The Baldwin Library
THE SNOWDROP PAPERS.
Mi:ssRs. TIT, TINKLE, PIPPIN, POP, PERRY,
WINKLE AND CHERRY BLOSSOM.
EDITED BY SIR FLORIZEL BLUEBELL,
Knight of the Soulhern Cross and Beanstalk-in- Waiting
to King Oberon.
DEDICATED BY SPECIAL PERMISSION TO TIlE QUEEN
REMINGTON AND CO.,
5, ARUNDEL STREET, STRAND, W.C.
[ALL RIGHTS RLESERVEID.
WHICI TELLS HOW THE BOOK GOT ITS MOST EXTRAORDINARY TITLE,
AND WHAT THE KING OF THE FAIRIES SAID WHEN HE HEARD
" His Most Transparent, Festive Majesty, Oberon, King of all
the Fairies; Hereditary Grand Duke of the Elfin bands; Earl
of Pixie, in the County of Legendshire, in the Peerage of the
United Kingdom of Cock-and-Bull; Viscount Brownie, in
the County of Hobgoblin; and Baron Perry Werry Winkle,
of Cockalorum Castle." Thus did the Lion-King-at-Arms, of
the Fairy Court, Prince Puck, announce the approach of the
most potent Monarch, his master, as, amid a blare of bluebell
trumpets, he approached the throne, and seated himself beside
his queen, the lovely Titania. A moment's silence followed the
arrival of His Majesty, in order that the assembled Court might
fully realize the solemn Presence. When this was over, and
all the fairies had resumed their seats, the King was seen to
hand a paper to Prince Puck, who at once advanced to the
edge of the violet and primrose dais, and throwing himself into
an attitude of importance, read as follows :-
" We, the Monarch of Fairyland, and Prince of the Moonlit
Woodlands, in Council with our beloved Queen, trusty
Lords, and faithful Commons, do hereby open the last
Session of our Parliament, previous to the Christmas
recess, and issue commands for the immediate prepara-
tion of stories, tales, histories, legends, anecdotes and
chronicles, suitable for the delectation of the dear little
men and women we love so well.
"Given under our hand and seal, on the first day
of the last moon of 1877."
Again a fanfaron of trumpets, and the King and Queen
(followed by the chief officers of state) dressed in the most
lovely cobweb tissues, spun by the most fashionable court
spiders, and dyed with hyacinth and violet juice, slowly
marched away, and disappeared from the dais, leaving Parlia-
ment to take immediate measures to carry out their commands.
A Bill was at once passed, printed on a snowdrop leaf, and
sealed with the great seal made of a daisy-petal; forming and
empowering a committee to commence at once the literary
labours of the session, and to write stories subject to the
revision and approval of the whole House.
The following are the names of the IIon'ble Members con-
stituting the Committee :-Messrs. Tit, M.P.; Tinkle, M.P.;
Pippin, M.P.; Pop, M.P.; Perry, M.P.; Winkle, M.P.; and
After considerable discussion, it ivas arranged that each
Hon'ble Member should write a separate tale, beginning with
Mr. Tit, who should write one for Christmas Day, and ending
with Mr. Cherryblossom, who should write one for the last
day of the year.
Well, they all went to their own houses (some lived under
mushrooms, others in harebell cups, but most of them in cow-
slips), made pens out of little pieces of dry grass and ink out of
dandelion juice, folded up little books of white lily and lilac
leaf, and so began their stories.
When they had all finished, they met together again. Mr.
Tit read each tale aloud, and they were all pronounced pretty
good, except Mr. Cherryblossom's, which was decidedly stupid:
so Mr. Cherryblossom was sent back to write another, which
he quickly did, being a very good-natured fairy, and of good
parts, though lazy. Well, they assembled again, and Mr.
Cherryblossom's story was passed. A very hot discussion
now ensued, regarding the name which was to be given to the
seven stories collected together.
Mr. Tinkle proposed that they should be called The Moon
and Forest Collection," as the authors were all "K.G.C.M.F.'s"
-Knight Grand Commanders of the Moon and Forests;
but Mr. Winkle laughed at this, and said they might as well
be called The Toes and Noses Collection," because they
had all "toeses and noses." On this Mr. Tinkle grew very
angry and drew his sword, which was a rose-thorn, and
there would have been bloodshed had not the others inter-
posed. Now Mr. Pop was an old and highly respected fairy,
and when he rose to speak was always listened to; so he got
up and said-
Gentlemen,-hm-I grieve-hm-I grieve to see this
warmth in an elfin assembly-among brother brownies, who
for so many thousand years have danced in the moonlight
But, just at this point, Prince Puck hurried in, and Mr.
Pop, who quite intended a long oration, was brought suddenly
to a stop. Are you aware," said the Prince, taking his
stand on a daisy in the midst of the Committee, are you
aware that the moon is now waning, and that in another
hour we shall have to fly to our homes under the earth, and
dissolve our Parliament ? Hasten, gentlemen, to fulfil your
instructions." Then they all said, "But, your Royal High-
ness, we can't determine on a name for the book we have
Ho! ho is that all?" shouted Puck, "What's in a name ?
I'll soon christen it; let me see, now "-and here the Prince
rested his chin on his hand, looked down, and was for a
moment lost in thought; Why not call it The Snowdrop
Papers,' since the Bill authorizing you to write was drawn
up on snowdrop parchment?"
So they named it The Snowdrop Papers," for they could
not well disapprove of H.R.H.'s selection. Well, the Snow-
drop Papers were, after some amendments, approved of by
Parliament, and all that remained to be done was to get the
sanction of the Sovereign. A copy bound in ladybird's wings
was accordingly sent to Daffodil Palace. When the parcel
arrived, Prince Puck opened it, and handed the volume to
His Majesty, who exclaimed, on seeing the title, Oh my
crikey what a rum name "
My dear," said the Queen, quite shocked at the King's
using such slang expressions, how can you ?"
"Well, well replied the gracious monarch, take it, my
love, and do what you like with it." For you see the King
was not of a literary turn of mind. So the Queen took The
Snowdrop Papers," and read them aloud in the Royal nursery,
where they were entirely approved of. The sanction of the
Throne to their publication was therefore given, and a letter
of thanks to Tit, Tinkle, Pippin, Pop, Perry, Winkle, and
Cherryblossom, couched in the following terms, was drawn up
in the Private Secretary's Office-the Gooseberry Chamber.
It was written in fly's blood, supplied by the Hon'ble Com-
pany of Tarantuli, on an enormous sheet of hawthorn-blossom
paper, manufactured expressly for the purpose by a committee
composed of seven pretty young female wasps. It had a
beautiful Grecian pattern border, cut out by a very skilful
silkworm belonging to Queen Titania's millinery establish-
This was the letter :
" To Messrs. Tit, Tinkle, Pippin, Pop, Perry,
Winkle, and Cherryblossom.
"From Pte. Secy's Office,
I am commanded by H.M. the King, to acknow-
ledge and thank you for the very handsome copy of The
Snowdrop Papers which you have had the goodness to send.
As a mark of esteem and gratitude, His Majesty is pleased to
confer upon you the order of the Sea Anemone, and directs
me to inform you that H.R.H. Prince Puck has been des-
patched to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to obtain the
"I have the honour to be,
"Your most obt. humble servant,
Pte. Sec. to H.M. Oberon R."
So here you have the whole history of The Snowdrop
THE clock on the drawing room mantel-piece had tinkled
seven and the big people were going in to dinner, when two
little folk were seen by the old moon, who was peeping at
that moment through the staircase window-trudging sleepily
10 TIT'S STORY.
up to bed. In another moment the moon was covered with
clouds, which were fast gathering together; for it was
Christmas-eve, and they were very busy preparing to snow,
that all the world might be prettier than ever on the birth-
day of its dear Lord.
Trotty and Flo were soon in their nightgowns looking like
little snow-men, and scrambling up on old nurse's lap
to have their trotters warmed before going to roost, as
the birds say.
They had said their prayers, and Martha was telling them
to think of Heaven's High Prince whose birthday they were
to keep to-morrow, and to try to dream of Him, as He loved
tiny people especially, and would perhaps bless them while
they slept. And they promised to try.. So when their toes
were as warm as apple dumplings, nurse laid them together
in their cot and tucked the blankets round them; and they
snuggled into one another's arms, while she sat near and sang
in a low voice-
Jesus, gentle Shepherd, hear me,
Bless these little lambs to-night,
Through the darkness be Thou near them,
Fill their souls with heavenly light."
Soon Martha's voice sounded very far away, and they were
asleep. Now, they were good little trots, so this pretty
dream came to them all the way from Heaven-a Christmas
gift from the Great King.
The air was filled with the gentle, silent snow, and the
moon was quite hidden in the clouds, when all at once a bright
figure, whiter than a lily leaf, was seen by Trotty and Flo,
coming quickly towards them through the still night. For
one moment they nestled closer to one another, half frightened,
but in the next a voice, softer than a snowflake falling on the
sea and clearer than a silver bell, said, Little ones," and no
more. In an instant their fear went away, and they looked
up-just as they would look at their mamma-and saw, hover-
ing above them, an angel with great downy wings spread out.
The face was tinted with a faint blush, the eyes, very wide
open, looked wonderfully full of knowledge and kindness,
and the mouth, beautifully curved and small, was just opening
with a little tremble, which the children at once understood
to indicate love.
The sweet voice once more fell upon the air, and finishing
the sentence already begun, dropped the words "come to me."
At once they found themselves in the angel's arms, one on
either side. Now, although they were out among the snow-
flakes, as it seemed, with nothing on but their little white
nightgowns, they felt quite warm, and when the radiant face
stooped down and imprinted a fond, lingering kiss, first on
Trotty's forehead, for she was the eldest, and the angel
knew it of course, then on Flo's, their hearts tingled with a
pleasure they had never felt before, and they pressed closer
to the kind angel's bosom.
The great wings closed slowly, then opened again, and before
the children could utter one little cry of astonishment, they
found they were speeding quickly upwards through the air. In
a moment thelyhad passed through and were above the snow
clouds, and out among the stars in the bright moonlight,
shooting still upward like an arrow flying on the wind, while
the mighty wings of the angel steadily opened and closed;
sometimes spreading out and remaining still for a few minutes,
then with a low whirr-r-r striking the air again. Up, up, still
up, till the world below grew small, and looked like the moon;
still higher they flew, through crowds of stars, till the world
was lost among them; further yet, till they got to a region
where the stars were lost in the distance below. Here the
air was very blue, and there was a kind of twilight, or early
morning light, which appeared to grow brighter as they went
on. An intense sweetness, too, pervaded the atmosphere,
and Trotty and Flo felt as if a great weight had been taken
off them on entering it. They became exquisitely happy-
for they were now on the border-land of Heaven.
Presently the sound of a very far away trumpet fell on
their ears, and died away again. The air brightened into a
lovely pink shade, as bright as morning just before the sun
rises, or as evening after it sets. They felt still happier here;
joy seemed to run in their veins. Another and another clear
trumpet sound now rang through the welkin; a moment
more and the air was full of glorious sound, and in the far
distance hundreds of bright beings were seen flying about,
while high above towered the crystal battlements of Zion,
gleaming in light of dazzling brilliancy.
I may take you no farther, darlings," said the angel, who
stopped ascending, and now floated on the azure abyss with
outstretched pinions, "but I will tell you a little about the
city and its mighty King."
First of all, as to those innumerable angels whom you
see issuing forth and speeding away so swiftly in all
directions; they are the messengers of God bearing to
countless stars, of which the world you live in is one, tidings
of comfort and love. On this night in particular, the air is
full of the great King's heralds; for on this night, eighteen
hundred and seventy-seven years ago, the hosts of Heaven bore
to your world, as a little Baby, the Prince of Light; and in
commemoration, high festival is kept within the golden gates,
and myriads of emissaries are sent to remind forgetful men of
their Saviour's birthday, and to renew the old assurances of
their Heavenly Father's love. To-night, little children like
you are especially remembered in heaven, and all the birth-
day hymns are sung and poured through silver clarions by
the youngest of the Redeemed. Dear babies," continued the
angel, I have been sent to you with a message. The great
King, who made everything, who controls everything, and
who loves you, hopes that one day you will join the glorious
company who live in this happy land; and wishes you to
begin to prepare for His service now-now while you are little.
A great many people, big people and old people, will heap
difficulties in your way, will tell you that you must do this
thing and that thing to win the Celestial City, but the Mighty
Monarch of the Universe says differently:-' Little children
come unto Me; call Me Father, make Me your friend and your
guide, tell Me your perplexities and sorrows, and Iwill take
you to My bosom, and no power in Heaven or earth shall ever
pluck you thence.'"
The sweet sounds began to fade away from the children's
ears, and the crystal battlements, the dazzling crowds, and the
kind angel dissolved from their view.
The church bells were pealing merrily, Christmas morn had
come, and our two little folk awoke.
You have seen a seagull, I know; not one, but thousands.
You have seen them sailing over the dancing summer sea;
you have seen them in winter, floating like little silver ships
on the river, and in spring you have seen them mixed
up with a lot of vulgar cawing crows, following the track of
the plough. Well, this story is going to be about seagulls
chiefly; indeed it might be called the autobiography of a sea-
gull, or leaves from a seagull's journal, or the memoirs of a
larus arctus. For remember I (the seagull is speaking now),
was not a sea-mew, or a common black-backed gull, or a red-
legged gull, such as any Scotch ploughboy can see every day
of his life. No, no I was none of your common, every day,
plebeian gulls; I was an Arctic gull, born on a Spitzbergen
cliff, overlooking that deep blue ocean which belongs partly
to the North Wind and partly to the Frost King-they
are cousins, you know, and have tremendous wild revels
sometimes of a winter's night. But that is neither here nor
there, but somewhere else, as regards my story. I was telling
you that I had been born on a Spitzbergen cliff. Ah well I
remember that dear old cliff, and the untidy nest I popped
into out of the egg-a nest strewed with fishbones and
crumpled feathers. But then there was such a sweet little
fluffy thing in it-a sister! and such a beautiful white, soft-
18 TINKLE'S STORY.
winged mamma, who stood on the edge looking on as I broke
the shell, and screamed with admiration as I hopped out and
looked round to see where I was. And a lovely new world it
was I had entered upon-a delightful change after the egg,
which was decidedly slow-a lovely new world, I say. There
we were, on a little edge of rock, half-way up a vastly high
cliff. My mother's tail was quite over the edge as she stood
admiring me. Far down below was the azure sea, covered
with tripping wavelets, and here and there a gigantic crystal
iceberg moving on slowly and majestically to its dissolution
in the bosom of warmer winds. Between us and the sea flew a
thousand grown-up gulls and terns (cousins of ours); whale
birds were wheeling about with loud cries, and large fleets of
mallard were sleeping on the water far below, while above all
the great fisherman, the osprey, was floating on outstretched
wings, gazing with his piercing eye into the blue hunting-
field far beneath.
"A very fine little gull, indeed," said my father, as arriving
at that moment from gossiping in the air with some other
gulls, he surveyed me for the first time with a critical eye, "A
TINKLE' S STORY.
very fine gull indeed, and a hungry one, too, I'll wager." To
which I replied by opening my mouth very wide, and then
shutting it slowly again. This was the very first remark I
ever made; yet, though short and simple, it was effective, for
my mother at once hurled herself into the air, returning after
a time with one of the nicest little pieces of old and high her-
ring I ever remember eating. But you don't want to be told
all about my babyhood, I am sure,-how my sister and I
quarrelled and pecked at one another, and how my father
threatened to turn me out, which would have been a very
serious matter in those days before I had learned to fly. But
I must tell you of the eventful morning on which I was first
launched on the air, for it was an important epoch in my life.
Well, it was on one of the finest mornings of the year, the
air was perfectly still, and the sea breathed the tiniest ripples
in the world.
My parents-peace to their memory, they are now under
the "sad sea wave"-my parents, I was going to say, had
been examining me carefully all over on the previous evening,
and after long discussions outside, in the firmament above the
TINKLE S STORY.
waters, had come to the conclusion that my wings were ready.
So they stood beside me, and spoke very seriously; told me
how earnestly I- should have to make the first effort, then
impressed me with the perils of the rocks below, and so on;
explaining, also, the whole theory of flying and of steering
with the tail. Then, having admonished me to oil my feathers
with my bill, they led me to the edge of the nest-how well
I remember my dear little sister, for she was rather backward,
crying at my leaving her side, where I had sat without ever
moving ever since I came out of the egg; and 'I can never
forget the choking sensations in my own throat as I looked
back at the beautiful little white bird she was, and I
thought if I failed now, I should never see her again But
I was on the edge, and my blood tingled as I looked down on
the awful depth below. My parents were floating just a little
way out to give me confidence, and calling to me to come;
twice I opened my wings to start, but my heart failed me and
I closed them again. My father became quite angry, and
urged me not to disgrace the family of Arctic mews:
so I made one great effort, opened my wings, and
TINKLE'S STORY. 21
closing my eyes, flapped them; in a moment I was suspended
in the air; another flap, and I was sailing along. Oh can I
ever describe to you, poor little children, who never get wings
till you go to Heaven, the exquisite sensation which crept
over me as I found myself gliding swiftly through the air above
the great abyss. I screamed, as only gulls can scream, with
pleasure, and flew away out over the sea, feeling that I should
never get tired: but soon my parents called to me to return, and
spreading out my wings, I steered myself round, as my father
had directed, by depressing the feathers on one side of my tail,
and came slowly on, guiding myself back to the narrow ledge.
I arrived a little fatigued, and was welcomed with great
delight by my sister, who had been eagerly watching me the
whole time. From that day I flew constantly; and one
beautiful evening, when the sea was very calm, I alighted on
its surface with my parents, and was taught to swim. I then
discovered, for the first time, the use of the filament between
my toes. Very soon after this my sister learned to fly, and
we used to make long excursions together, visiting an iceberg
one day, or a distant whaling ship another. When we got
TINKLE S STORY.
tired, we alighted on the sea, riding up.and down on the
waves in the most delicious way; and then, sometimes, a
great storm came, and we all nestled together at the dear
old nest on the ledge, and I used to rest on the edge-
Watching the waves with all their white crests dancing,
Come like thick-plumed squadrons to the shore;
And sometimes I would hurl myself down into the storm,
and gambol with the winds.
One evening, when I was returning home from far out at
sea, an awful storm came on. Far down below, a ship was
plunging through the waves, reeling and staggering, now
turning up on the crest of a mountain billow, again diving into
the great valleys of water.
The wind was buffeting me dreadfully, and I found that I
made no way against it towards the old cliff; so I went down
and alighted on the great yard-arm of the vessel. The scene
on board was one of fearful confusion; the officers were
struggling to make their voices heard above the tempest, and
the sailors rushing hither and thither tried to obey commands
they could hardly hear. The storm increased, and a thick
mist enshrouded us in fog, to add to the confusion of the crew.
Every moment, I thought, would be the vessel's last, and I
grieved for the poor men and women who were so helpless
alike in the air and in the water. But after a little while a
change seemed to comeover the spirit of the storm, and the
fierce inarticulate roarings and hissings were partially hushed.
It must have been very nearly dawn, though very very dark,
when I heard a sound of singing come up from the deck, and
something told me that the morning of men's great festival
was breaking. The crew had given themselves up for lost,
and were singing what they supposed to be their last Christ-
mas hymn in the world. But the tempest trembled and fled
before the holy sounds; the wind fell, and the fog cleared
away, disclosing a sea with heavy breakers, rapidly subsiding.
Daylight was coming on, and I spread my wings again, and
rose up in the air to see where I was. Suddenly I was sur-
prised to hear the sweet music I had heard on the deck-not
as if repeated, but answered as it.were from invisible voices
around and above me. A choir of angels were blessing in
24 TINKLE'S STORY.
song the weary men who, in their distress, had remembered the
But how could a seagull know all this, and tell it?"
you ask. Oh, you stupid little gull, to ask questions of a
book, as if it would answer a little stupid like you! That is
what I say.
P.S.-The gull was an intimate friend of mine, and I have
often heard him tell this story, which I give in his own
__ -c^iS*, '
This is a dreadfully sad story, but that is no reason why it
should not be true. There is very nearly as much sorrow in
the world as happiness; not only among men and women, and
boys and girls, but among birds, and beasts, and fishes, and
trees, and rocks, and flowers. You will all exclaim-" Oh,
what a stupid man "-meaning me-" to say that rocks, and
flowers, and trees, can be sorry." But don't be in such a hurry,
and I will explain what I mean.
First of all, you know, I said among the birds. Well, is
there not sorrow in the nest of a poor partridge when a
kestrel has pounced down and carried away one of its fluffy
babies, perhaps the pet of the whole family, the last one that
hopped out of the egg ? Or when some horrid man shoots
Mrs. Cyrus Crane, do you suppose old Cyrus does not mourn?
I assure you he does, and bitterly, for years; and he never
mates again, but haunts the old places where he and his wife
were wont to catch frogs together, and stands on one leg with
his eyes gloomily fixed on his toes, for whole days together.
Then as for the beasts-the tiger carries away the prettiest
of the gazelles, the darling of the whole herd; and the wild
dogs of the jungle persecute the cross old tiger, chase him
for days at a time, biting great pieces of flesh out of him
Now I think that perhaps fishes have the worst time of it of
any, for they are always eating one another and being fished
for, and sometimes one breaks a line and goes away with a hook
in his nose which he never gets rid of, and there are accidents
besides. The stupid, clumsy old espadon runs his sword into
a fat, lazy little turbot's "tummy," and before one has time
to "beg pardon," and the other to say "pray don't mention
it," they both are dreadfully shocked by a touch from the
tail of an electric eel, who really did not mean to make him-
self disagreeable, but did not manage his tail as a well-behaved
and a smart eel should.
Then there are those untidy medusas, with their arms, and
legs, and tails, and noses lying about anywhere, so that a poor
crab walking at the bottom of the sea sideways can't possibly
help getting himself entangled, and oh doesn't he get cross
just, and bite, and call names !
Crabs can't speak," you say. Well, perhaps they never
spoke to you, but how do you know what they do at the bot-
tom of the sea?
And now for the trees. The trees are the saddest old
things in the world. I have heard them moaning of a winter's
night fit to break one's heart. The very wind becomes so
PIPPIN S STORY.
affected and sorry that it cries among them and shrieks some-
times; for it is a dear impulsive old thing, the wind !
As for the rocks, they must have very soft hearts, though
they are so hard; for they are always crying. Have
you ever been in a cave ? If you have, you must have seen
the rocks weeping;-such great tears, too !-each falling
on the cold wet ground with quite a mournful little
splash. And what is more sad than a dying flower ? They
die so slowly, the dear lilies, and roses, and daffodils, and
bow their pretty heads with such an air of melancholy
"But how about the dismal story ?" you say. I have a very
good mind not to tell it-you impatient little brat! But I will,
nevertheless, so here goes," as the Lord Chancellor says
when he is going to read the Queen's speech to Parliament.
Evening was falling, and so were myriads of flakes of snow;
the wind was sighing and moaning among the pine trees, and
a raven was hurrying across the sky eagerly, to a distant
cranny in the mountain which he called his home.
Already the ground was white and the branches of the
PIPPIN S STORY.
trees were quite weighed down with great burdens of sky-
dust. Any one could see at a glance that it was not a place
for little children, particularly when night was setting in.
For besides the snow, the wind, and the loneliness, a hungry
wolf (for it is a story of long ago) occasionally was seen skurry-
ing away through the forest, giving forth every minute or
two such an angry half-bark, half-growl. Yet a little man,
who could not be more than nine years old, was trudging
wearily through the snow, beside a great, big, black dog. He
was all carefully wrapped up, in a little woolly coat, knitted
red and white leggings, and a large comforter, which had evi-
dently been tied on and tucked into his coat by his mamma;
wore brown moggins on his hands and a little fur cap on
his head. How bewildered and distressed he looks, poor
little fellow and well he may, for he has wandered away far
from home and now can't find his way back again. Standing
still he clasps his hands together and tries to remember which
way he had come, but the forest looks exactly the same in
every direction, and now it is snowing faster, and getting
quite dark besides. One little moggined fist goes up to his
eyes while with the other he grasps old Bob round the neck
and pulls him closer. Bob looks up in his little master's face,
catches his sleeve in his mouth and begins to tug at it, for the
wise old dog could find the way back quite easily; but the
boy does not understand this, and Bob would rather die than
leave him, so thus it came about that they are lost in the
They wander on again, but the more they go the further
they are from home, till little Eustace drops down from sheer
fatigue in the snow, tears rolling down his cheeks. But do not
misunderstand me; he was not crying as cross children do, for
he had a stout little heart, and with old Bob at his side feels
that he is not altogether away from home. He lies down in
the snow and the kind dog is beside himself with grief. He
does everything to induce and help him to get up, catches
hold of the woolly great coat and attempts to carry him
away in his mouth, and when this fails, he trots away a little
distance hoping that Eustace will follow him, but all in vain.
Now he lies down close and looks so earnestly into the boy's
face, as much as to say do come, I will take you home;"
PIPPIN'S STORY. 31
but there is no response, and in his despair he gets up and
gives one long moan, then licks his poor little master's hand,
runs away, comes back, sees that the child's eyes are closed
in a deep sleep; then after one long, long look turns round
and speeds away through the forest with the swiftness of the
Eustace had closed his eyes and now slept a deep, though
not a dreamless sleep. He thought he was at home again,
and that every one was very anxious about something, and
gradually they seemed to him to get more so; until he could
see his mother moving about quite distracted with grief, and
his little sister crying herself to sleep in her cot. Then some
unseen person appeared to be taking him away from them, and
he was struggling dreadfully to stay. A great white owl who
was floating over him at that moment on its downy wings, saw
the little face working as if in pain, the little hands clenched,
and the whole figure writhing in the snow. But whoever it
was that was taking him away from his mother and sister was
stronger than he! and in spite of his efforts theyboth faded away
from him, while he felt as if his heart would burst with grief.
Then there was a moment of intense darkness, after which
light began to break and the sorrow was removed from his
But what became of the kind dog ? you will ask. Well!
I will tell you. We left him speeding through the forest like
the north wind. Straight he went, as a fox flying before the
fierce baying hounds, now leaping the trunk of a tree that the
wind and lightning had laid low, now struggling through a
snow drift, but never turning to the right or to the left, till
at last the wood became thinner and lights appeared in the
distance, when in another moment he was barking wildly for
admittance at a hall door.
The dog had returned without her boy, and the poor mother
knew that something dreadful had happened, for Eustace and
Bob had been inseparable playmates since the one was a
toddling baby and the other a blinking puppy. But the dog
would not allow her to rest for a moment, but barked and
moaned and kept rushing away in one particular direction,
and then returning only to dart away again, as if he had
lost his senses. But it was not so, for poor Bob was using
all his senses and all his eloquence to persuade her to return
with him to the place where he left his dear little master
Presently a very mournful party with lanterns and spades,
might be seen toiling through the now very deep snow, with
the good old dog walking in front, now trotting a little to
hurry them on, or looking back to entreat them to quicken
Soon, with a heartrending moan, Bob darts forward to a
little mound of snow, and wildly commences to dig with his
paws. Before any one has arrived he has uncovered the stiff
figure of poor little Eustace Mandeville lying in that cold
bed of snow with his tiny moggined hands crossed on his
chest, which heaved with warm life no longer.
There was mourning in Mandeville Hall on that cold
Christmas morning; but up in heaven a new little cherub
had been added to the happy choirs that were pouring
through golden trumpets, and singing with their own clear
ringing voices, birthday symphonies and hymns before the
34 PIPPIN'S STORY.
"Glory to God on High,
Glory to Heaven's bright Prince,
Who left His Father's home to die,
To live and die, to weep and die,
For those He loved on earth,
Who bless His birth,
Who sing His birth
On every Christmas day
For ever and for aye.
"Hark the azure welkin rings,
Glory to the King of Kings,
Glory to the Prince of Light,
Whose banner shall dispel the night,
And bring to me eternal day."
dl N Jj
PouEING through a hundred Himalayan valleys, the Sutlej is
the river to many a swarthy hillman, to many a soft-stepping
leopard, and to countless herds of deer, who trip through the
glades at eventide to drink of its silver waters. My people,
at any rate, always spoke of it as "the river," and they were
very respectable people. My father was a venerable black
bear, and he and his forbears had been settled for genera-
tions in the same glen. An ancestor of ours had received a
bullet-wound from one of the earliest Ghoorkha settlers, and
a nephew of his had obliterated the features of one of the old
Pattiala Rajahs by a simple scratch of his paw. So, you see,
we had a family history, and were bears of some consequence.
Ours was one of the pleasantest valleys on the whole country
side; it was woody, and grassy, and rocky, and cultivated by
turns. Down by the river there was dense brushwood, and
here we used to go bee-nest hunting all together, for wild
honey was our principal article of food, though we eat a good
many roots and berries besides. One day my father took me
out with him on a honey expedition, and an event which has
changed and embittered my entire life happened. We were
going down the hill from the cave to the jungle on the river
bank at a good round shuffle, grunting pleasantly to one
another upon different subjects-the prospects of the wild-
flower harvest (a subject much connected with honey), the
weather, and the increasing numbers of our great enemies,
POP' S STORY.
sportsmen; when, all at once, a terrific roar, rather half-roar
half-yell, burst upon our ears, and my father rose at once on
his hind legs, and looked at me in blank astonishment. It
was seldom that the peace of the valley was in any way dis-
turbed-at any rate noisily disturbed. Of course we were
always at war with the bees, and the leopards with the deer,
but that was every-day life, and there was no shouting about
it; so my father was very naturally uneasy when he heard
the tremendous sounds. "That," said he, when he had
recovered himself sufficiently to speak, "is our neighbour, the
old Cheetah; I know his voice well; he must be in great
trouble; we had better trot quickly into the jungle, or the
same may overtake us." So we trotted down as hard as we
could, entering the belt of brushwood at some distance from
the place from whence the noise proceeded, and, crushing
through the thickest bushes, got into a very nice dark little
corner where no one could see us, though we could just peep
through a little opening, and see a smooth, bare piece of
greensward running down to the Sutlej. I was a very tiny
bruin, about as big as a Newfoundland puppy, and quite as
black, so I became violently excited, and a little afraid. I
squeezed close to my father's woolly coat, and began to lick
my paws (which among baby bears is the equivalent for biting
the nails, or sucking the thumb) and peeping through the
branches, awaited with a beating heart to see what would
happen, as the continued roars of the Cheetah appeared to
come closer and closer. Presently there was a great crashing
through the bushes, and a large leopard, bleeding at the
mouth, bounded heavily on to the open spot in front of us,
and fell on his side as if dead. He was hardly stretched on
the ground, when two men came running up, emerging from
the jungle nearly opposite to us. Seeing the Cheetah lashing
his tail about furiously, and struggling violently to rise, they
both raised their guns and fired. A ball whistled past a few
inches above us, which-having me with him-infuriated my
father so desperately, that he broke out and charged the
sportsmen. I toddled after him as hard as I could toddle,
but was soon left far behind, and gradually heard the angry
noises he made die away in the distance. Tired and fright-
ened, I lay down and growled, and yelled, and grunted
horribly, but there was no answer from my father. I got up
and trotted away in what I supposed was a homeward direc-
tion, but I could not manage to get out of the belt of the jungle,
and again lay down and made all the dreadful noises I knew.
I had hardly gone through half-a-dozen of them,when I heard
a footstep close at hand, and in another moment a horrible
man, walking, as they always do, on his hind legs, stood
before me, not twenty yards off, and presented his gun. I
thought my last hour was come, and in an instant the old
cave, my dear parents, and my little twin brother seemed to
pass before my view, and I set up the most heartrending cry.
Thinking that perhaps it was the last opportunity I should
have of kicking up a row, I quite surpassed all my former
efforts. The sportsman lowered his gun, and burst out laugh-
ing, making horrid sounds exactly like the conversation of a
hyena my poor old father once introduced me to. At this I
grew very angry, rose on my hind legs and rushed forward,
clutching my enemy round the calf of the leg with my fore
paws, and digging in my claws as deeply as I could. He
soon began to make different noises, and I got a sound knock
on the head from something. I remember nothing further,
until I found myself lying, all crumpled up, at the bottom of
a Iihilla, which is an Indian basket, exactly like a big straw-
berry pottle. The only other thing in this basket besides
myself was a large flour scone, which I immediately ate, and
then began to howl. This brought a number of pairs of eyes
staring at me from the top. These I soon cleared away, by
climbing up the wicker-work sides, and trying to catch them
with my paws; then there was a cover put on the basket, and
I was left in almost total darkness.
Oh! the misery I suffered for weeks Nasty food such as
I had never seen before, never anything to drink when I was
thirsty, always getting jolted and thrown about, and no room
to move an inch, filled up my cup of misery.
After this, I was removed into another basket, with just
room to walk two steps in, and a few holes to let in
air and light. I was not quite so wretched in this, and began
to get more accustomed to the food; but still I sadly missed
my own people, and the dear old hill-side on which my brother
and I used to trot and tumble about all day long. Ah what
fine times those were Such honey, and juicy roots, and sweet
berries. How different from everlasting insipid scone and
milk. And then we were hungry in those days !
I made my last flitting from that second basket, for out
of this cage here in the Zoo I shall never move, except to my
grave; the old Polar opposite, often told me that he has seen
many a little bear put in here lively enough, but never a
one come out again, save limp and cold in the keeper's arms.
In the cage next to mine are several others of my own race,
but I never see one of them. I hear them talking and growling
all day long, and I squeeze my head against the bars for
hours. But look round the corner I cannot; and except a
black paw, like my own, put through the bars now and then,
I never see anything like myself; and it is so lonely Fancy the
stupid old Polar saying that his great hulking white body
was something like me and I a neat dapper little black bear
with a white horseshoe on my breast Some people do fancy
themselves, don't they just! However, he means it kindly,
and is the only friend I now have in the world; so give him
buns like good little trots, when you go to the Zoo, for he,
42 POP's s'roy.
too, is a lonely exile, away from his icebergs and clear blue
waters-his home, and his own people.
NOTE.-I, Mr. Pop, M.P., heard this story from the bear him-
self one moonlight night, and tell it as I heard it.
You know, of course, that fairies are moonlight people, but
perhaps you are not aware that the King, Queen, and Court
of Fairyland accompany the moonlight once a year all round
the world! During every month, the moonlight travels a
good many times round the world, and for some days and nights
it is always bright moonlight somewhere, and the moon is
always, at that time, rising somewhere and setting some-
Fairies can fly as swiftly as night or day. Oberon himself
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the rising moon."
Well, you will see by this story, that what Oberon said is
true. I myself, Mr. Perry, have been for several thousand
years a lord in waiting to Queen Titania, and always accom-
panied their Translucent Majesties on those tours. I am now
going to give you a few papers out of a journal I kept on a
"EPPING FOREST, July 5t7, 1877.
We have just arrived here from the Forest of Arden.
Her Majesty is much pleased with the new convolvulus coach,
and says that the gossamer hood keeps out the damp better
than the old cobweb one. The little white bats which the
Arctic owl presented last year were tried for the first time,
and drew the coach famously. Crossing the English Channel,
we saw, far below, the British fleet of ironclads slowly steam-
ing out to the ocean. There was hardly a ripple on the water,
save the wake of the ships; and we were all so much impressed
by the solemn, silent power displayed by those great thunder-
bolt carriers gliding steadily through the calm sea. The Queen
especially so, and insisted on His Majesty stopping the whole
line of carriages, guards, couriers, and outriders, to gaze upon
the scene. Then, nothing would satisfy her but to don her
invisible cloak, and descend to visit the ships. But it was
with great difficulty that the ladies-in-waiting and tire-
women managed to find the cloak. They were obliged to
unpack several trunks up there in mid-air, and His Majesty
begged of the Queen to go on: but she entreated to be allowed
to descend and give a fairy blessing to some of the little boys
in the great vessels below. So the cloak was found,
and one was provided for me, too, and I was appointed to
attend on Her Majesty. The rest of the convoy came on here
with the King; and the Queen's carriage, with about twenty
attendants only, remained on outstretched wings while we
swept down to the sea.
"Arrived on a level with the upper decks of the vessels, we
flew once round the whole fleet. It was just midnight, and
the great ironsides were quite dark, except a faint little flick-
ering light shining through a porthole here and there. All at
once, Her Majesty, who was flying in front of me, went in
through one of these lighted portholes, quite suddenly, and I
followed. Coming out of the bright moonlight, we seemed to
plunge into darkness, and it was a second or two before I
could discern anything. Gradually the surrounding objects
emerged from the darkness, and we saw where we were. It was
a long, low room; in the corner where the Queen was float-
ing invisible in the air, a great number of hammocks were
suspended from the roof, in each of which was sleeping a rosy-
cheeked English boy. Save the breathing of the sleepers,
and the thud of the distant engines, not a sound was to be
heard. A small lamp was burning dimly in one corner, and
by its light we could see a very little boy, who had just come
off watch, dressed in his white nightshirt, saying his prayers
at a chest below an empty hammock.
I afterwards learned from Her Majesty, that this wee
midshipman was a tiny lord, who had left his father's castle
only three days before, and felt dreadfully lonely and sad in
the new hfe he had entered upon. The Queen kissed him,
though of course he knew it not; and we returned to the
carriage above, and continued our journey.
"On our arrival here, a deputation of the local brownies
met Her Majesty at the border of the forest. They were very
graciously received, and invited to a ball in the evening."
"KAMTCHATKA, July 6th, 1877.
"Last night we were very nearly caught by day-
light. The ball was kept up with such spirit and merriment
that I thought we should never cease dancing again. Twice
the King remarked to me in a whisper, when passing with a
lady on his arm, Scent ye not the morning air ?' and I
could discern the baleful light of day breaking, and was
becoming somewhat anxious, when, all of a sudden, Prince
Puck, crimson with excitement, rushed into the ballroom and
S' Fairy King attend and mark,
I do hear the morning lark !'
"The panic that ensued on this announcement was terrific.
The Royal Oberon, pale, but calm, issued orders for an
instantaneous start, and before many minutes had elapsed
the long cavalcade of the court might be seen flying with
the speed of thought through the air to overtake the fugitive
moon. The night was bitterly cold, and we all wrapped our
moss-rose overcoats around us.
"Below, a tempest was raging on the surface of the
Atlantic, and we saw many vessels struggling hard for life
amid the fighting waters.
While we were passing over the Azores (which looked
like little flower-beds in the sea, so high were we then flying),
we overtook the full moonlight, and the blood flowed more
freely in our veins. The Queen desired a song, and Lady
Hawthornblossom, who is now in waiting, came alongside the
royal carriage, and chanted in her sweet, low voice, the famous
old elfin song-
Philomel with melody,
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby,
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby,' etc.
"The Queen fell sound asleep, and the whole cavalcade pro-
ceeded with hushed wings for the next few hours. I slept, I
think; for the next time I remember looking down on the
earth, countries seemed to be slipping fast away behind us.
I asked the King's geographer, Sir Rhododendron Mercury,
where we were: he said we were passing over the extreme
north-western portion of America, Alaska, and should arrive
in Kamtchatka in another half-hour.
We have alighted here in a lovely forest of wild flowers,
hard by a tinkling cascade. The scent of primroses, marsh-
violets, and roses fills the air.
And now I must close my diary, for I am going to have a
sleep in the lap of an azure larkspur, and intend to dream of
greenwood revels, mistletoe dances, and other pleasant matter;
but before I go to sleep, I always repeat this little hymn-
"' Weaving spiders, come not here,
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence;
Beetles black, approach not near,
Worm, nor snail, do no offence.'"
I have just given you this scrap out of my journal to show
the sort of life we lead.
THE Arctic Spirit reigns in the frozen north. His empire is
ice, his throne the unapproachable pole; white bears, walrus,
seals, and ocean birds are his subjects, and the rushing north
wind is his ambassador at every tempest under the sky.
Across his dominions he brandishes the flaming swords of
the aurora; the sun hides before it, and the gloom of night
pales into perpetual morning. Icebergs sail from his har-
bours with gifts of cold to the south wind, while giant
glaciers glide majestically through his valleys to the sea, and
relieve the icebergs.
The gloom of that weird land enters the spirit of all its
inhabitants. The voice of a song-bird is never heard, but
the air trembles with the shrieks of myriads of strange fowl,
and the mournful roars of the mammals of the sea.
Everything is clothed in white; from the land itself and
the great polar bear, to the northern owl and the hiding
The empire is closed to the race of Adam. The man who
ventures beyond its borders sleeps and dies. Its hills have
never borne the impress of human footsteps, nor have its
valleys resounded with the echo of a human voice.
Such is the strange and gloomy country where the Arctic
Spirit is imprisoned, and where he reigns supreme. "Who
is the Arctic Spirit, and how did he get to that horrid place ? "
WINKLE S STORY.
That is just what I, your humble goblin servant, Mr. Winkle,
am about to tell you.
Far, far away, among the most distant azure fields of the
sky, is a mighty revolving globe; larger by many times than
our great world. So distant is it that seen by the most
powerful telescope ever made by man it looks like the tiniest
firefly, and yet so large that the swiftest mail train which
ever sped from London to York would take a hundred years
to go round it.
This mighty world has been beautified by nature in her
gladdest moments; she has made it one of her masterpieces,
her pet star, and raised it above the common folk of the sky.
To describe its glories would take volumes. Its trees are
gigantic flowers of the rarest fragrance and grace, its flowers
are painted with colours of a loveliness unknown to the earth's
rainbow, and the dewdrops of nectar are found in their gor-
geous cups. Rocks of cairngorm and amethyst rise out of
many-coloured oceans, and beaches of diamond sand receive
the bowing, dancing wavelets.
The inhabitants of this bright sphere are worthy their
dwelling-place; they are good and beautiful, living lives of
happy industry; they are ever seeking the good of the whole,
and not, selfishly, the advantage of individuals. War, poverty,
and idleness are unknown. No one is allowed to disturb the
serenity of the community by dreamy speculation. Actions,
not ideas, are deemed noble. Their lonely seas are ploughed
by swift majestic vessels, engaged in exchanging the pro-
ducts and tidings of different regions. Their valleys teem
with busy husbandry; and their bright crystal cities with the
labour of happy and honoured artizans.
The business of the different states is carried on by their
most respected citizens whom they call kings; with the assist-
ance of those most skilled in the arts and sciences. These
princes and advisers are, of course, regarded by the people
with the profoundest esteem, for they are at once the highest
representations of each nation's power, wisdom, and industry.
Next to the churches and cathedrals, their mansions are the
most splendid buildings. From love to their rulers, and in
order to foster that respect and awe towards them which are
the surest promoters of obedience and repose of spirit in
nations, large grants of money and land for the support of
high dignity and state are readily bestowed.
The little boys and girls of this star are taught very many
things that little boys and girls on the earth know nothing
about; but so pleasantly are religious, intellectual, and physi-
cal exercises blended, that their studies are neither wearisome
nor uninteresting. Nothing is omitted in the course of
education, from the study of the forces and laws of life to the
art of driving eagles in balloon-gigs. Not only the geography
of their own world is taught, but the topography of the skies;
and the glens and mountains of the sea are explored by whole
schools in large air-boats. Instead of educational establish-
ments being perpetually anchored to small villages and ob-
scure townlets, as is the case in England, they wander over
different countries, finding everywhere new scenes, new objects,
new associations to stimulate and direct the pursuit of know-
ledge. In the holidays, of course, they return to where the
children's parents live, and during this period not only the
children but the parents rest from their labours, that is to say
vary them. The big boys take their turn at the plough, their
little brothers watch the sheep, their sisters whiten their hands
in the dairy, while the old folk recapitulate their progress
in the sciences, and make further advances.
Such is the world the Pole family lived in. Theirs was one
of the loneliest valleys in a lonely world. They were farmers,
artizans, and politicians. That is to say, old Father Pole was
the owner of an enormous grazing farm, and mighty herds of
alpaca, llama, sheep, goats, reindeer, gazelles, horses and
kangaroos. His eldest'son was the manufacturer of aerial
engines, while his youngest children, twins, had turned their
attention to politics. It is with the latter we have to do.
To introduce them to you, I must say their names were re-
spectively Arctic and Antarctic-old family names among the
Having received the complete preliminary education of
their race, they applied their knowledge of the past to the
affairs of the present with that ingenuity which the mental
training they had received so amply supplied. Different from
the rest of their people, their energies took an imaginative
rather than an active direction, and their information respect-
ing what had been was greater than their acquaintance with that
which existed around them.
As politicians they soon began to be talked of as dreamers,
and were regarded with suspicion, although their eminent
talents won for them a considerable measure of influence, and
gained for them not unfrequently the ear of their King.
Time went on, and those brothers thought more and studied
more, but worked less at the business of life. Murmurs of
dissatisfaction were heard. Arrears of correspondence were
accumulating in their offices, and the machinery of the State
was affected throughout by the irregular and lingering move-
ment of this part. Still nothing was said, as their country-
men were a people indisposed to changes and disturbance,
and, at the same time, were so unaccustomed to deal with
cases of this nature as to be rather at a loss what course to
Things, however, came to a climax. The brothers had in-
troduced a measure of what they termed Reform in Parlia-
ment, and had urged their Government to plunge into a course
of untried and unknown courses. On their Bill being indig-
nantly thrown out they resigned their places, though
unfortunately not their opinions. They attempted to collect
a meeting of His Majesty's subjects to express an unfavourable
opinion on the measure adopted by His Majesty's Government.
The country was aghast with horror. Such a thing had never
been heard of-an attempt to disturb the settled order of
things and open the floodgates to change.
The brothers were arrested for high treason, and a Court
of Justice was found to decide on some method of condign
punishment. But so unused to crimes or misdemeanours of
any kind were this gentle people, that their ingenuity was
unable to fix on anything. So, accordingly, they despatched a
telegraphic message to a distant star, inhabited by a still higher
order of beings, and begged that a Special Commissioner might
be sent to help them in their difficulty.
A short time elapsed, and the Special Commissioner came.
He was met far out in the air by the King and the State
balloons, and conducted with great pomp to the capital. On
the following day he sat in judgment at the Palace, surrounded
by the Royal Family and Parliament, and Arctic and Antarctic
Pole were summoned to his dread presence. Every circum-
stance of the case was detailed to him at great length. As
the King's orator drew near the part which spake of the public
meeting, the face of the Special Commissioner clouded with
anger, and the Poles grew pale from fear. The evidence being
completed, the assembled concourse awaited with breathless
suspense the final judgment.
For a few minutes the Special Commissioner was lost in
thought, then drawing himself up to his full height, which was
quite gigantic, he began to pronounce sentence.
"In the far heavens beyond the jewelled belt of Orion is a
new world. It is called the Earth.' At present only in-
habited by a few colossal, rudimentary animals, it is ultimately
intended to be the dwelling-place of the highest order of
beings. On either extremity of its axis are cold countries
where these beings can never live. To these countries I con-
demn Arctic and Antarctic Pole to remain in perpetual exile,
WINKLE'S STORY. 59
banished for ever from the presence of one another, and from
the world of their race."
It is unnecessary to enter into the details of how this ver-
dict was carried out. Suffice it that you know how the Arctic
Spirit and his brother were sent to their dismal kingdoms.
MonNING is struggling through a broken and patched window
belonging to a poor little garret in an obscure part of great Lon-
don. The noble, generous sun forgets no one, but dispenses his
treasure of light and warmth to rich and poor alike. Through
the cracked panes of this humble little room he is sending as
(HE 1R RYULOSSOM' 5 STORY.
beautiful golden beams as through the grand lofty casements
of Windsor Castle. He knows well that they are more
appreciated and required by the two little r,.i .-,.l urchins in
the one, than by the thickly-blanketed people of the other.
In the former dwelling he is welcomed by half-a-dozen cracks
in the roof, as well as by every remaining inch of glass, while
in the latter, heavy curtains and closely-drawn blinds deny
him admission. But to stick to our garret. It is a bare and
desolate place enough; a hundred times meaner than a rich
man's stable in fittings and furniture, though, in the sight of
Heaven, more precious than all the stables that ever existed,
for it contains two priceless souls, dwelling in two little scraps
Tim and Barry were all the world to one another, though
the world wot little of them. They had been left alone in tihe
great sea of life not very long before this story commences.
The Angel of Death had carried away in a single week all on
earth who loved them, and they were forced to begin the hard
struggle for bread at a time when most children are hardly
trusted out of their mother's sight; but God tempers the
wind to the shorn lamb," and at an age when most boys can
hardly distinguish between apenny and a sovereign, Tim, trained
in the hard school of poverty, was supporting himself and his
tiny brother by his broom; which, together with the right of
occupancy of a crossing, he had inherited from his father.
On this morning the two boys had slept longer than usual.
The fight on the previous day for the few pence necessary to
support life had been harder than usual, and they were utterly
wearied when they lay down to rest. The sun had actually
risen when Tim tumbled out of his lair of straw and rags, and
began, after rubbing the sleep out of his eyes with his brown
little fists, to move about quickly, and prepare what we may
dignify with the name of breakfast for himself and brother,
who, being quite a dot of a child, was taken care of by Tim,
The preparation of breakfast was evidently considered by
Tim a matter of some importance, for though it included no
cooking, it required ingenuity to make some display, inasmuch
as the material was scanty. That there should be some dis-
play, was evidently intended by the anxious young house-
CHEREYBLOSSOM'S STORY. 63
keeper. For again and again he arranged and re-arranged
some fragments of crockery on the old box which constituted
almost the entire furniture of the room; and at last, having
placed everything to his satisfaction, surveyed the completed
work seriously, as an artist does his finished painting, from
different points of view. Going to a little recess in the wall,
he carefully unrolled out of some very ancient garment a
bundle of sticks, some stray pieces of bread, and a few cold
potatoes. The refreshments he left where they were, but
taking the sticks, and a few handfuls of coals which had been
stored in a very tall and battered black hat, he proceeded to
kindle a fire; this was soon accomplished, the eatables were
placed on the box, and with a wink, a grin of anticipation, and
a mysterious gesture to some imaginary individual, in which
the nose and forefinger played leading parts, a brown paper
parcel was thrust somewhere into the inner recesses of the
great family coat he wore.
Barry was now wakened, and attired in full dress; which,
regardless of his sex, included a large female bonnet and
shawl, closely wrapped round the shoulders. Notwithstanding
CHERRYBLOSSOM' S STORY.
the incongruity, however, Tim regarded him for a moment
with unconcealed admiration before placing him in front of
the breakfast-table, and commencing active operations.
This is the fust day, as ever is, of the year," said Tim to
his younger brother, who, being a good deal immersed in a
very large potato, did not appear much interested in the fact;
"and we," continued the boy, "is going to have some rare
luck to-day; I've dreamed it for nights and nights back."
Barry was slightly moved by this, and when his brother
shouted Sixpences, baby!" to elucidate matters further, he
laughed and clapped his hands.
When all the potatoes and bread were eaten up, the head
of the house enquired whether his young relative was quite
finished. A rather rueful "I'se twite done," was the
reply, as, after looking everywhere, he could see nothing
"No you isn't," cried Tim, pulling out the brown paper
parcel, and discovering two enormous confectioner's buns.
You isn't nearly done yet." This was the first and best joke
little Barry had heard for a long time, and he laughed and
CHERRYBLOSSOM'S STORY. 65
choked over the last bit of potato, till his brother became
alarmed for his recovery.
The buns were eaten, and the two little men prepared to
march out to the business of the day. Pall Mall is not an
early street by any means, and when our little friends arrived
at the scene of their occupation in this fashionable locality, not
a single vehicle or foot-passenger was visible. It was a sharp
frosty morning, and not a speck of dust or mud lay on the
road. Tim gave a weary sigh as he observed this cleanliness,
for it betokened a bad day's business for him; and taking his
broom and little brother in either hand, walked up the front
steps of a great house, and snuggled behind a pillar to avoid
the glance of his enemy, the policeman, who was always telling
him to move on-very hard, when he had nowhere to go !
Hours passed; the street wakened into life. Broughams
began rolling down to the clubs, but no business came to our
little friends. Barry was getting hungry again, and finding
that the little bag was not filling, for it was his business to
take care of the pennies, was getting cross and impatient.
They is coming baby, they is coming, said Tim, trying to
speak cheerily, though his throat was feeling rather husky,
and he felt more inclined to cry.
Come and see the fine gentleman's pictures; I knows we
shall get luck, I dreamed it. I think something' will come." So
they toddled up the street, passed the big gates of Marl-
borough House, and had a good stare at the big Guardsman
walking up and down. Then, crossing over, arrived in front
of the picture-shop at the corner of St. James's Street. They
had hardly been there a minute, when a lady and a little boy,
who had just got out of a carriage a little higher up, came past,
and stopped to look in at the window. The little boy was
immensely interested in the pictures, pointing out with great
glee some faces he recognized. Just at this moment, a small
man, shabbily, though showily dressed, came down the street.
As soon as he appeared, Tim looked all alive, and seemed to
know something about him. He watched him carefully as he
came along, all the time pretending to look in another direc-
tion. The shabby man began to walk more slowly as he
neared the windows, and, passing the lady, stepped, as if by
mistake, upon her dress, stopped, muttered a quick apology,
and hurried away. He had hardly gone a couple of yards,
when the stick of Tim's broom was between his legs, and he
found himself lying flat on his nose on the pavement.
"A thief! a pickpocket!" shouted Tim, as he jumped on
the man's back, and seized hold of the collar of his coat. For
a moment no one came; and the lady, who was so taken aback
with astonishment, only uttered a little cry, and stood rooted
to the spot. The thief struggled desperately, and kicking
over his back, inflicted a severe wound on the boy's head, who,
stunned, loosened his grasp for a moment, and nearly rolled
off; but recovering himself again, and, by the movements of
his prostrate enemy, getting shaken further forward, he
grappled the pickpocket's neck with his knees, and kept his
head down with all the force of his arms.
After this, Tim says he remembers nothing, till he found
himself lying in a snug little curtained bed, feeling very weak
and giddy. With a great effort he raised himself up and
called out Barry, Barry, where am I?"
Barry, dressed smartly in a complete suit of new clothes,
was soon at his bedside, together with a sweet-voiced, kindly-
looking old woman, who laid him gently down again, and
asked him if he felt better; and then they told him how badly
the thief had hurt him, and how the lady's husband had
found him perched on the rascal's back, bravely holding him
down, and how when the police had come and carried the man to
prison--he and Barry had been taken away in the fine carriage;
then how he got worse, became senseless, was taken down to
the country, far away from London, where he now was in the
porter's lodge of a great house.
He could hardly believe his senses. It seemed to him as if
five minutes had not elapsed since he tripped up the thief, but
the comfortable bed, and the tidy little room full of nice furni-
ture, and Barry's new clothes, confirmed what he heard. So
he closed his eyes, saying, "I knew it would come, I dreamed
it; I saw my mother, and she said good luck would come on
New Year's Day."
It was some little time before he was well enough to sit up,
but the good old woman nursed him carefully, and whiled
away the time he lay in bed with singing old-fashioned songs,
and telling him of the people who lived in the great house.
One bright, fine morning, she carried him, rolled up in a
blanket, to a chair by the window. The window looked over
an undulating park, studded with groups of giant oaks, around
which lay numbers of pretty spotted and red deer. Tim had
never seen anything fresher than a London park, and was
quite beside himself with delight and astonishment. The old
woman who nursed him threw open the window, and a thou-
sand new fragrances of clover and violets transported him
with joy. In a little while the lady and little boy whom he
had seen at the shop window entered the room, bringing him
a basket of early hothouse fruit. The lady thanked him, and
praised his bravery so much, that he had only presence of
mind to thank her in return before she left.
Tim is now a smart belted and buttoned groom. He goes
once or twice a year to London, and rides a fine horse behind
his mistress in Rotten Row and the Lady's Mile. Sometimes
he goes down behind his master's mail-phaeton to the Carlton,
and when he passes the porch where he and Barry used to
crouch cold and hungry for whole winters' days together, a
feeling of sorrowful gladness steals over him.
Barry is a flourishing young gardener; and when he sees
how God clothes and cares for the obscurest little flower
of the fields, he is reminded of the goodness of Heaven
towards his brother and him, who were the merest little
waifs and strays of humanity in the world; yet were
watched and blessed from above.