Obeying orders and other stories


Material Information

Obeying orders and other stories
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 16 cm.
Brown, E. E ( Emma Elizabeth ), b. 1847
D. Lothrop & Company ( Publisher )
Photo Eng. Co ( Engraver )
D. Lothrop Company
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1880   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1880
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston


Statement of Responsibility:
by Emma E. Brown.
General Note:
Illustrations on endpapers; some other illustrations engraved by Photo Eng Co.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

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 - 002222790
notis - ALG3036
oclc - 15435243
System ID:

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Full Text




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UT you mustn't go in there, Uncle
Joe, don't you see it says No
admittance ?'"
Robin had spent the whole
l morning down on India wharf
with Uncle Joe, and they had just
entered a large building where
upon an inner door the little fel-
low had described the forbidding
S" But what if it was one of my
jy own offices, young man, and what
if I put the sign there myself?"
laughed Uncle Joe, at the same time taking a
huge key out of his pocket and turning the lock.
Oh! I didn't know you belonged here," said
Robin apologetically, and I thought we must
obey orders, anyhow."
"i" That's right, my little man, and it will save


you many a slip in your journey through life, if
only you are careful to obey the right commands;
let me tell you a story of a little English boy
that I heard years ago.
"' Once upon a time' there was a certain rich
farmer in England, whose fields of grain were
just ready for the sickle; the very day before he
had planned to have the crops harvested he
heard of a party of hunters who were coming
that way in the morning and might make a
thoroughfare of his fields unless every gateway
was kept shut.
Now the farmer well knew what sad havoc
the horses' hoofs and the trampling of the.
hounds would make in his fields, and so early
in the morning he called one of the little fellows
who had come to help about the harvesting, and
told him he must go out into the road and guard
all the gates.
"'You may take the old mare, Dolly,' said the
farmer, 'so you can watch on every side, and be
sure now that you let nobody- man or beast--
pass the bars.'

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The boy promised to do as he was bid, and
it was not long before his obedience was put to
a severe test.
"With merry shouts the party of huntsmen a
few moments after came dashing up the road,
and one after another they ordered the little fel-
low to dismount and open the gate whose secret
fastening they did not understand.
"WVhen he refused they began to offer him
bribes, but all to no purpose.
"Then, completely out of patience, they
scolded and threatened, but the little fellow was
still immovable.
At last one of the party came forward and
in a voice of stern command said:
My boy do you not know me? I am the
Duke of Wellington --when I give an order I
expect to be obeyed. Open the gate at once
that my huntsmen may pass through.'
The little fellow lifted his hat and answered
respectfully, but firmly:
"' If you are the Duke of Wellington, sir, I
am sure you would not want me to disobey


orders. It is my master's command to keep the
gate shut, and I cannot let any one pass through
without his permission.'
"Greatly surprised and delighted, the old
duke now lifted his own hat, and turning around
to the party of huntsmen, he said :
Ah! if I had a regiment of soldiers like
that boy I could conquer not only the French,
but the world!
The man or child who will obey orders un-
moved by bribes or threats, no matter what
comes, is a host in himself.'
"Then, ordering his huntsmen to select some
other route for their day's pleasuring, he put a
bright sovereign into the boy's hand, spurred up
his horse and galloped away."
"What a brave boy!" exclaimed Robin; I
think he was greater than Napoleon, for he did
what that general couldn't do- he really kept
out the Duke of Wellington!"
And it was all because he 'obeyed orders '-
don't forget that I" added Uncle Joe.


HERE was a great racket up in
the play-room -overturning of
chairs, jingling of bells, and
now and then a sound, as if
yards of rope were drawn
Across the floor.
Shure, ma'am, and the plaster-
ing is beginning to fall!" ex-
claimed Nancy, running in dis-
may from the room below stairs where she was
doing her Tuesday's ironing, "and very minit,
ma'am, I ixpect to see one of them children a-
tumblin' through the ceilin.'"
Now mamma had no fears of so serious a
catastrophe as this, but the noise in the play-
room was certainly growing unendurable, so
laying down her sewing, she quietly opened the
door to see what was the matter.
"Why, it's a great fire, mamma!" exclaimed
Percy, most equal to the big Boston fire, and
we've called out all the steam engines and all


the hose-carriages we could find. See! we have
made us some firemen's caps out of newspaper,
and we're working like-like Trojans to put
out the flames!"
Mamma laughed outright when she saw the
curious medley before her; the chairs were
turned upside down for engines, Beth's baby-
house was moved into the middle of the floor,
and the firemen while emptying it of its con-
tents, were pouring upon the imaginary flames
streams of imaginary water, from imaginary
buckets and hose.
"I think we shall save it, mamma, don't
you ?" exclaimed Robin, wiping great drops of
perspiration from his face.
"Well, I certainly hope that you will 'save
the pieces.' But wouldn't it be well for the
brave firemen to make less noise and to handle
these delicate toys a little more carefully ? "
I'm sorry we disturbed you mamma, but we
haven't broken a single thing," said Percy,
" and we've saved the lives of all the dolls -




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see I we've taken them out through the windows,
and not even a hair of their heads is singed."
The whole play was so real to the eager boys
that mamma entered into the spirit of it, too,
and told the children that after they had put

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everything back
them a story of

into its place, she would tell
a certain brave fireman who

saved a fort once upon a time.'


It was not long before the play-room was in
excellent order again, and the two boys were sit-
ting down quietly by mamma.
It was a number of years ago that it all hap-
pened, and I think I will let you take pencil and
paper to write down what I am going to tell
you," began mamma.
First of all you may write down the numbers,
1718, for that was the year in which this brave
man was born."
What was his name, mamma?" asked
Israel Israel Putnam, and when he was a.
little boy like you and Percy he lived at Pomfret,
in Connecticut.
On one side, the town was all hemmed in by
thick woods when little Israel lived there, and
one day he had a strange adventure with a
Oh, do tell us about it, mamma," interrupted
But there will be only time to tell you one
story now, so we will keep the wolf story until


to-morrow, and to-day you shall hear how Israel
Putnam saved the burning fort.
It was when he was a young man, and a war
broke out between the French and English col-
onies that caused the loss of many lives on both
Israel was working on a farm when he heard
that more men were wanted to fill the ranks, and
leaving everything, he enlisted at once as a
"A brave, courageous soldier, he was fre-
quently called upon to lead the troops in times
of danger, and after awhile he was sent to
Crown Point to take charge of the garrison
there. One night he saw a bright light in one
of the wooden wings at Fort Edward. As he
looked it kept growing brighter and redder till
at length a tongue of flame burst through the
"Calling his men to follow, he instantly raised
the alarm of' Fire' and hastened forward to
the burning building.


"Thoughtless of his own safety and anxious
to save the lives of others, he mounted the lad-
der and stood on the roof while the men below
handed him bucket after bucket of water."
But why didn't they use a hose?" asked
"Because there was none to use, and every
moment the flames were coming nearer and
nearer to the magazine, where all the powder
belonging to the fort, was stored away.
Putnam, however, at the risk of his life, still
kept vigorously at work, while heavy timbers
and showers of sparks fell all about him."
But did the fire reach the powder magazine
at last ? asked Percy, excitedly.
No, the flames were put out before there was
any chance of an explosion, but history tells us
that the saving of Fort Edward, at that time,
was wholly due to Israel Putnam's brave
To-morrow I will tell you more of his won-
derful courage and presence of mind."


,' i'". O-MORROW had become to-day,
"and the children were eagerly
.- waiting for the clock to strike
-. three, as that was the time
",.--_'.0 mamma had promised to tell
them the wolf-story.
Meanwhile, however, the boys had been hav-
ing numerous imaginary encounters among
themselves, and when mamma opened the play-
room door, a little figure encased in a shaggy
mat, came running up to meet her.
I'm the wolf, mamma, don't you see?" ex-
claimed a voice from beneath the mat.
Indeed, and where is your den, Mr. Wolf,"
laughed mamma.
Right here, under the sofa, and this is the
way I go in," said the animated mat, with a
spring in that direction.
But how can I tell stories to a wolf, I won-
Sder I exclaimed mamma.



Another spring, and a very rumpled little boy
made his appearance.
"The wolf has gone, and we are all ready
now-that is, as soon as I've brushed my hair!"
added Robin, as he suddenly caught a glimpse
of himself in the glass.
And don't forget the wolf's paws, my boy,"
said mamma, as she held up the little grimy
hands to the light.
"There, now if we are really all ready to
begin, I will tell you more about Putnam.
"' Once upon a time,' when Israel was a boy,
the farmers all about his home were very much
troubled by a great wolf that came prowling
around their yards at night."
A wolf looks like a big dog, mamma, does it
not?" asked Percy.
In form, perhaps, but no dog was ever so
strong and fierce as a wolf; and when Israel
saw the great eyes gleaming at him, he realized
what a dangerous enemy he had aroused."
Did he find him in his den, or did he meet
the wolf in the woods ?" asked Robin.

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He took a lighted torch and went alone into
the cavern where he knew the wolf had hidden
away. It was a very rash thing to do, and it
would not have been strange had he lost his life
in doing it. But Putnam was very strong and
when the wolf came forward with a growl, he
raised his cudgel and struck such a heavy blow
that the animal fell down, and died after a few
You see Putnam had the same fearless spirit
then, that he showed throughout his whole life,
and it seems as if he always thought of others
before himself.
"After he had saved Fort Edward, and the
war between the French and English colonies
was over, he went back to his farm in Connecti-
cut, and stayed quietly at home until the Revo-
lutionary war broke out.
When the news came of the battle of Lex-
ington, he was out in the fields, and, in order to
lose no time in joining the minute men, he left
his plough standing in the furrows and hurried
off to the thickest of the fight.


In the battle of Bunker Hill he showed
great bravery, and was appointed Major-General.
After that he was sent to complete the forti-
fications at New York, and when Fort Mont-
gomery yielded to the enemy, he selected West
Point as the next place that needed a garrison.
It was here among the Highlands that he
took a famous leap for life,' and won the day "
"Do tell us all about it, mamma!" exclaimed
the eager children.
It was at one of the outposts of the garrison
called Horseneck, and it happened in the month
of March, 1779.
Gen. Putnam had only about a hundred and
fifty men with him that day, and when he care
to the brow of the hill, he was surprised by a
large detachment of English soldiery, under
Gov. Tryon.
"Fifteen hundred 'red coats' against one
hundred and fifty of the Federal troops promised
a very unequal combat, and beside the advan-
tage of numbers, the English had every advan-
tage of position.


Now it so happened that near by the Federal
troops there was a great swamp, and when Gen.
Putnam saw no other means of escape he told
his soldiers to hide there until he joined them.
Nearer and nearer came the regimentals,'
but Putnam, although he stood quite alone,
never flinched; by the time they had reached
the top of the hill, his own soldiers were
safely hidden in the swamp, and Putnam spurr-
ing his horse, took a fearful leap and plunged
hundreds of feet down the rocky hillside-a
bullet whizzing through his cap before he
reached the valley.
Not one of the British cavalry dared to fol-
low, and while they were finding some other
route to the valley, Putnam joined his men and
aroused all the Federal troops in the neighbor-
hood. In the battle that ensued, the British
were completely defeated and fifty of their num-
ber taken prisoners. It is said that Putnam was
so kind to these prisoners that the British gen-
eral sent him a note of thanks."


I-RHU-konuil- correi /" louder
Ip'^l and sharper came the strange un-
I earthly noise what could it be ?
The children dropped their playthings,
mamma left her sewing, Mademoiselle
put down her book, and every one in the
house rushed to the nearest window.
For sometime nothing could be seen,
but at last, just beyond the hedge, and
slowly travelling up the carriage road,
SPercy spied a quaint, outlandish little
He was dressed in bright Rob-roy' plaid,
with a queer cap perched on one side of a di-
minuitive head, and slung across his shoulder
was an old-fashioned Scotch bag-pipe.
Pi-rhu -kon here touching his odd little
cap, as he spied the ladies, the singer made a


profound bow, and drew out the most heart rend-
ing strains from his curious instrument.
"How I wish he would sing us 'County
Guy,' or 'Donald Dhu!'" exclaimed Madem-
But all the little man knew was the distress-
ing Pi-rhu," and a part of Bonnie Dundee,"
in the quaint Scotch dialect. These he sang
again and again till even the children were tired,
and while he was eating the generous bowl of
bread and milk that Nancy, at mamma's sugges-
tion had brought him, they all examined the
It was the first one the children had ever seen
and they could talk of nothing else the whole
afternoon but the little Scotchman and his funny
And who was 'Bonnie Dundee,' mamma?"
asked Percy.
Run down into the library and get that large
volume of Scott's Poems,' and I will read you
the whole song."


The children clapped their hands with delight,
and when mamma read:

"Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street,
The bells they ring backward, the drums they are beat,"

Robin climbed up on his rocking horse, Beth
rang her little centennial bell, and Percy beat a
tattoo on his new drum.
"But what did he really do, mamma?" in-
quired matter-of-fact Madge.
Well, here is the story in plain prose.
"' Once upon a time' when England was
about to settle the crown upon William and
Mary, Dundee tried to raise the Highlands'clans
in favor of King James II. He had only thirty
picked men, and the whole city of Edinburgh
was opposed to him; but while the drums were
calling the citizens to arms against him, he left
his men in a by-place and climbed up by the old
sally-post into the castle.


not successful in securing him as an ally, he
rode off towards Stirling with this threat:
'f there's lords in the Southland, there's chiefs in the o, Ik,
There are wil dutnnie wassals, three thousand times three,
TWill eoy, Hey or the bonnets of Bonnie Dundee !"

Tell us more, please, of Edinburgh Castle,
mamma," said Beth.
It is a grand old building and the very first
object one sees in approaching the city, for it is
situated upon a high rock, two hundred feet
above the surrounding country.
It is said to have been founded as long ago
as the year 617, and all sorts of strange, roman-
tic adventures, sieges and captivities have hap-
pened here.
Besides Bonnie Dundee,' many other brave
Highlanders have scaled the steep sides of Cas-
tle Rock, and 'once upon a time' when it was
in the possession of the English king, Edward
I. thirty Scotch laddies in their heavy armor, with
swords and axes, climbed up by night one of the
most dangerous sides, and overcame the garrison.


Queen Mary's room is one of the oldest and
most interesting places in the whole castle. I
remember when we were there the guide showed
us the window through which little James VI.
was lowered by means of a rope and basket, two
hundred and fifty feet, and then carried off se-
cretly to Stirling Castle to be baptized.

In the armory of Edinburgh Castle, we saw
among many other interesting relics,. Rob Roy's
dagger and a coat of mail worn by one of the
Douglasses in Cromwell's time."

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