* ~ ,
AUTHOR OF "EVENING AMUSEMENT," "LETTERS EVERYWHERE,"
WITH TWENTY ILLUSTRATIONS BY
PAUL KONE WKA.
E. P. DUTTON & CO., 713, BROADWAY.
LONDON: SEELEY, JACKSON, & HALLIDAY.
I.-HOME SICKNESS ................ ....... ........................ I
II.-UNCLE HUGH'S STORY ...................................... .. o
III.-THE LITTLE STOWAWAY ................................... 21
IV.-MY HOME, AND WHAT IT IS LIKE...................... 33
V.- LITTLE COUSINS ................ ................................... 46
VI.-WHAT ABOUT LESSONS ......... ................................ 59
VII.-HURRAH FOR THE HOLIDAYS! .......................... 76
VIII.-THE COTTAGE ON THE CLIFF ........................... 90
IX.-SUSETTE AND HER TROUBLES ........... ......... .... o08
X.-AUTUMN DAYS .................................... .................. 123
XI.-GOOD-BYE TO BEECHAM....................................... 137
MY YOUNG DAYS.
" I WANT to go home!"
How many times in my life, I
wonder, have these words come
rushing up from the very bottom
of my heart, tumbling everything
out of the way, never listening to
reason, never stopping for thought ?
How many times since that dreary
afternoon in the great, big draw-
ing-room at grandmamma's ? Alid,
oh dear me! what miserable heart-
ache comes before that fearful want!
Oh, grown-up people, don't you
know how sour everything tastes,
and how yellow everything looks,
and how sick everything makes
one, when one wants to go home?"
So it was that one wretched
day. How well I remember it all!
The large, large drawing-room so
full of cushions, couches, easy-
chairs, little tables covered with
funny knick-knacks, marble-slabs
and more knick-knacks, beautiful
fire-screens, large mirrors, soft fur
lying about on the floor, and many-
coloured antimacassars on the
Home Sickness. 3
chairs. By and by, all these won-
ders had happy memories pinned.
on to them, of uproarious games
with merry little play-fellows.
Now, I was all alone, and very
lonely, in it all. True, there was
grandmamma nodding in her easy-
chair, in the firelight, on one side,
and there was Uncle Hugh read-
% ing the "Times" by the same
light on the other. But what were
either of them to the little tired
stranger on the low stool between
them? Once grandmamma's eyes
had opened just to look at me, and
say, Making pretty pictures of
the red coals, my dearie ?"
4 Home Sickness.
And Uncle Hugh had an-
swered, "Yes, to be sure; dream-
ing of the King of Salamanders !"
And they went to sleep again
or went on reading, and the little
company smile faded away from
my face, and I went back to those
very real dreams of the nursery at
home, and baby there, and little
brother, and papa and mamma,
"and the long time ago, hours and
hours ago! when I said good-bye,
and Bobbie kissed his hand out of
window, and the carriage took me
off-a happy little woman, really
going in the puff-puff! Oh, how
could I ever have felt so happy
then and be so miserable now?
Had I ever thought that I was
coming away from them all, with no-
body at all but Jane, the new nurse-
maid, to take care of me ? Had I
ever thought how quite alone I
should be, never able to find my
way in this great, big house, sure to
get lost in some of the passages ?
SAnd how could I ever go to sleep
without Bobbie close by, and
wouldn't Bobbie cry for me at
home? And oh, nurse wouldn't
be there to tuck me up, and per-
haps grandmamma wouldn't like
the candle left! And who would
give me my good-night kiss like,-
like,-oh, oh, like- But it would
come, that great big sob, it wasn't
any use to choke it back! And,
when it had come, of course, it was
all over with me, and there was no-
thing for it but to cry out just as
if I was not in that grand draw-
I want to go home! I want,
oh, I do want mamma!"
What a disturbance that cry
of mine did make, to be sure!
Grandmamma was wide-awake in
a moment, looking very much
distressed, and laying her hand on
the bell. This troubled me very
much; for hadn't Jane told me
when she brushed my hair and
made me tidy, that I was to go
down and be a good girl, and do
things pretty in the drawing-
room, and would she scold me if
I was sent away for crying and
making a noise ? But Uncle
Hugh came to my rescue, threw
away his paper, and cuddled me
up in his great strong arms almost
like papa. And he showed me his
watch, and made it strike, and then
began to show me all kinds of
wonders about the room: little tiny
black men under a glass case,
small china monkeys, cats and
frogs, and funny shells and fishes,
and snakes' skins, and lots of other
things. And after that we came
back to the easy-chair, and he
sang me sailors' songs, and told
me all about The House that
Jack built !"
"Little woman," he said at
last, "did you ever hear of The
Goose that Jack killed ? '" and then
he sang in his funny way, This is
the goose that Jack killed; and this
is the cat that wanted the goose
that Jack killed; and this is the
dog that chased the cat that wanted
the goose that Jack killed; and this
is the thief that cheated the dog
that chased the cat that wanted the
Home Sickness. 9
goose that Jack killed; and this is
the dream that haunted the thief
that cheated the dog that chased
the cat that wanted the goose that
Jack killed; and this "-
But "Good night, Uncle Hugh,
there's Jane come to fetch Miss
Sissy to her tea, upstairs in the
UNCLE HUGH'S STORT.
YES, tea alone in the nursery, that
strange room that looked as if it
hadn't been a nursery for a great
many years, and was as queer and
awkward as an old woman trying
to look young again. No clatter
of spoons to make baby laugh, no
chatter of childish voices, only little
me, all alone with Jane-little me,
so puzzled and strange and be-
wildered in the new place! Per-
Uncle .Hugh's Story. I i
haps Jane thought me dull, for she
talked away fast enough, about that
dear old lady, my grandmamma,
and about the beautiful place we
were in, and what if Master Bobbie
should grow up some day to find
it all his own, and be the lord
of it all. I didn't care much if
he did ; I only wanted him now,
little boy as he was, to put his
fat arms round my neck, for I
was little sister" to nobody here;
it was mere mockery calling me
Miss Sissy" all the time.. Per-
haps Jane heard the sigh, for she
stopped afterwards in the middle of
her long story about the little cou-
Uncle Hugh's Story.
sins from over the sea, that were
coming here in a day or two. She
had me on her lap, and she was
just taking off my shoes and socks,
but she drew my head to her
shoulder, and told me that I had
"Janie-panie" with me, who was
always going to take care of me all
the time. I was very tired, and
my eyes went shut on the pillow
after that, before they had time to
cry home-sick tears. And next
day there were so many new things
to see; two little puppies to make
friends with, beside the parrot and
But I mustn't begin to tell you
Uncle Hugh's Story.
all the things that happened that
day. You see, I have made quite
a long story of my first evening, so
you must try and fancy all about
the walk in the park with Jane,
and the drive with Grandmamma
to the town, and the toy-shop, and
what we bought there.
When we came home it was
my tea-time; and after that Jane
changed my frock, and did my hair,
and took me down to dessert, in
the dining-room. Ah, then the
shy fit came on, and I bent my
head very gravely to take the sweet
bits off Uncle Hugh's fork, I
remember. But when he had
14 Uncle Hugh's Story.
pushed back his chair, given his
arm to grandmamma, and his
hand to me, and taken us into the
drawing-room-then, while he made
me nestle down on his knee in
the soft easy-chair, all my shyness
went away at the look of his merry
Now for the goose that Jack
killed," he said; and then and
there began the funniest story you
ever heard. Only I can't tell it
in the funny words and with the
merry, twinkling glances he gave
It was when Uncle Hugh was
a middy, and he had been sailing
THE DOG THAT CHASED THE CAT.
Uncle Hugh's Story.
in a great big ship ever so long,
till at last they came to some
foreign country, I don't know
where. Well, Uncle Hugh and
his friend Jack Miller went roam-
ing about, very glad to get off the
sea. They took possession of a
little empty hut on the beach, and
spent some of the time there,
and some of the time roaming
about on the hills. Now it
chanced, one day, that they saw a
flock of wild geese flying over the
shore. Jack had a gun with him,
and he instantly shot one of these
geese. Uncle Hugh says they
had had so much salt meat at sea,
Uncle Hugh's Story.
that they smacked their lips to
think of a nice fat goose for dinner.
So they carried it off to their hut,
and then they pulled off all the
feathers one by one, and made it
quite ready' to cook. What funny
cooks they must have been! But
it wasn't quite time to roast it, so
they tied it up by a string to the
door and went away, leaving the
captain's dog, Neptune, to watch it.
Now, Nep was a very funny
dog-a nervous dog, Uncle Hugh
called him-and he was quite afraid
something would happen. By and
by, poor pussy came to have a
peep at the goosey-gander, and she
THE THIEF THAT STOLE THE GOOSE.
Uncle Hugh's Story. 17
climbed up the steps on tip-toe
just to look. Nep watched her,
and didn't feel easy in his mind,
and when poor pussy just stretched
forward her head (because she was
a little short-sighted, I dare say),
Nep could bear it no longer. He
gave a great loud bark, and flew
along the road. after the wretched,
flying cat. Silly dog! while he
was gone after puss, and just as he
had his fore-paws quite over her
back, up comes a sly thief to the
hut door, quietly unhooks the bird,
and runs off the other way, with its
head hanging over his shoulder.
"And, so, you see, Sissy," said
18 Uncle Hugh's Story.
Uncle Hugh in his funnily grave
way, "poor Jack and I came back
to find our dinner all gone !" But
they got scent of the thief, and they
caught him and shut him up in
their little hut, and locked him in,
and left him with nothing but bread
and water. For there was no
policeman there, Sissy; we had to
play policemen ourselves."
And there they left him all
night. And the poor thief thought
about his little hungry children at
home, till he fell asleep and dreamt
(I wonder how Uncle Hugh knew
that ?) that he saw the goose all
smoking hot, gravy and all, and a
THE DREAM THAT HAUNTED THE THIEF.
Uncle Hugh's Story.
knife and fork all ready to cut it
But they didn't mean to be
cruel-I don't believe Uncle Hugh
could be! So they had a nice,
hot supper themselves on board
the big ship, and plenty of fun,
and lots of merry songs. And
then they cut three big slices and
put them aside.
And don't you think the thief-
man must have been surprised
when he saw the nice breakfast
that Jack brought him next morn-
ing ? I think Uncle Hugh said
that he wrapped it all up and took
it home to his children. How
20 Uncle Hugh's Story.
queer he must have felt as he
slunk off, the sailors standing
round and giving him three cheers
and plenty of jokes!
THE LITTLE STOWAWAr.
ONE of my earliest friends at the
Park was a little French boy, a
kind of page of my uncle's, Shall
I tell you about him ? You will
think it very funny that a servant-
boy should be allowed to be my
friend, so I must explain.
Little Gus, as my uncle called
him-though his real name was
Gustave-was altogether a little
foreigner. He couldn't talk Eng-
22 The Little Stowaway.
lish at all properly; in fact, the
greater part of our conversation
was carried on by signs. He was
very much afraid of everybody in
the house, except Uncle Hugh.
He thought there was nobody in
all the world like the Captain, as
he called him. His bright eyes
used to twinkle and his white teeth
shine whenever he could find a
chance of running an errand, or
doing any little job for the Captain;
and I think it was, perhaps, be-
cause he took me for the Captain's
little pet that he grew so fond of
He would follow me all about
The Little Stowaway.
the garden, and watch me 'as I
talked away to Jane, and be ready
to find my ball or fetch my hoop
the minute I wanted them.
Now, after we had been a little
while at the Park, I found that
Jane had got very fond of flowers,
and was always anxious to go to
the glass-houses directly we came
out into the garden.
Why, Miss Sissy," she would
say, there never was anything like
the ferns, and the orange-trees, and
the cactuses in them houses; and
Mr. Owen so civil-like in showing
them to us, too."
So off we went to the hot-
24 The Little Stowaway.
houses, and there Mr. Owen and
Jane talked and talked till I got
tired of the hot air, and went to
play outside; and there just outside
was Gus, always waiting to pick me
the prettiest flowers, and find me
the first sweet violets. But I was
shy, and his words were so foreign
that they frightened me; nor did
I like at all being called Petite
mademoiselle," which was not my
name, and couldn't mean anything
that I could think of. At last I
grew braver, and one day I ven-
tured to ask-
"Who is your papa ?"
"Me hab no papa, no mam-
The Little Stowaway. 25
ma !" he said, looking very full at
"Where do you live then ?" I
asked. You're not a bit like
"Me live wid de Capitaine;
me never will leaf de Capitaine--
never, never, never !" he answered
This made me feel very queer,
and I think I looked half-fright-
ened, for his look changed quickly,
and he said, smiling his own sunny
Me fetch petite mademoiselle
something nice; me fetch de puss
dat de Capitaine just bring home !"
The Little Stowaway.
A pussy! that sounded plea-
sant, and I waited eagerly for his
return. I waited a long time, as it
seemed, and I had grown tired,
and was looking for daisies on the
grass, when I heard his step and
the tap of his favourite holly-stick
'on the gravel. What a funny boy
he was to call that "something
There he stood, his eyes and
mouth all one smile, and held
out at arm's length by the ears a
dead rabbit. My look and excla-
mation of horror made him grave
Oh, the poor little rabbit !" I
POOR DEAD PUSSI'
The Little Stowaway. 27
cried. "Has Uncle Hugh killed
him quite dead ?"
Yes, yes, he quite dead! De
Capitaine's gun kill him quite, de
small dog pick him up. Petite
mademoiselle not frighten, he quite
Ah, that was just the reason
of my fright! Away I ran to
Jane, and hid my face in her
gown; and a very vigorous scold-
ing did she give the French
boy when she found what he had
Poor fellow! he was very much
disconcerted, and did not know
what to say. Two hours after he
28 The Little Stowaway.
came back, and finding me alone
just going for a drive, he said
Little puss all alive now, run
away in de voods. Petite made-
moiselle, come see "
What did he mean? The
rabbit could not be "quite dead"
at one time, and all alive" after-
wards. But grandmamma was
coming downstairs, and I had no
time to answer him. By and by,
when I was lying back on the soft
cushions stroking grandmamma's
pretty white fur, I told her all my
"Ah, my pet," she said, "poor
The Little Stowaway. 29
Gus had a very cruel French
father, and doesn't know any better.
He ran away from home when your
uncle's ship was touching at Mar-
seilles, and hid himself in the hold.
They found him when they got out
to sea-a little stowaway the sailors
called him-and your uncle liked
his dark, pitiful eyes, and was very
kind to him; but he has not learnt
much yet that's good. Don't have
too much to say to him, my
Well, it wasn't very likely I
should, for he and I found it not
very easy to understand each other;
yet he liked to do anything he could
The Little Stowaway.
for me, and was always watching
to see what I wanted.
Nearly a year after that, I re-
member, it was very cold, and the
little southern boy felt it especially.
He had grown ever so tall and
thin, but not strong, and he went
about looking blue and shivery.
How I came to be still at the
Park I will tell you in another
place, but there I was, and my
friend Gus won my pity by his
wretched looks. I used to look at
his blue hands, and wonder what
could be done. At last I remem-
bered a pair of warm knitted-gloves,
that had been given me, which I
THE CAT THAT WANTED THE GOOSE.
The Little Stoaway.
never wore. They had no fingers,
only a thumb, and I doubted
whether Gus would wear them;
but I made up my mind that he
would be glad anyhow to keep his
chilblains from the wind.
I don't think I shall ever forget
his look when I presented them to
him, holding them by the pretty
blue wool which fastened them to-
gether. That his petite made-
moiselle" should think of him, and
make him a present, too! and then
that that present should be one that
he could not anyhow use! It was
fairly too much for him; he looked
at them, he looked at me, turned
32 The Little Stowaway.
furiously red, stammered, stuttered,
turned round, and literally ran
I never tried to make him a
Mr HOME, AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE.
Now, do you know, I feel rather
ashamed of myself that I have not
all this while told you in the least
who I was, or where I came from.
I began in the middle by saying,
" I want to go home," but never
told you in the least where my
home was, nor what it was.
Well, to tell you the truth, I
did not know much about my family
history in those early days. I knew
that my name was Mary Emily
Marshall, commonly called Sissy,
and I knew that my papa was the
gentleman that makes all the sick
people well,"-" or tries to," Jane
would add. I never did. Of
course, if my papa tried to do any-
thing he did it. That was my
doctrine. We lived quite down in
the country among the poor people,
and we were not rich ourselves.
Mamma had been born in this
beautiful park, and I know now,
though I did not then, that it
was a great trouble at the Park
when she married the country
doctor, who loved the poor people
My Home. 35
so much that he would not leave
them to grow rich and honoured
as a London physician. But there
was no grandpapa left now to be
angry; and grandmamma, though
we had never seen her, we had
always loved for the beautiful pre-
sents she sent us.
There were only three of us at
this time-my little self; Bobbie, a
boy of four years old, boasting of
the fattest, rosiest cheeks in the
world; and wee Willie, the white-
faced, fretful baby of six months.
Oh, how well I remember the old
house, with its great lamp hanging
out over the lonely road, and shining
36 My Home.
among the trees, to show the vil-
lagers the way up to their good,
kind friend the doctor. Many
were the blessings we little ones
used to get as we passed down the
village street, and we owed them
all to our father's goodness.
Happy times we had of it,
Bobbie and I, in that old house at
the top of the hill. I don't think
any little brothers and sisters were
ever quite such good friends. There
were three years between us, but I
was little and he was big, so no-
body guessed it, and we played
together, and never thought which
was the elder. The great treat of
My Home. 37
the day was the game with papa
in the, evening, but that couldn't
be counted upon. Very often he
would have to leave the dinner-
table suddenly, and when we heard
his peculiar slam of the hall-door
before the bell rang to summon us
down, we knew that we had lost
our game, and we comforted our-
selves by telling each other that
papa had gone to see some little
sick child like baby Willie, and to
make him quite well; and then we
would make up our minds to a
good quiet game by ourselves.
We used to take turns, he
playing at doll with me one time,
and I playing at horses with him
next time. How well I remember
my hairless, eyeless doll, and all
the pleasure she gave us! And
good-natured old nurse was quite
willing, whenever Willie was a little
better than usual, to work wonders
with dolly's toilet. One week she
would be a fine, grand lady, to
whom Bobby would act footman
and I lady's-maid. Next week,
she was a soldier fighting grand
battles, and lying dead on the
battle-field at last, with a patch
of red paint on the forehead, and
we two singing dirges and songs of
victory; and then, all of a sudden,.
PAPA AND MAVMA.
the soldier was turned into a baby,
with long white clothes and the
prettiest of caps.
The day that grandmamma's
letter came, asking for one of the
dear children to stay with her,"
dolly was just learning to walk.
'We were having our firelight play
before tea. I had tied up my curls
to look like a grown woman's hair,
and I had papa's umbrella to keep
the rain off dolly in her first walk.
Bobbie had papa's hat and stick,
and he held Rosalinda's other
hand. I was just telling him not
to walk so fast, because his long
strides would tire our little girl,
40 My Home.
when I heard papa's voice calling
In a minute more I was stand-
ing between his knees, and mamma
was watching my face as I tried to
take in the idea of this first visit.
"Jane shall g6 with you, my
darling-you will not be all alone,"
said mamma; "~indeed, you shall
not go at all if you had rather not,
but grandmamma wants to have
And then papa added a great
deal about seeing the place where
mamma lived when she was my
age, and told me that I should
come back with such rosy cheeks.
My Home. 41
And all the while I was thinking
of the new doll's-house that grand-
mamma would give me perhaps.
The thought of this took me back
to Rosalinda, and I felt sure that
'Bobbie would let her fall if I
didn't be quick and go to him. So
I said, "Yes, I will go," very much
in a hurry, and was ever so glad
to get away and run upstairs again.
"Queer little fish!" I heard
papa say as I left the room. She
thinks a great deal more about the
doll and Bobbie, than of the visit
Children never look far for-
ward," was mamma s answer.
42 My Home.
But I did look forward by and
by. When dear Rosalinda was
safely tucked up in her cradle, and
Bobbie and I had time to think,"
as we said, then we talked it all
over. And very wonderful plans
we made. Such numbers of in-
junctions did I lay upon Bobbie,
as to the care of the dolls while I
was away, that the poor little fellow
said with a sigh, Yes, I'll try and
'member, Sissy !"
So I consoled him by the
thought of all the presents grand-
mamma would send him when I
came back. In fact, I was to
bring something for everybody, so
I thought. Two dear little rabbits
for Bobbie, perhaps a new black
silk gown for nurse, a beautiful
sash for the baby, and so on, and
The next afternoon Bobbie and
I had our last feast. Do you often
have feasts? I don't mean cake
and fruit, and good things at the
dinner-table. Oh no, I mean a
real tiny feast all to yourselves,
with the nursery-chair unscrewed
to make table and chair, with
square paper plates twisted at the
corners, paper dishes with sugar on
one, currants on another, rice or
raisins on another, and little doll's-
44 My Home.
house cups for the make-believe
wine and the real milk. Ah, that
nice sugared milk taken in little
sips out of the oldest nursery-
spoons! How well I can fancy
myself now, giving Bobbie his
spoonful, while pussy looked en-
viously up at us? Then it was
that the bright thought struck me
that I would bring home some real
Beecham kittens to puss, that
would do quite well in the place
of those dear little lost ones, that
James had taken away and for-
gotten ever to bring back ? Well,
you know, all the preparations were
made, my pretty new frock tried
My Home. 45
on, all my kisses given, and all
sorts of messages sent home from
the station, and in the highest of
spirits my first start in life was
accomplished. What my feelings
were when the day came to an end,
you know, so I need not tell you.
So now you know who I was,
where I came from, and all about
me. Let me, then, go on telling
you about this remarkable visit to
grandmamma. You have heard
all about those first quiet days,
when I was all alone, the only little
thing in all the place. It was very
different afterwards, I can tell you.
You know Jane had told me
all that was going to happen.
Little Cousins. 47
Indeed, she talked always very
fast, and didn't mind filling my
little head with her opinions of my
betters which was certainly a mis-
take. It was a shame, she said,
that my uncle, the Reverend,"
should send all his children here,
while he and his wife went taking
their travels and their pleasure all
about to those gay foreign places !
Grandmamma talked about it
in quite a different way. She told
me how ill my aunt had been, so
ill that my uncle had been obliged
to take her away from England for
the whole winter. And she said
that now they had left the place on
the beautiful Swiss lake, and were
going to try some German baths.
Only they could not take the chil-
dren there, so they were to come
and stay at the Park for a month
or too, the while.
I thought this would be very
nice, and I began to ask all sorts of
questions about Harry and Lottie,
and Alick and Murray, and Bertie
and the baby. How funny it
would seem when the nursery was
so full! I thought the day would
never come. But it did. The
carriage was sent off to the station,
and in due time it came back, quite
full to overflowing with children!
Little Cousins. 49
There was a good deal of shy-
ness at first, when we all stood in
a row, and looked at each other,
answering grandmamma's ques-
tions seriously, and feeling very
odd. But that was only the first
evening. Next day we were quite
happy and comfortable, had a very
merry breakfast, and then a delight-
ful ramble about the gardens and
orchards.. Of course, I was only
one of the little ones, coming in
between Alick and Murray, feel-
ing very small beside Lottie and
Harry. Yet we were all very good
friends, and Lottie soon told me
that she thought it would be very
50 Little Cousins.
nice to have a girl to talk to, and
not only boys. This remark
pleased me, though when I thought
of Bobbie,it sounded rather strange.
Indeed, I am not sure that I was
not a little too fond of boys' play.
I remember feeling rather dis-
appointed one day when she said
to me in the garden-
"Sissy, let's come and have a
nice quiet walk together, and leave
the boys to play by themselves."
Now, three of the boys were
just preparing for a military march,
one with a bright flag, another with
a trumpet, and another with a sword-
stick, so-called; and there was a
GOING TO THE WARS.
most refreshing prospect of shout-
ing, stamping, and huzzahs! Do
you wonder that I turned away
rather unwillingly ?
However, Lottie's confidences
soon made up for it all. Such
beautiful stories Lottie could tell!
When she began to talk about the
Alps, and the blue lake and the
mountain flowers, I thought it
seemed almost as good as my
hymns and verses. I know I
looked up at her with eyes full of
admiration, and when she put her
arms round me, and gave me a
loving kiss, I thought I had never
been so happy before.
And then she listened to all I
had to tell her about Bobbie, and
baby Willie, and Rosalinda, and
gave me her advice about dressing
Rosalinda like the Queen.
My letters, too, she read, and
said they were very nice, which
made me love mamma for writing
them all the more. And she
showed me her own letter that had
just come across the sea, with its
foreign stamps and thin paper.
Quite a nice talk it was alto-
gether, and we were ever so sorry
when we were called in to
My boy-cousins were very polite
to me at first, and hardly seemed
to know what to make of me.
Harry was a little too patronizing,
called me a mite of a thing," and
played tricks upon me in a gentle
way.' But then he was not often
with Us. He had not been a night
in the house before he had quite
determined to be a sailor like
Uncle Hugh, so it followed, as a
matter of course, that he must be
always with him.
Force of habit, however, made
him confide all his plans and
thoughts to Lottie, so that our
private talks in the shrubbery were
often interrupted by his merry voice.
Then he would throw himself down
among the grass and periwinkles,
and tell us all about his future ship.
This usually ended in Lottie's being
carried off to make sails or flags
for his new craft. Then, being
left to myself, I soon ran off to my
other cousins, nothing loath to have
a game of romps with them.
Alick seemed likely to be my
special friend. What a funny little
fellow he must have been, though I
did not think so then! Jane called
him a little dandy, much to his
displeasure; yet I am afraid his
friendship was likely to increase my
childish vanity. He was so fond
of decking me with flowers, making
wreaths for me, and then looking
at me, and sometimes comparing
my hair or eyes with Lottie's; and
his look of vexation if my face was
dirty or my pinafore torn, often
comes back to me even now when
I feel untidy in any way.
One afternoon, when Alick and
I and one of the other boys were
alone, it suddenly came into our
wise little heads that we would
play at going to a party. What
vast preparations we made What
pains the boys took to tie up my
sleeves with some bright ribbon
meant for Harry's flags! How
56 Little Cousins.
cleverly we succeeded in carrying
off a hair-brush, and what a long
time it took to decide how the
boys' hair and ties should be
arranged! And then came the
flowers, my wreath, and the bouquet
to be carried for me by one of my
We were all ready, I remember,
and I was just taking Alick's arm,
and we had all put on our best airs
and graces for a solemn entrance
to the supposed ball-room, when,
all of a sudden, who should come
round the corner but Uncle Hugh
Oh, those bursts of laughter
GiOING, 10 A PARTY.
Little Cousins. 57
pealing out again and again! Oh,
the writhings and twistings of
Uncle Hugh in his excessive
mirth Would they ever stop
laughing? Even now my cheeks
almost tingle with those painful
blushes, and my heart beats with
that frightened shame!
And yet it was for Alick that I
was chiefly troubled, as I saw him
fling down the flowers and run,
while Harry, shouting "conceited
young jackanapes," pursued him at
full speed. I had never seen such
rough play or heard such mocking
laughter, and I burst into tears,
sobbing out my trouble on my
uncle's shoulder as he carried me
off and laughingly soothed me,
pressing the prickly wreath all the
while against my head.
It was a long time before our
adventure was forgotten. Harry's
merry jokes brought the colour
over and over again to my face,
and the angry words to Alick's
lips. But we were both cured,
certainly, for the time, of any love
of display or dandyism !
WHAT ABOUT LESSONS?
AND now, little reader, I know
quite well what thought has been
popping in and out of your head all
this time. You have been want-
ing to ask me what had become
of lessons all these weeks, and how
a number of little boys and girls
could be allowed to run wild, doing
just what they liked all day long.
Well, it does seem very shock-
ing, and there is no denying that,
60 JWhat about Lessons?
for a whole month, we did not often
see the inside of a book. Yet, I
had learnt to read, and had been in
the habit of learning to spell and to
count every day of my life at home.
I don't quite know how it came
about that we were not all of us a
very untamed set after a month's
idleness at the Park. Perhaps, it
was a good thing for us that grand-
mamma was what she was. The
very perfection of tender kindness
we all felt her, and yet there was a
certain dignity abo t her;- that made
it a simple impossibility to be
rough or rude before her. And on
the whole we were a great deal with
BABY, DEA !
What about Lessons ?
her. When not with her, we were
supposed to be picking up a great
deal of French from my cousin's
Swiss nurse. And so, in our way,
we did, although I think Susette
learned English a great deal faster
than we learned French. Yet,
when we wished to coax her, the
French words came fast enough,
such as they were.
But I am afraid grandmamma
did not think that we were learn-
ing quite enough, for one day she
called Lottie and me, and told us
that she had just seen such a nice
young lady, and that she had pro-
mised to come and be our gover-
What about Lessons
ness. What an excitement this
news caused us all! How we
talked it over all day long. We
had many different ideas as to what
she was to be like; in fact, the elder
boys made pictures of her, which,
as it turned out, were anything but
How we did look at her that first
evening! She was very young, very
fair and in deep mourning. That is
my earliest impression of her. We
had a kind of unconfessed idea that
she did not take half pains enough
to make us like her. She did not
seem to care whether we did or
not-hardly, I fancy, to think about
What about Lessons ?
the matter. It was just the very
S end of April, almost the bright
May-time, and grandmamma went
round the garden with her, Lottie
and I making, our remarks from
I distance. I think we were a
little surprised to see our new
governess so much at her east
laughing merrily and talking a\wa,
to grandmamma, just as if there
were no little critics taking note of
all. By and by, she came in and
sat down. in the schoolroom "
such a new word that seemed !-to
write a letter. Lottie and I pre-
tended to be very busy with our
dolls in one corner, but we were
What about Lessons ?
keeping up our watch, and every
now and then we met her eye with
a merry twinkle in it, looking
greatly amused at us.
She looks so young, only a
girl! she will never be able to
Manage us, Jane says," Lottie
remarked very softly to me; but
then, I daresay, she can be cross
enough when she likes, governesses
All of a sudden, a merry laugh
startled us both, and in another
minute Lottie found herself flat on
the floor, being tickled and kissed
and laughed over all at once. I
don't think she quite liked it,
What about Lessons ? 65
though she couldn't help laughing,
too, but her cheeks were very red,
when Miss Grant raised her own
head. She kept Lottie flat on her
back, and looked down at her, the
most thorough amusement all over
Cross enough, do you think ?
Oh, yes, to be sure I can! Cross
enough to eat you up at one mouth-
ful, and little Sissy after you '
How funny it sounded Lottie
laughed and so did I, only very
nervously. Then all at once Miss
Grant grew very comically grave,
and asked us whether we thought
we should soon make her cross ?
66 Whiat about Lessons?
And then followed such a funny
talk, I think I shall never forget it.
Miss Grant was half lying on the
sofa now, Lottie and I were bob-
bing up and down beside her, some-
times looking right into her blue
laughing eyes, sometimes hiding
our own rosy faces, that she mightn't
see how queer she made us feel.
You don't much like the idea
of having a governess, I see," she
said; "you fancy it will be lessons,
lessons all day long now, a great
deal of crying, and punishments,
very hard things to learn, and no
fun any more. If that's what it
really is going to be, I shall get
1What about Lessons?
so unhappy that I shall soon run
away home again! And then you
think I shall have to grow cross
and ill-tempered, too-that is the
worst part of it all."
She pretended to be ready to
cry, and Lottie, who didn't quite
like to give up her own opinion,
muttered something about "She
thought they always were !"
"Are they?" asked Miss Grant,
just as if she really wanted to know,
and, when we laughed and hid our
faces, she went on: "I think I
know how it is. This is what you
will do to rie : You will begin by
getting into all the mischief you
What about Lessons ?
can think of, and that will give me
a headache; and then you will be
cross and rude, and that will give
me great, deep lines in the forehead;
and last of all, you will do vulgar
things, that will make my mouth
get into the 'don't' shape, which is
so ugly, you know; and, by 'and
by, when I look, at myself in .the
glass, I shall find myself turned
into a grey-headed old woman, and
I shall say, 'Sissy gave me those
wrinkles between my eyes, I always
had to frown at her so;' and then,
' Those ugly lines by my mouth
came when Lottie, vexed me so.'
What a funny thing it will be to
What about Lessons 69
have to remember you in that way
when you are grown-up people !"
Of course, we did not like this
way of taking it for granted that
we were rude, troublesome children,
yet there was a funny look in Miss
Grant's eyes that seemed as if she
didn't really mean what she said.
And the end of it all was that we
made a compact, as she called it,
that we would be ever so good-tem-
pered, and then she and we would
have the happiest time together
that you can fancy.
And I think it all came true.
Thanks to our papas and mammas,
we were not quite the rude children
What about Lessons?
we might have been. They had
saved us ever so much trouble, and
ever so many tears, by teaching us
that hardest lesson "do as you are
told," before we were old enough
to understand its difficulty. And
Miss Grant was always so bright
and happy that she scarcely ever
let us suspect, even in the naugh-
tiest times, that we were making
the lines come." Out of doors she
was the merriest among us, and
grandmamma would often say to
Lottie that she was ever so much
older than Miss Grant, because
she would walk soberly about with
a book, while Miss Grant was hav-
What about Lessons?
ing all sorts of fun with the boys.
At last she, too, caught the infection,
and then we all had the merriest
romps together! How well I
remember, those early summer
days, and the luxury of flowers
everywhere. Is there anything so
happy-looking, so full of overflow-
ing delight, as the long grass, and
the buttercups and daisies, hawthorn
and bluebells? We thought our-
selves very wise about flowers then,
and had very decided opinions on
the proper blending of colours.
Miss Grant was teaching us this,
and even now, when I see any one
making a nosegay of wild-flowers,
WJ/hat about Lessons
I fancy myself running up to her
with a handful of bright things, to
watch in my eagerness how they
were in a minute turned into the
beautiful bouquet that nobody could
equal or copy.
She had been with us some
time, when one morning we had
a visitor come to spend the day
at Beecham. This lady was not
old, yet she had the most wrinkled,
aged face I ever saw. When she
was gone, Harry, who never minded
what he said, asked grandmamma
about her, and cried out in surprise
when he heard that she had been
his own father's playfellow.
What about Lessons
"You think Mrs. Mowbray
looks double as old as papa, do
you?" said grandmamma. "Ah,
it is trouble that has aged her.
You would not wonder at all those
lines and wrinkles if you knew all
the sorrow and grief her own poor
boys have given her through their
sin and wilfulness !"
Lottie and I looked at each
other, and then glanced slily at
Miss Grant, but I don't think she
noticed us. When we were alone
again, we resolved that we would
try ever so hard to be good.
Because, you know, Sissy, it
wouldn't be nice if Miss Grant
74 What about Lessons ?
were to get her face all puckered
and creasy like that, just as if it
wanted ironing out, as Susette did
with my frock when Murray
scrunched it all up under his pillow
to hide it. But I suppose you
couldn't iron out your face !"
Anyhow, I agreed with Lottie
not to run any risks, and I do not
think we did. At least, all my
memories of that happy year at
Beecham are mingled with the
bright, merry, gentle friend who
made easy all the lessons that
could be easy, and gave me courage
for those that had to be hard; and
against whose shoulder I loved to
What about Lessons ? 75
nestle, and listen to Bible-stories
with those little hints in them
which always set me thinking of
my own faults and duties, and
made me long to do right, and be
the good little Christian girl she
wished me to be.
Little reader, dear, are you
making lines on anybody's fore-
HURRAH FOR THE HOLIDAYS !
AND yet, however pleasant lessons
might be, there is no doubt that
holidays were pleasant things, too.
Saturday afternoons were always
welcome, and all the weeks through
we were planning what we would
do when they came. Of course
these plans were sometimes upset by
a rainy day; but, even then, what
with. battledore and shuttlecock,
painting and spinning tops, we
Hurrah for the Holidays !
contrived to make out the time
And before us all the while
was the bright, pleasant prospect
of the long summer holidays.
Every now and then during
these happy months the thought
of home came across me, and
sometimes one of mamma's letters
would have in it so much about
Bobby and his play, and his prattle
about Sissy's coming back, that I
grew a little home-sick rtnd looked
wistfully into grandmamma's face
as she read the letter. This would
always make her say: ".You
don't want to go home, little one?
78 Hurrah for the Holidays !
Aren't you very happy -here with
Lottie and the boys ? And you
are getting on so nicely with your
books, too; mamma is so pleased
to have you with so many little
schoolfellows, and kind Miss Grant
to teach you! And we are going
to have all kinds of pleasant treats
in the holidays. No, no, we must
keep you another month or two!
Perhaps we will send you home
when the cold weather comes!"
So I ran away again to make
plans with Lottie about all the
many things that must be done the
very first day of no lessons.
Then came the last time of
Hurrah for the Holidays! 79
history, and the last dreadful sums,
and the last copy written, and the
last hard French words learnt, and
then, happiest of all, the last put-
ting away of books and cleaning
of slates It almost makes me
take that long breath for joy even
now only to remember that happy
And don't you think I'm the
happiest of us all ?" said Miss
Grant; I am the only one really
going home for the holidays !"
Which remark was a great
relief to my little mind, for I had
been afraid we must seem a great
deal too glad that she was going.
8o Hurrah for the HIolidays!
Now I could venture on my very
loudest "hurrah," which, after all,
was but a feeble imitation of the
boys' loud cheers.
You know, anticipation is the
best part of every pleasure; in
easier words, everything looks
brighter before it comes than when
it is come. I think that was very
nearly the happiest day of my
whole year at Beecham, when I
sat on the floor watching the last
things put into Miss Grant's box,
and chattering away about the
happy days coming. You see, for a
long time I had got up every morn-
ing with the thought of how many
Hurrah for the Holidays 8
good marks I should get, and of
how those hard letters and figures
were to be made, and though I
had made many a brave fight and
won many a delightful victory over
the books, yet it was very nice to
think that to-morrow I should
awake with. the holiday feeling
And the next morning did
really come, though we thought it
never would, and we made a very
long meal of breakfast, being not
quite sure what was to come next.
It was a funny day, that first
day! Grandmamma and Uncle
Hugh went away early for a long
82 Hurrah for the Holidays!
drive, and all sorts of business at
the end of it; and we knew they
would not be home till ever so late.
It was very hot-oh, so very hot!
We could not go into the sun at
all, but Susette and Jane sent us
out of the nursery very soon, that
we might not disturb baby's mid-
day sleep by our holiday fun. The
school-room, of course, we avoided;
so, after a little hesitation, we went
out into the shade to play.
And, first of all, we thought of
the swing as the best thing to be
done, and for half an hour it was
most delightful! Don't you know
the pleasant feeling it is, just up at
UP TO THE MOON!