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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 1, Issue 10

Date of first publication: 1865

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

Date first posted: Mar. 12, 2017

Date last updated: Mar. 12, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20170320

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. OCTOBER, 1865. No. X.

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.]















Mrs. Gray was quietly darning stockings, when her little granddaughter, Susie Brown, rushed in, all out of breath. “Well, what now, steamboat?” said her grandmother.

Susie always talked so fast that she clipped her words. She rattled off an answer: “You know, Gran’ma Gray, that we’re all going to-morrow to see Great-gran’pa White and Great-gran’ma White, and get some chestnuts. And Ma sent me over here to stay all night with you, so’s to be ready in the morning. James is coming too, to go with you an’ Gran’pa. And Johnny and Dolly are going with Pa and Ma. Sha’n’t we have a good time, Gran’ma Gray?”

“I hope so,” said her grandmother. “But take off your bonnet, and get your breath a little, and tell me how you all do at home.”

“We’re all as well as we can be,” said Susie. “What time shall we go to-morrow? You’ll wake me up in season, won’t you, Gran’ma Gray?”

“I will, if you go to sleep, child,” replied Mrs. Gray. “But you are so wild about the chestnutting, I am afraid you won’t shut your eyes to-night.”

“I guess I shall,” said Susie, “if I’m sure I shall be waked up in season. There, now! I’ve broke the string of my bonnet. It wouldn’t come untied.”

“What did you jerk the string for?” said Mrs. Gray. “Why can’t you learn not to do things with such a rush?”

“I was in a hurry,” replied Susie; “and the string plagued me.”

“I see no need of being in a hurry,” said her grandmother. “We are not going till to-morrow morning; and there surely was time enough to untie your bonnet.”

“It seems a great while to wait till to-morrow morning,” said Susie. “James has been twice to see Great-gran’pa White; but I never went. Ma says she used to go there with you, when she was a little girl, and she used to have great times under the chestnut-tree. Was it a tree when you was a little girl, Gran’ma Gray?”

“When I was about your age,” replied Mrs. Gray, “it was a small, slender tree, very pretty to look at, and the birds liked it so well that they built nests in it. But it did not bear any blossoms till I was ten years old. I thought the long, drooping bunches of white flowers were very handsome, and I wanted to break some of them off, to put in a pitcher. But my father told me it would be wrong to break them off, because the pretty flowers would change to sweet nuts; and they did. Brother David and I picked up a quart of chestnuts that year. How pleased we were! I remember it as well as if it happened yesterday.”

How did the flowers change to nuts?” asked Susie.

“That is more than I can tell you, my child,” replied her grandmother. “God made them to grow so. Green prickly balls came where the blossoms had been; and inside each of them two or three chestnuts grew. These chestnut-burs were so hard and prickly, that it was difficult to get at the nuts inside. But when Jack Frost came, he cracked them open, and out rolled the beautiful glossy brown chestnuts.”

“How came the tree there? Did Great-gran’pa plant it?” asked Susie.

“No. When he was cutting down other trees to make room for his house and garden, he found that; and he said he would not cut it down, because a chestnut was such a handsome tree, and bore such good fruit.”

“Who do you suppose planted it?” asked Susie.

“I think it very likely a squirrel planted it,” replied the grandmother.

“A squirrel!” exclaimed Susie. “Do squirrels know enough to plant trees?”

“They don’t know anything about planting them,” said Grandmother; “but they often do plant them. They make nests under ground, and they stuff their cheeks full of nuts to carry to their nests for winter stores. Sometimes they get frightened on the way, by a gun or some other loud noise, and then, if they drop a chestnut, they are in too much of a hurry to pick it up. I suppose a squirrel that was running across father’s land dropped a nut in some hole in the ground, and the autumn leaves fell on it, and the snow covered it. And when spring came, with sunshine and warm rain, the nut swelled, and the shell burst open, and out came two little green leaves that had been hidden away in it. Every year there were more and more leaves and bigger branches. I couldn’t see it grow; but it was growing all day and all the time I was asleep. And at last it came to be a big tree, and it was always a handsome thing to look at. It was beautiful in the spring, when the young tender green leaves came out, and bright birds were flying about the branches, looking for a good place to build their nests. In summer, it was covered with great bunches of flowers. In autumn, it was loaded with burs full of nuts, and the pretty little squirrels were running up and down. In winter, it was sometimes hung with icicles, that glittered in the sunshine like diamonds. Father kept the burs raked away clean, and I used to love to sit in the shade and study my lessons when I was a school-girl. When I was older, I often used to sit there with my knitting or sewing. There was an old stump near by, and many a time I have seen a squirrel run up on it, and sit there with a chestnut in his paws, nibbling it with his little sharp teeth. When I was a very little girl, I used to call them skeerls; and brother David used to laugh at me and tease me about it long afterward. He sometimes jokes with me about the skeerls now.”

“Hollo!” shouted Susie. “There’s Gran’pa Gray coming”;—and out she rushed and began to caper round him.

Grandmother smiled to see her, and said to herself, “The lively little thing! She’s kept still a wonderful while, for her.”

Grandfather had hardly time to take off his overcoat before she climbed into his lap, asking about the ride they were to take, and whether they would have as many chestnuts as they could eat.

“I used to have more than I wanted, when I was a boy,” said he. “We used to send them into the city to sell. I little thought then that I should live in Boston myself, and sell nuts. We used to get ten cents a quart for them when I was a boy. I bought my first slate and pencil with chestnut-money. How we used to like to have a pelting storm come! It rattled down the chestnuts and the ground was covered with them. All the boys and girls were scrambling to pick them up, and the squirrels were running about with their cheeks full. We used to have capital fun chestnutting, didn’t we, wife?”

“Yes, indeed,” replied she. “Don’t you remember how you and I used to pelt one another with nuts?”

“Yes, yes; you were always as full of mischief as an egg is of chicken,” said he.

“Was Gran’ma Gray ever full of mischief?” asked Susie, looking up with astonishment.

“Yes, she was as mischievous as you are,” replied he. “But come, eat your supper now, and be quiet.”

Susie said no more till after supper, but she talked so fast then that Grandfather told her he was afraid her tongue would be worn very thin before she was as old as he was. After she went to bed, she was so excited with thoughts about the ride, that she did not go to sleep for a long time, for fear she should not be waked up in season. She lay awake so long, that when she did go to sleep she slept like a dormouse. She started, and could not remember where she was, when Grandmother called her and said, “Come, get up, Susie, and get ready to go to the chestnutting.” She tumbled out of bed half asleep, and put her stocking on heel uppermost. Grandmother turned it round, and helped her to put the other on right. Then she got her gown on hind part before, and could not find the arm-holes. “Why, the child is crazy, I think,” said Mrs. Gray. But at last all was brought into order, and Susie was ready for the early breakfast. She had scarcely put on her coat and mittens, before Mr. Gray came to the door with a carryall and two horses. James sat with him on the front seat, and Mrs. Gray and her granddaughter were soon packed away on the back seat.

It was a charming October morning. The air was cool, the sun was bright, and the trees, all red and yellow, were as gay as a bed of tulips. The sky was clear blue, with little floating white clouds that shone like silver; and the sunshine glittered on eastern windows like sparkles of fire. The bracing air made the horses feel strong, and they trotted off as if they liked it above all things. Susie was greatly excited. She saw all sorts of things, and everything she saw made her clap her hands and shout. Now a pretty little brown and white dog attracted her attention; then she caught sight of a flock of large birds sailing through the air. “See! see!” she exclaimed. “What are they, Gran’pa? Where are they going?”

“They are wild geese,” replied Mr. Gray. “They are going south to spend the winter, because they don’t like the cold.”

“How do they know the way?” asked Susie.

“That is more than I can tell,” replied he. “God has made them so that they know how to steer to any place they like, without any map to look at or any ship to sail in.”

“I wish I was a wild goose,” said Susie.

“I think you’ve got your wish,” said her grave elder brother James; “for you are sometimes a goose, and I’m sure you are wild enough.”

“Now what do you mean by calling me a goose?” said his sister, petulantly. “I don’t like to be called names.”

“I am sure you said you wished you were a goose,” rejoined her brother.

“And what if I did?” said Susie. “That was only because I wanted to fly.—O, see that! see that!” It was a pretty little brown squirrel, with a black stripe on his back, and a tail like a great feather. He was scampering along the top of the rail-fence, and jumping over the posts more nimbly than a rope-dancer. He was out of sight almost as quick as they saw him. When Susie’s excitement had subsided a little, she began to tell James that a squirrel planted Grandfather White’s great chestnut-tree; that he dropt a chestnut, and it slept in the ground all winter, and waked up in the spring, and grew and grew till it bore blossoms and nuts. “I shouldn’t wonder,” said she, “if that squirrel that ran by just now was the very one that planted Gran’pa White’s tree.”

“Why, you little goose!” exclaimed James. “That squirrel is as dead as Julius Cæsar.”

“I don’t know how dead he is,” replied Susie; “and I don’t know who he was.”

“Well, if I didn’t know who Julius Cæsar was,” said James, “I’d go to bed, and wouldn’t get up again.”

Mr. Gray smiled and said, “How much do you know about Julius Cæsar, my boy?”

“He was an old Roman, sir, born ever so long ago,” said James; “and he went all over the world fighting with everybody.”

“I don’t believe he was half as useful as the squirrel that plants a chestnut,” said Mrs. Gray.

“That may be,” said James. “But he was a great man. Nobody ever could beat him. It tells about him in books.”

“I don’t know why he is any deader than anybody else,” said Susie; “but if the squirrel that planted Great-gran’pa White’s tree is as dead as Julius Cæsar, perhaps the squirrel that ran along just now is his grandson.”

Mr. Gray laughed and said, “If that squirrel belonged to the same family, I think there must have been twelve or fifteen grandfathers between him and the one that planted Father White’s tree; for squirrels live but very few years, my little girl. If you were a squirrel, you would be old enough to be a grandmother.”

Susie would have had more questions to ask, but Mrs. Gray attracted her attention by pointing to an old brown farm-house. “There’s where my father lives,” said she; “your great-grandfather. And there behind the barn you can see the top of the chestnut-tree.”

But Susie had caught sight of something more attractive. She clapped her hands and shouted, “Oh! Oh! Look! Look!” Even the sober James cried, “Hurrah!” A splendid peacock was strutting in front of the door, spreading out his tail like a great fan. The sun shone on the bright-colored feathers and made them as brilliant as jewels. The bird seemed to be proud of his tail; for he strutted about, and kept folding and unfolding it, as a Spanish lady plays with her fan; and as he moved the gaudy feathers up and down, they made a rustling noise like a stiff silken dress. Susie had never seen a peacock before, and she was wild with delight.

Mrs. Gray’s brother, whom everybody called Uncle David, came out to welcome them. There was great shaking of hands, and his sister laughed when he asked her if she had come to see the “skeerls.” Inside the house everything looked pleasant and comfortable, but very old-fashioned. The great-grandmother was sitting in a tall, straight chair with a bamboo back, and on the top was carved a crown, in the midst of oak-leaves and acorns. It was brought over from England in old times, and had been a very grand chair in its day. The aged woman was as straight as her chair. Her face was much wrinkled, but the expression was kindly. Her cap was neatly tied with white ribbons under her chin, her neck was covered with a white muslin kerchief very nicely starched, and her clean checked apron was glossy with the smoothing-iron. On her side was pinned a brown silk knitting-sheath, with a quill stitched into it for her needle to rest in while she was knitting.

The great-grandfather was a venerable-looking old man, with a cue of snow-white hair tied at the back of his head with a black ribbon. He wore long stockings and bright steel knee-buckles, and sat in a flag-bottomed chair as tall and straight as the other; but it had never been in England, and did not wear a crown.

All this Susie spied with her quick black eyes, while her father and mother and her grandfather and grandmother were kissing their aged parents. She had never seen anybody so old, and at first she was a little afraid of them; but when they patted her on the head and called her a nice little girl, she felt as if she should like them.

The kitchen fireplace was very large, and there were tall iron andirons with hooks behind them. A large piece of beef was roasting on an iron spit that rested in the hooks; and when they entered, the great-grandfather was sitting before a bright wood-fire, turning the spit with a long wooden handle. Uncle David’s wife, whom everybody called Aunt Martha, was laying the dinner-table. But when the guests arrived she said, “I will tend the beef now, father. It is almost done.” Children and grandchildren and great-grand-children came flocking into the big old kitchen, and everybody was shaking hands and hugging and kissing.

As soon as Aunt Martha could make herself heard, she told them they had all better go into the parlor to take off their things. In the parlor, Susie, who took notice of everything, found a bright wood-fire burning on high brass andirons, that shone like gold. In one corner stood a tall mahogany clock, that had on its face a great round moon, painted with eyes and nose and mouth. Little Johnny stared at it with wondering eyes, and listened to its loud tick, tock, as if it had been a live thing talking to him. The looking-glass was decorated with peacock’s feathers, and under it hung a faded green silk pincushion, in the shape of a heart. Pins were stuck into it, so as to form the letters R. W. for Ruth White, which was the great-grandmother’s name. Grandmother Gray made it when she was twelve years old, and presented it to her mother; and it had hung under the parlor glass ever since.

The dinner was old-fashioned, like everything else. After the roasted beef they had a great, boiled Indian pudding, which the old folks ate with gravy, and the younger ones with butter and molasses. Then they had pumpkin pies sweetened with molasses, and a milk-pan full of something covered with pie-crust, which the children were very curious to explore. Susie was thinking of “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”; and she almost expected that, when the pie was opened, the birds would hop out and begin to sing, “Isn’t this a dainty dish to set before a king?”

The grandmother, seeing her look at it very earnestly, said, “Will you have some of the Pandowdy, dear?”

“What is Pandowdy?” asked Susie.

“Don’t you know?” said the great-grandmother. “Where have you been all your days not to know what Pandowdy is? It is made of apples cut in quarters, put in a pan with molasses and a little water, covered with a top-crust, and baked in the oven till it is nicely brown. When I was a little gal I used to think it was mighty good.”

She put some of it on the children’s plates, and they liked it much. Susie presently asked for some more Pandowdy gravy. She meant the juice of the sweetened apples; but she made them all laugh by calling it gravy. Johnny made them laugh again, by saying to Dolly, “Ithn’t it topping-good, Sissy?” And then they laughed again, when Sissy held out her plate with both her little fat hands, and said, “Dolly wanth more topping-good Dow-dee.” They were all in a happy frame of mind, and laughed easily.

As soon as the children had eaten sufficiently, they became impatient to go out to the chestnut-tree. “You may go and pick up all you can find on the ground,” said the great-grandfather. “We will all come out directly, and then Uncle David will shake the tree for you. If you pick ’em up fast, you older children shall have three quarts apiece for your own, to eat or sell; and Johnny and Dolly shall have a quart apiece.”

“I mean to sell mine,” said James, “and buy Robinson Crusoe.”

“And I mean to sell mine and buy a silver thimble,” said Susie.

Johnny did not clearly understand business arrangements, but when he heard he was to buy something, he set his mind upon a trumpet. While they were getting their baskets, however, they proposed to each other a dozen new plans for their purchases. They seemed to think the whole world could be bought with Grandfather White’s chestnut-tree.

They had been out but a short time, when Susie came rushing back into the parlor, exclaiming, “Gran’pa! Great-gran’pa! there’s a queer little girl out there picking up chestnuts, and James told her to go away.”

“What makes you call her a queer little gal?” said Grandfather White.

“She don’t look like we do,” said Susie. “Her hair hangs down straight, and her face is stained with something.”

“That’s little Weeta, the Indian gal,” said Grandfather White. “Her name is Weetamoo, but we call her Weeta. James mustn’t drive her away. I told her she might pick up chestnuts whenever she liked.”

He took his hat and cane, and went out, and they all prepared to follow him. Weeta was sitting on the grass at a little distance from the tree, with a basket beside her. Just as the family came within sight of her, James gave the basket a kick, and all her nuts went rolling down the slope.

“Now that’s a shame,” exclaimed Susie. “Gran’pa told her she might pick up as many as she wanted. Never mind, Weeta! I’ll help you pick ’em up; and you shall have some of mine.” The black eyes of the little Indian child had flashed like fire when her basket was upset, but the moment she was spoken kindly to, the fire went out.

“Who gave you this pretty basket?” said Susie.

“Me make,” replied the little Indian.

“Did you?” said Susie. “I wish you’d show me how to do it.” She busied herself helping Weeta pick up the spilled chestnuts.

“That’s a good gal, Sukey!” said Grandfather White. “Always take part with the wronged, Sukey. If James would give Weeta the chestnuts in his hat, and tell her he was sorry, I should think all the better of him.”

James heard what was said, but kept on filling his hat with chestnuts. Then Grandfather Gray spoke, and said, “You ought to fill her basket again, James.” But the boy looked sulky, and kept on filling his hat.

Then his father spoke to him in a low voice, and said, “You did wrong to upset that little girl’s basket; what made you do such a thing, when we were all having a pleasant day?”

“She’s nothing but an Indian,” muttered the ungracious youngster.

His great-grandfather touched his shoulder with the point of his cane, and said, somewhat sternly, “Look at me!” James looked up, but he lowered his eyes when he heard him say, slowly and emphatically, “I am ashamed of you, James Brown. You are not a brave boy. The brave never abuse the weak.” The aged man looked very venerable, standing there in the shade of the great chestnut-tree, his wrinkled hands leaning on his staff, the wind gently stirring his snow-white hair.

James rose up and walked away without saying anything; but he felt dissatisfied with himself. He looked toward the spot where Susie was helping Weeta pick up her nuts. The words, “You are not a brave boy,” rung in his ears. He looked round to see if the family were observing him. Seeing that they were busy adjusting a ladder under the tree, and that Uncle David was making ready to go up with an axe, he went toward the place where the little white girl and the little brown girl were kneeling close together on the ground. “Here, Weeta,” said he, “hold your basket, and let me pour these chestnuts in; I was only playing.”

The little Indian, without looking up, answered in a very pleasant voice, “Me no care. Me no take.”

“But I care,” said James; and he emptied his hat into her basket. He felt a foot taller than he had done a few minutes before. Susie, who was always eager to carry news, ran off to tell what James had done.

Uncle David, who was high up in the tree, called out, “Now take care of your noses; I’m going to knock the tree.” He rapped the boughs with the head of his axe, and down came a shower of chestnuts. Then there was a general scrambling and hurrahing. The children ran about, pelting one another with nuts. Susie, in her eagerness, stumbled over Dolly, and upset her; but she picked her up again in a minute. Dolly had half a mind to cry about it, but when she saw a big chestnut hit Susie on the nose, she began to laugh, and they all set up a merry shout.

When they had played a little while, they began to fill their small baskets and empty them into the bushel-basket close by the trunk of the tree. Even little Dolly had a basket about as big as a teacup, which she was busily filling and emptying. They looked round for Weeta, but she was walking off to the woods with her basket of nuts poised on her head.

Before the sun had quite gone down, the bushel-basket was filled. Then Grandfather White said, “The squirrels may have the rest. We will go to supper now.”

Susie ran up to his side, and began to hop and jump, first on one foot and then on the other. She felt so happy under the great chestnut-tree that bright October day, that she could not help frisking about. “I wish the squirrels would let me see ’em eat chestnuts,” said she. “Gran’ma Gray says she used to see ’em when she was a little girl.”

“Yes, I remember,” said the old man. “She used to talk about ’em a deal. She always called ’em skeerls. If you get up early to-morrow morning and go out with me, I dare say we shall see squirrels. They’ll be sure to come after the chestnuts for their winter store. But let us go home to supper now.”

James came up and gently took the old man’s left hand; for he was holding his cane in his right hand. “Let me walk home with you, dear grandfather,” said he.

“I shall be glad of your company, my boy. I’m not ashamed of you now; you did right about little Weeta.”

“I felt ashamed of myself,” said James, “when she spoke so pleasantly, and said, ‘Me no care’; for I felt that she was more polite than I was, though she lives in the woods and I am a city boy.”

“I was sure you would not have said what you did about her being only an Indian if you had thought a minute before you spoke,” said the wise old man. “The same God that made us made the Indians. We are all His children. He has made some apples with red cheeks, and some with brown cheeks, and some with yellow cheeks; and there are good apples among them all. He has made Sukey’s eyes black and Dolly’s blue; but if they are good children, no matter what color their eyes are. Weeta is a good girl, and the color of her cheeks is of no consequence.”

“Where does she live?” asked Susie.

“She lives half a mile from here in the woods, with her grandmother, who is a good old body, too. They make baskets and brooms, and go round to sell them.”

“Hark! Hark!” exclaimed Susie. “What noise is that?”

“That is Aunt Hannah blowing the big horn, to let us know supper is ready,” replied her great-grandfather.

Such a supper as they had! There was plenty of brown bread and fresh butter, bowls of sweet milk, and piles of doughnuts; and everything tasted uncommonly good, because they had all been working in the open air.

When they had done supper, Grandmother Gray said she wanted to sit by the big kitchen fireplace, because it would seem like old times, when she was a little girl. So the tall chairs were placed in the best places for the great-grandfather and great-grandmother, and they all formed a circle round the fireplace. The women took their knitting, and Uncle David began to make a willow whistle for Johnny. Dolly scrambled upon her great-grandfather’s knee, and began to search the deep pockets of his waistcoat for a box of peppermints, which she had found out were kept there. Susie nestled up close to his side, and began to ask questions. Johnny watched the progress of the whistle awhile, and then placed his cricket close to Great-grandmother’s feet, and laid his little curly head on her lap. “Poor little fellow! He is tired,” said the old lady; and she patted him tenderly on the head. The kind old folks and the little ones had evidently taken a great liking to each other.

“Is that great chestnut-tree older than you are, Gran’pa White?” asked Susie.

“No, my child,” replied he. “I found it here when I cleared up the farm. It was a little sapling of perhaps four years’ growth, and I was twenty-four years old.”

“Then you are older than the great chestnut-tree!” exclaimed Susie. “Were you born before Julius Cæsar?”

The aged man tapped her on the cheek and laughed outright. “Why, what put such a question as that into the midget’s head?” said he.

Grandmother Gray told him of the talk James and Susie had in the carryall about Julius Cæsar.

“Well, Sukey,” said the old man, smiling.

“What makes you call me Sukey?” interrupted the lively little girl.

“That was the fashion in my young days,” replied he, “and it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”

“But you a’n’t an old dog,” said Susie.

“If you interrupt me so much, I can’t talk with you,” said he. “I was going to tell you that our chestnut-tree wasn’t planted till many hundred years after Julius Cæsar had been dead. But I have heard of chestnut-trees a great deal older than our tree,—older even than Methuselah.”

“The Catechism says he was the oldest man,” said Susie.

“You find it hard to keep your tongue still, don’t you?” said the great-grandfather. “I guess it is hung in the middle and let loose at both ends. The Bible says that Methuselah was nine hundred and sixty-nine years old. But in a country across the ocean that they call England, there is a famous chestnut-tree said to be more than a thousand years old.”

“How much is a thousand?” asked Susie.

“O, your little head must grow before it will be large enough to take in such big figures,” replied he. “That tree is older than twelve such great-grandfathers as I am; but it is not the oldest chestnut-tree in the world. Across the water is a country called Sicily, where there is a mountain that spouts fire. I dare say James can tell us the name of that mountain.”

“I suppose it is Mount Ætna,” said James.

“Right, my boy. Well, travellers say that, as you go up Mount Ætna, you pass a giant chestnut-tree, supposed to be a good deal more than a thousand years old. The trunk measured a hundred and sixty-three feet just above the ground, and that is as big as this house. When it began to decay inside, poor folks cut it away for firewood; and in the course of years they cut away so much, that a road was made right through the tree, wide enough for two carriages to go through abreast. On another side of the tree they cut away another opening, and inside of that cavity they built a small hut, where people used to sleep when they came from a distance to gather chestnuts. For though they had hacked away so much decayed wood from the inside, the bark and the outside-wood were sound, and the old tree still bore foliage and fruit. It is said that a Spanish queen with a hundred horsemen, being caught in a storm near Mount Ætna, all rode into the chestnut-tree and found shelter. After that, it was called ‘The Chestnut of the Hundred Horses.’ It was considered one of the wonders of the world; and people from far and near went to see it.”

“I think our old chestnut is well worth riding twenty miles to see, any day,” said Aunt Martha. “Was there ever anything handsomer than it was last summer, all covered with great bunches of white blossoms?”

“I call a chestnut the handsomest tree that grows,” said Uncle David. “What an extent of shade they give, and how grand they look! Full as grand as an oak, I think. It’s a sad pity they have cut them down so generally. I plant chestnuts every year; and I wish every boy in the land would plant one.”

“I will plant one to-morrow,” said James.

“And so will I,” said Susie.

Their father said, “If Spanish chestnuts would live in our climate, I should like to plant some. The nuts are twice as large as ours, but I don’t think they are quite so sweet. You talk about a chestnut’s being a handsome tree; and so it is. But you forget to say that it is as useful as it is handsome. The wood looks very much like oak, and it is more durable. It takes a fine polish, and rooms finished with it are very handsome. If stained a little, it makes a very good imitation of mahogany. My mother had a very pretty light-stand made of it. It is excellent for poles, and rails, and rafters; and it makes the best of charcoal. In many countries of Europe, poor people half live upon chestnuts. They are more nutritious and wholesome than any other nuts, because they are the most farinaceous and the least oily. The peasants who live upon them are healthy and robust. They eat them raw and roasted and boiled. They dry them and grind them into flour, with which they make cakes and puddings, and sometimes bread. In Venice, they make a kind of porridge of chestnut-flour, called polenta. They sell it in the streets, a pint-bowlful for a cent. It finds a ready market, for the people are very fond of it.”

“That makes me think that some chestnuts ought to be roasted and boiled for the children,” said Grandmother White. “When they are roasted well, I think they are full as good as sweet potatoes.”

“Bring me a basketful, Aunt Martha,” said Grandfather White. “I will be cutting them while you see to having some good embers ready to cover them. But, mother, little Dolly is fast asleep. Take her and put her to bed.”

“Johnny has been asleep this good while,” said the great-grandmother. “Bless his little curly pate! How tired he was!”

The little ones were carried off to their bed; the fire was replenished, a kettle of water put on, and Grandfather White began to cut small pieces of shell from each chestnut.

“What do you do that for?” inquired Susie.

He answered, “Because if I don’t, when they are put in the fire they will go off like a gun, and perhaps hit you on the nose.”

“What makes it go off like a gun?” asked inquisitive Susie.

The great-grandfather, who was very patient, answered, “Because there is air in the nut, and when the air is hot it swells, and wants more room; and if there isn’t a little door cut for it to get out, it will burst the shell with a great noise, and make it fly ever so far. Did you ever hear of the monkey that wanted to get roasted chestnuts out of the fire without burning his own paws, so he took poor pussy’s paw and pulled ’em out? If those nuts hadn’t been cut before they were covered with embers, Jocko would have been very likely to have got a thump on his nose from a hot chestnut.”

“I wish he had,” said Susie; “for he was a bad monkey.”

While the chestnuts were roasting and boiling, the great-grandmother invited Susie to play Cat’s Cradle; and the great-grandfather brought forth some kernels of red corn and yellow corn, to play at Fox and Geese with James, while the rest of the company talked about the farm and other matters. Then boiled chestnuts, and roasted chestnuts, and great red-cheeked apples were handed round. At last, one after another went to bed, all feeling that they had had a very happy day.

The great-grandfather was a very early riser; but when he entered the kitchen the next morning he found Susie already there, looking for somebody to button her clothes, that she might go out and see the squirrels and plant a chestnut. Aunt Martha soon came and fastened her dress, and forth she went into the cool morning, chattering all the time with her aged friend. No squirrels were to be seen about the chestnut-tree.

“They are not far off,” said Grandfather White, “for I hear them calling, chip, chip. Let us go to that great open space yonder. There’s a good place to plant your chestnut, away from other trees. For chestnut-trees grow large, and they do better to have plenty of room all to themselves.”

When the chestnut was planted, and a circle of stones laid round it to mark the spot, he led her back to the tree and said, “Now, Sukey, you sit down on that big stone, while I go to feed the hens. You may be sure a squirrel will come for his breakfast before long.”

Susie sat down as she was directed; but she felt very lonesome there, with nothing but the great chestnut-tree to look at. She soon became impatient, and ran off to the barn. There she found the peacock strutting about, trailing his handsome tail on the ground. And there were white hens, and yellow hens, and speckled hens, and a dashing great cockerel, with a red crown on his head, trying to step as grand as the peacock. Grandfather White was throwing corn from a peck-measure, and they gobbled it up faster than he could throw it. When he had emptied the measure, he took the little girl’s hand and led her again toward the chestnut-tree. There they spied a squirrel sitting on the old stump, with a chestnut in his paws. Susie uttered a little cry of joy, and the squirrel stopped nibbling his chestnut to listen.

“Hush!” said the old man. “He will go off like a streak of lightning if you make a noise.”

Then Susie said, in a low voice, “How pretty he is! I never did see such a pretty little creature. I wish I could catch him, and carry him home.”

“He is too nimble for that,” said the great-grandfather; “and I am glad of it. He wouldn’t be happy in the city; God made him to frisk about in the woods.”

“Who is that coming?” exclaimed Susie. “O, it’s little Weeta. I guess she’s coming to see if there are any chestnuts left.”

But Weeta, without stopping to look for chestnuts, walked straight up to Susie, and, putting a little basket into her hand, said, “Me give.”

“O, what a pretty basket!” exclaimed Susie; and, in the enthusiasm of her gratitude, she hugged and kissed the little Indian girl.

“That is because you took her part yesterday,” said Grandfather White. “Kindness makes kindness. Always remember that, Sukey.”

“Me tank,” said little Weeta, and she turned to walk away.

But Susie called out, “Stop a minute, Weeta, till I can go into the house.” In her hurry, she pitched over a small stump, and fell down; but she was up again instantly, and out of sight.

“What a quickster that gal is,” said the old man, laughing.

She soon came back with a great doughnut that Aunt Martha had made for her. It had a head, and two holes for eyes, and arms and legs. She put it into Weeta’s hand, saying, “There’s a doughnut man for you. It’s good to eat.” Grandfather White put a big red apple in the other hand, and patted her head kindly.

“Me tank,” said the little Indian, and walked demurely away.

Susie took the hand of her old friend, and they walked toward the house. They found Johnny and Dolly among the hens, and the great-grandfather delighted them greatly by giving them some corn to throw. Susie spied out James in the barn, helping Uncle David rub the horses.

“Have you planted your chestnut? I’ve planted mine,” said she.

James answered that he had it in his pocket, and was going to plant it before breakfast.

“You must be quick, then,” said she; and she began to repeat rapidly all the directions that had been given her.

In the house, Aunt Martha was putting an early breakfast on the table, and the guests were busy packing their bags and baskets. There was a large bag of chestnuts, and smaller bags of roasted chestnuts and boiled chestnuts, and peacock’s feathers, and branches of red and yellow leaves, and plenty of apples and doughnuts. The question was where to pack them, and how to get them all into the carriage.

“It’ll be carryall, sure enough,” said Grandmother Gray.

Susie came running in, saying, “See what a pretty basket little Weeta has brought for me! Can’t you pack it somewhere? I wish I had brought my new ten-cent piece with me. I wanted it to give to Weeta.”

“It is very pretty,” said her mother. “You had better carry it home in your hand. It was better not to pay little Weeta, because she wanted to give it to you, and it pleased her to do it. But if you are willing to give up your silver thimble, you can buy worsted with your chestnut-money, and knit little Weeta a red comforter.”

“So I will,” said Susie. “I’m glad you thought of that.”

Then Aunt Hannah blew the big horn, and everybody came in to breakfast. As soon as James had done eating, he asked to leave the table that he might go and pack the bags and baskets in the carryalls.

“Mind and spread the chestnuts on the garret-floor, as soon as you get home,” said Grandfather White. “If you don’t, they’ll be full of blue-mould, and I call it very dishonest to sell mouldy chestnuts.”

The horses waited at the door while the aged parents kissed children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and said, “Good by, Johnny and Dolly. Come again and feed the hens. Good by, James. I have hopes of you. I guess you’ll make a better brave than Julius Cæsar. Good by, Sukey. Don’t wear your tongue out. Come again, all of you, to see us, before we go hence.”

“Good by, all,” said Uncle David. “If the chestnuts come up and grow, we’ll always call ’em James and Susie.”

“Good by, father and mother,” said Grandmother Gray. “May your chestnut-tree live a thousand years.”

When they were all stowed away, Susie called out, from inside the carriage, “Good by, I love you.”

“Me, too,” shouted Johnny. And the horses trotted off.

They had a bright day to ride home, and the children were in high spirits. Susie, as usual, talked enough for two. She discussed everything they had seen, or heard, or tasted; and summed all up by saying, “If I live to be as old as Gran’pa White, I shall never forget that great chestnut-tree; nor that handsome peacock spreading his tail-feathers; nor the squirrel eating a chestnut; nor the little Indian girl that gave me this basket.” She paused a moment, and added, “Nor that great Pandowdy; because it had such a queer name.”

“I shall remember Grandfather White as long as I live,” said James.

“I hope you will,” replied Grandmother Gray, “and I hope you’ll be like him; for he is a just and good man.”

When Uncle David visited the city the next winter, Susie sent Weeta a bright red comforter, and James sent her a bow and arrow of his own making, tied with red and yellow ribbons. A basket was packed for the aged parents, into which the children stuffed oranges, and figs, and peppermints.

The elder ones went the next year, “to see the folks and get some chestnuts,” as Susie described it. But before chestnuts were ripe again, the aged parents had passed away to a more beautiful world than this. Their son, Uncle David, then owned the great tree, and his Boston relatives went every year or two to see him and the old homestead, and to gather round the venerable tree, made sacred by so many pleasant memories. But when Susie was sixteen years old, the magnificent tree was cut down to make way for a railroad. Grandmother Gray shed tears when she heard of it. James begged for some of the wood, with which he made a handsome cane for Grandfather Gray. Susie had a small table and a work-box made of it. On top of the box she painted a likeness of the great chestnut-tree, and a little girl sitting in the shade of it with an open book in her lap. Round the key-hole, she painted branches of chestnut-blossoms. On one end, she painted a squirrel eating a chestnut; and on the other, a chestnut-bough with a bird’s-nest on it, containing three eggs. When it was nicely varnished and dried, she gave it to Grandmother Gray for a birthday present. The old lady was very much pleased, though the sight of it brought tears to her eyes; for it made her think of very old times, when she was a little girl.

The chestnuts which James and Susie planted are growing every year; but there was the end of Grandfather’s Chestnut-Tree.

L. Maria Child.


White little housed-up things,

      Why don’t you run

      Out in the sun?

Beauty that blossoms and sings

      Never was made

      Strong in the shade.


Why do you shadow the face

      Pale as a doll’s,

      Now the wind calls,

“Hurry, and give us a chase”?

      Where the winds blow

      Roses will grow.


Here we swing high on the bough!

      Down comes the rain,

      Blackberry stain

Washing from bare cheek and brow,

      Fresh as a flower

      After the shower.


We and the pine-trees are glad

      When the gales talk

      Through a split rock

Till they go merrily mad,

      Making us shake,—

      Laugh till we ache.


Then in the warm lull of noon

      Sleepy we slide

      Down the rill-side,

Dropping away to its tune

      Into a dream

      Bright as the stream.


Always at home with you, Sun!

      Motherly eye

      Up in the sky

Smiling out full on our fun;—

      Paint us with tan

      Brown as you can!


O little housed-up things!

      Blue is the air,

      Breezy and fair:

Borrow a bird’s idle wings;

      Then you may be

      Merry as we!

Lucy Larcom.


The children came in from the field with their hands full of the soft, pale-green corn-silk. Annie had rolled hers into a bird’s-nest, while Willie had dressed his little sister’s hair with the long, damp tresses, until she seemed more like a mermaid, with pale blue eyes shining out between the locks of her sea-green hair, than like our own Alice.

They brought their treasures to the mother, who sat on the door-step of the farm-house, under the tall, old elm-tree that had been growing there ever since her mother was a child. She praised the beauty of the bird’s-nest, and kissed the little mermaiden to find if her lips tasted of salt water; but then she said, “Don’t break any more of the silk, dear children, else we shall have no ears of corn in the field,—none to roast before our picnic fires, and none to dry and pop at Christmas time next winter.”

Now the children wondered at what their mother said, and begged that she would tell them how the silk could make the round, full kernels of corn. And this is the story that the mother told, while they all sat on the door-step under the old elm.

“When your father broke up the ground with his plough, and scattered in the seed-corn, the crows were watching from the old apple-tree; and they came down to pick up the corn; and indeed they did carry away a good deal; but the days went by, the spring showers moistened the earth, and the sun shone, and so the seed-corn swelled, and, bursting open, thrust out two little hands, one reaching down to hold itself firmly in the earth, and one reaching up to the light and air. The first was never very beautiful, but certainly quite useful; for, besides holding the corn firmly in its place, it drew up water and food for the whole plant; but the second spread out two long, slender green leaves, that waved with every breath of air, and seemed to rejoice in every ray of sunshine. Day by day it grew taller and taller, and by and by put out new streamers broader and stronger, until it stood higher than Willie’s head; then, at the top, came a new kind of bud, quite different from those that folded the green streamers, and when that opened, it showed a nodding flower which swayed and bowed at the top of the stalk like the crown of the whole plant. And yet this was not the best that the corn plant could do,—for lower down, and partly hidden by the leaves, it had hung out a silken tassel of pale, sea-green color, like the hair of a little mermaid. Now, every silken thread was in truth a tiny tube, so fine that our eyes cannot see the bore of it. The nodding flower that grew so gayly up above there was day by day ripening a golden dust called pollen, and every grain of this pollen—and they were very small grains indeed—knew perfectly well that the silken threads were tubes; and they felt an irresistible desire to enter the shining passages and explore them to the very end; so one day, when the wind was tossing the whole blossoms this way and that, the pollen-grains danced out, and, sailing down on the soft breeze, each one crept in at the open door of a sea-green tube. Down they slid over the shining floors, and what was their delight to find, when they reached the end, that they had all along been expected, and for each one was a little room prepared, and sweet food for their nourishment; and from this time they had no desire to go away, but remained each in his own place, and grew every day stronger and larger and rounder, even as Baby in the cradle there, who has nothing to do but grow.

“Side by side were their cradles, one beyond another in beautiful straight rows; and as the pollen-grains grew daily larger, the cradles also grew for their accommodation, until at last they felt themselves really full of sweet, delicious life; and those who lived at the tops of the rows peeped out from the opening of the dry leaves which wrapped them all together, and saw a little boy with his father coming through the corn-field, while yet everything was beaded with dew, and the sun was scarcely an hour high. The boy carried a basket, and the father broke from the corn-stalks the full, firm ears of sweet corn, and heaped the basket full.”

“O mother!” cried Willie, “that was father and I. Don’t you remember how we used to go out last summer every morning before breakfast to bring in the corn? And we must have taken that very ear; for I remember how the full kernels lay in straight rows, side by side, just as you have told.”

Now Alice is breaking her threads of silk, and trying to see the tiny opening of the tube; and Annie thinks she will look for the pollen-grains the very next time she goes to the cornfield.

Author of “Seven Little Sisters.”



“See here, Dick Bellmore, you quit that!” shouted Tom Brindley. “Let the gal come ashore, if she wants to.”

The speaker, as if satisfied that his command would be heeded, turned his attention to the game of “stick,” which he was playing with another boy. Placing his knife on the back of his hand, he gave it a dexterous toss, which caused it to be planted perpendicularly in the sand of the beach. Satisfied with this achievement, which added sundry marks to his score, he picked up the knife, and, seizing the blade at the point with his thumb and forefinger, was about to essay a more difficult feat, when he discovered that no notice had been taken of his peremptory order.

“I say, Dick Bellmore, you quit that, and let the gal come ashore,” repeated he, with more emphasis than before; and this time he paused to see that his command was properly respected.

“You mind your own business, Tom Brindley! I’m not touching you,” replied the young gentleman addressed.

“Well, I’ll touch you, if you don’t let the gal alone,” added Tom, shaking his head, in a manner which seemed to endanger the health and happiness of the other, especially as the speaker, pending the result of his remonstrances, suspended further operations in the exciting game in which he was engaged.

“You needn’t trouble yourself about me,” answered Dick. “The girl’s nothing to you, and you needn’t make yourself uneasy about her.”

Dick Bellmore had quite enough of that native independence which makes mankind and swine-kind very much alike in one important respect, and it is more than probable the interference of Tom Brindley caused him largely to exceed his original intentions in respect to the “gal” who had been mentioned. The mischief-maker was certainly pursuing a very ungallant and unchivalrous course of action. He was seated in a dory, which floated in the shallow water of the “Round-Back,” as a portion of the beach, forming the sea-front of Rearport, was called. A small creek from the marshes above emptied into the sea at this point, and the flow of water from this stream had thrown up the sand so as to form the ridge, about two rods in width, which some fanciful fisherman had christened the “Round-Back.” On each side of it the water was deep, while on the bank a person might wade out several rods without being much more than knee-deep.

Miss Jenny Bass was not a Newport celebrity or a Broadway belle. She had not been trained at a fashionable seminary, and consequently her ideas of maidenly propriety were rather indefinite. She was one of six or seven daughters of a Rearport fisherman, and we suppose she inherited the tastes and tendencies of her father, for at the precise moment when our story commences, she was wading out on the “Round-Back,”—not an elegant, but a healthy and invigorating exercise, for a young lady. She had been out as far as the length of her dress, shrewdly and carefully adjusted for the occasion, would permit. Having carried her explorations as far as her comfort or her inclination prompted, she was in the act of returning to terra firma, when her progress was interrupted by Master Dick Bellmore, whose love of mischief, unfortunately for him, as it afterwards proved, inclined him to vex and tease the aquatic damsel.

For several minutes he had amused himself at Jenny’s expense. By splashing the water, and by moving the dory in which he sat across the narrow spit, he prevented her advance, till her patience was exhausted. She had given him a few sharp words, such as a spirited girl of eleven can speak on an emergency; but they had no effect upon her tormentor. Thus far, Tom Brindley had literally minded his own business; but when she resorted to tactics more peculiarly feminine, and begged the young tyrant in tender tones to let her pass, the chivalrous knight of the jack-knife, playing “stick” on the beach, considered it his duty to interfere in behalf of the persecuted submarine maiden. Not that the gallant knight aforesaid had sworn fealty to this particular lady, but on general principles.

Dick resented the interference, and maliciously increased his efforts to annoy poor Jenny, who now appeared to be very much alarmed, or very much excited by her situation. Her tormentor had pushed the boat from the sand where it had grounded, and was actually driving the poor girl out to sea. He was laughing, and teasing her with ill-chosen words. As he slowly pushed the dory towards her, occasionally splashing the water at her, she retreated backwards from him.

“You are a porpoise, Jenny! You are not afraid of salt water! Hold still a minute, and let me wash your face, Jenny,” said he, as he followed up the hapless maiden.

“Don’t, Dick, don’t! I’m scared half out of my senses now. Don’t, Dick, don’t!” pleaded she, as she continued to take step after step backwards, till she stood up to her knees in the water.

“What are you afraid of, Jenny? The dirt is an inch deep on your face. Let me wash it off.”

“Dick Bellmore, if you don’t let that gal alone, I’ll duck you, and see how you like it,” said Tom.

“Will you? I should like to see you do it!”

It was quite evident that he did not mean what he said; for Dick, being the son of the richest man in Rearport, wore better clothes than most of the boys, and an over-dose of salt water would not have been pleasant to him. More than this, he was provoked that the son of a poor fisherman should assume to dictate to him; and, instead of ceasing his cruel sport, he pressed Jenny the harder, each time the remonstrance was uttered. Dick was not a bad boy, naturally; he was simply maintaining his independence, which is dear to all boys; and he carried his unfeeling sport further than he would have done if nothing had been said to him.

Poor Jenny was retiring backwards before her unrelenting enemy, and did not bestow proper attention to the direction of her retreat, which led her to the deep gully. Taking an unguarded step, she put her foot into a hole, when, losing her balance, she fell over backwards into the deep water. This was more than Dick had bargained for, and he was appalled by the accident. Nature had not largely endowed him with self-possession, and instead of pushing out to the rescue of the unfortunate maiden, he stood up in the boat, bewildered and uncertain.

Tom Brindley understood the situation at a glance, and dropping the jack-knife, he dashed down the beach, through the water, and into the boat, before Dick’s second thought came to him. Snatching the oar from the bewildered boy, he sculled her out to the spot where Jenny had gone down. Grasping the boat-hook, he fastened it in her clothing, and, after a sharp struggle, hauled her into the dory.

“There! you mean pup!” exclaimed Tom, when he had completed the job, “do you see what you’ve done! Why didn’t you mind what I said to you?”

“You are not my master,” replied Dick, not at all pleased with this sharp address.

“What did you do that for?” cried Tom, puffing like a porpoise.

“You’ve said enough, Tom Brindley.”

“I reckon I have, but I haven’t done enough,” replied the young knight; and without a word of warning or menace, he suddenly seized hold of the persecutor of female innocence, and by a quick and dexterous movement pitched him overboard.

It was a fortunate circumstance for Dick Bellmore that he knew how to swim, for, though there was no immediate danger of his drowning, it abridged the duration of his involuntary bath very materially. Tom took the oar, and, sculling the boat to the shore, landed Miss Jenny Bass on the beach. Without waiting to enlarge upon the nature and extent of her obligations to her deliverer, she bounded off towards her father’s cottage, leaving her courtly knight to fight out any battle which previous events might render necessary. The persecutor of female innocence was very wet and very angry. After shaking himself like a wet dog, he walked up to Tom Brindley, evidently with the intention of wreaking his vengeance upon him; but the hero stood like a rock, ready for anything which might transpire. Dick looked at him once, and changed his mind.

“You’ll have to pay for this, Tom Brindley!” said he, bitterly.

“I’m ready any time you are,” replied the hero, as the other walked with a quick step towards his father’s house.


The event described in the preceding chapter created a tremendous sensation in Rearport. It was reported that Tom Brindley had done an awful thing; that he had even attempted to take the life of Captain Bellmore’s son. The “Brindley boy,” with malice aforethought, and with a wickedness which the people could not understand, had pitched the “Bellmore boy” into the water. It is true, something was said about the “Bass girl,” but not much stress seemed to be laid upon her connection with the affair.

While the terrible rumors were flying from mouth to mouth through the village, and everybody was wondering why the constable did not take up the little villain, the subject of all this talk sat on the log on the beach, and finished his game of “stick” with Silas Ryder. He was not conscious that he had done a very wicked thing. Perhaps it was because he was hardened in iniquity; for the truth of history compels us to say that Tom’s character stood below par in Rearport. His reputation for those sterling virtues which make what is technically called a good boy, was bad. He had been known to smoke a “long nine,” and one old lady declared that she “smelt his breath once,”—which was certainly an awful imputation to cast upon the fame of a young man of fourteen.

His father had been dead about two months, and it is quite certain that neither of his parents had ever been able to get much good out of him. In the police reports of a great city he would have been classed under the head of “idle and dissolute”; in Rearport he was simply a “good-for-nothing.” We don’t know that we could sum up the nature and extent of Tom’s misdemeanors; but he didn’t like to go to school, didn’t like to work, didn’t like to stay in the house on Sunday, and didn’t like to mind his father and mother. The Plush-Street reformers would have regarded his delinquencies as mere negative virtues, and would have been willing to believe that the boy would make a good and useful citizen with proper encouragement.

In spite of his faults, to call them by a mild term, Tom had many excellent points. He was as bold as a lion, and as generous as the softest heart could desire. Though he did not always obey his widowed mother, he loved her as tenderly as his wayward nature would allow. For her sake he had fifty times resolved to reform, and half that number of times had actually put his resolution into practice far enough to work one day in the garden, or behave himself with the most exemplary propriety for the full space of six hours.

Tom finished his game of “stick,” having beaten his competitor every time, without an exception, and, as the tide served, went out and caught a mess of cunners for breakfast the next morning. All unconscious of the tempest which had been raging in the village during his absence, he walked leisurely up to his mother’s cottage with the string of fish in his hand. As he entered the back door, he heard the voice of a gentleman in the kitchen. He listened, and recognized the tones of Captain Bellmore, the magnate of Rearport. He was evidently in the worst possible humor, and Tom was in doubt whether or not it would be safe to show his face in the house. He sat down on the wash-bench and listened to the conversation.

“Yes, ma’am. You know the facts in the case as well as I do. I’ve never troubled you.”

“I know you haven’t, Captain Bellmore,” replied Mrs. Brindley, meekly; “and I’m sure I’m very much obleeged to you for your goodness.”

“But I can’t stand it any longer!” continued the irate Captain. “I’ve told you before that good-for-nothing boy of yours must be taken care of. I’ve got a mortgage on your house for four hundred dollars. The interest hasn’t been paid for more than a year, but I never disturbed you, I never said a word about it.”

“I know you didn’t, sir, and, goodness knows, I’m as thankful to you as a body can be for lettin’ on it rest.”

“Yes! and what do I get for it? Why, this very afternoon, that good-for-nothing boy of yours threw my son overboard,—meant to drown him. I haven’t the least doubt!”

“I don’t think Thomas meant to do that. He a’n’t a bad boy at heart. He is kind o’ wild and shif’less, but I don’t b’lieve he’s wicked.”

“You don’t believe it, ma’am? What did he throw my son into the water for, then?” demanded Captain Bellmore, who couldn’t think of anything more depraved than throwing his son overboard.

“I’ll tell you what I did it for, Captain Bellmore,” said Tom, suddenly rushing into the room, his face as red as a blood beet.

“So you are here, are you?”

“Yes, sir! I am here; and I ain’t afraid of the biggest man in creation, either.”

“Don’t be saucy, boy!” said the great man of Rearport.

“Don’t, Thomas, don’t!” pleaded his mother.

But they might as well have attempted to shackle a northeaster, as to restrain the fiery temper of Tom Brindley, smarting under a keen sense of injustice. “I’m going to speak, ’cause I’m not to blame; or if I am to blame, I a’n’t any more to blame than Dick Bellmore. He was bothering Jenny Bass, and scared her half out of her wits, and then drove her out into deep water, and she tipped up and went over, and she’d a been drownded if I hadn’t pulled her out. That is the long and short of the whole matter. I told Dick to quit, and he wouldn’t, and he sassed me, and I didn’t touch Dick till he drove the gal out where the water was over her head!”

Tom blowed like a grampus, when he had finished his story. He paused to notice the effect of his explanation. Captain Bellmore did not appear to think that crowding the poor girl out into deep water was a very wicked thing,—certainly not wicked enough to justify Tom’s high-handed act. The truth, exactly as it was, came out after some savage questioning, when it appeared that the young tyrant had been thrown into the water after the rescue of Jenny.

“What did you throw my son into the water then for?” asked the indignant father.

“Because he sassed me, and because I was mad with him for doing such a mean, dirty trick. The gal would ’a’ been drownded if I hadn’t been there.”

“I dare say, young gentleman!” sneered Captain Bellmore. “You have a very fine opinion of yourself.”

“Well, your son wouldn’t have saved her. He stood in the boat like a sick monkey. He didn’t stir a finger to help Jenny, and she was floundering about in the water like a porpoise aground on a sand-bar.”

“It’s no use for me to talk to this boy, ma’am. If you’ll turn him over to me, I’ll put him where he will have to behave himself.”

“No, you won’t,” said Tom, shaking his head at the oracle of the village.

“Do you hear that, ma’am?”

“I don’t think Thomas is a bad boy at heart——”

“Enough of this, ma’am!” said the Captain, impatiently. “If you won’t take my advice, I can’t help it. I won’t have my son abused by anybody. If I can’t get the good-for-nothing fellow out of the place in one way, I shall in another. All I’ve got to say, ma’am, is, that the interest on that note is due the twentieth of the month. If it is not paid, I shall take possession right off. If the interest is paid, I shall want the principal, too. That’s all I’ve got to say, ma’am. I’m sorry it is so, but I can’t help it.”

“Now, Cap’n Bellmore, you can leave!” added Tom, indignantly, when his mother began to weep. “Don’t you say no more to my mother! If you do, I’ll bat you, if I have to swing for it.”

“I’ve nothing more to say, you impudent young puppy!” replied the rich man, as he sailed in solemn dignity out of the house.

“What shall we do, Thomas?” groaned poor Mrs. Brindley. “You see what you’ve done.”

“I couldn’t help it, mother,” answered Tom, gently, as he laid down the clothes-stick, which he had picked up to enforce his threat. “Don’t cry, mother; I’ll take care of you, whatever happens.”

“You, Tom! You never did a thing in your life but worry me! Now, you’ll turn us all out of house and home. Why did you do it, Thomas?” moaned the poor widow.

Tom could not tell why he did it; so he used all his efforts to comfort his mother. He promised to turn over a new leaf, and do a thousand improbable and impossible things. At last, when her grief had spent itself, Mrs. Brindley returned to her work, and Tom went out into the garden to think over the matter.

Oliver Optic.



Squire Reverdy, cane in hand, came walking home one afternoon with a smiling countenance, and inquired for Father Brighthopes.

“Good news,—I see it in your eye!” said the old clergyman.

“Yes, in abundance!” said the Squire, pulling off his glove. “It comes thick and fast now. There is no longer a Southern ‘Confederacy.’ Read for yourself,” giving Father Brighthopes an evening paper. “But I have one item, not to be found even in the latest editions; which is, that the young folks propose to pay you their respects this evening.”

“Ah, that is good news indeed! It shows that they did not get very tired of me the other night, does it not?”

“We needed no new evidence of that fact. You not only interested them, but I hear from all quarters that your talk did them a deal of good. At play, at home, and at school, I believe they behaved better afterwards than they were ever known to do before: they were kinder to each other, more generous, and consequently happier. The change was very noticeable, for three or four days at least.”

“Three or four days! Well, that is better than nothing. If we grown folks so soon forget our good resolutions and lose our inspiration for works of love, we mustn’t expect too much of the children. It isn’t enough simply to teach what is right, but we must at the same time impart an impulse to do right; and that does not come from the head, but from the heart.”

“One thing I find very sad in my own experience,” rejoined Squire Reverdy. “I find that I can remember a good lesson much longer than I often feel the impulse to live it out. The impulse dies, and then the lesson is like a tree that has lost all its sap,—a leafless, lifeless thing, good for nothing.”

“Yes,” said Father Brighthopes, “we had repeated promptings, continual influences, to keep the spirit of good alive within us. Yet it often happens that a single word, at the right moment, has power to change the whole course of a person’s life; like a guidepost that shows us the right direction, when we are travelling and at a loss to know which way to turn. Let us hope that we may thus show the way to more than one of these dear children, who will henceforth follow it from the impulse of good which is in themselves.”

“O Father Brighthopes!” exclaimed Emma Reverdy, running into the room soon after the Squire had gone out, “do you know the dreadfullest thing has happened! And it isn’t true, neither; I know it isn’t!”

“If it isn’t true, how can it have happened?” asked the old clergyman, smiling at the slight inconsistency into which excitement had betrayed her.

“I mean, I don’t believe it is true! But everybody says it is,—even father says he don’t see how there can be any mistake about it. You remember Grant Eastman?”

“What! my young friend of the lost tooth?”

“The tooth, if you’ll believe it, stayed in!” said Emma. “But it’s worse than that,—even than losing all one’s teeth, I should think! He was always such a nice boy, such a free-hearted, good boy! I never knew him to do a mean thing. But now—O, I won’t believe it!”

“My dear child,” said Father Brighthopes, “tell me at once what has happened to him, for you make me feel very anxious.”

“Well, you know, he has no father, and his mother is poor, and so he left school this spring to go into Mr. Marsh’s shoe-store, in town. And they liked him ever so much, he was so smart and prompt about everything,—so good-natured too, and ready to oblige everybody. But by and by Mr. Marsh began to miss money from the drawer, and he didn’t know who could have taken it unless it was Grant. So he laid a trap for him. Mr. Marsh left a certain sum of money in the drawer, and went out, when nobody was in the store except Grant; and Mr. Marsh says he kept watch outside and saw that nobody went in; then finally he went back and looked in the drawer, and some of the money was missing.”

“What sort of a man is this Mr. Marsh?” demanded Father Brighthopes, looking more disturbed than Emma had ever seen him.

“Father says he is a very good man, and a very careful man: that’s what makes it look so bad for Grant. Nobody else could have taken the money this last time, Mr. Marsh says he knows. But Grant declared he didn’t take it; he felt awfully, and turned his pockets inside out, and asked to be searched, if Mr. Marsh didn’t believe him. As he wouldn’t own up, Mr. Marsh—though he seemed to feel almost as bad about it as Grant did—had to turn him away. And now it is all around town that Grant Eastman got kicked out for stealing money!”

“It is a sad case,—sad if he is innocent, sadder still if he is guilty. And his poor mother! Come, Emma, suppose we go and take a walk, and call on the Widow Eastman, and see if we can say a comforting word to her. And Grant,—we mustn’t judge him too harshly, even if he did take the money. Perhaps it was his mother’s poverty that prompted him to do so dangerous and bad a thing.”

Emma ran for her old friend’s hat and cane, and in a few minutes the two were on the way to Mrs. Eastman’s house.

It was a pleasant afternoon; the blue-birds and robins were singing by the roadside; the beautiful sunshine lay warm on the brown hills, and in the green hollows; but there was no lovelier sight anywhere that day than the old man and the little girl walking together,—no sweeter music than the sound of their voices as they talked.

“That is Mrs. Eastman’s house,” said Emma; “and see, there is Grant chopping sticks in the yard!”

Grant, as soon as he saw the visitors stop at the gate, struck his hatchet into the block on which he was chopping, put on his coat, and ran to meet them. “Even if he has stolen money, I have the greatest hopes of this lad,” thought Father Brighthopes. Such a light as was in that face never shone from a reckless or dishonest heart.

“I am so glad to see you! and mother will be so glad!” said Grant, giving one hand to the old clergyman, while Emma held the other. “It is very good in you to come!” and the stout-hearted little fellow could not keep back his tears.

“A few of our young friends are going to call on us to-night, and we have come to give you a special invitation,” said Father Brighthopes, cheerily.

“What! You really want me—after—or don’t you know, then?” said Grant, with surprise and embarrassment.

“Yes, we want you, and we know, and we don’t believe it, do we, Father Brighthopes?” cried Emma.

“You must come, certainly,” said the old clergyman, encouragingly. “Whatever you have done, or have not done, I know you mean to be a true and honest boy, and you may count on me as your friend always,”—laying his hand tenderly across Grant’s shoulder.

The unhappy boy could not stand such kindness. His heart, already too full, burst forth in sobs. Father Brighthopes made a sign to Emma, who ran into the house to see Mrs. Eastman, while he walked aside with Grant.

“Come,” said he, with his arm still laid affectionately across the boy’s shoulder, “tell me all about it, won’t you?”

“I didn’t take the money!” exclaimed Grant.

“Do you think, then, that Mr. Marsh meant to injure you?”

“No, I can’t say he meant to; and I don’t blame him much for thinking I took it. I suppose that anybody that didn’t know me might have thought the same;—yes, I know so.”

“Why, my lad?”

“You see, the money was missing. I don’t deny that. I know there were twenty-five cents taken that last time, for I had counted it.”

“Who could have taken it?”

“That’s the strange thing about it. Mr. Marsh had gone out, and there was nobody in the store but me at the time. And yet—”

“It was taken?”

“It was missing: that’s all I know.”

“It certainly looks very much as if you took it, don’t you think so?”

“Yes, I know it does; so that mother herself, thinking of it, has asked me half a dozen times if I am quite sure I didn’t take it in my sleep, or somehow. It’s only for her I care,” said Grant, with fresh tears. “She knows I’m not a thief; but then she knows other folks think I am.”

“Well, well,” said Father Brighthopes, “if you are innocent, as you say, you may be sure it will all turn out right. You may have to suffer a little, but suffering is very good for us sometimes. Everything helps to develop character. You will be a great deal stronger and better after this. I hope the mystery will be cleared up soon, for it certainly is a very great mystery; but even if it is not cleared up, you must stand it, you know. Be simple, humble, firm, truthful, always, and you will command the confidence and respect of people in spite of appearances.”

These words went to Grant’s heart with a joyous thrill. But what the old clergyman immediately added cost him a pang.

“On the other hand, if you have been so thoughtless, so foolish, as to take your employer’s money, this humbling lesson will teach you never, never to do such a thing again.”

“He thinks I may be guilty!” was the boy’s stinging reflection, as they went in to see his mother.

Making acquaintance with the Widow Eastman and her daughter, the old clergyman became still more interested in her son. Never before had such a calamity befallen this little family. Ah, if children only knew what suffering their bad conduct often brings upon those who love them, surely such knowledge would, sooner than anything else, serve to keep them from it. But Mrs. Eastman had one consolation,—how precious to a mother’s heart!—the belief that her son was innocent.

Having said the few kind and cheering words which such occasions always called out of him, and which nobody else knew better how and when to say, the old clergyman departed with his young companion. Grant followed them to the gate.

“You’ll be sure to come this evening?” said Emma, at parting.

“If you say so,” replied Grant. “Yes,” he added, arming himself with a sturdy resolution,—“though I know there’ll be some that will sneer at me,—I’ll come! For, you see,”—with a bright smile,—“I’m determined to make the best of things.

“Grant means to fight it out on that line,” said Emma, with a silvery laugh that must have made every one happy who heard it.

Early that evening the company began to arrive at Squire Reverdy’s house. The Squire was there with his pleasant, hospitable face. Mrs. Reverdy welcomed the little visitors with cordial good-will. Miss Thorley came in with a merry flock of her favorite girls,—a beautiful sight, which made the old clergyman’s eyes glisten.

“Welcome, welcome, my dear young friends!” said he, with overflowing kindness. “I see many familiar faces, and a few new ones. But one or two are missing. Where is my spirited little fellow, Cary Wilson?”

“He has gone to be errand-boy in Mr. Marsh’s store, in Grant’s place; and he won’t be here for an hour yet,” said Jason Jones.

Upon which all eyes turned upon Grant, who had quietly taken a retired seat at the end of the room, where he had, no doubt, hoped to escape observation. He saw the strange looks of curiosity and mockery which many of his old, thoughtless playmates cast upon him, and heard the unsuppressed tittering. At the same time Burton Thorley, who had chanced to take a seat next him, got up, muttering angrily.

“What is the matter with your chair, Burton?” whispered Miss Thorley, anxious to quiet him.

“I a’n’t going to sit next to him!” he gruffly declared, loud enough for all in the room to hear.

Grant’s face, a moment before red, turned white. His heart was beating with singular excitement. It was hard for him to set still and bear so open an insult; but he did. He scarcely moved a muscle, only his lip twitched a little.

“My dear son!” said the old man, with strong and tender emotion, calling Burton to his side, “you do not, I hope, cherish any ill-feeling towards Grant for what happened the other night?”

“ ’T a’n’t that,” replied Burton, sulkily, for the subject was probably distasteful. “I guess I’m enough for him, any day! But I a’n’t going to set next to a thief!”

The unfeeling rudeness of this reply seemed almost to take the old clergyman’s breath away for a moment. He looked first at Grant, then at Burton, with an expression of deep commiseration.

“I pity Grant,” said he at length, very softly; “but O Burton, I pity you still more!”

“Me! what do you pity me for?” growled Burton, looking up at him with angry surprise.

“Because you are possessed by such a spirit. Do you know, I do not think Grant is a thief. Even if he is, and is sorry for what he has done, I’d rather be in his place, sitting there, sad and ashamed, with his humiliation, than in your place, my poor boy, with your pride and ill-nature. My children, I am now going to tell you something.

“People are accustomed to show a great respect for money. But there is something far more precious than that. To be generous with your worldly means is well. But to be generous in your thoughts, in your words, in your actions, is a truer test of a noble and kind heart. Be generous in your feelings towards one another,—be liberal in your judgments, in your praise, in your love. This is true charity, of which you can never have enough. If you live to be as old as I am, you will look back and regret that you have not been more generous one to another.

“It is not alone in money matters that you can be selfish and dishonest. You can rob a person of the credit that is his due. You can rob him of his happiness by an unjust or unkind word. You can steal from him his good name. It is quite as bad to be such a thief, as to rob a till. So be very careful, my dear Burton, that you be not yourself guilty of the very thing for which you are so prompt to condemn Grant. Will you not return now to your seat by his side?”

“I’d just as lives stand,” said the sulky Burton, sidling towards the door. “Come!” with a sort of snort at a boy who just then entered in such haste that he unintentionally jostled him.

“Here’s our friend Cary, after all!” exclaimed Father Brighthopes, gladly turning his eyes from the gloomy Burton to the bright and animated face of the last comer. “They said you would not be here for an hour, my lad.”

“O, but you see, I’ve got news!” cried Cary, all excited and out of breath. “Mr. Marsh sent me right away as soon as he found out—I’ve been to Mrs. Eastman’s, and she said Grant was over here—the funniest thing!”

“Have they got the thief?” said Emma Reverdy.

Cary laughed as he tossed back the hair from his forehead. “You’ll laugh, Grant! The real thief—we’ve found him out!”

“Who?” demanded Grant.—“But you’re joking, Cary! How could there be a thief, when there was nobody in the store but me?”

“Well, there was one!”

“He must have been hid, then. But even if he was, how could he take the money without my seeing him?”

“O, he was a sly fellow! You see, after you left, more money was taken. Another quarter went when Mr. Marsh himself was in the store. That set us searching. And, you see,” turning to Father Brighthopes, “as I was hunting behind the counter I heard a noise. Then Mr. Marsh came and listened too, and you should have seen his face when he said, ‘If Grant, after all, should be innocent!’ ”

“How could there be a robber under the counter?” asked Grant;—“for I looked and looked!”

“You see, he was behind the boards. ‘Bring me the hatchet,’ says Mr. Marsh. And we went to work tearing the boards away next to the wall. There, sure enough, we found the rogue! with the money actually in his possession.”

“A man?” said Grant.


“A boy?”


“Not a little girl?” exclaimed Emma.

“No; nor an old woman, either. I’ll tell you what it was; it was a little bit of a mouse! and he had made the nicest little nest in the world out of Mr. Marsh’s stolen currency.”

This announcement produced an extraordinary sensation, and once more all looked at Grant, whose face, this time, was radiant with joy. He had already started from his seat.

“Where are you going, Grant?” inquired Father Brighthopes.

“Home—to tell mother!”

“But she knows already. I told her,” said Cary.

Assured of that fact, Grant was finally persuaded to resume his seat, although his desire to run home and exchange congratulations with his mother and sisters was almost too eager to be resisted.

Burton was now seen sidling back to the seat which he had vacated with such disdain. But he was too late: Cary slipped into it before him, and he was left standing.

Then, when the excitement occasioned by the incident had subsided, Father Brighthopes, taking it for his text, proceeded to talk with the children on those important subjects which it suggested.

J. T. Trowbridge.


Dog Carlos was not a Newfoundland, a mastiff, a terrier, or a dog of any of the breeds with which you are used to romp. He had a smooth, yellow skin, large, soft eyes, could fetch and carry, and understand all that was said to him. He was about sixteen years old, stood five feet three inches high, and would sell at any day in the market for five or six hundred dollars. You see, therefore, that he was a fine and valuable animal, and that Mr. Seabrook, who had just given Dog Carlos to his nephew Jack for his own, had made him a very handsome present indeed; but it happened, as soon as Dog Carlos understood that he had a new master, that, from a good and docile dog, he instantly became a bad, designing one, and made up his mind to run away. I say made up his mind, because he had a mind, and two legs, and a soul, and was in fact a lively mulatto lad, who, happening to have been born in South Carolina, had been given when only six years of age by Mr. Seabrook to his son Harry, as his dog; that is the name by which such little slaves are called. Carlos came at Harry’s whistle, did his errands, and trotted after him when he rode out on horseback, like any other puppy, running fast enough to keep Harry’s Kentucky pony in sight, till his legs were tired, when his young master would pick him up and perch him behind, where he clung, looking very like a little yellow monkey. If Harry was good-natured, Carlos sometimes got pennies and candies; if Harry was cross, Carlos was apt to fall heir to cuffs on the ear, and cuts of the whip; but you are not to think very hardly of this Southern boy, or plume yourself on being so much better, unless you are quite certain that, if you had a boy or a dog all to yourself, and were sure that papa and mamma would either know nothing or say nothing about it, you would not cuff and strike him when you were very much out of humor, as I have seen certain little Northerners do to their brothers, and sisters, and pets, even with the fear of punishment before their eyes.

Carlos had always been told that he was the happiest fellow in the world, and that the text in the Bible which principally concerned him was, “Servants, obey your masters.” I do not think he quite believed it in his heart, for the same differences appear in black children as in white. You know certain Toms and Lucys, who, if they found it in their books, would go solemnly up to class, and say, the moon is about as large as a pint-bowl, is made of green cheese, and rises in the west, and sets in the east; whereas you, my clever young friend, are not to be made game of in that fashion by any book that ever was printed. Just so Carlos said, “Yes, mas’r,” with the rest; but sometimes he thought, in a puzzled way, how very odd it was that the alphabet should be as bad for him as catching the “country fever,” when it was such an excellent thing for Mas’r Harry, and that, when poor niggers needed so much comfort, there should be just that one line about “Servants, obey your masters,” which he was so tired of hearing; and when Harry died, and Mr. Seabrook, to whom now the very sight of Carlos was painful, gave him away to his nephew, Carlos, as we have said, made up his mind to run away; for there were dreadful stories whispered about of what had been done on the Ashleigh plantation, and Jack Ashleigh, though hardly as old as Carlos himself, was much too ready with the toe of his boot, and the lash of his whip, to be a very comfortable master for anything but a hippopotamus.

Making up one’s mind, however, builds no bridges; and while Carlos was still thinking the matter over, Master Jack suddenly took it into his head to go home, taking his pony, his gun, and Dog Carlos with him; and that made running away, as an old teacher of mine used to say, “quite another pair of sleeves”; for Jack’s father, scowling, angry Mr. Ashleigh, like other tyrants, had his spies, miserable souls, who tried to find favor with their cruel master by repeating to him what was said and done among the other slaves; and beside these, something more honest, but quite as dangerous,—a leash of bloodhounds, whom Carlos could never pass without fancying that he felt them growling and tearing at his throat: and I suspect he must have looked at this time downcast and doubtful, for his young master took occasion to remonstrate with him in the following gentle manner.

“You black imp, what are you sulking about now? Look here, Carlos, do you feel this?”

“Yes, mas’r,” answered Carlos; and it is likely that he did, as “this” was a stinging cut of Jack’s riding-whip.

“O, you do, eh! Well, this is the sort of medicine we keep for sulky niggers; so look out, and don’t be trying on your airs here. We don’t spoil our niggers, like Uncle Seabrook, you had better believe.”

Carlos did believe it with all his heart, and thought all the more about that plan of running away; but also, that, till he found a chance, the best policy was to be so alert and so docile, that “Mas’r Jack” should find no need for his favorite medicine. This was not what Jack had expected, and I am afraid not what he wanted. He thought Carlos’s education had been so neglected in the whipping line, that, as a consequence, he should be lazy and saucy; and, being disappointed in that, seemed to feel as if Carlos’s good behavior put him in the wrong, and was so sharp and savage with him, such a lynx for his failings, and such a mole for his good points, that I believe Carlos would have been wiser to have deserved his flogging, and taken it at once.

About the time of Carlos’s coming, Mr. Ashleigh had forbidden his slaves to hold their prayer-meetings. I do not know whether he was afraid that God would hear them, for it is quite certain that he could never have believed what he said, that these poor cowed creatures met to plan mischief against their white masters; but at any rate, he put Wesley, their preacher, a house-servant, and a feeble old man, at hard labor in the fields, flogged the rest liberally, and there was an end of the meetings, on pain of more floggings for every one caught at them. They went on, however, for all that, in the rice-houses, in the swamps, sometimes in their own settlement with closed doors; and Carlos went to them, partly because he had a good old mother who loved Jesus, and partly, that he took a sort of stubborn comfort in breaking rules; and, coming home one night, he was unlucky enough to run full on Master Jack.

“What are you doing out here at this time of night?” asked Jack, not from any particular suspicion, but simply because he could never let him alone.

Now Carlos was not afraid of a whipping for himself, but he knew that to tell the truth here would just send old Wesley, Maum Bella, Hercules, Sue, Lizzie, and a dozen others, to the whipping-post. Not many of the slaves would have hesitated in such a case over a falsehood; they learn to lie early, of one Mr. Fear. But Carlos was as sturdy a fellow as some honest white boys that I know, and that good old mother who loved Jesus had taught him to hate a lie; so he tried evasion.

“I’se been roun’ all ober, mas’r.”

“That isn’t the question; where have you been?” insisted Jack, suspecting that at last this dog was going to be obstinate.

“I’se bery sorry, mas’r.”

“You black rascal! are you going to answer me?”

“Mas’r hab to ’scuse me; couldn’t do dat no how.”

“O, you can’t! Perhaps I can find you a tongue. Now,” striking him with his fist, “will you answer?—now, will you answer?”

Carlos took the blows quietly, without flinching or dodging; and if his young master’s face was fierce and angry, the dog’s was solemn and determined. Carlos is in a bad predicament; for if, as Mas’r Jack declares, he is to be whipped till he tells, it looks very much as if Carlos was to be whipped to death.

One, two, three whippings; each one worse than the one preceding. This is the next day. “Take him away,” cries Jack, savagely, “and bring him up early in the morning. I’ll have his heart out, but he shall speak.”

Carlos limped away, bleeding and faint, and not one of those for whom he suffered dared so much as look towards him; but when it was dark enough to hide them, Maum Bella came and washed his mangled back, and Sue brought corn-pones, and Lizzie a roasted chicken, and old Wesley his blessing, and Carlos had come at last to what he had been dreaming about so long,—the running away.

Mr. Ashleigh’s house was surrounded by rice-fields,—mud-fields you would have been apt to call them as they looked just then; in front was the river, behind were great forests,—so dense, that to look in among the thick-growing trunks you might have fancied that night was kept in there. You crossed the rice-fields on dams, narrow-raised walks, only wide enough for a single horse; and directly in front of Mr. Ashleigh’s house was a little wharf, where vessels stopped to load up with rice, and to which was moored a boat, as if waiting for Carlos. On the other side of the river was a railroad, clearly running somewhere, away from mas’r’s. Carlos took the rails for his guide, and travelled just as they told him all night; but when it came time for stars, and owls, and runaways to hide themselves, he looked about him a little doubtfully, for the stars and owls had a place, but he had none. On one side was the river, on the other the forest. The river, of course, was out of the question, he not being a fish; and if he concealed himself in the bush, or climbed a tree, the dogs would soon have him out. I think the poor boy had a notion that “Mas’r Jack,” and the terrible hounds, could find him anywhere; still he had thought of nothing better to do, when, luckily for him, he came on a hut built of rough boards, very much in the style of a pig-pen, having a small space left open for a door, in which sat a wrinkled old negro, with hair as white as snow, singing in a cracked, feeble voice, “Bery early in the mornin’ when the Lor’ pass by, when the Lor’ pass by, and invite me to come,” over and over again, to a tune as monotonous as the words. Now this was only a “pig-minder,”—a poor old slave who followed his pigs about all day in the forest, wherever they chose to go, and slept at night in this miserable hut; but old Cupid was also a famous engineer on the underground railway, which you know is the line on which runaway slaves come North, and had helped off so many poor creatures in his day, that he knew as many hiding-places as a chipmunk.

“Lor’ bress ye, honey chile,” he said to Carlos, “I knowed ye for one ob my chillen, de fust minnit I sot eyes on yer. ’Pears like de Lor’ done sen’ ’em all dis yer way, kase he knows I’se de bes’. I’se done gone hide heap ob niggas, and dey’m neber cotched ef I hide em, neber. Jes you come now wid ole Cupid. De Lor’ sen’ yer, shore, and he look sharp dey no foun’ yer, ’pend on dat.”

Now, just about this time there was a fine commotion on the Ashleigh plantation. Carlos was missing, and the boat was gone, and it was tolerably clear that he had crossed the river and had a fair start, and the hounds are baying in the yard, and Master Jack and his father are in such a rage that I should say, if they catch him, Carlos’s chance was poorer than ever. On crossing the river, the dogs, who had been given Carlos’s clothes to scent, found the track at once, and trailed Carlos as straight to the forest as if they had seen him go, and turned in among the trees where he had turned, till they came to old Cupid’s hut, which was now quite empty; and there the younger dogs began to give tongue, and yelp, and run wildly about, while the experienced and reliable dogs nosed here and there in a puzzled way: for here the trail went on towards the heart of the forest, and here it doubled on itself and came back to the brook, and went up the brook, and down the brook, till they could make nothing of it, and when they crossed the brook, there it was on the other side, striking off again into the forest; and how could even the best-regulated dog stick to such a scent as that? So there was Jack, and Mr. Ashleigh, and the overseer, all of different minds; for Jack was sure that Carlos was dodging them somewhere in the forest, while the elder gentlemen were as positive that he had gone on farther; and there were the dogs puzzling and yelping about them, and, in the midst of the clamor, who should come on them but Cupid, driving his pigs.

“Confound it, keep off, you’ll spoil the scent,” shouted Jack. “And have you seen a little yellow boy go by here this morning?” asked Mr. Ashleigh in the same breath.

“Iss, mas’r, bery fine mornin’,” answered Cupid, his hand at his ear to show how very deaf he was.

“You fool! we want to know if you have seen a runaway boy,—a yellow boy, saucy-looking fellow, carries himself very straight,” chimed in the overseer.

“Iss, mas’r, bery fine pigs; a’n’t no finer dan dese yer. Mas’r Sandford’s a’n’t no count at all side on ’em.”

“What is the use talking to that idiot?” said Jack, impatiently. “Don’t you see he is as deaf as a post,—and when did any one ever get the truth out of a nigger? Come on to Sandford’s. If he’s gone on, we’ll soon overhaul him. If he is skulking about here, a day or two will starve him out, and when he does show himself, he will have a warm time of it.”

And as nobody had anything better to offer, off they went, dogs and men, in bad humor enough. And now where do you suppose Carlos was hiding all this time? Why, very nearly over their heads. That sly old Cupid had made him walk on half a mile beyond the hut, and then back to the brook, and up and down on both its banks, and off into the forest on the other side, and back again once more to the water. You know that water completely destroys the scent, and puts the best hound at fault, and wading into it, they came, about a quarter of a mile up, on a great old oak leaning over the brook, and forking out in three huge branches, some thirty or forty feet from the ground. A superb trumpet-creeper wound about the trunk of the oak, and twined and twisted in and over and around the three branches, till its thick glossy leaves and scarlet flowers completely covered the space which they enclosed, and made of it a sort of nest, into which Carlos had climbed from the water-side, and, forcing his way with some trouble between the twisted and matted stems, sat securely, munching at the pone and chicken which he had not dared to touch before, and looking down at his baffled and spiteful hunters. When they were gone, he was so dead tired, that notwithstanding his strange perch, he fell almost instantly into a heavy sleep, from which he waked every few moments with a jerk, fancying that he was tumbling from the tree, or felt the grip of a hound at his throat, till dark, when he scrambled down to pass the night in the hut, where Cupid had taken care to bring him his supper. So passed a week, the days in the tree, the nights in the hut, till, feeling himself tolerably secure, Carlos set out again with the rails for a guide, pushing on at night, hiding by day in the bush, and keeping clear of the plantations, till his corn-pone was gone. Then Carlos, who had the appetite of a young wolf, reflected that he could neither dine upon the moss, dangling from the trees above his head, or on the moccason-snakes upon which he had once or twice nearly trodden; and, coming on cleared grounds, and outbuildings, and finally a broad avenue of oaks, skulked along its edge, keeping well in the shadow, till he saw at a little distance the pillars and piazzas of the planter’s house, the low roofs of the negro quarters, and just before him a cabin. The door was closed, and the board shutter of the little window; but a light showed through a crevice in the last, and pulling it cautiously open, Carlos saw a cleanly swept room, a plump bed, a clear bright fire, and, sitting before it, a negro woman with a gay handkerchief bound about her head, and her skirt turned back over her knees, who, looking suddenly up, caught sight of Carlos’s wild, bright eyes, and haggard face, before he could draw back.

“Come in,” she said quietly, opening the door; “no need be feared ob me. I’se all alone; allers alone now. My chillen all done gone; two sole away, free dead, and one lef’ he mas’r, like you ’pears like. Come in, chile,—tell ye no be ’feared, dey’m neber come yere”;—and, taking hold of Carlos’s arm, she pulled him in, plastered with swamp mud, his clothes torn to rags in the bush, and feeling like a frog, or some ugly crawling bug, that belongs in the damp and dirt, and has no business in clean, cheery rooms.

“ ’Pears like yer feet’s too tender to be trackin’ it for de dogs to foller,” she said, looking at him compassionately, as she went about the little room to get him supper; “whar’s yer mammy?”

Carlos answered with a backward jerk of his hand.

“Watchin’ and prayin’ den, pore soul, like me,” said the woman, sighing. “Such a weary days! Sometimes I mos’ tink de Lor’ no hear, no care, and den de Bible say, de Lor’ hear de sighin’; and I shore he mus’ look down, and I’se pray ahead; and oh! de prayers dat done gone up to him! nuff to make noise in Heben; and de Lor’ hab hear,—de good time’s come.”

Carlos had heard much of a good time that was coming, but here was the first news he had of its arrival. He was too chilly, too full of aches, and too sleepy, to ask questions just then, however. He ate, as in a dream, the best supper that he had tasted in a month, had a general idea that the woman was washing off the mud, and that, while it was doing, he wished she would let him alone, because it made his dreams jerky, to be pulled about, and rubbed, and that, when it was done, it was very nice to be clean; and presently forgot everything, in the soft bed in which she tucked him up for the night, where he slept soundly, and did not even dream of Mas’r Jack. In the morning he learned what the good time was, and who brought it, from Sue, the woman who had received him, and who held forth as follows:—

“Lor’ bress de chile! how you tink I sit yere, and no be up dar?” pointing towards the planter’s house,—“kep’ you yere dis way, and no feared? Ole mas’r run; ole miss run. Dey’m all gone, kase dem dear, good Yankees comin’; neber see sech scrummagery, and tearin’, and hollerin’. And mas’r, he say, ‘Why, ole Sue, you no come wid us?’ and I say, ‘No, tank you, mas’r; bery gran’ to go wid sech gran’ gemmen, but den, you see, I’s ole woman now, and neber hed nuffin fur my own self yit; want to feel what it like, to hab you own mouf, and foots, and hans’;—he! he! he! And dey all gone, and dem nigga stay what like, and we’m free, bress de Lor’! All de time I kep tinking, Lor’, how you gwine ter do it? You’m break ebery yoke, shore, but what eber you’ll do wid ole mas’r, dis chile no see; and har’s ole mas’r lef us, and de freedom comin’, shore nuf, and all jes’ as easy as makin’ hoecake.”

Carlos listened, his mouth literally wide open with astonishment. He had scarcely ever heard of the Yankees, on the Seabrook and Ashleigh plantations, and, though he had come so many miles for his liberty, he had always felt that somehow or other in the end Mas’r Jack would get him, and carry him back; and now here was the whole plantation alive with negroes, hurrying out towards the road to meet their freedom, which was nothing more nor less than our General Sherman and his army marching into South Carolina; and on all sides Carlos heard, “Bress de Lor’!” and “Glory Hallelujah!” and wild singing of strange old tunes, such as are never heard here, and laugh and chatter, till above it all sounded a heavy, steady tramp, and then drum and fife, and cheers, and men singing about John Brown, and floating out fair and wide on the breeze our banner, and their banner, the stars and stripes. And as these poor, wondering, joyful free men and free women, for they were slaves no longer, stood looking on, I dare say our soldiers saw only a dingy, queer-looking mob, capering and grinning in a way to raise a good-natured laugh; and yet, dear children, ask your papa if here was not cracked the very toughest nut that has ever tried the teeth and the temper of those famous nut-crackers that sit in Congress, and make the laws, and keep us all straight, and tell us what is what generally. As for Carlos, there is an old and a false story about a wicked and cruel sorceress that had a disagreeable habit of turning men into beasts; but we have a new and a true story of a sweet and good enchantress called Liberty, that turns dogs into men; for Carlos is Dog Carlos no longer, but a soldier in the United States army, and promises to be a good and faithful one. And there is a story told of one of these colored soldiers, who would not suffer an impertinence while on guard, because, he said, “I don’t care nuffin fur dis yer particular Cuffy, but you mus’ respec’ dis uniform”;—and if that particular Cuffy was not Carlos, I can only wish it had been, for the sake of my story.

Louise E. Chollet.



By daybreak they were once more in the water, each provided with a complete set of swimming-shells. As the voyage was more extensive, and altogether more perilous, the greatest pains was taken to have the swimming apparatus as perfect as possible. Any flaw, such as a weak place in the waist-belts or shoulder-straps, or the smallest crevice that would admit water into one of the shells, might be followed by serious consequences, perhaps even drowning. Besides making the new belts, therefore, Munday had mended the old ones, giving all the shells an additional coating of caoutchouc, and strengthening the sipos that attached them to one another.

Just as the sun’s disk was seen above the tree-tops that skirted the lagoa on the east, our adventurers embarked on their aquatic expedition. But it could not be said that they started in high spirits. They knew not what was to be the sequel of their singular undertaking. Where their journey was to end, or whether its end might not be for some of their number—if not all of them—the bottom of the Gapo.

Indeed, the Indian, to whom they all looked for encouragement, as well as guidance, was himself not very sanguine of success. He did not say so, but for all that Trevannion, who had kept interrogating him at intervals while they were preparing to start, had become impressed with this belief. As the Mundurucú persisted in counselling the expedition, he did not urge any further opposition, and under the auspices of a glorious tropical sunrise they committed themselves to the open waters of the lagoa.

At the very start there occurred a somewhat ominous accident. As the coaita would have been a cumbersome companion for any of the swimmers to carry, it was decided that the creature should be left behind. Unpleasant as it was to part with a pet so long in the company of the galatea’s crew, there was no alternative but to abandon it.

Tipperary Tom, notwithstanding his attachment toward it, or rather its attachment toward him, was but too willing to assent to the separation. He had a vivid recollection of his former entanglement, and the risk he had run of being either drowned in the Gapo, or strangled by the coaita’s tail; and with this remembrance still fresh before his fancy, he had taken the precaution at this new start to steal silently off from the trees, among the foremost of the swimmers. Everybody in fact had got off, before the coaita was aware of their intention to abandon it, and to such a distance that by no leap could it alight upon anybody’s shoulders. On perceiving that it was left behind, it set up a series of cries, painfully plaintive, but loud enough to have been heard almost to the limits of the lagoa.

A similar desertion of the macaw was evidently intended, to which no one had given a thought, although it was Rosa’s pet. The ouistiti had been provided with a free passage upon the shoulders of the young Paraense. But the huge parrot was not to be left behind in this free and easy fashion. It was not so helpless as the coaita. It possessed a pair of strong wings, which, when strongly and boldly spread, could carry it clear across the lagoa. Conscious of this superior power, it did not stay long upon the trees, to mingle its chattering with the screams of the coaita. Before the swimmers had made a hundred strokes, the macaw mounted into the air, flew for a while hoveringly above them, as if selecting its perch, and then dropped upon the negro’s head, burying its claws in his tangled hair.


As the swimmers proceeded, their hopes grew brighter. They saw that they were able to make good headway through the water; and in less than an hour they were a full mile distant from their point of departure. At this rate they should be on the other side of the lagoon before sunset, if their strength would only hold out. The voyage promised to be prosperous; and joy sat upon their countenances.

Shortly after there came a change. A cloud was seen stealing over the brow of the Mundurucú, which was the cue for every other to exhibit a similar shadowing. Trevannion kept scanning the countenance of the tapuyo to ascertain the cause of his disquietude. He made no inquiry; but he could tell by the behavior of the Indian that there was trouble on his mind. At intervals he elevated his head above the water, and looked back over his shoulder, as if seeking behind him for the cause of his anxiety. As they swam on farther, Munday’s countenance lost nothing of its anxious cast, while his turnings and backward glances became more frequent. Trevannion also looked back, though only to ascertain the meaning of the tapuyo’s manœuvres. He could see nothing to account for it,—nothing but the tree-tops from which they had parted, and these every moment becoming less conspicuous. Though the patron did not perceive it, this was just what was causing the tapuyo’s apprehensive looks. The sinking of the trees was the very thing that was producing his despondency.

Stimulated less by curiosity than alarm, Trevannion could keep silent no longer. “Why do you look back, Munday?” he inquired. “Is there any danger in that direction? Have you a fear that we shall be followed? I can see nothing except the tree-tops, and them scarcely at this moment.”

“That’s the danger. We shall soon lose sight of them altogether; and then—”

“What then?”

“Then—I confess, patron, I am puzzled. I did not think of it before we took to the water.”

“O, I see what you mean. You’ve been hitherto guiding our course by the trees from which we parted. When they are no longer in view we shall have nothing to steer by?”

“It is true. The Great Spirit only can guide us then!”

The Mundurucú evidently felt more than chagrin that he had expressed himself so confidently about their being able to cross the lagoon. He had only taken into consideration the circumstance of their being able to swim, without ever thinking of the chance of their losing the way. The trees sinking gradually to the horizon first admonished him; and as he continued to swim farther into the clear water, he became convinced that such mischance was not only possible, but too probable. With a sort of despairing effort he kept on with even more energy than before, as if trying how far he could follow a straight line without depending on any object to pilot him.

After proceeding thus for two or three hundred yards, he once more raised his chin to his shoulder and looked back. The tree-tops were barely visible; but he was satisfied on perceiving that the one from which they had started rose up directly opposite to him, thus proving that in his trial stretch he had gone in a straight line, inspiring him with the hope of being able to continue it to the opposite side. With renewed confidence he kept on, after uttering a few phrases of cheer to the others.

Another stretch of about three hundred yards was passed through in silence, and without any incident to interrupt the progress of the swimmers. Then all came to a pause, seeing their conductor, as before, suspend his stroke, and again make a rearward reconnoissance. This time he did not appear so well satisfied, until he had raised his head high over the surface, which he accomplished by standing erect, and beating the water with his palms downward, when his confidence was again refreshed, and he started forward once more.

At the next stopping-place, instead of raising himself once into the standing poise, he did so several times in succession, each time sinking down again with an exclamation of disappointment. He could not see the trees, even at the utmost stretch of his neck. With a grunt that seemed to signify his assent to the abandoning of their guidance, he again laid himself along the water, and continued in the direction he had been already following; but not before assuring himself that he was on the right course, which fortunately he was still able to do by noting the relative positions of the others.

At starting away from this, which he intended should be their last stopping-place, he delivered a series of admonitions intended for every swimmer. They were to keep their places,—that is, their relative positions to him and one another, as nearly as might be; they were to swim gently and slowly, according to the example he should set them, so that they might not become fatigued and require to pause for rest; and, above all, they were not to bother him by putting questions, but were, in short, to proceed in perfect silence. He did not condescend to explain these strange injunctions further than by telling them that, if they were not followed, and to the letter, neither he nor they might ever climb into another tree-top!

It is needless to say that, after such an intimation, his orders received implicit obedience; and those to whom he had given them swam onward after him as silently as so many fishes. The only sound heard was the monotonous sighing of the water, seething against the hollow sapucaya-shells, now and then varied by the scream of the caracara eagle, as it poised itself for a second over their heads, in surprise at the singular cohort of aquatic creatures moving so mysteriously through the lagoons.


For a full hour our adventurers preserved, not only their relative positions, but also the silence that had been enjoined upon them. None of them spoke, even when a dead guariba—that had been drowned, perhaps, by attempting a leap too great for its strength and agility—came drifting along among them. Not one of them took any notice of it except the ouistiti upon the shoulders of Richard Trevannion. This diminutive quadrumanous specimen, on recognizing the body of one of its big kinsmen, entered upon a series of chatterings and squeakings, trembling all the while as if suddenly awakened to the consciousness that it was itself in danger of terminating its existence in a similar manner.

Its cries were not heeded. Munday’s admonition had been delivered in a tone too serious to be disregarded; and the ouistiti was permitted to utter its plaint, without a single word being addressed to it, either of chiding or consolation. Tranquillity was at length restored, for the little ape, seeing that no notice was taken of it, desisted from its noisy demonstrations, and once more the swimmers proceeded in silence.

Half an hour or so might have elapsed before this silence received a second interruption. It again came in the voice of the ouistiti; which, rearing itself on its tiny hind-legs, having the shoulders of the Paraense for a support, craning its head outward over the water, commenced repeating its cries of alarm. In seeking for an explanation of this conduct, they contented themselves with watching the movements of the alarmist, and by turning their eyes towards the object which appeared to attract the ouistiti and cause it such evident alarm. Each buoyed himself up to get a good view; and each, as he did so, saw scarce ten paces ahead of him the carcass of a guariba! It was drifting towards them in the same manner as the one they had already met; and before any of them thought of exchanging speech, it was bobbing about in their midst.

The reflection that occurred to the swimmers was, that there had been a general drowning among the guaribas somewhere on the shores of the lagoon: perhaps a tribe had got into some isolated tree, where their retreat had been cut off by the inundation. Had the tapuyo not been of the party, this theory might have satisfied all hands, and the journey would have been continued, instead of being suddenly interrupted by the tapuyo himself. He was not so easily deceived. On passing the first guariba, although he had said nothing, he had carefully noted the peculiarities of the carcass; and as soon as he swam within distinguishing distance of the second guariba, he saw that the pair were identical. In other words, our adventurers had for the second time encountered the same unfortunate ape.

There could be but one conclusion. The carcass could not have changed its course, unless by the shifting of the wind, or the current of the water. But neither would have explained that second rencontre. It was only intelligible upon the supposition that the swimmers had been going round and round, and returning on their own track!


Although their guide was the first to discover it, he did not attempt to conceal the dilemma into which he had been instrumental in leading them. “ ’Tis true, patron!” he said, addressing himself to Trevannion, and no longer requiring compliance with his former regulations. “We have gone astray. That’s the same monkey we met before: so you see we’re back where we were a half-hour ago. Pa terra! It’s crooked luck, patron; but I suppose the Great Spirit wills it so!”

Trevannion, confounded, made scarcely any reply.

“We mustn’t remain here anyhow,” pursued the Indian. “We must try to get to the trees somewhere,—no matter where.”

“Surely,” said the ex-miner, “we can accomplish that?”

“I hope so,” was the reply of the tapuyo, given with no great confidence.

Trevannion reflected that they had been swimming in a circle. Should this occur again,—and there was every possibility of such a thing,—the desired end might not be so easy of accomplishment.

For some minutes speculation was suspended. The guide was engaged in action. Like a water-spaniel in search of a winged wild-duck, he repeatedly reared himself above the surface, casting glances of interrogation to every quarter of the compass. Like the same spaniel, when convinced that the wounded bird has escaped him, he at length desisted from these idle efforts; and, laying his body along the water, prepared to swim disappointedly to the shore.

With something more than disappointment—something more than chagrin—did Munday commence retreating from the lagoon. As he called upon his companions to follow him, there was a tremor in his voice, and an irresolution in his stroke perceptible to the least observant of them; and the fact of his having shouldered the dead guariba, after first making inspection to see that it was fit for food, was proof of his entertaining some suspicion that their voyage might be a long one. No one questioned him; for notwithstanding the failure of his promise to guide them straight across the lagoon, they still relied upon him. On whom or what else could they rely?

After proceeding a considerable distance, he came to a pause, once more stood up in the water, and, turning as upon a pivot, scanned the circle of the horizon. Satisfied that there was not a tree-top within view, he swam onward as before. Could he have insured keeping a straight course, no great danger need have been apprehended. The lagoon might be ten miles wide; or, if twenty, it could not so materially affect the result. Swim as slowly as they might, a score of hours would see them on its shore,—whether this was the spray of another submerged forest, or the true terra firma. There was no danger of their going to the bottom, for their swimming-belts secured them against that. There was no danger of their suffering from thirst,—the contingency most dreaded by the castaway at sea, and the strayed traveller in the desert,—of fresh water they had a surfeit. Nor did hunger dismay them. Since eating the jacana, they had set forth upon a breakfast of Brazil-nuts,—a food which, from its oily nature, may be said to combine both animal and vegetable substance. Moreover, they were now no longer unprovided against a future emergency: since their guide carried upon his shoulders the carcass of the guariba.

Their real danger lay in their deviating from a right line: for who could swim straight, with his eyes on a level with the surface of the water, and nothing to direct his course, neither tree, nor rock, nor star, nor signal of any kind? The tapuyo knew this. So did they all. Even the children could tell that they were no longer guided, but going by guess-work. It was no longer a question of getting across the lagoon, but out of it. The unsteady movements of their guide, instead of allaying their fears, produced the contrary effect, and the disconsolate expression on his countenance was evidence that he was under much apprehension.

For over an hour this uncertainty continued. The swimmers, one and all, were beginning to give way to serious alarm. To say nothing of reaching land, they might never more set eyes upon the submerged forest. They might swim round and round, as in the vortex of Charybdis, until sheer exhaustion should reduce them utterly. In due time hunger must overtake them; and a lingering death by starvation might be their destiny. When faint from want of food and unable to defend themselves, they would be attacked by predatory creatures dwelling in the water, while birds of prey would assail them from the air. Already could they fancy that the cry of the caracara sounded more spiteful than was its wont; and exultingly, as if the base bird foreboded for them a tragical ending.

More than twenty times had the tapuyo repeated his inspection of the horizon, without seeing aught to cheer him. They had been many hours in the water, and supposed it to be about noon. They could only conjecture as to the time, for the sun was not visible. At an early hour in the morning—almost as they started—the sky had become overcast with a sheet of leaden gray, concealing the sun’s disk from their sight. This circumstance had caused some discouragement; but for it they might long since have escaped from their dilemma, as the golden luminary, while low down, would have served them as a guide.

Strange to say, at that hour when it was no longer of any concern to them, the sky became suddenly clear, and the sun shone forth with burning brilliance. But his orb was now in the zenith, and of no service to point out the quarter of the compass. Within the equatorial zone, north, south, east, and west were all alike to him at that season of the year and that hour of the day. If they could but have the direction of one of these points, all would have been well. But the sun gave no sign.

For all that, the Indian hailed his appearance with a grunt of satisfaction, while a change came over his countenance that could scarce be caused by the mere brightening of the sky. Something more than cheerfulness declared itself in his dark features,—an expression of renewed hope.

“If the sun keep on to show,” said he, in answer to the questioning of Trevannion, “it will be all right for us. Now it’s no good. In an hour from now he’ll make some shadow. Then we shall swim as straight as can be, never fear, patron! we shall get out of this scrape before night,—never fear!”

These cheering words were welcome, and produced universal joy where but the moment before all was gloom.

“I think, patron,” continued the tapuyo, “we may as well stop swimming for a while, till we see which way the sun goes. Then we can make a fresh start. If we keep on now, we may be only making way in the wrong direction.”

The tired swimmers were only too ready to yield compliance to this bit of advice. The Mundurucú made one more endeavor to catch sight of the tree-tops, and, being still unsuccessful, resigned himself to inactivity, and along with the rest lay motionless upon the water.


In this way about an hour was spent; though by no means in solemn silence. Perfectly at ease, so far as physical comfort was concerned, upon their liquid couch the swimmers could converse, as if stretched upon a carpet of meadow-grass; and they passed their time in discussing the chances of their ultimate escape from that cruel situation, to which an unlucky accident had consigned them. They were not altogether relieved from apprehension as to their present predicament. If the sky should become again overcast, they would be worse off than ever, since there was the loss of time to be considered. All were constantly turning their eyes upwards, and scanning the firmament, to see if there were any signs of fresh clouds.

Munday looked towards the zenith with a different design. He was watching for the sun to decline. In due time his watchfulness was rewarded; not so much by observation of the sun itself, as by a contrivance which declared the course of the luminary, long before it could have been detected by the eye.

Having cautioned the others to keep still, so that there should be no disturbance in the water,—otherwise perfectly tranquil,—he held his knife in such a way that the blade stood up straight above the surface. Taking care to keep it in the exact perpendicular, he watched with earnest eye, as a philosopher watches the effect of some chemical combination. In a short time he was gratified by observing a shadow. The blade, well balanced, cast an oblique reflection on the water; at first, slight, but gradually becoming more elongated, as the experiment proceeded.

Becoming at length convinced that he knew west from east, the tapuyo restored his knife to its place, and, calling to his companions to follow him, he struck off in the direction pointed out to him by the shadow of the steel. This would take the swimmers in an easterly direction; but it mattered not what direction so long as it carried them out of the lagoon. As they proceeded onward, the guide occasionally assured himself of keeping the same course, by repeating the experiment with his knife; but after a time he no longer needed to consult his queer sun-dial, having discovered a surer guide in the spray of the forest, which at length loomed up along the line of the horizon.

It was close upon sunset when they swam in among the drooping branches, and once more, with dripping skins, climbed up into the tops of the trees. Had it not been that they were glad to get to any port, they might have felt chagrin on discovering that chance had directed them to the very same roost where they had perched on the preceding night.

The drowned guariba which Munday had carried from the middle of the lagoon was roasted, and furnished their evening meal; and the epicure who would turn up his nose at such a viand has never tasted food under the shadow of an Amazonian forest.

Mayne Reid.



There came a Sabbath morning,—one of the loveliest of all the year. The sun rose upon a cloudless sky, the air was laden with the fragrance of locust and alder blossoms, the oaks of the forest were changing from the gray of winter to the green of summer. Beneath their wide-spread branches were the tents of a great army; for after the capture of Fort Donelson the troops sailed up the Tennessee, and were preparing to attack the Rebels at Corinth.

Paul was lying in his tent, thinking of home, of the calmness and stillness there, broken only by the chirping of the sparrows and robins, the church-bell, the choir, and the low voices of the congregation. How different from what was passing around him, where the drummers were beating the reveille! He was startled from his waking dream by a sudden firing out among the pickets. What could it mean? It grew more furious. There was confusion. He sprang to his feet and looked out to see what was the matter. Soldiers were running through the camp.

“What is the row?” he asked.

“The Rebels are attacking us.”

It did not take him long to dress; but, while pulling on his boots, a bullet tore through the tent-cloth over his head.

The camp was astir. Officers shouted, “Fall in!” Soldiers, waking from sound sleep, buckled on their cartridge-boxes, seized their guns, and took their places in the ranks before they were fairly awake. The drummers beat the long-roll, the buglers sounded the signal for saddling horses, the artillery-men got their guns ready, cavalry-men leaped into their saddles, baggage-wagons went thundering towards the river. There was a volley of musketry, and then a deeper roar from the artillery, and the terrible contest of the day began, which became more terrible from morning till noon, from noon till night, with deafening rolls of musketry, with the roaring of a hundred cannon, with the yelling of the Rebels and the cheering of the soldiers of the Union, as the tempest surged through the forest, up and down the ravines, around Shiloh church, in the old cotton-fields, up to the spring where the country people were accustomed to eat their Sunday dinners, down to the Tennessee River, where the gunboats were lying waiting for the hour when they could open with their great guns.

Paul was in the storm, riding through the leaden hail which fell all around him, pattering upon the dead leaves, cutting down the twigs of the hazel-bushes, and scarring the trees,—riding along the lines carrying messages to General Sherman, who was fighting like a tiger by the church, with the bullets piercing his clothes,—to McClernand, who was near by,—to Wallace, to Prentice, to Hurlburt, to Stuart,—riding where shells were bursting, where solid shot cut off great branches from the trees, splintered the trunks, ploughed the ground, whirled men and horses into the air, tearing them limb from limb, and then passed away with weird howlings. He breathed the thick smoke as it belched from the cannon’s mouth, and felt the hot flashes on his face. He stood beside his commander, General Grant, while waiting for orders, and beheld him when tidings of disaster were brought in,—that General Prentice and hundreds of his men were captured,—that the line was broken, and the men were falling back. He could hear the triumphant shouts of the Rebels.

Yet amid it all he saw that General Grant was cool and collected. “We will whip them yet,” he said. Paul felt stronger after that, and he resolved to die rather than be beaten. But how slowly dragged the hours! The sun seemed to stand still in the western sky. How hard to see the poor wounded men, thousands of them, borne to the rear, the ambulances jolting over the fallen trees, their feet crushed, their legs broken, their arms torn and mangled, and to know that there were other thousands lying upon the ground where they had fallen, and the strife still going on around them! Other thousands who were not wounded were leaving the ranks, exhausted, disheartened. Paul feared that the day was lost.

“Lieutenant Parker, you will select a line along this ravine, throw up such defences as you can, bring up those thirty-two pounders from the river, and put them in position. They can’t cross this. We will beat them here,” said General Grant.

Sometimes in battle minutes are of priceless value; momentous decisions must be made at once. Then men show what they are made of. Those are the trial moments of life. Paul galloped along the ravine. He saw that it was wide and deep, and that, if the Rebels could be kept from crossing it, the battle would be won; for it was their object to reach the steamboat-landing, where General Grant had all his supplies of food. There were five great iron cannon at the landing. There, also, crouching under the riverbank, to avoid the shot and shell, were thousands of fugitives, who had become disheartened, and who had left their comrades to be overpowered and driven back. He saw the situation of affairs in an instant. His brain was clear. He made up his mind instantly what to do.

“Here, you—men!” he shouted. “Each of you shoulder one of those empty pork-barrels, and carry it up the bluff.” But not a man stirred. His indignation was aroused; but he knew that it was not a time for argument. He drew his revolver, pointed it at a group, and said, “Start! or I’ll shoot you.” It was spoken so resolutely that they obeyed. He told them how, if they could hold that position, the Rebels would be defeated,—how a few minutes of resolute work would save the army. He saw their courage revive. They dug a trench, cut down trees, rolled up logs, filled the barrels with dirt, and worked like beavers. Others wheeled up the great guns, and Paul put them into position. Others brought shot and shell, and laid them in piles beside the guns. The storm was coming nearer. The lines were giving way. Regiments with broken ranks came straggling down the road.

“Bring all the batteries into position along the ravine,” said General Grant. Away flew half a dozen officers with the orders, and the batteries, one after another, came thundering down the road,—the horses leaping, the artillery-men, blackened and begrimed, yet wheeling their guns into position.

“Get anybody you can to work the thirty-twos,” said Colonel Webster, the chief of artillery, to Paul.

“I can sight a cannon,” said a surgeon, who was dressing wounds in the hospital. He laid down his bandages, went up and patted the lip of one of the guns, as if it were an old friend, ran his eye along the sights, and told the gunners what to do.

It was sunset. All day long the battle had raged, and the Union troops had been driven. The Rebels were ready for their last grand charge, which they hoped would give them the victory. Onward they came, down the steep bank opposite, into the ravine. The Union batteries were ready for them,—Captain Silversparre with his twenty-pounders, Captain Richardson and Captain Russell with their howitzers, Captain Stone with his ten-pounders, Captain Taylor, Captain Dresser, Captain Willard, and Lieutenant Edwards,—sixty or more cannon in all. A gunner was lacking for one of the great iron thirty-twos. Paul sprang from his horse, and took command of the piece.

The long lines of the Rebels came into view. “Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!” went the guns. Then half a dozen crashed at once,—the great thirty-twos thundering heavier than all the others. Shells, solid shot, and canister tore through the ravine, rolling back the Rebel lines, drenching the hillsides with blood, turning the brook to crimson, and the fresh young leaves to scarlet. O the wild commotion,—the jarring of the earth, the deep reverberations rolling far away, and the shouts of the cannoneers!

“Give them canister!” shouted Paul to the cannoneers, and the terrible missiles went screaming down the ravine. The bullets were falling around him, singing in his ears, but he heeded them not. But O how painful it was to see a brother officer torn to pieces by his side! Then how glorious to behold, through the rifts in the battle-cloud, that the Rebels were flying in confusion through the woods. Then there came a cheer. General Nelson had arrived with reinforcements, and Buell’s whole army was near. The thirty-two-pounders, the howitzers, and the batteries had saved the day, and the victory was won. And now, as night came on, the gunboats joined, throwing eleven-inch shells into the woods among the Rebel troops, which added discomfiture to defeat. And when the uproar, the noise, and the confusion had died away, how good to thank God for the victory, and for the preservation of his life! How gratifying to receive the thanks of his commander on the field,—to be mentioned as one who had done his duty faithfully, and who was deserving of promotion!

After the battle he was made a captain, and had greater responsibilities resting upon him. He was called upon to take long rides,—sometimes, with the cavalry, on expeditions into the enemy’s country. Sometimes he found himself alone in the dark woods of Mississippi, threading the narrow paths, swimming rivers, wading creeks, plunging into swamps,—sometimes pursued by the enemy, at other times, with his comrades, sweeping like a whirlwind through the Southern towns, in pursuit of the retreating foe, riding day and night, often without food, but occasionally having a nice supper of roast chicken cooked by the bivouac-fire in the forest. Sometimes he spread his blanket beneath the grand old trees, and had a rest for the night; and sometimes, when pursued by the enemy, when there was no time to stop and rest, he slept in his saddle, and dreamed of home. So through the months which followed that terrible battle, obtaining information which was of inestimable value to the generals commanding the army. So he served his country,—at Corinth, at Memphis, and at Vicksburg, where, through the long, hot, weary, sickly months, the brave soldiers toiled, building roads, cutting trenches, digging ditches, excavating canals, clearing forests, erecting batteries, working in mud and water, fighting on the Yazoo, working at the great guns and mortars, and at last, under their great leader, sweeping down the west side of the Mississippi, crossing the river, defeating the enemy in all the battles which followed, then closing in upon the town and capturing it, after months of hardship and suffering. How hard this work! how laborious, and wearing, and dangerous!

Paul found little time to rest. It was his duty to lay out the work for the soldiers, to say where the breastworks should be thrown up, where the guns should be placed in position. In the dark nights he went out beyond the picket-lines and examined the hills and ravines, while the bullets of the Rebel sharp-shooters were flying about his ears, and in the daytime he was riding along the lines while the great guns were bellowing, to see if they were in the best position, and were doing their proper work. At length there came a morning when the Rebels raised a white flag, and Vicksburg surrendered. It was the glorious reward for all their hardship, toil, suffering, and endurance. How proudly the soldiers marched into the city, with drums beating, bands playing, and all their banners waving! It was the Fourth of July, the most joyful day of all the year. There were glad hearts all over the land,—ringing of bells and firing of cannon, songs of praise and prayers and thanksgivings, for not only at Vicksburg, but at Gettysburg the soldiers of the Union had won a great victory.


Paul’s mother lived alone, and yet she was not without company; for the bees and the humming-birds buzzing among the flowers, the old clock ticking steadily, the cat purring in the sunshine, were her constant friends through the long summer days. And every morning Azalia came in and read the news. Pleasant the sound of her approaching step! Ever welcome her appearance! Winsome her smile! How beautiful upon her cheek the deepening bloom of a guileless heart!

“Good news!” she exclaimed one morning, as she entered, with glowing countenance and sparkling eyes, tossing aside her hat.

“What is it, dear?” Mrs. Parker asked.

Azalia replied by opening a newspaper, and reading that “Captain Paul Parker, who had been acting as major, was promoted to be a colonel for meritorious and distinguished services at Vicksburg.”

“I am glad he has served his country so faithfully,” said Mrs. Parker, pleased and gratified, and proud of her son.

“Who knows but that he may be a general yet?” said Azalia, triumphantly. “We are going to have a jubilee this afternoon over the victories,” she added. She could stop no longer, for she was to take part in the jubilee with Daphne, and hastened away to prepare for the occasion.

All New Hope turned out to rejoice over the glorious news. Farmers came with their wagons loaded with things for the soldiers,—bottles of wine, jars of jellies and preserves, for there were thousands of wounded in the hospitals. Those who could not contribute such things were ready to give money, for their hearts were overflowing with gratitude. Old men came, leaning on their staves or supported by their children, with the fires of youth rekindling in their souls. Mothers were there, for they had sons in the service. Paul was not the only young man who had gone from New Hope. A score had enlisted. Old folks, young folks, all the people of the place were there, in the old church.

The evening train came thundering along the railroad, stopping long enough to leave Paul, who had unexpectedly been ordered to duty in Tennessee with General Rosecrans. He was granted a week’s leave of absence. There was no one at the depot. He wondered at the silence in the streets. Houses and stores and shops were all closed. He passed up the hill to his old home; but his mother was not there, and the door was fast. The cat was lying upon the step, and purred him a welcome. The bees were humming over the flower-beds, and the swallows twittered merrily upon the roof of the house. The remembrance of his boyhood came back, and he was a child again amid the flowers.

He noticed that the people were around the church, and passed on to see what had called them together.

“Why, that is Paul Parker, as true as I am alive!” said Mr. Chrome, as he approached the church.

The little boys caught it up, and cried, “Paul has come! Paul has come!” and looked wonderingly at his blue uniform, and the eagle on his shoulders. It was buzzed through the church that he had come. Judge Adams, who was on the platform, and who was chairman of the meeting, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce the arrival of our esteemed fellow-citizen Colonel Parker, who has so nobly distinguished himself in the service of our country.”

“Three cheers for Colonel Parker!” shouted Mr. Chrome, and the people, glad to see him, and brimming over with joy for the victories, sprang to their feet and hurraed and stamped till the windows rattled. Judge Adams welcomed him to the platform, and Father Surplice, Colonel Dare, and Esquire Capias rose and shook hands with him. Esquire Capias was making a speech when Paul entered; but he left off suddenly, saying: “I know that you want to hear from Colonel Parker, and it will give me greater pleasure to listen to him than to talk myself.”

Then there were cries for Paul.

“It is not necessary for me to introduce Colonel Parker on this occasion,” said Judge Adams. “He is our fellow-citizen; this is his home. He has honored himself and us. We have been trying to be eloquent over the great victories; but the eloquence of speech is very poor when compared with the eloquence of action.” Then, turning to Paul, he said: “What you and your comrades have done, Sir, will be remembered through all coming time.”

“We tried to do our duty, and God gave us the victory,” said Paul. He stood before them taller and stouter than when he went away. He was sunburnt; but his countenance was noble and manly, and marked with self-reliance. He never had made a speech. He did not know what to say. To stand there facing the audience, with his mother, Azalia, Daphne, and all his old friends before him, was very embarrassing. It was worse than meeting the Rebels in battle. But why should he be afraid? They were all his friends, and would respect him if he did the best he could. He would not try to be eloquent. He would simply tell them the story of the battles; how the soldiers had marched, and toiled, and fought,—not for glory, honor, or fame, but because they were true patriots; how he had seen them resign themselves to death as calmly as to a night’s repose, thinking and talking of friends far away, of father, mother, brothers and sisters, their pleasant homes, and the dear old scenes, yet never uttering a regret that they had enlisted to save their country.

There were moist eyes when he said that; but when he told them of the charge at Fort Donelson,—how the troops marched through the snow in long, unbroken lines, and with a wild hurrah went up the hill, over fallen trees, and drove the Rebels from their breastworks,—the men swung their hats, and shouted, and the women waved their handkerchiefs, and cheered as if crazy with enthusiasm.

Then Azalia and Daphne sung the Star-spangled Banner, the congregation joining in the chorus. Then, under the excitement of the moment, Judge Adams called for contributions for the soldiers, and the old farmers took out their pocket-books. Those who had made up their minds to give five dollars gave ten, while Mr. Middlekauf, Hans’s father, who thought he would give twenty-five, put fifty into the hat.

When the meeting was over, Paul stepped down from the platform, threw his arms around his mother’s neck and kissed her, and heard her whisper, “God bless you, Paul.” Then the people came to shake hands with him. Even Miss Dobb came up, all smiles, shaking her curls, holding out her bony hand, and saying, “I am glad to see you, Colonel Parker. You know that I was your old teacher. I really feel proud to know that you have acquitted yourself so well. I shall claim part of the honor. You must come and take tea with me, and tell me all about the battles,” she said.

“My leave of absence is short. I shall not have time to make many visits; but it will give me great pleasure to call upon those who have always been my friends,” said Paul, with a look so searching that it brought the blood into her faded cheeks.

Hearty the welcome from Azalia and Daphne, and from those who had been his scholars, who listened with eager interest to the words which fell from his lips. Golden the days and blissful those few hours spent with his mother, sitting by her side in the old kitchen; with Daphne and Azalia, singing the old songs; with Azalia alone, stealing down the shaded walk in the calm moonlight, talking of the changeful past, and looking into the dreamy future, the whippoorwills and plovers piping to them from the clover-fields, the crickets chirping them a cheerful welcome, and the river saluting them with its ceaseless serenade!


Quick the changes. Paul was once more with the army, amid the mountains of Tennessee, marching upon Chattanooga with General Rosecrans, tramping over Lookout Mountain, and along the Chickamauga.

Then came a day of disaster in September. A great battle began on Saturday morning, lasted through Sunday, and closed on Monday. Paul rode courageously where duty called him, through the dark woods, along the winding river, where the bullets sang, where the shells burst, where hundreds of brave men fell. Terrible the contest. It was like a thunder-storm among the mountains,—like the growling of the angry surf upon the shore of the ocean. How trying, after hours of hard contest, to see the lines waver and behold the Rebels move victoriously over the field! to behold disaster setting in, and to know that all that is worth living for is trembling in the scale!

There are such moments in battle. General Rosecrans’s army was outnumbered. Paul saw the Rebels driving in the centre and turning the left flank to cut off all retreat to Chattanooga. The moment for great, heroic action had come. He felt the blood leap through his veins as it never had leaped before. The Rebel line was advancing up the hill. The Union batteries were making ready to leave.

“Stay where you are!” he shouted. “Give them canister! Double shot the guns! Quick! One minute now is worth a thousand hours.”

“Rally! rally! Don’t let them have the guns!” he shouted to the flying troops. They were magic words. Men who had started to run came back. Those who were about to leave stood in their places, ready to die where they were. Five minutes passed; they seemed ages. On—nearer—up to the muzzles of the guns came the Rebels; then, losing heart, fled down the hill, where hundreds of their comrades lay dying and dead. Their efforts to break the line had failed. But once more they advanced in stronger force, rushing up the hill. Dreadful the contest, the din and strife, the shouts and yells, the clashing of sabres and bayonets, the roar of the cannon, the explosion of shells. Paul found himself suddenly falling, then all was dark.

When he came to himself the scene had changed. He was lying upon the ground. A soldier, wearing a dirty gray jacket, and with long hair, was pulling off his boots, saying, “This Yankee has got a pair of boots worth having.”

“Hold on! what are you up to?” said Paul.

“Hullo! blue bellie, ye are alive, are ye? Tho’t yer was dead. Reckon I’ll take yer boots, and yer coat tew.”

Paul saw how it was: he was wounded, and left on the field. He was in the hands of the Rebels; but hardest to bear was the thought that the army had been defeated. He was stiff and sore. The blood was oozing from a wound in his side. He was burning up with fever. He asked the Rebels who were around him for a drink of water; but, instead of moistening his parched lips, one pointed his gun at him and threatened to blow out his brains. They stripped off his coat and picked his pockets. Around him were hundreds of dead men. The day wore away and the night came on. He opened his lips to drink the falling dew, and lay with his face towards the stars. He thought of his mother, of home, of Azalia, of the angels and God. Many times he had thought how sad it must be to die alone upon the battle-field, far from friends; but now he remembered the words of Jesus Christ: “I will not leave you comfortless. My peace I give unto you.” Heaven seemed near, and he felt that the angels were not far away. He had tried to do his duty. He believed that, whether living or dying, God would take care of him, and of his mother. In his soul there was sweet peace and composure; but what was the meaning of the strange feeling creeping over him, the numbness of his hands, the fluttering of his heart? Was it not the coming on of death? He remembered the prayer of his childhood, lisped many a time while kneeling by his mother’s side, and repeated it once more.

“Now I lay me down to sleep,

 I pray the Lord my soul to keep;

 If I should die before I wake,

 I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

The stars were fading. His senses reeled. His eyelids closed, and he lay pale, cold, and motionless, among the dead.



Aunt Esther used to be a constant attendant upon us young ones whenever we were a little ill, or any of the numerous accidents of childhood overtook us. In such seasons of adversity she always came to sit by our bedside, and take care of us. She did not, as some people do, bring a long face and a doleful whining voice into a sick-room, but was always so bright, and cheerful, and chatty, that we began to think it was almost worth while to be sick to have her about us. I remember that once, when I had the quinsy, and my throat was so swollen that it brought the tears every time I swallowed, Aunt Esther talked to me so gayly, and told me so many stories, that I found myself laughing heartily, and disposed to regard my aching throat as on the whole rather an amusing circumstance.

Aunt Esther’s stories were not generally fairy tales, but stories about real things,—and more often on her favorite subject of the habits of animals, and the different animals she had known, than about anything else.

One of these was a famous Newfoundland dog, named Prince, which belonged to an uncle of hers in the country, and was, as we thought, a far more useful and faithful member of society than many of us youngsters. Prince used to be a grave, sedate dog, that considered himself put in trust of the farm, the house, the cattle, and all that was on the place. At night he slept before the kitchen door, which, like all other doors in the house in those innocent days, was left unlocked all night; and if such a thing had ever happened as that a tramper or an improper person of any kind had even touched the latch of the door, Prince would have been up attending to him as master of ceremonies.

At early dawn, when the family began to stir, Prince was up and out to superintend the milking of the cows, after which he gathered them all together, and started out with them to pasture, padding steadily along behind, dashing out once in a while to reclaim some wanderer that thoughtlessly began to make her breakfast by the roadside, instead of saving her appetite for the pastures, as a properly behaved cow should. Arrived at the pasture-lot, Prince would take down the bars with his teeth, drive in the cows, put up bars, and then soberly turn tail and pad off home, and carry the dinner-basket for the men to the mowing lot, or the potato-field, or wherever the labors of the day might be. There arrived, he was extremely useful to send on errands after anything forgotten or missing. “Prince! the rake is missing: go to the barn and fetch it!” and away Prince would go, and come back with his head very high, and the long rake very judiciously balanced in his mouth.

One day a friend was wondering at the sagacity of the dog, and his master thought he would show off his tricks in a still more original style; and so, calling Prince to him, he said, “Go home and bring Puss to me!”

Away bounded Prince towards the farm-house, and, looking about, found the younger of the two cats, fair Mistress Daisy, busy cleaning her white velvet in the summer sun. Prince took her gently up by the nape of her neck, and carried her, hanging head and heels together, to the fields, and laid her down at his master’s feet.

“How’s this, Prince?” said the master; “you didn’t understand me. I said the cat, and this is the kitten. Go right back and bring the old cat.”

Prince looked very much ashamed of his mistake, and turned away, with drooping ears and tail, and went back to the house.

The old cat was a venerable, somewhat portly old dame, and no small lift for Prince; but he reappeared with old Puss hanging from his jaws, and set her down, a little discomposed, but not a whit hurt, by her unexpected ride.

Sometimes, to try Prince’s skill, his master would hide his gloves or riding-whip in some out-of-the-way corner, and when ready to start, would say, “Now, where have I left my gloves? Prince, good fellow, run in, and find them”; and Prince would dash into the house, and run hither and thither with his nose to every nook and corner of the room; and, no matter how artfully they were hid, he would upset and tear his way to them. He would turn up the corners of the carpet, snuff about the bed, run his nose between the feather-bed and mattress, pry into the crack of a half-opened drawer, and show as much zeal and ingenuity as a policeman, and seldom could anything be so hid as to baffle his perseverance.

Many people laugh at the idea of being careful of a dog’s feelings, as if it were the height of absurdity; and yet it is a fact that some dogs are as exquisitely sensitive to pain, shame, and mortification, as any human being. See, when a dog is spoken harshly to, what a universal droop seems to come over him. His head and ears sink, his tail drops and slinks between his legs, and his whole air seems to say, “I wish I could sink into the earth to hide myself.”

Prince’s young master, without knowing it, was the means of inflicting a most terrible mortification on him at one time. It was very hot weather, and Prince, being a shaggy dog, lay panting, and lolling his tongue out, apparently suffering from the heat.

“I declare,” said young Master George, “I do believe Prince would be more comfortable for being sheared.” And so forthwith he took him and began divesting him of his coat. Prince took it all very obediently; but when he appeared without his usual attire, every one saluted him with roars of laughter, and Prince was dreadfully mortified. He broke away from his master, and scampered off home at a desperate pace, ran down cellar and disappeared from view. His young master was quite distressed that Prince took the matter so to heart; he followed him in vain, calling, “Prince! Prince!” No Prince appeared. He lighted a candle and searched the cellar, and found the poor creature cowering away in the darkest nook under the stairs. Prince was not to be comforted; he slunk deeper and deeper into the darkness, and crouched on the ground when he saw his master, and for a long time refused even to take food. The family all visited and condoled with him, and finally his sorrows were somewhat abated; but he would not be persuaded to leave the cellar for nearly a week. Perhaps by that time he indulged the hope that his hair was beginning to grow again, and all were careful not to destroy the illusion by any jests or comments on his appearance.

Such were some of the stories of Prince’s talents and exploits which Aunt Esther used to relate to us. What finally became of the old fellow we never heard. Let us hope that, as he grew old, and gradually lost his strength, and felt the infirmities of age creeping on, he was tenderly and kindly cared for in memory of the services of his best days,—that he had a warm corner by the kitchen fire, and was daily spoken to in kindly tones by his old friends. Nothing is a sadder sight than to see a poor old favorite, that once was petted and caressed by every member of a family, now sneaking and cowering as if dreading every moment a kick or a blow,—turned from the parlor into the kitchen, driven from the kitchen by the cook’s broomstick, half starved and lonesome.

O, how much kinder if the poor thread of life were at once cut by some pistol-shot, than to have the neglected favorite linger only to suffer! Now, boys, I put it to you, is it generous or manly, when your old pet and playmate grows sickly and feeble, and can no longer amuse you, to forget all the good old times you have had with him, and let him become a poor, trembling, hungry, abused vagrant? If you cannot provide comforts for his old age, and see to his nursing, you can at least secure him an easy and painless passage from this troublesome world. A manly fellow I once knew, who, when his old hound became so diseased that he only lived to suffer, gave him a nice meal with his own hand, patted his head, got him to sleep, and then shot him,—so that he was dead in a moment, felt no pain, and knew nothing but kindness to the last.

And now to Aunt Esther’s stories of a dog I must add one more which occurred in a town where I once lived. I have told you of the fine traits of blood dogs, their sagacity and affection. In doing this, perhaps, I have not done half justice to the poor common dogs, of no particular blood or breed, that are called curs or mongrels; yet among these I believe you will quite as often find both affection and sagacity as among better-born dogs.

The poor mongrel I am going to tell you about belonged to a man who had not, in one respect, half the sense that his dog had. A dog will never eat or drink a thing that has once made him sick, or injured him; but this man would drink, time and time again, a deadly draught, that took away his senses and unfitted him for any of his duties. Poor little Pero, however, set her ignorant dog’s heart on her drinking master, and used to patter faithfully after him, and lick his hand respectfully, when nobody else thought he was in a condition to be treated with respect.

One bitter cold winter day, Pero’s master went to a grocery, at some distance from home, on pretence of getting groceries, but in reality to fill a very dreadful bottle, that was the cause of all his misery; and little Pero padded after him through the whirling snow, although she left three poor little pups of her own in the barn. Was it that she was anxious for the poor man who was going the bad road, or was there some secret thing in her dog’s heart that warned her that her master was in danger? We know not, but the sad fact is, that at the grocery the poor man took enough to make his brain dizzy, and coming home he lost his way in a whirling snow-storm, and fell down stupid and drunk, not far from his own barn, in a lonesome place, with the cold winter’s wind sweeping the snow-drift over him. Poor little Pero cuddled close to her master and nestled in his bosom, as if trying to keep the warm life in him.

Two or three days passed, and nothing was seen or heard of the poor man. The snow had drifted over him in a long white winding-sheet, when a neighbor one day heard a dog in the barn crying to get out. It was poor Pero, that had come back and slipped in to nurse her puppies while the barn-door was open, and was now crying to get out and go back to her poor master. It suddenly occurred to the man that Pero might find the body, and in fact, when she started off, he saw a little path which her small paws had worn in the snow, and, tracking after, found the frozen body. This poor little friend had nestled the snow away around the breast, and stayed watching and waiting by her dead master, only taking her way back occasionally to the barn to nurse her little ones. I cannot help asking whether a little animal that can show such love and faithfulness has not something worth respecting and caring for in its nature.

At this time of the year our city ordinances proclaim a general leave and license to take the lives of all dogs found in the streets, and scenes of dreadful cruelty are often enacted in consequence. I hope, if my stories fall under the eye of any boy who may ever witness, or be tempted to take part in, the hunting down and killing a poor dog, that he will remember of how much faithfulness and affection and constancy these poor brutes are capable, and, instead of being their tyrant and persecutor, will try to make himself their protector and friend.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Hush-a-by, Baby! Already repose

To thy lip and thy cheek brings the smile and the rose.

  As soft dews of twilight the floweret steep,

  Flows round my sweet Baby the spirit of sleep.

          Sleep! Sleep!



Hush-a-by, Baby! O never again

Might sorrow come near thee, or sickness, or pain!

  Hush-a-by, Baby!—asleep on my breast

  I rock thee, I kiss thee, I sing thee to rest.

          Rest! Rest!



Baby, my Baby! Ah! never again

Shall “Hush-a-by!” soothe thee in joy or in pain.

  The bird has forsaken the desolate nest,

  And never again shall I sing thee to rest.

          Rest! Rest!



My arms were thy cradle; they wrapt thee around,

But the little child angels, thy cradle they found:

  Tenderly, softly, my Baby they bear

  Up into Heaven, and “Hush-a-by!” there.

          There! There!


Mrs. Anna M. Wells.



No. 16.

Were my first brown, or yellow, or black,

  Were it ugly, or little, or poor,—

All merit although it should lack,—

  Some woman’s soft heart would be sure

To think it the sweetest and best

Of things whereon sunshine might rest.


Were my second red, orange, or green,

  Triangular, rounded, or square,

Some beautiful miss would be seen

  With a toss and a flourish to wear

Its odd or its elegant form,

If the weather were only not warm.


If my whole were as bright as it seems,—

  As it often by poets is sung,—

Long life were the idlest of dreams,

  And all would desire to die young.

But, like everything under the sun,

It is mixed with vexation and fun.




No. 17.

I am composed of 24 letters.

My 24, 8, 11, 1, 23, 9, is an eminent philosopher.

My 7, 16, 20, 14, 10, 17, 8, 13, is an American poet.

My 2, 12, 4, 8, 13, is a poet of the olden time.

My 5, 21, 10, 15, 3, 9, is an American classical antiquarian.

My 6, 5, 13, 18, 8, 21, 10, is a peculiar American author.

My 19, 5, 13, 13, 20, 22, 3, 9, is an American philanthropist.

My whole is an American author, soldier, reformer, and philanthropist.

H. A. Reid.

No. 18.


I am composed of 27 Latin letters.

My 1, 18, 19, 21, and 15, 18, 24, 27, are two exceptions to a rule of gender.

My 7, 26, 17, 23, 21, is a word often mis-translated men.

My 12, 5, 7, 6, 2, 27, is one of Rome’s greatest historians.

My 4, 11, 3, 25, 9, is a word of the second declension, capable of three translations.

My 8, 13, 14, 20, in older Latin meant four.

My 4, 16, 12, 22, 10, 23, is a name made famous by Horace.

My whole is a Latin poem of the “Golden Age.”


No. 19.

I am composed of 14 letters.

My 1, 8, 13, is a large hatchet.

My 14, 1, 4, is a troublesome neighbor.

My 9, 10, 3, 4, is a small piece of land.

My 5, 7, 10, is a slippery fellow.

My 12, 3, 11, 4, is at the bottom of a great many things.

My 4, 11, 14, 2, 1, 6, 3, carries all before it.

My 5, 2, 6, is to conclude.

My whole is a noted explorer.

W. W. C.


21.What’s that which every living man hath seen,
But never more will see again, I ween?
22.If your tooth ached, what town in Poland would apply the remedy?
23.Why is an orange like a church-bell?



14.Rob-in Hood.


15.Speech is silver, but silence is golden.


17.Because it’s across two eyes (a cross (X) two I’s.)
18.He would be gone for some time (thyme), and come back with a rush.
19.Because he’s always going to sea (see).
20.Your portrait.


9.Sunderland, Andover, Lowell [S under Land and over low L].


12.Winning his Way,—Our Dogs,—Three Days at Camp Douglas,—Afloat in the Forest,—The Little Prisoner.

Illustrated Rebuses.

20.I labor to be concise, and I become obscure.
[(Isle) a (bee) R (toe) (beacon) (sea) (ice) AN (die) (beak) o (mob) (skewer).]
21.Five hundred sea-captains under arrest.
[(500) C (cap) (10’s) under (a rest).]
22.Nobody knows where the shoe pinches so well as he that wears it.
[(No body) (nose) UU (hare) (tea-he) (shoe) (pin) (chess) o (well) (ash)e (tea-hat) (ware)s (I-tea).]

Just my Luck! II.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

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

Some photographs have been enhanced to be more legible.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 1, Issue 10 edited by John Townsend Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]