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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 9

Date of first publication: 1867

Author: J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom (editors)

Date first posted: Aug. 31, 2018

Date last updated: Aug. 31, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180892

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






An Illustrated Magazine




Vol. III. SEPTEMBER, 1867. No. IX.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, 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.]












Drawn by Harry Fenn, from the Original Painting by F. E. Church.]          [See Cast Away in the Cold, page 524.



The two days which the “Ancient Mariner” and his young friends had passed together had so completely broken down all embarrassment between them, that the children felt as if they had known the old man all their lives. It was therefore, perhaps, not unnatural, that, when they went down next day, they should feel inclined to give the Captain a surprise. So they concerted a plan of sneaking quietly around the house that they might come upon him suddenly, for they saw him working in his garden, hoeing up the weeds.

“Now let’s astonish him,” said William.

“That’s a jolly idea,” said Fred, while Alice said nothing at all, but was as pleased as she could be.

The little party crawled noiselessly along the fence, through the open gate, and sprang upon the Captain with a yell, like a parcel of wild Indians; and sure enough they did surprise him, for he sprang round his hoe, as if preparing to defend himself against an attack of enemies.

“Heyday, my hearties!” exclaimed the Captain, when he saw who was there. “Ain’t you ashamed of yourselves to scare the old man that way?” And then he joined the laugh that the children raised at his own expense, and enjoyed it as much as they did.

“That’s a trick of William’s, I’ll be bound,” said he; “but no matter, I’ll forgive you; and I’m right glad you’re come, too, for it’s precious hot, and I’m tired hoeing up the weeds. There’s no wind, you see, to-day, or we might have a sail; but come, let us get out of the sun, into the crow’s nest.”

“The crow’s nest!” cried William. “What’s that?”

“Why, the arbor, to be sure,” said the Captain. “Don’t you like the name?”

“Of course I do,” answered William. “It’s such a cunning name.”

It was but a few steps to the arbor, and the happy party were only a few moments in reaching it. Once seated, the Captain was ready in an instant to pick up the thread where he had broken it short off when they had parted in the golden evening of the day before, and then to spin on the yarn.

“And now, my lively trickster and genius of the quill,” said he to William, “how is it about writing down the story? What does your father say?”

“O,” answered William, “I’ve written down almost every word of what you said, and papa has examined it and says he likes it. There it is”;—and he pulled a roll of paper from his pocket and handed it to the Captain.

The old man took it from William’s hand, looking all the while much gratified; and after pulling out a pair of curious-looking, old-fashioned spectacles from a curious-looking, old-fashioned red morocco case, which was much the worse for wear, he fixed them on his nose very carefully, and then, unfolding the sheets of paper, glanced carefully over them, growing more and more gratified as he went along.

“That’s good,” said he; “that’s shipshape, and as it ought to be. Why, lad, you’re a regular genius, and sure to turn out a second Scott, or Cooper, or some such writing chap.”

“I am glad you like it, Captain Hardy,” said William, pleased that he had pleased his friend.

“Like it!” exclaimed the Captain. “Like it!! that’s just what I do; and now, since I’m to be immortalized in this way, I’ll be more careful with my speech. And no bad spelling either,” ran on the Captain, as he kept on turning back the leaves, “as there would have been if you had put it down just as I spoke it. But never mind that now; take back the papers, lad, and keep them safe; we’ll go on now, if we can only find where the yarn was broken yesterday. Do any of you remember?”

“I do,” said William, laughing. “You had just got out into the great ocean, and were frightened half to death.”

“O yes, that’s it,” went on the Captain,—“frightened half to death; that’s sure enough, and no mistake; and so would you have been, my lad, if you had been in my place. But I don’t think I’ll tell you anything more about my miserable life on board that ship. Hadn’t we better skip that?”

“O no, no!” cried the children all together, “don’t skip anything.”

“Well, then,” said the obliging Captain, glad enough to see how much his young friends were interested, “if you will know what sort of a miserable time young sailors have of it, I’ll tell you; and let me tell you, too, there’s many a one of them has just as bad a time as I had. In the first place, you see, they gave me such wretched food to eat, all out of a rusty old tin plate, and I was all the time so sick from the motion of the vessel as we went tossing up and down on the rough sea, and from the tobacco-smoke of the forecastle and all the other bad smells, that I could hardly eat a mouthful, so that I was half ready to die of starvation; and, as if this was not misery enough, the sailors were all the time, when in the forecastle, quarrelling like so many cats and dogs, or wild beasts in a cage; and as two of them had pistols, and all of them had knives, I was every minute in dread lest they should take it into their heads to murder each other, and kill me by mistake. So, I can tell you, being a young sailor isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.”

“O, wasn’t it dreadful!” said Alice, “to be sick all the time among those wicked people, and nobody there to take care of you.”

“Well, I wasn’t so sick, may be, after all,” answered the Captain, smiling,—“only sea-sick, you know; and then, for the credit of the ship, I’ll say that, if you had nice plum-pudding every day for dinner, you would think it horrid stuff if you were sea-sick.”

“But don’t people die when they are sea-sick?” inquired Alice.

“Not often, child,” answered the Captain, playfully; “but they feel all the time as if they were going to, and when they don’t feel that way, they feel as if they’d like to. However, I was miserable enough in more ways than one; for to these troubles was added a great distress of mind, caused by the sport the sailors made of me, and also by remorse of conscience because I had run away from home, and thus got myself into this great scrape. Then, to make the matter worse,—as if it was not bad enough already,—a violent storm set upon us in the dark night. You could never imagine how the ship rolled about over the mountainous waves. Sometimes the waves swept clear over the ship, as if threatening our lives, and all the time the creaking of the masts, the roaring of the wind through the rigging, and the dashing of the seas, filled my ears with such awful sounds that I was in the greatest terror, and I thought that every moment would certainly be my last. Then, as if still further to add to my terror, one of the sailors told me, right in the midst of the storm, that we were bound for the Northern seas to catch whales and seals. So now, what little scrap of courage I had left took instant flight, and I fell at once to praying (which I am ashamed to say I had never in my life done before), fully satisfied as I was that, if this course did not save me, nothing would. In truth, I believe I should actually have died of fright had not the storm come soon to an end; and indeed it was many days before I got over thinking that I should, in one way or another, have a speedy passage into the next world, and therefore I did not much concern myself with where we were going in this. Hence I grew to be very unpopular with the sailors, and learned next to nothing. I was always in somebody’s way, was always getting hold of the wrong rope, was in fact all the time doing mischief rather than good. In truth, I was set down as a hopeless idiot, and was considered proper game for everybody. The sailors tormented me in every possible way. One day (knowing how green I was) they set to talking about fixing up a table in the forecastle, and one of them said, ‘What a fine thing it would be if the mate (who turned out to be the red-faced man I had met in the street, and who took me to the shipping-office) would only let us have the keelson.’ So this being agreed to in a very serious manner (which I hadn’t wit enough to see was all put on), I was sent to carry their petition. Seeing the mate on the quarter-deck, I approached, and in a very respectful manner thus addressed him: ‘If you please, sir, I come to ask if you will let us have the keelson for a table?’ Whereupon the mate turned fiercely upon me, and, to my great astonishment, roared out at the very top of his voice, ‘What! what’s that you say? say that again, will you?’ So I repeated the question as he had told me to,—feeling all the while as if I should like the deck to open and swallow me up. I had scarcely finished before I perceived that the mate was growing more and more angry; if, indeed, anything could possibly exceed the passion he was in already. His face was many shades redder than it was before,—and, indeed, it was so very red that it looked as if it might shine in the dark; his hat fell off, when he turned round, as it seemed to me, in consequence of his stiff red hair rising up on end, and he raised his voice so loud that it sounded more like the angry howl of a wild beast than anything I could compare it to. ‘You lubber!’ he shouted. ‘You villain!’ he shrieked; ‘you, you!’—and here it seemed as if he was choking with hard words which he couldn’t get rid of,—‘you come here to play tricks on me! You try to fool me! I’ll teach you!’—and seizing hold of the first thing he could lay his hands on (I did not stop to see what it was, but wheeled about greatly terrified), he let fly at me with such violence that I am sure I must have been finished off for certain had I not quickly dodged my head. When I returned to the forecastle, the sailors had a great laugh at me, and they called me ever afterwards ‘Jack Keelson.’ The keelson, you must know, is a great mass of wood down in the very bottom of the ship, running the whole length of it; but how should I have learned that? One day I was told to go and ‘grease the saddle.’ Not knowing that this was a block of wood spiked to the mainmast to support the main boom, and thinking this a trick too, I refused to go, and came again near getting my head broken by the red-faced mate. I did not believe there was anything like a ‘saddle’ in the ship. And thus the sailors continued to worry me. Once when I was very weak with sea-sickness and wanted to keep down a dinner which I had just eaten, they insisted upon it that, if I would only put into my mouth a piece of fat pork, and keep it there, my dinner would stay in its place. The sailors were right enough, for as soon as my dinner began to start up, of course away went the fat pork out ahead of it.

“But by and by I came to my senses, and, upon discovering that the bad usage I received was in some measure my own fault, I stopped lamenting over my unhappy condition, and began to show more spirit. Would you believe it? I had actually been in the vessel five days before I had curiosity enough to inquire her name. They told me that it was called the ‘Blackbird’; but what ever possessed anybody to give it such a ridiculous and inappropriate name I never could imagine. If they had called it Black Duck, or Black Diver, there would have been some sense in it, for the ship was driving head foremost into the water pretty much all the time. But I found out that the vessel was not exactly a ship after all, but a sort of half schooner, half brig,—what they call a brigantine, having two masts, a mainmast and a foremast. On the former there was a sail running fore and aft, just like the sail of the little yacht ‘Alice,’ and on the latter there was a foretop-sail and a foretop-gallant-sail, all of course square sails, that is, running across the vessel, and fastened to what are called yards. The vessel was painted jet-black on the outside, but inside the bulwarks the color was a dirty sort of green. Such, as nearly as I can remember, was the brigantine Blackbird, three hundred and forty-two tons register. Brigantine is, however, too large a word; so when we pay the Blackbird the compliment of alluding to her, we will call her a ship.

“Having picked up the name of the ship, I was tempted to pursue my inquiries further, and it was not long before I had possessed myself of quite a respectable stock of seaman’s knowledge, and hence I grew in favor. I learned to distinguish between a ‘halyard,’ which is a rope for pulling the yards up and letting them down, from a ‘brace,’ which is used to pull them around so as to ‘trim the sails,’ and a ‘sheet,’ which is a rope for keeping the sails in their proper places. I found out by a diligent inquiry and exercise of the memory, that what I called a floor the sailors called a ‘deck’; a kitchen they called a ‘galley’; a pot, a ‘copper’; a pulley was a ‘block’; a post, a ‘stancheon’; to fall down was to ‘heel over’; to climb up was to ‘go aloft’; and to walk straight, and keep one’s balance when the ship was pitching over the waves, was to ‘get your sea legs on.’ I found out, too, that everything behind you was ‘abaft,’ and everything ahead was ‘forwards’; that a large rope was a ‘hawser,’ and that every other rope was a ‘line’; to make anything temporarily secure was to ‘belay’ it; to make one thing fast to another was to ‘head it on’; and when two things were close together, they were ‘chock-a-block.’ I learned, also, that the right-hand side of the vessel was the ‘starboard’ side, while the left-hand side was the ‘port’ or ‘larboard’ side; that the lever which moves the rudder that steers the ship was called the ‘helm,’ and that to steer the ship was to take ‘a trick at the wheel’; that to ‘put the helm up’ was to turn it in the direction from which the wind was coming (windward), and to ‘put the helm down’ was to turn it in the direction the wind was going (leeward). I found out still further, that a ship has a ‘waist,’ like a woman, a ‘forefoot,’ like a beast, besides ‘bull’s eyes’ (which are small holes with glass in them to admit light), and ‘cat-heads,’ and ‘monkey-rails,’ and ‘cross-trees,’ as well as ‘saddles’ and ‘bridles’ and ‘harness,’ and many other things which I thought I should never hear anything more of after I left the farm. I might go on and tell you a great many more things that I learned, but I should only tire your patience without doing any good. I only want to show you how John Hardy received the rudiments of his marine education.

“When it was discovered how much I had improved, they proposed immediately to turn it to their own account; for I was at once sent to take ‘a trick’ at the wheel, from which I came away, after two hours’ hard work, with my hands dreadfully blistered, and my legs bruised, and with the recollection of much abusive language from the red-faced mate, who could never see anything right in what I did. I gave him, however, some good reason this time to abuse me, and I was glad of it afterwards, though I was badly enough scared at the time. I steered the ship so badly that a wave which I ought to have avoided by a dexterous turn of the wheel, came breaking in right over the quarter-deck, wetting the mate from head to foot. He thought I did it on purpose, (which you may be sure I did not do,) and once more his face increased its redness, and his mind invented hard words faster than his tongue would let them out of his ugly throat.

“I tell you all this that you may have some idea of what a ship is, and how sailors live, and what they have to do. You can easily see that they have no easy time of it, and, let me tell you, there isn’t a bit of romance about it, except the stories that are cut out of whole cloth to make books and songs of. However, I never could have much sympathy for my shipmates in the ‘Blackbird,’ for if they did treat me a little better when they found that I could do something, especially when I could take ‘a trick at the wheel,’ I still continued to look upon them as little better than a set of pirates, and I felt satisfied that, if they were not born to be hanged, they would certainly drown.”

“I don’t think I’ll be a sailor,” said Fred.

“Nor I either,” said William. “But, Captain,” continued the cunning fellow, “if a sailor’s life is so miserable, what do you go to sea so much for?”

“Well, now, my lad,” replied the Captain, evidently at first a little puzzled, “that’s a question that would require more time to explain than we have to devote to it to-day. Besides,” (he was fully recovered now,) “you know that going to sea in the cabin is as different from going to sea in the forecastle as daylight is from darkness. But never mind that, I must get on with my story, or it will never come to an end. I’ve hardly begun it yet.

“Now you must understand that, while all I have been telling you was going on, we were approaching the Arctic regions, and were getting into the sea where ice was to be expected. A man was accordingly kept aloft all the time to look out for it; for you will remember that we were going after seals, and it is on the ice that the seals are found. The weather was now very cold, it being the month of April.

“At length the man aloft cried out that he had discovered ice. ‘Where away?’ shouted the mate. ‘Off the larboard bow,’ was the answer. So the course of the ship was changed, and we bore right down upon the ice, and very soon it was in sight from the deck, and gradually became more and more distinct. It was a very imposing sight. The sea was covered all over with it, as far as the eye could reach,—a great plain of whiteness, against the edge of which the waves were breaking and sending the spray flying high in the air, and sending to our ears that same dull, heavy roar which the breakers make when beating on the land.

“As we neared this novel scene, I observed that it consisted mostly of perfectly flat masses of ice, of various sizes (called by the sealers ‘floes’); some were miles in extent, and others only a few feet. The surface of these ice floes or fields rose only about a foot or so above the surface of the water. Between them there were in many places very broad openings, and when I went aloft and looked down upon the scene, the ice-fields appeared like a great collection of large and small flat, white islands, dotted about in the midst of the ocean. Through these openings between the ice-fields the ship was immediately steered, and we were soon surrounded by ice on every side. To the south, whence we had come, there was in an hour apparently just as much ice as before us to the north, or to the right and left of us,—a vast immeasurable waste of ice it was, looking dreary enough, I can assure you.

“I have said that the pieces of ice now about us were called ‘floes,’ or ice-fields; the whole together was called ‘the pack.’ We were now in perfectly smooth water, for you will easily understand that the ice soon breaks the swell of the sea. But the crew of the ship did not give themselves much concern about the ice itself; for it was soon discovered that the floes were covered in many places with seals, lying in great numbers on them near their margins.

“Now you must understand that seals are not fish, but are air-breathing, warm-blooded animals, like horses and cows, and therefore they must always have their heads, or at least their noses, out of water when they breathe. When the weather is cold, they remain in the water all the time, merely putting up their noses now and then (for they can remain a long time under water without breathing) to sniff a little fresh air, and then going quickly down again. In the warm weather, however, they come up bodily out of the sea, and bask and go to sleep in the sun, either on the land or on the ice. Many thousands of them are often seen together.

“As we came farther and farther into the pack, the seals on the ice were observed to be more and more numerous. The greater number of them appeared to be sound asleep; some of them were wriggling about, or rolling themselves over and over, while none of them seemed to have the least idea that we had come all the way from New Bedford to rob them of their sleek coats and their nice fat blubber.

“We were now fairly into our ‘harvest-field,’ and when a suitable place was discovered the ship was brought up into the wind, that is, the helm was so turned as to bring the ship’s head towards the wind, when of course the sails got ‘aback,’ and the ship stopped. Then a boat was lowered and a crew, of which I was one, got into it, with the end of a very long rope, and pulled away towards the edge of a large ice-field, pulling out the rope after us, of course, from the coil on shipboard. As we approached the ice the seals near by all became frightened, and floundered into the sea as quickly as they could, with a tremendous splash. In a few minutes they all came up again, putting their cunning-looking heads up out of the water, all around the boat, no doubt as curious to see what these singular-looking beings were that had come amongst them, as the Indians were about Columbus and his Spaniards, when they first came to America.

“As soon as we had reached the ice, we sprang out of the boat on to it, and, after digging a hole into it with a long, sharp bar of iron, called an ice-chisel, we put into it one end of a large, heavy crooked hook, called an ice-anchor, and then to a ring in the other end of this ice-anchor we made fast the end of the rope that we had brought with us. This done, we signalled to the people on board to ‘haul in,’ which they did on their end of the rope, and in a little while the ship was drawn close up to the ice. Then another rope was run out over the stern of the ship, and, this being made fast to an ice-anchor in the same way as the other, the ship was soon drawn up with her whole broadside close to the ice, as snug as if she were lying alongside of a dock in New Bedford.

“And now began the seal-hunt. It would not interest you to hear all about the preparations we made, first to catch the seals, and then to preserve the skins and try out the oil from the blubber, and put it away in barrels. For this latter duty some of the crew were selected, while others were sent off to kill and bring in the seals. These latter were chosen with a view to their activity, and I, being supposed to be of that sort, was one of the party. I was glad enough, I can assure you, to get off the vessel for once on to something firm and solid, even if it was only ice, and at least for a little while to have done with rocking and rolling about over the waves.

“Each one of the seal-catchers was armed with a short club for killing the seals, and a rope to drag them over the ice to the ship. We scattered in every direction, our object being each by himself to approach a group of seals, and, coming upon them as noiselessly as possible, to kill as many of them as we could before they should all take fright and rush into the sea. In order to do this we were obliged to steal up between the seals and the water as far as possible.

“My first essay at this novel sport, or rather business, was ridiculous enough, and, besides nearly causing my death, overwhelmed me with mortification. It happened thus. I made at a large herd of seals, nearly all of which were lying some distance from the edge of the ice, and before they could get into the water I had managed to intercept about a dozen of them. Thus far I thought myself very lucky; but, as the poet Burns says,

‘The best laid schemes o’ mice and men

        Gang aft a-gley,

 And leave us naught but grief and pain

        For promised joy,’—

so it fell out with me. The seals of course all rushed towards the water as fast as they could go, the moment they saw me coming. But I got up with them in time, and struck one on the nose, killing it, and was in the act of striking another, when a huge fellow that was big enough to have been the father of the whole flock, too badly frightened to mind where he was going, ran his head between my legs, and, whipping up my heels in an instant, landed me on his back, in which absurd position I was carried into the sea before I could recover myself. Of course I sunk immediately, and dreadfully cold was the water; but, rising to the surface in a moment, I was preparing to make a vigorous effort to swim back to the ice, when another badly frightened and ill-mannered seal, as I am sure you will all think, plunged into the sea without once looking to see what he was doing, and hit me with the point of his nose fairly in the stomach.

“I thought now for certain that my misfortunes were all over, and that my end was surely come. However, I got my head above the surface once more, and did my best to keep it there; but my hopes vanished when I perceived that I was at least twenty feet from the edge of the ice. It was as much as I could do to keep my head above water, without swimming forward, so much embarrassed was I by my heavy clothing, the great cold, and the terrible pains, (worse than those of colic), caused by the seal hitting me in the stomach. I am quite certain that this would have been the last of John Hardy’s adventures, had not one of my companions, seeing me going overboard on the back of the seal, rushed to my rescue. He threw me his line for dragging seals (the end of which I had barely strength to catch and hold on to), and then he drew me out as one would haul up a large fish.

“I came from the sea in a most sorry condition, as you can well imagine. My mouth was full of salt water. I was so prostrated with the cold that I could scarcely stand, and my pains were so great that I should certainly have screamed had I not been so full of water that I could not utter a single word. But I managed, after a while, to get all the water spit out, and then, after drawing into my lungs a few good long breaths of air, I felt greatly refreshed. I could still, however, hardly stand, and was shivering with the cold. But I found there was strength enough left in me to enable me to stagger back to the ship, where I was greeted in a manner far from gratifying. The sailors looked upon my adventure as a great joke, never once seeming to think how near I was to death’s door, and the mate simply cried out, ‘Overboard, eh? Pity the sharks didn’t catch him!’ It was clear enough that this red-faced and unpitying tyrant would show me no mercy; and when, pale and cold and panting for breath, I asked him for leave to go below for a while, he cried out, ‘Yes, for just five minutes. Be lively, or I’ll warm your back for you with a rope’s end.’

“The prospect of a ‘back warming’ of this description had the effect to make me lively, sure enough, although I was shivering as if I would shake all my teeth out, and tumble all my bones down into a heap. As soon as I reached the deck, the mate cried out again for me to ‘be lively,’ and when he set after me with an uplifted rope’s end, his face glaring at me all the while like a red-hot furnace, you may be sure I was quite as lively as it was possible for me to be, and was over the ship’s side in next to no time at all, and off after seals again. After a while I got warmed up with exercise, and this time, being more cautious, I met with no other similar misadventure, and soon came in dragging three seals after me. The mate now complimented me by exclaiming, ‘Why, look at the lubber!’

“We continued at this seal-hunting for a good many days, during which we shifted our position frequently, and made what the sealers called a good ‘catch.’ But still the barrels in the hold of the ship were not much more than half of them filled with oil, when a great storm set in, and, the ice threatening to close in upon us, we were forced to get everything aboard, cast loose from the ice-field, and work our way south into clear water again, which we were fortunate enough to do without accident. But some other vessels which had come up while we were fishing, and were very near to us, were not so lucky. Two of them were caught by the ice-fields before they could effect their escape from the pack, and were crushed all to pieces. The crews, however, saved themselves by jumping out on the ice, and were all successful in reaching other vessels, having managed to save their boats before their ships actually went down. It was a very fearful sight, the crushing up of these vessels,—as if they were nothing more than egg-shells in the hand.

“This storm lasted, with occasional interruptions, thirteen days, but the breaks in it were of such short duration that we had little opportunity to ‘fish’ (as seal-catching is called) any more. We approached the ice repeatedly, only to be driven off again before we had fairly succeeded in getting under way again with our work, and hence we caught very few seals.

“By the time the storm was over the season for seal-fishing was nearly over too; so we had no alternative, if we would get a good cargo of oil, but to go in search of whales, which would take us still farther north, and into much heavier ice, and therefore, necessarily, into even greater danger than we had hitherto encountered. Accordingly, the course of the vessel was changed, and I found that we were steering almost due north, avoiding the ice as much as possible, but passing a great deal of it every day. The wind being mostly fair, and the ice not thick enough at any time to obstruct our passage, we hauled in our latitude very fast.”

“Excuse me, Captain Hardy,” here interrupted William, “what is hauling in latitude?”

“That’s for going farther north,” answered the Captain. “Latitude is distance from the equator, either north or south, and what a sailor makes in northing or southing he calls ‘hauling in his latitude,’ just as making easting or westing is ‘hauling in his longitude.’ ”

“Thank you, Captain,” said William, politely, when he had finished.

“Is it all clear now?” inquired the Captain.

“Yes,” said William, “clear as mud.”

“Clear as mud, eh! Well, that isn’t as clear as the pea-soup was they used to give us on board the Blackbird, for that was so clear that, if the ocean had been made of it, you might have seen through it all the way down to the bottom; indeed, one of the old sailors said that it wasn’t soup at all. ‘If dat is soup,’ growled he, ‘den I’s sailed forty tousand mile trough soup,’—which is the number of miles he was supposed to have sailed in his various voyages.

“But no matter for the soup. The days wore on none the less that the soup was thin, and still we kept going on and on,—getting farther and farther north, and into more and more ice. Sometimes our course was much interrupted, and we had to wait several days for the ice to open; then we would get under way again, and push on. At length it seemed to me that we must be very near the North Pole. It was a strange world we had come into. The sun was shining all the time. There was no night at all,—broad daylight constantly. This, of course, favored us; indeed, had there been any darkness, we could not have worked among the ice at all. As it was, we were obliged to be very cautious, for the ice often closed upon us without giving us a chance to escape, obliging us to get out great long saws, and saw out and float away great blocks of the ice, until we had made a dock for the ship, where she could ride with safety. We had many narrow escapes from the fate which had befallen the poor sealers.

“At first, when we concluded to go after whales, there were several vessels in company with us. At one time I counted nine, all in sight at one time; but we had become separated in thick weather, and whether they had gone ahead of us, or had fallen behind, we could not tell. However, we kept on and on and on; where we were, or where we were going, I, of course, had not the least idea; but I became aware, from day to day, that greater dangers were threatening us, for icebergs came in great numbers to add their terrors to those which we had already in the ice-fields. They became at length (and suddenly too) very numerous, and not being able to go around them on account of the field-ice, which was on either side, we entered right amongst them. The atmosphere was somewhat foggy at the time, and it seemed as if the icebergs chilled the very air we breathed. I fairly shuddered as we passed the first opening. The bergs were at least three times as high as our masts, and very likely more than that, and they appeared to cover the sea in every direction. It seemed to me that we were going to certain destruction, and indeed I thought I read a warning written as it were on the bergs themselves. Upon the corner of an iceberg to the left of us there stood a white figure, as plain as anything could possibly be. One hand of this strange, weird-looking figure was resting on the ice beside it, while the other was pointing partly upwards towards heaven, and backwards toward the south whence we had come. I thought I saw the figure move, and, much excited, I called the attention of one of the sailors to it. ‘Why, you fool,’ said he, ‘don’t you know that the sun melts the ice into all sorts of shapes. Look out hard, if there isn’t a man’s face?’ I looked up as the sailor had directed me, and, sure enough, there was a man’s face plainly to be seen in the lines of an immense tongue of ice which was projecting from the side of a berg on the right, and under which we were about to pass.

“I became now really terrified. In addition to these strange spectral objects, the air was filled with loud reports, and deep, rumbling noises, caused by the icebergs breaking to pieces, or masses splitting off from their sides and falling into the sea. These noises came at first from the icebergs in front of us; but when we had got fairly into the wilderness of bergs which covered the sea, they came from every side. It struck me that we had passed deliberately into the very jaws of death, and that from the frightful situation there was no escape.

“I merely mention this as the feeling which oppressed me, and which I could not shake off. Indeed, the feeling grew upon me rather than decreased. The fog came on very thick, settling over us as if it were our funeral shroud. The noises were multiplying, and we could no longer tell whence they came, so thick was the air. We were groping about like a traveller who has lost his way in a vast forest, and has been overtaken by the dark night.

“It seemed to me now that our doom was sealed,—that all our hope was left behind us when we passed the opening to this vast wilderness of icebergs; and the more I thought of it, the more it seemed to me that the figure standing on the corner of the iceberg where we entered, whether it was ice or whatever it was, had been put there as a warning. How far my fears were right you shall see presently.

“The fog, as I have said, kept on thickening more and more, until we could scarcely see anything at all. I have never, I think, seen so thick a fog, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the ship was kept from striking the icebergs. Then, after a while, the wind fell away steadily, and finally grew entirely calm. The current was moving us about upon the dead waters; and in order to prevent this current from setting us against the bergs, we had to lower the boats, and, making lines fast to the ship and to the boats, pull away with our oars to keep headway on the ship, that she might be steered clear of the dangerous places. Thus was made a slow progress, but it was very hard work. At length the second mate, who was steering the foremost boat, which I was in, cried out, ‘Fast in ahead.’ Now ‘fast in’ is a belt of ice which is attached firmly to the land, not yet having been broken up or dissolved by the warmth of the summer. This announcement created great joy to everybody in the boats, as we all supposed that we would be ordered to make a line fast to it, that we might hold on there until the fog cleared up and the wind came again. But instead of this we were ordered by the mate to pull away from it. And then, after having got the vessel, as was supposed, into a good, clear, open space of water,—at least, there was not a particle of ice in sight,—we were all ordered, very imprudently, as it appeared to every one of us, to come on board to breakfast.

“We had just finished our breakfast, and were preparing to go on deck, and then into the boats again, when there was a loud cry raised on deck. ‘Ice close ahead! Hurry up! Man the boats!’ were the orders which caught my ear among a great many other confusing sounds; and when I got on deck, I saw, standing away up in the fog, its top completely obscured in the thick cloud, an enormous iceberg. The side nearest to us hung over from a perpendicular, as the projecting tongue on which I had before seen the man’s face. It was very evident that we were slowly drifting upon this frightful object, and directly under this overhanging tongue. It was a fearful sight to behold, for it looked as if it was just ready to crumble to pieces; and, indeed, at every instant small fragments were breaking off from it, with loud reports, and falling into the sea.

“We were but a moment getting into the boats. The boat which I was in had something the start of the other two. Just as we were pulling away, the master of the ship came on deck, and ordered us to do what, had the mate done it an hour before, would have made it impossible that this danger should have come upon us. ‘Carry your line out to the fast ice,’ was the order we received from the master, and every one of us, realizing the great danger, pulled the strongest oar he could. The ‘fast ice’ was dimly in sight when we started, for we had drifted while at breakfast towards it, as well as towards the berg. Only a few minutes were needed to reach it. We jumped out and dug the hole and planted the anchor. The ship was out of sight, buried in the fog. A faint voice came from the ship. It was, ‘Hurry up! we have struck.’ They evidently could not see us. The line was fastened to the anchor in an instant, and the second mate shouted, ‘Haul in! haul in!’ There was no answer but ‘Hurry up! hurry up! we have struck.’ ‘Haul in! haul in!’ shouted the second mate, but still there was no answer. ‘They can’t hear nor see,’ said he hurriedly; and then, turning to me, said, ‘Hardy, you watch the anchor that it don’t give way. Boys, jump in the boat, and we’ll go nearer the ship so they can hear.’ The boat was gone quickly into the fog, and I was then alone on the ice by the anchor,—how much and truly alone, you shall hear.

“Quick as the lightning flash, sudden as the change of one second to another, there broke upon me a sound that will never, never leave my ears. It was as if a volcano had burst forth, or an earthquake had instantly tumbled a whole city into ruins. A fearful shock, as of a sudden explosion, filled the air. I saw faintly through the thick mists the masts of the ship reeling over, and I saw no more;—vessel and iceberg and the disappearing boat were mingled as in a chaos. The whole side of the berg nearest the vessel had split off, hurling thousands and hundreds of thousands of tons of ice, and thousands of fragments, crashing down upon the doomed ship. Escape the vessel could not, nor her crew, the shock came so suddenly. The spray thrown up into the air completely hid everything from view; but the noise which came from out the gloom told the tale.

“Presently there was a loud rush. Great waves, set in motion by the crumbling icebergs with white crests that were frightful to look upon, came tearing out of the obscurity, and, perceiving the danger of my situation, I ran from it as fast as I could run. And I was just in time; for the waves broke up the ice where I had been standing into a hundred fragments, and, crack after crack opening close behind me, I fled as before a devouring fiend.

“I had not, however, far to run before I had reached a place of safety, for the force of the waves was soon spent. And when I saw what had happened, I fell down flat upon the ice, crying, ‘Saved, but for what? to freeze or starve! O that I had perished with the rest of them!’

“So now you see that I was really and truly cast away in the cold. In almost a single instant the ship which had borne me through what had seemed great perils was, so far as appeared to me, swallowed up in the sea,—crushed and broken into fragments by the falling ice; and every one of my companions was swallowed up with it. And there I was on an ice-raft, in the middle of the Arctic Sea, without food or shelter, wrapped in a great black, impenetrable fog, with a lingering death staring me in the face.”

The Captain paused as if to take breath, for he had been talking very fast, and had grown somewhat excited as he recalled this terrible scene. The eyes of the children were riveted upon him, so deeply were they interested in the tale of the shipwreck; and it was some time before any one spoke.

“Well!” exclaimed William at last, “that was being cast away in the cold for certain, Captain Hardy. I had no idea it was so frightful.”

“Nor I,” said Fred, evidently doubting if Captain Hardy was really the shipwrecked boy; but Alice said not a word, for she was lost in wonder.

“I should not have believed it was you, Captain Hardy,” continued William, “if you had not been telling the story yourself, this very minute; for I cannot see how you should ever have got out of that scrape with your life. It’s ever so much worse than going into the sea on the seal’s back.”

The Captain smiled at these observations of the boys, and said: “It was a pretty hard scrape to get into, and no mistake; but through the mercy of Providence I got out of it in the end, as you see, otherwise I shouldn’t have been here to tell the tale; but how I saved myself, and what became of the ship and the rest of the crew, you shall hear to-morrow, for it is now too late to begin the story. The evening is coming on, and your parents will be looking for you home; so good by, my dears. To-morrow you must come down earlier,—the earlier the better, and if there’s any wind we’ll have a sail.” And now the children once more took leave of the Ancient Mariner, with hearts filled with thanks, which they could never get done speaking, and with heads filled with astonishment that the Captain should be alive to tell the tale which they had heard.

Isaac I. Hayes.


Blunder was going to the Wishing-Gate, to wish for a pair of Shetland ponies, and a little coach, like Tom Thumb’s. And of course you can have your wish, if you once get there. But the thing is, to find it; for it is not, as you imagine, a great gate, with a tall marble pillar on each side, and a sign over the top, like this: WISHING-GATE,—but just an old stile, made of three sticks. Put up two fingers, cross them on the top with another finger, and you have it exactly,—the way it looks, I mean,—a worm-eaten stile, in a meadow; and as there are plenty of old stiles in meadows, how are you to know which is the one?

Blunder’s fairy godmother knew, but then she could not tell him, for that was not according to fairy rules and regulations. She could only direct him to follow the road, and ask the way of the first owl he met; and over and over she charged him, for Blunder was a very careless little boy, and seldom found anything, “Be sure you don’t miss him,—be sure you don’t pass him by.” And so far Blunder had come on very well, for the road was straight; but at the turn it forked. Should he go through the wood, or turn to the right? There was an owl nodding in a tall oak-tree, the first owl Blunder had seen; but he was a little afraid to wake him up, for Blunder’s fairy godmother had told him that this was a great philosopher, who sat up all night to study the habits of frogs and mice, and knew everything but what went on in the daylight, under his nose; and he could think of nothing better to say to this great philosopher than “Good Mr. Owl, will you please show me the way to the Wishing-Gate?”

“Eh! what’s that?” cried the owl, starting out of his nap. “Have you brought me a frog?”

“No,” said Blunder, “I did not know that you would like one. Can you tell me the way to the Wishing-Gate?”

“Wishing-Gate! Wishing-Gate!” hooted the owl, very angry. “Winks and naps! how dare you disturb me for such a thing as that? Do you take me for a mile-stone! Follow your nose, sir, follow your nose!”—and, ruffling up his feathers, the owl was asleep again in a moment.

But how could Blunder follow his nose? His nose would turn to the right, or take him through the woods, whichever way his legs went, and “what was the use of asking the owl,” thought Blunder, “if this was all?” While he hesitated, a chipmunk came skurrying down the path, and, seeing Blunder, stopped short with a little squeak.

“Good Mrs. Chipmunk,” said Blunder, “can you tell me the way to the Wishing-Gate?”

“I can’t, indeed,” answered the chipmunk, politely. “What with getting in nuts, and the care of a young family, I have so little time to visit anything! But if you will follow the brook, you will find an old water-sprite under a slanting stone, over which the water pours all day with a noise like wabble! wabble! who, I have no doubt, can tell you all about it. You will know him, for he does nothing but grumble about the good old times when a brook would have dried up before it would have turned a mill-wheel.”

So Blunder went on up the brook, and, seeing nothing of the water-sprite, or the slanting stone, was just saying to himself, “I am sure I don’t know where he is,—I can’t find it,”—when he spied a frog sitting on a wet stone.

“Mr. Frog,” asked Blunder, “can you tell me the way to the Wishing-Gate?”

“I cannot,” said the frog. “I am very sorry, but the fact is, I am an artist. Young as I am, my voice is already remarked at our concerts, and I devote myself so entirely to my profession of music, that I have no time to acquire general information. But in a pine-tree beyond, you will find an old crow, who I am quite sure can show you the way, as he is a traveller, and a bird of an inquiring turn of mind.”

“I don’t know where the pine is,—I am sure I can never find him,”—answered Blunder, discontentedly; but still he went on up the brook, till, hot, and tired, and out of patience at seeing neither crow nor pine, he sat down under a great tree to rest. There he heard tiny voices squabbling.

“Get out! Go away, I tell you! It has been knock! knock! knock! at my door all day, till I am tired out. First a wasp, and then a bee, and then another wasp, and then another bee, and now you. Go away! I won’t let another one in to-day.”

“But I want my honey.”

“And I want my nap.”

“I will come in.”

“You shall not.”

“You are a miserly old elf.”

“And you are a brute of a bee.”

And looking about him, Blunder spied a bee, quarrelling with a morning-glory elf, who was shutting up the morning-glory in his face.

“Elf, do you know which is the way to the Wishing-Gate?” asked Blunder.

“No,” said the elf, “I don’t know anything about geography. I was always too delicate to study. But if you will keep on in this path, you will meet the Dream-man, coming down from fairy-land, with his bags of dreams on his shoulder; and if anybody can tell you about the Wishing-Gate, he can.”

“But how can I find him?” asked Blunder, more and more impatient.

“I don’t know, I am sure,” answered the elf, “unless you should look for him.”

So there was no help for it but to go on; and presently Blunder passed the Dream-man, asleep under a witch-hazel, with his bags of good and bad dreams laid over him to keep him from fluttering away. But Blunder had a habit of not using his eyes; for at home, when told to find anything, he always said, “I don’t know where it is,” or, “I can’t find it,” and then his mother or sister went straight and found it for him. So he passed the Dream-man without seeing him, and went on till he stumbled on Jack-o’-Lantern.

“Can you show me the way to the Wishing-Gate?” said Blunder.

“Certainly, with pleasure,” answered Jack, and, catching up his lantern, set out at once.

Blunder followed close, but, in watching the lantern, he forgot to look to his feet, and fell into a hole filled with black mud.

“I say! the Wishing-Gate is not down there,” called out Jack, whisking off among the tree-tops.

“But I can’t come up there,” whimpered Blunder.

“That is not my fault, then,” answered Jack, merrily, dancing out of sight.

O, a very angry little boy was Blunder, when he clambered out of the hole. “I don’t know where it is,” he said, crying; “I can’t find it, and I’ll go straight home.”

Just then he stepped on an old, moss-grown, rotten stump; and it happening, unluckily, that this rotten stump was a wood-goblin’s chimney, Blunder fell through, headlong, in among the pots and pans, in which the goblin’s cook was cooking the goblin’s supper. The old goblin, who was asleep up stairs, started up in a fright at the tremendous clash and clatter, and, finding that his house was not tumbling about his ears, as he thought at first stumped down to the kitchen to see what was the matter. The cook heard him coming, and looked about her in a fright to hide Blunder.

“Quick!” cried she. “If my master catches you, he will have you in a pie. In the next room stands a pair of shoes. Jump into them, and they will take you up the chimney.”

Off flew Blunder, burst open the door, and tore frantically about the room, in one corner of which stood the shoes; but of course he could not see them, because he was not in the habit of using his eyes. “I can’t find them! O, I can’t find them!” sobbed poor little Blunder, running back to the cook.

“Run into the closet,” said the cook.

Blunder made a dash at the window, but—“I don’t know where it is,” he called out.

Clump! clump! That was the goblin, half-way down the stairs.

“Goodness gracious mercy me!” exclaimed cook. “He is coming. The boy will be eaten in spite of me. Jump into the meal-chest.”

“I don’t see it,” squeaked Blunder, rushing towards the fireplace. “Where is it?”

Clump! clump! That was the goblin at the foot of the stairs, and coming towards the kitchen door.

“There is an invisible cloak hanging on that peg. Get into that,” cried cook, quite beside herself.

But Blunder could no more see the cloak than he could the shoes, the closet, and the meal-chest; and no doubt the goblin, whose hand was on the latch, would have found him prancing around the kitchen, and crying out, “I can’t find it,” but, fortunately for himself, Blunder caught his foot in the invisible cloak, and tumbled down, pulling the cloak over him. There he lay, hardly daring to breathe.

“What was all that noise about?” asked the goblin, gruffly, coming into the kitchen.

“Only my pans, master,” answered the cook; and as he could see nothing amiss, the old goblin went grumbling up stairs again, while the shoes took Blunder up chimney, and landed him in a meadow, safe enough, but so miserable! He was cross, he was disappointed, he was hungry. It was dark, he did not know the way home, and, seeing an old stile, he climbed up, and sat down on the top of it, for he was too tired to stir. Just then came along the South Wind, with his pockets crammed full of showers, and, as he happened to be going Blunder’s way, he took Blunder home; of which the boy was glad enough, only he would have liked it better if the Wind would not have laughed all the way. For what would you think, if you were walking along a road with a fat old gentleman, who went chuckling to himself, and slapping his knees, and poking himself, till he was purple in the face, when he would burst out in a great windy roar of laughter every other minute?

“What are you laughing at?” asked Blunder, at last.

“At two things that I saw in my travels,” answered the Wind;—“a hen, that died of starvation, sitting on an empty peck-measure that stood in front of a bushel of grain; and a little boy who sat on the top of the Wishing-Gate, and came home because he could not find it.”

“What? what’s that?” cried Blunder; but just then he found himself at home. There sat his fairy godmother by the fire, her mouse-skin cloak hung up on a peg, and toeing off a spider’s-silk stocking an eighth of an inch long; and though everybody else cried, “What luck?” and, “Where is the Wishing-Gate?” she sat mum.

“I don’t know where it is,” answered Blunder. “I couldn’t find it”;—and thereon told the story of his troubles.

“Poor boy!” said his mother, kissing him, while his sister ran to bring him some bread and milk.

“Yes, that is all very fine,” cried his godmother, pulling out her needles, and rolling up her ball of silk; “but now hear my story. There was once a little boy who must needs go to the Wishing-Gate, and his fairy godmother showed him the road as far as the turn, and told him to ask the first owl he met what to do then; but this little boy seldom used his eyes, so he passed the first owl, and waked up the wrong owl; so he passed the water-sprite, and found only a frog; so he sat down under the pine-tree, and never saw the crow; so he passed the Dream-man, and ran after Jack-o’-Lantern; so he tumbled down the goblin’s chimney, and couldn’t find the shoes and the closet and the chest and the cloak; and so he sat on the top of the Wishing-Gate till the South Wind brought him home, and never knew it. Ugh! Bah!”—and away went the fairy godmother up the chimney, in such deep disgust that she did not even stop for her mouse-skin cloak.

Louise E. Chollet.


I know a little theatre

  Scarce bigger than a nut.

Finer than pearl its portals are,

Quick as the twinkling of a star

  They open and they shut.


A fairy palace beams within:

  So wonderful it is,

No words can tell you of its worth,—

No architect in all the earth

  Could build a house like this.


A beautiful rose window lets

  A ray into the hall;

To shade the scene from too much light,

A tiny curtain hangs in sight,

  Within the crystal wall.


And O the wonders there beside!

  The curious furniture,

The stage, with all its small machinery,

Pulley and cord and shifting scenery,

  In marvellous miniature!


A little, busy, moving world,

  It mimics space and time,

The marriage-feast, the funeral,

Old men and little children, all

  In perfect pantomime.


There pours the foaming cataract,

  There speeds the train of cars;

Day comes with all its pageantry

Of cloud and mountain, sky and sea,

  The night, with all its stars.


Ships sail upon that mimic sea;

  And smallest things that fly,

The humming-bird, the sunlit mote

Upon its golden wings afloat,

  Are mirrored in that sky.


Quick as the twinkling of the doors,

  The scenery forms or fades;

And all the fairy folk that dwell

Within the arched and windowed shell

  Are momentary shades.


Who has this wonder holds it dear

  As his own life and limb;

Who lacks it, not the rarest gem

That ever flashed in diadem

  Can purchase it for him.


Ah, then, dear picture-loving child,

  How doubly blessed art thou!

Since thine the happy fortune is

To have two little worlds like this

  In thy possession now,—


Each furnished with soft folding-doors,

  A curtain, and a stage!

And now a laughing sprite transfers

Into those little theatres

  The letters of this page.

J. T. Trowbridge.


And so it was settled that our elegant young friend, Miss Emily Proudie, was to go and stay at the farm-house with Pussy Willow. Dr. Hardhack came in to give his last directions, in the presence of grandmamma and the aunts and mamma, who all sat in an anxious circle.

“Do pray, dear Dr. Hardhack, tell us just how she must be dressed for that cold mountain region. Must she have high-necked, long-sleeved flannels?” said mamma.

“I will make her half a dozen sets at once,” chimed in Aunt Maria.

“Not so fast,” said Dr. Hardhack. “Let’s see about this young lady,” and with that Dr. Hardhack endeavored to introduce his forefinger under the belt of Miss Emily’s dress.

Now the Doctor’s forefinger being a stout one, and Miss Emily’s belt ribbon being drawn very snugly round her, the belt ribbon gave a smart snap, and the Doctor drew out his finger with a jerk. “I thought so,” he said. “I supposed that there wasn’t much breathing room allowed behind there.”

“O, I do assure you, Doctor, Emily never dresses tight,” said her mother.

“No indeed!” said little Miss Emily. “I despise tight lacing. I never wear my clothes any more than just comfortable.”

“Never saw a woman that did,” said the Doctor. “The courage and constancy of the female sex in bearing inconveniences is so great, however, that that will be no test at all. Why, if you should catch a fellow, and gird his ribs in as Miss Emily wears hers all the time, he’d roar like a bull of Bashan. You wouldn’t catch a man saying he felt ‘comfortable’ under such circumstances; but only persuade a girl that she looks stylish and fashionable with her waist drawn in, and you may screw and screw till the very life leaves her, and with her dying breath she will tell you that it is nothing more than ‘comfortable.’ So, my young lady, you don’t catch me in that way. You must leave off belts and tight waists of all sorts for six months at least, and wear only loose sacks, or thingembobs,—whatever you call ’em,—so that your lungs may have some chance to play, and fill with the vital air I’m going to send you to breathe up in the hills.”

“But, Doctor, I don’t believe I could hold myself up without corsets,” said Miss Emily. “When I sit up in a loose dress, I feel so weak I hardly know what to do. I need the support of something around me.”

“My good child, that is because all those nice strong muscles around your waist, which Nature gave you to hold you up, have been bound down and bandaged and flattened till they have no strength in them. Muscles are nourished and strengthened by having blood carried to them; if you squeeze a muscle down flat under a bandage, there is no room for blood to get into it and nourish it, and it grows weak and perishes.

“Now look there,” said the Doctor, pointing with his cane to the waist of a bronze Venus which adorned the mantel-piece,—“look at that great wide waist, look at those full muscles over the ribs that moved that lady’s breathing apparatus. Do you think a woman with a waist like that would be unable to get up stairs without fainting? That was the idea the old Greeks had of a Goddess,—a great, splendid woman, with plenty of room inside of her to breathe, and to kindle warm vital blood which should go all over her with a glow of health and cheerfulness,—not a wasp waist, coming to a point and ready to break in two in the middle.

“Now just there, under Miss Emily’s belt, is the place where Nature is trying to manufacture all the blood which is necessary to keep her brain, stomach, head, hands, and feet in good condition,—and precious little room she gets to do it in. She is in fact so cooped up and hindered, that the blood she makes is very little in quantity and extremely poor in quality; and so she has lips as white as a towel, cheeks like blanched celery, and headaches, and indigestion, and palpitations of the heart, and cold hands, and cold feet, and forty more things that people have when there is not enough blood to keep their systems going.

“Why, look here,” said the Doctor, whirling round and seizing Miss Emily’s sponge off the wash-stand, “your lungs are something like this, and every time that you take in a breath they ought to swell out to their full size, so that the air that you take in shall purify your blood and change it from black blood to red blood. It’s this change in your lungs that makes the blood fit to nourish the whole of the rest of your body. Now see here,” said the Doctor, squeezing the sponge tight in his great hand,—“here’s what your corsets and your belt ribbons do,—they keep the air-vessels of your lungs matted together like this, so that the air and the blood can hardly get together at all, and consequently it is impure. Don’t you see?”

“Well, Doctor,” said Emily, who began to be frightened at this, “do you suppose if I should dress as you tell me for six months my blood would come right again?”

“It would go a long way towards it, my little maid,” said the Doctor. “You fashionable girls are not good for much, to be sure; but yet if a Doctor gets a chance to save one of you in the way of business, he can’t help wishing to do it. So, my dear, I just give you your choice. You can have a fine, nice, taper little body, with all sorts of pretty little waists and jackets and thingembobs fitting without a wrinkle about it, and be pale and skinny, with an unhealthy complexion, low spirits, indigestion, and all that sort of thing; or you can have a good, broad, free waist, with good strong muscles like the Venus up there, and have red lips and cheeks, a good digestion, and cheerful spirits, and be able to run, frisk, jump, and take some comfort in life. Which would you prefer now?”

“Of course I would like to be well,” said Emily; “and in the country up there nobody will see me, and it’s no matter how I look.”

“To be sure, it’s no matter,” chimed in Emily’s mamma. “Only get your health, my dear, and afterwards we will see.”

And so, a week afterwards, an elegant travelling-carriage drew up before the door of the house where Pussy’s mother lived, and in the carriage were a great many bolsters and pillows, and all sorts of knick-knacks and conveniences, such as sick young ladies use, and little Emily was brought out of the carriage, looking very much like a wilted lily, and laid on the bed up stairs in a chamber that Pussy had been for some weeks busy in fitting up and adorning for her.

And now, while she is getting rested, we will tell you all about this same chamber. When Pussy first took it in hand, it was as plain and dingy a little country room as ever you saw, and she was very much dismayed at the thought of putting a genteel New York young lady in it.

But Pussy one day drove to the neighboring town, and sold her butter, and invested the money she got for it,—first in a very pretty delicate-tinted wall-paper, and some white cotton, and some very pretty blue bordering. Then the next day she pressed one of her brothers into the service, and cut and measured the wall-paper, and contrived the breadths, and made the paste, and put it on the paper as handily as if she had been brought up to the trade, while her brother mounted on a table and put the strips upon the wall, and Pussy stroked down each breadth with a nice white cloth. Then they finished all by putting round the ceiling a bordering of flowers, which gave it quite an air. It took them a whole day to do it, but the room looked wonderfully different after it was done.

Then Pussy got her brother to make cornices to the windows, which she covered with bordering like that on the walls, and then she made full white curtains, and bordered them with strips of the blue calico; she also made a bedspread to match. There was a wide-armed old rocking-chair with a high back, that had rather a forlorn appearance, as some of its slats were broken, and the paint wholly rubbed off, but Pussy took it in hand, and padded and stuffed it, and covered it with a white, blue-bordered dress, till it is doubtful whether the chair would have known itself if it could have looked in the glass.

Then she got her brother to saw out for her a piece of rough board in an oblong octagon shape, and put four legs to it; and out of this foundation she made the prettiest toilet-table you can imagine. The top was stuffed like a large cushion, and covered with white, and an ample flowing skirt of white, bordered with blue, like the bedspread and window-curtains, completed the table. Over this hung a looking-glass whose frame had become very much tarnished by time, and so Pussy very wisely concealed it by looping around it the folds of some thin white muslin that had once been her mother’s wedding-dress, but was now too old and tender for any other usage than just to be draped round a mirror. Pussy arranged it quite gracefully, and fastened it at the top and sides with some smart bows of blue ribbon, and it really looked quite as if a French milliner had been at it.

Then beside this, there was a cunning little hour-glass stand, which she made for the head of the bed out of two old dilapidated spinning-wheels, and which, covered with white like the rest, made a handy little bit of furniture. Then Pussy had arranged vases of blue violets and apple-blossoms here and there, and put some of her prettiest books in the room, and hung up one or two pictures which she had framed very cleverly in rustic frames, and on the whole the room was made so sweet and inviting that, when Emily first looked around it, she said two or three times, “How nice! How very pretty it is! I think I shall like to be here.”

Those words were enough to pay Pussy for all her trouble. “O mother, I am so sorry for her!” she said, rushing down stairs; “and I’m so glad she likes it! To think of her being so weak, and I so strong, and we just of an age! I feel as if I couldn’t do too much for her.”

And what the girls did together we will tell you by and by.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


“Well, boys, here we are at Bartlett’s!” said Mr. Craig, as his boat, closely followed by another, grounded on a little beach at the foot of a soft-swelling green knoll.

When the guide, as the boatman is called in the Adirondacks, had dragged the boat a little farther up out of the water, Mr. Craig jumped on shore, followed by his son Harry, a tall, bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked boy of about fifteen. The other boat held two more boys, one his son Frank, a lad of twelve, and the other his nephew Herbert.

Mr. Craig was a benevolent, kindly-looking man, an eminent lawyer in New York, who had brought the boys for a hunting and fishing trip to the Adirondacks. He wore a thick, dark hunting-coat and trousers, and the boys were dressed in bright flannel shirts, soft black felt hats, and tall boots, all of them carrying knapsacks, swung at their sides by leather straps passing across their shoulders, and containing powder-flasks and cartridge-boxes, and each boy had a tin cup hanging at his waist, and carried a gun.

The guides took from the boats the “traps,” consisting of a tent and blankets and other furniture for camping out, then pulled the boats from the water and carried them up the bank on their shoulders, placing them bottom side up to dry.

The Saranac boats are about twelve feet long and very narrow, made of pine boards about a quarter of an inch thick, carefully lapped over one another, and painted a dark blue both outside and in. They are made very light, to be transported easily over the carries, and hold three persons, a guide who sits in the bow to row, a passenger in the stern with a high backboard behind him, and another in the middle seat.

“Now, boys, come up to the house!”

At the top of the knoll stood a long, two-story, unpainted frame-house, with a piazza running its entire length, on which several men sat, some reading, and others examining their guns and fishing-flies, while on the green before it three or four young men, gay in red flannel shirts, were practising firing at a target.

Several guides were clustered at the open door of a log cabin in which the hunting implements were kept, a little at one side, with three or four gaunt fox-hounds standing about them. On the outside wall of the hut fishing-nets and a dead heron dangled, besides two or three deer-skins stretched out to dry.

The presence of the neighboring hills threw the whole place into deep, cool, gray shadow, but the beams of the setting sun lighted up, almost with a rose-color, the range of the Ampersand Mountains on the other side of the clearing, and brilliant orange and rosy clouds filled the sky. At the foot of the knoll the narrow river Saranac was sleeping, dotted with pond-lilies, and the distant sounds of the cow-bells on the hills mingled with the noise of the falls or rapids at the side of the Carry beyond the house.

“Shall the boats go over the Carry, or wait till morning?” asked a guide coming up from the river-bank.

“O, either time will do,” answered Mr. Craig. “I must arrange with Bartlett about our outfit and guides to-night, to be ready for an early start.” So saying, followed by the boys, he entered the house.

The mountains were yet in deep shadow when the boys arose the next morning. Little wreaths of white mist curled up their steep sides, and a steam from the river ascended into the thin, cool morning air.

“It is a glorious day for our start,” said Harry, running down stairs to the piazza. The guides were lounging about, and a pack of hounds in a large enclosure on the other side of the river barked and yelped as they watched the approach of a man bringing them their breakfast. At the door of the guides’ house a fire was smouldering, and several of them overhauled their fishing nets as they stood around it.

Breakfast over, three guides, Sam Williams, Dan Wood, and Paul Johnson, with a couple of dogs, and followed by three boats in a long wagon, accompanied Mr. Craig and his party over the short Carry.

“Cut some brakes for the dogs’ beds, Paul, as you come along over the Carry,” said Williams, who acted as leader of the party, stalking along to the place of embarkation on the Upper Saranac Lake.

The waves danced bright and blue in the crisp wind, gently rocking the slender little boats, whose keels grated on the small beach.

Williams was a square-set, brawny fellow, in a dark flannel shirt. Each of the other guides had an English fox-hound in leash, who jumped about and whined to be off to the hunt. Tents, guns, and knapsacks were scattered about on the ground ready to be packed in the boats.

Paul Johnson, a tall, Indian-looking fellow, with the eye of a hawk, cut armful after armful of the coarse fern-like brakes, and deposited them on the shore, while Williams proceeded to arrange them in thick beds in the middle of one of the boats for the dogs to lie on. “Here Tige, come along! Don’t pull him by his ears,” he said to the guide, who was helping the dog into the boat. Tige seemed to know what was going on, and, giving a whine of satisfaction, coiled himself up quietly in the boat, and, though he kept his eyes and head up, attentively looking about, he did not move a leg for fear of tipping over the little craft in which he was lying.

“Now give me another dog,” said Williams, “and now a couple of the guns. There, that will do. Now, Dan, you get in here and take Frank Craig along with you. Here, slip in, Frank. Sit quiet in the stern and don’t rock the boat. Now be off.”

Dan gave the boat a shove, and, as she moved from the shore, sprang into the bows himself, and in a moment was rowing swiftly down the bay which the Saranac makes here, bordered on each side by dense forests of pine and maple coming down to the water’s edge.

“Now put in the tent snugly in the middle of your boat, Paul, and then Mr. Craig will go with you, and I will take Herbert and Harry with me.” Mr. Craig had been giving the boys many cautions about the use and care of their guns, and now as he left them, said, “Be sure neither of you have your guns capped in the boats.”

After a few minutes, guides, dogs, and all were safely stowed away in the boats, and were skimming up the lake to the Indian Carry.

“ ’Tis not quite so rough as it was last night coming up Round Lake,” said Frank Craig to Dan, as they moved along. “Why, off the little islands in the middle of the lake, a squall struck us, and in two minutes the white caps were so high that they sent the spray flying in our faces. For my part, I never had such a rocking and ducking before.”

“That’s a great lake for squalls,” answered Dan, “but to-day I think the water will be quiet enough here for any one.” And indeed, after they passed the point that divides the bay from the lake, long bands of still water reflected the deep green and blue of the opposite shores.

“There’s a heron,” said Dan, as a large gray bird rose slowly from the edge of the bank and flapped awkwardly over the tops of the trees into the woods. “Plenty of them here, and loons too,—only I don’t like to hear the loons laugh when I am out on a hunt, for that always brings rain, and there’s an end to deer-driving, for the dogs are no use, there’s no scent when the ground is wet. There’s a good view yonder up the lake!”

The scene was indeed lovely. High hills, densely covered with forests to their summits, sloped in long lines to the edge of the water, the trees brilliant with light, or black with shadow as the clouds chased each other above them, while the more distant mountains had every lovely hue, from rich purple to soft azure.

“There’s the Indian Carry,” said Dan, as he rounded a little point, and a small clearing on the edge of the lake a mile distant came in sight. He lifted the oars out of the rowlocks, and dipped them in the water to make them run smoother, then, replacing them, rowed vigorously for a few minutes till the keel of his boat scraped on the pebbly beach.

Another guide, who had first reached the carrying-place, had already unloaded his boat, and placed it in an ox-team to be drawn across the Carry. The men shouldered the traps, and taking the dogs by their chains, lest they should be off to the woods unawares, straggled along to the other side, over a rough, miry road, bounded by raspberry-bushes. “O, you have brought your boat along with you, have you?” said one of the boys, as Dan appeared with his boat on his shoulders, looking much like a long turtle covered with its shell.

“Yes, Frank here, though he is the youngest, thinks we may catch the first trout if we can get to Ampersand Brook before the rest of you come along to disturb the waters; but any way I didn’t want to wait till the team can go back for my boat, as it will be near on to an hour, so I have brought it myself, and can go back for the traps in half that time; so Master Frank and I will have the first chance to try our luck.”

Frank and his companion were soon launched on a smooth little pond, the first of the three Stony Ponds, and were skimming swiftly over its mirror-like surface.

“Are those pond-lilies that cover so many acres?” asked Frank.

“Yes, and here is where the deer come down to feed o’ nights. Many is the time I have heard them champing the lily-pads, when I have been through here.”

“Do you often see them in the day-time?”

“Seldom enough, except when the dogs chase them into the water; for if they catch a glimpse of a boat, they are off before one can so much as seize his gun to aim at them.”

“I should like to see one, if nothing more,” said Frank.

“Well, keep a sharp lookout, and perhaps you may.”

They now wound into a little creek, so narrow that the shores were scarcely an oar’s length from the boat, and the pond-lilies grew so thick that the keel pushed them aside as the boat moved along.

“Here are fresh deer-tracks in the mud,” said Dan, nodding his head towards the bank; and indeed there were plenty of little hoof-marks all along up and down. The silence was profound. Grassy banks bordered the creek, and a few rods back from the stream rose the tall forest-trees, their front unbroken, except where here and there a tall pine towered above the rest into the still summer air, or an occasional white skeleton of a tree, long ago scathed by fire and bleached white by the snows and rains, stood sharply out from the dark woods behind it. The stream turned and twisted, but at each bend showed only a new phase of the same solitude. Kingfishers dipped occasionally into the water, and now and then Dan left off rowing to turn aside some log that had floated across the stream.

Presently they entered another pond, covered with pond-lilies like the first, and then again passed out by a winding creek.

“Hush, Dan, I see a deer; see, quick, quick,—shoot him!” Dan turned his head, and there, not many rods up the creek, stood what looked to Frank like a large deer, gazing attentively at them. He did not move, and Dan, giving the boat a pull up to the side, pushed along under the overhanging grass. He took his rifle and snapped it,—the cap was a bad one. Frank was so excited he could hardly breathe as he kept his eye fixed on the motionless animal. The next time Dan was more successful. His aim was sure, and the creature fell. With a few oar-strokes Dan reached the spot where it lay dying. But now poor Frank’s joy at “killing a deer” was turned into grief, for the creature on the grass was a pretty little fawn, about half grown.

“I thought it was a yearling, or I would not have brought him down,” said Dan. “However, if we had not got him, some catamount would. Its mother must have been killed last night.” Frank felt very much grieved, and, even when they were well under way again, the sight of the little dead deer at the end of the boat made him look very gloomy.

“Here is the Ampersand Brook,” said Dan. “Now, Frank, for your first trout.” He pulled the boat to the shore, where a clear little mountain stream entered the last of the three ponds, at the bottom of whose pure cool waters several trout were lying under the shadow of some overhanging maples, the branches of which almost swept the water. The sunlight glanced among the trees, and every few minutes some trout would leap up and plash back into the pond, making long circles which faded slowly off into the distance.

They threw their lines, and in a few minutes Dan drew in a trout of moderate size.

“O, I have got a bite, I have got a bite!” exclaimed Frank. “No, he’s gone.”

“Keep still, and don’t jerk so hard,” said Dan. “See,” and he quivered his rod over the water, gently moving it to and fro. A little twitch, and he again drew in a fine large fellow, which he threw flapping on the grass. Frank now felt a little movement at the end of his line, and presently jerked out a little trout about ten inches long.

“I never knew they were so pretty,” said he, examining the bright gold and vermilion spots on its sides; “and how dark its back is, like steel!”

“That’s because it has been in a cool, shady spot,” said Dan. “When they are out in the sunlight, or on a shallow bank, they are pale and dim-looking.”

Dan and Frank kept on fishing in silence for some time, till a splashing of oars warned them of the approach of the rest of the party.

“Hallo!” cried Sam Williams, in his deep base voice, “what luck?”

“A dozen pretty good-sized ones,” answered Dan. “We had better be going now,” and he cut a long twig, and strung the fish on it.

“We’ll stop up yonder a little way for dinner,” called out Williams to Dan,—“there on the point where the creek joins Racket River”;—and very soon he and the boys who were with him had moored their boat on a little beach, at the head of which a deserted camp told of recent occupancy.

By the time Dan and his companion had landed, Williams and the boy had collected sticks for a fire and laid them over the ashes of a former one at the foot of a tall old pine-tree, whose side was burnt and charred a good way up, from being used as a chimney. A hollow at its root formed a good hearth and fireplace.

“Now for your fish and venison!” said Williams; and as by this time the rest of the party had arrived, the dark, still scene was enlivened by the bright-colored shirts of men and boys, and the fragrance of roses, and the many forest smells were mixed with that of frying meat and the smoke of the wood-fire. A cool, bubbling spring furnished them with the purest water, and while the dinner was cooling the boys strolled along the shore, picking raspberries, and watching a flock of black ducks flap and swim, rushing frantically up the river.

“Let’s have a shot at them, only it’s no good, they are so far off,” said one of the boys.

“No good for food,” said Henry. “Sam Williams says they are tough and taste strong. So we’ll let ’em flap.”

“See these light scarlet flowers; what are they?” asked Frank.

“Cardinal-flowers, called here the Indian Plume.” At the edge of the water they glowed like flakes of fire in the cool shadows, and then there were the delicate purple “Queen of the Meadow,” and a little farther up the bank the red bunches of the cornel, and checkerberry, with its dark, shining, myrtle-like leaves, and tufts of delicate ferns without number.

“See that kingfisher,—how he wheels up so high in the air!” exclaimed Harry. “Strange that they can see the fish so well from such a distance!”

Dinner over, the party was soon gliding up the stream.

“The deer have been at work here, and not many hours ago!” said Dan, pointing to a broad shallow or slew, where the cropped stems of underbrush were mingled with broken lilies, yellow and white, and the red undersides of the lily-pads.

Flat, grassy fields, dotted with clumps of maple and elms, which thickly bordered the edge of the river, were quivering with light. Now and then, at a turn, a high hill, glowing with the richest forest, came almost to its edge, or the vista opening wider showed a soft blue distant peak. The scenery was park-like in its character, and, as the afternoon sunlight streamed down green glades, it seemed as if a gentleman’s country-house must stand at its head, or a group of boys or girls come down the sun-flecked avenue. Frank, as they rowed along, thought of Hawthorne’s description of the Assabet River.

“A more lovely stream than this has never flowed on earth,—nowhere, indeed, except to lave the interior regions of a poet’s imagination. It is sheltered from the breeze by woods and a hillside; so that elsewhere there might be a hurricane, and here scarcely a ripple across the shaded water. The current lingers along so gently that the mere force of the boatman’s will seems sufficient to propel his craft against it. It comes flowing softly through the midmost privacy and deepest heart of a wood, which whispers it to be quiet; while the stream whispers back again from its sedgy borders, as if river and wood were hushing one another to sleep. Yes; the river sleeps along its course, and dreams of the sky and of the clustering foliage, amid which fall showers of holier sunlight, imparting specks of vivid cheerfulness, in contrast with the quiet depth of the prevailing tint. Of all this scene, the slumbering river has a dream-picture in its bosom.”

At one of these glades Sam Williams had landed, and, calling in the other boats as they came along, told them that here he meant to have a “Drive.” All three boats were drawn up along the shore. The dogs jumped about delighted, as Sam Williams held them by their chains. “Now be off!” said he, unloosening their collars. At a bound they cleared the bushes and ran yelping into the woods. In a few minutes they returned, and again were started off, this time up the glade a little higher. They nosed the ground and smelt into the underbrush, and then were out of sight, lost in the forest.

“They have got a scent, I think,” said Sam Williams. “Take to your boats now, boys,”—and, stationed in their craft at wide intervals, the guides watched the shores. Not a sound was heard. Occasionally a bird crossed the sky, and once a large eagle soared over their heads, very high up in the air. The minutes passed slowly. The boys, eager with expectation, carefully examined their gunlocks.

“It seems to me they never will come!” said Harry to Sam Williams, when they had been attentively listening for some time.

“Wait a while, and we’ll see,” answered the guide.

Again they listened.

“Hark! What is that?” asked Herbert, as a faint sound disturbed the quiet. After a minute the distinct cry of a hound was heard, followed by another and another, as the dogs came nearer, till all at once a rush was made through the crackling underbrush, and a tall buck followed by the dogs dashed into the river. Seeing one of the boats, he made vigorously for the opposite shore, but as he passed some overhanging bushes, “Crack!” came a shot from a boat hid in them. The deer gave a spring in the water, and then commenced sinking, but in a twinkling the boat was alongside of him, and he was dragged to the shore. With one cut of the wood-knife in his throat, Paul Johnson laid him still among the brakes.

“Whose shot was that!” exclaimed the boys, “was it yours, sir?” they called to Mr. Craig.

Mr. Craig shook his head and laughed, and pointed to his guide.

The deer proved to be a fine large one, with five prongs to his antlers, showing him to be six years old. He was soon placed in the bottom of a boat, lying on some grass and fern.

The afternoon was now well advanced, and the golden light lay in long bands across the stream.

“Shall we have another ‘Drive’ to-day?” asked one.

“No, I think not,” said Williams. “We are nearly an hour yet from our camping-ground at Racket Falls, and it will be best to get the tents pitched before nightfall, especially as I think we may ‘float for deer’ by and by.”

Before sunset they were enjoying the comfortable warmth of a good camp-fire at the foot of three tall pine-trees, which stood on a little headland at the end of the clearing at Racket Falls. The tent was pitched, and the venison was soon toasting or frying. The boys put away their traps in the tent to keep them from the dew, and collected about the blaze to escape the cool, chilly air. At their feet the Racket flowed swiftly along, speckled with foam, from the falls above, whose noise was mingled pleasantly with the sighing of the pines over their heads.

“Paul Johnson, go up to the house at the Carry and get some milk and butter, will you?” said Sam Williams; and Mr. Craig and one of the boys volunteered to accompany him.

Stumbling over a broken corduroy road that skirted the clearing, after a few rods a little log cottage came into view, gray against the background of pines and maples, which the coming twilight had blent into one uniform black mass. The house was small, with many of the appurtenances of living in the open space before it. A huge iron pot, swung on a pole over an extinguished fire, hung between a forked stick at one end and an old log at the other. A rough smoke-house, made of large pieces of bark, stood near, with a dog-kennel of like material, at the entrance of which a large hound whined and barked as he saw the new-comers. Under some bushes was a spring, stoned round and covered with a little roof of bark.

Frank went down to the spring to get a drink, and found a couple of tin pails swung across it on a stick, in which trout and venison were kept cool in the water, as cold as ice. Behind the house a rough log barn and pig-pen completed the group of buildings.

As they lifted the wooden latch to enter the house, great was the commotion inside. The large, rude kitchen was filled by a couple of parties who had just arrived with half a dozen guides.

A middle-aged man and three or four youths were talking German, and a sick lady with her husband and friend were warming themselves by a stove which stood in the middle of the room, while the guides were bringing in and hanging on pegs in the timbers at the top of the room heaps of rubber-coats and blankets, tents and baggage; and those of them who had got their work done were sitting on a bench behind a long table at the end of the room, cleaning their guns, and rubbing whatever of their wares might have collected any dampness. Guns and fishing-rods stood about in the corners of the room, or lay on cross pieces fixed to the timbers overhead, and deers’ horns here and there served for hooks for nets.

The guide got the milk and butter, and by the time they were at the camp again supper was ready and soon eaten by the hungry party. The stars were shining brightly, and a cool breeze swept the camp, causing the party to gather closer round the large fire, which crackled and burned briskly, lighting up the forms of all who were near it, and making the surrounding woods seem the darker and gloomier.

“What do you say, boys, to a ‘deer-float’?” asked Mr. Craig. “Sam Williams says, if we wish it, this is the very night to go,—dark and still; and the deer will soon be out, as they feed after twilight and before dawn chiefly.”

“O, of all things!” answered all the boys at once.

“Then get yourselves ready,” said Mr. Craig, “and put on your thickest clothes, for it will be cold enough before you get back.”

The guides rubbed and prepared the “Jacks,” or lanterns, which they always use, and which are made of birch-bark bent into a half-circle, with a wooden top and bottom, with one side left open for a glass. Within this little box oil-lamps are fastened, and the whole is supported by a long stick which is stuck in the prow of the boat.

The boats were now carried down the bank, where they had been placed bottom upwards to dry, and soon a guide was seated in the stern of each boat to paddle,—Harry and Herbert in the bow, behind the Jack, and Frank in the middle seat of one boat to watch and may be help.

By this time the night was intensely dark, for the tall trees on each side of the river shut off the little light made by the stars. “Just the right night for a hunt!” said Sam Williams to Harry, whom he had taken in the boat with him. “Wrap your blanket well round your knees.”

Two boats only started, leaving Mr. Craig and Paul Johnson to look after the camp while the rest were away. The boats moved down the stream, without a ripple being made by the paddle, which was not raised in the water, but noiselessly worked to and fro. The light from the Jacks lit up here a dead tree-trunk, swung half across the stream, and there, as it fell on the banks, started out from the uniform darkness, as if by enchantment, a delicate birch or clump of maple, or, falling on the shores, disclosed a world of beauty in ferns and lilies.

Soon the woods opened a little, and showed a low bank, sloping gently into the water, which was reedy and covered with lily-pads. Sam, by varying the direction of the boat, threw the flash of the lantern up and down the slew, motioning to Harry to keep perfectly still. Not a sound was heard. The boat stopped paddling, and merely drifted with the current. Total darkness surrounded them save when the dancing gleam from the Jack lighted up the trees, grass, and lilies in the slew. The guide held the boat still. Now there was a little rustling in the underbrush, and soon a champing sound began, as of a creature feeding. Sam threw the light a little higher up, and suddenly two bright spots shone out against a tree. They were the eyes of an animal suddenly startled and dazzled, gazing at the light. Sam seized his gun and fired. Instantly the boat was shot up a little channel into the slew.

“We will have him before he can sink, even if the water were deep, but it is not,” said Sam Williams. As soon as they touched the shore, he sprang out, and, drawing his wood-knife, quickly despatched a fine doe.

“How is this?” said he, hearing a noise close by them. It was a little fawn, who stood quietly eying them, as unconcerned as a dog could have been. Sam Williams took the creature in his arms. “We’ll take it back to camp,” said he; “it will be a pretty pet to have.”

“A lot of venison and a live fawn! Hurrah!” exclaimed Harry. “Pretty well for our first ‘float.’ ”

“We’ll have to let the others try for the rest,” said Sam Williams, “for I think we have load enough now.”

While they were at this slew, the other boat, with Dan Wood and Herbert and Frank, had passed them in the darkness going farther down the stream.

“What in thunder is that?” asked Frank as a “Hoo, hooo, hooooo!” broke out of the stillness.

“Nothing but an owl. If you stay in the woods long enough, you will have a chance to hear a wild-cat, which cries like a baby,—and may be a wolf, though these last are not as common as they used to be. But be still now.”

They all sat in shadow behind the Jack, floating noiselessly. A slew was close by, and a pulling and puffing noise came from it. Dan threw the lantern light about, at the same time seizing his gun and cocking it. A moving mass passed the band of light. “Zip, bang!” A loud whistling was heard, and afterwards a crashing of boughs, and then entire stillness.

“How provoking!” said Frank, seeing the guide begin to paddle away vigorously.

“O, we’ll have one yet,” said Dan.

The next time their luck was better, and before midnight they were at the camp with a fine deer in the boat, with a hole in him from Frank’s gun as well as the guide’s.

The camp fire was brightened up to warm the voyagers, who came in chilly and stiff from their cramped position in the boats. The weather had now become cloudy, and the wind began to sigh and moan in the tree-tops. When they were all comfortable, the fire was newly raked up, the boys, wrapped in their blankets, crept into their hemlock beds in the tent, and the guides, rolled in theirs, lay on the ground with the heels of their boots resting in the ashes. The dogs were long ago asleep, and soon the camp was hushed, with only an occasional cry of the owl to vary the sounds of the wind.

Patter! patter! drip! drip! came down the rain on to the tent the next morning when the party opened their eyes.

“We can’t go back on such a day as this, I suppose,” said Harry, as he stood at the door of his tent, examining the sky.

“We’ll get breakfast first, and then see,” answered Sam Williams. “Come, boys, let’s brighten up the fire!”

The blaze soon crackled and hissed as the rain fell into it, but it got the better of the storm, and soon venison-steak, fried trout, and a mug of hot coffee were ready for each of the party.

After breakfast the shower held up a little, and the boys thought it was going to clear, but Sam Williams shook his head. “We can get under the rubber blankets,” said he, “and keep dry. We have got a pretty good number of deer, and it’s little use our remaining.”

The boys put on their blankets, sticking their heads through holes cut in the middle of them, and pulled their hats close down over their ears. The dogs were cuddled up in the middle of one boat, and the little fawn, with all four legs tied up, was put in another, the traps and venison being stowed away among the three boats.

“How wet and dirty it is!” said Frank, as the rain ran down his India-rubber cloth in little rivulets, wetting the bottom and sides of the boat, and standing in pools between the stay-pieces.

One shower passed after another, and the guides’ hands and faces grew red as the wind and rain blew in them. Great drops of water were shaken from the trees and fell into the river, whose surface was smooth and dull as oil. Hour after hour the guides pulled away at the oars, stopping to make the portage at Indian Carry.

“Good! there’s Bartlett’s Landing,” exclaimed Harry, after sitting silently watching the shores for some time. The dogs whined, and the guides fired their guns to give notice of their approach.

At length they reached the shore, and the boys, cramped and stiff, hobbled and hopped over the Carry till they were in a few minutes beside a roaring fire at Bartlett’s, their wet clothes hanging up to dry, and the prospect of a warm dinner and dry stockings making them glad that they had deferred a longer camp till the weather should clear away.

Susan N. Carter.



At half past four o’clock the men came in with their guns on their shoulders, and set them up in the corner of the room. Attracted by the sight, the children (who were quite sure to be present when least wanted) came crowding into the room, and began to finger the guns, causing Mrs. Bryant to exclaim, in sharp tones, “Let those guns alone, can’t you! You’ll be shot! Mr. Bryant, do see to that girl,—as I live, crawling up on those guns!”

Bryant took the child, which didn’t mend matters much, as she instantly began to scream with all her might.

“Sarah Jane Bryant, do you take that child, this minute, and get out of the house every soul of you! And do you stay till we are done supper, and you shall have some sweet-cake.”

In the course of half an hour, hearing the child crying bitterly, Mrs. Bryant looked out; there it was, its clothes hitched to a stump, screaming and struggling to reach the rest of the children, who were so engaged in their original employment as to be entirely regardless of its screams.

Some of them were lying flat upon the ground, and, with sticks for guns, were taking aim at one who was picking ivory plums; another, with a stick broken across to represent a tomahawk, was crawling up behind the screaming child. They had painted each other’s faces with clay from the brook and smut from a stump, in black and blue stripes. Tim Cloutman, his head ornamented with a cock’s tail-feathers, had thrown Abigail on the ground, where she lay as though dead, while he, his left hand twisted in her hair and his knee on her back, was, with a case-knife, going through the operation of scalping her, doing his best meanwhile to imitate the scalp yell.

Stepping back, Mrs. Bryant beckoned to Mrs. Cloutman, who sat nearest the door, and bade her look.

“They have learned that from hearing us talk.”

“God grant it be not a forerunner,” was the reply.

The children’s sport was cut short by the shrill voice of the mother: “Sarah Jane Bryant, what upon earth are you doing? Don’t you hear that child, you good-for-nothing jade, you!”

“O ma’am!” replied Sarah Jane, “we are playing Indian.”

“I’ll Indian you, if you don’t take care of that child! Here, give her to me. Now” (throwing them a cloth) “go straight to the brook and wash yourselves! Pretty pickle you are in,—and company in the house.”

Clutching the cloth they ran to the brook, only to put on infinitely more dirt than they took off.

“Now supper is ready,” said Mrs. Bryant, “but where are the folks? Where is William McLellan and my Stephen? Mrs. Cloutman, what has become of your man? He was here a minute ago.”

Going to the door to call them, she found William and her son engaged in throwing the tomahawk, while Cloutman was sitting on a log looking at them. They had hewed a flat place on the side of a pine-tree, and marked an Indian’s head on it with a piece of charcoal, and were trying to hit it. William hit it every time; but young Bryant, who was learning, could not half of the time hit the tree, and when he did, he hit the handle or poll of the hatchet instead of the edge, so that it fell down without sticking in.

“I don’t see how you do that, Bill,” said Cloutman. “I don’t believe I could do half so well as Bryant.”

“You see it’s all practice, Mr. Cloutman,” replied William. “I can shoot an arrow or fling a tomahawk as well as any Indian between here and Canada, though they are bred and born to it, as it were. You see a tomahawk will make so many turns in going such a distance; at so many paces it will strike with the handle down, at so many with the handle up. At first you must pace off the distance, but after a while you will get so as to measure it with your eye; you know there is a good deal of judgment to be used in shooting with a rifle as to distance. It is a good deal like that.”

“I wish,” said Cloutman, as he came in, “I was as good with a gun as I think Billy will be if he lives. If the Indians know their own interest, they will kill him as soon as they can. He’ll make some of their heads ache if he comes to be a man.”

Indeed, if there is any truth in the old proverb, that practice makes perfect, this prediction was in a fair way to be verified, since from the time the boy was seven years old, when, with an old hoop for a bow and a piece of mullein-stalk for an arrow, he made a target of the oven door, he had practised incessantly, either with the bow or the gun, and latterly had killed nearly all the meat the family had consumed. He had also kept himself in powder and lead by trapping beaver.

The supper being now on the table, all were invited (in the phrase of the day) to “sit along and partake of such as we have.” After grace had been said by Hugh, they all fell to with right good-will.

Bryant was in good circumstances for these times. Not having to buy his land, as he was the son of one of the Narragansett soldiers, he had been able to stock his farm and hire some help in clearing it, and to raise all the essentials of life in abundance. Bryant’s furniture was much better than Hugh’s, who indeed could be scarcely said to have any worth the name, and that little had been all made by himself, whereas Bryant’s had been brought from Massachusetts. Instead of a cross-legged table, he had one with leaves; instead of stools, “boughten” chairs with bottoms of basket-work. Mrs. Bryant had a hair sieve, a case of drawers, a brass kettle, and an iron mortar, while Elizabeth’s mortar was only a rock-maple stump. Yet Bryant treated McLellan with great deference, and often sought his advice, both out of respect to his character and his position as an elder in the church,—perhaps also from a secret consciousness that, with all his disadvantages at the start, he was the better man of the two, rapidly overcoming the distance between them, and would eventually outstrip him in the race for competence.

The food and the furniture of the table were quite different from those in style at the present day. The table-cloth was of fine linen, figured and woven by Mrs. Bryant’s own hands; the plates, or, as they were then called, trenchers, were square pieces of wood dug out, and at least not liable to dull the knives. Mrs. Bryant rejoiced in a china cup and saucer, of very small size, and quite beautiful, which was an heirloom, and given her by her grandmother, who brought it from England. As for her company, she having sent them word that she was to have tea, they had brought cups and saucers and spoons with them, as she had not enough for so many. The sugar-bowl was of pewter, and filled with maple-sugar. In the centre of the table, in a tin dish, was an enormous chicken-pie, upon which Mrs. Bryant, who was proud of her cookery, (as what good housewife is not?) had exerted all her skill. The crust was rich and flaky, of home-made wheat flour, which Mrs. Bryant had sifted as fine as could be, with plenty of butter rolled into it; there were several circles, beginning at a little distance from the edge, and growing smaller and smaller as they approached the centre, all made of pastry. In the centre was a round hole through which the gravy most invitingly oozed, emitting a savory steam, that made Bose, who had come without invitation, lick his chaps so as to be heard all over the room. The space between the edge of the dish and the first circle was filled with ornamental figures, which the good housewife had made with a trunk key before baking. She then rolled out some dough, and cut out some stars and hearts, and put them into the second row, first a heart and then a star, and so on; then she took an acorn that had the cup on it, and pressed it into the dough all round the last row, and then put her completed work into the oven for baking. The pie was flanked by a custard pudding, some boiled pork, and a large dish of potatoes, which in that day were almost as great a rarity as oranges. In addition to this, there were loaves of Indian bread, and plates of butter, and a great bowl of stewed cranberries, sweetened with maple-sugar, which are as good and fashionable now as they were then. The piles of provisions rapidly disappeared before these “valiant trenchermen,” the pork and potatoes first, then the chicken-pie and the pudding.

The dishes being removed, Mr. Bryant placed on the table some pewter tankards and a gallon of milk-punch in a large wooden bowl made out of beech and beautifully turned and ornamented on the outside with figures. “His Majesty’s health, God bless him!” was then drunk, after which many compliments were paid to Mrs. Bryant for her cookery, which she received with evident pleasure, but due humility, saying by way of reply, “that she knew it was not just the time to have company, when they were so much pressed with work and danger at the door; but still she and William felt that it would be pleasant for the old neighbors, who had suffered so much hardship together, to meet sociably once more before they went into garrison, as it could never seem so homelike there.”

“What do you think about going into garrison, neighbors?” said Bryant. “I don’t know but we are running too much risk; half of the families have fled, and the rest are all in the fort but us. The Captain was at my house this morning; he says that he knows the Indians will be here soon, and thinks they are not far off now.”

“He was down at our house,” said Hugh, “urging me to go. But we might, as I told him, as well be killed by the Indians, as go into the fort with nothing in the ground, and starve to death after we get there.”

“It is just as the Elder says,” observed Cloutman. “A man can do more in one day on his place when he and his family are living on it, than he can in two when he is half a mile off. It is high time the grain was in, and I am inclined, since we have already risked so much, to stay out till we get the grain in and the fences up.”

“I,” said Reed, “have got everything done except harrowing in a piece of grain; I could go in to-morrow, but I sha’n’t go and leave the rest out. I will help you get your work along, and we will all go in together.”

“I know a good deal about Indians,” said Cloutman, “and I think some of ’em know me; therefore I may say, without fear of being thought a coward, that they are a terrible enemy. They will creep through the woods with no more noise than a fish in the water; they will track any one they are after, I sometimes think, like a hound, by the scent. Though they have no great patience to besiege a place, there is no end to the patience with which they will dog a man till they run him down. When we are at war with them, no man can be sure, at any hour of the day or night, that he is not covered by an Indian’s rifle, or that they are not prowling around his dwelling. I suspect that they have some scores to settle with me that they will try to square up before this war is over. When I tended the old mill, at the lower falls, in 1741, an Indian got into the mill while I was gone to supper, and lay down behind the logs. Just before twelve o’clock, as I was setting the log, he pulled trigger at me, but his gun missed. I flung the crowbar with which I was setting the log at him, and knocked him down. Then I set the saw going, and put him on the log, and held him there till I split him in two, and flung the halves down the saw-pit. They never forget anything, and I think the sooner we can finish our work and get into the fort, the better. I haven’t been used to think or care whether they had a grudge against me or not; but since I have got this woman and little boy,” (laying his hand kindly upon his wife’s knee,) “I feel different.”

“O Edward!” said his wife, “don’t stay out another day! It is better to be safe, if you do have to work at a little disadvantage.”

“I think as much,” said Bryant.

“But, William,” replied his wife, “I can’t get along in the fort without a cradle for this babe, and, if you will take a day and make one, I will risk my scalp a day longer.”

“These are troublous times, neighbors,” said Hugh, “and should teach us our dependence. When we part, we know not that we shall ever meet again. Shall we have a word of prayer before we separate?”

“With all my heart,” replied Bryant; and these iron men, with their wives and little ones, knelt reverently together before God.

The leave-taking occupied some time, as the women had a great many last words to say, and every one must needs kiss the baby. In the mean time the children, who were but seldom in each other’s company through fear of the savages, began to anticipate the pleasure of being in garrison.

“Won’t we have such a nice time!” said John Reed. “The stockade will keep off all the wind, and we can have our plays right under the lee of it in the warm sunshine. I seed it when they were building it, and I went up to carry father’s dinner,—mother and me.”

“Yes,” said Tim Cloutman, “and there will be such a heap of boys there!—me, and John Reed, and Joe Harvey, and the Hamblens, and Jim Mosier, and Johnnie Watson, and the Bryants and McLellans. Won’t it be nice?”

“They have got a drum up to the fort, and a flag-staff,—O just as high!—and a color. They are going to have the gun fired every night and morning,—my mother said so,—and it will scare the Indians awful, and they’ll run clear to Canada.”

“I seed them fire it one time,” said Steve Bryant. “First it went fizz, fizz, and then bang! O my! what a noise!”

“Well,” chimed in John Reed, “we can’t have any chance to go fishing, or drown out woodchucks, or get beech-nuts or acorns.”

“What of that?” replied Tim. “They won’t let me go now, because they say there’s Indians round, and when they ain’t round and I want to go beech-nutting or acorning, then they say that the bears are out beech-nutting and acorning. I’m sure I had rather be in the fort, where there ain’t any bears nor acorns either.”

“Besides,” said Abigail, “up at the fort are the nicest great large chips and blocks that the men cut off. We can build the nicest baby-houses, and have our babies in them; and when Mrs. Bryant’s little baby gets big enough, we will have that out there, and build a little house to put it in, and have our tame crow out there too. Jim Mosier has got a little kitten.”

“Baby-houses!” broke in the martial Tim. “Who cares for baby-houses? We’ll have bows and arrows and guns, and build forts, and play French and English, have battles, and lick the Frenchmans,” cried Tim, doubling both his fists in a heat of warlike excitement. Tim was eight years old.

Just as they set out, they heard in the woods behind the house the screams of a blue-jay,—a sound too common at that season of the year to attract much notice. Cloutman merely said, “There’s a fellow, Bill, that will be wanting to pull up our corn one of these days.”

The sun was still about half an hour high, and they separated thus early on account of Indians, and because they had cows to milk before dark. Bose had already gone home to get up the cows.

They had passed over about a third of the distance between Bryant’s and the spot where they were to separate from Cloutman, when a fir-bush, growing on the edge of the path behind them, began to wave, although there was not a breath of wind. At length from beneath its very roots appeared the glaring eyeballs and grim features of a savage in his war-paint, the rest of his body concealed by the roots of the bush and a heap of brush that lay around them. The subtle savages, uniting their strength, had pulled up the tree by the roots, with all the moss and earth adhering to it. After digging out the soft earth beneath with their hands, they had placed their comrade in the cavity thus formed, and replaced the tree, covering the whole with moss and brush so artfully that it had all the appearance of a growing tree. A little farther on the party came to a hollow log, the end of which protruded into the footpath; across the end of this log Abigail caught her clothes so firmly that her father was obliged to stop and disentangle them. But no sooner had they passed on out of ear-shot than from this very log crept a savage, armed with knife and tomahawk. The two savages, with a passage as noiseless as that of a bird, withdrew to the recesses of the forest, where they were joined by two others, who, like themselves, seemed to have sprung from the ground or fallen from the clouds. The screams of the jay now ceased, the voices of the settlers died away in the distance, the savages retired still farther into the forest, and no sound was heard save the low moan of the night-wind through the wilderness.

The Indians at this time obtained more from the English for the ransom of prisoners, than the bounty given by the French for English scalps; hence, except when they had some grudge to satisfy, or when the captives were wounded and therefore unable to sustain the fatigue of a journey to Canada, or were children and too young to travel, or when they themselves were pursued and could carry the scalps easier than the captives, they seldom took life, if they could without too great risk to themselves take prisoners. It was also Indian law that the captives belonged to the one who seized them first. Hence it was often the case that one savage would seek to kill another’s prisoner, if he had against him any personal enmity; then the captor would defend his prisoner, and sometimes bury his knife in the breast of the other, not out of any feeling of compassion for the captive, but because he did not wish to lose his ransom. The Indians had found out that the party were at Bryant’s, and had determined, if they were returning home unarmed, to ambush and rush upon them with knife and tomahawk, kill and scalp the children, and take the men and women prisoners. To this end they had pushed over a dead tree full of limbs that stood just ready to fall beside the path, that, while the men were occupied in removing it for the women and children to pass, they could spring upon them with advantage. They had therefore placed the Beaver, who, as being but a boy, was quite useless in a grapple with men, in the top of a large hemlock that commanded a view of Bryant’s door, with orders, if the party were armed, to give the scream of a blue-jay.

As this proved to be the case, the Indians—who had a wholesome dread of the settlers’ rifles, and especially of Cloutman, who, in addition to being extremely skilful with the rifle, weighed two hundred and twenty pounds, was in the prime of life, and of such strength that he could crush a walnut between his thumbs and a plank, and once carried nine bushels of potatoes in a bed-sack—determined to let them pass unmolested, and wait with Indian patience for a better opportunity.

Upon Friday night, the 18th of April (old style), 1746, the McLellan family, the day’s work being ended, were all in the house. Hugh was sitting in the door, in order that he might have all the fast-fading daylight for his work. Calling to William, he told him to take the pails and go to the spring and get a supply of water for the night.

The path to the spring was waylaid by Indians, who were in ambush behind the house, and who, as they afterwards said, could have touched him with their hands. They suffered him to pass unmolested, because they hoped when it became dusk to surprise the whole family. Many of them were the same Indians who had lived among the settlers, and knew their habits; with these were some Canada Indians and a few Penobscots.

They knew that, in consequence of the log-house being dark, the family were accustomed when it was pleasant to sit with the door open till they went to bed, which was soon after dark, and then bar it for the night. Their plan was, as soon as it grew dusk, to steal around the corner of the house, and, before the door was barred, rush in. They would probably have succeeded, and surprised and overpowered Hugh, who was busily at work, before he could have reached his gun, which hung on hooks over the fireplace; but their plan was frustrated by Bose, who, when he was ordered out doors for the night, went out before the door, stretched himself, and, snuffing the air, ran back into the house growling and showing his teeth.

“Indians!” exclaimed Hugh, shoving back his bench, shutting the door, and thrusting the awl he was at work with over the wooden latch.

In another moment William supplied a more efficient fastening by putting the handle of a broken skillet into an inch auger-hole that was bored for that purpose in the post above it. They then put in the additional bars provided for the purpose. They had a milk-pan full of powder, four guns, and plenty of lead, but it was not in balls. Elizabeth hung up a blanket before the fire, to keep the light from being seen outside, and went to melting lead in a skillet, and running bullets with an iron spoon, while Hugh and William lay at the loop-holes with two guns apiece. But the night passed away without further alarm, the Indians having relinquished their attempt.

At sunrise they ate their breakfast, resolved to finish their work that day, and go into the fort the next morning. Just as they were about to start for the field, John Reed came to the door.

“Good morning, Elder.”

“Good morning, John.”

“I came down to see if you would lend me a chain.”

“Yes, there it is in the crotch of that tree.”

“I want to harrow my grain in and go into garrison to-morrow.”

“We had a little bit of a scare last night,” said Hugh.

“Did you see any Indians?”

“No; but just as we were going to bed Bose all at once ran into the house, and growled and stuck up his back, as he always does, when there are Indians round. He always did hate an Indian. We fastened the house and kept watch, but saw and heard nothing more, and there are no tracks around the house. I think he smelt some wild creature. But William and his mother, who have noticed the dog’s ways more than I have, are positive that it was Indians.”

“I have not seen any Indian sign,” said Reed, “and I have been in the woods a good deal, and I don’t think there are any round; though, as Ed Cloutman said the other night, they are a critter to be felt before they are seen, and it seems a clear tempting of Providence to stay out any longer.”

“Well, Mr. Reed,” said William, “I’ve had that dog ever since he was a pup, and I’ve hunted with him months, and I may say years; I ought to know his ways by this time. Now he always hated an Indian, and before the war, when they used to be in and out of the house every day, and came to the door to grind their knives and tomahawks, he would have torn them in pieces if we would have let him. But after we beat him for it, when he smelt one of them coming he’d stick up his bristly hair and growl, and put his tail between his legs, and go off growling into the house, and get under the bed or the table and lie there and snarl till they were gone. He did just so last night, didn’t he, mother?”

“Yes,” she replied, “and was uneasy for an hour, and then gave it up and went to sleep.”

“Now,” continued William, whose education in the woods had made him a real hunter, and who found a fruitful theme whenever he touched upon the good qualities of his dog, “it stands to reason it was Indians. If it had been a moose, or a bear, or a catamount, his tail wouldn’t have been between his legs, I can tell you; but his tail would have been right up. Instead of growling, he would have begun to whine and jump up on me, and kiss me, and have gone and looked up to the gun, and barked, and tried to coax me to go after it, whatever it was. Now Bose don’t know we are at war with the Indians, and he thought if he barked he should be whipped, because we used to whip him when he barked at them, and so he showed his spite in all the way he dared to.”

“Well,” replied Reed, “I am hindering you and myself too. Mrs. McLellan, I’ll thank you for a drink of milk.”

He drank the milk, and, throwing the chain over his back, started for home. The milk made him dry, and when he came to the brook he flung the chain from his shoulder, and, putting down a piece of bark at the edge of the water to keep himself from the clay, spread out his hands on either side, and laid his breast on the bark to drink. Two Indians instantly threw themselves upon him, and, forcing his head and face into the water, mastered him. Forcing his hands behind his back, they bound them with thongs of deer-hide, and then helped him to rise.

As soon as he had regained his breath, and blown the mud and water from his nose and mouth, he exclaimed to one of the savages whom he knew: “What a mean, cowardly way that is to set upon a man! Let me loose, and if I don’t handle you both I will go with you of my own accord!”

“Indian no such big fool,” was the reply. “Reed very strong man; Indian hold him fast.”

Reed administered a kick to the savage who stood before him, that sent him backward into the brook, which was running even with the banks. The other savage laughed at this, and, laying his hand upon his shoulder, said, “Come.” Reed, well knowing that any hesitation would be followed by a blow of the tomahawk, sullenly obeyed. They took him through the woods, over his own land, and as they went he could hear the voice of William McLellan driving his oxen, but, as the Indians had taken the precaution to gag him, could give no alarm. Indeed, these Indians had started for Hugh’s, but, hearing the click of the chain on Reed’s shoulder, they gave up that part of their plan, and, concealing themselves, fell upon him.

The Indians were very reluctant to fire a gun if they could kill or capture without, fearing to alarm the garrison. A band of scouts, with whom were three Saco Indians, had come from Saco the afternoon before, on their way to Windham, but had left that morning at daylight; whereas the Indians thought they were still at hand, and were fearful of bringing this large force upon them, especially as the friendly Indians who were with them could follow their trail. They were anxious to take Cloutman, and to obtain his rifle, which was an excellent one, as they well knew; and as for the Bryants, they hated them, and had many injuries to revenge upon them. Their antipathy to the Bryants was not only of long standing, as his ancestors were engaged in Philip’s war, and had inflicted much injury upon the Indians, but it partook of a personal character, as in time of peace they had uniformly treated them with harshness, and refused to give to them when it was in their power. But the day of reckoning had come, and the savage of all beings on earth was the least likely to be slack in repaying injuries.

Elijah Kellogg.


There were once two beggar children, named Paul and Nora. Paul was ugly and cross, but Nora was so sweet-tempered that nothing could make her speak an unkind word. She had beautiful eyes, and her hair was of a golden brown. These children had no home, and not a single friend in the world. On pleasant nights they slept in a market-cart; but if it was rainy, they crept underneath. It was their business to wander about the city, begging whatever they could.

One day Paul found an old basket with the handle gone. “Now,” said he, “we will go into the bone business.”

“And then won’t you beat me any more?” said Nora.

“Not if you mind me,” said Paul, “and beg something nice for me every day. What have you got there?”

Nora showed him some bits of bread, dry cake, a chicken-bone, and a bunch of grapes, which an old gentleman had given her, because her eyelashes were like those of his dear little grandchild who had died years before.

“Why didn’t you get more grapes?” said Paul. “I could eat twenty times as many. Here, you may have three, and the whole of that chicken-bone.”

Nora threw her arms about his neck, and said, “O Paul, how good it is to have a brother! If I didn’t have you, I shouldn’t have anybody.”

That night they crept under the cart, for it was rainy. But first they covered the ground with some old straw. “How good it is to have a cart over us,” said Nora, “and straw to sleep on!” But Paul bade her stop talking, for he was tired.

After he was asleep, Nora crept out to pay a visit to her window. She called it her window. It was on the back piazza of a nice house. The curtains hung apart a little, leaving a crack; and every night she paid a visit here to watch the undressing and putting to bed of a little girl.

She could see the laughing face, as it peeped through the long, white nightgown, and the rosy little toes, as they came out of their stockings. She could see the little girl’s arms, holding tight around the mother’s neck, and the mother’s arms, holding tight her little girl. She could also both see and hear the kisses, and, by putting her ear close to the window, could sometimes catch the very words of the evening hymn. Nothing seemed to her half as beautiful as this, for it was the only singing she had ever heard.

But on this particular night she dared not stay long at the window, for Paul had said they must start out of the city by daybreak to look for bones, and had bade her go to sleep early. She only waited to see the little girl’s hair brushed, and then to see her spat the water about in the washbowl.

After creeping under the cart, where Paul was sleeping, she put out her hands to catch the rain-drops, and washed her face. Molly, the ragpicker, had given her an old comb she had found in a dirt-barrel, and a faded handkerchief. For these she had given a bit of cake. To be sure the cake was dry, and required a stone to break it; but it contained two plums, and when Molly made the trade she was thinking of her little lame boy at home. And so Nora sat up in the straw and combed out her pretty hair. It was long, for there was no one to cut it, and of a most lovely color. To tell the truth, there was not a child in all the street whose hair was half as beautiful.

“I cannot be undressed,” she thought, “because I have no night-clothes, and I cannot be kissed or sung to sleep, because I have only Paul. And Paul, he couldn’t,—O no, Paul don’t know the way; but I can do this.”

And while thinking such thoughts as these, she combed out her long hair, just as she had seen the little girl’s mother do; and, by tying the three-cornered handkerchief under her chin, she kept it all smooth.

The next morning they set forth at sunrise to search for bones, swinging the basket between them.

“How lucky the sun shines!” said Nora. “Now our clothes will dry.” And when they were out of the city she said, “No matter for shoes now, Paul, the grass is so soft.”

“You are always being pleased about something,” said Paul. “Anybody would think you had everything you wanted.”

Nora was still for a moment, and then she said: “O no, Paul! I want one thing a great deal. I think about it every night and every day.”

“What is it?” said Paul. “Can’t you beg for one?”

“No,” said she, “I couldn’t.”

“Why don’t you tell?” said Paul, speaking crossly.

“I don’t like to say it,” said Nora.

“Tell!” said Paul, giving her a push, “or I’ll strike you.”

Nora crept up close to him and whispered, “I want somebody to call me darling.”

“You’re a ninny,” said Paul. “You don’t know anything. I’ll call you darling. Darling, hold up the basket.”

“But that isn’t real,” said Nora. “You don’t know the right way. And the darling isn’t in your eyes,—not at all. Yesterday I met a little girl, as little as I. Her shoes were pretty, and a kind lady was walking with her, and when they came to a crossing, the lady said, ‘Come this way, my darling.’ And it was in her eyes. You couldn’t learn to say it right, Paul, for you are only a brother, and can’t speak so softly. Did we two have a mother ever, Paul?”

“To be sure we did,” said Paul. “She used to hold you in her lap, and tell me stories. I wasn’t but four then; now I’m eight.”

“Was she like Molly?” asked Nora.

“Not a bit. Her face was white, and so were her hands,—jolly white. She used to cry, and sew lace.”

“Cry? A mother cry? What for?”

“Can’t say. Hungry, may be. Sometimes father hit her. But stop talking, can’t you? I want to run down this hill. Catch hold.”

As they were walking along the road at the bottom of the hill, breathing very fast from running so hard, they met a wicked-looking man, whose whiskers were black and very heavy. His nose was long, and hooked over at the end. He had on a short-waisted coat, with a peaked tail. His shoulders were so high that they almost touched his ears; when he laughed they went higher still,—and this was pretty often, for he hardly spoke without laughing.

When he saw Paul and Nora, he said, “Where are you going, children? Going to take a walk? He! he! he!”

“To pick up bones,” said Paul. “I know a man that buys them.”

“I’ll buy your bones,” said the man, “and give you a good price for them. I keep in this yellow brick house. Come this evening. Come about eight. Come to the back door. Is this your little sister?”

“Yes,” said Paul.

“Well, bring your sister. I like your little sister. He! he! he! Good morning, and good luck to you.” Then he patted Nora’s head and went away laughing, “He! he! he!”

It was hard work for Nora, walking so far out of town, and then climbing so many fences, looking for bones, which had been thrown away, or hidden by dogs. And many times they were driven away by cross servants.

“It’s all your fault,” said Paul. “You are always peeping in at windows. If you don’t stop it, I’ll strike you.”

“I only want to see what the little girls do,” said Nora. “They go up the steps, and the door shuts, and then, when I can’t see them any more, then what do they do, Paul?”

“How should I know?” said Paul. “Can’t you stop talking and give me something to eat? What have you got?”

Nora showed him all her broken bits, and then untied the corner of her handkerchief. There were a few pennies tied up there, which a lady had given her who was pleased with her pleasant face. “What shall we do with these, Paul?” said she.

“Well,” said Paul, “I think,—I think I’ll buy a cigar. I never had a cigar.”

“To be sure,” said Nora, “such a big boy ought to have a cigar.”

And while Paul smoked his cigar, she sat upon a stone near by, watching the smoke. He leaned back against a tree, puffing away, with his feet crossed high up on a rock. Nora was so pleased!

“How glad I am I’ve got you,” said she. “If I didn’t have you, I shouldn’t have anybody. When I grow up, may be I’ll be your mother and give you good things.”

“You’re a little fool!” said Paul. “Stop your talk now, and go look for more bones. There’s no need of both of us sitting idle.”

“O, my feet ache so!” said Nora. But she minded Paul, and went searching about till he called her to go back to the city.

The walk back was so tiresome that Nora almost dropped down from weariness. “O Paul!” said she, “my hands are too little: and they are sore, and my feet are too. I can’t hold on. O, it’s going! Paul, it’s going!”

Paul gave her a blow across the shoulders. “There!” said he. “Let that basket go down again, will you? Hurry up! Who wants everybody staring?”

Nora’s bare feet were bleeding, her arms ached, and her shoulders smarted where his hand came down. She was such a little, such a very little girl! Poor thing! she did her best.

Upon reaching the yellow brick house, Paul and Nora walked directly in at the back door, as they had been told. The wicked-looking man came to meet them, and took them into a room that was very low in the walls, and that was hung round with bird-cages. In these cages were canary-birds,—a great many canary-birds,—also Java sparrows and mocking-birds. The room smelt very strong of soap. In a door leading to the next apartment there were two squares of glass set; through this small window they could see a man’s face, tipped a little backwards, which the hand of another man was covering with soap-foam. By this they knew it must be a barber’s shop.

The wicked-looking man took Nora by the hand, and said, as he placed her in a chair, “All right, my little lady, he! he! he! All right, my little beauty! I want to cut off your hair.”

“O no! O no!” said Nora. And she covered her head with both hands.

“O yes! O yes!” said the man. “I won’t charge you anything,—not a penny. Cheap enough, he! he! he!” For the wicked-looking man wanted Nora’s beautiful hair, to make up into braids and curls, such as ladies buy. He came close up, with his shears.

“O, I want it, I want it!” said Nora, beginning to cry.

“Let the man have it, can’t you?” said Paul.

“O, I can’t let him, I can’t, I can’t!” said Nora, sobbing.

“Why not? what’s the use of it?” said Paul.

“O,” said Nora, “because—because—I like it. And I have no boots, and no night-clothes, and nobody to lead me, and so—and so—I want it.”

“I’ll tell you what I’ll do,” said the man. “I’ll give you something for it. What do you want most? He! he! he! Think now. Isn’t there anything you want most?”

“Yes, sir,” said Nora. For she remembered what she had told Paul, in the morning.

“Well,” said the man, “I thought so. What is it? Say.”

“I don’t like to speak it,” said Nora.

“Don’t like to? Why?”

“Because,” said Nora, sobbing, “you haven’t—it seems like—as if you couldn’t.”

Paul burst out laughing. “She wants somebody to call her darling,” said he.

“To call her what?”

“To call her darling.” And then he burst out laughing again; and the man raised both hands, and put up his shoulders, and burst out laughing, and they both laughed together.

At last the man took a walk round among his bird-cages, and said: “Come, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you a bird. If you’ll give me your hair, I’ll give you a bird.”

“A live one?” asked Nora.

“Yes, a live one. And beside that, your hair will grow; then you will have both.”

“Will it sing?” asked Nora.

“When it’s old enough,” said the man. “And here’s a little basket to keep him in. It used to be a strawberry basket. I’ll put some wool in it. It looks like a bird’s nest. I’ll tie a long string to it and hang it round your neck. There. How do you like that? He! he he!”

He hung it around her neck. The bird looked up into her face with its bright little eyes; Nora put down her lips and kissed it. Then she looked up at the man and said faintly, “I will.”

The man caught up his long shears, and in less than five minutes Nora’s beautiful hair lay spread out upon the table. She turned away from it, weeping.

But Paul pulled her roughly along, and she soon dried her tears by saying over to herself: “It will grow, it will grow. And I have two now,—the bird and Paul. Before, I had but one,—Paul. Now, two, Paul and the bird; the bird and Paul,—two.”

For a whole week after this Nora could think of nothing but her bird. It was lame; the man had cheated her; he had given her a bird that would not sell. But Nora loved it all the better for this. She would sit on the curbstone and let it pick crumbs from her mouth. When walking, the bird hung from her neck in its little basket. Nights, she let it sleep in her bosom.

Very often ladies and gentlemen, passing along the street, would stop when they saw her feeding her bird. They seemed to think it a very pretty sight. Or, if people met her walking, the basket hanging around her neck with the bird’s head peeping out, they would turn and say, “Now, isn’t that cunning!”

But one day at the end of the week Paul came from fighting with some boys; they had beaten him, and this had made him mad and cross. Nora had begged nothing very nice that day. He called her lazy, and came behind as she was feeding her bird, and knocked it upon the pavement.

“There,” said he, “now you will do something.”

The bird was killed. Nora caught it to her bosom, and sobbed out, “O Paul! My little bird! O Paul!” Then she lay down upon the pavement, and burst into such loud crying that Paul, to hush her, ran off, and said he was going for a policeman to lock her up.

Nora had now lost her only comfort. No, not her only comfort,—for she could still watch the little girls walking with beautiful ladies, and could still listen, standing upon the back piazza, to the singing of evening hymns. And one day she discovered something which gave her great joy.

Without knowing that she could, without meaning to try to sing, she herself sang. At first it was only a faint, humming noise, but she started with pleasure, for it was the very tune in which the lady sang hymns to her little girl. She tried again, and louder. Then louder still, and at last cried out: “O Paul! It’s just the same! It’s just the same! I didn’t think I could! How could I, Paul? How did I sing?”

That was a hard summer for Nora. They had to go every day out of town, and wearisome work it was, climbing fences and walking over the rough ways. And very few pennies did they get.

But when winter came, it was much worse. Nora begged a few clothes for herself and Paul; but all they could get were not half enough to keep out the cold. And when night came they piled up what old straw the cart-men would give them, and crept under that.

One very cold evening Paul said, “Now to-night we shall surely freeze to death.”

“O no!” said Nora, “I know where there are such heaps of straw. A man came and emptied a whole bed full.”

And when it grew dark, they brought bundles of this straw and made a bed of it in the corner of a wall near a church.

“Now, if we only had something for a blanket,” said Paul. “Can’t you beg something for a blanket?”

“O no!” said Nora. “It is so cold. Let me creep under the straw.”

“Go, I tell you,” said Paul.

“O, I don’t want to beg in the evening!” said Nora.

“You shall go,” said Paul. And he gave her a push.

Then, as he grew very cross, she said, “I’ll try, Paul,” and ran off in the dark.

It was a bitter cold night. The sharp wind cut through her thin garments like a knife. Men stamped as they walked to keep their feet from freezing. Ladies hid their faces behind their furs. Scarcely any one spoke, but all went hurrying on, eager to get out of the cold.

“None of these people have anything to give me for a blanket,” thought little Nora.

She ventured to beg at a few houses, but the servants shut the doors in her face, and she could hear them answer to the people above stairs, “Only a beggar-girl.”

For all it was so cold, Nora could not pass the window of the back piazza without looking in for a moment. The curtain was partly drawn aside. No one was in the room. But through the door she could see another larger room, brilliantly lighted. There were wax candles burning, and a bright fire was blazing in the fireplace. There were vases of flowers upon the table, and the walls were hung with large pictures in shining gilt frames. Around the fire many people were seated, and the little girl was there bidding them all good night. Nora could see them catch her up in their arms. One gave her a ride on his foot, another gave her a toss in the air, and one made believe put her in his pocket. And to every one the little girl gave a kiss on both cheeks.

Then her mother led her into the room where Nora had so many times watched the going to bed, and Nora saw, as she had often seen before, the white shoulders catch a kiss when the dress slipped off, then the bright face peep through the night-gown and catch a kiss, and the little rosy feet put up to have their toes counted. Then there were huggings and showers of kisses, and the little girl was laid in her crib, and blankets tucked close about her.

Next came the evening hymn, which the mother sang sitting by the crib. Poor little Nora was almost benumbed with cold; but this singing was so sweet, she must stop just a few moments longer. Wrapping her thin shawl tight about her, she stood bending over, her ear close to the window, that not a note might be lost.

And soon, almost without knowing it, she too was singing. But as Nora had never learned any hymns, she could only sing what was in her mind: “Nora is cold. Nora has no blanket. Nora cannot kiss any mother.”

She sang very softly at first. But her voice would come out. It grew louder every moment; and this so delighted her that she forgot where she was,—forgot the cold, forgot everything except the joy of the music. And when the tune ran high, her voice rang out so loud and clear that the lady heard inside, and came towards the window.

Then Nora was frightened and ran away. She ran back to the corner of the church where Paul was lying. He was asleep now. She crept in among the straw, and sat there shivering, looking up at the stars. She looked up at the stars, but she was thinking of the good-night kisses in the lighted room around the fireside, and of the little girl lying asleep in her crib, with the loving mother watching near. And the more these pleasant thoughts passed through her mind, the more lonely and sorrowful she felt.

“O Paul!” she whispered, “if I didn’t have you, I shouldn’t have anybody in the world. Good night, Paul.” She put her arms softly around him, stroked his hair, and then tucked her thin shawl closely about him, just as the lady had tucked the blankets about her little girl, and kissed him. “Good night, Paul,” she whispered again.

Then she leaned her head upon his shoulder and began to sing; but very softly, lest some one should hear. She sang of the blazing fire, of the candles burning, of the flowers, of the pictures, of the undressing, of the kisses, of the sleeping child, and then of other little children walking in the streets led by beautiful ladies. Then it seemed as if she herself were one of these little girls. In her dream, she too was dressed in gay clothes, warmed herself by glowing fires, or was led along in the warm sunshine by a gentle lady. And all the while she seemed to keep on singing, and everybody, the loving mothers and all the pretty children, sang with her, until the whole air was filled with music. Her little bird, too, seemed to be there, and was singing with the rest; he came and nestled in her bosom.

Then she found herself sitting alone, clothed in white garments in the midst of a soft silvery light. A river rolled at her feet, beyond which hung like a veil a thin, shining mist. It was from behind this mist that the light was shed about her. And still the music kept on, but far more loud and sweet. It came from beyond the river, and she heard a voice in the air which said, “Come and sing with the angel children.”

Then she arose and stood gazing like a lost child, not knowing how to cross the stream. But instantly a smile spread over her face, for standing near, upon a bridge of flowers, she saw a lady in whose face were exceeding beauty and sweetness. She stretched forth to Nora her beautiful white hands, saying, in gentlest tones, “Come this way, my darling.” And Nora trembled with joy, and smiled still more brightly, for the countenance of the lady was beaming with love, and the darling was in her eyes as she clasped to her bosom her dear little child.

In the morning an early traveller found Paul lying in the corner by the church, asleep; and leaning upon his shoulder was the face of his little sister, stiff and cold in death. But the smile of joy was still there, and was witnessed by hundreds that day. For a great many people came to see the little frozen beggar-girl, who had passed from her life of sorrow with so sweet a smile.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


Swimming is a very interesting sport, and often also the means of saving life in a sudden emergency; therefore Our Young Folks, girls as well as boys, ought to learn to swim, and the art is very easily acquired where the opportunity is afforded. Some parents are greatly exercised for fear their children should go into the water; if the bathing-place is well known, and the bathers have companions, this fear is as idle as that of the hen with a brood of young ducks, who remains upon the bank in great excitement and alarm when they swim away to the centre of the nearest pond.

Although swimming is very easily acquired, it is an art not natural to man; many animals can swim without any lessons or previous trials, but man cannot do so. The philosophers indeed teach us that the nature of the human body is such that it ought to float of itself, and therefore man ought to be able to swim. The answer to this is, that no man, not even a philosopher, can swim the first time he is in deep water. In spite of all his knowledge of the human body and the laws of displacement, down his body will go. Yet swimming is very easy; almost all that is necessary is to go into the water,—water about up to the armpits. In a week or two you will learn to swim, merely by seeing others swim, and imitating their movements. It is so easy to swim, that I believe an infant might be taught to do so before it could by any possibility be taught to walk. In some countries very small children may be seen swimming, and that near the edge of a powerful surf. I have seen little negroes and Malays swimming lustily about, who could not have been above three years old. It has been stated that in the Philippine and Ladrone Islands infants may be seen in the tumbling surf, where it rolls upon the white sandy or coral beach. So they may, but it is in their mother’s hands.

Savages can nearly all swim, and swim well. The only exceptions are those who inhabit such arid wastes as those of Arabia and Tartary. The coast savages are invariably splendid swimmers. I went through Torres Straits once, the passage between the east coast of New Holland and the great barrier reefs which lie between it and the open expanse of the South Pacific Ocean. These straits are many hundred miles long, and the navigation was then so little known and dangerous, by reason of hidden reefs and shoals, that we anchored every night. The coast from Sydney, New South Wales, to the Gulf of Carpentaria, was uninhabited, save by roving bands of Australian blacks, many of whom had never seen a white man. We could see a few of them occasionally skulking along in the bushes that fringed the beach; and once a band of them stood upon a distant ridge, in full relief against the sun, which was setting behind them. I suppose that no barbarians of lower grade than these natives of Australia were ever discovered. They were utterly destitute of raiment, they had no huts, their canoes were of the poorest and rudest sort, with nothing for paddles but bits of bark, not much larger than their own hands. At one place where we anchored, a lot of them came off to the ship in these canoes, which were only capable of carrying a single person. We noticed that there were no women among them. Another thing I also remarked. You will have read that savages can easily produce fire by means of two pieces of hard wood. Now, I dare say they may do it in case of necessity, but by means of immense labor and perseverance only, and not easily. This was my conclusion from seeing that several of them had in the bottom of their canoes smouldering brands of hard wood, with which to raise a blaze whenever they might want one. They were capital swimmers, some of the best and swiftest that I have ever seen. A six-pounder gun on the forecastle was fired with blank-cartridge while they were alongside, and at the report down went every one into deep water, over the sides of their canoes. When they rose they were at a great distance from the ship, making towards the mainland. They could not be got back, and we towed their canoes ashore with our jolly-boat. That place was not far north of Endeavor River, where Captain Cook repaired his ship, the Endeavor, after she got ashore on the reefs in his first voyage of discovery. We landed in the little sandy cove where the great navigator hove her down to get at her bottom. It is called Careening Bay. I think it was here that the first kangaroo was seen by any white man. We used to have a good swim in those straits every evening when the anchor was down.

I learned to swim when a very little boy, in a marl-pit, in England. A pit or a pond is better for young beginners than a running stream, because of the current. We used to go to these marl-pits to bathe every evening in summer-time, and the small boys very soon learned to swim. Some of the big boys had a mean and cowardly habit of ducking the little ones when they were in deep water. Any big boy that would do this ought to be cow-hided just as he steps from the water. I remember that it was the cause of several fights among our set, for some of the larger boys took it up, and the duckers had to fight upon it. They were invariably whipped, and no wonder, for tyrants of this sort have never courage or endurance.

Afterwards, when I was at boarding-school, there was no chance to swim. There were a hundred and twenty of us, and we had a large field for our sports,—cricket, kite-flying, and the like, as well as the regular play-ground, with large sheds for wet weather,—but no swimming water. But in the midsummer vacation swimming and fishing were our great sports.

After I left school, and long before I was a man, I went to the Spanish Main. The first port we visited was La Guayra. It is an open roadstead, and very little swimming was done, for there were horrible stories about sharks, several of which we had caught on the passage. From La Guayra we went to Carthagena, one of the oldest cities in America, I think. It was built with great strength and solidity by the old Spaniards, and, in spite of earthquakes and neglect, many of its massive buildings still stand. It lies at the head of a bay; and close to the shore where the boats landed, we saw a few negroes bathing. But it was not encouraging, the water was so dark and muddy, and we did not venture in. The whole place seemed as if it were rotting to decay. The batteries were crumbling away, the gun-carriages were all moss-grown, and thousands of green lizards ran in and out among the round-shot and rubbish that lay in heaps on the bastions. The soldiers were the dirtiest, the laziest, and the most squalid-looking set that I have ever seen. There was, however, one tall, handsome fellow, a sergeant; he had a great weakness for ribbons and lace, and I thought he ought to have been a brigand, or a smuggler in Biscay.

We went from Carthagena to Savanilla, and here, in spite of the sharks, we went in for swimming. The port was a lonely and unfrequented one, a bay almost landlocked. On one side the land was high and wild. On the other there was a long, low island, covered to the water’s edge with bushes. Monkeys abounded in its woods, and the jaguar, or South American tiger, also frequented it. It was a place to remind one that

“The hurricane hath might

   Along the Indian shore,

 And far by Ganges’ banks at night

   Is heard the tiger’s roar.”

There was no town at the landing-place. A bamboo hut served as a custom-house, and another was a house of entertainment. Farther inland, on the banks of a lagoon which swarmed with alligators, there was a cluster of huts. There were no plantations for miles. The shipments consisted of logwood, hides, and a sort of dried nut, useful for tanning leather, called divi-divi. When we entered this delectable place, there was but one vessel in the harbor, the British sloop-of-war Nimrod. As if she had been waiting for us to come, she hove up her anchor on the morning after our arrival, and made sail to sea. We had a tedious time of it; the weather was very hot, and the sea-breeze, being intercepted by the high land at the mouth of the bay, gave small relief. We longed to bathe in the evenings, but the ground-sharks could be seen darting out from under the ship’s counter when anything was thrown overboard, and sometimes, when it was flat calm, the fin of a huge monster could be seen above the water, like a great black rhinoceros horn, as the shark swam lazily about in search of prey. The captain had laid an absolute interdict against our going into the water; and the mate said he believed there were sharks in the bay as big as the famous Port Royal Tom. This Port Royal Tom was a large shark whose haunt was Port Royal Bay, in the island of Jamaica. He had his rations daily from the men-of-war, it being held that he was of more service than the guard-boats in keeping the men from trying to swim ashore at night.

When we began to take in cargo, a Spanish stevedore, a fine, bronzed, stout fellow, who was always smoking paper cigarettes, came aboard to stow it. Some of us worked with him in the hold. If it was not hot down there, I don’t know what heat is, and I have seen the planks of the deck so hot that the pitch would come out of the seams, as if boiling. Our only article of dress was a pair of flannel drawers. When he came on deck, after knocking off in the evening, the first thing the Spaniard did was to pitch overboard, head first, over the gangway rail. He then came to the surface, swam rapidly about for a few minutes, and then, taking hold of a rope, raised himself on to a spar which was slung alongside at the water’s edge as a fender. He then came on board and dressed himself. Supper over, we sat under the awning smoking our pipes, when the oldest lad among us, after a very long whiff, exclaimed, “Mates, these here yarns about Port Royal Tom, and sharks collaring fellows in the water a-swimming, is jest a precious humbug. I see the sharks swim away from the Spaniard when they came out from under the keel at the first splash to see what was overboard.”

It was suggested that we should ask the stevedore about it. He could speak some English, and we could speak a little Spanish, and we got on together excellently. From him we learned that a shark will not touch a man in the water, so long as the man keeps moving. He is probably more afraid of the man than the man is of him. But if the man remained quiet, hanging on by a rope, or by the gunwale of a boat, his legs would be in danger.

We afterwards acted upon this hint, and swam every night, keeping in good motion, making a splash, and heaving ourselves up out of the water at once when our swim was ended. The place was alive with large sharks, and no accident or trouble from them ever happened. That was the last place at which I was ever kept from swimming for fear of sharks. I not only never knew of a shark attacking a swimmer myself, but among all the sailors and coast men that I ever met with there was not one that knew himself of such a thing. Of course, if a man is in the water long enough to tire out, and lose action, the sharks will take him; or if he becomes helpless from fright, the same thing will happen.

Some years after I had opportunity of putting this to further test. We had left Batavia, in the island of Java, bound to Rotterdam in Holland, with a valuable cargo of coffee, sugar, spices, and specimens of natural history for the University of Leyden. Some mighty boa-constrictors and a tiger or two were among them. When at sea, it was found that the ship leaked a good deal; and, upon examination in the forehold, it was discovered that the leak was in the larboard bow, near the stern, and not a great many streaks under water. It was thought that, if the ship were anchored in smooth water, she might be lightened by the head enough to bring the leak up, so that it could be calked.

With this view, the captain took her into the Cocos or Keeling Islands,—a group which lies in the South Pacific, about a thousand miles southwest of Java, and nearly in the route of ships bound from that island to Europe or America, round the Cape of Good Hope.

The cluster of islands numbers a great many,—I do not know how many. They are small, the biggest being no larger to look at than a good-sized prairie farm, but so beautiful! The islets themselves are of white coral rock. With the soil which ages have accumulated upon them, the highest part is but three feet above the sea; a dense growth of cocoa-nut trees covers them, and a few white men and Malays visit them from time to time to engage in catching turtle, which are found of enormous size on the low beaches, and in making cocoa-nut oil. The sea around these islands was so clear that one could see shells and sharks on the bottom, in full twenty-fathom water. All day the sky was cloudless, the sun shone radiantly, and the heat was nicely tempered, even at noontide, by the steady breeze of the southeast trade-wind. If a man could be content away from friends and the heady bustle of the battle of life, here was a sort of natural paradise,

“Amidst the green isles of glittering seas,

 Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze,

 And strange, bright birds on their starry wings

 Bear the rich hues of all glorious things.”

There was no chart of this group. Its position was laid down in the sailing charts, but there was no guide for navigation among the islands. The lower masts of two vessels, with their tops just above the water, gave warning that treacherous reefs lay below, all the more dangerous because there was not sea enough to make breakers over them. In threading about towards what was deemed the best place for anchorage, near the largest of the islands, the ship struck. We let go everything, and the yards came down by the run. In a few moments the sails were clewed up, except the top-sails, which were hoisted again, and laid flat to the mast. They did not get her off; but we got out kedge anchors, and hove her off into deep water. She had grounded on a ledge of coral as steep as a wall, for while her bows stuck fast, there was plenty of water under the stern.

Being anchored in a good berth, we tore off the forehatch, hoisted out many krang-jangs* of sugar, and piled them up on the after-deck. By this means the leak was got at, and calked as well as it could be calked in the wash. That ended, the captain was very anxious to learn whether any damage had been done when she struck. Some of the cocoa-nut oil getters, all of whom had come off to her in whale-boats, to ask for canvas, rope, salt beef, and rum, professed to be great divers. But none of them would go down unless the reward was very large, as they pretended that the danger from sharks was great. The captain had chaffered with them for some time, when the mate said, “This asking for extra pay on account of sharks is a downright imposition; any of the boys aboard this ship will swim and dive all round her for nothing.”

“Well,” said the professed diver, “let ’em go down and report whether her bottom is all right.”

“I think we’ll do so,” said the mate to the skipper; “they may not be able to see all that these fellows could see, but they can tell whether there is much copper off.”

Word was passed for the boys, and we went aft. English ships carry apprentices, and there were five of us on board apprenticed to the owners, a great firm in Liverpool, whose vessels traded all over the world, nearly,—at any rate to the East and West Indies, Australia, South America, the Southern States, the west coast of Africa, and China. I don’t think any of their ships went “up the Straits,” which is through the Straits of Gibraltar and up the Mediterranean. The common notion is that boys go to sea because they are good for nothing else; but that was not the case with the boys who sailed in the ships of that firm. All on board had received a fair English education; two were sons of captains who had been lost at sea; one was the son of a master cabinet-maker in Liverpool; another was the son of one of the chief clerks of the firm; and I was the fifth. The eldest of the two whose fathers had been lost at sea was the best swimmer and diver among us, and I was the next. We were the eldest. Each of us was able to steer the ship, and to help reef the top-sails, and we were learning navigation under the instruction of the captain and mate, both capital navigators and prime seamen. Indeed, I think that the mate was the best navigator and sailor I ever knew. But he had a failing for strong grog and plenty of it. However, he never got drunk at sea, and owners and underwriters trusted him. He asked us whether we were afraid to dive under the ship; to which we replied, “Not a bit.”

“Then,” said he, “you, George and Charley, go over the bows, and let us know whether you can see much copper rubbed off on either side of the keel.”

We stripped, and as we stepped on to the windlass to get on the deck of the top-gallant forecastle, the diver from the islands said, “Plenty of big sharks here, boys!”

“We know it,” says I; “we have seen them under the stern.”

We took a good plunge together, and got down to the keel, but the current carried us aft. So up we came, and asked for a rope to be swept under her, and made fast to the lower studding-booms hauled out, so that we might go down it hand over hand. While this was getting ready, the diver said, “The sharks ain’t in a biting humor, I see,” struck a hasty bargain with the captain, and went down two or three times with our rope. He could certainly remain under water much longer than we could, but I doubt if he did any more than just get under the bilge, out of sight, and stay there, kicking up a bobbery with one hand and both feet, until it was time to come up again. He reported the ship’s forefoot torn off, but no damage whatever done to the hull. He ought to have been hung to the yard-arm for that report. All the way home, (and we were above a hundred days going from the Cocos,) the ship leaked so that the pumps had to be kept going nearly all the time. Five or six of the best men in the crew were sick of the Java fever, a dreadfully slow, wearing complaint, and none of them got fit for duty until we were past St. Helena and Ascension Island.

Near the chops of the Channel we had the heaviest gale that I was ever in. It blew from the east-southeast, and lasted five days. When we had been lying-to for three days, with the starboard tacks aboard, the captain found that we were getting too far north, and wore ship. It was a ticklish business; we were in the trough of the sea twice, once as she fell off, and then as she came to on the other tack. At this last she walloped, and rolled, and shipped mighty big seas, while we hung on, like grim death, to the weather rigging. At last, the close-reefed maintop-sail brought her up to the lying-to point, and she rode easy. But it was found that the pumps would not keep her free on that tack, and in four hours, after vainly trying to make them suck, we had to wear round on the starboard tack again. The prospect was not encouraging. The gale blew great guns, and gave no sign of breaking. If it continued, we might make Stornoway, the most northerly point of the Orkney Isles; if we did not make that, the next land was Greenland. We were, too, short of provisions, except salt beef and pork and sugar and coffee. Our allowance of ship’s bread, and it was the worst ship’s bread I ever saw, was eight ounces a day. It was bought of a Chinaman in Batavia, was made of ground rice and Indian corn meal, and was harder than some grindstones. I think, if our men could have had their will of that Chinaman, they would have baked him in his own oven. But, old-sailor like, my yarn has run away with me, and I must take a round turn now, and hold on till another month.

Charles J. Foster.

Five hundred-weight.


Words by Emily Huntington Miller. Music by J. R. Thomas.



No. 11.


The shadows of night I never see,

Nor the mantle of darkness e’er falls on me,

      For in rapid flight

      On the wings of light

I speed, but I hear the first footfalls of night.


I bring to each man a burden to bear,

But mix ease with the burden, and hope with his care,

He prays for my birth, but my death is his mirth,

      And unbemoaned,

      With sins unatoned,

I pass away to my grave alone.


Together we come a welcome guest;

The laborer ceases his toil till we pass;

      The noise in the mill,

      The axe on the hill,

Cease, when our presence is announced,

      As if by one will.


Is a parchment on the sea-beat shore,

Where the wrecked traveller writes his good intentions o’er.


An unknown world in space,—

A planet keeping on its even way apace.

The police of nations, governing a space

Where their stern passage even leaves no trace.






No. 5.

A number is composed of four figures, the sum of which is 26. The sum of the first and third is equal to the second multiplied by 4. The difference of the second and fourth is equal to the first multiplied by 4. The sum of the second and third is equal to the fourth multiplied by 2. The difference of the first and fourth is equal to the third multiplied by 4. What is the number?







8.Hatred stirreth up strife, but love covereth all sins.
9.Les fous font des festins, et les sages les mangent.
10.March winds and April showers
Bring forth the sweet May flowers.


9.A shadow.
10.“O super-be, quid super-est tuæ super-biæ?
Ter-ra es, et in ter-ram i-bis.” The translation is, “O proud man, what remains of thy pride? Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

Arithmetical Puzzle.

4. 900, 800, 200, 100.

Illustrated Rebuses.

11.There are no birds in last year’s nest. [(Tea) (hare) R N O (birds in last) Y (ears) (nest).]
12.If one man ate eight potatoes for a meal, how many will two men eat for tea? [(Eye) f (one man) 8 8 (pot) 8 o’s IV A M (eel), how (men) e (will) (two men) EAT IV T?]


M. B. Your best plan for ascertaining the expenses of a college course, and the opportunities of earning the whole or a part of the money to pay for it, will be to address the Presidents of five or six Colleges, asking for such information as you need. Be exact in your inquiries, enclose stamps, and you will undoubtedly get satisfactory replies, with catalogues, &c. As your means are limited, you will do best to apply first to some of the inland Colleges of good standing, such as Amherst or Williams in Massachusetts, with a reference also to Cornell University in your own State. As you are now seventeen years old, the sooner you can be properly fitted and entered, the better. On no consideration whatever run in debt. If you have money in one place, and wish to make a purchase in another, you may reasonably and honestly be a debtor until you can complete the exchange; but if you have no money, take nothing which you are not willing to receive as a gift, and wait with patience and courage to earn that which you cannot without humiliation accept.

Snow-flake. Willy Wisp makes all of his rebuses, &c.—We should be very glad to establish such an exchange of chat here as you propose, but we should not have room for anything else, if we printed all the letters.

Lorain Lincoln. “America,” the common hymn-tune, is only another form of the English anthem, “God save the King.” The authorship of this tune has been much debated, and even now remains doubtful; some assign it to an English writer, Clarke, but it is probable that the air is of ancient German origin.—The name of the great female actor was Rachel Félix.—You can undoubtedly get a photograph of Ristori from Brady’s or Anthony’s, in New York.

N. There are no photographs of Gail Hamilton.

Mattie F., Kenyon C., Haymaker, J. A. I., Alf. E., Wispy Willow, Ellen H., E. E. E., A. D. H., Rosalie, Artie C., Kittie, Geo. H. D., Sweet Clover, Charles P. Thank you all.

Bushman. We cannot name any good book of reference in the department you mention.—The volume for 1865 can be had; price, in numbers, $ 2.00; bound handsomely, $ 3.00.

Coralie. Good for a beginner.

Mat. “Try, try, try again.”

Victorine has sent a very frank little letter, just such as we like, although she says, “Sister Lucy says I can’t write well enough.” In one place she writes: “I wish I was a boy, so I could play outdoors in the streets, and then I wouldn’t have to think about being good. Boys do just as they please, don’t they? But when I grow up, mamma says, I will like being a woman.” And mamma is right, dear; boys have more liberty, perhaps, but no more real enjoyment than girls; but, if they are so fortunate as to have good parents, they cannot “do just as they please,” any more than their sisters, because a wrong thing is wrong, whoever does it.—You need not feel troubled about the question your big brother asked you, because it is only a puzzle, and not a real sum. Ask him this question yourself, and see how soon he will guess it; we will give the answer next month. “A blind beggar had a brother; the blind beggar’s brother died; the man that died had no brother. Now explain the riddle.”

This letter has come all the way from North San Juan in California:—

“The croquet-set premium for my club of twenty new subscribers to ‘Our Young Folks’ arrived in good condition a short time since, and now forms one of the most attractive and appropriate recreations upon our school grounds; while the magazines themselves furnish us an agreeable and profitable half-hour’s reading at the close of each day’s session of school. We are highly delighted with our experiment, and find that our young folks among the gold mines of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are capable of appreciating and enjoying the good things written for the young folks among the pleasant hills of New England.

“E. M. P.”

Tea. D. Appleton & Co., and G. Routledge & Sons, both of New York, publish good books on chess.

Inquisitive. Consult your teacher, and if you do not get a satisfactory explanation write to us again, and we will investigate the question for you.

May. 1. There will be colored pictures—fine ones, we believe—in the last part of the volume. 2. Willy Wisp is an assumed name. 3. There will be more “Lessons in Magic” when the necessary engravings are done; the “Lessons” are written and waiting.

F. L. The principal incidents are true, although of course they did not occur under exactly such circumstances as the story gives.

F. G. No e in tomato.

C. St. J. Too plain an imitation of “Hiawatha.”

Farmer Boy. You should have sent the “work” to your arithmetical puzzles, that we might know whether your answers were right.—We do not know of any good “self-instructor” in Latin. If you wish to begin by yourself try Andrews and Stoddard’s Grammar, with Andrews’s “First Lessons,” or books which correspond to them.

Busy Bee. You have spelled one word of the answer wrongly, and conjugated a verb in the caption wrongly, in your French enigma.

Who can tell us how to make the largest and most splendid soap-bubbles?” The inquiry comes from a family of children, who have been only in part satisfied with the results of their bubble-blowing. We can remember creating rainbow-worlds out of a clay pipe and some clean soap-suds in a wash-tub, when Andrew Jackson was President of the United States,—magnificent worlds, too, in our own eyes. But our young Alexanders want more and larger worlds than ever we knew, and somebody suggests that there are chemical soaps which will produce bubbles of wonderful size and color. Drop a line into the “Letter-Box,” you who have the desired knowledge.

Nellie and Gracie Linden have written us long, pleasant letters, which would be found agreeable reading if we had the space for them. We like them particularly for the kind spirit which they show, each sister apparently following the Bible injunction, “In honor preferring one another,”—an injunction which we commend to all our readers as a principle to be respected as well among schoolmates and friends as among brothers and sisters.

Jack. That answer will do.

Lucy D. Nichols sends us this bit of curious composition, made by a friend of hers:—

“An Alphabetical Bouquet for Cora,

 Diligently Elaborated by Flora;

 Graceful and Highly Imaginative,

 Jovial, Keen, and so Laugh-at-ive,

 Moral, Nonsensical, Off-hand-ic,

 Practical, Quizzical, and Romantic.

 Somewhat Tedious, Undoubtedly, still

 Very Well Xecuted, and with a will;

 Youthful Zeal displayed in various places,

 And—here it is—suited to many cases.


“Ah! well-a-day. Awake! away!

 Before the bark bounds by the bay,

 Come, Cora, caper to Calais.

 Drown darksome doubts, and don’t delay.

 Emerge exulting. Evermore

 Fair fairy fancies flit before.

 Gayly go on, with gamesome glees,

 Hampers of ham, and huge head-cheese.

 I will the Indian weed inhale,

 Joyous to jump from out this jail.

 Kings cannot more contentment keep.

 Lightly love o’er life’s labors leap.

 Malicious men may not molest,

 Nor venture near our nautic nest.


“O Owen! o’er our oaken oars,

 Phœbus his pleasing purple pours.

 Quaint quiet quells our quivering quite.

 Rest royally, roll on, ride right.


“So, sweetest, sail we o’er the sea;

 Time, tide, and tempest wait for thee.

 Unceasingly let us unite

 Vivacious Virtues, and invite

 Wit, worth, and wisdom, wreathed well;

 Xcellent all,—let each xcel.



“Youth, youthful, yawns, and yelps, and yells,

 Zealous for zebras and gazelles,

 And often wishes to be free;

 So forth he goes, as here we see.”

This month’s picture proverb was designed by our friend J. L. Guess it, and then act upon it, young ones. Of course, you have by this time found out that last month’s puzzle was “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 9 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]