TROTS' LETTERS TO HER DOLL.
MARY E. BROMFIELD,
AUTHOR OF DADDY DICK," TIIE OLD GIG," "THE THREE PHOTOGRAPHS,"
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
JAY PEAR GOD-DAUGHTER,
MY MOST WILLING AND INDULGENT CRITIC,
THESE LETTERS ARE DEDICATED.
I. "SO NICE," .. .. .. .. .. .. 9
II. "FOUND DROWNED," .. .. .. .. 3'
III. "MIDSHIPMAN LUCY," .. .. .. .. .. 5,
IV. "SHIPWRECK BAY," ... .. .. .. .. 84
V. "BOUNCE," .... .. .. 117
TROTS' LETTERS TO HER DOLL.
Y DEAREST ERMELINDA,--I was so
Very sorry, when mamma said you
-&t"- mustn't go with us to the sea; for,
-" my poor dear, you had been looking
forward to it so long, and you and I had
talked about it so many times before we
went to sleep of a night, that I knew how
disappointed you would be.
But mamma said, you know, that I might
- only take one of you, and just the common
everyday clothes you had on, for that she
CLORINDA AT THE SEA-SIDE.
didn't believe that you would want any-
thing else at the sea-side. And mamma was
quite right; for do you know that Clorinda
has had a very dull time of it, as she was
put in a closet when we first came, and there
I believe she will stay.
I took her, you know, because since I tried
the water-cure for her she has looked so
pale and ill, that I thought perhaps sea-air
might bring back her roses. But, poor
Dolly I think she has often wished herself
at home again: so let this be a lesson to
you, my dear (mamma bids me say), never
to set your heart too much upon anything,
for you are almost sure to be disappointed.
And I believe, Ermelinda, that is a very
good maxim for dollies,-though not for
me, for I can't help wishing for things I like.
It is half the fun of it.
So now I'll tell you the reason why
Clorinda is left in the closet. The truth is,
TROTS' DESCRIPTION OF THE SEA.
we have such fun without her, that we
don't take her out lest she should be in the
The very morning after we arrived we
ran down to the beach for a few minutes
before breakfast with our papa. Oh, it was
so nice! The waves were coming racing
in one after the other, seeing which could
reach the shore soonest; and the sun was
shining brightly on the water just like
gold, and the sand was all gold too. My
dear Ermelinda, I wish you knew what the
sea is like, it is so jolly! The pond at the
end of the lane at home is something like,
except that it's so dirty, and dark, and still;
or my bath, before it's soapy. But, no the
sea is so big; and it goes dancing and shin-
ing as if it were alive.
And then there's the sand. How can I
describe it ? It's the colour of your hair;
and it's all stuff like what comes out of you
AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE.
when you're pricked, only ever so much
finer, and there's enough of it even here to
fill all the dolls in the world. You see,
Ermelinda, that I'm obliged to describe it
by something that a doll like you can under-
stand, and that's so difficult.
Well, when we got on the sands, papa
said, "Now, after breakfast, you may come
down and build castles. I used to do it
here myself when I was a boy.-Ah, Mrs.
Weekes, is that you ? I've come to the
dear old place again, and haven't I brought
a goodly tribe to be dipped? You shall
have them all by-and-by. You remember
dipping me, Betty, don't you ?"
"Ah! that I do, Master John; and a
good pair of lungs you had, the first time.
To be sure-bless their little hearts !-there
be a many of them."
"Well, I hope you won't have much
squealing among them, Betty; at all events
they shall come down after breakfast and
Well, Dolly, by this time we were getting
hungry, so we went home to breakfast;
papa first taking us into a shop and buying
each of us-Sissy, and Arty, and Lucy, and
Edie, and Trots (that's me)-a spade apiece.
After breakfast we all went down again
to the sands and began digging; and papa
came very soon and showed us how to make
a castle, with walls and a ditch round it.
And didn't we have fun It was so large
that we could all get inside and dig deeper
and deeper. But while we were digging, we
never noticed that the water was getting
nearer and nearer, till at last one big wave
came and made a hole in our wall, and
frightened us so that we all scrambled out
and ran away; and before we came back
again, another and another wave had come
and nearly swept our poor castle away.
And now, dear Dolly, I am going to tell
you something that did make me feel very
much ashamed of myself. I write it to you
because I want to tell it to somebody, and
I'm quite sure that you won't tell it again;
and also because Nurse said that it had
better be an example to the little ones, that
it was no use trying to shirk one's duty; so,
Dolly, don't you forget that! That very
same morning, about eleven o'clock, Nurse
came and told us to leave off castle-build-
ing and to come home, which we did, and
there had a cup of milk and a bit of bread
each; and then mamma told us all to be
good children, and Nurse and Sarah took a
great roll of towels, and down we all came
to be dipped.
I must say that as I walked along I got
very shivery and cold down the back, and
wished very much it was over, but I knew
it was no use saying so; and, besides, Arty
kept saying all along, "Oh! it's so jolly,
Isn't it nice ?
You'll be dipped in a trice."
While poor little Edie kept squeezing my
hand very tight, and didn't like it any
better than I did.
When we came to where the bathing-
machines were, Arty ran off to bathe with
papa; and as there were two bathing-
machines standing empty, side by side, old
Betty Weekes said that we'd better come
So Sissy and Lucy went into one machine,
and Sarah and Nurse took darling baby, and
Edie, and me (that's Trots), into the other.
They are such nasty damp places, Erme-
linda, like that old summer-house at the
bottom of the green walk, if it were put on
wheels; and there was a very old musty
bit of carpet that everybody had made wet,
READY TO BE DIPPED.
and sand and stones down on the floor, and
I began to shiver worse than ever. And
then Sarah began to undress me (and oh! it
did feel so cold), and she said, "Why, M3i-s
Trots, your lips are quite blue ;" and at last,
when even my shoes and stockings were off,
she put a little short blue frock on me,
which felt very cold and shivery, and she
said, Now, then, you're ready, my dear."
And all the time we were being undressed
they kept moving, moving the machine
into the water; and as it went grating and
bumping down the beach, Sarah and Nurse
couldn't stand, and we children had to cling
on to them to prevent falling down.
However, when I was in my little blue
tunic, Sarah opened the door of the machine;
and there, Ermelinda, was the water quite
close up to the machine, and it made me
shiver worse than ever.
But just then, Dolly, I saw Sissy come to
A STRANGE-LOOKING OLD WOMAN.
the door of the other machine, in her nice
blue dress, looking so pretty, with her fair
hair hanging all over her shoulders, and her
little bare white feet; and I said, "Oh,
Sissy, Sissy, ain't you cold ?" And she said,
" Not a bit, Trots,-
Oh, it's so nice !
You'll be dipped in a trice.
Come, Mrs. Weekes, make haste, make
And then that old woman papa had
talked to in the morning came bustling up,
looking like a great fat bundle of the same
blue stuff we had on, only quite faded and
stained, and with an old battered, black
bonnet on her head, and a little bag hung
round her neck to keep her sixpences dry;
and she said, "Ah, missy, many and many's
the time that I've dipped your papa, and
the Cap'n that's in India, and poor Miss
Sophy, as married the parson, when they
" OH, IT'S SO NICE "
was all littler than you." And then, Erme-
linda, why then I heard a splash, and in a
moment Sissy came up from under the
water with her hair all dripping, and
panting and laughing and rubbing the
water out of her eyes; and as soon as she
could speak she said, "Oh, it's so nice it's
so nice Another dip, Betty; it's delight-
And then came Lucy's turn, and she
seemed to like it just as well; and they
began to dance about in the water, and bob
down their heads under the big waves;
while Mrs. Weekes kept saying, Well, you
be the best of all my young ladies to bathe,
that you be, to be sure."
But, Dolly, I kept shivering, and I hardly
heard Sissy and Lucy calling, Make haste,
Trots, and come to us, it is so nice ;" till at
last that nasty wet Mrs. Weekes came up
to our machine, and said, "Now, then, my
NAUGHTY AND SILLY.
pretty little lady, come along; you'll like it
so much." And then, Ermelinda, I couldn't
help it indeed, but I cried out that "I
wouldn't I wouldn't! I wouldn't! I didn't
want to be bathed; and that mamma
wouldn't make me if she were here."
"Come, come! Miss Trots," said Nurse,
"don't be naughty and silly; it must be
done some time. Now, would you like to
see baby dipped first?" And could you
believe it, Dolly, but I said that I should,
and that I'd try and be good if dear darling
baby were dipped first. Oh, wasn't I a
coward, Dolly, to want baby to do what I
aren't do myself ?
So first Edie was dipped, and she was
such a good little thing that she never cried
a bit, though they put her quite under;
and then darling baby, and he came up
crowing and laughing, and calling out,
"More, more; 'gain, 'gain."
UNDER THE WATER.
Then old Mrs. Weekes took him for Sissy
to hold, and gave Edie to Lucy, while she
came back for me.
"And now, Miss Trots," said Nurse,
"you'll be a good child !" But oh, Dolly,
I forgot all my promises, and I clung to
Nurse and said, "I won't be good! I won't
be bathed!" and (O Ermelinda, I am so
ashamed !) I kicked at Mrs. Weekes, and I
kicked at Sarah, till at last, in the middle
of a great struggle and scream, I suddenly
went down deep, deep under the water;
and when I came up again (which I thought
I never should), I was choking and gasping,
with the salt water pouring down my throat.
And before I could get my breath to scream
again, there was Mrs. Weekes thumping my
back, and I could hear Lucy calling out,-
Oh, isn't it nice
To be dipped in a trice?"
That made me so angry that I began to kick
DIPPING AND RUBBING.
and scream again; while Mrs. Weekes said,
"Now don't, my dear." But as I did, she
dipped me again right down till I was
"There, that will do now," said Mrs.
Weekes; "why, you're worse than your
own papa was the first time; but he soon
got over it. Now, then, dance about and
keep warm." And then she took baby and
Edie and rubbed them all over, and dipped
them again, while Lucy and Sissy tried to
make me jump about with them; but I was
cross and wouldn't, for I didn't like Nurse
to keep on saying, Well, you were a silly
little girl, Miss Trots; if you'd kept your
mouth shut the water wouldn't have got
in." And I thought it very unkind of Lucy
to keep saying,-
Oh, isn't it nice
To be dipped in a trice ?"
At> last Mrs. Weekes looked at me and
A CROSS LITTLE GIRL.
said, "Nurse, that child is so blue that
you'd better have her out at once." So I
was lifted out, and my dripping blue gown
was taken off, and Sarah dried me in a
great hurry with a very rough towel, and
kept scolding all the time, and saying that
I was a very cross little girl. And do you
know, Ermelinda, it isn't at all pleasant to
stand and be scrubbed with a very hard
towel, and to have your shoes and stockings
put on in a hurry, without having the sand
taken off one's feet, and all the time to be
called a naughty silly child, and to be told
how much better baby and Edie had be-
haved And all the time to know down in
your heart that you deserve it all; and
worse still, dear Dolly, to feel sure that if
it were to happen again, you'd do just the
same, and scream as bad as ever. Oh, Erme-
linda, it's a very bad feeling.
And so you may imagine that I did not
DOWN AT THE SANDS.
feel very happy all the day, especially as
Arty would keep running up to me all day
long and screaming out,-
"0 Trots, isn't it nice
To be dipped in a trice ?"
And tiny Edie caught it up, and said after
Oh nice in a trice Oh nice !'
So when I went to bed I determined that
it shouldn't happen again, for I wouldn't
be bathed any more.
And so, dear Dolly, it came to pass that
the next morning we brought our luncheon
down with us to the sands, and built castles
and dug rivers just the same as before,
till about eleven o'clock, when old Mrs.
Weekes came up to Nurse and said, Now,
then, Nurse, bring your flock; we have got
the two machines empty now, and you'll just
have time before the little Miss Mowbrays
and their nurses come down to bathe."
Well, Nurse had baby in her arms, and
little Edie close to her; and Sarah ran to
call Lucy, who was some way off; and I
slipped away without any one seeing me, and
ran as fast as I could along the sands, and
up the royal steps, till I had no breath left.
Then I felt rather safer, and went slower
and slower along Carlton Row, thinking
what I should do if I met papa or mamma,
or if the hall door were shut. How lucky I
thought myself, Dolly, when I found it
standing open !
Now, I thought to myself, I can creep
past the dining-room door on tip-toe, for I
know mamma is out, and so get safely up
into the nursery;. and nobody will know
anything about it.
I never thought, Dolly, what would hap-
pen when Nurse and the others came home;
but then the bathing would be over for the
day, and all would be right.
So I crept by the dining-room as gently
as a mouse; but it was no use. Before I
got past the door, a voice said, "Who's
O Dolly, you don't know how I love my
papa but it did frighten me to hear his
I trembled, and I said very low, "It's me,
papa; it's Trots."
And he said, "Come in here. Mary,"
he said-and when he didn't say Trots,"
I knew how angry he was-" Mary, what
brings you here ?"
O Dolly, how I wished then that Mrs.
Weekes had got me safely in the blue dress,
ready to dip me But I said, I don't like
being dipped, papa; the water chokes me."
And so you thfnk the wisest plan is to
run away. Mary, I am ashamed of you.
Go and sit upon that chair."
Then I sat down very quietly, Dolly, cry-
" WHERE'S TROTS ? "
ing, on that rough horse-hair chair, opposite
my papa, who never spoke or looked at me
once. Oh, how I wished that I might get
down and tell him I was sorry, but I didn't
dare; and I had to sit there for more
than an hour, and he never spoke to me
At last I heard voices coming nearer and
nearer, and then a scuffling of feet; and
then Sissy, and Lucy, and Edie came in,
rosy and laughing, and calling out, "Where's
"Oh, isn't it nice
To be dipped in a trice ?"
While Nurse came panting in with baby in
her arms, saying, "Have you seen Miss
* And there I sat, Ermelinda. And papa
never looked at me even then, but he said:
" Nurse, there is that silly, naughty little
girl, who thought she could escape from
A VERY SAD DAY.
what she disliked by running away. Don't
let her come downstairs at all to-day, and
send her to bed at six o'clock."
That was a very sad day, Dolly. I stayed
upstairs all the time except for an hour,
when Sarah took me for a walk along the
road, and then brought me in for tea; and
directly afterwards it struck six o'clock, and
mamma came into the nursery.
"Good-night, Mary," she said. "You
may go and say Good-night' to your papa
in his dressing-room."
He was just going out for a long walk
with mamma, and Arty, and Sissy, and
Lucy. I should have gone too, if I'd been
Good-night, Mary," said,my father. "I
am sorry that you were so foolish and
naughty to-day. Don't you like being
TROTS AND HER FATHER.
But mamma and I think it will do you
good; so you must try and like it."
I never shall, papa," I said. "I can't
help screaming, and the water runs down
my throat and chokes me. Oh dear, oh
dear! what shall I do ? Please, don't let
me be bathed again, papa."
"Indeed I must," he said; and you
must try and not scream, Mary."
"Indeed I can't help it, papa," said I;
"it makes me shiver, and something comes
in my throat, and I can't help screaming."
Can't is a hard word, Mary."
I can't-indeed, I can't," I said again.
I know it's difficult," he said; but does
my little Trots want to please her father ?"
Yes, papa," I said very gently.
Then my little girl will remember that
papa wishes her to bathe, and will be very
sorry if she is so silly as to scream. You
will try for papa's sake, Trots!"
AGAIN IN THE WATER.
0 Dolly, I covered his face with kisses,
but I didn't promise; and then he let me say
my prayers to him, and carried me into the
nursery to bed before they all went for their
Well, Ermelinda (I have nearly finished
this long letter), the next day was rainy,
and we did not bathe; but the day after
that, it was very warm and bright, and the
time came when I was standing once more
in my little blue gown at the door of the
machine, waiting to be dipped.
I can't tell you how I felt while Sarah
was undressing me; and I shivered so much,
that Nurse said, Just look at that child !"
But just as Mrs. Weekes took me and
ducked me under, I managed to squeeze
my lips very tight together, and kept saying,
deep down in my heart, "0 papa! papa!
papa!" And do you know, Ermelinda, not
one drop of water got down my throat; and
TALKING IT OVER.
kind old Mrs. Weekes only dipped me once,
and said I was a brave little girl. And
then I had such fun with Lucy and Sissy.
And, Ermelinda, that evening, when we
were all out walking, my papa sat down
on a bank while the rest were gathering
flowers, and called me to him and said,-
"Trots, you didn't scream this morning."
How did you manage ?"
Then I told him how I squeezed my lips
tight together, and kept saying to myself,
"0 papa! papa! papa!"
And he didn't laugh, as I thought he
would; but he said softly, And that made
it easy to my little girl, because it was her
Not easy, papa," I said. "I did almost
"I know, Trots," he said. "I find it as
difficult to do a great many things. Some
THE LETTER ENDED.
are so difficult that I could not do them, if
I did not know it was my Father's will.
You know who I mean, Trots."
Yes, I do know quite well, though I am
but a little child."
But I couldn't make you understand that,
for you are only a dear silly Dolly, so I won't
write a word more.
So give my love to Maria, Jane, and
Cookie, and the Puss, and tell them we are
all very happy at the sea.
Your affectionate little mistress,
V DEAREST DOLLY,-I am so thank-
AI, _ful, dear, that you are safe and well
;' in your closet at home, for poor Clo-
-J rinda has had a terrible accident,
and has made me very unhappy. And poor
little Lily (Edie's doll). Ah, why did we
ever bring them to the sea! But I must
tell you the whole story, for who ought to
think so much about them as all of you in
the nursery cupboard, who have been left
safe and happy (though, perhaps, rather
dull) at home.
Mrs. Mowbray, who called on mamma on
Wednesday, said that the young people of
AT THE BAR ROCKS.
the present day all thought that to be quiet
and to be unhappy meant the same thing,
and that dulness was the worst fault in
their eyes. Ermelinda, my dear, I hope
you don't think that in the nursery closet.
I didn't quite understand her; but then
she talked very slow, and mamma only
laughed a little bit, and said it was the
nature of the young to be stirring.
Mrs. Mowbray is very stout, Ermelinda.
It was the day before yesterday that papa
and mamma, and Arty, and Sissy, and Lucy
went to the Bar Rocks. Papa had pro-
mised to take them. They say it is a funny
place; that you can land on it when it is
fine, and get a few strange shells and plants;
but it is very small (I mean the one you can
land on), with steep cliffs, and rather dan-
They went in the Wild Swan, Thomas
Nurse went too. Mamma had said she
should go some day, and I think she was
glad to take her there to help to look after
the children; though I am sure Arty, and
Sissy, and Lucy are quite big enough to
take care of themselves.
But Nurse said she thought Missus
didn't like going there over much; it was
rather a dangerous kind of place." I don't
know, Dolly, but they all came back quite
safe at six o'clock. Lucy said it wasn't a
very jolly place to go to.
I wanted to go, and it made me cry a
little at breakfast because I wasn't let; but
papa looked at me and said, Mary." And
then I knew it was no use. So I left off.
It was dull being left with Sarah, and
Edie, and baby. I didn't like it. Do you
think, Ermelinda, I am like one of "the
young ladies of the present day "?
We didn't bathe that morning. And Elie
OUT WITH THE DOLLIES.
and I said that, as the dollies had been
kept in so much lately, we thought that it
would be a good day to take them down on
the sands. And so I dressed Clorinda, and
Edie wrapped Lily in a little old neck-hand-
kerchief of Lucy's for her shawl. And Sarah
said we would go off, the moment she had
"done" the nursery, as far as we could
along the shore, and then sit down and
play. She said we might take one of
our play-books, and our luncheon in our
We got into such a nice place, Ermelinda,
under the rocks, far away from the bathing-
machines and all the people !
So then we said that we would hear the
children their lessons for a little while, and
then they should be bathed. There was a
delightful pool of water just there, close to
where we were sitting. After that, we
would all have our luncheon.
HEARING THE LESSONS.
So Edie had the book first, while I made
Clorinda count on her fingers. Lily was
quite good over her letters; but then, you
know, Edie doesn't know them, so she
couldn't correct her, and she had to pre-
tend that they were all right.
That's a capital plan.
Edie never will allow that Lily is naughty.
Clorinda is almost always.
She wasn't over her counting, 'though
when she got to twenty-nine she couldn't
tell what to say next, and I didn't remem-
ber just then; but I couldn't punish her for
that, for you know she is very young to be
able to count to twenty-nine.
But when Edie gave me the book, and
I began to hear her her letters, she
wouldn't say them. She wouldn't try
even to tell me the letter that came be-
tween P and R. I told her Q ever so
many times, but she wouldn't say it after
CLORIND k'S OBSTINACY.
me. I boxed her ears, Ermelinda, but it
was no good.
Then Sarah said, Take care, Miss Trots,
take care." And she was so kind that she
offered to help dolly; but I said, "No; it
was all her obstinacy."
And Sarah said, But, Miss Trots, doesn't
your mamma say sometimes that the best
way with an obstinate child is not to take
any notice of it ? "
And I said, "That may be all very well
for some children, but not for Clorinda:
she is so very obstinate that I must take
notice of it, and punish it. And you know,
Sarah," I said, "that if it is not obstinacy
it's very great disobedience. Now, isn't it,
And Sarah said it was; but "mightn't
she help poor Clorinda this once ?" So she
did; and when I asked her next, Sarah
helped her, and she did say Q. But then
Sarah had to go and pick up baby, who'd
rolled over a little stone, and she wouldn't
say it by herself; so then I said it was
no use trying to help her, and she must be
But Edie begged hard I wouldn't whip
her. And so I said, "Very well, I
wouldn't, as her Aunt Edith asked for her
so kindly; but that I couldn't bear to see
such a bad child, and so she should go and
sit behind a rock all by herself, where she'd
be out of my sight." So I carried her there,
scolding her all the way, and telling her
if she only knew the pain it gave me when
she was naughty, she'd try and behave
Lucy says I like scolding my dolls.
Before long we thought it was time to
bathe them: we could use my handker-
chief for a towel, we thought; so I fetched
Clorinda, and I told her she would have to
PLAYING AT BATHING.
go back afterwards,-that though she had
been so naughty, her health must be at-
Then we began to undress them. Lily
is only a wooden doll, and she is a poor,
battered old thing. Sarah said she thought
it wouldn't do her any harm to bathe her,
perhaps it might do her a little good; but
she said it certainly wouldn't do Clorinda
She was rather a pretty doll once, you
know, Ermelinda, with a wax face and
arms, and pretty pink cheeks. I loved her
dearly then; but she isn't near so good
Sissy says, if she's grown naughty, she
is afraid it must be m y fault, for not setting
her a good example; but I don't see how
that can be, for I'm always scolding and
Well, I told Sarah she didn't know
ILLNESS OF CLORINDA.
anything about it, and that I should
certainly bathe her, however much she
screamed; but when I came to undress her,
I found a great hole upon her back that
the bran came out of. So that made it
different, and so I said that she shouldn't
bathe till I had taken her to the great
London doctor (that's mamma, you know,
with her needle and thread), who would
soon put her to rights. "So, Clorinda," I
said, when I had dressed her again, "you
will go back to your corner instead of bath-
Then Sarah said, "Poor child, I think
she shouldn't be punished when she's so ill
And I said, "Sarah! you would spoil
any children, teaching them to make such
excuses. Is a child to be naughty because
she is ill ?" And I spoke very severely to
Clorinda, and took her back to her rock.
Then Edie asked me to dip Lily, because
she couldn't reach.
So I did, and she screamed ever so loud
the first time. So I dipped her again,
and she screamed again. So I dipped her
a third time. (You know, Ermelinda, it
was only pretence.)
Then Edie said, "Please, don't, don't,
Trots, any more; I can't bear it."
So I said, "Of course I won't, if you don't
wish it, Edie. You're her mamma; but
it's the only way to make a child like bath-
ing; but you must punish her by-and-by."
But Edie said she didn't want to punish
her, Lily was always good with her, and
she took her and kissed her and cuddled
her up, and called her a "darling child."
Edie is so foolishly fond of her dolly.
So I told her that she would quite
spoil her, and that instead of making her-
self so silly over the child, she'd much better
BREAD AND HUNGER SAUCE.
dry her and dress her before she got quite
So then we dried Lily on my pocket-
handkerchief, and dressed her. And then
I said, "Edie, she had better go and sit
"No," said Edie; "please, Trots, no."
And I said, "Indeed, Edie, I am sur-
prised at you. If you don't punish her to-
day, she will do just the same the next
time." So then Edie let me take Lily and
put her behind the rock close beside Clor-
inda, and then I told them both that they
were not to speak a word to one another
all the time.
And then we had our luncheon. It was
a piece of bread; but we were very hungry,
and it was very nice. Lucy used to laugh
and say we had capital luncheons on bread
and hunger sauce.
We hadn't finished, and I had just asked
THE MOWB1RAY BOYS.
whether we should keep a piece for the
dolls, and Edie had said, "Lily is quite
good now, and hungry," when we heard a
shout, and somebody say, "What a game,
Ned :" When we looked, there were two
boys who had hold of Clorinda and Lily,
laughing at them. They were two of those
Put down our dollies," I said. You've
no business to touch them."
But Frank Mowbray said, "Who's to
prevent us ? Now then, Ned, we will have
a game. Have you got a bit of string ?"
What did they mean to do to our dollies ?
They'd come down there to sail a great big
boat from the rocks. Why couldn't they
leave us alone, and go and play by them-
"Give me back my doll !" I said.
Come, little one," said Frank; "you are
the one they call Trots, ain't you ? And a
A PROPOSED SAIL.
very nice, sensible little Trots you are.
Now look here, we only want to have a bit
of fun with your dolls."
But I said, Give me my doll ;" and Edie
began to cry, and baby too, and Sarah said,
"Put the dolls down, young gentlemen,
and leave my children alone."
"Don't be in such a hurry," said Frank;
and then he held Clorinda and Lily high
up-as high as he could reach-and then
he said, "Now, Trots, listen to me. We
only want to put Clorinda and Lily on board
our boat; they'll enjoy it excessively, and
the sail will do them no end of good. Look
here we've a good thick string to our ship,
and we'll tie the dolls in ever so tight, so
that they can't be lost or wetted, and then
we'll send them for a sail. Now, say Yes !"
Poor little Edie began to cry. "Please
give me Lily-give Edie her doll."
But I stood thinking.
THE "WATER WITCH."
"Trots," he said, "it would be such fun
just to send them a little way, only a little
way; and you and Edie can see them all
the time; and it's such a fine ship, it's called
the Water Witch. Now just say Yes."
Then I said, "I think it would be great
fun Edie, shall we ?"
But Edie said, Lily will be drowned !"
"Oh no, Edie," said Frank, coaxingly,
"they won't be drowned. Look here it is
such a large ship; why, there would be
room for you or Trots. I say, Ned, shall
we send Edie to sea in the Water Witch ?"
But poor little Edie didn't wait for Ned
to answer, she ran and hid herself behind
Sarah; and Frank said, "Well, Edie shan't
go. May the dolls ? Say Yes, Trots."
And I did say Yes, Ermelinda, for I
thought it would be fun.
So first they tied Clorinda in very tight
to one mast, and there she sat, looking, oh !
THE DOLLIES ON BOARD.
so miserable, with the string round her in
the middle, and her poor head all hanging
down; and oh! my dear, I didn't care,
though she did look unhappy. And then
they tied Lily all quite flat on the deck,
because they couldn't make her sit even as
well as Clorinda; for you see poor Lily was
very lame, for one of her legs had been
broken, and Arty had mended it with a
hammer and nail.
Now, see," said Frank, they can't get
even their clothes wet; see how comfort-
able they look, Edie ;" and poor little Edie
was satisfied, and came running back to
Then, while Frank held one end of the
string, Ned clambered out along the rocks
to put the Water Witch into deep water.
Ah, you don't know how pretty she
looked! She had two masts, and lots of
sails, and she went so nice and upright (at
first), and the dolls looked all right upon
her deck; and little Edie and I stood by
Frank's side and helped to hold the string.
Then, after a little while, she began to
dance about a great deal, and a wave came
and almost knocked her on one side of her-
self. And Frank said, "I hope that Clor-
inda and Lily will not be sea-sick." And
then she got up straight again; and then
came another wave and over she went, and
Edie squeezed my hand very tight and said,
"Oh !" And I asked Frank to make her
come back, but he didn't answer me. So a
great many times she got upright and got
knocked down again, but still I could see
Clorinda sitting against the mast with her
head lower and lower.
"They will get wet, I know, Frank," I
said; "do make them come back." But I
couldn't walk as fast as Frank was obliged
to walk now, for the waves were carrying
ON THE ROCKS.
the Water Witch further and further
At last Ned shouted out, "Pull her in!
pull her in, Frank she's going fast round
the rocks !"
But the sea was very rough there, and it
carried the boat on and on, so that Frank
could hardly keep up with it.
"Pull her in pull her in! Gently,
Frank, she's on the rocks !"
And Frank did pull, but she wouldn't
move. There she was, stuck against a rock
so far out that neither Ned nor Frank could
get at her. It was quite deep all round.
"Try again, Frank; a little to the left,"
And so Frank did try, first on one side,
and then on the other, but it was no use:
there she lay, till at last, giving a great
pull, the string came loose, and Frank
wound it all up; but the Water Witch didn't
OUT TO SEA.
come with it. It had thumped itself away
from the string, and in one moment a great
wave came and carried the Water Witch
away from the rock, and all upright and
beautiful she sailed right, right away quite
into the sea.
And there we all stood watching her, and
never said one word.
At last Edie began to cry, and sobbed,
"I want my doll."
Don't bother," said Frank; who cares
for your scrubby old dolls? Come along,
Ned, we must get Larkins to go after her;"
and both the boys ran away and left us
watching the Water Witch, with Clorinda
and Lily on board, sailing away to France.
We didn't know what to do; we couldn't
believe they were quite gone. We thought
(for she looked so beautiful and grand) that
very soon she would turn round, just as the
real ships do, and bring Clorinda and Lily
THE COASTOVAflD MAN.
back to shore. So there we watched her
till she was quite a tiny speck.
Then Edie began to cry very much for
poor Lily, and just then old Allen (that's
the coastguard man we all know) came by.
Well, what's the matter now?" he said;
"can't I help you ?"
"Oh, go after them, man," sobbed Edie.
"Please go !"
"Who must I go after ?"
"Lily and Clorinda," I said. "Oh, Mr.
Allen, Mr. Allen! they're gone away to
Oh the naughty hussies," he said ; "they
ought to be ashamed of themselves."
"It wasn't their fault," I said, very angry
with him; "it was Ned and Frank."
"Who made them go ?" said stupid old
Allen. Oh, oh !" and he shook his head.
I don't know why he shook his head.
"It wasn't their fault," I kept saying to
" GONE FOR GOOD."
him. And then Sarah told him all about it,
and how Ned and Frank had tied them on
the ship, and how the ship had got away,
and was sailing over to France ever so fast;
and how the boys had gone off, she thought,
to get Larkins to go after the Water
And Allen said he was afeardd she was
gone for good, for Larkins was gone out
with a party."
"And Dolly will never come back no
more," sobbed Edie.
"Don't 'e cry, little one," said Mr. Allen;
and then he took his great long spy-glass,
that he can see ever and ever so far with, and
he looked through it, and he said, "Ah,
I have her Well, she is a gallant little
craft! How she scuds before the wind."
"Are Lily and Clorinda all right?" I
Ah, well, yes I think so," he said; and
THE CHILDREN'S GRIEF.
then he said quite low to himself, "It's a
pity they can't make all tight on deck in
this breeze, and stow away the passengers.
If I were skipper, I'd soon clear the decks,
and batten down the hatchways."
Do you think they're very wet ?" said I.
"I'm afraid so, little one," he said; "and
rather sea-sick too."
"Oh dear!" said Edie. And I said,
"Have they turned back, Mr. Allen?"
But he said they hadn't; and then Edie
and I began to get quite frightened, and we
both said, "Won't they ever, Mr. Allen?"
And then he said, "If this breeze last,
they'll never stop till they get to France,
unless they go to the bottom."
To the bottom of the sea ?" I asked in a
very low voice; and then I began to cry,
and Edie cried too. Oh, why had I punished
Clorinda and Lily! And now they were all
by themselves in the middle of the sea.
LOST AT SEA.
And it made Mr. Allen unhappy when he
saw us crying.
Now don't 'e, don't 'e cry, dears !" he
said. "I can't abear it, and all for a doll!
Why, I lost a little lad at sea once. Come,
dry up your tears; who knows, perhaps the
dollies will get safely over to France, and
some little, kind French child will find them
and take them home, and cuddle them up,
and love them There, there, stop crying,
and let me carry you home."
So then he took Edie up on one strong
arm, and carried her as if she'd been a dolly
herself. But I had forgotten all about
Clorinda, and I stole round to the other
side, and I put my hand into his and stroked
it, and said, "Poor Mr. Allen, tell us about
your boy." And that made us all cry,
Sarah and all; but I shan't tell you, Erme-
Mamma says that perhaps when the next
TWO DAYS LATER.
parcel comes from home, she will send for
you and for Edie's baby that her god-
mamma sent her. No more has been heard
of the Water Witch, and mamma was very
sorry about our poor dollies; and Arty
wrote on a bit of paper, and said he should
have it put in the Times,-" Lost at sea, the
schooner Water Witch, with all hands on
board." Oh, my dear, ain't you glad that
you're coming ? But I'm not sure yet.
Two days later. -You're not coming,
Ermelinda. Edie does not want her baby;
and if you are dull, I think that you are
safer and better where you are. What do
you think l!happllnt:. last night ? We older
ones went along the shore with papa and
mamma. We hadn't been on the beach
all that morning, for there had been quite
a cold wind blowing, which brought the
spray up quite far, and blew the sand up,
A GREAT SURPRISE.
so that it came into our eyes if we walked
anywhere near the sea, so mamma sent us
into the lanes; but in the evening the wind
lulled, and papa said it would be very plea-
sant, and that perhaps we should find some
good shells and sea-weed washed up. And
so we did, and stones, and bits of wood;
and I found a nut, that papa said had come
from some foreign country.
And while we were hunting about,
Arthur suddenly gave a great shout, and
called out, "Papa, Trots, all of you, look
And what do you think it was ? It was
the wreck of the Water Witch. The sea had
washed her up on the beach again; but all
her pretty masts and sails were gone, only
a few of them matted together with sea-
weed, and stones, and sand. Arty said he
shouldn't have known what it was, but for
a little bit of Clorinda's red petticoat that
A SAD SIGHT.
stuck out of it all; for, could you believe it,
when the ropes, and the masts, and the sea-
weed were cleared away, there were the
two dolls still fastened on the deck; only,
Ermelinda, poor Lily had no arms or legs,
only a body, and nothing of her face but
her nose, and all the paint gone. And they
wanted to leave her on the shore, only I
said that I knew quite, quite well that
Edie would rather have her like that than
not have her at all.
But when they had unfastened Clorinda,
oh dear! I couldn't bear to see her. She'd
all been washed out of that hole, so that
there was nothing left but her skin; and all
the colour was gone, and her two eyes were
gone, only the holes left, Ermelinda. And
her hair was gone, and there was an oyster
shell fastened tight on her shoulder. And
I had to try not to cry. So papa said that
he thought we had much better dig a large
NEWS FOR EDIE.
hole in the sand and put Clorinda in; and
we did. Wasn't that a sad end for Clo-
Papa said he was very pleased that we'd
found the Water Witch, and that her hull
was not at all damaged; a little fresh paint
and fresh rigging would put her to rights.
I'm glad too, though I don't think that
Frank and Ned deserve it; only Nurse says,
if we only got our deserts that we should
be badly off. I wonder what she means!
Little Edie was in bed when I ran up-
stairs calling out, "Edie, Edie, you can't
guess what I've got!" But she knew Lily
directly, though she'd only got her nose;
and she didn't say one word, but she gave
a great cry, and then she cuddled her up
in her little arms; and all the time I was
undressing I heard her saying softly, Poor
Lily poor, poor Did the littlee French
child love 'ou Hush, Lily hush, hush."
And very soon she hushed herself to sleep.
But the first thing I heard in the morning
was Edie kissing her doll. I think she
loves her much better now than when she
This has been a sad letter for you, Erme-
linda. Good-bye, my dear.
Your loving little mistress,
I']Y DEAREST ERMELINDA,-Sissy has
b/'i been away for the last two or three
.. days staying with that kind Miss
Staines at Nettleton-the same that
sent you to me, my dear. It is so near this
place that mamma did not like to say No,
and yet they did not like to spare her (I
heard them say so at breakfast); and I'm
sure that we don't, for it isn't half so nice
when Sissy is away. She is so kind, and
always ready to help us little ones. Lucy
is rather rough, and thinks us in the way;
and though it's great fun to play with Lucy
sometimes, yet I very often get into scrapes
WHAT LUCY WISHED.
with Lucy, while Sissy always seems to
keep us all good, as if it had .been mamma.
You see Lucy doesn't like girls, and is
always saying that she wishes she'd been a
boy. And now, Ermelinda, as I know you
won't laugh, I'll just tell you how the other
day she had her wish, and was a boy for a
I wonder whether it is quite right to
want to be a boy as much as Lucy does.
She says they are braver and stronger than
girls, and can play at cricket all their lives,
while she can't even now without Miss Jones
telling her that she's unladylike and a tom-
boy. Then she says she wishes she were a
boy. Is that right, Ermelinda T -i.h I
knew. Arty says, Of course it isn't, for it's
humbug to wish for what isn't possible."
Little Edie went and asked papa if he
wouldn't have Lucy christened into a boy;
but he only laughed, and said he could not
spare one of his little daughters, they'd be
useful some day; and mamma said she only
wanted her Lucy to be christened into a
gentle, modest little girl, contented in that
station of life to which God had called her.
Sissy said that in the Catechism last Sun-
day, so if it's there it can't be right of Lucy
to wish anything different. Can it ? Well,
now, I'll begin my story.
Last Thursday morning, the day after
Sissy went, there came a letter to ask if
papa and mamma would bring three of us
to see Mr. and Mrs. Selby at Nethercotes
that very same day. They said that they
had only got two children, boys of seven and
nine, and that they would be charmed
with some young companions; and that we
could stay and play in the garden while
papa and mamma and Mr. and Mrs. Selby
went off to see Captain Seaford, their old
friend and Lucy's godpapa, whose ship was
lying for two or three days just off High-
ness. Sissy being away, Lucy and Arty
and I were the three to go, and we set off
at eleven o'clock by the train. Lucy tried
hard to persuade papa to take her on board
the ship with them. She said she did so
want to see a man-of-war; but papa said
No, and wasn't pleased with Lucy for
going on asking so many times.
When we got to Mr. Selby's house, about
twelve o'clock, we found them all outside
waiting for us. And after we'd had some
wine and strawberries in the house, we
children were sent out into the garden to
play at croquet, or anything we liked, till it
was time for the early dinner. Lucy and
James Selby played against Arty and
Edward, and a capital game they had;
while I sat and watched them, and made a
very long daisy chain.
Lucy got praised for her playing, and
JAMES AND LUCY.
James Selby said she played just like a boy,
-much better than any girl he had ever
played with; she never changed the direc-
tion of her ball, and took such a straight
aim. "I say, you'd be a stunning hand at
cricket, Lucy," he said.
I can tell you, Ermelinda, that Lucy was
pleased; and she and James kept talking
together, and he took her to see his pony
and his rabbits, and all his things
I found it very dull, Dolly, after Lucy was
gone away with James, forArty and Edward
began another game together, and took no
notice of me; so after a little while I crept
away and looked for mamma, and stood by
her side in the drawing-room, while she was
talking to Mrs. Selby.
"Your Lucy and my boy James seeiin
great friends," Mrs. Selby was saying. "I
often wish they had a sister,-it is a very
good thing for them."
ON THE BEACH.
Well, at one o'clock came the early dinner,
and I sat next mamma, Dolly, and was very
happy; but soon afterwards papa and mam-
ma went away with Mr. and Mrs. Selby in
a boat to see their old friend, Captain Sea-
ford, in his ship the Prince of Wales.
We children went down to the beach to
see them off, and I heard Lucy saying
several times to James, "I wish we were
going too. Wouldn't it be fun if Captain
Seaford would send for us by-and-by?"
Mr. and Mrs. Selby had said that we could
stay and play on the beach if we liked, and
would take care not to get into any mischief.
And we all liked playing there much better
than going back to the garden
It wasn't like the beach at Tormouth at
all, but very rocky and pebbly, with large
slippery stones all about that had rolled
down from the cliff, and got covered with
sea-weed; and the stones ran far out into
HARE AND 1:OUNDS.
the sea, even now when it was low-water;
and there were great pools of water amongst
them full of sea-weed and sea-anemones.
We thought it much jollier than Tormouth.
Mr. Selby's old gardener had come down
with us, and after a little while I got
frightened at following Lucy about the
slippery stones, so she brought me back to
where he was sitting smoking his pipe, and
showed me how I could make little boats
of bits of wood that were lying about, and
sail them in a pool of water. I was very
happy there, but every now and then I
looked up to see what the others were
doing. They were playing at hare and
hounds, and seemed to be having capital
fun jumping from one large stone to another,
and laughing whenever anybody tumbled
down on the slippery sea-weed.
Lucy was a capital runner, and had on
thinner boots than the boys, so that her
LUCY IN TROUBLE.
feet could keep better hold of the rocks,
and so she very often caught the others
and was hare; and then she took such
jumps, and went so far out on the rocks,
that the old gardener kept calling to her,
"Take care, missy; come back." But Lucy
hardly listened to him.
At last, when she was being chased, and
I think beginning to get a little tired, and
when Arty and James were very nearly up
to her, she took a long jump off one great
stone on to another that was covered with
sea-weed, and her feet slipped, and in one
minute down she was head over heels into a
pool of water. She came up in one moment,
looking so white, Dolly-for the water
seemed to have taken the colour out of her
cheeks, just as it did out of Clorinda's-and
spluttering and dripping-oh! so wet!-
her frock and her cape-yes, even her Sun-
day hat-quite wet.
WHAT THE NURSE SAID.
But she didn't seem to mind it much-for
indeed she is very brave-and she was up
before either of the boys or old Sparkes
could get to her, and wanted to go on with
the game; but he wouldn't hear of that, and
insisted upon her going up to the house to
have her clothes dried.
He called the old servant, who had been
the boys' nurse when they were little.
"Goodness gracious !" she said, "why, the
young lady is in a mess Oh, you naughty
children, how did it happen? Why, she'll
catch her death of cold."
And then Lucy said it didn't matter, salt-
water never gave anybody cold.
But nurse said she must take off all her
things, and have them dried and ironed
before she'd be fit to be seen; and that she
must go to bed meanwhile, which was much
the best place for her, looking so white as
THE HOUSEMAID'S PLAN.
But Lucy begged hard not to be sent to
bed, and the boys said it was a great shame
to spoil their treat, for they should have no
fun without her; and so at last the house-
maid, who was very kind, said to the old
nurse, Why shouldn't the young lady put
on Master Edward's Sunday clothes? I
think they'd fit her; and I don't believe
missus would make any objection."
Nurse couldn't quite make up her mind,
but they all begged and prayed that she
would, and said that they should be very
quiet when they went out again, and not
go jumping about any more. And so first
of all she went and got a glass of wine and
made it warm over the fire, and put some
water and sugar to it, for Lucy to drink, lest
she should catch cold; and though Lucy had
hardly ever tasted wine before, she drank
this all off now, and said it was very good.
Then nurse put on her Edward's suit of
LUCY IN A STRANGE DRESS.
black velvet jacket and knickerbockers, and
let her have his Scotch cap with a jay's
feather in it. And, Ermelinda, she did look
like the prettiest boy you ever did see; for,
you know, she was ill in the winter, and
her short brown hair was curling all over
her head; and she looked so pleased, and the
wine, I suppose, had brought such a pretty
colour into her cheeks.
I was almost sorry myself that she wasn't
a boy, only I don't think mamma would
have bought her a velvet suit. James said
she looked stunning; but Edward said she'd
much better have stayed in bed, and that
she was a jay in peacock's plumes. I don't
think he liked her wearing his clothes; and
I think he was very unkind to say that,
though I don't know what he meant; and
Arty said if she was anything, she was a
peacock in jay's feathers.
So when she was dressed, nurse said we
BOY OR GIRL ?
were to stay in the garden; but they none
of them liked that at all, and promised that
they would be very quiet and not run about
on the rocks any more, if only they might
go back to the beach.
So at last nurse consented, making Lucy
promise not to do anything to hurt Edward's
clothes, and telling old Sparkes he was not
to let us out of his sight for a moment.
At first it was quite fun enough for them
all laughing at Lucy, and saying she made
a capital boy, and seeing whether she could
double up her fist like a boy; and James
praised her because she didn't stick out her
thumb like a girl (as he said). And then
they began to try which could hop and
jump the furthest, till Edward said she
shouldn't behave like a tomboy in his
clothes; and then they began quarrelling.
And, 0 Ermelinda, then I got frightened, for
Lucy wasn't like herself, and was so cross, and
A BAD, RUDE BOY.
she was the colour of a rose, and old Sparkes
said that the wine had got into her head.
But it was much worse when another
boy came whose name was Tom Weston;
and he quite thought Lucy was a boy, and
began chaffing her for being so grand in her
velvet, and asked her where she went to
school, and who taught her. And when
she said Mother," he laughed at her for
being tied to her "mammy's" apron-strings.
He was a very bad, rude boy, Ermelinda;
I know he was. Then he asked her how
far she'd got in Latin, and she was obliged
to say she didn't do Latin at all.
And then Arty said, "You'd better just
tell him, Lucius, that you know-
Hic, haec, hoc,
Lay him on the block;
Prepare for the strike.
And that if he doesn't look out, he had
better prepare for one too."
MORE TROUBLE FOR LUCY.
Oh, I'm quite prepared," said Tom. I
don't think Master Lucius' hands look as
if he were so good at fighting as at Latin
grammar." And then he seized hold of
Lucy's little white hand, and gave it such a
squeeze that it made her call out; and he
said, "There's a jolly hand for a boy!"
Just then Edward came up behind Lucy
and whispered, "Don't you make a good
boy, and no mistake ?" And Lucy looked so
angry that I ran up to her and said, "Do
come away, Lucy." But that only made
her more angry, and she told me not to
interfere, and she gave me a push (it was
quite a gentle one, Ermelinda) which made
me stumble up against a rock; and in one
moment that great stranger boy Tom gave
her a blow on the face, and said, "You'd
best bully the little one, you coward !"
And, O Dolly! the blood came spurting out
of Lucy's nose.
Then I (Trots) pushed at him and kicked
him as hard as I could, and I said, "You
shan't hit our Lucy! Oh Lucy! Lucy !"
And poor Lucy sat down on the ground,
and I put my arms round her that he
shouldn't hurt her; while Sparkes put Arty
on one side-who wanted to fight Tom-
and then took the naughty boy by the
shoulders and told him to go away at once,
or he'd give him a thrashing.
But as he went away, he called out, "A
nice boy you are Much more like a girl!
Good-bye, Miss Lucius."
And that cross Edward came up and
whispered again, Don't we make a capital
But kind James and Arty filled their
pocket-handkerchiefs with water, and held
them to poor Lucy's face, and managed to
get the stains pretty well off Edward's
A BOAT FROM THE MAN-OF-WAR.
While all this was going on, we hadn't
noticed that a boat had come round the
rocks rowed by four men in blue shirts and
white trousers, with black silk ties round
their throats, quite loose, and ribbons on
their hats, on which was written in letters
like a book, Prince of Wales.
I told you, Ermelinda, that our papa and
mamma, with Mr. and Mrs. Selby, had gone
to see Captain Seaford on board his ship.
Perhaps they had told him how anxious
Lucy and the rest had been to see a man-
of-war. And wasn't it kind of him !-he
had sent a boat to fetch us all on board.
There was a nice old man come for us,
who was something like old Sparkes, but
dressed like that doll Lucy had brought her
from the bazaar, that Arty calls "Boat-
swain;" and he came up to us and said that
we were all to come with him on board
WHAT IT HAD COME FOR.
Then Lucy said at once, Oh, I can't go !
Please, I can't go !"
But the old gentleman said, I am under
orders, young gentleman; the Cap'n he
says to me, 'Jones, fetch my godchild, and
all of them.'"
That's you," said I to Lucy, and so you
Then poor Lucy didn't say another word;
and indeed she hadn't time, for the old
gentleman took me up in his arms, and
took Lucy by the hand, and he says to old
Sparkes, "Please to tell them at the house
that they are not coming home to dinner,
and that I've taken the young ones on
Then he lifted me into the boat very
gently, and says he, We must take great
care of you, little miss, amongst all of us
men and boys." And when he lifted Lucy
in, he touched his hat with a little smile,
IN SIGHT OF THE SHIP.
and said, "Beg pardon, young gentleman,
but you looks a delicate little chap. As
you're the Cap'n's godson, perhaps some
day we'll get better acquainted, for I
always sails with him."
I hardly think Lucy heard him, for she
sat very still and white, squeezing my hand
all the time.
It wasn't long, Dolly, before we saw the
ship, which was lying just round the Ness."
And I was frightened, Dolly, when we got
alongside; for the ship looked so very, very
high, and the water all round her looked
so black and deep. And there were
several funny windows and holes in her
side, and out of one there was a boy look-
ing, with gold about him, not so very much
bigger than James, who called out, "I say,
old Touch, you've done it nicely! You've
brought the wrong lot! There were to be
two little girls."
A FUNNY PLACE.
But our old gentleman didn't answer
him; and in another minute I was standing
with Lucy's hand clasped ever so tight in
mine, and I heard him say to her, "I ex-
pect, young gentleman, you'll learn some
day to come over a ship's side in rather
a different fashion."
I think he was a stupid old man, not to
know that Lucy was a girl.
Well, Dolly, I had hardly time to look
round at the funny place I was in-very
large; but oh, not near so high even as
Betsy's attic, and where there seemed a
constant buzz of people coming, and going,
and talking-before the old gentleman had
led us up to a door where a soldier was
standing, and then in a moment we were
all in a funny room full of people.
But I didn't feel frightened any more; for
at the other end, though there were such
lots of gentlemen, I could see one dear face,
" WHICH IS MY GODCHILD? "
and that was mamma's. And so in one
moment I had slipped my hand out of the
old gentleman's, and had run up safe under
her arm; while poor Lucy had done the
same, but she didn't come in front, only
cowered down frightened behind mamma's
And then the old gentleman touched his
forehead, and said, Please, sir, I've brought
the young people." And, Dolly, everybody
"Bring them up here, Jones," said the
captain, in a loud, clear voice. "Which is
my godchild ?"
So then old Mr. Jones picked up poor
trembling Lucy from behind mamma's
chair, and stood her close up to the captain,
where everybody could see her. And after
a moment the captain spoke,-
"Why, Mrs. Fenton, how's this? I
thought my godchild was a girl, and, lo,
he's a boy! We'll make a middy of
And mamma got very red, Dolly, and
"Oh, Captain Seaford, I am ashamed!
She is a little girl!"
And the captain said,-
"You ought to know best, madam."
What a stupid man he was! And then,
Ermelinda, I (Trots) jumped up and tried
to pull her hands from her face, where she
kept them tight; and I said,-
"She is a little girl. She's our Lucy.
But she tumbled in the water, and they
put Edward's Sunday clothes on her. A
bad boy hit her, and made her nose bleed;
and she didn't want to come, and old Mr.
Jones would make her,-and everybody's
Hush, Trots," said mamma.
And then how Captain Seaford laughed,
and everybody laughed too; and he got
hold of Lucy's hands and held them tight,
though I tried to pull them away from him
"I'll let her go in a minute, Trots," he
said, "if she really is a girl; but I don't
think that's true, so you'll all of you please to
drink the health of my new godson, 'Mid-
shipman Lucy.' Here, Jones, I think you
must drink that health;" and he filled a
glass of wine for Mr. Jones,
O Dolly, I thought him so unkind! And
then they all drank Lucy's health, and
nodded to her; but she couldn't see them
as I did, for she hung her head down
quite low, and her eyes were quite full of
So then he did let go her hand, and poor
Lucy flew by and crouched down close to
mamma, and hid her face in mamma's
dress. And then, Dolly, dear mamma put
THE WONDERS OF THE DIG SHIP.
a shawl that she had with her right over
Lucy's velvet clothes, and let her lie hiding
there. And oh, I was so glad when they
all began to talk of something else.
So then I sat between the captain and
mamma. And we had for dessert straw-
berries and cream, and cake, and some
sweet things that he'd brought from the
West Indies. And when he'd finished, he
Now, Trots, shouldn't you like to go and
see the ship, the big guns, and the funny
beds that the men sleep in, and the cow
and its calf? "
"Are they in a field ?" I said.
And he laughed, and said I should see
O Dolly, what lots of things I shall have
to tell you when I get home !
Then he said, "Where's my godson? But
when he went to lift Lucy up, there she
was, fast, fast asleep, keeping tight hold of
Poor little child," he said, as he put her
into papa's arms. Here, don't wake her,
Fenton; lay her down on my bed in here,
and let her have her sleep out. After all,
Trots, I do believe that she's a girl."
So we went round the ship; and Lucy
slept on, and hardly opened her eyes even
when her godpapa carried her to the boat
in his own arms, and the men rowed us
back in the pretty bright moonlight to the
beach. Then we started for home directly,
and didn't get back till past eleven.
But the next morning I was woke by
Lucy coming into my bed, and covering
me with kisses, and saying, "0 Trots, I was
cross to you yesterday; please forgive me,
but I was so miserable Oh, I don't want
to be a boy Please tell me all about it.
Did I knock you down, Trots ?"
ANOTHER LETTER ENDED.
"No, no, Lucy," I said; and then I had
to tell her all, for she had nearly forgotten
everything except how unhappy she'd been.
"What a black mark that is on your hand,
Lucy," I said; "that was where that bad
boy squeezed you."
But, Ermelinda, this letter is so long, that
I'm sure you'll never read it. So good-bye
for the present.
Your loving little mistress,
^ ,- .,, .' _
f- ; -' i j ^ ''' ''--
rip DEAREST ERMELINDA, Sissy is
SI' coming back to-day, and we are all
-.-'i -.' going to the station, by-and-by, to
"' meet her; so, meanwhile, I shall
write a letter to you.
I am sitting by my dear mamma while she
is working, so that sometimes I can ask her
about my letter. One day I wanted her to
read it all; but she laughed, and said, Why,
dear Trots, it is only a scribble, and I'm not
clever enough to read that." But you are,
Dolly; you can read my writing every bit
as well as the best, and I can write so much
faster this way than if I spelt every word.
THE RESULT OF DISOBEDIENCE. 85
We are very glad that Sissy is coming
back, though Lucy is so dear and kind, and
we all love her so much.
Since I wrote to you last, Dolly, we have
had a great trouble and a great fright; and
it didn't make it any better that it came
from our own disobedience: for though
Lucy says I had nothing at all to do with
it, yet still I think I had; and, besides,
what happens to one seems to belong to
us all, and that we are good or naughty
Ah, Ermelinda, you are only a doll, so
you can't be naughty, which is a good
thing for you But then you can't know
either what it is to love our papa and
mamma as we do, and to feel that they
have forgiven us, and will trust us again.
It was only yesterday morning, Dolly,
before all this had happened. Nurse had
been dressing us rather quickly, for she
A LETTER FROM CAPTAIN SEAFORD.
was going to spend the day with her old
father and mother, who live not far from
here. Mamma had given her leave, and
she had written to say that she was coming.
" Won't father and mother be looking out
for me !" she had said two or three times
during the morning.
But when we came down to breakfast (I
have my breakfast down-stairs, not with
Edie and baby in the nursery), papa and
mamma were talking over a letter that
they had just received. It was from Cap-
tain Seaford, proposing that they should
come on board the Prince of Wales to lun-
cheon, and then go with him into the dock-
yard to see a great ironclad launched.
Mamma was saying that she thought, as
Nurse was going out for the day, she must
stay at home; for there were too many of
as to be left with Sarah only, especially as
Sissy was away.
Nurse came in just as mamma was say-
ing this. You know she has lived with
papa and mamma ever since Sissy was a
tiny baby, so they always tell her all about
things; and when she heard what it
was about, she said, "Oh dear, what a
pity! I could have gone just as well any
other day, if I hadn't written to mother;
but she would be frightened now if I
don't go What a pity, ma'am, you
should miss seeing the big ship! And
master, too, he won't enjoy himself half
as much if you don't go! Oh, it is a
After a minute, she said, "Now, don't
you think, ma'am, if I were just to take
dear baby along with me, that Sarah could
be left with the others ? My father and
mother would be pleased to see the dar-
ling, and the rest ain't much trouble when
they're good. I'm sure they'll do their best
so that you may go, ma'am. Now, you
wouldn't be afraid ?"
And we all said in a chorus, that we'd
be very, very, very good; but mamma must
So the end of it was that mamma said
she would go, and that she would trust us
to be quite good and obedient to Sarah,
and not to quarrel amongst ourselves.
And we promised we would be good, and
then she said she would go quite happily,
and not feel uneasy about us at all. And
then she said, "What I should advise
would be, that you all stay quietly in the
garden or on the beach till tea-time, which
can be quite early, and then you can go for
a good walk, and take a basket with some
buns and cherries, and eat them before you
come home. That will be a kind of picnic."
We all thought this a capital arrange-
ment,-and we talked a good deal about
OUR PLANS FIXED.
going to Berryman's Bay, which was a very
favourite place; but afterwards we settled
among ourselves that we would go to Fair-
light Beach, and look for shells. You get
lots of small ones there, and we wanted
some for Sissy, who was coming home the
next day; and, besides, we couldn't go any
further, because Edie's perambulator had
been left at home.
We asked papa when high-water would
be, and he said, "Oh, not till twelve
o'clock,"-when he hoped we should be all
safe in our beds; and that it would be very
low water just at six o'clock. So we
thought that would do capitally, and made
up our minds to get a good supply. So
at ten o'clock Nurse set off with baby,
begging Sarah to be very careful, and to be
back by eight o'clock, as that would be
quite time for Miss Edie to be in bed. Then
at eleven o'clock we went to bathe as usual,
AN AFTERNOON IN THE GARDEN.
and at twelve o'clock papa and mamma
went away by the train, and Edie went to
bed for an hour, and I (Trots) lay down too,
for it was very warm.
Then we had such a nice afternoon in the
garden, with Sarah working, and all of us
polishing stones, and talking about the
things we should have to take home with
us, and about the little shells we were going
to get for Sissy. Lucy was very kind, and
let me help her. There wasn't one word of
quarrelling, for whenever Lucy was at all
cross, Arty would say, "Remember our
promise, Lucy," and Lucy the same to him.
Only once, when Arty would have the
snake-stone before Lucy had done with it,
and said it wasn't fair of her keeping it
so long, and she said, Remember, Arty,"
he declared that she only said so that she
might keep it, and "that some promises
were like Die-crust, made to be broken."
But when Sarah said, "For shame, Master
Arthur," and I said, Not to our papa and
mamma," do you know, Ermelinda, he was
good and kind directly! Only Lucy had
given him the snake-stone first.
"Why is it, Arty," she said by-and-by,
"that papa won't let us go further by our-
selves than Fairlight Beach ? I like Ship-
wreck Bay so much, it's prettier than Fair-
light; and, do you know, when papa took
us in the other day, there were such pretty
shells there Why won't he let us go al-
ways ? "
Oh, because at high-water you can't get
"But you could climb up the cliffs
"No, you couldn't; there isn't one place
in the whole bay."
"And why is it called Shipwreck Bay?"
Because once on a time a great big East
TEA AND SHRIMPS.
Indiaman went ashore there, and almost
every one was lost !"
Were they all drowned ?" said I (Trots).
"All drowned ?" said little Edie.
"Almost all," said Arthur; "but you
needn't look so melancholy about it,-that
was twenty years ago."
Well, we had our tea, Ermelinda, at four
o'clock. Wasn't that fun to have it so
early ? But Sarah said we might if we
liked, and then we should be ready to start
all the sooner. And we had shrimps for
So we started at five o'clock, and Sarah
carried Edie till we got out of the town,
.while Arty carried the basket; and then in
the lanes Sarah put Edie down, and took
the basket herself.
We had gone that way because Sarah
said it would be nice and cool while the
sun was high, and that we should come
ON THE WAY.
back by the shore. And it was very plea-
sant; and we went slowly, and Arty and
Lucy got all sorts of flowers, and stuck
them into Edie's hat and mine, and they
made Sarah put some in her bonnet
Then we gathered a great bunch of honey-
suckle, and vetch, and roses, and all sorts
of things. And Sarah said it was almost a
pity, for the poor things would die before
we got them home; but Lucy said she
would keep them fresh till we were ready
to start, by putting them in a pool of water
among the rocks.
Then Arty said she was a muff, to think
of keeping her flowers alive in sea-water.
But Lucy said that she had once seen
mamma put a pinch of salt into the water
when she was doing the flowers; and she
wasn't a muff at all. And her voice sounded
a little cross.
Then Edie looked very grave, and said,
AT FAIRLIGHT BEACH.
"Remember;" and just at that moment
we met all the little Mowbrays going home
very orderly to tea.
We don't much like the little Mowbrays;
and they stopped and laughed at us, and
said we looked like a lot of gipsies. Which
was rather rude.
When we got down upon Fairlight Beach,
the sea looked very, very far off, as if it
never could come back at all. And Arty
said it was the lowest tide that we should
have while we were at Tormouth. So it
was a lucky day to have come shell-hunting.
But he didn't understand what had be-
come of Shipwreck Bay, for it didn't look
like a bay at all; and it was a minute or
two before we could make it out. There
was a big rock which we thought the bound-
ary of the bay on our side, and called the
Crocodile's Head, because of its funny shape;
or sometimes (when we were playing at
THE CROCODILE'S HEAD.
"desert islands," as we often did) Danger
Rock. This big rock, I say, which gener-
ally had the water coming close up to it,
was now quite far away.
If you hadn't known better," Arty said,
"you wouldn't have said there was a bay
at all." In fact, he didn't know where Ship-
wreck Bay began.
But Sarah said we knew very well that
we were not allowed to go beyond the Cro-
codile's Head, and that was enough for us.
Then Arty said it was absurd not to
go a little further, when the sea was miles
away, and that Sarah liked being tyrannical
when she had a chance.
That wasn't fair of Arty, was it ?
But Sarah said she didn't want to be
tyrannical. Only she knew master's orders,
let the sea be where it might.
And Lucy said cheerfully, "Come along,
and don't lose any more time."
HUNTING FOR SHELLS.
You must know that here and there round
the big stones that lie on the sand on Fair-
light Beach, there are hundreds and hun-
dreds of tiny shells, washed up by the tide,
that have lodged safely against them, and
so not been swept away again by the water.
And now we each of us knelt down by a
big stone, and began hunting up the tiny
shells, and securing them in a corner of our
pocket-handkerchiefs. We found some
great treasures, and went on hunting for a
long, long time. Presently Arty got tired,
and got up, and said, Shouldn't we have
our buns?" And Sarah said, Oh yes.
It will soon be time to go home again, so
We were a long time eating our buns
and cherries; and after, that Sarah said
she thought it must be past seven o'clock,
and so in a very few minutes it would be
time to go home.
PAST DANGER POINT.
Then Arty said he wanted to get a few
more of those tiny thin pink shells for Sissy,
who was making a box covered with them;
and he would just go ever such a little way
towards Shipwreck Bay,-not further than
the Crocodile's Head, because he found the
most that way.
So Sarah said, "Don't go far, Master
Arthur;" and off he ran. He groped about
among the rocks for a little while with his
face towards Shipwreck Bay, till he had got
past Danger Point, and then he began to
pick up shells here and there along the
sand. So he called out, "Lucy, Lucy! do
come,-there are such beauties !" And
Sarah called to him several times, "Come
back, Master Arthur;" and he kept saying,
" I'm coming in one minute. Lucy, Lucy!"
But Lucy wouldn't go.
And still he went on and on, picking up
shells every now and then, till he had got
quite far from us, and Sarah could hardly
make him hear.
"Oh, Miss Lucy," she said, the tide is
coming in; do run after him and tell him
to come back."
And Lucy just said, "Had I better,
Sarah ?" But she wanted to go, and so off
She soon came up to him, and we saw
her pull him by the sleeve, and try to make
him come back; but he opened his hand-
kerchief, and showed her some quite new
shells he had found, and said (so he told
us afterwards), "Let us get just one or
two first, Lucy; I won't go back without
one or two more." And she began to help
him to look; and on and on they went,
with their faces turned away from home.
They didn't know how fast the minutes
went by. But poor Sarah kept saying,
"Oh dear! oh dear! Master Arthur !
TROTS AND EDIE.
Miss Lucy!" But they seemed not to
hear her voice.
At last she said, Miss Trots, just you
take Miss Edie's hand, and stand here.
Don't move a bit till I come back, and
I will run very quickly and fetch them.
There's nothing to be frightened at, dear.
You will see me all the way, and I will be
And I said, Oh, we shan't be frightened.
Edie won't be frightened to stay with
And darling Edie said, "Trot's quite
big girl. Edie stay with her."
So away ran Sarah, and we stood look-
ing after her, hand in hand. It seemed such
a long time while Sarah was running after
them over the heavy sand, and they keep-
ing on and on all the time without once
Poor little Edie clung very tight to me,
"SARAH, ITS COMING."
and kept looking at the waves, which were
coming back very fast now; and she kept
saying, "Oh, the water, Trots! Oh, it's
coming, it's coming." And, Ermelinda,
indeed, I didn't get frightened. But when
she began calling, "Sarah, Sarah! it's
coming," I couldn't help calling too, as loud
as I could, Sarah, it's coming."
And in a minute she said, "Let's run,
Trots! Run." And she set off, pulling at
my hand all the time; and so I didn't stop
her, as I ought; but I ran too. We ran
after Sarah into Shipwreck Bay.
And Sarah looked back and saw us run-
ning, and she stopped and turned back, and
ran towards us. And then she stopped
again, and looked out at the water coming
racing in very fast, and she turned once
more and ran as fast as ever she could after
Lucy and Arty.
Poor Sarah, she didn't know what to do.