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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 1, Issue 4

Date of first publication: 1865

Author: John Townsend Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom (editors)

Date first posted: Feb. 9, 2017

Date last updated: Feb. 9, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20170211

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






An Illustrated Magazine





Vol. I. APRIL, 1865. No. IV.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by Ticknor and Fields, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

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
















Philip went home alone from the party, out of sorts with himself, angry with Azalia, and boiling over with wrath toward Paul. He set his teeth together, and clenched his fist. He would like to blacken Paul’s eyes and flatten his nose. The words of Azalia—“I know nothing against Paul’s character”—rang in his ears and vexed him. He thought upon them till his steps, falling upon the frozen ground, seemed to say, “Character!—character!—character!” as if Paul had something which he had not.

“So because he has character, and I haven’t, you give me the mitten, do you, Miss Azalia?” he said, as if he was addressing Azalia.

He knew that Paul had a good name. He was the best singer in the singing-school, and Mr. Rhythm often called upon him to sing in a duet with Azalia or Daphne. Sometimes he sang a solo so well, that the spectators whispered to one another, that, if Paul went on as he had begun, he would be ahead of Mr. Rhythm.

Philip had left the singing-school. It was dull music to him to sit through the evening, and say “Down, left, right, up,” and be drilled, hour after hour. It was vastly more agreeable to lounge in the bar-room of the tavern, with a half-dozen good fellows, smoking cigars, playing cards, taking a drink of whiskey, and, when it was time for the singing-school to break up, go home with the girls, then return to the tavern and carouse till midnight or later. To be cut out by Paul in his attentions to Azalia was intolerable.

“Character!—character!—character!” said his boots all the while as he walked. He stopped short, and ground his heels into the frozen earth. He was in front of Miss Dobb’s house.

Miss Dobb was a middle-aged lady, who wore spectacles, had a sharp nose, a peaked chin, a pinched-up mouth, thin cheeks, and long, bony fingers. She kept the village school when Paul and Philip were small boys, and Paul used to think that she wanted to pick him to pieces, her fingers were so long and bony. She knew pretty much all that was going on in the village, for she visited somewhere every afternoon to find out what had happened. Captain Binnacle called her the Daily Advertiser.

“You are the cause of my being jilted, you tattling old maid; you have told that I was a good-for-nothing scapegrace, and I’ll pay you for it,” said Philip, shaking his fist at the house; and walked on again, meditating how to do it, his boots at each successive step saying, “Character! character!”

He went home and tossed all night in his bed, not getting a wink of sleep, planning how to pay Miss Dobb, and upset Paul.

The next night Philip went to bed earlier than was usual, saying, with a yawn, as he took the light to go up stairs, “How sleepy I am!” But, instead of going to sleep, he never was more wide awake. He lay till all in the house were asleep, till he heard the clock strike twelve, then arose, went down stairs softly, carrying his boots, and, opening the door, put them on outside. He looked round to see if there was any one astir; but the village was still,—there was not a light to be seen. He went to Mr. Chrome’s shop, stopped, and looked round once more; but, seeing no one, raised a window and entered. The moon streamed through the windows, and fell upon the floor, making the shop so light that he had no difficulty in finding Mr. Chrome’s paint buckets and brushes. Then, with a bucket in his hand, he climbed out, closed the window, and went to Miss Dobb’s. He approached softly, listening and looking round to see if any one was about; but there were no footsteps except his own. He painted great letters on the side of the house, chuckling as he thought of what would happen in the morning.

“There, Miss Vinegar, you old liar, I won’t charge anything for that sign,” he said, when he had finished. He left the bucket on the step, and went home, chuckling all the way.

In the morning Miss Dobb saw a crowd of people in front of her house, looking towards it and laughing. Mr. Leatherby had come out from his shop; Mr. Noggin, the cooper, was there, smoking his pipe; also, Mrs. Shelbarke, who lived across the street. Philip was there. “That is a ’cute trick, I vow,” said he. Everybody was on a broad grin.

“What in the world is going on, I should like to know!” said Miss Dobb, greatly wondering. “There must be something funny. Why, they are looking at my house, as true as I am alive!”

Miss Dobb was not a woman to be kept in the dark about anything a great while. She stepped to the front door, opened it, and, with her pleasantest smile and softest tone of voice, said: “Good morning, neighbors; you seem to be very much pleased at something. May I ask what you see to laugh at?”

“Te-he-he-he!” snickered a little boy, who pointed to the side of the house, and the by-standers followed his lead, with a loud chorus of guffaws.

Miss Dobb looked upon the wall, and saw, in red letters, as if she had gone into business, opened a store, and put out a sign,—“MISS DOBB, Lies, Scandal, Gossip, Wholesale and Retail.”

She threw up her hands in horror. Her eyes flashed; she gasped for breath. There was a paint-bucket and brush on the door-step; on one side of the bucket she saw the word Chrome.

“The villain! I’ll make him smart for this,” she said, running in, snatching her bonnet, and out again, making all haste towards Squire Copias’s office, to have Mr. Chrome arrested.

The Squire heard her story. There was a merry twinkling of his eye, but he kept his countenance till she was through.

“I do not think that Mr. Chrome did it; he is not such a fool as to leave his bucket and brush there as evidence against him; you had better let it rest awhile,” said he.

Mr. Chrome laughed when he saw the sign. “I didn’t do it, I was abed and asleep, as my wife will testify. Somebody stole my bucket and brush; but it is a good joke on Dobb, I’ll be blamed if it isn’t,” said he.

Who did it? That was the question.

“I will give fifty dollars to know,” said Miss Dobb, her lips quivering with anger.

Philip heard her and said, “Isn’t there a fellow who sometimes helps Mr. Chrome paint wagons?”

“Yes, I didn’t think of him. It is just like him. There he comes now, I’ll make him confess it.” Miss Dobb’s eyes flashed, her lips trembled, she was so angry. She remembered that one of the pigs which Paul painted, when he was a boy, was hers; she also remembered how he sent Mr. Smith’s old white horse on a tramp after a bundle of hay.

Paul was on his way to Mr. Chrome’s shop, to begin work for the day. He wondered at the crowd. He saw the sign, and laughed with the rest.

“You did that, sir,” said Miss Dobb, coming up to him, reaching out her long hand and clutching at him with her bony fingers, as if she would like to tear him to pieces. “You did it, you villain. Now you needn’t deny it; you painted my pig once, and now you have done this. You are a mean, good-for-nothing scoundrel,” she said, working herself into a terrible passion.

“I did not do it,” said Paul, nettled at the charge, and growing red in the face.

“You are a liar; you show your guilt in your countenance,” said Miss Dobb.

Paul’s face was on fire. Never till then had he been called a liar. He was about to tell her loudly, that she was a meddler, tattler, and hypocrite, but he remembered that he had read somewhere, that “he who loses his temper loses his cause,” and did not speak the words. He looked her steadily in the face, and said calmly, “I did not do it,” and went on to his work.

Weeks went by. The singing-school was drawing to a close. Paul had made rapid progress. His voice was round, rich, full, and clear. He no longer appeared at school wearing his grandfather’s coat, for he had worked for Mr. Chrome, painting wagons, till he had earned enough to purchase a new suit of clothes. Besides, it was discovered that he could survey land, and several of the farmers employed him to run the lines between their farms. Mr. Rhythm took especial pains to help him on in singing, and before winter was through he could master the crookedest anthem in the book. Daphne Dare was the best alto, Hans Middlekauf the best bass, and Azalia the best treble. Sometimes Mr. Rhythm had the four sing a quartette, or Azalia and Paul sang a duet. At times, the school sang, while he listened. “I want you to learn to depend upon yourselves,” said he. Then it was that Paul’s voice was heard above all others, so clear and distinct, and each note so exact in time that they felt he was their leader.

One evening Mr. Rhythm called Paul into the floor, and gave him the ratan with which he beat time, saying, “I want you to be leader in this tune; I resign the command to you, and you are to do just as if I were not here.” The blood rushed to Paul’s face, his knees trembled; but he felt that it was better to try and fail, than be a coward. He sounded the key, but his voice was husky and trembling. Fanny Funk, who had turned up her nose at Mr. Rhythm’s proposition, giggled aloud, and there was laughing around the room. It nerved him in an instant. He opened his lips to shout, Silence! then he thought they would not respect his authority, and would only laugh louder, which would make him appear ridiculous. He stood quietly and said, not in a husky voice, but calmly, pleasantly, and deliberately, “When the ladies have finished their laughter we will commence.” The laughter ceased. He waited till the room was so still that they could hear the clock tick. “Now we will try it,” said he. They did not sing it right, and he made them go over it again and again, drilling them till they sang it so well that Mr. Rhythm and the spectators clapped their hands.

“You will have a competent leader after I leave you,” said Mr. Rhythm. Paul had gained this success by practice hour after hour, day after day, week after week, at home, till he was master of what he had undertaken.

The question came up in parish meeting, whether the school should join the choir? Mr. Quaver and the old members opposed it, but they were voted down. Nothing was said about having a new chorister, for no one wished to hurt Mr. Quaver’s feelings by appointing Paul in his place; but the school did not relish the idea of being led by Mr. Quaver, while, on the other hand, the old singers did not mean to be overshadowed by the young upstarts.

It was an eventful Sunday in New Hope when the singing-school joined the choir. The church was crowded. Fathers and mothers who seldom attended meeting were present to see their children in the singers’ seats. The girls were dressed in white, for it was a grand occasion. Mr. Quaver and the old choir were early in their places. Mr. Quaver’s red nose was redder than ever, and he had a stern look. He took no notice of the new singers, who stood in the background, not daring to take their seats, and not knowing what to do till Paul arrived.

“Where shall we sit, sir?” Paul asked, respectfully.

“Anywhere back there,” said Mr. Quaver.

“We would like to have you assign us seats,” said Paul.

“I have nothing to do about it; you may sit anywhere, and sing when you are a mind to, or hold your tongues,” said Mr. Quaver, sharply.

“Very well; we will do so,” said Paul, a little touched, telling the school to occupy the back seats. He was their acknowledged leader. He took his place behind Mr. Quaver, with Hans, Azalia, and Daphne near him. Mr. Quaver did not look round, neither did Miss Gamut, nor any of the old choir. They felt that the new-comers were intruders, who had no right there.

The bell ceased its tolling, and Rev. Mr. Surplice ascended the pulpit-stairs. He was a venerable man. He had preached many years, and his long, white hair, falling upon his shoulders, seemed to crown him with a saintly glory. The people, old and young, honored, respected, and loved him, for he had grave counsel for the old, kind words for the young, and pleasant stories for the little ones. Everybody said that he was ripening for heaven. He rejoiced when he looked up into the gallery and saw such a goodly array of youth, beauty, and loveliness. Then, bowing his head in prayer, and looking onward to the eternal years, he seemed to see them members of a heavenly choir, clothed in white, and singing, “Alleluia! salvation and glory and honor and power unto the Lord our God!”

After prayer, he read a hymn:—

“Now shall my head be lifted high

  Above my foes around:

And songs of joy and victory

  Within thy temple sound.”

There was a smile of satisfaction on Mr. Quaver’s countenance while selecting the tune, as if he had already won a victory. There was a clearing of throats; then Mr. Fiddleman gave the key on the bass-viol. As Mr. Quaver had told Paul that the school might sing when they pleased, or hold their tongues, he determined to act independently of Mr. Quaver.

“After one measure,” whispered Paul. He knew they would watch his hand, and commence in exact time. The old choir was accustomed to sing without regard to time.

Mr. Quaver commenced louder than usual,—twisting, turning, drawling, and flattening the first word as if it was spelled n-e-a-w. Miss Gamut and Mr. Cleff and the others dropped in one by one. Not a sound as yet from the school. All stood eagerly watching Paul. He cast a quick glance right and left. His hand moved,—down—left—right—up. They burst into the tune as if it was one voice instead of fifty. It was like the broadside of a fifty-gun frigate. The old choir was confounded. Miss Gamut stopped short. Captain Binnacle, who once was skipper of a schooner on the Lakes, and who owned a pew in front of the pulpit, said afterwards, that she was thrown on her beam-ends as if struck by a nor’wester and all her main-sail blown into ribbons in a jiffey. Mr. Quaver, though confused for a moment, recovered; Miss Gamut also righted herself. Though confounded, they were not yet defeated. Mr. Quaver stamped upon the floor, which brought Mr. Cleff to his senses. He looked as if he would say, “Put down the upstarts!” Mr. Fiddleman played with all his might; Miss Gamut screamed at the top of her voice, while Mr. Cleff puffed out his fat cheeks and became red in the face.

The people looked and listened in amazement. Mr. Surplice stood reverently in his place. Those who sat nearest the pulpit said that there was a smile on his countenance.

It was a strange fugue, but each held on to the end of the verse, the young folks getting out ahead of Mr. Quaver and his flock, and having a breathing spell before commencing the second stanza. So they went through the hymn. Then Mr. Surplice read from the Bible: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded his blessing forevermore.”

Turning to the choir, he said, “My dear friends, I perceive that there is a want of unity in your services, as singers of the sanctuary; therefore, that the peace and harmony of the place may not be broken, I propose that, when the next psalm is given, the old members of the choir sing the first stanza, and the new members the second, and so through the hymn. By thus doing there will be no disagreement.”

Each one—old and young—resolved to do his best, for comparisons would be made. It would be the struggle for victory.

“I will give them a tune which will break them down,” Mr. Quaver whispered to Miss Gamut, as he selected one with a tenor and treble duet, which he and Miss Gamut had sung together a great many times. Louder and stronger sang Mr. Quaver. Miss Gamut cleared her throat, with the determination to sing as she never sang before, and to show the people what a great difference there was between her voice and Azalia Adams’s. But the excitement of the moment set her heart in a flutter when she came to the duet, which ran up out of the scale. She aimed at high G, but instead of striking it in a round full tone, as she intended and expected, she only made a faint squeak on F, which sounded so funny that the people down stairs smiled in spite of their efforts to keep sober. Her breath was gone. She sank upon her seat, covered her face with her hands, mortified and ashamed. Poor Miss Gamut! But there was a sweet girl behind her who pitied her very much, and who felt like crying, so quick was her sympathy for all in trouble and sorrow.

Paul pitied her; but Mr. Quaver was provoked. Never was his nose so red and fiery. Determined not to be broken down, he carried the verse through, ending with a roar, as if to say, “I am not defeated.”

The young folks now had their turn. There was a measure of time, the exact movement, the clear chord, swelling into full chorus, then becoming fainter, till it seemed like the murmuring of voices far away. How charming the duet! Where Mr. Quaver blared like a trumpet, Paul sang in clear, melodious notes; and where Miss Gamut broke down, Azalia glided so smoothly and sweetly that every heart was thrilled. Then, when all joined in the closing strain, the music rolled in majesty along the roof, encircled the pulpit, went down the winding stairs, swept along the aisles, entered the pews, and delighted the congregation. Miss Gamut still continued to sit with her hands over her face. Mr. Quaver nudged her to try another verse, but she shook her head. Paul waited for Mr. Quaver, who was very red in the face, and who felt that it was of no use to try again without Miss Gamut. He waved his hand to Paul as a signal to go on. The victory was won. Through the sermon Mr. Quaver thought the matter over. He felt very uncomfortable, but at noon he shook hands with Paul, and said, “I resign my place to you. I have been chorister for thirty years, and have had my day.” He made the best of his defeat, and in the afternoon, with all the old singers, sat down stairs.

Judge Adams bowed to Paul very cordially at the close of the service. Colonel Dare shook hands with him, and Rev. Mr. Surplice, with a pleasant smile, said, “May the Lord be with you.” It was spoken so kindly and heartily, and was so like a benediction, that the tears came to Paul’s eyes; for he felt that he was unworthy of such kindness.

There was one person in the congregation who looked savagely at him,—Miss Dobb. “It is a shame,” she said, when the people came out of church, speaking loud enough to be heard by all, “that such a young upstart and hypocrite should be allowed to worm himself into Mr. Quaver’s seat.” She hated Paul, and determined to put him down if possible.

Paul went home from church pleased that the school had done so well, and grateful for all the kind words he heard; but as he retired for the night, and thought over what had taken place,—when he realized that he was the leader of the choir, and that singing was a part of divine worship,—when he considered that he had fifty young folks to direct,—and that it would require a steady hand to keep them straight, he felt very sober. As these thoughts, one by one, came crowding upon him, he felt that he could not bear so great a responsibility. Then he reflected that life is made up of responsibilities, and that it was his duty to meet them manfully. If he cringed before, or shrank from them, and gave them the go-by, he would be a coward, and he never would accomplish anything. He would be nobody. No one would respect him, and he would not even have any respect for himself. “I won’t back out!” he said, resolving to do the best he could.

Very pleasant were the days. Spring had come with its sunshine and flowers. The birds were in their old haunts,—the larks in the meadows, the partridges in the woods, the quails in the fields. Paul was as happy as they, singing from morning till night the tunes he had learned; and when his day’s work was over, he was never too wearied to call upon Daphne with Azalia, and sing till the last glimmer of daylight faded from the west,—Azalia playing the piano, and their voices mingling in perfect harmony. How pleasant the still hours with Azalia beneath the old elms, which spread out their arms above them, as if to pronounce a benediction,—the moonlight smiling around them,—the dews perfuming the air with the sweet odors of roses and apple-blooms,—the cricket chirping his love-song to his mate,—the river forever flowing, and sweetly chanting its endless melody!

Sometimes they lingered by the way, and laughed to hear the grand chorus of bull-frogs croaking among the rushes of the river, and the echoes of their own voices dying away in the distant forest. And then, standing in the gravelled walk before the door of Azalia’s home, where the flowers bloomed around them, they looked up to the stars, shining so far away, and talked of choirs of angels, and of those who had gone from earth to heaven, and were singing the song of the Redeemed. How bright the days! how blissful the nights!



A neighbor, blessed with an extensive litter of Newfoundland pups, commenced one chapter in our family history by giving us a puppy, brisk, funny, and lively enough, who was received in our house with acclamations of joy, and christened “Rover.” An auspicious name we all thought, for his four or five human playfellows were all rovers,—rovers in the woods, rovers by the banks of a neighboring patch of water, where they dashed and splashed, made rafts, inaugurated boats, and lived among the cat-tails and sweet flags as familiarly as so many muskrats. Rovers also they were, every few days, down to the shores of the great sea, where they caught fish, rowed boats, dug clams,—both girls and boys,—and one sex quite as handily as the other. Rover came into such a lively circle quite as one of them, and from the very first seemed to regard himself as part and parcel of all that was going on, in doors or out. But his exuberant spirits at times brought him into sad scrapes. His vivacity was such as to amount to decided insanity,—and mamma and Miss Anna and papa had many grave looks over his capers. Once he actually tore off the leg of a new pair of trousers that Johnny had just donned, and came racing home with it in his mouth, with its bare-legged little owner behind, screaming threats and maledictions on the robber. What a commotion! The new trousers had just been painfully finished, in those days when sewing was sewing, and not a mere jig on a sewing-machine; but Rover, so far from being abashed or ashamed, displayed an impish glee in his performance, bounding and leaping hither and thither with his trophy in his mouth, now growling, and mangling it, and shaking it at us in elfish triumph as we chased him hither and thither,—over the wood-pile, into the wood-house, through the barn, out of the stable door,—vowing all sorts of dreadful punishments when we caught him. But we might well say that, for the little wretch would never be caught; after one of his tricks, he always managed to keep himself out of arm’s length till the thing was a little blown over, when in he would come, airy as ever, and wagging his little pudgy puppy tail with an air of the most perfect assurance in the world.

There is no saying what youthful errors were pardoned to him. Once he ate a hole in the bed-quilt as his night’s employment, when one of the boys had surreptitiously got him into bed with them; he nibbled and variously maltreated sundry sheets; and once actually tore up and chewed off a corner of the bedroom carpet, to stay his stomach during the night season. What he did it for, no mortal knows; certainly it could not be because he was hungry, for there were five little pair of hands incessantly feeding him from morning till night. Beside which, he had a boundless appetite for shoes, which he mumbled, and shook, and tore, and ruined, greatly to the vexation of their rightful owners,—rushing in and carrying them from the bedsides in the night watches, racing off with them to any out-of-the-way corner that hit his fancy, and leaving them when he was tired of the fun. So there is no telling of the disgrace into which he brought his little masters and mistresses, and the tears and threats and scoldings which were all wasted on him, as he would stand quite at his ease, lolling out his red, saucy tongue, and never deigning to tell what he had done with his spoils.

Notwithstanding all these sins, Rover grew up to doghood, the pride and pet of the family,—and in truth a very handsome dog he was.

It is quite evident from his looks that his Newfoundland blood had been mingled with that of some other races; for he never attained the full size of that race, and his points in some respects resembled those of a good setter. He was grizzled black and white, and spotted on the sides in little inky drops about the size of a three-cent piece; his hair was long and silky, his ears beautifully fringed, and his tail long and feathery. His eyes were bright, soft, and full of expression, and a jollier, livelier, more loving creature never wore dog-skin. To be sure, his hunting blood sometimes brought us and him into scrapes. A neighbor now and then would call with a bill for ducks, chickens, or young turkeys, which Rover had killed. The last time this occurred it was decided that something must be done; so Rover was shut up a whole day in a cold lumber-room, with the murdered duck tied round his neck. Poor fellow! how dejected and ashamed he looked, and how grateful he was when his little friends would steal in to sit with him, and “poor” him in his disgrace! The punishment so improved his principles that he let poultry alone from that time, except now and then, when he would snap up a young chick or turkey, in pure absence of mind, before he really knew what he was about. We had great dread lest he should take to killing sheep, of which there were many flocks in the neighborhood. A dog which once kills sheep is a doomed beast,—as much as a man who has committed murder; and if our Rover, through the hunting blood that was in him, should once mistake a sheep for a deer, and kill him, we should be obliged to give him up to justice,—all his good looks and good qualities could not save him.

What anxieties his training under this head cost us! When we were driving out along the clean sandy roads, among the piny groves of Maine, it was half our enjoyment to see Rover, with ears and tail wild and flying with excitement and enjoyment, bounding and barking, now on this side the carriage, now on that,—now darting through the woods straight as an arrow, in his leaps after birds or squirrels, and anon returning to trot obediently by the carriage, and, wagging his tail, to ask applause for his performances. But anon a flock of sheep appeared in a distant field, and away would go Rover in full bow-wow, plunging in among them, scattering them hither and thither in dire confusion. Then Johnny and Bill and all hands would spring from the carriage in full chase of the rogue; and all of us shouted vainly in the rear; and finally the rascal would be dragged back, panting and crestfallen, to be admonished, scolded, and cuffed with salutary discipline, heartily administered by his best friends for the sake of saving his life. “Rover, you naughty dog! Don’t you know you mustn’t chase the sheep? You’ll be killed, some of these days.” Admonitions of this kind, well shaken and thumped in, at last seemed to reform him thoroughly. He grew so conscientious, that, when a flock of sheep appeared on the side of the road, he would immediately go to the other side of the carriage, and turn away his head, rolling up his eyes meanwhile to us for praise at his extraordinary good conduct. “Good dog, Rove! nice dog! good fellow! he doesn’t touch the sheep,—no, he doesn’t.” Such were the rewards of virtue which sweetened his self-denial; hearing which, he would plume up his feathery tail, and loll out his tongue, with an air of virtuous assurance quite edifying to behold.

Another of Rover’s dangers was a habit he had of running races and cutting capers with the railroad engines as they passed near our dwelling.

We lived in plain sight of the track, and three or four times a day the old, puffing, smoky iron horse thundered by, dragging his trains of cars, and making the very ground shake under him. Rover never could resist the temptation to run and bark, and race with so lively an antagonist; and, to say the truth, John and Willy were somewhat of his mind,—so that, though they were directed to catch and hinder him, they entered so warmly into his own feelings that they never succeeded in breaking up the habit. Every day when the distant whistle was heard, away would go Rover, out of the door or through the window,—no matter which,—race down to meet the cars, couch down on the track in front of them, barking with all his might, as if it were only a fellow-dog, and when they came so near that escape seemed utterly impossible, he would lie flat down between the rails and suffer the whole train to pass over him, and then jump up and bark, full of glee, in the rear. Sometimes he varied this performance more dangerously by jumping out full tilt between two middle cars when the train had passed half-way over him. Everybody predicted, of course, that he would be killed or maimed, and the loss of a paw, or of his fine, saucy tail, was the least of the dreadful things which were prophesied about him. But Rover lived and throve in his imprudent courses notwithstanding.

The engineers and firemen, who began by throwing sticks of wood and bits of coal at him, at last were quite subdued by his successful impudence, and came to consider him as a regular institution of the railroad, and, if any family excursion took him off for a day, they would inquire with interest, “Where’s our dog?—what’s become of Rover?” As to the female part of our family, we had so often anticipated piteous scenes when poor Rover would be brought home with broken paws or without his pretty tail, that we quite used up our sensibilities, and concluded that some kind angel, such as is appointed to watch over little children’s pets, must take special care of our Rover.

Rover had very tender domestic affections. His attachment to his little playfellows was most intense; and one time, when all of them were taken off together on a week’s excursion, and Rover left alone at home, his low spirits were really pitiful. He refused entirely to eat for the first day, and finally could only be coaxed to take nourishment, with many strokings and caresses, by being fed out of Miss Anna’s own hand. What perfectly boisterous joy he showed when the children came back!—careering round and round, picking up chips and bits of sticks, and coming and offering them to one and another, in the fulness of his doggish heart, to show how much he wanted to give them something.

This mode of signifying his love by bringing something in his mouth was one of his most characteristic tricks. At one time he followed the carriage from Brunswick to Bath, and in the streets of the city somehow lost his way, so that he was gone all night. Many a little heart went to bed anxious and sorrowful for the loss of its shaggy playfellow that night, and Rover doubtless was remembered in many little prayers; what, therefore, was the joy of being awakened by a joyful barking under the window the next morning, when his little friends rushed in their night-gowns to behold Rover back again, fresh and frisky, bearing in his mouth a branch of a tree about six feet long, as his offering of joy.

When the family removed to Zion Hill, Rover went with them, the trusty and established family friend. Age had somewhat matured his early friskiness. Perhaps the grave neighborhood of a theological seminary and the responsibility of being a Professor’s dog might have something to do with it, but Rover gained an established character as a dog of respectable habits, and used to march to the post-office at the heels of his master twice a day, as regularly as any theological student.

Little Charley the second,—the youngest of the brood, who took the place of our lost little Prince Charley—was yet padding about in short robes, and seemed to regard Rover in the light of a discreet older brother, and Rover’s manners to him were of most protecting gentleness. Charley seemed to consider Rover in all things as such a model, that he overlooked the difference between a dog and a boy, and wearied himself with fruitless attempts to scratch his ear with his foot as Rover did, and one day was brought in dripping from a neighboring swamp, where he had been lying down in the water, because Rover did.

Once in a while a wild oat or two from Rover’s old sack would seem to entangle him. Sometimes, when we were driving out, he would, in his races after the carriage, make a flying leap into a farmer’s yard, and, if he lighted in a flock of chickens or turkeys, gobble one off-hand, and be off again and a mile ahead before the mother hen had recovered from her astonishment. Sometimes, too, he would have a race with the steam-engine just for old acquaintance’ sake. But these were comparatively transient follies; in general, no members of the grave institutions around him behaved with more dignity and decorum than Rover. He tried to listen to his master’s theological lectures, and to attend chapel on Sundays; but the prejudices of society were against him, and so he meekly submitted to be shut out, and wait outside the door on these occasions.

He formed a part of every domestic scene. At family prayers, stretched out beside his master, he looked up reflectively with his great soft eyes, and seemed to join in the serious feeling of the hour. When all were gay, when singing, or frolicking, or games were going on, Rover barked and frisked in higher glee than any. At night it was his joy to stretch his furry length by our bedside, where he slept with one ear on cock for any noise which it might be his business to watch and attend to. It was a comfort to hear the tinkle of his collar when he moved in the night, or to be wakened by his cold nose pushed against one’s hand if one slept late in the morning. And then he was always so glad when we woke; and when any member of the family circle was gone for a few days, Rover’s warm delight and welcome were not the least of the pleasures of return.

And what became of him? Alas! the fashion came up of poisoning dogs, and this poor, good, fond, faithful creature was enticed into swallowing poisoned meat. One day he came in suddenly, ill and frightened, and ran to the friends who always had protected him,—but in vain. In a few moments he was in convulsions, and all the tears and sobs of his playfellows could not help him; he closed his bright, loving eyes, and died in their arms.

If those who throw poison to dogs could only see the real grief it brings into a family to lose the friend and playfellow who has grown up with the children, and shared their plays, and been for years in every family scene,—if they could know how sorrowful it is to see the poor dumb friend suffer agonies which they cannot relieve,—if they could see all this, we have faith to believe they never would do so more.

Our poor Rover was buried with decent care near the house, and a mound of petunias over him kept his memory ever bright; but it will be long before his friends will get another as true.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


As might be expected, the party thus invited to dinner had anything but a hospitable time of it. In a general way, the boys received pretty fair treatment from Mrs. Spangler; but on that particular occasion they saw that they were called in merely to be fed, and, the feeding over, that it would be most agreeable to her if they would thereupon clear out. Things had gone wrong with her on that unfortunate day, and they must bear the brunt of it. The good man of the house was absent at the neighboring tavern, it being one of his rainy days; hence the wife had all the remaining household at her mercy, and, being mostly an uncomplaining set, she could serve them with impunity just as the humor of the moment made it most convenient. The dinner was therefore nothing to speak of, and was quite unworthy of the great noise which the tin horn had made in calling them to it. There was a bit of boiled salt pork, almost too fat to eat, with potatoes and turnips, while the dessert consisted of pumpkin-sauce, which the dinner party might spread upon bread, if they thought proper.

Uncle Benny devoured his share of this rainy-day repast in silence, but inwardly concluded that it was next of kin to the meanest dinner he had ever eaten, for he was too well-bred to take open exception to it. As boys, especially farmers’ boys, are not epicures, and are generally born with appetites so hearty that nothing comes amiss, Joe and Tony managed to find enough, and were by no means critical,—quality was not so important a matter as quantity. It is true there was a sort of subdued mutiny against the unseasoned pumpkin-sauce, which was a new article on Farmer Spangler’s table, that showed itself in a general hesitancy even to taste it, and in a good long smell or two before a mouthful was ventured on; which being observed by Mrs. Spangler, she did unbend sufficiently to say that she had intended to give them pumpkin-pies, but an accident to her lard had interrupted her plans, so she gave them the best she had, and promised the pies for next day.

As Uncle Benny and the boys all knew that they had been called in merely to eat, and not to lounge about the stove, and were therefore expected to depart as soon as they had dined, when the scanty meal was over, they stepped out on the way to their wonted rendezvous, the barn. The rain had ceased, and there were signs of a clearing up. But the wide space between house and barn was wet and muddy, while in several places there were great puddles of water, around which they had to pick their way. These low places had always been an annoyance to Uncle Benny, as every rain converted them into ponds, which stood sometimes for weeks before drying up. They were so directly in the path to almost everything, that one had to navigate a long way round to avoid them; yet, though an admitted nuisance, no one undertook to fill them up.

When the party got fairly in among these puddles, the old man stopped, and told the boys he would teach them something worth knowing. Bidding Joe bring him a spade and hoe, he led the boys to a small puddle which lay lower on the sloping ground than any other, and in a few minutes opened a trench or gutter leading from it toward an adjoining lowland. The water immediately flowed away from the puddle through the gutter, until it fell to the level of the latter. He then deepened the gutter, and more water was discharged, and repeated the operation until the puddle was quite empty.

He then directed Joe to open a gutter between the puddle thus emptied and a larger one close by, then to connect a third with the second, until, by means of hoe and spade, he had the whole series of puddles communicating with each other, those on the higher ground of course discharging their contents into that first emptied, as it lay lower than the others. When the work was completed there was a lively rush of water down, through the gutter first cut, into the meadow.

“Now, boys,” said Uncle Benny, “this is what is called drainage,—surface drainage,—the making of water move off from a spot where it is a nuisance, thus converting a wet place into a dry one. You see how useful it is on this little piece of ground, because in a few days the bottom of these ponds will become so dry that you can walk over them, instead of having to go round them; and if Mr. Spangler would only have them filled up, and make the whole surface level, the water would run off of itself, and all these gutters could be filled up, leaving the yard dry and firm. These gutters are called open or surface drains, because they are open at the top; but when you make a channel deep enough to put in a wooden trunk, or brush, or stones, or a line of tiles, for the water to flow through, and then cover up the whole so that one can walk or drive over it, it is called an under-drain, because it is under the surface of the ground.”

“But does draining do any good?” inquired Joe.

“Why,” replied Uncle Benny, “it is impossible to farm profitably without drainage of some kind; and the more thoroughly the land is drained of its superfluous water, the surer and better will be the crops. I suppose that not one of you likes to have wet feet. Well, it is the same thing with the roots and grains and grasses that farmers cultivate,—they don’t like wet feet. You know the corn didn’t grow at all in that low place in our cornfield this season; that was because the water stood there from one rain to another,—the corn had too much of it. You also saw how few and small were the potatoes in that part of the patch that runs close down to the swamp. Water is indispensable to the growth of plants, but none will bear an excessive supply, except those that grow in swamps and low places only. Many of these even can be killed by keeping the swamp flooded for a few weeks; though they can bear a great deal, yet it is possible to give even them too much. Our farms, even on the uplands, abound in low places, which catch and hold too much of the heavy rains for the health of the plants we cultivate. The surplus must be got rid of, and there is no other way to do that than by ditching and draining. Under-draining is always best. Let a plant have as much water as it needs, and it will grow to profit; but give it too much, and it will grow up weak and spindling. You saw that in our cornfield. There are some plants, as I said before, that grow only in wet places; but you must know that such are seldom useful to us as food either for man or beast. Nobody goes harvesting after spatterdocks or cattail. This farm is full of low, wet places, which could be drained for a very little money, and the profits from one or two crops from the reclaimed land would pay back the whole expenses. Indeed, there is hardly one farm in a thousand that would not be greatly benefited by being thoroughly under-drained. But as these puddles are nearly empty, come over to the barn-yard,—they will be dry enough to-morrow.”

Uncle Benny led the way into a great enclosure that was quite full of manure. It lay on a piece of sloping ground adjoining the public road, in full view of every person who might happen to drive by. It was not an agreeable sight to look at, even on a bright summer day; and just now, when a heavy rain had fallen, it was particularly unpleasant. In addition to the rain, it had received a copious supply of water from the roofs of all the barns and sheds that surrounded it. Not one of them was furnished with a gutter to catch and carry off the water to some place outside the barn-yard, but all that fell upon them ran off into the manure. Of course the whole mass was saturated with water. Indeed, it was not much better than a great pond, a sort of floating bog, yet not great enough to retain the volume of water thus conducted into it from the overhanging roofs. There was not a dry spot for the cows to stand upon, and the place had been in this disagreeable condition so long, that both boys and men went into it as seldom as possible. If the cows and pigs had had the same liberty of choice, it is probable they too would have given it as wide a berth.

The old man took them to a spot just outside the fence, where a deep gutter leading from the barn-yard into the public road was pouring forth into the latter a large stream of black liquor. As he pointed down the road, the boys could not see the termination of this black fluid, it reached so far from where they stood. It had been thus flowing, night and day, as long as the water collected in the barn-yard. The boys had never noticed any but the disagreeable part of the thing, as no one had taken pains to point out to them its economic or wasteful features.

“Now, boys,” said Uncle Benny, “there are two kinds of drainage. The first kind, which I have just explained to you, will go far toward making a farmer rich; but this kind, which drains a barn-yard into the public road, will send him to the poor-house. Here is manure wasted as fast as it is made,—thrown away to get rid of it,—and no land is worth farming without plenty of manure.”

“But the manure stays in the barn-yard,” replied Tony. “It is only the water that runs off.”

“Did you ever suck an orange after somebody had squeezed out all the juice?” asked Uncle Benny. “If you did, you must have discovered that he had extracted all that there was in it of any value,—you had a dry pull, Tony. It is exactly so with this barn-yard. Liken it to an orange, though I must admit there is a wide difference in the flavor of the two. Here Mr. Spangler is extracting the juice, throwing it away, and keeping the dry shell and insides for himself. Farmers make manure for the purpose of feeding their plants,—that is, to make them grow. Now, plants don’t feed on those piles of straw and cornstalks, that you say remain in the yard, but on the liquor that you see running away from them. That liquor is manure,—it is the very life of the manure heap,—the only shape that the heap can take to make a plant grow. It must ferment and decay, and turn to powder, before it can give out its full strength, and will not do so even then, unless water comes down upon it to extract just such juices as you now see running to waste. The rain carries those juices all through the ground where the plant is growing, and its thousands of little rootlets suck up, not the powdered manure, but the liquor saturated with its juices, just as you would suck an orange. They are not able to drink up solid lumps of manure, but only the fluid extracts. Boys, such waste as this will be death to any farm, and your father must make an entire change in this barn-yard. Don’t you see how it slopes toward the road, no doubt on purpose to let this liquid manure run off? He must remove it to a piece of level ground, and make the centre of it lower than the sides, so as to save every drop. If he could line the bottom with clay, to prevent loss by soaking into the ground, so much the better. If he can’t change it, then he should raise a bank here where we stand, and keep the liquor in. Then every roof must have a gutter to catch the rain, and a conductor to carry it clear of the yard. The manure would be worth twice as much if he would pile it up under some kind of cover. Then, too, the yard has been scraped into deep holes, which keep it constantly so wet and miry that no one likes to go into it, and these must be filled up.”

“But wouldn’t that be a great deal of work?” inquired Tony.

“Now, Tony,” replied the old man, “don’t expect to get along in this world without work. If you work to advantage, as you would in doing such a job as this, the more you do the better. You have set up to be a farmer, and you should try to be a good one, as I consider a poor farmer no better than a walking scarecrow. No man can be a good one without having things just as I tell you all these about this barn-yard ought to be. Whatever you do, do well. I know it requires more work, but it is the kind of work that pays a profit, and profit is what most men are aiming at. If this were my farm, I would make things look very different, no matter how much work it cost me. I can always judge of a man’s crops by his barn-yard.”

“Then I’m afraid this is a poor place to learn farming,” said Joe. “Father don’t know near as much about doing things right as you do, and he never talks to us, and shows us about the farm like you.”

“He may know as much as I do, Joe,” replied Uncle Benny, “but if he does, he don’t put it into practice;—that is the difference between us.”

“I begin to think it’s a poor place for me, too,” added Tony. “I have no friends to teach me, or to help me.”

“To help you?” exclaimed the old man, with an emphasis that was quite unusual to him; “you must help yourself. You have the same set of faculties as those that have made great men out of boys as humbly born as you, and you will rise or sink in proportion to the energy you exert. We can all succeed if we choose,—there is no fence against fortune.”

“What does that mean?” demanded Tony.

“It means that fortune is as an open common, with no hedge, or fence, or obstruction to get over in our efforts to reach it, except such as may be set up by our own idleness, or laziness, or want of courage in striving to overcome the disadvantages of our particular position.”

While this conversation was going on, the boys had noticed some traveller winding his slow and muddy way up the road toward where they were standing. As he came nearer, they discovered him to be a small boy, not so large as either Joe or Tony; and just as Uncle Benny had finished his elucidation of the fence against fortune, the traveller reached the spot where the group were conversing, and with instinctive good sense stepped up out of the mud upon the pile of rails which had served as standing-ground for the others. He was a short, thick-set fellow, warmly clad, of quick movement, keen, intelligent look, and a piercing black eye, having in it all the business fire of a juvenile Shylock. Bidding good afternoon to the group, and scraping from his thick boots as much of the mud as he could, he proceeded to business without further loss of time. Lifting the cover from a basket on his arm, he displayed its flashing contents before the eyes of Joe and Tony, asking them if they didn’t want a knife, a comb, a tooth-brush, a burning-glass, a cake of pomatum, or something else of an almost endless list of articles, which he ran over with a volubility exceeding anything they had ever experienced.

The little fellow was a pedler. He plied his vocation with a glibness and pertinacity that confounded the two modest farmer’s boys he was addressing. Long intercourse with the great public had given him a perfect self-possession, from which the boys fairly shrunk back with girlish timidity. There was nothing impudent or obtrusive in his manner, but a quiet, persevering self-reliance that could not fail to command attention from any audience, and which, to the rustics he was addressing, was particularly imposing. To Uncle Benny the scene was quite a study. He looked and listened in silence. He was struck with the cool, independent manner of the young pedler, his excessive volubility, and the tact with which he held up to Joe and Tony the particular articles most likely to attract their attention. He seemed to know intuitively what each boy coveted the most. Tony’s great longing had been for a pocket-knife, and Joe’s for a jack-knife. The boy very soon discovered this, and, having both in his basket, crowded the articles on his customers with an urgency that nothing but the low condition of their funds could resist. After declining a dozen times to purchase, Tony was forced to exclaim, “But we have no money. I never had a shilling in my life.”

The pedler-boy seemed struck with conviction of the truth of Tony’s declaration, and that he was only wasting time in endeavoring to sell where there was no money to pay with. He accordingly replaced the articles in his basket, shut down the lid, and with unaltered civility was bidding the company good bye, when Uncle Benny broke silence for the first time.

“What is your name, my lad?” he inquired.

“John Hancock, sir,” was the reply.

“I have heard that name before,” rejoined Uncle Benny. “You were not at the signing of the Declaration of Independence?”

“No, sir,” replied the courageous little fellow, “I wish I had been,—but my name was there.”

This was succeeded by quite a colloquy between them, ending with Uncle Benny’s purchasing, at a dollar apiece, the coveted knives, and presenting them to the delighted boys. Then, again addressing the pedler, he inquired, “Why do you follow this business of peddling?”

“Because I make money by it,” he quickly replied.

“But have you no friends to help you, and give you employment at home?” continued the old man.

“Got no friends, sir,” he responded. “Father and mother both dead, and I had to help myself; so I turned newsboy in the city, and then made money enough to set up in peddling, and now I am making more.”

Uncle Benny was convinced that he was talking with a future millionnaire. But while admiring the boy’s bravery, his heart overflowed with pity for his loneliness and destitution, and with a yearning anxiety for his welfare. Laying his hand on his shoulder, he said: “God bless you and preserve you, my boy! Be industrious as you have been, be sober, honest, and truthful. Fear God above all things, keep his commandments, and, though you have no earthly parent, he will be to you a heavenly one.”

The friendless little fellow looked up into the old man’s benevolent face with an expression of surprise and sadness,—surprise at the winning kindness of his manner, as if he had seldom met with it from others, and sadness, as if the soft voices of parental love had been recalled to his yet living memory. Then, thanking him with great warmth, he bid the company good bye, and, with his basket under his arm, continued his tiresome journey over the muddy highway to the next farm-house.

“There!” said the old man, addressing Tony, “did you hear what he said? ‘Father and mother both dead, and I had to help myself!’ Why, it is yourself over again. Take a lesson from the story of that boy, Tony!”

Author of “Ten Acres Enough.”

Part II.


The house to which the aged negress bore the wounded boy was a square, antiquated mansion, originally something in the fashion of the old farm-houses of New England. The hand of improvement, however, had been busy with it, until it had assumed the appearance of a country clown, who, above his own coarse brogans and homespun trousers, is wearing the stove-pipe hat, fancy waistcoat, and “long-tail blue” of some city gentleman. For a house, it had the oddest-looking face you ever saw. Its nose was a porch as ugly and prominent as the beak of President Tyler; and its eyes were wide, sleepy windows, which seemed to leer at you in a half-comic, half-wicked way. One of its ears was a round protuberance, something like the pole “sugar-loaves” the Indians live in; the other, a square box resembling the sentry-houses in which watchmen hive of stormy nights. Just above its nose, a narrow strip of weather-boarding answered for a forehead; and right over this, a huge pigeon-coop rose up in the air like the top-knot worn in pictures by that “old public functionary,” Mr. Buchanan. The rim of its hat was a huge beam, apparently the keel of some ship gone to roost, and its crown was a cupola, half carried away by a cannon-shot, and looking for all the world like a dilapidated beaver, which had been pelted by the storms of a dozen hard winters. The whole of its roof, in fact, looked like the hull of a vessel stove in amidships, and turned bottom upwards; and, with its truncated gables, reminded one of those down-east craft, which an old sea-captain used to tell me, when I was a boy, were built by the mile, and sawed off at the ends so as to suit any market.

But, notwithstanding these odd features, the old house had a most cosey and comfortable air about it. Before its door great trees were growing, and Virginia creepers and honeysuckles were clambering over its brown walls and wide windows, filling the yard with fragrance, and hiding with their blooming beauty at least one half of its grotesque ugliness.

Pausing to rest awhile on its door-step, old Katy entered its broad hall, and bore James into the “sugar-loaf” projection of which I have spoken. It was a little alcove built off from the library, and furnished with a few chairs, a wash-stand, and a low bed covered with a patch-work counterpane. On this bed the old woman laid the wounded boy; and then, sinking into a chair, and wiping the perspiration from her face, she said to him, “You’s little, honey, but you’s heaby,—right heaby fur sich a ole ’ooman ter tote as I is.”

“I know I am, Aunty,” said the little boy, to whom the long walk had brought great pain, and who now began to feel deathly sick and faint. “You might as well have let me die there.”

“Die, honey!” cried the old negress, springing to her feet as nimbly as if she had been a young girl; “you hain’t a gwine ter die,—ole Katy woan’t leff you do dat, nohow.”

James looked at her with a weary, but grateful look, while, undoing his jacket and waistcoat, she wet his shirt with a dampened cloth, and tried to remove it from his wound. The long walk—old Katy’s gait was a swaying movement, nearly as rough as a horse’s trot—had set the wound to bleeding again, so the shirt came away without any trouble, and then she saw the deep, wide gash in the little boy’s side. The bayonet had entered his body at the outer edge of the ribs, just above the hip, and, going clear through, had come out at his back, making a ghastly wound. It seemed all but impossible to keep the precious life from oozing away through such a frightful rent; but, covering it hastily with the cloth, the old woman said to James in a cheerful way: “Taint nuffin’, honey,—nuffin’ ter hurt. Ole Katy’s seed a heap ob wuss ones nur dat; and dey’s gwine ’bout, as well as eber dey was. You’ll be ober it right soon. But you muss keep quiet, honey, and not grebe nor worry after you mudder, nur nuffin’; fur ef you does, de feber mought git in dar, and ef dat ar fire onct got tur burnin’ right smart, dar’s no tellin’ but it might burn you right up, spite ob all de water in de worle.”

The pain of his wound did not prevent the little fellow from smiling at the idea of his being put out like a house on fire; but he made no reply, and the old negress, gently drawing off his pantaloons and shoes, said again, in a cheerful tone: “Now, honey, you muss keep bery quiet, while Aunty gwoes fur de ice. We’se plenty ob dat ’bout de house. She’ll bind it on ter de hurt, till it’m so cold you’ll tink you ’m layin’ out on de frosty ground right in the middle ob winter.”

She went away, but soon returned with the ice. Binding it about his wound, she brushed the long hair from the little boy’s face; and then, bending down, kissed his forehead.

“You won’t mind a pore ole brack ’ooman doin’ dat, honey. She can’t holp it; case you looks jest like her own little Robby, dat’s loss and gone,—loss and gone. Only he ’m a little more tanned nur you am,—a little more tanned,—dat’s all.”

“And you had a little boy!” said James, opening his eyes, and looking up pleasantly at the old woman; “I hope he isn’t dead.”

“No, he haint dead, honey,—not dead; but he ’m loss and gone now,—loss and gone from ole Katy—foreber. Oh! oh!” and the poor woman swayed her body back and forth on her chair, and moaned piteously.

“I’m sorry,—very sorry, Aunty,” said James, raising his hand to brush away his tears. “One so good as you ought not to have any trouble.”

“But I haint good, honey; and you mussn’t be sorry,—you mussn’t be nuffin’, only quiet, and gwo ter sleep. Ole Katy woan’t talk no more.” In a moment, however, she added: “Hab you a mudder, honey?”

“Yes, Aunty, and I’m all she has in the world.”

“And hab she eber teached you ter pray?”

“Yes. I pray every morning and night. You came to me because I prayed.”

“I done dat, honey! De good Lord send me case you ax him, you may be shore. And, maybe, ef we ax him now, he’ll make you well. I knows young massa say taint no use ter pray,—dat de Lord neber change, and do all his business arter fix’ laws; but I reckon one o’ dem laws am dat we muss pray. I s’pose it clars away de tick clouds dat am ’tween us and de angels, so dey kin see whar we am, and what we wants, and come close down and holp us. And, honey, we’ll pray now, and maybe de good Lord will send de angels, and make you well.”

Kneeling on the floor by the side of the bed, she then prayed to Him who is her Father and our Father,—her God and our God. It was a low, simple, humble prayer, but it reached the ear of Heaven, and brought the angels down.

It was eight days before James could sit up, and day and night, during all of that time, Old Katy watched by him. Every few hours she changed the bandage, and bound fresh ice upon his wound; and that was all she did,—but it saved his life. The only danger was from inflammation,—the ice and a low diet kept that down, and his young and vigorous constitution did the rest. At the end of a fortnight, leaning on the arm of the old negress, he walked out into the garden and sat down in a little arbor, in full view of the recent battle-ground. It was a clear, mild morning in May, but a dark cloud overhung the little hill, as though the smoke of the great conflict had not yet cleared away, but, with all its tale of blood and horror, was still going up to heaven. And what a tale it was! Brothers butchered by brothers, fathers slaughtered by sons, and all to further the bad ambition of a few wicked men,—so few that one might count them on the fingers of his two hands!

“And what became of the wounded after the battle, Aunty?” asked the little boy, as the sight of the grassy field, trodden down by many feet, and still reddened, here and there, with the blood of the slain, brought the awful scene all freshly to his mind. “You haven’t told me that.” (She had forbidden him to talk, for she knew that his recovery depended almost entirely on his being kept free from excitement.)

“The dead ones war buried, and the wounded war toted off by de gray-backs, honey, de evenin’ and mornin’ arter I brung you away from dar. De Secesh had de field, ye sees, at lass; and dey tuck all de Nordern folks as was leff, pris’ners.”

“And what became of the poor soldier who wanted water for his son? Do you know, Aunty?”

“When I wus a gwine on de hill, arter you go asleep in de house, I seed dat pore man a wrappin’ up de little boy, and totin’ him off ter de woods. I ax him whar he wus gwine, and he look at me wid a strange, wild look, and say nuffin’, only, ‘Home—home.’ He look so bery wild, and so fierce loike, dat I reckon he wus crazed,—clean gone. De lass I seed o’ him, he wus gwine stret ter you kentry,—right up Norf,—wid de little chile in him arms.”

“Poor man!” cried the boy. “How many have fared worse than I have!”

“A heap, honey. I knows a heap o’ big folks wuss off nur ole Katy.”

“And you say that, Aunty,—you, who are a slave, and have lost your——” He checked himself, for he saw a look of pain passing across the face of the old negress. It was gone in a moment, and then, in a low, chanting tone,—broken and wild at times, but touching and sad, as the strange music of the far-off land she came from,—she told him something of what her life had been.

Her little Robby,—her last one,—she said, had been taken away to the hot fields, where the serpents sting, and the fevers breed, and the black man goes to die. All were gone,—all her children,—stolen, sold away, before they knew the Lord, or the good from the evil. Sold! because her master owed gambling debts, and her mistress loved the diamond things that adorn the hair and deck the fingers! But one she begged,—the mother of the boy,—and she grew up pure as the snow before it leaves the cloud. Pure as the snow, but “young massa” came, and the snow fell—down—down to the ground—soiled like the snow we tread on. She tired him then; and he sold her to be a trader’s thing. But the boy was left,—“young massa’s” child,—the boy he promised her forever. She brought him up, taught him to read, and set the whole world by him. Then the troubles came,—the dark hour before the morning. She felt them in the air, and knew why all the storm was brewing. It broke her heart, but she sent him away to the Union lines, to grow up there a freeman. The Northern general drove him back, and then—“young massa” sold him to work and starve and faint and die among the swamps of Georgia. And now—they all were gone! All were lost,—but the Lord was left. He had heard her cry,—was coming now, with vengeance in his great right hand, to lift the lowly from the earth, and bring the mighty down.

Her last words were spoken with an energy that startled James. In his cold Northern home he had learned little of the warm Southern race, in whose veins a fire is slumbering that, if justice be not done them, will yet again set this nation ablaze.

The plantation, and old Katy too, belonged to Major Lucy, a great man in that part of Virginia, who, at its outbreak, had joined the wicked Rebellion which is bringing so much misery on our country. He was away with Lee’s army when Grant crossed the Rapidan, but he no sooner heard of that event than he repaired to his home, and removed his slaves and more valuable property to the far South. Old Katy he left behind, partly because she refused to go, and partly because he thought she might somewhat protect his house from the Northern soldiers, who, he supposed, would soon be in that region. For this reason the old negress was alone in the great mansion, and to this fact James owed his preservation; for, though her white owners might have given him hospitable care, they would not have afforded him the devoted attention which she had, and that it was which saved his life.

While he was so very sick she had slept in his little room, but now that he was out of all danger, and rapidly recovering, she made her bed in the large library leading from it, leaving, however, the door ajar at night, so she could at once hear the lightest sound. Every evening she took the great Bible from a shelf in this library, and read to him, generally from the Psalms, or Isaiah,—that poem grander than the Iliad, or any which poet yet has written. One night, about a fortnight after they were first together in the garden, she read the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of that book, and then said to him: “Moab, honey, am dis Southern land, dat am ‘laid waste, and brought ter silence,’ case it hab ‘oppressed His people and turned away from His testimonies.’ But de Lord say yere dat widin’ three yars it shill be brought low, and its glory be contemned; and de remnant shill be bery small and feeble; but den dey shill take counsel, execute judgment, and let de outcasts dwell widin’ dem.”

“I hope it won’t be three years, Aunty,” said James. “That’s an awful long while to wait.”

“It ’pears long ter you, honey, but ole Katy hab waited a’most all har life,—eber sence she come ober in de slave-ship; and now all she ask ob de Lord am ter leff her see dat day. And she know he will! ’case he hab took har eberyting else,—eberyting,—eben har little Robby.”

“No! He hain’t, Granny! Robby’s yere, jest so good as new.”

Engaged as they had been in conversation, the old woman and the little boy had not observed a comely lad, a trifle taller than James, in a torn hat and tattered trousers, who a moment before had entered the room. As he spoke, old Katy sprang to her feet, let the Bible fall to the floor, and, with a wild cry, threw her arms about him.

Edmund Kirke.


Nearly the whole school were sitting on the grass on the shady side of the rock, waiting for the school-house door to be unlocked, when Martha Ballston came running up from Rene’s with her sun-bonnet in her hand, her hair all flying, and only just breath enough left to cry out, “O, I can tell you what,—teacher’s beau’s come!”

“Teacher’s beau’s come!” mimicked Martial Mayland. “Did you come rushing in here like a steam fire-engine just to tell that?”

“Now,” thrust in Nathan, “I expected at least that Richmond was taken, and peace come, and Jeff Davis drinking hemlock like anything!”

“But does she have a beau?” inquired Cicely, to whom a beau seemed a far more solemn and august thing than to the boys.

“Yes, she’s coming down the hill with a spick-span clean dress, and a bran-new cape, and her best bonnet on, and the most elegantest parasol ever you saw, with fringe all round it, and a bow on top!”

“O, I know,” said Olive; “Aunt Jane’s going to have company this afternoon, and teacher’s going.”

“No,” replied Martha. “She’s going to the panorama, ’n’ he’s going to carry her—in Mr. Court’s chaise.”

“Perhaps it’s her brother,” suggested Cicely, who could not quite familiarize herself with the momentous fact of a “beau.”

“No,” persisted Martha, “it’s her beau; for Trip was in there, and says she seen him give her a whole handful of peppermints, didn’t he, Trip?”

“Yes, he did,” said little Trip decidedly, which seemed to settle the question; for the little people of Applethorpe could not conceive that one could ever voluntarily surrender anything so valuable as peppermints to one less important than a “girl.” “Girl” is the feminine for “beau” in Applethorpe.

Now I dare say that Miss Stanley enjoyed her “beau’s” visit, and her drive with him, and her panorama, very much, but I wonder if she ever knew that, after all, her little pupils had the best of it. For school was dismissed at two o’clock, and what then? “Why, of course,” said Olive, who was always coming to the surface, “we must go and do something. We don’t want to act just as if it was recess, or school was out, like always.”

“There’s blackberries down in the pasture,” spoke up Gerty; “we might go a blackberrying.”

“Yes,” said Nathan, “I know, sixteen vines and three blackberries to fill a dozen dinner-pails.”

“O,” cried Martha, with a sudden leap, “I do know. On the knoll over towards the factory they are as thick as spatters. The ground’s black.”

“But you can’t get across the meadow,” said Garnet.

“Yes you can. You can go through Grandsir’s cow-yard, and through ten-acres, and go up the lane, and then get over the bars, and then you’re right on the knoll, and no meadow to get over.”

“I’d like to see us all going through Grandsir Beck’s cow-yard!” cried Nathan.

Now you must know—I am sorry to be obliged to say it, but it is true—that Grandsir Beck was a very cross and disagreeable old man. I suppose the trouble was, that he had been a cross and disagreeable young man, and as he grew older he grew worse. To excuse him, we will suppose he had had a great many troubles of which the children knew nothing; and some few troubles he had, such as naughty boys under his apple and cherry trees, which I am afraid some of the children did know something about. Still, that was no reason why he should flourish his cane and growl so gruffly at quiet, innocent little girls, who not only never thought of entering his orchard, but were almost afraid even to go by his house. At least, if I ever live to be an old man, and am as cross and disagreeable as Grandsir Beck, I give you full leave to dislike me as heartily as the Applethorpe children did him, and I will not blame you for it at all.

But Martha assured them that Grandsir Beck had gone to market that day, and didn’t get home till four o’clock, no, never! So, after some deliberation, and some hesitation on the part of the little girls, and with much tremor in their hearts, the whole troop started. The boys let down the cow-yard bars on one side, and the girls flew through with visions of the dreadful cane whirling in air, and the dreadful voice shouting threats behind them, though both were a dozen miles away at the market town. But they could not wait to take down the bars that led into “ten-acres”; they scrambled through, they crept under, they climbed over, and did not for one moment feel safe till they had passed “ten-acres,” and were in the lane, beyond sight of Grandsir Beck’s house. Then they took time to pant and laugh, and every one declare that he ran because the others did, but wasn’t scared himself the least bit. O no!

Martha had hardly belied the blackberries. Olive declared they were even thicker than spatters,—though how thick spatters are I never could exactly find out,—and “O how fat they are!” cried Cicely, “and seem to wink up at you under the leaves.”

“Why, I don’t see one,” cried Trip, picking her way daintily and disconsolately among the vines.

“Course you don’t,” answered Olive; “she just tiptoes round, expecting the blackberries to say, ‘Hullo!’ Why don’t you dig down under the leaves and find ’em?”

“Come up here under the wall, Trip,” called Nathan; “they’re always better where it’s dark.”

Trip clambered up, for Nathan and she were fine friends. In fact, Trip was generally fine friends with everybody, and never had any suspicion that people might not like her.

“What you stopping for, Trip?” called Nathan, as she halted midway.

“Why, I’ve teared a piece of skin most off my new shoe,—but I don’t care, I can stick it on. O Nathan! you’ve got your pail covered,” and she crouched down by his side admiringly and confidingly.

“And you,—how many have you!” She tilted her pail so that he could see one red, one green, and one withered on one side,—a sorry show.

“You’ve been eating! Let’s see your tongue!” But the little red tongue was innocent of stain.

“Never mind,” said he comfortingly; “you come here. There, hold back the vines so,—keep your foot on them. I’ll find another place, and don’t you say a word,—when my pail’s full, I’ll turn to and fill yours. You keep still.”

And so they plucked and chatted, the sunshine burning into their young blood, and the blackberries reddening them even more than the sun; busy tongues, busy fingers, aprons sadly torn and stained,—but what matter, since the tin-pails were every moment weighing down more heavily. Even little Trip, by vigorous electioneering, pitiful complaints of poverty, and broad hints concerning generosity, had coaxed handfuls enough out of other pails to half fill her own, and “She’s done beautifully,” declared Olive; “she hasn’t tumbled down and spilt ’em all more’n forty times!”

“O now, I haven’t tumbled forty—” began Trip in indignant protest; but, “Eh! Eh! U-g-h! you young rogues! I’ll set the dogs on ye! U-g-h! I’ll cane ye! U-g-h! Eh! I’ll have your hides off, and make whip-stocks of ’em! Eh!”

O fright and terror! It was Grandsir Beck, there, coming over the hill, not a dozen rods off, shaking his cane and roaring dire threats with that dreadful, gruff voice. Then you may be sure there was a scampering. Blackberries were forgotten, and the whole meadow seemed full of Grandsir Becks. Olive, who for want of a pail, had been filling her sun-bonnet, skipped it along by one string as if there had been nothing in it. Cicely, besides filling her pail, had gathered up her apron for further deposits, and kept brave hold of one corner, but in her fright did not notice that the other was loose, and that all the berries had rolled out. Trip’s older sister, Gerty, seized her by the hand, and of course dragged her to the ground the first minute. Trip, unable to use her feet and fancying herself already in the grip of Grandsir Beck, gave herself up to despair, stood stock-still, and expressed her feelings in one long, steady scream, without any ups or downs in it. The boys heard her, and rushed back. “Get along with you, Gerty, quick!” and Nathan and Martial took Trip by the hand and ran. The poor child, recovering courage, went through all the motions of running; but, in their strong clutch, her little toes hardly touched the ground. Over the knoll, through the wet meadow, across the brook, helter-skelter, they poured, reached the walls singly and in groups, clambered over pell-mell, and fled along the highway. Aleck was the last out, an overgrown, ill-taught boy, capable of doing well or ill, according to the company he was in. He came rolling leisurely along, out of breath, holding his sides, dragging his feet behind him, calling on the others to stop, and threw himself on the ground when he came up with them, laughing immoderately. His mirth reassured them. “O, it’s too good! too good!” he gasped.

“What is it? What is it? O, where is he?” cried a dozen voices.

“Going to Chiney, last I see of him.”

“Has he stopped? Is he coming?” moaned little Trip.

“Give a fellow time to breathe, can’t you! Stopped! I guess he is pretty thoroughly. Look-a-here. Don’t you know the ditch down there where the flags are? Well, I run that way and he after me, and I gave a flying leap, and over went I, and, don’t you think, he after me, and dumped right down into the ditch! Oh! oh!”

“But Aleck!” cried Cicely, “didn’t it hurt him?”

“No, soft as a feather-bed. But you see he can’t get out!”

“Why, you haven’t left him there? He isn’t there now!”

“No, he was sinkin’ fast. Got to Chiney by this time. You see he called to me to help him out, and I went back, and I asked him if he wouldn’t hit me if I’d help him out, and he promised no, and I tugged him, and yanked him, and got him half out, and I went to give him his cane, and, I tell you, he glared at me so, I let him drop and run. He’d a hit me over the head, sir, the next minute, promise or no promise.” And Aleck’s own eyes flashed with the remembrance.

“Boys,” said Nathan, after a pause, “we must go and get him out.”

“I wouldn’t stir a step!” cried Olive. “He’s an old curmudgeon! I wouldn’t stir a step! I’d let him stick in the mud! It’s all he’s good for!”

“O no!” said Gerty, “he’ll die there and then we shall all be hung!” whereat Trip began to cry vociferously, and at crying Trip had few superiors.

“And if you get him out, he’ll kill us,” argued Olive. “We might just as well be hung as knocked over the head and beat our brains out!” Olive’s opinions were often expressed with more vigor than elegance or even coherence.

“Perhaps if we’re real good, and tell him we didn’t mean any harm, he won’t hurt us,” said Cicely, quaking from head to foot. “Let’s all go. Perhaps we oughtn’t to call him so, because he’s an old man. I’m sure we ought to be civil. Let’s all go together.”

“No,” said Martial; “you all stay here, and Nat and Garnet and I will go.”

“Good by, then,” cried Aleck laughing; “give us a lock of your hair to send home to your mother.”

When they came in sight again, sure enough, there was poor Grandsir Beck still struggling in the ditch, and calling to a neighbor, who was passing over a field at some distance, to come and help him. “Mr. Manasseh Hendor! Mr. Manasseh Hendor!” But Mr. Manasseh Hendor was as deaf as Grandsir Beck was lame, and he never turned aside for a moment. The boys were soon at the ditch. “We’ve come to help you out, sir,” said Nathan respectfully.

“You have, have you? Been long enough about it.”

“We didn’t know you had fallen till Aleck told us.”

“No matter what you know or what you don’t know. Here, take hold here. Hold on now! steady there!” and with much lifting and pulling, Grandsir Beck stood on dry land again. Garnet picked up his cane and offered it to him at arm’s length, but he made no attempt to strike. “Now tell me what business you had here, you scamps, in my meadow.”

“We came blackberrying, sir; we thought we might go anywhere blackberrying.”

“Blackberrying! Blackberrying, well, I should think I’d been a blackbury-ing too,” and he looked down upon his clean market-clothes, half covered with the black ditch-mud. Whether it was that his unwonted wit gave him an unwonted gleam of good humor, or whether the respectful manner of the boys pleased him, I do not know, but he only said, “Well, go along with you, and don’t let me catch you on my grounds again!” which was a wonderful piece of clemency on the part of Grandsir Beck.

So the three boys went back to their companions, who were rather surprised to see them alive, and indeed they were rather surprised at it themselves; and then they sat down under the locusts and had a royal feast off the few blackberries that had not hopped out of the pails in their headlong flight. Just then Miss Stanley, smiling and happy, drove by with a gentleman at her side, smiling and happy too; and she smiled and nodded at the little group, and pointed them out to the gentleman, but he saw nothing only a parcel of sun-burnt country children, with torn frocks, flying hair, smeared faces, not all together worth a tenth part as much as the one trim little woman by his side.

Gail Hamilton.


    Mother said,—In foreign tower,

    Gravely struck by every hour,

Hangs the biggest of the bells, seldom swung;

    But before the hour has sped,

    Sweet and cheery overhead

Are the quarters on a silvery gamut rung.


    Free and careless is the peal;

    Naught they ponder, naught they feel,

As they launch their light sopranos on the air:

    Little silent gaps of time

    Ever bridging with their rhyme,

To and from the deeper note below of care.


    Father’s voice is grave with years,

    Tempered, too, with smiles and tears;

Open weather mixed and toned the metal well:

    All the fortunes of the day,

    Even habit, sober way,

Thus his voice divides the household where we dwell.


    Far above his solemn heart,

    Beating slowly and apart,

From our lighter hearts caresses ever go;

    Thus to mark his grave employ

    With the quarters of our joy,

Chording also with the note so far below.


    For each silver, slender voice,

    Pitched so well beyond our choice,

From a lighter, warmer, clearer region rings;

    Through the father’s roof it sifts,

    And lets in the upper gifts,—

Golden sun and holy stars to him it brings.


    We are chiming in and out

    All the years that come to flout

With their sullen changing weather his deep heart;

    Gayly ring his quarters clear,

    Fill with silver tunes his year,—

Such in every house the happy children’s part.

John Weiss.


Those of our “Young Folks” who read around the Christmas fires what I wrote about the little prisoner boy, may wonder why I have left him, for two long months, wounded in the Wilderness. It has been greatly against my inclination, for I love him quite as much as old Katy does; but the fact is, I have been in prison myself, and have been unable to do as I would by the poor little boy who was so long in the Libby. However, I have thought you might forgive me for this neglect, and for keeping you all this while in suspense about him, if I should now tell you the rest of his story, and all about the famous prison which I got into.

Most people consider it a great disgrace to get into prison, and think, too, that all prisons are very bad places; but that is not so. Some of the best men that ever lived have passed years in dungeons; and the prison I have been in is one of the most comfortable places in the world,—a great deal more comfortable than the houses that one half of its inmates have been accustomed to living in. So, one cold morning, not a great while ago, with my eyes wide open, and knowing very well what I was about, I walked into it.

All of you have heard of this famous prison, for it is talked about all over the world. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, about three miles from the city of Chicago, and is very large,—a good deal larger than a small farm,—with more inhabitants in it than any two of the biggest villages in the country. It is enclosed by a close board fence, and covered with just such a roof as Boston Common. The fence is so high that you can’t see the whole of the prison at once, unless you go up in a balloon, or climb to the top of the tall observatory which some enterprising Yankee has erected on the street opposite the front gateway. But it would cost more than you paid for this number of the “Young Folks” to enter that observatory, and you might break your necks if you should go up in a balloon; so there has been engraved for you a bird’s-eye view of the whole camp, and, if you choose, you may see it all for nothing, while seated in your own cosey homes, with your heads on your shoulders, and your heels on the fire-fender.

If you look at the lower left-hand corner of this picture you will see an engine and a train of cars, and below them a vacant spot resembling water. That water is a few bucketfuls of the great lake on whose shore Chicago stands. Rising up from it in a gentle slope are fenced fields and pleasant gardens, dotted here and there with trees and houses, and beyond them—a mere white line in the picture—is the public road which runs in front of the Camp. Midway along this road, and right where the row of trees begins, is the principal gateway of the prison. It looks like the entrance to some old castle, being broader and higher than a barn-door, and having half a dozen soldiers, with loaded muskets and fixed bayonets, pacing to and fro before it.

If you are not afraid of these soldiers,—and you need not be, for you are loyal boys, and they all wear Uncle Samuel’s livery,—we will speak to one of them.

“There is pos-i-tive-ly no admittance, sir,” he says, turning to walk away.

I know that very well, so I take a little note from my pocket, and ask him to be good enough to send it to the Commandant. He eyes the note for a moment, and then looks at us, very much as if we owed him a quarter’s rent. You see he needs to be vigilant, for we might have a contraband mail, or a dozen infernal machines in our pockets; but, touching his cap, he disappears through the gateway. However, he soon returns, and, again touching his cap, says: “Gentlemen,”—(he means you and me, and as we have come so far together, you must go with me all through the prison,)—“the Colonel will be happy to see you.”

We follow him through the gate-house, where a score of soldiers are lounging about, and into a broad, open yard, paved with loose sand; and then enter a two-story wooden building, flanked by long rows of low-roofed cabins, and overshadowed by a tall flag-staff. In the first room that we enter, half a dozen officers are writing at as many desks; and in the next, a tall, fine-looking man in a colonel’s uniform is pacing the floor, and rapidly dictating to a secretary who sits in the corner. He stops when he perceives us, and extends his hand in so friendly and cordial a way that we take a liking to him at once. But when he asks us to sit down, and begins to talk, we take a stronger liking to him than before, and wonder if this quiet, unassuming gentleman, with this pleasant smile, and open, frank, kindly face, can be the famous Colonel Sweet, whose wonderful sagacity ferreted out the deepest-laid conspiracy that ever was planned, and whose sleepless vigilance saved Chicago and one half of the West from being wrapped in flames. Before I came away he gave me his photograph; and, as I know you would like to have his picture “to keep,” I here give it to you.

Not wanting to encroach too long on his valuable time, we briefly explain our business, and, seating himself at his table, he writes, in a straight up and down hand—for his fingers are stiffened by a wound in his arm—the following pass: “Permit —— —— to enter and leave the camp, and to inspect the prison, and converse with the prisoners, at his pleasure.”

With this pass in our hand we are about to leave the room, when the Colonel taps a bell, and an officer enters, whom he introduces to us, and directs him to escort us about the camp. Thus doubly provided, we emerge from head-quarters, and enter a large enclosure where more than a thousand men are under review. The old flag is flying from a tall staff at one end of this enclosure, and at the other end, and on both of its sides, are long rows of soldiers’ barracks.

However, we have seen reviews and barracks before, so we will not linger here, but follow our escort, Lieutenant Briggs, into the adjoining yard.

Here are the hospitals, those two-story wooden buildings, nicely battened and whitewashed, which you see in the picture. In each story of these buildings is a long, high-studded apartment, with plastered walls, clean floors, and broad, cheerful windows, through which floods of pure air and sunshine pour in upon the dejected, homesick prisoners. These rooms are the homes of the sick men, and here they linger all through the long days, and the still longer nights, tied down to narrow cots by stronger cords than any that ever were woven by man. About five hundred are always here, and four or five of them are borne out daily to the little burial-ground just outside the walls.[1] This may appear sad; but if you reflect that there are constantly from eight to nine thousand prisoners in the camp, four or five will seem a very small number to die every day among so many idle, homesick, broken-spirited men. More people die of idleness, low spirits, and homesickness than of all the diseases and all the doctors in the world; so, my Young Folks, keep busy, keep cheerful, and never give way to homesickness if you can help it, and then you possibly may outlive Old Parr himself; and he, some folks say, would never have died at all, if he had not, in his old age, foolishly taken to tobacco and bad whiskey.

After passing an hour in the hospitals, we go into the bakery, a detached building in the same enclosure. Here a dozen prisoners, bred to the “profession,” are baking bread, and preparing other food for the invalids. The baking is done in immense ovens, and the dough is kneaded in troughs which are two feet wide, three feet deep, and forty feet long! From this building, where food is prepared to support life, we go into another, where nostrums are mixed that destroy it. Here are drugs enough to kill every man in the camp. They are dispensed by a Confederate surgeon, who was an apothecary at home. He complains that his business is alarmingly dull, and, from the way it is falling off, fears that the world is growing wiser,—so wise that, when the war is over, his occupation may be gone. It seems a sad prospect to him, but we console ourselves with the thought that what may be his loss will be other people’s gain.

From the drug store we pass to the rear of the open yard which you see in the picture, and pause before the little low building on the right. This is the quarters of Captain Wells Sponable, the inspector of the prison; and over against it is a gateway, which opens into the large enclosure where the prisoners are confined. Lieutenant Briggs raps at the door of this little building, and in a moment a tall, compactly-built man, with broad, open features, and hair enough on his face to stuff a moderate-sized mattress, makes his appearance. He glances at the pass which I present to him, and then says, in a rapid way, jerking out his words as if his jaws were moved by a crank,—“I’m glad to see you. Come in. I’ll go with you myself.”

We go into his quarters, and after half an hour’s pleasant conversation,—in which we find out that the Captain, though blunt and outspoken, is one of the most agreeable, whole-souled men in the world,—we follow him and the Lieutenant into the prison-yard. Here is the Captain’s picture, and I want you to take a good look at it, for I am sure you will like him when I have told you more about him.

The prison-yard is an enclosure of about twenty acres, surrounded by a board fence fourteen feet high, and guarded by thirty sentinels, who are posted on a raised platform just outside the fence, and pace the rounds at all hours of the day and night. Their beats are only a hundred and twenty feet apart, and on dark nights the camp is illuminated by immense reflecting-lamps, placed on the walls and at the ends of the streets, so that it is next to impossible for anything to occur within it, at any time, without the knowledge of the guards. Inside the enclosure, and thirty feet from the fence, is a low railing entirely surrounding the camp. This is the dead line. Whoso goes beyond this railing, at any hour of the day or night, is liable to be shot down without warning. In making our rounds the Captain occasionally stepped over it, but I never followed him without instinctively looking up to see if the sentry’s musket was not pointed at me. Half a dozen poor fellows have been shot while crossing this rail on a desperate run for the fence and freedom.

A part of the prison yard, as you will see in the picture, is an open space;—and there the men gather in squads, play at games, or hold “political meetings”; but the larger portion is divided into streets, and occupied by barracks. The streets are fifty feet wide, and extend nearly the whole length and breadth of the enclosure. They are rounded up in the middle, and have deep gutters at the sides, so that in wet weather the rain flows off, and leaves them almost as dry as a house floor. The barracks are one-story wooden buildings, ninety feet long and twenty-four feet wide, and stand on posts four feet from the ground. They are elevated in this manner to prevent the prisoners tunnelling their way out of camp, as some of Morgan’s men did while Colonel DeLand had charge of the prison. Here is a view of one of the streets, taken from a drawing made by a young prisoner,—Samuel B. Palmer, of Knoxville, Tennessee,—who, though scarcely yet a man, has been confined at Camp Douglas eighteen long months. All of the engravings which follow in this article are from drawings made by young Palmer; and when you look at the skill displayed in them, I know you will think with me, that a loyal young man, who has such talent, ought not to be forced to rust his life out in a prison.

Each barrack is divided into two rooms;—one a square apartment, where the prisoners do their cooking; the other a long hall, with three tiers of bunks on either side, where they do their sleeping. The larger rooms are furnished with benches and a stove, have several windows on each side, and ventilators on the roof, and are as comfortable places to stay in as one could expect in a prison. But the following engraving will give you a better idea of them than any description I could make.

The most perfect discipline prevails in the camp. Each day is distinctly “ordered,” and no one is allowed to depart from the rules. At sunrise the drum beats the reveille, and every man turns out from his bunk. In half an hour breakfast is ready, and in another hour the roll is called. Then the eight thousand or more prisoners step out from their barracks, and, forming in two lines in the middle of the street, wait until the officer of the day calls their names. Those who have the misfortune to be at the foot of the column may have to wait half an hour before they hear the welcome sound; and in cold or rainy weather this delay is not over-agreeable. With a feeling sense of its discomforts, our artist has represented such a scene in the sketch on the following page.

After roll-call the “details” go about their work, and the other men do as they like until twelve o’clock, when they are all summoned to dinner. The “details” are prisoners who have applied to take the oath of allegiance, and who are consequently trusted rather more than the others. They are employed in various ways, both inside and outside of the prison, but not outside of the camp. They are paid regularly for this work, and it affords them a small fund, with which they buy tobacco and other little luxuries that they have been accustomed to. Those who are not so fortunate as to have work supply themselves with these “indispensables” by selling offal, old bones, surplus food, and broken bottles to an old fellow who makes the rounds of the camp every few days with a waggon or a wheelbarrow. Here he is with his “Ammunition train.”

After dinner the “details” go again to work, and the loungers to play, though almost all of them find some work, if it is nothing more than whittling. They seem to have the true Anglo-Saxon horror of nothing to do, and therein show their relationship to us; for, say what we may, the great mass of Southerners are merely transplanted Yankees, differing from the original Jonathan only as they are warped by slavery or crushed by slave-holders. That number of Englishmen, hived within the limits of twenty acres, would take to grumbling, Germans to smoking, Irishmen to brawling, Frenchmen to swearing; but these eight thousand Southerners have taken to whittling, and that proves them Yankees,—and no amount of false education or political management can make them anything else. One has whittled a fiddle from a pine shingle; another, a clarinet from an ox-bone; a third, a meerschaum from a corn-cob; a fourth, a water-wheel—which, he says, will propel machinery without a waterfall—from half a dozen sticks of hickory; a fifth, with no previous practice, makes gold rings from brass, and jet from gutta percha; and, to crown all, a sixth has actually whittled a whistle—and a whistle that “blows”—out of a pig’s tail!

But they show the trading as well as the inventive genius of Yankees. One has swapped coats until he has got clear through his elbows; another, pantaloons, until they scarcely come below his knees; another, hats, until he has only part of a rim, and the “smallest showing” of a crown,—and yet every time, as he says, he has had the best of the trade; and another regularly buys out the old apple-woman, and peddles her stock about the camp at the rate of a dollar “a grab,” payable in greenbacks.

With such unmistakable manifestations of national character, no one can doubt that these people are Yankees, and Yankees too who, with free schools and free institutions, would be the “smartest” and “ ’cutest” people in the world.

At sunset the drums beat the “retreat,” and all the prisoners gather to their quarters, from which they do not again emerge until the reveille is sounded in the morning. Then the candles are lighted, and each barrack presents a scene worthy of a painter. Look into any of them after nightfall, and you will see at least seventy motley-clad, rollicking, but good-natured “natives,” engaged in all imaginable kinds of employment. Some are writing, some reading newspapers or musty romances, some playing at euchre, seven-up, or rouge-et-noir; but more are squatted on the floor, or leaning against the bunks, listening to the company “oracle,” who, nursing his coattails before the stove, is relating “moving accidents by flood and field,” fighting his battles over again, or knocking “the rotten Union into ever-lastin’ smash.” One of the most notable of these “oracles” is “your feller-citizen, Jim Hurdle, sir.”

Jim is a “character,” and a “genius” of the first order. His coat is decidedly seedy, his hat much the worse for wear, and his trousers so out at the joints that he might be suspected of having spent his whole life on his knees; but he is a “born gentleman,” above work, and too proud “to be beholden to a kentry he has fit agin.” He knows a little of everything under the sun, and has a tongue that can outrun any steam-engine in the universe. The stories he tells never were beaten. They are “powerful” stories,—so powerful that, if you don’t keep firm hold of your chairs, they may take you right off your feet. Once, he says, he shot eighteen hundred squirrels in a day, with a single-barrelled shot-gun. At another time he met a panther in the woods, and held him at bay for nearly six hours by merely looking at him. Again, when he was crossing a brook on horseback, the bridge was carried away by a freshet, and floated two miles down the stream, where it lodged in the top of a tree. As nothing could be done, he dismounted, and quietly went to sleep on the bridge until the morning. In the morning the “run” had subsided, but the horse and the bridge were still perched in the top of the tree. “I tried to coax the critter to git down,” as the tale runs; “but he wouldn’t budge; so I piked for home, for I know’d oats ’ud bring him. And shore ’nuff they did. The hoss hadn’t more ’n smelled of the peck-measure I tuck to him, ’fore down he come, quicker ’n lightnin’ ever shot from a thunder-cloud.”

“But how did the horse get down?”

“How! Why, hind eend afore, like any other hoss; and, stranger, that ar hoss was ’bout the laziest critter ye ever know’d on. He was so lazy that I had to hire another hoss to holp him dror his last breath.”

Jim’s stories lack the very important element of truth, and in that respect are not unlike some other stories you may have read; but they do illustrate two prominent characteristics of all Southern people,—a propensity to brag, and a disposition to magnify everything.

Mr. Hurdle is guarded in expressing his political opinions, but one of his comrades assured me that he had lost all faith in the Confederacy. “The Confederacy, sir!” he is reported to have said, “ar busted,—gone all to smash. It ar rottener nur any egg that ever was sot on, and deader nur any door-nail that ever was driv.”

“But it bites a little yit, Jim,” said a comrade.

“Bites!” echoed Jim. “Of course it do. So will a turkle arter his head ar cut off. I know’d one o’ them critters onst that a old darky dercapertated. The next day he was ’musin’ hisself pokin’ sticks at him, and the turkle was biting at ’em like time. Then I says to the darky, ‘Pomp, I thought he war dead.’—‘Well, he am massa,’ says Pomp, ‘but the critter don’t know ’nuff to be sensible ob it.’ So, ye see, the Confederacy ar dead, but Jeff Davis and them sort o’ fellers don’t know enough to be sensible of it.”

But “Nine o’clock, and lights out!” sounds along the sentry-lines, and every candle is extinguished in a twinkling. The faintest glimmer after that hour will draw a leaden messenger that may snuff out some poor fellow’s light forever. Not a year ago a rebel sergeant, musing by the stove in the barrack we are in, heard that cry repeated. He looked up, and seeing nothing but darkness, went on musing again. The stove gave out a faint glow which shone through the window, and the sentinel, mistaking it for the light of a candle, fired, crushing the poor fellow’s arm at the elbow. A few nights later another stove gave out a faint glow, and another sentry sent a leaden messenger through the window, mortally wounding—the stove-pipe. Both sentinels were punished, but that did not save the sergeant’s arm, or mend the stove-pipe.

Edmund Kirke.

On November 19th, 1864, there were 8308 prisoners in Camp Douglas, 513 invalids in the hospital, and 4 deaths among the whole. On November 20th, there were 8295 prisoners, 508 in hospital, and 5 deaths. On November 21st, 8290 prisoners, 516 in hospital, and 4 deaths. Compare this mortality with that of our own men in the Confederate prisons! When only six thousand were at Belle Isle, eighty-five died every day; and when nine thousand—about the average number confined at Camp Douglas—were at Salisbury, Mr. Richardson reports that one hundred and thirty were daily thrown into a rude cart, and dumped, like decayed offal, into a huge hole outside the camp. The mortality at Andersonville and the other Rebel prisons has been as great as this, and even greater: but I have not the reports at hand, and cannot, therefore, give the statistics accurately. If our men were not deliberately starved and murdered, would such excessive mortality exist in the Rebel prisons?

All of the prisoners at Camp Douglas are well fed, well clothed, and well cared for in every way. Some Northern traitors say they are not, but they are. I was among them for three days, mixed freely with them, and lived on their rations, and I know whereof I affirm. No better food than theirs was ever tasted, and with the best intentions, I could not, for the life of me, eat more than three fourths of the quantity that is served out to the meanest prisoner. As I have said, there were on the 19th of November last 513 prisoners in the hospital. On that day there were issued to them (I copy from the official requisition, which is before me) 395 pounds of beef, 60 pounds of pork, 525 pounds of bread, 25 pounds of beans, 25 rations of rice, 14 pounds of coffee, 35 pounds of sugar, 250 rations of vinegar, 250 rations of soap, and 250 rations of salt. This was the daily allowance while I was there. In addition, there had been issued to this hospital, within the previous fifteen days, 250 pounds of butter, 66 pounds of soda crackers, 30 bushels of potatoes, 10 bushels of onions, 20 bushels of turnips, 10 bushels of dried apples, 3 dozen of squashes, 2 dozen of chickens, 250 dozen of eggs and 25 dozen of cabbages. Let any well man divide this quantity of provender by 500, and then see how long it will take him to eat it. If he succeeds in disposing of it in one day, let me advise him to keep the fact from his landlady, or the price of his board may rise.


There is a gentleman exhibiting on Broadway, New York, who styles himself “The Somatic Conjuror,” (for meaning of which see Webster,) and who professes to do by mere human means all that the Spiritualists do, and much more. As many of my readers, however, may not have the opportunity of attending his performances, I will explain to them a very neat trick in rope-tying, which the aforesaid Somatic Conjuror does, and, as “Our Young Folks” circulates all over the world, I have no doubt it will soon be the means of converting all creation into

Davenport Brothers.

Take a stout rope about twenty feet long and hand it to your audience for inspection. Whilst they are examining it, let a committee of gentlemen, that being the approved style of doing the thing, bind your wrists together with a handkerchief. This being done, have one end of the rope passed over the handkerchief, and let the cords then be held up by one of the company. Now request the person holding the ends to pull one way, whilst you pull the other, to show that the handkerchief is tightly tied. There is now, apparently, no way of getting the rope off, except the ends are released, or the handkerchief untied.

You soon explode this idea, however, for after making one or two rapid movements of your hands and arms, you throw the rope off and exhibit your wrists still tied.

Wonderful as this all seems, it is very simple, and requires but little practice. The accompanying illustration explains it clearly. The part of the rope marked “A,” is rolled between the wrists, until it works up through the handkerchief and forms a loop, through which you pass one hand, and then by giving the rope a smart jerk it will easily come off.

To return, however, to legitimate Magic, for the foregoing can hardly be classed under that head. The young magician may sometimes have occasion to make an article, especially a lemon, orange, or handkerchief, vanish from his hands. This of course can at any time be done by palming it, but as it is not well to perform a trick in the same manner on every occasion, lest your audience may notice a too frequent repetition of certain movements, and so detect you, I will describe other modes. We will suppose that, on the stage, a performer wants a lemon, for instance, to go out of his hands. This is the way he manages it. The lemon is laid on a table, the hands placed around it as if to take it up, but in fact to hide it whilst it goes through a trap in the table. The hands are now closed as though holding the lemon, and then, when the time comes, are opened and shown to be empty, special attention being called to your sleeves, so that your audience may see that there is nothing there. This method answers very well for a theatre, but as amateurs would not, as a general thing, care to saw a hole in their centre-table, or go to the expense of having one made for this special purpose, they will find the following to answer as well. Take a table that has a drawer in it, which you must remove. This will leave a shelf in the place where the drawer was. Turn the back of the table to the audience, and have a dark cloth laid over it. Get behind your table, lay the back of your left hand on it, toss the lemon in the air with your right, and as it falls catch it, throw it quickly on to the shelf of the table, and cover your left with your right hand. If it has been done quickly, and “if it were done, when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly,” the audience will suppose the lemon to be in your hands, from which of course you can make it vanish when you please. Another way, also, is to toss the lemon in the air two or three times, and at last pretend to toss it up, but retain your hold of it, at the same time looking up towards the ceiling. Your audience, who have become accustomed to see it go up, will not notice that you held it back, but will gaze at the ceiling, imagining that you have made it stick there. This hardly seems credible, but try it once, and you will find that it is so. Of course this is not a trick to be done by itself, but is useful in connection with some other.

The next trick which I will explain was a favorite one with Macallister, now some years dead, who called it

The Yarn Telegraph.

A coin is borrowed from one of the audience, with a request that the person who lends it will place some mark on it, so as to identify it. This is placed in a handkerchief, and then given to some one to hold. A ball of yarn is now produced and placed in a goblet, which another of the audience is requested to hold and cover with one hand, so that the yarn may be pulled through the fingers (see cut). One end of the ball is then handed to the person who holds the coin, the ball itself still remaining in the goblet. The performer now informs the audience that his telegraph is in working order, and that he proposes to send the coin, which is in the handkerchief, along the line into the very centre of the ball, and tells the person who holds the handkerchief, to let go the hold of it the moment he says “Three.” He takes hold of one end of the handkerchief, counts “One,—two,—three!”—jerks the handkerchief, and the coin is gone. He then proceeds to wind off the yarn, and when he reaches the inside end, the coin falls into the goblet, although he stands at some distance from it. Without approaching nearer, he begs the person who lent the money to take it out and say whether it was the one borrowed and which was marked, which in all cases it proves to be. A rather amusing incident occurred to me once when about to perform this trick. A little fellow, about six years old, was holding the coin, and, by way of diversion merely, I asked him whether he would not be surprised if I should pass the coin from the handkerchief into his pocket? “Yes, sir,” he answered. “Probably you think I cannot?” “I am sure you can’t.” “What makes you so sure, my little man?” “ ’Cause I ain’t got no pocket.” I was foiled; all my legerdemain availed me nothing now. I was beaten by a little tow-headed urchin, without the knowledge of the first principles of magic, and forced to join with my audience in the laugh against myself.

But to explain the trick. My pupils are by this time probably magicians enough to know that a second coin is sewed in the corner of the handkerchief, just as in the “Russian Ring Trick,” and that it is this one that the person holds. The preparation of the ball is then all that needs explanation. Take a piece of wood about two and a half inches long, one and a quarter inches wide, and an eighth of an inch thick, round off one end of it, and scrape it well with a bit of broken glass until it is perfectly smooth. On this stick you wind your ball, being careful to wind it in such a way that the rounded end of the stick is in the centre of the ball, whilst the other end projects. When it is all wound, you are ready to begin the trick. After placing the coin which is sewed in, in the centre of the handkerchief, you go for your ball, which should be at some little distance from the audience. Pull the stick out, and there will be left a hole large enough to slip in any coin not larger than a half-dollar, and reaching to the centre of the ball, drop the coin in, and push the yarn over the hole with your fingers, which you can easily do. All that remains to be done now is to make some little fuss, and talk at your audience for a while, that they may not know that your part of the trick is done. A neat way of ending any trick in which a coin is used is as follows. When you are done with the coin, approach the owner of it, holding the coin between your fore-finger and thumb, at the same time offering it as if to return it, but at the very moment the person’s hand is extended to take it, you suddenly palm it, and affect great surprise at its disappearance. Turn to the person sitting next the one you borrowed the coin from, and pretend to take the money from out their nose or ear, which you do by simply dropping it from your palm, where it is concealed, into your fingers, and then return it to its owner. This will have created a laugh and be a point in your favor.

I will conclude this lesson by introducing to my readers a “combination” trick; that is, one in which two or more tricks are so “consolidated” as to form one grand whole. For want of a better, I will name it

A Canary risking the Hazard of the Die.

A bird-cage, holding a canary, a solid block of wood about four inches square, painted to resemble a die, and a gentleman’s hat (a full-grown silk hat), are handed to the audience for examination. The hat is placed on a table, and covered with a plate. The die is covered with a velvet case made exactly of its shape and lined with pasteboard, and over the cage and bird is thrown a cloth, which is then given to some one to hold. A short discourse on the power of mind over matter is then indulged in, and on a re-examination of the articles, a complete “change of base” is found to have taken place; for on shaking the cloth under which the cage was placed, we discover that, not only the bird, but the cage too has flown; the hat, which was empty, contains the die, and in the place it lately filled is the canary.

The apparatus for this trick, as in fact for all those that I have as yet explained, is very simple, and may be made by any one with common ingenuity; it consists, first, of a solid block of wood four inches square, painted white and dotted with black so as to resemble a die; secondly, a tin case, also square, just large enough to slip over the solid die, and painted in exact imitation of it; and, thirdly, a pasteboard case a trifle larger than the tin one, and covered with velvet and prettily ornamented. This completes the die apparatus. The next article required is a small wicker cage, with a square top and a ring in it, such as birds are imported in, and two birds, as near alike as possible; stuffed or even sugar ones will answer. Then take a cloth about two feet square and in the centre of it fasten a piece of light wood, exactly of the size of the top of the cage, and have a ring attached to the middle of the wood; in fact, the idea is, to make it feel, to a person who does not see it, as much like the top of the cage as possible. Having fastened on the wood, a second cloth, the same size as the first, must be laid over it, and the two be bound together at the edges. Now cover the tin die with the velvet case (these two, by the way, must both be blackened in the inside), and you are ready to perform the trick, which you begin in this way. Hand the genuine die to the audience, and let them satisfy themselves that it is solid. When you receive it back, call their attention to the velvet case, which you tell them is “merely a cover for the die,” at the same time putting it, with the tin case which is inside, over the die, and immediately taking it off again, taking care, however, to leave the tin case on. Now let them see that there is no preparation about the cover, and whilst they are examining it borrow a hat. Pick up the die and tin case together, and pretend to see whether it will fit in the hat, leaving the solid block inside and bringing out only the case, which the audience will suppose is the genuine die. You having no further business with the hat, it can be placed on a table and covered with a plate, “to prevent anything getting in,” you say, but in fact to prevent any one looking in. Now take secretly from your pocket, if it be a dummy, or from your table, if a live one, a bird, and slip it in the tin case, which you can easily do before putting it down on the table, just after you take it out of the hat. Set the case on the table (with the bird under it), and show them your cage and second bird. Now comes the part which will require all your skill. Get behind your table still holding the cage so that all may see it, for the object is to give them the impression that they have never once lost sight of it, pick up the double cloth which contains the board, with one hand, holding on to the cage with the other. Throw the cloth over the cage in such a way that it touches the table but for a moment, but during that moment and whilst it completely hides your hand, you set the cage on a shelf, fastened to the back of the table. Bring the hand which has disposed of the cage in sight again as soon as possible, and take hold with it of the ring that is in the centre of the board, and the cloth will fall down, draping itself in such a way, that any one not in the secret will believe the cage is under it. You may now bring it forward, and even give it to one of the audience to hold, although it is better that some friend in the secret should have it, as the difference in weight may betray your trick. All that remains now to do is to cover the tin case with the velvet one, talk a little, and announce your trick a success. Raise the velvet and tin case together and there is the bird. Shake the cloth, and bird and cage are gone. Request some one to take the plate off the hat, which you turn upside down, and out drops the die.

This was one of Mr. Herrman’s most effective tricks, and, if skilfully performed, will add greatly to the reputation of our young Magicians, of whom I must now take leave.

P. H. C.


“O little brook,” the children said,

  “The sea has waves enough;

Why hurry down your mossy bed

  To meet his welcome rough?


“The Hudson or the Oregon

  May help his tides to swell:

But when your few bright drops are gone,

  What has he gained, pray tell?”


“I run for pleasure,” said the brook,

Still running, running fast;

“I love to see you bend and look,

As I go bubbling past.


“I love to feel the wild weeds dip;

I love your fingers light,

That dimpling from my eddies drip,

Filled with my pebbles bright.


“My little life I dearly love,

Its shadow and its shine;

And all sweet voices that above

Make melody with mine.


“But most I love the mighty voice

Which calls me, draws me so,

That every ripple lisps, ‘Rejoice!’

As with a laugh I go.


“My drop of freshness to the sea

In music trickles on;

Nor grander could my welcome be

Were I an Amazon.


“And if his moaning wave can feel

My sweetness near the shore,

E’en to his heart the thrill may steal:—

What could I wish for, more?


“The largest soul to take love in

Knows how to give love best;

So peacefully my tinkling din

Dies on the great sea’s breast.


“One heart encircles all that live,

And blesses great and small;

And meet it is that each should give

His little to the All.”

Lucy Larcom.


Nelly sat beside her mother picking lint; but while her fingers flew, her eyes often looked wistfully out into the meadow, golden with buttercups, and bright with sunshine. Presently she said, rather bashfully, but very earnestly, “Mamma, I want to tell you a little plan I’ve made, if you’ll please not laugh.”

“I think I can safely promise that, my dear,” said her mother, putting down her work that she might listen quite respectfully.

Nelly looked pleased, and went on confidingly. “Since brother Will came home with his lame foot, and I’ve helped you tend him, I’ve heard a great deal about hospitals, and liked it very much. To-day I said I wanted to go and be a nurse, like Aunt Mercy; but Will laughed, and told me I’d better begin by nursing sick birds and butterflies and pussies before I tried to take care of men. I did not like to be made fun of, but I’ve been thinking that it would be very pleasant to have a little hospital all my own, and be a nurse in it, because, if I took pains, so many pretty creatures might be made well, perhaps. Could I, mamma?”

Her mother wanted to smile at the idea, but did not, for Nelly looked up with her heart and eyes so full of tender compassion, both for the unknown men for whom her little hands had done their best, and for the smaller sufferers nearer home, that she stroked the shining head, and answered readily: “Yes, Nelly, it will be a proper charity for such a young Samaritan, and you may learn much if you are in earnest. You must study how to feed and nurse your little patients, else your pity will do no good, and your hospital become a prison. I will help you, and Tony shall be your surgeon.”

“O mamma, how good you always are to me! Indeed, I am in truly earnest; I will learn, I will be kind, and may I go now and begin?”

“You may, but tell me first where will you have your hospital?”

“In my room, mamma; it is so snug and sunny, and I never should forget it there,” said Nelly.

“You must not forget it anywhere. I think that plan will not do. How would you like to find caterpillars walking in your bed, to hear sick pussies mewing in the night, to have beetles clinging to your clothes, or see mice, bugs, and birds tumbling down stairs whenever the door was open?” said her mother.

Nelly laughed at that thought a minute, then clapped her hands, and cried: “Let us have the old summer-house! My doves only use the upper part, and it would be so like Frank in the story-book. Please say yes again, mamma.”

Her mother did say yes, and, snatching up her hat, Nelly ran to find Tony, the gardener’s son, a pleasant lad of twelve, who was Nelly’s favorite playmate. Tony pronounced the plan a “jolly” one, and, leaving his work, followed his young mistress to the summer-house, for she could not wait one minute.

“What must we do first?” she asked, as they stood looking in at the dim, dusty room, full of garden tools, bags of seeds, old flower-pots, and watering-cans.

“Clear out the rubbish, miss,” answered Tony.

“Here it goes, then,” and Nelly began bundling everything out in such haste that she broke two flower-pots, scattered all the squash-seeds, and brought a pile of rakes and hoes clattering down about her ears.

“Just wait a bit, and let me take the lead, miss. You hand me things, I’ll pile ’em in the barrow and wheel ’em off to the barn; then it will save time, and be finished up tidy.”

Nelly did as he advised, and very soon nothing but dust remained.

“What next?” she asked, not knowing in the least.

“I’ll sweep up while you see if Polly can come and scrub the room out. It ought to be done before you stay here, let alone the patients.”

“So it had,” said Nelly, looking very wise all of a sudden. “Will says the wards—that means the rooms, Tony—are scrubbed every day or two, and kept very clean, and well venti—something—I can’t say it; but it means having a plenty of air come in. I can clean windows while Polly mops, and then we shall soon be done.”

Away she ran, feeling very busy and important. Polly came, and very soon the room looked like another place. The four latticed windows were set wide open, so the sunshine came dancing through the vines that grew outside, and curious roses peeped in to see what frolic was afoot. The walls shone white again, for not a spider dared to stay; the wide seat which encircled the room was dustless now,—the floor as nice as willing hands could make it; and the south wind blew away all musty odors with its fragrant breath.

“How fine it looks!” cried Nelly, dancing on the doorstep, lest a footprint should mar the still damp floor.

“I’d almost like to fall sick for the sake of staying here,” said Tony, admiringly. “Now, what sort of beds are you going to have, miss?”

“I suppose it won’t do to put butterflies and toads and worms into beds like the real soldiers where Will was?” answered Nelly, looking anxious.

Tony could hardly help shouting at the idea; but, rather than trouble his little mistress, he said very soberly: “I’m afraid they wouldn’t lay easy, not being used to it. Tucking up a butterfly would about kill him; the worms would be apt to get lost among the bed-clothes; and the toads would tumble out the first thing.”

“I shall have to ask mamma about it. What will you do while I’m gone?” said Nelly, unwilling that a moment should be lost.

“I’ll make frames for nettings to the window, else the doves will come in and eat up the sick people.”

“I think they will know that it is a hospital, and be too kind to hurt or frighten their neighbors,” began Nelly; but as she spoke, a plump white dove walked in, looked about with its red-ringed eyes, and quietly pecked up a tiny bug that had just ventured out from the crack where it had taken refuge when the deluge came.

“Yes, we must have the nettings. I’ll ask mamma for some lace,” said Nelly, when she saw that; and, taking her pet dove on her shoulder, told it about her hospital as she went toward the house; for, loving all little creatures as she did, it grieved her to have any harm befall even the least or plainest of them. She had a sweet child-fancy that her playmates understood her language as she did theirs, and that birds, flowers, animals, and insects felt for her the same affection which she felt for them. Love always makes friends, and nothing seemed to fear the gentle child; but welcomed her like a little sun who shone alike on all, and never suffered an eclipse.

She was gone some time, and when she came back her mind was full of new plans, one hand full of rushes, the other of books, while over her head floated the lace, and a bright green ribbon hung across her arm.

“Mamma says that the best beds will be little baskets, boxes, cages, and any sort of thing that suits the patient; for each will need different care and food and medicine. I have not baskets enough, so, as I cannot have pretty white beds, I am going to braid pretty green nests for my patients, and, while I do it, mamma thought you’d read to me the pages she has marked, so that we may begin right.”

“Yes, miss; I like that. But what is the ribbon for?” asked Tony.

“O, that’s for you. Will says that, if you are to be an army surgeon, you must have a green band on your arm; so I got this to tie on when we play hospital.”

Tony let her decorate the sleeve of his gray jacket, and when the nettings were done, the welcome books were opened and enjoyed. It was a happy time, sitting in the sunshine, with leaves pleasantly astir all about them, doves cooing overhead, and flowers sweetly gossiping together through the summer afternoon. Nelly wove her smooth, green rushes, Tony pored over his pages, and both found something better than fairy legends in the family histories of insects, birds, and beasts. All manner of wonders appeared, and were explained to them, till Nelly felt as if a new world had been given her, so full of beauty, interest, and pleasure that she never could be tired of studying it. Many of these things were not strange to Tony, because, born among plants, he had grown up with them as if they were brothers and sisters, and the sturdy, brown-faced boy had learned many lessons which no poet or philosopher could have taught him, unless he had become as childlike as himself, and studied from the same great book.

When the baskets were done, the marked pages all read, and the sun began to draw his rosy curtains round him before smiling “Good night,” Nelly ranged the green beds round the room, Tony put in the screens, and the hospital was ready. The little nurse was so excited that she could hardly eat her supper, and directly afterwards ran up to tell Will how well she had succeeded with the first part of her enterprise. Now brother Will was a brave young officer, who had fought stoutly and done his duty like a man. But when lying weak and wounded at home, the cheerful courage which had led him safely through many dangers seemed to have deserted him, and he was often gloomy, sad, or fretful, because he longed to be at his post again, and time passed very slowly. This troubled his mother, and made Nelly wonder why he found lying in a pleasant room so much harder than fighting battles or making weary marches. Anything that interested and amused him was very welcome, and when Nelly, climbing on the arm of his sofa, told her plans, mishaps, and successes, he laughed out more heartily than he had done for many a day, and his thin face began to twinkle with fun as it used to do so long ago. That pleased Nelly, and she chatted like any affectionate little magpie, till Will was really interested; for when one is ill, small things amuse.

“Do you expect your patients to come to you, Nelly?” he asked.

“No, I shall go and look for them. I often see poor things suffering in the garden, and the wood, and always feel as if they ought to be taken care of, as people are.”

“You won’t like to carry insane bugs, lame toads, and convulsive kittens in your hands, and they would not stay on a stretcher if you had one. You should have an ambulance and be a branch of the Sanitary Commission,” said Will.

Nelly had often heard the words, but did not quite understand what they meant. So Will told her of that great and never-failing charity, to which thousands owe their lives; and the child listened with lips apart, eyes often full, and so much love and admiration in her heart that she could find no words in which to tell it. When her brother paused, she said earnestly: “Yes, I will be a Sanitary. This little cart of mine shall be my amb’lance, and I’ll never let my water-barrels go empty, never drive too fast, or be rough with my poor passengers, like some of the men you tell about. Does this look like an ambulance, Will?”

“Not a bit, but it shall, if you and mamma like to help me. I want four long bits of cane, a square of white cloth, some pieces of thin wood, and the gum-pot,” said Will, sitting up to examine the little cart, feeling like a boy again as he took out his knife and began to whittle.

Up stairs and down stairs ran Nelly till all necessary materials were collected, and almost breathlessly she watched her brother arch the canes over the cart, cover them with the cloth, and fit in an upper shelf of small compartments, each lined with cotton-wool to serve as beds for wounded insects, lest they should hurt one another or jostle out. The lower part was left free for any larger creatures which Nelly might find. Among her toys she had a tiny cask which only needed a peg to be water-tight; this was filled and fitted in before, because, as the small sufferers needed no seats, there was no place for it behind, and, as Nelly was both horse and driver, it was more convenient in front. On each side of it stood a box of stores. In one were minute rollers, as bandages are called, a few bottles not yet filled, and a wee doll’s jar of cold-cream, because Nelly could not feel that her outfit was complete without a medicine-chest. The other box was full of crumbs, bits of sugar, bird-seed, and grains of wheat and corn, lest any famished stranger should die for want of food before she got it home. Then mamma painted “U. S. San. Com.” in bright letters on the cover, and Nelly received her charitable plaything with a long sigh of satisfaction.

“Nine o’clock already. Bless me, what a short evening this has been,” exclaimed Will, as Nelly came to give him her good-night kiss.

“And such a happy one,” she answered. “Thank you very, very much, dear Will. I only wish my little amb’lance was big enough for you to go in,—I’d so like to give you the first ride.”

“Nothing I should like better, if it were possible, though I’ve a prejudice against ambulances in general. But as I cannot ride, I’ll try and hop out to your hospital to-morrow, and see how you get on,”—which was a great deal for Captain Will to say, because he had been too listless to leave his sofa for several days.

That promise sent Nelly happily away to bed, only stopping to pop her head out of the window to see if it was likely to be a fair day to-morrow, and to tell Tony about the new plan as he passed below.

“Where shall you go to look for your first load of sick folks, miss?” he asked.

“All round the garden first, then through the grove, and home across the brook. Do you think I can find any patients so?” said Nelly.

“I know you will. Good night, miss,” and Tony walked away with a merry look on his face, that Nelly would not have understood if she had seen it.

Up rose the sun bright and early, and up rose Nurse Nelly almost as early and as bright. Breakfast was taken in a great hurry, and before the dew was off the grass this branch of the S. C. was all astir. Papa, mamma, big brother and baby sister, men and maids, all looked out to see the funny little ambulance depart, and nowhere in all the summer fields was there a happier child than Nelly, as she went smiling down the garden path, where tall flowers kissed her as she passed and every blithe bird seemed singing a “Good speed!”

“How I wonder what I shall find first,” she thought, looking sharply on all sides as she went. Crickets chirped, grasshoppers leaped, ants worked busily at their subterranean houses, spiders spun shining webs from twig to twig, bees were coming for their bags of gold, and butterflies had just begun their holiday. A large white one alighted on the top of the ambulance, walked over the inscription as if spelling it letter by letter, then floated away from flower to flower, like one carrying the good news far and wide.

“Now every one will know about the hospital and be glad to see me coming,” thought Nelly. And indeed it seemed so, for just then a blackbird, sitting on the garden wall, burst out with a song full of musical joy, Nelly’s kitten came running after to stare at the wagon and rub her soft side against it, a bright-eyed toad looked out from his cool bower among the lily-leaves, and at that minute Nelly found her first patient. In one of the dewy cobwebs hanging from a shrub near by sat a fat black and yellow spider, watching a fly whose delicate wings were just caught in the net. The poor fly buzzed pitifully, and struggled so hard that the whole web shook; but the more he struggled, the more he entangled himself, and the fierce spider was preparing to descend that it might weave a shroud about its prey, when a little finger broke the threads and lifted the fly safely into the palm of a hand, where he lay faintly humming his thanks.

Nelly had heard much about contrabands, knew who they were, and was very much interested in them; so, when she freed the poor black fly, she played he was her contraband, and felt glad that her first patient was one that needed help so much. Carefully brushing away as much of the web as she could, she left small Pompey, as she named him, to free his own legs, lest her clumsy fingers should hurt him; then she laid him in one of the soft beds with a grain or two of sugar if he needed refreshment, and bade him rest and recover from his fright, remembering that he was at liberty to fly away whenever he liked, because she had no wish to make a slave of him.

Feeling very happy over this new friend, Nelly went on singing softly as she walked, and presently she found a pretty caterpillar dressed in brown fur, although the day was warm. He lay so still she thought him dead, till he rolled himself into a ball as she touched him.

“I think you are either faint from the heat of this thick coat of yours, or that you are going to make a cocoon of yourself, Mr. Fuzz,” said Nelly. “Now I want to see you turn into a butterfly, so I shall take you, and if you get lively again I will let you go. I shall play that you have given out on a march, as the soldiers sometimes do, and been left behind for the Sanitary people to see to.”

In went sulky Mr. Fuzz, and on trundled the ambulance till a golden green rose-beetle was discovered, lying on his back kicking as if in a fit.

“Dear me, what shall I do for him?” thought Nelly. “He acts as baby did when she was so ill, and mamma put her in a warm bath. I haven’t got my little tub here, or any hot water, and I’m afraid the beetle would not like it if I had. Perhaps he has pain in his stomach; I’ll turn him over, and pat his back, as nurse does baby’s when she cries for pain like that.”

She set the beetle on his legs, and did her best to comfort him; but he was evidently in great distress, for he could not walk, and instead of lifting his emerald overcoat, and spreading the wings that lay underneath, he turned over again, and kicked more violently than before. Not knowing what to do, Nelly put him into one of her soft nests for Tony to cure if possible. She found no more patients in the garden except a dead bee, which she wrapped in a leaf, and took home to bury. When she came to the grove, it was so green and cool she longed to sit and listen to the whisper of the pines, and watch the larch-tassels wave in the wind. But, recollecting her charitable errand, she went rustling along the pleasant path till she came to another patient, over which she stood considering several minutes before she could decide whether it was best to take it to her hospital, because it was a little gray snake, with a bruised tail. She knew it would not hurt her, yet she was afraid of it; she thought it pretty, yet could not like it; she pitied its pain, yet shrunk from helping it, for it had a fiery eye, and a keep quivering tongue, that looked as if longing to bite.

“He is a rebel, I wonder if I ought to be good to him,” thought Nelly, watching the reptile writhe with pain. “Will said there were sick rebels in his hospital, and one was very kind to him. It says, too, in my little book, ‘Love your enemies.’ I think snakes are mine, but I guess I’ll try and love him because God made him. Some boy will kill him if I leave him here, and then perhaps his mother will be very sad about it. Come, poor worm, I wish to help you, so be patient, and don’t frighten me.”

Then Nelly laid her little handkerchief on the ground, and with a stick gently lifted the wounded snake upon it, and, folding it together, laid it in the ambulance. She was thoughtful after that, and so busy puzzling her young head about the duty of loving those who hate us, and being kind to those who are disagreeable or unkind, that she went through the rest of the wood quite forgetful of her work. A soft “Queek, queek!” made her look up and listen. The sound came from the long meadow-grass, and, bending it carefully back, she found a half-fledged bird, with one wing trailing on the ground, and its eyes dim with pain or hunger.

“You darling thing, did you fall out of your nest and hurt your wing?” cried Nelly, looking up into the single tree that stood near by. No nest was to be seen, no parent birds hovered overhead, and little Robin could only tell its troubles in that mournful “Queek, queek, queek!”

Nelly ran to get both her chests, and, sitting down beside the bird, tried to feed it. To her great joy it ate crumb after crumb as if it were half starved, and soon fluttered nearer with a confiding fearlessness that made her very proud. Soon baby Robin seemed quite comfortable, his eye brightened, he “queeked” no more, and but for the drooping wing would have been himself again. With one of her bandages Nelly bound both wings closely to his sides for fear he should hurt himself by trying to fly; and though he seemed amazed at her proceedings, he behaved very well, only staring at her, and ruffling up his few feathers in a funny way that made her laugh. Then she had to discover some way of accommodating her two larger patients so that neither should hurt nor alarm the other. A bright thought came to her after much pondering. Carefully lifting the handkerchief, she pinned the two ends to the roof of the cart, and there swung little Forked-tongue, while Rob lay easily below.

By this time Nelly began to wonder how it happened that she found so many more injured things than ever before. But it never entered her innocent head that Tony had searched the wood and meadow before she was up, and laid most of these creatures ready to her hands, that she might not be disappointed. She had not yet lost her faith in fairies, so she fancied they too belonged to her small sisterhood, and presently it did really seem impossible to doubt that the good folk had been at work.

Coming to the bridge that crossed the brook, she stopped a moment to watch the water ripple over the bright pebbles, the ferns bend down to drink, and the funny tadpoles frolic in quieter nooks, where the sun shone, and the dragon-flies swung among the rushes. When Nelly turned to go on, her blue eyes opened wide, and the handle of the ambulance dropped with a noise that caused a stout frog to skip into the water heels over head. Directly in the middle of the bridge was a pretty green tent, made of two tall burdock leaves. The stems were stuck into cracks between the boards, the tips were pinned together with a thorn, and one great buttercup nodded in the doorway like a sleepy sentinel. Nelly stared and smiled, listened, and looked about on every side. Nothing was seen but the quiet meadow and the shady grove, nothing was heard but the babble of the brook and the cheery music of the bobolinks.

“Yes,” said Nelly softly to herself, “that is a fairy tent, and in it I may find a baby elf sick with whooping-cough or scarlet-fever. How splendid it would be! only I could never nurse such a dainty thing.”

Stooping eagerly, she peeped over the buttercup’s drowsy head, and saw what seemed a tiny cock of hay. She had no time to feel disappointed, for the haycock began to stir, and, looking nearer, she beheld two silvery gray mites, who wagged wee tails, and stretched themselves as if they had just waked up. Nelly knew that they were young field-mice, and rejoiced over them, feeling rather relieved that no fairy had appeared, though she still believed them to have had a hand in the matter.

“I shall call the mice my Babes in the Wood, because they are lost and covered up with leaves,” said Nelly, as she laid them in her snuggest bed, where they nestled close together, and fell fast asleep again.

Being very anxious to get home, that she might tell her adventures, and show how great was the need of a sanitary commission in that region, Nelly marched proudly up the avenue, and, having displayed her load, hurried to the hospital, where another applicant was waiting for her. On the step of the door lay a large turtle, with one claw gone, and on his back was pasted a bit of paper, with his name,—“Commodore Waddle, U. S. N.” Nelly knew this was a joke of Will’s, but welcomed the ancient mariner, and called Tony to help her get him in.

All that morning they were very busy settling the new-comers, for both people and books had to be consulted before they could decide what diet and treatment was best for each. The winged contraband had taken Nelly at her word, and flown away on the journey home. Little Rob was put in a large cage, where he could use his legs, yet not injure his lame wing. Forked-tongue lay under a wire cover, on sprigs of fennel, for the gardener said that snakes were fond of it. The Babes in the Wood were put to bed in one of the rush baskets, under a cotton-wool coverlet. Greenback, the beetle, found ease for his unknown aches in the warm heart of a rose, where he sunned himself all day. The Commodore was made happy in a tub of water, grass, and stones, and Mr. Fuzz was put in a well-ventilated glass box to decide whether he would be a cocoon or not.

Tony had not been idle while his mistress was away, and he showed her the hospital garden he had made close by, in which were cabbage, nettle, and mignonette plants for the butterflies, flowering herbs for the bees, chickweed and hemp for the birds, catnip for the pussies, and plenty of room left for whatever other patients might need. In the afternoon, while Nelly did her task at lint-picking, talking busily to Will as she worked, and interesting him in her affairs, Tony cleared a pretty spot in the grove for the burying-ground, and made ready some small bits of slate on which to write the names of those who died. He did not have it ready an hour too soon, for at sunset two little graves were needed, and Nurse Nelly shed tender tears for her first losses as she laid the motherless mice in one smooth hollow, and the gray-coated rebel in the other. She had learned to care for him already, and when she found him dead, was very glad she had been kind to him, hoping that he knew it, and died happier in her hospital than all alone in the shadowy wood.

The rest of Nelly’s patients prospered, and of the many added afterward few died, because of Tony’s skilful treatment and her own faithful care. Every morning when the day proved fair the little ambulance went out upon its charitable errand; every afternoon Nelly worked for the human sufferers whom she loved; and every evening brother Will read aloud to her from useful books, showed her wonders with his microscope, or prescribed remedies for the patients, whom he soon knew by name and took much interest in. It was Nelly’s holiday; but, though she studied no lessons, she learned much, and unconsciously made her pretty play both an example and a rebuke for others.

At first it seemed a childish pastime, and people laughed. But there was something in the familiar words “Sanitary,” “hospital,” and “ambulance” that made them pleasant sounds to many ears. As reports of Nelly’s work went through the neighborhood, other children came to see and copy her design. Rough lads looked ashamed when in her wards they found harmless creatures hurt by them, and going out they said among themselves, “We won’t stone birds, chase butterflies, and drown the girls’ little cats any more, though we won’t tell them so.” And most of the lads kept their word so well that people said there never had been so many birds before as all that summer haunted wood and field. Tender-hearted playmates brought their pets to be cured; even busy fathers had a friendly word for the small charity, which reminded them so sweetly of the great one which should never be forgotten; lonely mothers sometimes looked out with wet eyes as the little ambulance went by, recalling thoughts of absent sons who might be journeying painfully to some far-off hospital, where brave women waited to tend them with hands as willing, hearts as tender, as those the gentle child gave to her self-appointed task.

At home the charm worked also. No more idle days for Nelly, or fretful ones for Will, because the little sister would not neglect the helpless creatures so dependent upon her, and the big brother was ashamed to complain after watching the patience of these lesser sufferers, and merrily said he would try to bear his own wound as quietly and bravely as the “Commodore” bore his. Nelly never knew how much good she had done Captain Will till he went away again in the early autumn. Then he thanked her for it, and though she cried for joy and sorrow she never forgot it, because he left something behind him which always pleasantly reminded her of the double success her little hospital had won.

When Will was gone and she had prayed softly in her heart that God would keep him safe and bring him home again, she dried her tears and went away to find comfort in the place where he had spent so many happy hours with her. She had not been there before that day, and when she reached the door she stood quite still and wanted very much to cry again, for something beautiful had happened. She had often asked Will for a motto for her hospital, and he had promised to find her one. She thought he had forgotten it; but even in the hurry of that busy day he had found time to do more than keep his word, while Nelly sat indoors, lovingly brightening the tarnished buttons on the blue coat that had seen so many battles.

Above the roof, where the doves cooed in the sun, now rustled a white flag with the golden “S. C.” shining on it as the west wind tossed it to and fro. Below, on the smooth panel of the door, a skilful pencil had drawn two arching ferns, in whose soft shadow, poised upon a mushroom, stood a little figure of Nurse Nelly, and underneath it another of Dr. Tony bottling medicine, with spectacles upon his nose. Both hands of the miniature Nelly were outstretched, as if beckoning to a train of insects, birds, and beasts, which was so long that it not only circled round the lower rim of this fine sketch, but dwindled in the distance to mere dots and lines. Such merry conceits as one found there! A mouse bringing the tail it had lost in some cruel trap, a dor-bug with a shade over its eyes, an invalid butterfly carried in a tiny litter by long-legged spiders, a fat frog with gouty feet hopping upon crutches, Jenny Wren sobbing in a nice handkerchief, as she brought dear dead Cock Robin to be restored to life. Rabbits, lambs, cats, calves, and turtles, all came trooping up to be healed by the benevolent little maid who welcomed them so heartily.

Nelly laughed at these comical mites till the tears ran down her cheeks, and thought she never could be tired of looking at them. But presently she saw four lines clearly printed underneath her picture, and her childish face grew sweetly serious as she read the words of a great poet, which Will had made both compliment and motto:—

“He prayeth best who loveth best

  All things, both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

  He made and loveth all.”

Louisa M. Alcott.



Our discomfited adventurers did not swim far from the seringa, for the birds did not follow them. Satisfied with seeing the burglars fairly beyond the boundaries of their domicile, the tenants of the tree returned to their nests, as if to ascertain what amount of damage had been done. In a short time the commotion had almost subsided, though there was heard an occasional scream,—the wail of the bereaved parents; for the helpless squab, after struggling awhile on the surface of the water, had gone suddenly out of sight. There was no danger, therefore, of further molestation from their late assailants, so long as they should be left in quiet possession of the seringa, and therefore there was no further necessity for the two swimmers to retreat. A new intention had shaped itself in Munday’s mind by this time, and he expressed his determination to return, to the surprise of the youth, who asked his purpose.

“Partly the purpose for which we first climbed it, and partly,” added he, with an angry roll of his almond-shaped eyes, “to obtain revenge. A Mundurucú is not to be bled in this fashion, even by birds, without drawing blood in return. I don’t go out from this igarápe till I’ve killed every arara, old as well as young, in that accursed tree, or chased the last of them out of it. Follow, and I’ll show you how.”

The Indian turned his face towards the thicket of tree-tops forming one side of the water-arcade, and with a stroke or two brought himself within reach of some hanging parasites, and climbed up, bidding Richard follow. Once more they were shut in among the tops of what appeared to be a gigantic mimosa. “It will do,” muttered the Mundurucú, drawing his knife and cutting a stout branch, which he soon converted into a cudgel of about two feet in length. This he handed to his companion, and then, selecting a second branch of still stouter proportions, fashioned a similar club for himself.

“Now,” said he, after having pruned the sticks to his satisfaction, “we’re both armed, and ready to give battle to the araras, with a better chance of coming off victorious. Let us lose no time. We have other work to occupy us, and your friends will be impatient for our return.” Saying this, he let himself down into the water, and turned towards the seringa. His protégé made no protest, but followed instantly after. Tightly clutching their cudgels, both reascended the seringa, and renewed the battle with the birds. The numbers were even more unequal than before; but this time the advantage was on the side of the intruders.

Striking with their clubs of heavy acacia-wood, the birds fell at every blow, until not one arara fluttered among the foliage. Most of these had fallen wounded upon the water; a few only, seeing certain destruction before them, took flight into the far recesses of the flooded forest. The Mundurucú, true to his promise, did not leave a living bird upon the tree. One after another, he hauled the half-fledged chicks from their nests; one after another, twisted their necks; and then, tying their legs together with a sipo, he separated the bunch into two equally-balanced parts, hanging it over a limb of the tree. “They can stay there till we come back, which will be soon. And now let us accomplish the purpose for which we came here!” Laying aside the club that had made such havoc among the macaws, he drew the knife from his girdle. Selecting a spot on one of the larger limbs of the seringa, he made an incision in the bark, from which the milky juice immediately flowed.

He had made provision against any loss of the precious fluid in the shape of a pair of huge monkey-pots, taken from a sapucaya while on the way, and which had been all the while lying in their place of deposit in a network of parasites. One of these he gave Richard, to hold under the tap while he made a second incision upon a longer limb of the seringa. Both nutshells were quickly filled with the glutinous juice, which soon began to thicken and coagulate like rich cream. The lids were restored to their places, and tied on with sipos, and then a large quantity of this natural cordage was collected and made up into a portable shape. This accomplished, the Mundurucú signified his intention of returning to the castaways; and, after apportioning part of the spoil to his companion, set out on the way they had come. The young Paraense swam close in his wake, and in ten minutes they had retraversed the igarápe, and saw before them the bright sun gilding the Gapo at its embouchure, that appeared like the mouth of some subterraneous cavern.


A few more strokes would have carried the swimmers clear of the water arcade. Richard was already congratulating himself on the prospect of escaping from the gloomy shadow, when all at once his companion started, raised his head high above the surface, and gazed backward along the dark arcade. As he did so, an exclamation escaped him, which could only be one of alarm.

“A monster!” cried the Mundurucú.

“A monster! What sort? where?”

“Yonder,—just by the edge of the igarápe,—close in to the trees,—his body half hid under the hanging branches.”

“I see something like the trunk of a dead tree, afloat upon the water. A monster you say, Munday? What do you make it out to be?”

“The body of a big reptile,—big enough to swallow us both. It’s the Jacaré-uassú. I heard its plunge. Did not you?”

“I heard nothing like a plunge, except that made by ourselves in swimming.”

“No matter. There was such a noise but a moment ago. See! the monster is again in motion. He is after us!”

The dark body Richard had taken for the drifting trunk of a tree was now in motion, and evidently making direct for himself and his companion. The waves, undulating horizontally behind it, proclaimed the strokes of its strong, vertically flattened tail, by which it was propelled through the water.

“The jacaré-uassú!” once more exclaimed the Mundurucú, signifying that the reptile was the great alligator of the Amazon.

It was one of the largest size, its body showing full seven yards above the water, while its projecting jaws, occasionally opened in menace or for breath, appeared of sufficient extent to swallow either of the swimmers.

It was idle for them to think of escaping through the water. At ease as they both were in this element, they would have proved but clumsy competitors with a cayman, especially one of such strength and natatory skill as belong to the huge reptile in pursuit of them. Such a swimming-match was not to be thought of, and neither entertained the idea of it.

“We must take to the trees!” cried the Indian, convinced that the alligator was after them. “The Great Spirit is good to make them grow so near. It’s the only chance we have for saving our lives. To the trees, young master,—to the trees!”

As he spoke, the Mundurucú faced towards the forest; and, with quick, energetic strokes, they glided under the hanging branches. Most nimbly they climbed the nearest, and, once lodged upon a limb, were safe; and on one of the lowest they “squatted,” to await the approach of the jacaré. In about three seconds the huge saurian came up, pausing as it approached the spot where the two intended victims had ascended out of its reach. It seemed more than surprised,—in fact, supremely astonished; and for some moments lay tranquil, as if paralyzed by its disappointment. This quietude, however, was of short duration; for soon after, as if conscious of having been tricked, it commenced quartering the water in short diagonal lines, which every instant was lashed into foam by a stroke of its powerful tail.

“Let us be grateful to the Great Spirit!” said the Indian, looking down from his perch upon the tree. “We may well thank Him for affording us a safe refuge here. It’s the jacaré-uassú, as I said. The monster is hungry, because it’s the time of flood, and he can’t get food so easily. The fish upon which he feeds are scattered through the gapo, and he can only catch them by a rare chance. Besides, he has tasted our blood. Did you not see him sup at it as he came up the igarápe? He’s mad now, and won’t be satisfied till he obtains a victim,—a man if he can, for I can tell by his looks he’s a man-eater.”

“A man-eater! What mean you by that?”

“Only that this jacaré has eaten men, or women as likely.”

“But how can you tell that?”

“Thus, young master. His bigness tells me of his great age. He has lived long, and in his time visited many places. But what makes me suspect him to be a man-eater is the eagerness with which he pursued us, and the disappointment he shows at not getting hold of us. Look at him now!”

Certainly there was something peculiar both in the appearance and movements of the jacaré. Young Trevannion had never seen such a monster before, though alligators were plenteous around Para, and were no rare sight to him. This one, however, was larger than any he had ever seen, more gaunt or skeleton-like in frame, with a more disgusting leer in its deep sunken eyes, and altogether more unearthly in its aspect. The sight of the hideous saurian went far to convince him that there was some truth in the stories of which he had hitherto been sceptical. After all, the Gapo might contain creatures fairly entitled to the appellation of “monsters.”


It would be difficult to conceive a more hideous monster than this upon which Richard Trevannion and his comrade gazed. In fact, there is no form in nature—scarce even in the imagination—more unpleasing to the eye than that of the lizard, the serpent’s shape not excepted. The sight of the latter may produce a sensation disagreeable and akin to fear; but the curving and graceful configuration, either at rest or in motion, and the smooth, shining skin, often brilliantly colored in beautiful patterns, tend to prevent it from approaching the bounds of horror. With the saurian shape it is different. In it we behold the type of the horrible, without anything to relieve the unpleasant impression. The positive, though distant, resemblance to the human form itself, instead of making the creature more seemly, only intensifies the feeling of dread with which we behold it. The most beautiful coloring of the skin, and the gentlest habits, are alike inefficacious to remove that feeling. You may look upon the tree-lizard, clothed in a livery of the most vivid green; the Anolidæ, in the bright blue of turquoise, in lemon and orange; you may gaze on the chameleon when it assumes its most brilliant hues,—but not without an instinctive sense of repugnance. True, there are those who deny this, who profess not to feel it, and who can fondle such pets in their hands, or permit them to play around their necks and over their bosoms. This, however, is due to habit, and long, familiar acquaintance.

Since this is so with the smaller species of the lizard tribe, even with those of gay hues and harmless habits, what must it be with those huge saurians that constitute the family of the Crocodilidæ, all of which, in form, color, habits, and character, approach the very extreme of hideousness. Of these gigantic reptiles there is a far greater variety of species than is generally believed,—greater than is known even to naturalists. Until lately, some three or four distinct kinds, inhabiting Asia, Africa, and America, were all that were supposed to exist. Recent exploration reveals a very different condition, and has added many new members to the family of the Crocodilidæ.

It would be safe to hazard a conjecture, that, when the world of nature becomes better known, the number of species of these ugly amphibia, under the various names of gavials, crocodiles, caymans, and alligators, all brothers or first-cousins, will amount to two score. It is the very close resemblance in appearance and general habits that has hitherto hindered these different kinds from being distinguished. Their species are many; and, if you follow the naturalists of the anatomic school, so too are the genera; for it pleases these sapient theorists to found a genus on almost any species,—thus confounding and rendering more difficult the study it is their design to simplify. In the case of the Crocodilidæ such subdivision is absolutely absurd; and a single genus—certainly two at the most—would suffice for all purposes, practical or theoretical. The habits of the whole family—gavials and alligators, crocodiles, caymans, and jacarés—are so much alike, that it seems a cruelty to separate them. It is true the different species attain to very different sizes; some, as the curúa, are scarce two feet in length, while the big brothers of the family, among the gavials, crocodiles, and alligators, are often ten times as long.

It is impossible to say how many species of Crocodilidæ inhabit the waters of the South American continent. There are three in the Amazon alone; but it is quite probable that in some of its more remote tributaries there exist other distinct species, since the three above mentioned do not all dwell in the same portion of this mighty stream. The Amazonian Indians speak of many more species, and believe in their existence. No doubt the Indians are right.

In the other systems of South American waters, as those of the La Plata, the Orinoco, and the Magdalena, species exist that are not known to the Amazon. Even in the isolated water deposits of Lake Valencia, Humboldt discovered the bava, a curious little crocodile not noted elsewhere. The three Amazonian reptiles, though having a strong resemblance in general aspect, are quite distinct as regards the species. In the curious and useful dialect of that region, understood alike by Indians and Portuguese, they are all called “Jacarés,” though they are specifically distinguished as the Jacaré-uassú, the Jacaré-tinga, and the Jacaré-curúa. Of the first kind was that which had pursued the two swimmers, and it was one of the largest of its species, full twenty-five feet from the point of its bony snout to the tip of its serrated tail. No wonder they got out of its way!


For a time the two refugees were without fear or care. They knew they were out of reach, and, so long as they kept to their perch, were in no danger. Had it been a jaguar instead of a jacaré, it would have been another thing; but the amphibious animal could not crawl up the trunk of a tree, nor yet ascend by the hanging limbs or llianas. Their only feeling was that of chagrin at being stopped on their way back to their companions in the sapucaya, knowing that their return would be impatiently expected. They could by shouting have made themselves heard, but not with sufficient distinctness to be understood. The matted tree-tops intervening would have prevented this. They thought it better to be silent, lest their shouts might cause alarm. Richard hoped that the alligator would soon glide back to the haunt whence it had sallied, and leave them at liberty to continue their journey, but the Mundurucú was not so sanguine.

There was something in the behavior of the jacaré he did not like, especially when he saw it quartering the water as if in search of the creatures that had disappeared so mysteriously.

“Surely it won’t lie in wait for us?” was the first question put by his companion. “You don’t think it will?”

“I do, young master, I do. That is just what troubles the Mundurucú, He may keep us here for hours,—perhaps till the sun goes down.”

“That would be anything but pleasant,—perhaps more so to those who are waiting for us than to ourselves. What can we do?”

“Nothing at present. We must have patience, master.”

“For my part, I shall try,” replied the Paraense; “but it’s very provoking to be besieged in this fashion,—separated by only a few hundred yards from one’s friends, and yet unable to rejoin or communicate with them.”

“Ah! I wish the Curupira had him. I fear the brute is going to prove troublesome. The Mundurucú can read evil in his eye. Look! he has come to a stand. He sees us! No knowing now when he will grow tired of our company.”

“But has it sense enough for that?”

“Sense! Ah! cunning, master may call it, when he talks of the jacaré. Surely, young master, you know that,—you who are a Paraense born and bred? You must know that these reptiles will lie in wait for a whole week by a bathing-place, watching for a victim,—some helpless child, or even a grown man, who has been drinking too much cashaca. Ah, yes! many’s the man the jacaré has closed his deadly jaws upon.”

“Well, I hope this one won’t have that opportunity with us. We mustn’t give it.”

“Not if we can help it,” rejoined the Indian. “But we must be quiet, young master, if we expect to get out of this fix in any reasonable time. The jacaré has sharp ears, small though they look. He can hear every word we are saying; ay, and if one were to judge by the leer in his ugly eye, he understands us.”

“At all events, it appears to be listening.”

So the conversation sank to silence, broken only by an occasional whisper, and no gesture even made communication, for they saw the leering look of the reptile fixed steadily upon them. Almost two hours passed in this tantalizing and irksome fashion.

The sun had now crossed the meridian line, and was declining westward. The jacaré had not stirred from the spot. It lay like a log upon the water, its lurid eyes alone proclaiming its animation. For more than an hour it had made no visible movement, and their situation was becoming insupportable.

“But what can we do?” asked Richard, despairingly.

“We must try to travel through the tree-tops, and get to the other side. If we can steal out of his sight and hearing, all will be well. The Mundurucú is angry with himself; he didn’t think of this before. He was fool enough to hope the jacaré would get tired first. He might have known better, since the beast has tasted blood. That or hunger makes him such a stanch sentinel. Come, young master!” added the Indian, rising from his seat, and laying hold of a branch. “We must make a journey through the tree-tops. Not a word,—not a broken bough if you can help it. Keep close after me; watch what I do, and do you exactly the same.”

“All right, Munday,” muttered the Paraense. “Lead on, old boy! I’ll do my best to follow you.”

Mayne Reid.



NO. 5.

Twenty-six numbers place all in a row,
Twenty-six letters set rightly below,
Therein you will have a certain key
To solve the riddles I’ll read to thee.
1.My 15, 21, 18, 13, 15, 20, 8, 5, 18,
Will make known by surest test
The person who loves us dearest and best.
2.My 26, 5, 2, 5, 4, 5, 5,
Was a fisherman long of world-wide fame,
Whose wife all young folks seek vainly to name.
3.My 22, 15, 23, 5, 12, 19,
Can each stand alone without aid,
Yet without them not a word can be said.
4.My 19, 20, 25, 24,
Is a river, which when traitors do cross
5.By the aid of my 10, 1, 3, 11, 11, 5, 20, 3, 8,
To the world it’s small loss.
6.My 1, 12, 9, 14, 3, 15, 12, 14,
Will unfold a name in high station;
A link in the chain which makes us a nation.
7.My 7, 18, 1, 20, 9, 20, 21, 4, 5,
When you disclose ’em,
Will divulge the debt the nation owes him.
8.My 8, 5, 18, 15, 5, 19,
Is what they are who cry
9.They are for my 21, 14, 9, 15, 14,
Though the last man should die.
10.My 21, 14, 9, 20, 9, 14, 7,
Is the patriot’s explanation
Of what our army is doing for the nation.
11.My 14, 5, 7, 18, 15, 19, 12, 1, 22, 5, 18, 25,
Is an institution the South did prize;
Now dead and buried forever it lies.
12.And my 19, 5, 3, 5, 19, 19, 9, 15, 14,
Rears its hideous, gory head
O’er fields of dying and the dead.
My whole are gems of value rare
Set in a casket with jealous care.
13.My 1, 12, 16, 8, 1, 2, 5, 20,
Will disclose this casket
To any young folks who will ask it.


No. 6.

I am composed of 18 letters.

My 6, 14, 16, is part of the body.

My 15, 10, 17, 2, is part of a horse.

My 18, 10, 13, 4, is a fruit.

My 5, 8, 3, 12, is not to remain long in one place.

My 9, 7, 11, is a division of a farm.

My 1, 8, is a negative.

My whole is a good old proverb.





No. 5.

The Patriot’s Creed.

Patiently pacing to and fro,

In the bitter rain, or the blinding snow,

In the glaring noon, or the midnight deep,

The vigilant soldier my first must keep.


Woe to us all if he leave his post,

Or close his eyes to the Rebel host!

He must bid the stealthy footstep “Stand!”

And swiftly and stern my second demand.


Thus, on the perilous edge of fight,

He guards with his life the cause of Right;

And oft, as he paces to and fro,

“God and my Country!” he whispers low.


This, as it echoes through his soul

Like a sacred charm, is my Patriot whole!


No. 6.

In ancient Rome, the seat of pride,

A high official sank and died;

The order for his burial came.

Pronounce that order,—and behold

One who can secret things unfold:—

Reader, can you the answer name?

J. H. C.


NO. 3.

By selecting letters from each of these words, form a new word, which will define the original:—

Acknowledge, Assever,

Demise (the verb),

Detestable, Recline,

Produce (the noun),


W. Wisp.

No. 4.

Taken as I am, I’m a dignified dame;

Behead me,—an ancient old gent.

Behead me again,—an obstruction I name.

My head off again,—I’m what I consent

To say of myself, though no other may

Of me such a thing with propriety say.


My head off once more, and, strange though it be,

A multitude yet remaineth of me!

A strange monster I.

All these wonders still

Prove true, take these heads

From which end you will!

L. S.

No. 5.

Make an animal larger by beheading it.


No. 6.

Longum-rotundum in muro sedit;

Longum-rotundum praeceps se dedit;

Non est possibile cunctum hunc mundum

Recte reponere Longum-rotundum.

A. W.




NO. 8.

A box of tin contains 225 sheets; a box of 10 × 14 costs $18, and a box of 10 × 20 $24; which is the cheaper to buy? And what is the difference between the price of a box of 10 × 14 at $18, and of a box 10 × 14 at the rate of $24 for a box of 10 × 20.

Fred. P. H.

NO. 9.

A man building a barn wished to place in it a window three feet high and three feet wide; but finding there was not room enough, he had it made half the size intended, without altering the height or width. How was it done?

No. 10.

Reckoning cows at $10 a-piece, sheep at $3, and geese at 50 cents, how can you buy 100 of these animals and have the lot cost just $100?

E. W. B. C.


2.A party of ladies and gentlemen started from New York one day in a yacht. Their destination was Cilorfano.
3.A gentleman asked leave to pay attention to a lady. She replied, Stripes.
4.The partial men of Golden Land should consult Ser Waly and Mr. Toon Sears before interfering with Allen Cobin, for D struts on ice and I run always. We bill the feat of the audacious N. O. March, who attempts to bore the Sun clam.




6.Why is a young lady bestowing alms like a doubt?
7.What military order commands the preparation of a book on Physiognomy?
8.What is the difference between a chemist and a quack?
9.When should bread be baked?
10.If you were asking for a five-dollar bill, what species of Cryptogamic plants would you name?


W. A. R.



4. Host-age.



3. Captain Mayne Reid.

4. Toussaint l’Ouverture


Arithmetical Puzzles.

6. =VII. Insert XXI=XXVIII.



Illustrated Rebuses.

4.Evil to him that evil thinks.
[(Devil minus D) (toe) (him) (tea hat)
(Eve) (50 = L) th(inks).]
5.1.Tennyson [10 nigh sun].
2.Ruskin [R (yew) (skin)].
4.Carlyle [(Car) l (isle)].
5.Jean Ingelow [(Jean in g) low].
6.Dora [Do re] Greenwell.


There was an old Baron so gracious,

Who wrote his own travels veracious.

  Should you ask, “Are they true?”

  He would run you quite through,—

That equivocal Baron, mendacious.



Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

Inconsistency in hyphenation has been retained.

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. Vol 1, Issue 4 edited by John Townsend Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]