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VEA AND HER COUSINS.
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SUCH PRETTY NEW SHOES
AND HER COUSINS;
KIND WORDS AWAKEN KIND ECHOES.
V ate for the oaung.
MRS. GEORGE CUPPLES,
AUTHOR OF "ITHE STORY OF OUR DOLL," "THE LITTLE CAPTAIN,"
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
VEA AND HER COUSINS.
is very strange, Dollie," said Vea Camp-
bell to her doll, as they sat together in
the arbour one day,-" I really cannot
help being nervous and shy before
strangers.-Are you listening to me,
miss ? she continued. Well, you ought to, for,
let me tell you, our happy days are very soon to be
at an end. Yes, you may stare with these great
blue eyes of yours; but how will you like to feel
yourself neglected and forsaken? Mamma often
says I am getting such a great girl, I must be
thinking of something else than dolls; but oh,
Dollie, you and I have been such good friends, I
do feel sorry to give you up "
After sitting silent for a few minutes, she started
6 IN THE ARBOUR.
A FRIENDLY CHAT.
as if from a reverie, to say, Oh, but I am forget-
ting to tell you all about it, Dollie; and you know
we never had a secret in our lives. I've always
THE WHOLE STORY. 7
told you everything. There, now, I'll take off
your hat, it is so hot, and then I shall tell you the
whole story. Well, then, Dollie, you must know
that when mamma sent for me this morning after
breakfast, instead of giving me my French lesson
as usual, she made me get my work, and while
she was preparing it, she told me a piece of news.
VEA AND HER MAMMA.
I had asked, you know, Dollie, why I wasn't to
get my French grammar; and mamma said, with
such a funny look in her eyes, 'Guess why, Vea.'
"Of course you know, Dollie, what a bad
guesser I am, and so I said, 'Please do tell me,
mamma;' but instead of telling me there and then,
8 MAMMA'S PIECE OF NEWS.
she asked me if I never felt dull, and did I never
wish to have any companions of my own age, little
girls like myself. Then I answered, 'Oh no, mamma,
I am quite happy with my Dollie. I don't ever
want to have any one else to play with.' Now,
don't you think that was very good of me,
'I would greatly prefer to see you less fond
of your Dollie, Vea,' said mamma then. 'Being so
much alone with her just adds to your bashfulness.
Papa was remarking the other day you get shyer
and shyer. We must get you cured of it some-
"That was what papa said, Dollie. Listen,
now, while I tell you mamma's piece of news.
Papa has a brother in India,-he is my Uncle
Charles, you know, who sent the pretty Indian toys
to me,-and a few days ago he sent a letter tell-
ing papa he meant to send all his children home,
and asking papa to meet them when the ship
arrived in London. That was where you were
made, Miss Dollie; for, don't you remember when
Uncle Sam took me to buy you, the shopkeeper
said you were not a common doll, but a London
one, and that was why you were so expensive.
What a beautiful doll you were then, to be sure!
CHOOSING A DOLL. 9
:'," ":'" I Ii I :' '' II
61 1 '
CHOOSING A DOLL,
And how frightened I was Uncle Sam would
choose the other one; for though it was all ready
10 EXPECTED VISITORS.
dressed, and you had only a night-gown on, I fell
in love with you the first moment I saw you.
I really think you loved me too, my pet, for you
looked up in my face so sweetly when I said, '0
Uncle Sam, I should like to have this one so
much!'-But, oh dear me, Dollie, I am quite for-
getting to tell you mamma's story. Well, then,
it is arranged that both mamma and papa are
going to London the beginning of next week, and
we are to be left all alone for ever so many days.
Then, Dollie, mamma and papa are to return-but
guess what they are going to bring with them.
Oh, I forgot, you are as bad at guessing as I am.
Well, then, listen; mamma is going to bring all
my little cousins with her. We shall have the
house quite full, and it's all because I am so shy;
for papa thinks they will be nice company for
me. But you know, Dollie, I should much rather
live quietly all my life with you."
At this moment Vea's mamma called to her
from the open drawing-room window, and the
interesting conversation was interrupted. We
have heard enough of it, however, to understand
that Vea's life was about to be changed in a very
Vea Campbell was about ten years of age at
A SELFISH WISH. 11
this time; and as they lived in the country, and
their house was at a considerable distance from any
village, or even any house whatever, her shyness
was quite perceptible to all, and she shrank from
talking to any one, and made her escape, when
any strangers came to call, as speedily as possible.
She was a sweet dispositioned child, however, and
troubled no one; for, as one of the old servants
said, "Just give Miss Vea a book, or, what was
still better even, her doll, she was perfectly con-
Vea dear," said Mrs. Campbell, when the
former entered the drawing-room, "I want you
to sew tapes to that new set of pillow-cases.
We must have everything ready for our little
friends when they come."
"I am so sorry you are going away, mamma,"
said Vea, the tears rising to her eyes. "It will
seem such a long time till I see you. I shall
begin and count the hours the moment you and
papa leave the house. Oh dear, I do wish these
children were not coming! "
Vea, my darling," said Mrs. Campbell a little
sternly, "you are surely not going to be a selfish
child! Would you rather have papa send your
poor little cousins to live among strangers ? If you
12 WELCOME IS THE BEST CHEER.
feel the separation of a week from us very much,
think of your poor cousins losing their mamma
and papa for years."
0 mamma, do forgive me for being so cross,"
said Vea. "I quite forgot that. It must have been
very sad indeed for them to part with their mamma
-and the little boy Charley, isn't he quite a baby?
Poor little boy! I shall try to get over my shy-
ness, mamma, and be very kind to them. Can
I do anything, do you think, mamma, to make
them happy ? "
"Well, my child," said her mamma, "I have
no doubt we shall find a good many things by-
and-by; in the meantime, try and think kindly
of your cousins, so that when they come they
may feel that they are welcome. Remember,
dear, that welcome is the best cheer."
For ever so many days, both before her mamma's
,departure for London and after, Vea, while at
worlior with her favourite companion, Miss Dollie,
kept planning all sorts of things she meant to do
for them when they arrived. And so busy was
she, that the time slipped away quite impercep-
tibly; and very much surprised indeed was she
to receive a letter from her papa, addressed to
herself, all the way from London, to tell her
PAPA'S LETTER. 18
that they would all be home the next after-
"Why, Dollie dear, did you ever hear the like
of that! They are all to be at home to-morrow
night! And bear what papa says about you, miss,
-' I hope Dollie is well. Give her my love. Tell
her there is at this moment a little girl sitting on
my knee, by name Mary, and she is as fond of
dolls as a certain young lady I know very well.'
Papa means me, you know, Dollie. But isn't
that very good news! I was always afraid they
wouldn't like dolls; that they would be above
A very happy little girl was Vea the next after-
noon, when, standing on the doorstep watching
for the carriage, it came at last, and in a moment
after she found herself first in her father's arms
and then in her two cousins', Jessie and Anna, who
spoke so kindly to her, just as if they had known ..
her all their lives long. Vea quite forgot to be
shy, and was shaking hands with Jack and Freddie,
and helping them to carry up the baskets and
portmanteaus. And they seemed such nice, well-
behaved boys, that Vea, over and over again, kept
thinking to herself, Oh, I am so glad they have
come!" Then, when little Mary, who was con-
14 THE ARRIVAL OF THE VISITORS.
stantly expecting to see her mamma again, after
running out and in all the rooms, came to her,
and with trembling lips said, "Me want mamma.
Mary no can find mamma," she just flung her
arms round the child and fairly cried. "Poor
little Mary," she kept saying, "I shall let mamma
be your mamma as much as she is mine, and I
CONSOLING LITTLE MARY.
won't be the least jealous of you; and papa says
you like dolls as much as I do, so you shall have
my Dollie to play with whenever you like."
Perhaps little Mary did not understand all that
Vea said, but she knew she meant to be kind, and
was much interested about the doll, never resting
RENDERING SERVICE. 15
till she had dragged Vea up to the nursery to see
Miss Dollie. It was quite evident little Mary
could be trusted with Vea's precious doll, for she
lifted her up so carefully and stroked down her
pretty white dress that had been put on to re-
ceive the expected guests that very morning;
and so Vea left the two together, and ran down-
stairs again to see if Jessie and Anna required
any assistance in unpacking their clothes, or any-
thing of that kind. When Vea entered the room
where they were, finding her mamma was not
there, she could not help blushing and looking
very shy and confused; but Jessie cried out at once,
"Oh, come in, Cousin Vea. Could you help me
to open this bag ? I cannot do it by myself. Oh,
thank you so much, dear," said Jessie; "my
head aches so, that I am scarcely able to do a
thing. I suppose it is the long journey."
"It's just that," said Anna. "I'm sure I
thought that train would have us all shaken to
pieces. I'd like to give the man who made it
go, a good scolding."
What good would that do, Anna ? said Jessie,
"Why, it would teach him to drive more care-
fully another time. But, I say, cousin," she ex-
16 WORK FIRST, PLAY AFTER
claimed, "will there be time to see your poultry
before dinner ? Auntie was telling us about them,
and baby was so anxious to see the little yellow
"They are not yellow now," said Vea; and she
continued, laughing, "they are not little either.
Dickson was just saying this morning mamma
would scarcely know them, they have grown so
"Couldn't we run down just now and see
them ? said Anna, beginning to stuff some of
her clothes into her box again.
"Now, Anna," said Jessie, "that will never
do. You know you said yourself to aunt that
you would put those things into the drawer, and
you must finish them before going out. If you
don't do it now, you will forget all about it after-
Oh no, I won't," said Anna; "do let me run
down no- ', Jessie. I won't stay a moment;" and
seizing Vea by the hand, she hurried away, drag-
ging her cousin with her.
When they reached the poultry-yard, however,
they found the ducks were all away down to the
mill-pond, and even Anna was forced to admit it
would not do to follow them so far. But, just
ALL ALONE. 17
when they were turning to run in again, Vea
spied a duckling sitting all alone by itself in a
very disconsolate condition, winking its bright
eyes, and opening its yellow bill as if it were
gasping for air.
Oh, what a dear, fat little thing," cried Anna.
"What is it doing there all by itself, Vea ? "
'I am afraid it has taken too much dinner,"
A GREEDY DUCKLING.
said Vea. Ducks are such greedy things, they
never know when to stop."
"I should like to see it swim so much," said
Anna. "Don't you think it would do it a great
deal of good if we poked it into the water with
a stick ? "
"Perhaps it would," said Vea; "but," she
continued timidly, we are forgetting we promised
to be back to the unpacking in a minute. The
dinner-bell will be ringing very soon."
"Well, perhaps we had better go in," said Anna.
"It is a little provoking that we cannot stay just
a few minutes longer. I am certain I can finish
the unpacking in a very short time. Jessie is
always in such a hurry, and she is so par-
"We can come out after dinner," said Vea.
"The ducks are always very late in returning
home just now; and, if you like, I will help you
Oh, thank you very much," said Anna. We
shall run in at once then; and perhaps this greedy
duckling will have recovered somewhat when we
Though Anna had said her unpacking could be
done in a very few minutes, she never would have
managed it without Vea's help ; and, indeed, Jessie
had to lend her assistance also, for, somehow, the
drawer could not be got to hold the contents of
Miss Anna's box.
I'm sure, Jessie, I laid in everything as smooth
as possible," said Anna, a little wofully. "I
really cannot understand it, unless your drawer is
larger than mine.."
WE SHOULD HELP OURSELVES. 19
"No, dear, it is just the same," said Jessie,
good-naturedly coming forward to help.
"Then perhaps I have got more clothes," said
Anna. Oh no, I haven't; we have both the
Under the careful fingers of Jessie the clothes
were made to go into less bulk, and order was
brought out of chaos.
"I really don't understand how you get things
to fold so small, Jessie," said Anna admiringly;
" and nothing ever attempts to go into a crease or
a crumple with you. Oh, there the drawer shuts ;
and am I not glad it is done I'm sure I'm very
much obliged to both of you ; and now I shall be
able to go out after dinner without a thought on
Vea could not help thinking that Jessie must
be a very good-natured girl indeed. She never
said, Ah, didn't I tell you that!" or, "Why
didn't you listen to me sooner!" as Vea knew
other sisters did. All Jessie did say was, "Yes,
I'm glad too our work is done. Aunt will be
pleased to see we can help ourselves a good deal.
You know, Anna, we must help as much as
possible, because aunt will have so much to do
looking after so many of us."
20 GETTING ON FAMOUSLY.
Oh yes, of course I shall," replied Anna. "It
was so good of aunt to let us come here, instead
of sending us away from the little ones to a school.
But there goes the dinner-bell, so come along,
After dinner, Vea and Anna hastened out to look
for the ducks, but, somehow, they were nowhere
to be found; so Vea, having proposed to bring out
her new fairy-tale book, ran into the house for it,
while Anna waited by the side of the little stream
in case the ducks should come up during their
You're not a bit shy," said Anna abruptly,
as Vea came back with the book. Uncle said
you were very shy, but I can't see it; and the
boys were telling Jessie, when you were out of
the room, that you had been so kind to them,
offering them the loan of all your pretty books.
I think we shall all get on famously-don't you ? "
Yes, I hope so," said Vea earnestly. I am
very shy; but I don't feel half so frightened for
you as I expected to be."
Half frightened exclaimed Anna. Why,
Cousin Vea, you surely don't mean to say you
are frightened in the tiniest bit for us. You are
not afraid of me, Vea, surely ?"
NO ONE TO PLAY WITH. 21
Oh no, not now," said Vea, blushing scarlet.
"I was frightened before you came, because I
have always lived alone, you know, and have
had no one to play with but my Dollie."
How dull you must have been !" said Anna.
"and they can do all sorts of things."
; ... .
" Ah, but we will keep you cheery enough now.
Jack and Freddie are such capital playfellows,
and they can do all sorts of things."
I like them very much," said Vea. They
are not like some boys who came to spend the
22 UNKIND THREATS.
day with us not long ago. They did nothing but
frighten me all the time; and once, when mamma
was out of the room, they rose up and took an
apple each off the plate and hid them in their
pockets, and then they said if I told upon them,
they would ask a great ugly goblin to come down
the chimney to eat me up."
What horrid wicked boys," said Anna. If
ever they come again, we must get Jack and
Fred to give them a good fright. But you surely
did not believe they could send a goblin down
the chimney ? "
Oh no," said Vea; but when Martha took
away the candle after I was in bed, I couldn't
help being nervous, and so I used to take my
,loll into bed to keep me company, and that is
why the colour came out of her cheeks."
I never cared for dolls, somehow," said
Anna; "but," she added kindly, "that was in
India. I think I shall like them here, and yours
A few days after Vea's cousins had arrived,
Mrs. Campbell said at breakfast, "Now, children,
the mail leaves here to-morrow for India; I think
you must all write a letter to mamma."
THE LETTER TO INDIA. 23
Oh yes, auntie," said Jessie; "we must
manage to get a nice long letter written some-
"But I can write very little," said Anna,
" and Fred can only do half-text, and Mary and
baby can't do it at all."
Me can," said little Mary; me can write "
You leave it all to me, Miss Anna," said her
brother Jack. We shall get one large sheet of
paper, and every one must write something on it;
and as Anna has made the first objection, I think
she ought to be made to write her portion first."
Oh no, no, I really can't! exclaimed Anna;
but Jack had the paper and everything ready in
a few minutes, and was so kind holding her hand
steady all the time. He said it was to prevent
the pen from spelling wrong, for he was sure
Anna could do it better by herself; and he sug-
gested such funny things to tell their mamma,
that every one was quite anxious for their turn
to come, to put in their share."
Now," said Jack, when Anna had signed her
name all by herself, "we must drop a little bit of
sealing-wax just here, and make baby kiss it, that
will do for him; and then comes Mary's turn.
What are we to say to mamma, poppet? "
24 LITTLE MARY'S SIARE,
and me got a pussy cat," said little Mary.
THE LETTER TO MAMMA.
"Cousin Vea has a big doll, and she love Mary,
and me got a pussy cat," said little Mary.
Is it Vea who loves you, or the doll ? said
It's Dollie replied little Mary. "Now hold
Mary's hand, Jack; me write to mamma."
It was no easy matter to manage this part of
the letter, for Mary wanted not only to guide
the pen much quicker than was possible, but also
LETTER-WRITING UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 25
kept suggesting all sorts of things long before the
first had been written down. With difficulty
could she be induced to leave off, and only con-
sented to do this on the condition that she had a
drop of sealing-wax appended to her signature, to
send a kiss to her mamma also. Even then she
was not satisfied, but insisted upon another drop
being added for a kiss to papa.
As everybody was busy with this letter in
some way, Vea noticed that little Charley was left
without a playmate, and was, therefore, rather
fretful, which threw the letter-writers into a state
of discomposure. Oh dear," said Fred, looking
up from the letter, where he had been for the last
five minutes vainly endeavouring to spell out-
" My dearest mamma." Oh, if somebody would
only keep baby quiet, I would get on. I feel
always on the point of writing horse instead of
mamma, he keeps saying it so often."
Come with me, baby darling," said Vea; and
though she would have preferred staying in the
room, for the letter-writing was not only exciting
but interesting, she coaxed him out of the room,
and played with him and his horse for ever so
long. Then, when he was tired, she knocked
gently at the library door, and asked permission
26 IN THE LIBRARY.
to bring baby in there, explaining that the
schoolroom was required entirely for the letter-
writers. "I shall keep him very quiet, papa
dear," she said. He is very fond of pictures,
and especially my book with the animals in it;
nmy I have it, papa ? "
I' I I
': I .
AMUSING COUSIN CHARLEY.
"Oh certainly, dear," said Mr. Campbell;
"when such a great piece of business is afoot,
we must do our best to amuse Charley."
Very patient was Vea with little Charley. If
he insisted upon turning back to the picture of the
boy on the pony, she looked it up for him quite
pleasantly, and went through the same amount of
BEING KIND AND COURTEOUS. 27
surprise each time when Charley exclaimed, Oh,
dere it is, baby pony!" Then nurse came for
him to put him to bed for his forenoon's rest, and
Vea was free to run back to the schoolroom. As
she was slipping away on tiptoe, her papa, who
had been listening to her remarks, called her to
him and said, I'm glad to see my little daughter
trying to make herself useful. That is right,
my darling; be kind and courteous to your
little friends, and they will not only love you,
but respect and esteem you."
You may be sure Vea felt very happy, and
was quite in the humour to enter into any game
or sport her cousins might suggest. Some heavy
showers had fallen in the morning, so that till the
ground dried a little they could not go out; and
as Fred had finished his portion of the letter, he
and Anna were a little at a loss what to do with
We might have a game at puss-in-the-corner,"
said Anna; "but then it will disturb Jack and
Oh, don't mind us," said Jack. I think,
Jessie, you and I had better go up-stairs to the
nursery; baby is asleep, I daresay, so he won't
When they were gone, Fred and Anna set
about clearing the room a little for puss-in-the-
corner, and a very hearty game they had; but
just when they had fixed to play for only five
minutes longer, Fred tripped over something, and,
falling, struck his eye a severe blow on the edge
of a chair. Vea ran for water to bathe it, and
Anna for a large handkerchief to bind it up; and
they were glad to see, though his eye watered a
good deal, it was not so much hurt as they had
fancied. When the handkerchief was tied on,
Vea said that, as they could not play very well
now, she and Anna would take turns in reading
a story. Fred said he would like to hear one of
the fairy-tales, and Vea was in the very middle
of it, when Jack came running in to show them
the letter finished. Doesn't it look a jolly long
one?" he exclaimed. "Look, it's all covered
with writing-all but this little space at the
bottom. Won't mamma be pleased "
"But, Jack," said Anna, "Vea must write
something; she can write quite beautifully,-all
by herself, too."
Certainly," said Jack, seeing that Vea's eyes
sparkled, and that she evidently liked the idea.
" Just wait a moment till I run up for the ink."
WHAT VEA WROTE. 29
The space was rather small, but Vea managed
to get in what would make her aunt in India
very happy. My dear aunt," she wrote, I am
so glad my cousins are here; but I am sorry you
K" --'- I -Me
THE FINISHED LETTER.
are not with them. I will try to make them
happy, because I was so very dull when mamma
went up to London. Papa, and mamma too, say
I could make people much happier if I was not
30 LOVE BEGETS LOVE.
so shy; but I am trying not to be shy with my
cousins, as I want them to love me very much."
And I am sure we not only will love you,"
said Anna, when she had read the letter, "but
we do. At least I do, with all my might; and
as for Mary, I never saw her take such a fancy to
any one before. Jack, you must hold my hand
while I write, under Vea's name, 'We do love
Cousin Vea very, very much, mamma.' "
"Well, then, you must write it very small,"
said Jack, for there is scarcely room for it."
Yea felt so happy, that when she sat reading
her chapter that same evening she could hardly
understand what it was about for thinking her
cousins really loved her. Oh dear I must pay
attention. What would Uncle Sam think if he
knew that I am reading my chapter so carelessly,
when I promised him I would always pay great
attention, if he gave me the velvet Bible instead
of the plain brown one. Now I mustn't think of
my cousins any more."
Jessie had her practising to attend to in the
forenoon, so that Anna and Vea were thrown a
good deal together,-and very many happy hours
they spent. If Anna did not care for dolls, she
MAKING THE ROCKERY. 31
certainly had a strong liking for birds and flowers,
and soon became such a famous gardener, that old
Matthew the gardener gave her an extra plot of
ground all to herself; and though it was quite a
rough piece, she was not long in converting it
into a beautiful garden. It was not exactly a
UNCLE SAM'S PRESENT.
garden, but a rockery, as she thought she could
make more of the small space by that means; and
as she was always most obliging and good-natured,
helping her brothers to hem the sails for their
ships, or make paste for their kites, they were
quite ready to carry any number of stones for
32 MANY HANDS MAKF LIGHT WORK.
the purpose of building it. Then Jack found
some fantastically-shaped roots of trees, and Fred
wheeled the soil from the wood; so that, with so
many willing hands to help, the rockery was
soon ready for the roots to be put in. At this
point Vea was able to be very useful, because she
had seen a lovely rockery in the Hall garden, and
remembered exactly how the flowers were put in.
" We must get Matthew to give us some of the
plant I call summer-snow for the very top," said
Vea. It is always pretty, but when it is in
bloom it looks like a beautiful crown. Then the
scarlet Tom-Thumb geraniums, they look so well
beside it, and the blue lobellia hanging down is
set off with the white also."
That's the national colours!" said Fred.
" Of course we must have it arranged so. 'Three
cheers for the red, white, and blue !' Do you re-
member how Dick the tall sailor used to sing that
song of a Saturday evening? Wasn't he a jolly
"Yes, he was," said Jack; "but I liked Chips
the carpenter best. To be sure he was a little
surly at times, but he soon got over his crossness.
And such yarns as he could tell! why, I do
believe he had been all round the world."
GETTING ROOTS FOR THE ROCKERY. 33
Why, that isn't much to boast about," said
Fred. Dick had been twice round the world,
had sailed in every sea, was shipwrecked five
times, lived on a desert island for seven months,
and was tattooed by savages."
Oh, do stop to take a breath," said Anna,
laughing. "We all know that Dick was the
most wonderful sailor on board our ship. Of
course Chips was very nice too; but then he
wouldn't always tell his stories to every one,-
which you must own, Jack, was scarcely good-
natured.-But, Vea dear," she continued, "we
must go away now to look for some wild-flowers.
I should like to have some poppies and blue
corn-flowers, they do look so pretty among the
"I scarcely think they will grow if we lift
them just now," said Vea; "but we can take
them up with plenty of earth round the roots.
We shan't get many of the wild-flowers till
spring; but then I know where to find heaps of
When the little basket was filled with as many
roots as they could find, Vea and Anna sat down
at the edge of the corn-field to make a wreath of
the wild-flowers they had collected. "How fast
34 A HARVEST-HOME IN PROSPECT.
the corn is ripening," said Vea. "Uncle Sam will
be having his harvest-home very soon now. What
a large party lie will have this season !"
But will he invite us too ? said Anna "he
is not our uncle, you know."
Oh yes, of course he will," said Vea; an
he is your uncle, though he is mamma's brother-
lie means to be, at anyrate, because he said when
he was here last, and after I had told him you
wee coming, 'Dear me, what a rich old uncle I
"shall be so you see he expects you to call him
A DELIGHTFUL UNCLE. 35
Uncle Sam; and I hope you will, else he may be
Oh, of course I shall, for he must be a very
nice uncle," said Anna, who was never long in
making up her mind about a thing; but why
hasn't he been here to see us? "
Because he has gone to London on business,"
replied Vea; but mamma had a letter from him
this very morning, and he says he expects to be
back in a few days. When he does come, I
suppose the very first thing he will do is to come
over to see us. He is going to bring me a new
work-box when he returns."
"What a delightful uncle he must be," said
Anna; "I hope he will come very soon."
"So do I," said Vea. "The hay is almost
ready for taking home, and Uncle Sam said we
must all go over and help the people to carry it
in. It is such fun, haymaking "
"So I have heard," said Anna. "I shall like
to make hay very much, because we never can
do such things in India, you know. But I thought
hay was made much earlier in the season."
Oh, so it is," said Vea; but this is the second
crop. Uncle Sam had such a large quantity made
ever so long ago."
36 VERY RUDE BEHAVIOUR.
At this moment Fred came running up to see
what had become of them, for Jack was waiting
to put in the roots, if they had succeeded in get-
ting any. So they retraced their steps home-
wards. As they were going up the lane, Anna
cried out, "0 Vea, do look through this gap in
the hedge; there's such a funny-looking little
girl, and she is driving such big ducks before
That is Polly," replied Vea; "and these are
geese, not ducks. Would you like to speak to
her ?-she is a very nice little girl."
"Yes, I should like it very much," said Anna,
creeping through the gap, followed by Vea and
Fred; but no sooner did the geese spy them than
they set up such a gobbling, and hissing, and
quacking, that Fred was so frightened he crept
back into the lane, calling out, "Oh, do come
back; I have been told geese are dangerous birds."
Little Polly, however, ran forward and gave
the gander a sharp tap on the bill with her stick;
and her little brother Joseph valiantly slapped
the geese, and scolded them very severely. When
the geese discovered the young ladies were friends
they became quiet; but every time Fred popped
his head through the gap, they began to hiss and
THE SURLY GANDER. 37
,, : -
POLLY IE3RDING HFlR OEr3E.
gobble at him, so that he was forced to remain
in the lane. Polly was quite vexed at their be-
38 A VERY BRAVE BOY.
haviour, but explained that the gander and the
white goose were strangers, her mother having
bought them the week before at the market.
"I was quite afraid of them myself, miss," said
Polly, "and so was Joseph; he is a little afraid
of the gander even yet, because the first morning
mother let it out, it flew over to where Joseph
was standing, and he got such a fright that he
"Him hurt all my nose! said little Joseph,
pointing to a scar on the point of his nose; "but
Joseph strike gander now, and gander is afraid."
"I'm sure you are a very brave boy," said Vea,
laughing. Oh, Polly, do you know when James
is to take in Uncle Sam's hay ? "
"Well, miss, I heard him say to mother she
had better be ready to-morrow or next day,
because master had written to tell him he would
be home to-morrow."
"Oh, I am so glad!" said Vea. We are all
coming down to help; please tell James that,
That same afternoon Mrs. Campbell sent Vea
with some soup and wine to a poor woman, and
on her return she called in to see her Uncle Sam's
housekeeper, kind old Martha. To her great
AN UNEXPECTED rlEASURE. 39
surprise and delight, as she was passing the library
window on her way round to the door, who
should come out but Uncle Sam himself.
"Hollo !" he called, "is that my little letter-
carrier ? Why, then, here's a letter to be delivered
immediately. What a good thing you happened
to pass this way, else it would have been ever so
long of reaching its destination."
"Oh, I shall be so glad to take it, uncle,"
said Vea; "but who is it for ? "
Ah, that's the question," he said, shaking
the letter at her. Now I think I shall not give
it to you at all, but send little Joseph over with
it to the post-office."
"Oh no, Uncle Sam; do give it me, please,"
said Vea, laughing. "I feel sure it is something
very nice, and I know it is to mamma !"
"Well now, who would have expected that
little puss to be such a clever guesser," said Uncle
Sam. "There, take it, and be off with you, else
I'll never get all the letters I have to write
finished in time."
"But, Uncle Sam, please tell me, have you
brought my work-box? said Vea.
"Well, miss, if I said 'No,' would you be dis-
appointed ? said Uncle Sam, trying to look grave.
40 A DISAPPOINTMENT.
I ,,. I -
TUE LITTLE LETTER -CARRIER.
"I think I should be, uncle," said Vea shyly.
A DIFFICULT QUESTION. 41
"Now, then, I want to know this. When I
went into the shop I looked round, and I saw a
great many beautiful things," said Uncle Sam;
" such lovely work-boxes included. Then my eye
fell upon a very handsome set of croquet, and I
discovered that the work-box and the croquet set
were both the same price. I can't afford both, so
I have been wondering which you would choose
-the croquet set or the work-box."
Vea sat down on the step by the window, and
turned the matter over in her mind. She had
been very anxious to have the work-box, and had
earned it by saying ever so many French exercises
quite correctly; and if the truth were told, she
was a good deal disappointed that the work-box
was not produced without further trouble. Then
as for the croquet set, she did not care particularly
for it,-she would greatly prefer the work-box;
but then it came into her mind, that if she chose
the former it would be a source of amusement to
all her cousins. After all, the work-box was rather
a selfish thing to choose; and besides, the old one
she had might be mended up, and made to serve a
little longer. Having come to this conclusion, she
said at once, "I think, Uncle Sam, I shall have
the croquet set."
42 UNSELFISH VBA.
But I thought you wanted a work-box very
much; what has made you change your mind ? "
said sly Uncle Sam.
"I have been thinking we could all play at
the game," said Vea; "I really think the boys
will be delighted to have it."
"And so you have got to be very friendly with
your cousins," said Uncle Sam. "I thought you
said you wished they were not coming, and that
you were sure you never would get on with them.
Why have you changed your mind ? "
Oh, please, Uncle Sam, don't speak of my
naughty words any more," said Vea earnestly.
" I am so sorry; but mamma says if I am kind to
them now, she will not speak of it. I do love
them ever so much, and I am trying to make
them feel quite at home. Mamma says, 'Kind
words awaken kind echoes;' and you know, uncle,
if I make them welcome to all my toys, and books,
and everything, they will, perhaps, like to stay with
us, and be able to bear the separation from their
mamma better. They feel very dull sometimes;
and I know both Jessie and Anna cry in their
beds, and want to have her near them again very
"Then I suppose I shall order the croquet
DAME HODSON'S SCHOOL 43
set," said Uncle Sam, after he had kissed little
Yea. I knew, somehow, you would choose them;
indeed, so sure was I, that I brought them with
me. Stop, stop, I won't answer another word.
Be off with you, this moment;-dear me, I was
forgetting to ask you to call in at the dame's
school with this letter as you pass. Tell the
worthy Dame Hodson, I shall look in upon her
Away went Vea, and she was not long in
reaching the cottage where Dame Hodson kept
her school. As she entered she nearly burst out
laughing at the sight of a little boy standing
on a stool, with a dunce's cap on his head. It
was not often that the kind dame punished her
44 IHOW PETER WAS FOUND OUT.
pupils, so Vea knew it must be something very bad
indeed; and was quite shocked to hear that Peter
had not only taken the eggs out of a robin red-
breast's nest, but he had said he never had
touched them. Alas! when sitting down after
saying his lesson, somebody had pressed a little
too close to his pocket; the eggs, which were
hidden away in a corner of it, got smashed, and
the contents ran down on the floor. Of course after
that, the dunce's cap had to be put on, and Peter
had to stand with the eyes of all his companions
fixed on him. "Oh, shame, shame, to take the
eggs from a pretty robin redbreast!" the worthy
dame was just saying when Vea entered. "What
did the kind robins do to the poor little orphan
children in the wood ? "
Covered them with warm leaves," said a little
girl, the tears standing in her eyes; "Miss Vea
read the story."
Finding they remembered it so well, Vea
promised to come the next Thursday and read
them another; and as the naughty Peter looked
very sorry, and as he promised never to touch
birds' eggs again, Vea begged him off from further
punishment, and the cap was hung carefully up
on its accustomed peg.
UNCLE SAM'S INVITATION. 45
When Vea reached home, and had delivered the
letter to her mamma, she discovered it was an
invitation to her and all her cousins to go over to
Uncle Sam's the next day to help the haymakers.
That was a very joyful piece of news, and Vea lost
no time in telling her cousins about it. We are
to spend the whole day," said Vea, "and have dinner
with Uncle Sam; and mamma and papa are com-
ing there too, and we will have such fun And-
oh dear, I was almost forgetting to tell you, Uncle
Sam has brought a lovely croquet set from London
instead of my work-box, and I'm so glad "
Well, I must say it is very kind and jolly of
him," said Jack. "I was just thinking if we had
croquet we could play on that piece of waste
grass near the wood. It's rather rough at present
but we could level it, Fred, very soon."
The next morning was as sunshiny as a morning
could well be, and the little girls dressed in haste
and hurried the taking of their breakfast, so that
not a moment should be lost. What fun they
had tossing the hay! and when Uncle Sam came
out, and began his acquaintance by taking up a
great armful of hay and pitching it over his little
guests, they fairly screamed with laughter.
"We must give it him back again said Vea;
46 GIVING IT HIM BACK AGAIN.
THE PRISONER AND HIS RANSOM. 41
pile. Indeed, he was forced to lie down and
be covered up completely before the warfare
was at an end; and then he only escaped after
he had cried for quarter, and offered a dozen of
his best plums as a ransom. This having been
settled, they marched him away to the garden,
still holding him as a prisoner till his ransom was
I thought he must be the very nicest uncle
possible for any one to have," said Anna, as she
munched up her share of the plums, "but he is
even nicer than I expected. I feel as if I had
known him all my life long !"
"You won't have any difficulty in calling him
uncle ? said Vea slyly.
"Of course not," said Anna.; it is so good of
you to let us have a bit of him."
"Oh, do you hear this, boys?" cried Uncle
Sam, who had overheard the last two sentences:
" here's a pair of little cannibals, -they are propos-
ing to eat me up I throw myself upon your
protection, Miss Jessie; I am quite unable to look
after myself! "
Then when they had eaten as many plums as
they pleased, and had seen the prize poultry
Martha was famed for rearing, and had visited
I A VISIT TO THE RUINED CHAPEL.
the last brood, and had admired them so much
as to delight Martha immensely, they went with
-- .", " .. -''- "
MIARTHA'S PET BROOD.
Uncle Sam to see an old ruined chapel in the
neighbourhood. They were a little tired when
they reached the spot where the ruin stood, and
were glad to sit down and rest under some shady
trees there. No sooner were they seated than
Vea cried out, "0 Uncle Sam, do tell us a
"What, miss! ask me for a story in the
presence of such experienced travellers. No, no;
we must get Miss Anna here to tell us one."
"Oh, but I really am a very bad story-teller,"
said Anna, yet feeling a little flattered that Uncle
JESSIE'S STORY. 49
Sam should choose her. "Jessie will tell us one:
she knows ever so many, because she used to get
Dick and a number more of the sailors to tell her
Very well, then, Miss Jessie, we will take one
from you, if you please," said Uncle Sam.
"Shall I tell how Dick went to sea ? said
Jessie; "I don't recollect another just now."
"Oh yes, do," cried Anna; "I have almost
forgotten it, and it was so funny, that part
Stop, Anna! cried Jessie; we must not
tell the end before the beginning."
"Certainly not," said Uncle Sam, choosing a
comfortable tuft of grass, and taking little Mary
on his knee; "begin at the beginning, by all
"Well, then," began Jessie, "when Dick was a
little boy he lived with his grandmother and his
father, because his mother was dead. He had no
little sisters or brothers, because they were all
dead too; but he had ever so many boys to play
with, and went to school, and was very happy.
Then his father married a second time, and his
step-mother was very unkind to him, and used to
make him work very hard-"
50 AN INTERRUPTION.
No, no, Jessie," interrupted Anna; "she was
kind to him at first, you know."
"Stop, Anna; don't interrupt me, please," said
Jessie. "Yes, just at first she was kind to him,
and to the old grandmother too; but when Dick's
father went away any long journey, then she was
always finding fault with Dick, and scolding the
poor old grandmother till she could hardly bear it.
She was in the very middle of her scolding one
very windy, rainy night, when the door opened.
and in walked Dick's father. He was not to
have been home till the next night; but there he
stood at the open door, looking quite astonished,
and very sorry to hear his wife saying such
unkind things to the poor old grandmother, who
was such a kind and gentle creature.
At this point of the story, Fred's sharp eyes
observed a young rat sitting not very far from
where they were, quietly nibbling away at an ear
of corn. Oh, you little thief! cried Fred, fling-
ing a stone at it, which sent it scampering away
among the corn.
"Fred, don't interrupt the story," said Anna;
" couldn't you have let the poor thing have its
dinner in peace?-Do go on, Jessie, please."
"Well, standing at Dick's father's back was a
COMING BACK FROM TIE SEA. 51
man. Dick just caught a glimpse of his face,
but he knew in a moment it was his Uncle
Richard come back from sea; so he ran forward
and got hold of his hand, and cried, 'Oh, I'm so
glad you have come; you will take me and grand-
mother with you, and nobody will scold us any
more.' Of course Uncle Richard couldn't do
-' ,' ,
,1-',_. ., -
YOU LITTLE TIIEF.
that, because he hadn't a ship of his own; but he
promised to send money home very soon to enable
the old grandmother to take a house all to herself,
and Dick was to live with her. Uncle Richard
wanted Dick to go with him when he left; but
Dick knew if he did, his step-mother would be
crosser with his old grandmother; so he said he
52 FRIGHTENING TIIE CRUEL STEP-MOTHER.
would stay; and Uncle Richard was so pleased, he
gave him half-a-crown all to himself."
"No, Jessie, it was a two-shilling piece," said
Anna, "because you-"
"Stop, Anna, stop," said Jessie, waving her
hand. "Well, after Uncle Richard and Dick's
father had gone away, the step-mother was crosser
than ever; and the old grandmother was so miser-
able that she was very glad when some ladies got
her admission into an alms-house. She would have
taken Dick with her, but it was against the rules
for her to have him; but he used to go as often
as he could to help her. Well, Dick was deter-
mined to run away to sea and find out his Uncie
Richard; so he let some boys into the secret, and
they determined that before he left they should
give the step-mother a good fright. So one day
when she was out they hoisted a great bucket of
water on to the top of the bed. Dick got his
clothes tied up in a bundle, and hidden away in
a friend's house. Then, when his step-mother
was asleep, Dick tied the clothes with a string
to the bed somehow, and fastened the clothes to
a string, and that again to the bucket. Then he
got a piece of paper, and set it on fire in the
middle of the room, where it made a great blaze,
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 53
but couldn't do any harm; and then Dick slipped
out by the back-door and locked it, calling, 'Fire !
fire Up got the step-mother in a fright, and
seeing the light, thought the house was on fire,
and jumped out of bed, when down came the
bucket of water upon her, nearly drowning her.
Dick got his clothes, and made his escape, and
got to the sea-side, and into a ship, and sailed
"Well, all's well that ends well," said Uncle
Sam, laughing; "not that it ended so well for
the step-mother, though; but I think we are all
agreed in thinking that the ducking she got
served her right."
After dinner Uncle Sam got the man James to
fasten a rope to two trees, to make a swing of it
for them, and there they stayed till tea-time;
indeed, so delighted were some of them that even
up to the last moment they were at it, and made
Uncle Sam promise to let it stay till their return.
The next time they came, however, kind Uncle
Sam had got a beautiful swing put up-a real
one with a wooden seat, and a rope at each side
for the boys to pull. And he was never done
planning all sorts of nice games to make the
54 UNCLE SAM'S GARDEN.
But it was not all play with Vea and her
cousins. When they had somewhat recovered
from the effects of their long voyage, a gover-
ness arrived for the girls, and a tutor came for
the boys, and a dancing-master came twice a
week. Yea was very fond of their governess,
VEA DISLIKES HER DANCING-LESSONS. 55
and tried hard to please her; but in presence of
Monsieur Bounce all her old shyness returned,
and she could hardly keep from crying when she
heard his name announced.
Oh, I wish mamma would let me stop these
horrid dancing-lessons," said Vea, one day, to
Jessie. "I know I shall never be able to please
M. Bounce. I get so nervous when he begins to
dance himself, and stretches up his arms, and
puts out his toes. I feel ready to drop down
"It's because you dance better than any of
us," said Jessie, laughing. "M. Bounce is evidently
delighted with your performance, especially when
56 THE GARDEN-PARTY.
he is dancing himself. It is so funny to see you,
your very nervousness forces you to do exactly
as he wants you to do; and when he cries, 'Up,
up, mees, on de toes,' you make me think you are
going to fly up to the ceiling."
"I really do not see the use of dancing," said
Vea, with a sigh. And yet I like it too, when
M. Bounce is not there."
Oh, you know, we must learn dancing," said
Jessie. "Every young lady dances, and you will
get to like it in time. But what was that aunt
was saying to uncle about a party? "
"Mamma gives a garden-party every year to
the school children," said Vea; "and she was
fixing with papa to have it next Friday, if the
weather was fine."
"And what do you do at t ? inquired Jessie.
"The children get tea on the lawn, and then
we have all sorts of games; and afterwards, when
they are gone, Mr. Fairley, the rector, and his
children stay to supper, and we have more games
"I suppose Uncle Sam will be there too," said
"Oh yes; we couldn't get on at all without
PREPARING FOR TIE HOLIDAY. 57
Every one had to be diligent that week, because
Mrs. Campbell asked the governess to give her
pupils a whole holiday on the Friday.
It is for a selfish motive," said Mrs. Campbell,
laughing. I want your young folks, Miss Taylor,
to help me with my preparations."
"Oh, delightful! cried Anna; "may we set
the tea-things, and may we cut up the cake, and
may we do all sorts of things ? "
Certainly," said Mrs. Campbell; while every-
body laughed at Anna's enthusiasm. "I shall have
lots of things for all of you to do. Many hands
make light work, so I expect to have nothing to
do but direct. I shall feel quite like a queen,
with so many fairy princesses to work for me."
"Oh, do be the Princess Gudoloup," said Vea.
"She was such a dear good creature, and every-
body loved her, and were so glad to help her; and
"Yes," interrupted Anna; "and no wonder
everybody loved her, she was so unselfish,-and I
am sure auntie is that."
"Well, well, I'm sure I feel highly flattered,"
said Mrs. Campbell, laughing. So if I am to be
a princess, I command you all to get your lessons
correctly, that you may be at liberty to help me."
58 MARY'S PRETTY NEW SHOES.
You may be sure every one did their best to
earn the holiday, so that they might help their
kind aunt. And they did help her too, and left
her so little to do, that instead of feeling fatigued
before the school children arrived, as had been the
case on former occasions, she was, as she said, as
fresh as a rose.
Perhaps the happiest little girl present was
little Mary. Nurse had put such beautiful blue
rosettes on her slippers to match her gay sash,
that for ever so long she could do nothing but
show them off to every person. "See my pretty
new shoes," she cried. "Nurse made them for
Mary." And when Uncle Sam arrived, happening
to be at the head of the stairs, she popped her
foot through the railings, calling out, See, Uncle
Sam my pretty new shoes."
Oh dear, what am I to do? said Uncle Sam,
when she had come down, and he had her on his
knee; I haven't got any pretty shoes like that!"
and he pretended he was crying.
Little Mary looked wistfully at her precious
shoes, but her soft heart couldn't stand the idea
of poor Uncle Sam having none ; so slipping off
his knee, she began tugging off his boot, to the
amusement of everybody, while she said, No
THE EVENING OF THE PARTY. 59
cry, Uncle Sam; Mary give you her pretty
For the first time in Vea's remembrance, Uncle
Sam looked angry; and that was when Fred said,
"Oh, you little goose, your shoes won't fit Uncle
"You mind your own business, sir," he said,
rather sharply. "Keep your pretty shoes, my
little pet; you're not a goose, but a dear, kind
When the school children came, and had their
tea, immediately after the things were cleared
away the games were commenced. They ran
races for sixpences, and played at hide-and-seek,
and puss-in-the-corner, and ever so many more,
till it was time to go home. Then they sang a
hymn, and after receiving some fruit, went home
shouting and hurrahing at the top of their voices.
Then the rectory children were left, and it was
discovered there was plenty of time for a game at
hunt-the-slipper before supper. The Campbells
seldom quarrelled among themselves. They were
always so accommodating, the one to the other,
bearing and forbearing, as their mamma had made
them promise to be before they parted from her.
But it is very odd how a little discord, once it
60 DISCORD DESTROYS HARMONY.
is allowed to slip in, destroys harmony, and
withers up real pleasure.
"I say, that's not fair," cried James Fairley,
who had been hunting for the slipper for ever so
long without success. You shouldn't pitch it
about that way. I won't play; I tell you it's
just as we are doing now at your house last
Christmas. Don't you remember what raps you
gave me on the fingers; and then, when I tried
UNKIND WORDS. 61
to catch hold of it, you flung it over to Tom
Oh, that's just nonsense," said James rudely.
"I have no recollection of playing it in any such
manner; whichever way we played it, we never
"Come, come, we had better stop," said Jack,
somewhat hotly. "Cheat is a hard word, and I
for one don't like it to be laid at my door."
There was a feeling of discomfort among them
after this speech, and for a time no one seemed
inclined to propose any new game, or to do any-
thing to wipe out of recollection the unkind words
Vea, however, remembered it lay with her more
than any one to restore peace and good-will; so
she said, Oh, couldn't we play at something else?
We have a few minutes yet."
"Well, I shall be glad, for one, to join," said
Jack, wishing to show that he was ready to be
good-natured, for one.
"We might have blind-man's-buff," said Jessie.
"Come, Master Jack, you must be the first blind-
man; so come along, and let me tie your eyes up
Away went Jack, first to one side and then
to another, groping about very cautiously, while
62 A SAD ACCIDENT.
everybody slipped about on tip-toe, or stole
stealthily behind to give Jack's hair or his jacket
a twitch. Everything was getting on smoothly
and joyfully, when James Fairley went down on
his knees; and before any one could stop him,
Jack, hearing the sound, made a dash in that
/ I- '' *l --
direction, and stumbling over James's back, fell
with such force on the floor, that his nose began
to bleed. That was not the only evil, for, in
getting up again, James ran against Vea, and
knocked her over also; and though she only
slipped down on her knees, she sprained her ankle.
A WONDERFUL PEACEMAKER. 63
Really everybody was very glad when the hour
came for the Fairleys to go home; and as Anna
said, she hoped they would not come back in a
hurry again; for a more disagreeable boy than
James she never remembered seeing.
"He didn't seem a bit sorry for hurting Vea's
foot," said Fred; "and as for Jack's nose, he
laughed outright. He is a very mean fellow."
Well, we won't play at blind-man's-buff again
with him, at all events," said Anna. "The idea
of telling us we were cheating at hunt-the-slipper,
and then behaving so badly afterwards to us!"
"We won't say any more about them," said
Vea; "I think it would vex mamma; so, if
you please, we won't speak of the accident. I
hope my foot will be all right in the morning."
It was not right in the morning, but a great
deal worse; and poor Vea had to lie on the sofa
for ever so many days. It was very astonishing
how much her cousins missed her. They had no
idea till then that she had been so helpful, she
was so quiet and shy; but now they felt that she
was a wonderful peacemaker, and that it must be
owing to her gentle, loving disposition that so
much harmony was maintained in the school-room,
or at their games in the nursery.
64 WILLING HELPERS.
When she was able to move about again, Jessie
insisted upon her leaning on her; and as for Jack,
he would have liked to have carried her on his back
to any distance, if she had only allowed him.
-- - J I
When Uncle Sam invited them down the next
Saturday to spend the day, Vea's mamma was a
little afraid she would not be able to walk so far;
but Jack had said at the time, "Oh yes, we'll
manage it somehow, auntie. Do say we may go,
and Vea's foot won't suffer a bit"
VEA IN HER PALANQUIN. 65
After this speech Jack disappeared, and then
Fred followed, and nowhere could Anna find them.
After they had been gone for some hours, she
thought she heard a sound of hammering and
sawing coming from the direction of the tool-house,
and was running to open the door, when Fred
came slipping out, and asked her not to come near
them for some time. He was so earnest about
it, that though Anna was a little inquisitive by
nature, she good-naturedly consented to keep out
of their way.
"You shall know about it the very first," said
Fred, "if you will only have patience for a very
When the children came down, ready to set
out for Uncle Sam's, there stood at the door a
little miniature palanquin. It was rough-looking,
no doubt, but quite strong enough to bear Vea's
weight. She was seated in it in great state, and
the boys clapped the long poles on their shoulders,
and carried her off amidst much laughter. Of
course, they didn't carry her all the way, for she
was able to walk a good bit; but the moment
the boys saw her walking a little stiffly, they in-
sisted upon her getting in again. You can imagine
the astonishment of Uncle Sam, better than I
66 THE DISTINGUISHED VISITORS.
can describe it, to see the cavalcade coming up the
"An Indian princess from the Punjaub, I do
declare! Salaam salaam! bobita bee, Maharaja
Sing. That's excellent Hindustani; isn't it,
Master Jack ? "
Jack and Fred made it, Uncle Sam," said
Vea. "Wasn't it clever of them ? And they've
carried me almost all the way."
Uncle Sam made them all laugh, by declaring
he was not prepared to receive such distinguished
visitors; and if he had only known sooner, he
would have ordered Martha to send for an elephant
or two from the zoological gardens in London, for
he was afraid such grand people couldn't get on
without an elephant.
Unfortunately it came on a very wet afternoon;
but as they happened to be in the wood at the
time with Maggie, Martha's grand-daughter, she
showed them a nice sheltered place under a great
beech hedge, where they sat quite sheltered from
the rain, and listened to her delightful stories.
"Oh dear, what a happy day we have had!"
said Vea; "and, oh, how kind of you two boys
to help me "
Kind said Fred; "that is a joke. Why,
UNDER THE BEECI HEDGE. 67
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68 JESSIE'S TESTIMONY TO VEA'S KINDNESS.
thought of India for the last week, I do feel so
You may be sure Yea was pleased to hear Fred
say this; but if she had seen the letter Jessie sent
to her mamma a few days after, she would have
been more so.
"You have no idea what a nice girl Cousin
Vea is," wrote Jessie. "Aunt told us before we
went down, that she was very shy, and greatly
preferred living alone; but though we can see
she is terribly afraid of strangers, she received us
so kindly,-and she is so good to Mary and baby.
Even yesterday, when baby pushed out her
favourite doll's eyes, she did not scold him in the
least, but tried to get Mary not to be angry with
him; saying he was only a baby, and a boy, and,
of course, couldn't love Dollie so much as they
did. But afterwards I found her in her own room
crying, and though she tried to hide it from me, I
know she was crying about her doll's eyes, for
she was so very fond of it. We are so very
happy here, dear mamma,-as happy as we ever
could be away from you and dear papa; but if it
wasn't for Vea, I think we would cry very much;
and if aunt had sent us to school away from baby
and Mary, we really would have broken our hearts."
BIRTH-DAY PRESENTS. 69
On Vea's next birth-day any one could have
seen she was a great favourite with many
people. There was the long-promised work-box
from Uncle Sam, pretty books from her mamma
and papa, and a nice present from each of her
cousins. Baby, who had really been sorry about
poking out the poor doll's eyes, had insisted
upon getting another; and in case anybody stole
it away through the night, had slept with it in
his arms. It is true the poor doll's face was
rather the worse of her bed-fellow; for baby was
such a fat boy, and always very hot in his bed,
so that the wax nose was somewhat melted before
the morning came; but so eager was he to present
his gift, that he never noticed it.
"See, tousin Vea," said the little fellow, "her
got two eyes; pretty doll now. Baby no hurt
this doll. Oh no, baby be dood to this doll!"
Though Vea had made up her mind to give up
dolls for the future, you may be sure she was
very kind to baby's doll; and whenever she
played with Mary and baby, it was always made
the mistress of the doll's-house, to his great satis-
As for Mary, she was never happy when long
away from her Cousin Vea; and often in the
70 VEA'S BED-FELLOW.
morning nurse would find her snugly tucked up
in Vea's bed instead of in her own little crib, she
having crept slyly out during the night and popped
into Vea's bed while nurse slept. Sometimes
nurse would give a loud snore, and Mary would
pause in sudden fright; but, after waiting a little,
Mary knew she had gone off to sleep again, and
that the coast was clear.
"I am not going to allow you to do this any
more, Miss Mary," said nurse. "You will be
getting cold some night, getting out of your warm
bed. And if you do it again, I must speak to your
aunt about it."
"Then you will be a cross, unkind nurse," said
Mary, and I won't love you."
"You mustn't say that, Mary dear," said Vea.
"Nurse is anything but unkind-and, you know
if it isn't right, you mustn't do it."
"But I don't like to sleep in my crib," said
Mary. "I'm frightened in my crib, and I'll cry
- oh, ever so much !-if I can't sleep with you "
Yea was so sorry for her little cousin that she
went away and asked her mamma's permission to
have Mary to sleep with her. After hearing that
Mary was still frightened for goblins-an under
nurse-maid having cruelly told her they lay under
THE BEST FOR VEA. 71
her crib ready to pounce out upon her if she was
naughty-Mrs. Campbell agreed to the request, and
ever after Mary and Vea shared the same bed.
Very grateful was little Mary for the permis-
sion, and, if it was possible, she loved her cousin
even more than before.
"I'll give this red one to Vea," she said one
day, as she and Jack returned together from a
,, .- . '
v..- ,-< ".-..._
THE BEST FOR VEA.
visit to Uncle Sam, and Mary insisted upon tak-
ing a peep at the apples she had got from him.
"Why, that's the one Uncle Sam gave to you,
saying it was the very nicest one 1" said Jack.
But little Mary looked up with a look of great
indignation to reply, "Vea must have the very
prettiest one, Jack,-not Mary, and not anybody
"You are quite right, poppet," said Jack,
laughing. "If every one of us gave her the
best of everything, it would only be the right
thing to do; for she is the most hospitable and
kind little thing that ever lived, I do believe."
We are happy to say that Vea still lives with
her cousins in the greatest harmony, because
she tries to make her guests happy, thinking of
them always before herself,-as I hope you do,
my little readers, when you have any little
friends with you; and she finds her mamma was
quite correct in saying,-Kinds words awaken