• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 Apples of Gold
 Looking for Work
 The Haunted House
 What Katy Daniels Did
 Little Nancy
 Forenoon Faces: a Fairy Story
 Among the Mayflowers
 The First Flase Step: a Temperance...
 Georgie Lee
 Girls vs. Boys
 One Day off; or, Adventures of...
 How He Found His calling: Sequel...
 Very Unhappy
 Odd Chances
 Dare to be True
 Sickles vs. Sighs; or, How He Was...
 Ripest Fruit
 A Walk with Aunt Delight
 In June
 Parting of the Ways
 My Neighbor's House
 A Summer Ramble; or, A Plymouth...
 Our Jule
 Dick Homer's Masquerade
 Spending and Having; Grandmother...
 The Way It Is; Grandmother Talks...
 Crippled for Life
 Saved by a Sewing-Machine
 Dusky Diamonds
 Kate's Religion
 Twenty Minutes for Refreshment...
 Tom Jones: or, How He Lost...
 A Sunday Ride
 Tom Simmons; or, the Poor-House...
 That Awful Man; a Christmas...
 Margaret; or, Sugar-Coated...
 Jack Howard's Stepmother
 Grace Belmont; or, Handsome Is...
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Apples of gold, and other stories for boys and girls
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028396/00001
 Material Information
Title: Apples of gold, and other stories for boys and girls
Physical Description: 383 p. : ill., port. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wixon, Susan H
Mendum, Josiah P., 1811-1891 ( Publisher )
Alfred Mudge and Son
Publisher: Josiah P. Mendum
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: Stereotyped and Printed by Alfred Mudge & Son
Publication Date: 1876
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1876   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1876
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Susan H. Wixon.
General Note: Title page printed in colors.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028396
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002239908
notis - ALJ0446
oclc - 12921994

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Plate
    Title Page
        Page iii
    Dedication
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Apples of Gold
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Looking for Work
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    The Haunted House
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    What Katy Daniels Did
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Little Nancy
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Forenoon Faces: a Fairy Story
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Among the Mayflowers
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    The First Flase Step: a Temperance Story
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    Georgie Lee
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    Girls vs. Boys
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
    One Day off; or, Adventures of Ned Ross
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    How He Found His calling: Sequel to One Day off
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Very Unhappy
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    Odd Chances
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    Dare to be True
        Page 154
        Page 155
    Sickles vs. Sighs; or, How He Was Cured
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    Ripest Fruit
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    A Walk with Aunt Delight
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
    In June
        Page 179
        Page 180
    Parting of the Ways
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    My Neighbor's House
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
    A Summer Ramble; or, A Plymouth Idyl
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Our Jule
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
    Dick Homer's Masquerade
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
    Spending and Having; Grandmother Talks to the Boys
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
    The Way It Is; Grandmother Talks to the Girls
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
    Crippled for Life
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    Saved by a Sewing-Machine
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
    Dusky Diamonds
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
    Kate's Religion
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
    Twenty Minutes for Refreshments
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
    Tom Jones: or, How He Lost a Fortune
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
    A Sunday Ride
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
    Tom Simmons; or, the Poor-House Boy
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
    That Awful Man; a Christmas Story
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
    Margaret; or, Sugar-Coated Pills
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
    Jack Howard's Stepmother
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
    Grace Belmont; or, Handsome Is That Handsome Does
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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BY



SUSAN



H. WIXON.



BOSTON:
JOSIAH P. MENDUM,
INVESTIGATOR OFFICE.
1876.



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BOYS AND GIRLS

EVERYWHERE,


9kis 1 olmne is ffcttiouatelg ebicateb

BY THE AUTHOR,

WHOSE SYMPATHIES, HOPES, AND WISHES ARE ESPECIALLY

WITH AND FOR



THE YOUTH OF OUR LAND.


















PREFACE.



IN offering this little work to the public, I have been
actuated by one motive, viz., to put into the hands of the
boys and girls of our land a book of pleasant stories, that,
while amusing, should, at the same time, prove instructive,
and more than all else be entirely free from superstition.
An intimate friend and close observer of youth, I think I
know its needs, necessities, and wishes. I know, also, how
easily in early years the mind receives impressions that can
never be effaced; therefore, extreme care and caution should
be exercised, lest the tender and flexible mind be so warped
and twisted early in life that its vitality and capability are
impaired for healthy and vigorous thought in after years.
It is to be regretted that some educators and those who
have had the care of children and youth have instilled,
thoughtlessly and ignorantly it may be, their own narrow
and contracted views into the waiting minds, regardless of
consequences, and producing a result neither wholesome,
pleasant, nor agreeable.
To awaken thought and develop ideas in a true and healthy
channel should be the constant aim of instruction.






Vi PREFACE.

The future of our own country, socially, religiously, politi-
cally, in all ways, in fact, is in the hands of the boys and
girls of to-day.
How important, then, that they should be so educated that
they can take up the sacred trust with confidence and ability
to hand down to coming generations, pure and unsullied, the
liberties and blessings our fathers labored to establish!
My appeal is to the heart of youth, that the boys and girls
all over the world should pass to manhood and womanhood
with right principles, high aspirations, and noble purposes;
free from bigotry, intolerance, superstition, and everything
that would lower, debase, and degrade; friendly to themselves
and to all humanity.
S. H. W.



FALL RIVER, MASS.






















CONTENTS.



PAGE.
APPLES OFGOLD 9
LOOKING FOR WORK 19
THE HAUNTED HOUSE 3 34
WHAT KATY DANIELS DID 45
LITTLE NANCY 58
FORENOON FACES: A Fairy Story 62
AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS 71
THE FIRST FALSE STEP: A Temperance Story 80
GEORGIE LEE 102
GIRLS VS. BOYS 107
ONE DAY OFF; or, Adventures of Ned Ross . 114
How HE FOUND HIS CALLING: Sequel to One Day Off 121
VERY UNHAPPY 132
ODD CHANCES 148
DARE TO BE TRUE 154
SICKLES VS. SIGHS; or, How He was cured 1. 156
RIPEST FRUIT 163
A WALK WITH AUNT DELIGHT 170
IN JUNE .. 179
PARTING OF THE WAYS 181
MY NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE 190
A SUMMER RAMBLE; or, A Plymouth Idyl 198







CONTENTS.



OUR JULE

DICK HOMER'S MASQUERADE .

SPENDING AND HAVING. Grandmother talks to the Boys



THE WAY IT IS. Grandmother talks to t

CRIPPLED FOR LIFE .

SAVED BY A SEWING-MACHINE .

DUSKY DIAMONDS .

KATE'S RELIGION .

TWENTY MINUTES FOR REFRESHMENTS

How TOM JONES LOST A FORTUNE

A SUNDAY RIDE .

ToM SIMMONS; or, The Poor-house Boy

THAT AWFUL MAN; A Christmas Story

MARGARET; or, Sugar-coated Pills

JACK HOWARD'S STEP-MOTHER

HANDSOME IS THAT HANDSOME DOES



he Girls



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PAGE.
207

224

243

252

257

263

271

279

289

304

309

323

333

345

357

369

















PPLES OF GOLD.


ID you ever see any body hold his age like
Uncle Stevenson? The older he grows
the younger he appears."
"I know it. Mother said to Cousin Ronald yes-
terday it was very remarkable. He has the sweetest
face, the loveliest smile, and the softest, tenderest
heart, especially for us children, of any living being,
I believe."
That is great praise, Dolly; but it is true, though,
every word. I wish I knew what it is that makes
him so young."
"Yonder comes Stewart Robinson. Let's ask
him, and get him to start the swing at the same time."
May and Dolly Edwards were sisters, and at this
time May was seated in a "swing" depending from
a strong branch of an oak tree standing in the lane
that led to the road from the old farm-house where
[9]






10



APPLES OF GOLD.



they lived. Stewart Robinson was a lad of fourteen
or thereabouts, and "Uncle Stevenson," the subject
of conversation, was a fine-looking man of sixty-odd
years, Uncle by courtesy to all the children in the
village. He had once a wife and several children,
but they were all dead now, and he had, also, suf-
fered severe business reverses, but now was quite
well off, and spent his time and money in doing
good. Everybody admired and loved him, for he
was worthy.
"Come and push me, Stewart Robinson, if you
have nothing else to do," called May Edwards.
"All right!" said Stewart, leaping over the stone
wall, Here goes !" and his vigorous hands sent May
out among the branches of the old oak tree and back
again, rustling the leaves and startling the birds from
an afternoon nap.
Oh! is n't this delightful, swinging in the lane !
Stewart," said May; Dolly and I were just remark-
ing upon the youth of Uncle Stevenson. What do
you suppose it is keeps him so young ? If he has
an Elixir of Youth, whatever that may be, as father
says he has, I think we'd better get some of it, so
we may keep always young, too."
"Well, I don't know about his having any 'lixer as
you tell of, but I'll tell you what Mrs. Cole said.
She says he eats apples of gold, and that's what it is
that preserves him," said Stewart.





APPLES OF GOLD.



11



"Apples of gold! I never heard of such a thing,"
said Dolly.
"Apples of gold! United States and Dominion
of Canada !" said May. Stop the swing, Stewart,
or I shall fall out!"
"You can make fun or not, just as you like, but
any way that is what Mrs. Cole says, and she ought
to know, for she speaks seven different languages,
was a 'school-marm' when she was young, and has
been a missionary to India besides."
"I 'm not making fun, Stewart, only I thought
apples of gold wouldn't be very easy of digestion,"
said May, laughing. "If those green apples over
there in the orchard don't agree with people, I
should n't think gold apples would, for they must be
ever so much harder."
Mrs. Cole says, also, that he has always been in the
habit of eating them from his youth up, said Stewart.
Well, I don't believe it, there said Dolly. "It
does n't stand to reason."
Oh! you're one of the unbelievers always," said
May. "It may be so. I mean to ask him, and if
that is n't Uncle Steve coming up the lane now, then
I miss my guess, that's all! Talk about angels, and
they alight on your shoulder! But that is merely
a figure of speech, you know," and down jumped May
from the swing, and away she ran, followed by Dolly
and Stewart, to meet Uncle Stevenson. He gave a





12



APPLES OF GOLD.



hand to each of the girls and seemed as glad to see
them as they were to greet him.
If I had another hand, Stewart, you should have
it, but as I have not, you may go on before and her-
ald my coming to the head of the house of Edwards,
and say that I desire to borrow the old gray mare,
Fan, and the carryall, to take the Widow Grassy, who
has fallen by the wayside, to her 'old cabin home'
in the Hollow."
Uncle Stevenson said this with a serio-comic air
that set them all laughing.
What's the matter with the Widow Grassy?"
inquired Dolly.
"I fear the unfortunate woman has been imbibing
too freely again of that which makes fools of better
folk than she, and lies there by the side of the road,
while the sun beats down and scorches her wrinkled
face."
Ahd if it should blister it, it would serve- her
right, I think," said May. "A woman of her age
to act so I"
"- Why, my dear, that is neither kind nor charitable.
We are not all strong and self-reliant, but we who
are so must lend a helping hand to the weak and tot-
tering. Now, I won't preach to-day, my dears; but
it will not take many minutes to go to the Hollow,
and when I return, if your father has no use for the
gray mare, and will grant permission, we'll take a





APPLES OF GOLD.



drive around the ponds, and home by the Highland
Avenue or by Steep Brook, as you please."
Oh that will be splendid Uncle Steve, you are
a jewel," said May and Dolly, clapping their hands.
May I go too ? inquired Stewart, appearing with
the gray mare and carryall.
Certainly; I need your assistance to lift the
Madame Grassy into the carriage, for one hundred
and eighty pounds avoirdupois are rather more than
I should care to undertake without previous practice
with the health-lifting machine."
"I mean," said Stewart, "may I go to ride with
you and the girls ?"
"Oh that's as the girls say, you young rogue," said
Uncle Stevenson.
"And we say Yes," said May and Dolly together.
"Stewart is a good boy and put up the swing for us."
After Uncle Stevenson and Stewart had departed,
said May, "Now, Dolly, will be a good time to ask
him about those apples of gold."
So it will," said Dolly.
In a short time Uncle Stevenson and Stewart were
back, and the girls, having gained their father's and
mother's permission, were ready and equipped for the
drive.
"Jump in now, and off we go !" said Uncle Ste-
venson. What a queenly day this is for a ride, -
a gorgeous day set in royal jewels! Ruby, emerald,





14 APPLES OF GOLD.

amethyst, and gold, you pale your 'ineffectual fires'
before these sparkling gems of Nature's flowers that
deck the earth in beauty for us all," said Uncle Ste-
venson.
"Now ask him," said May, nudging Dolly, about
those apples. I want to have it settled and off my
mind."
No, you ask him yourself," returned Dolly; you
proposed it."
I do n't want to; he might think we were prying
into his affairs."
"No, he won't. Go on and ask him."
Well, then, said May, in some trepidation,
"Uncle Stevey, you will not be offended, will you,
if I ask you a question or two about your own
affairs ? "
"Not in the leastt" replied Uncle Stevenson, look-
ing somewhat perplexed, however, as was natural,
perhaps, under the circumstances.
"And you will answer my questions ?"
"To the best of my ability, yes, said Uncle Ste-
venson, laughing. You propound and I 'll respond."
"Well, Uncle Steve, did you ever hear of such
things as apples of gold ?"
"Yes, I believe I have."
Stewart exchanged glances with the girls, as much
as to say, Did n't I tell you so ?"
"Yes, I have," continued Uncle Steve. "Mythol-






APPLES OF GOLD. 15

ogy tells us of some orchards in Africa owned by girls
who were called Hesperides; and the trees, it is said,
bore golden apples. These girls watched the fruit,
and even had a great dragon to guard it; but Her-
cules, who was celebrated for his great strength, and
who killed the hydra, a sea-serpent with fifty heads,
slew this dragon that guarded the fruit, and carried
off the precious apples. And then, you know, we
read in the Proverbs of Solomon that 'words fitly
spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver. "
But, uncle, did you -have you -"
Did I-- have I what ?" and Uncle Stevenson
looked from one to the other inquiringly.
They say, Uncle Steve," ventured Stewart, "that
what keeps you so young and handsome is because
you you -
What ?"
Eat apples of gold! exclaimed Dolly.
And May and Dolly would like to buy, beg, or
borrow a few of the same kind, in order that they
may never grow old," said Stewart.
Uncle Steve laughed and shook himself, and both
May and Dolly, as well as Stewart, joined in the
merry laugh, and even Fan, the gray mare, tossed
her head and pricked up her ears in such a way that
Uncle Steve declared he believed she, too, had caught
the infection of jollity, as she started off in a lively
canter.





16



APPLES OF GOLD.



Ha, ha, ha!" still laughed Uncle Steve. "I eat
golden apples! If that is n't a good one! I young
and handsome! Look here, youngsters, do you see
that gray hair?" and he shook his iron-gray locks.
But it is beautiful! said May.
Sh! and mark the lines in my face, the wrinkles
and the crinkles of advancing years, the dashes and
the splashes that old Time, in sportive glee, delights
to dot my visage with. Do they tell of youth and
beauty? "
"But everybody says you're beautiful, Uncle
Steve," said Dolly.
"And what everybody says must be true, uncle,"
whispered Stewart.
"Not always, not always," said Uncle Stevenson
amusingly.
"But come now, please, Uncle Steve, tell us, did
you ever eat any golden apples solid gold ?" said
inquisitive May.
Lord, no !" said Uncle Steve, I've eaten golden
- well, pippins, I guess they were, Tallman Sweet-
ings, which, you know, are yellow as gold, pies made
of golden pumpkins, golden cake, and so on to the
end of the chapter."
But all those were not real gold," said Dolly.
"Bless your heart, no, of course not," replied Un-
cle Steve.
Well, Uncle Steve, if it is so that you do not eat





APPLES OF GOLD.



17



golden apples, do please tell us what it is that keeps
you always so gay and handsome," persisted May.
Like a buttercup in bloom, eh! Well, now, my
dears, there is no art about it that I know of. I've
somehow managed to keep a cheerful heart and a
cheerful countenance all the way along, and have
not worried, scolded, or fretted at adverse fortune.
By good habits and a correct way of living, I've kept
my health good, and have not forgotten humanity in
all the years that I have lived. In fact, my motto
has ever been, 'For Freedom and Humanity!'
How to elevate my kind, to make them better, truer,
happier, my study. My heart has been, in fact, so
full of love and tenderness for my fellow-beings that
there has been no room in it for hate. Love calls
forth love, and this ever sees its object beautiful, and
I suspect is what makes certain little folks that I
know say I am beautiful and all that nonsense. If
the lichen, yonder, on that old rock could speak, it
would say the dear old rock to which it clings so lov-
ingly is beautiful. Don't you think so, my dears?"
0 Uncle Steve, talk on !" said May, Don't stop
It is better than going to meeting to hear you talk,
is n't it, Dolly ?"
"Yes, indeed it is !" said Dolly.
Well, I have only done what every human being
should do, practised truth, kindness, honesty,
charity, and good-will to all the world. I have





18



APPLES OF GOLD.



never, to my recollection, omitted doing a good turn
or speaking a kind word, when opportunity came in
my way, and have, furthermore, often gone out of
my way to benefit some less fortunate brother or
sister. I have bowed to no man for his wealth,
despised no man for his poverty. This course, I
must confess, has brought me the sweetest peace
and most perfect satisfaction."
"Uncle Steve," said May, "you are the beautiful-
est uncle in all the world !"
So you are !" echoed Dolly.
"That is so," emphatically declared Stewart.
That is the verdict of the majority, but not unan-
imous as I am a dissenting voice to that vote," said
Uncle Stevenson. "But remember, my dears, if
you would be young and lovely always, in spite of
gray hairs, you must practise the virtues I have men-
tioned. Be cheerful, act kindly, speak kindly always,
and then act and speech will indeed be like 'apples
of gold in pictures of silver.'"
"That must be what Mrs. Cole meant when she
said you ate apples of gold," said Stewart.
"Likely enough."I
















LOOKING FOP, OPK.


VERYBODY liked Jimmy Jennings.
SHe was a rich man's son, but neither proud
nor haughty on that account; hence he had
many friends who esteemed him for his virtues, his
good qualities, and manly, generous nature. He
could not bear injustice and oppression, and in
school always took the part of the smaller and
weaker boys, who, involuntarily, would run to
him for protection in the little skirmishes incident to
school-life.
While in a preparatory school, fitting for college,
his father became very ill, and it was a terrible shock
to the whole family when the physician announced
that there was no hope of his recovery.
None but those who have been through the severe
ordeal of separation by death from a dear friend can
know how sad it is to live after the shadow of death
has fallen upon the household, and one deeply beloved
[19]





20 LOOKING FOR WORK.

and revered has been removed. Clouds seem sud-
denly to have lowered, and a leaden gloom to have
settled upon everything around, above, beneath. The
sun shines as brightly and warmly as ever; the flow-
ers unfold their lovely petals with the same beautiful
precision, and are as fresh and fragrant as before;
the grass is as green, the trees as stately and grand,
the sky as blue and placid, but we never look upon
these with the same emotions after we have been face
to face with death. The old, familiar places have
lost their charm when we no longer have the com-
panionship of one whose smile was wont to light the
darkest and gloomiest nook with rare and roseate
hues. The glory of the stars, even, seems dim, and
we watch them no longer with eager interest to
know their location or planetary path; but in the
loneliness and silence of midnight we search their
mysterious depths with but one question trembling
on our lips, "Tell me, O stars, tell me, I pr:y,
what, if anything, of the worlds beyond your hidden
depths?" But the stars are dumb, and answer not
our prayers and pleadings. Nature is mute and
voiceless before the intense yearning of stricken
hearts; or if she speaks the word of cheer and
promise, reaching beyond the finite, our untrained
ears catch no note of meaning, however we may
strive to know her utterance or grasp the measure
of her cadence low and sweet.






LOOKING FOR WORK. 21

Jimmy Jennings sat by the window the night after
his father's burial, and meditated. Within, all seemed
cheerless; without, was cloudy.
The stars do not shine to-night," whispered his
pretty sister, Augusta, with her little arms around her
brother's neck.
"It seems to me they will shine no more for
us!" the boy moaned, and brother and sister wept
together.
"Our father was so good !" sobbed Augusta. Why
should death take him when there are so many use-
less men and women all about, who are no comfort
to themselves or anybody else, and who might be
spared as well as not-? I don't understand."
How many have pondered the same question over
and over again! Why was mine taken and yours
left? Why did yours fall, with everything to make
life happy and desirable, while another, diseased,
poor, miserable, criminal, unfortunate in every par-
ticular, drags a hopeless, weary existence slowly to
the grave? Why?
Jimmy was aroused from his meditations by the
knowledge that several unfortunate speculations had
reduced the ample fortune of his father to a mere
pittance, and that he must meet the reversed condi-
tion of affairs with what fortitude he could command.
"Of course I must leave school immediately," he
said to his mother, who was prostrated by grief and





22 LOOKING FOR WORK.

care. "I am sorry, for in another year I could have
entered college."
"I think, my son," replied his affectionate mother,
"that when everything is settled I may be able to
manage so that you can remain at school, and follow
out the intentions of your father. I will try to
arrange matters so that you need have no difficulty
in carrying out his cherished plans."
"No, mother," said the brave boy, "you will need
all the money that may be saved from the wreck for
the support of yourself and the children. I am going
to look for work."
A faint smile flickered over the wan face of the
stricken woman as she looked at the delicate boy
who had never known physical labor except by name.
"Oh! Jimmy, my child, what can you do? You
have never been accustomed to labor in your life."
Sweetheart, it's the more shame for me then "
It had always been his custom to address his
mother and speak of her as "sweetheart" oftener
than by the ordinary appellation of mother.
It is high time I went to work, sweetheart," he
continued, "and to-morrow morning I am going out
to look for work, rain or shine."
"I can clerk it," he thought the next morning, as
he wended his way along the principal thoroughfares,
"or keep books. I have a thorough knowledge of
book-keeping, which now might be made available."






LOOKING FOR WORK. 23

But times were dull, clerks and book-keepers
plenty, and all day long he trudged about the city
searching for employment, with no success or en-
couragement. Searching for work was his business
for several successive days with the same result.
Merchants told him that applications for clerkships
came from every quarter; that there could be no
possible chance for him in that direction.
"The supply seems to be greater than the demand,"
was Jimmy's conclusion of the whole matter, as he
lay with his head in his mother's lap after wending
his way homeward, weary and dejected but not hope-
less, at the close of a day's search for leave to work.
"Sweetheart mother," said he, "to-morrow I shall
turn over a new leaf."
What is your intention ?"
I mean to seek a different grade of work."
"I fear, my son, with no better success."
Well, I can try, you know."
After a good night's rest he awoke bright and
early, swallowed his breakfast, and started out.
"Well, young man, want work, do you?" gruffly
inquired a hardware dealer to whom young Jennings
preferred his anxious request for work.
"If you please, sir. "
What can you do ?"
"Anything you please; I care not what, so it be
honest," cheerfully answered Jimmy.






24



LOOKING FOR WORK.



"Anything, eh? But those white fingers of yours
don't say that. I'll be bound you would not like to
soil those lily hands now "
"I don't care, sir. I want to earn my living, and
I know I can do it. Although I 'e never been
accustomed to work, yet I'm not afraid to show
that I've a disposition to labor at any employ-
ment that will give me a decent living. I am in
earnest, sir."
"So I see, and I admire your pluck, my boy.
There's a plaguey sight too many young fellows like
you about town who do not like hard work, and
whose only ambition is to get behind a counter and
measure tape and ribbons all day; they feel mighty
grand if they can only get to be a clerk or a drum-
mer, and go scouring over the country, drumming
up customers for somebody else. Look here, my
boy, do you see this fine block and that one over
yonder ?"
"Yes, sir."
Well, they belong to me, independent of mort-
gages, too! That block of Quincy granite on B
Street is mine also. I own a handsome house up
town and another on --Island. How do you
suppose I obtained these things, and more too? I 'll
tell you by hard work and plenty of it. When I
commenced life with not a shilling to my name, it
was not behind a counter but on the top of a tin-





LOOKING FOR WORK. 25

cart, such as you may see in the rear of my shop.
I went out into the country collecting rags, white
and colored, old iron, lead, and glass, and bartered
in exchange tin and wooden ware, brooms, feather
dusters, and the like. I did this for four shillings
per day. I paid my board and saved money at
that."
"Now, young man," he continued, "I'll give you
a chance to work if you will take it. You may
drive one of my wagons, sell tin and wooden ware,
collect rags, paper, and old clothes, and bring them
into the shop for $1.25 per day, and board yourself;
as the times are dull I cannot afford to give more
than that. What do you say,--is it a bargain?"
Jimmy thought one moment of his friends and
what they would say, and then replied, "Yes, sir, it
is, and I thank you for the chance. When do you
want me ? "
"Right away; but you had better get off those
fine clothes, for they are hardly in keeping with the
rough and dusty work I expect you to do."
"All my clothes are fine, sir.
Oh! I see! You have been accustomed to better
days, and it's not your fault, sir, that you do not see
the same now. Reversed fortune! Well, well, we
cannot help these things. Got any money?"
I have eighty-five cents in my pocket, and a few
pennies," replied Jimmy.





2fi LOOKING FOR WORK.

"You might buy a pair of overalls, as I shall
require your presence in the work-room some-
times."
Within an hour Jimmy Jennings was seated on
the high seat of a red box-cart, driving toward the
country, somewhat amused at his novel situation,
though not ashamed of it.
As he drove along he met some of his school-
friends, and greeted them cordially, but it must be
confessed that he experienced a slight twinge at the
thought of his changed position.
Why, Hal, that is Jim Jennings, as I'm alive!
Driving a tin-cart! Ha! ha! Quite a jump from
the academy to a tin-cart! "
"Well, well, I never expected to see that! Jim
was a good fellow, though. Do you remember how
he used to coach us fellows over the rough places?
Success to him, say I! "
"But then, driving a tin-cart! Pah it's a shame !
Don't you suppose he might have found some more
congenial employment?"
"The family are reduced almost to beggary, you
know, and so many looking for work, I suppose it
is the very best Jim could do. But it does seem
rather belittling."
And they passed on.
There were others, among them some silly girls,
who openly and to his face sneered at Jim Jen-





LOOKING FOR WORK. 27

nings because he was occupied in what they termed
a menial employment.
"It is honest and I am not ashamed of it," said
the true-hearted boy. But it cut him to the heart
when some with whom he had formerly been on
terms of intimacy coldly passed him by, without
even a nod of recognition. "What does it mean?"
he soliloquized. When I was the son of a rich man
and had plenty of pocket-money, how the fellows
and girls flocked around me! But now that 1 am a
poor boy earning my own living they do not know
me. Only a few of all my acquaintances have the
courage to say they are friendly to me; yet they all
liked me once, or pretended to. I am not changed,
except for the better. What is my crime that they
should pass me unrecognized? What have I done?
Is poverty a thing to bring down such contempt?
Is it criminal to be poor?"
Ah! Jimmy Jennings, you are early learning the
lesson of the hard, cold world, as many a one has
learned it in the past, is learning it in the present,
and will learn the same in the future, ever, until a
true knowledge shall take the place of a mean and
drivelling ignorance.
As he became accustomed to his work he got
quite interested in it, and really relished some of
his experiences with Irish and German women in
the old clothes business," as he facetiously expressed





28 LOOKING FOR WORK.

it. He learned a great deal of life, also, of which
he had heretofore no idea. He saw poverty in all
its aspects misery and sorrow and misfortune as
he went his daily rounds; he saw, too, how hard men
worked for bread, and how little it took to make
happiness for some, while others rolled past in luxu-
rious carriages, fretful, discontented, miserable.
His employer was delighted with him, and after six
months, when Jimmy had never once swerved from
his duty, nor had a holiday, one evening, when he had
received his month's pay and was going out, proud
and happy at the consciousness of having earned the,
money by his own hard labor, he was called back by
Mr. Garner, the proprietor.
"Young man, a word with you. I would like to
know if you expect always to drive that red wagon ?"
"No, sir," promptly replied Jimmy, "I do not, but
am content with this until there is a chance to do
better."
Well said! Now, sir, I can show you a chance to
do better. Your fingers are pretty brown, tough, and
hard, for I see you don't wear gloves, but none the
worse for that, sir. Can you write a fair hand yet? "
"Well, pretty fair."
Let me see you write the name of this firm. That
will do. You write a good hand, young man. I
wish to say to you that I have been much pleased
with your behavior while in my employ, and the in-






LOOKING FOR WORK. 29

quiries I have made concerning you have been in
your favor. You have not been ashamed of work,
and I am proud, sir, of the spirit you have mani-
fested in your daily labor. I wish to promote you,
and if you will come round to the office to-morrow
morning you may enter upon your new duties
immediately."
"What duties, sir?" inquired Jimmy, looking at
Mr. Garner in blank astonishment.
"Oh! did n't I tell you? I must be growing forget-
ful. Well, well, my head book-keeper is about to
leave us, having engaged in other business. I want
a man to take his place. It is a responsible position,
for, as you know, I am doing a large business, and
the work is not light; but I will give you the same
salary he has received, after a three months' trial.
"What say?"
O sir !" gasped Jimmy, in great astonishment,
"you are so kind, and--" here he choked, and big
tears rolled down his cheeks.
"'There, there! that will do !" and Mr. Garner
began coughing and blowing his nose furiously.
"Ah! this catarrh of mine troubles me greatly at
times."
This was the first intimation that Jimmy had that
his employer was annoyed by that troublesome
complaint.
"Come, come, wipe your eyes, my boy! Be





30 LOOKING FOR WORK.

here to-morrow morning at seven. You will find
me in the office at that hour. I think you have
learned already that if I have a pride in anything
it is in punctuality, which is the pivot upon which
success in business daily turns. Good evening, sir."
Jimmy was overjoyed at this unexpected change
in his affairs, and almost ran through the streets to
his home to tell his mother and sisters of his good
fortune.
Sweetheart mother," said he, you could n't guess
it in a week; and when I tell you, you will not feel
sorry to know that I earned it by riding on that old
red wagon."
It had grieved his mother and sister sorely to see
their Jimmy occupied as he had been, for they
thought he was worthy of something better; but
now they all rejoiced together at his promotion.
"I told you, sweethearts, I would not always ride
on that old wagon, did n't I? "
"Oh II am so proud of you said Augusta.
"And I intend you shall be prouder yet of me !"
said Jimmy, leaning back in his chair. "I am
going to make the fellows and girls who laughed at
me and refused to speak to you, Augusta, ashamed
of themselves. I can do it."
Jimmy was as faithful in his new position as in
the old one, saved his money, was prudent and pros-
pered.





LOOKING FOR WORK. 31

After a couple of years it was another surprise
when his employer proposed a partnership in the
business, and to-day the boy that once rode on the
old red "tin-cart" is one of' the most prosperous
merchants in the city where he lives. He did not
neglect his studies, but pursued them at odd hours
as an agreeable change of employment. When
others found pleasure and pastime in the theatre
and concert-room, young Jennings was poringo over
works of science and philosophy. He attended
lyceums and debates, and took every opportunity
that offered to improve his mind. Last winter he
was one of the lecturers in a popular lyceum course.
His theme was "The Dignity of Labor, and it was
handled in a truly able and masterly manner, thril-
ling the hearts of those who listened by his earnest-
ness and impassioned eloquence. Oh! how grandly
he showed forth the glory and dignity of honest labor,
and with what energy did he advocate the rights of
work and working-men! How he quoted examples
of who and what were and are the toilers of the
nation; that nothing was ever yet accomplished but
by and through hard and persistent trying! How he
pleaded for cultivated intelligence in even the hum-
blest department of labor, declaring that the man
who could read and write brought better work into
the market, though his implements of toil were a
pickaxe and a spade! To dig a ditch and dig it





32 LOOKING FOR WORK.

well, to build a stone wall and build it as it should
be built, was, he said, as honorable as to make a writ
or edit a paper.
He showed that all achievements in art and science
are made through hard and patient toil, and generally
by men not in affluent circumstances.
Robert Burns, whose sweet songs delight every
heart, was but a plough-boy, and wove his charming
rhymes in a peasant's dress. The hands of a tal-
low-chandler fashioned a free nation, though daubed
with candle-grease; but who would not be honored
to touch the little finger of Garibaldi? The face
of Stephenson was blackened with coal-dust, but it
was that same Stephenson who opened the way to a
higher civilization and greater commercial progress,
whose name, to-day, rings with praises throughout
the world wherever a railway has been opened. Our
own Franklin was only a printer, but it was he who
drew the lightning from the skies and made it his
companion. The same hands that set type in a
printing-office, at the Court of St. James were
proudly clasped by kings, princes, sages, and philo-
sophers. The lamented Lincoln split rails in West-
ern wilds, and his hands were hard and homely, but
they broke the chains that held four millions of
people in bondage, when he had been lifted to the
highest position in the gift of a free people.
All honest labor is dignified and honorable, and





LOOKING FOR WORK. 33

the hands of the toilers should be the pride of the
people. No hand should be despised, condemned,
or sorrowed over except the hand that lies in folded
idleness or stoops to deeds of wrong and guilt. It
is more of an honor to grasp the hand of a right-
minded hod-carrier than it is to touch the fingers
of the Khedive of Egypt, with all his slaves and
crime. The hard, bronzed hand of the honest
sailor is more precious than that of a wicked sultan.
By intelligence and cultivation shall labor be invested
with a dignity as bright and fadeless as the eternal
stars.
It is impossible to note down all that Mr. Jennings
said on the occasion, but all agreed that it was one
of the finest efforts for the rights of all kinds of
honest work, and the elevation of working men and
working women ever heard in that city.
The young lecturer is making his way steadily
onward, winning golden opinions from all who
know him, and will be remembered when those
who sneered at him in his early days are gone and
forgotten. This year the people are talking of send-
ino Mr. Jennings a representative to Congress from
the district in which he lives. Are you surprised
at the people's choice?


















THE IAUNTE D HOUSE.


i T is on the road to the Stone Bridge, and "
What is, Jane ?"
Why, the haunted house Have n't you
ever heard about it, Adelaide ? "
"Never !" and Adelaide drew down the corners of
her mouth, and put on a serio-comic expression that
provoked a smile upon the grave face of her cousin
John, to whom Jane was relating the tale of the
haunted house.
"Go ahead, Jen," he said encouragingly, "and
let's hear all about it. Already the hair raises on
my head 'like quills upon the fretful porcupine'! Let
me see, how does that go? I could a tale unfold,
whose lightest word would haggle up thy soul' -"
"Haggle It's 'harrow' up thy soul. I guess you
don't read your Shakspeare very attentively," laughed
Adelaide.
[34]





THE HAUNTED HOUSE.



"Haggle or harrow, it is all the same.
Jane, I'm all attention."
"Now, don't make fun, please," plea
Leslie, "for truly, it is no laughing matte:
true story, as true as as "
"Gospel preaching suggested John.
"Undoubtedly," said Adelaide with a
twinkle of her bright eyes.
"Go on, Miss Wonderment. I'm all
too."



Proceed,



ded Jane
r. It is a



sarcastic



attention,



Well, now don't laugh, I beg of you, and I will
tell the tale as 't was told to me."
Who told you?" questioned Adelaide.
Mr. Parker Parkinson told me, a man well-known
and respected for his integrity and veracity. Is n't
that so, John Archer ?"
I believe that is the generally received opinion
of Mr. Parkinson."
"Well, as you go to the Stone Bridge, you will
notice a large house, once painted white, but now of
a dingy gray or wood color. It had handsome green
shutters to the windows once, but now they are all
faded and broken."
"The effect of time's changes and decay of mat-
ter," philosophized John. "As Professor Tyndall
discerns in matter every form and potency of life, so
1, John Archer, discern in matter every form and
potency of death. Change, reproduction, and death



35






36 THE HAUNTED HOUSE.

are written upon every living thing. The great
powers of the universe move in exact accordance
with fixed laws, and the stupendous machinery that
engineers this habitable earth is is well, I could
give you two girls a scientific lecture if I had a mind
to, but you are girls, and I fear you could n't com-
prehend the effort of my masculine mind."
I'd give you a lecture on common sense if I
thought you could understand it," said Adelaide.
I beg your pardon, lady of the starry eyes, I only
said that to bring you out. Don't I know that I am
a great pig-head? If I don't, who does? Let us
have no words about a matter in which I am inex-
pressibly verdant."
Oh give us the lecture, John, do, by all means !"
exclaimed Jane. We'll do our best to absorb its
wisdom into our dull craniums."
"No, I don't feel like it now. You tell about the
haunted house and excuse the interruption."
Well, this house to which I called your attention
is, or rather was, haunted."
"You don't say so!" from Adelaide, who was
stretching open her eyes to the widest possible
"extent.
"Yes," continued Jane, "and for a number of
years nobody could live in that house on account of
being disturbed by the supernatural sounds."
"Supernatural rats, probably," suggested John.





THE HAUNTED HOUSE.



37



"No, no. Who ever heard of a supernatural rat ?"
"Just as proper as a supernatural sound."
"I don't care what you say," proceeded Jane,
"there were spirits in that house!"
Spirits of hartshorn, camphor, or something
stronger than either of these? Did they live"in a
bottle or jug ?" inquired John with great gravity.
Neither; they were real spirits; and if you make
any more fun I won't tell another word. There !"
"No more fun to spoil the story, but I want to
keep up your spirits while you are telling the tale,
you know. I saw you looking over your shoulder
as if you thought there was r spirit behind you."
"There may be, for anything I know. But there
was a spirit that haunted that house, was on the
premises all the time. It would go up and down
stairs, slam the doors, overturn tables and chairs,
shriek, moan, and annoy the people so nobody could
stand it to live in the house at all. Sometimes it
would scream fearfully in the night so as to waken
the people in the neighborhood."
"That's a little too thin, Jenny," declared John.
"Tell us something reasonable."
That's what was told me, anyway," pouted Jane.
Adelaide, who was of an intensely practical turn,
drew down her mouth and derisively inquired if it
was at all reasonable to suppose that the shrieks
were the result of the grating of a limb of some tree






38 THE HAUNTED HOUSE.

against the house, or the wind whistling round the
coiner.
Oh no, indeed hastily responded Jane, noth-
ing of the kind; it was the uneasy spirit, as I will
shortly tell you how it was discovered."
All right, Jen! Don't interrupt her again, Ade-
laide. Did they hire a Catholic priest to 'lay' the
ghost ? "
"Now you stop, John Archer, and lay aside your
fun for the present. Of course they did not hire a
Catholic priest to do anything of the kind.
"In the large yard back of the house there were
quite a number of lilac trees on three sides; and they
bloomed every year, all those trees except one, which
was never known to blossom, but was observed to
be very luxuriant in leaves. Every one noticed it,
but nobody could tell the cause of its lack of blos-
som. Many people went to live in the house at
different times, but could not stay there long on
account of the mysterious troubles.
One night it is said that a couple of valiant young
men thought they would see if they could discover
the mystery. A family had just moved from the
house, having found, with many others, that it was
totally impossible to remain there in peace. And the
two young men determined to find out the cause of
the trouble or die in the attempt; so they went to
the house armed with a horse-pistol each, a double-





THE HAUNTED HOUSE. 39

barrelled gun, two swords, a Bible, and a Methodist
hymn-book."
"Was that all they were armed with ? inquired
John.
"Yes, except some sandwiches and a meerschaum
pipe apiece. Well, they sat there and told stories
and sang hymns -they were good, pious young
men -until nearly midnight, and heard nothing un-
usual; but just as it was twelve o'clock, they heard
somebody coming slowly down the stairs, and just
then the light went out all of a sudden. They did
not speak and scarcely breathed aloud, but sat quite
still in the dark to await developments. Presently
the door slowly opened, and a low moan was dis-
tinctly heard, a low moan close beside them."
"Is that so?" ejaculated Adelaide.
"Sh!" exclaimed John, "it's getting interest-
ing."
"At that juncture one of the young men uttered a
loud, wild screech, jumped out of the window, and
ran for dear life."
There's a brave fellow for you! contemptuously
said Adelaide.
"But the other young man did not run," continued
Jane; "he remained, resolved to know the mystery
or perish in the attempt. Presently the low moan
was repeated, and he then spoke to it."
"What?" saucily inquired Adelaide.






10



THE HAUNTED HOUSE.



"Oh! bother! exclaimed Jane.
"What did he say,-' Angels and ministers of
grace defend us'?" queried John, with a great show
of interest, "or Rest, perturbed spirit, rest'?"
"Neither; but laying aside his meerschaum pipe,
he solemnly said, Whoever it is that haunts this
house, tell, Oh! tell me, what calls you from your
peaceful slumbers, and I promise to rectify, to the
best of my ability, any wrong that has been done
you.' A beautiful white light then flooded the
room, and there appeared in it a lovely young girl
dressed all in white, but there were deep crimson
spots on her white dress, and those spots were stains
of blood."
"Did she speak?" inquired John.
Oh! yes; she spoke, and said, You're the very
man I've been looking for.'"
"That does not sound very ghastly, Jane," said
Adelaide.
"But that's what she said, and then went on in
this way, in aw deep, sepulchral tone: 'I will tell
you, young man, briefly, the cause of my long dis-
tress. In this house I once lived in quiet happiness.
I was engaged to be married to a gentleman by the
name of Landis, then in business in Albany, N. Y.
It was his custom to visit me every once in a while.
Naturally reserved, I made few friends, but lived in
retirement with only one servant. Fond of flowers





THE HAUNTED HOUSE. 41

and books, I spent much time in study, relieved by
care for the blossoms I loved. My lover became
very jealous of me, without any reason, however,
and tormented me with many silly suspicions. One
evening hie came in upon me suddenly, and discover-
ing an old school-friend of mine present, he was
angered to an extreme degree, and after my friend
had taken his departure he commenced to upbraid
me. I replied hastily that I did not intend to give
up the very few associations of my earlier days on
his account. One word brought on another, and in
a moment of mad passion he plunged a dagger in
my heart and killed me. As soon as the deed was
done, he repented of the cruel act, and wept and
raved fearfully. In a short time he became more
composed, and began to think how he should dispose
of my poor body. As it happened, my servant had
gone to P to visit her sick mother, intending to
remain for several days, or until I should send for
her, as I was thinking of making a journey to the
South. There were no near neighbors and little
passing in this locality. All was still, the hour
late, and my murderer undisturbed, as with repent-
ant tears he went out and dug my grave under one
of the lilic-trees; and there he buried me in the
dead of the night, departing the next morning and
taking the key of the house with him. He was
careful to destroy every trace of his cruel work,





42



THE HAUNTED HOUSE.



and I being so little known, and my movements
generally eccentric, there was little inquiry as to my
whereabouts. I was an heiress, an orphan, with no
relatives who cared to interest themselves about me,
and consequently I soon passed from remembrance.
This occurred many years ago, and I have long wished
to make known the facts, especially since my murderer
committed suicide by drowning. Haunted continually
by remorse and my restless spirit, death was craved
by him more than life. This is the first time I have
ever found one who would listen to me, and now,
if to satisfy yourself of the truth of my story, you
will dig under the lilac-tree that has never blossomed
since my burial, you will find my remains, with a
gold locket and chain around my neck, the locket
containing a picture of my lover and murderer.'
And then the the "
Apparigotion !" said Adelaide.
"The spirit disappeared," continued Jane, and
the young man went right out and commenced to dig
under the lilac; and sure enough, he found the
remains, all dressed in beautiful white muslin, with
the locket around its neck containing the likeness of
a handsome young man. And ever since the house
has been inhabited the lilac blooms every year, and
the spirits, or rather the spirit--"
"Does not hang around there any more," laughed
John.





"THE HAUNTED HOUSE. 43

"Now, indignantly exclaimed Adelaide, "do you
suppose, Jenny Foster, that I shall swallow that pack
of lies? If you can gulp it down, all right; but I
cannot."
"Well, that's the way it was told to me, and they
say it is all true."
"True! Jane, I tell you it is all a made-up story,
and there is n't one word of truth in it."
"What makes you think so ?"
"Reason and common-sense. Do you suppose a
dead body would keep in the ground forty years,
more or less, and the white muslin dress too? And
could anybody disappear like that and create no
more stir or comment than you say that lady did?
Why, somebody would be looking after the prop-
erty, if nothing else. Jane, it is all nonsense."
"I don't believe it either," said John; ".and all
these yarns about spirits, spooks, witches, fairies,
ghosts, and hobgoblins are ridiculous, from begin-
ning to end. I used to believe them, but I've got
better sense now. Why, when I was a little shaver,
I dared not open my eyes after the light was out and
I in my bed, for fear I would look upon a ghost.
But now I've learned better, and I hope you will,
Jen."
A good many people believe in them, anyway."
"Of course; there are always people superstitious
and credulous enough to believe anything you please,






44



THE HAUNTED HOUSE.



because they never stop to examine into the stories
they hear."
"I think if spirits did or could come to the earth,
they who haunt houses must be a very mean and con-
temptible kind, to say the least, to disturb people
so they could not live in peace in a house for which
they pay a decent rent."
Haunted houses! There are no such houses,
except, perhaps, those haunted by rats, mice, and
other vermin. Clear out the rats and other var-
mints, and no house now said to be haunted would
be in such condition long. Wicked and deceptive
people, for mischief or for some other reason, make
disturbance, may be, in that way, occasionally; but
if people would exercise their judgment and investi-
gating powers a little they would soon dispel all
the ghosts that were ever invented. That 's my
opinion!" declared Adelaide, in a very decided
manner.
"I rather think you're about right," said John,
"but Jen knows how to tell a tale that's told to her,
and I advise you to write a book, Jen."
"Perhaps I shall, but you and Adelaide are too
practical and matter-of-fact to be in it."
"Well, then we'll be out of it," said Adelaide;
"the world is wide enough for your book, and us
too."

















VHAT ATY PANELS ID


OME people think little girls and boys, girls
especially, are not good for much; that their
little hands can do but small service, and
very inferior work, if any at all.
"What are you good for ?" was once asked a very
little girl. "Well," she replied, after a pause, not
much, I suppose, but grandpa says I'm good to keep
bread from getting mouldy and butter from being
rancid !"
But I am going to tell you what Katy Daniels did,
a small thing in itself, but most important in its
result, as you will see as you read on.
She lived in a factory village, did Katy, and went
past the great mills every day, on her way to and
from school. As she listened to the firm click, clat-
ter, and whirl of the machinery, and saw the swiftly
moving belts and bands as she went by, she wished
[45'






46 WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.

the children who worked there might go to school
every day as she did. They did go to school a
part of the year, for the law of the State makes it
compulsory, or an imperative duty of their parents,
that they should send them a portion of the time
to the public school. There are some parents,
however, so cruel and thoughtless, that they would
keep their children in the mill or work-shop all the
year round, and would never give them any educa-
tion whatever. Such are not wise, just, and good
parents.
Among the boys and girls who worked in the
factory was George Rose, a bright, red-cheeked,
good-natured boy of fourteen or fifteen years. He
was so handsome and always so pleasant and agree-
.able that the people called him "Rosy George."
Katy had been acquainted with him since she could
remember. He had dragged her to'school on his
sled in the winter, coasted with her the long Decem-.
ber evenings, played at snow-balling, and skated all
over Long Pond many a time with her; and in sum-
mer had rolled up his pants and waded off in that
same pond after water-lilies for her, and sometimes
he would find a lovely pink lily, which was regarded
as a great prize, for it is rarely those beautiful flow-
ers are found in New England; and when he brought
the flowers to Katy, she would say, "O Rosy
George, you are splendid!"





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID. 47

"That's just what I think of you, too, Katy! "
would be his gallant reply.
They had often been berrying together, and Rosy
George always helped her fill her basket first, and
then Katy would help him fill his. They were true
and good friends, but after Rosy George went
into the mill to work (for his parents were poor, and
he was obliged to contribute what he was able to-
wards defraying the family expenses), Katy saw less
of him than formerly, and gradually they became
somewhat separated, and only met occasionally.
It is always so.
You are intimate now with your school-friends,
and declare you will always remain so; but as you
grow older and engage in other duties, cares, and
pursuits, you will grow away from your old friends,
and they will grow away from you. New friendships
will take the place of the old, and by and by you will
pass your old schoolmates in the street with only a
hurried nod, or perhaps you will not recognize them
at all, in the hurry and bustle with which you are
beset. Or, if you retain fond memories of some
beloved friend, and after a while the years roll in
between you and her, and finally you make inquiries
and find a proud and frivolous woman, haughty and
defiant, where once stood your sweet and innocent
friend, you may grieve to think she has not ful-
filled the fair promise of her youth; but what of that






48



WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.



Perhaps you will call and see her once more, though
you go with a sad and heavy heart, as you go to
look upon the remains of one who is dead. Dead!
" Yes," you say, my friend is dead !' but you feel
a grim satisfaction in going to view the corpse.
You find it arrayed in its best clothes, decked with
jew^1s, lace, and flowers, but you say, "It is not
the one I knew in years gone by." You do not care
to look upon the body long, for the soul, the sweet
and precious promise of earlier days, is nowhere to
be seen or felt, and you feel like a mourner as you
go away.
Such is society and the world.
Rosy George had made new friends among the
workers in the mill, and had fallen into the habit
of roaming about all Sunday, walking, sailing, or
fishing, with other boys of his own age. Katy
heard of his doings, and said she was afraid Rosy
George was treading on dangerous ground.
Granny Stubbs, an old colored woman, said, for
her part she could not see that Sunday was much
different from any other day; the birds sang the
same songs as they did on other days of the week.
"Now," said she, "if the birds sang 'Hail Columby'
and 'Yankee Doodle' week-days, and then on Sunday
sobered down to'Old Hundred' or'Amazing pity,
grace unknown,' or some such, why, seems to me
we should think dem birds knew suffin' more'n





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID. 49

common. Folks say, 'Hear de birds a-praisin' de
Maker on Sunday morning' But laws de dunno nuf-
fin' 'tall 'bout praising de jess sings right on de
same toons on Sunday, 'cause 'tis natur', an' de can't
help it. De flow's do bloom out jess so putty on de
Sunday as de Monday. Jess so de little ants keeps
working working' dem little mole-hills o' their ebery
day, Sundays an' all, working' as if de had n't a minit
more to live; and de bumble-bees and de honey-
bees, tew, now de jess work like sixty ebery day,
an' Sunday no exception."
"But, granny," said Katy, we must not work all
the time. 'All work and no play,' you know,
makes Jack a dull boy.'"
"Dat's jess what I'se a-comin' tew, honey. I mean
Sunday is n't sich a gimcrack day as some folks think.
Laws, no, chile! I'se lived, chile, I hass, an' my
sperunce is wuth suthin', I knows. De idee is dis,
honey, chile,- folks build big arks o' churches, an' de
puts in jess so much velvet an' gole and fixins, an'
den dey shets it all up till Sunday; den de comes
out in de good clo's, an' mosely dese nice chaney
silks an' boughten bunnits, de kid gloves, an' de
new shoes, an' de goes t' meeting' wid de gret long
faces on, an' dere de sets an' sets, obsarvin' all de
new gowns an' tinogs to see which is de bestest.
Dey done hear one word de minister say, an' den
de goes hum and tinks de berry pious."





50 WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.

"But, granny, they are not all so."
"No, de not all so, honey, deres some real, good,
honest creeturs as ever lived, but dere's mo' rogues,
do. Now, dere's de men-folks, look at dem! de
lies an' de steals in a genteel, fash'able way, ob
course, all de week, an' den de goes t' meeting' wid
dere long faces on, an' de sets dere an' writes,- you
tink dese takin' notes, honey, dose you? I tells ye,
chile, de jess figgering, figgering how much de specs
to make de nex' day. Dat's so, chile, I know. An'
de calls dat 'ligion "
Well, granny, they do keep the commandments,
and perhaps they love their enemies, too."
0 chile, chile! when ye 'rive to de years of unner-
stannin an' screeshun ye'll know more'n ye dose
now. I dunno 'bout de keeping' der 'mandments.
Do de lub de Lord wid all de heart, an' hab no oder
gods afore Him? 0 chile, look at der mills an'
der banks, der shops an' der money boxes, de fine
housing an' de wives and de chilens, an' de good do's !
0 honey, chile, dese are all gods de place afore what
de call der Fader in Heben. I knows, chile; I'se
had sperunce. As for lubbin enemies, dey neber
does it. De says de do, but de does n 't do it, honey.
No, de follows der enemy to de ends ob de yarth,
an' fotch him back an' hang him. An' I dunno as de
can help it, honey. It is n't in human natur to lub
your enemies. S 'pose now, for instance, somebody





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.



cums and steals yer little Ginny pig you set so much
by."
"Yes, granny, I do love my Guinea pig."
Course ye does. You thinks de sun rise an' set
in him, but it don't. However, if somebody cums
an' steals dat Ginny pig, you gwine to lub dat some-
body for doin' it?"
I should be sorry for him to be so wicked," said
Katy.
"Yes, chile, you bese sorry, but you ain't gwine to
lub dat robber, is ye? Ye can't do it, chile; 'tain't
human natur, noways. Well, what I'se gwine to
say is dis: if dem boys work all de week, and hain't
got no time to play no oder day, I've no sectionss to
der playing' on de Sunday, some part ob de day, if de
feels like it, long as he don't do nuffin bad, an' keeps
good company. It's my 'pinion ye ken hab 'ligion,
real 'ligion, widout eber gwine into de meetin'-house.
Now dere was dat man ob Nazareth, de man Jesus
you hear so much tell ob; he did n't go to meeting' in
de meetin'-house but jess once dat we read ob, and
den he went wid a horse-whip in de temple dar at
'Ruselem."
Katy, while admitting the force of Granny Stubbs's
remarks, yet had her misgivings in regard to Rosy
George going out so much on Sunday with the mill
boys, for she knew some of them were bad, and
would as soon entice a good boy to evil as not. Phe





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.



knew he had fallen into some bad ways, for she had
seen him chewing tobacco and smoking cigars, and
when she remonstrated with him he said, "Pooh!
pooh! Katy, that is nothing at all! Big men
smoke and chew, and of course they expect us boys
to do the same. How is a fellow to be manly if he
does n 't smoke and chew, I should like to know ?"
Katy could not see the power of his argument,
but she thought about it a great deal. She did not
know that he was learning to drink intoxicating
liquors also. On Sundays when he went fishing with
his companions, they had taken bottles of beer with
them, white beer first, then lager, and after that
whiskey and other vile drinks, and on two or three
occasions had returned somewhat the worse for
liquor. It was only the next *Sunday after Katy's
conversation with Granny Stubbs, the old colored
woman, that she saw Rosy George going home just
after sunset, staggering like a drunken man.
To think that boy should get so low !" said Katy.
" It hurts my feelings."
It was not long after that when she saw him again
walking very crooked, and Katy made up her mind
to do one thing, she would speak to Rosy George
before matters became worse. The very next morn-
ing, as Rosy George was going to his work, who
should overtake him but Katy, going the same way.
They walked along together, chatting pleasantly,
~-J WIIIV WI n ZIII





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.



53



Rosy George feeling all the time very much ashamed
of yesterday's performance, and wondering if she
would walk and talk with him if she knew it.
"Oh !" he thought, "she would despise me, I am
sure, if she knew how I stumbled up stairs last
night, and then fell down, and was so bewildered I
did not know where I was. Lord of Heavens !" he
ejaculated mentally, "I believe I should die if I
thought she knew it."
But she did know it, and when opposite the mill she
said, taking his hand and looking straight in his eyes,
George, I was very sorry yesterday for something."
What were you sorry for, Katy?" he inquired.
To see you, George, in such a dreadful state. I
was thinking about you most all the night."
Rosy George's cheeks were like two red apples,
and he felt as if he should drop. If the ground
could have opened and let him down he would not
then have made an effort to save himself, he felt
so mortified.
I am a small girl," said Katy,. "and don't know
much, but I know it is wrong to do what you did
yesterday. Don't you know it too, George ? "
Rosy George managed to say that he did, and that
he was ashamed of his conduct.
Well, George, I don't want you to be mad with
me or think I am too forward in what I am going
to say; but 1 would like for you to make me one





54



WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.



promise, if you feel like it. I wish you would
promise me that you will never drink a drop of any-
thing intoxicating again, so long as you live. Don't
promise now, George, but think it over and let me
know to-morrow night, if you can make up your
mind to do it. Come to my house and tell me
to-morrow night after the mill is closed. Good
morning, George."
Good morning! I feel like a fool," exclaimed
Rosy George, as Katy departed on her way.
He was very grave all that day and the next, as he
went about his work. When the mill let out the next
night it was evident he had made up his mind to do as
Katy requested. After partaking of his supper he
changed his working clothes for his Sunday suit, and
in a few minutes found himself at Katy's door.
It is a long time, George," she said, since you
have been here. You used to come quite frequently,
but now it is but seldom I see you at all."
"I know it, Katy, and I am sorry that I did not
keep up my visits here after we moved out of the
neighborhood. But I have thought over what you
said to me yesterday, and made up my mind to
promise what you wished, and I'll keep my prom-
ise too."
"Oh! I am so glad, George,-you don't know!
and will you give up tobacco too?"
Rosy George was reluctant to do that, but after





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.



55



a moment of reflection, said, "I might as well give
up that too. It does not do any good, any way."
Katy clapped her little hands, and said, I am so
glad !"
"You 're a good girl, Katy, the best girl I ever saw."
Of course Rosy George's companions laughed and
made a great deal of sport when they learned of his
resolution, but that made no difference to him,
though it was very annoying; and altogether it
caused Rosy George to decide to go away, and in
some other place the boys would not make fun of
him for resolving to do right. He told Katy he was
going away, not to run away, but he thought he
would make a new start in another State.
Katy thought it a very wise plan, and so she told
him, and said she, When you are far away, I hope
you will not forget your promise."
"I never shall."
"Here is a ring I want to give you. Will you
accept it, George? and maybe you will not forget
your promise while this is bright."
"I don't need it to remind me of my promise, but
will keep it in memory of you, Katy, the best girl
in the world."
Rosy George went to Massachusetts, and soon
found employment. He was steady, obedient to
his employer, had good health, and prospered.
Once, before he left his old home, he was quite





56 WHAT KATY DANIELS DID.

sick with a cold and cough, and the old physician
who attended him gave him a medicine that proved
very beneficial. Rosy George was quite a favorite
with the old doctor, who, when he learned his pro-
teg was going away, gave him the recipe for the
medicine and told him how to prepare it. He had
invented and manufactured it himself, and said to
Rosy George, "Here, take this. Sometime it may be
of use to yourself and others. I am an old man,
and have used this only in my practice. You may
do what you like with it."
Rosy George thanked him and treasured the re-
cipe, and at odd intervals amused himself by pre-
paring the medicine for use, giving it occasionally to
friends afflicted with coughs and colds. It always
relieved them, and by and by people came to inquire
about it from afar off, as its fame spread abroad.
Finally, Rosy George had ,so many calls for his
medicine that he abandoned other work, and set
about manufacturing the article, for which there
came to be a great demand.
It was not long before he had a bank account, and
it was clear to all that he was progressing as well as
could be expected of a young man in his circum-
stances. At this writing Rosy George has a large
manufactory of his own and supplies the people in
many towns and States with his famous remedy,
thus relieving the sick and benefiting himself.





WHAT KATY DANIELS DID. 57

Young ladies are delighted when Mr. George
Rose pays them any attention, but he stills thinks of
Katy reverently, and calls her his "good angel."
The little ring she gave him he keeps safely in an
elegant velvet-lined casket, for his finger grew too
laro-e for it some time ago.
In the summer time, when he hears the katydids
in the trees, saying, "Katy did" so plainly, Rosy
George echoes the words, and says, "Yes, she did."
He declares that what he is and whatever he may
become in the future is and will be all the work
of Katy Daniels. "To her be all the glory," he
says, "for she it was who drew me from paths
of vice and wrong, and showed me the way to
truth, honor, integrity, and prosperity."
Between you and me, there will be a wedding
some day up there among the hills in Vermont,
when Katy will be the bride and Rosy George the
proud and happy bridegroom.

















LITTLE JANCY.


HERE is, in the west part of a great eity,
a thoroughfare known as Centre Street.
"It is a narrow, dirty, filthy way, and the
old, worm-eaten, decaying, dilapidated buildings
bespeak only squalor, misery, vice, crime, and
wretchedness.
You would not like to live there, nor would I,
it has such a dark, miserable, forbidding appear-
ance. No green grass is ever seen in that locality,
and there are some little children living there who
have never seen a green field, a tree, shrub, or
blooming flower. But there are many boys and
girls and babies who live there along with little
pigs, big pigs, cats, dogs, hens and chickens, some-
times all in one little room.
Among them, in these associations, where oaths,
drunken brawls, and all kinds of wickedness find an
[58]





LITTLE NANCY. 59

abiding place, dwells little Nancy, of whom I write.
She is eleven years old, bright, fragile, delicate, and
pale as a lily, too sweet a human flower, you would
say, to bloom in such a dismal place. Indeed, she
reminds one of a water-lily, whose roots find lodo(-
ment in thick, cold mud, but whose lovely petals
expand above, a miracle of purity and sweetness,
fashioned by Nature's perfect fingers. You would
think if Nancy were to fall to the ground, she would
break in pieces, she is so slight and small, and you
would wonder how she can live in such an atmo-
sphere uncontaminated; but she is pure as a snow-
flake, and, amid fetid, loathsome vapors, breathes a
sweet moral air of her own. She is an orphan, one
of three, and they all live together in a small attic.
Their parents dying, these children resolved they
would not throw themselves upon the bounty of the
city, but would, with their own little hands, earn their
own living, even though it might be a very humble
one. There is a sister a little older than Nancy, who
works in the cotton factory, in the spooling-room,
and her wages constitute the chief support of the
family. There is one baby brother who remains at
home with Nancy, who is the care-taker and pro-
tector of the three. She plans and executes, and
many wise little projects emanate from her brain.
She takes charge of the earnings of her sister, and
invests them judiciously, buying provisions, coal,





60 LITTLE NANCY.

candles, clothing, and attending to all the scant
needs of the small household, working early and
late. These cold days that make us shiver in our
warm and comfortable robes, see Nancy abroad with
a basket on her arm, going about the streets solicit-
ing cold pieces" for their supper. She is scantily
clad, barefoot, and only a thin shawl protects her
slender form from the chilly blasts of the bleak win-
ter day. She says she does not mind the cold so
long as her sister is warm; she has shoes and stock-
ings, but lets her sister wear them in the mill.
Poor, toiling, patient, brave, heroic, self-sacrific-
ing, magnificent little Nancy! never disheartened,
but her sweet face ever beaming with smiles all day
long, and her heart beating tender and triumphant
through all hours, there should be a crown of glory
awaiting her somewhere.
Amid the temptations, the luring, dazzling tempta-
tions of the world, so bewildering and enticing to
the artless and unwary, amid all the cant, hypocrisy,
shams, and make-believes, it is very hard for some
to keep an even course, straight on in the path of rec-
titude and honor; but this little girl keeps an even
way, a pure and loving heart, a clean conscience, and
an unswerving grasp upon the virtues of a true and
upright character. She does not falter in her devo-
tion to her duty as it is revealed to her, and walks
in safety past all the attractions of vice and through





LITTLE NANCY. 61

the snares of wickedness, and by and by I am sure
she will emerge into the realms of perfect grace and
peace awaiting her in this world.
To talk with Nancy and to be with her, to witness
her sweet, gentle, womanly ways and her absorbing
interest in her sister and little brother, is like passing
through the heart of a sweet song.
Is there not a lesson for you, for me, and for all,
in the life of little Nancy of Centre Street?





i



1OP\ENOON ACES,

A FAIRY STORY.

OW, Rufus, go down cellar and bring up
three eggs. Oh! I forgot! Rufus," with
a strong emphasis on the last syllable of
Rufus, "bring some potatoes for dinner when you
come, and some butter. I'm about tired to death
of this eternal drudgery of housework, over and
over, day after day, year out and year in Really,
I'm almost worn out, there! Why don't you
move as if you had some life, Rufus?" and Mrs.
Anthony looked very miserable and distressed, with
so many scowls and wrinkles distributed over a coun-
tenance that ought to have been most charming and
prepossessing.
Up from the cellar came Rufus with the eggs
and --"How do you suppose I could bring up
butter without a plate to put it in, unless you want
the whole tub? or potatoes with nothing to hold
them? I never saw such a woman as you!"
[62]






FORENOON FACES.



63



"I wonder where you got your amiability from,
and where you keep it, for nobody ever sees anything
of it in this house. I declare, I 'm sick of living
myself," snarled Etta, the sister of Rufus.
I did not get any from you, that's one thing, for
you never had any to lose or give away."
It's none of your affair, if that is the case."
"What 's this ball of yarn doing here? and away
went the ball, the kitten jumping after it.
Here that's my ball. Now look at that What
a snarl I 've got to clear, all for your sake, you dirty,
good-for-nothing boy!"
"It's just about as well. It will make a change
of employment, sitting there all day, making tidies
or some other humbug. Why don't you get up and
do something o I should think you'd stir that rice;
it's burning already, by the smell around here.
Whe w!"
"Stir it yourself if you're so worried about it.
You'd better mind your own business "
"Rufus, why don't you go along and get the pota-
toes? You know I want them," said Mrs. Anthony.
"Go along now, without any more ceremony. Such
a trial as I have, nobody knows !" and the frown on
the mother's face grew deeper and darker.
As Rufus appeared with butter and potatoes he was
greeted with, "Now, why in the name of common
sense did n't you bring the milk along ?"





64



FORENOON FACES.



"You did n't tell me to."
Now, Rufus, don't tell me that I lie; don't, I beg
of you. I know what I say."
"And I know what I hear," muttered Rufus, as he
shambled out, grinding his heel into the cat's tail
as he went along, which performance elicited a
screaming remonstrance from grimalkin and a severe
castigation from Etta's pliant tongue.
"You're a mean, hateful thing There You did
it on purpose, you know you did, and you ought to
be put in jail for cruelty to animals, so you had."
"Etta, stop your noise and come and help me,"
said her mother. "You leave me to do everything,
and never think of lifting your hand."
"How do I know what you want done? Why
don't you tell me what you want?" replied Etta
savagely, kicking over a chair as she rose to her feet.
"I should think you would see that the table
requires to be set."
Etta snatched up the table-cloth and shook it vig-
orously, whirling it on the table so rapidly that, had
it been a breathing thing, it would not have shown
a tremor of breath ever again.
In came Mr. Anthony, puffing and blowing.
"Dinner ready yet? "
"We don't keep a hotel here, and have dinner
ready any time of day you please. I think it very
strange, Mr. Anthony, that you should wish me to





FORENOON FACES.



65



slave myself to death in the way and manner I
do."
"I, madam? I wish you to slave yourself to
death? Very much mistaken! Here are Rufus and
Etta, both big enough to help around the house, I'm
sure. I'm very tired of so much fault-finding!o
Sometimes I think I'11 go off and board somewhere.
Etta, get my boot jack !"
Can't find the boot-jack."
You never can find what I want. Hand me last
night's Herald."
"Have n't seen it I can't keep the run of all the pa-
pers that come into the house. Let me alone, Rufus !
I cannot pass you but you must hit or pinch me!"
"Did n't hit you or pinch you, either!"
"Stop this instant, both of you! I'11 not have
such work in this house !" from Mr. Anthony, in a
tone of command.
Etta went into the yard and threw herself under a
handsome maple tree near the well, and in a few
minutes was sound asleep.
At this juncture a gentle tap at the door was an-
swered by Mrs. Anthony. There stood the queerest,
smallest, funniest looking specimen of womanhood
that ever was seen. She wore green glasses, had a
hump on her back, and walked with a cane; but her
face was all over smiles, and before she was invited,
she laughed herself into the room.





66



FORENOON FACES.



"Good morning!" said she, laughing again, and
showing two rows of handsome white teeth and two
little dimples in her fat, rosy cheeks. "I seem to be
a stranger to you, but thought I would call and leave
my card, and ask to be better acquainted in the
future. My name," she continued, "is Sunny Tem-
per, and I come from the land of Good Nature. I
see you wear your usual forenoon faces, good people.
I observe, as I pass along, there are many people
who wear similar faces. I think, as a general thing,
people are too apt to let their dispositions sour and
crust over with coldness, and it has become a rare
thing to see those who are brimful and running over
with glee and goodliness--"
Goodliness that's a funny word!" exclaimed
Rufus.
"It is a word much used in the land where I came
from, and is very expressive, and belongs properly
to those who are happy all day long, just because
they cannot help being so, and because they have no
deep, dark sin hidden away in their hearts from the
eyes of the world, and gnawing forever at their
hearts.
"It is," continued the little woman, "indeed re-
freshing to come in contact with such glad, joyous
natures, and we love to linger near them, and when
we go away we carry sweet memories of these lovely
beings, and in retrospective glances in after years,





FORENOON FACES. 67

they come dancing before us, and involuntarily we
laugh to recall how we did laugh once at the out-
gushing of their glad-heartedness.
"Sometimes," she went on, "people, under the
garb of religious excellence, have forced back all
joy and natural gladness, and with lengthened
visage have gone about disclaiming all rational en-
joyment and innocent amusement as improper in
the sight of the Lord, looking upon those in whom
was developed large mirthfulness as special subjects
of prayer. But I think I may with safety aver that
such are a type of old fogyism, fast passing from the
stage of action, greatly to the benefit of the young
and rising generation. Not that people of the
present day are so wise that they cannot learn from
their antecedents, but, rather, that unwise and harm-
ful views cherished, with all dignity and in perfect
trust and confidence, by their grandparents, are now
being held up to the light of reason, sifted of the
chaff, and the few grains of truth there clothed in a
brighter, more truthful light, and invested with a
sweeter, deeper meaning. Great troubles often fold
back the sunny side of life and darken its beauty;
oftener dyspepsia does it, and the blue imps that this
disease conjures up are truly saddening, and chase
away the joys that otherwise might find a home in
the heart. By all means should we strive to erad-
icate all disease from the system, and cultivate as





68 FORENOON FACES.

much as possible the sunshine of goodness. We
should drink in daily long draughts of harmony from
out of the beautiful world in which we live, and step
with light feet over all that has a tendency to cloud
and roughen our pathway; and with cheerfulness and
perseverance we may overcome all difficulties, and in
proportion as we give from the fountains of love in
our own hearts, so shall we receive and be blessed
as long as we live. I am travelling through the
country as a sort of home missionary, with a beautiful
cosmetic manufactured in the land of Good Nature,
where I told you I came from, and which, used
freely, will make you in a short time lovely as a
rose, and you know the rose is called the queen of
flowers. Many people have tried it with great suc-
cess, and always with the happiest results. It i)A
erase wrinkles, smooth away the scowls, brighten the
eyes, causing them to sparkle with beauty, heighten
the color, and increase longevity as well."
"What is the price? inquired Mrs. Anthony.
"Oh! it is all without money and without price.
The recipe is gratis to all who desire it, and any one
can prepare it."
Well, I think it is just the article needed here !"
said Mr. Anthony gruffly.
"Oh! yes; undoubtedly," laughed the little lady.
"It will remove those lines from your brow, sir, and
straighten the angles near your mouth."





FORENOON FACES. 69

"I thought my wife needed it the most!" thought-
fully rejoined Mr. Anthony.
So she does require it, sir, but not more than
you. Your s,)n and daughter, also, would be greatly
benefited by a bath in this liquid every day."
Well, do for pity's sake let us know what it is,
and I will procure it immediately!" declared Mrs.
Anthony.
"I '11 give Etta a dose to take inside," said Rufus.
You can after you have taken some yourself,"
smiled the queer little woman. It is very easily pro-
cured. You have but to summon to your aid Dame
Cheerfulness, who is always happy to obey your com-
mands, who will furnish you with a handful of smiles,
which will usually last quite a time. As one good one
will wear all day, take a little self-sacrifice, some
patience, and one or two thoughts for others' feel-
ings; put all together, and with this mixture touch
your face, and you have just as handsome a forenoon
visage as one would like to see, which need not be
changed in the afternoon, as it is good for twenty-
four hours, and even longer. My business is to erad-
icate these scowling forenoon faces that are seen all
over the world, and obviate the necessity of two or
more faces in one day. My object is to make the
home face as beautiful and agreeable as the face pre-
sented to visitors, to show as sweet a countenance in
the house as on the street. If I can obliterate frown-





70 FORENOON FACES.

ing forenoon faces and substitute smiling, cheerful
ones instead, I shall feel I have accomplished a great
work indeed, and that my journey from the land of
Good Nature has not been in vain"; and with that
there came a soft mist that quite enveloped Sunny
Temper, and in a minute more the queer little woman
had vanished in the air.
Etta rubbed her eyes and looked about her, but
saw nothing except a little brown toad near by, to
whom she said, "Did you, little brown toady, see a
fairy about here, or have I been dreaming? and as
the toady made no reply she concluded she had
dreamed. She went into the house and told her
dream. They all laughed, and declared that it
meant something, and they at once mentally resolved
to heed the words of Sunny Temper from the land
of Good Nature, and wear no more scowling, frown-
ing forenoon faces.


















J 1MONG THE h AYFLOWE S.



S^ OME," said Ruth, one day in May, come,
let us go Maying; it will do you good to
get away from pens, ink, and paper for a
few hours, and I have heard you say many a time
that the trailing arbutus blooms in profusion at.Goat
Run. Come, let us go there this afternoon, it is so
pleasant do !"
I pleaded weariness and headache, but Ruth was
indomitable.
"The air will strengthen you, and the medicine
and healing of the budding trees will scare the head-
ache all away. Come, let us start now, right off!
I never went Maying in all my life !"
Two pretty arms around my neck and five or six
kisses on either cheek finished the coaxing, and I
laid aside my pen, and was soon tying a veil over
my hat and fastening my oldest talma, for, as Ruth



6





72 AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS.

said, it would n't do to wear anything nice in the
woods. I suggested the propriety of inviting Ernest
Morgan to accompany us, as he would enjby the
walk, and, Ruth said, keep tramps, bears, and boo-
gers at a distance.
Ernest was all ready for a walk, but declared he
could not think of going without taking a lunch
along; and consequently we delayed a little for that,
but were soon out of the public street and into the
road leading to the wood. We passed some work-
ing-men as we went along near the edge of the wood,
and as they looked at us, and marked our basket of
refreshment, one of them said, "Guy, I think it a
high old time of the year to go huckleberrying "
We were fast walkers, and it was not long before
we were at Goat Run.
"Oh isn't this refreshing !" exclaimed Ruth. "Per-
fectly delightful and she clambered up on the great
rocks, carpeted with soft, green earth of Nature's own
weaving, and tacked down here and there with dots
of clean and dewy moss. The various kinds of moss
attracted Ruth's attention at once.
"How velvety it is!" she exclaimed; "and see,
the red-capped stems, the delicious moss-flowers !"
All standing up, like so many Liliputian sentinels
on guard, demanding why we invade their sacred
territory," said Ernest.
"Now, is n't this grand !" he continued. Look





AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS.



73



yonder on the blue waters of Lake Watuppa, so
calm in the sunshine, and see those noble trees on
the right, how majestic and commanding they ap-
pear! Then look on the other side, and see that
range of hills, and the low, green valley down below.
Ah! how kind is dear old Mother Nature I wish I
were a poet or a painter, that I might make a song
or a picture of the place and scene.
"And here comes a turtle to welcome us," he
went on, pointing to a mud-turtle, solemnly creep-
ing along a rock to sun himself in the warm rays
of the father of life. "I remember coming up here
once, before the water-works were built, fishing,-
and I sat on that rock over yonder, that one cracked
in the centre, holding my rod in my hand, barefoot,
and feet dangling in the water. For hours I sat
there, and never got a bite; presently, when I was
getting somewhat discouraged, I felt something seize
my toe, and drawing my foot up with a sudden jerk
there was the handsomest turtle you ever saw, hold-
ing on to my little toe. You'd better believe I
jumped off that rock in quick time."
"Did he let go ?" inquired Ruth.
Oh yes He let go, and I brought him home and
had him for a pet until he died, poor fellow! But
that was the only approach to a fish that I caught that
day, the only nibble, in fact, and my brother suggested
that I bait my toes the next time I went fishing."





74 AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS.

Ruth had never seen a turtle before, and duly
inspected him from head to foot, poking him with
a stick, and laughing to see him draw his head out
of sight and then cautiously project it again, look-
ing all about to see if the intruders had gone. The
birds were twittering in the trees and fluttering
among the bushes as though they did not consider
us intruders at all, but were glad to see us among
them.
But we don't find the flowers," said Ruth, peer-
ing cautiously about.
"Don't you know they are shy and modest, pre-
ferring to live in retirement and shade, even if they
thus 'waste their sweetness on the desert air '?" from
Ernest.
"Oh! I've found one! I 've found one !" screamed
Ruth, holding up a lovely arbutus flower, fresh and
fragrant, pink and pure in its waxen beauty, all
shaded and protected by thick, broad leaves, some-
what scorched upon one side, as though they had
received a wound in the cause of their gentle friend
and were proud of it.
Ernest took the flower in his hand. "Exquisite "
he exclaimed. "Listen to the simile of the lovely
blossom: it is like a sweet, retiring wife, who
recognizes that her proper sphere is at home, and
the hardy leaf is her lover-husband, who faces
bravely the storms and adverse winds of life, bear-





AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS. 75

ing all things for her sweet sake. He roughs it in
life, and she keeps her smiles for him and him
alone."
"Very poetic,- ahem Hear my simile," I said.
" Here are leaf, bud, and flower, all upon one stem,-
a most holy trinity. The soft, sweet, fragrant petals
are emblematic of a gentle woman, and the brawny
leaf is typical of manly hardihood, but they each
stand together, the winds jostling them, side by
side, and the sunshine shimmering down upon them
impartially, the storm beating upon each the same,
the fair day smiling alike for one as the other,- a
true type of manhood and womanhood, perfect
equality, as man and woman should be. And the
baby bud makes the dual lives a blessed trinity, a
beautiful blending of three lives in one."
"Your simile is the best and beautifullest," said
Ruth.
But mine is the truest," persisted Ernest. "I
believe woman was made to be admired, loved, and
protected, I do."
Well, nobody objects that I know of; but that
should be no reason for immuring her in her home
like a bird in a cage. She should be active in all
the interests of humanity."
"Look here Only just look here under this tree "
and down went Ruth right on her knees, sweeping
dead leaves away with her hand, and down went heI





76 AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS.

face right into the rich pink bed of flowers, like
some devout pagan before the god of her idolatry.
But I thought the child was prostrate before and
worshipping as perfect a law of God in the simple
flowers as was ever manifested in any saint or
Saviour.
What is in this dark earth," she demanded, "that
makes these flowers so fragrant and fair?" and as
she spoke she brushed lightly the delicate blossoms
and filled the air with delicious sweetness and per-
fume. "Can you tell, Ernest ?"
"No, I cannot. It is just as much a mystery to
me as to you. I don't know where the flower gets
its hue and, fragrance any more than I know where
your mind and reasoning faculties come from. It is
all from the earth, as far as I know, but I cannot tell
where the great principle is hidden."
"The soul is from God," whispered Ruth rever-
ently.
"Granted," replied Ernest;"but God is in the
earth and the flower you hold in your hand, the same
as in you. Do you not see here his sign-manual?
It is written all about."
"Nor can I tell," continued Ernest, "what it is
that makes these blossoms unfold here in this lo-
cality, at Somerset Junction, Happy Hollow, Asso-
net woods, but scarcely anywhere else about here;
nor why they grow in Plymouth woods so plentifully,





AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS. 77

and not in other woods at all; nor do I know why
they should exhale such almost intoxicating sweet-
ness, or from what fountain they draw their odor.
Ah! how pure my heart is growing under this bap-
tism of spring's loveliest flowers !"
"I feel like a better child," dreamily mused Ruth,
as if as if I were 'getting religion.' "
"And I think I'm getting hungry," I said.
So am I," drawled Ernest, as he lay full length
on the soft earth. "Bring forth the 'loaves and
fishes,' and feed the multitude !"
Off with hats, veils, and gloves!" commanded
Ruth. "Never mind," she continued, if we do tan
and freckle! Let us play we are turtles to-day, and
sun ourselves on the rock !"
And thus as the breeze kissed our faces and tossed
our curls about, and the sun gave us a benediction,
we did justice to pickles and sandwiches, mince-pie
and gingerbread. Then Ernest went down to the
lake and filled our cup with pure water, but Ruth
hesitated and would not drink for fear of swallowing
an embryo lizard or a tadpole germ. In vain we
reasoned with her that such creatures did not inhabit
that silvery, sparkling water. She would not believe.
A rustle close beside us among the dried leaves,
and a terrific scream from Ruth, who bounded away
like a deer, revealed the presence of an uninvited
guest.





78 AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS.

A snake! Holy Moses !" exclaimed Ernest.
"A serpent in our garden of Eden I exclaimed.
"Here goes for despatching the reptile and Er-
nest seized a club, and in another moment there was
one snake the less in the world. "One enemy the
less to injure me It is the sign, you know, that when
you kill a snake, you have disabled an enemy."
"Is that a true sign?" Ruth asked demurely.
"Signs are fallible, Ruth, but that is just what my
Aunt Polly used to say."
"I don't see for my part," said Ruth, "how Mrs.
Eve ever could have talked with such a hideous mon-
ster in Paradise, as my Sunday-school teacher says it
is reported she did. Oh! I'm all of a shiver to think
how near that old snake came to me But how do
you suppose it was that the old serpent, the father
of serpents, ever got along in the world before he
made such work about that apple? Do you think he
walked about on the end of his tail ?"
We could not help laughing at Ruth's query, and
that seemed to hurt her feelings, and she began to
cry, saying, through her tears, "Well, he must have
walked on something before he was told he would
have to wi(ole all the rest of his life."
"Now," said I, "this won't do. If Ruth is going
to cry, we had better go home; and. the sun is slant-
ing too, and the air getting chilly, and we shall take
cold if we remain longer. Ruthy, you ask your





AMONG THE MAYFLOWERS.



79



Sunday-school teacher about those knotty points,
and then you can read and study for yourself as you
grow older."
So we gathered up the remains of our lunch,
and, with the flowers we had plucked, started home-
ward.
Now," said Ernest, "have we not demonstrated
this day that we can learn wisdom, and find food
for thought from the works of Nature ? How much
we have seen to-day to make us wiser and truer than
before, to think of and ponder over for our good!
Here, have we not seen shown forth a new gospel,
the perfect gospel of love, truth, and goodness,
as manifested according to our benevolent mother
Nature, without a shadow of cant or hypocrisy any-
where visible ?"
"I guess we are three thinkers," declared Ruth,
whose feelings had regained their normal tone.
"We ought always to be," I said.
"How is your headache now ?" inquired Ruth.
"Gone, long ago."
Nature is the best doctor I know," from Ernest.
"We will love her and adore her forever," he
added.
So we will; and she will never deceive or betray
the heart that loves and trusts her," I said, as we
wandered homeward, plucking the ferns as we went
along.
















THE IPBST ALSE TEP.

A TEMPERANCE STORY.

ENRY WARREN sat in his room in one of
the small hotels of New York City, at mid-
night, alone, -sat there and wept as he
recalled the evening's transactions; for that night
he had, in company with several companions, fellow-
clerks of his, tasted the first glass of intoxicating
drink.
THE FIRST GLASS!
Do you remember, young man, as you read this,
do you remember the first glass of intoxicating drink
that ever passed your lips? Do you remember the
time ere you had quaffed that first fatal glass of red
wine? How easy it was to do right then but ah!
how hard afterwards! And as you drained glass
after glass, full of that dangerous, soul-polluting,
maddening beverage, how fast your love of things
pure and true seemed to slip away, and how
[80]





THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



81



quickly, but stealthily, vileness and impurity set-
tled down in your thoughts? Of all things, of all
temptations, shun that fatal first glass of alcoholic
stimulant; for in its depths lurks the deadly viper,
which, when once it has obtained a hold upon heart
and brain, seldom leaves it till it has planted dis-
Ab
honor and despair, and all of- earth's most horrible
evils, upon the consciousness of its unhappy victim.
Henry Warren sat there in his room and wept like
a child, wept and pondered over the night's proceed-
ings. He felt that he, had fallen, shamefully fallen,
from manhood's high estate. He scorned himself
because he had so fallen,-and at the same time
writhed under an overmastering desire, strange and
new to him, for the drink that he knew had set his
brain on fire. Was it not pitiful? He blushed with
shame and mortification as he remembered that his
father had filled a drunkard's grave, and that he
himself had sworn never to touch, taste, or handle
that which had been such an enemy to his father.
He thought of his widowed mother among the hills
of New Hampshire, and how agonized she would be
should she ever hear of his fall. The last words she
had said to him when he left his mountain home
came vividly to his mind: Henry, my son, beware
of strong drink! It killed your father. Shun it as
you would the fangs of a deadly serpent!" IHe
remembered Mary Bickford, the sweet friend and
6






82 THE FIRST FALSE STEP.

companion of his boyhood, his school-mate and con-
fidante, and later, his pledged friend for life. When
they were school-fellows, they said when they grew
up they would marry and help each other to be
always good and true.
But amid the recollections of home and loved
ones, a terrible thirst, unlike anything he had ever
experienced. before, and which only those who have
felt it may understand, had possession of him like a
fierce demon, in whose hold he vainly struggled. A
foe had sprung up in-his bosom, and he battled with
it bravely with all his energy. He fought manfully
for the victory, and resolved that he would be con-
queror, that he would not yield to the tempting
Circean cup.
But alas for good resolutions! Man is strong to
make them, but weak as an infant to keep them
when the tempter plants his feet in his path. Three
days from that night Henry Warren went to his bed
in a sad state of intoxication, and from that time
afterwards, from occasionally being the worse for
liquor, he gradually sank lower and lower, until he
became almost habitually drunk. He was discharged
from the store where he had been employed, and
although he ranked high as an accountant and pen-
man, he failed to find a situation because he would
invariably be under the influence of liquor when
he applied for work. His mother, hearing of his






THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



83



disgrace, broken-hearted almost, and overwhelmed
with grief, went all the way to New York to find her
erring son. After much perplexity and a great deal
of trouble, she found him in a low cellar, in one of
the darkest, dingiest streets of the city. As she
entered the vile den, where, perhaps, a pure woman
had never been before, and looked upon the bloated
face of her once bright and promising boy, and saw
him sitting there in the company of low and brutish
men, all wearied with anxiety and fatigue, her emo-
tions overcame her, and she burst into tears, such
tears as only a mother sheds when she looks upon
her only son, the pride and promise of her days, and
sees how he has made shipwreck of his life. She put
her two hands upon his shoulder, and then and there,
in that smoky den, surrounded by coarse, imbruted
men, she appealed to the remnant of manhood in her
fallen son, and prayed for the disentanglement of his
feet from the snare into which he had fallen. A
deathlike stillness pervaded the room, and men were
roused from their drunken lethargy to listen to that
low, earnest voice, and to see that mother bending
over the wandering, sinning one, the like of which
had never before been heard in that place. Instinct-
ively the group of careless men bowed their heads,
and for a moment, if no longer, a wave of purity
swept over their blighted lives as they recalled the
time when a mother's tender love had blessed their






84 THE FIRST FALSE STEP.

childish days. At the close of her earnest, pathetic
appeal, tears were brushed by rough hands from
eyes that had seldom known their meaning in life's
tempestuous journey.
"Come home, Henry! come home with me !" said
the poor, weary-hearted woman.
Henry looked upon the group and then at his
weeping mother in a startled, frightened way, as if
ashamed of his conduct, and yet not feeling brave
enough to leave the place. One, who had been a
silent witness of the scene, a sailor evidently, looked
up, and with a rough oath and in a voice sternly
authoritative, said, Go home, young man! Go at
once! "
Perhaps he thought that had a mother's hand inter-
vened in his own case he might have been saved the
shame and sorrow of a drunkard's life; but his
mother had closed her eyes and fallen asleep when
he was but a tender babe, and he had grown up
without that sweet love to shelter and protect him
throughout a wild and stormy life.
Without a word, at that command, Henry rose up,
and a spark of his lost manliness awakened into
action as he silently put his mother's hand within his
arm and went out with her, that staunch, true
friend in all dangers, shames, and difficulties, who
knows not the meaning of the words "forsake" or
"desertion," as applied to the child of her heart.





THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



85



The next evening, in the quiet of his mountain
home, Henry said, Mother, I have been on the
verge of a fearful pit. The accursed appetite for
rum led me to it, but I will no longer bend beneath
the scourge. I will rise above this fiendish appetite.
I will be a man "
"O Henry," said his mother, "will you put beneath
you the dreadful monster of intemperance? Will
you? Promise that you will!"
"Yes, mother, Iwill."
And he meant to keep that promise, and he did
keep it while he remained in that lovely spot among
the old, towering hills, where the little brook went
singing past the door. He told his mother every-
thing, of the first temptation, the first glass, the
first false step, after which he seemed to slide easily
into the path of ruin. He told her how he had fought
against the awakened appetite until, weak as a child,
he could fight no longer. At the close of his story
he made the resolution stated above.
How happy he was now when he felt freed from
the tempter! As day after day passed he felt the
craving for stimulants was growing less, and the old
peace and joyousness of early days came back to him
at last. Daily he gained new strength and believed
that he had the power that overcometh.
But he could not remain in that sweet home always.
He had to earn his bread with his own hands, and his





86



THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



restless spirit longed to be at work; he must go away
somewhere into the great world and find a place
where, with new energy, he would plunge into labor,
and redeem the dark past by a bright future.
With terrible forebodings and a painful shudder at
her heart, his mother heard his determination to try
the great world again. Night after night they sat
late together, talking of the probabilities and possi-
bilities of future days. Mary Bickford was there
too, for she did not despise Henry, but pitied him in
his weakness. She knew that in his heart he meant
no harm or wrong, but in the meshes of an insatiable
appetite he was, like many another, lost in its mazy
depths, wandering hither and thither like a little
child far off from home and friends. Her soul
seemed to leave her body when she first heard of his
disgrace and sad fall, but she went to Henry's mother
and urged her to go on to New York and seek her
son, and if she did not feel equal to the journey, she
herself--dear, loving heart! would go and entreat
him to come home. Upon his return she went to
him, and said, in a broken, trembling voice, Henry,
I pledged my heart and hand to a sober, temperate
man. You cannot expect me to fulfil my engagement
to you, now that you have fallen from that high
place you occupied when you asked me to be
yours. You would not do it were you in my place
and I in yours, would you?"





THE FIRST FALSE STEP. 87

"O Mary, I cannot tell! As humiliating as it is
to me to hear these words from your lips, still I can-
not blame you for saying what you have. By my
own conduct, that no one can loathe and despise more
than myself, I have forfeited your esteem and love."
"No," replied iMary, "my esteem and love ftr
Henry Warren, my high ideal of nobleness and good-
ness that was once manifest in him, and to which he
may attain again, has not faltered or failed. When I
love it is once and always. I grieve that you did not
keep the mastery over yourself better than you have;
but I cannot place my life and happiness fearlessly
into your hands now, Henry, for you have weakened
my confidence and faith in you. My principles are
firmly fixed, and I would rather die to-night than live
to be a drunkard's wretched, miserable wife !"
As plain and straightforward as Mary was in every
act of her life, so was she in this, the saddest duty
that she had ever known. There was no deviation
with her from what she felt to be right, and a lie
was to her an abhorrence. To have saved Henry
from further sin, I do believe she would have freely
given her life, then and there, in the flush and bloom
of her youth and beauty, for she was as beautiful as
a picture, beautiful with that fair, sweet grace of
the inner life, that soul-beauty that shines out in the
countenance like the glorious dawn of a morn in
summer time.





88 THE FIRST FALSE STEP.

With a swift impulse Henry reached out both
hands to her, and at that moment he felt he loved
her a thousand times more than ever. His very soul
seemed to stand still before her in love and worship.
She put her hand on his outstretched arm and pushed
him a' little from her.
Mary," he exclaimed, "do not repulse me!
With you for my wife I could never do wrong."
"Do right first, without me for your wife, and I'll
believe what you say."
There was a distant connection of Henry's mother
living in Boston, and he wrote to Ilenry, persuading
him to come there and start anew in a very remu-
Snerative business that he mentioned.
Henry, fired with new zeal, decided to g., and tak-
ing his little stock of money from the savings bank,
packed his trunk, and was soon ready for the journey.
The evening previous to his departure, he called to
see Mary, to bid her good-bye. She was in the
little portico at the west side of the house, and there
he found her looking off upon the fair sunset, watch-
ing the soft purple and rose-tinted clouds as they
slowly faded and melted before the dim gray mantle
in which the twilight shrouded herself, and the eve-
ning-star, with its bright gold pin, came and fastened
it in its place.
Henry told Mary that on the next morning he
should leave for Boston, and as he told her all his





THE FIRST FALSE STEP. 89

plans, her face grew pale as marble and her hands
were as cold as ice. But very calmly she spoke to
him of the danger that would beset him, and bravely
she counselled and cautioned him.
I have confidence in my own p >wers of resistance
now, and think I can successfully battle with tempta-
tion."
I hope you will have the courage and strength to
do so," said Mary.
After that neither spoke for some time, but each
was probably thinking of that other parting, so sad,
but yet happier than this.
.The dew was beginning to fall, and Mary said,
with a sigh, "I cannot let you stay longer, Henry;
you must go now."
Her heart was very tender toward him, and her
eyes were moist, not knowing if they would ever
meet again. She walked with him down to the gate.
"Well, Mary, don't forget me when I am gone,"
he whispered.
"I shall never forget you, Henry," was her low
reply.
He turned as if by a sudden impulse, and said,
"Mary, if in the future I can redeem my life from
the stain that has fallen on it, will you then fulfil
your long ago promise to me?"
"Yes, Henry, I will."
Quick as thought he touched her white brow with





90 THE FIRST FALSE STEP,

his lips, and in another moment she heard his re-
treating footsteps growing fainter and fainter in the
distance.
For six months after he left home, he wrote, regu-
larly, brave, earnest letters, that had the genuine
ring of the true spiriit about them and a touch of the
old firm faith of his manhood, but after that no letter
came; but soon enough there came the news that he
was a drunkard in the streets of Boston!
Oh! the agony of his mother's heart! Who can
picture, it? What tongue or pen can tell it ? She
had felt comparatively safe about her son in Puritan
Massachusetts; but here is the record that he sent
by a friend going to his home among the hills of New
Hampshire:-
"I tried," tell mother, "to hold my own, but the
fumes of liquor met me at every corner, and the
appetite that I must believe I inherited from my
father maddened me, and I fell. I met, one day, a
legislator on his way to the State House. I knew
him to be a man of power and influence, and I
begged him, if he had any compassion in his heart, to
use that power and influence to enact some sort of
law that would close these doors from which issue
the smell of that accursed poison that sets my brain
reeling. He laughed and passed on. He left me a
poor inebriate, and I fell powerless in the gutter.
Nobody knows how I have .suffered and struggled,





THE FIRST FALSE STEP. 91

but the tempter has got me in his clutches, and I
shall die therein "!
Who blames that mother for saying at the close
of that recital, "Accursed be the rum laws of Mas-
sachusetts, and accursed be the rum law-makers"?
Are not her words echoed and re-echoed this very
day from many a mother's aching heart?
She put on her bonnet, and went once more to find
and bring back her poor, deluded boy; but though
she sought him everywhere, high and low, up and
down, he was not to be found. She caused notices
of him to be inserted in the leading journals of
Boston, but no tidings of him came to her distracted
heart; and at length she went home and sat down
by her lonely fireside, a mournful, broken-hearted,
deserted woman, believing her son was lost and
dead, that he had probably, in a fit of insanity or
remorse, committed suicide; for the last known of
him, as far as she could learn, he was raving in
delirium.
She told Mary all she had been able to learn of
him, which was very little, and the two women
"mourned together over the untimely fate of one
whom they both loved.
But Henry was not dead. He had wandered to
the docks one day, and there shipped as a common
sailor, to go to Calcutta, and had sailed the very day
his mother arrived in Boston. On board the ship he





92 THE FIRST FALSE STEP.

met an old acquaintance, John Flanders, the man
who, in New York, had bade him go home with his
mother when she sought him in a low bar-room there.
John Flanders, recognizing Henry, exclaimed,
"What young man, are you down again ?"
Yes, and I'm gone up this time, lost forever !"
"Not so, my hearty! You are a young man yet,
and the world is before you. Say not 'fail' so soon."
Arriving at Calcutta, Flanders, though a drinking
man himself, watched Henry like a father, and would
not permit a drop of anything intoxicating to pass
his lips. He talked long hours with Henry on the
voyage, when they endured together hardship through
storm and cold. He told him how deeply he was
impressed by the scene in the New York grog-shop,
and, although the curse of intemperance was upon
him, yet, strange to say, he strenuously urged young
Henry to touch not a single drop of the vile bever-
age. He said it had been his undoing and he knew
it. Then he traced his own course, and related to
Henry the story of his life, -how he had, when a boy,
sought recreation in the gilded saloons where young
men nightly congregate to wile the hours away;
how gradually he fell, and then with rapid strides
rushed madly on, till in one year he became a beastly
drunkard, then a sailor on the ocean, in gale, wreck,
and mutiny, time wasted, and life's fairest prospects
blighted, sinking down to vilest depths, and rallying





THE FIRST FALSE STEP. 93

only to sink lower than before; becoming so low,
bloated, and loathsome a wretch that, said he, "there
is not a tramp in the United States to-night but that
would feel disgraced by my fellowship. A crimi-
nal," he continued, "can always find a willing part-
ner, a thief his ready 'pal,' but the besotted drunk-
ard is below the notice of criminals, a foul blot on a
fair humanity. Once I saw a drunken mother take
her babe by its little feet and strike its head repeat-
edly against the house from a third-story window,
and then, in maddened frenzy, she threw it to the
ground, dashing its life out upon the pavement be-
low. It made me sick, and I longed to die and hide
away forever; but it seemed to me I must live to
snatch somebody's son from a fate far worse than
death. You have been thrown in my path for the
second time. I would rescue you from the pitfalls
around you, and then I may die. In former days
I was a merchant here in Calcutta, but strong
drink swept my wealth away and left me in the mire
of sin and wickedness. But I will not let you go to
wreck and ruin as I have gone. I '11 save you, if I
can, and maybe this deed of kindness to a fellow-
mortal will help me along toward Heaven a little
way !"
Knowing Henry's financial ability, Flanders, on
receiving a discharge from the ship, looked about to
find a situation for him. Among the older firms





94



THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



were many who remembered Flanders in earlier and
better days. There was one, in particular, whom he
had befriended when he was friendless and alone, and
now this man was a prosperous trader, doing a heavy
business, and to him Flanders told the story of Hen-
ry. He was just the man the merchant would be
glad to have, provided he would leave the wine-cup
alone, which he faithfully promised to do, and that
very day was installed as clerk in the store where his
courage was once more to be tested.
"Now for one more trial," thought he, "and if I
do fail there is swift peace for me at the end of this,"
laying his revolver upon the desk beside him.
"Freedom from temptation I can find here!"
The parting between him and Flanders was sad
and affecting. I never had a boy to love me," said
the old sailor, "no, nor a daughter either. But I
think there may be something of the love I might
have felt for them in my heart, for you, my lad.
Write on your colors 'No rum for me!' and nail
them to your mast-head, and never strike your flag,
nor let it swing at half-mast! I'll see you again,
next year, and let me see you all right, my boy! "
and so saying, he turned and went down the street,
Henry looking after him, and feeling that he was now
alone in a foreign land. At the corner of the street
Flanders turned and waved his hat, and then was
lost to sight.





THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



95



Henry went to work with a will and determination
that surprised his employer. He was tempted often.
The richest wines of the old country in all their
sparkling beauty were proffered him. Involuntarily
he would reach out for the tempting beverage, but
the words of the old sailor would come before him,
and he would turn resolutely away, and after the first
resistance he found it easier to say No But some-
times the unquenchable longing would attack him
with fierce power.
I will not yield he said. What hours and days
and nights of misery and torture he passed, longing
for wine, I will not here relate. Those who have
passed through the same mad conflict know well the
story, and those who know it not cannot imagine it.
Very slowly the desire lessened, and after a time it
came that he could look upon alcoholic stimulants,
and not feel his blood go foaming through his veins
at sight of it; and afterwards the time came when he
could see the wine-cup and scorn it and its demon
grasp; and then in the silence of his chamber,
he said aloud, "I have conquered! I am a man
once more No longer a cringing coward, but a bold
and resolute man !"
Oh! how proud and self-reliant he was! Victory
was his, and well he might be proud. He longed to
see John Flanders, to tell him how strong he was,
and eagerly he watched for tidings of the ship in
which he had sailed.





96



. THE FIRST FALSE STEP.



After a while news came of the safe arrival of the
ship in New York, and also that on the passage one
man had been knocked overboard and lost. His
name was John Flanders! The world seemed to
grow suddenly dark to Henry Warren, and he wept
like a child.
Ah i John Flanders, honest sailor, tender, loving
heart in a rough guise! a stormy life was thine, with-
out home or many friends. Thy name is known
upon no church-book nor is it cut upon a fair white
marble shaft; but that one good deed, that sinning
soul reclaimed by thee, that work of thine, encircles
thy name with shining light. Under the storm-
lashed billows, dark and furious, thy earthly form
lies quietly asleep, and the great, swelling waves, as
they surge above thee, sing a grander anthem than
was ever breathed by mortal voice o'er earth's cold
clay.
With a sigh and tender regret for his friend, and a
firm resolve to keep his colors still floating overhead,
he worked on steadily, and when by great self-denial
he had saved a thousand dollars, by advice of his
employer, who had taken a strong interest in him,
invested it in property that within a year returned
his money to him five times over. And thus he went
on very successfully for seven or eight years. Then
he said he would take his accumulated wealth and go
to his home among the hills, for he felt that now he





THE FIRST FALSE STEP. 97

could trust himself, and was not afraid to look any-
body in the face. The firm, in which he had latterly
become a junior partner, was very loth to have him
leave, and they made him promise that when he should
win a bride, he would come back on his wedding trip.
So he started for the United States, and his heart
beat very rapidly as he neared the shores of his native
land, for he did not know what changes might have
taken place in the years gone by. His mother might
be dead, and Mary married; but married or single, he
loved her all the same.
It was just at the close of a summer's day when
he walked into the kitchen of his old home. His
mother, bowed and feeble, was just washing her cup
and saucer, for she had that moment finished her sol-
itary supper. She turned as the stalwart man entered
and looked at him as he approached the sink where
she stood and uttered one word,---" Mother !"
No lover ever held his chosen bride so fondly to
his heart as Henry held that aged mother then.
"Henry, you are not dead!" she exclaimed in a
trembling voice.
"No, mother, I am a living, breathing man, a free,
unshackled man! Do you hear, mother? I am a man
bound by no debasing appetite or habit."
His mother sank into a chair, and while the tears
of joy rolled down -her cheeks, said, in a broken
voice, "Now may I depart in peace!"





98 THE FIRST FALSE STEP.

"No, no, mother, not so!" joyfully exclaimed
Henry. "That departure must be postponed for
many days to come." Then he related the incidents
of the past years, and at the conclusion of the tale
he inquired, "Now tell me, where is Mary Bickford?
Is she married?"
"No, she is not married, nor is she like to be.
She still teaches the village school, but her life is se-
cluded, and I fear it has told upon her constitution,
and I should n't -"
Henry did not wait to hear the conclusion of the
sentence, but snatched his hat and walked quickly to
Farmer Bickford's cottage, striking the bushes on
either side of the road with his cane as he went
along. There had been a thunder-storm that after-
noon, and everything was fresh and sweet after the
shower-bath. Arriving at the cottage, Henry gave
one quick, decided rap on the door, which was opened
by Mary's sister, a tall girl of eighteen.
"Is Miss Bickford in?" he inquired.
"She is in the portico. I will call her," was the
reply.
"Don't trouble yourself, I '11 find her," and he
strode around the house, leaving Ella in great aston-,
ishment at the stranger's boldness. Pausing one
moment, he gazed on the vision before him. Mary,
older, but fairer than ever to his eyes, was leaning
against the pillar of that same old portico, paler and





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