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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 11

Date of first publication: 1867

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

Date first posted: Sep. 8, 2018

Date last updated: Sep. 8, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180913

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. NOVEMBER, 1867. No. XI.

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.]
















Round-the-world Joe was paring apples for his mother to make pies of; and, being one of those boys that give all their mind to a thing, and even pare apples with enthusiasm, he had thrown off his jacket and rolled his shirt-sleeves up to the shoulder.

“What’s that, Joe?” inquired Charley.


“On your arms,—blue things,—pictures.”

“O, that!” said Joe; “that’s what I call my classmark,—stands for “A. B.,” Able-Bodied Seaman,—means I’ve been Round. When the second mate sees that, he knows I’ve got my sea-legs on, and don’t look for me to wriggle through the lubber’s hole, or spit to windward.”

“Let’s see!” said we too; and Joe took what he called a “close reef” in his sleeves and “squared his yards”; that is, he held out one arm to me, and the other to Charley.

Mine had a picture of a ship under full sail, with blue hull and spars and red rigging, and, underneath, the words,—


She had blue sails, and was dashing through red water; and there was a blue angel with red wings and a pink trumpet flying over her, blowing.

Charley’s arm—that is Joe’s, you know—had a blue eagle with a red tail, perched on a blue anchor, and under it the glorious motto of our native land:—

E Pluribust Unam!

“O, isn’t it splendid?” said I, “and so natural! Who did it, Joe? and how did he do it?”

“Pshaw!” said Joe, “that’s nothing; if you want to see richness, look here!” and he tore open the bosom of his shirt, and slapped his breast proudly, like the sailor-man in the play, when he tears his shirt before the judge, and says, “If your Honor wants witnesses to the pre-vi-ous carakter of Cutlash Jack, your Honor can jest overhaul these here!” and then he shows a “gridiron” of ghastly wounds that impart to his manly chest the appearance of having been ploughed over when he was asleep. And the judge says, “Your hand, my brave lad! Britannia needs no bulwarks, no towers along the steep,” &c.

[But Mrs. Brace only said, “Joseph, my child, didn’t I hear a button?”]

Well, as Joe so triumphantly remarked, there was richness! A blue sailor with red hair, dancing a hornpipe with a red sweetheart with blue hair, on a red cloud, surrounded by a blue rainbow, and both of them waving the Star-Spangled Banner! Below was this proud inscription:—

Long may she wave!

“O Joe! how do you do it?”

Stick it,” said Joe.

“Spaulding’s glue?” said Charley.

“Needles,” said Joe, and he laughed.

“Hurt?” I asked.

“Smarts some,” said Joe; “but what’s that to a chap that’s been ROUND? Besides, quids cures it.”

“Joe,” said Charley, “may I speak with you a moment in private, if Georgey will excuse us?”

[We bowed, with dignity.]

“What’s the matter now, chum?” said Joe, stepping aside.

“Joseph,” said Charley, “could you stick her—here?” tearing the buttons off his shirt, and poking his hand under the left side of his jacket.


“Hush! You know,—Kate!”

“Well, you see, chum,” said Joe, “that’s a touch above me; I’m not in the high lines yet. If a star now, or a heart, or even her name, with an anchor to it, would do you any good, why, I’m ready to stick you; but portraits are Science, you know. Hows’ever, I’ve got a shipmate, Toby Splice,—everybody knows Toby,—he’s been ROUND three times, and his father’s a ship-carpenter,—Toby’ll put you through beautiful.”

“Would she have to sit for it, Joe?” inquired Charley, very anxiously.

“Do which?” said Joe.

“Sit for it,” said Charley,—“so that Toby can get her expression correct, you know?”

“O, not at all,” said Joe, “I’ll do that myself.”

“Do what?” said Charley.

“Sit for her expression,” said Joe. “Why, I’ve sat for seventeen Long-may-she-waves, and every one was a perfect likeness. O, that’s all right!”

“O Joe,” whispered Charley, “I’m so much obliged to you! I’m your friend forever! It’s such a relief! Always next your heart, you know,—never can fade,—stern father can’t take it from you, and lock it up in his burglar-proof,—spiteful sister can’t steal it, and show it to all the other girls, and make fun,—nobody can harrow your feelings, you know. O, it’s such a relief!”

“That’s all right,” said Joe, and then they rejoined me. I was chewing apple-parings, and they thought me deceived. But I shall advise my sister to retire to a nunnery.

“But, Joe,” said I, “what do you do it with?”

“Injin Ink, Old Useful Knowledge!” said Joe. “But here’s all about it, in a ballad that I made myself; and if it isn’t poetry, why it’s true, that’s all.”


It is a Tarry Sailor-man

  Doth shift his quid and sigh;

And, moping o’er his Injin Ink,

  He spits, and pipes his eye:


In all their queer variety,

  Perusing, one by one,

Spars, anchors, ensigns, figure-heads,

  His fokesel chums have done.


Around his arms, all down his back,

  Betwixt his shoulder-blades,

Are Peg and Poll and Patsy Ann,

  And mer and other maids;


And just below his collar-bones,

  Amidships on his chest,

He has a sun in blue and red,

  A-rising in the west.


A bit abaft a pirate craft,

  Upon his larboard side,

There is a thing he made himself,

  The day his Nancy died.


Mayhap it be a lock of hair,

  Mayhap a kile o’ rope:

He says it is a true-love knot,—

  And so it is, I hope.


He recks not, that bold foremast-hand,

  What shape it wear to you:

With soul elate, and fist expert,

  He stuck it,—so he knew.


To “Ed’ard Cuttle, Mariner,”

  His sugar-tongs and spoons

Not dearer than that rose-pink heart,

  Transfixed with two harpoons;


And, underneath, a grave in blue,

  A gravestone all in red:—

“Here lies, all right, Poor Tom’s delight:

  God save the lass,—she’s dead!”


Permit that Tarry Sailor-man

  To shift his quid and sigh,

Nor chide him if he cusses some,

  For piping of his eye.


Few sadder emblems are the heart’s,

  Than, traced at first in pink,

And pricked till all the picture smarts,

  Are fixed with Injin Ink.

“Now you know all about it,” said Joe.

“But what kind of poetry do you call that?” Charley asked. “Sort of mixed, isn’t it? I was just going to laugh, when we came to the grave.”

“Why, you didn’t imagine it was funny,—did you?” said Joe.

“At first I did,—a little.”

“Sich is Life,” said Joe. “As my old man says, ‘Laughing or crying, it’s all the same hyena.’ ”

“But let’s get back, aboard the ‘Circumnavigator’; for by this time she’s half-way down the Indian Archipelago, on her way to Borneo and Java for camphor, spices, and gutta-percha. As Captain Cuttle—‘Ed’ard Cuttle, Mariner’—used to say, ‘Overhaul your chart, and, when found, make a note on it.’ Down the China Sea, passing Luzon and Manilla; through the Straits of Mindoro, and down the Sooloo Sea; then through the Straits of Basilan, past the great pirate-island of Mindanao, and across the Sea of Celebes, with a southwesterly slant to the Straits of Macassar; and so along the east coast of Borneo, and through the Java Sea, to Batavia. And O, boys! but it’s a cruise of wonders, every furlong of it, from the last grinning Chinaman you leave at Hong Kong, with his own tail wagging at the small of his back, to the first Sea-Dyak you spy at Labuan, with the fresh head of his victim reeking in his hand,—an Eden of beauty and romance and enchantment, and with the biggest and ugliest kind of a serpent squirming and hissing and thrashing through it.”

“Yes,” said I, “and don’t we school-boys know it? Why, the dullest Geography reads like Sinbad and Marco Polo in one, when it comes to the Indian Ocean; and the boy that isn’t ‘up’ in his lesson then must be stupider than one of those ‘Booby-birds’ that you saw scrambling and squawking round the ‘Circumnavigator’ in the Gulf Stream, or nodding, gorged, on mangrove logs off the Straits of Malacca! His only excuse must be that he stopped to look at the pictures. I tell you, Joe, some of us are at home in the Indian Ocean,—aren’t we, Charley? For instance, there’s where the trade-winds blow, that bowl you along steady, straight on your course, for a month at a time, without sea enough to spill a passenger’s soup.”

“Yes,” said Charley, “and there’s where the typhoons strike you like a thunderbolt, out of a clear sky and a calm sea, and tear you plank from plank, grinding like a coffee-mill.”

“And there,” said I, “is where everlasting rainbows span the flashing straits from island to island,—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet arches, arch within arch, like a cathedral in heaven.”

“And there,” said Charley, “is where everlasting water-spouts are let down from the black and growling clouds to join with other water-spouts growing from the churned and frothy sea, bubbling, whirling, frosted columns, column upon column, column crossing column, to uphold the bursting, falling roof of sky.”

“Rosy groves of coral,” said I.

“Wrecking reefs of coral,” said Charley.

“Skimming swallow-fleets of fishermen,” said I.

“Dodging vulture-fleets of pirates,” said Charley.

“Proas like butterflies,” said I.

“War-canoes like scorpions,” said Charley.

“The confiding, child-like harvesters,” said I.

“The cunning, fiend-like freebooters,” said Charley.

“Curious, picturesque junks from China,” said I.

“Rascally, meddlesome rogues from China,” said Charley.

“Proud, intrepid Malays,” said I.

“Snaky, revengeful Malays,” said Charley.

“Grateful, affectionate Hill-Dyaks,” said I.

“Treacherous, remorseless, Coast-Dyaks,” said Charley.

“Honey-hunters,” said I.

“Head-hunters,” said Charley.

“Chameleons, cockatoos, and birds-of-paradise,” said I.

“Snakes, buzzards, and vampire-bats,” said Charley.

“Life-saving drugs,” said I.

“Death-dealing poisons,” said Charley.

“Spicy breezes,” said I.

“Sickly blasts,” said Charley.

“Mermaids,” said I.

“Sharks,” said Charley.

“The Lotos,” said I.

“The Upas,” said Charley.

“Moonlight and enchantment,” said I.

“Diabolical conjuration and midnight murder,” said Charley.

“The sea glowing with luminous animals,” said I.

“The land illuminated with burning villages,” said Charley.

“Nutmegs and cloves, frankincense and camphor, diamonds, rubies, and opals, gold, silver, silks, tortoise-shell, feathers, pearls, and sandal-wood,” said I.

“Earthquake, Pestilence, Slavery, and Death,” said Charley.

“Where they ‘whistle back the parrot’s call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks,’ ” said I.

“ ‘Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast with lower pains,’ ” said Charley.

“ ‘Where all the prospect pleases,’ ” said I.

“ ‘And only man is vile,’ ” said Charley.

“Is that a game you’re playing,” inquired Joe, “or are you only showing off your wisdom?”

“Joe,” said Charley, “it’s a sermon!”

“You don’t tell me so!” said Joe. “Well, I thought it sounded funny.”

“Joe,” said I, “what’s a proa?”

“A proa,” said Joe, “is a boat built like the handle of a jug or a political editor,—all on one side. Instead of having the stern round or square, as our craft have, and the two sides alike, it has stem and stern alike,—both rather sharp and high out of the water; and while one side is round, as in European and American vessels, the other side is flat, and nearly perpendicular. It has but one mast; and that, instead of being ‘stepped,’ as sailors call it, amidships, or exactly between the sides, rises, with very slight ‘rake,’ from the round edge of the proa. The hull is long and narrow; and as it is much deeper than it is broad, and carries a sail that covers the whole boat, you can readily imagine that the least puff would capsize it, if it were not for a very ingenious contrivance, not to be found on any other craft in the world except some of the fishing canoes of the Polynesian Islands. From the edge or ‘rail’ of the round side, a bamboo frame, very light, elastic, and strong, is run out over the water; and from the outer edge of this a hollowed log, shaped like a small canoe, hangs just on the surface of the sea. Over the ‘leeward’ or flat side, and exactly in the middle of it, they run a simpler ‘outrigger,’—that is, a heavy beam or pole, projecting over the water. The inner end, or ‘heel,’ of this is made fast under the round side of the proa, just where the mast is stepped. The sail, which is made of matting, and of great spread, is triangular,—one angle being at the mast-head, one at the bow, and the other at the stern; of course, the lower side stretches the whole length of the craft. The after edge of the sail is free, but the for’ard edge works on a bamboo yard, which is slung near the mast-head, so that the foot of it falls diagonally into the proa near the bow, where it fits in a socket. The lower edge of the sail is stretched on a bamboo boom, one end of which projects over the stern. The outrigger, or bamboo frame, which supports the little canoe, is itself supported by tackling of coir rope—that is, rope spun from the fibre of the cocoa-nut—slung from the mast.

“Now,” said Joe, “I have taken pains to describe all that (and Mr. Waud says he will take pains to draw it) very accurately for you, because a Ladrone proa is really the most remarkable craft afloat, not only in respect of her shape, but in the way she is worked, and especially in the way she goes. In the first place, she is built and rigged from first to last, never to be turned round, but always to present the same side to the wind. Either end is bow or stern, according to the course she happens to be on; but the round side is always the windward, and the flat side always the leeward side. When they wish to ‘go about’ on another tack, they turn the sail, not the boat, around. All they have to do then is to lift the foot of the yard from its socket in the bow, and carry it round to leeward, with the boom, till it falls in the stern socket; at the same time letting fly one ‘sheet,’ and hauling in another. Thus the bow is in an instant converted into stern, and stern into bow, and away she goes, trimmed! No matter how fresh the wind, or how rough the sea, she never can upset,—her outrigger keeps her in perfect balance. Should she need more weight on either side, a man stands on the outrigger. By her extreme narrowness and sharpness, and her wonderful power of lying near the wind,—that is, of sailing nearly toward the points from which the wind is blowing,—the proa is the swiftest craft on all the waters of the world. She can run from twenty to thirty miles an hour. With the right breeze, nothing slower than a frigate-bird or a sea-swallow can catch her.”*

“Speaking of birds,” said Charley, “I should really like to know the honest truth, without prejudice, about the Booby. For I cannot believe that anything (unless it might be a lover, or a young hen with her first chickens) was ever such a chuckle-headed fool as the ornithology books make out that poor fowl to be.”

“Well, chum,” said Joe, “that’s all right. A fellow that’s been Round shouldn’t be above doing justice even to a shark or a cockroach; and if he has got a spite against a critter, he shouldn’t be mean enough to backbite it. Nobody can say I’m down on the Booby; I feel as friendly disposed towards that amiable stoopid as there’s any call for. Still, if you put me on my after-davit, why, then I’m bound to say it ain’t talented. To be sure, in its own line it’s spry enough—just so far: it’s a pretty smart fisherman—just so far; and when it prances for a minute or two over a school of silver-bellies, and then drops down among them ker-chunk, like a bullfrog on business,—why, then somebody’s scales have got to go under somebody’s feathers, that’s all. But whose feathers? that’s the question. If you think I don’t do justice to Booby, whose feathers, then?”

“Well, whose?” said Charley.

“Why, sir,” said Joe, “by the time your Booby friend has got the water out of his eyes, taken one long breath, and swallowed Silver-Belly whole, who should come along but Frigate-Bird,—seven feet across the wings, sir, and with a swoop like a thunderbolt,—Frigate-Bird, that sleeps in the air, and, though he neither swims nor dives, is never in want of fish for his dinner. No use for Booby to run, he hasn’t got the wings; no use for him to fight, he hasn’t got the weight; no use for him to dive, he hasn’t got the wind. But Frigate-Bird wants that Silver-Belly he has just swallowed. ‘Throw down that fish!’ roars F. B.; and Booby throws it up. Before Silver-Belly can reach the water, Frigate-Bird has reached Silver-Belly. Now whose feathers, do you think? You see, Booby is a smart fisherman—just so far.

“As I said before,” continued Joe, “I haven’t got anything against Booby; he never did me any harm. But when I see a fellow that’s just been knocked down with a belaying-pin come right back to be knocked down again, as if he liked it; when I see a fellow with a mighty pair of pinions, and the broad ocean to flap them over, prance up to have his legs grabbed by the cook; when I see a fellow that can dive from over the main-truck plump down among the bonitos and the albicores, and come up dry out of any sort of a sea,—when I see him staggering and floundering around on the poop-deck, the passengers making game of him, and him making faces, sea-sick!—if I’m on my after-davit, I’m bound to say that fellow ain’t talented.

“But,” said Joe, “here’s the beauty of it. When I see a double-ended line towing over the stern, with each end baited with a chunk of fat pork, and a couple of boobies in the wake of the ship, spending the whole blessed day gobbling down the two chunks, and then jerking them up again out of each other’s stomach, as if they were on a wager which can first turn the other inside out, while the world of waters under them is all alive with fresh fish,—when I see that,” said Joe, “if I’m on my after-davit, I’m bound to declare that, compared with such a pair of ornithological idiots, a lover, or a hen with her first chickens, is a perfect Martin Tupper for wisdom.”

“Well,” said Charley, “I don’t seem to know what to make of them, unless they’re a parable; in which case, Sich is Life.”

“Speaking of fishes,” said I, “what are Chætodons?”

“Lovely little things!” said Joe; “the Straits of Macassar swarm with them, and they are plentiful in the Sooloo Sea. From their beak-like mouths they shoot flies with drops of water, and if you drop your hand in the sea they will come and play around it. Then there are the Parrot-fishes and the Rock-wrasses, glowing like tiny rainbows among the coral reefs, their bodies brilliant with bands and stripes of crimson, yellow, and silver; and the Gurnard flying-fishes, with great prominent fins, pencilled and variegated like the wings of a butterfly; and the Toad-fishes, or Anglers, with pectoral and ventral fins not unlike the feet of a tortoise, so that they can come out of the water, and crawl over the land: on their heads they have a sort of horns, from which a shining fringe plays freely in the ripples, by its brightness and its pretty changes continually attracting smaller fishes within reach of the slow and clumsy ‘Angler.’

“In the Sooloo Sea, European sailors sometimes haul huge seines; and the sport is full of excitement and fun, such surprising draughts of strange ‘outlandish’ creatures are taken in the net,—sharks, sword-fish, flying-fish, dolphins, young alligators, turtles, and snakes.

“There’s a fish called the Puttin,” said Joe, “which the people around the Sampun River in Borneo will never eat; and this is the reason why. Once upon a time a good Dyak was fishing in the Sampun, and he caught one Puttin. Presently he wanted a light for his pipe; so he landed at the house of a Malay on the shore, taking his Puttin with him; and when he had lighted his pipe he returned to his boat, but forgot the fish. When the sun had gone down, he drew in his lines, and returned to the Malay’s house for his Puttin. But, lo! instead of the fish, in the calabash where he had left it there was a beautiful dwarf-maiden, with tiny golden wings like fins, and skin like scales of rosy pearl. And when the good Dyak recovered from his astonishment he took her home, and brought her up in his family very tenderly. She grew to be a woman, like any other Dyak woman, and she was married to the fisherman’s son, and made him a good wife,—pounding the rice, and drawing the water, and mending the nets, and plaiting the mats. Then she gave birth to a son, and suckled him till he could run about. At last, one day, being on the river-bank with her husband and the little lad, suddenly she said, ‘Here, take the child, and be kind to him for my sake. I have tried to be a good wife and a good mother; but now my finny folk call me, and I must go to them.’ And so she plunged into the river, and was changed back into a Puttin!”

George Eager.

[While Joe was speaking, I remembered there was some Useful Knowledge about proas in Lord Anson’s “Voyage Round the World,” and when I went home I looked for it. Here it is: “So singular and extraordinary an invention would do honor to any nation, however dexterous and acute; since, if we consider the aptitude of this proa to the navigation of these islands, which, lying, all of them, nearly under the same meridian, and within the limits of the trade-wind, require the vessels made use of in passing from one to the other to be peculiarly fitted for sailing with the wind upon the beam,—or if we examine the uncommon simplicity and ingenuity of its fabric and contrivance, or the remarkable velocity with which it moves,—we shall in each of these particulars find it worthy of our admiration, and deserving a place among the mechanical productions of the most civilized nations, where arts and sciences have most eminently flourished.”]


Whistle once more, whistle once more,

  Whistle again, little Willie;

What body knows but he’s under the rose

  Or fast asleep in the lily?


Dreaming his wee bit dream, my lad;

  Fighting his battles again;

Leading his men with a conqueror’s pride

  On through the fiery rain.


His grape and canister, peas and beans;

  His arrows, needles and pins,—

Sharpest of steel,—and steal them he will,—

  That’s how the fairy sins.


He grows his silk on the waving corn;

  His doubtlet is cut from its leaves;

His bonnet is hid in the kernel’s heart

  He gives us the useless sheaves.


The milk-weed’s pod is his fishing-boat,—

  It has weathered many a gale;

And a stolen bodkin forms the mast,

  Where floats a gossamer sail.


A butterfly’s wing is his lady’s fan,

  Her plume the willow-tree bears;

The spider weaves her Honiton lace,

  And gay are the gowns she wears;


All sparkling with jewels, and powdered with gold,

  And streaked with the rainbow’s hue,

And (tell not your sister, my wise little lad)

  Her bravery always is new.


But whistle no more, whistle no more,

  My darling! be watchful and wary!

Hush! hear the birds singing, the happy news bringing,

  “Day breaks!”—so good by to the fairy.

Mary Leonard.


Again? But you have never seen him before! You do not remember, I suppose, what happened longer ago than yesterday. Never mind! Jamie will be just as well pleased as if you had been thinking about him ever since he made you his first bow.

In the cold country where Jamie lives the frost lies thick on the windowpanes all day long. A great fire rushes roaring up the chimney, and calls out constantly, “Be off, Jack Frost! Be off, Jack Frost!” But Jack perches saucily on the window-seat, and snaps his fingers at the fire. And how do you think Jamie can set out-doors? Why, his mamma takes a knife, and scrapes a little hole through the curtain which Jack Frost has hung there. The hole is about as big as Jamie’s eyes, and a little higher than his nose, and through it he sees everything that is going on. Once Jamie took a sleigh-ride. O, it was a sleigh-ride indeed! They went straight across the fields, over the tops of fences, upsetting a little now and then, and not minding it, till one of the horses, whose name was Charley, grew cross and tired, and got down on his knees, and said, as plainly as a horse could speak, that, as for going any farther on such a road as that, he would not. But Jamie’s papa got out, and made a track for him a little way, and then Master Charley grew ashamed of his ill-temper and his weak legs, and went about his business. But Jamie quite shook with fright. He was afraid Charley was going to “get dead.”

One thing Jamie wanted very much was a pair of boots to tuck his trousers into. But he had no trousers to speak of,—little snips of things that only came down to his knees. Then he said his feet were tired, and he wanted a pair of slippers like papa’s. So his mamma went to her bag of pieces, and found a bit of red merino, and made Jamie a pair of slippers. The soles were cut from an old buffalo-robe. Jamie grew tall as soon as he stuck his little feet into these new slippers. Now, when evening comes and papa begins to take off his boots, out come Jamie’s slippers too. The bail of a little tin pail he sets on his nose for spectacles; takes a book, though he cannot read a letter,—the little know-nothing!—and places himself in his chair with one foot on the opposite knee, so that one slipper at least shall be in plain sight.

I think myself Jamie is rather fond of fine clothes. He laments his papa’s old coat; he thinks it “looks awful.” When his tired mamma happened to sit down without noticing that her dress was awry, he cried, in distress, “O mamma! you look like old gobbler with your dress all that way; it doesn’t look nice at all.” If she puts on a new dress, his last words in bed are, “Be careful of your new dress, mamma.”

I would not have you think it is always winter where Jamie lives. Sometimes the summer is warm and bright and green, and we take long walks. Once in our walk we saw a bull coming bellowing towards us, and Jamie and I thought we would run and climb over the fence. When we were quite beyond reach of the bull, Jamie grew very brave. “Why,” said he, “when I was a little boy,—last summer, once,—I was out here, and a dozen bulls came along, and I wasn’t afraid!”

“Weren’t you?”

“No; and, O, a good while ago, when I just begun to walk, there was thirty bulls come along! I b’lieve there was ’bout thirty bulls!”—but I don’t myself believe there were more than twenty-eight, or at the utmost twenty-nine.

Once we went fishing. You should have seen Jamie with his rod on his shoulder, a pail of water in his hand for the fishes he was going to catch, and his curls tossing in the wind; at the river he set his pail on the ground, and sat down on the bank, and dropped his line into the water. The fishes were not hungry, but Jamie was patient. “Bring up the pail,” he called cheerily, after waiting I don’t know how long, “I may catch a fish by and by.” And sure enough he did catch a fish, and after he got it home the cat caught it too,—so we were none the richer for it. When we could catch no more fish, Jamie thought we might at least catch toads; for he declared, “Benny caught a toad,—shot him with his bow and arrow, and killed him, and pulled him right out of the water, and he’s ’live yet!”

One day Jamie came rushing into the house, shouting at the top of his voice that he had found a nest of kittens: “Ten,—four black ones, and four gray ones.” We went out-doors, and there indeed was a nest with eleven of the dearest little kittens,—two families of cousins. Nine of them presently went out into the world to seek their fortune, and only two remained. These two Jamie was very fond of; and he handled them so much that Mother Puss feared they would become spoiled kittens, and she hid them in the hen-coop. Foolish Puss! As if Jamie did not know the hen-coop through and through. Then she hid them again under the barn-floor, and in two days there was Jamie’s saucy nose poking under the barn-floor. Then she hid them again; and for nearly a week Jamie could not find them, and Mistress Puss had a little peace of her life. At the end of that time Jamie got the better of her again. He had found the kittens! And nothing would do but we must go and see them. Jamie ran ahead, and made his little legs go so fast that we could hardly keep up with him; and he squeezed his little self between rails and through cracks just about large enough for a mouse, and then up on the fence, and up on the hen-house, and up on the shed-roof, and at last on the top of the barn! And there, in a snug little hole in the thatch, were the two little kittens curled up in the sunshine. But the cat did not look happy. She really scowled at Jamie.

Jamie has another pet,—a beautiful white rabbit, with pink eyes and long ears. But the rabbit is bashful, and they are not yet on the best of terms. Jamie has just come in quite sorrowful to say, “I just been out to give my rabbit a turnip; and I called ‘Bunny, Bunny,’ four, four times, and he didn’t come out.”

“Didn’t he?” says Nano. “Well, come here a minute. Your face is dirty, I know; but give me a kiss.”

“O no!” says Jamie, with an expression of disgust.

“But your lips are clean,” says Nano;—whereat he just lays his thumb and forefinger round his mouth, and drops a kiss daintily through these defences.

His Bunny takes the place of a dog. Jamie does not much like dogs. A big one ran at him once, and came near biting him. “I tell you,” says Jamie, “I had a drefful scare that time. It makes me shake yet.”

One Sunday Nano was telling him about the flood and Noah. He was very still and attentive. “Were they all drowned?” he asked, when she had finished.


“All of them?”

“Yes, all.”

He paused a moment, then shook his head: “I don’t believe that. That’s too big a story.”

Jamie is very fond of using grown-up words. When his baby cousin lost his ball, he was kind and patient; but after she was gone he asked his mamma if she did not think Aunt Molly’s baby was a real nuisance! When Nano wanted him to go home with her, “O no, he could not afford to.” He does not wish to go to the Episcopal church because he “does not like the services.” He is still as a mouse while we are driving in the lake, and after we come out, he draws a long breath, and says, softly, “O, how I did enjoy that ride in the water!” When the wind blows his brown curls in his face at the picnics, he says he “believes he shall get a habit of eating hair.” But sometimes he goes a little beyond his depth. There is steamed bread on the table for breakfast, and he hears his mamma say that some one has inordinate self-esteem; so he puts the two together in his dear little brain, and presently says, “Thank you, mamma, for some of that self-esteem bread.”

We were speaking one day of the Good President. Jamie said, solemnly, “He is dead.”

“What made him die, Jamie?”

“Naughty man shoot him, and throw him up to God in the sky”;—and Jamie flung up his arms as if he were throwing something up very high, so that we could see just how the beloved President went; and if you want to know what he is doing up in the sky, there is a little boy whose name is Eddie who can tell you all about it.

Gail Hamilton.


Sad times had come for Polly Ben. “ ’Most seven years old,” mother had said that very morning, “an’ don’t know how to sew yet.”

“I do, mother,” Polly had answered. “I can make a whole square of patchwork.”

“Can’t do it with your thimble,” said mother. “You can’t take a stitch as you ought to. You go play, an’ I’ll call you at ten o’clock, an’ then you must sew till dinner-time.”

Polly went out sadly and down to the rock house. Matilda Ann was still in bed, and Polly sat down on her small stool and began to think. “I shouldn’t wonder if it was ’most ten now,” said she, “and there won’t be time to dress her or anything.”

She took Matilda out and looked at her. Poor Matilda! One leg was entirely gone, and the paint had all been scrubbed off, till her head was nothing but a wooden knob, with some ink eyes which her father had made on it the last time he had taken down the inkstand from the cupboard over the mantel-piece.

“I want a new doll,” said Polly. “I’m tired of old Matilda Ann. I’ve a good mind to pull off her other leg.”

At this moment Nathan appeared under the rock. He and Polly were so nearly of an age, that they enjoyed playing together, though Nathan was growing to look upon it as something of a favor, and was inclined to remind Polly of the things he might be doing with Jimmy or Jack, out in the oyster boat, or digging clams. Jimmy, being nearly eleven, supplied the family with fish, and the four children were not much together except on Saturdays and stormy days.

This morning Nathan had come running to tell Polly he was going far out in the skiff with Jack and Jimmy to fish for rock-fish, and to ask her if she didn’t want to go with them and help bait the hooks. He stopped, quite astonished, for Polly, generally so careful with all her dolls, was holding Matilda Ann by the leg in a very reckless manner.

“I say, Polly, what you going to do?” said Nathan.

“Nothing,” said Polly. “Yes, I am, too. I’m going to pull Matilda Ann’s other leg off, ’cause I’m tired of her.”

“Cracky!” said Nathan. “Won’t mother scold you though? Give me a pull too?”

“I don’t want to,” said Polly, “ ’cause then you’ll want to do it to the two rag ones. Mother won’t care, either, ’cause she lets me do what I’m a mind to with my own things.” Spurred on by this thought, Polly gave a little pull, and a delicate stream of sawdust began to run slowly down.

“Hi!” said Nathan. “Ain’t it fun?” and he gave a harder pull.

“Let’s play she’s got a dreadful cut, and’s all bleeding to death,” said Polly; “you be a doctor, Nathan.”

“Yes, I’ll be a doctor,” said Nathan. “Now you see this leg’s got to come off right away, quick, ’cause she’ll die in a minute if it don’t. Hold on, Polly, and I’ll pull.”

Dolly was put together strongly, but Nathan pulled till crack went the last stitch in the leg, and Polly almost fell off her stool with the shock.

“Now let’s pull her arms off too,” said Nathan. “ ’Tain’t healthy for her to have arms when she hasn’t got any legs.”

Here Jack’s head appeared in the door-way. “I say, Nathan, why don’t you come?”

Then, as he looked at the little pile of sawdust, and from that to Matilda Ann and Polly’s red face, he burst into a laugh. “That’s one way to play baby,” said he. “I thought you was fond o’ Matilda.”

“So I am,” said Polly, beginning to cry. “I am fond of her, and I’m going to mend her this very minute.”

“No, you ain’t,” said Nathan, “ ’cause I’m goin’ out fishin’ with it”;—and, snatching the leg, he ran out.

“Bring that leg back,” shouted Jack, who always stood up for Polly. “Bring it back, or you sha’n’t go out in my boat.”

Nathan came back, laughing, and threw the leg down, but too late for Polly, who, bursting into loud sobs, had clasped Matilda Ann, and rushed home to her mother. Mrs. Ben was frying doughnuts, and turned in surprise, as Polly ran in, holding up the mutilated doll.

“The land!” said she, “what have you done to Matilda?”

“She was dreadful sick,” sobbed Polly, “an’ we was doctorin’ her, an’ Nathan pulled too hard, or I held on too tight, an’ it just come off.”

“I should think it did,” said Mrs. Ben. “You go put her on the best bed, an’ I’ll sew on her leg by’m by.”

“You can’t,” said Polly, with a fresh burst. “Nathan runned away with it. He said he wanted it to go fishing with.”

“Served you right, I do most believe,” said Mrs. Ben, “treating your poor doll so. Tell Nathan I want him.”

Polly walked down to the rock house. Nathan was invisible, but the leg lay there all right. She picked it up, with all the sawdust she could, and carried it up to her mother, who restuffed it, and sewed it on again better than ever.

“I’ll never doctor her any more,” said Polly, “only for measles, may be. We was dreadful to pull her leg off.”

“I should think you was,” said Mrs. Ben. “Now the clock’s going to strike ten in a minute, and there’s your thimble and everything all ready.”

Polly sat down with a very long face, and took the nicely basted towel into her hand. This subject of sewing with a thimble had been a sore one. She was certain she never could learn; if she pressed her needle into one of the little holes, it was sure to push the thimble off, or, if it didn’t do that, the thread knotted, or caught in some mysterious way, and pulled out of the needle; and then, do what she would, she could not get it into the eye again, till it was so dirty one would have said it began life as brown thread. This morning all these difficulties came up, one after the other, till at last Polly began to cry again. “ ’Tisn’t any use at all,” said she. “The old thimble plagues me the whole time.”

“You’ll have to be more patient,” said her mother. “Look at me now, and see how I do it.”

Polly looked, and then tried again; but this morning it was of no use. Her face was very red as she went on, and she drew such a long breath that Mrs. Ben laughed.

“You may stop now,” said she, “and set the table for dinner; for you’re tired, and it’s ’most half past eleven. To-morrow morning we’ll try again.”

Polly sighed as she laid the towel in her mother’s big basket, and she sighed again next morning when she heard the clock strike ten. She was putting tiny gold and silver shells into a bottle of water, and then holding it up to the light to see the sparkle; and it was very trying to leave such lovely play, and sit for two hours poking her finger into a little brass thimble as fast as it tumbled off. To-day’s work was not much better than the day before.

“What’s got into the child?” said Mrs. Ben. “Seems to me I never had no trouble learning to sew with a thimble.”

“If you only was a boy,

 Wouldn’t you have lots o’ joy?”

sang Jimmy, who had been watching the operation from the corner where he and Nathan sat mending a fish-net.

One big tear rolled over the bridge of Polly’s nose, and fell on her towel.

“There, there!” said Mrs. Ben; “don’t do any more now. Put it all away.”

Polly put the thimble in her pocket, and ran fast to her rock house.

“Polly cries all the time, now’t she’s learning to sew,” said Nathan.

“It’s hard work,” said his mother, “and six year old ain’t as patient as nine year can be.”

Nathan turned red, for he felt very certain patience and he had but little to do with each other; and, to change the subject, he slid out of the door, and down to Polly, who sat hugging Matilda Ann, and looking very thoughtful.

“It makes my stomach ache to sew,” said she, “an’ I’ll wear my finger all out with that hateful thimble.”

“Throw it away,” said Nathan.

“No,” said Polly, “ ’cause mother gave it to me. I’m a great mind to hide it though.”

“I’ll hide it,” said Nathan. “You give it to me, an’ then, when mother asks, you can say you don’t know where it is.”

Polly took out the thimble, and Nathan, snatching it, ran up to the head of the cove. When he came back his hand was quite empty, and Polly said not a word.

Somehow or other, play that day was not as nice as usual, and Polly went to bed very early. Next morning and ten o’clock came very soon; and Polly sat down on her stool, and took her little box of spools and needles into her hand.

“Where’s your thimble?” said Mrs. Ben, seeing her sit idle.

“I don’t know,” said Polly, turning very red.

“Look all round for it,” said her mother, and Polly began a search through the room.

“It’s very queer,” said Mrs. Ben, too busy to notice Polly’s red face. “I thought I saw you put it in your box, certain. So long as you can’t find it, though, you may go out again, and I’ll look by’m by.”

Nathan, going down to the rock house after a time, found Polly sitting by Matilda Ann, and crying aloud.

“What’s the matter now?” said he. “Been sewing some more?”

“Where’s my thimble? I’m an awful girl, I do believe,” sobbed Polly. “I want to find it, and tell mother.”

“She’ll give it to you for cheating,” said Nathan. “Mother can’t stand cheating, an’ she’ll give it to me too for doing it for you.”

“No, she won’t,” said Polly, “for I sha’n’t tell about you. Get it for me, now, Nathan.”

Nathan marched after the thimble; but, seeming to forget he was to hand it to Polly, ran up to the house.

“Stop, Nathan!” screamed Polly. “I want it myself.”

But Nathan didn’t stop, and Polly ran after him, just in time to hear him say: “Here’s Polly’s thimble, mother. I hid it for her, ’cause she was tired o’ sewing, an’ she didn’t know where I put it exactly, an’ I wouldn’t ’a’ told her, if she hadn’t been a crying ’cause she’d cheated!”

“I let him, mother,” said Polly; “I’m the baddest. I’ll sew all the afternoon.”

“Well, if I ever!” said Mrs. Ben; and then smiled a little as she looked at them. “You’re good children to own up,” said she, “an’ I guess I’ll let it square our account. Off with you! and I shouldn’t wonder if Polly sewed better to-morrow for having been an honest gal to-day.”

Sure enough, for that or some other reason, the sewing went on so well that Polly at last took a dozen stitches, one after the other, with very little trouble, and in a week or two could sew much better with than without a thimble.

“How much money is there in my tin box?” said Polly, one day.

“ ’Most a dollar, I guess,” answered her mother. “Why?”

“ ’Cause I want a new doll,” said Polly; “a real good one, and not wooden, like Matilda Ann. One with hair like that we saw down to Shrewsbury.”

“They cost a deal,” said her mother, “and father isn’t home to get you one.”

“Couldn’t I earn some money?” said Polly.

Mrs. Ben thought awhile. “There’s all the over-hand seams to them new sheets,” said she. “If you’ll do ’em nice, Polly, I’ll pay you two cents a yard.”

Polly looked grave. Over-hand seam she could but just bear to do. “How many are there?” said she.

“Ten of ’em, and every one three yards long.”

“Ho!” said Polly. “That’s thirty yards. I never could.”

“Yes, you could,” said her mother. “Do a yard a day, and ’t wouldn’t take you much more ’n a month. I’ll give you three silver quarters for the whole.”

Polly’s eyes shone. “I’ll do it,” said she, and raced off to tell Nathan and Jimmy.

So through all the hot August days Polly sewed away at the long seams. It was very trying work sometimes, and her small nose would have a whole line of little beads of perspiration standing on it before she ended. The rows of stitches too, were of every shade, from gray and brown to a lively black, from Polly’s little, hot, sweaty hands; but Mrs. Ben said to herself, ’t would all wash out, and Polly was working hard, sure enough.

Finally came a day when the last stitch was taken, and Polly danced about like a wild child. Her mother had put the three shining silver pieces on the table by her, and Nathan, very much interested, had pried up the side of the money-box so that it wouldn’t take a minute to turn all out together. There was quite a pile, and Polly began to count with a very eager face. “Five quarters, an’ a sixpence, an’ two dimes, and there’s twenty pennies and a five-cent piece. How much does it all make?”

“One dollar and seventy-six cents,” said Jimmy, who did the arithmetic for the family.

And Polly shouted, “There’s a beauty little one for a dollar and a half. O mother, do come along right away!”

Mrs. Ben had made her preparations, and, though Polly didn’t know it, Jack was waiting up on the bluff with the old horse and fish-wagon.

Polly never forgot that ride over the sandy road to Shrewsbury, with the September sun shining down on them, and a soft haze resting over the sea, towards which they often looked, to see if, by any chance, Cap’n Ben’s schooner might be sailing in. Polly had no difficulty in choosing her doll; for there were but three in the store, and only one within her means. Such blue eyes, and red lips, and curling, yellow hair, have never in her opinion been seen on any doll since; and she hugged it all the way home in a perfect transport of affection. Even the scoffing and unbelieving Jimmy and Nathan admitted that it was “kinder pooty,” and treated it with more respect than they had ever shown Matilda Ann.

“I am going to call her Seraphina,” said Polly; “that’s the handsomest name I can think of. Mother used to know a girl, and her name was Seraphina Simmons.”

So time went on. Matilda Ann was altogether neglected, and every stray bit of silk and muslin in the house was turning into mysterious fixings for Seraphina. Jimmy and Nathan were no less busy. They were finishing a little schooner, begun under their father’s eye, and an exact model of his. Polly had been hired with four red apples and a jews-harp to hem the sails, and the little thing was all ready for launching. Jack had gained a holiday by extra work; and the last Saturday afternoon in September the four children, with a supply of doughnuts and apple turn-overs, took up quarters in the rock house, while Jack put the last nail in the little ways down which the schooner was to slide. It was only a board, with a cleet, or narrow strip, nailed to each side, and one end fastened to another piece of board to raise it two or three feet from the ground, and so enable the schooner to slide down easily to the water.

Jack carried the board to the head of the cove, where the sand was smooth and the water not very deep, and set it so that the lower end was just in the water. Then Jimmy and Nathan put the schooner on it, and placed a little block of wood underneath to hold it steady till they were ready, while Polly, carrying Seraphina, looked on with admiration.

“Now, boys,” said Jack, “I’ve got the hammer; when I knock the block out, and the schooner begins to go, you hurrah loud as ever you can.”

Jimmy and Nathan took off their hats to have them all ready for a toss, and Polly almost choked, keeping back her hurrah till just the right moment. Jack gave a little knock, the block flew out, and the schooner started,—stopped a moment, as if it hadn’t made up its mind, and then slid down faster and faster, till it touched water, dipped a moment, and then skimmed along like a bird to the other side of the cove. Such a shout from the three boys that Polly forgot entirely she was to take part in it, and came out with a little shrill hurrah when all the others were through.

Jimmy had raced to the other side of the cove, and now the three boys, with trousers rolled up above their knees, sailed the little schooner back and forth with more and more enthusiasm.

“Won’t father be tickled?” said Nathan. “I say, Polly, let’s give Seraphina a sail. Play she’s the captain’s wife, come to the launch.”

“O my!” said Polly, “I wouldn’t dare. S’posin’ she was to get upset.”

“O, but she won’t,” said Nathan. “Don’t you see how she goes? There ain’t any upset to that schooner.”

“She’s steady as a rock,” said Jimmy;—and Polly, who had great faith in Jimmy’s judgment, allowed Seraphina to be seated on the deck and started off to the other side.

Certainly it was a very pretty sight, and they might have kept it up all night, if Jack, looking up suddenly, had not said: “My! there’s the sun setting, an’ I’ve got to drive the cows home. We’ll send her across once more.”

Seraphina’s curls blew out as the little schooner got half-way across.

“Look out, boys!” shouted Jimmy, “there comes a flaw!”

The water darkened and rippled up as the quick breeze swept over it; the sails swelled, and the schooner keeled over almost to the water’s edge, then righted, and went on safely. Seraphina slipped, caught against the mast, then slid, and was in the water before the little vessel had reached the shore.

“O my doll, my doll!” screamed Polly, as Seraphina, weighed down by the heavy string of great glass beads Polly had put on her that very afternoon in honor of the day, bobbed up and down once or twice and then sank.

Nathan began to cry, and Jimmy and Jack looked on in consternation.

“Never mind,” said Jack, “I’ll get her up again. Where’s the punt and the oyster-tongs? No, I’ll swim out and dive.”

Jack and Jimmy both swam out, and both searched, but the doll was not to be found. Polly stood on the shore pale and quiet, and not shedding a tear till Jack said, “It’s no good. I guess she’s gone into some hole.” Then she started and ran fast to the house. Mrs. Ben turned, quite frightened at her pale face, and Polly ran into her mother’s arms.

“O mother, mother! O mother!” sobbed Polly, “what shall I do? Seraphina’s dead! she’s drownded!”

“Land o’ Goshen!” said Mrs. Ben, “what will happen next? Tell mother about it.”

So Polly, in tears and misery, told the sad story, while Jimmy and Nathan, who had followed her, stood looking on in silent sympathy.

“I guess Jack means to do something, mother,” said Jimmy, “for he said he’d take the cows home, and come back like a streak. He can do most anything, you know, Polly.”

Polly, a little comforted, raised her head, but laid it down with a fresh burst a moment after. “He can’t get her, I know,” she said. “Her clothes are all spoiled, an’ her hair’ll soak off, and all her beautiful red cheeks!—Oh!”

There was no comfort for this. Mrs. Ben sat and held her till bedtime, and then undressed her herself, and tucked her into the trundle-bed, and there we will leave her.

Jimmy and Nathan stood on the shore, looking off to the path over which Jack would come. The moon was up clear and full, and shining over the water, and, as the boys tried to remember the exact spot where poor Seraphina had gone down, Jack came like a flash, carrying the biggest oyster-tongs he had been able to find.

“I told Mis’ Green all about it,” said he, “and she told me to bring the doll right up there, if I found it.”

Jack stepped into the punt which the boys had brought round, and rowed out as nearly as he could remember to the exact place. Then he stood up and slowly lowered the great tongs. There was dead silence on the shore while he groped about, and at last carefully raised them.

“Bosh!” said Jack, as he shook off a great clump of shells and sea-weed, and put them down again. This time he was longer, and the boys half lost patience, when—

“Hurrah!” all three shouted, for there was Seraphina,—nothing but a lump of mud to be sure, but still Seraphina, for they could see her scarlet skirt.

“Now,” said Jack, when he had gone back to shore, “let’s have a race to Squire Green’s.”

Jimmy got there first, and stood outside the gate waiting for the others to come up. Mrs. Green was in the porch, and a fair, sweet-looking lady was walking up and down the wide hall.

“That’s the one that’s going to fix her,” said Jack; “that’s Mis’ Green’s daughter.”

The lady laughed a little as she saw poor Seraphina. “Take off her clothes, if you can, Jack,” said she, “and then we’ll see what can be done.”

Jack got them off after a fashion, and then the lady washed dolly in some water, till the mud was off. After all, it was not so bad. Her pink cheeks and lips were gone, and her hair soaked into a little dripping tail, but she was still whole and uninjured. Mrs. Lane (that was the lady) wiped her carefully, then combed her hair smoothly, and brought forward some curious little tongs, such as the boys had never seen.

“Those are too large,” said she: “they are curling tongs, but I think a pipe-stem will do better for Miss Dolly.”

Squire Green handed her one of his pipes, and Mrs. Lane heated it in the lamp, and then, brushing the hair smoothly around it, and pulling it out, there was a more charming curl than dolly had before. This work done, she turned to the table and took up a little brush from a saucer standing there. Seraphina’s red cheeks and lips were back in a twinkling.

“Now,” said Mrs. Lane, “my little Lotty has some dolly’s clothes which will, I think, fit Seraphina exactly.”

So from the stand in the corner came little things, one after the other, till Seraphina was better dressed than ever.

“Now carry her very carefully,” said Mrs. Lane, “and put her where she can dry all night. In the morning she will be just as good as before her ducking.”

The boys could hardly wait to say, “Thank you,” and dashed home. Polly was fast asleep, for it was after nine now. Mrs. Ben laid Seraphina on the table by the bed, and gave Jack such a piece of pie that it came very near being a whole one.

Polly opened her eyes brightly next morning, and then, remembering her loss, sat up sadly in the trundle-bed, and looked about. What a squeal she gave! for there on the stand lay Seraphina, in such a pretty pink dress that Polly felt quite crazy. Mother looked down from the big bed. “Well, Polly, what do you think o’ that?”

Polly heard the whole story in silence, hugging Seraphina tighter and tighter, and was hardly willing to let go of her one moment all day.

That afternoon Jack and she went up to Squire Green’s. There were three children there,—the little Lotty, and two boys, Paul and Henry, one older and one younger than Jack. Mrs. Lane was with them, and Polly at once fell in love with her sweet face and pleasant voice. By and by Squire Green came out.

“Here’s a boy,” said he to Paul, taking hold of Jack, “who’ll show you all the ins and outs ’long shore,—a good boy, too, that won’t be getting you into mischief.”

Paul looked as if he didn’t care to be shown, and Polly felt indignant that anybody should stare at Jack in such a manner.

“Jack fished up my Seraphina,” said she, “an’ he knows more than any other boy in the world.”

There might have been hard words here, but Mrs. Lane gave each one a cake, and Jack and Polly ate theirs as they walked home.

“Good by, Jack,” said Polly, as they reached her door. “I wonder if it’s wicked, when you ain’t any relation; but I love you just as much as I do Jimmy and Nathan, I do believe.”

Helen C. Weeks.


“I say, Sue, ain’t it splendid?” asked Will, laying down the book, and turning to his companion.

“Don’t you like that part where Robinson crawled up and saw ’em eating each other? Don’t it just make you sort of creep all over,—so nice?”

“Yes, that’s nice; but I liked it better where Robinson saw the print of the foot in the sand. O, just think how scared he was then!” replied Sue, her great brown eyes opening wide in sympathy with Crusoe’s supposed dismay.

Will did not pursue the subject. A new and wonderful idea had suddenly entered his curly head, and it took all his mental force to grapple with it. He laid down the book, went to the window, through which came the pleasant sights and sounds of a summer day in the country, stood there a minute, and then came back to the sofa where his pretty playmate still sat, her feet curled under her, her curls drooping over her rosy face, and her eyes fixed upon the picture of Robinson intent upon the footprint in the sand.

“Sue,” said Will, softly, “let’s us run away!”

Sue looked up in astonishment and a little doubt. “Would you?” asked she; “what’s the use?”

“Why, so as to be like Robinson, you know. We’ll have a cave, and I’ll make a palisade all round it, so no one can get in, and we’ll have a parrot. I know a fellow that’s got one, and I guess he’ll give it to me for my jack-knife, and we’ll have goats.”

“Where’ll we get goats?” asked Sue, already warming with enthusiasm, but not yet beyond doubt.

“O, we’ll get ’em—somewhere. May be we’ll find one running about in the woods; or, if we don’t, I might get a calf out of father’s yard some night. And then you’ll sew my clothes, and we’ll have an umbrella made of skin, and I’ll teach you to read and write—”

“I know how to read already, and you can’t write very well yourself,” interposed Sue, rather indignantly.

“Well, just play, you know; because if I’m Robinson, you must be the man Friday, of course.”

“But I ain’t a man,” objected Sue.

“Well, then, you shall be a girl Friday, and instead of Robinson I’ll be Will Crusoe, and then some day, when we get tired of it, and come back to live among folks, I’ll write a book, and tell all about it.”

“Well, I will if you will,” consented Sue, still a little aghast at the size of the idea, but confiding, as was her habit, in Will’s superior judgment and experience, not to mention his physical strength, which, with bigger girls than Susy, carries its weight. Besides, Will was ten years old, and Sue only eight,—a superiority upon which that young man was a good deal in the habit of insisting, as in the present instance, when he said,—

“Of course you will, Susy. I’ll take care of you like everything, and keep off all the creatures and savages, and make a nice bower for you out in another part of the woods, and tell you all about the world: we’ll play, you know, that I’ve been everywhere and you haven’t, and we’ll have lots of fun, you see if we don’t.”

“But how will we get to an island? There isn’t any sea here,” suggested Sue, after some moments of profound consideration.

“Why, we needn’t have it an island. We’ll go off in the woods ever so far, and make believe it’s an island. And, Sue, I do declare if that ain’t an idea!—we’ll take the doctor’s horse and chaise!”

“My gracious!” gasped Sue.

“Yes. He’s just driven up and hitched it. He’s going in to see grandpa, and he always stays ever so long when he gets in there. Now, you see, we’ll just get in, drive straight ahead till we come to a forest, and then we’ll get out, and turn old Whitefoot toward home, and set him off. He’ll come back all right; and we might send a letter by him to tell our folks that they needn’t worry, and that we ain’t ever coming back.”

“How’ll we write the letter out there in the island?” asked Sue, meditatively.

“I’ll carry a pencil and a piece of paper, and I can write enough to say just that, I know. Any way, I sha’n’t have to print, same as you would, Susy. Never mind, though, I’ll teach you after we get the cave built, and the palisade, and all. Now you get your hat, and some picture-books, and the box of dominos, and some paper and a pencil, and I’ll go into the but’ry and get something to eat. Mother said, you know, we might have as much as we wanted of that gingerbread; so I guess I’ll take it all, and some bread and butter, and cheese, and a pie. You see we shall want such things for a day or two, and then we shall get to eating—What did Robinson eat mostly?”

“Fish and clams and cocoa-nuts, till the rice and wheat grew,” said Sue, obviously doubting the supply of shell-fish in the forest island she was about to set forth to seek.

“O well, we’ll get something,—checkerberry-leaves and spruce-gum, any way,—and pretty soon there’ll be chestnuts,” asserted Will, recklessly, and bustled off to his mother’s well-stocked larder, whence he presently returned with a basketful of eatables.

Sue was ready also, her round arms and white apron full of books, toys, a gray kitten, and the tiny work-box given her upon her last birthday by her kind aunt, Will’s mother. For Susy was an orphan, and had come about a year before to live with her uncle and aunt, and be a playmate and companion for Will, their only child. This fine summer day had been selected by the parents for a distant and long-deferred visit; and the children had been left to their own care and that of Melissa, the young woman in the kitchen, who, having given them their dinner, and seen them settled with their books in the cool, old-fashioned parlor, considered her duty accomplished, and went to her own room to “fix up” for the afternoon.

The doctor, closeted with grandpa in the bedroom at the back of the house, was deep in one of his favorite theories, and Jotham, the hired man, was busy in the cornfield, so that no one was at hand to see or prevent the elopement of our youthful couple, who, divided between joy and terror at their own success, bestowed their housekeeping preparations in the bottom of the chaise, unhitched Whitefoot from the paling, and set forth.

“There, Sue, what do you say to that?” asked Will, after they were fairly started; and, settling himself in his seat, he looked round in triumph upon his companion, who answered, tremulously,—

“It’s real nice, only are you sure you know how to drive, Will?”

“Drive! Of course I do! Don’t father let me drive ’most always when we go out to ride in the carry-all?” asked vainglorious Will.

“Yes; but then he’s right there himself, and he always keeps a-looking at you.”

“Well, Sue, I do say you’re too bad! When I’m going to make you a cave and a palisade, and catch goats, and everything, you talk all the time as if you thought I couldn’t do anything, and you didn’t want to go. If you’re scared, do say so, and we’ll go home again.”

As he spoke, Will made a pretence of drawing the rein to turn Whitefoot’s head toward home; but, as he knew in his boy-heart would be the case, Sue prevented him, protesting, with tears in her eyes and in her voice, that she had no idea of being scared, that she was quite sure Will knew how to drive, that she didn’t mean to say anything, and—and—

So Will resumed his conquering airs, comforted his little cousin, promised renewed protection, and drove on; she smiling with all her might, and concealing her quaking heart under assurances of the most unbounded confidence.

If the man who wrote it down that “the boy is father to the man,” had said, instead, that the girl is mother to the woman, he would have shown more sense; but perhaps he thought, as the French have it, “that goes without saying.”

The summer day was almost done; Whitefoot, Susy, and even Will himself, were beginning to grow tired; black clouds were rolling up for a thunder-storm;—and still the forest was not reached, nor had any desert island, either real or make-believe, presented itself. Susy had long ceased to speak, except in answer to Will’s remarks or questions, and even these were growing rare, as the young Crusoe found the practical questions of his undertaking pressing more and more closely upon him, and did not find any ready answers to them.

The first low thunder-peal rolled along the horizon, heralded by the first blue flash of lightning. Whitefoot pricked up his ears, tossed his head, and quickened his pace.

“May be he’s afraid of lightning, Will!” exclaimed Sue, sitting upright, and turning very pale.

“Sho! No, he isn’t,” said the boy, tightening his hold upon the reins, and looking uneasily about him.

“There’s some woods over there,—may be it’s the forest,—and we’ll get out, and send Whitefoot home, if you say so,” suggested he, presently.

Drawn by S. Eytinge, Jr.]          [See Will Crusoe and his Girl Friday, page 668.

“Yes, do. O Will!” and the little girl clung convulsively to her cousin’s arm, while a vivid flash and rattling peal seemed to fill the whole atmosphere.

Whitefoot, answering to the challenge, flourished his sandy tail, letting it fall within the dasher, uttered a shrill neigh, and set off at speed. Will tugged at the reins, but might as well have tugged at the Atlantic cable. Sue, too thoroughly frightened for disguise, covered her face with both hands, and sobbed piteously.

Another flash, and another, and Whitefoot, missing the doctor’s steady hand and soothing voice, gave full play to the “nerves” he did not often get an opportunity of indulging, and snorted, plunged, and tore madly on, making the chaise bound and rock behind him, until poor little Sue, too frightened now for tears, could only cling to the hand-strap, and hold her breath in an agony of suspense.

A final peal crashing through their very heads, accompanied by a blinding flash, and Whitefoot, springing to the side of the road, tilted one wheel into a ditch, upset the chaise, and rushed madly on, dragging it behind him.

The children lay where they were thrown for a minute; and then Will, sternly refusing himself the luxury of tears, gathered up what seemed at first but the bruised fragments of a body, but proved, upon inspection, to be the whole, shook himself together, and looked round for Susy. She, poor little thing! had fared worse. Her forehead was cut and bleeding, her eyes were closed, and her pretty face, white and cold as snow, looked more like that of a statue than that of Will’s rosy and merry little playmate.

He stood and gazed at her in awe for a moment; then, smoothing down her little frock, and laying his handkerchief across the wound upon her forehead, he sat quietly down beside her. “She’s dead,” said he, softly, “and I shall sit here to keep the wolves off till I am dead too. Then they will eat us both, unless some angels come first to carry her off. I should think they would, she was such a good little girl!”

Then poor Will fell to wondering forlornly, if any angels should come for Susy, whether they would charitably help him, who had not been, as he now became painfully aware, a particularly angelic boy, and, even if they were so disposed, how they would be able to do so; and, with these questions yet unsolved, fell fast asleep, his head drooping lower and lower until it lay upon Susy’s lap.

“Sakes alive! what’s this?” exclaimed Mrs. Hoskins, as she went out at her back-door the morning after the thunder-storm to set her shining milk-pans in the sun.

“What’s what, mother?” asked a blithe voice; and Bessie Hoskins, dish-towel in hand, followed her mother to the door.

“Why, them young ones coming down the lane,” said the farmer’s wife, pointing to two forlorn little figures approaching the house from the direction of the wood-lot.

“Sure enough! Well, that beats me, I do declare,” returned Bessie, staring with all her might.

Approaching nearer, the strange guests showed themselves to be a fine-looking boy, without cap or jacket, but otherwise well dressed, and a lovely little girl, her head bound with a handkerchief, her face deadly pale, and wearing above her summer frock the jacket of her companion. Both children were so torn, stained, weather-beaten, and disorderly in appearance, that Bessie felt moved to suggest,—“They’re walkabouts,—ain’t they, mother? Come to see what they can carry off.”

“For shame, Bessie Hoskins! Don’t go to suspecting folks just because they’re poor and ragged. Not that these young ones seem so dreadful poor, neither. They look sort of used up, but they’ve got on shoes and stockings, both on ’em,—summer time, too,”—said the shrewd and kindly mother, going a few steps down the garden-path to meet the children, who were just unlatching the little gate.

Bessie, somewhat abashed at the rebuke she had received, followed silently.

“Good morning, ma’am!” said hatless Will, as prettily as possible.

“Good morning to yourself, sir. What can I do for you?” replied Mrs. Hoskins, smiling good-naturedly.

“Why, you see, ma’am, we—Sue and me—are going a little way farther, only she’s hurt her head, and I’m awful hungry, ’cause Whitefoot ran away with the basket; and if you’d give us something to eat, and fix Sue’s head a little, I’ll send word to my folks, and they’ll come and give you something, ’cause we ain’t beggars,”—and Will, a little flushed and uncomfortable, but withal glad to have delivered himself of the speech so carefully prepared, stood looking gravely into the kind face of Mrs. Hoskins, while poor little Sue laid her head upon his shoulder, and closed her eyes with a look of patient suffering very pitiful to the kindly heart of the farmer’s wife.

“Well, if ever I did see the beat of this! Here, you come right in, and set up to the fire. You’re all of a muck with dew and dust, and—Guess you laid out all night, didn’t you?”—and as she spoke the dame brought in her guests, placed them in front of the crackling fire, and began to take off the jacket Will had buttoned over Susy’s bare neck and arms.

“Yes’m, we had to sleep on the ground, ’cause Susy was dead, I thought, and I didn’t look for any cave; but in the morning she woke up, and then I thought we’d find a house, and get something to eat, and I guess I’d better leave her with you a little while, till I get a place fixed.”

“A place, child! What kind of a place do you calc’late to fix?” asked Mrs. Hoskins, with a side glance at Bessie, who hovered near, divided between astonishment and admiration.

“Why, a cave, or a hut, or something; I’ll fix it,” replied Will, a little uneasily; for he began to fear his new friend might try to interfere with the project still so near his heart.

“Just you hear that, will you, Bess?” exclaimed Mrs. Hoskins; and then, acting upon the womanly impulse of relieving suffering before inquiring too curiously into the deserts of the sufferer, she sent Bessie for two mugs of the rich new milk she had just strained, and, taking the poor little “girl Friday” into her lap, began to strip off the wet and torn clothing from her shivering limbs, uttering the while such exclamations as, “Poor little lamb! If ever I saw the beat! I declare for ’t, it’s enough to make a mother bawl right out, to see a poor little innocent creter so put upon. There, my pretty, drink the nice warm milk right down. It’ll kind o’ set ye up. That’s a beauty! Now she’s a little lamb-pie; and we’ll wash that great ugly cut all off nice, and get her to bed.”

So, soothing and caressing the pretty child she had already taken into her motherly heart, Mrs. Hoskins fed, clothed, and placed her in her own bed, then returned to the kitchen to find the great Will Crusoe fast asleep upon the settle, a big doughnut in one hand and a piece of cheese in the other, and the tears he had so bravely kept back while he waked creeping from under his closed eyelids. Bessie still stood admiring him, her neglected towel hanging from her arm.

“My! ain’t he a beauty?” whispered she, as her mother approached. “Just see his curls! and what a pretty mouth he’s got!” And Bessie stooped to kiss the bright lips quivering in sympathy with the tears.

Her mother grasped her by the shoulder, saying, “You go and mind your work, Bess Hoskins! Kissing the boy when he’s asleep ain’t going to do him no good, nor you either. Wait till he wakes, and then see what you can do about making him comf’table. Kissing ain’t much account, if that’s where it stops.”

But before poor Will’s nap was over, before Bessie’s dishes were washed, or Mrs. Hoskins’s cream well in the churn, a chaise drove rapidly up to the door, and from it sprang Doctor Morland’s well-known form.

“I’m powerful glad to see you, Doctor,” began Mrs. Hoskins, untying her apron, and going to meet him.

“Can’t stop a minute, mother; only called to ask if you’d seen—Hallo! There’s my young horse-stealer, safe and sound; but where’s the little one? where’s Sue?”

“There! I reckoned you’d know about ’em. Well, if this ain’t just the beat of everything ever I see yet! Here, Doctor, come right into the bedroom. I ha’n’t had time to fix up much this morning, but—there, that’s her you’re looking for,—ain’t it?”

The Doctor bent over the dozing child, laid a finger on her pulse, then on her brow and cheek, and said gravely, “Yes, and a sick child enough she’ll be before to-morrow morning. We must get her home. Here, Mother Hoskins, you put on your bonnet, and come along with me to hold her in your lap. I can’t wait to go for her aunt, and Will isn’t big enough.”

Mrs. Hoskins cast one look at her churn, another at the meat Bessie was just bringing out of the cellar, then hesitated no longer. Giving a few comprehensive directions to her daughter, she hurriedly changed her dress for a better one, tied on her bonnet, and, seating herself in the chaise, took upon her lap and gathered to her heart the poor little orphan, who lay there dozing and unconscious. The fifteen miles between the Hoskins farm and Will’s home were soon passed; and before noon Sue lay in her own little bed, with her pale and tearful aunt bending tenderly over her. The Doctor did not leave her, but put Whitefoot in the barn, while Will’s father, returning from his search in another direction, took his own horse, and set off to find his truant boy, with a mind divided between joy and displeasure.

“It would do him good to have a sound flogging,” remarked he to himself more than once on the road.

“But you know you won’t give it to him,” replied himself to him, with a knowing smile, and himself proved right; for when Will came running to the Hoskinses’ gate, his face all flushed with joy at the meeting, even while his eyes were full of tears as he eagerly asked for Sue, the father took him in his arms, and kissed him tenderly.

Sue was very, very ill for many days, and not strong again for many months, yet at last she recovered, and became as gay and active and beautiful as before; but although she still believes very much in Will, and loves him better than any one else in the world, I do not think even he could tempt her to set off again to find an island in the forest, or to accept the part of Will Crusoe’s girl Friday, even if the island were found.

Jane G. Austin.



The June morning dawned beautifully; the settlers, leaving the rangers to protect the garrison, came, men and boys, to their work. Placing their dinners, and a pail of water, beside the pine stump, they freshened the priming of their guns, and, leaning them against the wall of the breastwork, plied their labor.

That morning, William McLellan, who was now eighteen, and James Mosier, who was much younger, were put upon the stump as sentinels,—William on the side next to the rock, James on that next to the men, who, with their backs to the rock, were nearly at the other end of the piece. The sun was getting hot, and the boys began to grow sleepy. It had been some weeks since they had been alarmed by Indians, and in that field they felt quite secure. William, with his hands on the muzzle of his gun, and his chin upon his hands, was almost dozing. The Indians, whose keen eyes were fastened upon the boys, were preparing for a spring, and had already loosened their tomahawks in their belts, when James exclaimed, “Bill, here comes the Captain!”

They straightened themselves up, and brought their guns to a “shoulder-arms,” as he came near. Thirsty with his work, he had come in quest of water.

“James,” said he, after he had drank, “give me your gun, while you put that water where it will keep cool. It is going to be a very hot day, and it will be as warm as dish-water if it stays there. Put it under the side of that big rock, and be sure and set it level, for, if it is spilt, it will take one man to go after more, and two more to guard him.”

This was a trying moment for the Indians, as James was approaching the very place of their ambush; but, with that unrivalled self-command which the savage possesses, they remained without the motion of a muscle, trusting that the bright glare of the sun without would so dazzle the eyes of the boy as to prevent him from seeing them in their dark retreat, especially as the color of their bodies harmonized so perfectly with the charred logs under which they lay. James placed his pail by the side of the rock; but as it was nearly full, and the ground fell off, he began to hunt for a stick or stone to put under the side of the vessel. In thus doing he looked into the hole, and his eyes encountered those of an Indian.

With a yell that reached the ears of the men at the other end of the field, he tumbled over backwards, and, clapping both hands to his head, as if to save his scalp, uttered scream upon scream. The Indians, hatchet in hand, sprang over the body, and, hurling their weapons at their foes to confuse their aim, turned to flee. The guns made a common report, and two of the savages fell dead, when Captain Phinney, catching a musket from the wall, brought another down with a wound in the hip. The remaining savage, catching up the screaming boy, flung him over his back as he ran, thus shielding himself from William’s fire, (who had provided himself with another gun,) as he was afraid of hitting his comrade. The moment he was out of gunshot, he flung down his burden, and fled to the shelter of the woods. The wounded savage was despatched by a blow from the breech of Captain Phinney’s rifle. James, now relieved from his fears, had screamed himself so hoarse that he made a noise much like a stuck pig in his dying moments.

“Now, William,” said Captain Phinney, patting him on the shoulder, for he loved the boy, “you have shown yourself a man to-day, and one that is to be trusted. You know I have always said that you were more than half Indian. Now I want you to change clothes with that Indian I knocked on the head. I am going to send you to the fort, and I want your clothes to dress him in, and put him on the stump; for if these cunning imps miss any of us, they will know we have sent word to the fort. I want to take them in their own trap.”

William put on the Indian’s breech-clout, belt, and leggins, with knife and tomahawk. They then dressed the Indian in William’s clothes, and, lashing him to a stake, set him on the stump, putting Stephen Bryant with him.

“Neighbors,” said Captain Phinney, “these risky devils didn’t come here without support near at hand. There are more, and a good many more, close by. I will say this for them, their plot was well and bravely laid, and nothing but the providence of God hindered its success. In my opinion, they won’t give it up so, but they will ambush us as we go home to-night. We must therefore match craft with craft, if we can. William,” continued he, “I want you to crawl to the fort, and tell the corporal what has taken place here; that we shall come to the fort by the old road, with the sun just half an hour high, and that we expect to find the path waylaid. Tell him to take his men and try to come at that time upon the Indians’ rear, and to be very careful that he is not ambushed himself.”

They now took their hoes, and, putting William between Edmund Phinney and Hugh, the two largest men, the rest crowding around, that, if the Indians were watching from the woods, they might not see him, escorted him to the end of the piece, where, flinging himself flat on the ground, he crawled through the grass to the woods, made his way to the garrison, and delivered his message.

No sooner did William, after he had thus provided for the welfare of the rest, find himself at leisure, with a good part of a June day on his hands, than his fancy was fired with the idea of discovering the Indian ambush,—an act of cool daring, in one so well acquainted with the keen senses of the savage, which cannot be easily paralleled. Taking from the Indian’s girdle a bladder filled with paints, he got one of the rangers to paint his body and face a copper color, and tied up his hair in Indian fashion. He did this in order that his color might be more in harmony with the logs and trunks of the trees, and thus he would not be so easily seen in the dusk of the forest, and, if seen by the savages, might be taken for one of their number. He now set out upon his “war-path,” to all appearance as veritable a savage as ever swung a tomahawk. He proceeded in the direction of the field, till he judged himself in the neighborhood of the Indians, and then, climbing a hemlock, sat in the branches to watch the crows.

Crows are singular birds; they have a keen scent for carrion, and are therefore always ready to hover about an Indian camp, to pick the bones of the game they kill. They are also a prying, meddlesome thing, wanting to know all that is going on in the world, and thrusting their noses into everybody’s business. I don’t blame them for screaming when they see a bluejay, or a raccoon, because they steal their eggs; but if a fox is going along, or a man, though it is none of their business, they will hover over him and scream. Even the sight of a man sitting still in the woods will attract their regards.

William knew this very well, for he knew all about crows. He knew, too, that the crows had young ones in their nests, not far from the road to the field; that, if the Indians were there, the crows would be uneasy; and that the very silence of the Indians, and any attempt to hide in the woods, would make these keen-sighted and wary birds uneasy, because they would suspect some design upon them. He had not been long in the tree before he heard the crows screaming, and saw two of them fly towards a brook that skirted the road to the cornfield, and shortly fly back to the spot from which they started, and, seating themselves on the top of a dead pine, remain quiet.

He now made up his mind that the Indian ambush was near the foot of that tree,—that some of the Indians had gone to the brook to drink, and the crows had borne them company. “These crows are expecting a meal to-night,” said William to himself; “I trust they will feast on Indians.”

Fully alive to the deadly peril he incurred in attempting to creep to an Indian ambush, the young man, as we must now call him, bent all his faculties to the work. As the brook had shelving banks, and was then quite a stream, though now not worth the name, and would lead him near to the spot where he thought the Indians had gone to drink, he determined to take to the brook. The banks of the brook would also shelter him from the notice of the crows, which might betray him to the Indians; for he knew that the Indians understood crow language better than he did. The brook also made a good deal of noise running over logs and roots, which would prevent his steps from being heard.

In the first place, he covered his head and neck with brakes and moss, so as not to be distinguishable from the vegetation around him. He then got into the brook, and with the greatest care proceeded in the direction of the dead pine. Presently he heard the cry of a crow; sinking still lower in the water, he pressed himself under the edge of the bank; his ear caught the crack of a dry stick, and in the next moment the savage who had escaped from the cornfield came to the brook. Filling a small birch-bark dish with water, he retired, evidently taking the water to others. In this savage, William now recognized the Beaver. “I am now on the ‘war-path’ as well as he,” thought William, “and we will soon know which is the better man.”

Within a few rods of him, an enormous pine, that grew on the bank of the brook, had been turned up by a hurricane, tearing up with its roots the soil for many rods, and breaking down in its fall many other trees, whose trunks lay across it in every direction, while blackberry and raspberry bushes had taken root in the decayed trunk; the wild ivy also, and the fox-grape, that grows in low places, had run over the limbs of the old tree like an arbor, leaving between them and the earth a large space, as the tree lay up some six feet from the ground at its but. Thus there was a natural covered way, formed by this mass of underbrush, from its root to nearly its top. Creeping through between two of the great roots, from which the earth had fallen into the brook, William made his way to the top of the tree, when, looking through the brush, he beheld the ambush. The Beaver was sitting with his back against a tree, eating parched corn from his pouch; the rest were asleep. They were within less than a gunshot of the road from the cornfield, waiting till the settlers should return from their work.

Departing with the same caution, William returned to the fort. The rangers, who had eaten their supper, were ready to set out. “Now, my brave lad,” said the corporal, “you know the ground,—lead on. Place us where you please, and when you want us to fire, just give the war-whoop.”

William placed the corporal and part of the men at a little distance from the tree, to annoy the Indians in their flight, while with the rest he crept under the trunk of the old tree, and then patiently watched their sleeping foes. The sentinel now aroused his fellows, who, freshening the priming of their guns, crept behind the trees, which, concealing them from the view of any one approaching by the path, exposed their naked backs—which, newly greased, shone in the rays of sunlight slanting through the leaves—to the deadly aim of their foes. The click of the Indians’ gun-locks was now heard, as they cocked their pieces. Presently the crows announced the coming of the settlers. William, unnoticed by the rest, shook the priming from his rifle, and then said to his comrades, “Leave the sentinel to me,—I have some old scores to settle with him.”

The Indians now put their guns to their faces, and while their attention was thus entirely occupied in front, the rangers embraced the opportunity to cock their rifles, and thrust them through the brush for a sure aim. The heads of the settlers were now seen as they came cautiously along. But before the Indians could pull a trigger, the war-whoop rang through the arches of the forest, and the bullets, at short range, rattled into their tawny hides. William’s rifle sent forth the bright sparks from the flint, but no report followed. “I am even with the Beaver now,” said he; “I have spared his life, as he did mine. He said if his people knew that he had spared me, they would blush. I guess if the rangers knew that I shook the priming from my rifle, they would shoot me on the spot.”

The remaining savages, rushing forward to escape the fire in their rear, encountered that of the corporal’s party and of the settlers. Ten lay dead; the others, many of whom were wounded, fled. William was gratified to perceive that the Beaver was not among the slain, whom the rangers were now scalping.

While they were thus occupied, he ran to the garrison, and, taking Bose, overtook them before they had proceeded far on the trail of the flying foe. Aided by the dog, which followed the trail with unerring sagacity, they made great progress, and before they reached the river overtook two of the wounded, one of whom, entirely crippled, had hid himself in the bushes; the other could with difficulty walk, but, determined to sell his life dearly, took a tree, and menaced the party with his rifle. The rangers would soon have despatched them both, but William begged their lives. He represented to them that Mrs. Bryant and many captives from Saco, Topsham, and Scarborough were in the hands of the French, and might be exchanged for them. The corporal seconding his request, in consideration of his services that day, they gave him the lives of both. As the moon shone bright, the rangers determined to follow the trail till midnight, and then camp on it, and pursue the next day, as they were in hopes, if they did not overtake the party, to pick up some wounded Indians, and obtain a few more scalps. Bose, at the command of William, and nothing loath, went with the rangers.

William’s first care, when left alone with the savages, was to bind them with withes, that he cut from a beech and twisted. He then asked them if Beaver was wounded, and found to his great satisfaction that he was not. He now peeled some birch-bark from a tree, and, slitting the corners, turned them up in the form of a dish. He then pinned them together with a thorn, luted the joints with clay, and gave his prisoners drink, after which, putting some brush under their heads, he returned to the garrison.

When he reached the fort, told the story, and asked for aid to bring the wounded men to the garrison, the greater part advised him to go back and knock them on the head, and take their scalps; and were only prevented from doing it themselves by the remonstrances of Hugh and his wife, and from the more weighty argument that they might be exchanged for friends in captivity. “The murdering, bloodthirsty vagabonds!” said those who were in favor of killing. “When did they ever spare the mother, or the child at her breast? See what they did at Bryant’s,—took that little dear babe by the feet, and dashed out its brains before the mother’s eyes. Mrs. Bryant told Cloutman all about it in Canada, and he wrote home to his wife.”

“Yes,” said Stephen Bryant, “and I should like to cut their throats for them.”

“What,” said Watson, “did they do to the man they took at New Meadows? They roasted him alive at a slow fire, cut holes in his flesh, put in gunpowder, then stuck him full of pitch-wood splinters, and set him on fire.”

“What did they do to my cousin?” said Hamblin. “They stripped him naked, and tied him in a swamp to be stung to death by mosquitoes, and every day whipped him with nettles till he died.”

“Besides, if their wounds are not dressed,” said Edmund Phinney, “they will mortify this hot weather, and I should like to know who is going to do that?”

“I would as soon touch a live rattlesnake,” exclaimed Mrs. Watson.

“Well, I will,” said Elizabeth, her spirit rising with the emergency, when she found them all against her. “I’ll take care of any of God’s creatures that are in distress. He has preserved me and mine. I’ll not forsake the helpless, especially after the great mercy we have this day experienced.”

“Well,” said Jacob Hamblin, “I have some rights in this garrison, and I for one protest against Indians being brought into it. It was built to keep out Indians, not for a hospital to nurse them. If any want to live with Indians, let them go into the woods. We don’t want Irish to tell us our duties. As the Scripture says, ‘This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge.’ ”

“Hear to this cock of the midden!” said Elizabeth, her eyes flashing, and using broad Scotch, as she was apt to do when her temper was up. “How brawly he crows whar there is no danger! No mair Irish than yourself, since our forbears came from Inverary, and we are lineally descended frae MacCallum More himself. It’s weel kenned we are no people of yesterday, though it’s but little I care for sic vanities. But just to let you ken that we belang to a race that hae been accustomed to hold their ain gear at the edge of the claymore, and I trow we are nae bastards—”

“Whist, whist, gude wife,” interrupted her husband, “ye hae said enough, and mair than enough. Well, neighbors,” he continued, turning to the excited group, “if we maun differ in our opinions, let us do it in such a manner as shall bring no discredit upon our calling as Christians, nor be displeasing to Him who has this day so signally appeared in our behalf. You will excuse me for saying that we also have some right in this garrison, as I think I furnished more labor than any person here, and that you could not have well built it without me, at least in the shape it is in now. But as neither I nor my family can in conscience consent either to butcher these poor creatures or let them perish in the woods, we will leave the fort and go to our own house, and there we will take the Indians and take care of them, and when they recover, if they do recover, we will take them to Portland, and deliver them up to be exchanged; and if we perish for our humanity, and in the way of duty, the Lord’s will be done!”

No pen can describe the astonishment of the company at this audacious proposal, uttered without a particle of passion, and in the tone of ordinary conversation. “It’s just like yourself, Hugh,” exclaimed his wife. “I knew you would say so. We risked our scalps to get a living, and we’ll never be backward to do the same in the way of duty.” Then, turning to the rest with all the indomitable pride of her Highland blood flashing in her eyes, she said: “We have nae the misfortune to be born in the country, but we came of gentle blood, and can afford to be generous. If you are attacked, send for us. We are three good rifles, not counting the children and the dog. Come, William, get the horse, and take them to the house. I’ll be down with food and bandages.”

The moment Elizabeth ended, Captain Phinney said: “Neighbors, will you permit this? I know we have suffered dreadfully from the Indians, but they have had their provocations. Something is certainly to be allowed for their ignorance, their lack of the Gospel, and their mode of life for ages. Don’t let us, with the Gospel in our hands, be savages too. These people are new to the country; they have not, like us, been brought up to believe that the Indians are to be killed like wolves. Therefore, I think that, being without our prejudices, they are more likely to be right in this matter than we. No one would think of letting a French prisoner die of his wounds; yet the French are more to blame for these cruelties than the Indians. The Indians did not want to go into this war, but they coaxed them into it, and hire them to fight against us. Don’t let our brethren, who surely are not backward to strike when peril comes, go out to certain destruction, because they will do what the Good Samaritan did in the Scriptures.”

Perceiving that he made no impression, the shrewd captain turned his batteries in another direction. “Consider,” he said, “how few we are in numbers, now that Bryant, Reed, Thorn, and Cloutman are gone. Can we afford to lose McLellan, who is one of the strongest and bravest men among us? His wife also can handle a gun as well as most men, and the dog is worth three men at any time. Then there is this boy, as I might call him, if he had not this very day shown the courage and skill of a veteran,—an excellent sharp-shooter, used to the woods, and nearly the only one who dares to go after game, or gets any when he does go, and thus is one great means of our support in these times, when we can raise so little. We may also in a great measure attribute to him the slaughter we have this day made of our enemies.”

But the stubborn prejudices in which they had been educated proved too hard for the influence of the Captain, great as it was. Much chagrined and hurt, he said to Hugh, “Myself and Edmund will at least aid you to get them home.” Daniel Mosier and Watson also volunteered to go with them. They placed the Indian who was the less wounded upon the horse; Hugh held him on, while William led the animal by the bridle. They carried the other on a blanket stretched across two poles, relieving each other now and then.

When they reached the house, Elizabeth was already there, and had prepared beds for them, and kindled a small fire of pitch-knots to give light, as they had no candles. She washed their wounds, which, though many and deep, were flesh wounds, bound them up, and gave them food. She then washed the paint from their faces, when she instantly knew one of them to be the Indian who had brought her the meat and the skin full of corn when they were starving. As she looked upon him, their eyes met. The savage, taking her hand, pressed it upon his heart, saying, in his broken English, “Squaw got big heart,—Indian never forget.” Then, turning to his companion, he said a few words in his native tongue, upon which the other, also taking her hand, pressed it to his heart.

She told William, who could speak their language, to tell them the whole story in respect to the reluctance of the others to admit them to the fort; and that in the morning they should move out, and come to live there, and take care of them. She then renewed the fire, that they might have light, placed water where they could reach it in the night, as they were feverish and thirsty. They then retired, and left them.

Hugh and William still hoed their corn in common with the rest, and were on the best of terms with them, who, now that the excitement of dispute was over, felt the silent influence of their example, and admired that which they could not imitate. The Indians directed William to gather certain herbs and barks which they chewed and applied to their wounds, and which caused them to heal very rapidly, so that the one that was wounded in the thigh was soon able to go with William to hunt, and to take all the care of the other.

It was upon a Sabbath morning in August, a few months after the removal from the fort, that Hugh came into the house where Elizabeth was catechizing the children, with an expression of great joy upon his features. He sat down by his wife, and, taking her hand in his, said: “Betsey, I have been praying this morning in the woods. I had such views of God, and such a melting of soul, as I never had before. It was uneasy feelings that drove me to my knees. Ever since we left the fort, I have had, at times, great doubts as to whether I did right to expose my family here for the sake of saving the lives of these Indians; for I have come to know since, that, if we had not moved them as we did, a party would have gone out that night, and killed and scalped them, for their scalps would have brought over three hundred dollars. The more I thought of it, so great was the burden of my soul, that I knelt down in the woods to cast it on the Lord. As I prayed, it seemed that a heavy weight was lifted from me. I was enabled so to cast myself and my cares upon Him, to feel such sweet confidence and trust in Him, such assurance that I had done right, and that neither I nor mine should ever come to harm by the Indians, that it seemed as though a voice spake to me from above. I mean, therefore, from this time, to dismiss all anxious thoughts from my mind, and endeavor to work and live in trust and confidence in God, and as though it will be as I then felt it would.”

Hugh did not suffer his resolve to evaporate in words, for no sooner had he got in his harvest than he began to hew a barn-frame forty feet by thirty-six. As he and his son were busily at work, Captain Phinney came along. “Well,” said he, “this is the greatest place of business I have seen yet. Nobody would think it was war-time, and an Indian war too. But where is the other Indian? There is only one.”

“O, he is in the woods, hunting for himself and the rest of us; and a splendid hunter he is too.”

“But are you not afraid that, when the other gets well, they will kill you in the night?”


“But there are other Indians round about. Are you not afraid they will get them to do it?”

“Not a bit of it.”

“But is not your wife tired?”

“No,” replied Hugh, with a smile, “she don’t know what the word means; besides, she believes in Indians. There is no need of their getting up in the night to kill us, for Squid, as we call him, might shoot William at any time, if he liked, for they are often hunting together in the woods.”

“Well, I hope it will all turn out well; but I have my fears. How do you know but the Indians will burn your barn?”

“I don’t; but I don’t believe they will. In short, Captain, I am like my wife. She says she don’t mean to die but once, and that some folks die a hundred times dreading it.”

Hugh raised his barn and covered it, and in the winter, after all fears of the Indians were over, went to logging. The Indians, after the other recovered, were taken to Portland to be exchanged, or held as hostages.

The next spring, Hugh determined to plant his corn by himself, and went to work on his land as usual; and, though Indians were in the neighborhood, they were not molested. Hugh and his family began to suspect that the Indians they had nursed must be among these war-parties, and that they watched over the interests of those who had protected them. For though his cattle ran in the woods, they were not disturbed, while other men lost theirs. This conjecture was soon made certain. Alexander, who had been in the edge of the woods, hunting after a hen’s nest, came home out of breath, saying that he had seen Squidrassett; that he was awfully painted; and that he had told him to run home, for there were Indians round who might carry him off.

A few evenings after this, they were seated around the fire, when the door opened, and in stalked Squidrasset and four other Indians. Hugh and William sprang for their guns; but Squid told them that they came in peace, and, the more completely to assure them, took all his comrades’ guns and put them out of doors. Then, pointing to a large, noble-looking savage, wearing a silver cross and a large breastplate, and having his head adorned with eagles’ feathers, his leggins and belt worked with beads and fringed with deer’s hair, and the handle of his knife inlaid with silver, he told them this was their chief. Seats were placed for the Indians around the fire; Elizabeth and the children standing behind, gazing half in terror, half in wonder, upon the stern countenances of the Indians in their war-paint.

After a few moments spent in silence, the chief rose, and thus addressed Hugh:—

“Brother, my young men have told me that it is not many moons since you came from over the great sea, and you have never shed the blood of our brothers the Narragansetts; therefore there are between us no old wrongs to avenge. They have also told me that you have never been out on scouting parties for the scalps of our women and children, to sell them to your king and sagamores for money. They have also told us that your son discovered our ambush, and slew many of our warriors. He has already distinguished himself. He will be a great chief. All this is right; you were defending your lodges and your families, and, though you have struck us very hard, we do not complain. You are brave men, and we respect you. But there are other things between us.

“When it was peace, and our young men came hungry and tired to your camp, you made them welcome, though you were hungry yourselves; you gave them food, they slept by your fire, and you spread your blanket over them. That was right. It was as the Great Spirit has taught his children, and according to the customs of our fathers. Therefore we call you just.

“But there is another thing, which seems wonderful to us, because neither we nor our old men have ever known anything like it, nor the other tribes, for we have inquired of them. When our people lay in ambush, and you pursued and took them, though you would have done right to kill, or burn them at the stake, you did not. You spake in their behalf, when others wanted to slay them. You likewise came here and took care of them, and in so doing risked your lives. This is what we cannot understand. It is not what Indians would do, and we are sure it is not what white men would do. We often hear white men speak good words, but we never see them do any good things. This is more than brave or just. We therefore think it must be from the Master of Life, who made all things. It has touched our hearts, and therefore we love you and thank you, and have come to tell you that as long as grass grows and water runs there is friendship between you and us,—between your children and our children. If we meet on the war-path, we will strike each other like men. If we slay you when our people meet in battle, we will bury you as though you were of us; if you are wounded, and fall into our hands, we will do to you as you have done to us. We will not kill your cattle, nor burn your lodges, nor hurt anything that is yours. We have also told what you have done to the other tribes, and to the Canada Indians. No Indian will harm you, because we see that you are what we never believed there was, a just white man. I have said. Brother, is it good?”

Hugh, in reply, expressed his thanks for the kind spirit manifested by the chief, saying he had only acted as he had been taught by the Great Spirit.

“Brother,” said the savage, “one word more. This land is ours; the Great Spirit gave it to our fathers. Because the white men are stronger than we, and have taken it from us, it is not therefore theirs. But we now give it to you and to your children, for the good which you have shown to us, and we shall never try to take it from you.”

Then the Indian, taking a pipe from his girdle, filled and lighted it, and, having taken a few whiffs, passed it to Hugh and William, and then it went round the circle. Hugh now invited them to eat with him. The repast being finished, the Indians, resuming their arms, departed in Indian file, and were soon lost in the depths of the forest.

William now rose to fasten the door. “Never mind that, Billy,” said his father; “we can sleep with open doors after this. The Indians could have killed us all, if they had wished, before we could have pulled a trigger. I shall never go into garrison any more.”

Elijah Kellogg.


That hardy and adventurous class of men who were formerly known as courriers des bois, “forest scouts,” and who are to-day called voyageurs, “travellers,” have always been both eyes and hands to the North American fur trade. No toil has been too arduous and no enterprise too perilous for them. Of this class was Pierre Beaubien, who, like most of his companions, married an Indian woman. When his son Baptiste—or, as the voyageurs pronounce it, Ba’tiste—was but ten years of age, Pierre was killed by the Sioux. In consequence of this misfortune, the young half-breed was left to grow up among his mother’s people, the Red Lake Chippewas, becoming, of course, a savage in all his tastes and habits. Whilst other half-bloods dressed more like white men than Indians, and followed the pursuits of their fathers, Baptiste preferred to fish and hunt in blanket and leggings. There was, however, one thing in which he differed from his savage relatives. He clung to his crucifix, which he wore as an amulet to protect from evil, and he cherished the recollection of the fact that he had been baptized a Christian by the Jesuit missionaries at La Pointe. And though the crucifix was about all the Christianity he possessed, yet the firmness with which he clung to the name was in exact proportion to his ignorance of its meaning.

As he grew up, he soon penetrated the shallow impositions of the medicine-men; and believing his crucifix and the sign of the cross to be sufficient to protect him from all evil jeebi, or spirits, as well as from the incantations of the jugglers, he did not hesitate to expose the system of humbuggery by which the latter used the superstitious credulity of the Indians to their own advantage. By this course he soon incurred the hostility of the medicine-men, especially of the noted juggler of his band, whose name was Pembeenah, “The Cranberry.” This old impostor, whose hideous and mummy-like face and shrivelled form made him look like the dried specimens in a museum of natural history, felt so great an animosity to Baptiste that he attempted his destruction by having him assassinated at night. The attempt proved a failure, though Beaubien was so badly wounded that it is doubtful if he could have recovered had it not been for the attention and kindness of the family of an American missionary who had recently settled among the Indians.

Baptiste, notwithstanding his savage life, had the impressible heart of a Frenchman in his bosom, and so much was he touched by the kindness he had received, that he was almost persuaded to abandon his barbarous mode of life; but when, after a month or two of illness, he felt again the warm blood of health coursing in his veins, the force of habit was too strong for his resolution, and there came back the old passion for a life of savage freedom. And so, bidding his benefactors a grateful adieu, in which French, English, and Chippewa were strangely blended, he returned to the Indian village.

Though the old medicine-man did not dare to attempt violence again, he had not abated one jot of his hatred of Baptiste; and to this he now added a like hostility to the missionaries, who had cared for his enemy, and whose influence with the tribe was all exercised against the superstitions upon which he depended for his authority.

But Pembeenah had other reasons for opposition to the mission families. One McCormick, an unlicensed trader, had found that the missionaries were obstacles to the accomplishment of his schemes for plundering the savages, and had bribed the juggler to secure their removal by having them robbed of all they had.

In order to accomplish this purpose, Pembeenah attributed every calamity that befell the tribe to the hatred that the Great Spirit had to the missionaries. Nor was he in want of calamities for texts. It was an unusually hard winter for the Indians. They are accustomed to live, during the cold season, principally on fish. These they catch by cutting a hole through the ice, which is generally from three to six feet thick. To this hole the fish come for air, when they are speared by an Indian who is watching for them. But the extraordinary thickness of the ice during this winter deprived them almost wholly of supplies from this source, while the extreme cold and other causes rendered the chase of little avail. The average temperature of the Chippewa country is that of Iceland, the winters being much colder, and the summers much warmer, than those of that island.

Pembeenah belonged to the Crane totem. It is certainly a remarkable fact, if true, as stated by an intelligent and educated half-breed, that most of the families of the Crane totem have high and somewhat bald foreheads, and are remarkable for their clear, resonant tone of voice. It is said that most of the orators of the Chippewa nation are of the Crane totem. However this may be, it is certain that Pembeenah, being both orator and medicine-man, possessed much more influence than the chief, who indeed has no authority except in war. Nor did the juggler fail to exercise the oratory for which the Cranes are so remarkable, in showing the Indians how the famine was sent upon them as a punishment for allowing the missionaries to remain. He also pointed out, what was a much more effectual argument, the fact that the missionaries had flour, that they had two cows whose meat was good, and that there were blankets in their houses.

But at every step the old juggler was confronted by Baptiste, who was also a forcible speaker, and quite an influential man, being a member of the aristocratic totem of the Loon. Baptiste was the more in earnest, since he knew that a pillage could hardly take place without a massacre, and that even to turn the mission families out of their houses in the depth of such a winter would be to insure their death. He showed the Indians how useless the provisions of the white men would be to them. “How long will they last you?” he said. “Will you be any better off when the taste of the missionaries’ cows has gone out of your mouth?” And then he depicted the certain punishment which the government would inflict upon them. And then he laughed at the dreams with which the medicine-man had tried to alarm them. And when pressed more closely, he boldly charged Pembeenah with being in league with the “bad trader,” as he called McCormick, against the friends of the Indians.

But arguments avail little against hunger. As the distress increased, so did the desire to eat the flour and cows of the white men. Beaubien saw that, if the camp remained in the vicinity, the robbery and massacre of the mission families was inevitable. And so, at his suggestion, they moved off to the Red River Valley, in search of game. But no moose could they find. Now and then they caught a muskrat, or shot a great snowy owl, or a prairie-wolf as lean and hungry as themselves. And still their cheeks grew thinner, their chins sharper, and their eyes more sunken. And as the famine grew worse, so did the speeches of Pembeenah against the missionaries become more vehement.

At last the young half-breed became greatly reduced himself. For, though he was the best hunter in the party, he was in the habit of giving away the most of the game that he captured, in order to gain the friendship and appease the anger of the others. And so one morning, utterly dejected and faint from hunger, he walked out of the camp. He saw that he could no longer restrain the inclination of the savages to rob the missionaries. Wandering about, without purpose or hope, he climbed a little knoll, from the summit of which there was quite a view of the prairie. It was a clear and bitter cold morning, and the “sun-dogs,” or parhelia, were shining so brilliantly that there really seemed to be three suns. This phenomenon is usually seen from fifteen to thirty times in a winter in that country. But on the morning we speak of, Baptiste beheld a phenomenon that is not often seen, even in that climate. It was a mirage of extraordinary brilliancy, in which the Leaf Hills, forty or fifty miles away, and usually out of sight from that point, appeared inverted upon the sky. This optical illusion is caused by refraction; the strata of air being of different temperatures, and, of course, of different degrees of density. An acquaintance of the writer once saw these same hills in such a mirage at the distance of sixty-four miles.

Baptiste could not help a certain feeling of superstitious awe as he looked at this remarkable sight; but suddenly remembering how effectually such a sight might be used on the minds of the Indians, he hastened back to the camp. But he was too late. Pembeenah had seen the same spectacle from another point, and was just relating, when Baptiste came up, that he had seen a spirit during the night, who had told him that the Great Spirit was so angry at the tribe for not killing the missionaries, that he had hung the Leaf Hills in the sky upside down, and that, if they would go to a certain point, they could see the wonderful sight for themselves.

With the utmost eagerness they all started up to see the new wonder. Baptiste felt that his doom was sealed. He knew that the medicine-man would first use the influence which the sight would give him for the destruction of himself. What was his relief to find, on reaching the designated place, that the mirage had entirely disappeared! The influence of the sun had destroyed the atmospheric conditions that produced it. The medicine-man was utterly discomfited, and another day was gained.

But Pembeenah recovered face enough to make another speech that afternoon. “We starve,” said he. “Will the Great Spirit send us the pezhekee from the country of our enemies? Will he make the turnip grow in the winter?”

The pezhekee are the buffalo, or, more properly, the bison. They never have made the Chippewa country their range,—never, indeed, approaching nearer than thirty miles west of the Red River, which is the dividing line between the Chippewas and their mortal enemies, the Sioux. The turnip to which the medicine-man referred is a bulbous plant that is quite abundant on the prairies in the Chippewa country. It is much prized for food, and one of the most beautiful streams in their country is called by its name. This name has unfortunately been mistranslated into French, and the river is now called Pomme de terre,—Potato. It was indeed a forcible speech of the medicine-man, when he demanded if they supposed that the Great Spirit would send them bison, or make the turnip grow in winter.

Baptiste left the camp stealthily at midnight. He knew that, when morning came, the decision would certainly be taken to return and rob the missionaries, and he hoped to reach them in time to give warning of their danger. To prevent the course of his tracks betraying his destination, he made a long circuit up the valley of the Red River. Just as he ascended to the table-land that forms the eastern boundary of the valley, he caught sight of a mass of dark objects moving over the snow. What could they be? The moonlight was dim, but he felt sure they were not moose. Could it be that the Sioux were on the war-path in mid-winter? He approached the objects, and found, to his delight and amazement, that it was a herd of bison. His first impulse was to fly back to the camp, and tell the good news. But then he reflected that, under the circumstances, he would not be believed; for nothing could be more improbable. We should not venture to tell the story here, were it not that this single departure of the bison from their range is a well-attested fact,—a fact never to be forgotten by the Chippewas, who for the first and the last time in their lives ate of the flesh of the cattle of the Sioux. This strange migration was owing to the failure of food in their usual haunts.

Baptiste wisely concluded that a story so improbable would need to be sustained by positive evidence. And so he set to work to kill a bison,—no easy task on snow-shoes. But he accomplished it about daylight. Then, cutting off the tail and taking out the tongue, he started back to the camp. But when he arrived, the almost extinct fires showed that it had been deserted for hours. The cause of his absence had evidently been surmised; and the Indians had left in the utmost haste, and were now far on their way toward the dwelling-place of the missionaries. By the most eager and tireless pursuit, he succeeded in overtaking them near their destination. He was met with fierce frowns on all sides, and some guns were raised threateningly. But Baptiste strode into the midst of the party, and, looking the old juggler in the face, he said, “The Great Spirit has indeed sent the buffalo into the valley.”

But the old man grinned at him a moment, and answered, “White-man’s son, do you think we are pappooses, that you try to deceive us with idle tales?”

Then Baptiste drew forth the fresh tongue and the tail from beneath his blanket, and asked, “What are these?”

The swiftest and best hunters went back with Baptiste, and the rest of the party followed on. During the remainder of that winter, the Chippewas ate the meat of the bison. It was indeed a feast after a famine.

Edward Eggleston.



The Captain and his little friends had barely reached the cottage when the storm came down in earnest. The tall trees bowed their heads beneath the heavy blasts of wind, which shook them to their very roots, and the music of the rustling and sighing leaves was heard until the sounds were drowned by the fierce, dashing rain.

“Now this is a regular blow-hard, and no mistake,” exclaimed the Captain, as the party stood in the door-way watching the bending trees and the clouds that rushed so wildly overhead. “Good thing we picked up our anchor when we did, or just as like as not we should have had to lie there all night.”

“Why, we couldn’t have stayed there in such a storm, could we, Captain Hardy?” said Fred, inquiringly.

“To be sure we could,” replied the Captain, “and snug enough too. Yes, indeed, the little Alice would have ridden out the gale handsomely. Then we might have stowed ourselves away in the cabin as nice as could be, and have been just as dry as we are here.”

“And gone without supper,” put in William, with a practical eye to the creature comforts.

“Easy there, my lad,” answered the Captain. “Do you think you catch old Neptune on the water without a shot in his locker?”

“Wouldn’t it have been jolly,—eating supper in the cabin,” exclaimed William; “and then, Captain Hardy, would you have gone on with the story?”

“To be sure I would,” answered the Captain.

“Then I’m sorry we didn’t stay there,” replied William.

“Good,” said the Captain. “But what says little Alice?”

“I’d rather hear the story where we are,” was the answer. And as the lightning flashed and the thunder rattled more and more, the little girl crept closer to the old man’s side.

“Then I’m glad we came away,” replied the Captain; “and we’ll go right on too, for I see you don’t like listening to the storm.”

“O, I’m dreadfully afraid!” said Alice.

“Go on, go on! Captain Hardy,” exclaimed both the boys together.

“But where was I when we left off to run away, in such a lubberly manner, from the storm?” inquired the Captain. “Let me see,” and he put his finger to his nose, looking thoughtful.

“You were just beginning to cry,” put in William.

“To be sure I was, that’s it; and so would you cry, too, my boy, if you had an empty stomach under your belt, and nothing but a jack-knife in it,” answered the Captain.

“That I would,” exclaimed William, “I should have cried my eyes out. But, Captain Hardy,—if you’ll excuse me,—was the jack-knife in the empty stomach or in the belt?”

“Ah, you little rogue! I’ll not mind you any more,” said the Captain, laughing; “what would Fred have done?”

“I think I should have broke my heart,” said Fred, promptly.

“That’s not so easy done as crying,” exclaimed the Captain. “But what says little Alice; what would she have done?”

“I don’t know,” replied Alice, gently; “but I think I should have gone and tried to get the poor boy to speak to me, and then I would have tried to comfort him.”

“That’s it, my charming little girl; that’s just exactly what I did. But it wasn’t so easy either, I can tell you; for the boy was still as dull as ever. I tried to rouse him in every way I could think of; but he would not arouse. I spoke to him, I called to him, I shouted to him; but he would not answer me a single word.”

“What was his name, Captain Hardy? Won’t you tell us his name?” asked Fred.

“Ah! that I should have done before; but I forgot it, you see. His name was Richard Dean. The sailors always called him ‘the Dean.’ He was a bright, lively boy, and everybody liked him. To see him in such a state made my very heart bleed. But he was growing warm under his great load of eider-down, and that I was glad to see; and at last he showed some feeble signs of consciousness. His eyes opened wide, his lips moved. I thought he was saying something, though I could not understand for some time what it was. Then I could make out, after a while, that he was murmuring, ‘Mother, mother!’ Then he looked at me, wildly like, and then he turned his head away, and then he turned it back and looked at me again. ‘Hardy,’ said he, in a very low voice, ‘is that you?’ ‘Yes,’ I said; ‘and I’m glad you know me,’—which you may be very sure I was.

“But the poor fellow’s mind soon wandered away from me again; and I could see that it was disturbed by visions of something dreadful. ‘There! there!’ he cried, ‘it’s tumbling on me! the ice! the ice! it’s tumbling on me!’ and he tried to spring up from where he lay. ‘There’s nothing there at all, Dean,’ said I, as I pressed him down. ‘Come, look up; don’t you see it’s I?’ He was quiet in an instant; and then, looking up into my face, he said, ‘Yes, it’s Hardy, I know; but what has happened to us,—anything?’ But without pausing to give me time to answer, he closed his eyes and went on,—‘O, I’ve had an awful dream! I thought an iceberg was falling on the ship. I saw it coming, and sprang away! As it fell, the ship went down, and I went down with it,—down, down, down; then I came up, clinging to some pieces of the wreck. Another man was with me; we were drifted with the waves to the land. I kept above the water until I saw somebody running towards me. When he had nearly reached me, I drowned. O, it was an awful dream!—Did you come to call me, Hardy?’—and he opened wide his eyes. ‘Is it four bells? Did you come to call me?’ ‘No, no, I haven’t come to call you, it isn’t four bells yet,’ I answered, scarcely knowing what I said; ‘sleep on, Dean.’ ‘I’m glad you didn’t come to call me, Hardy. I want to sleep. The dream haunts me. I dreamed that I was fast to something that hurt me, when I tried to get away. It was an awful dream,—awful, awful, awful!’—and his voice died away into the faintest whisper, and then it ceased entirely. ‘Sleep, sleep on, poor Dean!’ murmured I; and I prayed with all my heart that his reason might not be gone.

“ ‘What could I do?’ ‘What should I do?’ were the questions which soon crossed my mind respecting the Dean. There was, however, one very obvious answer,—‘Let him alone’; so I rose up from his side, and saw, as I did so, that he was now sleeping soundly,—a genuine, quiet sleep. He had become quite warm; and, after some minutes’ watching, it appeared to me very likely that he would, after a while, wake up all right,—a conclusion which made me very happy; that is, as happy as one so circumstanced could be.

“Once more I now began to consider my situation. It seemed to me that I had grown many years older in these few hours, and I commenced reasoning with myself. Instead of sitting down on the rock, and beginning to cry, as I had done before, I sat down to reflect. And this is the way I reflected:—

“ ‘1st,’ I said, ‘while there is life there is hope’; and,

“ ‘2d. So long as the land remains unexplored, I have a right to conclude that it is inhabited’; and,

“ ‘3d. Being inhabited, there is a good chance of our being saved; for even the worst savages cannot refuse two such helpless creatures food and clothing.’ And, having thus reflected, I arrived at these conclusions respecting what I should do; namely,—

“ ‘1st. I will go at once in search of these inhabitants, and when I find them, I will beg them to come and help me with a sick companion.

“ ‘2d. On my way I will make my dinner off raw eggs, of which there are so many hereabout, for I am so frightfully hungry that I can no longer resist the repulsive food.

“ ‘3d. I will also hunt on my way for some water, as I am so thirsty that I scarcely know what to do.

“ ‘4th. For the rest I will trust to Providence.’

“Having thus resolved, I immediately set out, and in a very few minutes I had eaten a whole dozen raw eggs,—and that, too, without any compunctions at all. Then, as I walked on a little farther, I discovered that there were a multitude of small streams dashing over the rocks, the water being quite pure and clear,—coming from great snow-banks on the hilltops, which were melting away before the sun.

“Being thus refreshed with meat and drink, it occurred to me to climb up to an elevation, and see what more I could discover. The ice was very thick and closely packed together all along the shore; but beyond where the wreck had happened the sea was very open, only a few straggling bits of field-ice mixed up with a great many icebergs,—indeed, the icebergs were too thick to be counted. I thought I saw a boat turned upside down; but it was so far away that I could not make out distinctly what it was. It was clear enough to me that nobody had been saved from the wreck except the Dean and myself.

“As I looked around, it appeared very evident to me that the land on which I stood was an island. Indeed, it seemed to be one of a group; for a large island stood before me, apparently only a few miles distant; and a few miles farther on there was a long stretch of land, covered with snow, which appeared to be main-land. In that direction the ice was all solid, while in the other direction the sea was, as I have told you before, quite open.

“After hallooing several times, without any other result than to startle a great number of birds, as I had done before, I set out again, briskly jumping from rock to rock, the birds all the while springing up before me and fluttering away in great flocks. There seemed to be no end to them.

“As I went along, I soon found that I was turning rapidly to the left, and that I was not only on an island, but on a very small one at that. I could not have been more than two hours in going all the way around it, although I had to clamber most of the way over very stony places, stopping frequently to shout at the top of my voice, with the hope of being heard by some human beings; but not a soul was there to answer me, nor could I discover the least sign of anybody ever having been there.

“This failure greatly discouraged me, but still I was not so much cast down as you might think. Perhaps it was because I had eaten so many eggs, and was no longer hungry; for, let me tell you, when one’s stomach gets empty, the courage has pretty much all gone out of him.

“Besides this, I had made some discoveries which seemed, in some way, to forebode good, though I could not exactly say why. I found the birds thicker and thicker as I proceeded; in fact, they were in some places so thick that I could hardly walk without treading on their eggs. I also saw several foxes, some of which were white and others were dark gray. As I walked on, they scampered away over the stones ahead of me, and then perched themselves on a tall rock near by, apparently very much astonished to see me. They seemed to look upon me as an intruder, and I thought they would ask, ‘What business have you coming here?’ They had little idea how glad I should have been to be almost anywhere else,—on the farm from which I had run away, for instance,—and leave them in undisputed possession of their miserable island. They seemed to be very sleek and well-contented foxes; for they were gorging themselves with raw eggs, just as I had been doing, and they were evidently the terror of the birds. I saw one who had managed in some way to capture a duck nearly as large as himself, and was bouncing up the hill—to his den, no doubt—with the poor thing’s neck in his mouth and its body across his shoulder.

“Then, too, I discovered from the east side of the island, where the ice was solid, a great number of seals lying in the sun, as if asleep, on the ice; and when I came around on the west side, where the sea was open, great schools of walruses, with their long tusks and ugly heads, were sporting about in the water as if at play, and an equally large number of the narwhal, with their long horns, were also playing there. Only that they are larger, and have these hideous-looking tusks, walruses are much like seals. The narwhal is a small species of whale, being about twenty feet long, and spotted something like an iron-gray horse. Its great peculiarity is the horn, which grows, like that of a sword-fish, straight out of the nose, and is nearly half as long as the body. Like all the other whales, it must come up to the surface of the water to breathe; and its breathing is done through a hole in the top of the head, like any other whale’s. You know the breathing of a whale is called ‘spouting,’ or ‘blowing,’—that is, when he breathes out, it is so called, and when he does this, he makes the water fly up into the air.

“This breathing of the largest whales can be seen several miles; that is, I should say, the spray thrown up by their breath. So you see the common expression of the whale-fishers, ‘There she blows!’ is a very good one; for sometimes, when the whale is very large, the spray which they throw up looks like a small waterspout in the sea.

“Besides the narwhal, which I have told you about, I saw another kind of whale, even smaller still. This is called the white whale, though it isn’t exactly white, but a sort of cream-color. They had no horns, however, like the narwhal; and they skimmed along through the water in great numbers, and very close together, and when they come to the surface they breathe so quickly that the noise they make is like a sharp hiss.

“Considering the numbers of these animals,—the seals and walruses and narwhals and white whales,—I was not surprised, when I went close down to the beach, to find a great quantity of their bones there, evidently of animals that had died in the sea and been washed ashore. Indeed, as I went along a little farther, and had reached nearly to the place where I had left the Dean, I found the whole carcass of a narwhal lying among the rocks, where it had been thrown by the waves, and very near it I discovered also a dead seal. About these there were several foxes, which went scampering away as soon as they saw me. They had evidently come there to get their dinner; for they had torn a great hole in the side of the dead narwhal, and two of them had begun on the seal. I thought if I could get some of the skins of these pretty foxes, they would be nice things to wrap the Dean’s hands and feet in, so I began flinging stones at them as hard as I could; but the cunning beasts dodged every one of them, and, running away up the hillside, chattered in such a lively manner that it seemed as if they were laughing at me, which provoked me so much that I went on vowing to get the better of them in one way or another.

“All this time, you must remember, I had left the poor Dean by himself, and you may be sure I was very anxious to get back to him; but before I tell you anything more about him, I must stop a minute longer to describe more particularly this island on which I had been cast away. You must understand there were no trees on it at all; and, indeed, there were scarcely any signs of vegetation whatever. On the south side, where we landed after the wreck, the hillside was covered for a short distance with thick grass, and above this green slope there were great tall cliffs like the palisades of the Hudson River,—which you must all see some time; but all the rest of the way around the island I saw scarcely anything but rough rocks, very sharp and hard to walk over. In some places, however, where the streams of melted snow had spread out in the level places, patches of moss had grown, making a sort of marsh. Here I discovered some flowers in full bloom, and among them were the buttercup and dandelion, just like what we find in the meadows here, only not a quarter so large; but my head was too much filled with more serious thoughts at that time to care about flowers.

“You can hardly imagine anything so dreary as this island was. Indeed, nothing could be worse except the prospect of living on it all alone, without any shelter, or fire, or proper clothing, and without any apparent chance of ever escaping from it.

“I found, however, a sort of apology for a tree growing among the moss beds. I have learned since that it is called a ‘dwarf willow.’ The stem of the tree, if such it might be called, was not larger than my little finger; and its branches, which lay flat on the ground, were in no case more than a foot long.

“Besides these willows, I discovered also, growing about the rocks, a trailing plant, with very small stem, and thick, dry leaves. It had a pretty little purple blossom on it, and was the only thing I saw that looked as if it would burn. I can assure you that I wished hard enough that I had some way of proving whether it would burn or not. However, since I had discovered so many other things on this my first journey around the island, I was not without hope that I should light upon some way of starting a fire. So I named the plant at once ‘the fire plant’; but I have since been told by a wise doctor that I met down in Boston, that its right name is ‘Andromeda.’ It is a sort of heather, like the Scotch heather that you have all heard about, only it is as much smaller than the Scotch heather as the dwarf willow I told you of is smaller than the tall willow-tree that grows out there in front of the door.

“Although I had not, as I have said, discovered any natives living on the island, yet I came back from my journey feeling less disappointed than would have been supposed. No doubt my anxiety to see how the Dean was so occupied my mind that I did not dwell as much upon my own unhappy condition as I otherwise would have done. In truth, I think the Dean must have saved me from despair and death; for, if I had not felt obliged to exert myself in his behalf, I must have sunk under the heavy load of my misfortunes.

“When I came back to the Dean, I found that the poor boy was still sleeping soundly,—a sort of dead, heavy sleep. At first, I thought to arouse him; but then, again, since I found he was quite warm, I concluded the best thing was not to disturb him. Some color had come into his face; indeed, there was quite a flush there, and he seemed to be a little feverish. The only thing I now feared was that his reason might have left him; and this thought filled me with a kind of dread of seeing him rouse up, just as every one, when he fears some great calamity, tries to postpone the realization of it as long as possible. So I suffered him to remain sleeping, and satisfied myself with watching his now somewhat heavy breathing for a little while, when, beginning to grow chilly, (for the sun had by this time gone behind the island, thus leaving us in the shadow of the tall cliffs,) I began to move about again. I set to work collecting more of the eider-down, so that, when I should be freed from my anxiety about the Dean, I might roll myself up under this warm covering and get some sleep; for although my mind was much excited, yet I was growing sleepy, besides being chilly. I also collected a number of eggs, and ate some more of them; and, using several of the shells for cups, I brought some water, setting the cups up carefully in the grass, knowing that when the Dean opened his eyes he must needs be thirsty as well as hungry.

“All this being done, I fell to reflecting again, and, as was most natural, my thoughts first ran upon what I should do to make a fire. I had found—or at least I thought I had found—something that would burn, as I have said before; but what should I do for the first spark? True, with my jack-knife for a steel, and a flint-stone, of which there were plenty, I could strike a spark without any difficulty; but what was there to strike it into so that it would catch and make a blaze? I knew that in some countries people make a blaze by rubbing two pieces of dry wood together; but this I could not do, as I had not a particle of wood. In other countries, I knew, they have punk, into which they strike a spark, and the spark will not go out until the punk is all burned up, so that they have only to blow it on some inflammable substance until a blaze comes; but where was I to get the punk from? I had also heard that fire had been made with lenses of glass, which, being held up to the sun, concentrate the rays and make a great heat, sufficient to set wood and like combustible things on fire; but I had no lens. Of course, I have no need to tell you that I had no matches, such as we have now-a-days here.

“Thus the night wore on. I say night, but you must bear in mind, as I told you before, that there was really no night at all, the sun being above the horizon all the time; and the only difference now in the different periods of the day was, that when the sun was in the south it shone upon us, while when it was at the north we were under the shadow of the cliffs. The sun, you must observe, in the Arctic regions, circles around, during the summer, only a little way above the horizon, never rising overhead, as it does here, but being always quite low down; and hence it never gives a very strong heat, although the air is sometimes warm enough to be very comfortable.

“I was glad when the shadow of the cliff passed from over me, and the sun was once more in view. I now grew quite warm, though my great fatigue did not vanish; but I was so anxious about the Dean that I would not sleep, and kept myself awake by moving about all the time, staying always near the Dean. At length, soon after the sun appeared, the boy began to show some restlessness; and as I approached him, I found that his eyes were wide open. He raised himself a little on one arm, and turned towards me as I came up to him, and looked straight at me, so calmly and intelligently, that I saw at once he had come to his senses entirely; and so rejoiced was I, that, without thinking at all what I was doing, I fell down beside him, and clasped him in my arms, and cried out, ‘O Dean, Dean!’ over and over a great many times. You cannot imagine how glad I was!

“ ‘Why, Hardy,’ said he, in a very feeble voice, ‘where are we? What’s the matter? What has happened to us?’ Seeing that it was useless for me to attempt to evade the question, I told him all the circumstances of the shipwreck, and how I had carried him there, and what I had been doing. I thought at first this would disturb him, but it did not seem to in the least. After I had finished, he simply said: ‘I thought it was all a dream. It comes back to me now. I remember a frightful crash, of being in the water on the wreck, of seeing some one approaching me, of being held down first by a drowning man and then by a rope, of trying to free myself, and then I must have swooned, for I remember nothing more. I have now a vague remembrance of some one talking to me about a dream I had, but nothing distinct.’

“ ‘But,’ said I, ‘Dean, don’t talk any more about it just now, it will fatigue you; tell me how you feel.’ ‘No,’ answered he, ‘it does not fatigue me, and I want to collect myself. Things are getting clearer to me. My memory returns to me gradually. I see the terrified crew. It was but an instant. I heard the crash. The great body of the ice fell right amidships,—right upon the galley. Poor cook! he must have been killed instantly. Some of the crew jumped overboard; I tried to, but got no farther than the bulwarks, and then was in the water; I don’t know how I got there. When I came up there was a man under me, and I was tangled among some rigging, but was lifted up out of the water on some large mass of wreck. The man I told you of tried to get up too; but his feet were caught, and I saw him drowning. I saw another man holding on to the wreck, but a piece of ice struck him, and he must have fallen off immediately.’

“ ‘Dean, Dean!’ said I, ‘do stop! you are feverish; quiet yourself, and we’ll talk of these things by and by’;—and the boy fell back quite exhausted. His skin was very hot, and his face flushed. ‘O my head, my head!’ exclaimed he; ‘it pains me dreadfully! Am I hurt?’ and he put his hand to the side of his head where he had been struck, and, finding that he was wounded, said: ‘I remember it now perfectly. A heavy wave came, and was tossing a piece of timber over me, and I tried to avoid being struck by it. After that I remember nothing. It must have struck me. I’m not much hurt,—am I?’

“ ‘No, Dean,’ I answered, ‘not much hurt, only a little bruised. ‘Have you any water, Hardy?’ asked he, ‘I am so thirsty!’ It was fortunate that I had brought some in the egg-shells, and in a moment I had given him a drink. It did me good to see him smile, as I handed him the water, and ask where I got such odd cups from. ‘Thanks, thanks!’ said he; ‘I’m better now.’ Then after a moment’s pause he added, ‘I want to get up and see where we are. I’m very weak; won’t you help me?’ But I told him that I would not do it now, for the present he must lie quiet. ‘Then raise me up and let me look about.’ So I raised him up, and he took first a look at the strange pile of eider-down that was upon him, and then at the ice-covered sea, but he spoke not a word. Then he lay down, and after a short time said calmly: ‘I see it all now. Hard,—isn’t it? But we must do the best we can. I feel that I’ll soon be well, and will not be a trouble to you long. Do you know that until this moment I could hardly get it out of my head that I had been dreaming? We must trust in Heaven, Hardy, and do the best we can.’

“Being now fully satisfied as to the complete recovery of the Dean, I gave myself no further concern about watching him; but at once, after he had, in his quiet way, asked me if I was not very tired and sleepy, I buried myself up in the heap of eider-down close beside him, and was soon as deeply buried in a sound sleep.”

The Captain, evidently thinking that he had gone far enough for one day, now broke off suddenly. The children had listened to the recital more eagerly than on any previous occasion,—so much so, indeed, that they had wholly disregarded the storm; and Alice was so much absorbed in learning the fate of the poor shipwrecked Dean, that her fears about the thunder had been entirely forgotten. When the Captain paused, the storm had passed over, the sun had burst through the scattering clouds, and in the last lingering drops his silver rays were melted into gorgeous hues; for

“A rainbow—thrown brightly

 Across the dark sky—

 (Soft curving, proud arching

   In beauty on high)

     Had circled the even,—

     A bridal ring, given

     To wed earth with heaven,

 As it smiled ’neath the veil

   Of the glittering rain.”

The little birds had come out of their hiding-places, and were merrily singing,

“Farewell to the rain,

 The beautiful rain”;

and the party of little folks that had been hidden away in the “Captain’s cottage,” following their example, were soon gayly hastening across the fresh fields,—the old man carrying laughing Alice in his arms, to keep her tender feet from the wet grass.

Isaac I. Hayes.


My dear Grandmother,—

I was going to tell you about “Gapper Skyblue.” “Gapper” means grandpa. He wears all the time blue overalls, faded out, and a jacket like them. That’s why they call him “Gapper Skyblue.” He’s a very poor old man. He saws wood. We found him leaning up against a tree. Benjie and I were together. His hair is all turned white, and his back is bent. He had great patches on his knees. His hat was an old hat that he had given him, and his shoes let in the mud. I wish you would please to be so good as to send me both your old-fashioned India-rubbers, to make balls of, as quick as holes come. Most all the boys have lost their balls. And please to send some shoe-strings next time, for I have to tie mine up all the time now with some white cord that I found, and it gets into hard knots, and I have to stoop my head way down and untie ’em with my teeth, because I cut both my thumbs whittling, and jammed my fingers in the gate.

Old Gapper Skyblue’s nose is pretty long, and he looked so funny leaning up against a tree, that I was just going to laugh. But then I remembered what you said a real gentleman would do. That he would be polite to all people, no matter what clothes they had on, or whether they were rich people or poor people. He had a big basket with two covers to it, and we offered to carry it for him.

He said, “Yes, little boys, if you won’t lift up the covers.”

We found ’twas pretty heavy. And I wondered what was in it, and so did Benjie. The basket was going to “The Two Betseys.”

When we had got half-way there, Dorry and Tom Cush came along, and called out: “Hallo! there, you two. What are you lugging off so fast?”

We said we didn’t know. They said, “Let’s see.” We said, “No, you can’t see.” Then they pushed us. Gapper was a good way behind. I sat down on one cover, and Benjie on the other, to keep them shut.

Then they pulled us. I swung my arms round, and made the sand fly with my feet, for I was just as mad as anything. Then Tom Cush hit me. So I ran to tell Gapper to make haste. But first picked up a stone to send at Tom Cush. But remembered about the boy that threw a stone and hit a boy, and he died. I mean the boy that was hit. And so dropped the stone down again and ran like lightning.

“Go it, you pesky little red-headed firebug!” cried Tom Cush.

“Go it, Spunkum! I’ll hold your breath,” Dorry hollered out.

The dog, the shaggy dog that licked my face when I was lying under the trees, he came along and growled and snapped at them, because they were hurting Benjie. You see Benjie treats him well, and gives him bones. And the master came in sight too. So they were glad to let us alone.

The basket had rabbits in it. Gapper Skyblue wanted to pay us two cents apiece. But we wouldn’t take pay. We wouldn’t be so mean.

When we were going along to school, Bubby Short came and whispered to me that Tom and Dorry were hiding my bird’s eggs in a post-hole. But I got them again. Two broke.

Bubby Short is a nice little fellow. He’s about as old as I am, but over a head shorter and quite fat. His cheeks reach way up into his eyes. He’s got little black eyes, and little cunning teeth, just as white as the meat of a punkin-seed.

I had to pay twenty cents of that quarter you sent, for breaking a square of glass. But didn’t mean to, so please excuse. I haven’t much left.

Your affectionate grandchild,

William Henry.

P. S. When punkins come, save the seeds—to roast. If you please.


My dear Grandmother,—

One of my elbows came through, but the woman sewed it up again. I’ve used up both balls of my twine. And my white-handled knife,—I guess it went through a hole in my pocket, that I didn’t know of till after the knife was lost. My trousers grow pretty short. But she says ’tis partly my legs getting long. I’m glad of that.

I stubbed my toe against a stump, and tumbled down and scraped a hole through the knee of my oldest pair. For it was very rotten cloth. I guess the hole is too crooked to have her sew it up again. She thinks a mouse ran up the leg, and gnawed that hole my knife went through, to get the crumbles in the pocket. I don’t mean when they were on me, but hanging up.

My boat is almost rigged. She says she will hem the sails if I won’t leave any more caterpillars in my pockets. I’m getting all kinds of caterpillars to see what kind of butterflies they make.

Yesterday, Dorry and I started from the pond to run and see who would get home first. He went one way, and I went another.

I cut across the Two Betseys’ garden. But I don’t see how I did so much hurt in just once cutting across. I knew something cracked,—that was the sink-spout I jumped down on, off the fence. There was a board I hit, that had huckleberries spread out on it to dry. They went into the rain-water hogshead. I didn’t know any huckleberries were spread out on the board.

I meant to go between the rows, but guess I stepped on a few beans. My wrist got hurt dreadfully by my getting myself tripped up in a squash-vine. And while I was down there, a bumble-bee stung me on my chin. I stepped on a little chicken, for she ran the way I thought she wasn’t going to. I don’t remember whether I shut the gate or not. But guess not, for the pig got in, and went to rooting before Lame Betsey saw him, and the other Betsey had gone somewhere.

I got home first, but my wrist ached, and my sting smarted. You forgot to write down what was good for bumble-bee stings. Benjie said his aunt Polly put damp sand on to stings. So he put a good deal of it on my chin, and it got better, though my wrist kept aching in the night. And I went to school with it aching. But didn’t tell anybody but Benjie. Just before school was done, the master said we might put away our books. Then he talked about the Two Betseys, and told how Lame Betsey got lame by saving a little boy’s life, when the house was on fire. She jumped out of the window with him. And the Other Betsey lost all her money by lending it to a bad man that ran off with it. And he made us all feel ashamed that we great strong boys should torment two poor women.

Then he told about the damage done the day before by some boy running through their garden, and said five dollars would hardly be enough to pay it. “I don’t know what boy it was, but if he is present,” says he, “I call upon him to rise.”

Then I stood up. I was ashamed, but I stood up. For you told me once this saying: “Even if truth be a loaded cannon, walk straight up to it.”

The master ordered me not to go on to the play-ground for a week, nor be out of the house in play-hours.

From your affectionate grandchild.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


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



No. 12.


A pastoral poet, whose great name

Gave to his birthplace endless fame.


The burial-place of England’s greatest sage.

The name that Hellas bore on ancient page.

The name we love to write above our portal.

The warrior “the great dreamer” made immortal.

The debt that youthful gamblers have to own.

And she who in fair Argos had her throne.

A. R.

No. 13.


One who sought an elevated station whilst in the exercise of the humblest duties of life. Unable to retain the position he gained, he lost a crown.

The companion of his labors, who shared his elevation and was involved in his fall.


A way of advancement.

What might have averted the misfortune.

The nature of the trouble.

What may have been the height they endeavored to reach.

L. J.


K. S I.



No. 16.

Young Clarence, rich in mental gifts,

  By habit is accursed;

I saw how slavish were its chains,

  And bade him do my first.


Behold the tyrant Habit is!

  It binds its victims fast;

He answered to my earnest prayer

  Naught but my next and last.


“Assert your manhood’s strength,” I cried,

  “Declare you will be free,

Or then, all hope, all promise gone,

  In age my whole you’ll be.”

A. M. W.

No. 17.

I’m a word of four letters,

  With syllables two,

And if you will guess me,

  I’ll tell them to you.


My first is a leader

  Whom twenty-five follow;

My second oft sounds

  For joy or for sorrow.


My whole as you see,

  After all I have told,

Is simply the name

  Of a martyr of old.






11.A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
12.A good clock.
13.To be or not to be,—that is the question.



Illustrated Rebus.

15.In shadows dwell the slight elastic harebell. [(In shad o’s) D well T (he) S (light) E (last) (eye) (sea) (hare) (bell).]


Little Nellie” must be declined.

Bessie Barnes. We don’t know that we can well advise you on the point you mention; you will do best by consulting your parents.

Nemo. We have forwarded your letter to Mr. F.

W. C. P. Our rule is not to print translations.

A. M. B. Next year’s plans are not yet wholly decided.

A. H. C. You should write Lafayette, not Layfeete.

Ernestine H. would be very glad to have you tell her “why Greek is not considered so essential a part of the education of a girl as of a boy.”

Mainly, we suppose, because the education of girls is conducted with a view to domestic uses, that of boys for business or professional purposes. Greek would not be held necessary for a boy who was to follow mercantile pursuits; and, on the other hand, if a girl were intended for a literary or scholastic position, Greek might be thought requisite for her.

W. H. A. “Very” is an adverb, not an adjective.

H. A. W. There is no trustworthy “self-instructor” in any language, so far as we know. A good grammar, a dictionary, and some book of easy reading will best help you to a beginning.

Jessie. Your friend is wrong; of course she should lay the cloth. The rule which governs our every-day use of lie and lay applies to the use of those words in nautical language. The master of a ship lays her to, but the vessel lies to, when her course is checked and she becomes stationary at sea. Sailors might very likely say “the ship lays to,” for their grammar is not apt to be of the best.

Ashwood. “Aunt Fanny” and “Fanny Fern” are not the same person; the former has devoted herself to juvenile writing,—she is the author of the delightful little “Night-cap” books,—while the latter has written “grown-up” sketches and tales principally.

Cnidus. There will be new premium lists published in the autumn for subscribers to the volume of 1868.

Minikin. “New” subscribers are those whose names are not on the subscription lists for the current year.

Sylvanus. Although “Winter’s Flight” must pass us by, yet you may have hopes for by and by.

C. D. P. Is a doe “very soft”? Don’t you mean dough?

R. F. Jr. The story is very prettily told, but do you think it deserves printing more than hundreds of other anecdotes?

Inquirer. Dr. Hayes’s “Arctic Boat Journey” is exactly the book for you to read, if you wish to find out about the Northern regions more rapidly than you can do in “Cast Away in the Cold.”

Alice and Helen. “Farming for Boys,” enlarged by the addition of several new chapters, will be published in a book next spring.—There is not a statement given as a fact in “Round-the-World Joe” which is not strictly true, and supported by the best travellers’ testimony.—We hardly approve of making Bible incidents the subjects of conundrums, &c.

Zuleima and Others. Light is the means by which we see. What this force or agent is, nobody really knows, and philosophers dispute. Some think that luminous objects throw off minute globules which affect the eye, but no other organ; others believe that the air is full of a fine ether which is made to wave or vibrate by illuminated objects, and that the eye feels these vibrations and translates them into a picture. But these are things for men of science to speculate upon; our first explanation is as definite a one as you can expect to understand until you are older and have studied more.

E. B. H. Your question has been already answered.

Two Corrections must be made in the September chapter of “Cast Away in the Cold.” On page 517, “head it on,” should be “bend it on”; and on page 524, “fast in,” should be “fast ice.”

Clintie B. You had better write to the place we have previously named as a good bow shop,—Heinrich’s, 158 Broadway, New York.

Allen S. F. You sent no stamped envelope for an answer.

Arion B. It doesn’t explain any such thing. We have had more than a hundred versions of the same proverb,—some of them long before your date. Besides, the two are entirely unlike, the principal word being used in two perfectly opposite senses. Use your wits, dear boy.

Eureka. We will lay your suggestion before Mr. Foster.—There is nothing published on the subject.

Adil. It was the subject of Willy Wisp’s puzzle of which the photograph was offered—if anybody could catch it; but the subject was a kiss, you remember.—Three languages are certainly enough to study at a time. How many other branches you can wisely add to these, your teachers can best tell, for they know you, your capacity, and your habits of study. We should advise you to take up nothing new, however, in addition to the languages.—Ici (French) has not the same significance as ibi (Latin); the former means here, and the latter, there; so you see the charade won’t exactly do.

An “M. D.,” as he signs himself, sends a beautiful composition, which we copy exactly,—spelling, capitals, and all: “I do not wish to have you send another cope to the address of —— for I can see nothing them that is beneficial or instructive and the engravings some of them are perfectly Hideous to contemplate, some of them you will find enclosed your &c.”

J. B. Count the words on one of your manuscript pages, and then on the printed page which you have chosen; then, a simple sum in proportion will tell how many manuscript words (or pages) will make up the quantity of print you desire to fill.

Peter Periwinkle. We do not care to copy one of our own rebuses, thank you.

Alexis. Let us see what you call comic pictures.

C. A. Mull, Dog Star, Keystone, P. Puhoo, F. C. (who sent a prettily painted rebus), Frank S. D. (whose letter, so mamma says, “is the longest he has ever written”), Freddie A. C., Josiah Trinkle, Anon, Ranger, Mary A. W., M. C. M. (“a black-eyed friend”), Phil, Bob O’Link, Aggie, Lottie A. S., Nemo, F. S. (you should have sent separate answers), Horace, D. B. S., Jr., Sar Dean, C. B. W., Lizzie H., Anne N., Mintie Elwood (go back to the books, dear!), W. H. B., Bo-Peep, A. C. F., W. W. S., Chestnut. We are much obliged to you, one and all.

R. F. H. You should sign a letter “respectfully,” not “respectively.”—The enigma is a bit too long; seventy-six letters are a great many.

F. Albert Dare. Very good for a beginner, but hardly up to the standard of publication.

M. E. O. has sent us a Christmas sketch, written by Cordie, a little invalid friend. The sketch is very pleasantly written, but the “Box” is so full, that we can only squeeze in our thanks for it.

Of course you bright boys and girls have found out that last month’s picture-proverb was, “Every dog has his Dey (day).” Now see what you can make of this one, which was also designed by J. L.


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 11 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]