pear looked so very rich and tempting, that they were
both very eager to have it.

“What is the difficulty?” said Rollo’s mother, as soon as they stood
before her.

“Why, Lucy wants the pear,” said Rollo, “and you gave them both to me,
and said I might do as I pleased with them. I am willing to give her
the apple.”

“Yes, but he offered me my choice,” said Lucy, “right hand or left, and
I chose the right, and now he ought to give it to me.”

“And are you willing that I should decide it?” said the lady.

“Yes, mother,” and “Yes, aunt,” said Rollo and Lucy together.

“You have both done wrong; not _very_ wrong, but a little wrong; and I
think neither ought to have the whole of the pear. So I shall divide
the pear and the apple both between you; and I will tell you how you
have done wrong.

“You, Rollo, by asking her which she would have, implied that you would
leave it to chance to decide, and that you would let her have her fair
chance. Then you ought to have submitted to the result. If she had
chosen the left hand, she ought to have been content. If she had got
the apple, you would have had the credit of giving her an equal chance
with you, and she ought therefore to have had the full benefit of the

“And then you, Lucy, did wrong, for, although Rollo asked you to
choose, he did not _actually promise_ you your choice, and as he was
under no obligation to give you either, you ought not to have insisted
upon his fulfilling his _implied promise_. Is it not so?”

The children both saw and admitted that it was.

“The best way, I think,” she continued, “would have been for you,
Rollo, to have given the _pear_ to Lucy, as she was your visitor, and a
young lady too. Then she would have given you half in eating it.
However, you were not very much in the wrong, either of you. It was a
sort of a doubtful case. But I hope you see from it, Rollo, what I
wanted to teach you, that you are no more inclined to prefer other
persons’ pleasure to your own, than other children are. Remember
Jonas’s couplet hereafter. I think it is a very good one. Now go and
get a knife, and cut the fruit; and see, it does not rain but little;
you can go and get your pea-pods now.”

Away went the children out into the kitchen after a knife. Rollo wanted
to cut the apple and the pear himself, and Lucy made no objection; and
we must do him the justice to say that he gave rather the largest half
of each to Lucy. They then went out into the shed, Rollo taking with
him a dipper of water to wash his feet when he came back from the
garden. Rollo then took off his shoes, and gave Lucy his share of the
fruit, to keep for him, and then sallied forth into the yard, holding
the umbrella over his head, as a few drops of rain were still falling.

He waded into the little pond at the garden gate, and then turned round
to look at Lucy and laugh. He began, too, to caper about in the water,
but Lucy told him to take care, or he would fall down, and they could
not wash his _clothes,_ as they could his feet, with their dipper of

[Illustration: He waded into the little pond at the garden gate]

So he went carefully forward till he came to the peas, and gathered as
many as he wanted, and then returned.

As he was coming back, he saw Jonas in the barn. Jonas called out to
him to ask what he had got.

“I have been to get some pea-pods,” said he, “to make boats with.”

“Where are you going to sail them?” said Jonas.

“O, in this little pond, when it is done raining.”

“But you had better have a little pond _now_, in the shed.”

“How can we?” said Rollo.

“You might have it in a milk-pan.”

“So we can. Could you come and get it for us?”

“Yes, in a few minutes—by the time you get your boats made.”

Rollo and Lucy were much pleased with this, and they sat down, one on
each side of the milk-pan pond, and sailed their boats a long time. He
cut small pieces of the apple and of the pear for cargo, and Rollo put
in the stem of the pear for the captain of his boat. Each one was
good-humored and obliging, and the time passed away very pleasantly,
until it was near dinner-time. When they came in to dinner, they
observed that it was raining again very fast.


“Father,” said Rollo, at the dinner-table, “do you think it will rain
all the afternoon?”

“It looks like it,” replied his father, “but why? Do you not enjoy
yourselves in the house?”

“O yes, sir,” said Rollo, “we have had a fine time this morning; but
Lucy and I thought that, if it did not rain this afternoon, we might go
out in the garden a little.”

“It may clear up towards night; but, if it does, I think it would be
better to go down to the brook and see the freshet, than to go into the

“The freshet? Will there be a freshet, do you think?”

“Yes, if it rains this afternoon as fast as it does now, I think the
brook will be quite, high towards night.”

Rollo was much pleased to hear this. He told Lucy, after dinner, that
the brook looked magnificently in a freshet; that the banks were
brimming full, and the water poured along in a great torrent, foaming
and dashing against the logs and rocks.

“Then, besides, Lucy,” said he, “we can carry down our little boats and
set them a sailing. How they will whirl and plunge along down the

Lucy liked the idea of seeing the freshet, too, very much; though she
said she was afraid it would be too wet for her to go. Rollo told her
never to fear, for his father would contrive some way to get her down
there safely, and they both went to the back entry door again, looking
out, and wishing now that it would rain faster and faster, as they did
before dinner that it would cease to rain.

“But,” said Lucy, “what if it should not stop raining at all,

“O, it will,” said Rollo, “I know it will. Besides, if it should not,
we can go down to-morrow morning, you know, and then there will be a
bigger freshet. O how full the brook will be by to-morrow morning!”

And Rollo clapped his hands, and capered with delight.

“Yes,” said Lucy, soberly, “but I must go home to-night.”

“Must you?” said Rollo. “So you must. I did not think of that.”

“But I think,” continued he, “that it will certainly clear up to-night.
I will go and ask father if he does not think so too.”

They both went together back into the parlor to ask the question.

“I cannot tell, my children, whether it will or not. I see no
indications, one way or the other. I think you had better forget all
about it, and go to doing something else; for if you spend all the
afternoon in watching the sky, and trying to guess whether it will
clear up or not, you cannot enjoy yourselves, and may be sadly
disappointed at last.”

“Why, we cannot help thinking of it, father.”

“You cannot, if you stand there at the back door, doing nothing else;
but, if you engage in some other employment, you will soon forget all
about it.”

“What do you think we had better do?” said Lucy.

“I think you had better go up and put your room and your desk all in
order, Rollo; Lucy can help you.”

“But, father, I have put it in order a great many times, and it always
gets out of order again very soon, and I cannot keep it neat.”

“That is partly because you do not put it in order right. You do not
understand the principles of order.”

“What are the principles of order?” said Lucy.

“There are a good many. I will tell you some of them, and then you may
go and apply them in arranging Rollo’s things.

“One principle is to have the things that are most frequently used in
the most accessible place, so that they can be taken out and returned
to their proper places easily.

“Another good principle for you is to distinguish between the things
which you wish to _use_, and those you only wish to _preserve_. The
former ought to be in sight, and near at hand. The latter may be packed
away more out of view.

“Another principle is to avoid having your desk and room encumbered
with things of little or no value, as stones you have picked up, and
papers, and sticks. The place to keep such things is in the barn or
shed, not in your private room.

“Then you must arrange your things systematically, putting things of
the same nature together. Once I looked into your desk after you had
put it in order, and I found that, in the back side of it, you had
piled up hooks, and white paper, and pictures, and a slate, and a
pocket-book or two, all together. You thought they were in order,
because they were in a _pile_. Now, they ought to have been separated
and arranged; all the white paper by itself in front, where you can
easily get it to use; the pictures all by themselves in a portfolio;
and the books should be arranged, not in a _pile_, but in a _row_, on
their edges, so that you can get out any one without disturbing the
others. Those are some of the principles of order.”

“Well, come, Rollo,” said Lucy, “let us go and see your things, and try
to put them in order, right.”

Rollo went, but, as he left the room, he turned round to ask his father
if he would not come with them, and just show them a little about it.
His father said he could not come very well then, but if they would try
and do as well as they could, he would come and look over their work
after it was done, and tell them whether it was right or not.

Rollo and Lucy went up into Rollo’s room, and, true enough, they found
not a little confusion there. But they went to work, and soon became
very much interested in their employment. A great many of the things
were new to Lucy, and as they went on arranging them, they often
stopped to talk and play. In this way several hours passed along very
pleasantly; and when, at last, they had got them nearly arranged, Rollo
went to the window to throw out some old stones that he concluded not
to keep any longer, when he exclaimed aloud,

“O, Lucy, Lucy, come here quick.”


Lucy ran. Rollo pointed out to the western horizon, and said, “See

There was a broad band of bright golden sky all along the western
horizon—clear and beautiful, and extending each way as far as they
could see. The dark clouds overhead reached down to the edge of this
clear sky, where they hung in a fringe of gold, and the dazzling rays
of the sun were just peeping under it. The rain had ceased.

Rollo and Lucy gazed at it a moment, and then ran down stairs as fast
as they could go, calling out,

“It is clearing away! It is clearing away! Father, it is clearing away.
We can go and see the freshet.”


They went out upon the steps to look at the sky. A few drops of rain
were still falling, but the clouds appeared to be breaking in several
places, and the tract of golden sky in the west was rising and
extending. The air was calm, and the golden rays of the sun shone upon
the fields and trees, and upon the glittering drops that hung from the
leaves and branches. Rollo and Lucy both said it was beautiful.

They went in and urged their father to go with them down to the brook
to see the freshet, but he said they must wait till after tea. “It is
too wet to go now,” said he.

“But, father,” said Rollo, “I do not think it will be any better after
tea. The ground cannot dry in half an hour.”

“No,” said his father; “but the water will run off of the paths a great
deal, so that we can get along much better.”

“Well, but then it will run off from the brook a great deal too, and
the freshet will not be so high.”

“It is a little different with the brook,” his father replied, “for
that is very long, and the water comes a great way, from among the
hills. Now, while we are taking tea, the water will be running into the
brook back among the hills, faster than it will run away here, so that
it will grow higher and higher for some hours.”

Rollo had no more to say, but he was impatient to go. He and Lucy went
out and stood on the steps again. The clouds were breaking up and
flying away in all directions, and large patches of clear blue sky
appeared everywhere, giving promise of a beautiful evening.

“Hark!” said Rollo; “what is that?”

Lucy listened. It was a sort of roaring sound down in the woods. Rollo
at first thought it was a bear growling.

“Do you think it is a bear?” said he to Lucy, with a look of some

“A bear!—no,” said Lucy, laughing. “That is not the way a bear growls.
It is the freshet.”

“The freshet!” said Rollo.

“Yes; it is the water roaring along the brook.”

Rollo listened, and he immediately perceived that it was the sound of
water, and he jumped and capered with delight, at thinking how fine a
sight it must be.

At the tea-table Rollo’s father explained the plan he had formed for
their going. He said it was rather a difficult thing to go and see a
freshet without getting wet—especially for a girl. He and Rollo, he
said, could put on their good thick boots, but Lucy had none suitable
for such a walk, as it would probably be very wet and muddy in some

“What shall we do then?” said Rollo.

“I believe I shall let Jonas go down and draw Lucy in his wagon,” said
his father. “How should you like that, Lucy?”

Lucy said she should like it very well, and after tea they went out to
the garden-yard door, where they found Jonas with his wagon all ready.
This wagon was one which Jonas had made to draw Rollo upon. It was
plain and simple, but strong and convenient, and perfectly safe. They
helped Lucy into it, and she sat down on the little seat. Rollo, with
his hoots on, took hold behind to push, and Jonas drew. Rollo’s father
walked behind, and thus they set off to view the freshet.

They moved along carefully through the yard, and then turned by the
gate and went into the field. The path led them by the garden fence for
some distance, and they went along very pleasantly for a time, until at
length they came to a large pool of water covering the whole path.
There were high banks on each side, so that the wagon could not turn

“What shall we do now?” said Rollo.

“I can go right through it,” said Jonas; “it is not deep.”

“And we can go along on the bank, by the side,” said Rollo.

“Very well.” said his father, “if you are not afraid, Lucy.”

Lucy did feel a little afraid at first, but she knew that if her uncle
was willing that she should go, there could not be any danger; so she
made no objection. Besides, she knew that, as Jonas was to walk along
before her, she could see how deep it was, and there could not be any
deep places without his finding it out before the wagon went into them.

Jonas was barefoot, and did not mind wetting his feet; so he waded in,
drawing the wagon after him. It was about up to his ankles all the way.
Lucy looked over the side of the wagon, and felt a little fear as she
saw the wheels half under water; but they went safely through.

Presently they began to descend a path which led them into the woods.
They heard the roaring of the water, which grew louder and louder as
they drew nigh, and then Rollo suddenly stopped and said,

“Why, father, it is raining here in the woods now.”

Lucy listened, and they heard the drops of rain falling upon the ground
all around them; and yet, looking up, they saw that the sky was almost
perfectly clear. Presently they thought that this was only the drops
falling off from the leaves of the trees.

Rollo said he meant to see if it was so, and he ran out of the path,
and took hold of a slender tree with a large top of branches and
leaves, and, looking up to see if any drops would come down, he gave it
a good shake; and, true enough, down came a perfect shower of drops all
into his face and eyes. At first he was astonished at such an
unexpected shower-bath, but he concluded, on the whole, to laugh, and
not cry about it; and he came back wiping his face, and looking
comically enough. All the party laughed a little at his mishap, and
then went on.

In a few minutes more, they came in sight of the foaming brook. The
water was very high; in some places, the banks were overflowed, and the
current swept along furiously, dashing against the rocks, and whirling
round the projecting points.

The children stopped, and gazed upon the scene a little while, and then
Rollo said he was going to sail his boats, which he had brought in his

Just then Jonas saw a plank which was lying partly on the bank and
partly in the water, a little up the stream. It had been placed across
the brook some distance above, for a bridge; but the freshet had
brought it away, and it had drifted down to where it then was.

Jonas said he would find a place for Lucy to stand upon with it. So he
went and pushed off this plank, and let it float down to where the
children were standing; and then he drew it up upon the shore, and laid
it along, so that Lucy could stand upon it safely, and launch the
pea-pod boats.

These boats were soon all borne away rapidly down the stream, out of
sight; and then they threw in sticks and chips, and watched them as
they sailed away, and whirled around in the eddies, or swept down the
rapids. Thus they amused themselves a long time, and then slowly
returned home.

[Illustration: The boats were soon all borne away.]



Rollo’s mother advised him, when he went to bed the evening before the
day fixed upon for the blueberrying, to rise early the next morning,
and take a good reading lesson before breakfast. She said he would
enjoy himself much more, during the day, if he performed all his usual
duties before he went. Rollo accordingly arose quite early, and, when
he came in to breakfast, had the satisfaction of telling his father
that he had read his morning lesson, and prepared his basket, and was
all ready to go.

He wanted Jonas to go too, and as, the last time when he asked his
father’s permission that he should go, he lost his request by asking it
in an improper manner, he determined to be careful this time.

So he was silent at breakfast time while his father and mother were
talking, and then, watching an opportunity when they seemed disengaged,
he asked his father if Jonas might not go with them.

“I do not think he can very well, for there is no room for him. Both
the chaises will be full.”

“But could not he ride on Old Trumpeter?” said Rollo.

Old Trumpeter was a white horse, that had served the family some time,
but was now rather old, and not a very good traveller.

Rollo’s father hesitated a moment, and then said, perhaps he might.
“You may go and tell him that we are going, and that if he thinks Old
Trumpeter will do to carry him, he may go. He will be of great help to
us, if we should get into any difficulty.”

Rollo thought of the bears that he expected to see on the mountain, and
ran to tell Jonas. Jonas was glad to go. So he went and gave Old
Trumpeter some oats, and got the saddle and bridle ready. He also got
out a pair of saddle-bags that he always used on such occasions, and
put into them a hatchet, a dipper, a box of matches, and some rope. On
second thoughts, he concluded it would be best to put these things into
the chaise-box, and to put the saddle-bags on his horse empty, as he
might want them to bring something home in.

After breakfast, Lucy and her father, Rollo’s uncle George, drove up to
the door, for they were going too; and in a short time you might have
seen all the party driving away from the door—Rollo’s father and mother
in the first chaise, uncle George, and Rollo, and Lucy, in the second,
and Jonas on Old Trumpeter behind.

They rode on for a mile or two, and then turned off of the main road
into the woods, and went on by a winding and beautiful road until they
came in sight of a range of mountains, one of which seemed very high
and near.

“Is that Benalgon?” said Rollo.

“I do not know,” said his uncle; “I have never been to it before; but I
suppose Jonas can tell.”

“I will call him,” said Rollo. So he turned round, and kneeled up upon
the seat, so that he could look out behind the chaise, for the back
curtain was up. Lucy did the same, but Jonas was not to be seen. They
looked a little longer, and presently saw him coming along round a
curve in the road. They beckoned to him, and as he rode up, they saw he
had a bush in his hand. He came up to the side of the chaise, and
handed it to Rollo. It was a large blueberry-bush, covered with
beautiful ripe blue berries. Rollo took them, and admired them very
much; and at first he was going to divide them between Lucy and
himself; but they concluded, on the whole, to send them forward to his
mother. Jonas told them the mountain before them _was_ Benalgon, and
rode on to carry the blueberry-bush to the other chaise. Presently he
came back, bringing it with him, except a small sprig which Rollo’s
mother had taken off. The rest she had sent back to the children.

“Well, Jonas,” said uncle George, when he got back, “I do not see but
that Old Trumpeter is strong enough to carry you yet.”

“O yes, sir,” said Jonas, “he is strong enough to carry half a dozen
like me.”

“O, uncle George,” said Rollo, “let him carry me too with Jonas. I can
ride behind.”

“Very well; if you want to ride with him a little while, you may, if
Jonas is willing.”

Jonas was, and Rollo got out, and climbed up upon a stump, by the side
of the road. Jonas drove up to the stump, and Rollo clambered up behind
him, with a switch in his hand.

“Now, Jonas,” said he, “whenever you want him to go any faster, you
just speak to me, and I will touch him up with my switch.”

Jonas said he would, and they jogged along behind the chaise. Lucy
kneeled upon the cushion, and looked out behind, talking with Rollo.


They went on so very quietly for some time, until Jonas said there was
a turn in the road on before them, where there was a foot-path that led
across a ravine, by a nearer way than the chaise-road, and proposed
that Rollo should ask leave for Jonas and himself to go across on
horseback, and wait for the chaises, when they should come out on the
main road.

So they rode up to the chaise, and Rollo put the question to his uncle

His reply was that he could not say any thing about it; Rollo must go
and ask his father.

“Would you go?” said Jonas.

“Yes,” said Rollo.

“Well, touch up Old Trumpeter then.”

So Rollo applied his switch, and the horse trotted on fast. Rollo had
hard work to hold on, but he clasped his arm tight around Jonas’s
waist, and succeeded in keeping his seat.

Rollo’s father and mother were riding some distance before them, but
they saw Jonas coming up, and rode slowly, that he might overtake them.

“Well, Rollo,” said his father, “how do you like riding double?”

“Very much,” said Rollo; “and we want you to let Jonas and I cut across
by the horse-path through the valley, and wait for you at the mill.”

“Is there a horse-path across here, Jonas?”

“Yes, sir,” said Jonas.

“Is it a good path?”

“It is rather rough, sir, through the woods and bushes; but it is a
pretty good road.”

Rollo’s father sat hesitating a moment, and then said—

“You may go, if you choose, but I advise you not to.”

“Why do you advise us not to?” said Rollo.

“Why, you may get into some difficulty, and so we get separated.”

“Yes, but,” said Rollo, “it is not near so far across, and we shall
have time to get through to the mill long before you come along.”

“Very well, you may do as you please.”

“Jonas, what would you do? Would you go, or not?”

“I think I would _not_ go, if your father thinks we had better not.”

“I want to go very much,” said Rollo.

“Very well,” said his father; “you are willing to go with him, I
suppose, Jonas, are you not?”

“O yes, sir,” said Jonas.

“Well,” said Rollo, “let us go. We will he very careful, father, not to
get into any difficulty.”

So the two chaises rode on, and Jonas and Rollo, in a few minutes,
turned off by a narrow path that struck into the woods. Just as they
were bending down their heads to pass under a great branch of a tree,
Rollo looked along, and saw Lucy waving her handkerchief to him, as the
chaise which she was in disappeared by a turn of the road.

Rollo at first felt a little uneasy to think that he had deserted his
cousin, as it were. He thought that he should not have liked it
exactly, if she had gone off, and left him alone so in the chaise.
However, it was now too late to repent, and his attention was attracted
by the wild and romantic scene around him. The path descended
obliquely, by a rough, wet, and stony way, through a dark forest. He
heard the sighing of the wind, in the tops of the tall trees, and the
mellow notes of forest birds, far off, and high, which came rich and
sweet to his ear with a peculiar expression of solitude and loneliness.

The boys rode on, and the path became more and more slippery, stony,
and steep Rollo clung tight to Jonas, and begun to be somewhat afraid.
He would have proposed to go back, but he was ashamed to do it. After a
little time, he asked Jonas whether the path was as bad as that all the

“As bad as this!” said Jonas; “we call this very good. I will show you
the bad road pretty soon.”

Rollo looked frightened, but said nothing.

“The road seems more wet than common to-day,” said Jonas, “I suppose on
account of the rain yesterday; and I declare,” said he, “I am afraid we
shall find the brook up.”

“The brook up!” said Rollo.

“Yes—why did not I think of that before? However, we must go on now.”

“Why?” said Rollo. “Why cannot we go back?”

“O, because we should be too late; besides, there is no danger, only we
may have to wade a little.”

As they went on, the mud in the road grew deeper and deeper, and
presently Old Trumpeter’s legs sunk far down among roots and mire.
Rollo began to feel more and more alarmed, and heartily wished that he
had taken his father’s advice.

Soon alter they came to a place where the path, for some distance
before them, was full of water, deep and miry. Jonas said he thought
that they had better go out upon one side; so he made the horse step
over a log and go in among the trees and bushes. The branches brushed
and scratched Rollo unmercifully, though he bent down, and leaned over
to this side and that, continually, to escape them. He asked Jonas why
this path had not dried, as well as the main road, where the chaises
had gone; and Jonas told him that the sun and the wind were the great
means of drying the open road, but that this narrow and secluded path
was shaded from the sun, and sheltered from the wind, and that the
water consequently remained a long time among the moss, and roots, and

After a time, they got back into the path again, and, going on a little
farther, they came down to the margin of the brook. They found that it
_was_ “up,” as Jonas had feared. At the place where the path went down
and crossed the brook, a deep cut had been worn in the two opposite
banks, and this was filled with water, and above and below the stream
rushed on in a torrent. Jonas hesitated a moment, and then asked Rollo
if he thought he could hold on, while they we’re riding through. Rollo
said he was afraid it was so deep as to drown them. Jonas then said
that he might get off and stand upon a rock by the side of the path,
while he rode through, first, to see how it was, and that then he would
come back for him.

So Rollo got off, in fear and trembling, and stood on the rock, while
Jonas urged his horse into the water. Old Trumpeter did not much like
this kind of travelling, but Jonas half persuaded and half compelled
him to go through. When he was in the middle, the water came up so
high, that Jonas was obliged to lift up his feet to keep them from
being wet. Presently, however, it became more shoal, as the horse
walked slowly along; and at last he fairly reached the dry ground, and
stood dripping on the bank.

Rollo was glad to see that the water was no deeper, but was still
afraid to go over. He told Jonas he _could not_ go over I here, and
that he _must_ go back with him.

“No,” said Jonas, “that would not be right.”

“Why,” said Rollo, “we can ride fast, and overtake them.”

“Not very soon,” said Jonas. “If we go back now, they will get to the
mill before us, and then will be very anxious and unhappy, thinking
that something has happened to us; and perhaps your father will come
through here after us. Now it was your own plan, coming across here,
and you ought not to make other people suffer by it. Your father
advised you not to come.”

“I know it,” said Rollo; “what a foolish boy I was! I shall certainly
be drowned.”

“O no,” said Jonas, “there is no real danger, or I should not make you
go;” and so saying, he came back slowly through the water. “See,” said
he, “it is not very deep.”


After some further persuasion Rollo got on behind him, and they began
to in make their way slowly through the water again. Old Trumpeter
staggered along, but not very unsteadily on the whole, until he got a
little past the middle, when he blundered upon a stone on the bottom,
which he could not see, and fell down on his knees. Jonas caught up his
feet, in an instant, and Rollo had his already drawn up behind him, and
they both grasped the saddle convulsively. The horse happened to regain
his feet again in a moment, so that they contrived to hold on; and in a
few minutes they were drawn out safely upon the shore, without even
getting their feet wet.

“Well, Old Trumpeter,” said Jonas, “you have done pretty well for you,
and you have got the mire washed off your legs, at any rate. But,
Rollo, what is that?”

He pointed back, as he said this, to a little tuft floating round and
round in a small eddy, made by a turn of the brook, just above where
they had crossed. He turned his horse towards it. “It is a bird’s
nest,” said he.

“So it is,” said Rollo; “and I verily believe there is a little bird in


Jonas jumped off of the horse, handed the bridle to Rollo, and took up
a long stick lying on the ground, and very gently and cautiously drew
the nest, in to the shore. He took it up with great care, and brought
it to Rollo.

There was a little bird in it, scarcely fledged. Jonas said he believed
it was a robin, and that it must have been washed off from its place on
some bush, by the freshet in the brook. The bottom of the nest was
soaked through by the water, as if it had been floating some time; and
the little bird kept opening its mouth wide. The poor little thing was
hungry, and heard Jonas and Rollo, and thought they were its mother,
come to give it something to eat.

“What shall we do with him?” said Rollo.

“He will die if we leave him here,” said Jonas, “for he has lost his
mother now. I think we had better carry him home, if we can, and feed
him, till he is old enough to fly.”

“He is hungry,” said Rollo; “let us feed him now.”

“We have not any thing to feed him with. Perhaps I can catch a fly, or
a grasshopper.”

“O, that will not do,” said Rollo; “you might as well kill him as kill
a grasshopper.”

Jonas could not reply to this, and they concluded to carry nest and all
carefully to the mill, and show it to Rollo’s father there. But how to
carry it was the difficulty. If either of them undertook to hold it in
one hand, he was afraid the bird might be jolted out; and neither of
them had but one hand to spare, for Rollo must have one hand to hold on
with, and Jonas one to drive. At last Jonas took off his cap, and
placed it bottom upwards on the saddle before him, and put the nest,
with the bird in it, in that, and then drove carefully along. The road
grew much smoother and better after they passed the brook; and, after
going on a short distance farther, they came in sight of the mill.

They had been detained so long that the chaises had reached the mill
before, them; and the party in the chaises were looking out down the
path where they expected the boys were to come out, watching for them
with considerable interest:

“There they come at last,” said Lucy, as she perceived a movement among
the bushes, and saw Old Trumpeter’s white head coming forward.

“Yes,” said Rollo’s mother, “but they have met with some accident.
Jonas has lost his cap.”

By this time the boys had emerged from the bushes, and were coming
along the path slowly, Jonas bareheaded, and Rollo holding on
carefully. Lucy saw that Jonas was holding something before him, on the
saddle, and wondered what it was. Rollo’s mother said she was afraid
they had got hurt.

As soon as they came within hearing Rollo heard his father’s voice
calling out to him,

“Rollo, what is the matter? Have you got into any difficulty?”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo; “we had some difficulty; and I should be sorry
I did not take your advice, only then we should not have found this
little bird.”

“What bird?” said they all.

By this time, they had come up near the chaises, and Jonas carefully
lifted the birdsnest out of his cap, and held it so that they could all
see it, while Rollo told them the story. They all looked much pleased
but Lucy seemed in delight. She wanted to have it go in their chaise,
and asked Rollo to let her hold the nest in her lap.

Rollo did not answer very directly, for he was busy looking at the
bird,—seeing him open his mouth, and wishing he had something to give
him to eat.

“Father,” said he, “what shall we feed him with? Jonas was going to
catch a grasshopper, but I thought that would not be right.”

“Why not?” said uncle George.

“Because,” said Rollo, “he has as good a right to his life as the bird,
has not he, father?”

“Not exactly,” said his father: “a bird is an animal of much higher
grade than a grasshopper, and is probably much more sensible of pain
and pleasure, and his life is of more value; just as a man is a much
higher animal than a bird. It would be right to kill a bird to save a
man’s life, even if he were only an animal; and so it would be right to
destroy a grasshopper, or a worm, to save a robin.”

“But I read in a book once,” said Lucy, “that, when we tread on a worm,
he feels as much pain in being killed as a giant would.”

“I do not think it is true,” said he. “I think that there is a vast
diversity among the different animals, in respect to their sensibility
to pain, according to their structure, and the delicacy of their
organization. I think a crew of a fishing-vessel might catch a whole
cargo of mackerel, and not cause as much pain as one of their men would
suffer in having his leg bitten off by a shark.”

“Well, father,” said Rollo, “do you think we had better give him a

“O no,” said Lucy; “a grasshopper would not be good to eat, he has got
so many elbows sticking out. Let us give him some blueberries.”

“O yes,” said Rollo, “that would be beautiful.”

So he slid down off of Old Trumpeter’s back, and ran to the side of the
road to see if he could not find some blueberries.

He brought a few in his hand, and his father took them, saying that he
would feed the bird for him. He squeezed out pulp of the berries, and
then made a chirping sound, when the bird opened his mouth, and he fed
him with the soft pulp, and threw away the skins. After giving the bird
two or three berries in this way, they put him back into the nest, and
gave the nest to Lucy to hold in her lap, and all the party prepared to
go on.

They rode along about a mile farther, and then came to the place where
they must leave the horses, and prepare to ascend the mountain on foot.
They unharnessed them, so that they might stand more quietly, and then
fastened them to trees by the side of the road.

While they were thus taking care of their horses, Rollo and Lucy were
standing by, with Rollo’s mother looking at the bird.

“What are you going to do with him, Rollo?” said his mother.

“Why, I should like to carry him home, and keep him, if you are

“I am, on one condition.”

“What is that?”

“You must keep him in a cage with the door always open, so that, as
soon as he is old enough to fly away, he may go if he chooses.”

“Then he will certainly fly away, and we shall lose him forever,” said

“That is the only condition,” replied Rollo’s mother.

“But why, mother,” said he, “why may we not keep him shut up safe?”

“If I were to tell you the reasons now, they would not satisfy you, you
are so eager to keep him. I think you had better determine to comply
with the condition, good-humoredly, and say no more about it, but try
to think of a name for him.”

“Well, mother, what do you think would be a good name?”

“I do not know: you and Lucy must think of one.”

Just then uncle George finished tying his horse, and came along to
where the children were standing, and, hearing their conversation, and
finding that Lucy and Rollo were perplexed about a name, he told them
he thought they might, not improperly, call him Noah, as, like Noah, by
floating in a sort of ark, he was saved from a flood.

“I think he was more like Moses than Noah,” said Lucy.

“Why?” said her father.

“Because Moses was a little thing when they found him, and then the ark
of bulrushes was something like a birdsnest. I think you had better
name him Moses, Rollo,” said she.

Rollo seemed a little at a loss: he said he thought he was a good deal
like Moses, but then he did not think that Moses was a very pretty name
for a bird.

“Do you think it is, mother?” said he.

“I do not know but that it would do very well. You might alter it a
little; call him Mosette, if you think that would be any better for a
bird’s name.”

Rollo and Lucy repeated the name Mosette to themselves several times,
and concluded that they should like it very much. By this time, the
horses were all ready, and Jonas recommended that they should hide
Mosette away somewhere, until they returned from the mountain, for it
would be troublesome to them, and somewhat dangerous to the bird, to
carry him up and down.

The children approved of this plan, though they were rather unwilling
to part with the bird, at all. They went just into the bushes, and
found a very secret place, by the corner of a large rock, where the
shrubs and wild flowers grew thick, so that it would be entirely out of


They then set forward, the children in advance of the rest. Jonas
walked with Rollo and Lucy, and he had round his waist a broad leather
belt, which he always wore on such occasions, and which had, on one
side, his hatchet and knife, and on the other a sort of bag or pocket,
containing several things, such as matches, a little dipper, &c.

Rollo’s father and mother, and his uncle George, walked along behind
them. The way was, for some distance, a sort of cart-path, too steep
and rough for a chaise, but hard and dry, and pretty comfortable
walking. Rollo and Lucy asked Jonas if he would not tell them a story,
as they went along, to beguile the way.

Jonas began a story, about a boy that lived a long time on a mountain
alone, but he had not proceeded far, before they heard a voice behind,
calling them. They looked buck, and saw that Rollo’s father was
beckoning them to stop.

They waited till he came up, and he told them he wanted to give them
their orders for the day; and they were rules, he said, which ought to
be observed on all berrying expeditions, by children.

“_First_” said he, “always keep in sight of _me_. For this purpose,
watch me all the time, when we are stepping, and keep before, rather
than behind, when we are walking.

“_Second_. Take no unnecessary steps, but keep in the right path, and
walk slowly and steadily there, so as to save your strength. Otherwise
you will get tired out very soon.

“_Third_. Do not touch any flower or berry that you see, except
blueberries, without first showing them to one of us.”

The children listened to these rules, and promised to obey them, and
then walked on. They tried to walk slowly and steadily, listening to
Jonas’s story. They turned off, after a time, into a narrower and
steeper path, and ascended, stepping from stone to stone The trees and
bushes hung over their heads, making the walk shady and cool.

After slowly ascending in this way, for some time, they came out of the
woods into an opening of rocky ground, and patches of blue
berry-bushes. They saw, also, at some distance before them, three or
four boys, sitting upon a rock, with pails and baskets in their hands,
talking and laughing loud. They did not take much notice of them, but
walked on quietly. They were going on directly towards them, but
Rollo’s father called them, and pointed for them to turn off to the
right, round a rocky precipice which was in that direction.

The children were turning accordingly, when they heard a shout from the
boys before them,—“Hallo,—come this way, and we will show you where the
blueberries are.”

“Father,” said Rollo, as he stopped and turned round to his father,
“the boys say they will show us the blueberries, out that way: shall we
go and see?”

“No,” said his father in a low voice, so that the boys did not hear.
“No: go the way I told you.”

They went along, and presently got round the precipice out of sight of
I he boys again. They walked slowly until their parents overtook them.

“Father,” said Rollo, “why could you not let us go out with those boys?
They said they were thickest out there.”

“Because,” said he, “I presume they are not good boys, and I do not
want you to have any thing to do with them.”

“But, father, they must be good boys, or they would not want to show us
the blueberries. If they were bad, selfish boys, they would want to
keep all the good places to themselves.”

If Rollo had only asked his father, in a modest manner, how it could be
that the boys were bad, when they wanted to show him the best place for
blueberries, it would have been very proper; but his manner of speaking
showed a silly confidence in his own opinion, which was very wrong. His
father, however, did not attempt to reason with him, but only said,

“I think they are bad boys, for I overheard them using bad language;
and I wish you to have nothing to do with them.”

He then found a good place for them to begin to gather their berries.
It was a beautiful spot of open ground, between the thick woods on one
side, and a broken, rocky precipice on the other.

Uncle George took Jonas forward alone, until they were out of sight,
and presently returned without him. Rollo asked where Jonas was gone,
and his uncle told him that that was a secret at present. They heard,
soon after, the strokes of his hatchet in the woods, on before them,
but could not imagine what he could be doing.

Thus things went on very pleasantly, and they gathered a large quantity
of berries. There was, indeed, in the course of the day, a serious
difficulty between Rollo and the bad boys; and there is an account of
it given in the next story of “TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN.” With Ibis
exception, every thing went on well until about, noon, when Rollo
observed that Jonas had been missing a long time.


“Where is Jonas, all this time?” said Rollo to Lucy.

Lucy said that he had been busy, a long time, doing something over
beyond some rocks, but she did not know what, for her father told her
she must not go to see. Rollo wondered what the secret was, and he was
just going to ask his father to let him go and see what Jonas was
doing, when they saw him coming out from the bushes. He came up to
Rollo’s father, and told him that it was all ready. Then Rollo’s father
called to all the company, and told them it was time to stop gathering
berries, and they might take up their baskets and follow him.

The baskets and pails were heavy and full, and the whole party walked
along, carrying them carefully towards the place where Jonas had come
from. Rollo’s Hither led the way. They entered into a little thicket,
and passed through it by a narrow path. They came out presently into a
sort of opening, on a brow of the mountain. On one side they could look
down upon a vast extent of country, exhibiting a beautiful variety of
forests, rivers, villages, and farms. On the other side was a rocky
precipice, rising abruptly to a considerable height, and then sloping
off towards the summit of the mountain. They walked along a few steps
on a smooth surface of the rock, between patches of grass and
blueberry-bushes, until Lucy and Rollo ran forward to a brook which
came foaming down the precipice, and then, after tumbling along over
rocks a little way, took another foaming leap down the mountain, and
was lost among the trees below.

The party all stepped carefully over this brook, and then walked along
up the bank on the opposite side until they came to the precipice. Here
they were surprised and pleased to see a large bower built, in front of
a little sort of cavern or recess in the rock. Jonas had built it of
large limbs of trees and bushes, which he had leaned up against the
rock, in such a manner as to enclose a large space within. There was an
opening left round on the farther side, next the rock, and they all
went round mid went in—Rollo first, then Lucy, then the others. They
found that smooth and clean logs and stones were arranged around the
sides of the bower; and in the middle, on a carpet of leaves, was very
abundant provision for a rustic dinner.

There was bread, and butter, and ham, and gingerbread, and pie, and
glasses for water from the brook. Rollo and Lucy wondered how all those
things could have got up the mountain. Presently, however, they
recollected that, when they were coming up, Jonas had two covered
baskets to bring, and they thought, at the time, that they seemed to be

Thus the day passed away, and towards evening they came down the
mountain. Some remarkable things happened when they were coming down,
which will be related in the story called “TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN.”



“How pleasant it is here!” said Rollo to his cousin Lucy, as they were
gathering blueberries high up on old Mount Benalgon, the day they went
up with Rollo’S father and mother, and uncle; “and how thick the
blueberries are, Lucy!”

“Yes,” said Lucy, “they are very thick, I think; and how far we can see
now, we are up here so high! I wish we were up on that great high

Rollo looked where Lucy pointed, and he saw, away above them, a rocky
summit projecting out from the mountain. The front of the rock was
ragged and precipitous, but it was flat and mossy upon the top, and
firs and other evergreen trees grew there, some of them hanging over
the edge.

“I wish I could get up there,” said Lucy.

“I wish I could too,” said Rollo. “I should like to climb up one of
those trees which hangs over, and then I could look down.”

“O, Rollo,” said Lucy, “you would not dare to climb up one of those

“Yes, I should dare to,” said Rollo.

Rollo was sometimes a proud, boasting boy, pretending that he could do
great things, and talking very largely. This was one of his greatest
faults; and whenever he seemed to be in this boasting mood, he almost
always got into some difficulty after it. There is a text in the Bible
that was proved true, very often, in Rollo’s case. It is this—“Pride
cometh before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Rollo
had a sad Tall this day, though it was not from that high rock. It was
a different sort of a fall from that, as we shall presently see.

“Lucy,” said he again, “I do not believe but that I could get up upon
that rock myself. I can climb rocks.”

“O no, you could not,” said Lucy.

“Why, yes, I see a way.”

“Which way?”

“O, round by that great black log There is a path there through the

“O no,” said Lucy, “you could not get up there. But there are some boys
by that log; what boys are they?”

Rollo looked. They were some boys which they had seen coming up the
mountain, and Rollo’s father had warned him not to go near them. They
had wanted Rollo to go with them before, but his father had forbidden
it. Rollo wanted to go, and now he was glad to see them again; but Lucy
was sorry.


The blueberries were very thick and large, and the bottoms of the
baskets were soon covered with them. Each one picked where he found
them most plenty.

Rollo and Lucy kept pretty near together, talking, and gradually
strayed away to some distance from the rest of the party. After a
little while, Rollo looked up, and saw the three boys pretty near them.
As soon as Lucy saw them so near, she moved along towards their
parents; and Rollo ought to have done so too, but he remained where he
was, and presently one of the boys came up to him.

“Why did you not come up where we were?” said he. “They were thicker
out there.”

“My father would not let me,” said Rollo.

“O, come along,” said the boy; “he will not care. Besides, he will not
know it. He is busy picking by himself. He does not mind where you

Rollo thought this was not exactly the way that a good boy would speak
of obeying a father, but he wanted very much to see the place where the
berries were so much thicker.

“How far is it?” said he to the boy.

“O, it is only a little way-just around that rock.”

By this time the other two boys came up, and they talked with Rollo a
little while, and endeavored to persuade him to go. He said finally
that he would go and ask his father. So he left his basket, and went
and asked his father if he might just go with those boys round the
rock. He said the blueberries were much thicker around there, and also
that he had been talking with the boys, and he was sure they were good

“No, Rollo,” said his father, decidedly, “I cannot think that any boys
that use bad language can be good boys, or safe companions for you. I
had rather you would keep with us. If they speak to you, answer them
civilly; but the less you have to say to them or do with them, the
better. In fact, I had rather you would not go back to them at all.”

“I must,” said Rollo, “to get my basket.”

He accordingly returned to his basket, and told the boys that his
father preferred that he should stay where he was.

The biggest boy of the three was a ragged and dirty-looking boy; the
others called him Jim, and he talked with Rollo a good deal. Rollo’s
conscience reproved him for not leaving them, and going back to his
father; but he wanted to stay and hear their talk, and he quieted his
conscience by saying to himself that his father told him to treat them
civilly. At first the boys were careful what they said to Rollo; but at
length Jim grew more and more hold. He used language which Rollo knew
was wrong, and he told Rollo that he was a fool to stick so close to
his father; that he was big enough to find his way alone all over the
mountain, if he was of a mind to.

All this Rollo was silly enough to believe, and, as his father only
required him to keep in sight, he thought he would show the boys that
he was not so much afraid as they thought he was; and so hi gradually
moved off farther and farther from his parents, as he went on gradually
filling up his basket. Lucy, in the mean time, went nearer and nearer
to them, and in a short time was safely gathering her blueberries by
her aunt’s side.

Things went on so for an hour. Rollo’s mother asked his father whether
he had not better call Rollo to them.

“No,” said he; “I have told him his duty once, plainly, and now, if he
does not do it, he must take the consequences. I believe I shall leave
him to himself.”

The boys went on talking to one another and to Rollo, telling various
stories about their running away from school, stealing apples, and such
things. Rollo was much interested in listening to them, though he knew,
all the time, that he was doing wrong. But he had not the courage to
leave them abruptly, as he ought to have done, and go back to his

Rollo took a great deal of pains with the berries he picked; he chose
the largest and ripest, and was very careful not to get in any sticks
and leaves. His basket was small, and he intended, as soon as he got it
full, to carry it carefully to his mother, and pour his berries into
her large tin pail. He was succeeding finely in this, but then he had
insensibly strayed away so far from his father, that now he was
entirely out of his sight.

At length, as Jim was sitting on a log to rest himself, as he said, he
saw a little bird alight on the branch of a black stump near.

“Hash,” said he; “there is a Bob-a-link. See how I will fix him.”

So saying, he picked up a stone, and was going to throw it.

Rollo begged him not to kill that pretty little bird but he paid no
attention to what Rollo said. He threw the stone with all his force;
but fortunately it did not hit the bird. It struck the limb that the
bird was perched upon, and shivered it to fragments, and the bird flew
away, terrified.

“Now, what did you do that for?” said Rollo; “you might have hit him.”

“Hit him!” said he; “I meant to hit him, to be sure.”

“But what good does it do to kill little birds? I found one this
morning, and I would not kill him for any thing.”

“Where did you find him?” said Jim.

Rollo then told the boys all about his finding a little bird, in its
nest floating in the brook, and about their naming him Mosette; as is
described in the story called “BLUEBERRYING;” and Jim said, if he had
found him, he would have put him on a fence, for a mark to fire stones
at. “I would have made him peep, I tell you,” said he.

Rollo said he would not have him killed on any account. He was going to
carry him home, and feed him, and tame him.

“But where is he now?” said Jim.

“O, we hid him behind a stone, down at the foot of the mountain, where
our horses are tied.”

“But how can you find him again?” said Jim.

“O,” said Rollo, “we know; it was behind the corner of a stone, just in
the bushes, where we tied the horse.”

Jim winked at the other boys when Rollo said this, though Rollo did not
see it. He was vexed with Rollo, because he reproved him for stoning
the bird.

“I would set him up for a mark, if I had him,” said Jim. “I wish I had
been there when you found him; I would have taken him away from you.”

“No, you would not have taken him away. Jonas would not let you.”

“Jonas! who is Jonas? and what do you think I care for Jonas?” said he.

He then came up to Rollo, and looked into his basket, and saw it nearly
full of large ripe blueberries.

“And I believe,” said he, “that you have stolen some of my berries out
of my basket, while I have been sitting here.”

“No, I have not,” said Rollo. “I have not touched your basket.”

“You have,” said Jim, fiercely, “and I will have them back again.
Besides, I put some into yours, while you went to your father. So half
the berries in your basket are mine.”

This was a lie; but bad boys, like Jim, will always lie, when they have
any thing to gain by it. He came up to Rollo, and began to pull his
basket away from him. Rollo struggled against him, and began to cry.
But Jim was too strong for him: he tipped his basket over, poured a
great many of the berries into his own basket, and the rest were
spilled over on to the ground. Then, angry at Rollo’s screams and
cries, he trampled on all the berries that were on the ground, and was
beginning to run away. Rollo caught hold of the skirt of his coat,
screaming all the time for his father. Jim turned round, and struck
Rollo with his fist, knocked him down, and then he and the other boys
set off, as fast as they could run, through the bushes; and they
disappeared just as Rollo’s father and Jonas came hastening to his aid.


They raised Rollo up, and his father took him in his arms to carry him
away. He saw that there had been some serious difficulty with the bad
boys, but he did not ask Rollo any thing about it, then; for he knew
that he could not talk intelligibly till he had done crying. Rollo laid
his head down on his father’s shoulder, as he walked along, and sobbed


His father carried him back to where his mother and uncle were, who
were coming towards him looking anxiously.

They presently got pretty near them, Rollo still continuing to cry. His
father then said to him,

“Rollo, be still a moment. I want to speak to you.”

When he first took Rollo up, he did not command him to be still, for he
knew that it would do no good. He was then so overwhelmed with pain and
terror, that he could not help crying; and his father never commanded
impossibilities. By this time, however, the pain, and the immediate
terror, had so far subsided, that his father knew he could now control
himself, and Rollo knew that he must obey. He accordingly stopped
crying aloud, and tried to listen to his father.

“Rollo,” said his father, “I pity you very much. I warned you against
this bad company, and now I perceive you have got into some difficulty
with them; but I cannot hear your story about it till we get home. It
is your own fault that has brought you into trouble; and now you must
not extend your trouble over all our party, and spoil our happiness, as
you have your own. I must go and put you by yourself, until you get
entirely composed and pleasant, and then you may join us again.”

“But, father,” said Rollo, beginning to cry afresh at the thoughts of
the boys’ treatment of him, “they came up to me, and—and—”

“Stop, Rollo,” said his father. “Be still. You cannot tell the story
intelligibly now, and if you could, I should not be willing to listen
to it. You must not say any thing about it, unless you are questioned,
until we get home.”

By this time they came up pretty near the place where the rest of the
party were; but his father did not take him there. He turned aside,
and, putting Rollo down, he led him along to a smooth log, which lay
among some old trees, close by, and told him to sit there, until he was
entirely composed and pleasant again, and then to come to him, or to go
to picking berries again, just as he pleased.

Rollo sat on the log, for some time, with his empty basket by his side,
mourning over his sorrows. Lucy came to him, and endeavored to console
him. She begged him not to cry; and she poured out half of her own
berries into his basket, and told him that they could soon fill it full
again, if he would come with her to a good thick place she had found.
Rollo became gradually quiet and composed, and walked along with Lucy.

Lucy had indeed found a place where the berries were very thick and
large, and Rollo determined to be as industrious as possible. They
worked away very busily for half an hour, and Rollo gradually recovered
his spirits.

His mother watched him from time to time, and when she saw that he was
good-humored again, she said to his father,

“Rollo seems to be picking his berries very pleasantly. I rather think
he is sorry for his conduct.”

“Yes, I see he is getting _good-humored_ again, but I am afraid he is
not truly penitent. It is easier _forget_ a sin, than to be sorry for
it. It is very easy, however, for us to ascertain.”

“How can we ascertain?” asked his mother.

“Why, if you should go and ask him about it, if he is really penitent,
he will be troubled most to think of his disobedience in going; into
the bad company; but if he is not penitent, he will not think of that,
but only go to scolding about the bad boys.”

“That is true,” said she. “I have a great mind to go and try him.”

Rollo’s father thought it would be a good plan, and she, accordingly,
walked along towards Rollo slowly, gathering berries as she went.

Rollo saw her coming, and said, “Here is mother, Lucy; let us go and
give her our berries.”

So saying, he carried his basket up to her very pleasantly, and said,
“Here, mother; see, here are all these berries I have been picking for

“Ah,” said she, “did you pick all these for me?”

“E—h—no,” said he; “not all; Lucy gave me some.”

“Well, Lucy, I am very much obliged to you, and I am glad to see that
you, Rollo, are pleasant again; I am sorry you went and got into
difficulty with those boys.”

“They came and took away my berries,” said he, “and struck me—that
great ugly Jim.”

The feelings of vexation and anger against the bad boys began to rise
again in Rollo’s mind, the moment he began to talk about them, and he
was just going to cry. His mother stopped him, saying,

“You need not tell me about him any more. I see how it is.”

“How what is?” said Rollo.

“How it is about your being sorry. Your father told me that, if you
were truly penitent for what happened about those boys, I should find
you, when I came to talk with you about it, grieved for _your own_
fault, and if you were not penitent, you would only be angry at
_theirs_. I see which it is.”

Rollo was silent a moment. He felt the truth and justice of the
distinction; but, like all boys who are not sorry for the wrong they
have done, he could not resist the temptation to try to justify himself
by throwing the blame on others. So he began to tell her something more
about “that cross old Jim,” but she interrupted him, and told him she
did not wish to hear any thing about that “cross old Jim.” He was not
her boy, she said, and she had nothing to do with him or his faults.

She then went to talking about other things, and helped Rollo begin to
fill his basket again. He showed her where the berries were thickest,
and led her round behind a rock to show her a beautiful wild flower
that he had found; he said he did not bring it to her, for his father
had told him not to touch any flowers or berries that they did not
know, for fear they might be poisonous.

After a little while, Rollo’s mother left him and Lucy together, and
went back lo where his father and uncle were.

“Well,” said they, “how did you find Rollo?”

“Pleasant, but not _penitent_,” said she Lucy and Rollo went on
gathering berries some time after Rollo’s mother left him, in silence.
Rollo felt rather unhappy, but he was not subdued. His heart was still
proud and unhumbled, and after a time, he said to Lucy,

“It seems to me very strange that my mother does not think those boys
were to blame any for doing so.”

“She does think they were to blame, Rollo, I know.”

“No, she does not; she will not hear me say any thing about them.”

Lucy did not answer, because she knew it would do no good to dispute
with Rollo, while he was so unreasonable. Rollo ought to have been
willing to have seen his fault, and to have felt truly sorry for it;
but he was not, and so Lucy thought it was better not to talk with him
about it at all. If he had been truly sorry, and had gone and told his
father so, and asked his forgiveness, he would have been happy again.

But as it was, he was not happy. The recollection of his disobedience
and sin would remain in his mind, and though he tried to talk, and
laugh, and play, as usual, his mind was not much at ease. In fact, he
was secretly glad when the time arrived for going home.

The party all gathered together on a smooth piece of ground, about the
middle of the afternoon, to make their arrangements for going down the
mountain. They put their baskets, filled beautifully with blueberries,
together on the grass, while they sat on the stones and logs around, to
rest a little before walking down.

Then Rollo’s father arranged the order of march. Jonas was to go first,
with two of the heaviest baskets of berries. Next came Lucy, with her
little basket about two thirds full, and with leaves and some beautiful
pieces of moss she had found, put in upon the top. Then came Rollo’s
mother leaning on his uncle’s arm. His uncle had a basket of berries in
his other hand. Finally, Rollo and his father walked together behind,
with each a basket in his hand.

Thus they walked along down the steep path, until they began to enter
the bushes. Rollo’s father had made this arrangement so that he might
have an opportunity to talk with him about the difficulty with the
boys, for he thought, on the whole, it would be better to talk with him
now than to wait till they got home.

After they had walked along a little way, Rollo’s father asked him
whether he had a good time blueberrying?

“Why, yes, sir,” said Rollo, “pretty good.”

“Have you seen any thing more of those boys?”

“No, sir.”

“Your mother went to talk with you, and said you did not seem very
sorry for your fault.”

“Why, father,” said Rollo, “I did not do any thing to the boys at all:
it was all their fault, entirely.”

“I don’t suppose you did do any thing wrong towards _them_, but you
committed a great fault in respect to me.”

“What fault?” said Rollo.


“Why, father, how? You did not tell me to stay close by you.”

“And is a boy guilty of disobedience only when he does what his father
forbids in words?”

“I suppose so,” said Rollo.

“What is disobedience?” asked his father.

“Why, it is doing what you tell me not to do; is it not?”

“That is not a sufficient definition of it; for suppose you were out
there in the bushes, and I was to beckon you to come here, and you
should not come, would not that be disobedience?”

“Why, yes, sir.”

“And yet I should not _tell_ you to come.”

“No, sir.”

“And so, if I were to shake my head at you when you were doing any
thing wrong, and you wore to continue doing it, that would be

Rollo admitted that it would. “So that it is not necessary that I
should tell you _in words_ what my wishes are: if I express them in any
way so that you plainly understand it, that is enough. The most
important orders that are given by men, are often given without any

“How, father?”

“Why, at sea, sometimes, where there is a great fleet of ships, and the
admiral, who commands them all, is in one of them. Now, if he wants all
the fleet to sail in any way; or if he wishes to have some one, vessel
come near to his, or go back home, or go away to any other part of the
world; or if he wants any particular person in the fleet to come on
board his vessel,—he does not send an order in _words_; he only hoists
flags of a particular kind upon the masts of his vessel, and they all
obey them.

“Now, suppose,” continued he, “one of the ships did not sail as he
wished, and when he called the captain to account for it, he should say
that he was not guilty of disobedience, because he did not _tell_ him
to sail so.”

Rollo laughed, and said he thought that would not be a very good

“Well, it is just such an excuse as yours. I did not positively command
you not to go near the boys, or not to have any conversation with them
at all, though I expressed my wish that you would not, so that you
could not help understanding it.”

Rollo could not deny that this was so.

“But that is not the only case of disobedience. For you did one thing
which was contrary to _my express command in words_.”

Rollo looked concerned, and said he was sure he did not know it.

“I told you not to go out of my sight.”

“Well, but, father,” said Rollo eagerly, in reply, “I am sure I did not
mean to. I was picking berries so busy, I did not observe where I was.”

“I know you were, and that was the disobedience; for when I command you
to keep in sight of me, that means that you must take good care that
you _do_ mind where you are. Suppose I were to tell Jonas that he might
go and take a walk, but that he must be sure to come back in half an
hour, and he should go, and pay no attention to the time, and so not
come back until three quarters of an hour; would that be obedience?”

“No, sir; but it would not be so bad as it would be if he should stay
away when he _knew_ that the time was out.”

“No, it would not be so wilful an act of disobedience, but it would be
disobedience, notwithstanding. You see, Rollo,” he continued, “when I
tell you or any boy to come back in half an hour, there are two things
implied in the command—first, that you should _notice the time_, and,
secondly, that you should come back when the time is out. Now, you may
disobey the command by neglecting either of these.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, “I see we may, but I did not think of it

“No, I presume you did not,” said his father; “but I want you to
understand it, and remember it after this forever. You have disobeyed,
to-day, in two ways, in which boys are very apt to disobey, when they
do not mean to do it wilfully. I will tell you what the principles are,
again, so that you can remember and tell me when I ask you.

“1. Boys must take care to comply with their parents’ directions, if
they are expressed in any way whatsoever; and,

“2. When directed to do any thing in a particular time or way, they
must see to it themselves, that they _notice_ and _keep in mind the
circumstances_ which they are required to attend to.”

Rollo said he would try to remember it, and as he seemed attentive and
docile, his father did not talk with him any more about his fault at
that time. Besides, they came now to some very rough places in the
path, and Rollo’s father had to lift Lucy over them.

Lucy spilled some of her berries in one place, and Rollo was going to
help her pick them up, but Jonas said they had better leave them for
the birds, and walk on.

“So we will, Lucy,” said Rollo, “and I rather think that Mosette is
hungry by this time.”

“Yes,” said Jonas, “and what are you going to do with Mosette?”

“O, put him in a cage, and bring him up tame,” said Rollo. “I mean to
teach him to eat out of my hand. I shall treat him very kindly, though
he is my little prisoner.”

“I would give: him the liberty of the yard, if I were you,” said some
one behind, laughing.

Rollo looked round. It was his uncle George, walking close behind him.

“What is the liberty of the yard?” said Rollo.

“Why, when _men_ intend to treat a prisoner kindly, they leave the
prison door open, and let him walk about the yard; and this is called
letting him have the liberty of the yard; and sometimes they let them
go over half the town.”

“Do you think I had better do so with Mosette?” said Rollo.

“Yes,” said his uncle George; “leave his cage open, and let him go
where he pleases.”

“O, he would fly entirely away,” said Rollo.

“Perhaps not, if you should feed him well, and treat him very kindly.
He might like his cage better than any nest.”

“I shall treat him as kindly as I can,” said Rollo; “only think, Jonas,
_that Jim_ said, if he had found him, he should have set him up upon
the fence for a mark to fire stones at!”

“Jim said so?” said Jonas; “how did Jim know any thing about it?”

“Why—e—h—why—I told him,” said Rollo.

“What did you tell him for?”

“O, because,” said Rollo, “we were talking, and I told him.”

“I hope you did not tell him where we hid Mosette, behind the rock.”

“Why—yes,” said Rollo, “I believe I did.”

“Then I am afraid you will never see poor Mosette again,” said Jonas.

“Why,” said Rollo, “you don’t think that he would go and get him.”

“I don’t know,” said Jonas, “what he would do; but I should not have
wanted to tell such a boy any thing about him.”

Rollo began to be alarmed. He went back to his father, and asked him to
let him and Jonas go on before the rest, to see if their bird was safe.
His father told him he might go. “But,” said he, “I am afraid you have
lost your bird; when a boy allows himself to get into bad company, he
does not know how many troubles he plunges himself into.”

Rollo and Jonas ran on, and soon disappeared among the trees. Rollo
found it hard to keep up, as the road was not very smooth, though they
had got down the steepest part of the mountain. Jonas kept hold of
Rollo’s hand, and went on running and walking alternately, until they
got down to the end of the trees and bushes, and then they came out in
sight of the place where the horses were tied.

It was fortunate for poor Mosette, and for Rollo too, that they did
thus run on before, for it happened that Jim, and the boys with him,
had come down the mountain by another road, and were just going up to
the place as Jonas and Rollo came out of the woods.

“There they are,” said Jonas. “You stay here; I must run on.” And he
let go of Rollo’s hand, sprang forward, and ran with all his might.
Rollo tried to follow, but soon stopped and looked on.

Jim and his boys did not see Jonas coming, and they went to work
looking around the bushes and stones after Mosette. In a few minutes,
one smaller boy came out from the bushes, close by the place where
Rollo recollected the nest was hid, with something in his hand, and
Rollo could distinctly hear him calling out,

“Here he is, Jim—I have got him, Jim.”

Just that moment, Jonas came running up among the boys, calling out,

“Let that bird alone!—Let that bird alone!” The boys, terrified at this
unexpected onset, started and ran in every direction. The boy who had
the nest, dropped it upon the ground, and dodged back into the bushes.
Jonas took it up carefully, put little Mosette, who had fallen out,
back in the nest, and walked out into the road to meet Rollo, who was
coming down as fast as he could come, on the other side.

They saw Jim and his comrades no more, and Rollo said he believed he
should never again want to have any thing to do with bad boys.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Rollo at Play; Or, Safe Amusements" ***

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