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

Date of first publication: 1868

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

Date first posted: Nov. 23, 2018

Date last updated: Nov. 23, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20181188

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






An Illustrated Magazine




Vol. IV. JANUARY, 1868. No. I.

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.]















and writer of ‘A Holiday Romance’ for



This beginning-part is not made out of anybody’s head you know. It’s real. You must believe this beginning-part more than what comes after, else you won’t understand how what comes after came to be written. You must believe it all, but you must believe this most, please. I am the Editor of it. Bob Redforth (he’s my cousin, and shaking the table on purpose) wanted to be the Editor of it, but I said he shouldn’t because he couldn’t. He has no idea of being an Editor.

Nettie Ashford is my Bride. We were married in the right-hand closet in the corner of the dancing-school where first we met, with a ring (a green one) from Wilkingwater’s toy-shop. I owed for it out of my pocket-money. When the rapturous ceremony was over, we all four went up the lane and let off a cannon (brought loaded in Bob Redforth’s waistcoat pocket) to announce our Nuptials. It flew right up when it went off, and turned over. Next day, Lieutenant Colonel Robin Redforth was united, with similar ceremonies, to Alice Rainbird. This time, the cannon bust with a most terrific explosion, and made a puppy bark.

My peerless Bride was, at the period of which we now treat, in captivity at Miss Grimmer’s. Drowvey and Grimmer is the partnership, and opinion is divided which the greatest Beast. The lovely Bride of the Colonel was also immured in the Dungeons of the same establishment. A vow was entered into between the Colonel and myself that we would cut them out on the following Wednesday when walking two and two.

Under the desperate circumstances of the case, the active brain of the Colonel, combining with his lawless pursuit (he is a Pirate), suggested an attack with fireworks. This however, from motives of humanity, was abandoned as too expensive.

Lightly armed with a paper-knife buttoned up under his jacket, and waving the dreaded black flag at the end of a cane, the Colonel took command of me at 2 p. m. on the eventful and appointed day. He had drawn out the plan of attack on a piece of paper which was rolled up round a hoop-stick. He showed it to me. My position and my full-length portrait (but my real ears don’t stick out horizontal) was behind a corner-lamp-post, with written orders to remain there till I should see Miss Drowvey fall. The Drowvey who was to fall was the one in spectacles, not the one with the large lavender bonnet. At that signal I was to rush forth, seize my Bride, and fight my way to the lane. There, a junction would be effected between myself and the Colonel, and putting our Brides behind us, between ourselves and the palings, we were to conquer or die.

The enemy appeared—approached. Waving his black flag, the Colonel attacked. Confusion ensued. Anxiously I awaited my signal, but my signal came not. So far from falling, the hated Drowvey in spectacles appeared to me to have muffled the Colonel’s head in his outlawed banner, and be pitching into him with a parasol. The one in the lavender bonnet also performed prodigies of valor with her fists on his back. Seeing that all was for the moment lost, I fought my desperate way hand to hand to the lane. Through taking the back road, I was so fortunate as to meet nobody, and arrived there uninterrupted.

It seemed an age ere the Colonel joined me. He had been to the jobbing-tailor’s to be sewn up in several places, and attributed our defeat to the refusal of the detested Drowvey to fall. Finding her so obstinate he had said to her in a loud voice, “Die recreant!” but had found her no more open to reason on that point than the other.

My blooming Bride appeared, accompanied by the Colonel’s Bride, at the Dancing School next day. What? Was her face averted from me? Hah! Even so. With a look of scorn she put into my hand a bit of paper, and took another partner. On the paper was pencilled, “Heavens! Can I write the word! Is my husband a Cow.”

In the first bewilderment of my heated brain I tried to think what slanderer could have traced my family to the ignoble animal mentioned above. Vain were my endeavors. At the end of that dance I whispered the Colonel to come into the cloak-room, and I showed him the note.

“There is a syllable wanting,” said he, with a gloomy brow.

“Hah! What syllable?” was my inquiry.

“She asks, Can she write the word? And no; you see she couldn’t,” said the Colonel, pointing out the passage.

“And the word was?” said I.

“Cow—cow—coward,” hissed the Pirate-Colonel in my ear, and gave me back the note.

Feeling that I must forever tread the earth a branded boy—person I mean—or that I must clear up my honor, I demanded to be tried by a Court-Martial. The Colonel admitted my right to be tried. Some difficulty was found in composing the court, on account of the Emperor of France’s aunt refusing to let him come out. He was to be the President. Ere yet we had appointed a substitute, he made his escape over the back-wall, and stood among us, a free monarch.

The court was held on the grass by the pond. I recognized in a certain Admiral among my judges, my deadliest foe. A cocoa-nut had given rise to language that I could not brook. But confiding in my innocence, and also in the knowledge that the President of the United States (who sat next him) owed me a knife, I braced myself for the ordeal.

It was a solemn spectacle that court. Two executioners with pinafores reversed led me in. Under the shade of an umbrella, I perceived my Bride, supported by the Bride of the Pirate-Colonel. The President (having reproved a little female ensign for tittering, on a matter of Life and Death) called upon me to plead, “Coward or no Coward, Guilty or not Guilty?” I pleaded in a firm tone “No Coward and Not Guilty.” (The little female ensign being again reproved by the President for misconduct, mutinied, left the court, and threw stones.)

My implacable enemy, the Admiral, conducted the case against me. The Colonel’s Bride was called to prove that I had remained behind the corner-lamp-post during the engagement. I might have been spared the anguish of my own Bride’s being also made a witness to the same point, but the Admiral knew where to wound me. Be still, my soul, no matter. The Colonel was then brought forward with his evidence.

It was for this point that I had saved myself up, as the turning point of my case. Shaking myself free of my guards—who had no business to hold me, the stupids! unless I was found Guilty—I asked the Colonel what he considered the first duty of a soldier? Ere he could reply, the President of the United States rose and informed the court that my foe the Admiral had suggested “Bravery,” and that prompting a witness wasn’t fair. The President of the court immediately ordered the Admiral’s mouth to be filled with leaves, and tied up with string. I had the satisfaction of seeing the sentence carried into effect, before the proceedings went further.

I then took a paper from my trousers-pocket, and asked: “What do you consider, Colonel Redforth, the first duty of a soldier? Is it obedience?”

“It is,” said the Colonel.

“Is that paper—please to look at it—in your hand?”

“It is,” said the Colonel.

“Is it a military sketch?”

“It is,” said the Colonel.

“Of an engagement?”

“Quite so,” said the Colonel.

“Of the late engagement?”

“Of the late engagement.”

“Please to describe it, and then hand it to the President of the Court.”

Drawn by John Gilbert.]          [See A Holiday Romance, page 2.

From that triumphant moment my sufferings and my dangers were at an end. The court rose up and jumped, on discovering that I had strictly obeyed orders. My foe, the Admiral, who though muzzled was malignant yet, contrived to suggest that I was dishonored by having quitted the field. But the Colonel himself had done as much, and gave his opinion, upon his word and honor as a Pirate, that when all was lost the field might be quitted without disgrace. I was going to be found “No Coward and Not Guilty,” and my blooming Bride was going to be publicly restored to my arms in a procession, when an unlooked for event disturbed the general rejoicing. This was no other than the Emperor of France’s aunt catching hold of his hair. The proceedings abruptly terminated, and the court tumultuously dissolved.

It was when the shades of the next evening but one were beginning to fall, ere yet the silver beams of Luna touched the earth, that four forms might have been descried slowly advancing towards the weeping willow on the borders of the pond, the now deserted scene of the day before yesterday’s agonies and triumphs. On a nearer approach, and by a practised eye, these might have been identified as the forms of the Pirate-Colonel with his Bride, and of the day before yesterday’s gallant prisoner with his Bride.

On the beauteous faces of the Nymphs, dejection sat enthroned. All four reclined under the willow for some minutes without speaking, till at length the Bride of the Colonel poutingly observed, “It’s of no use pretending any more, and we had better give it up.”

“Hah!” exclaimed the Pirate. “Pretending?”

“Don’t go on like that; you worry me,” returned his Bride.

The lovely Bride of Tinkling echoed the incredible declaration. The two warriors exchanged stony glances.

“If,” said the Bride of the Pirate-Colonel, “grown-up people WON’T do what they ought to do, and WILL put us out, what comes of our pretending?”

“We only get into scrapes,” said the Bride of Tinkling.

“You know very well,” pursued the Colonel’s Bride, “that Miss Drowvey wouldn’t fall. You complained of it yourself. And you know how disgracefully the court-martial ended. As to our marriage; would my people acknowledge it at home?”

“Or would my people acknowledge ours?” said the Bride of Tinkling.

Again the two warriors exchanged stony glances.

“If you knocked at the door and claimed me, after you were told to go away,” said the Colonel’s Bride, “you would only have your hair pulled, or your ears, or your nose.”

“If you persisted in ringing at the bell and claiming Me,” said the Bride of Tinkling to that gentleman, “you would have things dropped on your head from the window over the handle, or you would be played upon by the garden-engine.”

“And at your own homes,” resumed the Bride of the Colonel, “it would be just as bad. You would be sent to bed, or something equally undignified. Again, how would you support us?”

The Pirate-Colonel replied, in a courageous voice, “By rapine!” But his Bride retorted, Suppose the grown-up people wouldn’t be rapined? Then, said the Colonel, they should pay the penalty in Blood. But suppose they should object, retorted his Bride, and wouldn’t pay the penalty in Blood or anything else?

A mournful silence ensued.

“Then do you no longer love me, Alice?” asked the Colonel.

“Redforth! I am ever thine,” returned his Bride.

“Then do you no longer love me, Nettie?” asked the present writer.

“Tinkling! I am ever thine,” returned my Bride.

We all four embraced. Let me not be misunderstood by the giddy. The Colonel embraced his own Bride and I embraced mine. But two times two make four.

“Nettie and I,” said Alice, mournfully, “have been considering our position. The grown-up people are too strong for us. They make us ridiculous. Besides, they have changed the times. William Tinkling’s baby brother was christened yesterday. What took place? Was any king present? Answer, William.”

I said, No, unless disguised as great-uncle Chopper.

“Any queen?”

There had been no queen that I knew of at our house. There might have been one in the kitchen; but I didn’t think so, or the servants would have mentioned it.

“Any fairies?”

None that were visible.

“We had an idea among us, I think,” said Alice, with a melancholy smile, “we four, that Miss Grimmer would prove to be the wicked fairy, and would come in at the christening with her crutch-stick, and give the child a bad gift? Was there anything of that sort? Answer, William.”

I said, that Ma had said afterwards (and so she had), that great-uncle Chopper’s gift was a shabby one; but she hadn’t said a bad one. She had called it shabby, electrotyped, second-hand, and below his income.

“It must be the grown-up people who have changed all this,” said Alice. “We couldn’t have changed it, if we had been so inclined, and we never should have been. Or perhaps Miss Grimmer is a wicked fairy, after all, and won’t act up to it, because the grown-up people have persuaded her not to. Either way, they would make us ridiculous if we told them what we expected.”

“Tyrants!” muttered the Pirate-Colonel.

“Nay, my Redforth,” said Alice, “say not so. Call not names, my Redforth, or they will apply to Pa.”

“Let ’em!” said the Colonel. “I don’t care! Who’s he?”

Tinkling here undertook the perilous task of remonstrating with his lawless friend, who consented to withdraw the moody expressions above quoted.

“What remains for us to do?” Alice went on in her mild wise way. “We must educate, we must pretend in a new manner, we must wait.”

The Colonel clenched his teeth—four out in front, and a piece off another, and he had been twice dragged to the door of a dentist-despot, but had escaped from his guards. “How educate? How pretend in a new manner? How wait?”

“Educate the grown-up people,” replied Alice. “We part to-night. Yes, Redforth!”—for the Colonel tucked up his cuffs,—“part to-night! Let us, in these next Holidays now going to begin, throw our thoughts into something educational for the grown-up people, hinting to them how things ought to be. Let us veil our meaning under a mask of romance; you, I, and Nettie. William Tinkling being the plainest and quickest writer shall copy out. Is it agreed?”

The Colonel answered, sulkily, “I don’t mind!” He then asked, “How about pretending?”

“We will pretend,” said Alice, “that we are children; not that we are those grown-up people who won’t help us out as they ought, and who understand us so badly.”

The Colonel, still much dissatisfied, growled, “How about waiting?”

“We will wait,” answered little Alice, taking Nettie’s hand in hers, and looking up at the sky, “we will wait—ever constant and true—till the times have got so changed as that everything helps us out, and nothing makes us ridiculous, and the fairies have come back. We will wait—ever constant and true—till we are eighty, ninety, or one hundred. And then the fairies will send us children, and we will help them out, poor pretty little creatures, if they pretend ever so much.”

“So we will, dear,” said Nettie Ashford, taking her round the waist with both arms, and kissing her. “And now if my husband will go and buy some cherries for us, I have got some money.”

In the friendliest manner I invited the Colonel to go with me; but he so far forgot himself as to acknowledge the invitation by kicking out behind, and then lying down on his stomach on the grass, pulling it up and chewing it. When I came back, however, Alice had nearly brought him out of his vexation, and was soothing him by telling him how soon we should all be ninety.

As we sat under the willow-tree and ate the cherries (fair, for Alice shared them out), we played at being ninety. Nettie complained that she had a bone in her old back and it made her hobble, and Alice sang a song in an old woman’s way, but it was very pretty, and we were all merry. At least I don’t know about merry exactly, but all comfortable.

There was a most tremendous lot of cherries, and Alice always had with her some neat little bag or box or case, to hold things. In it that night was a tiny wineglass. So Alice and Nettie said they would make some cherry-wine to drink our love at parting.

Each of us had a glassful, and it was delicious, and each of us drank the toast, “Our love at parting.” The Colonel drank his wine last, and it got into my head directly that it got into his directly. Anyhow his eyes rolled immediately after he had turned the glass upside down, and he took me on one side and proposed in a hoarse whisper that we should “Cut ’em out still.”

“How did he mean?” I asked my lawless friend.

“Cut our Brides out,” said the Colonel, “and then cut our way, without going down a single turning, Bang to the Spanish Main!”

We might have tried it, though I didn’t think it would answer; only we looked round and saw that there was nothing but moonlight under the willow-tree, and that our pretty pretty wives were gone. We burst out crying. The Colonel gave in second, and came to first; but he gave in strong.

We were ashamed of our red eyes, and hung about for half an hour to whiten them. Likewise a piece of chalk round the rims, I doing the Colonel’s, and he mine, but afterwards found in the bedroom looking-glass not natural, besides inflammation. Our conversation turned on being ninety. The Colonel told me he had a pair of boots that wanted soling and heeling, but he thought it hardly worth while to mention it to his father, as he himself should so soon be ninety, when he thought shoes would be more convenient. The Colonel also told me with his hand upon his hip that he felt himself already getting on in life, and turning rheumatic. And I told him the same. And when they said at our house at supper (they are always bothering about something) that I stooped, I felt so glad!

This is the end of the beginning-part that you were to believe most.

Charles Dickens.

Aged Eight.


Our little friend, Miss Emily Proudie, had on the whole a very pleasant summer of it at the farm. By the time that huckleberries were ripe, in August, she could take her basket on her arm, and, in company with Pussy, take long walks, and spend whole afternoons in the pastures, sitting down on the great wide cushions of white foamy moss, such as you always find in huckleberry pastures, and picking pailfuls of the round, shining black fruit. She never found herself tired and panting for breath, as she used to in her city life; for there were no bandages or strings around her lungs to confine her breathing, and in place of the hot, close air of city pavements there were the spicy odors of the sweet-fern and the pine-trees and the bayberry-bushes.

Then Pussy had brought her to be acquainted with all the birds, so that she knew every one just as well as she used to know her old calling acquaintance on Fifth Avenue. There was frisky Master Catbird, who sang like every other bird in the woods in turn,—five minutes like this one, and the next five minutes like that one,—and ended by laughing at them all, with as plain a laugh as ever a bird could make. And there were the Bobolinks, with the white spots on their black wings, that fluttered and said, “Chack, chack, chack!” as if they didn’t know how to sing a word, and then all of a sudden broke out into a perfect bird babble of “Chee-chees” and “Twitter-twitters,” and said, “O limph, O limph, O limp-e-te! sweetmeats, sweetmeats!” and, “Veni si-no pi-le-cheer-ene!” And then too, there was the shy white-throated finch, that never sings unless it is perfectly sure of being all alone by itself in the deepest, shadiest little closet of an old pine-tree or a thick-leaved maple.

Pussy had taught Emily how to creep round among the bushes, holding her breath, and moving in perfect silence, till at last they would get directly under the tree where the shy little beauty was sitting; and then they would see her dress herself, and plume her feathers, and pour forth just six clear, measured musical notes,—a little plaintive, but so sweet that one who heard her once would want to hear again.

Pussy used to insist that the bird uttered just six words in the tune of one of her Sunday-school hymns,—“No war nor battle sound.” By close listening, you might after a time be quite sure that the bird sung exactly these words in her green, still retirement.

Then there were a whole crowd more of meadow-larks, and finches, and yellow-birds, that used to sit on thistle-tops, and sing, and pick out the downy thistle-seeds, and snap them up, and send the little silvery plumes flying like fairy feathers through the summer air.

Emily used to suppose that there were no sights to look at in the country, where there was no theatre, and no opera, and no museum; but she soon found that she could see, every day, out in a common pasture-lot, things more beautiful and curious than any which could be gotten up to entertain people in the city.

On Sundays they used to ride two good miles over hill and dale to the village church, and there Pussy had her Sunday-school class of nice rosy boys and girls, whom she seemed so fond of, and who were always so glad to see her.

Many times the thought occurred to Emily, “How happy this girl is! Not a day of her life passes when she does not feel that she is bringing some good and useful thing to pass, feeling her own powers, and brightening the life of every one around her by the use of them. And I,” Emily thought, “have lived all my life like some broken-winged bird or sick chicken, just to be taken care of,—always to receive, and never to give; always to be waited on, and never to wait on anybody.”

With health and strength and cheerfulness came a sort of consciousness of power, and a scorn of doing nothing, in this young girl’s mind. “Because I am rich, is that any reason why I should be lazy,” she thought to herself, “and let my body and mind absolutely die out from sheer laziness? If I am not obliged to work to support myself, as Pussy is, still, ought I not to work for others, as she does? If I can afford to have all my clothes made, is that any reason why I should not learn to cut and fit and sew so as to help those who have not money? Besides,” thought the sensible Miss Emily, “my papa may lose his money, and become poor. Now being poor is no evil to Pussy; she contrives to be just as happy, to look pretty, to dress well and neatly, and to make her home charming and agreeable,—all by using her own faculties to the utmost, instead of depending on others, and being a drag and a burden on them. I will try and do so too. To be sure it is late in the day for me, I have indulged laziness so long,—and I am lazy, that’s a fact. But then—” And then Emily went on thinking over the explanation that she had heard Pussy give to her Sunday-school class, on the Sunday before, of the parable of the talents, and the uses different people made of them. “These talents,” she thought, “are all our advantages for doing good; and I have had so many! I am like the man who just digged in the earth and buried his Lord’s money in darkness; I have not done anything with my talents; I have not cultivated my mind, though I have had every advantage for it; I have not even perfectly acquired any accomplishment. I have not done anybody any good, and I have not even been happy myself. My talent has not only not been increased, but it has grown less; for I have lost my health, and come almost to the grave by foolish ways of dressing, by sitting up late nights, and living generally without any sensible worthy object. And now, if my Lord should come to reckon with me, what could I say about the use I have made of my talents?”

This was more serious thinking than our Miss Emily had ever done before, and it ended in a humble, hearty prayer to her Saviour to enable her for the future to lead a better life; and then she began to study as earnestly to learn how to do everything about a house, as if she were in very deed a poor girl, and needed to know. She insisted on taking the care of her own room, and early in the morning you might have heard her stepping about her apartment in a thrifty way, throwing open her window, and beating up her pillows and bolster, and putting them to air. Then she would insist on helping Pussy wash the breakfast things, and she would get her to teach every step of the way to make bread and biscuit and butter, and all nice things. “It does me good, it amuses me, it gives me my health, and it makes me good for something,” she said. “If ever I should have use for this knowledge, I shall be at no loss, and you don’t know how much happier I am than when I did nothing.”

“Now, Pussy dear,” she used to add, “when I go back to New York this winter, you must come and visit me; for I cannot do without you.”

“Oh!” Pussy would say, laughing, “you won’t like me in New York. I do very well in the country, among the sweet-fern bushes and the bobolinks, but I should be quite lost in one of your New York palaces.”

“No, but you must come and show New-Yorkers what a country girl can be. Why, Pussy, you are a great deal better educated than I am, even in things where I have had more advantages than you, just because you have had to struggle for them; you have really set your heart on them, and so have got them. Knowledge has just been rubbed on to me upon the outside, while you have opened your mind, and stretched out your arms to it, and taken it in with all your heart.”

Emily would not be denied, and Pussy’s mother said that she ought to have some little holiday, she had always been such a good girl; and so it was arranged that she should go back to New York with Emily when she went.

But Emily was in no hurry to go back, for, as autumn came on, and the long fine days grew cooler, she found that she could walk farther and farther, and spend more and more time in the open air. She had great fun in going chestnutting, out under the bright gold-colored chestnut-trees, where the prickly burrs opened and showered down abundance of ripe, glossy nuts. Emily would sometimes come home long after dark, having spent a whole afternoon in searching and tossing about the golden leaves, and bearing her bag of chestnuts in triumph,—and so hungry that good brown bread and milk tasted like the most delicious luxury.

Then there were walnuts, and butternuts, and wild forest grapes, and bright-crimson barberries, all of which the young maidens went forth to seek, and in pursuit of which they garnered health and strength and happiness.

“Why, Dr. Hardhack,” said Emily’s mother, “I don’t see as we shall ever get our Emily home again. I keep writing and writing, and still she says she isn’t ready; there is always something ahead.”

“Let her alone, ma’am, let her alone,” said the Doctor. “Give Nature a chance more; you’ll all be tumbling on to her, and trying to undo all the good she’s getting as soon as you get her home; so let her stay as long as possible.”

“O Dr. Hardhack, you are so queer!”

“Truth, ma’am!” said the Doctor. “You are perfectly longing to kill that child; it’s all you can do to allow her a chance to breathe. But I insist upon it that she shall keep away from you as long as she has a mind to.”

“Did you ever see such a queer old dear as Dr. Hardhack?” said Emily’s mother. “He does say the oddest things!”

So in our next we shall tell you about Pussy’s adventures in New York.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.



When the children next went to the “Mariner’s Rest,” it was unanimously agreed that they should go back again to the Captain’s “cabin,”—there were so many things there that they had not seen, and which they wished to look at. Alice wanted to see the birds,—the owl with the great, big eyes, and the pelican that had no wings, at least only little stumps that were hardly an apology for wings. Fred wanted to see the Chinese junks and the little ship, while William was bent on having the Moorish gun, the Turkish sword, the Japanese “happy despatch,” and all the other weapons, offensive and defensive, taken down, that he might have a better view of them. The old man, at all times very ready and willing to gratify his little friends, was never more so than when he found them so deeply interested in the contents of his cabin; for every little curiosity or treasure there had an association with some period of his eventful life, and he was never happier than when any one admired what he admired so much, and thus gave him a chance to talk about it. “Heyday!” said he, when all the children had spoken and made known their wishes, “I’m glad you take so kindly to the old man’s den; you shall come down there and look at it whenever you like, only you mustn’t toss the things about too much. Run in there now, and make yourselves at home. I’ll be with you in a little while.” So the children set off without another word, and were quickly diving among the old man’s treasures, while the Captain went back to his garden to finish the hoeing of his cabbages.

When the Captain had completed what he was about, he rejoined the children; and after a great deal of conversation which there is no need that we should here repeat, the party at length sobered down as if they were bent on business, and the Captain, once more drawing his little friends about him by the open window, again took up the tale.

“Now I told you yesterday,” said he, “that the Dean and I had gone asleep again after all our work and trouble and anxiety, without having come any nearer to getting up a fire. You have seen that we had enough to eat and drink, and that I had found a place to shelter us if a storm came on; but nothing could either of us think of to catch a spark. As soon as the Dean had opened his eyes, he said, ‘Why, this is too bad! indeed it is,—I thought I had been making a fire all night.’

“ ‘What with?’ asked I.

“ ‘With matches, to be sure,’ answered the Dean. ‘I thought I had a great load of them in my pocket.’

“ ‘Then,’ said I, ‘I’m sure I pity you, to wake up out of such a pleasant dream; for you’ll find no matches here, nor any fire either, nor do I think we shall ever have any.’

“ ‘O, don’t say that, Hardy,’ replied the Dean, sadly, ‘I don’t think we are so bad off as to say we never will have any fire. Do you really think we are?’

“ ‘I can’t say,’ I replied; ‘but what can we do?’

“ ‘Try again,’ answered the Dean;—and we were soon once more upon our feet, both very determined to do something, but neither of us knowing exactly what it should be.

“So we set off to inspect the cave which I told you of yesterday. The Dean was much pleased with it, and, seeing nothing better to do, we both went to work at once to build up a wall in front of it, feeling very sad and sorrowful as we worked in silence. But in spite of our gloomy thoughts we made good progress, and had soon a solid foundation laid; but as we went on, it was plain enough to see that our wall was likely to be of very little account, since we had no means of filling up the cracks between the stones. This set me once more to thinking. Down below us in the valley there was plenty of moss, or rather turf; but when we tried to pull it up with our hands, we discovered that we could do nothing with it, and we wished for something to dig with. Then I remembered the bones I had found on the beach; so I told the Dean about them, and we both agreed that they might be of use to us. The thing which I first thought of was the dead narwhal with the great long horn; and I imagined that, if we could only get that out of his head, we should have all we wanted.

“When the Dean and I went down to the narwhal, we found that our task would be even greater than we had supposed; for the horn which we were after was so firmly embedded in the skull and flesh that it promised to be a very serious business to get it out.

“First, we had to cut away the flesh and fat from the thick nose, until we exposed the skull, and then we had to break the horn loose by dropping heavy stones upon the socket. At length we were successful. But we had consumed almost the whole day, and we found ourselves very much fatigued; so we sat down upon the green grass, and rested and talked for a while, and then went back to work upon the wall again. The horn was very heavy, but it answered our purpose; and we were soon digging up the moss with it, and then we carried the moss up to help make out the wall. This moss was very soft, being full of water; and it fitted with the stones as nicely as any mason’s mortar, so that we had no more trouble in making the wall perfectly tight and solid. Nor did we have any trouble in building up a little fireplace and chimney along with it. We had some discussion as to what use there was in taking all this pains, since we had no fire to put in our fireplace. But then, if we should in the end find that we could make a fire, we saw that we should have to tear the wall down again if we did not build the fireplace and chimney up at once; therefore it was clearly better to take a little extra trouble now, and save it possibly in the end.

“We labored very hard, and were well satisfied with the progress we had made, when we found it necessary to knock off, and eat some more raw eggs, and sleep away our fatigue again. By this time we had grown tired enough of these raw eggs, and, in truth, were very sick of them. But we had nothing else to eat unless we should devour the duck which the Dean had caught; and this we could never, as we thought, bring ourselves to do, uncooked as it was.

“The Dean had by this time grown pretty strong again, but still he was so weak that I should not have allowed him to work had he not insisted on it; so when his turn came to go to sleep, I was glad to be at work by myself, and I much surprised the Dean, when he got up again, with what I had accomplished.

“ ‘Do you know what I was thinking of?’ said the Dean, as we paused to rest, after we had again worked awhile together.

“ ‘What’s that?’ said I; ‘for I daresay it’s something clever, as you have a wise head on your young shoulders, Dean.’

“ ‘Thank you,’ said the Dean; ‘being cast away in the cold don’t stop us from paying compliments anyway; but I was thinking that we ought to save all the blubber of that old narwhal down there; we’ll want the oil by and by.’

“ ‘What for?’ said I.

“ ‘To burn,’ said he.

“ ‘Nonsense,’ said I; ‘how are you going to burn it?’

“ ‘That’s just what we’re going to find out,’ said the Dean; ‘we’ll get a fire somehow, of that I’m sure.’

“ ‘I should like to know how,’ said I. ‘Perhaps you have another bright idea.’

“ ‘To be sure I have,’ answered the Dean.

“ ‘What is it this time?’ said I.

“ ‘Well, I don’t know,’ said he, ‘as there’s much in it, but I’m going to try the lens again.’

“ ‘That’s of no use,’ said I.

“ ‘I’m not so sure,’ said he; ‘you know we made a great deal of heat with our lens the other time, so much that it almost burned the hand. I think the trouble was my old pocket had been wet with salt water, and therefore wouldn’t burn; now I think I’ve found out something that is better.’

“ ‘What’s that?’ said I.

“ ‘Why, some cotton stuff,’ said he, ‘that I found blowing about among the stones.’

“ ‘Cotton!’ exclaimed I, in great surprise, ‘there’s no cotton growing here.’

“ ‘Well, it looks like cotton for all that,’ answered the Dean, ‘and I’m sure it will burn. Let me get some of it, and I’ll try it.’ So the Dean ran off, and soon came back again with a little roll of a pure white stuff, that looked very much like cotton, only much finer in its texture. I remembered it perfectly, for I had seen it, everywhere I went, about the little willow-bushes; and I had even plucked a willow-blossom to find it covered all over with this tender cotton-like material, which I blew from it with my breath. But the idea had never once come into my head that it would be of any use.

“ ‘What are you going to do with this?’ said I to the Dean, when he had showed it to me.

“ ‘Why,’ said he with much confidence, ‘I’m going to make another lens of ice, and set fire to it.’

“To set fire to it was something easier said than done, yet the idea seemed to take root in my mind; and how or why it ever came about I can no more tell than I can fly, but somehow or other, it matters not what was the impulse or idea or expectation had in view, without saying a single word, I pulled out my knife, and the bit of flint which I had found and carefully preserved the day before, and then struck one upon the other (as if it were quite mechanical) above the Dean’s little bit of cotton stuff, which lay upon the grass. A great shower of sparks was thrown off with each fresh stroke, and these told of the fineness of the steel and the hardness of the flint. I went on pounding and pounding away, as if resolved on something. And if I was resolved my resolution was rewarded; for at length the Dean threw up his hands as suddenly as if a shot had struck him in the heart, and he shouted out, ‘A spark, a spark!’

“The Dean’s little bit of cotton stuff had taken fire, and the daintiest little streak of smoke was curling upward from it.

“Without pausing an instant, quick as the hawk to swoop down upon its prey, quick as the lightning-flash, quick as thought itself, I threw away my knife and flint, and caught up the spark. The Dean drew instantly from his pocket the bit of cotton cloth which we had tried to light with the lens the day before, and thrust it in my hand. I put the spark upon it, and then blew.

“The first breath drove all the Dean’s light cotton stuff away, and the spark was gone.

“But we were now no longer where we were before. The spark had been made once, and it could be made again; and our hearts were bounding with delight. ‘Hurrah! hurrah!’ shrieked the Dean, ‘we’re all right now!’

“But our troubles about the fire were very far from ended. We had no difficulty in getting another spark to catch in another piece of this strange sort of tinder, of which we found great plenty near at hand. But it would not blaze. With the slightest breath it vanished almost as a flash of powder; and it was a long, long time before we hit upon anything that would do us any further good. We tried all the pieces of cotton cloth that we had about our clothes, picking it into shreds, and, putting the lighted tinder among these shreds, tried to make them blaze. But no blaze could we get. Once only did we raise a little flash, but it was gone in a single instant. We tried the dry leaves of the fire-plant (Andromeda), the dry grass,—everything, indeed, that we could think of which was within our reach,—but still no blaze, no blaze.

“With sore fingers and wearied patience, and with wits as well as bodies quite exhausted, we fell once more asleep, with mingling thoughts of triumph and disappointment, and with prayerful hopes for what the morrow might bring forth running through our minds.

“When the morrow came, a chance seemed to open for us; and we resolved to go about our work with caution, determined, since we had gone thus far, that we would in the end succeed. I don’t know whether it was the Dean or I that first suggested it, but we made up our minds that the moss which we had turned up with the narwhal horn, when we were building at the hut, some of which had dried, would burn. We picked to pieces some of the long fibres of this moss, and laid upon them, loosely, some fragments of the tinder. A spark was struck as before, and upon blowing this a bright blaze flashed up, and then died out again as quickly as it had come.

“ ‘I have it now!’ shouted the Dean, ‘we’re sure of it next time!’ and without saying another word he darted off towards the beach. When he came back again, he held in one hand a chunk of blubber from the narwhal, out of which we squeezed some drops of oil, and soaked in them some fibres of the moss. Another piece of tinder and another piece of moss were placed as they had been before; another spark was struck, another blaze was blown, and when this came, the Dean was holding in it his fibres of oil-soaked moss, and the cunning little fellow soon had a lighted torch. ‘Hurrah, hurrah!’ he might well shout now, for the thing was done. ‘Praised be Heaven! we have got a fire at last!’

“It was but the work of a moment to add fresh moss to the flaming torch, which was scarcely larger than a match, and then a few more drops of oil were added, and so on, oil and moss, and moss and oil, little by little, gently, gently all the time, until we had secured at length a good and solid flame.

“Then we laid the burning moss upon a flat stone, and then, as before, moss and oil, and oil and moss, were added, each time in larger and larger quantities,—no longer gently, gently, but with a careless hand, and in less, perhaps, than half an hour we had a great, smoking, fluttering blaze; and then we threw on some of the driest leaves and twigs of the Andromeda, and some dead willow-stems and dry grass, and then we had a roaring, sputtering, red-hot fire.

“And how we danced, and skipped, and shouted round the fire, like happy children around some new-found toy!

“The next thing was, of course, to turn the fire to some account. On two sides of the blaze we placed large square stones, and over these we put another that was thin and flat; and then, in the twinkling of an eye, we skinned the duck which the Dean had caught, and cut the rich flesh into little pieces, and placed them on the flat stone above the blaze; and then, to keep the smoke and ashes from the cooking food, we placed another light thin stone upon the flesh, and then we watched and waited for the coming meal. To help the fire along, and make it burn more quickly, we threw into it some little chunks of blubber, and then, in a little while, the duck was cooked.

“O what a royal meal we had!—we half-famished, shipwrecked boys,—the first hot food we had tasted during all these long, weary, dreary days; and, not satisfied with the duck, we next broiled some eggs upon the heated stone, and ate and ate away until we were as full as we could hold.

“All this had consumed many hours, and all the time we had been so much excited that we found ourselves quite exhausted when the meal was over, and we could do no more work that day; so we lay down again upon the grass, to talk and rest and sleep. When we came to sleep, however, we had now another motive besides watching for a ship, to make us sleep one only at a time; for we must keep this fire going, which we had got with so much trouble. This was easily done, since we only had to add, from time to time, some branches of the Andromeda, and these kept up a smouldering fire.

“Before either of us went to sleep, we had seen that the first thing now was to catch more ducks; and this we could either of us do, besides watching the sea for ships, and the fire that it did not go out. Accordingly, as soon as the Dean had fallen asleep, I went about this work, fully resolved upon a plan as to how I should proceed. The knowledge of seals which I had acquired when in the Blackbird had perhaps something to do with it.

“I knew from the thickness of the seal’s skin, that lines could be made out of it very well. You will remember the dead seal that I told you of the other day, lying down on the beach, where it had been thrown up out of the sea by the waves. I forgot to mention, in addition, that we found several other seals, or rather, I should say, parts of them, for most of them had been eaten up by the foxes, or had gone to pieces by decay. So I at once went down, as I was going to say, to the seal that I had first discovered, and, taking out my knife, I made a cut around his neck, close behind the ears. It was a very large seal, and I found it not an easy matter to lift him up so that I could get my knife all the way around him; but I managed to do it notwithstanding, and made not only one cut but a great many of them,—or rather, I should say, one continuous cut around and around the body of the animal; so you will easily understand that, in this way, by keeping my knife about the eighth of an inch from where it had gone before when it passed around, I obtained at last a very long string, or rather one might say a thong, very strong and pliable. It must have been at least a hundred feet in length when I stopped cutting it, and I divided it into three parts. Having done this I next went back to where the ducks were thickest, when, of course, the birds flew off their nests. Then I fixed four traps, just as the Dean had done, tying to three of them the seal-skin strings which I had made, and to the fourth I tied the Dean’s bit of twine; then I hid myself among the rocks, and waited for the birds to come back.

“I had not long to wait, for in a few minutes two of them came back, and, without appearing to mind at all the trap that I had set for them, crawled upon their nests so quickly that it seemed as if they were afraid their eggs would grow cold. Seeing a third one coming, I waited for that too, and the fourth one came soon afterwards; and indeed, by this time, nearly all the birds that had their nests near by had returned to them. As soon as all was quiet I pulled my strings one after another as quickly as I could, and three of the birds were caught; but the last one was too smart for me, as the noise made by the others had startled her, and the heavy stone only struck her tail as she went squalling and fluttering away, frightening off all the other ducks that were anywhere near. I was not long, as you may be sure, in securing my three prizes; and I carried them at once up to the fire near which the Dean was lying under my overcoat in the sun. Soon after this the Dean awoke, and, when he saw what I had done, seemed to be much amused, as he declared that I had stolen his patent; but when he saw what kind of a line I had made, he was filled with admiration, saying, ‘Well, who would ever have thought of that? I’m sure I never should.’ Being now very tired, I lay down while the Dean took his ‘turn’; and by the time my eyes were opened again he had caught seven birds, so that we had now in all ten,—enough, probably, to last us as many days. This, of course, gave us a great deal of satisfaction, especially as we soon had one of them nicely cooked, and made a good breakfast off it.

“We had now been, you see, several days on the island, and we felt that we had done pretty well already towards providing for ourselves. The Dean, as I ought to have mentioned before, had grown in strength very rapidly during the last forty-eight hours; and except that his head was still sore from the cut and bruise, he was entirely well.

“We felt now that, whatever else might happen to us, we could not want for food, as, besides the eggs, we could have as many ducks as we pleased to catch. We had succeeded in making a fire, and had abundant means to keep it burning. There were only two things that seriously troubled us. One was our lack of shelter, if a storm should come; and the other, our lack of proper clothing if the weather should grow cold. But having succeeded so well thus far, we were very hopeful for the future. Heaven had kindly favored us. The temperature had been very mild all the time. There had been no wind, and scarcely a cloud to obscure the sky. As for shelter, we felt that we could manage in two days to enclose the cave; and as to the other trouble, although we were not very clear in our minds about it, yet we did not lose confidence that a ship would come along and take us off before winter should set in. So we resolved not to abandon our vigilance, but to keep up a constant watch, as we had done before. Now that we had made a fire, we knew the smoke would be a great help to us in drawing the attention of the people on board any ship that might come near.

“With these agreeable reflections we went to work much more cheerfully than we had done before. But since the day is so far spent, we will drop our story here for the present; and to-morrow, when you come, I will tell you how we fixed up the cave, and made ourselves more comfortable in many ways. Meanwhile you can reflect upon what I have told you, and you can answer me to-morrow whether you think John Hardy and Richard Dean were an enviable pair of boys.”

“I can answer that now,” said William.

“Well, what is the answer?” asked the Captain.

“Why, their pluck and courage everybody would envy, or at least they ought to; but for the rest, I would rather stay at home.”

“Well, well,” said the Captain, with his kindly smile, “each to his taste. I think I should rather be in the ‘Mariner’s Rest’ myself”;—saying which he led the way into the grounds in front of the cottage which he loved so well, where he took leave of his little friends once more, making them promise over and over again (for which there was no need at all) that they would come next day and hear about the cave, and how they there built themselves a shelter from the Arctic storms.

Isaac I. Hayes.


A long time ago, when I was travelling in Germany, it was my good fortune to pass the winter months in the family of a respectable shoemaker. True, there were many children, and, as the shop adjoined the house, there was much hammering, and also a smell of leather. The children, however, were well-mannered; and as for the shop, it drew together a number of odd characters,—loafers who were so full of jokes and entertaining stories that it was always a pleasure to spend an hour in their company.

And if one tired of these, why, there was Janet, an old nursewoman of the family, who had been brought up among the mountains, and knew some story or legend concerning every crag, lake, and river. It was my delight to see her comfortably seated with her knitting, and then, by skilful questionings, to start her on the track of some long-forgotten tale. As the holidays approached, her memory brightened with the season, and she ran on with her quaint story-telling, like a music-box newly wound up.

On the day before Christmas, observing that a small, finely-shaped fir-tree had been carried, with great secrecy, to an upper room, I set forth for the town, and searched every street and store to find suitable presents; for the whole family had been kind to me, and here was an opportunity of giving them a pleasure.

On my return, weary with much walking, and half blinded from gazing so long at the array of beautiful things, I threw myself lazily upon the leather-covered settee, and as Janet only was in the room,—the rest being then in the midst of all the hurry and joyful confusion of the day,—I begged that she would make the pleasant hours of expectation pass still more pleasantly by relating some events of the olden time.

“Why,” said she, laughing, “you are almost as hungry for stories as was Wide-mouthed Kluhn!”

Now this was a story of which she had often spoken, but which she had seemed unwilling to tell. Several members of the family had at different times said to me, “Pray beg from her that story; for it is one she never will give us, and we are curious to know what it is all about.”

The moment, therefore, that she mentioned “Wide-mouthed Kluhn,” I said quickly, “And who was he, Janet?”

The warmth of the occasion must have opened her heart, or the desire to please, which all feel at the approach of Christmas, had perhaps taken possession of her; for she answered, very kindly, “Wait till I fetch my knitting, sir, and perhaps I will tell you.”

Soon after she had gone for her knitting, I was somewhat surprised at seeing Lina, a young daughter of the family, thrust her head in cautiously at the door, creep on tiptoe towards me, and then to hear her whisper, “If she begins the story of Wide-mouthed Kluhn, be careful not to interrupt or even to speak to her, for—”

She was prevented from explaining any further by the entrance of Janet herself, who, instead of sitting down quietly in her easy-chair, proceeded to examine several odd-looking boxes and stools, which she turned upside down, and then carefully replaced.

At last, turning over a small, black leather trunk, she seated herself very calmly upon it, saying, with a smile, “Whoever tells the story of Wide-mouthed Kluhn must sit upon something that is upside down.”

I was about to ask, “Why is that?” when I glanced at Lina, who raised her forefinger, and slyly winked at me to keep silent. I was pleased to see that Lina was already at work upon the gold and silver paper I had given her, cutting it up into little fairies, and a fairy queen, who was that evening to hold her court upon the green cloth beneath the Christmas-tree.

Janet proceeded to take out her work, which, on this occasion, consisted not of the customary knitting, but of several balls of worsted of various colors, which she was winding together upon one. I was not sorry for this, as, besides the pleasure of seeing the preparations going on, it was pleasant, while listening, to watch the twisting and twining of the threads.

After arranging the various colors to her liking, she looked at me, with rather a mischievous smile, and began the story of


There was once a poor cobbler, called Kluhn Heinfelt, who had an only son, to whom was given his own name. “For,” said he, “it is a well-sounding name, and should not be lost.”

Now the cobbler loved his trade. Nothing suited him better than to have a good-sized hole brought to be patched, or a shoe which needed, not only patching, but tapping and capping.

But young Kluhn found no pleasure in these pursuits. His time was passed in strolling from house to house, hearing from gossipy old crones the tales they had to tell of ancient days, when valiant knights went galloping over the plains, when fairies danced upon the greensward, and giants dwelt in caves. For hours he would sit at the warm winter firesides, or in summer by shady doorways, listening, with mouth and eyes wide open, to these pleasing wonders, all of which he received as gospel truth.

Or if, perchance, his father had him fairly seated upon the bench, work in hand, he would sit with arms extended, holding the waxed threads, his head thrust forward, staring, open-mouthed, at the gray old sea-captain, the wooden-legged soldier, the trunk-pedler, the blind fiddler, and other worthies, who whiled away their time in the shop by relating the wonderful deeds they had done or seen or read of.

Thus he became known in all the village as “Offener Mund,”—that is, Wide or Open-mouthed Kluhn. He was also called Simple Kluhn, and Kluhn the Believer. For he took everything that was told him to be actually true, and hung his Christmas stocking, when a grown-up lad, as trustingly as a child of four years. In looks, too, he was somewhat childish; for, having grown tall faster than his clothes wore out, he still continued in his boyish suit, although the jacket was scanty, and both wrists and elbows were bare.

The old cobbler bore with the idleness of his son very patiently, until he arrived at an age when it was to be expected that a young man should earn his own support. But one night, returning from a journey which he had undertaken for the purpose of buying leather, he found the work left for Kluhn scarcely touched. It was Friday evening, and the shoes promised for Sunday still lay heaped in the corner, unmended.

Around the shop, on boxes and three-legged stools, smoking and chatting, were seated their usual visitors. The trunk-pedler, just from a long tramp, was well stocked with news. The old ship-captain had taken out his pipe to whistle a tune brought from over the seas, and the blind fiddler was trying to catch it, while the wooden-legged soldier drummed out the time on Kluhn’s new hat. There was also present, in his cap and gown, a young student, who had a taste for drawing, as well as a liking to hear wonders, and who, while listening, drew with a bit of charcoal the scenes and characters described in the stories, whether on land or sea, or in the clouds,—whether in giant’s cave or ogre’s den, in fairy-land or mermaid’s grotto.

The old cobbler, finding Kluhn in his usual position, and the work undone, was full of wrath. He threw an old shoe at him, as he sat staring, and cried: “Out of my sight, you lazy good-for-nothing! Go to Mistiland, and never come back!”

Now there was no such place as Mistiland, or, if there were, nobody had ever seen it. But it was a common saying in the country, when people made stupid remarks, or told unlikely stories, or asked a large price for goods, to say, “O, go to Mistiland!”

Kluhn, never doubting that his father meant just what he said, dropped his lapstone, seized his hat, and rushed from the house.

“Remember what you see there!” called out the student.

“And come back and tell!” shouted the old sea-captain.

It was a dark, dismal night, not a star to be seen. Kluhn ran with all speed through the streets and out of the town, until he arrived at a thick swamp. Here he sat down at the foot of a tree to recover his breath, and to ponder the way to Mistiland. But in vain he endeavored to think. The thousand wild stories he had heard came vividly to his mind, together with all the frightful figures drawn by the student, of robbers, witches, ghosts, ogres, monsters, and dragons. Being of a timid and affectionate disposition, he threw his arms around himself, saying, “Poor Kluhn! If these come, who will take care of you?”

Presently it seemed to him that he heard a noise in the branches overhead, as of some one coming down from the tree. He resolved to fly for his life. But while flying for his life he ran against some person,—some stout person,—with such violence that both nearly tumbled over. This stout traveller immediately began to rage and storm, and to lay about him with his staff in such a way that poor Kluhn, half dead with fright, dropped upon his knees, quaking and trembling, and begged loudly for pardon.

In his distress he called the angry unknown Dear Giant, Good Monster, Gentle Dragon, Blessed Robber, until the traveller burst into a hearty laugh, and declared that, if he would help him carry his pack, he would not only pardon him, but give him something good. “But I must first light my lantern,” said he, “for the wind has blown it out.”

When the lantern was lighted, he very carefully surveyed his new companion. Kluhn did the same. He saw before him a short, fat, jolly-faced man, wearing a bellows-topped cap and a gay cravat tied in front with an immense bow. His breeches were striped and buckled at the knees. He also had buckles to his shoes. His coat and waistcoat were extremely long at the waist, and adorned with large, shining buttons.

“I travel in the night,” said he, “because it is cooler, and for other reasons. Are you going to carry my pack?”

“If you please,” said Kluhn.

The man laughed, and strapped his pack upon Kluhn’s back; and they trudged on together through the night and far into the next day, the jolly traveller cheering the way with pleasant talk, or singing, now and then, some ancient ballad.

And thus they journeyed on and on, Kluhn knew not how long, or how far. He thought not of weariness, neither took note of time. For the traveller, pleased to find himself so entertaining, and also to be eased of his load, was ever ready with some new wonder. Everything they saw, every person they met, called to his mind pleasant recollections. If a rich man rolled past in his carriage, he spoke of robbers or bandits. If they met an infirm old woman, he thought of a witch, or a fairy in disguise. If a swan sailed down the stream, he knew the story of a swan. If an owl hooted, he remembered something wonderful about an owl. If a beautiful maiden passed by, he straightway sang some ballad of a beautiful maiden. And when, at last, they saw a black, round-shaped cloud resting on the summit of the distant mountains, he told the tale of a giant who, standing at the base on the opposite side, could rest his chin on the topmost peak, and thus survey the world.

“Where do you get so many stories?” asked Kluhn.

“Make them out of moonshine,” said the man. “My cap is full of it. Will you give me yours for mine?”

“Yes, indeed,” said Kluhn. And he took gladly the old bellows-topped cap, and gave for it his new hat.

“Here,” said the man, opening his pack, “is a bunch of witch-grass, which is good to wear in your cap. And now I must leave you. My home is over the river. I promised you something good. It is good advice. Never run in the dark. Here is a silver penny. Farewell.”

And with a chuckling laugh the jolly little packman skipped along the path and over the bridge.

As Kluhn sat there alone, wondering whom he next might meet, there came along a kind-looking old gentleman, white-haired, gentle-voiced, and dressed in black velvet. He looked down upon Kluhn with a benevolent smile, and said, “Young man, are you poor or unfortunate?”

“No, indeed!” said Kluhn. “I am the owner of a silver penny, and have heard fine tales for many days. Besides, my cap is full of moonshine.”

The old gentleman passed on, saying, “My business is with the poor and unfortunate.”

“Do you know the way to Mistiland?” asked Kluhn, calling out after him.

“I never heard of that place,” said the old gentleman; “but just here three roads meet. The wind blows towards the right. Some make it a rule, when doubtful, to follow the wind.”

After the old gentleman had gone, Kluhn stood, in doubt, at the place where three roads met. At length he plucked some of the witch-grass from his cap, tossed it in the air, and, seeing that it also floated to the right, he took, without hesitation, the right-hand road. It led through a delightful country, and Kluhn kept cheerily on, pleased with every new scene, and conversing with all travellers, hoping to find some companion as agreeable as was the jolly little packman. This charming road, however, led gradually upwards, and after many days Kluhn found himself high among the mountains. Yet he turned not back, for each day some distant object, some higher peak, enticed him on.

One day, at noontime, he sat down beneath a mountain-pine to look about him, and to eat the wild fruit he had gathered by the way. It was a solitary spot. For days he had not seen a human being. Goats scrambled among the crags; and upon a cliff near by stood a gazelle, looking down upon him with large, wondering eyes.

“Truly,” said Kluhn, “there is a fine prospect from this peak, and quite worth all the weary climbing.”

And well might he say this, for, whichever way he turned,—to the right, to the left, above, beneath,—some grand or beautiful object met his eye. There were dark forests, steep precipices, towering rocks piled high against the sky, little blue lakes nestling lower down among the hills, rushing waterfalls leaping over the mountain-sides, and far below were green valleys where those same wild torrents glided smoothly and gently on, he knew not whither.

As Kluhn sat gazing with wonder about him, he was startled by the sudden appearance of a flock of frightened children, who came running along a mountain-path. “Why do you run, children?” said he; “who has frightened you? where do you belong?”

They stopped at seeing Kluhn, and all clustered about the eldest, who informed him that they lived lower down the mountain, and had been to the hut of Runa the story-teller.

“But we are hastening back,” said the child, “because the black and blue rag is hung out.”

By further questioning, Kluhn learned that Runa, the story-teller, lived by herself in a hut made of green boughs; that sometimes she was a fairy, and would then allow the children to come about her, and would tell them fine tales, but at other times she was a bad witch. The door of her hut was then closed, and a black and blue rag hung out, in token that, if she caught them, she would beat them black and blue.

Kluhn threw his arms about his own neck, and hugged himself for joy. “Happy Kluhn!” cried he; “lucky Kluhn! For now you can go with these children to hear wonders.”

Later in the day, by following the mountain-path far among the rocks and pines, the fortunate youth came in sight of a hut made of green boughs. The door stood open, and the same flock of children were gathered about it. One by one they crept through the doorway. Wishing to hear without being seen, he stepped softly towards the hole which served for a window. The thick foliage of a drooping bough hung partially over it; still there was an opening through which one might see all that passed within. The hut was carpeted thickly with green leaves freshly gathered. Upon these the children were seated, gazing with half-frightened looks at the person they called Runa the story-teller.

She was a very old woman, small in stature, and straight, Kluhn thought, as his father’s walking-stick, and not so very much higher. Her hair was white, her cheeks wrinkled and hollow. Her eyebrows also were white, but the keen, dark eyes beneath them shone with a wonderful brightness. She was clothed in green, and wore upon her head a crown of silver paper. A girdle of Alpine roses hung about her waist, and she held in her right hand a slender rod. This rod she waved over the children, saying, “Now ye are dumb, like figures of stone.”

At this they folded their hands, and sat in the attitude of statues.

Her voice seemed a little wonder of itself,—just a silver thread of sound, like the notes of some tiny flute, or the tinkle of dropping water, or the song a humming-bird might sing.

Kluhn, perceiving that she was about to commence, seated himself firmly upon a bough, resting his chin on the lower edge of the window.

“My children,” said the old woman, “I shall tell you to-day the story of Little Redjacket. Once upon a time—”

Here Kluhn rubbed his hands, and, but for the fear of falling, would again have hugged himself; for of all things nothing so pleased him as that a tale should begin with “Once upon a time.”

Remembering his situation, however, he merely rubbed his hands, gave his waistcoat an affectionate pat, and then thrust his face a very little farther in at the window; thus preparing himself fully to enjoy the “Story of Little Redjacket.”

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.

(To be concluded.)


King Nutcracker prepared for the Christmas feast with uncommon splendor, for on that day Santa Claus had promised his three sons—what do you suppose? A pony or a boat apiece? Of what use to bring such things to Prince Nutcracker and Prince Buttons, who were men, while for the little Prince Pepin, he had everything that he wanted since he first learned to cry for it! No, Santa Claus had promised them each a wish! What would the princes wish? Nobody knew. For though the Court Journal declared that of course their wishes would insure the happiness of their subjects, the Court Journal knew no more of the matter than you or I; and as all this happened before we were born, that is just nothing.

Nevertheless, for weeks beforehand, the entire court was in a state of preparation. The Duke of the Powder Closet powdered the court wigs at such a rate that they were obliged to station a line of pages from the Powder Closet to the wine-cellar, who passed up brandy punches continually to keep his strength up. The Queen wore her hair in curl-papers for a week, and spent the most of her time in the kitchen, where the pies and plum-pudding were in making; and his Majesty grumbled that he could not stir without stumbling over a trumpeter, practising his bit of the Christmas chorus in a corner. For himself, the King ordered a new blue-velvet coat, and sent his crown and sceptre to be mended and rubbed up at the goldsmith’s. All the pink pages had new green slippers. Ten of these pages were to help Santa Claus out of his sleigh, and ten were to hold the reindeer; and all the time they were to sing a song of welcome, and to step all together. So they practised five hours a day with the Lord High Fiddlestick; and the Lord High Fiddlestick bawled himself hoarse, while the pages lost flesh and temper in trying to learn.

What a pity, after all this pains, that Santa Claus left his reindeer behind him, and, slipping in just when nobody was looking for him, stood among them, not with his Christmas face, but looking sad and surly! “If you were my boys,” said he, gruffly, “catch me giving you a wish. I would shut you up in an iceberg first! However, a promise is a promise. Let us hear what you have to say.”

All the courtiers stood on tiptoe, and you might have heard a pin drop, they were so anxious to know what the princes wished.

Pepin, though the youngest, being a saucy, spoiled boy, spoke first. “A prince should always have his own way,” said Pepin. “Now there are a great many things that vex me. Sometimes, when I am flying my kite, there is no wind. Now I think that a prince should always be able to fly his kite: if not, I might as well be any other boy. In the same way, it rains when I am going to drive, and the sun sets before I am ready; and my ball will tumble down when I want it to stay up, and sometimes it is too warm, and sometimes it is too cold; in short, there is no end to my annoyances, and I want to regulate these things myself.”

Santa Claus looked hard at Pepin to see if he was quite in earnest. Pepin looked back at Santa Claus with a serious face.

“Have your wish, while you remain a prince,” said Santa Claus.

The courtiers stared, but no one had time to make any remarks; for Prince Nutcracker, in a violent hurry lest Buttons should get ahead of him, wished for the luck-penny. Now you know whoever has the luck-penny will make money, more money, much money, and will never lose any.

“But there is one objection,” remarked Santa Claus. “By continual use, the luck-penny, by and by will look larger to you than anything else.”

“That is nothing,” said Nutcracker, slipping the luck-penny into his pocket.

Prince Buttons, blushing to the tips of his ears, wished “to marry the shoemaker’s sweet daughter, and that the spirit of Christmas might live in their house the year round.”

“Give us your hand!” cried Santa Claus, pulling out the holly-sprig from his cap, and giving it to Buttons; but the King jumped up, fuming and spluttering.

“You idiot! You ninny! The daughter of the shoemaker and the Christmas spirit indeed! Christmas fiddlestick and fol-de-rol! Out of my sight, you son of the shoemaker!”

His Royal Highness was in such a rage, that he actually lifted his royal foot to kick the prince. The Queen fainted; the courtiers cried, Oh! Prince Buttons ran away in the midst of the hubbub; Santa Claus disappeared; and, to make matters better, the court suddenly found itself in darkness. It was high noon, but the sun had popped out of the sky like a snuffed-out candle. Nobody could find candles or matches, and, if the confusion was great in the palace, it was worse in the city. People were left standing in darkness at the shops and ferries and depots. People who were eating dinners, and people who were getting them, and people who had just come out to see Christmas, were all served alike. Everybody was in a fright; some screamed one thing, and some another; and all the time there was nothing the matter, only Prince Pepin, who was in a hurry to see the arch of Chinese lanterns, had ordered the sun to set.

“See here, Pepin,” cried the King in a passion, “order the sun up again, and if I catch you doing such a thing—”

Pepin, who was afraid of his father, did not wait for the rest of the sentence: so, just as everybody had lighted candles, or turned on the gas, there was the sun again.

“Seems to me,” said Pepin, sulkily, “I am not having my own way after all”;—and he went in a wretched humor to play battledoor and shuttlecock. He made bad strokes, and the shuttlecock tumbled on the ground.

“Hateful thing, forever coming down!” cried Pepin.

“It only obeys the law of gravitation, my dear,” said the Queen.

“I wish there was no law of gravitation,” snapped Pepin.

Whisk! Pepin was flying through the air as if he had been shot from a gun. Kicking frantically, he saw the King, the Queen, everybody, coming after him! Something hit him hard on the nose. He was in a perfect storm of great round apples, flying in all directions! bang! bump! on his head, in his mouth, on his shoulders! How he wished they had stayed in the market! Pepin dodged and ducked and squalled; the air was full of stones and timbers; a horse was kicking just over his head; somebody had him by the hair, and somebody else by the legs, for of course everybody clutched in all directions to save himself.

“Oh!” screamed Pepin, amidst the general uproar of barking, neighing, braying, clucking, and shouting, “I wish the law of gravitation was back again.”

At once Pepin, the King, the Queen, and the people, were on their feet. Everything was in its accustomed place,—everybody a little rumpled, but nobody hurt. The King was disposed to be angry, but the Queen declared that Pepin was only a little thoughtless, the courtiers murmured, “Quite natural,” and the Court Journal pronounced the affair the best joke of the season; but the people looked very glum over it.

That made no difference to Pepin, who continued his jokes very much at his ease. Often, when he was lazy, the sun did not rise till noon; and people might twist and turn in bed, or go about their business by candle-light, as they chose. When, on the contrary, he found his play amusing, he sometimes kept the sun in the sky till nine o’clock at night, while all the children in the city were crying for sleepiness. Three nations declared war on King Nutcracker, because Pepin sometimes ordered a dead calm for weeks, and sometimes had the winds blowing from all quarters at once, and navigation was quite impossible. The doctors were almost worn out, and people died on all sides, from the constant violent changes of weather; for if my young master got heated in his play, he made nothing of ordering the thermometer down to sixty degrees. The farmers were in despair, for Pepin hardly allowed a drop of rain to fall; and having a fancy for skating in summer, he ruined what harvest there was by a week of ice and snow in July. Remonstrance was quite useless, for Pepin was no longer afraid of his father, since he could leave him at any time in total darkness.

So one night there was heard a loud knocking at the palace gate, and though the pages and the guards and the watchmen turned over on the other side, and tried very hard to go to sleep again, the knocking grew so loud that they were obliged to get up and see what was the matter. There was a mob at the gates; the people, tired of Pepin’s jokes, had rebelled. Some ran one way and some another. Prince Nutcracker put his luck-penny in his pocket, and walked out at the back door; no one stayed to look after the King and Queen, who were running about in nightcap and slippers, and a terrible fright; and if it had not been for Buttons, who, on the first alarm, ran to the palace, from which he had been kicked out six months before, they would have been in a sorry case, I think.

On the next day the Court Journal came out with a new heading. It was called now the People’s Journal, and it said, “that, on the night before, old Mr. and Mrs. Nutcracker and their boy Pepin had escaped, nobody knew how, and nobody cared; and that young Mr. Nutcracker, the former heir to the throne, had opened a fine new store on Main Street. (See his advertisement on the third page.)”

So, you perceive, there was no longer a royal family.

As Nutcracker had the luck-penny, of course he made money in his new store. Every day, and all day long, he looked straight at the penny. At first he used to see other things; but as he took no notice of them, by and by the penny grew so large that it covered them all, and then he had no more trouble. He made money all the year round, and he gave none of it away. None to Pepin, because he had brought about their misfortunes. None to his father and mother, because, if they had made Pepin obey, he could not have brought about their misfortunes. None to Buttons, because he might have wished for something better, if he liked, than a holly-bush and the shoemaker’s daughter. None to anybody, because why should not people work and earn money, as he had done, if they wanted it? And every day he grew more and more like his penny,—that is, of less and less use, for anything that was not buying and selling. For Santa Claus, he had not seen him in ten years, till one Christmas eve, when, hearing a sudden jingling of sleigh-bells, he looked up, and saw Santa Claus just coming down on the hearth-rug.

“I stopped my sleigh,” said Santa Claus, “to see if you had anything to send your father and brothers.”

“What for should I send them anything?” answered Nutcracker surlily.

Santa Claus put his hands down deep in his fur pockets, as if he was trying to hold himself. “What For! Aren’t you rich and they poor? your own flesh and blood? Confound it, man! if you have not the instinct of a son and a brother, you must feel the Christmas spirit at least once a year in your heart, urging you to love and kindness towards your fellow-men.”

“Well I don’t, then,” snarled Nutcracker. “Men need holidays to rest, I suppose, though I don’t; but for Christmas being any better, or having anything more in it than any other day, I say, Bosh! Give me plenty of money, and I can buy all the love and kindness I want! And if other folks want it, let them work and earn money as I do, and—”

Nutcracker never finished this speech, because—he could not. A singular dumb, dry, and hard feeling had taken possession of him. His legs were gone. At least he could see them nowhere; so were his arms. Something wrapped him around. He had a strange notion that he had grown round, and that—it sounds ridiculous—but Nutcracker was quite positive that he was in a table-drawer among some coin, and that he was—a copper penny.

By and by, he heard a shrill voice, “Mr. Nutcracker, Mr. Nutcracker!” that was his wife. Then he heard his children calling, “Papa! papa!” then a running up and down stairs;—they were searching for him. Then somebody declared that he had disappeared; somebody else said that he must be advertised, and, taking a handful of money from the drawer, Nutcracker among the rest, carried him to a newspaper-office, and paid him in at a window for an advertisement about his own disappearance. Two minutes after, the man at the window gave him in change to a gentleman, who paid him out to a newsboy, who bought an apple with him of a grocer, who gave him in change again to a shoemaker, who dropped him into his soiled and patched pocket, where Nutcracker found nothing else but a five-dollar gold piece.

This shoemaker was Buttons. Was not this a charming way for two brothers to meet?

The pocket into which Nutcracker dropped was a very poor pocket,—soiled, and patched as I said; but Nutcracker had not been in it five minutes, when he felt—how shall I tell you? It is not easy to describe feelings; but this shoemaker, who walked in the biting wind with no overcoat and with his hands in his pockets, had a warmth and sparkle in his heart that made Nutcracker feel brighter, though he could not tell why. There were Christmas trees on all the corners, and Christmas wreaths piled on the stands, and at every tree and wreath Buttons warmed more and more. There were women going home from market, with a broad grin on their faces, and a drum or a little bedstead on top of the cranberries and turkey, and Buttons laughed back at them, as he walked whistling, and looking around him; and splendid ladies came smiling out of the shops, and Buttons smiled at them; till between the signs of Christmas, and the pleasant faces, he got in such a glow that Nutcracker would hardly have said that he needed an overcoat.

All this time Buttons walked very fast and very straight till he came to a certain shop with a low door. Outside of this door was a clothes’ stand, and on this stand hung an overcoat, marked, “Only Five Dollars.”

Buttons stopped. “Now,” said he to himself, “I need an overcoat. I have got five dollars in my pocket. Shall I buy this overcoat?”

Then Buttons imagined himself in the overcoat. His coat-tails would not fly out, and of course he could not put his hands in his pockets; and if not, where should he put them. Buttons took another look at the coat. It was certainly good for five dollars.

“But,” said Buttons, “if I buy it, they will have no Christmas dinner, and Ma Nutcracker has set her heart on chicken and pudding. My little wife will never know the difference between Christmas and any other day. Poor Pepin in his bed, he will never know any difference. I shall come home in my brutal overcoat, and that will be all.”

Then he began checking off on his fingers like this: “A dressing-gown for father, a shawl for mother, a new gown for the little wife, goodies for the children, a box of paints for Pepin, and the dinner.” Then he gave a little sigh, and, putting his hands again in his pockets, walked away as fast as he came. Do you suppose that he bought all these things with the five-dollar gold-piece? Nutcracker could not see, of course, but he thought not; for how could he?

Buttons lived up stairs, in a mean little house, in a dirty street. His rooms were small, and they were crowded. There were old Mr. and Mrs. Nutcracker, who never forgot that they had been king and queen, and that Buttons’s wife was a shoemaker’s daughter, and never remembered that Buttons had returned their cruelty with kindness, and I think were not very nice people to live with. There was Pepin, who had been hurt, poor boy! in escaping from the palace, and who had never risen since from his bed. There was Buttons’s pleasant-faced wife; there were three fat children; there was the holly-bush, which had grown into a great tree; and there was—Nutcracker did not know what, but something, he was quite sure, for which he had been searching all his life.

The three fat children seized upon Buttons; one by each hand, and one by his coat-tails.

“Ah!” said Buttons, pretending to groan. “I am so tired. Let the best child look outside of the door, and see what he finds.”

The best child opened the door cautiously, half afraid, and set up a shout. “Ma! come quick! here’s a chicken, and cranberries, and a paper,—it’s raisins!”

“Raisins!” screamed the other children.

“A chicken!” cried old Mrs. Nutcracker.

“Christmas wreaths!” exclaimed his wife, peeping out into the little dark hall. “Why, surely, you never—”

“Made them? Yes, I did,” said Buttons, his eyes dancing. “In the woods. The cedars gave me the boughs for nothing.”

“Christmas wreaths!” repeated Pepin from his bed. “Give me one,”—and, seizing it in his thin fingers, “Ah! how nice it smells,—like the woods!” he said, laying his pale cheek on it. “I wish I could see a tree once more.”

Buttons jumped up, and ran down stairs very fast; and they heard him coming back, dragging something after him, bump, bump! The something rustled and cracked, and filled the room with a strong spicy scent of the woods. Buttons lifted it so that it stood just in front of Pepin’s bed. It was a spruce-tree. Its thick, strong branches spread out wide. Its top brushed the ceiling. Birds had built nests in its branches, mosses had lived about its roots. It knew all the secrets of the woods and the sky and the rains, and it told you about them, as well as it could, whenever you stirred its branches. The little wife hung the wreaths all about the room,—one on every nail, one over each window, one over Pepin, one each on the backs of grandpa’s and grandma’s chairs. It was getting dark, and the firelight came out, and danced on the ceiling, and on the white cover of the little table. Pepin lay looking at the tree. The children chattered like little birds; even Grandpa and Grandma Nutcracker were smiling. The room was like a spicy, cosey little nest. What was it, Nutcracker wondered more and more, here and in these people’s faces, for which he had labored all his life?

Suddenly Pepin cried out, “O, there is something here hanging on a branch of the tree!”

“Is it possible?” answered Buttons, “then you had better take it down, Pepin.”

Pepin took it down. “Why, it is for me,” he said, looking at the name on the wrapper.

“Then you had better open it,” answered Buttons in just the same tone as before.

Pepin untied the string, but his hands shook. “It is square,” he said, feeling it. He took off one wrapper. “It is hard,” he said again, trembling all over. He took off the second wrapper, and it nearly dropped from his fingers.

“A box of paints!” screamed the children, dancing around.

Pepin tried to speak, but he could not get out a word. He kissed the box, he laughed; but you could see he was near crying. The little wife’s eyes were full of tears also.

“Come! come!” said Buttons. “Do people cry over Christmas gifts?” There were no tears in his eyes. He was ready to dance, though now he would have no overcoat. As for Nutcracker, he had a curious tingling sensation all over him, though he was only a copper penny; and happening to look towards the hearth, he saw Santa Claus. The old fellow had tied up his reindeer, and slipped down the chimney, and was winking hard, and wiping his eyes, while pretending to blow his nose.

“I have it! I have got it, and know what it is!” cried Nutcracker, at the top of his lungs. “Every leaf on the holly-bush grew out of a kind thought; the Christmas spirit lives here all the year round, and these people love each other, and are happy. That is what I never had at home,—happiness; that is what my money could not buy. That is why I was every day trying to make more money,—always hoping to make money enough to buy it.”

Should you not think that Buttons would have been very much frightened to hear such a voice coming out of his pocket? No doubt he would, only, in some mysterious way, Nutcracker found himself on his legs again, and he was walking as fast as he could, with a pocketful of money, to buy a monstrous turkey, and the best overcoat in the city, and boots, and a hat to match, and a new gown, and a dressing-gown, and a shawl, and a set of prints, and a great bouquet, and a basket of toys, and candies—for whom? Why, for Buttons, and Grandpa and Grandma Nutcracker, and the pleasant little wife, and Pepin, and the children, of course!

Louise E. Chollet.


The Ivy against the old church-tower was greatly disgusted with the Wind. “Silly fellow!” said she, “always whirling dust in people’s faces, and whistling round where he isn’t wanted. The next time I have the chance I’ll certainly tell him what I think of his conduct. He ought to be ashamed of himself,” said the Ivy-Vine; “for he is never at home, and does no good in the world at all.” And she discontentedly hooked her fingers closer into the gray stone, and went to sleep.

But about midnight who should come by but the Wind himself, in high glee, and as full of his mischief as any of the family. He had whistled and shouted himself nearly hoarse after a poor fellow whose hat he had tumbled off. He had scared belated passers on the street by howling at them from narrow alleys, and slamming doors and gates as they went by. He had creaked the milliner’s tin sign, until she had grown suspicious of all the students in the neighborhood. He had rattled the windows of the Jew pawnbroker so that he had got up, and, with a second-hand revolver and a big butcher-knife, crept softly into the room to attack somebody. But the Wind was the only burglar, and he interfered with no one except the rats.

A thousand such merry pranks he had played that night, and now he had come back to the old tower to see if he couldn’t tilt a pigeon off his perch in the belfry. For that was truly fun,—to catch Monsieur Pigeon, who was tired with talking French all day, and had gone to rest among the rafters. And it was grand sport to watch him lurch, and lose his balance, and slip, and just wake quickly enough to save himself from falling. To be sure, no one could see all this but the Wind; yet he was satisfied, nevertheless, in his own merriment.

Most of all he laughed and whistled about when he heard the discomfited Pigeon abusing him in French for being so rude. For then he raised his voice, and answered him back in Choctaw,—which, you must know, my dear little people, no one but the Wind can understand. And how they parley-voo’d and palavered this night you must get some one else to tell you, for I wasn’t there. The big Bell was the person who let me into the secret of the joke.

But I heard how the Ivy-Vine gave him her impression of his behavior when he came outside. “You disgraceful fellow! you horrid troublesome wretch! waking decent people up with your noises at this time of night! Go home and go to bed, and tell your mother I say you keep awful hours for a young man.”

“Wh-a-a-at! whi-i-i-ch!” bawled the Wind, climbing down, and seating himself on a ledge of the tower just beside her. “Say that again, will you?” he shouted, giving the leaves a kick that set them all dancing together. For you see he didn’t think much of the Ivy, and called her a meddlesome old person of no common sense.

“I tell you to go home!” rustled the Ivy in high displeasure.

“And I tell you I won’t go home,” whistled the Wind through his front teeth. “What is the good one gets from you anyhow?” said he.

“I keep the tower up,” answered the Ivy, trying to be as pompous as possible.

“Hoo, hoo, hoo!” retorted the Wind. “Tell that to the owls. I don’t believe it at all. You keep the tower up indeed!”

“See here!” muttered the Ivy snappishly. “If you don’t behave, and stop insulting respectable people in this way, I’ll loosen several of my fingers and box your ears.”

But the Wind only laughed the louder for that. Every now and then he would skirmish off, but he always came back to his ledge in the belfry to bother the Ivy about holding the tower up. It seemed to stick in his head as something very funny, and he chuckled over it immensely to himself. I really think, if the Ivy hadn’t said that, he would have gone away and left her in peace. But now he did nothing except throw it in her face. Where I was don’t matter, but I knew of it all.

At last the Ivy went from bad to worse. She lost her temper completely, and so the Wind, as was natural, teased her more than ever. Finally, after calling him “Vagabond,” “Scoundrel,” “Rascal,” “Villain,” and all the hard names which she had heard the crows use to each other, she suddenly loosened all her fingers from the stone to box his ears. But he skipped cheerfully off, humming a scrap of an old song; and she lost her balance, like the pigeons, and fell clear to the foot of the tower.

There she lay next morning when I went past. And the great tower winked down at me through the slatted eyes of the belfry, and told me everything about it. “Such a fool as she was!” said he. “First she must needs get angry at what she couldn’t help, and then she must boast of what she never did, and then she must try what she never could perform. Now she’s down at the bottom, and she will have to climb back again by herself; for I sha’n’t help her a single inch unless I see her working too.”

“I wish,” says the Tower, “that the Wind didn’t make so much disturbance; but then he’s a wild youngster, who does more good than harm. His Grandfather Hurricane, now, I hate to see anywheres near. And his Uncle Gale is only fit to associate with that Dutchman, Sturm Wetter, who lives by the sea. But this fellow drives out hosts of uncomfortable insects, and whistles off plenty of sickness; and I always do hate to ring for funerals, for it jars my old bones. Good morning!”

And so I left him; but as I left, I thought I noticed that the Ivy was already trying to crawl up again, and I hoped the lesson had done her good.

Samuel W. Duffield.


“O Mamma! it’s only twenty-five cents. Won’t you give it to me?—won’t you?”

Mrs. May looked at the eager face, with its bright, wide eyes and parted lips, and the color coming and going in the cheeks. “What is it, dear, that is only twenty-five cents?”

“O, a toy,—the loveliest toy you ever saw. It is fit for a prince, and a queen would want it; and it hangs there in the window, all scarlet and blue, dancing and dancing as if it was really alive, and very glad to be. I went in and asked Mr. Smith how much it cost; and won’t you give it to me?”

Mrs. May remembered the balloon on the Common, last week, that collapsed on its way home; and the dancing-Jack that never would dance any more after Florrie owned it; and the singing-bird that wouldn’t sing; and the barking dog that wouldn’t bark; and a half-dozen other purchases which were to have made her little girl happy for a lifetime, and did make her so for five minutes; but the eager face and coaxing voice carried the day, and she took out of her portemonnaie a crisp new quarter.

“O, you are just the dearest mamma!” And the little one ran away as if, like Mercury, she were wing-footed. She left the door open behind her; but Mrs. May pardoned that to her excitement, and shut it, dreamily thinking what a fine thing it was to be young enough to have little things satisfy,—to like rock crystal just as well as diamonds.

Scarcely was the door shut before it opened again, and in came Florrie with the “Prince’s Delight and Queen’s Envy,” as her mother christened it, a little thing that looked like a Chinese mandarin, but must have been meant for a dancing dervish, for it was dance or nothing with it,—with a blue robe, and loose scarlet trousers, and a queer little turban-like cap, to the centre of which an elastic was secured. The thing had a coffee-colored face, with a merry twist to the mouth, irresistibly quaint; and as Florrie swung the elastic in her hand, he bobbed up and down, and really looked as if he enjoyed it.

“Isn’t it lovely, mamma?”—but Florrie said this with a little hesitation, as if she were not quite sure of sympathy; or, possibly, the toy looked more wonderful to her in the shop-window than when she held it in her hand.

“Don’t break the elastic, or it won’t be lovely,” mamma said, smiling.

“O, no fear of that! it’s strong as can be”;—and that marvellous faith of childhood in the abiding and eternal nature of all its possessions and all its joys shone in her face.

She went into her playroom,—a little room opening like a recess out of her mamma’s sitting-room, with curtains to shut it off. All her doll-family lived here, and there was a little menagerie, too,—say a hospital, rather,—of voiceless dogs, tuneless birds, and disabled cats. Mrs. May could not see her, but she could hear her talking.

“Children,”—children meant the doll-family aforesaid,—“this is Mr. Turk. ‘Prince’s Delight,’ mamma calls him; but his name is Mr. Turk. He is going to give you lessons in dancing. Come here, Catherine Seraphina, you must have on your blue frock.”

Then there was silence, and Mrs. May knew just how anxiously the little face was bending over the task, fastening tiny buttons, smoothing folds, making carefully the doll’s dainty toilet. Presently the voice came again:—

“Mr. Turk, why don’t you dance? You did in Mr. Smith’s window, and I’ve hung you up just the same as he had you. Must I pull you all the time to keep you going? I heard papa say somebody was as lazy as a Turk, and now I know just how lazy that is. Well, if you won’t dance alone I’ll help you. Heigho, children, just look at him! Isn’t he a brave, beautiful, gay Mr. Turk?”

Just then Mrs. May was called down stairs to see a visitor,—an intimate friend, who stayed a long time,—so that it was almost nightfall when she went back again to her own room. There, at the window, stood Florrie, looking out, and so busy thinking that she did not hear the door open.

The mother saw in the listless droop of the little figure something that meant sadness; and yet the child would have made a pretty picture, full of rosy, golden lights, such as you will see if you go “Among the Studios,” and find some of Mr. Babcock’s pictures. The sunset brightened the soft curls till they looked like pure gold spun into fine threads by some industrious fairy. There was just a glimpse visible of snowy neck and rounded cheek, and one dimpled hand thrown back against the crimson curtain completed the effect of careless, childish grace.

“Birdie,” Mrs. May said, with the unconscious tenderness which always softened her tones when she spoke to her one little girl. And then Florrie turned toward her a very sad face indeed, breaking up the pleasant sunset picture.

“Mr. Turk is dead, mamma.”

“Maybe not, dear. Perhaps he is only wounded, and you know you and I have nursed a good many maimed heroes back to health. Let us see whether his case is hopeless.”

Then Florrie went away slowly, and brought out of her own room poor Mr. Turk, despoiled of the glory of his turban-cap, and with the elastic broken off. Mrs. May took him into her hands, and looked at him with shrewd compassion.

“I really think we can bring him to life, dear. A little glue will fasten his cap on; and then we can get a new elastic, and set him to dancing again.”

“But he’d be a fixed-up thing, mamma,” said Florrie, taking him back, “and fixed-up things are never quite the same.”

She had spoken wiser than she knew. She will learn the same lesson by and by about broken faith, shattered friendships, enfeebled health, and all the other things which grown-up people try in vain to make as good as new by “fixing.” She had a vague foreshadowing of this, perhaps, as she stood holding poor deceased Mr. Turk in her hand.

“I think I had better bury him, mamma. He would never be the same to me again; and if I should put him away altogether, I could always remember how he danced to-day, and how glad and proud I was when I brought him home. Won’t you come to his funeral, and help me a little?”

Looking at the little, sad face, so much in earnest, Mrs. May consented. She found a neat box just large enough for Mr. Turk’s coffin, and Florrie laid him in it carefully, on a bed of snowy cotton-wool, his turban-cap upon his head,—poor dancing gentleman who would dance no more.

There was a nook in the garden which had already been made a place of sepulture. Queen Elizabeth slept there,—a great wax doll, with wonderful eyes, and real curls, and elegant clothes, who came all the way from Paris. Florrie left her lying too near the register one day, and found her with only the elegant clothes and the curling hair remaining of the lost beauty,—the rest a shapeless mass of wax. Queen Elizabeth had been buried under the great red rose-bush, in the pleasantest corner of the garden, and at her feet Florrie dug with her little spade a grave for poor Mr. Turk. When the funeral was over, and they turned to go, Mrs. May saw tears glistening in the blue eyes she loved so well, and tried to offer a crumb of comfort.

“If you care so much, darling, you shall have another Mr. Turk, and he will fare better, perhaps.”

“No, mamma, I don’t want another, it would never be this one, and I never could be so glad of him. I should think from the first how soon he would come to an end; but this one—O mamma, I thought he would dance forever!”

You think I have told you but a little story? It is the story of a great trouble,—as real, and vivid, and heart-breaking to Florence May as some of the grown-up sorrows for which you will not scorn to pity her by and by. When a cup has in it all it can hold, it is full.

Louise Chandler Moulton.


Which is the Wind that brings the cold?

  The North Wind, Freddy, and all the snow;

And the sheep will scamper into the fold

  When the North begins to blow.


Which is the Wind that brings the heat?

  The South Wind, Katy; and corn will grow,

And peaches redden for you to eat,

  When the South begins to blow.


Which is the Wind that brings the rain?

  The East Wind, Arty; and farmers know

That cows come shivering up the lane

  When the East begins to blow.


Which is the Wind that brings the flowers?

  The West Wind, Bessy; and soft and low

The birdies sing in the summer hours

  When the West begins to blow.

Edmund C. Stedman.


Ruphelle Preston was an enthusiastic young lady, aged fourteen. Under the bright ripples of her hair lay two swollen organs of ideality, which were as flighty as the wings on Mercury’s slippers. They made Miss Ruphelle a day-dreamer. She loved to rear stupendous palaces which “hung on nothing in the air.” She believed herself destined to become a shining light in the world, and was very much afraid of being hidden under a bushel.

She was a country girl, and had been educated at a district school, with now and then a quarter at the Female Academy. She glorified her instructors, particularly the elegant Miss Kelley with her intellectual blue spectacles, and pensive smile. It seemed to Ruphelle that the most “remarkable” thing she could do would be to don her mother’s gold watch and teach school in a queenly manner like Miss Kelley. To be sure, her parents considered her too young for such a task, but this was only a mistake of theirs. Parents may be very wise, but there are some things which they do not understand.

Once a week or so, Ruphelle privately measured her height against the wall by a yardstick, always affected boots with very high heels, and groaned in spirit whenever she was called a little girl. She had a continual thorn in the flesh, and that was the wayward mass of hair which fell in natural curls over her neck, and looked so provokingly childlike. Nets and pins could not confine it, nor combs its dreadful wildness tame. But there came a proud day for the aspiring damsel,—a day when she first hid her little feet under the folds of a long dress. Her friend, Jane Townsend, laughed at such eagerness; but then Jane was two years the elder, and had been a young lady so long that the novelty was all worn off.

“Ah!” thought Ruphelle, walking backward to get a full-length view of herself in the mirror, “who would call me a ‘little miss,’ now? How mature I look, with my hair done in a bird’s nest! I should pass for eighteen at least. That was mother’s age when she taught her first school. Poor mother! She was so small and so bashful then! What she did at eighteen I could do now, and should consider it mere play! I wouldn’t say it to mother, for it might hurt her feelings; but really it strikes me I must have more dignity than she had at eighteen, twice over. Think of her going home and crying because she had whipped a boy! But I fancy mother wasn’t naturally strong-minded. I think for my part dignity is a gift, and—”

Here the young lady saw Brother Ben approaching, and hastily drew away from the mirror.

“What’s the price of long dresses?” said Ben, with a profound bow. “How’s your Majesty’s best health? And when do we begin our royal duties as Mistress of the Birch?”

“Ben,” said Ruphelle, severely, “you’ll never have to reflect upon yourself for not improving every opportunity to be disagreeable. You needn’t make sport of my long dress, though! I’m actually older than you are this minute, sir. Girls are naturally older than boys.”

“True, my venerable friend. That’s why you’re so full of wrinkles.”

“Ben, it’s your way to trifle with serious subjects; but I wish you to understand that I am not a chicken, and that I have mother’s consent to teach school this very summer.”

“If Mr. Johonnet will let you! Ahem! What will you give for a letter?”

Ruphelle’s quick scream of delight was hardly dignified. She eagerly snatched and tore open the epistle. Her cup of joy overflowed at that moment. Mr. Johonnet informed her in very pale ink that he accepted her application, and she might commence the school at Witch Hill—a small school of twenty pupils—on the first Monday in June.

“Well, there,” cried Ruphelle, dancing about her brother, “it does seem too good to be true!”

“Hurrah for the little teacher!” shouted Ben. “Three cheers for the twenty witches! Sweet sister, spare, O spare their tender ears!”

“Ben Preston, didn’t I begin to whip chairs with a switch before I knew my letters? Wasn’t I always keeping school with my dolls, and shaking them as natural as life? So it’s plain I have a gift for government. Don’t try to put me down, sir!”

Thus far fortune had smiled upon the darling scheme. True, there were still a few difficulties to be met, such as the possible pangs of homesickness, and the certain horror of being examined by the “school committee”; but “the star of the unconquered will” had arisen in Ruphelle’s breast, and she was not to be daunted.

“Aren’t you afraid your pupils won’t obey a young girl of fourteen?” asked Mrs. Townsend, doubtfully.

“Ah,” thought Ruphelle, “piqued, is she? Sees that I’m smarter than her daughter Jane!”

“If I were in your place,” added Mrs. Townsend, kindly, “I wouldn’t tell my age.”

“I dare say people won’t ask me, ma’am.”

“Yes, but they will, child; they always do.”

“Then I’ll have to tell.”

“No, you can say you are ‘not eighteen,’ which is perfectly true.”

“Why,” cried Ruphelle, opening her honest eyes very wide, “ ’t would choke me to say that!”

“My dear, it is a harmless fraud. If your real age is known, depend upon it you’ll not be treated with much respect.”

“Now, Mrs. Townsend,” faltered Ruphelle, “you belong to the church, and you ought to know what’s wicked and what isn’t. If you advise me to say I’m not quite eighteen, I’ll say so.”

“I do advise it by all means,” replied Mrs. Townsend. So that matter was settled.

Witch Hill was a pretty little district tucked away in one corner of the town of Lincoln. Ruphelle reached it on Saturday afternoon, after travelling thirty hilly miles by stage. Her first impressions were not very favorable, for Mrs. Johonnet, with whom she was to board, met her at the door surrounded by five untidy children, and asked her, before her bonnet was fairly removed, how old she was.

The poor girl’s heart almost turned over. “Not quite eighteen,” replied she, in a choked voice; adding to herself, “O, what a lie! A black lie!”

“You don’t say so,” returned her hostess. “Do you suppose you’ve stopped growing? Been sickly, I guess? You look rather pindling.”

Ruphelle blushed hotly, and shrank from Mrs. Johonnet’s gaze, which she thought was the most penetrating one she had ever met.

She now began to have a foreboding fear of the three “committee men,” whom she must see in the evening. “Will they come early, Mrs. Johonnet?” asked she at the tea-table.

“Well, they live close by, the farthest one considerable scant of half a mile. They’ll be here by six, I think it’s likely.”

And it was already five. The amount of supper which Ruphelle ate after this would not have sufficed for a humming-bird. She lost her self-possession, answered questions at random, and offended Mrs. Johonnet by pecking daintily at a piece of custard-pie, which the good woman supposed she scorned because it was sweetened with molasses.

For her part, Ruphelle had conceived a childish dislike for her hostess, because she thought she detected a gleam of satisfaction in that lady’s eye, as she said, “Don’t take sugar in your tea, Miss Preston? I want to know!”

This suspicion of shallow hospitality gave the little girl her first twinge of homesickness. “Hope I sha’n’t have much appetite while I’m here,” thought she; “I don’t like people to watch everything I put in my mouth.”

After tea she went into the parlor, followed by three noisy children,—one of them two years old, and an undesirable companion, on account of the maple sugar which adhered to her hands and face.

Ruphelle gazed mournfully about the room, and, “weary and heart-tired,” longed to go somewhere and cry. The stiff sofa and wooden chairs looked as if they did not feel at home and acquainted with one another, but as if they had all gone visiting; and as for the landscape from the window, the disheartened child thought it as forlorn as a desert.

She had just beheld with dismay the impress of the baby’s fingers on her pink muslin dress, when the door opened, and two thirds of the awful board of committee were ushered into the room.

Ruphelle’s hands became ice, her tongue leather, and a lump arose in her throat which choked her voice. In reply to the solemn questions propounded, she affirmed that “green” was a common noun, and “mountain” an intransitive verb. She put Greenland under the Equator, and removed the Red Sea into South America. She was frightened by her own blunders. That mysterious bit of paper called a certificate began to seem as priceless to her as a king’s ransom, and as unattainable.

But soon a diversion occurred. Mr. Spaulding, whose forte was orthography, proposed the word “Skipo.” Ruphelle, after many trials, confessed that she could not spell it.

“Easy enough,” said Mr. Spaulding, glibly, “S, c, i, ski, p, i, o, po, Skipo!”

“Ah,” thought Miss Preston, “if that’s all you know, sir, I’m not afraid of you.” And after this her answers were so ready and correct that she was freely promised a certificate as soon as Dr. Prince, the third member of the board, should return to town and add his signature.

Ruphelle felt as victorious as if she had parted with all her back teeth without the aid of chloroform.

“You look very young for a teacher,” said Mr. Blount, with irrepressible curiosity; “may I ask how old you are?”

“Not quite eighteen,” replied our heroine, desperately; at the same time whispering to her conscience, “Only a pepper-and-salt lie!”

Were the people of Witch Hill a set of detectives, all bent upon ferreting out her age? Alas! she soon regarded “not eighteen” as only a white lie, and at last almost believed it was the truth.

Monday morning came. Would it never be nine o’clock, that she might see those adorable pupils, who were going to love her and obey every glance of her eye? Once she shook her watch, thinking it had stopped.

Finally she started fifteen minutes before the hour, balancing the door-key on her finger. The children, with hats, bonnets, and dinner-baskets, stood near the school-house, waiting for a peep at the bright little teacher.

“What a whalin’ big woman!” said Sylvanus Bean, one of the large boys. “What’ll you bet I can’t lift her with my little finger?”

As Miss Preston drew near, she looked at the upturned faces with a tremulous smile, which tried to be very mature and condescending. She unlocked the door, whereupon the children quietly entered, and watched her as she hung up her shaker, deposited her Bible on the desk, and then stood by the window examining her watch.

When she rang the bell, the imperious sound startled her. What was she going to do with all the time? She took down the names very slowly, set shaky copies, and overturned an inkstand, heard everybody’s lessons twice, and the alphabet children’s four times; still it was only eleven o’clock, though she was hungry enough for three! Certainly they did have the longest days here at Witch Hill!

She must do something to wear away the minutes; so she patted a little boy on the head, and asked him if his mother was quite well. He was a social child, unused to the restraints of a school-room, and he replied with animation: “Yes, my mother’s well. She’s a smart lady, she knows how to take out her teeth. Can you do that? Did you ever see my mother?”

Ruphelle thought it hardly dignified or safe to risk any more conversation, but concluded to deliver a lecture. It was her maiden speech, and proved to be a remarkable specimen of oratory, with as many heads as a field of clover.

Nobody must speak, she said, or ask to speak, or leave a seat; nobody must stir a foot or lift an eyelid without leave. Everybody must look straight at his book, and, though a pistol should be fired at his ear, he must not turn his head. If nobody did thus, and everybody did so, then how happy all the parents would be, and, behold, what a number of Presidents of the United States would spring up forthwith!

Just as the little teacher was forgetting her hunger, and growing eloquent, somebody laughed!

Ruphelle wished the floor would open and swallow her, but that was not to be expected. Tears rose to her eyes; she let them drip back into her heart. She wouldn’t cry,—O no! And the next thing she knew she was laughing hysterically, and the rest of her speech, like Aladdin’s palace, was suddenly missing.

The children all liked her from that moment, and considered her “jolly”; but as for her authority it was gone forever. The first week seemed like a lifetime, and at the end of it, scold as she might, nobody heeded her. The scholars whispered, laughed, and whittled slate-pencils before her very eyes.

As a warning to the rest, she made a frightful example of one naughty child, by pinning her to the skirt of her dress, and marching her across the floor. In the midst of this proceeding, Dr. Prince, the third and most formidable “committee man,” arrived to visit the school. Ruphelle was so frightened and distressed, that she said, “How do you do, ma’am?” and asked the doctor to take off his bonnet. The consequence was a chorus of laughter from the children, and a look of intense amazement on the part of the visitor.

It was a dreary, dreary summer for the little teacher. She might have said it was “no summer, only a winter painted green.”

The Hartwells sent to request that she would chastise Johnny, and the Beans that she wouldn’t touch Tommy. The Dudleys wished she would keep a little order, and the Daggets considered her a very unprofitable teacher. Mrs. Tuttle, who came in with her knitting to look around, was sure she should go crazy in such a noise; and Mrs. Spaulding openly called it a “baby’s school.”

Every night Ruphelle rolled her miseries into a lump, and cried over them. She grew so thin and pale that her father, going to see her, urged her to close her tedious labors. But the poor child sadly shook her head; she wished to finish her self-appointed task, cost her what it might.

But, as it happened, the agent suddenly discovered that the money “wouldn’t hold out,” and the district decided that two months was quite sufficient for the summer school. Ruphelle had grown very wise, and understood this as a delicate hint that her services were no longer acceptable. However, she merely said, “Very well, Mr. Johonnet,” crushed back the tears, dismissed the school, and ingloriously started for home.

“Poor Ruphelle!” said Brother Ben, “you look like ‘an example of suffering affliction and patience.’ By the way, how did you enjoy the witches?”

“Ben, please never speak to me of school as long as you live!”

The youth laughed. “Strange you didn’t fancy the business when you have such a ‘gift for government.’ Perhaps you’re like the man who had such control over his dog. ‘See how he minds me!’ said he. ‘Out of the house, Towler!’ And when the animal didn’t go, but crept under the table, the man said, ‘O, well, Towler, out doors, under the table, anywhere! It’s all the same.’ ”

“That will do, Ben. If you wish to know of worse trials than I’ve had this summer, you’ll find them recorded in the Book of Job. That’s all I have to say.”

“I see,” retorted Ben, “you’re cured of one infirmity, palpitation of the tongue.”

But one day Ruphelle said confidentially to her mother: “Mother, do you know there isn’t any sort of remarkability about me, and I’ve found it out? I’m just like other children of my age. If you’re perfectly willing, I’d rather not grow up just yet.”

And her mother replied: “See that you remember it, my daughter; for I have somewhere read that a woman may hope to be an angel some day, but can never be a girl again.”

Sophie May.


“Cash! Nine!” That is the glove department. “Cash! Two!” linen clerk calls. “Cash! Five!” Silks. Dear me! how very busy the five or six pairs of boys’ feet have to be, the great store is so crowded, it is so warm, and the tired clerks are so impatient! It is a mercy if the poor little heads be not crazed. They get used to it, and almost before the call is uttered, away they go, now here, now there, darting through the crowd like a swallow after a gadfly, and with an “Ay!” or a “Here!” they snatch the money from the counter, and are off to the cashier’s desk.

But it is weary work, and towards night some of the little feet ache sadly, and the childish voices grow hoarse, especially if they be new-comers. For such there is little mercy.

“Here, you!” says the “big boy” of the half-dozen, with a rude shove, to a little blue-eyed pale-face of some ten years’ experience of life. “What ye doing, loafing round this way? Three! Can’t ye hear? There ’tis. Calicoes.” And away hurries Pale-face, to be greeted by the calico clerk with “You’ve been long enough a coming. Step lively now!”

Closing time comes at last,—even the fashionables being weary for one day of feasting their eyes or buying what they do not want. The proprietors went home long ago to dinner and a drive in the Park; the clerks give the last twirl to their mustaches preparatory to a saunter up Broadway, and the five comrades of little Pale-face whoop away in the same direction, one to ride a few blocks on the steps of an up-town stage, another to rush along, overturning a bootblack’s apparatus,—quite accidentally, of course,—another, the “big boy,” to chaff with the old apple-woman on the corner about a three-cent cigar.

Blue-eyed “Cash” doesn’t seem in any hurry for his supper; he even sits down awhile on the Park-railings as he crosses Union Square, very tired, perhaps sick. Greater men than he ever will be have paused ere now to debate the momentous question, “To be, or not to be?” Shall he go and tell his mother that he cannot stand it any longer,—that it is too hard for him,—that he doesn’t like the boys,—that he is sick,—that, in short, he would rather do something else, or nothing?

Not yet; the day when his father’s lips had kissed him, and said, “You will be a good boy to mother, Frankie,” and his father’s hand was laid on his head for the last time before hand and lips lay silent and cold in Greenwood, was too fresh in memory. And how he had found his mother crying, with Baby Willie and little sister clinging to her and crying too for sympathy, and his mother had said they were poor, and she knew not where to look for work, and he had straightened up so bravely and looked very mannish in spite of tears in his eyes and throat, as he said: “I can work. You know pa said I must take care of you and Sis, and I’m a going to. Don’t cry, ma; I shall soon be a man. I can go to market now, and cut wood and make fires; you know I did while pa was sick. And I can be a newsboy, like Tommy Dolan; or I can black boots, like Johnny Finnegan, in the alley;—or—I know! Errand-boy’s the thing! Don’t cry, ma! We won’t have to move; we’ll pay the rent somehow. You must take a boarder, like Mrs. Skillins down stairs.” And in the purity of his brave young heart, he couldn’t see why “ma” shuddered at the mention of Tommy Dolan and Johnny Finnegan.

The very next morning, as bright and early he started down stairs with his basket on his way to Tompkins Market for “ma’s” breakfast, he encountered Stebbins, Mrs. Skillins’s hall-bedroom lodger, a dry-goods clerk down town. Stebbins and Frankie were good friends. “Sis” went down stairs on his shoulder on many a morning, and kissed him “good by” at the door, and both were well acquainted with the way to his pockets when he came in at night.

A bright thought popped into Frankie’s curly head.

“I say, Stebbins,” with rather a nonchalant air and utter forgetfulness of “ma’s” injunction to say Mr. Stebbins,—“any errand-boys in your store?”

“Six more than are good for anything. Why, Bub?”

“Then you just turn off one of ’em, and get me his place, will you?” confidentially, with a knowing wink.

“Whew!” whistled Stebbins. “Got on high-heeled boots, I guess.”

“Haven’t got any boots; but I’ll have a pair soon as you get me that place. You see I’m going to be a man; somebody’s got to take care o’ my mother, you know; and I guess I can do something, if I only get a start.”

“You’d better start for the market, then, right away.”

“Never you mind the market; but don’t forget what I ask you. I can do as much as any other fellow most eleven years old.”

When, in a few weeks, Stebbins told “ma” that they wanted a new cash-boy, “ma” demurred a little about “Frankie’s giving up school; his pa was always so anxious to give him advantages,” and inquired particularly about the boys he would mix with, and gave him a thousand charges on conduct, associates, &c.; to all of which Frankie answered confidently: “Never mind, ma. Don’t worry about school. When I earn some money, I can go to college, if you like, and Sis shall have a piano. I don’t play with bad boys, you know I don’t. My pa was a good man, and said I must be a gentleman when I grow up.”

So “ma” brushed his best suit, and, with the elation natural to a good purpose and good clothes, Frankie took his first step toward the golden Future.

Not over the smoothest road, he soon found. Work is work, at best; and though the young heart was large and brave, the hands were small and weak. And everybody in the wide, selfish world isn’t like Stebbins or “ma.” But it was a comfort, after getting through that first tedious week, to hasten home on Saturday night, and lay that three-dollar-bill by the side of “ma’s” plate. Did not her tender embrace repay his patient perseverance?

Sitting there on the Park-rail, no wonder he questioned if he could forego this weekly pleasure, and started on with the thought, “Patience yet awhile!”

It is a good thing not to give up easily when one is striving in a good cause; but sometimes spirits most willing inhabit flesh most weak.

The sultry August days of rain and heat brought their usual tribute of disease to the crowded, dirty city; and Fever and Death began to roam hand in hand through the quarters of the poor.

For more than a week a light had burned all night in Frankie’s chamber, and his mother had sat all day beside his bed; but he did not know her. Willingly the little feet had carried their owner to his daily tasks, and wearily brought home his aching head, till they could do so no longer.

When the doctor came, how eagerly Frankie prattled to him of his work and his plans, and how the “big boy” in the store had tried to get him to drink lager-beer with him, and a great deal else that he did not at all know he was saying, because he was wild with fever. And his mother, following the doctor out, anxiously said, “Do you think he will get well? It seems to me I couldn’t live if he does not.”

No doubt Frankie’s mother could have lived if it had pleased the good God to take him from her; for many a mother lives whose own dear boy looks not on her with his bright eyes in her earthly home, but with angel-eyes from the heavenly. God is especially merciful to “the widow and the fatherless”; and after a while the doctor found Frankie sitting up, or playing with Willie on the floor, when he made his daily visit.

“Doctor” was a great man, so they all thought. Surely he could make any one well. He had such a smile, such pleasant ways, such jokes for Frankie, such treasures of knick-knacks for Baby and Sis. He had such a breezy way of rubbing his hands, and saying, with pretended sternness, “Out of bed? My goodness! How’s this? Don’t you know you’re sick? I shall have to give you a dose of castor-oil at once to convince you of it. Don’t want it? Why, you’ll tell me next you don’t want a doctor. Well, if you won’t take oil, I don’t see but you will have to take—a ride. Mother, just wrap a shawl round him. I’m going out to Bloomingdale, and I think I’ll take him along. When people won’t take castor-oil, it is high time they went to the insane asylum.”

It was about this time that Stebbins stood talking at the desk with the cashier, who said, “By the way, what has become of that little ‘Cash’ you brought us?”

So Stebbins told him how sick Frankie had been, and the senior partner, standing near, overheard, and said he had noticed the little boy because he was delicate, yet so willing and bright, and, questioned further, Stebbins told all he knew of the family.

“Give that to his mother,” said the senior partner, handing a bright new “greenback” with an X on it, “with my compliments on her promising boy; and tell her that when he is well again we shall be glad to see him back.”

That “greenback” was a welcome visitor to Frankie’s mother, for while she had been attending him so closely the sewing-machine had been idle, and money grew scarce, but far above the ten dollars did she value the senior partner’s praise of her boy.

Soon Frankie began to talk of going to work again, but his mother consulted the doctor, and he did not advise his return to the store. He thought him too young, and not strong enough, and promised to look around himself for a better chance.

Somebody who was Secretary of the “Life and Hope Sustaining Society,” of which Doctor was one of the directors, said to him one morning: “Doctor, I don’t quite like this boy we have here in the office. He seems inclined to get rid of work, and has several times been impertinent to me. I heard him tell one of the clerks that he never would be ordered around by a woman, because the clerk reproved him for neglecting what I had told him to do.”

“You don’t say so! Never’ll do at all! He needs a man to oversee him. I declare! Now I think of it, the superintendent up stairs wants a boy. I’ll speak to him about it, for I’ve a little chap for this place that will just suit you, I think.”

That was the way it happened that one morning Doctor stood beside Somebody’s table, and, with his hand on Frankie’s shoulder said: “I’ve brought you a boy, Miss Somebody, and he is to do just what you want, and mind whatever you say to him, carry letters, sweep, and take particular care of your fire, if he stays till winter.”

At first Somebody took very little notice of Frankie; she had had so much experience of disagreeable little boys, who grew saucy and idle when noticed and indulged, that she was afraid of spoiling her new page. But Frankie was modest and quiet in her presence, however lively he might be in the street or with other boys, and when he was not busy would take up a book or paper and read, or would write in his copy-book which Somebody gave him, and in which she was teaching him to write.

She had known him nearly three months, when she noticed one day that he seemed listless, and so quiet that she scarcely knew he was there. Looking around she saw him sitting on a box behind the stove and crying. She sat down beside him, and, gently smoothing back his damp hair, inquired his trouble. With a great sob and a pitiful look he answered, “The baby is dead!”

There were many babies to Somebody all equally dear, but she knew well that there could be but one to him. So she put her arm around him, and let the blue eyes weep themselves dry upon her shoulder, and whispered all the comforting words she could. She knew the child’s heart was full, so she asked many questions about the baby and “Sis” and “ma.”

“O, you don’t know how cunning he was! He was most two years old, and we loved him so! He was only sick two days, with croup; and when I woke this morning there was ma crying, with Willie dead in her lap.”

“Why did you leave her, my child?”

“I thought it wouldn’t be right to stay away, and not let you know.”

“True, but go now; your ma will need you. You must help her to bear the baby’s loss.”

After that day Somebody and Frankie were warm friends, and nothing marred their mutual relations till nearly spring, when an event occurred that might have ruined poor Frankie’s prospects.

He was generally prompt and faithful, particularly in taking letters to and from the post-office, and spent very little time in talking with other boys on the way, and never went off on errands of his own when sent on another’s business. This was especially important, as many of the letters contained money, as well as valuable information; and if he had stopped, or gone out of the way, or played awhile with his friends, the letters might easily have been lost or stolen.

Standing by Somebody’s side, he waited for her to finish a letter, into which she put twenty dollars, and, having sealed it carefully, gave it to him to be mailed at once, after which he was to go on another errand to Wall Street.

Off went Frankie, cheerfully whistling “The Union Forever.” On the landing he met the up-stairs boy, with a handful of letters, going in the same direction. He inquired Frankie’s errands, and made some boasting remarks to give an idea of his own importance. When they reached the street, he said: “Just let me take that letter in your hand: it is a thick ’un, and I’ll bet there ain’t stamps enough on it. I d’ know, I guess it’ll pass”;—and as Frankie reached his hand for it he added: “There’s a Wall Street stage now; you’d better jump in. I’m going to the office, and I’ll take your letter right along with mine.” With that he signalled the driver, and before Frankie had time for reflection, he was rumbling down Broadway.

A week passed, and as Frankie was sweeping out and making ready for Somebody’s coming, he went to empty the waste-paper basket into the big box in the hall, where the papers were kept for the rag-man. As he did so, he noticed in the box a clean-looking envelope on which the stamp was still uncancelled. As he picked it out to save the stamp, the up-stairs boy came down with his basket. Pouncing suddenly and roughly upon Frankie, he sung out: “Gi’ me that. It’s mine! What are you nosing in the waste-box for, I’d like to know?”

“Yours?” said Frankie, thrusting it into his pocket. “I think I have as good a right to what I find in the box as you have, and I mean to keep it.”

“You better gi’ me that envelope if you don’t want your ears pulled.”

“You’d better pull them if you’re tired of your place,” retorted Frankie.

“Ho, ho! a favorite! Got influence, have ye? Get out!” and he raised his foot for a heavy kick, when he lost his balance and fell over backwards,—an accident in some way connected with the Doctor’s coming behind him at that moment.

Rather crestfallen, he picked himself up, and went up stairs shaking his fist, and muttering threateningly at Frankie over the railing.

Somebody had been at her table about an hour when she said, “Frankie, come here.”

She was looking over that morning’s letters, and, holding one in her hand, she said: “Our branch office in L—— County writes me that the letter and the twenty dollars which I sent a week ago have not been received. You remember seeing me put in the money? You took it to the office.”

No, Frankie couldn’t remember exactly, he so often saw her do similar things.

“Let me see. It was the day I sent you to Wall Street, to Mr. K——’s office. Try and think of all you did that day.”

A sudden thought, and a crimson blush rose to Frankie’s cheek. For the first time he was conscious that he perhaps had not done right in letting another perform his duty. With downcast eyes he stammered: “O Miss Somebody, I am sorry. If the letter is lost, you will blame me; I let Jim take it to the office.”

“This is a serious matter, my child; tell all the truth plainly.”

With the earnestness of candor and regret, Frankie fixed his eyes on her face, and told every circumstance of his parting with the letter. When he ceased, Somebody still looked at him silently. Suddenly she said, “What is that sticking out of your pocket?”

He drew out the crumpled envelope, and handed it to her.

“Frankie! This is the envelope to that very letter. Where are the letter and the money?”

Young as he was, the child at once comprehended his situation; but he knew no way except the straightforward way, always best. So he frankly told the occurrence of the morning, even to the timely appearance of the Doctor.

Somebody said no more to him then, but he saw her talking earnestly with the Doctor, in low tones; then they both went up stairs to the Superintendent’s room, and were gone a long time. When they came back, they called Frankie to them, and Somebody told him that they had had the waste-box searched, and found the missing letter,—that they had questioned Jim, who denied all knowledge of the matter, even to the fact of ever having received a letter from Frankie to take to the post-office.

“But you don’t believe him, do you?” said Frankie, with an open, inquiring gaze into the faces of his two friends; for in his innocence he thought they must know as well as he did himself how impossible it was for him to have told a falsehood in the matter.

“We don’t know exactly what to believe yet. We must investigate,” said the Doctor.

It would be too long a story to tell you how, little by little, they traced the guilt to Jim, learning where and how he spent the stolen money, and how he tried to fix a share of his wickedness upon Frankie by saying he had agreed with him to commit the act and divide the money. But though he thought to account thus for this instance, he could not make even as plausible a story about the many other sums he was found to have obtained in a similar way.

Poor Jim! He was found out, as most wicked people are sure to be, and now he is learning to make chairs in the Penitentiary; and I hope when he comes out again he will have also learned that the straightforward way is the best, after all, though narrow and rough sometimes.

The latest news of Frankie is that he is living on the Doctor’s “place” out in the country. Doctor got tired of city practice, and preferred gardening and attending to village patients. Frankie drives the Doctor’s chaise, pounds drugs, and is useful generally. He recites lessons every day to his old friend Somebody, who is Mrs. Doctor now, and whom Frankie thinks he couldn’t do without. There is a little house on the place which the Doctor thought the very thing for Frankie’s mother and “Sis,” and work for the machine is even more plentiful there than in the city.

Doesn’t “Sis” revel in buttercups and dandelions? And doesn’t Stebbins have his fill of strawberries and other good things, when he comes out for a Sunday’s vacation?

Caroline A. Howard.


Seraphina sat in state in a pasteboard arm-chair, stuffed, and covered with gay chintz, which mother had made for Polly on her last birthday; and Matilda Ann, who had the scarlet fever, Polly said, was tucked up in bed, her ink eyes staring up at a little bit of blue sky one could see through a chink in the rocks. It was October now, and as Polly sat on her small stool making an apron for Seraphina, while Jack and Jimmy hammered away at some pieces of board, which were by and by to turn into a wagon, a cool wind blew into the rock house, sending all the bits of calico and silk flying.

“What a wind!” said Polly, chasing first one piece and then another. “I do believe we’ve got to move up to the wood-house chamber. It’s dreadful cold, sitting still out here.”

“Cold!” repeated Nathan, who had busied himself with turning somersets, in the intervals of watching the hammering. “Do as I do, and I guess you won’t be cold.”

“I wouldn’t do such a thing,” said Polly, indignantly. “Girls wasn’t made to turn somersets.”

Here a lovely bit of pink silk whirled out on the shore, and then, rising into the air, floated about a moment over a rock which at high water was always covered. Polly raced after it, and, as it settled down, jumped to the rock, and caught it in her hand. The sea-weed was wet and slippery, and, as she touched her bit of silk, over she went, rolling like a ball down the shelving side to the sand below.

“Ho!” shouted Nathan. “I thought ‘girls wasn’t made to turn somersets.’ I couldn’t ’a’ done that better myself, Polly.”

“You just keep still,” said Polly, getting up with a very red face. “There’s all those Lane children coming down the bluff: what’ll we do?”

“Have a good time,” said Jack, coming out all over little sticks and splinters. “That Lotty’s a first-rate little gal, and Harry’s a nice boy. Takes all you know to stand Paul, but where there’s a lot of us I guess he’ll do. How’d you find your way?” he went on, as the children came running down the path. “I thought you were going to Shrewsbury with your grandfather.”

“So we were,” said Lotty, “but grandpa had somebody come to see him; and mother told us the way down here, and said you’d see to us. We’re going home to-morrow.”

“Why,” said Polly, “you haven’t been here a week.”

“I know it,” answered Lotty; “but our school begins next Monday. Next summer we’re going to come here the first of June, and stay all summer long. Shall you be here?”

“Why, yes,” answered Polly, “unless I die. I don’t ever go away. None of us does that but father.”

“I wouldn’t stay in one place all the time,” said Paul, looking about the rock house very contemptuously. “Is this the place you play in?”

“Yes,” said Polly, who had seen the look, and was ready to declare Paul the ugliest boy she had ever seen. “It’s a splendid place when it’s warm, but it’s getting pretty cold now.”

“I should think it was,” said Paul, pretending to shiver. “The wind blows in everywhere; but then I suppose you’re used to being cold. What you making, Jack?”

“A wagon to carry clams and things in,” said Jack. “It’ll be handy for Nathan when he’s digging ’em, instead of a basket.”

“But there’s only three wheels,” said Harry.

“I know it,” said Jack; “two behind, and one in the middle in front. That’s all you want when you haven’t got any more.”

Paul in the mean time had picked up Polly’s bottle of gold and silver shells, which, standing where the sun shone on it, was sparkling beautifully. On the rough little shelf from which he had taken it were some bright bits of coral, and a strange shell, brought home by Captain Ben, with other curiosities, many years before.

“What’s that?” said he.

“That’s a paper nautilus shell,” answered Jimmy, who knew all that could be told him by his father about every curious thing he had ever seen. “See how little it is at the end, and it grows bigger and bigger. The top’s broken, so you can look in; it’s all divided off into lots o’ rooms, and there’s a tight wall between each one. How do you suppose it got round in its house?”

“I don’t know,” said Paul, half interested and half sulky.

“Father says,” said Jimmy, “that a man who knew all about everything that ever was made told him once, that the nautilus began in the little end, and lived in it a year till it grew bigger, and its shell grew too, and then it went out into the next room, and built up this wall between, and never went back again. This one’s got five rooms, so I s’pose it lived five years, and went sailing round everywhere.”

“Sailing!” said Paul. “A shell can’t sail.”

“This shell could, anyhow,” said Jimmy. “Father says he’s seen ’em in the Southern Seas, when he used to be a sailor, going everywhere, and they look beautiful on the water. Portuguese men-o’-war the sailors call ’em.”

“I don’t believe it,” said Paul. “I guess I should know about it if it was true.”

“Come,” said Jack, who saw Jimmy’s eyes flash, “let’s go down to the Point, and look at the fiddlers.”

“I told mother I’d get some horse-feet for the pig,” said Nathan, “and I guess now’s just the time. Tide’s half up, and there’ll be dozens of ’em on the beach. Let’s all go.”

“I think you’ve got a funny pig, if he’ll eat horses’ feet,” said Harry; “and what makes fiddlers live on the Point?”

“O,” said Jimmy, beginning to laugh, “they live there so’s to have plenty of room, and they can fiddle all the time, and never disturb anybody.”

“I don’t believe they’re real fiddlers,” said Harry, who, having lived all his life in a city, knew very little of what was to be seen ’long shore.

“Of course they’re not, you goose,” said Paul; “any stupid would know that.”

“Did you know?” said Polly.

Paul turned red, but pretended not to hear, and walked on, looking very sulky. It was aggravating to have all these green ’long-shore children talking of things he knew nothing about; and he was turning over in his mind a speech which was to confound them altogether, when they came to a long strip of sand, hard and firm as any floor, and scarcely a shell or pebble to be seen on its whole length.

“I wish I had my velocipede here,” said Harry. “Wouldn’t I spin along!”

“What’s a velocipede?” asked Jack.

“Ho!” said Paul. “Before I’d be so green as not to know that! A dirty beggar-boy knows what a velocipede is.”

“You don’t know half as much as a dirty beggar-boy,” said Polly, whose feelings were getting too much for her. “I wish a crab would bite you.”

“You’d better look out,” Paul began; but Jack interrupted.

“Come now; no fighting in this company. If I’d ’a’ lived in the city all my life, I’d know some things I slip up on now; and Paul, if he’d ’a’ lived here, would have talked about fishes and all that as fast as we can. Come on to the Point.”

Lotty and Polly took hold of hands, and scampered over the smooth sand, while Nathan, to relieve his mind, turned another somerset, which ended disastrously, for Harry, at that moment running up, received a blow from Nathan’s heels, as he flew over, which quite doubled him up.

“There!” said Paul, “see what that hateful boy has done! That comes of going with low people.”

“Well,” said Jack, picking Harry up, “don’t s’pose you meant to knock each other’s eyes out; but you just take better care o’ your legs, Nathan.”

“He didn’t mean to,” said Harry. “I wasn’t looking, and I ran right into him.”

“He did it a-purpose,” said Paul. “I shall tell grandfather, when I go home.”

“Do what you like,” said Jack, getting a little excited. “Might as well try to get along peaceable with a sting-ray.”

“What’s a sting-ray?” said Lotty.

“Why,” answered Jack, “it’s a flat fish with a long tail, and two or three sort o’ spikes in the end; and if you get it in a fyke, or draw it up on a line, it just lashes round, and stings everybody it can. They’re awful poison.”

By this time they had reached the Point, and both Lotty and Harry drew back a little. The tide had thrown up numbers of little soft clams on the sand, leaving them stranded there as it went down; and the horse-feet, which generally come up when the tide is half high, and go back after it has been falling two or three hours, were busy here feasting on the clams.

“What are those horrid things wiggling all round?” said Harry.

“They’re the horse-feet,” said Jimmy.

“O,” said Lotty, “I thought you meant the pig ate real horses’ feet. I shouldn’t think he’d touch those things. How can he bite through the shells? and don’t he get bitten back?”

“No,” said Jimmy, dashing in among them, and piling them into his basket on their backs. “They ain’t anything but a round shell, with a tail and a stomach. Take this little one in your hand; hold it by the tail, and you won’t hardly know you’ve got it. They can’t bite, or, if they can, they never was known to.”

Lotty looked curiously at the spongy sort of animal under the shield-like shell; and in the mean time Paul, when he saw Harry draw back, walked on, intending to show that he had no fear, and thus lost Jimmy’s description of them. Suddenly he stepped right into the midst of some half-dozen immense fellows, feeding where the clams were thickest. They all scuttled rapidly down to the water, except the very longest one, which seemed to Paul as big round as a bushel-basket, and with a tail a foot long. Paul stood stock-still for a moment, really afraid to stir; and the horse-foot, seeming just then to realize that some danger was near, went right over his feet, and down to the water.

“O!” screamed Paul, as the slimy thing went on, “it’s going to bite me; it’s going to bite me! O Jack!”

All the children came running, and Paul, very much ashamed as he saw Jimmy’s basket full and little Lotty holding one by the tail, turned red, and hung down his head.

“Why, I thought a shark had got you!” said Jack. “You might ’a’ saved some o’ that hollering for next time. ’Most too much for one horse-foot.”

Paul for once had nothing to say, and followed the children back till they reached the pigpen. There Jimmy and Nathan emptied the big basket into a barrel, throwing four or five of the fish into the pen, which the pig crunched up as if he enjoyed them. One, dropping from the basket, wiggled off toward the shore.

“Here, you fellow!” said Nathan, sticking its sharp tail into the ground and leaving it there. “I believe that critter would get back to water, if it was a mile away. I shouldn’t wonder if they smelled it.”

“Now,” said Harry, “I want to see the fiddlers before we go home.”

“All right,” said Jack; “they ain’t far off.”

“Ain’t they?” said Harry, looking around; “I don’t hear ’em.”

Jack burst into a laugh, and Jimmy and Nathan joined in.

“Why, they’re crabs,” said Polly,—“little crabs with one big claw; and they live in the salt meadows sometimes, and in wet places ’long shore. There’s a lot of ’em always behind that big rock you see off there, only you can’t catch ’em easy.”

“Why?” said Harry, who had laughed too, after the first moment of confusion.

“ ’Cause,” said Polly, “there’s always an old one watching; and even if there’s hundreds out o’ their holes, the minute you go near ’em, he knocks on the ground, or does something, and in they go.”

“Let’s go see ’em quick,” said Harry and Lotty, very much interested.

“I ain’t going to,” said Paul; “I’ve seen enough nasty things. I’m going down to look at that boat.”

Jack followed, leaving Jimmy and the other children to watch the fiddlers. He and Nathan had been out that morning, fishing, and the pretty skiff was drawn up on the beach.

“Can’t we go out in that?” said Paul.

“Yes, we could,” said Jack, “only the tide’s going out, and we’d have a hard pull back.”

“There’s a big boat there with a mast, that would hold us all,” said Paul. “We could go in that, for grandpa meant we should have a sail, and he said you’d take us, too.”

Jack thought a moment. “That boat’s pretty dirty,” said he, “but you’ve all got on your playing clothes, and we won’t go far. I can’t bring it up near, for the tide’s too far out, but I’ll carry you to it in the skiff. Come along,” he shouted, running up to the house, to let Mrs. Ben know they were going. The children raced down to the beach, for nothing was so delightful as going sailing with Jack; and since he had been working for Squire Green they seldom had the chance. Mrs. Ben stood in the door, and handed two thick shawls to Jimmy as he passed by.

“Wrap them children up well, if you’re out any time,” said she, “for they ain’t used to it. They’re safe enough with Jack and you, but I don’t want ’em to get cold.”

“I wish that Paul wasn’t going,” said Jimmy; “he’s just the sassiest boy!”

“Don’t you be sassy back,” said his mother. “It takes two to make a quarrel, and, if he sees he can’t rile you, maybe he’ll mend his manners; he don’t look over and above pleasant, that’s a fact.”

By this time the city children were safely in the boat, and Jack, after pulling Polly and Jimmy to it, fastened the skiff to the buoy by the rope which had held the other. Very little rowing was needed, for the tide helped them out of the cove; and once fairly in the open bay, they hoisted sail and went on famously. The city children, who knew nothing of the water, save what could be seen crossing the ferries, were wild with delight,—even Master Paul condescending to dip his hand in the water, and look complacently at the porpoises tumbling in the distance. So for a while things went on charmingly, till Jack thought it time to turn back, and, without giving Paul a chance to object, said to Jimmy, “I guess we’ll go about now.”

“About what?” said Paul.

“Never mind,” answered Jack, with a comical look, “only you just duck your head down, please. We’re going to jibe.”

Paul didn’t know what “jibe” meant, but he determined he wouldn’t duck his head, nor be ordered about by Jack in any way. Now to “jibe” is to change the position of a sail, so that, if the wind has been blowing against the right-hand side of it, the left-hand side shall be brought round for the wind to blow upon. So, if the sail has been drawing on the left, or larboard, or port side of the boat, the wind, striking its opposite face, will carry it across the boat, to the right or starboard side. The bottom of the sail is fastened to a heavy pole called the boom, and the boom is of course carried over with the sail. As this boom hangs at about the height of the shoulder of a boy sitting in the boat, you can see at once why Jack told Paul to duck his head. Paul was sitting with his back to the sail, and did not see it coming over, so he sat up straighter than ever; and the boom, striking him on the back of the neck, tumbled him heels over head into the bottom of the boat, where he lay for a moment in the midst of two or three fish and some slimy water, not yet cleared out.

It was so evident where the fault lay, that as he scrambled up, not much hurt, he could not blame any one but himself, and so sat down again, only saying: “I won’t have such an ugly great stick as that in my boat. I’m going to have a boat next summer, a great deal nicer than this nasty thing; and I’ll have all the sails hung up on the mast, like that ship over there,”—pointing to a brig standing up the bay before the wind.

All the ’long-shore children shouted so at the idea of a square-rigged skiff, that Paul felt completely disconcerted, and concluded to go forward, out of the way of that “ugly great stick.”

“If you go forward, you must tend jib, and send Nathan aft,” said Jack; “there isn’t room for both of you.”

What “tending jib” was, Paul didn’t in the least understand, but he took Nathan’s seat in front of the mast, saying “Very well” as he did so. Jack held the boat on the same course till they reached the bar, when he thought it better to go on the other tack, that is, “jibe” again. So he called to Paul, “Mind that jib.”

“Yes,” answered Paul, “I will.”

The jib of the boat was tied by a little rope to the side of the boat, and Jack wanted Paul to untie the rope and, at the right moment, let the jib blow over with the other sail. Paul had not the least notion what to do, and did nothing at all. Consequently the boat, instead of going about on the other tack began to drift to leeward.

“Let go that jib!” shouted Jack.

“I ain’t touching the jib,” answered Paul.

“Well,” said Nathan, jumping forward, “if ever I saw a lubberhead!”

Paul, furious, jumped up, and caught little Nathan by the shoulder, intending to give him a good shaking, but, slipping, both went down together between the seats. Jack by this time had got the boat before the wind. This course carried them straight away from home, but it was the only thing he could do. Then, giving the tiller to Jimmy, he went forward, picked up the two boys, and ordered Paul, pretty sharply, to go aft and behave himself. It took a long time to beat up to the bar again; and when they at last reached it, the tide was out, the water very shallow, and the waves running high.

“What are you doing?” said Paul, as he saw the boat once more change its course. “We were ’most in, and now you’re going away again.”

“I’m tacking,” said Jack.

“What a lie!” said Paul. “If I don’t just tell grandfather.”

“You shut up, once for all,” answered Jack, “or I’ll know the reason why. You’ve made trouble enough already. I’m going up to the other cove, where it’s easy landing, and you keep pretty still till we’re there.”

Paul, like all blusterers, was a coward; he was a little sea-sick, too, and so sat perfectly quiet, while Lotty and Harry, as the boat rocked more and more violently, began to cry.

“You needn’t be afraid when Jack’s along,” said Polly, encouragingly. “He wouldn’t let the boat tip over, if it wanted to; and we’ll be there in a few minutes, anyhow.”

There was a wet scramble over the slimy, slippery rocks covered with sea-weed, after getting out of the boat, but at last they were safely on shore again, Paul, with his brother and sister, walked slowly home, Jack following with the fish he had caught in the morning. Squire Green stood at the gate.

“I was beginning to wonder why the children didn’t come,” said he. “What’s been the matter, Paul?”

“It’s all Jack’s fault,” said Paul, delighted that he could at last relieve his spite a little. “We went sailing, and first he knocked me down with the stick on the sail, and then he told me to let go the jib, when I wasn’t touching it, and sailed way out again when we were ’most home, just to plague us, and he said he was tacking, when there wasn’t a tack there.”

Grandfather Green sat right down in the porch, and laughed till the tears ran.

“To think,” said he, as Paul’s mother came out towards them, “that a grandson of mine should be such a landlubber! What have you been about, Charlotte, that you haven’t told him more about ’long shore?”

“He can learn next summer,” said Mrs. Lane. “Jack will teach him.”

“I’ll smash him, if he tries to,” said Paul, furiously angry.

“Come, sir,” said grandfather, suddenly, turning from Lotty, who was telling the trouble they had had in getting home,—“come, sir, act like a man for once, and stop showing off airs. Shake hands with Jack, as the least you can do after acting like a simpleton, and make up your mind that you don’t know everything yet, and won’t for some time.”

Jack’s gray eyes were looking dubiously at him, though there was a queer little twinkle in them; but he held out his hand at once. Paul drew back a moment; then, meeting his mother’s gentle glance, and beginning to be ashamed of his bad temper, he shook hands with Jack very much as though he had rather not, and went into the house.

Next morning Polly and her mother, walking up to Jack’s house, were passed by the stage-coach, carrying all the Lanes to the steamboat dock. Lotty and Harry waved their handkerchiefs, but Paul sat up stiffly, and did not turn his head.

“That’s an awful boy,” said Polly; “I wish he wouldn’t come here next summer.”

“Maybe he’ll be better then,” said her mother.

“He sha’n’t ever touch my Seraphina, if he isn’t,” said Polly. “He looked at her yesterday, and she’s acted real bad ever since, and won’t sit up good or anything.”

“Well,” said her mother, laughing; “you keep straight yourself; that’s the main thing.”

Helen C. Weeks.


Words by Mrs. Anna M. Wells. Music by F. Weber.*

Organist of the Royal German Chapel, St. James’s Palace, London.



No. 1.

My first is a mathematical curve.

My second is a Mohammedan nymph of paradise.

My third is a poisonous mineral substance.

My fourth was an engine of torture used during the Inquisition.

My fifth was a fabulous river, the drinking of which caused entire forgetfulness of the past.

My sixth was a shepherd and astronomer of Carai, condemned to a sleep of thirty years.

My seventh was a queen of Assyria, who built the walls of Babylon, was slain by her son, and transformed into a pigeon.

My whole is an English novelist.

The initial letters of the words compose his first name, and the final letters compose his surname.



No. 2.

In the city’s crowded street,

In the poor man’s lonely cot,

You my first will often meet,—

Hard to find where it is not.


Though I should be poor and lone,

Seeking gold and finding none,

Though my lot be hard to bear,

In my next I own a share.


None can rob me of my last,—

Come what will, I hold it fast;

All men prize it,—even the worst

Like to have my last put first.


Ere the prairies of the West

By the foot of man were pressed,

Had my whole its course begun;

Still its work is never done;

Day and night it travels on,

Always going, never gone.

J. L. G.





No. 5.


I am composed of 19 letters.

My 11, 6, 13, 15, 8, 10, was a king who was very much flattered.

My 11, 19, 12, 7, 1, 6, 3, 4, was a distinguished general.

My 7, 2, 4, 8, 18, 13, was the most noted of the Puritans.

My 14, 15, 10, 16, 13, 16, 3, 10, 6, 13, 18, 17, saved her husband’s life.

My 3, 6, 8, 5, 7, 10, 17, was an English bishop.

My 11, 9, 6, 15, 11, 16, 19, was a celebrated poet.

My whole headed a long line of kings.



No. 6.

There is a word, a short, but lovely word,

  Whose mention brings the happiest thoughts in play,

’Tis heard in childhood,—and is frequent heard

  In vigorous youth; in manhood’s riper day.

It calms the infant’s troubled mind,

  When darkling dreams or fears affright;

It is in youthful hearts enshrined,

  A beacon-fire to guide their steps aright.

It lends a sparkle to pleasure’s cup,

  Heightens each joy which Heaven bestows;

Sweeter than flowers which bees do sup,

  And richer by far than citron groves.

’Twas heard on Golgotha’s gloomy plain,

  Falling from lips that spake no ill,

From One whose life was free from stain:

  Who preached of “Peace, and to the world good-will.”

H. P. T.


C. J. S.


Double Acrostic Charade.





14.“Pray God she prove not masculine erelong.”
15.Right overstrained turns to wrong.

Illustrated Rebuses.

18.One murder makes a villain, millions a hero. [(One murder) (M aches) (a villa) (inn), (mill) (eye on S) (a he row).]
19.There are in Europe and America forty-five reigning sovereigns. [T (hare) (R in ewe) (rope) an (dam) (e) ri (c) (a) XLV (raining sovereigns).]


Fanny says: “I am writing to you to ask you to answer a few questions which I have been trying to solve in my mind.

“I wish to know (1.) if it is proper to play with dolls after a girl is ten years of age; also, (2.) if it is proper to play games in the street, such as ‘I spy,’ ‘Yard sheep,’ or ‘Prison Bar,’—which are my especial favorites.

“Some people say girls should be brought up to work and do such things as sew, wash dishes, etc., and should not be romping in the streets; but I think ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ But now to speak of beaux. (3.) Is it proper, if you wish to have a correspondence with a gentleman, for the lady or the gentleman to write first, or rather who should make the first advances? I hope you will not think these ideas mixed up.”

(1.) Why, yes, if the girl chooses to play with them. (2.) It is proper enough, if the street be so private that the children playing in it do not disturb or interfere with other passers. (3.) It seems to us that some of our little nieces think altogether too much about writing letters to boys, and accepting attentions from them. There will be time for such things when they grow up into womanhood, and chief among many unpleasant and sorrowful sights is a precocious, forward girl, trying to imitate the manners and fashions of her elders. We do not like to have such questions asked us, because we cannot advise fairly in regard to them. If our children cannot ask their parents about any such matter, they may be pretty sure that the thing itself is wrong and to be avoided.

Telegraph Student. The alphabet and signals used by the city of Boston in the fire-alarm and police departments are founded on a modification of the Bain system.

L. M. Your enigma is useless without the answer.

Victorine. You are right,—the blind beggar we told you of was a woman.—Do not play that trick upon your brother on any account. So far as the thing itself is concerned there is no great harm in it, but you know very well that he would not only be vexed, but his feelings would be hurt, by your altering the photograph; and, although he could of course replace it, the second would not be like the first in his estimation. You do not like to be troubled, you say, and that should teach you consideration for others. There is neither wit nor fun in any trick which gives another pain, places him in a disagreeable or ridiculous situation, or rouses wrong feelings in him.

Minnie, we are glad to learn, had a little explanation with her teacher just after writing the letter which we noted in our December number, and now tells us that they “are better friends than ever they were before.” That is capital, and just as it should be, for it would have been a pity if any sore feeling had arisen from a little haste or want of judgment on the part of either teacher or pupil.

Minnie wishes now to know if we consider it silly for her to think upon the desire to be an actress, about which she wrote before. We do not regard it as silly, but idle; all speculations which do not lead to some good and useful end should be banished to make room for profitable thoughts.

Bobolink asks: “What course of study would you recommend to a young man who has just left school, where he studied the course of Latin and Greek preparatory to College, viz. through Horace and Homer? Is not French a good study? and does not dancing improve one and make him more graceful?”

We should advise keeping up as much of the former departments of study as possible. French is useful always: it is not only pleasant on account of its literature, but in mercantile life it is often very valuable. Dancing is no better than calisthenics or gymnastics for giving ease and grace; for our part, we do not think it so good, because it does not build up strength, which, when united to suppleness, is an essential element of good carriage.

Alice Gray. Whatever is wrong is improper, and “slang” is a sin against the laws of language. If your “brothers” and “cousins in college” use it, there is the greater reason why you should set them a good example by avoiding it. Slang is no more ornamental to the language of boys than of girls, whatever the boys themselves may think about it,—or the girls either.

A. F. You have not even learned to spell.

Nora S. Keep trying.

Arthur D. We should say not.

Amie. (1.) Robert Browning did write “The Last Ride Together.” (2.) There is no such line as “Consistency, thou art a jewel.”

Houstonia” is a very pleasant sketch, but the spelling is—!

Trix. We will see about it.

Effie S. (1.) We have no assumed names: our own are good enough. (2.) Your conundrums must be original. (3.) Never mind what you hear; read the publishers’ advertisements, and you will find out everything about subscriptions.

Amy B. asks:—

(1.) Is it proper for girls to write to young gentlemen?

(2.) Is it proper for little girls to have beaux?

(3.) Is it proper to flirt in the street?

(4.) Is it right to dance or to play cards?

(5.) Is the gentleman or lady to bow first?

(1.) Not without their parents’ leave. (2.) No. (3.) Neither in the street nor anywhere else. (4.) Different people have different ideas about these things, and children must be guided in regard to them by their parents or teachers. (5.) The lady.

Lottie S. B. There are no better books for a plain, practical account of European countries, their customs, legends, etc., than the “Handbooks” of Murray or Baedeker.

V. Jupiter. We must decline your request.

Clara. The question you ask has already been answered several times.

L. C. G. Dickens’s Works will be supplied by our publishers as premiums, if the right number of names can be had. So also with covers for volumes of the magazine, which are 50 cents each. Find the price of the book you desire on Messrs. Ticknor and Fields’s Catalogue, and then see by referring to the premium list how many names are required for books of that price.

Tiny Tim wants to know “all about the Mouse-Tower and the Bishop of Bingen,” mentioned in this verse of Mr. Longfellow’s charming poem “The Children’s Hour”:—

“They almost devour me with kisses,

  Their arms about me intwine,

Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen

  In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!”

Well then, Tiny Tim, the story runs, briefly, as follows: There was once a fearful famine at Bingen, and the avaricious Bishop, whose castle was full to overflowing with corn and flour, instead of helping the distressed poor, demanded large prices for his grain; as the people had no gold, they were obliged to starve. At last the rats and mice, leaving the village where there was not a crumb to nibble at, rushed in vast numbers to the castle, and, besieging the place, not only captured and devoured the corn and flour, but, to make a clean job of it, ate the Bishop himself.

We suppose you have all said “I don’t see it,” when you looked at last month’s picture puzzle; and if you all did, you were all right. Now let us see how many of you can find out what sentence in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” has been packed away here by Mr. Day.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 1 edited by J. T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]