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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 1, Issue 11

Date of first publication: 1865

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

Date first posted: Mar. 14, 2017

Date last updated: Mar. 14, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20170323

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. NOVEMBER, 1865. No. XI.

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.]
















The old clergyman made a seat for Burton at his side. Burton, who was feeling greatly chagrined by the turn affairs had taken, could not help being touched by this kindness.

“You will be very careful how you do your friends such injustice after this, I am sure, my son. We must all be careful; for it was not you alone who were inclined to consider Grant a thief, and to treat him accordingly.”

“He didn’t mean to do wrong; he didn’t know,” said Emma Reverdy, generously eager to excuse him.

“Thank you for saying that kind word,” replied Father Brighthopes. “That was the trouble with all of us,—we did not know. Prejudice means literally pre-judgment,—judgment formed without due consideration of facts. It is always the result of ignorance,—sometimes of wilful ignorance, for there are people so unreasonable and violent in their feelings that they will not see the truth if they can. If we had known of that mischievous mouse under the counter, or if we had only known how honest a boy Grant was, and how impossible it was for him to steal, we should not have made that sad mistake.”

“But how can we sometimes help making such mistakes?” said Emma.

“My child, I confess it is the most natural thing in the world for people, especially the young and inexperienced, to indulge in prejudice. Even the wisest may sometimes be deceived. The Good Book tells us to judge not from appearances, but to judge righteous judgment. But to short-sighted mortals this is not always possible. Only the eye of God can look into every heart. And often we have only appearances from which to form our opinions.”

“What can a fellow do, then?” said Burton. “That’s what I’d like to know.”

“I will tell you. We may have our honest opinions, but we must beware how we condemn those whose inmost motives we cannot know. Ignorance may be excusable; but something besides ignorance, something far worse,—selfishness, envy, bad temper,—goes to the formation of a violent prejudice. We might have believed Grant guilty, and still have felt so kindly towards him that we could scarcely have wronged either him or ourselves. For we do wrong ourselves, often far more than we wrong others, when we cherish ill feelings towards them. It would not, after all, have hurt Grant very much, I suppose, if you had hated him as a thief; but, O my dear children, it would have hurt you. It is not what others think of us, it is what we think and feel in our own hearts, that makes us happy or unhappy. Could one of these dear little girls,—could my Emma here, who is so happy because she loves everybody and makes everybody love her,—could she nourish in her heart such an ugly viper as malice? She would not be the sweet and happy child she is, if she could. Always, always, my young friends, endeavor to judge very gently those who do wrong. Consider that, if you were in their place, and liable to the like temptations, you would probably do just as they do. Very often it is not the person’s heart which is so much to blame, but some secret mouse we know nothing about, some little circumstance he is not responsible for, which has betrayed him into the fault we condemn.

“O prejudice! prejudice!” continued the old clergyman, “how much evil I have seen wrought by it in this world! I once knew two brothers who, from some slight misunderstanding, quarrelled, and continued bitter enemies for years, believing and saying the worst things of each other; until one of them, by mistake, did the other a good turn, saving the life of a sheep that had been caught by its yoke in the woods, and would have perished without help. ‘I did not know it was my brother’s sheep at the time,’ he told me afterwards, ‘or I would have let it die.’ But his brother thought the kindness intentional; it softened him; he did some obliging act in return; so the other was softened; until at last all their animosity was changed to brotherly love. ‘We have only this one thing to regret,’ they confessed to me, ‘that ten of the best years of our lives have been spent in miserable misunderstandings and hatreds.’ The happiness of reconciliation had taught them how much they had lost.

“The great Rebellion itself, my dear children, with all the suffering and waste of life attending it, was the result of prejudice. But for ignorance, and hatred based on ignorance, the Southern people would never have begun the war. They knew nothing of the spirit or power of the free North. They believed us their enemies, while we were in reality working for a great principle, and were at heart their friends. And now the only thing I see in the way of a happy reunion, and of peace founded on justice,—as, to be righteous and enduring, it must be,—is the same great stumbling-block of prejudice. That may cause our poor country endless troubles yet. Prejudice, my dear children, is the mark of a narrow mind and a selfish heart. If you would be free from it, keep your minds open and your hearts generous and kind. Have patience with those who think differently from you, for we are so made that two persons seldom see a thing just alike.

“I remember two little girls who were sitting one evening on the shore of a lake watching the moon rise. ‘O Jane,’ said one, ‘if you only sat where I do, you would see the beautifullest stripe of light on the water that ever was!’ Jane replied, ‘I do see it, for it runs straight before me here, and the water is all dancing with sparkles from me to the moon.’ ‘Why, Jane,’ said the other, ‘how can you tell such a falsehood? I look, and there is no stripe of light before you at all. It is before me here, and there are no sparkles anywhere else on the water.’ So she quarrelled with her friend, and grew very angry because Jane persisted in saying that the light shone before her too. At last, to convince her, she ran to the bank where Jane sat, when, behold! the line of light moved with her, and there she found it, sure enough, shining across the water from the moon to Jane.”

“What a silly thing she was!” said Emma. “She ought to have known that, when the moon shines on the water, we see just those rays that are reflected to us, and no others.”

“If the little girl I tell you of had had as good a teacher as you have, my children,” said Father Brighthopes, “she would probably have learned so simple a fact. Ignorant and passionate persons often quarrel with others in that foolish way. Seeing the few rays of light which shine to us, we are too apt to believe they are all the light there is. Beware of making that common mistake, my dear boys and girls; but, when your companions see differently from you, remember that they have different points of view. I have always found,” added the old clergyman, “that those persons who are most tolerant of the faults and opinions of others are those who are most careful in examining and correcting their own. On the other hand, there are busybodies who, if they spent half the time in criticising and improving themselves which they devote to their friends’ faults, would very soon arrive at perfection.”

Father Brighthopes paused, and looked round on the little audience with some apprehension lest they were beginning to find him dull. Children do not like long discourses, and wisdom is thrown away the moment it ceases to interest them. A certain pair of eyes arrested his attention. They belonged to one of the faces which he saw for the first time that evening. They were fixed earnestly upon him, as if drinking in with the deepest interest every word he said. The old clergyman, inspired by sympathy, seemed to read the child’s history in that look. She was a poorly clad, modest, shrinking little girl, accustomed to being neglected and scorned by her companions because she was poor and wore patched clothes. Hers was a different kind of poverty from Grant Eastman’s. Grant’s mother always managed to dress him well, and he possessed, moreover, a spirit which quietly asserted its independence, and commanded respect wherever he went. But this child had evidently no such mother. She had the lonesomest, sad young face, and the eyes that looked into the old clergyman’s bespoke a heart hungry for love and encouragement.

“There is one form of prejudice, the lowest and meanest of all,” said he, smiling around on the group of fair young faces,—“which I sincerely hope there is no need of speaking to you about. Yet there will be no harm in mentioning it. I mean, prejudice against the poor. Poverty is no disgrace, except to those whose folly has brought it upon themselves. A child, especially,—my heart always warms, I feel the tenderest yearning love go out, towards a little boy that has no comfortable home, no loving mother able to clothe him well, and indulge him in such enjoyments as other children have. How much more I am touched if that child be a gentle, over-sensitive little girl! I trust that you will always show especial kindness to such, my dear children. You know not what you do when you despise them because they are poor. There may be in that little boy or girl a heart and mind far superior to your own; for I have noticed that it is often the children of the poor that make the noblest women and the greatest and best men.”

These words, earnestly spoken, produced a deep impression on his little audience; and he noticed that the eyes of the hungry-hearted little girl filled with tears.

At that moment, in the midst of the general seriousness, one of the boys suddenly burst into a loud laugh. It was Solomon Graves, who had not spoken a word all the evening, nor smiled, nor opened his mouth, except to stare and show his tongue, but who now made up for lost time by indulging in the most unseasonable and surprising giggle.

“That’s just like Sol Graves!” said Emma Reverdy, annoyed.

“He’s laughing at some joke he heard last week, I bet!” said Burton. “It has just got through his wool.”

“What is it, my lad?” said Father Brighthopes. “Tell us what is so funny, so that we can all laugh.”

“I was laughing—he, he, he!—at the idea of a mouse stealing money!” and the serious youth almost went into convulsions of merriment. Then, having set everybody else laughing, the fit passed, and he became suddenly solemn as before, staring about him again as if wondering what all the fun was about.

Mrs. Reverdy took advantage of this ludicrous interruption to invite the company to the dining-room, where a delicious little banquet was prepared for them. Among other things there were some excellent canned peaches, which Father Brighthopes dished out to his young friends, talking with them all the while in the most familiar and engaging manner. The peaches were a rare treat, and it was observed that he gave only one to each, except to the poorly-dressed little girl, to whom he gave two.

“Look!” cried Jason Jones, “Kate Orley has got more than her share!”

“Dear me!” said Father Brighthopes, “I have made a mistake and given her mine! Never mind, I do not wish any; and if Kate, as you call her, will let me sit by her side while she eats them, that will be pleasure enough for me.”

“I wish you would take one,” whispered Kate, blushing very red at the singular favor shown her.

“No, no, my child; they are for you.” Then, in order that it might not seem that he favored her because she was poor, he added, “You deserve some reward for listening to me so attentively. I think you were my most interested little hearer, and I shall remember it of you.”

“I could have sat and heard you all night,” said Kate, forgetting her timidity. “I hope you will talk some more.”

“No,” replied Father Brighthopes, “my half-hour is up; and now the little folks can spend the rest of the evening as they please.”

A merry game of blind-man’s-buff was soon begun, in which nearly all the children engaged. But little Kate Orley remained seated beside Father Brighthopes.

“Don’t you see what a gay time they are having?” he said to her.

“O yes, it is very nice,” replied Kate, watching the sport wishfully.

“Then why don’t you join them, my child?”

“O, I guess I won’t.” Then, as he pressed her gently to tell him the reason, she added, blushing, “Sometimes some of them don’t like to play with me.”

“Do not like to play with you! Why not, my girl?”

“Because I don’t dress as well as they do, I suppose. But that isn’t my fault.” Kate’s voice trembled, and she cast down her eyes. “I would dress better, if I could. It’s my mother who makes me wear these old clothes.”

“That isn’t her fault, either, I presume. She does all she can for you, don’t she?”

“I don’t know.” The poor little girl began to fold up the corners of her apron in apparently the most careful manner; but Father Brighthopes could see that she did not even know what she was doing; she was agitated. “She isn’t very good to me.”

“Isn’t good to you, my dear child!” said Father Brighthopes, tenderly. “How happens that?”

“I don’t know,” beginning to cry. “I can’t do anything to please her. She scolds me the whole time, and sometimes she beats me.”

“What does she scold and beat you for?”

“Everything! Whether I do anything or not, it’s just the same. If I do my best, it don’t make any difference.”

“Do you always do your best?” the old clergyman softly inquired.

“No, I suppose I don’t. I get nothing but cuffs and hard words if I do; so I get tired of trying, sometimes. If she is ugly, that makes me ugly. But O, I do so want to be good! and I think I would be, if she was good to me. She wouldn’t have let me come here to-night, only Miss Thorley asked her particularly. She a’n’t my real mother, you know. My real mother is dead. She never would have made me do what this mother does.”

“What does she make you do?”

“She makes me wear these old clothes, for one thing; she says they are good enough for a beggar. She calls me a beggar because I am not her own child, and she has to take care of me. It always makes her cross to think of that. I tell her the other children don’t like me in those duds, and won’t play with me; but that makes no difference.”

“But she is poor, isn’t she? And no doubt she has had many troubles which you know nothing about, and those make her seem unkind,” said Father Brighthopes, soothingly. “You must think of that, and bear it the best way you can when she treats you so; will you?”

“I’ll try to; but O, it is so hard!”

The child cried silently, endeavoring to hide her tears from everybody. Father Brighthopes looked at the happy children at play, all of whom had pleasant homes and indulgent parents or friends to care for them; and as he turned again to the sad little girl by his side, he said within himself, “How can they, how can anybody, be otherwise than kind to her?”

“Another thing she makes me do is, to go into the new house over by the mill after dark, and get shavings. I’d just as lief go as not, only I am so frightened! If it was in the daytime I wouldn’t mind; but after dark—it is so dark and lonesome, and the house is away back from the street so, and I always hear such noises, and see such shadows, and think something is going to catch me—I can’t tell how it scares me. I run home without my basket full, and then I have to go back again. O, if I didn’t have to get shavings after dark, I could bear almost anything else!”

“Your mother knows nothing will hurt you, and thinks you ought not to be afraid. If you have to go again, fear nothing. Remember what I tell you,—that God will take care of you, and let nothing do you harm. But I see what I must do. I must go and visit your mother, and talk to her about you; and I am sure, when she comes to consider, she will not treat you so any more. So cheer up, my little girl. You have me for your friend, if nobody else. All will turn out nicely for you, I am sure.”

These cheering words had such an effect that the child began to laugh with hope and encouragement before her tears were dry.

Then Father Brighthopes called the children together and bade them good-night. “I advise you all to go home early; but you can play half an hour longer if you wish; and don’t be afraid of disturbing me, for children’s voices never troubled my slumbers yet. Pleasant voices, I mean; for nothing ever grieves me like young people’s angry disputes.”

He embraced such as came to him, inviting all to visit him again; took leave of Miss Thorley, who was talking with Mr. and Mrs. Reverdy; then gave poor little Kate a good-night kiss, having reserved that token of his regard until the last. And so, at the close of another day well spent, the good old man retired to his room, and fell asleep to the music of the merry laughter below.

J. T. Trowbridge.


Benjamin Franklin was reading. That was not his whole name; he had another,—it was Dodd. His sister, Susy Dodd, and Jehoshaphat, his brother, were both in the room. Susy was blinding her eyes and pricking her fingers over an endless seam in a shirt which Benjamin intended to honor her by wearing. Jehoshaphat, adorned with a long beard manufactured from the contents of his mother’s cotton-wool bag, and spectacles confiscated from his grandfather’s pocket, was lecturing to an array of the dining-room chairs, and had worked himself into a mild furor, under the belief that he was the wandering patriot who addressed the Lyceum last week.

It was an old, well-thumbed book that Benjamin was reading,—a book that all the youthful Dodds for generations had devoured in the daytime, and screamed over in their dreams at night. It was filled with stories most wonderful to hear, of the golden days of chivalry, when everybody was a knight, and every knight fell to fighting with every other knight; when very beautiful young ladies were very often lost in the woods, and every knight that happened to come along and find them was instantly seized with a desire to knock half a dozen other knights on the head; when there were enchantments, and spells of fairies, upon the earth; when the human race consisted entirely of gentlemen and ladies; and when disagreeable people, who will have coarse hands and ragged clothes, were never heard of. Altogether, it was a most charming book.

Do pull up that curtain, Sue! I haven’t got but half a streak of light in this corner,” remarked Benjamin. He considered employment good for his sister’s health, and used kindly to prescribe for her, even when her business was most pressing. Though it was imperative that he should turn over a new leaf at that particular moment, to find out what the beautiful Rosamond was crying about, yet even in this emergency you see his brotherly feeling continued unabated. That Susy, rising in haste to obey his orders, should lose her thimble, break her needle, and tip over her work-basket, did not in the least ruffle his composure. Great minds are never disturbed by trifles.

Ah, but they were pleasant reading—those stories! Many a one older and less credulous than Benjamin might have withdrawn into their depths, like a turtle into his shell, without the least desire to come out for hours together.

There were the wonderful adventures of Sir Launcelot,—Launcelot the brave and bright, fairy-guarded, iron-armed, deadly in stroke, and gracious in pardon;—he who was the pride of the good King Arthur, and the knights of his Table Round; who for many a long year loved the Queen, Guinevere the Beautiful, as never queen was loved before; who fought with the fiercest and strongest of knights that trod the shores of “Merrie England,” and led warriors into battle, and conquered kingdoms; who faced all enemies, all hardship, all danger; who would have yielded life itself for her sweet sake.

But, in spite of all this, they had a quarrel, as lovers will. Launcelot turned his haughty face away from Arthur’s court, leaving the gentle King, and the noble lords, and the fair, cruel Queen, far behind him, and plunged into the depths of a forest,—a dark, still forest, where he could wander at his will, with only his sword and his grief for company. While he was there, he made up his mind that he would be a hermit, and live alone in a hut, and never look on the face of the beautiful Guinevere again; that he would eat nothing but berries and water, and wear hair-cloth shirts. But he concluded that, on the whole, he wouldn’t.

Just about the time that he had arrived at this decision, and was wondering what he should do next, he met a sorrowful knight riding slowly through the wood, and, as they both felt rather too low-spirited to fight, they fell to talking. Ah! well might the sorrowful knight ride slowly, and keep his mournful eyes upon the ground, for sorrowful and mournful was the tale he told.

There had been a great and royal feast at Arthur’s palace, and next to the Queen had sat a noble Scottish lord, who had travelled far to see the King and his famous knights, than whom none were found braver or more knightly in all the world. Now it chanced that they had apples for dessert, and Guinevere, with her own white hand, had taken the largest and ripest,—all golden-red, and wrapped in cool green leaves,—and had given it to the princely guest. But he had no sooner tasted it, than he cried with a great cry, and fell back dead. So it had gone abroad that Guinevere had poisoned him, and the dead lord’s brother demanded the Queen’s life, unless some knight would undertake her cause, and fight with him.

Now every one believed that Guinevere was guilty, and Arthur walked alone in his royal gardens, and they knew that his great heart was smitten. The poor Queen sorrowed among her maidens, and looked at the funeral-pile on which she was to find her horrible death, and wept, and sighed for Launcelot,—and looked again, and mourned, and called for Launcelot,—Launcelot, whom she had driven from her,—Launcelot, against whose sword the mightiest chieftain never stood,—Launcelot, who alone could save her.

Sir Launcelot hardly waited to hear the story finished, but, with the cry, “Guinevere! Guinevere!” upon his lips, he drove the spurs into his quivering horse, and dashed away through the forest to—

Benjamin had read just so far, when Jehoshaphat, waxing excited, piped at the top of his lungs,—“The Atlantic, where the American Eagle dips one wing, from the Pacific, where she dips the other!”

Now if there was anything Benjamin particularly objected to, it was Jehoshaphat’s fits of eloquence. So he made an observation which was weighty with meaning:—“J., if you know what’s good for you, you’ll hush up!”

He also made another, of no less importance to history than the first:—“Sue! why can’t you keep that child still? How’s a fellow going to read with such a thundering racket?”

“Spangled banner, and—It a’n’t her fault!” said Jehoshaphat, breaking off in the very glory of his rhetoric. “She can’t make me stop any more’n you can; besides, she’s bought a ticket to the course.”

“It’s a girl’s business to keep children quiet somehow,” growled Benjamin.

Jehoshaphat tweaked his beard. Then he put on his spectacles, and began his lecture over from the beginning. Benjamin resumed his book. So might a martyr walk to the stake.

Well, Launcelot dashed through the forest to rescue the weeping Guinevere. Guinevere a murderer? Guinevere condemned to die? By the faith of his most knightly sword, he would have sworn that she was innocent. So on and on through the forest he lashed the fiery horse. Day and night he rode and rode. Under the starlight, which was faint through the leaves, under the moonlight, which floored the plains, and crowned the hills with pearl, through the sunlight, which was golden above and beneath and about him, like a world of jewels on fire, through the damps and silver dews, against the winds that chilled him and the heats that scorched him, he rode and rode. And so at last he came to Arthur’s court, and the Scottish knight was there, and the funeral pile was there, and Guinevere was there, wailing, and wringing her beautiful hands, and calling for Launcelot.

Then Launcelot cried, in a voice of thunder, “He who dares accuse the Queen, Guinevere the Innocent, let him come hither!” So he and the haughty lord drew upon each other, and long and bitter was the contest. From noon till sunset did they fight, and never had Launcelot met warrior like this one. Now all this time he had kept his visor down, and none knew who he might be, when at last, as the evening light touched Guinevere, watching, like a statue, on the balcony, he smote the Scottish knight to the ground, and held his life under a sword-stroke. Then he showed his face, and raised the fallen knight, and pardoned him.

The knight knew it was Launcelot, and the lords knew, and all the court knew, and shouted for joy. The mournful King looked up; the warm, happy color flushed all Guinevere’s pale face, and the tears dried on her cheek.

So Guinevere was saved, and she and Launcelot forgot they had ever quarrelled. Every one was about as happy as happy could be, for you must know that they found out who did put the poisoned apple on the table. It was a miserable squire of the Queen’s, who had plotted to murder one of the lords. He supposed Guinevere would hand it to his enemy; but the Scottish knight was higher in rank, and the fatal honor belonged to him. Poor Guinevere only intended to be very polite and very hospitable. She would never have murdered anybody, if she had lived till now.

Then there was Sir Perceval, whose mother gave him his knightly lessons, and the sage philosopher Merlin, enchanted by a wicked fairy, and captive princesses and dethroned princes innumerable.

But best of all Benjamin thought the story of Tristram and Isoude,—as mournful as the dropping of autumn leaves and as sweet as the purest Mayflower. For the royal Irish maiden was married to Tristram’s uncle, the King of Cornwall, and she loved not her husband, but she loved Sir Tristram, even as he loved her. So they mourned in secret, the one for the other. It generally happens in story-books that husbands who are in the way are obliging enough to die; but Isoude’s husband did not die. He kept on living and living. And Isoude wept and sorrowed, and Tristram tried to forget his bitter lot in wild adventures; but still the old King kept on living, and living, and living.

At last Tristram fell sick of a grievous wound, and in all the country no physician could be found that could cure him. Then he sent for Isoude, if perhaps the sight of her might give him life. She came, with the white sails of her ships all fluttering up the sunny harbor. She landed in the bright morning, and came to Tristram’s palace-gate; she hastened up his marble stairs, and into the room where he was lying. But he did not move when she entered; he did not speak when she softly called his name; he did not look into her face when she bent over and touched his forehead. She had come too late. All beautiful and bright she stood before him. All pale and still he lay,—he was dead. Some one, coming in awhile after, found her kneeling upon the floor, her face buried on Tristram’s motionless arm. “Fair lady,” they said, “beautiful Isoude, Sir Tristram’s soul has passed most knightly,—be comforted.” But she did not answer them. Her gentle heart had broken. She had died for love of him.

“Swords and daggers!” said Benjamin at last. “What a stupid age we do live in! No chance for a chap to be anything, or do anything. I vote it a bore.” Whereupon he threw away his book, as if he were knocking the present generation on the head with it.

“Fools sigh for splendor past!” declaimed Jehoshaphat from his reading-book.

“And I, for one,” continued Benjamin, pacing the room, with one hand waving an imaginary sword in the air, and the other tangling Susy’s ball of yarn to throw at the cat,—“I, for one, don’t believe in giving in to public opinion on a matter of importance. The fair sex are not appreciated; they are not properly defended. I will be their champion,—I will fight for them,—I will die for them!”

“O Ben! do please look out; you’ve got your foot in my sewing!” cried Susy.

“Make those button-holes smaller than the last,” said Benjamin, abstractedly, tripping out of a labyrinth of cotton, and putting on his cap.

“Dear as the sisters at our firesides!” shouted Jehoshaphat, bringing both fists down on his desk, with a concussion that knocked off his spectacles, and blew his beard into the fire. “Where’re you going, Ben?”

“Where are you going?” asked Susy, laying down her work.

Benjamin looked important. It was impossible, you know, to make a girl understand his great schemes of adventure. What did she know about King Arthur and Launcelot?

“O, won’t you take me out skating?” pleaded Susy. “I’ve got my new skates, and I can’t learn, because I can’t go alone. All the other girls’ brothers go with them; I did want—”

“Couldn’t possibly,” interrupted Benjamin, sporting his father’s cane. “I’ve got so much business on hand to-day; it’s out of the question,—out of the question.”

“Sue,” said Jehoshaphat, meditatively, “what are you?”

“What am I? A girl, I suppose.”

“Will they fight and die and bleed for them?” began Jehoshaphat again, gesturing frantically at his audience, while he set them up against the wall.

Benjamin started out for a walk, shouldering his cane like a musket; then he reflected that knights did not have muskets; then he tried to carry it like a sword; but it got between his feet, and nearly tripped him up. However, this was but a slight drawback. The career of glory upon which he had entered presented such honors as quite to overbalance all minor difficulties. He would find all the fair maidens who were plunged in distress; he would be their deliverer; they would smile upon him; he would wear their favors, which he imagined to be something closely resembling the red, white, and blue cockade he had sported at the beginning of the war. He would revive the old dead days of chivalry; he would be a new hero of romance, before whom even Launcelot’s fame should pale.

There was only one objection,—his name,—Benjamin! Benjamin Franklin Dodd! It would never do. It would not be musical on the lips of the ladies. It could never be put into poetry. Benjamin!—the only verses he had ever seen on it were some in which a very stout gentleman of that name was told to “cram in” to an omnibus. As for Dodd, he could think of nothing that would rhyme with it but pea-pod or coal-hod.

However, there was Franklin. Sir Franklin was not bad. It was nearly equal to Perceval, or Gawain, or many of the princely names of the Round Table. Sir Franklin it should be.

“Have you found any of ’em yet?” called a voice behind him. And there was Jehoshaphat. He had followed unseen all the way, and was now walking demurely in his brother’s footsteps, those unutterable spectacles across his nose, and a huge umbrella shouldered after the manner Benjamin carried his cane.

“J.,” said the indignant Sir Franklin, “go home to the nursery!”

“When’s it going to be time to fight and die?” persisted Jehoshaphat, walking on.

“Jehoshaphat,” said Benjamin, sternly, “I should like to give you a good shaking.”

“I—I rather think you are,” gasped Jehoshaphat, struggling to get free from his brother’s hold. “I thought big boys never pitched into little ones.”

Benjamin let go his unknightly grasp, and walked on. He would not waste another breath on that child,—not he. Jehoshaphat put his spectacles into place, smoothed the folds of his umbrella, and trudged along,—a comical shadow of Sir Franklin. Presently they met an old woman with a basket of potatoes. She was a very old woman, and she walked with a tottering step on the ice. Just as they got up to her, she slipped and fell, dropping her basket, and scattering her potatoes far and wide.

“O law sakes! O marcy me!” she began to cry. “They’re all there is for dinner, and I did nigh about break every bone in my body.”

Benjamin stepped over the potatoes, with his hands in his pockets.

“Hillo!” said Jehoshaphat, “here’s one!”

But Benjamin paid no attention. He was just then thinking of the brave Lord Somebody, who rescued the beautiful Lady Somebody-else from robbers. The subject was too great for interruption. Jehoshaphat helped the old woman up, as well as such a diminutive specimen could do, picked up her potatoes, and ran after his brother.

“Ben, didn’t knights ever pick up funny old women without any teeth, and a little basket? Didn’t she screech, though?”

Then Sir Franklin made a remark, which, though not lengthy, was profound. It was,—“Fiddle-sticks!”

After a while they came to the top of a hill, which sloped down to the pond. Suddenly Benjamin struck an attitude, and started to run. He saw a maiden—a fair maiden, it might be—prostrate on the snow, alone and helpless. She had fallen; she might be hurt. He hurried up to her as fast as his new boots, which were rather slippery, could carry him.

“I am at your service,” he began, bowing and extending his hand somewhat in the fashion he would have done if he were going to pick up a kitten by the nape of her neck. But he stopped short in the middle of his sentence; for it was nothing but a little girl putting on her skates. Moreover, she was a very homely little girl, with red hair and a freckled face. Neither was she a very polite girl, for she said, “I don’t want you. What are you here for?”

“Oh!—I—I thought,” stammered Sir Franklin,—“I did really—”

The freckled face grew as red as the red hair, and the girl stood up very angry. “If you just came to make fun of me, ’cause I’m homely and the boys won’t skate with me, I’ll let you know I won’t stand it.” And then—I am sorry to say it, it was really so impolite, but she did—she boxed Sir Franklin’s ears.

The knight had scarcely recovered from this adventure when he saw a spirited white horse galloping down the road, with a young lady—there could be no mistake this time, she was a beautiful young lady—clinging to the saddle. Now was his time. He would stop the fiery steed; he would save the fair rider from death. She would blush and cry; she would introduce him to her father; the whole town would hear of his valor; besides, it was possible—it really was—that she would turn out an heiress. So he flung himself directly into the path of the frantic horse; he waved his cap at him; he caught at his bridle, and with a jerk stopped him short. The creature reared and quivered. The young lady screamed.

“What are you about? Help! Robbers!”

“Why—why, my fair lady,” began Benjamin.

“Let go! What do you mean? You frighten my horse.”

“Why, I was only—”

“Take your hand off my bridle, boy! What do you insult a lady in this way for?”

“A boy! insulting a lady.” Sir Franklin dropped the bridle aghast. “I—I thought you were run away with. I meant to stop the horse and save you.”

“I advise you to look twice before you proffer your assistance another time,” said the young lady, haughtily. “It is not agreeable to have one’s morning ride interrupted in this manner.” Whereupon she touched her high-mettled horse with the tasselled point of her whip, and swept by like a beautiful picture.

“I suppose she was one, wasn’t she?” remarked Jehoshaphat, looking after her with his mouth open.

But Sir Franklin did not choose to give the results of his meditations to the public. A casual observer might, however, have remarked that he finished his walk home without search for further adventure.

Susy was still stitching away on the wearisome shirt when they came in. There were traces of tears on her quiet face. Perhaps she would have liked a skate as well as other girls; it is possible, also, that she fancied shirt-making no better. But she did not say so. She wiped her eyes, and looked up, smiling. “Well, Ben, how many fair damsels did you rescue?”

Benjamin maintained a dignified silence. A great general never sounds his own praise, you know. Perhaps that was one of the laws of knighthood as well. At any rate, Benjamin must have known, because he was much better read in the annals of chivalry than I am.

“Sue!” said Jehoshaphat.

“Jehoshaphat!” said Susy.

“When I’m a big boy, and wear a little short-tailed coat and a vest, and carry father’s cane, I’m going to be a knight, too. I’ll take you skating.”

Benjamin began to whistle.

Jehoshaphat climbed up on a chair, and brought himself about on a level with his sister’s forehead. Then he eyed her, from her pretty soft hair, and timid face, down to the patient hands that still kept stitch—stitching on Benjamin’s shirt. “I say, Sue.”


“Ain’t you about as good as if you had freckles, and rode horseback?”

“J.,” said Sir Franklin, “I shall have to send you to the nursery.”

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.


It was a long narrow valley where the Pine-Tree stood, and perhaps if you went to look for it you might find it there to-day. For pine-trees live a long time, and this one was not very old.

The valley was quite barren. Nothing grew there but a few scrubby bushes, and, to tell the truth, it was about as desolate a place as you can well imagine. Far up over it hung the great, snowy caps of the Rocky Mountains, where the clouds played hide and seek all day, and chased each other merrily across the snow. There was a little stream, too, that gathered itself up among the snows and came running down the side of the mountain; but for all that the valley was very dreary.

Once in a while there went a large gray rabbit hopping among the sage-bushes; but look as far as you would, you would find no more inhabitants. Poor, solitary little valley, with not even a cottonwood down by the stream, and hardly enough grass to furnish three oxen with a meal! Poor, barren little valley, lying always for half the day in the shadow of those tall cliffs,—burning under the summer sun, heaped high with the winter snows,—lying there year after year without a friend! Yes, it had two friends, though they could do it but little good, for they were two pine-trees. The one nearest the mountain, hanging quite out of reach in a cleft of the rock, was an old, gnarled tree, which had stood there for a hundred years. The other was younger, with bright green foliage, summer and winter. It curled up the ends of its branches, as if it would like to have you understand that it was a very fine, hardy fellow, even if it wasn’t as old as its father up there in the cleft of the rock.

Now this young Pine-Tree grew very lonesome at times, and was glad to talk with any one who came along,—and they were few, I can tell you. Occasionally it would look lovingly up to the father-pine, and wonder if it could make him hear what it said. It would rustle its branches and shout by the hour, but it only heard him once, and then the words were so mixed with falling snow, that it was really impossible to say what they meant.

So the Pine-Tree was very lonesome, and no wonder. “I wish I knew of what good I am,” it said to the gray rabbit, one day. “I wish I knew,—I wish I knew”;—and it rustled its branches until they all seemed to say, “Wish I knew,—wish I knew.”

“O, pshaw!” said the rabbit. “I wouldn’t concern myself much about that. Some day you’ll find out.”

“But do tell me,” persisted the Pine-Tree, “of what good you think I am.”

“Well,” answered the rabbit, sitting up on her hind paws and washing her face with her front ones, in order that company shouldn’t see her unless she looked trim and tidy,—“well,” said the rabbit, “I can’t exactly say myself what it is. If you don’t help one, you help another, and that’s right enough, isn’t it? As for me, I take care of my family. I hop round among the sage-bushes and get their breakfast and dinner and supper. I have plenty to do, I assure you, and you must really excuse me now, for I have to be off.”

“I wish I was a hare,” muttered the Pine-Tree to himself. “I think I could do some good then, for I should have a family to support, but I know I can’t now.”

Then he called across to the little stream and asked the same question of him. And the stream rippled along, and danced in the sunshine, and answered him, “I go on errands for the big mountain all day. I carried one of your cones not long ago to a point of land twenty miles off, and there now is a pine-tree that looks just like you. But I must run along, I am so busy. I can’t tell you of what good you are. You must wait and see.” And the little stream danced on.

“I wish I were a stream,” thought the Pine-Tree. “Anything but being tied down to this spot for years. That is unfair. The rabbit can run around, and so can the stream; but I must stand still forever. I wish I was dead!”

By and by the summer passed into autumn, and the autumn into winter, and the snow-flakes began to fall. “Halloo!” said the first one, all in a flutter, as she dropped on the Pine-Tree. But he shook her off, and she fell still farther down on to the ground. The Pine-Tree was getting very churlish and cross lately.

However, the snow didn’t stop for all that, and very soon there was a white robe over the narrow valley. The Pine-Tree had no one to talk with now. The stream had covered himself in with ice and snow, and wasn’t to be seen. The hare had to hop round very industriously to get enough for her children to eat, and the sage-bushes were always low-minded fellows, and couldn’t begin to keep up a ten-minutes conversation.

At last there came a solitary figure across the valley, making its way straight for the Pine-Tree. It was a lame mule, which had been left behind from some wagon-train. He dragged himself slowly on until he reached the tree. Now the Pine, in shaking off the snow, had shaken down some cones as well, and they lay on the snow. These the mule picked up, and began to eat.

“Heigh-ho!” said the tree, “I never knew those things were fit to eat before.”

“Didn’t you?” replied the mule. “Why, I have lived on these things, as you call them, ever since I left the wagons. I am going back on the Oregon trail, and I sha’n’t see you again. Accept my thanks for breakfast. Good-by.” And he moved off to the other end of the valley, and disappeared among the rocks.

“Well!” exclaimed the Pine-Tree, “that’s something, at all events.” And he shook down a number of cones on the snow. He was really happier than ever he had been before, and with good reason, too.

After a while there appeared three people. They were a family of Indians,—a father, a mother, and a little child. They, too, went straight to the tree. “We’ll stay here,” said the father, looking across at the snow-covered bed of the stream, and up at the Pine-Tree. He was very poorly clothed, this Indian. He and his wife and the child had on dresses of hareskins, and they possessed nothing more of any account, except a bow and arrows, and a stick with a net on the end. They had no lodge-poles, and not even a dog. They were very miserable, and hungry.

The man threw down his bow and arrows not far from the tree. Then he began to clear away the snow in a circle, and to pull up the sage-bushes. These he and the woman built into a round, low hut, and then they lighted a fire within it. While it was beginning to burn, the man went to the stream, and broke a hole in the ice. Tying a string to his arrow, he shot a fish which came up to breathe, and, putting it on the coals, they all ate it half-raw. They never noticed the Pine-Tree, though he rattled down at least a dozen more cones.

At last night came on, cold and cheerless. The wind blew savagely through the valley, and howled at the Pine-Tree, for they were old enemies. O, it was a bitter night! but finally the morning broke. More snow had fallen, and heaped up against the hut, so that you could hardly tell that it was there. The stream had frozen tighter than before, and the man could not break a hole in the ice again. The sage-bushes were all hid by the drifts, and the Indians could find none to burn.

Then they turned to the Pine-Tree. How glad he was to help them! They gathered up the cones, and roasted the seeds on the fire. They cut branches from the tree, and burned them, and so kept up the warmth in their hut.

The Pine-Tree began to find himself useful, and he told the hare so, one morning, when she came along. But she saw the Indians’ hut, and did not stop to reply. She had put on her winter coat of white, yet the Indian had seen her in spite of all her care. He followed her over the snow with his net, and caught her among the drifts.

Poor Pine-Tree! She was almost his only friend, and when he saw her eaten, and her skin taken for the child’s mantle, he was very sorrowful, you may be sure. He saw that, if the Indians stayed there, he too would have to die, for they would in time burn off all his branches, and use all his cones; but he was doing good at last, and he was content.

Day after day passed by, some bleak, some warm,—and the winter moved slowly along. The Indians only went from their hut to the Pine-Tree now. He gave them fire and food, and the snow was their drink. He was smaller than before, for many branches were gone, but he was happier than ever.

One day the sun came out more warmly, and it seemed as if spring was near. The Indian man broke a hole in the ice, and got more fish. The Indian woman caught a rabbit. The Indian child gathered sage-bushes from under the fast melting snow, and made a hotter fire to cook the feast. And they did feast, and then they went away.

The Pine-Tree had found out its mission. It had helped to save three lives.

In the summer, there came along a band of explorers, and one, the botanist of the party, stopped beside our Pine-Tree. “This,” said he, in his big words, “is the Pinus monophyllus, otherwise known as the Bread-Pine.” He looked at the deserted hut, and passed his hand over his forehead. “How strange it is!” said he: “this Pine-Tree must have kept a whole family from cold and starvation last winter. There are very few of us who have done as much good as that.” And when he went away, he waved his hand to the tree, and thanked God in his heart that it grew there. And the Bread-Pine waved his branches in return, and said to himself, as he gazed after the departing band, “I will never complain again, for I have found out what a pleasant thing it is to do good, and I know now that every one in his lifetime can do a little of it.”

Samuel W. Duffield.


“Tick tock! tick tock!”

Twelve at night by the clock.

  The fire is dead

  And all are in bed.

“Tick tock! tick tock!”


“Tick tark! tick tark!”

Pussy asleep in the dark?

  Cuddled up there

  In the soft arm-chair?

“Tick tark! tick tark!”


“Tick tock! tick tock!”

Half past one by the clock.

  Out from his hole

  The little mouse stole.

“Tick tock! tick tock!”


“Tick tock! tick tock!”

Nothing is heard but the clock.

  The mouse ran out,—

  Puss chased him about.

“Tick tock! tick tock!”


“Tick tack! tick tack!”

The mouse to his hole ran back.

  “No, Pussy,” said he,

  “You cannot have me.”

“Tick tack! tick tack!”


“Tick tock! tick tock!”

Pussy looked up at the clock.

  The clock struck two.

  The cat cried “Mew!”

“Tick tock! tick tock!”

Mrs. Anna M. Wells.



Tom Brindley considered the matter,—considered it for a week,—considered it in the garden, where he worked very faithfully; in the dory, where he fished; on board of the Leopold, a pinkey-stern schooner of sixteen tons, which, with the right in equity of the cottage, was all his father’s assets. So far as any prospect of obtaining relief was considered, he might as well not have considered the matter; for what could a boy of fourteen do in the face of so tremendous an obstacle as a mortgage of four hundred dollars with back interest for two years?

Since the visit of Captain Bellmore to his mother’s cottage, the good-for-nothing had devoted himself wholly and entirely to the service of his mother, and had scrupulously obeyed her in all things. As this happy state of things had continued for the full space of one week, Tom’s case looked more hopeful than ever before. This change of habits could not fail to be noticed by the people of Rearport, where everybody knew his neighbor’s affairs as well or better than his own. The “Bass girl” had told her story, which Silas Ryder had more than confirmed, and Tom was, in the minds of a portion of the inhabitants, relieved from a part of the horrid wickedness which had been imputed to him. Some of them were bold enough to declare that the “Brindley boy” had served the “Bellmore boy” just right, for tormenting the poor girl as he had. The most emphatic testimony, however, proceeded from one Bob Barkley, a sportsman from New York, who had no particular admiration for the great man of Rearport, who would have been only a poor man in the great city. He declared that Tom was a bold, brave fellow, and deserved a gold medal, both for saving the girl from drowning, and for punishing her proud tormentor as he deserved. He actually gave the hero of the adventure a five-dollar gold-piece, which Tom piously handed over to his mother, as an earnest of what he intended to do, without even pausing to think of the fine things that this magnificent sum would purchase.

Bob Barkley’s influence on the public sentiment of Rearport was powerful, and his unstinted praise of the hero for his conduct caused some of the people actually to doubt whether Tom was a good-for-nothing, after all. At best, however, popular opinion was only divided. Tom was not arrested for an attempt to commit murder; perhaps, among other reasons, because the saucy sportsman declared that, if such a step was taken, Dick should have the same sauce served out to him for an assault on the girl; and he would pay for the best lawyer in the State “to see him through.”

Tom’s case certainly improved, as the days followed each other; but in the mean time the twentieth of the month was rapidly approaching, when Captain Bellmore would foreclose his mortgage, and take possession of the cottage. Our hero, good-for-nothing as he was, could not look forward with anything like patience to that day. He felt that his dead father’s creditor was the author of all his personal sorrows. He had even proposed to send him to the poor-house, or to some other place of correction; for the Captain was one of the town fathers, and he supposed that was what he meant by his mysterious threat to “take care” of him.

Tom was in trouble. He wanted to save his mother from the mortification and pain of being turned out of her house, which was worth at least six hundred dollars, though it would not bring “under the hammer” more than enough to pay the mortgage and the interest. The Leopold could be sold; but the proceeds of the sale would not half pay the debt; besides, his father, before his death, had expressed a desire that she might be kept, and the fishing business be carried on by his son.

“Well, mother,” said Tom, one morning, after he had lain for two hours thinking what he should do, “I’m going into something right off.”

“What do you mean, Thomas?” asked Mrs. Brindley.

“I’m going out after black-fish in the Leopold to-day.”

“You can’t do nothing with her.”

“Yes, I can. Joe Bass and Si Ryder will go with me, and we can handle her just as easy as nothing. I wish I could make enough to pay off that awful mortgage. Don’t you believe the Captain will wait, if he sees things going on about right with us?”

“Of course he won’t. He is goin’ to turn us out of the house out of spite, just because he hates you; and, of course, he won’t wait a single day.”

“Confound his picter!” exclaimed Tom, biting his nails down to the quick. “I a’n’t a-goin’ to be turned out, nohow. I’ll tell Bob Barkley all about it, if wus comes to wust.”

Tom seemed to consider the sportsman a sovereign remedy for all the ills of life; and he had only to tell him all about it, and everything would be right. Barkley was able to take the mortgage himself, and Tom had faith to believe that he would do so; but he hoped it would not be necessary to appeal to him, for his pride revolted at the idea of asking such a tremendous favor of his patronizing friend. He wanted to do some big thing himself,—something that would make the Rearporters open their eyes, and say that the Widow Brindley’s oldest son was not such a good-for-nothing fellow as they had been taught to believe,—something that would confirm the magnificent sportsman’s opinion of him. Then he could find friends enough who would be willing to lift the mortgage, and enable him to snap his fingers in the face of the great man of the village.

After breakfast, he went down to the Round-Back, and then pulled off to the Leopold. She was an old, half worn-out vessel; but she had seen a great deal of hard service, and was thoroughly trustworthy in a sea or a blow. Everything was on board of her precisely as his father had left it, and she was in condition to proceed immediately to the fishing grounds. Tom Brindley had been cradled on the salt water. He knew every rope in a fishing smack, and every foot of the coast for twenty miles in either direction. He was a boy of quick parts, and learned things at sight. What he knew once, he knew always. What he saw, he understood; and though he had never been an industrious fisherman, he had acquired more tact and skill than some persons obtain in twenty years.

Having procured the services of Si Ryder, who was always ready to go anywhere, and Joe Bass, who was willing to serve the champion of his poor sister even with his life, Tom laid in his supplies, and the Leopold started on her cruise. People who witnessed the departure thought the crew was rather too juvenile to be very efficient; but they consoled themselves with the belief that, if the trio were lost, it wouldn’t matter much, for they were not very ornamental young men in the village, and nobody but their mothers would miss them.

Tom Brindley knew exactly where to go for black-fish. Off Rearport, the navigation was exceedingly difficult and dangerous. Between the main land, on which the village was situated, and a large island lying twenty miles to the southward, the course of a vessel bound to New York by the inner route was through a perfect wilderness of bars and shoals. In the tempestuous season, wrecks were of common occurrence, and a large portion of the profits of the inhabitants of Rearport, and other places in the vicinity, was derived from the business of wrecking. Even in the summer season, when fogs prevailed, vessels were occasionally bewildered among the shoals, got aground, and, if bad weather came on, went to pieces.

In the deep water on the seaward verge of these shoals, a large ship had struck years before, and, falling off, had gone to the bottom. The wreck still lay there in five fathoms of water, and connected with the locality there was a secret worth knowing to a fisherman,—one which had been bequeathed to Tom by his father, and which the sturdy sire had carefully preserved for the benefit of his son,—never visiting the spot when any other person was on board. The wreck was a favorite resort for black-fish. They swarmed in thousands in the recesses of the hulk; and a line skilfully dropped down the main hatchway was sure to produce a rich harvest. Before reaching the place, Tom, after giving his companions a liberal “lay” in the profits of the trip, pledged them in the most solemn manner never to reveal the momentous secret. They believed in the captain of the Leopold, and promptly gave the required promise.

The Leopold was moored in the right spot, and the young fishermen commenced operations in earnest. The full value of the secret was soon apparent; for, two hours before sunset, the fish-tanks of the pinkey were filled to repletion. Tom was as happy as a lord, and his good-for-nothing friends were hardly less elated. He was even disposed to believe that he could pay off the mortgage on the cottage in a short time, for black-fish were gold and silver in the New York market, where most of them were sent.

“Well, boys, we have worked hard; now we will have our grub, and see about getting home,” said Tom, as they laid away their lines.

“No trouble about the grub; but gettin’ home’s another thing,” replied Si, as he glanced to the northward, where a thick fog had settled down shortly after the Leopold was moored.

“We can fetch it well enough,” said Tom, confidently. “I think I know which way the land lays.”

A feast of cold corned beef, doughnuts, and cheese did not diminish their good-humor; and, when it was finished, the Leopold was unmoored, and Tom, after bringing up a compass from the cuddy, took his place at the helm.

“The wind is hauling round to the nor’ard and east’ard,” said Tom, as the pinkey darted off, close-hauled, on her course. “It’s goin’ to blow great guns afore we see Rearport.”

“That’s so; I smelt it,” added Joe Bass.

“We can’t stand this much longer,” said Tom, when the Leopold had been lying down to it for half an hour. “We’re goin’ to have a reg’lar muzzler. We must put a reef in this rotten old mainsail, or it will be blown all to flinders.”

The foresail had not been set; and under the direction of the smart little skipper the sail was reefed, and the schooner went easier. A little later, the bonnet was taken off the jib; still the Leopold made good weather. In anticipation of a “reg’lar out-and-outer,” as Tom called a full gale, his two companions close-reefed the foresail, in readiness to be hoisted when the short jib and double-reefed mainsail proved too much for her.

The pinkey went on her way, enveloped in a cloud of foam, but still standing up stiff to the big waves which were rolling down from the northeast. If the anxious mothers of the unterrified crew had seen them then, they might have been filled with doubts and fears; but the boys had seen this sort of thing before, and felt tolerably easy,—perhaps a little anxious, but not much so. The hatches had been put on, the booby-hatch closed, and everything made snug for the worst possible time that the young salts could imagine. The fog appeared to be lifting; but Tom did not care a straw whether it did or not, for he knew the way home; yet we think he was a little too confident, as boys sometimes are.


“What’s all that whistling, Tom?” asked Joe Bass, as he listened, for the twentieth time, to the shrill piping of some steamer to the northward of them.

“Some steamboat, I suppose, making her way over the shoals,” replied Tom, indifferently; for the whistle was a familiar sound in foggy weather.

“But she don’t go ahead any. I’ve heard that whistle from the same place this half-hour.”

“We are close aboard of her, anyhow. Go for’ard, Si, and keep a sharp look-out. I don’t want to get smashed with all these black-fish aboard, though I suppose they’d like it fust-rate.”

“Hallo!” shouted Si, from his position at the heel of the bowsprit. “Here she is, right over our lee bow. She’s hard and fast.”

“On the Gridiron,” added Tom, glancing about him, as the fog lifted, and recognizing the position of the dangerous shoal whose name he had mentioned.

“Schooner, ahoy!” screamed a man from the deck of the unfortunate vessel, which was a large ocean steamer.

“On board the steamer!” replied Tom.

“Where are we?” demanded the captain of the steamer.

“On the Gridiron. You’ll go to pieces afore mornin’, if you don’t get off.”

“Come on board, will you?”

“Ay, ay, sir!” promptly replied the skipper of the Leopold, as he put the helm hard-a-lee, and ordered the boys to let go the anchor.

It was doubtful whether that anchor could ever be got up again; but Tom decided questions in a hurry.

“Let go your jib halyards!” shouted he, as he cast off those of the mainsail; and in a few moments all the sails were stowed away, and the Leopold hung by her anchor just under the counter of the stranded steamer.

Tom gave some hasty directions to his companions in regard to getting up a spare anchor, and bending it on, in case the pinkey did not ride easy; and, pulling up the dory, which was towed astern, he jumped into it. The sea was running high on the shoals; but our hero was as fearless as though he stood on the beach at Rearport. He pushed off, and pulled up under the bow of the steamer, which was sufficiently under her lee to give him tolerably smooth water. Making fast the painter of the dory to the bobstay of the steamer by a line that a deck-hand let down to him from there, he climbed up to the bowsprit, and made his way on board.

He found the captain in a state of high nervous excitement, while the passengers were in despair. It was evident even to the landsmen on board that they were on the eve of a fierce gale, which might last two or three days, especially as the “line storm” was due in a few days.

“Nothing but a little boy,” said the captain, with intense disgust, as Tom Brindley leaped down from the rail to the deck.

“I’m nothing but a boy, cap’n; but if there’s any hole or corner among these shoals that I don’t know, I’d like to have you show it to me,” replied Tom, rather disposed to resent the imputation of being nothing but a boy. “I come on board ’cause you asked me to; and if you don’t want nothin’ of me, I won’t charge you nothin’ for what I have done.”

“Why didn’t the skipper of the smack send a man on board? I want a pilot, if I can get off this bank, and I’m willing to pay one any sum he asks,” replied the captain, with much nervous excitement, as he heard the great billows pounding against the stern of the vessel.

“I’m the skipper of the smack,” replied Tom, with admirable self-possession. “There a’n’t no man on board of her.”

“Can you bring me off a pilot?” demanded the captain. “I’ll give any man fifteen hundred dollars that will put the ship in deep water.”

“I can’t bring off any pilot. It blows too hard to do anything of that sort, and it will blow harder before it blows any less. I’m your man, if you want a pilot.”

“You? You are nothing but a boy!” exclaimed the captain, who was an Englishman, and had not a proper veneration for Young America.

“I don’t care if I a’n’t nothing but a boy; I know these shoals as well as any pilot on the coast,” said Tom, as confidently as though he had been a “branch” pilot for forty years.

The captain walked off, and looked over the stern of the steamer. Matters were growing worse with her every moment, and a disastrous shipwreck stared him in the face. Some of the passengers urged him to trust the boy; and when there seemed to be nothing to hope for, he gave an unwilling consent.

“I’m not going to do this job for nothing,” said Tom, when the answer had been given to him; for he was fearful that the captain might regard him as a boy, when the steamer floated in deep water, beyond the shoals.

“I will pay you all I said I would give a pilot.”

“Cheap enough at that, for there won’t be two pieces of your steamer hanging together, if you stay here over night. Now, start your wheels back just as fast as ever you can,” continued the youthful pilot, as he leaped on the high rail of the steamer, and made a careful survey of the surroundings. “I know all about it just like nothing at all.”

Tom Brindley was perfectly conscious that he had undertaken a big job; but he felt fully competent to perform it, especially as the fog had entirely disappeared. A bright, brilliant vision of the future flashed through his excited brain, as he thought of the promised reward. If he succeeded in getting the steamer off, and taking her through the shoals, he could snap his finger at the magnate of Rearport, and make his mother the happiest woman in the State.

“How long have you been here aground, Cap’n,” asked Tom, as he leaped down from the rail.

“About two hours!”

“Why didn’t you keep your wheels working back?”

“I did till just as you came in sight. I don’t know how I came in here.”

“You are not ten fathoms from the deepest channel.”

“It would not have made much difference where I was without a pilot among the shoals. If we get off, I shall think it was lucky I got her aground just when and where I did.”

“Don’t trouble yourself a bit, Cap’n. She’ll come off within an hour,” replied Tom, who kept the run of the tides. “The ship struck on the young flood, and you didn’t go on very hard.”

“No; we had shut off steam some time before, and were getting ready to anchor. I saw that buoy over there, which opened my eyes.”

The steamer paddled away for half an hour with all the steam her boilers could make. She had struck her fore-foot into the sand, when she had nearly lost her headway, and a couple of hours’ more tide was all she needed to restore her entirely to the bosom of her true element. Tom sent all the passengers aft, and the captain set the crew at work to carry such movables aft as could be easily transported. While this labor was in progress, the Imperial—which was the ship’s name—came off the shoal. The passengers absolutely shouted for joy, and said some very handsome things of the resolute young pilot, who, however, had not time to listen to any fine speeches.

“Stop her!” said he, as he leaped upon the rail to take another observation.—“Buoy your anchor, cut the cable, and follow the steamer!” he shouted to his companions on board the Leopold.

“Are you going to let them follow us?” asked the captain.

“Can’t you send two men on board? We are short-handed.”

“I will.”

The life-boat on the lee quarter was lowered into the water, and the second mate of the steamer, with two men, was sent on board of the pinkey to assist in navigating her.

“Now, Cap’n, back her again,” said the confident young pilot, still standing on the rail, and holding fast to the main rigging.

His orders were implicitly obeyed; and when the Imperial had backed out into the deep water, the orders to stop her and go ahead were given. She was now fairly on her course. The captain still trembled for the safety of the ship, and for the consequences of his own incompetence; but as the young pilot dodged shoal after shoal, and stood as resolutely and confidently at his post as though the victory were already won, his fears began to dissipate. As the darkness gathered over the stormy sea, the Imperial stood into the quiet waters of a landlocked harbor, twelve miles from Rearport.

“Stop your wheels, cap’n,” said the pilot.

“You are the oldest little man that I ever met with in the whole course of my life,” said the captain, after the wheels ceased to turn.

“Well, I hope I’m old enough for a little job like this, Cap’n. Let go your anchor.”

The ship swung round to her cable, and the steam from her escape pipe began to roar like thunder. The passengers gathered around Tom Brindley, and hailed him as the savior of the steamer.

“Well, Cap’n, I s’pose you haven’t anything more for me to do,” said Tom, after he had listened long enough to the congratulations of the passengers.

“Can’t you pilot me through the Sound to-morrow?”

“No, sir; I don’t know the way through there. You will find a pilot easy enough.”

Tom went down into the cabin, and the captain handed him the fifteen hundred dollars in gold which had been promised. The eyes of the young pilot dilated till they were as big as saucers, and a storm of emotions made wild tumult in his breast as he took the bag of glittering coins. They were to be his own and his mother’s salvation. They were to hurl confusion into the soul of his persecutor, the great man of Rearport. They were to redeem his character, and relieve him henceforth from the degrading epithet of “good-for-nothing.” With great emotions great resolutions were born in his soul, and he was determined to be somebody from that day to the end of his life.

The passengers were not content to let him go without testifying their approbation in a more substantial manner than could be done by words. Sixty British sovereigns were hastily gathered together, and put into his hand. With the hearty benedictions of all on board, he went over the side, and pulled to the Leopold, which had just come to anchor near the Imperial.

“Well, fellers, that was a big job!” exclaimed Tom, when he stepped upon the deck. “Better ’n black-fish, I can tell ye.”

Tom displayed his wealth to the amazed eyes of his companions.

“O, I don’t mean to keep it all myself,” said he.

“Well, I don’t know as we’ve any claim to any of it,” added Si Ryder.

“No; Tom earned the money himself,” responded Joe Bass.

“I know that; but I never was mean, and I don’t intend to begin now. You run some risk, and followed me down here. I’ll divide five hundred between you. How’s that?”

“That’s doing the handsome thing,” said Joe. “You found the boat, and did all the work.”

“And found the head, too,” added Si.

The money was immediately divided, and the young pilot wanted to go home and tell his mother all about it, for she had, of course, given him up for lost by this time; but the gale was too fierce for even Tom to venture out of the harbor. It blew a gale all the next day; but on the third day, the Leopold came to anchor off the Round Back.

Oliver Optic.

(To be concluded.)


One bleak day in October, 1853, a little boy was playing with his dog on the floor of his father’s library, in one of the larger towns of Western Illinois. The dog was not bigger than a piece of chalk; but when the boy ranged the great divinity books into a railway-train along the floor, he hopped upon them, and puffed and snorted away, as if he supposed himself some huge engine racing across the country under a full head of steam. “Whiz! whiz!” and “Puff! puff!” went the dog, and “Hurrah! hurrah!” “Clear the track!” “Look out for the bullgine!” shouted the boy, until the room shook, and the dusty old worthies on the shelves crawled, trembling, into their nightcaps, frightened out of their few wits by this new development of the nineteenth century. How the tall man writing at the desk managed to put two ideas together amid such a din, I never could understand, until my own “Billy Boy” had turned my own library into a railroad-station.

At last the tall man laid down his pen, and, reaching up for his hat, which hung against the wall, caught sight of the boy, the dog, and the “Great Western Railway.” Bursting into a merry laugh, he said:—

“Willie had a little dog,

 Whose coat was white as snow;

 And everywhere that Willie went

 The dog was sure to go.”

The boy sprang to his feet, and, catching up his own little hat, which lay on a chair in the corner, shouted out:—

“And father had a little boy,

 Whose face was white as snow;

 And everywhere that father went

 The boy was sure to go.”

In vain the father said that four-year-old boys should stay at home in stormy weather; the little fellow insisted on going out, and finally carried his point; and always afterwards, “everywhere the father went, the boy was sure to go.”

So it came about that, one day in the following summer, when his father went a-shooting, Willie thrust the powder-horn into his pocket, and trudged off upon the prairie with him. They soon started a flock of quails, and Willie’s father raised his gun to fire among them; but, the little boy being very near, he hesitated to shoot, lest he should frighten him with the report of the weapon. Willie, seeing the quails flying away, and the gun so strangely hanging fire, cried out, impatiently: “Father, shoot! Why don’t you shoot?” But the father still hesitated; and then the boy, who knew nothing of a gun but that it makes a loud noise, and is a dangerous thing to handle, cried out again: “Why, father, are you afraid? Give me the gun, I’ll shoot.”

The father rested the gun across a log, and the boy fired at the flock of quails. The birds had flown beyond range, and the shot only hit the empty air; but the little boy turned to his father, and said, in a tone of cool and refreshing dignity: “There, father, don’t you see there isn’t any danger in firing a gun!”

It was about this time that Willie went to his first camp-meeting. Many of you have been at camp-meetings, and know that they are religious gatherings, held in the open air, and attended by great numbers of people, who go into the woods to worship, and frequently stay there days and weeks together. Willie’s father was the president of a college; but he also was a clergyman,—and a clergyman who never omitted an opportunity of bearing “testimony to the truth,” whether in a church, a lecture-room, or at a camp-meeting. So it came about that on the occasion I speak of he was asked to occupy a place on the platform, and Willie took a seat beside him.

Another clergyman opened the meeting with prayer; but the prayer had scarcely begun, when one of the congregation—an ill-mannered mule, tethered near by in the timber—set up a most discordant braying, which drowned the voice of the speaker, and greatly disconcerted the worshippers. All at once the prayer ceased, and Willie’s father, rising, asked that the mule might be led out of hearing. “Why, father,” then exclaimed the little boy, “I thought you went for freedom of speech!”

“The boy is father of the man,” and the small boy is father of the larger boy. This is shown by these little stories, which display traits in Willie’s character that made him, long afterwards, put on a blue jacket and trousers, and follow his brave father over nearly every battle-field of the Southwest. He loved his father, and wanted to be always with him; he was not afraid of powder, or a shot-gun; and he went, to the full extent, for freedom of speech,—that principle which, though it may not do for asses and mules, lies at the very foundation of human liberty. So, when the South aimed a death-blow at this principle, and his father went out to uphold it on the battle-field, it was only natural that Willie should want to go with him, and have another shot at a flock of birds,—though these “birds” were not of the quail species.

His father had been in the army more than a year, and had risen to the command of a regiment, before he consented to take Willie along with him as a drummer-boy. Then he went, but had been at the front only a week when the army came in presence of the enemy, and was drawn up in two long lines to wait an attack. When an army is moving, drummer-boys and other musicians march at the head of their regiments; but when it goes into battle, they are sent to the rear, to care for the wounded. On this occasion, however, when Willie’s father rode along the lines encouraging the soldiers to act like men in the coming conflict, he caught sight of the little drummer-boy, standing, with his drum over his shoulder, at the very head of the column.

“We are going into the fight, my son,” said the father. “Your place is at the rear.”

“Father,” answered the boy, “if I go back there, everybody’ll say I’m a coward.”

“Well, well,” said his father, “stay where you are!”

He stayed there, and, when the attack began, moved in at the head of his regiment; and though the bullets hissed, the canister rattled, and the shells burst all about him, he came out uninjured. In the midst of the fight, when our men were going down before the storm of lead, as blades of grass go down before a storm of hail, one of the regimental orderlies was swept from his saddle by a cannon-ball, and his horse went galloping madly over the battle-field. Willie saw the orderly fall, and his horse bound swiftly away; and, leaving the ranks, he caught the frightened animal, and sprang into the fallen man’s saddle. Riding then up to his father, he said: “Father, I’m tired of drumming,—I’d rather carry your orders.”

He was only thirteen years old; but after that, in all the great battles of the Southwest, he acted as orderly for the brave Colonel, carrying his messages through the fiery storm, and riding unharmed up to the very cannon’s mouth, until he was taken prisoner by the Rebels on the bloody field of Chickamauga.

All day long on that terrible Saturday he rode through the fight by the side of his father, and at night lay down on the ground to dream of his home and his mother. The battle paused when the sun went down; but it had no sooner risen, on the following day, red and ghastly in the smoky air, than the faint crack of musketry and the heavy roar of artillery, sounding miles away, told that the brave boys on our left were meeting the desperate onsets of the enemy. Fiercely the Rebels broke against their ranks, fiercely as the storm-wave breaks on a rock in the ocean; but like a rock, the brave Thomas and his men beat back the wild surges, till they rolled away in broken waves upon our centre and right, where the little boy was with his regiment. Battle and disease had thinned their ranks, and then they numbered scarcely four hundred; but bravely they stood up to meet the wild shock that was coming. Soon the Colonel’s horse went down, and, giving him his own, Willie hurried to the rear for another. He had scarcely rejoined the ranks, when on they came,—the fierce rangers of Texas and Arkansas,—riding over the brigades of Davis and Van Cleve, and the division of the gallant Sheridan, as if they were only standing wheat all ripe for mowing. One half of the brave sons of Illinois were on the ground wounded or dying; but the rest stood up, unmoved in the fiery hurricane which was sweeping in fierce gusts around them. Such men can die, but their legs are not fashioned for running. Soon both their flanks were enveloped in flame, and a dreadful volley burst out of the smoke, and again the brave Colonel went to the ground in the midst of his heroes. Then the boy sprang to his side.

“Are you dead, father, or only wounded?”

“Neither, my boy,” answered the iron man, as he clutched the bridle of a riderless horse, and sprang into the empty saddle. Two horses had been shot under him, and two hundred of his men had gone down forever, but still he sat there unmoved amid the terrible tempest. At last the fire grew even hotter; one unbroken sheet of flame enveloped the little band, and step by step, with their faces to the foe, they were swept back by the mere force of numbers. Then the father said to the boy, “Go, my son, to the rear, fast as your horse’s legs can carry you.”

“I can’t, father,” answered the lad, “you may be wounded.”

“Never mind me; think of your mother. Go,” said the father, peremptorily.

Obedience had been the rule of the boy’s life. He said no more; but, turning his horse’s head, rode back to the hospital.*

The hospital was a few tents clustered among the trees, a short distance in the rear; and thither our wounded men were being conveyed as fast as the few medical attendants could carry them. There the boy dismounted, and set about doing all he could for the sufferers. While thus engaged, he saw his father’s regiment emerge from the cloud of flame, and fall slowly back towards a wood behind them. In a moment a horde of rangers, uttering fierce yells, poured down on their flanks to envelop the little band of heroes. The boy looked, and at a glance took in his own danger. The hospital would inevitably be surrounded, and all in it captured! He had heard of the Libbey, and the prison-pens of Salisbury and Andersonville; and springing upon the back of the nearest horse, he put spurs to its sides and bounded away towards the forest. But it was a clumsy beast, not the blooded animal which had borne him so nobly through the day’s conflict. Slowly it trotted along, though the rowels pierced its flanks till the blood ran down them in a rivulet. The forest was yet a long way off when the rangers caught sight of the boy and the sleepy animal, and gave chase, brandishing their carbines and yelling like a regiment of demons. The boy heard the shouts, and slung himself along the side of his horse to be out of range of bullets; but not one of the rangers offered to fire, or even lifted his carbine; for there is something in the breasts of these half-savage men that makes them in love with daring; and this running with a score of rifles following at one’s heels is about as dangerous as a steeple-chase over a country filled with pitfalls and torpedoes.

Soon the rangers’ fleet steeds encircled the boy’s clumsy animal, and one of them seized his bridle, crying out, “Yer a bully ’un; jest the pluckiest chunk uv a boy I uver seed.”

Willie was now a prisoner, and prudence counselled him to make the best of a bad business; so he slid nimbly to the ground, and coolly answered, “Give me a hundred yards the start, and I’ll get away yet,—if my horse is slower than a turtle.”

“I’m durned ef we won’t,” shouted the man. “I say, fellers, guv the boy forty rod, and let him go scot free ef he gits fust ter the timber.”

“None uv yer nonsense, Tom,” said another, who seemed some petty officer. “Luck at the boy’s cloes! He’s son ter some o’ the big ’uns. I’ll bet high he b’longs ter ole Linkum hisself. I say, young ’un, hain’t ye ole Linkum’s boy?”

“I reckon!” answered Willie, laughing, in spite of his unpleasant surroundings.

But what he said in jest was received in earnest; and with a suppressed chuckle the man said: “I knowed it. Fellers, he’s good fur a hundred thousand,—so let’s keep a bright eye on him.”

Willie was a boy of truth. He had been taught to value his word above everything, even life; but the men were deceiving themselves, and he was not bound to undeceive them to his own disadvantage. He had heard of the barbarity they had shown to helpless prisoners, and his keen mother wit told him to be silent, for this false impression would insure him kind and respectful treatment. After a short consultation, the rangers told him to mount his horse again, and then led him by a circuitous route, to be out of range of the bullets of our retreating forces, to a hospital a short distance in the rear of the rebel lines, where a large number of prisoners were gathered. On the way one of them asked Willie the time of day, and, when he drew out his watch, coolly took it and placed it in his pocket; but they offered him no other wrong or indignity.

Arrived at the station, the leader of the rangers rode up to the officer in charge of the prisoners, and said: “I say, Cunnel, we’se cotched a fish yere as is wuth cotchin’;—one o’ ole Linkum’s boys!”

The officer scrutinized Willie closely, and then said, “Are you President Lincoln’s son?”

“No, sir,” answered Willie; “but I am ‘one of Linkum’s boys.’ ”

“Ye telled me ye war, ye young hound!” cried the ranger, breaking into a storm of oaths and curses.

“I did not,” said Willie, coolly; “I let you deceive yourself,—that was all.”

The rangers stormed away as if they were a dozen hurricanes exercising their lungs for an evening concert; but the Colonel, who at first had gone into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, now turned upon them with a torrent of reproaches. “You’re a set of cowards,” he said. “You have got this up to get away from the fight. A dozen of you to guard a twelve-year-old boy! Begone! Back to the lines every one of you, or I’ll report you. Old Bragg has a way of dealing with skulkers such as you are.”

The rangers needed no further hint. They galloped off, and Willie walked away and joined the other prisoners.

About a thousand of our tired and wounded men, under guard of two companies of Rebel soldiers, were collected in an open field not far from the hospital; and with them, without food, without shelter, and with nothing but the hard ground to lie on, the little boy remained till noon of the following day.

At night he lay down to rest in a crotch of the fence and counted the stars, as one by one they came out in the sky, telling of the Great All-Father who has his home in the high heavens, but comes down to visit and relieve his heart-weary children who are wandering here on the earth. Was he not heart-weary,—heart-weary with thinking of his home and his mother, who soon would be sorrowing for her only son, lost amid the wild storm of battle? And would not God visit and relieve him? As he thought of this, he prayed. Rising to his knees, he said the little prayer he had said every morning and evening since his earliest childhood; and even as he prayed, a dark cloud broke away over his head, and the north star came out and looked down, as if sent by the good Father to guide him homeward.

He watched the star growing brighter and brighter, till its gentle rays stole into his soul, lighting all its dark corners; and then he sunk to sleep and dreamed,—dreamed that a white-robed angel came and took him in its arms and bore him away, above the tree-tops, to his father’s tent beyond the mountains. His father was on his knees praying; and while he prayed the angel vanished, and in its place came the spirits of his ancestors,—the hunted Huguenots, who had gone up to Heaven from many a blood-sodden battle-field. They took the boy by the hand and said, “Be strong, and fear not. Put your trust in God, and he will show you a safe way out of the wilderness.”

In the morning he woke hopeful and stout-hearted. Kneeling down, he prayed again; and then a plan of escape came to him,—clear and distinct as ever plan of battle came to a general. He did not think it out; it came to him like a beam of light breaking into a dark room; or like a world-stirring thought flashing into the soul of genius from the Source of all thought in the heavens. But this thought was not to stir a world; it was only to stir a small boy’s legs, and make him a man in resource and resolution. Long he pondered upon it, turning it round and round, and looking at it from all sides; and then he set about working it out into action.

The Colonel commanding the guard was a mild-mannered man, with pleasant features, and a heart evidently too good to be engaged in the wicked work of rebellion. Him the boy accosted as he made his morning round among the prisoners. “You seem to be short-handed at the hospital, sir,” he said; “I have done such work, and would be glad to be of service.”

“You’re a good boy to think of it,” replied the officer,—“too good to be one of Lincoln’s boys,”—and he laughed heartily at the recollection. “But won’t you try to get away if I let you go there?”

“I can’t promise,” said Willie; “you wouldn’t if you were a prisoner.”

“No, I wouldn’t,” answered the Colonel, kindly. “But it won’t be safe for you to try. Some of our men are wild fellows, and they would shoot you down as soon as they would a squirrel. The Union lines are twelve miles away, and our pickets are thicker than the fleas in this cornfield.”

“I’d rather not be shot,—I’d rather be a prisoner,” said Willie, smiling.

“You’re a sensible lad,” answered the officer, laughing. “I’ll let you into the hospital, and you may get away if you can; but if you are shot, don’t come back and say I did it.”

“I don’t believe in ghosts,” said the little boy, following the Colonel on his rounds, to be sure he should not forget him.

When the officer’s duties were over, he took Willie from the cornfield and gave him in charge to Doctor Hurburt, chief surgeon of the hospital. The doctor was a humane, kind-hearted man, and he laughed heartily at the story of the boy’s capture by the rangers. “You served them right, my little fellow,” he said, “and you are smart,—smart enough to be a surgeon. There is plenty to do here, and if you go to work with a will, I’ll say a good word for you.”

And the kind surgeon did; and Willie’s father afterwards bore him his thanks across many leagues of hostile country.

The hospital was a little village of tents, scattered about among the trees, and in it were nearly a thousand Rebel and Union soldiers, all of them either wounded or dying. Among them Willie worked for a fortnight. He scraped lint for their wounds, bound bandages about their limbs, held water to their parched lips, wrote last words to their far-away friends, and spoke peace to their souls as, weary and sin-laden, they groped their way through the dark valley that leads down to the realm of the departed.

Among the patients was one in whom Willie took especial interest,—a bright-eyed, fair-haired boy, not far from his own age, who had been wounded in the great battle. He was a Rebel boy, but he had gone into the war with the same purpose as Willie,—to do all he could for what he thought was freedom. He had been told that the North wanted to enslave the South, and his soul rose in a strong resolve to give his young life, if need be, to beat back his country’s invaders. In all this he was wrong; but only a demagogue will say that the spirit which moved him was not as noble as that which has led many a Northern lad to be a martyr for real liberty. Young as he was, he had been in half a dozen battles, and in the bloody struggle of Chickamauga had fallen pierced with two Union bullets. For two days and nights he lay on the battle-field before he was discovered by the party of men who brought him to the hospital. Willie helped to bear him from the ambulance, and to lay him on a blanket in one of the tents, and then went for the chief surgeon. A bullet had entered the boy’s side, and another crushed the bones of his ankle. His leg had to come off, and the amputation, the long exposure, and the loss of blood, rendered his recovery almost hopeless. The kind-hearted surgeon said this to Willie, as he finished the operation, and bade him tell it to the Rebel lad as gently as was possible. Willie did this, and then the wounded boy, turning his mild gray eye to Willie’s face, said calmly: “I thank you,—but for two days I have been expecting it. I have a pleasant home, a dear mother, and a kind little sister, and it is hard to leave them; but I am willing to go, for God has other work for me—up there—where the good angels are working.”

He lingered for a week, every day growing weaker and weaker, and then sunk to sleep as gently as the water-drop sinks into the depths of the ocean. A few hours before he died he sent for Willie, and said to him: “You have been very good to me, and I would, as far as I can, return your kindness. My clothes are under my pillow. Take them when I am gone. They may help you to get back to your mother. I am going soon. Be with me when I die.”

They laid him away in the ground, and Willie went about his work; but something loving and pure had gone out of his life, leaving him lone and heart-weary. He did not know that the little acts of kindness he had done to the dying boy would be reflected back in his own heart, and throw a gentle radiance round his life forever.

I would like to tell you all the details of Willie’s escape,—how he dressed himself in the Rebel boy’s clothes, and one cloudy night boldly passed the sentinels at the hospital; how he fell in with several squads of Rebel soldiers, was questioned by them, and safely got away because of his gray uniform; how, on his hands and knees, he crept beyond the Rebel pickets, and, after wandering in the woods two days and nights, with only the sun by day and the north star by night to guide him, got within our lines, and, exhausted from want of food and worn out with walking, lay down under a tree by the roadside, and slept soundly till the following night approached. I would like to tell you of all this, but if I did there would not be room in the “Young Folks” for the other stories. So I will only say that Willie was roused from his slumbers under the tree by some one shaking him by the shoulder, and, looking up, saw a small party of Union cavalry.

“What are you doing here, my young grayback?” said the orderly, who had awakened him.

Willie was about to answer, when he caught sight of a face that was familiar. It was that of his mother’s own brother, Colonel McIntyre, of the forty-second regiment of Indiana Infantry. The boy sprang to his feet and called out, “Why, uncle! don’t you know me,—Willie——?” In a moment he was on the back of the Colonel’s horse, and on the way to his father.

But what of the boy’s father, while his only son was a prisoner with the Rebels, or wandering thus alone in the wilderness?

I have told you that slowly and steadily the brave Colonel moved the remnant of his regiment out of the fiery storm on that terrible Sunday. At dusk of that day, he threw his men into bivouac at Rossville, miles away from the scene of conflict. There he learned that the regimental hospital had been captured, and Willie flung out alone—a little waif—on the turbulent sea of battle. Was he living or dead,—well or wounded? Who could tell him? and what tale could he bear to the mother? These were questions which knocked at the father’s heart, drove sleep from his eyelids, and made him, for the first time in his life, a woman. All night long he walked the camp, questioning the stragglers who came in from the front, or the fugitives who had escaped from the clutches of the enemy. But they brought no tidings of Willie. The hospital was taken, they said, and no doubt the boy was captured. This was all that the father learned, though day after day he questioned the new-comers, till his loss was known throughout the army; but he did not give up hope, for something within told him that Willie was living, and would yet be restored to his mother.

At last, after a week had passed, a wounded soldier who had crawled all the way from the Rebel lines came to the camp of the regiment, and said to the Colonel: “I was in the hospital when it was taken. The boy sprung on a horse and tried to get away, but was followed by the rangers, and, the last I saw, was falling to the ground wounded. They must have killed him on the spot, for he gave them a hard ride, and they were a savage set of fellows,—savage as meat-axes.”

The next day another came, and he said: “I saw the boy three days ago, lying dead in a Rebel hospital, twelve miles to the southward. He was wounded when taken, and lingered till then, but that day he died, and that night was buried in the timber. I know it was Willie, because he looked just like you, and he said he was the son of a colonel.”

The same day another came, and he said: “I know the boy,—a brave little fellow,—and I saw him only two days ago in the Crawfish hospital. When he was captured, his horse fell on him and crushed his right leg to a jelly. They had to take it off above the knee. There are a thousand chances to one against his living through the operation.”

Similar accounts were brought by half a score within the following days, but still the father hoped against hope, for something within him said that his boy was safe, and would yet be restored to his mother.

At last, when a fortnight had gone by with no certain tidings of Willie, Captain Pratt, one of the officers of the regiment, came to the Colonel’s tent one morning, and said to him: “I have good news for you. Willie will be back by sunset. You may depend upon it, for in a dream last night I saw him entering your tent, alive and as well as ever.”

The Colonel had little faith in dreams, and is very far from being himself a dreamer, but the confident prediction of the Captain, according as it did with his own hopes, made a powerful impression on him. All day long he sat in his tent, listening eagerly to the sound of every approaching footstep, and watching intently the lengthening shadows as the sun journeyed down to the western hills. At last the great light touched the tops of the far-off trees, and the father’s heart sunk within him; but then—when his last hope was going out—a quick step and a glad shout sounded outside, and Willie burst into the tent followed by one half of the regiment. The boy threw his arms about his father’s neck, and then the bronzed Colonel, who had so often ridden unmoved through the storm of shot and shell, bent down his head and wept; for this his son was dead, and was alive again,—was lost, and was found.

Edmund Kirke.

This incident is thus related by an eyewitness of the battle, writing from the field on that terrible Sunday:—“Beside Colonel ——, of the Seventy-third Illinois, rode his son, a lad of thirteen: a bright, brave little fellow, who believed in his father, and feared nothing. Right up to the enemy,—right up anywhere,—if the father went, there went the boy; but when the bullets swept in sheets, and grape and canister cut ragged roads through the columns of blue, and plashed them with red, the father bade the young orderly out of the fiery gust. The little fellow wheeled his horse and rode for the hospital. The hospital was captured, and the boy a prisoner.”—B. F. Taylor, in Chicago Journal.



As they strolled over the grounds on their return to the house, they passed a peach-orchard in its prime of bearing, which showed a surprising amount of bloom. The old man paused at the end of a row to admire the beautiful symmetry of the trees. They had all been headed in by an experienced hand,—that is, the extreme ends of the limbs had been cut off by means of a sharp knife set in the end of a handle about three feet in length, by which one half of the wood made the preceding summer had been removed. Even the topmost branches had been shortened in the same way, so that the fruit at the very top could be readily gathered by standing on a common chair, while the remainder could be reached from the ground. The trees, being thus deprived of all long, straggling limbs, were kept in a smaller space, and were compact and rounded in their outline.

As Uncle Benny had never seen this mode of pruning the peach-tree adopted by any other person, Mr. Allen explained the theory on which it was founded. He said that the peach-tree bore its fruit on the wood which had grown the preceding year, and that much of this new wood was sent out from the ends of the branches. There was therefore a continual extension of these branches upwards and all round the tree, until they pushed out so far in search of air and sunshine that the limbs became too weak to support the load of fruit which grew upon their extremities. They consequently broke down under the excessive weight; the fruit thus falling to the ground did not ripen, and was therefore lost, while the tree itself was seriously injured by the loss of the great broken limbs which had to be cut away. It was the habit of the tree to produce too much, and the prevailing sin of the peach-grower was that of permitting it to bear an excessive crop.

The true remedy was to begin when the trees were planted. As the roots spread, so the limbs multiplied and extended. This extension must be arrested by shortening them every year, in the spring for instance, and cutting off at least one half of the new growth. The operation gave the tree a beautifully rounded head from the start, and there would be no difficulty in preserving the same compact outline. Of course this trimming removed one half of the fruit-buds, so that the tree would produce only half as many peaches as when permitted to sprawl away over twice the quantity of ground.

But this reduction of the quantity of fruit was exactly the result which every careful horticulturist would seek to produce. What he lost in quantity he would realize in quality, and it is quality that commands great cash returns, not quantity. If he had fewer peaches, they would be three or four times as large and fine, and consequently would command the best price of the market. He would also have fewer to gather and handle. His trees would be all the better for being thus prevented from breaking down under an excessive crop, as the loss of a hundred tips of young wood resulted in no injury, while the tearing away of two or three old limbs was followed by wounds which generally went on growing larger, until the tree died before its time.

As regarded the superior quality of the fruit produced, Mr. Allen said there could be no dispute about it among those who had ever tried this mode of checking the excessive bearing propensity of the peach. A little reflection would convince any one of its reasonableness, even without having witnessed the result. Though the top of the tree was reduced in size, and the fruit-buds diminished in number, yet the roots went on extending,—there was no pruning of them. As they extended themselves in search of nourishment, so they accumulated it in proportion to the extension. This annual accumulation was sent up into the tree as the fountain from which it was to form new wood and perfect a crop of fruit. But though half the fruit-buds were removed, yet the volume of nourishment was as great as before. It would therefore pour into each peach exactly double the amount of food it could have done had no buds been removed. The distribution of this over a full crop would only result in small-sized peaches, while its concentration upon a half-crop would bring the half-crop up to, and even beyond, the value of the whole one.

Turning round to Tony King, who, with the other boys, was listening to this explanation, Mr. Allen added: “Why, Tony, take your litter of pigs as proof of what you have heard. You now feed them tolerably well, I suppose; but if you were to kill half of them, and continued giving to the remaining half the same quantity of corn and swill that you had given to the whole number, don’t you think those that thus had double feed would grow a great deal faster than they do now?”

This was a form of illustration they could not fail to understand, and they readily assented to its soundness.

“Well,” he continued, “it is the same with peaches, and almost all other fruits,—feed them liberally, and you will have the best.”

There were some three hundred trees in this peach-orchard. Uncle Benny, as well as the boys, was puzzled to know what it was he saw tied round the but of each tree just at the ground. His eyes were too old to tell without going up to one of them and stooping down to examine. On doing so he discovered that every tree was encased in a jacket of coarse, thickish pasteboard, which reached about an inch below the ground, and stood some six inches high, just embracing all the neck or soft part of the bark at the surface. It was kept to its place round the but by a string.

Mr. Allen explained the meaning of this contrivance. He said that, very soon after he had planted his trees, he discovered that the worms had attacked them; and finding it a very troublesome business to hunt them out from the roots of so many trees, he concluded it would be much less labor to prevent their getting in, than to get them out after they had once made a lodgement. He therefore, after thoroughly worming the trees in the spring, supplied each with a pasteboard jacket, which his boys tied on the whole orchard in a day. The peach-fly was thus kept from laying its eggs in the soft bark at the surface of the ground, the only place it selects; and as no eggs were deposited on his trees, they had not been troubled with worms since he had practised this cheap and simple remedy. The jackets were put on in April, taken off in November, and laid by until wanted the next season.

Uncle Benny and his boys were surprised at the variety of new things they met with on this farm. As long as they tarried and they strolled, the novelties appeared to increase in number. Drawing nearer to the house, they passed extensive beds of strawberries, and long rows of raspberries. When they came to the outbuildings, Mr. Allen took them into quite a large room attached to the carriage-shed, which he called the boys’ tool-house. The visitors had never imagined anything like what they saw here. There was a work-bench and a lathe, with a complete assortment of carpenters’ and turning tools. Most of them were hung up in places especially provided for them, or arranged in racks against the side of the room, convenient to whoever might be at the bench.

Nothing elated the boys so much as this exhibition of mechanical fixtures,—it was an epitome of a hundred aspirations. There were little boxes, rabbit-traps, and other contrivances, in the room, which the Allen boys had made for themselves, showing that, young as they were, they had already learned the art of using tools. The Spanglers looked round the room with admiration, perhaps with envy.

“Better than our barn on a rainy day,” said Uncle Benny, addressing Tony.

“Yes, or anything else on our place,” he responded.

“Now, Uncle Benny,” said Mr. Allen, “I have somewhere read that there is in all men a making, or manufacturing instinct. Our houses, ships, machinery, in fact, everything we use, are the practical results of this instinct. Boys possess it strongly. A pocket-knife is more desirable to them than marbles or a humming-top. They can whittle with it,—make boats, kites, and twenty other things which all boys want. Tools are a great incentive to industry and ingenuity. Give a smart boy the use of such a place as this, or a little tool-chest of his own, and he will cease to associate with the rude crowd in the street among whom he had found amusement. He will stay more at home, where he will learn to do many little useful jobs about the house. He will be kept out of mischief. Let him make water-wheels, little wagons, toy-boats, sleds, and houses. The possession of a tool-chest will develop his mechanical ability. I don’t know who it is that writes thus, but they are exactly my ideas. This is a busy place on a rainy day.”

This work-room served a double purpose, as one side was devoted exclusively to hoes, and rakes, and spades, and other farming tools. The inflexible rule of the farm was, that, when a tool was taken out for work, it must be returned to its proper place as soon as the work was done. Placards were posted up behind the lathe and bench, bearing these words in large letters:—

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

A little patient drilling of the boys in this rule made them obedient and thoughtful. There were no tools lying in odd corners about the farm, hoes hung up in trees where none would think of looking for them, or spades left in the ground where the last digging had been done; but as each went regularly into its place, so it could always be found when wanted. There was consequently no loss of tools, nor of time in looking for them.

The Spangler boys were also struck with the small size of some of the farming tools. There were hoes and rakes and spades scarcely half as large, and not nearly so heavy, as those usually wielded by men. On taking hold of these, they could feel the difference between them and the clumsy tools with which they worked at home. The handles were thinner, the ironwork was lighter, and they felt sure they could do more work with these convenient implements than with the heavy ones they had always used. It was as much by the unnecessary weight of the tools that their young muscles were fatigued, as by the labor itself. Uncle Benny noticed the same thing in these, and admired the wisdom of Mr. Allen in thus consulting the comfort of his boys by providing them with implements adapted to their strength.

“If,” said the latter, “we are ever to make labor attractive to our sons, we must be careful not to disgust them with it, by requiring them to work with tools so heavy that strong men only can handle them without breaking down under their weight. How absurd it would be to harness a man to a horse-rake, and expect him to rake up a hay-field with it. Yet half our farmers never take this matter into consideration, but act as if they thought a young boy could handle a clumsy hoe as comfortably as they do. I find it has paid me well to invest a few dollars in these light tools for the boys. They don’t overtask their strength, and hence they can stand up to a full day’s work without coming home so fatigued as to wish that no such thing as work had ever been invented.”

The Spanglers followed their leaders out of the tool-house with evident reluctance. It seemed to have obtained a stronger hold on their affections than anything they had so far seen. The ownership of a jack-knife had at one time been all their modest ambition desired; then the possession of a tool-chest like Uncle Benny’s would have gratified their utmost wishes; but having witnessed this profusely furnished establishment, their longings, like those of children of a larger growth, seemed to acquire intensity as the difficulty of gratification increased. That night they talked of tools until sleep overtook them in bed, and dreamed of them after it had closed their eyelids.

By this time it was so nearly sunset that Mr. Allen’s great stock of poultry had congregated just in front of the company, knowing by instinct that, if bedtime were approaching, supper-time also must be close at hand. They knew well the young hands that fed them, and held up their heads in hungry expectation of the generous meal they were to receive. But the feathered crowd was so much larger than it had been a few hours before, that the visitors paused to inspect it.

There were chickens of the best domestic breeds, with here and there an uncouth colossal Shanghai, standing up on great clumsy legs, like a gallinaceous giant, overtopping the squat figures of the common fowls. An irate hen, impatient of the expected corn, would now and then, with sudden peck at some quiet but equally hungry neighbor, seize a feather in the wing or neck of the unsuspecting waiter, and wring from her not only the feather, but a piercing cry. As this barbarous sport was constantly indulged in throughout the crowd, a loud clamor of pain and spite and impatience rose up from among the hungry assemblage. The turkeys stalked at random through its dense ranks, holding up their heads and looking round with a native gravity, although equally keen for supper, and once in a while plunging suddenly forward to escape the pinching lunge of an exasperated hen. Overhead, the pigeons sailed in a large flock, while many of them clustered on the roofs and eaves of the buildings which overhung the feeding-ground, too timid to battle with the turbulent and squalling crowd which now had it in possession, but ready to settle down whenever the gastronomic foray should begin. Altogether it was the busiest and noisiest scene of the kind the Spanglers had ever witnessed; nor did they know it was possible for Mr. Allen’s farm to present it, so limited had been their opportunities of seeing even what their nearest neighbors were doing.

“How is it about eggs in winter?” inquired Uncle Benny, addressing himself to Mr. Allen. “Do you get any? Spangler has a breed of hens that appear to do nothing in cold weather but eat. They didn’t lay an egg last winter.”

“Ah, Uncle Benny,” replied Mr. Allen, “he don’t manage his hens the right way. Indeed, I don’t know any operation of his that’s carried on as it should be, though his farm is naturally as good as mine. It is management altogether that makes a farmer, and mismanagement that breaks him. Why, I sent eggs to Trenton twice a week all through the winter, and eggs are high now, you know. I think they have more than paid for all the fowls have consumed;—the boys have it down in their account-book, and could tell to a cent both how much feed has been eaten and how much money the eggs have brought. I don’t allow them to receive or lay out a cent without setting it down. If they buy a fishing-pole or a Jews-harp it must go down in the book, for at the year’s end, when they find they have spent so much money, they must be able to tell me and their mother how it was spent. You may think it a great deal of trouble to be so particular, and it was so to get them into it, but it is a kind of trouble that pays in the end. My boys thus learn early what they must learn some time, and what too many are never taught at all.

“Now,” he continued, “others no doubt do better with their poultry in cold weather than myself. But my plan is to confine them in quarters that are roomy, airy, and kept as clean as a thorough cleaning once or twice a week can make them, with warm shelter from cold winds and rain. I am particular about letting them have only clean water to drink, and that always within reach. Then there is a full supply of broken oyster-shells, lime, and bone-dust, with ashes and gravel. All these are necessary to continued good health, and to keep off vermin.

“Then as to feeding, they get every green thing from the kitchen that most persons throw to the pigs, such as cabbage-leaves, celery parings and tops, with turnip and potato parings. They also have boiled potatoes and Indian meal, and every scrap of cold meat from the kitchen. It is not always there is meat enough, in which case I supply them with what is called chandlers’ greaves, or cracklings, softened by soaking in water. Of this I give them as much as they want, never allowing them to be without meat of some description. I have often brought home a sheep’s pluck, and, after chopping it up fine, given it to them raw. They devour these things so greedily as to satisfy me that meat, or animal food of some kind, such as worms, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects, is necessary to the healthy life of poultry. At all events, they never laid eggs regularly for me in cold weather until I began to give them plenty of meat.”

“I regard your success as evidence of the soundness of your system of feeding,” replied Uncle Benny.

“There is really a great deal of reason in it, when one looks into the subject,” he resumed. “You see, Uncle Benny, that, when fowls range over the ground in summer, they pick up an almost endless variety of animal food, such as worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and flies. But as cold weather comes on, all this supply of food disappears, and it is very remarkable that as soon as the supply diminishes they begin to quit laying. When these rations are entirely cut off by severe winter weather, the supply of eggs ceases. The two results occur with so much uniformity as to satisfy me that the production of eggs is dependent on the supply of animal food.

“Every farmer,” he added, “knows that hens do not lay in cold weather, but few understand the cause, or if they do, they are too careless to apply the remedy. I have learned to look upon a hen as a mere machine for manufacturing eggs. She may be likened to a sausage-stuffer. If you introduce into it no nicely seasoned compound of the proper materials, I wonder how it can be expected to turn out sausages? It is precisely so with a hen,—if you expect her to turn out eggs, you must introduce into the wonderful machine which grinds up worms and sheep’s pluck into eggs, some assortment of the materials that will enable her to project them regularly every day.

“Now the machine will certainly work, if you keep up its energies by giving it such food as it needs. Our stoves require twice as much feeding in cold weather as they do in summer, and I never yet saw a grist-mill that would turn out flour unless you put grain into the hopper. There is another curious fact which long practice in poultry-raising has brought under my notice; that is, that eggs laid by a hen well supplied with animal food are not only larger in size, but richer in quality. My Trenton storekeeper often tells me that my eggs are larger than any other winter-laid ones that he sees, and that they generally sell for a few cents more per dozen. All these odds and ends of pluck and giblets that my fowls get during the winter cost very little money. But in return for that outlay, look at the result,—I really double the length of the laying season, adding the increase at the very time when eggs are scarce and bringing the highest prices. If it were not for this plan of feeding, I don’t believe my poultry-keeping would pay much profit. To make poultry profitable you must exercise care. But can you make anything pay without careful management? If there be such things, I should like to know what they are.”

“I think you have hit it this time also,” observed Uncle Benny. “Whatever your hand touches seems to prosper.”

“But most of these little variations from the practice of other farmers are not of my own originating,” replied Mr. Allen. “I learned them principally from books and periodicals. From one I obtained the whole formula of how to proceed, while in another a mere hint was dropped. But even a hint, Uncle Benny, is sufficient for an observing mind. Some which struck me as pointing to valuable results, I followed up and improved upon to the greatest advantage. Now I have a treasury of these things, which I will show you.”

He led the whole company forward into the house, and ushered them into a room which he called the library. There were shelves covering two sides of a very capacious room, filled with books, periodicals, and newspapers. The old man glanced hastily at the titles, and found that there were works on history, biography, and travels, with at least thirty volumes of different agricultural publications, showing that Mr. Allen was a close student of whatever was passing in the agricultural world, keeping up, from week to week, with the wonderful progress which is everywhere witnessed in the art of tilling and improving the soil, and with the multitude of valuable suggestions and experiences which crowd the agricultural publications of our country. There were also pen and ink, paper, and an account-book, always convenient for making an entry when in a hurry. On another table, especially provided for the boys, were similar conveniences. In short, the whole arrangements and appliances of the room were such as would make them attractive to boys who had the least fondness for reading, while they would be potent helpers to such as were ambitious of acquiring knowledge. They gave unmistakable indications of Mr. Allen’s mind and taste, showing that within doors, as well as without, his ambition was to be progressive.

Uncle Benny looked round the comfortable room in silent admiration, and determined in his own mind that he would make renewed efforts to put within reach of the Spanglers some additional portion of the great volume of current knowledge adapted to their condition. Even they were struck with the cosiness of the quiet room, the two older ones contrasting it with the comfortless kitchen which was their only refuge at home.

“This is a popular place for a stormy day, Uncle Benny,” observed Mr. Allen. “This and the workshop are great institutions on my farm. I am sometimes at a loss to know which the boys like best. But the variety, the change from one to the other, is a valuable incident of both. The workshop is excellent by daylight, but here they can spend their evenings, and here the whole family can gather together. It becomes, in fact, the family fireside; and there is no school so important as that. My children learn much at school, but here they learn infinitely more,—the cultivation of the affections, the practice of good manners, the lessons which are to fit them for future usefulness and respectability, and I trust for happiness hereafter. This fireside education is woven in with the very woof of their childhood, and it is such that it must in every case give form and color to the whole texture of human life. I never had a home like this until I created it for myself. Had I been granted the boyish opportunities that you see I am so careful to bring within reach of my children, I should have been far better informed than I am. There is no show about it;—show may be easily purchased, but happiness is a home-made article.”

“I look upon you as an example,” replied Uncle Benny. “Neither do I wonder at everything seeming to prosper that you undertake. Your children must rise up and call you blessed.”

Author of “Ten Acres Enough.”


Master Frederick Little-John has of late struck up quite a friendship with me, and haunts my footsteps about house to remind me of my promise to write some more dog stories. Master Fred has just received a present from his father of a great Newfoundland that stands a good deal higher in his stocking-feet than his little master in his highest-heeled boots, and he has named him Prince, in honor of the Prince that I told you about last month, that used to drive the cows to pasture, and take down the bars with his teeth. We have daily and hourly accounts in the family circle of Prince’s sayings and doings; for Master Freddy insists upon it that Prince speaks, and daily insists upon placing a piece of bread on the top of Prince’s nose, which at the word of command he fires into the air, and catches in his mouth, closing the performance with a snap like a rifle. Fred also makes much of showing him a bit of meat held high in the air, from which he is requested to “speak,”—the speaking consisting in very short exclamations of the deepest bow-wow. Certain it is that Prince shows on these occasions that he has the voice for a public speaker, and that, if he does not go about the country lecturing, it is because he wants time yet to make up his mind what to say on the topics of the day.

Fred is somewhat puzzled to make good the ground of his favorite with Aunt Zeroiah, who does not love dogs, and is constantly casting reflections on them as nuisances, dirt-makers, flea-catchers, and flea-scatterers, and insinuating a plea that Prince should be given away, or in some manner sold, or otherwise disposed of.

“Aunt Zeroiah thinks that there is nothing so mean as a dog,” said Master Fred to me as he sat with his arm around the neck of his favorite. “She really seems to grudge every morsel of meat a dog eats, and to think that every kindness you show a dog is almost a sin. Now I think dogs are noble creatures, and have noble feelings,—they are so faithful, and so kind and loving. Now I do wish you would make haste and write something to show her that dogs have been thought a good deal of.”

“Well, Master Freddy,” said I, “I will tell you in the first place about Sir Walter Scott, whose poems and novels have been the delight of whole generations.”

He was just of your opinion about dogs, and he had a great many of them. When Washington Irving visited Sir Walter at Abbotsford, he found him surrounded by his dogs, which formed as much a part of the family as his children.

In the morning, when they started for a ramble, the dogs would all be on the alert to join them. There was first a tall old staghound named Maida, that considered himself the confidential friend of his master, walked by his side, and looked into his eyes as if asserting a partnership in his thoughts. Then there was a black greyhound named Hamlet, a more frisky and thoughtless youth, that gambolled and pranced and barked and cut capers with the wildest glee; and there was a beautiful setter named Finette, with large mild eyes, soft silken hair, and long curly ears,—the favorite of the parlor; and then a venerable old greyhound, wagging his tail, came out to join the party as he saw them going by his quarters, and was cheered by Scott with a hearty, kind word as an old friend and comrade.

In his walks Scott would often stop and talk to one or another of his four-footed friends, as if they were in fact rational companions; and, from being talked to and treated in this way, they really seemed to acquire more sagacity than other dogs.

Old Maida seemed to consider himself as a sort of president of the younger dogs, as a dog of years and reflection, whose mind was upon more serious and weighty topics than theirs. As he padded along, the younger dogs would sometimes try to ensnare him into a frolic, by jumping upon his neck and making a snap at his ears. Old Maida would bear this in silent dignity for a while, and then suddenly, as if his patience were exhausted, he would catch one of his tormentors by the neck and tumble him in the dirt, giving an apologetic look to his master at the same time, as much as to say, “You see, sir, I can’t help joining a little in this nonsense.”

“Ah,” said Scott, “I’ve no doubt that, when Maida is alone with these young dogs, he throws dignity aside and plays the boy as much as any of them, but he is ashamed to do it in our company, and seems to say, ‘Have done with your nonsense, youngsters; what will the Laird and that other gentleman think of me if I give way to such foolery.’ ”

At length the younger dogs fancied that they discovered something, which set them all into a furious barking. Old Maida for some time walked silently by his master, pretending not to notice the clamors of the inferior dogs. At last, however, he seemed to feel himself called on to attend to them, and giving a plunge forward he opened his mind to them with a deep “Bow-wow,” that drowned for the time all other noises. Then, as if he had settled matters, he returned to his master, wagging his tail, and looking in his face as if for approval.

“Ay, ay, old boy,” said Scott; “you have done wonders; you have shaken the Eildon Hills with your roaring, and now you may shut up your artillery for the rest of the day. Maida,” he said, “is like the big gun of Constantinople,—it takes so long to get it ready that the small ones can fire off a dozen times, but when it does go off it carries all before it.”

Scott’s four-footed friends made a respectful part of the company at family meals. Old Maida took his seat gravely at his master’s elbow, looking up wistfully into his eyes, while Finette, the pet spaniel, took her seat by Mrs. Scott. Besides the dogs in attendance, a large gray cat also took her seat near her master, and was presented from time to time with bits from the table. Puss, it appears, was a great favorite both with master and mistress, and slept in their room at night; and Scott laughingly said that one of the least wise parts of their family arrangement was the leaving the window open at night for puss to go in and out. The cat assumed a sort of supremacy among the quadrupeds, sitting in state in Scott’s arm-chair, and occasionally stationing himself on a chair beside the door, as if to review his subjects as they passed, giving each dog a cuff on the ears as he went by. This clapper-clawing was always amiably taken. It appeared to be in fact a mere act of sovereignty on the part of Grimalkin, to remind the others of their vassalage, to which they cheerfully submitted. Perfect harmony prevailed between old puss and her subjects, and they would all sleep contentedly together in the sunshine.

Scott once said, that the only trouble about having a dog was that he must die; but he said, it was better to have them die in eight or nine years, than to go on loving them for twenty or thirty, and then have them die.

Scott lived to lose many of his favorites, that were buried with funeral honors, and had monuments erected over them, which form some of the prettiest ornaments of Abbotsford. When we visited the place, one of the first objects we saw in the front yard near the door was the tomb of old Maida, over which is sculptured the image of a beautiful hound, with this inscription, which you may translate if you like:—

“Maidae marmorea dormis, sub imagine


 Ad januam domini; sit tibi terra levis.”

Or, if you don’t want the trouble of translating it, Master Freddy, I would do it thus:—

“At thy lord’s door, in slumbers light and blest,

 Maida, beneath this marble Maida rest.

 Light lie the turf upon thy gentle breast.”

Washington Irving says that in one of his morning rambles he came upon a curious old Gothic monument, on which was inscribed in Gothic characters,

“Cy git le preux Percy,”

(Here lies the brave Percy,)

and asking Scott what it was, he replied, “O, only one of my fooleries,”—and afterwards Irving found it was the grave of a favorite greyhound.

Now, certainly, Master Freddy, you must see in all this that you have one of the greatest geniuses of the world to bear you out in thinking a deal of dogs.

But I have still another instance. The great rival poet to Scott was Lord Byron; not so good or so wise a man by many degrees, but very celebrated in his day. He also had a four-footed friend, a Newfoundland, called Boatswain, which he loved tenderly, and whose elegant monument now forms one of the principal ornaments of the garden of Newstead Abbey, and upon it may be read this inscription:—

“Near this spot

Are deposited the remains of one

Who possessed beauty without vanity,

Strength without insolence,

Courage without ferocity,

And all the virtues of man without his vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning flattery

If inscribed over human ashes,

Is but a just tribute to the memory of

Boatswain, a Dog

Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,

And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808.”

On the other side of the monument the poet inscribed these lines in praise of dogs in general, which I would recommend you to show to any of the despisers of dogs:—

“When some proud son of man returns to earth

 Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,

 The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,

 And storied urns record who rests below.

 But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,

 The first to welcome, foremost to defend,

 Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,

 Who labors, fights, lives, breathes, for him alone,

 Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,

 Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth.

 While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,

 And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven?

 Ye who perchance behold this simple urn,

 Pass on, it honors none you wish to mourn.

 To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;

 I never knew but one,—and here he lies.”

If you want more evidence of the high esteem in which dogs are held, I might recommend to you a very pretty dog story called “Rab and his Friends,” the reading of which will give you a pleasant hour. Also in a book called “Spare Hours,” the author of “Rab and his Friends” gives amusing accounts of all his different dogs, which I am sure you would be pleased to read, even though you find many long words in it which you cannot understand.

But enough has been given to show you that in the high esteem you have for your favorite, and in your determination to treat him as a dog should be treated, you are sustained by the very best authority.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


I mean you little people who wear ankle-tie shoes, and go to sleep in the daytime, and cannot say l, and are very uncertain about r,—you who have little holes on your knuckles and little creases in your wrists, and sleep in a crib, and run away bareheaded whenever you can get a chance. This is for you, and so you may ask the old boys and girls to please give you the magazine now, for I want to tell you and nobody else what happened last Sunday afternoon.

First, I did not go to church. Cheri and I stayed at home. Cheri is a beau-tiful little yellow bird with black eyes, and he lives in a cage among the honeysuckles, and he sings to the robins, and they sing to him, and he is on the whole a very good little bird.

But this afternoon I took down his cage, and put some clear fresh water in his bathing-tub, and he would not bathe. There he was, all warm and dusty, but he would not go into the water. You always go into the bathing-tub when mamma wishes it, don’t you? I told Cheri he must bathe, whether he liked it or not, and I dipped his little head in, and then his little feet, and then his little body. I soused him well, you may be sure, and he spluttered and fluttered, and shook his wings, and ruffled his feathers, and was very wet and angry, but he had his bath for all his naughty temper. Then I hung him up again in his clean cage over the honeysuckle, and just then the wind came around the corner and gave the cage a slap, and out went the bottom of it, and away went Cheri! Flying up, flying down, hopping in, hopping out,—run quick and catch Cheri before the cat comes, and the dog, and get him in their claws! There he is, fast caught at last, and pop he goes into his little cage, and up he goes over the honeysuckle again, where the cats and the dogs cannot get him, though they try ever so hard.

Then I went into the house and began to read; but suddenly I heard a noise. Something somewhere cried, “U-g-h! u-g-h!” I thought it was a poor little robin who had hurt himself very badly and was crying. I went out doors and looked all about, but could not find anything, and could not hear any noise. Yet as soon as I was in the house, the noise began again. Was it a chimney-swallow fallen down into the fireplace? Go and listen at all the fireplaces. No, it is not a chimney-swallow. By and by somebody went down cellar, and cried out, “Dear me! What have we here?” and I went down, and what do you think I saw,—right there on the floor? Why, a poor, little, dear, helpless, sprawling kitten,—all alone! And there was a big basket upside down, that had fallen off the barrel, and when you came to lift up the basket, what do you think there was under it? Why, two more poor little, dear, helpless, sprawling kittens! And their mother! And they did not know what to do with themselves. And their mother was sure she did not know what to do with them. And there they cried and cried and cried “U-g-h!” just as loud as they could. Two of them were soon taken away and put to bed where the lilies and water-cresses could take care of them, and Pussy and I had no more trouble about them. But one little kitty we thought we could manage. So we made a nice bed for her out of an old apron, and told Puss to take her baby and go to sleep. We had always called her “Kitty” before, but now, as she had a kitty of her own, we could not call her Kitty any more, so we called her Pussy. And her kitty was the tiniest, loveliest little kitty you ever did see. It had little pink claws, and such a big head for such a little body, and it was just the color of its mother,—white, and yellow, and gray,—and its little eyes were shut just as tight,—I don’t believe you can shut your eyes as tight as that kitty’s eyes were;—now you try it,—wrinkle them all up close,—O, a great deal tighter than that!—and it opened its little pink mouth very wide to say “U-g-h!”—and all it could do was crawl, and crawl, and crawl all in the dark, and cry “U-g-h!” very piteously.

Then Kitty (Mamma Kitty, I mean—that is, Pussy) curled herself up on the old apron, and began to hush Baby Kitty to sleep, like a good mother puss, till by and by she heard the supper-dishes rattle, and smelled the savory supper smell, and then up jumped she, and rushed up stairs, and soon forgot her kitty in a plate of steaming minced-fish. But Baby Kitty cried “U-g-h! u-g-h!” very loud, and Mother Puss would prick up her ears, and give a hurried glance down the cellar stairs, and then take another hurried mouthful, till at length, evidently despairing of eating her dinner in peace, she made a leap into the cellar, and the next thing I knew there was a “U-g-h! u-g-h!” right at my feet, and behold Pussy had brought her kitty up stairs and deposited it on the floor close by me, and was eating her supper at leisure.

Then I took the little kitten tenderly on a dust-pan, and carried her into the barn, and made a pretty little bed of new-mown hay, and Pussy, having eaten enough, cuddled into it, and took Kitty in her arms, and stroked her, and rubbed her nose over her, and hugged her, and Kitty crept all over her face and neck, and cried a little, and then went to sleep.

After a while, when it was almost dark, I saw Pussy again in the porch. “Why, Pussy,” I said, “where is your baby?” And I went to the barn and there was no baby there. The little bed was empty, and I looked all around, but could see no kitty. Then I went to the door and called, “Pussy, Pussy, where is your kitty?” Pussy came leaping in, in the best of spirits, and saying as plainly as a cat could, “What an ado to make about nothing! Everything is just as it should be! Look here and be easy. Just as if I did not know how to take care of my own kitten!” and she went into a corner and pawed away the hay, and showed me little kitty sound asleep. She had covered her up nicely to take a nap, as your mamma tucks you into your crib,—only kitty was tucked in head and all.

For two days this little kitty grew in sun and shade, and became more and more lovely every hour, but she never opened her little eyes. And now she never will open them. Something happened in the night, and she has gone where the good kitties go. She will not be a little kitty any more, but she will be beautiful red roses, and bright buttercups, and daisies with the dew on them, and star-flowers twinkling in the green grass.

And Mother Puss eats her dinner as of old, and does not at all mind her little changeling. Baby or buttercup, it is all one to her, if only she can have a bit of meat, or a saucer of milk, or a lobster’s claw to suck.

Now good night

  Little Bo-Peep!

Winky, blinky,

  Fast asleep!

Gail Hamilton.



“Colonel Parker, mortally wounded and left on the field.” So read the account of the battle in the newspapers,—which told of the disaster to the army,—how the lines were broken, how the cannon were lost, how Paul was shot through the breast, how, had it not been for General Thomas, it would have been a day of utter ruin. Father Surplice went up to the little old house to break the sad tidings to Paul’s mother, for he could best give comfort and consolation in time of affliction.

“I have sad news,” he said. She saw it in his face, even before he spoke, and knew that something terrible had happened. “A great battle has been fought, and God has seen fit that your son should die for his country.”

She made no outcry, but the tears glistened in her eyes. She wiped them away, and calmly replied: “I gave him freely to the country and to God. I know that he was a dutiful, affectionate son. I am not sorry that I let him go.” Then with clasped hands she looked upward, through her blinding tears, and thanked God that Paul had been faithful, honest, true, and good.

The neighbors came in to comfort her, but were surprised to find her so calm, and to hear her say, “It is well.”

It was a gloomy day in New Hope,—in the stores and shops, and in the school-house, for the children affectionately remembered their old teacher. When the sexton tolled the bell, they bowed their heads and wept bitter tears. Mr. Chrome laid down his paint-brush and sat with folded hands, saying, “I can’t work.” Colonel Dare dashed a tear from his eye, and said, “So slavery takes our noblest and best.” He walked down to the little old house and said to Mrs. Parker, “You never shall want while I have a cent left.” Judge Adams came, and with much emotion asked, “What can I do for you?”

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters,” she replied, so calmly that the Judge felt that she was the strong one and he the weak.

When Azalia heard the news the rose-bloom faded from her cheeks and her heart stood still. In imagination she saw Paul lying on the ground, with blood flowing from his side, enduring dreadful agony, while waiting the coming of death. She could hardly think of him as gone, never to return, yet the church bell was tolling mournfully, gone, gone, gone! She clasped her hands upon her heart to keep it from bursting.

“Be comforted, my child. He has gone to a better world than this,” said her mother, sympathizing in her sorrow.

Daphne came in, and bathed Azalia’s burning brow, kissed her tenderly, and said, “Don’t cry, dear.”

Azalia was not weeping,—there were no tears in her eyes. God had not wiped them all away, but the great and sudden affliction was like the heat of a fiery furnace. It had dried the fountains. Though her mother and Daphne were so kind and tender they could not take away her heart-ache. It was a weary day. She sat by the window and gazed upon the wheat-fields, brown and bare, for it was almost October, and the reapers had gathered the grain. Beyond the fields was the river, shrunk to a narrow bed by the heats of summer. Dead leaves were floating down the stream. Like the Miserere which the choir chanted at the funeral of a sweet young girl before Paul went to the army, was the murmuring of the water. Beyond the river were green meadows and gardens and orchards, where dahlias were blooming, and grapes and apples ripening in the mellow sunshine. She thought of Paul as having passed over the river, and as walking in the vineyard of the Lord. The summer flowers which she had planted in her own garden were faded, the stalks were dry, and the leaves withered. They never would bloom again. Like them, the brightness of her life had passed away.

Night brought no relief. It seemed as if her heart would break, but she remembered what Jesus said: “Come unto me and I will give you rest.” She told Him all her grief, asked Him to help her, inasmuch as He was able to bear the sorrows of all the world. So confiding in Him, she experienced indescribable peace of mind.

Then in the evening they who walked along the street stopped and listened by the gate to hear the music which floated out through the open window, bowing their heads, and in silence wiping away their tears. It was the music of the “Messiah” which Handel composed. She sung it in church one Sunday before Paul went to the army, and Father Surplice said it set him to thinking about the music of heaven; but now to the passers in the street it was as if Jesus called them, so sweet and tender was the song.

It was consoling to take from her bureau the letters which Paul had written, and read again what she had read many times,—to look upon the laurel-leaf which he plucked in the woods at Donelson, the locust-blossoms which he gathered at Shiloh, the moss-rose which grew in a garden at Vicksburg,—to read his noble and manly words of his determination to do his duty in all things.

“Life is worth nothing,” read one of the letters, “unless devoted to noble ends. I thank God that I live in this age, for there never has been so great an opportunity to do good. The heroes of all ages, those who have toiled and suffered to make the world better, are looking down from the past to see if I am worthy to be of their number. I can see the millions yet to come beckoning me to do my duty for their sake. They will judge me. What answer can I give them if I falter?”

Thus in her sorrow Azalia found some comfort in looking at the faded flowers, and in reflecting that he had not faltered in the hour of trial, but had proved himself worthy to be numbered with the heroic dead.


But Paul was not dead. He was in the hands of the enemy. He had been taken up from the battle-field while unconscious, put into an ambulance, and carried with other wounded to a Rebel hospital.

“We can’t do anything for this Yankee,” said one of the surgeons who looked at his wound.

“No, he will pop off right soon, I reckon,” said another; and Paul was left to live or die, as it might be.

When he awoke from his stupor he found himself in an old barn, lying on a pile of straw. He was weak and faint, and suffered excruciating pain. The Rebel soldier had stolen his coat, and he had no blanket to protect him from the cold night-winds. He was helpless. His flesh was hot, his lips were parched. A fever set in, his flesh wasted away, and his eyes became wild, glassy, and sunken. Week after week he lay powerless to help himself, often out of his head and talking of home, or imagining he was in battle. How long the days! how lonesome the nights! But he had a strong constitution, and instead of “popping off,” as the surgeon predicted, began to get well. Months passed, of pain and agony and weary longing. It was sweet relief when he was able to creep out and sit in the warm sunshine.

One day a Rebel lieutenant, wearing a gay uniform trimmed with gold-lace, came past him. Paul saw that he had been drinking liquor, for he could not walk straight.

“Why don’t you salute me, you Yankee villain?” said the fellow, stopping.

Paul was startled at the voice, looked the lieutenant in the face, and saw that it was Philip Funk. His face was bloated, and his eyes bloodshot. When he fled from New Hope after robbing Mr. Bond, he made his way south, joined the Rebels, and was now a lieutenant. Paul was so changed by sickness that Philip did not recognize him.

“Why don’t you salute me, you dirty Yankee puppy?” said Philip, with an oath.

“I don’t salute a traitor and a robber,” said Paul.

Philip turned pale with anger. “Say that again, and I will cut your heart out!” he said, with a horrible oath, raising his sword and advancing upon Paul, who stood still and looked him calmly in the eye.

“Cowards only attack unarmed men,” said Paul.

“What do you mean, sir, by calling me a robber, traitor, and coward?” Philip asked, white with rage, not recognizing Paul.

“I mean that you, Philip Funk, committed robbery at New Hope, ran away from home, became a traitor, and now you show yourself to be a coward by threatening to cut out the heart of a weak, defenceless prisoner.”

“Who are you?” stammered Philip.

“My name is Paul Parker. I am a colonel in the service of the United States,” Paul replied, not recognizing by any familiar act his old playmate and school-fellow.

Philip dropped his sword, and stood irresolute and undecided what to do. A group of Rebel officers who had been wounded, and were strolling about the grounds, saw and heard it all. One was a colonel.

“What do you know about Lieutenant Funk?” he asked.

“He was my schoolmate. He committed robbery and came south to join your army,” Paul replied.

The colonel turned to the officers who were with him, and said, “This is the fellow who is suspected of stealing from the soldiers, and it is said that he skulked at Chickamauga.”

“The cuss ought to be reduced to the ranks,” said another.

Philip did not stop to hear any more, but walked rapidly away.

The next day he was arrested and brought before a court-martial, tried, and found guilty of hiding behind a stump when ordered to make a charge in battle, and of stealing money from the soldiers. The court ordered that he be stripped of his uniform and reduced to the ranks, and wear the “rogue’s coat” through the camp. The coat was a flour-barrel, without heads, but with holes cut in the sides for his arms.

Philip was brought out upon the parade-ground, deprived of his sword and uniform, and compelled to put on the barrel, on which were written the words,

Coward, Robber.

Thus, with two soldiers to guard him, with a drummer and fifer playing the Rogues’ March, he was paraded through the camp. The soldiers hooted at him, and asked him all sorts of questions.

“How are you, Bummer?” asked one.

“Did you pay your tailors with the money you stole?” asked another.

“Your coat puckers under the arms and wrinkles in the back,” said another.

“He felt so big they had to hoop him to keep him from bursting,” remarked one, who remembered how pompous Philip had been.

After being marched through the camp, he was set to work with a shovel, cleaning up the grounds. It was a sorry day to Philip. He wished he had never been born. He was despised alike by officers and soldiers. The officers made him do their dirty work, while the soldiers, knowing that he had not courage enough to resent an insult, made him the general scavenger of the camp. This treatment was so hard to bear that Philip thought of deserting; but he knew that if he was caught he would be shot, and did not dare to make the attempt. The slaves in the camp looked down upon him, and spoke of him as the “meanest sort of Yankee white trash.” The soldiers turned him out of their tents. “We won’t have a Yankee thief and coward in our mess,” said they, and he was obliged to sleep under the trees, or wherever he could find shelter. He became dirty and ragged. His clothes dropped from him piece by piece, till he had nothing left but rags. He had little to eat. He had no friends. When he was sick, no one cared for him. Those were bitter days; but instead of being made better at heart by his punishment, he cursed and swore, and wished only that he could get whiskey to drink.

Winter set in. There came a cold, stormy night. Philip wandered about the camp to keep himself warm. He was weak and faint, and at last, tired, exhausted, and his teeth chattering with ague, crawled into a wagon, drew his old tattered blanket over his head, and after shivering awhile went to sleep. The teamsters found him there in the morning, stiff and cold. He had died during the night, with no friend near him, a vagabond, an outcast, despised by everybody.

The officer who had charge of the camp, when he heard that Philip was dead, called up a couple of soldiers who were in the guard-house for getting drunk, and said to them, “You were drunk yesterday, and for a punishment I sentence you to bury the camp-scullion who froze to death last night.”

The teamster harnessed his horses, drove outside of the camp into a field, where the two soldiers dug a shallow grave, tumbled the body into it, threw back the earth, trampled it down with their feet, shouldered their shovels, and went back to camp as unconcerned as if they had buried a dog.


When Paul’s wound had healed sufficiently to enable him to travel, he was put into a freight car with his comrades and sent to the Rebel prison at Andersonville. The ride was long and hard, but the prisoners bore the jolting without a murmur, for they supposed they would soon be exchanged and sent North. They were doomed to bitter disappointment.

The prison was a yard enclosed by a high fence. There was a platform on the outside, where the sentinels stood on guard, and ready to shoot any one who approached nearer than what they called “the dead line.” The prisoners had no shelter from the scorching rays of the sun through the long summer days, nor from the sleety rains and freezing nights of winter. They dug holes in the ground with their hands, and made the cold, damp earth their bed. A slimy brook ran through the grounds, foul with filth from the camps of the Rebels. There was a marsh in the centre of the yard, full of rottenness, where the water stood in green and stagnant pools, breeding flies, mosquitos, and vermin, where all the ooze and scum and slops of the camp came to the surface, and filled the air with horrible smells. They had very little food,—nothing but a half-pint of coarse corn-meal, a little molasses, and a mouthful of tainted bacon and salt, during each twenty-four hours. They were herded like sheep. The yard was packed with them. There were more than twenty thousand in a place designed for half that number.

When Paul and his comrades reached the prison, they were examined by the officer in command, a brutal fellow named Wirz, who robbed them of what money they had. The gate opened, and they passed in. When Paul beheld the scene, his heart sank within him. He had suffered many hardships, but this was an experience beyond everything else. He was still weak. He needed nourishing food, but he must eat the corn-meal or starve. Everywhere he saw only sickening sights,—pale, woe-begone wretches, clothed in filthy rags, covered with vermin. Some were picking up crumbs of bread which had been swept out from the bakery. Others were sucking the bones which had been thrown out from the cook-house. Some sat gazing into vacancy, taking no notice of what was going on around them,—dreaming of homes which they never were again to behold. Many were stretched upon the ground, too weak to sit up, from whose hearts hope had died out, and who were waiting calmly for death to come and relieve them from their sufferings. Thousands had died. One hundred died on the day Paul entered, and another hundred during the night. All day long the bodies lay among the living in the sun. When the dead-cart came in, they were thrown into it like logs of wood. It was a horrible sight,—the stony eyes, the sunken cheeks, the matted hair, the ghastly countenances, the swaying limbs, as the cart jolted along the uneven ground! More than thirteen thousand soldiers starved and murdered by the rebels were thus carried out in the dead-carts.

The keepers of the prison were cruel. Paul saw a poor cripple crawl towards the fence and reach his hand over the dead-line to get a bone. Crack went the rifle of the sentinel, which sent a bullet through the prisoner’s brain, who tossed up his hands, gave one heart-rending outcry, and rolled over—dead. On a dark and stormy night some of the prisoners escaped, but ferocious dogs were put upon their track, and they were recaptured. The hounds mangled them, and the Rebel officers had them tied up and whipped, till death put an end to their sufferings.

It was terrible to hear the coughing of those who were dying of consumption,—to see them crawling from place to place, searching in vain to find a shelter from the driving storms,—to hear the piteous cries of those who were racked with pains, or the moans of those who gave themselves up to despair. For want of proper food the prisoners suffered from scurvy;—their gums rotted, their teeth fell out, and their flesh turned to corruption; they wasted away, and died in horrible agony. It was so terrible to hear their dying cries, that Paul put his fingers in his ears; but soon he became accustomed to the sights and sounds, and looked upon the scenes with indifference. He pitied the sufferers, but was powerless to aid them. Soon he found that his own spirits began to droop. He roused himself, determined to brave out all the horrors of the place. He sang songs and told stories, and got up games to keep his fellow-prisoners in good heart. But notwithstanding all his efforts to maintain his cheerfulness and composure, he felt that he was growing weaker. Instead of being robust, he became thin and spare. His cheeks were hollow and his eyes sunken. There was a fever in his bones. Day by day he found himself taking shorter walks. At night, when he curled down in his burrow, he felt tired, although he had done no work through the day. In the morning he was stiff, and sore, and lame, and although the ground was cold and damp, it was easier to lie there than to get up. His hair became matted,—his fingers were long and bony. Each day his clothes became more ragged. When he first entered the prison, he tried to keep himself clean and free from vermin, but in vain. One day he went out to wash his tattered clothes, but the stream was so dirty he sat down and waited for it to become clear. He sat hour after hour, but it was always the same slimy, sickening stream.

The Rebels took delight in deluding the prisoners with false hopes,—telling them that they were soon to be exchanged and sent home; but instead of release, the dead-cart went its daily rounds, bearing its ghastly burden. That was their exchange, and they looked upon the shallow trenches as the only home which they would ever reach. Hope died out and despair set in. Some prisoners lost their reason, and became raving maniacs, while others became only gibbering idiots. Some who still retained their reason, who all their lives had believed that the Almighty is a God of justice and truth, began to doubt if there be a God. Although they had cried and begged for deliverance, there was no answer to their prayers. Paul felt that his own faith was wavering; but he could not let go of the instructions he had received from his mother. In the darkest hour, when he was most sorely tempted to break out into cursing, he was comforted and reassured by Uncle Peter, an old gray-headed negro, who had been a slave all his life. Peter had been whipped, kicked, and cuffed many times by his hard-hearted, wicked master, not because he was unfaithful, but because he loved to pray, and shout, and sing. Through the long night, sitting by his pitch-knot fire in his cabin, Uncle Peter had sung the songs which lifted him in spirit almost up to heaven, whither his wife and children had gone, after cruel whippings and scourgings by their master. It was so sweet to think of her as having passed over the river of Jordan into the blessed land, that he could not refrain from shouting:

“O my Mary is sitting on the tree of life,

  To see the Jordan roll;

O, roll Jordan, roll Jordan, roll Jordan, roll!

I will march the angel march,—

I will march the angel march.

O my soul is rising heavenward,

  To see where the Jordan rolls.”

He had given food and shelter to some of the prisoners who escaped from the horrible place, and had piloted them through the woods, and for this was arrested and thrown into the prison.

Uncle Peter took a great liking to Paul, and, when Paul was down-hearted, cheered him by saying: “Never you give up. Don’t let go of de hand of de good Lord. It is mighty hard to bear such treatment, but we colored people have borne it all our lives. But ’pears like my heart would break when I think of my children sold down Souf.” Uncle Peter wiped his eyes with his tattered coat-sleeve, and added: “But de Lord is coming to judge de earth with righteousness, and den I reckon de Rebs will catch it.”

Uncle Peter dug roots and cooked Paul’s food for him, for the Rebels would not allow them any wood, although there was a forest near the prison. Paul could not keep back the tears when he saw how kind Uncle Peter was. He thought that he never should weep again, for he felt that the fountains of his heart were drying up. Uncle Peter sat by him through the long days, fanning him with his old tattered straw hat, brushing the flies from his face, moistening his lips with water, and bathing his brow. He was as black as charcoal, and had a great nose and thick lips,—but notwithstanding all that Paul loved him.

Thus the days and weeks and months went by, Uncle Peter keeping the breath of life in Paul’s body, while thousands of his comrades died. There was no change in prison affairs for the better. There was no hope of release, no prospect of deliverance,—no words from home, no cheering news, no intelligence, except from other prisoners captured from time to time, and sent to the horrible slaughter-pen to become maniacs and idiots,—to be murdered,—to die of starvation and rottenness,—to be borne out in the dead-cart to the trenches.

Though Paul sometimes was sorely tempted to yield to despondency, there were hours when, with clear vision, he looked beyond the horrors of the prison to the time when God would balance the scales of justice, and permit judgment to be executed, not only upon the fiend Wirz, who had charge of the prison, but also upon Jeff Davis and the leaders of the rebellion. And though his sufferings were terrible to bear, there was not a moment when he was sorry that he had enlisted to save his country. So through all the gloom and darkness his patriotism and devotion shone like a star which never sets.




No. 17.

My first creates my second, and thinks he is my whole.

No. 18.

My first is like the grass,

My next is ridden on;

My whole will quickly pass,

Far south of Washington.


No. 19.

My first is childhood’s earliest cry,

My next, a motto for the boy;

My third and fourth are manhood’s love.

My whole is woman’s highest joy.

W. A. S.

No. 20.

In every hedge my second is,

  As well as every tree;

And when poor school-boys act amiss,

  It often is their fee.

My first, likewise, is always wicked,

  Yet ne’er committed sin;

My total for my first is fitted,

  Composed of brass or tin.

W. C. P.


F. B.



No. 20.

I am composed of 17 letters.

My 6, 2, 15, 4, 5, 1, is a boy’s name.

My 9, 14, 8, is a falsehood.

My 10, 11, 12, is an ancient weapon.

My 13, 7, 3, 16, 17, is very useful to farmers.

My whole is the name of a celebrated mathematician.


No. 21.

I am composed of 18 letters.

My 13, 12, 5, is a girl’s name.

My 15, 14, 8, 18, is to descend.

My 10, 11, 3, 9, is what sometimes comes with rain.

My 2, 5, 4, is a color.

My 6, 7, 17, 9, is your inclination.

My 1, 16, 8, 5, is what sick people usually are.

My whole is a Proverb.


No. 22.

I am composed of 13 letters.

My 1, 2, 4, make disagreeable walking.

My 6, 8, 4, 5, is a pleasure.

My 13, 5, 9, 10, is to tell.

My 10, 12, 13, 5, is a musical instrument.

My 3, 8, 1, is the edge.

My 7, 8, 10, 13, is to fade.

My 13, 11, 5, is a part of you.

My whole is an old and common saying.



E. O. C.


J. W. C.


No. 11.

Why is the following puzzle too ridiculously simple to be asked?


C. T. B.

No. 12.

My whole name is what you will find if you try.

Behead me, and I am ’twixt you and the sky.

Behead me again, and in every attack

You will find I am foremost, leading the pack.

Behead me once more, and my towering form

May be seen in earthquake, lightning, and storm.

R. A. W.

No. 13.

My whole is as round as a cheese.

Behead me, I am always behind.

Behead me once more, if you please,

And nothing more slippery you’ll find.

R. A. W.

No. 14.

Around the rarest and richest gold,

Whiteness, pure as the snows, doth fold;

And over them both a silken dress,

Varnished and green, doth closely press.

When under the waters, cool and sweet,

This darling of beauty lies asleep.

But when she wakes in the sunshine bright,

All you can see is a round of white;

Snow-flake on snow-flake spreading wide

From a star that floats on a wind-swung tide.

Aunt Jane.

Illustrated Rebus.—No. 29.


24.Why should boys avoid the letter a?
25.Why are stuttering people not to be trusted?
26.When is a chain like a bill?
27.How do we know that Lord Byron was good-natured?


1.Behead one musical instrument and leave another.
2.Behead a fowl and leave a garden tool.
3.Behead a part of a ship and leave a kind of fish.
4.Behead an agricultural implement and leave a lake.
5.Behead a nut and leave a kind of grain.
6.Behead an animal and leave a kind of grain.
7.Behead an article of clothing and leave an animal.
8.Behead a musical instrument and leave a liquor.
9.Behead a dish and leave a bird.
10.Behead a bird and leave your sweetheart.
11.Behead a river in the British Isles and leave a girl’s name.
12.Behead a river in Louisiana and leave an atom.
13.Behead a river in the British Isles and leave a weapon.
14.Behead a river in the British Isles and leave a noxious plant.
15.Behead a river in Europe and leave a girl’s name.
16.Behead a river in the United States and leave a kind of wood.






17.Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
18.Publii Virgilii Maronis Æneis.
19.A noted explorer.


23.Because we have a peel (peal) from it.

Illustrated Rebuses.

23.Among the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
24.All signs fail in dry weather.
[(Awl) (signs) (F ale in D) (rye) (wether).]

Just my Luck! III.


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 11 edited by John Townsend Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]