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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 5, Issue 9

Date of first publication: 1869

Author: John Townsend Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom (editors)

Date first posted: Apr. 29, 2016

Date last updated: Apr. 29, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160431

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

Drawn by Miss Jessie Curtis.]          [See the Poem.







An Illustrated Magazine







Vol. V. September, 1869. No. IX.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by Fields, Osgood, & Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.


[This table of contents is added for convenience.—Transcriber.]


















Sailor Ben’s arrival partly drove the New Orleans project from my brain. Besides, there was just then a certain movement on foot by the Centipede Club which helped to engross my attention.

Pepper Whitcomb took the Captain’s veto philosophically, observing that he thought from the first the governor wouldn’t let me go. I don’t think Pepper was quite honest in that. But to the subject in hand.

Among the few changes that have taken place in Rivermouth during the past twenty years there is one which I regret. I lament the removal of all those varnished iron cannon which used to do duty as posts at the corners of streets leading from the river. They were quaintly ornamental, each set upon end with a solid shot soldered into its mouth, and gave to that part of the town a picturesqueness very poorly atoned for by the conventional wooden stakes that have deposed them.

These guns (“old sogers” the boys called them) had their story, like everything else in Rivermouth. When that everlasting last war—the war of 1812, I mean—came to an end, all the brigs, schooners, and barks fitted out at this port as privateers were as eager to get rid of their useless twelve-pounders and swivels as they had previously been to obtain them. Many of the pieces had cost large sums, and now they were little better than so much crude iron,—not so good, in fact, for they were clumsy things to break up and melt over. The government didn’t want them; private citizens didn’t want them; they were a drug in the market.

But there was one man, ridiculous beyond his generation, who got it into his head that a fortune was to be made out of these same guns. To buy them all, to hold on to them until war was declared again (as he had no doubt it would be in a few months), and then sell out at fabulous prices,—this was the daring idea that addled the pate of Silas Trefethen, “Dealer in E. & W. I. Goods and Groceries,” as the faded sign over his shop-door informed the public.

Silas went shrewdly to work, buying up every old cannon he could lay hands on. His back-yard was soon crowded with broken-down gun-carriages, and his barn with guns, like an arsenal. When Silas’s purpose got wind it was astonishing how valuable that thing became which just now was worth nothing at all.

“Ha, ha!” thought Silas; “somebody else is tryin’ tu git control of the market. But I guess I’ve got the start of him.”

So he went on buying and buying, oftentimes paying double the original price of the article. People in the neighboring towns collected all the worthless ordnance they could find, and sent it by the cart-load to Rivermouth.

When his barn was full, Silas began piling the rubbish in his cellar, then in his parlor. He mortgaged the stock of his grocery-store, mortgaged his house, his barn, his horse, and would have mortgaged himself, if any one would have taken him as security, in order to carry on the grand speculation. He was a ruined man, and as happy as a lark.

Surely poor Silas was cracked, like the majority of his own cannon. More or less crazy he must have been always. Years before this he purchased an elegant rosewood coffin, and kept it in one of the spare rooms in his residence. He even had his name engraved on the silver-plate, leaving a blank after the word “Died.”

The blank was filled up in due time, and well it was for Silas that he secured so stylish a coffin in his opulent days, for when he died his worldly wealth would not have bought him a pine box, to say nothing of rosewood. He never gave up expecting a war with Great Britain. Hopeful and radiant to the last, his dying words were, England—war—few days—great profits!

It was that sweet old lady, Dame Jocelyn, who told me the story of Silas Trefethen; for these things happened long before my day. Silas died in 1817.

At Trefethen’s death his unique collection came under the auctioneer’s hammer. Some of the larger guns were sold to the town, and planted at the corners of divers streets; others went off to the iron-foundry; the balance, numbering twelve, were dumped down on a deserted wharf at the foot of Anchor Lane, where, summer after summer, they rested at their ease in the grass and fungi, pelted in autumn by the rain, and annually buried by the winter snow. It is with these twelve guns that our story has to deal.

The wharf where they reposed was shut off from the street by a high fence,—a silent, dreamy old wharf, covered with strange weeds and mosses. On account of its seclusion and the good fishing it afforded, it was much frequented by us boys.

There we met many an afternoon to throw out our lines, or play leap-frog among the rusty cannon. They were famous fellows in our eyes. What a racket they had made in the heyday of their unchastened youth! What stories they might tell now, if their puffy metallic lips could only speak! Once they were lively talkers enough; but there the grim sea-dogs lay, silent and forlorn in spite of all their former growlings.

They always seemed to me like a lot of venerable disabled tars, stretched out on a lawn in front of a hospital, gazing seaward, and mutely lamenting their lost youth.

But once more they were destined to lift up their dolorous voices,—once more ere they keeled over and lay speechless for all time. And this is how it befell.

Jack Harris, Charley Marden, Harry Blake, and myself were fishing off the grass-grown wharf one afternoon, when a thought flashed upon me like an inspiration.

“I say, boys!” I cried, hauling in my line hand over hand, “I’ve got something!”

“What does it pull like, youngster?” asked Harris, looking down at the taut line and expecting to see a big perch at last.

“O, nothing in the fish way,” I returned, laughing; “it’s about the old guns.”

“What about them?”

“I was thinking what jolly fun it would be to set one of the old sogers on his legs and serve him out a ration of gunpowder.”

Up came the three lines in a jiffy. An enterprise better suited to the disposition of my companions could not have been proposed.

In a short time we had one of the smaller cannon over on its back and were busy scraping the green rust from the touch-hole. The mould had spiked the gun so effectually, that for a while we fancied we should have to give up our attempt to resuscitate the old soger.

“A long gimlet would clear it out,” said Charley Marden, “if we only had one.”

I looked to see if Sailor Ben’s flag was flying at the cabin door, for he always took in the colors when he went off fishing.

“When you want to know if the Admiral’s abroad, jest cast an eye to the buntin’, my hearties,” says Sailor Ben.

Sometimes in a jocose mood he called himself the Admiral, and I am sure he deserved to be one. The Admiral’s flag was flying, and I soon procured a gimlet from his carefully kept tool-chest.

Before long we had the gun in working order. A newspaper lashed to the end of a lath served as a swab to dust out the bore. Jack Harris blew through the touch-hole and pronounced all clear.

Seeing our task accomplished so easily, we turned our attention to the other guns, which lay in all sorts of postures in the rank grass. Borrowing a rope from Sailor Ben, we managed with immense labor to drag the heavy pieces into position and place a brick under each muzzle to give it the proper elevation. When we beheld them all in a row, like a regular battery, we simultaneously conceived an idea, the magnitude of which struck us dumb for a moment.

Our first intention was to load and fire a single gun. How feeble and insignificant was such a plan compared to that which now sent the light dancing into our eyes!

“What could we have been thinking of?” cried Jack Harris. “We’ll give ’em a broadside, to be sure, if we die for it!”

We turned to with a will, and before nightfall had nearly half the battery overhauled and ready for service. To keep the artillery dry we stuffed wads of loose hemp into the muzzles, and fitted wooden pegs to the touch-holes.

At recess the next noon the Centipedes met in a corner of the school-yard to talk over the proposed lark. The original projectors, though they would have liked to keep the thing secret, were obliged to make a club matter of it, inasmuch as funds were required for ammunition. There had been no recent drain on the treasury, and the society could well afford to spend a few dollars in so notable an undertaking.

It was unanimously agreed that the plan should be carried out in the handsomest manner, and a subscription to that end was taken on the spot. Several of the Centipedes hadn’t a cent, excepting the one strung around their necks; others, however, were richer. I chanced to have a dollar, and it went into the cap quicker than lightning. When the club, in view of my munificence, voted to name the guns Bailey’s Battery I was prouder than I have ever been since over anything.

The money thus raised, added to that already in the treasury, amounted to nine dollars,—a fortune in those days; but not more than we had use for. This sum was divided into twelve parts, for it would not do for one boy to buy all the powder, nor even for us all to make our purchases at the same place. That would excite suspicion at any time, particularly at a period so remote from the Fourth of July.

There were only three stores in town licensed to sell powder; that gave each store four customers. Not to run the slightest risk of remark, one boy bought his powder on Monday, the next boy on Tuesday, and so on until the requisite quantity was in our possession. This we put into a keg and carefully hid in a dry spot on the wharf.

Our next step was to finish cleaning the guns, which occupied two afternoons, for several of the old sogers were in a very congested state indeed. Having completed the task, we came upon a difficulty. To set off the battery by daylight was out of the question; it must be done at night; it must be done with fuses, for no doubt the neighbors would turn out after the first two or three shots, and it would not pay to be caught in the vicinity.

Who knew anything about fuses? Who could arrange it so the guns would go off one after the other, with an interval of a minute or so between?

Theoretically we knew that a minute-fuse lasted a minute; double the quantity, two minutes; but practically we were at a stand-still. There was but one person who could help us in this extremity,—Sailor Ben. To me was assigned the duty of obtaining what information I could from the ex-gunner, it being left to my discretion whether or not to intrust him with our secret.

So one evening I dropped into the cabin and artfully turned the conversation to fuses in general, and then to particular fuses, but without getting much out of the old boy, who was busy making a twine hammock. Finally, I was forced to divulge the whole plot.

The Admiral had a sailor’s love for a joke, and entered at once and heartily into our scheme. He volunteered to prepare the fuses himself, and I left the labor in his hands, having bound him by several extraordinary oaths—such as “Hope-I-may-die” and “Shiver-my-timbers”—not to betray us, come what would.

This was Monday evening. On Wednesday the fuses were ready. That night we were to unmuzzle Bailey’s Battery. Mr. Grimshaw saw that something was wrong somewhere, for we were restless and absent-minded in the classes, and the best of us came to grief before the morning session was over. When Mr. Grimshaw announced “Guy Fawkes” as the subject for our next composition, you might have knocked down the Mystic Twelve with a feather.

The coincidence was certainly curious, but when a man has committed, or is about to commit, an offence, a hundred trifles, which would pass unnoticed at another time, seem to point at him with convicting fingers. No doubt Guy Fawkes himself received many a start after he had got his wicked kegs of gunpowder neatly piled up under the House of Lords.

Wednesday, as I have mentioned, was a half-holiday, and the Centipedes assembled in my barn to decide on the final arrangements. These were as simple as could be. As the fuses were connected, it needed but one person to fire the train. Hereupon arose a discussion as to who was the proper person. Some argued that I ought to apply the match, the battery being christened after me, and the main idea, moreover, being mine. Others advocated the claim of Phil Adams as the oldest boy. At last we drew lots for the post of honor.

Twelve slips of folded paper, upon one of which was written “Thou art the man,” were placed in a quart measure, and thoroughly shaken; then each member stepped up and lifted out his destiny. At a given signal we opened our billets. “Thou art the man,” said the slip of paper trembling in my fingers. The sweets and anxieties of a leader were mine the rest of the afternoon.

Directly after twilight set in Phil Adams stole down to the wharf and fixed the fuses to the guns, laying a train of powder from the principal fuse to the fence, through a chink of which I was to drop the match at midnight.

At ten o’clock Rivermouth goes to bed.

At eleven o’clock Rivermouth is as quiet as a country churchyard.

At twelve o’clock there is nothing left with which to compare the stillness that broods over the little seaport.

In the midst of this stillness I arose and glided out of the house like a phantom bent on an evil errand; like a phantom I flitted through the silent street, hardly drawing breath until I knelt down beside the fence at the appointed place.

Pausing a moment for my heart to stop thumping, I lighted the match and shielded it with both hands until it was well under way, and then dropped the blazing splinter on the slender thread of gunpowder.

A noiseless flash instantly followed, and all was dark again. I peeped through the crevice in the fence, and saw the main fuse spitting out sparks like a conjurer. Assured that the train had not failed, I took to my heels, fearful lest the fuse might burn more rapidly than we calculated, and cause an explosion before I could get home. This, luckily, did not happen. There’s a special Providence that watches over idiots, drunken men, and boys.

I dodged the ceremony of undressing by plunging into bed, jacket, boots, and all. I am not sure I took off my cap; but I know that I had hardly pulled the coverlid over me, when “Boom!” sounded the first gun of Bailey’s Battery.

I lay as still as a mouse. In less than two minutes there was another burst of thunder, and then another. The third gun was a tremendous fellow and fairly shook the house.

The town was waking up. Windows were thrown open here and there and people called to each other across the streets asking what that firing was for.

Boom!” went gun number four.

I sprung out of bed and tore off my jacket, for I heard the Captain feeling his way along the wall to my chamber. I was half undressed by the time he found the knob of the door.

“I say, sir,” I cried, “do you hear those guns?”

“Not being deaf, I do,” said the Captain, a little tartly,—any reflection on his hearing always nettled him; “but what on earth they are for I can’t conceive. You had better get up and dress yourself.”

“I’m nearly dressed, sir.”

Boom! boom!”—two of the guns had gone off together.

The door of Miss Abigail’s bedroom opened hastily, and that pink of maidenly propriety stepped out into the hall in her night-gown,—the only indecorous thing I ever knew her to do. She held a lighted candle in her hand and looked like a very aged Lady Macbeth.

“O Dan’el, this is dreadful! What do you suppose it means?”

“I really can’t suppose,” said the Captain, rubbing his ear; “but I guess it’s over now.”

Boom!” said Bailey’s Battery.

Rivermouth was wide awake now, and half the male population were in the streets, running different ways, for the firing seemed to proceed from opposite points of the town. Everybody waylaid everybody else with questions; but as no one knew what was the occasion of the tumult, people who were not usually nervous began to be oppressed by the mystery.

Some thought the town was being bombarded; some thought the world was coming to an end, as the pious and ingenious Mr. Miller had predicted it would; but those who couldn’t form any theory whatever were the most perplexed.

In the mean while Bailey’s Battery bellowed away at regular intervals. The greatest confusion reigned everywhere by this time. People with lanterns rushed hither and thither. The town-watch had turned out to a man, and marched off, in admirable order, in the wrong direction. Discovering their mistake, they retraced their steps, and got down to the wharf just as the last cannon belched forth its lightning.

A dense cloud of sulphurous smoke floated over Anchor Lane, obscuring the starlight. Two or three hundred people, in various stages of excitement, crowded about the upper end of the wharf, not liking to advance farther until they were satisfied that the explosions were over. A board was here and there blown from the fence, and through the openings thus afforded a few of the more daring spirits at length ventured to crawl.

The cause of the racket soon transpired. A suspicion that they had been sold gradually dawned on the Rivermouthians. Many were exceedingly indignant, and declared that no penalty was severe enough for those concerned in such a prank; others—and these were the very people who had been terrified nearly out of their wits—had the assurance to laugh, saying that they knew all along it was only a trick.

The town-watch boldly took possession of the ground, and the crowd began to disperse. Knots of gossips lingered here and there near the place, indulging in vain surmises as to who the invisible gunners could be.

There was no more noise that night, but many a timid person lay awake expecting a renewal of the mysterious cannonading. The Oldest Inhabitant refused to go to bed on any terms, but persisted in sitting up in a rocking-chair, with his hat and mittens on, until daybreak.

I thought I should never get to sleep. The moment I drifted off in a doze I fell to laughing and woke myself up. But towards morning slumber overtook me, and I had a series of disagreeable dreams, in one of which I was waited upon by the ghost of Silas Trefethen with an exorbitant bill for the use of his guns. In another, I was dragged before a court-martial and sentenced by Sailor Ben, in a frizzled wig and three-cornered cocked hat, to be shot to death by Bailey’s Battery,—a sentence which Sailor Ben was about to execute with his own hand, when I suddenly opened my eyes and found the sunshine lying pleasantly across my face. I tell you I was glad!

That unaccountable fascination which leads the guilty to hover about the spot where his crime was committed drew me down to the wharf as soon as I was dressed. Phil Adams, Jack Harris, and others of the conspirators were already there, examining with a mingled feeling of curiosity and apprehension the havoc accomplished by the battery.

The fence was badly shattered and the ground ploughed up for several yards round the place where the guns formerly lay,—formerly lay, for now they were scattered every which way. There was scarcely a gun that hadn’t bursted. Here was one ripped open from muzzle to breech, and there was another with its mouth blown into the shape of a trumpet. Three of the guns had disappeared bodily, but on looking over the edge of the wharf we saw them standing on end in the tide-mud. They had popped overboard in their excitement.

“I tell you what, fellows,” whispered Phil Adams, “it is lucky we didn’t try to touch ’em off with punk. They’d have blown us all to flinders.”

The destruction of Bailey’s Battery was not, unfortunately, the only catastrophe. A fragment of one of the cannon had carried away the chimney of Sailor Ben’s cabin. He was very mad at first, but having prepared the fuse himself he didn’t dare complain openly.

“I’d have taken a reef in the blessed stove-pipe,” said the Admiral, gazing ruefully at the smashed chimney, “if I had known as how the Flagship was agoin’ to be under fire.”

The next day he rigged out an iron funnel, which, being in sections, could be detached and taken in at a moment’s notice. On the whole, I think he inwardly gloated over the demolition of his brick chimney. The stove-pipe was a great deal more ship-shape.

The town was not so easily appeased. The selectmen determined to make an example of the guilty parties, and offered a reward for their arrest, holding out a promise of pardon to any one of the offenders who would furnish information against the rest. But there were no faint hearts among the Centipedes. Suspicion rested for a while on several persons,—on the soldiers at the fort; on a crazy fellow, known about town as “Bottle-Nose”; and at last on Sailor Ben.

“Shiver my timbers!” cries that deeply injured individual. “Do you suppose, sir, as I have lived to sixty year, an’ ain’t got no more sense than to go for to blaze away at my own upper riggin’? It doesn’t stand to reason.”

It certainly did not seem probable that Mr. Watson would maliciously knock over his own chimney, and Lawyer Scratch, who had the case in hand, bowed himself out of the Admiral’s cabin convinced that the right man had not been discovered.

People living by the sea are always more or less superstitious. Stories of spectre ships and mysterious beacons, that lure vessels out of their course and wreck them on unknown reefs, were among the stock legends of Rivermouth; and not a few people in the town were ready to attribute the firing of those guns to some supernatural agency. The Oldest Inhabitant remembered that when he was a boy a dim-looking sort of schooner hove to in the offing one foggy afternoon, fired off a single gun that didn’t make any report, and then crumbled to nothing, spar, mast, and hulk, like a piece of burnt paper.

The authorities, however, were of the opinion that human hands had something to do with the explosions, and they resorted to deep-laid strategems to get hold of the said hands. One of their traps came very near catching us. They artfully caused an old brass field-piece to be left on a wharf near the scene of our late operations. Nothing in the world but the lack of money to buy powder saved us from falling into the clutches of the two watchmen who lay secreted for a week in a neighboring sail-loft.

It was many a day before the midnight bombardment ceased to be the town-talk. The trick was so audacious and on so grand a scale that nobody thought for an instant of connecting us lads with it. Suspicion at length grew weary of lighting on the wrong person, and as conjecture—like the physicians in the epitaph—was in vain, the Rivermouthians gave up the idea of finding out who had astonished them.

They never did find out, and never will, unless they read this veracious history. If the selectmen are still disposed to punish the malefactors, I can supply Lawyer Scratch with evidence enough to convict Pepper Whitcomb, Phil Adams, Charley Marden, and the other honorable members of the Centipede Club. But really I don’t think it would pay now.

T. B. Aldrich.


All the readers of Our Young Folks must remember Mrs. Stowe’s charming sketch of Hum the Son of Buz, which appeared in its first number. It was an interesting account of the peculiar habits of a young Ruby-throated Humming-Bird, for several weeks her petted companion. Some novel facts in regard to the food and manner of life of these tiny specimens of bird-kind were there presented with a freshness that gave them great interest. We shall endeavor to give a general account of this wonderfully beautiful family of birds, although we cannot hope to invest it with an equal charm.

No birds are so universally attractive as the Humming-Birds. They are the smallest in size, the most brilliantly beautiful in plumage, and have the most numerous varieties of any of the feathered families. They are found nowhere except in the New World, but here they may be met with anywhere, from the Falkland Islands of South America almost to Greenland in North America. They are most abundant in the warmer portions of the continent, especially in the West India Islands and in Central America and the northern states of South America.

More than three hundred different kinds of Humming-Birds have been already described, and our best-informed naturalists believe that not less than four hundred exist. So far as men of science have studied their habits, it has been found that all these different varieties have very nearly the same peculiarities, modified chiefly by the differences in their places of residence. Some Humming-Birds, like our common Ruby-throat, are found scattered over a very large extent of country. This variety occurs in all the United States, and as far north as the Arctic regions; other kinds are found only in small lonely islands. Some Humming-Birds remain all the year in the same localities; others only visit certain parts of America during the warm season.

The food of Humming-Birds is now known to consist almost entirely of insects. They were once supposed to subsist chiefly on the sweets they obtained from honey-bearing flowers, and in confinement they have been made to live partly upon sweetened water; but the honey of plants is not alone their natural food, and is insufficient for them.

In order to obtain its insect-food the Humming-Bird is provided with a tongue of very peculiar structure, the anterior portions of which are made up of two long and hollow thread-like tubes. These unite behind and are closed at the end, as represented, magnified, in the figures below. This forked and hollow tongue the bird thrusts in and out of the tube-shaped flowers with the rapidity of a flash, and captures the minute insects lodged in their depths.

These tiny birds are adorned with more brilliant plumage than any other family of the whole feathered tribe. It is impossible to give our young readers any adequate description of the beauty and variety of the bright colors of nearly all Humming-Birds. These colors excite wonder and admiration, even when prepared for exhibition in ornithological collections; but when living the brilliancy of their colors is far greater than when dead.

Travellers who have seen them flitting about like beams of variously tinted light in the dark green woods of their native forests tell us they know nothing in nature that can be compared with them. Even the colors of the topaz, the emerald, the ruby, and the amethyst, to which the bright tints of the Humming-Birds have been likened, pale in the comparison. The various hues of all these gems are often seen combined in the plumage of the same bird, now one appearing and now another, with the changes of light and shade.

Without attempting to give a learned account of the different classes into which naturalists now divide Humming-Birds, we will mention only a few of the more marked differences which distinguish them. Some have perfectly straight bills; others have bills very much curved. These are nearly all tropical varieties, living the year round in the same climate. A few varieties have bills which curve upwards in a very singular manner,—an admirable adaptation for reaching up into flowers growing in the forms of pendent tubes or bells. Formerly all Humming-Birds were divided into two classes,—those with straight bills and those with curved bills. But later writers have subdivided the straight-billed into two classes and the curved-billed into three. The first two are those with short rounded tail-feathers, and those with very long and forked tails. These are all or nearly all birds of temperate climates, migrating from them in the colder season. The three varieties of the curved-billed birds are those with long centre tail-feathers, those with curious sabre-like wing-feathers and rounded tails, and those with very short tails and very much rounded bills.

In the tropical regions of America Humming-Birds in great number and variety swarm throughout the forests. In other portions of the same country, where the forests have been cut down and the land tilled, the Humming-Birds equally abound, and seem to delight in the society of man. As we recede from the warm regions their numbers decrease. Some are found in very high northern latitudes, others in equally far southern regions, while others seem to prefer high mountains, where the temperature is quite low. We have the nest of a South American Humming-Bird, which the late Captain Couthouy found on the eastern slope of Mount Pichincha, at a height of ten thousand five hundred feet. Another traveller met with Humming-Birds flying about in a snow-storm near the Straits of Magellan.

The habits of all Humming-Birds are so very nearly alike that a description of the peculiarities of one will serve for them all. They are almost always on the wing, moving with great rapidity and ease. They flit about in short, quick flights. Like flashes of light they dart now this way and now that. Their wings are so constructed as to give them the power of hovering over a flower and keeping themselves in this position a long time; some writers say, for hours.

Their boldness and intrepidity is surprising in birds so small. They do not hesitate to attack birds greatly their superiors in strength that approach too near their nests, or even to fly in the face of any intruder when they have young. This boldness and anxiety is often fatal, betraying their nests to the naturalist seeking them for his collection.

The nests of Humming-Birds are built with exquisite delicacy, of soft materials, and are warm, compact, and strong. They are placed on the horizontal branches of trees, a few feet from the ground, and are usually made of silky vegetable down. Over this they fasten, with their saliva, a strong covering of gray moss. This appears to be an instinctive endeavor to conceal their nest by making it resemble the moss-covered limb on which it is built. It is a curious fact that often this mossy covering is not put on until after the female has occupied the nest, her mate busying himself with completing the moss-work while she is sitting upon her eggs.

But the nests of Humming-Birds are not alike. Some vary in their materials, others in their shape. One kind builds a hanging nest under a large leaf. It is curiously wrought of spiders’ webs, and has its opening underneath. The smallest known bird of this family is found in the island of Jamaica. It is only two inches long, and its outstretched wings are only three inches across. Its nest is not larger than a thimble, and is woven of spiders’ threads and silk and covered on the outside with fine moss. The eggs are very small, looking like little white homœopathic pills. The Humming-Bird’s eggs are always white, and only two in number.

Many attempts have been made to domesticate Humming-Birds, but these have been only partially successful. The birds have soon died, probably from change of diet, or from inability to endure the extremes of cold and heat. If a substitute for their natural food could be found, they would probably live and thrive in confinement, and become very tame and familiar.

Several instances are known of their being kept in this manner, and in every case they have been, like Mrs. Stowe’s pet, very docile and affectionate. A young Englishman, as he was about to sail from Jamaica, caught a Mango Humming-Bird on her nest, and, cutting off the twig on which the latter was built, brought nest, eggs, and parent on board. The bird was fed with honey and water, became tame, and hatched out two young birds during the passage. The mother died, but the young birds were brought to England, and were for some weeks in the possession of Lady Hammond, readily taking honey from her lips. One of them lived two months after its arrival.

Within the limits of the United States seven different kinds of Humming-Birds are found, though two of them are very rare and may not belong here. These are the Black-throated or Mango Humming-Bird, one of the curved-billed or tropical forms. This is a common West-Indian variety, and is only found in our most southern State, Florida, and rarely there. Its plumage is resplendent with a metallic lustre of green and gold.

The common Ruby-throat is familiar to us all.

The Black-chinned Humming-Bird of California is similar to our common variety.

The Red-backed Humming-Bird is the most common kind in the States on the Pacific, and is found from the Gulf of California to Nootka Sound. It is very prettily marked, but is not a brilliant bird, having very little lustre in its plumage.

The Broad-tailed Humming-Bird is only found in Texas, and is also very much like the common Ruby-throat.

Our most beautiful variety, the Anna Humming-Bird,—so called in honor of Anna, Duchess of Rivoli, a lady greatly distinguished for her love of natural history,—is very abundant in California. Its entire head, neck, and throat are covered with feathers of a bright metallic amethystine red color. One other variety, with no common name, about which little is known, has been found on the southern borders of California. It most resembles the Anna Humming-Bird.

T. M. Brewer.


  Over the way,

  Day after day,

I sit in my window

  And watch the croquet.


  I know there’s a blue

  And a yellow ball too,

Yet I see but the pink,

  Whatever I do.


  For (prithee take care,

  Little bird in the air,

Not to tell!) there was never

  A face so fair


  As I see bending over

  The grass and the clover,

To bring this pink ball

  Out safely a rover.


  Her aim is so true,

  Look out, silly Blue,

There’s a light little foot,—

  All is over with you.


  And a laugh of such glee

  Ripples over to me,—

Ah, wondrously glad

  Must little Pink be!


  So over the way,

  Day after day,

As I sit in my window

  And watch the croquet,


  I think and I think,

  Would gay little Pink,

If I were poor Blue,

  Send me off in a wink?


L. G. W.


I have to begin with a love story, which is so strange and romantic that it was long supposed to be a fiction. But it turns out to be true.

More than four hundred years ago—a century, almost, before the discovery of America—a young Englishman named Robert Machin fell in love with a nobleman’s beautiful daughter. He courted her and won her affections. He was a young man of respectable family, but of a rank so inferior to that of the young lady whom he loved, that her parents could not think of permitting her to marry him. The lover, however, was known to be resolute and brave, and there was some danger of his carrying her off from her father’s castle. So the nobleman laid the matter before the king, who had poor Robert Machin put in prison, and promised to keep him there until the lady should be safely married. Her parents lost no time in marrying her to Lord D’Arfet, and he, as soon as the nuptial knot was tied, took her with him to his country-seat near the famous seaport of Bristol.

They then thought the young lady perfectly safe, and Robert Machin was set free. But as he was a young fellow of high spirit, he was angry at his unjust confinement, and being still in love with the lady, he set on foot a plan to gratify at once his revenge and his passion. To Bristol he went, with some of his friends, who felt that he had been badly treated, and were determined to help him. One of them, putting on the dress and manners of a servant, obtained employment as groom in the family of Lord D’Arfet, and it thus became part of his duty to attend Lady D’Arfet when she rode out into the country on horseback.

Robert Machin, meanwhile, got ready a small vessel, on board of which he went. The gentleman groom, obtaining an interview with Lady D’Arfet when no one was within hearing, told her all about her lover’s plan, which was to take her with him in the vessel and sail away for France, where they would live happily together all their lives. The lady, who had been so cruelly separated from her lover and forced to marry another man, willingly consented, and nothing remained but to carry the scheme into execution.

On the day appointed, early in the afternoon, she ordered her horse to be saddled, and told her groom to get ready to attend her, as she was going alone. She mounted her horse and rode toward the banks of the river Avon, near where it enters the Severn. At a certain spot on the shore a small boat was waiting. The lady and groom dismounted, fastened their horses to a tree, entered the boat, and were conveyed on board the vessel, where the lovers had a joyful meeting after their long separation. The anchor was instantly hoisted; the vessel dropped down the stream into the broad Severn; and, spreading all her sails, was soon beyond sight and pursuit in the Bristol Channel.

If you look at the map of Europe you will see that these lovers, in order to clear Land’s End, had to go a good way out into the ocean, and then turn again toward the east to get into the English Channel, and so land on the coast of France. If all had gone well, they ought to have made a French port in about fifty hours. But they were destined never to see fair France. In the night the wind rose. It increased to a tempest, which blew them far out into the Atlantic. When the day dawned they found themselves in the midst of a tempestuous ocean, out of sight of land, and with no pilot on board who knew enough of navigation to guide the ship toward a port. It is not likely that they had so much as a compass on board, for compasses were not then in general use, and every vessel kept as close to the shore as possible.

All day the tempest raged. The wind came out of the northeast, and therefore blew them toward the southwest, past the Scilly Isles, past the jutting northwest corner of France, and down past the Bay of Biscay. Day after day they could only scud before the wind, and they were driven down by Spain, past the long line of the Portuguese coast, and still farther south, until they were off the unknown coast of Africa. For thirteen days they were driven before this merciless gale. But at last it died away, and they tossed about all one night on those great waves which continue to heave long after a storm has subsided.

The morning of the fourteenth day dawned. Away toward the south the sailors fancied they saw a low dark line upon the sea that looked like land. The sun rose. It was land! Trees were soon discerned, and several kinds of birds which they had never seen before came from the land and perched in the rigging without showing any fear.

As soon as they were near enough, a boat was hoisted out, and several of the adventurers went on shore, wondering what country this could be, and doubtless not without fear that they might have come to the land of the infidels, and might be made slaves. When they stepped on shore, a beautiful prospect opened before them, of hills and valleys, of dense forests, and streams of fresh water. No inhabitants appeared, and no animals except such as were small and harmless.

Returning on board the vessel, the sailors gave such a favorable account of the land that the lovers too came on shore. Walking into the interior, they came at last to a pleasant hill, upon the summit of which there was a large and most beautiful tree, affording delicious shade from the heat of the sun. The spot was so agreeable that they determined to live there for a while, and rest after the fatigues and terrors of their voyage. So they cut large boughs from the tree, and made some bowers in which they slept at night. In the daytime they roamed about the country, observing its curious trees, plants, stones, birds, and insects, always wondering where they were, and to whom this curious and beautiful land belonged. Part of the company, especially the sailors, continued to live on board the vessel, while the lovers and their friends remained on shore.

Three days passed pleasantly enough. In the afternoon of the third day a gale sprung up from the northeast, which increased during the night. When the lovers and their friends rose in the morning you may be sure they looked most anxiously to see how it had fared with their little vessel, upon which depended their only chance of ever again living in a Christian land.

She was gone! The storm had driven her from her anchorage, and no trace of her could be seen on the ocean, which was covered with white-crested waves.

It was a terrible blow. The poor lady, whose health had been shattered by the agonizing perils of the voyage, upon seeing herself cut off forever from home and country and friends, was struck dumb with horror. In three days she breathed her last, and they buried her under the beautiful tree.

Robert Machin could not be comforted. He lingered five days, and then died, beseeching his comrades to bury his body in the same grave with hers. His last request was complied with, and over the grave of the lovers was set up a large wooden cross, and near by an inscription was placed which gave an account of their coming to this unknown land, and concluded with a prayer, addressed to any Christians who might ever come to the spot, asking them to build a church upon that hill, and dedicate it to Jesus the Saviour.

The land upon which these unhappy lovers were driven was the beautiful Island of Madeira. The part of the coast where their vessel anchored was named by subsequent explorers Machico, after Machin, and this name it retains to the present hour. The island had been seen, and perhaps visited, several years before, but it had never been settled, and its existence was only known to a few persons very learned in geography.

After the death of Robert Machin, his companions, in haste to leave the fatal spot, set sail for England in their small boat; but they were driven before a northeasterly wind, and thrown upon the coast of Morocco, where they were captured by the Moors, and sent to prison. What was their astonishment to find in this prison the crew of the vessel in which they had sailed from England. It had been borne by the gale to the same coast!

In those times the Moors derived great profit from the Christian prisoners whom they captured on land and sea. It seems as if almost every ship was a kind of pirate then, and almost all captains thought it right to capture a ship that was smaller than their own. Certainly, no Moor had any scruples about capturing a ship owned and manned by Christians; and, consequently, all along the coast of Morocco there were jails filled with Christian captives, who were kept until they were ransomed by their friends or country.

Common sailors and poor people were usually sold as slaves as soon as they were brought on shore; but captains, merchants, and passengers of rank were usually kept in confinement until they were ransomed. All over Europe, but especially at seaports, there used to be collections taken in churches for the ransom of Christian captives in Morocco. It was a custom also for rich people to leave money in their wills for this purpose, and there were some orders of Monks who went about begging money for the ransom of Christian captives. There were also societies of ladies and others, who used to make costly articles of needlework, and sell them for the benefit of captives, who had no friends rich enough to pay their ransom. It is necessary to bear this in mind in order to understand how it came to pass that the sad adventure of Robert Machin and Lady D’Arfet led to the real discovery and settlement of the Island of Madeira.

For some years the friends of Machin languished in a Moorish prison, with hundreds of other unhappy captives, longing for the hour of their deliverance. Among other persons confined with them was a certain John de Morales, a skilful and famous Spanish pilot and navigator. To him they naturally told the strange tale of the unhappy lovers, and described the beautiful land where they had died. Now, Captain de Morales, being an experienced navigator and a good geographer for that day, listened with intense curiosity to their descriptions of the unknown country, and, I have no doubt, questioned them closely as to the direction in which it lay, and how many miles it was from the coast. Prisoners have not many kinds of amusement at their command, and we may be quite sure that this good Spanish pilot heard the lovers’ story over and over again, and longed to be free that he might join once more in the exploration of the ocean.

The time arrived at last. In the year 1416 died Prince Sancho, the youngest son of the King of Aragon, and left a large sum of money for the ransom of Spanish captives in Morocco. Accordingly, a ship was sent from Spain to a port in Morocco, where she was soon filled with captives rejoicing in their deliverance, and in the expectation of soon seeing again their friends and country.

I suppose the happiest people in the world are those just let out of prison after long confinement. I remember, during the war, coming home from the army once in a flag-of-truce boat, upon which were three hundred and fifty wounded officers and soldiers released from prison in Richmond after a confinement of several months. They were so happy that the least thing made them giggle like school-girls; and although most of them had to be carried on board the steamboat, yet, after being on board thirty hours, they were well enough, when the boat reached Annapolis and the band on the wharf struck up Hail Columbia, to walk on shore and toddle off to the hospital. Of course the good food they had on the boat, and the kind treatment they received, had much to do with this sudden cure. But, after all, the medicine which really restored them was the joy of being among friends once more, and of knowing that they were going home.

The Spanish ship full of captives sailed away from Morocco, and had got as far as the Straits of Gibraltar, when, O Horror! three Portuguese vessels came in sight; and in another hour they were all prisoners again!

Not that Spain and Portugal were at war; but the two kings of those countries, we are told by the old chroniclers, had had “a little misunderstanding,” and so the commander of the Portuguese fleet felt perfectly justified in taking all these poor captives prisoners again. Imagine their feelings upon their hopes being so suddenly and bitterly disappointed. Luckily for them, the Portuguese commodore was a kind-hearted man, as well as a good Catholic, and therefore, taking pity upon them, he gave up their ship and let them go,—all except one man.

That one man was the good Spanish pilot, John de Morales, of whom I have spoken above. And, strange to say, De Morales was perfectly willing to go with the Portuguese, instead of returning to Seville, where he lived. Now, in order to understand this mystery, I must tell you who those Portuguese were that were crossing the Straits of Gibraltar, and whence they had come, and whither they were going. And now we have another curious story, almost as strange as that of the two English lovers.

In my last number I told you about Prince Henry, the Navigator who never navigated, and how, after returning from the capture of Ceuta, he settled upon the promontory of Sagrez, and built a mansion there, and intended to devote all his life and all his money to sending out ships to discover what land there was beyond the country of the Moors. Every summer he sent out two or three vessels, which crept along down the African coast, each captain satisfied if only he went a few miles farther south than any one else had gone.

Two or three summers were employed in this way before anything very interesting was found out; but in the summer of 1418 a most important discovery was made. In that year two brave young knights of Prince Henry’s household, named Zarco and Vaz, who had fought valiantly under him at Ceuta, entreated him to let them try their fortune in exploring the terrible African coast. The Prince consenting, they crossed the straits, and went carefully along the coast for some little distance,—perhaps two hundred miles,—when a terrible storm rose, which blew them right out to sea. Of course they gave themselves up for lost; but when the storm abated, they came in sight of an island, six or seven miles long and three wide. This was Porto Santo, an island twenty-five miles to the northeast of Madeira, three hundred and eighty miles from Africa, and six hundred and sixty miles from their native Portugal.

After gazing at this island awhile they ventured on shore, fearing it might be inhabited by warlike savages like those who lived upon the Canaries. Great was their joy to find that it was not inhabited at all. Upon discovering this they put on board their vessel specimens of its stones, shells, woods, and plants, and made all sail to convey the great news to Prince Henry; knowing what a great help it would be to him, in exploring unknown regions, to have this fine island for the repair and supply of his ships.

The Prince was, indeed, overjoyed. It was his first success, and, that success being accidental, he regarded it as the direct blessing of Heaven upon his labors, and a divine command to continue them. He fitted out three vessels, filled them with implements, seeds, and other materials, placed them under the command of the discoverers and another knight, named Perestello, and sent them to plant and settle the island. Perestello was to govern the colony, and Zarco and Vaz were to return with their vessels to Portugal.

A curious thing happened to this colony, which is all that I can here relate respecting the adventures of Perestello. On the voyage out a tame rabbit on board of Perestello’s ship had young ones, which with the mother were turned loose upon the Island of Porto Santo. These rabbits increased so fast that the whole island was soon overrun with them. They devoured everything which the colonists planted, and proved so great an evil that, after contending with these little enemies and other misfortunes for two years, Perestello gave up the struggle and went home to Portugal. He returned to the island, however, soon after, at the request of Prince Henry, and succeeded at last in founding a colony. But they had terrible work with the rabbits. So numerous were the little creatures that as many as two thousand were destroyed in one day, and it was all the colonists could do for a while to keep them under.

But to return to the gallant knights, Zarco and Vaz. I want you to know next how they became acquainted with the Spanish pilot, John de Morales.

In 1420 Prince Henry fitted out another fleet of three small vessels, and placed them under the command of Zarco, Vaz being one of his captains. This was the fleet which in crossing the Straits of Gibraltar fell in with the Spanish ship that was loaded with captives. The pilot De Morales told the Portuguese the interesting story of the English lovers, described the beautiful land to which they had been driven, and offered his services in attempting to rediscover it. Zarco, knowing the fame of De Morales as a pilot, accepted this offer, and, having dismissed the Spanish ship and her load of captives, sailed back to Prince Henry with the precious intelligence thus obtained.

I can fancy how eagerly that gallant and intelligent Prince listened to the tale of the lovers, and to the description of the country they had found, as given him by John de Morales. His resolve was instantly taken. He sent Zarco and De Morales to Lisbon to tell the same strange story to the King, his father, and to ask the King’s assistance in fitting out a larger vessel than the Prince could afford, for the purpose of striking out boldly into the ocean in search of the unknown land.

At court the two navigators did not succeed very well. Some of the noblemen about the King objected to spending so much money for such a purpose, saying that in Portugal there was plenty of waste land, and that there was no need of sending ships roaming about the ocean in quest of more.

“Besides,” said they, “are there not widows enough already in Portugal, that we should send more sailors to find a grave in the deep?”

The Prince, hearing of these objections, mounted his horse, and, accompanied by a few of his knights, went himself to Lisbon, and talked the matter over with the King. All difficulties melted away in the presence of this enthusiastic Prince; and soon Zarco, Vaz, and De Morales, with a brave company of knights and mariners, put to sea in a stout ship of the Portuguese navy, attended by an oared galley. They were to touch first at Porto Santo, little thinking that that island was only twenty-five miles from the land of which they were in search,—the land where the two lovers reposed side by side under their beautiful tree.

A few days of pleasant sailing brought them to Porto Santo, where the adventurers landed for a short period of repose before setting out in search of the land unknown. Perestello had not yet returned, and the island was still peopled only by his enemies the rabbits. Zarco and Vaz, however, and several of their comrades were familiar with the island, and pointed out to De Morales the curiosities they remembered.

Among other things Zarco called the attention of the Spanish pilot to a strange appearance on the horizon, far away to the southwest, which he had noticed on his first visit, and which had been often spoken of among Perestello’s colonists. A thick darkness hung over the sea like a huge black cloud. But it could not be a cloud, for it never grew less, nor larger; and the clearer the sky was the plainer it was seen.

A strange natural object is apt to be a terrible one. Some of those simple souls thought the dark object was the smoky mouth of a bottomless abyss; others supposed it to be the horrid entrance into hell; and a few of the more intelligent maintained that it was a mysterious island, forever hidden under a veil of cloud, to which the Christian saints and bishops who had escaped from Moorish prisons had been miraculously conveyed, and where they were now living in a heaven upon earth.

But the bold De Morales believed none of these things. He looked fearlessly upon that dark appearance in the southwestern sky.

“It is the land we are in search of,” said he.

And he held fast to this opinion, and convinced several of his comrades of its truth. The whole company gathered to consult upon the matter, and they agreed at last that they would wait until the moon changed, and see what effect that would have upon the cloud. The moon changed; but the cloud remained motionless, vast, and dark as before. Upon perceiving this a panic seized them, and they would have hurried on board ship, and made all sail for home, but for the firmness and good sense of the Spanish pilot. He declared again and again that, according to what the Englishmen had told him, the lovers’ land could not be far off. They told him, he said, that the soil of that unknown country was shaded by lofty trees, standing close together, which alone, he thought, would cause a vapor continually to rise, and that vapor would naturally spread over the sky, and take the appearance of a great cloud.

Frightened men are hard to convince. In all the company there was only one man who remained of the pilot’s opinion; but that man was Zarco, commander of the expedition. So, one morning, without telling anybody but the pilot where he was going, Zarco ordered all hands aboard, got up the anchor, and, crowding all sail, stood straight for the mysterious cloud.

The reader, I hope, is aware that the Island of Madeira is little more than a huge volcanic mountain, the highest point of which is six thousand one hundred feet high; and this mountain, as just remarked, was then covered with enormous trees. Of course, then, the nearer these poor trembling sailors got to the island, the more awful it looked; and when at last they were near enough to hear the roaring of the sea, as it broke upon the rocky shore, some of them fell upon their knees, others cried out in an agony of terror, and many gathered round the captain, entreating him to change his course and save them from destruction.

Happily, the commander was a man of courage. He made a speech to the panic-stricken sailors, giving them good reasons for believing that behind that veil of dark mist there was solid land, and no abyss at all. Not venturing yet to go close in, they sailed for some distance, every eye fixed intently upon the huge unknown object. Some of the sailors declared that they saw through the gloom giants of awful stature, which they found afterwards were only high rocks upon the shore. Erelong they came to a point which plainly was nothing else than land; and, thus encouraged, they stood in closer, and it was soon apparent to all that land was before them.

An hour or two after they came to a bay which, the pilot said, was exactly such a bay as the Englishmen had described; and there he went ashore. Upon walking a little way into the interior the brave pilot was overwhelmed with joy to discover the tree-crowned hill upon which the lovers had died; and upon its summit he found the tomb, the tall wooden cross, the inscription, and all the other marks which his fellow-captives in Morocco had mentioned.

Exulting in this discovery, he hurried on board the large ship, and told the news to Zarco and Vaz, who instantly came on shore, and took possession of the country in the joint names of King John and Prince Henry.

Need I say that they were enchanted with their discovery? They had found one of the most delightful of all the islands in the world, as well as one of the most productive,—an island where an invalid can sleep out-of-doors almost every night of the year, and where the heat of the sun is most agreeably tempered by breezes from the sea. So productive was the soil there that it yielded sixty fold, and the bunches of grapes were formerly two or three spans long, and sometimes four.

After exploring the island a little, the adventurers sailed for Portugal, eager to convey such glorious news to their beloved Prince. He was the happiest of men, and at once set about planting and settling the land. Dividing it into two unequal parts, he made Zarco lord of the larger, and Vaz of the smaller. He freighted vessels with vine-cuttings, plants, vegetables, seeds, and tools, and sent great numbers of men and some families to possess and people the island.

The first settlers, it appears, had great difficulty on account of the dense forests with which the island was covered. In fact, the island was named Madeira (which means timber), from the enormous quantity of the wood upon it. At last, one of the settlers, thinking to make short work of the forest, set it on fire, and, the season being dry, the fire raged with such violence that Captain Zarco and all his family, it is said, were obliged to wade out into the sea, and remain up to their necks in water for two days and two nights. The old historians also say that this fire continued to burn for seven years. The ground was indeed cleared by the fire, but Prince Henry, when he heard of it, regretted very much the loss of so much good timber.

Before the island had been settled long, a boy was born in it, whom his father named Adam. The next child born happened to be in the same family, and her parents named her Eve. On the hill where the lovers were buried Zarco immediately erected an altar, and after a few years he built a church upon the spot, in the choir of which he placed their bodies.

As to the grape-cuttings which Prince Henry sent to be planted in Madeira, they took root and flourished exceedingly, and have supplied the world ever since with an important part of its wine. It is agreed, I believe, that the best Madeira is the best wine the earth produces. Another interesting fact is, that the family of Zarco still exists in Portugal. I am informed that Madame da Camara, the governess of the present Queen of Portugal, is a lineal descendant of the brave man who commanded the expedition that discovered Madeira.

Encouraged by this second and still greater success, Prince Henry redoubled his efforts to discover new countries. In future numbers we shall see how it fared with other brave navigators who sailed under his orders.

James Parton.


When Maggie Gray’s geraniums were brought up out of the cellar in the spring, they were truly unpromising specimens. The leaves of the previous season had withered and dropped off, while at the ends of the branches were little tufts of half-opened leaf-buds, looking so white and sickly that she despaired of their ever reviving. That was only because they had grown in the dark, for it is sunlight that gives to leaves their rich color. But it would not do to abandon the experiment at this stage; it was something to find that they were even alive, and so, when the proper time came, they were set in their appointed places in the open border, where, to the delight and astonishment of all our young gardeners, the bare branches soon put forth new leaves, green and vigorous as before.

The roses, little slips, set out in sand last summer and fall, were now fine plants, and had already bloomed in the house. They only needed setting out in rich soil to grow into large bushes, and bloom all summer long. Maggie’s friends complimented her on her success, and even John the gardener declared she could distance him both in the number and variety of her plants. This was a great concession on his part, but as Maggie was really a sort of pupil of his, he loved to praise her. In this way he took much credit to himself.

As the summer passed on, the plants and shrubs added many feet of green wood to their growing branches, until the vines quite covered the house, and formed a complete bower around the doors and windows. Indeed, considerable trimming and training was needed to prevent the runners from forcing themselves between the joints of the frames, or creeping in at the open windows. The wistaria had grown to the upper cornice of the cottage, and was stretching itself along the eaves in graceful festoons, whilst the lower part of its twisted stalk had almost attained the dimensions of a tree, and became in turn the leader and supporter of several other clinging vines which entwined themselves very closely around it, and mingled their different leaves and blossoms with its own glossy green. Then there were birds innumerable, as usual, and often, when Mrs. Gray or the children were quietly seated inside, these timid little creatures would come and perch upon the window-sill to anoint their feathers, or pick up the crumbs placed there for their benefit.

Their sagacity, of which I will give you an instance, was very curious.

Early in April Mr. Fisher’s lawn had been nicely graded, and sown thickly with grass-seed, which should have produced a fine show of young grass in May; but, strange to say, the blades came up very scatteringly, and certainly not more than one seed out of a hundred could have sprouted at all. This was a disappointment, as the Grays wished to get their place in good order as early as possible. What could be the reason, when the seeds were known to be of the best quality? None could answer; but the surest remedy seemed to be to plant more without delay; perhaps the next would do better.

It was quite warm weather when this second sowing took place, and Mrs. Gray was seated at her chamber window, where she could see the hired man, as he went up and down over the mellow ground, and scattered handful after handful until the whole surface was covered with seed. Presently she heard a peculiar note from a sparrow that had built in the top of a tree out on their own lawn, and then down flew the bird upon the newly planted ground. After picking a few moments, he flew up again to the tree, and there set up a chirping which was surely a note of invitation to his particular friends, for in a short time there came several other sparrows, and back they all went to the grass-plot, and began to eat up the seeds as fast as they could, at the same time keeping up the same peculiar chirping. I suppose they were calling the other birds, and telling them to come quickly and share in the grand feast the gardener had just spread for them, for pretty soon there was gathered quite a company of hungry fellows, perhaps the very ones that had eaten up the previous planting. No wonder the grass had never grown! The cunning sparrows had remembered the former feast, and lost no time in coming to this one.

Mrs. Gray could not help laughing at the performance, but hastened to call her neighbors’ attention to the robbery then going on.

“What shall we do about it?” asked Mr. Fisher, who was in a quandary at this new turn of affairs.

“You must set up a scare-pole,” said Willie, “just as I did for the crows; perhaps that’ll drive them away. But they’ve had a good feast already.”

“No doubt of it, and I shall make sure by sowing a few more quarts of seed.”

“Suppose I bring my scarce-crow,” said Willie; “that will answer, I think, and as my corn is up I can spare it very well.” So saying, he went to bring it, and soon the uncouth-looking creature was fluttering in the breeze, as a warning to the sparrows to keep off the premises and be satisfied with their bugs and caterpillars. It was one of his own manufacture, and consisted of a pole with a cross-piece, on which was placed an old coat and hat with some white streamers to flutter in the wind. Many a bird had mistaken it for the master of the establishment, and thus the corn missed one of its enemies.

“ ’Spect they thought it was sparrow-grass,” said the waggish gardener to himself as he went over the ground again and sowed another apronful of seed, then sung a couplet of the old song:—

“One for the blackbird, and one for the crow;

 Two for the cut-worm, and three to grow.”

“It was such a fortunate thing for us that you saw the robbers,” said Mr. Fisher to Mrs. Gray when the green blades did at last make their appearance thick and close all over the lawn. “And as for the old ‘scare-crow’ himself, I have quite a respect for him; he was certainly a highly useful individual.”

This, of course, set Dora and Fanny to laughing, as they had done repeatedly while the tall fellow, whom they had nicknamed “Uncle Sam,” occupied his place as sentinel in the middle of the lawn. But their father told them never to despise useful people, even if they were as ugly as “scare-crows.” “Uncle Sam” had done them good service, and accordingly he was to be put away carefully in a safe corner of the barn, ready for any future exigency.

Maggie’s acquaintance with Mrs. Fisher had been a source of great enjoyment, and promised to lead to much future profit. The new neighbor was not only fond of all beautiful things relating to home embellishment, and expert in the manufacture of many of them, but was also ready to explain and teach the secrets of her art to others. Unlike some selfish persons who like to keep private everything pretty they are making or doing, lest some one else should learn to do it, she offered to instruct Maggie, so that she might prepare specimens of her own. Among these accomplishments was the art of making or preparing “skeleton leaves,” then newly introduced into this country, and by no means common. Maggie had already seen and admired these bouquets as they were exhibited in the city stores, but had never hoped to make one for herself. No wonder, then, that Mrs. Fisher’s offer was most thankfully accepted.

The first operations were begun in June, when some of the leaves had become fully grown, yet before the ravages of insects had made marks upon the green tissues. Had Maggie been working alone, she would not have known how to select from the great variety to be found in forest and garden; for not all leaves are capable of being skeletonized. But here was Mrs. Fisher, with two or three seasons’ experience, ready to assist her. June, she said, was as early as it would be worth while to commence, and only a few species of leaves were ready so early in the summer; they could, however, make a beginning, adding others as they matured. A large jar was first provided, and into it were placed some leaves of the swamp magnolias, which grew in the edge of a neighboring wood. Next were added Norway maples, silver poplars, and ivy leaves, and, a little later, other maples, Chinese magnolias, and deutsias, with a few willows, and English ash, which quite filled the jar. A weight was needed to keep them under the water, and the jar itself was then carried as far from the house as possible,—a very necessary precaution, as before many days it had become very offensive.

When the time came to examine it there was indeed a disgusting task before them, for the whole mass seemed putrid; but Mrs. Fisher went bravely at it one cool, breezy day, first pouring off all the bad water, and then adding fresh water repeatedly, until the mass had been pretty well washed. This of course removed the most offensive part, although what remained was sufficiently disagreeable. “Now, Maggie,” she said, “the only tools to use are our hands, unpleasant as it may be, if we ever hope to bring a bouquet out of all this corruption.”

“It certainly doesn’t look much like one now,” said Maggie, beginning to roll up her sleeves.

A basin of clean warm water was before her, and a towel over her arm, and into the former she put two or three leaves from the top, letting them float upon the surface, at the same time pressing gently with finger and thumb until by degrees the green substance that is always to be found between the outer and inner portions of a leaf disappeared, and the perfect lacy fibres began to show themselves. In some leaves these tissues were as fine and close as the most exquisite book-muslin, whilst in others they were like the network meshes of lace. Sometimes the framework was firm and strong, but in other specimens so frail that it was impossible to remove them from the water. As they were thus freed from the slime, and laid in another basin of clean water, they floated upon the surface, almost invisible in their exceeding frailness, but Mrs. Fisher, whose fingers seemed just suited for such work, took them upon the palms of her hands, and pressing them firmly upon a towel, dexterously removed them, without a break, to the box prepared to receive them. This was, in substance, the process by which the leaves were in time prepared, while in another jar was stored a variety of seed-vessels undergoing the same decomposition, and waiting their turn to be washed and dried in much the same manner.

But of course, as there was a vast difference in the texture of all these leaves and seed-vessels, there was a difference likewise in the time required to skeletonize them. Some were ready for washing in a few weeks, while others were all summer in softening, and, indeed, it was not until October that the last leaves of the tough swamp magnolia were finally laid away in the boxes. Yet this was not all. The leaves in their present condition would have looked very shabby in a bouquet, for they were far from white, and had for the most part lost their stems. They must be whitened next, and then mounted upon a cushion of dark velvet.

The bleaching required only a few days, a portion of the proper preparation being added to a jar of soft water, the leaves placed in it, then covered tightly, and set in a warm place. When they had become entirely white they were rinsed through two or three waters, in order to wash off the lime and chlorine, which might destroy the fine fibres if suffered to remain. And then, when all were carefully dried upon a towel, the leaves were spread smoothly between the leaves of a book. If that were not done, they would curl up in drying, and so look very ugly in a bouquet. A few delicate fern sprays, that had been well dried by pressing, were also bleached, and when the whole were arranged these were made to droop over gracefully among the leaves, adding greatly to the beauty of the finished group. As for the missing stems, a few pieces of spool-cotton, made quite stiff with gum-arabic, were made to supply their places, and Mrs. Fisher fastened them so neatly along the under sides of the midribs of the leaves, that no one could tell them from natural ones. So Maggie completed her bouquet of phantom flowers, and they were placed in a conspicuous position in the parlor.

While preparing these leaves Maggie had learned a great deal in regard to their formation and texture. Some were formed with woody fibres, while others were soft and pulpy. In some the veins extended outward from the centre, with other smaller ones crossing them in regular square network, while in others the fibres extended lengthwise along the leaves, being merely held together by the fine cobweb tissue that formed long diamond-shaped openings all over their surface. Some contained so much tannin that the water would make no impression upon them, though they were steeped for a year, and others, which appeared strong and firm when taken from the plant, would turn to worthless pulp in a few days. All these observations, and many more, had shown her that considerable science was involved in the production of so small an item as a skeleton leaf.

But while we have been busying ourselves with Maggie’s affairs we have quite overlooked the two little girls, Dora and Fanny Fisher. I have before said that they were of very nearly the same age as Bessie and Daisy, only quite different in appearance. Dora, the elder, was much taller than Bessie, very slender and delicate, with dark eyes and black hair that curled around her head. She was a very quiet child, and loved to read better than to play, although she did join in the games of her companions whenever occasion offered. But her parents thought that open-air exercise in the garden would be of more advantage to her now than so much reading. So when the new garden had been put into proper shape, and the flower-beds planted, Dora, without knowing or intending it, became intensely interested in watching for the sprouting seeds. Of course she did not know the names of the little seedlings, since all looked alike to her, until they had put forth a few leaves; but here were Susie and Bessie close at hand to tell her what they were. It seemed very strange to them that any one could mistake the broad leaves of the beans for the long ones of the phlox, or the rounder ones of the asters or nasturtiums. I fear they forgot, however, that they had once been equally stupid, and that equal time must be allowed their little neighbors to become as wise as themselves.

As for Fanny, Daisy’s friend, she was a very bright, cheerful little body, and not a day passed without several visits to each other’s garden. The plants themselves had a very hard time to grow, for the two little gardeners were digging away nearly all the time; but whenever there came a rainy day, which kept the two within doors, the flowers did their best to make up for it. The gardens, therefore, flourished in spite of excessive cultivation, and fortunately there were enough plants to spare from other portions of the grounds to supply the places of any that died. I am afraid the dolls were somewhat neglected in those days, there was so much entertainment out of doors. The children were so deeply engrossed with their business, that when they met in the morning, instead of saying “How do you do?” as in former times, they generally substituted “How is your garden?” or “Are your flowers in bloom yet?”

Willie, who was now a tall boy, and quite manly in his appearance, had finished his school-days, and was in quest of a good opening for business. He had not said it in so many words, but he did not at all like the idea of going to the city, and, as no suitable place offered as yet, he had continued to busy himself in the garden. But as he dug, and hoed, and raked up the weeds, his thoughts were by no means idle. “What do I care for being a merchant?” he said to himself; “it is at best an uncertain way of making a living, and scarcely a month passes without hearing of some one’s failure. Besides, I have no taste for the book-keeper’s desk, or the yard-measure. I’d rather be a farmer, after all, and I wonder why I cannot just as well think about that as anything else. See, here are five acres adjoining us, which would make a nice little patch to begin with, to put in small fruits and garden vegetables. I’m sure I could make a living, if I should not exactly grow rich. I’ll speak about it anyhow, and see what father and mother think.” So, one evening, as his parents sat together on the piazza, Willie proposed the thing, and urged it upon their consideration with a good deal of warmth.

“You see, father,” he said, “I can get the land on accommodating terms, for the owner will sell that back lot at a low price, and I can pay for it by degrees out of my profits.”

“Have you talked to him about it?” inquired Mr. Gray.

“O yes; he has often told me that his land ought to belong to our place, and I know that I’ve enough plants to stock it at once.”

“And could you work it all yourself? Remember, hiring runs away with the profits.”

“I would try,” answered Willie; “perhaps I might want a little help in the beginning, but after that I’d manage it myself.”

“Well, then,” said his father, “I’ll see the owner and talk to him about it; if we can agree about the terms, I will take it,—it will be a safe investment, I think, in any case.”

Willie’s mind was so bent upon the purchase that he took care to look up the owner and bring him to his father before many days, and the matter was soon settled between them. Mr. Gray bought the five acres for a thousand dollars, and Willie was to have the opportunity of buying it himself at the same price as soon as he was able. In the mean time he could still enjoy the privilege of living at home, which was a great comfort to his mother, who grieved over the prospect of a coming separation.

Now, as all this took place in the summer, too late to set out the fruit, our young farmer concluded to plough up his land, and put in potatoes for the present, leaving room between the rows for the blackberries and other fruit which could be planted in the autumn, before the potatoes would be ready for digging. That was a good arrangement, as the sequel proved, for the field yielded him eighty or ninety bushels to the acre, and paid a profit of about two hundred dollars in money. So Willie was well pleased with this beginning, especially as he had also managed to set out fruit which would be in nice growing order for spring, as previous experience had shown.


The next three years passed on very much in the same manner as those I have described. Willie’s farm did well, and fulfilled all that was expected of it. Maggie continued to raise roses, and many other choice plants, and so great was her present reputation as a florist that she could always find sale among her neighbors for as many of them as she chose to part with. The proceeds, carefully saved, had paid for the little conservatory which had been added to the south end of the parlor, and the winter always found it well stocked with vigorous plants.

Their neighbors, the Fishers, had proved themselves friends of the most desirable sort. The two matrons had found so much pleasure and profit in each other’s society that neither missed or desired the gayer scenes of city life, while Maggie, now grown to woman’s size, was ever learning lessons in some pretty fancy-work from her generous friend. There were several picture-frames in the parlor, and little rustic flower-stands, and hanging-baskets whose designs Mrs. Fisher had furnished. Many things heretofore considered useless and worthless had, through her ingenious suggestion, been converted into wonders of beauty and utility.

Then you may be sure that three years had made great changes in the children. Daisy was a stout girl of eleven, and all five of the younger girls were attending school near by. Maggie was of course a young lady, and assistant housekeeper as well as head gardener, while Dora Fisher had become as hale and rosy as her parents could desire. Thus matters seemed very prosperous with these two happy families, and they looked forward to a long season of pleasant and unbroken intercourse.

But, alas! it often happens that, when all things seem most promising, trouble is very near, and the stroke we most dread may be about to descend. So it was with our friends, the Grays. This third winter was to witness a sad change in their prospects, and the suddenness of the affliction made it still harder to be borne. Mr. Gray was seized with an alarming illness, and after a week of intense suffering this good husband and father was taken from his sorrowing family. It was a severe blow to them, for he had always been strong and healthy,—never sick a day in his life, and gentle and loving in all his intercourse with his children.

Those were sad days indeed before the funeral, when the rooms were darkened, and no one could bear to speak aloud. They looked at the cold remains, as they lay in the coffin, and tried hard to realize that it was their kind and loving father lying before them, who would never speak to them again. Poor children! they were too young to know what changes it might bring to them. The days passed on, and they laid him in that lovely city of the dead, sweet, quiet Laurel Hill, where the Schuylkill River flows calmly past, and the birds sing around his grave all the day long.

It was early in the spring when this sad event occurred, and the cemetery was but a short walk from home. It was a new employment now to bring the choicest flowers to plant or scatter upon their dear father’s grave. Perhaps he would see these love-tokens from his happy, heavenly home above, and smile upon his children’s offerings; so they wearied not of coming, until the little enclosure grew daily more beautiful and fragrant with its fresh blossoms.

But the loss of this good father had brought other very different subjects to the mother’s thoughts; she had lost not only her husband’s love and companionship, but she now found herself alone, with a family dependent upon her, and with very limited means for their future support. The serious question of their daily bread must now be met, for the house and garden, with a few hundred dollars beside, were all she had of worldly wealth. The strictest economy would be required, but money must be found to provide the necessaries of life.

Some of her friends advised her to sell the place at once, and live upon the proceeds, but that, she felt, must be a last resort indeed, while the children, one and all, begged her to try one season, and see whether the profits of the garden would not be as much as the income of the money it would produce if sold,—if so, they greatly preferred to stay. Maggie had five hundred roses ready for sale, to say nothing of her other plants,—geraniums, mignonettes, verbenas, and petunias, and she was resolved to do her best with them. As soon as it was known that her fine collection was to be sold, the neighbors came from all quarters to make their selections; these in turn told others, until her customers promised to become quite numerous.

It was a blessed thing that a busy season was at hand, for it left them less time to dwell upon their trouble and bereavement. They had health, that first of blessings, and Willie, now nearly nineteen, began to feel that the present year must decide the momentous question of whether or not his few acres of fruit could support them all. This year the berries would come into full bearing, and as to their sale, that was certain, as there was a market quite near, with a daily demand for much more than he could produce. So he cultivated his ground, and in due season his two acres of strawberries began to ripen.

At first there were few to be gathered, although he went over the whole patch,—only a dozen quarts; but then they were among the first in the market, and Willie carried them directly to one of the large hotels, where the best price was always paid for early fruit. A dollar a quart was obtained for these, and the hotel-keeper was glad to get them at that, for they were in nice condition. Then two days afterwards he gathered four dozen, and disposed of them in the same way, only that by this time the price had fallen to seventy-five cents, because they were becoming more abundant. But that paid well enough, and Willie felt a satisfaction he had never before known when he laid the proceeds of these first sales in his mother’s hand. “That is only the beginning, mother,” he said; “to-morrow we shall pick again.”

Next time they gathered seventy-five quarts, and so on nearly every day for over two weeks, until in all they had sold twelve hundred quarts of fine berries off his little two-acre patch. The prices had of course fallen greatly since the first sales, but they averaged thirty cents for every box, after the expenses of picking were paid, and brought three hundred and sixty dollars in money. Willie felt as if this was doing very well, and had barely time to weed his strawberry-bed, and hunt up his stray boxes before the raspberries began to ripen.

If the strawberries had done well, these promised even better, and although just then came a season of dry, hot weather, the raspberry plantation produced him three hundred dollars clear. Now this was certainly doing well enough, even if nothing else had come, but hurrying on after the others came the blackberries,—great shining fellows of the New Rochelle variety,—and added one hundred dollars more to our farmer’s receipts. Thus Willie satisfied himself and many others that even five acres well cultivated could be made nearly to support a family.

The fruit in his mother’s garden had done well also, and as they had determined to sell whatever would bring them a high price, even the grapes and pears in their season were turned to profitable account, and brought them in exchange many necessary articles of living. Willie sold enough of his extra plants to pay for all the manure needed for the year, leaving his cash receipts clear gain; and Maggie had done so well by her plants and flowers that an addition to her conservatory was absolutely needed if she would continue or increase her business. This was accordingly made, and paid for entirely from the sale of some of her beautiful phantom bouquets, which were in constant demand, and in due time there were hundreds of newly started roses blooming under the sashes. Besides this, people had learned where to apply for cut flowers and bouquets, and many a choice collection for weddings, and also for funeral occasions, had already been furnished from that little greenhouse.

Maggie had taken pains to study the arrangement of the popular pyramidal bouquets furnished by professed florists, and could now, by the same ingenious management, make a very few flowers show to better advantage than many would have done when grouped together carelessly.

Maggie’s naturally good taste enabled her to succeed well in these graceful nosegays, and without any great effort of her own she had really established herself in an agreeable and profitable business. The children were able to assist her greatly in many ways,—in the care of the greenhouse, and watering and moving the plants. Indeed, they desired no better employment than this.

Through all the Grays’ trouble Mr. Fisher and his wife had proved themselves true friends, and in settling up, and attending to the few items of business after Mr. Gray’s death, the former had been a very judicious adviser. He had scarcely hoped to see them so successful in turning their little place to good account, but now gave them the most unqualified praise for their enterprise and industry. It was very clear to him that this love for gardening, which, in these children, had shown itself at such an early age, and been developed so profitably, was worthy of indulgence,—a talent valuable and beautiful, which was already securing to them an honorable independence.

My story is ended now, for I have told you all that was intended, and proved that a real love of flowers may lead to excellent results. It is several years since I last called at the two cottages, but I know they are still standing in the midst of a bower of vines and ornamental trees. In full view are to be seen the greenhouses and hot-beds, and generally you may see some of the family at work among the shrubbery. Within the house everything is neatness itself, and many a pretty thing is there which these daughters’ tasteful fingers have contrived.

Willie still believes in his “little farm well tilled,” and I believe has added a few more acres to his domain. And there they all live together in the old way, a happy and united family, rich because contented.

Author of “Six Hundred Dollars a Year.”


There he lay in the sunshine, a great black, noble animal, with his work in this world done. I was standing at his side looking at him when my friend came up and joined me.

“Are you trying to make friends with our old Brutus?” he said to me. “Ah, he doesn’t care much for making new friends now. He would only like to find the old friends again that he buried long ago in that mysterious past of his.”

My friend stooped as he spoke, and stroked the great soft head. “Poor Brutus!” he said, “poor old faithful dog!”

lost at sea.
Drawn by Edwin Forbes.]          [See the Story.

It was not much of a story, yet it was rather curious. About five years ago my friend and his family were staying during the summer at a little seaside town on the north coast of France. It was a quiet and rather dull place, except that its harbor was always lively with the coming and going of fishing-boats and collier brigs, and such-like craft, the watching of which was quite an endless delight to the children, who, indeed, spent every moment they could steal from morning to night down at the quay, staring with all their might, and as often as they could doing more than staring, at all that went on there.

It was a fine great open sea, that even in summer was pretty rough at times, coming tumbling often in great waves over the beach, and covering all the pier with showers of spray. Charlie and Willie were always in a state of huge delight whenever those big waves came rolling landward. They used every morning, as soon as they were out of bed, to run to their bedroom window, with little shoeless feet and bare legs, to see whether the white crests were there.

Of course they never thought of anything—for they were very small creatures—but of the fun that it was to see the leaping and rolling water, and of the delight of being sent scampering up the beach when some bigger wave than all the rest would run after them as it broke upon the sands, as if it were resolved to catch them and wet their stockings and shoes at least, let their little legs fly as fast as they would. “It must be rough weather at sea,” their father and mother used to say sometimes in their hearing, especially during one week, when the north wind blew with a strange, wild roaring, and down about the pier the fishermen stood looking through their glasses out to sea, anxiously shaking their heads now and then; but Willie and Charlie only grew merrier as the wind blew stronger; they thought that to be out upon the beach when they could not keep their footing, and when the very air was white with spray, was the finest fun that they had ever had in all their lives.

“I wish it would blow like this forever!” Charlie would say.

And then Willie, who was the youngest, and who never liked to be outdone, would cap Charlie’s speech, and cry with enthusiasm, “I wish it would blow ten times harder!”

(For they were a pair of little geese, you know; but then it is only in the nature of things that children should be geese; and indeed, for my own part, I don’t think I should be inclined to like any young creatures much who talked at ten as if they had the sense of twenty.)

Well, it had been rough weather for near a week, and then soft south breezes came back, and the wild waves calmed themselves, and the fishing-boats that for several days had been doing almost no work put out again to sea. There was a great deal going on in the harbor after the wind went down, and Charlie and Willie, watching it, were as happy as the day was long. One morning they were in the midst of it all as usual, pushing their prying little feet and faces everywhere, getting a good-natured fisherman now to take them for half an hour in his boat, now playing about the masts and rigging of the little brigs, and gabbling away in their broken French to the sailors, many of whom by this time knew the two lads and were kind to them.

It was a bright, warm summer day, with just wind enough to make a little curl upon the waves, and to fill the sails as the fishing-boats put out. There were vessels coming in this morning as well as leaving the harbor. Several brigs that had been expected for some days, and that the storm had delayed, got into port to-day. But there was one especially that amongst all the rest attracted the boy’s attention. It was an English collier, standing on whose deck, as she came near, they saw a great black, noble Newfoundland dog. The creature was standing upon his four feet, taking no notice of any one, but slowly moved his head from side to side, as if he was vainly looking for something that he could not find,—standing quite still, so passive that even when the boat touched the quay, and people came up and stroked and spoke to him, he merely let them do it, and never moved so much as the tip of his tail in answer to them.

The children had caught sight of him with a shout of delight. “O, see what a big dog!” Willie had cried, and, clapping their joyful little hands, they started forward to get as near to the brig as they could. They saw several people gather round the creature presently, and upon that they pushed their way into the boat too, squeezing in cleverly between the sailors’ legs, till they got quite close to where the dog was, with the master of the brig standing by his side, and telling this sad little story:—

In the gray of the summer morning, he was saying, almost as the French coast was coming into sight, one of the crew of the brig had seen a little black speck dancing on the water far away. They could not tell what it was,—it was too indistinct for that,—but they knew it might be a drowning man; so they lowered their little boat at once, and made for him as hard as they could pull. But it was no man. When they came near they found nothing but this poor lost dog, floating on a bit of wreck, the spar of some vessel that had probably foundered in the storm, and gone silently down with all her crew. They took him into their boat and brought him back with them. This was all his story.

Here he stood now,—dazed, half-starved, bewildered, looking with strange eyes at each strange face about him,—dumb through it all. As the master of the collier told the little story, more than one pitying hand was put forward to stroke the big black head; but the creature took no notice of any one of them, only stood quite still, piercing through the little group with those sad, eager, human eyes of his. “Poor fellow! Poor dog!” they said.

The children stood a little from him with grave, touched faces. They were gazing so earnestly at him that they did not see their father, who had come down to the quay—as he came often—to give a momentary eye to his young monkeys, and see that they were not drowning themselves or getting into any other hopeless mischief, and who was standing now behind them, and had been listening while the master told his tale. They only knew that he was there when they suddenly heard his voice.

“What are you going to do with him? Will you part with him?” he called out to the master. Then the lads turned round with a little cry. “O father!” they exclaimed; and their hearts leaped to their mouths. They were afraid to say anything more,—afraid to utter another word; they stood with their lips parted with eagerness as they waited for the master’s answer.

“Well, sir, I’m open to an offer for him,” the man said, after a moment’s silence, and then the children burst into a shout of delight.

Ten minutes afterwards they were walking home with the noble beast between them. They chattered away as they went of all that they would do with him, what they should call him, how he should go everywhere with them, how many things they would teach him; they held him by the ear, and stroked his head, and clapped his back, and gambolled round him. Who can tell what his thoughts were all the time? Who could tell them, as he walked on with those dumb, wondering, patient eyes of his, with the new faces round him, and the new voices in his ears, and all the old world and the old life gone from him like a dream?

“We brought him home with us in a week or two,” my friend said to me (we had been walking up and down the lawn while he told me the little story), “and the boys soon grew very fond of him; but it is a curious thing that, during all these five years he has been with us now, he has never grown more than half at home here. I think he has been as happy with us as he would have been anywhere, and a more docile, patient, kindly natured beast than he is you never knew; but yet he has always to me been like a dog living with a broken heart. I don’t believe for my part that he has ever forgotten that old master of his, whoever he may have been, for a day or an hour since he lost him. Look at him now. Look what a fine human pathos there is about that tragic, silent face of his. Depend upon it he is thinking of the old story at this moment, puzzling it all out again, remembering, perhaps, how he saw the boat go down, and heard his master’s last cry,—if, indeed, it was his last. Perhaps he may doubt even yet whether it was. I sometimes think he has still at moments a kind of forlorn hope that the lost days will come back again, and the lost eyes look into his once more.”

We went up to him again where he lay, and stood looking at him. He was dozing, with eyes half closed in the sunshine, his black coat grown a little rusty now, his ears drooping, his senses, perhaps, beginning to be dulled by age, for he was old; he was not likely to live very much longer, my friend said.

As we stood so he took no notice of us; he was thinking of other things,—perhaps in a half-waking dream living the old life again. “Poor Brutus!” I said once, and stooped down to smooth his grand old head, but still he did not move or look up.

“Ah, he doesn’t care for that name,” my friend said. “He will answer to it sometimes, but he knows very well that he had another name once quite different from “Brutus.” We have never been able to find out what it was; it is buried, too, with all the rest of his history.

We heard the boys’ voices coming towards us merrily, and their footsteps on the gravel under the chestnut-trees. For a moment Brutus opened his eyes at the sound of them, and gently moved his bushy tail; then, stretching out his great fore-paws with a peaceful sigh, he laid his head down on them and dozed again. We left him lying so, slumbering calmly in the sunshine, with his doggish, faithful thoughts, and perhaps gone dreamily back to the old days, and hearing in sleep the old voices that were lost to him forever in that sorrowful night when the unknown ship went down at sea.

Georgiana M. Craik.



That was all. Who was Allouez? What was Allouez? Where was Allouez? Why should Allouez be marked as 3? Three what,—years old, pounds’ weight, or dollars’ worth?

It was on a scrap of newspaper that had somehow found its way into my pocket, the fag-end and remainder of a larger scrap which at some time I had placed there under the impression that it contained something I wanted to preserve, and which had long since been forgotten, whilst the paper had been twiddled into bits when walking and thinking with my hands in my coat pockets,—a bad habit I try to break myself of.

But about Allouez.

I asked my friend Boodle. My friend Boodle is in the produce commission business. Boodle didn’t know. Never heard of the article. Some foreign goods, he supposed.

I inquired of Jorkins. He is in the banking business, and consequently knows all about bonds and stocks and preferences and “ex-div.,” and can translate all the mysterious initials and still more mysterious figures and comments to be found in that part of the newspaper which Jorkins reads first, and you and I scarcely ever look at,—the “financial and commercial” column.

“Allouez? Pooh! mining affair.”

“Mining affair?—where?—what kind of mine? Tell us all about it.”

“Don’t know much. Small matters; most part in State Street, Boston, I fancy, and the rest somewhere in Lake Superior. Among the coppers, I reckon. Want to get any?”

By good luck I met Captain Trenoodle, one of the best practical miners and discoverers of mines on Lake Superior. To him I put the question concerning the location of Allouez, and why so called. Trenoodle is a Cornishman and spoke with a slight Cornish accent.

“Allouez? Of coose. Up in Keewenaw County. Tidy little mine enough, ef she gets started well. Aren’t doing much though, as she’s young yet. Well, look ’ere; as to the name I can’t jestly say, never having heerd on it afore. Why couldn’t they call it Wheal Betsey, or Wheal Ann, or Wheal Jenkins, and ha’ done wi’ it? S’pose it’s some new-fangled scientific name or other them Boston chaps got.”

That was not entirely satisfactory, so I turned into the rooms of the Historical Society and asked the Professor about it. The Professor went to a book-shelf, took down several old volumes printed in French that would trip up some of you in the French class with its unfamiliar words, and adorned with odd-looking maps and engravings. With his forefinger inserted between the leaves of one of the books, he looked at me over his spectacles and told all about it. And I will tell you. When I finish you will probably agree with me, as I agreed with the Professor, that it is not creditable that the memory of a man so intimately connected with the early history of civilization and Christianity on Lake Superior, and to whose labors the Northwest owes so much, should be perpetuated only in the scene of his labors by the name of an obscure mine, of which few have any knowledge, while of these few but a small proportion have ever heard of the man whose name it bears.

Father Ménard perished in the woods in 1661, whilst on his way to the miserable remnant of the Huron tribe that had sought security from the fierce Iroquois upon the southwestern shore of Lake Superior. The news of his death reached Quebec two years later, and carried grief and consternation to the hearts of the Jesuit missionaries there. Who should take up the work that had dropped from the dead hands of the aged priest? Who would follow his footsteps in the thorny path that led to martyrdom? Claude Allouez offered himself for the perilous duty, and to his great joy he was accepted.

A journey to the Northwest in those days could not be undertaken at an hour’s notice, as at present. Now the tourist or the man of business can form a sudden resolution to visit Lake Superior, pack his valise, and in less than an hour after deciding on the journey be rattling westward on the cars at thirty miles an hour, or pacing the deck of a swift-sailing steamer headed in the same direction. Then the priest who proposed setting out on the toilsome journey waited months for a favorable opportunity, held a solemn parting service in the church, bade farewell to his friends and associates, and set out for a journey of weeks, perhaps months, with a strong probability of never reaching his destination. The summer of 1664 passed away, and no opportunity for the journey presented itself. It was August, 1665, before Allouez set out.

The Iroquois, according to custom, were prowling along the banks of the Ottawa River, ready to pounce upon any stray party of Indians not of their tribe, rob them of the merchandise obtained at the French trading-posts in exchange for furs, and carry off their scalps to adorn Iroquois lodge-poles. The Hurons, Ottawas, Chippewas, and other tribes of the Northwest who came down for their annual trade, waited at Three Rivers until a party was formed large enough to daunt the Indian freebooters of the forest. On the 8th of August, 1665, such a party, numbering over four hundred, set out in their canoes from Three Rivers for the ascent of the Ottawa. With them went Father Allouez and six French attendants in a canoe of their own.

The Indians were suspicious of the “Black Robe” and his attendants. They suspected the latter of a design to interfere with their monopoly of hunting and trading. Of the priest they had a graver suspicion, and therefore eyed him with special disfavor. The Jesuits were anxious to save as many savage souls as possible. The work of conversion and baptism among the adult savages was very slow, and the missionaries consoled themselves by baptizing the children whenever they obtained an opportunity. But as they feared that when the child grew up to manhood he would adopt the idolatrous practices of his fellow-savages, in spite of his infant Christianity, they preferred baptizing children at the point of death, that their souls might go to heaven unstained by sin. The savage witnesses of these practices confounded cause and effect, and believed that death almost invariably following baptism resulted from the rite; that the water was poisonous, or that the sprinkling was a form of deadly incantation. It was no wonder that they looked with distrust upon the missionary, and that they carefully kept their children from his presence.

For a short distance the savages allowed the Frenchman’s canoe to keep them company, but held no communication with its occupants. When about to turn into the Ottawa they changed their tactics. Surrounding the Frenchmen, the Indians endeavored to dissuade them from proceeding farther on the journey. They pointed out the dangers of the way, the fierce rapids, the terrible cataracts, the long and painful portages, the peril from the dreaded Iroquois,—common foe alike of Indian and white man,—the risk of starvation: all these, the Indians said, were looked forward to with dread by the Indians familiar with them; to the unpractised white man they would be doubly terrible. But the missionary meekly replied that he was ready to endure all this, and more, in the cause of his holy religion. With a grunt of dissatisfaction they resumed their paddles and proceeded on their voyage.

At the first rapids the Frenchmen met with a serious misfortune. Their canoe struck on a rock and was badly damaged. It was hauled out on the bank and attempts made to repair it. Some of the other canoes required looking to, so the whole party halted three days to prepare for the toils and dangers of the journey, the worst of which lay before them. The canoe in which the Frenchmen had come thus far was so much injured that it was declared unserviceable, and they were again urged to abandon the journey and go home. But Allouez was not to be turned back by accidents or threats. He at length persuaded the Indians to take himself and his party, by distributing them among the different canoes, and it was with great, satisfaction that the missionary saw the canoes leave with his comrades safe on board. But one canoe remained, that to which Allouez had been assigned, and the priest waded out to it, but was rudely thrust back by the occupants, who told him there was no room. In vain the priest reproached them with their broken promises and threatened them with the anger of the French governor. They merely replied, “There is no room for the Black Robe,” and rapidly paddled away.

Thus abandoned in a strange land, a wilderness of woods all around him filled with savage beasts and far more savage men, Father Allouez thought his hour had come. He knelt on the bank and prayed earnestly that the sins of the inhuman savages might be forgiven, and that his life might be accepted as a sacrifice for the salvation of their souls. Whilst he prayed he heard a shout, and was surprised by the return of some of the canoes, having on board three of his countrymen, who were then put ashore and abandoned. The congratulations of the Frenchmen at their reunion were short. Their only hope of escape lay in the broken canoe, and they worked rapidly to patch her so as to bear them a little way until they could overtake the Indians.

The Frenchmen had seen enough of forest life to know some of the expedients used in forest travel. Fresh bark was stripped from a birch-tree, sewn over the fracture in the canoe and the seams neatly pitched. Then they launched their frail craft once more, and pulled rapidly after the canoe fleet, now hours out of sight.

Soon they heard the rushing of waters, which increased in force until they rested on their paddles in awe and alarm at the foot of the foaming and tumbling waters of the Saut des Chats. To ascend that terrific cataract was impossible, but there was no landing-place visible; no sign of a portage through the dense woods. Despair seized the companions of Allouez, but he never lost courage. Praying earnestly for aid, he told his companions to push the canoe to the opposite shore, and there, as if in answer to his prayer, he found two canoe-loads of Indians preparing to make the portage. Following their example, the Frenchmen unloaded the canoe, shouldered it and its cargo, and trotted as swiftly as their unpractised feet allowed after the savages to the other end of the portage, where six other canoes were found.

At the sight of the faithless Indians who had so cruelly deserted him Allouez lost patience, bitterly upbraided them with their perfidy, and threatened them with the vengeance of the French commander at Quebec, whose favor they courted because of his presents and whose vengeance they also dreaded. The savages professed a great desire to comply with the wishes of the French commander, but again urged Allouez to return lest worse should befall him in the new dangers about to be encountered. Finding their arguments of no avail, it was at length agreed that the priest should be taken on board an Indian canoe. But the Indian who sullenly consented to receive him refused to take his parcels, and finally objected to taking the Black Robe at all. Once more the missionary, beholding himself abandoned of men, sought consolation in prayer.

He returned to the river-bank, to find the savage had relented, taken his parcels on board, and now with friendly words and signs invited him to come. With joyful haste Allouez entered the frail canoe, but no sooner was the shore left behind than the Indian became haughty and insolent. Putting a paddle in the hands of the priest, he told him to row, for, being himself a great chief, it would not comport with his dignity to work. The missionary took the paddle. All day long and far into the night he paddled, laboring hard to please the Indians, who mocked, abused, and maltreated him. They stole his robe, and would have stolen his broad hat, to which they had an especial dislike, had he not begged hard that it might be spared to protect his head from sunstroke. At night, when they landed to rest, his boat-fellows robbed him of his blanket, and left him to sleep with no pillow but a rock, and no covering but leaves.

Unaccustomed to the toils of the route, and faint from weariness and hunger, the poor priest plied the paddle with trembling arms, and at the numerous portages he staggered feebly amid the rocks and fallen trees that obstructed the path. He was scarcely able to support himself, yet the Indians compelled him to carry the largest packages, and when he fainted and fell, exhausted with fatigue and hunger, they railed at him. “See,” said they, “the infant who cannot carry his bundle, but who would teach the warriors to be like himself!” To these mockings Allouez made no reply, but took up his burden uncomplainingly. Patient endurance like this at length touched even savage hearts, and, when the priest was unable to bear his load and keep up with the company, some friendly Indian was sure to relieve him.

Fifteen days of suffering like these were passed before Lake Huron was reached. All day long, and far into the night, Allouez and his savage companions pushed on, by canoe or on foot. Sometimes they rested but two or three hours at night, throwing themselves, supperless, on the bare earth to snatch a short sleep, and then rise to renew, breakfastless, their toilsome journey. At length Lake Nepissing was passed, and the flotilla of canoes descended the little stream now known as French River. The worst of the journey was over. Soon the broad waters of Georgian Bay would receive them, and their course would lie among the many islands that divide that inland sea from Lake Huron. The Indians relaxed their persecutions of the Frenchmen, and Allouez plied his paddle with renewed vigor and hope.

Hark! Strange cries broke the stillness of the wooded wilderness. Fierce screams and deep groans, and amid them a wild chant, now loud and defiant, now low and plaintive. It was an Indian death-chant sung by several voices. At first the Indians sat silent in superstitious awe, but when the nature of the cries were realized they paddled hastily in that direction. On turning a bend of the river the cause of the lamentations was before them. Eight Indians lay writhing in agony, horribly burned and blackened, and mingling the notes of their death-song with the shrieks and groans wrung by the anguish of their wounds. They had been sitting around a barrel of gunpowder into which a spark fell, and the explosion that followed had mangled and burned them so that four lay in danger of death.

Here was an opportunity for the missionary priest. Heedless of the scowls and threats of the surrounding savages, Allouez baptized the four who were most badly burned, and administered the last rites of the church. But the wounded Indians begged their fellows not to leave them to perish alone in the woods, and they were accordingly taken into the canoes and carried to the lake, where the fleet arrived August 24th, to the number of one hundred canoes.

The first care of the party was the cure of the sufferers. The medicine-men of the tribes were assembled and prepared their incantations. In the night the slumbers of the priest were disturbed by chants and cries more fearful than those with which the wounded men filled the air in the woods of French River. Rising from his bed of spruce boughs, he followed the sounds till he reached the shore, where he was horrified by the spectacle before him.

On a rocky point jutting out into the lake lay one of the wounded Indians before a huge fire, surrounded by about a dozen fantastically decorated medicine-men. The red flames, leaping and crackling, threw a lurid light upon the hideously painted figures of the medicine-men, and rendered more ghastly their horrible contortions. They danced furiously; beat and gashed themselves until they foamed at the mouth and bled from their wounds; sang wild songs, and howled like demons. Then they sank exhausted, and lay quiet whilst the oldest and chief among them addressed a long harangue to the deities to be propitiated.

Allouez stood in doubt. If he allowed those superstitious rites to proceed unmolested, he would be unfaithful to the cause he had undertaken. If he interfered, the Indians might become irritated and refuse to allow him to proceed on his journey. An indication that the violent demonstrations of the conjurers were about to be renewed, determined him. Striding boldly into their midst, he forbade the medicine-men to proceed with their incantations, declared them to be superstitious follies, and offered prayers to God for the cure of the sick man. The medicine-men were furious. They threatened the daring priest with death, and, finding he was not to be deterred by threats, they rushed off in a body with loud yells and hacked his canoe to pieces with their tomahawks.

Two weeks were spent at the mouth of French River and in coasting up through the North Channel to the St. Mary River. It was the first week in September when Allouez reached the Saut, and saw for the first time the waters of that great inland sea, whose banks were to be the scene of his future labors. He was much impressed with the stories told by the Indians of its vastness, its depth, and its marvellous clearness. The Ojibways were in the habit of offering sacrifices to Lake Superior, looking upon it as a great divinity, to whom they were indebted for stores of delicate white fish. This was almost the sole support of the tribes dwelling on its banks, there being but little game in the woods. Full of gratitude for having been allotted to such a glorious field for missionary enterprise, Allouez determined that hereafter the lake should bear the name of the French commandant, M. de Tracy, in token of the obligations the people of that region were under to him.

Three times a mission had been established at the Saut, and three times it had been abandoned almost as soon as established. Father Allouez yearned to set up the standard of the cross once more by the side of those tumbling waters; but his field of labor lay beyond, and he pushed on. During the whole of September his canoe crept along the southern coast of the lake, past the white sand-heights of the Point au Sable (Sand Point), past the Pictured Rocks, past Grand Island and the bay now known as Marquette. The first morning after launching their canoe on the waters of Lake Superior Father Allouez and his Frenchmen landed, and in the silent solitude of the woods the priest celebrated the offices of his church, for the first time since he left Three Rivers, more than a month previous. Refreshed and inspired by this religious observance, the good priest returned to the boat, and at the water’s edge found two sick children, left by their Indian parents to die. He baptized them and returned to the canoe, full of hope for his mission from this auspicious omen. He wrote down his delight at this incident. All his fatigues were as nothing; his hunger and sufferings were all repaid on that happy day.

This is the date of the first recorded intimation of the mineral riches of Lake Superior. The Indians who accompanied Allouez on his voyage showed him pieces of copper found on the banks of the lake, or in the water. They told him of other pieces, weighing from ten to twenty pounds. These they esteemed as divinities, or as presents from the gods who dwell beneath the water, given them to promote their happiness. They were kept with religious care, wrapped in articles of highest value, and in some families had been treasured as domestic gods from generation to generation. There was a tradition of a rock rising out of the water a short distance from the shore, from which the Indians cut masses of copper, but it had disappeared. They said it was a divinity that had vanished, for reasons they were not willing to explain; but Allouez believed it had been overwhelmed by sand in a furious tempest. Whether it was a mere tradition without foundation has never been settled, but no exploration has revealed a trace of the copper rock in the lake.

Another happy surprise greeted the missionary. Landing one day in the bay of St. Theresa he was joyfully greeted by two women, who sought his blessing. The good father gave it, but was astonished at such a request in that wild, pagan country. The women explained that they had been converted to the true faith by Father Ménard. They were evidences of the success of his mission. The delighted priest called his Frenchmen around him and performed the office of the mass for the benefit of the two Christian women.

Nearly two months after leaving the quiet station on the St. Lawrence the Frenchmen paddled their canoe, on the first of October, into the peaceful waters of Chagwamegong Bay, hereafter to be known in Jesuit missionary annals as the Bay du Saint Esprit, or Bay of the Holy Ghost.

The good father’s eyes wandered with keen interest over the beautiful scene. Away to the right stretched the thickly wooded Apostle Islands, gorgeous in the rich hues of a Lake Superior autumn. Framed in a setting of similar glowing hues, on the main-land, was the town of La Pointe, the greatest Ojibway town on the lake, where, too, were gathered the remnant of the Hurons, to seek whom Ménard had sacrificed his life. In large clearings were the cornfields for the support of the population of the town,—a population made up of seven different tribes dwelling peacefully together and numbering eight hundred fighting-men. Here was the place he had sought. Here he would found a mission that should be the centre of civilization and Christianization for the Western Indians. Hastily running his canoe inshore, Father Allouez landed, took possession of an empty hut, dressed his chapel for service, and commenced his missionary service by proceeding to the lodge, where a large assemblage of chiefs were in solemn council.

Never could he have arrived at a more opportune time. From far and near the Ojibways were gathered to plan a cruel and relentless campaign against their perpetual foes, the Sioux. The Sioux towns were to be destroyed and all their inhabitants slaughtered. The hate that for generations had rankled in their hearts was to be drowned in blood. The crimes of the Sioux were to be atoned for by their annihilation.

The council was at its height when the missionary, in his long black robe, with crucifix in his raised hand, entered the lodge. The chiefs stared in wonder. In a few words Allouez explained his character and his authority, both as a representative of the French crown and as a Christian priest. He said he had heard the nature of their deliberations and would say a few words on the subject. He pleaded earnestly for peace. The chiefs were impatient and dissatisfied at this. He told them of the majesty and power of the French king; of the greatness of M. de Tracy, the French governor, and of his determination to repress quarrelling and violence. Then he drew a glowing picture of the advantages to be gained from the practice of the Golden Rule. In the end the council was broken up, the meditated raid on the Sioux abandoned, and Father Allouez welcomed as a great Christian “medicine-man.”

At La Pointe Allouez remained more than two years, laboring in every way to convert the fierce savages to Christianity. His courage, endurance, and fearlessness won the respect of the Indians, who held such qualities in high esteem. His fame spread, and soon large parties of Indians, of different tribes, came up to La Pointe to see and hear the fearless Black Robe who defied their demons and deities. Pottawatomies, Sacs, Foxes, and Illinois from the lands far to the south, came up, listened to the discourses of the missionary, examined curiously the decorations of his humble chapel, and then went home to discourse of the pale-face “medicine-man” around their camp-fires.

Occasionally scouting-parties of the Ojibways brought in a wandering hunter of the Sioux tribe, who had ventured too far east and fallen into the hands of his foes. In his endeavors to save these captives from the cruel fate to which they were destined by Ojibway law, Allouez learned enough concerning the tribe to which they belonged to make him desirous of further knowledge. At a favorable time he made a journey to the head of Lake Superior, where the Sioux gathered in numbers at certain seasons. His kindness to the Sioux captives insured him a friendly reception.

Far different from the half-civilized Hurons and the fish-eating Ojibways were these wild hunters of the West. The Sioux built no huts, cultivated neither corn nor tobacco, and disdained to spend their time catching and curing fish. They had no firearms, and exhibited neither dread of those weapons nor anxiety to possess them. Their chief weapon was the bow and arrow, which they used with deadly precision. Their sole occupations were hunting and fighting. They were skilful in the chase and ferocious in war. They had no settled place of abode, but wandered over the country, as game became plentiful or scarce, carrying with them the tent-poles and deerskins of their lodges.

Their land, they said, stretched leagues upon leagues away to the West, where there were neither mountains nor forests. Over the broad prairies roamed vast herds of game of many kinds, and the hunter had little trouble in keeping his lodge full of meat. They knew nothing of planting or reaping. The Great Spirit had given them plenty of game, and in the swamps and ponds he had grown for them the wild rice, and taught them how to prepare it. Through their land rolled a mighty river, the great Mes-sipi, which came no man knew whence and went no man knew whither. But Indians who had been farther to the setting sun, and other Indians who had been towards the sun at noon, told of a great river that came from the land of the Sioux and fell into the great sea whose waters were salt.

Eagerly Father Allouez questioned the Sioux further concerning this great river. Did it go towards the setting sun? Could one go by it to the great sea on the west? Had any one ever heard of a land in that direction where gold and rich gems were found? These were questions the Sioux could not understand, or were unable or unwilling to answer. The conference was broken up, and Allouez turned homeward towards La Pointe, full of the important news he had learned concerning the whereabouts of the great river of which so many vague stories had been told, and revolving in his mind the possibility of exploring it to its mouth.

But whilst dreaming of great discoveries and a new field for missionary work in the far West, Allouez did not neglect his present scene of duty. He coasted the north shore nearly, if not quite the entire distance, visiting a tribe known as the Kilistinons, on Neepigon Bay, and also a remnant of the once powerful Nepissings, a Christianized tribe driven from their home in the land of the Hurons and compelled to seek shelter in the inhospitable wilds north of Lake Superior. It was in these long and hazardous voyages that he acquired the knowledge that enabled him, with the assistance possibly of Father Marquette, who was afterwards his associate on Lake Superior, to draw the map of the great lake, which is wonderfully correct, considering the few facilities these early explorers had for making an accurate chart of the coast.

On his visit to the Kilistinons Allouez heard of the great river farther to the north that ran eastward to Hudson’s Bay, and was told by an old man that he had seen a ship at the mouth of that river, and that other Indians had seen a house, built of wood by Europeans, on the bank of the stream. Strange stories were told, too, of the people in that wild country. They were man-eaters, revelling in raw flesh, but were in turn eaten by ferocious bears, hideously red, and armed with prodigiously long nails. These Allouez thought were lions. The Kilistinons themselves were extremely docile, having a better disposition than any other barbarians met with. They were wanderers, having neither villages, fields, nor fixed place of abode, but following the chase.

About the middle of the summer of 1667 Allouez returned from a long voyage to the north coast of the lake and found a flotilla of canoes about to start for Quebec. Filled with the importance of his discoveries around the great lake, and especially of the information obtained from the Sioux concerning the mighty “Mes-sipi,” he embarked and once more braved the perils and hardships of the Ottawa route, lessened this time by the friendliness of the Indians, whose respect, if not affection, he had gained during his stay on Lake Superior. He reached Quebec on the 4th of August, told his story, pleaded for aid in spreading the faith over the vast territory that lay unvisited, and urged the importance to France of the great river of the West, should it prove to be the passage to the Indies so long sought. On the sixth he was again ascending the St. Lawrence, with a party of returning Ojibways, and with him went Father Louis Nicholas and a lay brother of the same order.

The remainder of the life of Allouez was spent in unceasing endeavors to spread Christianity among the Indians of the West. One year more was spent on Lake Superior, and then he was transferred to other missions, in that part of the West now Wisconsin and Illinois. Twenty-two years were devoted to his labors in these missionary fields, and then the good father died, full of years well employed, and lamenting that he was no longer permitted to teach his beloved Indians.

Much as he desired it, Allouez never saw the great river which had so strongly excited his interest. Once he was far on the route by which the discovery was at last made, but turned back unconscious of what he had narrowly missed. The honor of finding the great river and opening to civilization a new empire, was reserved for another Jesuit missionary, the warm friend and associate of Allouez, the brightness of whose fame has too much overshadowed the services of the Apostle of Lake Superior.

J. H. A. Bone.


Of all the flowers the summer brings,

Little Sweet Pea with unfolded wings

And a delicate perfume that from them springs,

      Is sweetest and best to me.


Her sober brown seeds in the ground I place,

Then wait for the sight of her rosy face,

And little tendrils with clinging grace;

      A pleasant sight to see.


Little Sweet Pea is brave and bold;

Early she lifts her head from the mould;

And though the winds are searching and cold,

      Never a fear has she.


Though April laughs and cries like a child,

And even May can be rude and wild,

She knows that June will be friendly and mild,

      So she toils on patiently.


Her neighbors all are at her command;

Glad to offer a helping hand;

“You are young,” they whisper, “alone to stand.”

      “Lean upon me—and me.”


She clasps their fingers upon her way,

And so climbs upward day by day,

Till June with a steady, comforting ray

      Cheers the heart of Sweet Pea,


And makes it so glad and happy and light,

That she breaks into blossoms fragrant and bright,

Like rosy butterflies ready for flight,—

      A joy to all who see.


Constant and true is Sweet Pea; and though

Early to come, she is late to go;

She stays till the clouds are heavy with snow

      And all alone is she.


She shivers with cold in the autumn gale;

Her wings are turning purple and pale;

The strength departs from her fingers frail;

      “It is time to go,” says she.


The loving friends that helped her to rise

Look in her face with sorrowful eyes.

“I will come back again,” she cries,

      “Good by,” says little Sweet Pea.


R. S. P.


“What’s the programme for this evening?” said Mr. Clarence, as he entered the reading-room of the hotel with his new friend after supper.

With his cane under his arm, and a toothpick in his mouth, and his hat tipped gayly upon one side of his head, he was looking quite fresh and spirited, after the day’s adventures. So, too, was Lawrence, though his manner was by no means so light and airy as that of his vivacious friend. No one, to have seen them after their thorough washing and brushing and refreshment, would have suspected that they had so lately come out of a coal-mine.

“I think,” said Lawrence, “I’ll write a letter to my little coz, and tell her about the mines and the miners, and how I made your acquaintance.”

“Capital!” said Mr. Clarence. “And I believe I’ll write to my little coz, and tell her about you.”

So the young gentlemen got some note-paper and pens, and seated themselves at the table, the showy Mr. Clarence on one side and the more solid-looking Lawrence opposite him, with a very large inkstand between them. They shoved the newspapers aside, dipped their pens (Mr. Clarence said it was like dipping into a well), and then dated their letters.

Scranton, October,” wrote Mr. Clarence, with characteristic flourish, and then stopped. “What’s the day of the month?”

Lawrence told him, and in his turn inquired whether Pennsylvanians wrote the abbreviation of the name of their State Penn. or Pa.

“We write it both ways; it is the same thing,” said Mr. Clarence; adding, with a comical smile, “Penn was the Pa of this State, you know; and that’s the reason of it, I suppose.”

“You made me laugh, and joggled me,” said Lawrence, throwing aside the sheet he had begun on, and taking another.

Mr. Clarence began to flourish again, but stayed his hand before touching pen to paper.

“I never wrote to my little coz in my life. How do you start off?”

My dear little Cousin Ethel,—that’s my style,” said Lawrence, writing.

“Tip-top! You are my Complete Letter-Writer. My—dear—little—Cousin—Eth—No! hold on! My cousin’s name is Jessie. Now I shall have to take a new sheet. My dear little Cousin Jessie,—that’s all right; a fine opening, as the miners say. Now which way do you carry your drift? In other words, what next?”

Lawrence scratched his ear and looked solemnly at the great inkstand. Mr. Clarence looked cheerfully at Lawrence. Then Lawrence read over the first line of his letter—“My dear little Cousin Ethel,—My dear little Cousin Ethel”—three or four times,—something like a fisherman trolling his line for a bite, hoping that an idea would rise and hook itself on at the end of it. He could think of things enough to write, but couldn’t get hold of just the right thing first. It may be added that the consciousness of his friend’s eyes upon him did not help him much.

“I’ve a plan!” said Mr. Clarence at last. “We’ll both write the same things to our dear little cousins. You think of a sentence, and we’ll both write it; then I’ll think of one, and give you the benefit. Division of labor, you know.”

“Well, you think of a sentence first.”

“How’s this? My dear little, and so forth: I have to-day made the acquaintance of a splendid young fellow, which means you.”

“But when I write it ’twill mean you,” said Lawrence, laughing.

“In that way we shall make an even thing of the compliments. I don’t object to being called a splendid young fellow; do you? Have you got it down?”

“I’ve written it capital fellow,—did you say splendid?”

“Never mind. Don’t change it. Only underline capital, so as to make it even. What’s your sentence?”

His pleasant face is before me while I write,” suggested Lawrence.

“Excellent! Don’t you see how admirably it works? Only—will a slight amendment be in order?”


“Then permit me to suggest that we might employ a rather stronger epithet than pleasant face; mightn’t we? Suppose we make it handsome face? Can you conscientiously?”

Lawrence thought he could, but laughed so that he did not trust his hand to write for about a minute. Then he noticed that he had already written pleasant.

“Never mind, make it pleasant and handsome; I think I can stand it,” said Mr. Clarence. “He is here in company with his uncle, the distinguished—Here write in the names of our respective uncles. Now it’s your turn again.”

And while his uncle and mine are talking of the business that brought them here, in the corner—” Lawrence went on.

“Brought them here in the corner?” queried Mr. Clarence. “That don’t sound just right.”

“I mean, while they are talking in the corner about the business that—But it’s a bad sentence, any way. I’m afraid I never can write a decent letter in this way.”

“Yes, you can. Push ahead! Don’t you know the secret of fluent composition? It’s this: never stop to think. If you stop to think you’re lost.”

Just then the little dog Muff jumped up on the table, and scrambling on the newspapers, stretched his chin out on his fore-paws between the two friends, with his nose near the inkstand.

“I never can go on with that wagging tail before my eyes!” said Lawrence.

“In other words, you think our letter-writing will be curtailed,” said Mr. Clarence.

“I think Muff will be responsible for the final paws we have come to,” replied Lawrence,—for that is the way with young fellows: if one makes a pun his companion is sure to feel called upon to match it, if not with a fresh one, then with one not quite so fresh.

“Here, Muff! hold our pens while we scratch our heads for ideas,” said Mr. Clarence.

The dog took the pens by the handles, and held them with all the gravity of a lord chancellor, while the two letter-writers scratched industriously for the ideas that did not come. Soon Lawrence leaned his head on the table, pillowing it on his arms. The truth is, he was tired and sleepy. Mr. Clarence followed his example; and there they sat, or rather lay, head to head, with their elbows squared at each other and with just the inkstand and the lord chancellor between them. In three minutes they were fast asleep.

At the end of about an hour Lawrence lifted his head with remarkable suddenness, opened his eyes very wide, and looked wildly about him. Mr. Clarence, with his head still down, and with cataracts of hair over his arms, was gently snoring. There was nobody else in the room, except the lord chancellor, and he, too, had fallen into a snooze, with his muzzle on his paws, and with the pens beside it on the table.

“Hello!” said Lawrence.

“Hello!” said Mr. Clarence, starting up, and tossing back the cascade of hair from his face, wide awake in an instant.

“I thought I was chasing rats in a coal-mine, and I had got my face in a mule’s manger, and couldn’t get it out,” said Lawrence, feeling his neck, which had suffered.

“I didn’t imagine you were asleep!” said Mr. Clarence. “I wasn’t; I’ve been thinking what to write.”

“You were snoring, any way.”

“O no! I make that noise in my head sometimes when I am thinking pretty hard. It’s the rumbling of the mill, you know.” And the miller arranged his tangled hair. He was one of those persons who can never be convinced that they have slept on irregular occasions; and Lawrence let the matter pass with a laugh.

“It’s after nine; you have been thinking over an hour. Where are our uncles?”

“Oh! they? They have walked out,” said Mr. Clarence, glancing about the room. “This seems to be letter-writing under difficulties. Let’s walk out too. I am as much refreshed as if I had had a nap. Come, Muff!” taking the lord chancellor under his arm. “He’s a dog of steady habits. Goes to bed early. The porter will take care of him while we go in search of adventures.”

Muff having been disposed of, the young gentlemen walked out of the hotel arm in arm. It was a still, moonlight evening. The streets were almost deserted. Mr. Clarence looked up at the sky with a sentimental air, and said, pensively,—

“Behold the moon! how she spreads her silver mantle over the silent world! Did you ever think of it? She has shone upon the earth just so thousands of nights before, and where were you and I? She will shine just so again, a year from now,—ten years from now,—a hundred years from now,—and where will you and I be? O moon! I pause for a reply,” added Mr. Clarence, theatrically.

He did not pause a great while, however (the moon evidently having no intention whatever of replying), but said presently,—

“I’ll tell you where let’s go! To the iron-works!—to see the blast furnaces by night!”

Lawrence eagerly accepted the suggestion. They walked briskly up the street, and soon came in sight of the flaming furnace throats, and of the black figures of workmen passing to and fro before them.

The furnaces of the Lackawanna Iron-Works are built on the side of the steep right bank of Roaring Brook. They are large and tall; their immense foundations are laid in the foot of the bank, while their throats roar and flame over its summit fifty feet above. It was at that elevation, on a sort of high, dim platform, that the lads saw the human figures defined against the glow of the fires.

“They’re feeding the furnaces up there,” said Mr. Clarence.

The boys found a cart-track which took them up a short slope to an open shed, covering great piles of what appeared to be stones and rocks and anthracite coal; a gang of laborers were at work shovelling up these materials and wheeling them off in small iron carriages. The rocks in some of the piles were in rough blocks, just as they came from the quarries; but in others they seemed to have been broken up into sizes suitable for making macadamized roads. It was from these latter piles, and from the piles of coal, that the carriages were filling; and the lads, watching the men, saw that they wheeled their loads directly into the glare of the furnace throats, which lighted up the scene.

“This is certainly stone!” said Lawrence, picking up a fragment from a pile where a man was shovelling.

“Sure it is,” said the man,—“limestone.”

“What do you do with it?”

“Cast it in with the charge.”

“What is the charge?”

“Go with that carriage, and you will see.”

Another laborer coming with an empty carriage left it, and taking the one the shovellers had just filled, wheeled it out across the platform. The lads followed, advancing into the terrible heat and glare of the furnace throats.

The furnaces were four in number; but only their tops were here visible,—huge, funnel-shaped necks, somewhat higher than a man’s head, ranged along the edge of the platform, above the roof of the casting-house which enclosed the bodies of the furnaces below. There were iron doors in the sides of the funnels; into these the contents of the carriages were cast; and through these, as also through the circular openings in the funnel-tops, roared the flames, as if spouted from nose and mouth by so many young volcanoes.

Lawrence was at first almost terrified at the position in which he found himself. He looked down into the fiery gulf into which the man dumped his load with a loud clang of the iron carriage striking the iron plates. There the furnace enlarged like a yawning crater below its comparatively narrow throat. At first he could see only an abyss of many-colored, dazzlingly beautiful flames; but presently he could distinguish, heaped high in the midst of them, and only a few feet lower than the charging-plates on which he stood, the top of a dark mound. It was composed of the freshly dumped materials from the piles under the shed. Around and over them, and through every chink between the lumps, the flames swept and darted and surged.

Another laborer came, and dumped a carriage-load of coal—great lumps of anthracite—into the throat. Then a third came with a load of what seemed another kind of stone. Then the door was closed.

“But this isn’t stone!” cried Lawrence, seizing a lump, and retreating with it from the intolerable glare of the fire. “This must be the ore.”

“Ore it certainly is,” said Mr. Clarence. “Ore, limestone, coal,—they all go into the furnace together, as you see.”

“How, then, is the iron ever separated from the earthy matters?” said Lawrence, puzzled and astonished. “I should think it would be full of ashes and dirt. And what is the use of the limestone?”

“Perhaps we can find some person who will be able to tell us,” said Mr. Clarence. “But look here!”

They had retreated to the edge of the platform. They were on a spot which overlooked the roofs of buildings below, and the firelit waters of Roaring Brook pouring over a high dam, in a beautiful cascade, and rushing along its rocky bed under steep ledges, in light and shadow, at the base of the hill. Surrounding this bright flame-picture was the still moonlit night, silvering peacefully the country and the town. Lawrence thought he had never looked upon so strikingly wild and picturesque a scene, and he stood gazing at it wonderingly until Mr. Clarence pulled him away.

“Ask one of these men about the limestone,” said Mr. Clarence, as they returned to the shovellers at one of the piles. And he himself put the question in his polite way.

“The loimestone?” said the man, staring at him. “Why, we couldn’t do onything, mon, but for the loimestone.”

“But what’s the use of it?”

“The use of it? The use, when we couldn’t get a blast without it! It’s loike ahsking the use of the air ye breathe.”

“I know something of the use of the air we breathe: it gives oxygen to the blood,” said Lawrence. “Now what does the limestone do to the furnace.”

“Mayhap it gives what ye call oxygen to the furnace loike,” said the man, grinning with his hard face over his short stump of a pipe; and he returned to his shovelling with the air of one who had rendered a reason.

“I can tell you what you want to know,” said another laborer, leaning on his shovel. “The limestone physics the furnace.” But that was hardly a satisfactory explanation.

Another said, “The lime helps the flow of the iron.”

A fourth said, “It makes the flux.”

“No doubt, my friends,” said Mr. Clarence. “But there’s more in it than all that. We’ll find out by and by. Let’s take a look at the boilers.”

There were twenty of these, and they were ranged in order over an extensive fire-chamber, a door of which was opened by a good-natured attendant, that the visitors might look in. No fuel was visible, but billows of flame filled the space, undulating far away out of sight, under the boilers, which they enveloped.

“Where do the flames come from?” Lawrence asked, surprised at the beautiful display.

“From the furnaces,” said the man. “They are a part of the waste heat.”

“Then it don’t all come out of the furnace throats?”

“Only a little of it. Below the throats are flues, which you can’t see. There are pipes from the flues that bring some of the heat here. The rest of it goes to the hot-blast ovens.”

“What are those?”

“The chambers where the cold air is heated before it is driven into the furnaces. It wouldn’t do to drive in such a quantity of air cold.”

“It would cool the furnaces,” suggested Lawrence.

“Besides,” added Mr. Clarence, “cold air don’t burn like hot air. Hot air strikes the gases, and makes instantaneous combustion. But cold air has to get partly heated before it burns much; and they couldn’t begin to get so intense a heat with it.”

“But I don’t understand yet the use of the boilers,” said Lawrence.

“Why,” said Mr. Clarence, “the boilers drive the engines, that drive the fan, that drives the air, that drives the fires and makes the blast. They are blast-furnaces, you know.”

“Where they make flint-glass,” replied Lawrence, “they have tall chimneys, by which they get draft enough without any such apparatus.”

He had no idea of the power of the blast until he went to look at the engines. There were four, of one thousand horse-power each. The immense fly-wheels (“They regulate the motion of the machinery, you know,” said Mr. Clarence) almost completely filled the space between the floor and the roof of the building. The weight of the largest of them, the engineer said, was forty thousand pounds. The silence and swiftness of these huge, whirling wheels was something wonderful. “And isn’t it curious to think of that quiet man with the newspaper being the master of all this tremendous machinery?” said Lawrence.

“Yes; man is little, but he is the trump-card on this planet,” replied Mr. Clarence.

The air was forced by the engines through huge iron pipes,—“blowing cylinders,” the engineer called them,—and such was the power of the blast that it entered the furnaces under a pressure of eight or nine pounds to the square inch.

“Think of a tall chimney making a draft equal to that!” said Mr. Clarence. “A chimney would have to be powerful enough to lift itself up by the straps of its boots! Iron isn’t glass; and you see the smelting furnace has to be constructed on an entirely different principle. Now let’s go down to the casting-house.”

Half-way down the hillside, they passed a large reservoir of water, its still surface lit up like a little lake, by the furnace fires above. Farther on they descended a steep flight of steps to the road-way between the base of the hill and Roaring Brook. Along this road was laid, an iron track for cars, leading into the casting-house.

This was a spacious, high-raftered, depot-like building, open on the side of the brook. On the other side were massive piers of masonry supporting the great furnaces. In the shadowy background could be seen the iron pipes that brought down the hot-air blast. In front of each furnace was an enclosed space filled with sand,—something like the arena of a circus, except that it was divided into two “floors” by a passage-way running down the centre. One of the floors in each arena appeared to be ready for casting, being laid out in regular, smooth channels, as if careful impressions of a giant’s gridiron had been taken on the deep, fine sand. The other floors were either in a tumbled condition, just as the iron of the last casting, when taken up, had left them, or laborers were engaged in laying down in them the wooden patterns by which the gridiron impressions were made. The sand was shovelled upon these, and packed about them; and it seemed to be just moist enough to retain the mould, in clean, handsome shape, after they were removed.

“Those are the pig beds,” said Mr. Clarence. “Of course you have heard of iron pigs! Well, this is where they are littered. Here are, in each of these floors, eight or ten pig beds. To each bed there is what they call a sow. That’s the main channel that runs across the floor. You’ll see presently how that nourishes the pigs,”—for Mr. Clarence saw by the signs that the men were preparing to cast.

A gang of a dozen or more were lounging about the hearth of one of the furnaces, leaning on iron bars, or sitting on benches, as if waiting for something. The boys went up where they were, and asked how long before they were going to cast.

“In a few minutes,” said one. “We are just waiting for the fellers to come down with the word from up above. You’d better keep back on the far side. You’ll see better there, and be out of danger.”

The boys accordingly withdrew to the foot of the arena, on the side of the brook,—Mr. Clarence smiling at the idea of danger, but saying, airily, “We shall be out of the way, though.”

They turned to look at the brook; and Lawrence noticed that there were cavernous openings in the steep ledges opposite, into which the waters rushed.

“Those are old coal-openings,” said Mr. Clarence; “for here was a good coal-mine once. But it got on fire, and burnt I don’t know how long, till they turned the brook into it and put it out.”

The “fellers” had now come down from “up above”; and there were forty or fifty men in the casting-house. Then one who had been leaning on an iron bar grasped it with both hands, and began to drive it with sharp clicks against the hearth of the first furnace.

“He is drilling out the clay that stops the iron,” said Mr. Clarence. “You’ll see it spirt soon!”

Just then a furious roaring sound filled the building.

“That is the blast; it is let off from the furnace when they cast.”

At the same time sparks began to fly, and dazzling spatters of molten metal followed each stroke of the drill.

“It’s coming now!” cried Mr. Clarence, while Lawrence stood thrilled with expectation.

At the word out gushed the terrible molten torrent. The men were active and alert about it in an instant, shouting and springing to and fro, eager to guide and control the fearful flood. Some threw shovelfuls of sand upon it, to check its too rapid rush, while it poured down a channel prepared for it and began to fill the pig-beds in the upper part of the floor. It filled the mould of the “sow” first, then flowed down into the pigs, filling one after the other as it crept along. As soon as one pig-bed was filled, gates of clay, called “shutters,” placed across the channel leading to it, were suddenly driven down by men with heavy sledge-hammers, and the fiery stream was turned into the next sow below. There was just slope enough to the floor to give a sufficient fall to the running metal. Sand, as I have said, was thrown upon it, and the gates were driven down when it came too fast; and when it moved too sluggishly in any direction it was helped along by means of long, thin strips of wood or slender poles, which the men drew before it, very much as a child encourages a stream of water-drops by leading it with his finger. The poles were often on fire, and were as often quenched in the moist sand.

So floor after floor was cast, three of the furnaces being tapped in quick succession. The streams of molten metal lighting up the night, the sparks flying off from them and shooting hither and thither in little explosive showers, the flaming poles, the heat, the glare, the deafening roar of the blast, the animation of the workmen, their swift movements and loud cries, and finally the floors covered with enormous red-hot gridirons, and the sight of men walking quickly but unconcernedly over them,—all combined to make up a scene of the most vivid interest to the mind of Lawrence.

As soon as a floor was cast, sand was shovelled all over the beds of glowing metal; then water from a hose-pipe was thrown on copiously, filling the air with clouds of steam. Then men, stripped for the work,—naked to their waists, with clogs on their feet,—went on to the floors with sledges and levers, with which they broke up the iron while it was yet soft, separating the pigs from the sows, and dividing the sows into pig-shaped bars. (“Though I don’t see why they were ever called pigs,” Lawrence wrote afterwards to his little Cousin Ethel. “They don’t look at all like young porkers, but are just rough pieces of cast-iron as big as my leg, and almost as tall, when they are stood up, as I am.)

“I should think you would suffocate,” Mr. Clarence said to one of these men, who emerged from the stifling cloud and heat of one of the floors, and came out for a breath of air where the boys stood.

“I am used to it. I shall put all that iron on cars before midnight.”

“How many pigs are there on that floor?”

“About three hundred. They weigh from a hundred to a hundred and twenty-five pounds apiece. As soon as they cool a little, I begin to handle them.”

“Do you work all night?”

“No; my time is up when that job is done. There are two sets of hands; when this set goes off another comes on.”

“How often do you cast?”

“Every six hours, day and night.”

“How long after the ore is put in at the charging-doors above before it comes out melted iron?” Mr. Clarence inquired.

“Three days,” said the man.

“And how much does one of those furnaces hold?”

“Six hundred tons of stock.”

“That means coal, ore, and limestone, all together,” said Mr. Clarence. “Six hundred tons, my lad!” and he tapped Lawrence on the shoulder with his cane. “Can your glass-works beat that?”

“They are drawing off the iron again!” said Lawrence, seeing another stream of fiery liquid gushing from the furnace.

“That’s the cinder,” said the man. “It comes from another opening higher up than the tapping-hole for the iron.”

“Let’s go up and look at it,” said Mr. Clarence.

They drew near, and saw the dazzling stream pour down through a channel prepared for it, to a spout, where it fell into a flaring pan, as large as a cart-box, which had been brought up on a car, along a branch of the railway track, to receive it. When the pan was nearly full, the flow was stopped, and the car, loaded with the glowing mass, was drawn away by a mule.

Observing a person who seemed to be a sort of overseer, Lawrence asked him what the cinder was, and what it was good for.

“It is good for nothing. It is the slag.”

“What is it made of? Ashes, for one thing, I suppose.”

“Yes; but the limestone makes a good part of it.”

“Now,” said Mr. Clarence, in his polite way, “I see we have found an intelligent man; and perhaps he will kindly inform us what the limestone is used for.”

“I can tell you a little. Do you know anything about the construction of a blastfurnace?” and, the boys confessing their ignorance, the speaker continued: “It is built up of fire-clay inside that solid stonework, which is made very solid and strong, and bolted together, as you see, in order to support such a tremendous pressure. The furnace is shaped something like an egg standing on its big end. It is fifty feet high, from the hearth to the throat. It is eighteen feet broad in the boshes,—that is, through the thickest part of the egg. It is kept nearly full all the time. It is fed at the throat above,—that is, at the little end of the egg. The materials thrown in there have room to swell, as the heat expands them, and they settle down into the larger part. The hearth is the chamber, or reservoir, in the bottom of the furnace for receiving the melted metal and flux. Just over the hearth are the tweers; step here, and I will show you where the blast is driven in.”

“Tweers! what a word! It must be from the French tuyère, which means a pipe,” observed Mr. Clarence.

“Very likely, for it is a tapering aperture that receives the blast from the ends of these pipes, and carries it into the furnace. There are six of these tweers; and it is through these we blow the fires.” And the man proceeded to explain the operation going on within the furnace.

“Crude iron ore,” said he, “is always more or less oxidized; that is, it contains a quantity of oxygen. It also contains a good deal of earthy matter. Now, in the furnace, the ore soon begins to soften, and to part with its oxygen, which unites with the carbon of the coal, and with the oxygen of the air-blast helps make the fire. At the same time the ore absorbs carbon from the coal, which gives it the quality of cast-iron. The ore does not actually melt until it almost reaches the hearth. It is in a sort of pasty condition, when it comes within the direct influence of the blast; then it flows at once. The limestone begins to flow first, and it helps the flow of the iron. Then the iron being the heaviest of all the materials in the furnace, it goes to the bottom of the hearth, and everything else floats on top of it.”

“I see now how it is separated from the ashes and other materials!” cried Lawrence. “It is by its own weight.”

a, throat; b, b, flues; c, c, boshes; d, d, tweers; e, e, flux; f, f, iron in the hearth.

“That is it. But there is another thing; we haven’t got through with the limestone yet. The melted lime makes the flux, which acts like a filter to the iron. The metal is at the bottom, and the flux floats on top of it, like oil upon water. Now every particle of iron that melts and comes down has to pass through this flux. If you could look in you would see the melted metal trickling through it in drops, or little streams, something like rain falling through the air. The lime takes out the earthy impurities of the iron, and gathers the coal-ashes as they come down. To keep the flux in good condition, we have to draw it off, as it becomes loaded with impurities, and make room for fresh flux to fill its place. Here it comes out, as you see, in what we call slag, or cinder. The flux has still another use. Covering the melted metal as it does, it protects it from the continued direct action of the blast, which would soon oxidize it again, and make a different quality of iron of it altogether.”

“How much pig-iron do you make here in a year?”

“A thousand tons a week,—over fifty thousand tons a year.”

“Where does your ore come from?”

“From New Jersey. It is dug out of the mountains, where it lies in beds all the way from two feet to thirty-five feet thick.”

Lawrence thought he would like to visit the iron-mines. His curiosity was also excited with regard to the processes by which this coarse pig-iron was afterwards converted into all the various shapes and qualities of cast-iron, wrought-iron, and steel. But Mr. Clarence said, “I suspect our affectionate uncles would like to hear something about us by this time”; and, thanking their new acquaintance, while they took leave of him, they hastened back to the hotel.

J. T. Trowbridge.


One night at supper Peter ate the soft of his slice, but put the crust, the upper crust, under the rim of his plate. Then he bent low and whispered to his knife and fork,—

“Now don’t tell!”

Next he tucked the bottom crust under the other side of his plate, and bent low again, and whispered to his spoon and napkin-ring,—

“Now don’t tell!”

And that night he dreamed of seeing his plate on the chamber floor, and that the two long crusts crept out towards him like two long caterpillars. And they every moment grew longer and longer.

“What two funny things you are?” cried Peter.

Then the two things turned and crept slowly, slowly, on towards the door. And there they stretched out and stood up on end and looked at Peter and spoke. And the sound of their voices was dry and coarse, like the crackling of crusts between sharp teeth. And they said,—

“O you dainty boy! So you would eat only the soft! come now and be punished!”

“I won’t do so again,” said Peter.

“How do we know that?” said the two things. “Come quick! Do as we do! Do as we do!”

Then the two things crept down stairs, and along the entry, and through the front-yard, and up the street, and across the gutter, while Peter in his red flannel night-gown, on his hands and knees, went creeping behind. But when they crept up a high board fence Peter said,—

“O, I can never do that!—never, never!”

At that moment a Pepper-Box in uniform that stood near called out,—

“Stand! you are my prisoner! Follow me! Now! Straight! Forward! March!”

Then Peter stood up straight and marched behind.

“So you wouldn’t eat the crusts, dainty boy!” cried the Pepper-Box in uniform, turning about with a fierce look. It shook its head sternly at Peter and at every shake the pepper flew into his eyes causing the tears to run, run, run, like two rivers.

“Oh! Oh! I wonder who told!” cried Peter. “I wonder who told! My tears! My tears! Sweet, good mamma, come wipe my tears!”

“They will do to soak your crusts in!” said some fine, silvery voices near.

Peter looked behind to see where so many voices came from, and beheld all the napkin-rings rolling, hopping, skipping along, one after another, and all making fun of him. And the head one was his own!

“Tell-tale! Tell-tale!” called out Peter.

“Order in the ranks!” shouted the Pepper-Box in uniform. “Quick! Forward! To Prison! Make way there! Disperse the crowd!”

“What crowd!” asked Peter.

“Look and see!” cried the Pepper-Box in uniform.

Then Peter heard a great whispering and hubbub. And he saw presently that all the knives and forks were standing about talking privacy together,—all but the carving-knife; that had lain down to rest. The whispering went on.

“Who is this!”


“Where is he going?”

“To prison.”

“What for?”

“To learn.”

“Learn what?”

“To eat.”

“Eat what?”

“His crusts.”

Then there was a loud tittering and laughing.

“O dear!” cried Peter, “I begged them not to tell! I bent my head low and begged them not to. But oh! they went and told! Mean! Mean!”

“Order in the ranks!” cried the Pepper-Box in uniform.

They kept marching on and soon came to three bright, smiling, shining rows, one above another. In the first row were the grandmothers. These were the big spoons. In the second row were their daughters. These were the teaspoons. In the third row were their granddaughters. These were the salt and mustard spoons.

They spoke not a word, but only smiled coldly upon him as he passed, as much as to say,—

“Yes, we know; we know all about it.”

And among them Peter saw his own, marked “Petie.” Then he groaned and said,—

“O, how could you? How could you go and tell?”

His own spoke not a word but only smiled that same cold smile.

And just then the Baker came along.

“O, I am so hungry!” cried Peter.

“Well, here is a loaf!” said the Baker.

Peter took it gladly. It smelled nice and was a beautiful color. But upon taking a bite he found it was crust all the way through.

“That or none!” called out the Baker from the back end of his cart.

“It’s very hard!” cried Peter, with the tears in his eyes. And he felt for his jackknife. But his night-gown had no pocket in it.

“His teeth want sharpening, that they do!” cried a voice near by.

Peter looked up and saw a tall man dressed in yellow standing there. He had a cap on shaped like a long-necked squash, with the neck hanging down behind.

“His teeth want sharpening!” cried Squash Cap. “But who’ll turn the grindstone?”

“I will!” cried a short, fat man in a white apron.

“And who are you?” said Squash Cap.

“I’m the French cook,” said the white-aproned man. “I make good pies; and I’ll turn the grindstone.”

“But who’ll pour on the water?” cried Squash Cap.

“I know his tricks! I’ll pour on the water!” cried a little barefooted boy.

“And who are you?” cried Squash Cap. “Who are you, running about in your shirt-sleeves, with your too short breeches and your peaked paper cap?”

“I’m the jolly Baker’s boy!” said he. “I know his tricks; and I’ll pour on the water!”

Then Squash Cap held poor Peter over, while the fat French cook turned the handle and the jolly Baker’s boy poured on the water.

And all the while those three bright rows, the unfeeling grandmothers and daughters and granddaughters merely looked on and smiled!

“Release the prisoner!” the Pepper-Box in uniform shouted out suddenly.

Then Peter was dropped; for whatever is in uniform must be obeyed.

“Forward! March! Stand! The prison! Enter!”

“Bang! Clang! Whang!” went the iron doors, and Peter sat down in prison, all alone. But down the wall near him came creeping the two things.

“I am very glad to see you,” said Peter. “This is a dismal place. I am lonely, very. How did you get here?”

“By creeping along,” they said. “Creeping, creeping, over and under, over and under. These walls are made of crusts. You will have to eat your way out. Good by. We are going.”

Then Peter sat down and cried, “O dear! O dear! O dear! O dear!” as loud as he could.

“Do you like pies?”

Peter wiped his eyes with his night-gown sleeve, and then turned to see who asked him the question. And there stood the fat French cook with a rolling-pin in his hand.

“Do you like pies?” he asked, sternly.

“Very much,” answered Peter.

“Which part do you like best, the outside part or the middle part?”

“The middle part,” said Peter, very quickly.

“Well, then come with me to the kitchen,” said the French cook, with a grim smile.

In the kitchen great fires were burning, and the ovens were well heated. The French cook took his rolling-pin and rolled out pie-crust enough to line a very large platter. He then laid Peter in, right side up with care, and covered him over with the upper crust.

“Now you have the middle part!” cried the French cook. “This dough is all made of the crusts you left at table, done over!”

“O, now I am punished! Now I am punished!” cried Peter. “But, O Mister French Cook, pie covers have always holes pricked in them to breathe through!”

“Very true,” said the French cook. “And I will now prick the holes.”

So he took the toasting-fork, and at every prick Peter squirmed and jumped, which made the upper crust look very bunchy.

“Quiet inside there!” shouted the French cook. “Do you prefer a quick oven, or a slow oven? Put your mouth to the holes and answer.”

So Peter put his mouth to the holes and called out, “A slow oven!”

“You shall be gratified,” said the French cook. “Here you, boy!—you barefooted, short-trousered, peaked-paper-capped, jolly Baker’s boy, help me here with this big pie. ’Tis a new sort of pie. ’Tis called a Peter-pie!”

But Peter found even the slow oven to be much too hot for his feelings. And he turned and rolled, and rolled and turned, and at last he rolled out of the platter.

He dreamed that he rolled out of the platter, but in reality he rolled out of his bed in his chamber, and came down bang! upon the floor.

“O dear! O dear! oo! oo! oo! ou! ou! wou! wou! wou! hoo! woo!” bellowed Peter.

Then all the people came running up stairs.

“What’s the matter? What’s the matter? What’s the matter?”

“I—don’t—want—to—be—baked!” said Peter, crying.

“Baked, indeed!” cried his mother. And she stripped off three quilts and a blanket.

“Where did you bump you?” cried Tom.

“Have—you—seen—the—caterpillars?” answered Peter, sobbing.

Then everybody laughed.

The next morning at breakfast, it was wonderful to see the way Peter ate the brown-bread crusts.

“Have you had your teeth sharpened in the night?” asked his mother, laughing.

“Yes, ma’am,” said the little boy quite soberly.

“But how did she know?” he whispered to himself. Then he looked towards the big spoons who were there bright and smiling with their daughters and their granddaughters about them.

But not one of them spoke a word.

A. M. Diaz.


Words by Lucy Larcom. Music by F. Boott.


1 Swing away, swing away,

From the great cross-beam,

Hid in heaps of clover-hay,

Scented like a dream.

Higher yet! higher yet!

Up, between the eaves.

Where the gray doves cooing flit

Thro’ the sun-gilt leaves.

Here we go! Here we go!

Whistle, merry wind!

’Tis a long day you must blow,

Lighter hearts to find.

So here we go! here we go!

Whistle, merry wind!

’Tis a long day you must blow,

Lighter hearts to find.


2 Swing away! swing away!

Sweep the rough barn-floor,

Looking thro’ on Arcady

Framed in by the door!

One, two, three! one, two, three!

Quick! the round red sun,

Hid behind yon twisted tree,

Means to end the fun.

Swing away, Swing away,

Over husks and grain!

Shall we ever be as gay,

If we swing again?

Then swing away, swing away,

Over husks and grain!

Shall we ever be as gay,

If we swing again?




I came from the mountains,

  I danced down the hills,

I called to the fountains,

  I laughed with the rills.

Grown mighty and powerful,

  I run without rest,

Till reaching my second

  I sink on its breast.


I link distant nations,

  Yet friends I can part;

Rich treasure uncounted

  Lies deep in my heart.

What is there more fearful

  And savage than I?

Yet whose smile is sweeter

  Beneath the blue sky?


Poor lover! ’twas thy hapless doom

  To find thy lady fair

Laid cold in her untimely tomb:

  Alas for thy despair!


A patriarch I, of olden time,

  My sire and son the same;

Our wealth was great in flocks and herds:

  You surely know my name.


I am a restless, fickle thing,

  Yet should I stable grow,

You all would call me worthless then,

  And truly find me so.


Fair, gracious, saint-like little child,

  All hearts are drawn to thee;

Far up in heaven, dost thou rejoice

  To know the slave is free?


Hail, rightful sovereign of the mind!

  If to each just decree

Of thine we paid a better heed,

  How fast would folly flee!

RIDDLE.—No. 54.

I’m short and tall, and large and small;

I’m thin and thick; of glass and brick;

I’m sometimes square, and sometimes round;

And though to smoke I’m often found,

Yet do I “the vile weed” eschew.

Now tell my name; ’tis known to you.



No. 55.


I am composed of 21 letters.

My 19, 9, 21, 20, 10, 15 was a mountain in Gaul.

My 2, 14, 15, 13, 16, 17, 5 was the son of Pelias.

My 6, 7, 21, 2, 16, 9, 13 were a people of Aquitania.

My 9, 1, 9, 16, 10, 15 was a city of the Volsci.

My 5, 7, 8, 2, 14, 11, 15 was the goddess of the sea.

My 1, 7, 14, 4, 21 was the son of Vulcan.

My 3, 20, 18, 17, 13 was the son of Æneas.

My 10, 12, 19, 18, 4, 5 was a Roman surname.

My 21, 9, 8, 9, 20, 1, 11, 2 was the capital of the Parthians.

My 15, 14, 1, 7, 19, 3, 2 was a Roman feast.

My 14, 15, 9, 10, 9 was a city of Etruria.

My 9, 6, 11, 17, 13 was a surname of Bacchus.

My 3, 18, 11, 7 was the daughter of Numitor.

My 10, 2, 9, 16, 3, 15 was a country north of the Po.

My 6, 7, 1, 14, 2 was a river of Lusitania.

My 8, 11, 1, 4, 5 was a river in Vindelicia.

My whole was a Roman poet.


No. 56.


I am composed of 15 letters.

My 7, 13, 8 is a personal pronoun.

My 5, 9 is a pronoun.

My 10, 3 is a preposition.

My 12, 2, 15 is a noun.

My 13 is one of the vowels.

My 6, 5, 14 is a noun.

My 11, 2, 4 is an adverb.

My 10, 1, 12 is a conjunction.

My whole is one word, but contains three parts of speech, and four syllables.

No. 57.


I am composed of 17 letters.

My 5, 7, 17, 11 is a city in Italy.

My 8, 16, 15, 4 is a river in Egypt.

My 17, 4, 2, 6, 1 is a town in Portugal.

My 15, 1, 12, 13, 4, 14, 15, 1 is a town in Mexico.

My 1, 10, 1, 15 is a sea of Asia.

My 15, 13, 17, 4, 2, 5, 9 is a city in Switzerland.

My 5, 7, 3, 9, 2 is a river in Africa.

My 12, 2, 1, 3, 13, 11 is a city of Bohemia.

My 6, 16, 14, 9, 10 is a river in Italy.

My whole is a part of South America.


No. 58


I am composed of 27 letters.

My 16, 11, 9, 27, 13, 17, 23 was a learned Englishman.

My 19, 6, 1, 22, 25, 14, 3 was a much-wronged princess.

My 12, 26, 8, 2, 1, 5, 15 was a German writer.

My 24, 26, 4, 18 was the father of a Jewish ruler.

My 5, 7 is mentioned in the Bible.

My 11, 21, 25, 17, 10, 20 was the favorite of a sovereign.

My whole has cost many lives, years of time, and millions of money.

No. 59.

I am composed of 32 letters.

My 25, 31, 6, 15, 27 is the name of a constellation.

My 14, 19, 21, 7 is only a sensation.

My 11, 1, 31, 22, 20, 5, 26, 8, 17, 28 is an adjective.

My 2, 24, 30, 14, 21, 32 is a product of cold.

My 4, 9, 29, 13, 10, 26, 2, 23, 7, 32, 27 is the name of a poem.

My 12, 16, 3 is a name for a witch.

My 18, 4, 16, 27, 32 is Saxon for land-holder.

My whole is the name of one of Jean Ingelow’s poems.



No. 65.

They stood and leaned across my first,

  Both thinking of my second.

The clover into bloom just burst,

  But so much hay they reckoned.

They stood and talked until the sun

  Went down in mellow shade;

Then one my second well had won,

  And both my whole had made.

No. 66.

My first, my dear reader, you’ll never find out;

My second a goddess, without any doubt;

My whole you will see (for I’m easily guessed)

Is a part of the country away in the West.



PUZZLE.—No. 67.

My first is in frolic, but not in prank.

My second is in mound, but not in bank.

My third is in gander, but not in goose.

My fourth is in tight, but not in loose.

My fifth is in abbot, but not in priest.

My sixth is in festival, but not in feast.

My seventh is in bundle, but not in box.

My eighth is in stones, but not in rocks.

My ninth is in barn, but not in shed.

My tenth is in lounge, but not in bed.

My eleventh is in green, but not in brown.

My twelfth is in adjective, but not in noun.

My thirteenth is in luck, but not in chance.

My whole is a royal palace in France.


Simple Simon.



By the change of a letter, transform

1. A ruler into a piece of gold.

2. A murderer into the one he murders.

3. A fool into a token of honor.

4. An idiot into a place where he may drown himself.

5. A very young man into a state of perfect happiness.

6. A bad man into a feast.

7. A good man into mere outside show.


1. What chemical substance invites a celebrated cow to eat grass?

2. What spring flower ought to be an editor?

3. What musical instrument describes a miserable tavern?

4. What kind of picture tells what a good sword would do?

5. If any one should say he had discovered a misprint in this magazine, what would the editors call for?


50.Tear. Ear. 
52.Every heart has its own bitterness.


Hitty Maginn” has sent us a version of the riddle the Fox once put to the Hen. Here it is:—


“Who’ll guess me a riddle?” the sly Fox cried.

“Pray tell it, I will,” the Hen replied.

So she knowingly cocked her innocent head

To hear what the cunning rascal said.

  “Shrewd wit and an oily tongue hath he,

   And a palate as dainty as needs to be.

       And he comes—so!

           And jumps—so!!

                 And grabs you—SO!!!”

“O dear Mr. Fox, you are choking me—Oh-h!”


Poor little Bantie! She ought to have been

A little more cautious; for foxes are keen.

When hens play with foxes,—it always is so,—

They lose both their heads and the game, you know.

Herbert” misunderstands us. We did not say that we should print no more answers to correspondents, but only those which seem likely to interest a sufficient number of our readers. We are glad to receive all the letters that come, whether they contain questions, praises, sympathy, or fault-finding; and we get all kinds. Whenever we think it best, and have room, we shall make selections from them for the Letter-Box.

There are many questions about reading, which Mr. Hale’s papers will answer more satisfactorily than anything we could say. The subject of “Behavior” is also proposed for discussion, and this we hope will be treated by the same kind friend of “Our Young Folks” by and by.

Will the author of “Debby’s Wedding” send us her address?

T. B. S. asks about one or two things which are still a puzzle to other heads besides his. He says:—

“First,—I wish to know by what rule the works of authors are criticised. Some books that I thought very good I have been told were mere trash, and that others were very fine, when I could not see the difference. I would like to know by what standard books are judged, or if there is no standard.

“Secondly,—Has it ever been found who the man in the iron mask was?”

The last question we will leave for our correspondents to collect authorities upon. The first?—Well, we know who the “standard” poets, novelists, and essayists are, and we also know that others, which are not “standards,” are more popularly read than these. Addison used to be considered a perfect standard of English style; but the English that people like to read to-day is very different from Addison’s; and in some respects it is better than his. In choosing books, people will be influenced by their own taste and temperament. Some despise fairy-tales, and some cannot endure a “story with a moral.” Some like plain prose, and some prefer flowery verse. Yet there are excellent things written in both ways.

When a book is denounced as “trash,” the first thing to decide is, whether the opinion of the person who says so is worth anything. Most people judge from their prejudices. It takes a wise person to understand wisdom, and a good person to appreciate goodness, inside or outside of books.

But no books are perfect,—as there are no perfect authors or critics. Still, there are good, better, and best among them, besides heaps of rubbish which do not rise so high as a degree of comparison. You learn to judge correctly by reading only what is really good; and almost every one has some literary friend whose advice he can trust to set him on the right road. But it is not to be expected that everybody will like the same books.

However, we have never yet seen anybody who does not like the “Dotty Dimple” stories. Lee and Shepard have published two more of them, about Dotty “At School” and “At Play.” Miss Dotty is as funny as ever, and does not lose her habit of getting into trouble almost every hour in the day. In her unsuccessful endeavors to be a good girl at school, she unconsciously gives her teacher a lesson which other teachers may well profit by.

Jean Ingelow has another nice book for children,—a fairy tale, this time, published by Roberts Brothers, as usual. It is called “Mopsa the Fairy,” and is prettily illustrated. Perhaps the best of it is that it contains some charming new poems by Miss Ingelow. It is late to speak of “Little Women,” the second part of which has appeared. Few can help getting interested in “Jo,” and her grown-up history. Everything about the story is “as natural as life.”

“The Wonders of Heat” is a book which boys and girls will enjoy reading, after the summer days are over. Like the rest of the “Illustrated Library of Wonders,” which Messrs. Scribner & Co. are translating, it describes every-day marvels which we live in the midst of, almost without knowing it. The translations of the Erckmann-Chatrian novels, by the same publishers, will be relished by such of our older young readers as enjoy stories of a historical cast, which recall the glories and the miseries of war. “Waterloo” follows “The Conscript” and “Madame Therese,” and is a life-like picture of the times of the first Napoleon.

Messrs. Scribner & Co. also publish Guyot’s series of Geographies, which our readers have been inquiring for since Mrs. Agassiz mentioned them in her “Coral” articles.

Some one wishes to know about the Acting Charades by S. Annie Frost, promised at the close of last year. One has recently been received from her, and more will doubtless follow soon. They will be varied by Charades and Dialogues from other hands. But we doubt whether any one will excel “William Henry.” His Charade in the July number is a capital one, and is easily acted, the children say.

By the way, that pet boy of ours is about as great a favorite as our “Bad Boy” is. A gentleman of note tells us that he considers himself personally wronged when “William Henry” has no letter in “Our Young Folks.” We have a packet or two waiting for those who are impatient to hear from him again. But we fear he will grow up and be off our hands soon,—a natural progress of events which our readers will regret as much as we. Still, boys cannot be boys forever, either in books or in their mothers’ homes.

We wish our magazine were as elastic as an omnibus,—that it would always hold the one article more we want to get in. We are often forced to disappoint ourselves and our readers, because we have not room enough for all our good things. Almost every month we add four or six pages to the regular number. We are not disposed to complain of our riches, but contributors and subscribers must have patience with us, seeing how the matter stands.

Look for the answer to this puzzle in King Lear, Act Third:—


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

Illustrations have been relocated due to using a non-page layout.

Some photographs have been enhanced to be more legible.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 5, Issue 9 edited by John Townsend Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]