Trotty's wedding tour

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Trotty's wedding tour
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart,
Publisher:
James R. Osgood and Company
Copyright Date:
18741873

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
alh6461 - LTUF
20516683 - OCLC
002235993 - AlephBibNum
System ID:
UF00027887:00001


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MEN, WOMEN, AND GHOSTS. 1vol. 16mo 1.50

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WHAT TO WEAR? Ivol. 16mo. Paper,50 cents; Cloth 1.00


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TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR,

AND


STORY-BOOK.

BY


ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS.


W it)l Numerous Ellustrations.











BOSTON:
JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY,
LATE TICKNOR & FIELDS, AND FIELDS, OSGOOD, & CO.
1874.































Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873,

BY JAMES R. OSGOOD & CO.,

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
























UNIVERSITY PRESS: WELCH, BIGELOW, & CO.,
CAMBRIDGE.




















NOTE.

The stories One Way to get an Education" and
"Baby-Birds" are reprinted from "The Youth's Com-
panion."
















CONTENTS.



CHAPTER PAGE
I. THE DIVORCE 11

II. AN INTERRUPTION 19

III. THE DUEL 21

IV. THE CONSEQUENCES 25

V. MAX'S LOGIC 27

VI. LILL'S BRIGHT IDEA 36

VII. ANOTHER STORY 50

VIII. THE THIRD STORY 70

IX. A FISH STORY 87

X. RUBY'S VISITOR .96

XI. RYE'S FRITTERS 110

XII. JUST LIKE AUNT BANGER 122

XIII. THE DAY OF JUDGMENT 129

XIV. MORE WAYS THAN ONE 141








viii CONTENTS.

XV. THE CHAPTER THAT TROTTY DID N'T PRINT 153

XVI. A VERY COMMON STORY 162

XVII. THE BABY'S DAY 173

XVIII. THE CALICO PAPER 181

XIX. DEB 198

XX. THE LAST STORY 209

XXI. THE WEDDING TOUR 222















TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.
















TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.



CHAPTER I.

THE DIVORCE.
"~ ROTTY had been married before.
.. There is no denying that.
Whatever may be said-and
a great deal may be said -
S about First Love, and Eternal
S Fidelity, the fact remains : Trotty
j ,JT .I_ --"i had been married before.
S -". To those who have been per-
:2'^ ., sonally interested hitherto in the
'. .' memoirs of this remarkable
young gentleman, it will be only
necessary to refer in the scantiest way to his domestic his-
tory. His early and unfortunate attachment to that esti-
mable young lady, Miss Nita Thayer, and its abrupt and
blighting termination, can but be fresh in the reader's rec-
ollection.








12 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

It was not until Miss Merle Higgins came into Fourth
Reader that he went to Indiana to apply for a divorce.
Miss Merle Higgins was the belle of the School at the time
when she honored Fourth Reader by her presence. At least,
so Nate said, and one or two of the other boys; and Trotty
supposed they ought to know, though it was something of a
perplexity to him in his thoughtful moods, there being one in
the belfry already; though, to be sure, that was cracked.
Miss Merle Higgins's mother did up Miss Merle's hair in
papers over night, and Miss Merle's hair unless it was
damp weather--hung about her eyes and her little (pug)
nose in so many curls that she looked like a basket of beau-
tiful, fresh shavings. Miss Merle wore a blue dress, and a
pink overskirt. She had a necklace of large pearl beads,
and a brass ring. She wrote little notes to the boys on pink
paper. Besides these irresistible attractions, she kept a bottle
of Lubin's perfumery in her desk, and her father kept an
oyster-saloon and candy-shop.
At this time Mrs. Nita was recovering from the chicken-
pox, and wearing out her old brown gingham.
It was on a Wednesday morning that Miss Merle came
into Fourth, and that she lost her book, and Trotty stood by
her and lent her his.
It was on Saturday that he proposed to her.
They were eating a corn-ball at recess. Trotty took one
bite, and Merle took one. They sat on the little wood-pile in
the sun.







THE DIVORCE. 13

"I should fink," said Trotty (big as Trotty is now, he is
weak on his the's yet), I should fink you 'd make a very
nice wife if a man wanted any more. But I liked the mush-
melons you brought yesterday, better."
"I '11 bring some fig-paste to-morrow," said Merle.
I like lozumges too," said Trotty. I don't know but I'd
marry you if it was n't for Nita."
I'm engaged, I thank you," said the young lady, finishing
the corn-ball, and serenely sucking her brass-ringed fingers,
while her little ankle-ties swung tormentingly and carelessly
to and fro against the wood-pile.
I '11 fight him! cried Trotty. If you'd only had an-
other corn-ball I 'd go and fight him now."
Do you s'pose I 'd be so mean as tell of him ? said the
lady, I would n't have him get hurt on my account. If
you 'd got a divorce I don't know but I 'd marry you any
way. He need n't know. He 's sick at home with the
mumps."
Well, I will," said Trotty, if you '11 get a jelly roll-over
for the wedding dinner."
If I can't, I '11 get half a stick of nut-candy," said Miss
Merle. And so it was settled.
And so on Monday Trotty went to Indiana for his di-
vorce. It may not be generally known that Indiana is
bounded on the north by the School-yard fence, on the east
by Bogg's Me'sh," on the south by Deacon Trimner's pas-
tures, and on the west by Nate's house. Indiana, in fact, is a







14 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

long, loose, shaky stone wall which the cows can jump over
when they like, and from which the stones roll on little boys'
and girls' ankles in climbing over if they don't look out.
Nita came; and Nate. Merle said that Nate married
them, and so he must unmarry them. Nita and Nate and
Trotty sat down on the shaky wall. Miss Merle hid behind
it, and kept jumping up to see, and scraping her little short
nose very hard on the edge of the wall, and then flopping
down with a great noise to hide again. She was not sup-
posed to be there at all, it not being thought quite proper;
and though Mrs. Nita made faces at her twice, and the Rev-
erend Mr. Nate turned his clerical eyes with a broad and
reproving stare upon her whenever she moved, and Trotty
kissed his hand to her in the face of the public and without a
blush, the supposition answered all conventional and legal
purposes quite as well as the fact, which is the case with a
great many suppositions in more mature society.
Well, and so Nita and Nate and Trotty sat down--with
some care, and holding on very tight-upon Indiana, and the
services began. It was Merle who wanted it called ser-
vices." The clergyman thought ceremony a more suitable
word; perhaps because the occasion seemed to the professional
mind to be lacking in the solemnity of either a first marriage
or a funeral. The widow if that is the proper thing to call
her-preferred exercises," and Trotty himself inclined to
speak of the "performances "; but Merle carried the day,
and the services began as follows : -







THE DIVORCE. 15-

THE CLERGYMAN. "You Mrs. Nita, just listen to me.
Ma'am (if you push me off this wall I won't play!), hold
your head up, ma'am, and take your bonnet off."
MRS. NITA. Yes, sir, if you '11 untie the strings; they're
knotted up."
CLERGYMAN (covghing). As long as it is n't a wedding,
I don't know but you may as well keep it on. I propose,
ma'am, -I propose to ask you to-day if you wish and re-
quest to be divorced from your husband, Mr. Trotty."
MRS. NITA. No, sir. I never did. But Merle put him
up to it, and so he says I must."
THE BRIDEGROOM (blushing). 0, what a story! You
said you 'd just as liefs if I gave you five cents to-morrow;
so I gave you four to-day. Besides, you've got my note for
the other, at ten per cent interest. So there now "
CLERGYMAN (severely). Mr. Trotty, sir, you insult the
lady! Sir, you deserted her You ran away from this lady
on your first wedding journey, sir! Let me hear you say
you did n't!
MRS. NITA (with some spirit). "His mamma knows he
did! She wrung me out and set me up to the kitchen fire.
I would n't have another sucher husband! I 'd rather be a
nold maid or else I'd marry Mr. Boggs or Crazy Jim. Be-
sides, if my father kept a candy-shop I would n't marry other
folkses husbands! I'd get a fresh one of my own, or I'd go
without! "
At this point Miss Merle appeared in full-length photograph







16 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

above the top of Indiana, and manifested such an active
desire to throw some very solid portions of that admirable
State in the direction of Mrs. Nita, that the minister began
hastily and authoritatively to conclude the scene.
"Mr. Trotty, sir, you are a divorced husband!" (very
impressively). Mrs. Nita, marm, you are a divorced
widower, if you please. You can both two of you marry
again."
"Hold on!" cried the bridegroom, "I never said she
might "
Can marry again," repeated the clergyman, sternly, as
many times as the law permits ; especiallary the lady, sir!
If you '11 wait till I've got down without this stone's coming
on top of me, I '11 dismiss you, ladies and gentlemen, and go
to the deacon's, myself. I've got some business there, in
the licorice department. Good morning, sir !"
So Trotty and Nita and Nate got down from the stone
wall (with some difficulty), and the minister walked thought-
fully away.
"You'd better go too," said the bridegroom; for Miss
Higgins had boldly climbed over the wall by this time, and
was twisting her curls over a slate-pencil with a killing air.
"I was n't arsed! said the poor little widow; but she,
too, walked mournfully away.
Trotty went and sat down by Merle upon a stone.
How do fink you feel now ? asked he.
"I should have liked it better if Nita could n't have mar-








THE DIVORCE. 17

ried again," said the lady ; I did n't promise Nate a banana
with one end good, to be treated so."
"I s'pose," said Trotty, serenely ignoring this feminine
annoyance, I s'pose we might as well do it to-day as any
time."
"I 'd rather it would be to-morrow," said the lady, de-
cidedly. "My French print is in the wash, and won't be
ironed till morning. I would n't marry any body in this old
delaine."
"I fought it was a pretty dress," said Trotty, argumenta-
tively.
What do you know about dresses ? said the bride-elect,
with emphasis.
There was no reply to this crushing argument. What did
he ? Trotty sighed, and submitted perforce to Fate.
"Anyways," said he, "I 'd like the jelly roll-over to-day.
Then I would n't care so much! "
"We must go on a wedding tour," said Merle.
0 yes," said Trotty. I 'd like to go down the Me'sh
on a raft; or hire Mr. Bogg's old pony, I can drive, -
and ride round awhile."
"I 'd rather go to Lawrence in the cars," said the lady,
coolly. We might go over on the noon train, and do a little
shopping, and have an ice-cream. My mother would n't
care."
"I '11 ax my mother," said the young bridegroom, plain-
tively, somewhat abashed by this immense proposal. She
B








18 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

never did let me go to Lawrence alone. I s'pose you'd pay
your own fare, would n't you ? My 'lowance is n't very large
this year."
"What's that? '"asked Merle, suddenly.
"What's what? "
That! There Behind the wall! 0, I heard a growl-
ing! "
Trotty listened. He heard it too.
It's a bear! screamed Miss Higgins. It's a bear, a
bear!"
"Don't you be scared," said Trotty, loftily; "I '11 frow
a stone at him, and then I '11 sit on him, till he's lost his
breath, he'd better know! "
The growling recommended, grew loud, grew louder,
- grew terrible.








AN INTERRUPTION. 19




CHAPTER II.

AN INTERRUPTION.

IT came from beyond Indiana, in the direction of Boggs's
Me'sh.
It was a terrible growling.
Why don't you jump over and see what it is?" de-
manded Merle, between her little shrieks.
I don't fink I'd better leave you! said Trotty, a little
white about the lips. I 'll wait till lie comes a little nearer,
and then I '11 jab him, sir "
You will, will you 0, you will, won't you? Hi then!
Now! Let's see you do it! 0 my! I stump you! 0, you
darse n't! 0, you will, will you?
Like a clap of thunder to Trotty's terrified ears, these
awful words burst from the mouth of the bear," and that
savage animal himself appeared in full length, and, leisurely
leaping the wall, stood glaring at Trotty.
He was a little undersized for a bear, being about three
feet and a half in length, and very thin in his muscular
development, looking, indeed, very much like a bear recov-
ering from the mumps or some similar epidemic common to
those delicate animals at an early age. He wore a gray sack
with a leather belt to it, and long gray plaid trousers, as








20 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

well as a soldier cap with a band of gold braid about it.
Altogether, for a bear, he showed a good deal of appreciation
of the customs of civilized life, as was further exhibited by
his squaring two (rather dirty) fists at Trotty, with a dread-
ful smile, and threateningly demanding: -
What business has one man got to make up to another
man's girl ? "
At this, Miss Higgins sat down and chewed her hat-strings
in apparent despair.
O," said she, "it is, it is!"
Is what? asked Trotty, fiercely.
"It's Pompey Merino It is, it is "
Who 's Pompey Merino ? asked Trotty. I never saw
him before."
0, he 's the butcher's son," said Merle, biting her own
curls in considerable absence of mind. 0, I never meant
to make any trouble; His father used to let us go to ride in
the cart. What on earth shall I do ? It 's the gentleman I
was engaged to !"
An awful silence followed this announcement.
Pompey Merino looked at Trotty. Trotty looked at Pom-
pey Merino.
Anyway," said Trotty, confidently, we're going to be
married to-morrow. You'd better go home, sir, the way you
came! "
Sir," said Pompey Merino," I '11 fight you first, if you 've
no objections."







THE DUEL. 21




CHAPTER III.

THE DUEL.

TROTTY winked for a minute, very hard and fast. He
looked Pompey Merino over from head to foot. Pom-
pey was at least a half an inch the taller, and his pants were
long.
I have n't got a pistol," said Trotty. I've lost the cork
out of mine; and my pop-gun does n't pop very well. I
tried it with some smashed potatoes yesterday."
"You 're a cow-ard said Pompey, turning away.
I'11 punch you! said Trotty, growing hot.
"Well then!" said Pompey, "fists, then. I challenge
you, sir, to fists! Now, Trotty had two very tough little
browned and hacked and muddy fists of his own, and he
doubled them up with zest; he felt the ugly, fighting feeling
come out all over him; lie felt like a little dog when another
little dog snaps at him. Hle looked something like one too, for
his mouth was open, and his eyes flashed, and it seemed al-
most as if he pricked his ears up under his soft, spaniel-like
hair. It is so much more dog-like than boy-like after all to
fight!
"Fists, sir," said Pompey; on top of the wall, if you
please. Whichever man knocks the other man off Indiana
first shall get her, sir! "







22 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

O, the stones will roll on you! cried Merle, half ready
to cry when she saw the two boys climb upon the crazy wall,
looking so doggish and so ugly, and yet half pleased and
vain too in her silly little heart at being the object of so
much excitement.



-_'














But the boys did not pay the least attention to her, now.
In fact they had forgotten her altogether. Trotty concen-
trated all his energies on balancing a rather slippery stone
upon which he had perched himself. Pompey fixed his eyes
upon a button on Trotty's sack which he meant to hit.
:, l [i % .1 --
'; ,!t ,l l .' --5,.
--. 41- :,{I .:72,c ,,-- -.
g',, f, ..j,\ :: ,.. .a,., .,. .. "" -- 'l%1' :- "-", '









upon a buttonl on Trott~y's sacki whichl ho meant to hlit.







THE DUEL 23

One two three now !" shouted Pompey, and they
went at it.
It was all over in a minute. How it happened exactly, no-
body could tell. Whether Trotty tripped Pompey off his
feet, or Pompey hit Trotty in the jacket, was an unsolved
mystery. Whether the challenger had beaten, or the chal-
lenged, was a matter of very little consequence.
Treacherous Indiana had yielded to their weight; they
had slipped, struggled, and fallen, together, all in a moment's
time. Miss Merle, fairly forgetting for once that she did her
hair in curl-papers and could number more engagements "
than any other girl in school, screamed with terror when
both the boys disappeared from her view upon the other side of
the rolling wall, which, like Jill in the story, came tumbling
after," at a rapid and a fearful rate.
She did not dare to look over. She only sat still and
cried. After what seemed to her a long, long time, Pompey
Merino crawled out from the ruins and gazed ruefully at a
scratch or two on his fingers, and a great many splashes of
swamp-mud on his long pants. He did not seem to be much
hurt, and he did not seem to care in the least whether she
married another boy or not. He said, crossly, that he wished
they'd put it off till snowballs, it was so muddy, and that he
should think Trotty would rather get up.
But Trotty could n't get up. In the ruins of Indiana he
lay groaning, with a dreadful sound.
His leg, he said, was broken. And indeed an ugly great







24 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

stone lay right across his little balmoral stocking and but-
toned boot, and nearly up to the knee where the little full
trousers stopped, providing him, you see, with a very good
reason for lying still in the Indiana mud; and me with a
moral for this chapter; namely: When your pants are
short, never fight a boy in long.







THE CONSEQUENCES. 25



CHAPTER IV.

THE CONSEQUENCES.

"L ILL was called out of school. Then his mother was
called from home. Then the Doctor was called out of
" office hours," where he sat, putting up little white sugar-
plums for a dozen people. He tipped over his pellet-bottles,
told the dozen patients that if they were in a hurry they
might go to old Dr. Castoroil, and fairly ran to Indiana-
and he was a stout man too. But he was very fond of
Trotty. Almost all stout people were.
Now, nobody had thought of such a thing as rolling the
stone off Trotty, till the doctor came. His mother might
have, but she had n't got there. Lill had devoted herself in
a general way to getting Trotty's head upon her lap, and
Merle, in the incoherence of her grief, had actually sat down
upon that very stone to cry!
So it was Dr. Bryonia, like the angel at the Sepulchre
(Trotty thought of that), who rolled away the cruel, crushing
rock, and took the little fellow gently up.
Trotty screamed a dreadful scream at the tender motion.
It seemed to him as if he should scream himself to death, it
hurt him so.
Is it broken ? "
Is it broken ? "
2







26 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

O, is it broken ? "
Everybody spoke at once and bothered the doctor, so none
of them got an answer for their pains. The doctor said: -
"We'll take him home. I don't want anybody but his
mother round."
So they carried the poor little duellist home. It was a sad
procession. Lill followed crying, at a doubtful distance.
She would n't speak to Merle, who went a little way and
stopped. Pompey Merino hid behind the ruins of Indiana,
and dared not show his muddy face.
And so the doctor poked and pushed and probed and
washed and sewed and bandaged, all as gently as gentle
could be, to be sure, but that did n't seem to make so much
difference then, and Trotty cried and sobbed and wished
he'd never been divorced, and wished he'd never fought a
duel, and wished he 'd never been married at all, and at last
wished nothing whatsoever, for they put a great sponge to
his face, and he went away (so it seemed) at once into a
pleasant place where all the furniture was carved out of jelly
roll-overs and all the people went on wedding journeys every
other day.
And so, by and by, Doctor Bryonia went back to the dozen
patients (who had all waited but one, and he died the next
week), and people shut the doors softly all over the house, and
Lill went about with her handkerchief at her eyes, and Nita
and Nate came over and went to the back door to find out what
had happened. Somebody had told them that Trotty was
dead.







MAX'S LOGIC. 27




CHAPTER V.

MAX'S LOGIC.

NO," said Lill, le is n't dead."
Is his leg broken ? asked Nate.
No," said Lill. She felt how important a thing it was
that Trotty should be so sick, and did not incline to satisfy
people's curiosity all at once.
Is his other leg broken ? asked Nita, after a thoughtful
silence.
No," said Lill, but it's such a smash! "
0 dear, dear! said poor little Nita. She felt so sorry !
She did n't remember Merle and the divorce at all. It seemed
so dreadful to play with a boy all your life and then find him
smashed one day It was like hearing the newspapers read
or going over to the railroad accident at the junction.
They sewed it up pursued Lill, making the most of
the occasion, and banged and hurt him so! And he took
ether too! "
Nita and Nate had never known anybody before who took
ether. They felt overawed. They wondered if Trotty
would n't feel big when he got over it, and went meekly
away.
Poor little Trotty! It was a long time before he felt like







28 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

feeling "big" about anything. His leg was badly crushed,
and he lay in bed,--it seemed to him as if he lay in bed as
long as all his life had been outside of bed before.
At first he was very still, and weak, and patient. Nobody
was allowed to come in but his mother and Lill and the new
girl, who wore a white apron, and made up his bed, and sang
a funny little Irish song that he liked.
But by and by he began to be better.
He 's as cross as a bear," said Lill one day when the
doctor was there.
Glad of it," said Dr. Bryonia. Good sign! The crosser
the better! Boys are always cross when they are getting
better."
Are n't girls cross too ? asked Lill.
0, girls !" said the doctor, why, girls ought not to be
cross at all! "
Lill did n't say anything. She thought this was very pe-
culiar in the doctor. But then, he was only a man.
However that might be, Trotty grew better and crosser,
and crosser and better, very fast.
What should they do with him? They had read to him,
they had sung to him, they had talked to him. They cut him
paper soldiers. They made him paper money. They bought
him a new stamp-book. They invented unheard-of stamps
(such as the thirty-cent Dreamland, and a Fairyland penny-
currency, and a fine newspaper-imprint direct from the
Postmaster-General of the moon). They tortured their con-







MAX'S LOGIC. 29

sciences, too, in the formation of counterfeit Patagonias, and
other rarities. Lill played jack-straws with him. She played
checkers. She played everlasting." She let him beat at
"Busby all the time. When he was able to be dressed and



!i 1 1 i', '
-,I








S- --, .% /







to sit in an easy-chair with his foot on an ottoman, she
brought in somebody to help her once a day. Nate came
pretty often, -he was n't so still as a girl. Forgiving little
Nita came a great deal and softly played about and pleased
him.








30 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

At last, one day, came Merle herself.
I expected you before," said Trotty, reproachfully. Merle
said she had been very busy, and her mother would n't let
her come. Trotty did n't know, exactly, whether he believed
that or not, but he said nothing.
Merle looked very pretty that day. She had on a new
Scotch-plaid dress.
We might get married, after all," said Trotty. Merle
said she did n't care, and so Nate came up and married them.
He stood on two crickets, and wore one of Lill's dresses for a
clerical gown. After the ceremony, they had weak lemonade
and some sponge-drops, that were left over from Trotty's
dinner.
When I get well, we '11 go on our journey," said Trotty.
Time enough for that," said Merle. She did n't seem to
care much. She got vexed, too, because she was beaten at
dominoes afterwards, and went home. If I must tell the
truth, Trotty did n't much care. She rustled about the room
and tired him.
But what should they do with him? The better he grew,
the more of a Chinese puzzle it became, to find out. When
he was well enough to walk about on one foot and a crutch,
it was fairly distracting; he was in such a hurry to get
well and out to play, and in so much danger of being in
too great a hurry, and so of not getting out till nobody knew
when.
Why, I '11 amuse him," said Max, one day, when his







MAX'S LOGIC. 31

mother, grandmothers, Lill, Nita, and the new girl had each
and all retired exhausted from the field. You women don't
know how to manage. It's easy enough! "
So Max took his books into Trotty's room and sat down
with a hopeful but determined expression.
"Now Trotty said he, "I 'e come to stay with you,
and I want you to have a nice time and be a good boy. I 've
got to read, you know, but I'11 sit here, and I want you to
amuse yourself."
0 yes," said Trotty, readily; I '11 be good if I have ten
cents in pennies to play top on the table."
Max produced the ten cents ; that was easy enough. Lill
did not have ten cents, to be sure, to give away for the ask-
ing. But Max only thought: It never occurs to a woman
to buy a job done. I 've fixed him this time, I fancy."
Max began to read :--
From this it appears, that, though the difference of rea-
soning in the several qualities of comprehension and exten-
sion obtains in "
Max said Trotty, placidly, my penny has rolled all
around ve room." Max picked up the penny and began
again: -
Obtains in disjunctive, as in all other syllogisms, it does
not, in the-"
Max! again, sweetly, "I wished I had a drink of
water."
Max got the drink of water, and tried once more : -








32 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

Does not disjunctive Trotty in the ten cents -
syllogism determine the drink of water "
0 Max don't you wished you were a minister, and had
gone into pasturage for a living ? "
Trotty, I gave you something to do. I can't talk to you,
besides."
0, can't you ? said Trotty, looking surprised. Why,
Lill can."
Max looked severe, but made no reply.
0, see here! Max suddenly, from the easy-chair.
"Would n't you rather be a doctor? I would. Mamma 's
got a doctor's book in the library. I read it sometimes. It's
called Illustrated Hydrophobia: in four quarts."
(Max looked it up afterwards, when his system had re-
covered from the shock. It was Illustrated Hydropathy:
in four parts.")
Trotty," said Max, somewhat rapidly, shall I get you
the dominoes ? "
0 no, thank you; dominoes are played out. I 'd like a
piece of squash-pie, though."
Jack-straws ? Paint-box ? Log-cabin ? Anything? "
pursued Max, hopefully.
You need n't trouble yourself," said Trotty, shaking his
head; I 've had all those every day. If I had a velocipede,
I might like it. Or a watch, Max! If I '11 keep still, will
you buy me a silver watch next week? "
O Max -," mournfully, two minutes after, I wished







MAX'S LOGIC. 33

I were a Brahmin. Or a genii. I want mamma to go to
Oregon and be a trapper. She thought she would n't. Won't
you ?"
Max felt as if he might at that moment, and consider him-
self well off. His big black Logic tumbled to the floor.
He started up. He ran his hands through his hair. He
paced the room. Trotty thought he was going crazy, and
sat really still, for fear.
I have it! said Max, at last, and went off up garret.
He came down with a queer-looking black thing under his
arm, dusty and rusty, and very mysterious. He put it on
the table (having knocked off his mother's work-basket and
Lill's paint-box, in making room for it), and dusted it off
with his handkerchief, and brushed it up with the stove-
holder. Then he opened it, and out fell what looked to
Trotty like little iron blocks.
I never builded a black block-house," said Trotty, doubt-
fully. It is n't a coffin, is it ? I used to play funerals when
I was a little boy."
"It is a printing-press," said Max.
"Whose? asked Trotty.
Mine," said Max; I used to have it when I was a little
boy. I did n't mean you should have it till you were bigger,
but we 're in a tight place, it strikes me."
"Who's tight ? asked Trotty, looking wild; "and I
should just like to know how that thing ever stayed in this
house all my life, and nobody gave it to me before "
2* C








34 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

I told Lill not to tell you," said Max, till you were big
enough. She used to have it. Now, Trotty," Max went on,
vaguely, see here, you can play print, you know, and be
a good boy."
But who '11 teach me? And what shall I print? de-
manded Trotty, jerking his chair along to see.
I forgot," said Max; I suppose somebody has got
to teach you. I'll call Lill, I guess."
So Max went ignominiously down, with his Logic open
between his finger and thumb, and a desperate expression
upon his countenance, to find Lill.
But what shall he do," asked Lill, not well pleased,
" when he has learned to print? "
Make a newspaper," said Max.
"Who '11 prescribe to it? asked Trotty.
"Well, make a magazine, then."
"I don't know any puzzles," said Trotty; "and where
should I find a serious story for it ?"
well why he can make a book, can't he ?
Come, Trotty, make a book, and don't bother us any more."
Who '11 write it? asked Trotty, determined to remain
in the interrogative mood as long as he could.
0 dear con I should say never mind Iwill "
said Max, driven to the wall at last.
So Max sat down and began to dictate. Lill set type.
Trotty tipped it over. The new girl came up. Nate came
in. Everybody looked on.







MAX'S LOGIC. 35

There was once a little boy," said Max, -" a little boy,
with a very kind brother and sister; and he fought a
duel and kicked up such a row getting over it that he
drove his sister into consumption. His brother became
insane, and stood on his head for two years, in the left-hand
tower of the insane asylum. The girl went back to Ireland,
because she could n't live with him, and so he had to go with-
out his molasses gingerbread, and live on Graham crusts that
hismotherleft beforeslhewent. She took a second-class passage
in a blue balloon for Alaska, and went into the seal fisheries
Shortly after, where she died of a broken heart, telegraphing
home with her latest breath, to appoint Mr. Merino, the
butcher, sole guardian of her wretched son, who had eaten
his last Graham crust the week before, and was reduced- "
Max," said Trotty, in an awful voice, you may go.
You may go, Max. My publishers have failed. They can't
print your book. It won't sell. You may go. And wheei
I die, sir, I had made a will bequeeving my royal agate to
you, sir, but I 'd rather they 'd bury it with me, now "
Thus unmistakably dismissed, Max and his masculine
Logic disappeared from the scene, and Trotty was left once
more at the mercy of feminine intuitions.
Lill had one immediately. She did not call it an intuition,
she called it a bright idea.
Just the thing! she said.
What was just the thing will be partly explained in the
next chapter.








36 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.




CHAPTER VI.

LILL'S BRIGHT IDEA.

SOME things can never be wholly explained, and this is
one of them.
In the first place, Trotty printed a story-book. In the next
place, Somebody wrote it.
We all know that Somebody had written a good many
stories in which Trotty was somehow concerned, or inter-
ested, but none of us know much more than that, except-
ing Lill and Trotty and myself, as I have said somewhere
before, and neither Lill nor Trotty nor I ever break a secret.
"Just the thing said Lill. I will get all Somebody's
stories, and we'll make a story-book. I '11 show you, Trotty,
and we '11 all help. We'll go up garret where we can ink
round. Let's let Nita and Nate in too, as compositors. Some
of 'em are written, and some of 'em are printed already.
I '11 go down town this minute, and get some paper and
things. Why, it would keep you busy a year! "
Trotty had some grave doubts about being kept busy at
anything a year, but generously suppressed them, and thought-
fully told Lill to be as quick as she could, and he 'd have the
binding gold and red.
Lill was very quick, and they began that very afternoon.







LILL'S BRIGHT IDEA. 37

Max carried Trotty up into the attic, and fixed his chair by
the printing-table. Nate came over, and Nita was coming if
she could, and they cut the book out in excellent spirits.
First, they made the binding, of red paper, with gold stars.
Lill said they had better put that away till they were ready
for it, because it would tumble. So they put it away. Then
they cut out the pages, out of white printing-paper that Lill
had bought for three cents a sheet. They had twelve sheets.
They folded each sheet up six times, and so made twelve
pages of it. Trotty thought they should print a great deal
more than twelve times twelve pages. Lill said they would
see.
What shall we begin with ? asked Nate. They looked
the stories over, to see what they should begin with. Some
of them were printed, and some of them were written.
Some of them were for big children, and some of them were
for little children. Some were about boys, and some about
girls. They did n't know what to do.
Let's print all the girls at once, and all the boys at the
same time," said Trotty.
I would n't," said Nita, who had just come in.
0 yes," said Trotty.
Now the first story Lill took up proved to be a boy's story,
so they began with that. It was a written one, so they
began to print it.
Lill was very patient. Max came in too, and helped ; but
it was slow work. When the supper-bell rang they had a
page and a half set up.








38 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

We 'll go on with it to-morrow," said Lill.
This was the story: -

BOBBIT'S HOTEL.

A LITTLE fellow, not much higher than a yard-stick,
stunted and stubbed like a dwarf pear-tree; as dirty as
the mud under his feet; as i.. ..1 as the Coliseum after
the great gale; with little, restless, grimy hands, with little,
restless, snapping eyes, with a little, hungry mouth, bare
feet (or nearly, he wore some holes with a little shoe to
them), bare hands, bare knees sticking though his trousers,
a hat without a rim, a boy without a bed, that was Bob-
bit.
It was six o'clock of a January night, and storming too.
Bobbit was standing never mind the name of the street -
but he was standing at the foot of it (it was in Boston), in a
little snow-drift, up to his knees. The sleet went down his
neck, and up his sleeves, and into the holes in his trousers,
and into the holes with a little shoe on them ; it hung in a
fringe on his old hat, and swung to and fro like the fringe
which ladies wear headed with guipure lace upon their cloaks.
Bobbit thought of that, looking out from behind the little
icicles ; he had seen a great many handsome cloaks that.day ;
it was what he called a handsome day "; something was
going on at the Music Hall, I believe, and the streets had
been as full of pretty things as the sky was of sunlight, till







BOBBIT'S HOTEL. 39

the clouds and the sleet came up. For there is a greater dif-
ference in the streets than you would ever suspect, unless
you should belong to them, and have nothing to do but watch
them, like Bobbit. They have their scrub-days and their
dress-days, like you or me or anybody else but Bobbit, whose
whole life had been a scrub-day," from beginning to end,-
and neither you nor I nor anybody else but just Bobbit him-
self can know, I suppose, what that may mean.
"It's a brick of a night to have supper," said Bobbit,
standing in the snow-drift, -" a brick."
Bobbit talked slang, to be sure, never having enjoyed the
benefits of what we call a "liberal education "; yet I am not
sure, after all, that a Harvard graduate would have under-
stood Bobbit if he had stood in the snow-drift and heard what
he said. In fact, you would have to know that Bobbit did
not have a supper every night, to understand it altogether.
and even then I do not think you would understand it, un-
less you were to go without your supper two or three nights
or even one yourself.
Tuesday Bobbit had a dinner; Monday he picked up quite
a breakfast; to-day he would have a dinner and a supper
too, it had been so stormy; there had been a good many gen-
tlemen afraid to leave their horses; Bobbit had learned from
long-experience to tell by the color of a horse, or by his hoofs
or his ears, whether he would be restless in a sleet-storm.
He had earned ten cents since noon holding cream-colored
horses with black manes, and five for a little mouse-colored
mare just shaved.








40 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

Bobbit carried half his snow-drift into a baker's shop with
him. His eyes twinkled a little like the feathers of a shut-
tlecock when you play fast. Was it not enough to justify
any one in feeling like a shuttlecock to have three days' liv-
ing in his pocket ? For you see five cents would buy you two
little rolls and a dotighnut; and to live for two days on ten
cents' worth of baked beans, why, nothing could be easier;
especially if you saved your ten cents, and took your beans
hot to-morrow noon.
Now when Bobbit had got into the baker's shop and bought
his doughnut, he saw two little Irish boys looking in at the
baker's window.
That's a pity! said Bobbit; for the two little boys
stood quite still, flattening their noses on the glass ; they had
ragged hats and holes in their shoes, and they stood in a
snow-drift as Bobbit had done. Now when two little boys
will stand still in the throat of a sleet-storm to look in at a
baker's window, it generally means that they do it for good
reasons; and Bobbit had done it so many times himself, that
he looked very wise when he said, That's a pity." He
looked at his doughnut too, then at the window, then at the
doughnut; so, back and forth, as lie would if he had been
dodging a Haymarket Square policeman.
I will take three doughnuts," said he to the baker, with
a little gulp, and three cents' worth more of bread. Now
I 've got three cents left. Won't you just hand over a few
cold beans ?"







BOBBIT'S HOTEL. 41

So the baker gave him the bread and the doughnuts and
cold beans, and Bobbit came out into the drift.
"Halloo !" said he.
'Loo said the Irish boys both together.
Got any grub? asked Bobbit. This was pointed, if not
elegant, you see.
Nery," said the Irish boys with equal emphasis.
Belong to anybody? continued Bobbit.
Not much."
"Anywheres to put up? "
"You bet not! "
Ilive in a hotel," said Bobbit, with an air.
Oh said the boys.
I take in folks," continued Bobbit, magnificently, once
in a while; free grettis. I '11 lodge you and board you till
morning You just hold your tongue and look spry. Then
tag after."
There was a little smell of cold beans and hot doughnuts
all about Bobbit. The Irish boys followed him like two little
dogs, asking no questions; they held their heads out, and
licked their lips.
Bobbit wound in and out like a crochet-needle through
loops of streets. The two boys "looked spry and t;.. ...,1
after." Bobbit did not speak; he kept his eyes on stray po-
licemen and his hat over his eves.
It's better 'n the lock-up," he said once over his shoul-
der. On fair nights it's nobody's business. When it








42 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

comes to drifts and sech, them chaps with brass buttons
keeps their eyes peeled. Took me up once last winter fur
roostin' in a barrel. I was a gone goose fur fifteen days. Take
it in general, I 'm independent in my way of life -hold on
there That's the railroad. There 's a ditch the off side of
you! It's skeery travellin' fur a stranger. But we've got
about there."
About there was quite out of the loops of streets, out
of the netted alleys, out of the knotted lanes that tied the
great city in. The three children had wandered off upon the
windy, oozy Charlestown flats, where there was an ugly pur-
ple mist, and much slush and lumber and old boots and ash-
heaps and wrecks of things.
There 's my hotel," said Bobbit at last.
The Irish boys looked, -north, east, south, west, looked
again and looked hard. They saw nothing but an old wall
of an old burned building that hid them a little from the
road, and the road from them, a pile of bare bleached timber,
and an old locomotive boiler, rusty, and half buried in a heap
of rubbish. But the cold beans and the doughnuts were in
Bobbit's pockets, and faith in Bobbit was in their hearts.
Now," said Bobbit, with an amazing chuckle for a boy
who was going to give to-morrow's dinner to another boy,
"you walk right along as ef you was going to walk a mile,
and when you see I've doven dive!" The next they
knew after that, Bobbit had doven into the old engine
boiler, and they after him.








BOBBIT'S HOTEL. 43

"There now! said Bobbit, grandly, what do you think
of this fur a cheap ifotel ?"




jjjjjj ill 11I -
















The storm seemed all at once to have stopped; the great
curve of the boiler shut it out; only a dim, dull roar, like
that of distant machinery, or fire, or river-dams, sounded
about them. Bobbit pulled up an old hogshead-top against
the open mouth of the boiler; this made it very dark, but
almost warm, in the hotel. The little Irish boys felt around
with their hands, and found that there were dry leaves, salt








44 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

hay, and pieces of a worn-out something jacket perhaps -
underneath them.
Mattress, bedclo'es, carpet, sofy, all to order, and all to
once, gentlemen," said Bobbit. Fust-class furniture in my
hotel! Hold on a spell till I turn on the gas." All in a
minute a wonderful thing happened. A little pink candle
blazed up and burned ; it had an old nut-socket for a candle-
stick ; it stood quite firm and shone distinctly on the beans
and doughnuts.
Generally speaking, I can eat in the dark," said Bobbit;
" but when it comes to company, I can't."
The fact was that Bobbit had just six matches and this
little penny pink candle put away under a corner of his hotel
" sofy on purpose for company." Nobody knows now-
I wish that somebody did how much company Bobbit
had entertained in his hotel.
It does n't burn not so long as it might," said Bobbit,
with a jerk at the penny candle. Better fall to while you
can see the way to your mouth."
So they "fell to ; and the Irish boys ate up the beans, to
begin with ; but Bobbit did not say anything about to-mor-
row's dinner.
Got any names to you ? said he, as they broke the last
doughnut into three pieces, and ate it slowly, to make it last
as long as the candle did.
Not many to tell on," said the larger of the little guests,
with his mouth full. The woman as we run begin' fur till







BOBBIT'S HOTEL. 45

she was took up fur drink last summer, she called us Harum
and Scarum, jest. I 'm Harum, he's Scarum."
I 've heerd worse names 'n that, I 'm sure," said Bobbit,
politely.
By and by the doughnut was all gone, and the candle too.
Bobbit blew out the last pink spark, and it grew very dark in
the hotel.
Kind o' chilly, too," said the little landlord. Chillier 'n
common. The storm must have riz. Sometimes it blows in.
But 't ain't often I can't keep 'most cumf't'ble in my rear
soot o' rooms. You just crawl in fur's you can go, and
stick yer feet into them old jacket sleeves. There 'll be one
apiece fur both on ye. Them's my foot-muffs. I take a
sight o' heat out on 'em. A chap as I lodged here last
month, as went to the school-ship fur loafin', he left it to me
to settle my bill,' says he. I took it very well of that chap.
He was sick here a week and two days. But I did n't ax fur
his jacket. I told him we'd charge it till his ship come in.
But you see it turned out as he come into the ship. You
crawl over. There! them's my first-class apartments.
Cumf't'ble ? "
Some !" said Harum.
I hain't been so warm, not since the last thaw, at all, at
all," said Scarum, sleepily. Indeed, Scarum was sound
asleep by the time he had said it; and Harum was asleep by
the time that Scarum was. They curled up in the school-
ship boy's jacket, like two little puppies, with their heads un-




L-








46 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

der their arms and their mouths open. In fact, they seemed
a great deal more like little dogs than they did like little boys.
But Bobbit did not think of this ; they were very much like
all his lodgers.
Babies," he said to himself, twisting himself together to
keep warm, jest babies. Now I 'd like to know what 'ud
ha' become o' them two this night, ef I did n't happen to keep
hotel. Wh-e-ew!"
This night was growing quite cold enough to emphasize.
Bobbit was a little surprised it grew so cold. You see he
was used to sleeping in the first-class rooms," over under
the jacket and the hay. Right here in the lips of the boiler
it was icy and wet. The wind puffed in at the cracks where
the hogshead top did not fit; it seemed as if the hotel were
drawing in great breaths, like an animal, into its iron lungs.
The sleet, too, shot in little broadsides of it, cutting and
cold; Bobbit's hands bled where it struck them; but it was
so dark that he did not know it.
The wind's the wrong way," said Bobbit, my front
door '11 be down afore morning. Heigh-o !- Harum! "
Harum was asleep.
Scarum! "
Scarum was asleep.
Warm as toast said Bobbit, feeling of them. Won-
der ef they could spare me the jacket "
But after some thought he concluded not to take the jacket.
The storm was screaming horribly, overhead, this side, that







BOBBIT'S HOTEL. 47

side, all about, and the wind still the wrong way. If the
front door should go down, the jacket would not be any too
much for his little lodgers.
"I won't ask fur 't," said Bobbit, with a little grim smile.
" I brung 'em in here. I won't ax fur the jacket."
So he did not ask for the jacket, and by and by the door
went down.
Seems to me I never knew such a night; not so much
like notched knives," said poor Bobbit; for the boiler gaped
cruelly and drew in long breaths of the storm upon him.
The snow swept in, and the wind; the sleet crusted over his
bleeding fingers and in his hair. It was very dark; often,
when the wind was the wrong way, and that front door went
down, he could see stars through the rusty gums of the crea-
ture,- the boiler seemed more like a creature than like a
hotel after all, sometimes, but now it opened into blank
blackness and noise.
It was very, very cold. Bobbit had been very cold before,
but never so cold as this. He looked over at the best soot"
where his little lodgers lay, and thought how warm it must
be in there. He kept the edge of the storm from the little
boys, you see; it struck and broke upon his own poor little
freezing flesh. If he could change places with Harum and
Scarum! If he could only change places for a little while!
But Bobbit shook his head hard at himself.
That's one way to keep a hotel! Put folks into yer
front entries and freeze 'em afore morning "








48 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

But it was bitter cold! Bobbit felt bitten and gnawed all
over.
I should ha' liked the jacket, but I won't. No, I
won't! said Bobbit. He put his head down upon his arm;
the snow had drifted in high and soft; his arm and his head
went down into it, like a cold cushion.
I '11 have a white pillar-case at any rate," said Bobbit,
slowly, wondering why he did n't laugh at his own joke.
" And I won't no, I won't they was company. And
sech babies. Folks as keeps hotels must put up with -
onconvenience. It's something' to hev a white pillar-case
of yer own."
The little hotel-keeper sunk lower and lower into his white
pillow-case. The hotel door gaped steadily. All the front
entry filled with snow. There was so much snow that the
boiler choked and gaped no longer to the black night. In-
stead, it grew dully white and warm, so the little lodgers in
the best rooms thought, when they waked each other up once
in the night, by trying to get their four feet into one of the
jacket sleeves. They called out to Bobbit, but he lay quite
still in the front entry, and made no answer. So they thought
how comfortable they were, and went to sleep again.
Now, in the morning, there was a great noise inside the
boiler, and outside too, for that matter. For Bobbit's hotel
was drifted and drowned almost out of sight and breath by
the piling snow; and Bobbit's little lodgers, when they found
it out, whined and whooped till a policeman and a butcher
and two shovels came to dig them out.







BOBBIT'S HOTEL. 49

"Puppies," said the policeman, letting sunlight in, "froze
up here over night. A batch of pup Hal loo !"
For his shovel struck hard on something, and it was not a
puppy. It was the little hotel-keeper on his white pillow-
case, asleep and cold; so sound asleep and so cold that
neither the policeman nor the butcher nor Harum nor Scarum
could wake him, though they tried their best for an hour.
He give them other young uns the warmth of the whole
freezing concern!" said the policeman, talking very fast.
"That 's what I call g-r-i-t "
Harum and Scarum called it a pity. They did not know
what else to call it.
A norful pity! said Harum, as they were marched off
to the Little Wanderer's Home.
Where 's he gone to ? whispered Scarum, looking fright-
ened.
"Purrgetorry, mebbe," suggested Harum.
"Will he kape hotel in Purrgetorry ?" asked Scarum, after
a very little very stupid thought.
It's the praste as knows. I doant," said Harum.
Now Scarum was thinking a very curious thing. If he
keeps hotel in Purrgetorry," said Scarum to himself," I hope
they 'll give him tree cumf't'bles, and coald beans every day,
jist." But he did not think about it long enough to say it;
and he would n't have known how to say it, if he had. Be-
sides, that is the end of the story.
3 D








50 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.




CHAPTER VII.

ANOTHER STORY.

T HAT story was printed in three days. I don't know
how many days it would have taken, but Max said
"the printer's devil" helped. Trotty looked very grave, and
told his mother that Max was learning to swear; but Lill
said it was her belief that Max came up over-night and
printed himself. At any rate, every morning there was a
clean page or two somehow mysteriously added to the story-
book, and every morning Max was too busy studying to
answer any questions about anything. However that may
be, the Bobbit story went off swimmingly, and on the fourth
day, the children gathered together in solemn conclave, to
select the next.
The next was to be a boy's story, too, you remember.
They turned the leaves over. They tossed the papers about.
Lill held them. She sat down on the attic floor and began
to read.
That's no fair! cried Trotty. And indeed it was n't.
"Just wait till I see how it turned out," begged Lill,
whisking over the leaves fast.
No," said Nate, if you 've got to read, you should read.
Let's hear some of it, and see."







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 51

"P'raps it would n't suit the public taste as well as it
does'yours," observed Trotty, with an awful, superior,
genuine publisher's smile, a smile that would have ex-
tinguished Somebody if that unfortunate author had seen
it. We can't afford to be bankrushed," said Trotty,
grandly, again.
So Lill thought she would read a little of the story aloud,
and see if it were likely to "bankrush" them, or not. So
she began. When she had begun, she thought she would go
on. In fact, she thought she would read it through, as
nobody asked her to stop, and even Trotty had ceased so tell
her that she did n't pronounce her words right, and that she
read like a frog he knew once, who had a sore froat, and lived
int' the spring in the garding.
This was a story which Somebody had once printed in the
"Young Folks." It was rather a long story, in two chapters.
It was called : -



THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE A COMPOSITION.

PART I.

TRY again, Jemima," said the principal, patiently.
The principal spoke so very patiently that Jemima did
not feel at all encouraged to try again. If she had spoken
pleasantly, or hopefully, or cheerfully, or sadly, or even








52 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

angrily, it would have been more inspiriting. But so very
patiently!
Jemima sighed.
I 've tried again so many times she said. And this
was true. So many times that the principal had whispered
to the first assistant, and the first assistant had whispered to




Iii

: .

i" ,





VT. II I








the second assistant, and the Latin department suspected,
and the girls themselves had begun to understand, that Jem
Jasper could not write a composition.







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 53

Poor little Jem! Only sixteen years old, and a thousand
miles away from her father, as homesick as a lost canary,
stranded for a year in this awful Massachusetts boarding-
school, where the Juniors studied Greek and the Seniors
talked of applying at Amherst, and could n't write a
composition!
Jem was not exactly a dunce, either. She stood very well
in algebra, and really enjoyed her natural philosophy. At
book-keeping she did no worse, perhaps a little better, than
most girls. In the gymnasium she had taken a prize. She
had a sunny little freckled face, too, with red hair that she
was n't ashamed of, and red cheeks that she could n't have
been ashamed of if she had tried; and people liked her, in a
way. Her teachers were slow to scold her, and the girls
were not apt to laugh at her. But not to be able to write a
composition in a school where the Seniors talked of applying
at Amherst!
The lecturer on style bore with her for one term. Then
he handed her and her compositions over to the principal.
The principal had been patient with her for another term.
Now she had grown so very patient that she sat perplexed.
"I don't know what to do with you," she slowly said.
I wish you would n't do anything with me," said Jem,
doggedly.
The principal frowned a little, thinking this was imperti-
nent in Jem; then she smiled a little, and concluded that it
was only stupid.








54 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

Father 'll think I am a fool," said Jem. And I don't
think I am, do you ? "
The principal smiled and hesitated.
"I don'tfeel like a fool," continued Jem, candidly.
Not even when you 're told to write a composition ?"
smiled the principal.
No," said Jem, boldly. I don't feel like a fool when
I'm asked to write a composition. I feel as if I were in
prison, and going to be hung."
The principal shook her patient head, and only smiled the
more.
One day a learned lady called on the principal. She was
the editor of the Wednesday Evening Early Visitor, and a
very learned lady indeed.
What shall I do with that girl ? asked the principal.
Turn her over to me," said the learned lady.
You can't get a composition out of her that is fit to be
read."
We'll see."
But it's impossible. Look these over and judge for
yourself."
The principal threw down on the desk a package of poor
little Jem's compositions, and the editor of the Wednesday
Evening Early Visitor pitilessly read them, every one.
This happened so long ago that I have only been able to
procure a few.
They ran like this :-







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 55

THE GREEKS.
The Greeks were a very warlike people. Socrates was a
Greek, and so was Homer. The Peloponnesian War was
long and bloody, and is one to be remembered, when time
shall be no more.
(A large blot.)
QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Queen Elizabeth died in 1603. Macaulay says, In 1603
the great Queen died." That is a great deal better way to
say it, I know. She wore a ruff, and killed somebody. I
think it was Leicester. I cannot think of anything else to
say about her.
(Many tears.)
MIRTHFULNESS.
Mirthfulness is one of the most remarkable traits of the
human heart.
(An abrupt slop.)
"Nevertheless," said the learned lady, less confidently,
" I '11 try her."
The learned lady tried her, in awful earnest. Jem had
never been so tried before. Classical Dictionaries and Eng-
lish Grammars, Russell's Speakers and Parker's Outlines,
Somebody's Elements (but what they were elements of, poor
Jem has never discovered to this day) and Somebody Else's
Young Author, piled in bulwarks on Jem's study-table. Pa-
tiently, aspiringly, bitterly, tearfully, despairingly, Jem








56 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

attacked them. The lady chose her subjects." She chose
her own subjects. Outlines" and plans and skele-
tons and suggestions" were given to her. She made
outlines and plans and skeletons and -i_'. -t;,,., of her own.
She wrote poetry. She tried blank verse, and the metres of
Horace. She wrote upon the beauties of nature, and the
price of coal. She tried her hand at romance and essays.
She effected abstracts of sermons, and abridgments"
of history, and topics of all varieties. The editor of the
Wednesday Evening Early Visitor was very faithful with
her, very.
But one day Jem brought her a composition on Icarus.
Poor Jem had cried all night, and studied all day, upset
three ink-bottles, and spoiled one dress; the bulwark of
dictionaries and elements danced before her dizzy eyes in a
hopeless mass of horror, and this was the composition on
Icarus : -
ICARUS.
Icarus was the son of Dadalus. They fled from Minos.
Icarus made wings of wax, which melted. He fell into the
Midsummer Night's Dream, and the lovely and accomplished
Una carried him and her father Anchises upon her shoulders,
through the siege of Troy.

The Editor of the Wednesday Evening Early Visitor read
this, and there was a pause.
I think," said the Editor of the Wednesday Evening



t








THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 57

Early Visitor, then, that we will not meet again next week.
I think -that it may be as well, Miss Jasper, for you to
surrender the effort to master the art of composition."
Poor little Miss Jasper surrendered heartily. The
principal, not at all patiently, informed her that she was
grieved to feel, but feel she did, that it would not be best for
her to pursue her studies in the seminary beyond the close
of the term, that perhaps a retired Western life would be
more calculated to improve her mind, and that she had
written to her father to that effect. At that, Jem's heart
broke.
What is your father ? asked some sympathetic girls in
a little crowd about her.
"Furniture," sobbed Jem. "And poor, almost, and
I've cost him so much,- and there 's aboy yet to come after
me, and it seems as if I could n't bo bear it, to go home
a fu fool! "
Jem did not wait for the end of the term, so they tell me,
nor for the departure of the letter. She burned her compo-
sitions, tipped over the bulwark of elements, packed her
trunks, and went home. Her father was making a coffin,
when -she walked, dusty and wretched from her long journey,
into the shop.
What did you come home for? said he.
Because I 'm a dunce," said she.
"Have you told your mother ? said he.
Yes," said she.
3*








58 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

What did she say ? asked the furniture-dealer, after a
silence.
It's no matter, sir, if you please," said the poor little
dunce, after another. For her mother was a sickly woman,
not a very happy one, and sometimes to tell the truth a
cross one. She was mortified and surprised, and Jem was
mortified and tired, and whatever welcome home she had had
in the house, I suspect she found that in the store an im-
provement.
Well, well," said her father, taking up his hammer again.
" Never mind. Just run and get me those nails on the low
shelf, will you ? and never mind "
But he said to himself, So my poor little girl is stupid, is
she ? I'11 see if I can't make one place for her where she 'll
forget it."
So it happened that Jem, after she left off writing compo-
sitions, used to run in and out of the shop so much. In
consequence, two things came about. She did indeed very
nearly forget the composition on Icarus. And there will be
another chapterful of her.



PART II.

JEM has sent to Chicago for a declining-chair! "
What ? "
"A declining-chair. I heard her. Yes, I did. You bet.
Jem has sent to Chicago for a declining-chair."









THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 59

Poppet climbed to the top of the Magee stove (the fire
happened fortunately to be low), and sat there triumphant.
Poppet's mother was resting on the mending-basket, and she
sat there, amazed.
If Jem had been a boy, she might have stripped the city
of Chicago of its stock of declining-chairs," and neither
Poppet, nor his mother, nor the world at large would have
given a second thought to it. But she was n't. And Poppet
and his mother and the world at large have given several
thoughts to it before now. Indeed, they have given so many
thoughts to it that Jem has got into the newspapers. But
that is no reason why she should not get into the Young
Folks" that I can see ; for, in the first place, the people who
read the Young Folks do not, I think I may venture to
affirm, always read the newspapers ; and, in the next place, I
have collected some particulars about Jem with which neither
the newspapers nor the Young Folks are acquainted.
It was about an hour before Poppet came home to his
mother, that Jem had taken the sign down, and locked her-
self into the store to cry over it. She laid the heavy board
"across a barrel, and tearfully drew her fingers through the
gilt shade of the massive letters till their shine went out
before her blinded eyes and

H. JASPER.
Furniture Warerooms.








60 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

went into sudden mourning as deep as her own bombazine
dress.
She had taken the sign down in a fit of impatient grief
almost like vexation. It seemed to her as if there were a
kind of positive personal wickedness in that sign. To hold
up its bare face to the world just the same as ever, and per-
sist that H. Jasper kept furniture warerooms, when 0
poor father! poor father! And there the bold-faced sign was
drenched and forgiven in a flood of tears.
It was just a week that morning since he died. The
funeral was over, the muddy ground was stamped over the
last piece of furniture that H. Jasper would ever own, the
house was swept, the sick-room aired and dreadfully fresh.
Relations in light mourning had gone to their own happy
homes, her mother had taken to the mending-basket and
untold accumulated stockings, and Poppet had played his
first game of marbles- half frightened to death, too, because
he laughed in the course of it- with an Irish boy in the
street.
Nobody but Jem had come to the store. Nobody, not even
Jem, knew what was to become of the store. Nobody, least
of all Jem, knew what was to become of herself.
What becomes of me becomes of us all," she said to her-
self, and she said it, I must own, at the funeral. I'm
father now."
It did not seem to her that she had had any time to cry,
till she locked herself in with that sign ; the funeral and the







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 61

relations in light mourning and Poppet and her mother had
kept her so busy. So for a little while she sat and cried on
the sign.
Nobody but Jem knew what comfort she and her father had
taken in the shop behind that false, persisting sign. How she
had run on the errands, and held the nails, and tacked the
bindings, and chosen the chintz, and measured the mould-
ings, and sawed the legs, and even helped to cover the
lounges. How he had made fun of her and said, We ought
to let a J. into the old shingle, Jem, -' H & J.' Or Jasper
and Daughter eh ? How he had told her that she knew
how to strike a nail, and had an eye for a foot-rule, and hung
a curtain as well as he did; and he hoped that Poppet, when
he got through college, would be half as smart. How the
mention of'college reminded her faintly of Icarus, but very
faintly, and she was sure that it did not remind him, and
that made her very happy. What a help she had been to
him, and how pleasant life had been! How suddenly and
awfully help and pleasure stopped that day a week ago!
How drearily and darkly her two happy years came down
with the old sign!
Ah, well! Ah, well! Jem wiped up the sign and her
eyes together. This would never do. She had cried ten
minutes by the clock, and she could spare the time to cry no
longer. Something must be done. H. Jasper had left no
will, his furniture, an ailing wife, Poppet, and a daughter
eighteen years old who could not write a composition.








62 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

What will they do ?" said all the relations in light
mourning, after they had got home. If Jemima had only
been a boy "
What shall I do ? repeated Jem, dabbing the sign quite
dry. If I had only been a boy! "
Let- Jem look after the stock." Although she
was n't a boy, the last thing that her father had faintly said
was this. It had seemed very unnatural to the relations in
light mourning. There was an uncle who expected to be
executor, and a first cousin who talked of buying out him-
self. But it had seemed so natural to Jem that she had not
even offered the store-key to the uncle, and whatever appro-
priate masculine disturbance of the estate" the law might
require by and by, nobody was ready just now to trouble lit-
tle Jem, wishing that she were a boy, in the old store, over
the old sign.
Somebody did trouble her, however. It was a customer,
at the locked door.
Come in," said Jem.
I would if I could," said the customer through the key-
hole.
I forgot," said Jem, jumping, and let him in.
"Where 's your father?" said the customer. He was a
loud man, just in from the prairies somewhere, and has not
heard," thought Jem.
She thought it aloud in her confusion, and the loud man,
in his confusion, sat down on one end of the sign, and







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 63

brought the other end and the truth together against his
head at once.
"You don't say! Beg pardon. What did he die of ? So
you're running' the business ? Well, I've come to get a
reclining-chair for my wife. One of these big ones, you
know, that tip back into last week. Expensive, I s'pose, but
you see she's got bad in her back, and nothing' 'll do for her
but one of them chairs. Thought I'd step in this morning'
and price one. Up stairs? I '11 go right along up. Beg
pardon, I'm sure! What did you say he died of ? "
Jem did not say. In fact, she did not say anything.
Something in the loud man's long speech had set her think-
ing suddenly and sharply. She followed him quite up stairs
in silence before she remembered to tell him that they had
not a reclining-chair in the store, but one shop-worn sample.
By that time she had thought hard. Runnin' the business
herself, was she ? Why For a moment she lost her breath.
The next, before she knew it, she had said to the loud man,
I can get you such a chair as you want, sir, in three days.
We have to send to Chicago for them, and I can't promise it
before that; but I can meet your order in three days," -
had said it, and could n't help it now.
"Prompt? said the loud man.
Yes, sir."
"I want a plenty of springs, mind, and good horse-hair
stuffing, and a latch that won't get out of order."
"Yes, sir." Jem took down the orders in her note-book,
fast.







64 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

"And some kind of a green cover,--like this."
You want rep, sir. Blue-green ? or yellow ? "
"I '11 leave that to you, I guess," said the customer, hesi-
tating. "Yellow" went into the note-book.
You '11 get me a first-class chair, will you ? in three
days, prompt ?"
I certainly will," said Jem.
"What will you charge me?'
Forty dollars."
Whe-ew! You mean to make something out of me, if
you be a girl! That's too much."
"That's the price of your order, sir," said Jem, firmly,
looking as much like business as a little red-haired, red-
cheeked, freckled girl, with tears on her face, could possibly
look. I can give you a smaller size, with inferior stuffing,
for thirty."
My wife's pretty considerable size herself," mused the
customer. She might break through on thirty, might n't
she now ?"
I 'm afraid she might," said Jem, demurely.
I '11 go forty on it, I guess, and do the thing ship-shape,"
concluded the customer.
The first thing that Jem did, when the customer had gone,
was to go straight out and hang up the sign again; and as
she stood on the ladder in the sun the gilt of the mourning
letters revived, and winked at her shrewdly, with a certain
relieved, comfortable air, too, such as people have been known








THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 65

to wear in a change from crape to lilac on a fine Easter Sun-
day. Jem could not help laughing in spite of herself, then
wished her father could see it, and so cried again.
However, she did not cry too hard to prevent her going to
the express office at once with the order for her reclining-
chair ; and by the time that she had done this, and got home,
her eyes were quite dry, and very bright. She walked right
into the sitting-room, and said, I am going to carry on the
business myself."
"Jemima Jasper -"
"I am going to carry on the business myself," repeated
Jem. Her mother fell through the mending-basket, and
Poppet tipped over the stove.
It seemed to Jem as if, with that single and simple remark
of hers, all the ordinary world fell through and tipped over.
The relations in light mourning expostulated. Everybody
expostulated. People wrote, called, called again, sent mes-
sages, were shocked, were sure it would n't do, entreated,
threatened, argued, urged, made as much commotion over
that one poor little girl's sending to Chicago for that de-
clining-chair," as if she had proclaimed war against the Czar
of Russia on her own responsibility and resources.
They said," Why didn't she let her uncle sell out the
stock for her ?"
Why did n't she take in plain sewing ?"
Or she could teach a few little children at home."
"It would be so much more suitable "
E








66 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

Yes, and womanly and lady-like, and all that."
She would never make a cent, you know."
Mrs. Jasper should n't indulge that girl so."
And to crown all, What a pity she could n't wait till
Poppet was large enough to support her! "
But Jem showed a firm little freckled face to everybody,
and stoutly said, "I understand the furniture business. I
don't understand anything else. I am just as well able to
support the family as if I were n't a girl, and I mean to do
it. It would please father, and it pleases me. Just let me
alone and see."

A story is a story, however large. And this is the rest of
it; and no more wonderful, after all, than truth is apt to be.
One day, some years after those five stars overhead, the
editor of the Wednesday Evening Early Visitor, travelling
at the West with her friend the principal, stepped into a
furniture store in a brisk little town in Illinois, to buy a
bracket.
The ladies were waited upon by rather a small boy, who
stood behind the counter with a ceremonious and important
air. He looked so small, so ceremonious, and so important
that the ladies hesitated, and asked, Can we see one of the
firm ?"
The firm is busy in the counting-room just now," said
the boy, grandly. She has let the clerk off on a holiday,
and I tend after school to-day. What would you like,
ma'am ?"







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 67

"Poppet," said a bright, busy voice at this moment, just
run over to the freight depot and tell Carter to hurry up
those lounges. Be as quick as you can. I will wait on the
ladies."
With that, Poppet jumped over the counter, and "the
firm" walked leisurely round behind it. She was a digni-
fied young lady, with freckles and red hair. 'She seemed to
be very busy, and brought out her pretty stock of brackets
without any more than the busiest glance at her customers'
faces. But her customers gave many sharp glances at hers.
Something so familiar to me about that young lady! "
mused the editor of the Early Visitor in an aside whisper.
At the door, with her bracket under her arm, she turned and
looked back, but confusedly; in the street she stopped to
examine the sign. It was a handsome new sign, and read

H. & J. JASPER.
Furniture.


"Jasper -Jasper," said the editor, thoughtfully. "Do
you remember that stupid little Miss Jasper you used to
have at school ? That young lady reminds me of her amaz-
ingly. I wonder if it can be I mean to ask at the hotel."
"Jemima Jasper-yes," said the clerk of the hotel,
" that's the name. Smart girl too. Very smart girl. Car-
ried on her father's business after he died. Keeps the old








68 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

gentleman's name on along with her's, too, did you notice ?
Curious thing! Yes, that 's a smart girl."
Did she support the family and educate that boy? the
editor would like to know. The clerk laughed a saucy clerk's
laugh.
Should n't wonder if she did! Madam, folks say that
girl is worth fifty thousand dollars if she's worth a cent! "
Miss Jasper came out of the counting-room to watch the
customers with the bracket walk up the street. She, too,
looked confused. It seemed to her as if Icarus had been in
the store. She felt suddenly very inky and stupid. The
brackets on the counter turned mistily into a bulwark of
Elements," and the two ladies in the street had a hazy air
as if they had fallen into the Midsummer Night's Dream.
When they turned to look back at the sign, the furniture
dealer suddenly smiled. She would have enjoyed calling
them back, would have enjoyed it very much.
But Poppet and Carter were in sight with the lounges, and
business was business, and could not wait, -no, not even
for the editor of the Wednesday Evening Early Visitor.

This was a printed story; so, when Lill had finished, they
cut the edges nicely, and, having trimmed it off to match the
size of their book, Lill stitched it carefully in. There was a
little difference in the type, and some in the regularity of the
printing, but nobody thought of that. You got along so
fast!







THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT WRITE. 69

Nobody thought, till it was all stitched in, of one thing.
Why, it's a girls' story said Nita.
"We were going to have all ve girls at once, and all ve
boys at ve same time," objected Trotty.
Well, it seemed to come," said Nate. I liked it most
as much as if it had been a boy."
Girls do seem to come," remarked Trotty, pensively.
"I 'm glad I ain't a girl.
Besides," said Trotty again, she'd no business to be a
furniture-man, anyways."
She'd all the business she 'd a mind to! said Lill,
stoutly. Nate thought so too. Nita did n't say anything.
She never did. Trotty felt that it was a tie-vote, and wisely
said nothing more, except that he'd rather have his luncheon
now, and that his foot ached.







70 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.




CHAPTER VIII.

THE THIRD STORY.

T HERE was never any more talk about printing the boys'
stories all at once, and the girls' all at the same
time." They took the stories just as Trotty wanted them,-
for after all it was Trotty's book, and Trotty was quite as
likely to want a girl as a boy, next time. So they were
mixed along just as girls and boys are mixed along at home
and at school and all through the world ; and that is the way,
I think, to make a story-book, or anything else, as interesting
as it ought to be.
Trotty soon got tired of printing. It hurt his foot a little,
but it hurt his temper a good deal more. Lill said he spelled
so many words wrong. And the printer's ink tasted so, and
he never could find out how it got into his mouth. And then
it seemed too much like being at school to have to think
about your capitals and periods and all that.
So he created himself foreman by a unanimous vote, and
sat back in his sick-chair and read the stories aloud for his
compositors to print.
The third story he selected was this: -







HOW JUNE FOUND MASS LINKUM. 71


HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM.

JUNE laid down her knives upon the scrubbing-board, and
stole softly out into the yard. Madame Joilet was tak-
ing a nap up stairs, and, for a few minutes at least, the coast
seemed to be quite clear.
Who was June ? and who was Madame Joilet ?
June was a little girl who had lived in Richmond ever since
she could remember, who had never been outside of the
city boundaries, and who had a vague idea that the North lay
just above the Chickahominy, and the Gulf of Mexico about
a mile below the James. She could not tell A from Z, nor
the figure 1 from 40; and whenever Madame Joilet made
those funny little curves and dots and blots with pen and
ink, in drawing up her bills to send in to the lodgers up
stairs, June considered that she was moved thereto by
witches. Her authority for this theory lay in a charming
old woman across the way, who had one tooth, and wore a
yellow cap, and used to tell her ghost stories sometimes in the
evening.
Somebody asked June once how old she was.
'Spect I's a hundred, dunno," she said gravely. Ex-
actly how old she was nobody knew. She was not tall enough
to be more than seven, but her face was like the face of a
little old woman. It was a queer little face, with thick lips
and low' forehead, and great mournful eyes. There was








72 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

something strange about these eyes. Whenever they looked
at one, they seemed to cry right out, as if they had a voice.
But no one in Richmond cared about that. Nobody cared
about June at all. When she was unhappy no one asked
what was the matter; when she was hungry, or cold, or fright-
ened Madame Joilet laughed at her, and when she was sick
she beat her. If she broke a teacup, or spilled a mug of
coffee she had her ears boxed, or was shut up in a terrible
dark cellar, where the rats were as large as kittens. If she
tried to sing a little in her sorrowful, smothered way, over her
work, Madame Joilet shook her for making so much noise.
When she stopped she scolded her for being sulky. Nothing
that she could do ever happened to be right; everything was
sure to be wrong. She had not half enough to eat, nor half
enough to wear. What was worse than that, she had nobody
to kiss, and nobody to kiss her; nobody to love her and pet
her; nobody in all the wide world to care whether she lived
or died, except a half-starved kitten that lived in the wood-
shed. For June was black, and a slave; and this French
woman, Madame Joilet, was her mistress.
Exactly what was the use of living under such circum-
stances June never could clearly see. She cherished a secret
notion that, if she could find a little grave all dug out some-
where in a clover-field, she would creep in and hide there.
Madame Joilet could not find her then. People who lived in
graves were not supposed to be hungry; and, if it were ever
so cold, they never shivered. That they could not be beaten







HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 73

was a natural consequence, because there was so much earth
between that you would n't feel the stick. The only objec-
tion would be leaving Hungry. Hungry was the kitten.
June had named it so because it was black. She had an idea
that everything black was hungry, in the nature of things.
That there had been a war, June had gathered from old
Creline, who told her the ghost stories. What it was all
about she did not know. Madame Joilet said some terrible
giants, called Yankees, were codling down to eat up all the
little black girls in Richmond. Creline said that the Yankees
were the Messiah's people, and were coming to set the
negroes free. Who the Messiah was June did not know;
but she had heard vague legends from Creline of old-time
African princes, who lived in great free forests, and sailed
on sparkling rivers in boats of painted bark, and she thought
that he must be one of them.
Now, this morning Creline had whispered mysteriously to
June, as she went up the street to sell some eggs for Madame
Joilet, that Massa Linkum was coming that very day. June
knew nothing about Massa Linkum, and nothing about those
grand, immortal words of his which had made every slave in
Richmond free; it had never entered Madame:Joilet's plan
that she should know. No one can tell, reasoned Madame,
what notions the little nigger will get if she finds it out. She
might even ask for wages, or take a notion to learn to read,
or run away, or something. June saw no one; she kept her
prudentlyjn the house. Tell her? Non, non, impossible !
4







74 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

But June had heard the beautiful news this morning, like
all the rest; and June was glad, though she had not the
slightest idea why. So, while her mistress was safely asleep
up stairs, she had stolen out to watch for the wonderful sight,
- the mysterious sight that every one was waiting to see.
























She was standing there on tiptoe on the fence, in her little
ragged dress, with the black kitten in her arms, when a great








HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 75

crowd turned a corner, and tossed up a cloud of dust, and
swept up the street. There were armed soldiers with glitter-
ing uniforms, and there were flags flying, and merry voices
shouting, and huzzas and blessings distinct upon the air.
There were long lines of dusky faces upturned, and wet with
happy tears. There were angry faces, too, scowling from win-
dows, and lurking in dark corners.
It swept on, and it swept up, and June stood still, and held
her breath to look, and saw, in the midst of it all, a tall man
dressed in black. He had a thin, white face, sad-eyed and
kindly and quiet, and he was bowing and smiling to the
people on either side.
God bress yer, Massa Linkum, God bress yer! shouted
the happy voices; and then there was a chorus of wild hur-
rahs, and June laughed outright for glee, and lifted up her
little thin voice and cried, Bress yer, Massa Linkum! with
the rest, and knew no more than the kitty what she did it for.
The great man turned, and saw June standing alone in
the sunlight, the fresh wind blowing her ragged dress, her
little black shoulders just reaching to the top of the fence,
her wide-open, mournful eyes, and the kitten squeezed in her
arms. And he looked right at her, O, so kindly! and gave
her a smile all to herself, -one of his rare smiles, with a bit
of a quiver in it, and bowed, and was gone.
Take me 'long wid yer, Massa Linkum, Massa Linkum! "
called poor June, faintly. But no one heard her; and the
crowd swept on, and June's voice broke into a cry, and the hot







76 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

tears came, and she laid her face down on Hungry to hide
them. You see, in all her life, no one had ever looked so at
poor June before.
June, June, come here! called a sharp voice from the
house. But June was sobbing so hard that she did not hear.
Venez ici, vite, vile June Voild The little nigger
will be the death of me. She tears my heart. June, vite, I
say! "
June started, and jumped down from the fence, and ran
into the house with great frightened eyes.
I jest did n't mean to, noways, missus. I want to see
Massa Linkum, an' he look at me, an' I done forgot ebery-
ting. O missus, don' beat me dis yere time, an' I 'll
neber- "
But Madame Joilet interrupted her with a box on the ear,
and di.-_..1 her up stairs. There was a terrible look on
Madame's face. Just what happened up stairs, I have not
the heart to tell you.
That night June was crouched, sobbing and bruised and
bleeding, behind the kitchen stove, when Creline came in on
an errand for her mistress. Madame Joilet was obliged to
leave the room for a few moments, and the two were alone
together. June crawled out from behind the stove.
I see him, I see Massa Linkum, Creline."
De Lord bress him foreber 'n' eber. Amen! exclaimed
Creline, fervently, throwing up her old thin hands.
June crept a little nearer, and looked all around the room
to see if the doors were shut.








HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 77

Creline, what's he done gone come down here fur ? Am
he de Messiah ? "
Bress yer soul, chile don' ye know better 'n dat ar ?"
Don' know nuffin," said June, sullenly. Neber knows
nuffin; aspectss I neber's gwine to. Can' go out in de road
to fine out, she beat me. Can' ask nuffin, she jest gib
me a push down cellar. O Creline, der's sech rats down dar
now, dar is! "
Yer poor critter! said Creline, with great contempt for
her ignorance. Why, Massa Linkum, everybody knows
'bout he He's done gone made we free, whole heap
on we."
"Free echoed June, with puzzled eyes.
Laws, yes, chile; 'pears like yer 's drefful stupid. Yer
don' b'long -" Creline lowered her voice to a mysterious
whisper, and looked carefully at the closed door, -" yer don'
b'long to Missus Jolly no more dan she b'long to you, an'
dat's de trufe now, 'case Massa Linkum say so,-- God bress
him !"
Just then Madame Joilet came back.
What 's that you 're talking about ? she said sharply.
June was jes' sayin' what a heap she tink ob you, missus,"
said Creline, with a grave face.
June lay awake a long time that night, thinking about
Massa Linkum, and the wonderful news Creline had brought,
and wondering when Madame Joilet would tell her that she
was free.








78 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

But many days passed, and Madame said nothing about it.
Creline's son had left his master and gone North. Creline
herself had asked and obtained scanty wages for her work.
A little black boy across the street had been sentenced to re-
ceive twenty-five lashes for some trifling fault, and they had
just begun to beat him in the yard, when a Union officer
stepped up and stopped them. A little girl, not a quarter of
a mile away, whose name June had often heard, had just
found her father, who had been sold away from her years
ago, and had come into Richmond with the Yankee soldiers.
But nothing had happened to June. Everything went on as
in the old days before Massa Linkum came. She washed
dishes, and scrubbed knives, and carried baskets of wood, so
heavy that she tottered under their weight, and was scolded
if she dropped so much as a shaving on the floor ; she swept
the rooms with a broom three times as tall as she was, and
had her ears boxed because she could not get the dust up
with such tiny hands. She worked and scrubbed and ran on
errands from morning to night, till her feet ached so that
she cried out with the pain. She was whipped and scolded
and threatened and frightened and shaken, just as she had
been ever since she could remember. She was kept shut up
like a prisoner in the house, with Madame Joilet's cold gray
eyes forever on her, and her sharp voice forever in her ear.
And still not a word was said about Massa Linkum and the
beautiful freedom he had given to all such as little June, and
not a word did June dare to say.







HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 79

But June thought. Madame Joilet could not help that.
If Madame had known just what June was thinking, she
would have tried hard to help it.
Well, so the days passed, and the weeks, and still Madame
said not a word; and still she whipped and scolded and
shook, and June worked and cried, and nothing happened.
But June had not done all her thinking for nothing.
One night Creline was going by the house, when June
called to her softly through the fence.
Creline! "
What 's de matter? said Creline, who was in a great
hurry.
I 's gwine to fine Massa Linkunt. Don' yer tell no-
body."
Laws a massy, what a young un dat ar chile is said
Creline, thinking that June had just waked up from a dream,
and forthwith forgetting all about her.
Madame Joilet always locked June into her room, which
was nothing but a closet with a window in it, and a heap of
rags for a bed. On this particular night she turned the key
as usual, and then went to her own room at the other end of
the house, where she was soon soundly asleep.
About eleven o'clock, when all the house was still, the
window of June's closet softly opened. There was a roofed
door-way just underneath it, with an old grape-vine trellis
running up one side of it. A little dark figure stepped out
timidly on the narrow, steep roof, clinging with its hands to








80 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

keep its balance, and then down upon the trellis, which it be-
gan to crawl slowly down. The old wood creaked and
groaned and trembled, and the little figure trembled and
stood still. If it should give way, and fall crashing to
the ground!
She stood a minute looking down; then she took a slow,
careful step; then another, and another, hand under hand
upon the bars. The trellis creaked and shook and cracked,
but it held on, and June held on, and dropped softly down,
gasping and terrified at what she had done, all in a little
heap on the grass below.
She lay there a moment perfectly still. She could not
catch her breath at first, and she trembled so that she could
not move.
Then she crept along on tiptoe to the wood-shed. She ran
a great risk in opening the wood-shed door, for the hinges
were rusty, and it creaked with a terrible noise. But Hungry
was in there. She could not go without Hungry. She went
in, and called in a faint whisper. The kitten knew her, dark
as it was, and ran out from the wood-pile with a joyful mew,
to rub itself against her dress.
We 's gwine to fine Massa Linkum, you an' me, bof two
togeder," said June.
Purr pur-r-r said Hungry, as if she were quite con-
tent; and June took her up in her arms, and laughed
softly. How happy they would be, she and Hungry! and
how Massa -Linkum would smile and wonder when he saw








HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 81

them coming in! and how Madame Joilet would hunt and
scold !
She went out of the wood-shed and out of the yard, hush-
ing the soft laugh on her lips, and holding her breath as she
passed under her mistress's window. She had heard Creline
say that Massa Linkum had gone back to the North ; so she
walked up the street a little way, and then she turned aside
into the vacant squares and unpaved roads, and so out into
the fields, where no one could see her.
It was very still and very dark. The great trees stood up
like giants against the sky, and the wind howled hoarsely
through them. It made June think of the blood-hounds that
she had seen rushing with horrible yells to the swamps,
where hunted slaves were hiding.
I reckon 't ain't on'y little ways, Hungry," she said
with a shiver; we '11 git dar 'fore long. Don' be 'fraid."
Purr! pur-r-r! said Hungry, nestling her head in
warmly under June's arm.
'Spect you lub me, Hungry,- 'spect you does "
And then June laughed out softly once more. What
would Massa Linkum say to the kitty? Had he ever seen
such a kitty as that in all his life ?
So she folded her arms tightly over Hungry's soft fur, and
trudged away into the woods. She began to sing a little as
she walked, in that sorrowful, smothered way that made
Madame Joilet angry. Ah, that was all over now! There
would be no more scolding and beating, no more tired days,
4* F








82 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

no more terrible nights spent in the dark and lonely cellar,
no more going to bed without her supper, and crying herself
to sleep. Massa Linkum would never treat her so. She
never once doubted, in that foolish little trusting heart of
hers, that he would be glad to see her, and Hungry too.
Why should she ? Was there any one in all the world who
had looked so at poor little June ?
So on and away, deep into the woods and swamps, she
trudged cheerily; and she sang low to Hungry, and Hungry
purred to her. The night passed on and the stars grew pale,
the woods deepened and thickened, the swamps were cold
and wet, the brambles scratched her hands and feet.
It 's jes' ober here little ways, Hungry," trying to
laugh. We '11 fine him purty soon. I 's terrible tired an'
- sleepy, Hungry."
She sat down then on a heap of leaves to rest, and laid her
head down upon her arm, and Hungry mewed a little, and
curled up in her neck. The next she knew, the sun was
shining. She jumped up frightened and puzzled, and then
she remembered where she was, and began to think of break-
fast. But there were no berries but the poisonous dog-wood,
and nothing else to be seen but leaves and grass and bushes.
Hungry snapped up a few grasshoppers, and looked longingly
at an unattainable squirrel, that was flying from tree-top to
tree-top; then they went slowly on.
About noon they came to a bit of a brook. June scooped
up the water in her hands, and Hungry lapped it with her







HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 83

pink tongue. But there was no dinner to be found, and no
sign of Massa Linkum; the sun was like a great ball of fire
above the tree-tops, and the child grew faint and weak.
I did n't 'spect it was so fur," groaned poor June.
" But don' yer be 'feard now, Hungry. 'Pears like we '11
fine him bery soon."
The sun went down, and the twilight came. No supper,
and no sign of Massa Linkum yet. Nothing but the great
forest and the swamps and the darkening shadows and the
long, hungry night. June lay down once more on the damp
ground where the poisonous snakes hid in the bushes, and
.ii._.1 Hungry with her weak little arms, and tried to speak
out bravely: We '11 fine him, Hungry, sure, to-morrer.
He '11 jes' open de door an' let us right in, he will; an' he 'll
hab breakfast' all ready an' waiting ; 'pears like he 'll hab a
dish ob milk up in de corner for you now,- tink o' dat ar,
Hungry and then the poor little voice that tried to be so
brave broke down into a great sob. Ef I on'y jes' had one
little mouthful now, Hungry! on'y one "
So another night passed, and another morning came. A
faint noise woke June from her uneasy sleep, when the sun
was hardly up. It was Hungry, purring loudly at her ear.
A plump young robin lay quivering between her paws. She
was tossing it to and fro with curves and springs of delight.
She laid the poor creature down by June's face, looking
proudly from June to it, saying as plainly as words could
say, Here 's a fine breakfast. I got it on purpose for you.








84 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

Why don't you eat, for pity's sake ? There are plenty more
where this came from! "
But June turned away her eyes and moaned ; and Hungry,
in great perplexity, made way with the robin herself.
Presently June crawled feebly to her feet, and pushed on
through the brambles. The kitten, purring in her arms,
looked so happy and contented with her breakfast that the
child cried out at the sight as if in sudden pain.
0, I thought we 'd git dar 'fore now, an' I thought he 'd
jes' be so glad to see us and then presently, He jes'
look so kinder smilin' right out ob his eyes, Hungry "
A bitter wind blew from the east that day, and before
noon the rain was falling, dreary and chilly and sharp. It
soaked June's feet and ragged dress, and pelted in her face.
The wind blew against her, and whirled about her, and
tossed her to and fro, she was such a little thing, and so
weak now and faint.
Just as the early twilight fell from the leaden sky, and the
shadows began to skulk under the bushes, and the birds
gathered to their nests with sleepy twitter, she tripped over
a little stone, fell weakly to the ground, and lay still. She
had not the strength to get to her feet again.
But somehow June felt neither troubled nor afraid. She
lay there with her face upturned to the pelting rain, watching
it patter from leaf to leaf, listening to the chirp of the birds
in the nests, listening to the crying of the wind. She liked
the sound. She had a dim notion that it was like an old







HOW JUNE FOUND MASSA LINKUM. 85

camp-meeting hymn that she had heard Creline sing some-
times. She never understood the words, but the music came
back like a dream. She wondered if Massa Linkum ever
heard it. She thought he looked like it. She should like to
lie there all night and listen to it; and then in the morning
they would go on and find him, in the morning ; it would
come very soon.
The twilight deepened, and the night came on. The rain
fell faster, and the sharp wind cried aloud.
It 's bery cold," said June, sleepily, and turned her
face over to hide it on the kitten's warm, soft fur. Goo'
night, Hungry. We 'll git dar to-morrer. We 's mos' dar,
Hungry."
Hungry curled up close to her cold, wet cheek,-Hungry
did not care how black it was,-with a happy, answering
mew; but June said nothing more.
The rain fell faster, and the sharp wind cried aloud. The
kitten woke from a nap, and purred for her to stir and
speak; but June said nothing more.
Still the rain fell, and the wind cried ; and the long night
and the storm and the darkness passed, and the morning
came.
Hungry stirred under June's arm, and licked her face, and
mewed piteously at her ear. But June's arm lay still, and
June said no word.
Somewhere, in a land where there was never slave and
never mistress, where there were no more hungry days and








86 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

frightened nights, little June was laughing softly, and had
found some one to love her at last.
And so she did not find Massa Linkum after all ?
Ah who would have guessed it ? To that place where
June had gone, where there are no masters and no slaves, he
had gone before her.
And don't I suppose his was the first face she saw, as she
passed through the storm and the night to that waiting,
beautiful place ? And don't I suppose he smiled as he had
smiled before, and led her gently to that other Face, that
thorn-crowned Face, of which poor little June had known
nothing in all her life ? Of course I do.

The foreman had some trouble in finishing the story of
poor little June. He quite forgot to count his ems (which
Max had taught him how to do), or to threaten his composi-
tors with a reduction of wages if they did not work faster.
As for the compositors themselves, they neglected to strike
for a half-hour law, which they were in the habit of doing
every day, and did not call for copy" once.
When the story was finished, Nita tried to find her pocket-
handkerchief, but had n't any. She did n't have very often.
So Trotty lent her one of his. He had three, -little stiff
brown wads jammed into different pockets, and lie passed
them around the printing-office as if they had been refresh-
ments.







THE GREAT SEA-SERPENT. 87




CHAPTER IX.

A FISH STORY.

MERLE came over the next day, and the foreman turned
his work over to Nita, who worked on woman's wages;
she had seven pins a day where Nate had ten (the publishers
of Trotty's Book always paid in pins, and in advance); Nita
bore her added labors as meekly as she bore everything else.
Trotty did not print, either. Merle said it made her fingers
inky. The story was about


THE GREAT SEA-SERPENT.

IF you don't believe it, go and ask the first Honorable
Member of the Association for the Preservation of Cam-
phorated Caterpillars, whom you may chance to meet.
Though, why anybody should n't believe it, is more than I
can see. And, in fact, I never saw anybody who did n't
believe it. But then, I never saw the King of Siam; and
we all know that the King of Siam did not believe that there
was ice in the world. Because," said he," I cannot walk on
water, and I never saw any water that could be walked upon."
So perhaps there are a plenty of people who do not believe in
the Great Sea-Serpent of 1817.








88 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

Now if you come across any of these people, when you
have heard what I have to say, ask them if they have ever
heard the story of the Princeton student who had been
studying Berkeley ? And tell them that you don't know
what a Princeton student should study Berkeley for, but
that you have understood that it was for the purpose of
learning how Nothing was Anything but Ideas, and how
Ideas were Anything; and how when a man rode a horse to
town, and was run away with, it was not the horse that ran
away with him, but only an idea of a horse ; and how when he
fell down stairs and bumped his head, he had no occasion
to groan about it, since it was not his head which he had
bumped, but only his idea of his head. And tell them how,
one morning, the Princeton student had'hot mush for break-
fast; and how he took one mouthful, immediately forgot his
manners, and roared loudly. And how the Professor sternly
asked him what was the matter. And how the Princeton
student, with the tears in his eyes, and his tumbler of water
at his mouth, said, Sir! that was the hottest Idea I ever
got hold of And tell them that if the Great Sea-Serpent
is an Idea, it is the most Sea-Serpent-like Idea you ever got
hold of.
Sitting here at my window with me, this July morning,
and looking Gloucester Harbor up and down, and over and
across, you would not believe yourself that anything so
horrible as a Sea-Serpent could get into it. You would see,
away at your right, the town, as dim and delightful as a







THE GREAT SEA-SERPENT. 89

morning dream. You would see the heights of the oppo-
site shore as green as Eden, and you would see the dingy
sails of two dr three dozen idle little schooners, lighting
up as if they were made of the Field of the Cloth of Gold,
in the lifting mist; and you would see the mist itself, as
if you saw a veil of burning lace thrown over the rocks, -
to keep them from freckling, you wonder. And you would
see strange colors on the rocks and in the stranded weeds,
and strange boys splashing barefoot in the colors, and people
fishing as if they fished for fancies, and sailing as if they
sailed in their own thoughts, and bathing as if they bathed
in sunbeams; and more boys on the beach, walking on
their heads (Barnum was here week before last), and more
boys yet paddling crazy boats about after crazy drift-wood,
and more boys besides (poor little fellows !) away out in the
solemn black School Ship, down on its July trip, lying silent
and guarded, out by the reef of Norman's Woe.
In fact, you would see so many boys, that the only natural
thing about the Great Serpent would seem to be that he was
discovered by a boy.
It happened on an August morning, in the year 1817; and
my only regret about that is, that my birthday came a little
later in the month, or I might have seen it myself, before I
undertook to tell you about it, and then where would the
Society of Camphorated Caterpillars have been ?
It happened off the very rock on which I sit to write. It
is an island, this rock, at least when the tide is in; and there








90 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

are wild roses on it, and a water-rat; and the harbor throws
out a round, green arm, and loops it in, roses, rat, and all;
and it is a very pleasant place ; I hardly believe in the Ser-
pent myself when I get up here.
But it really was an August morning, in the year 1817,
and there really was a boy, and he came over after a real
cow, who had wandered off this way, over the grass and
through a little gate, who knows but she saw the Great
Serpent first, after all ? At any rate, here she was, and here
the rock was, and is, and here the boy was, when the water
just below my feet here stirred it was a calm morning -
and rippled and grew brown.
I declare said the boy, what a tremendous spar "
And he called another boy. Let's have it! "
All right," said boy No. 2.
So they tried to stick it, and draw it in. But it behaved
curiously for a spar. In the first place it wriggled. In the
next place it did n't. It had gone, vanished. It had pon-
derously squirmed and was not.
The boys did not draw it in. I think, on the whole, it was
just as well.
That spar stayed in the harbor a fortnight, and the poorest
fisherman on shore made no effort to draw it in to add to his
winter's fuel.
The spar" was seen by hundreds of people during its
visit to Gloucester, and ten depositions," says the His-
tory of this enterprising town, were given in, all of them








THE GREAT SEA-SERPENT. 91

agreeing as to the size, shape, and motion of this wonderful
creature, as well as in less important particulars."
The great Sea-Serpent was estimated to be from seventy to
one hundred feet in length ; the two ends of it could not be
seen at once with Gloucester's best telescope. It was about
as large round as a half-barrel, and of a dark brown color.
Its back was covered with singular bunches ; some said eight,
some said twenty in number. The creature was said to have
a head in appearance and size like a horse's. It made a
track in the water visible for half a mile. When on the sur-
face, it seemed to move about a mile in four minutes ; but
when underneath, judging by the motion of the water, it
travelled at the fair rate of a mile in two minutes. It had
a tongue like a harpoon, about two feet in length, which it
darted out when disturbed. Sometimes it amused itself by
playing in circles upon the face of the water. When it was
tired of this hideous waltz, and wanted to go to the bottom,
instead of diving or swimming down, or even turning to
"look before it leaped," like most fish, it simply dropped;
sank like lead ; went all at once.
On the 14th of August there came a little girl (she after-
wards married the boy whose cow discovered the Serpent;
and, though I don't suppose that was a matter of much interest
to the Serpent, it may be of some to those young folks who are
beginning-a very bad beginning!-to read novels) from over
the opposite side of the harbor, where the hills are as green as
Eden, into the dingy little town which looks like a dream







92 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

from the rock with the roses and the rat on it. The little
girl had heard nothing of the spar," it so happened, and
when she struck into a great crowd of silent people on
Gloucester Beach she was puzzled enough. And when she
saw on the water a little boat with men in it, and not thirty
feet from the boat a monster with a head like a horse's, and
a forked tongue, and brown bunches on his back, and a tail
that seemed to stretch across the harbor, making as straight
for shore as the tide, she was so frightened that she dropped
on a stone by the edge of the crowd, and would have fainted,
if she had been old enough to know how. For she had been
reading stories, too, even in Gloucester, and even in 1817,
and there was a story that she read once, and had never for-
gotten, and never would. It was how Andromeda came down
to the beach, and how the dragon came out of the sea, and
how Andromeda would have been devoured (poor little
thing !) by the dreadful creature, if it had not been for
Perseus.
Her mother said that story was not true. Now she knew
better. There was the Dragon himself. She felt like An-
dromeda from head to foot. Would Perseus find his way to
Gloucester Beach ? She sat down on the stone and shut her
eyes. She would not move. She dared not look.
In a minute there was a horrible noise. I know all about
it, for Andromeda's daughter told me herself.
It's the Dragon! thought Andromeda.
It's the gun! said the crowd on the beach, who had








THE GREAT SEA-SERPENT. 93

not been reading stories, and who had kept their eyes open,
instead of sitting down to wait for Perseus. True enough, it
was the gun. The men in the boat had shot the Dragon, and
the noise echoed and re-echoed out to sea. "He's hit!"
cried the crowd. And so it seemed. He '11 swamp the
boat! "
For a minute the crowd on shore thought it was all over
with the daring marksmen; and as for the marksmen them-
selves, the History of Gloucester does not relate what they
thought!
For a minute, the ugly creature made for shore, and made
for the boat, still as straight as the tide. Within thirty feet
of the boat he suddenly turned. He seemed to have forgot-
ten both the shot and the boat. In the breakers that the
bending of his huge body made, he whirled and put out to
sea.
So he seems to have been a very amiable Dragon, after all,
and not to have had a sensitive disposition, either. And so
the men in the boat put ashore, a trifle pale about the mouth,
but too much disappointed, I suspect, at not having caught
the Dragon, to thank him for not sending them and their
boat and their gun to the bottom with a whisk of his mighty
tail. And so Andromeda left her stone and her fright, and
the golden mist came up the harbor, and she married Perseus,
and never saw the Dragon more.
The Dragon amused himself, however, for a while there-
after, by racing up and down the harbor like a huge regatta,








94 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.

and finally slipped away, as all distinguished summer visitors
will in time.
It was said to have been seen at Long Island again, on the
5th of October in that very year; and two years after, the staid
old town of Marblehead received a visit from him. After the
departure of what Gloucester people call, by courtesy, in
capitals, the GREAT Sea-Serpent, the town, not contented
with its honors, claimed the arrival of two more. One was
indeed, if we may credit the opinion of the Association for
the Preservation of Camphorated Caterpillars, the young of
this curious creature. It was found on Good Harbor Beach
in a swamp, and was caught and killed by a farmer with a
pitchfork. It was of a green color and about four feet long.
The other was nothing but a rather large horse-mackerel. So
easily the bean-stalk of a wonder scales the skies
Old records tell us, more than once, of a sea-monster of the
nature of a serpent. Penobscot Bay aspired to one in 1809.
In 1689 the incredulous New-Englanders heard of the exist-
ence of a sea-serpent or snake, that lay quoiled up like a
cable on Cape Ann. A boat passing by, with English aboard,
and two Indians, they would have shot the serpent, but the
Indians dissuaded them, saying, that if he were not killed
outright, they would all be in danger of their lives."
In testimony whereof, I refer you to that famous and use-
ful volume, the History of Gloucester "; and if you had
only been occupied with that, instead of reading novels, think
how much trouble you would have saved me !








THE GREAT SEA-SERPENT. 95

There said Lill, when they got through, that was a
boy's story, and you never heard a word of it, Trotty
Tyrol! "
O--well," said Trotty, who had been cracking peanuts
and giving Merle half all the time, I did n't like it, I guess.
I did n't know it was a boy's story, eiver."
It was," said Lill, a regular boy's story. Anybody 'd
say so. And that just shows "
Shows what ? asked Merle.
But Lill scornfully told her she could n't understand, and
that she was daubing her nutshells all around.








96 TROTTY'S WEDDING TOUR.




CHAPTER X.

RUBY'S VISITOR.

MERLE did not come the next day. She said she 'd
rather wait till Trotty was well enough to play out of
doors. For a while after this, the stories went into the story-
book smoothly enough, and nothing happened between times
worth telling.
RUBY'S VISITOR.

HER father had gone to the village one night, and left her
quite alone in that bit of a house; it was really very small,
- it did not seem much larger than a dog-kennel; but
it was large enough for two people, especially if one were
such an atom as Ruby. It was a very lonely house, too, for
it stood half-way up a mountain, where the shadow of the pine
forest was darkest, and the great white stretch of snow that
sloped down through it lay still and untrodden, still, except
when the icicles clattered sharply down from the trees on it.
Ruby could hear them often, when she sat alone; she could
hear the wind too, sobbing around the house as if its heart
were broken, and then wailing off over miles of mountain
solitude. Sometimes she could hear the chirp of a frightened
bird in its nest, or the mournful cry of the whippoorwill over