Hugh Giles the thief


Material Information

Hugh Giles the thief
Physical Description:
46 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Dodd, Mead & Company ( Publisher )
Dodd, Mead & Company
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Thieves -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prayer -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1882
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York


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 - 002239786
notis - ALJ0320
oclc - 39441654
System ID:

Full Text


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ONE morn-ing, when Har-ry
May-nard's fa-ther and grand-
pa-pa were in the li-bra-ry, bus-i-
ly en-gaged in look-ing o-ver
some ac-.counts, Har-ry burst
in-to the room in a great state
of ex-cite-ment; and, with-out
wait-ing to know wheth-er his
pres-ence was an in-ter-rup-tion
or not, shout-ed,-
S" Oh, pa-pa, grand-pa-pa! some
one has been here, and has

stol-en a lot of straw-ber-ries.
James was out there just now,
and could see the foot-prints.

And oh! such a quan-ti-ty have
gone, near-ly all the ripe ones!"
"Bless my soul!" ex-claimed
grand-pa-pa, "thieves a-bout?

Where are the dogs? Why
don't some of the men catch
him? It is scan-dal-ous, per-
fect-ly scan dal ous, that one
can-not have one's own fruit
with-out -be-ing con-stant-ly an-
noyed in this way! Har-ry," he
add-ed, "go and tell James to
turn all the dogs in-to the straw-
ber-ry patch, and to shoot an-y
man who goes in there."
"Yes, grand-pa-pa," an-swered
Har-ry ver-y re-spect-ful-ly: but
he could not help glan-cing at
his pa-pa with a smile; for
ev-er-y one knew of the fierce

threats which that old gen-tle-
man would con-stant-ly make,
and of the kind heart be-hind
which would-n't have al-lowed
him to hurt a fly.
Har-ry closed the door and
ran in-to the gar-den, hop-ing
to have a lit-tle time to play
be-fore the les-son time should
ar-rive. See-ing Watch, the
big dog, in a field at some
dis-tance from the house, he
climbed the fence and o-ver-took
him. In a few min-utes the
two were hav-ing a fine romp,
chas-ing each oth-er, roll-ing

o-ver and o-ver in the grass,

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un-til sud-den-ly look-ing tow-

ards the house, he dis-cov-ered

the red cloth hang- ing out
of -the south win dow, which
was the sig-nal for morn-ing
Well," he said, sigh ing,
" that's for me; and there's no
get-ting out of it. I must go,
Watch, old' boy. You don't
have to puz-zle your head o-ver
French and ge-og-ra-phy and
a-rith-me-tic, which is the worst
of all. Hul-lo!"
This last ex-pres-sion was
called out by his near-ly stum-
bling o-ver his lit-tle sis-ter
Fan-ny, who was sit-ting in

the grass watch ing a large
What are you do-ing here,

S' 'P

lit-tle wom-an?" he said: "you
had bet ter come back with
Har-ry." '
"I ~p
L.-d 9

No," said the child, draw-
ing back, me stay here."
Har-ry hard-ly knew what to
do. That she was too small
to be left there a-lone, he knew
ver-y well: so, tell-ing Watch to
stay and take care of the child,
he ran on to call the nurse.
It was ver-y hard to fix his
mind up-on les-sons that day.
The sto-ry of the thief had
made a great im-pres-sion up-on
him. Then his sis-ter Clar-a's
cats came up-on the pi-az-za
roof, and tried to get in at his

The morn-ing passed in time,
how-ev-er, and Har-ry said his
les-sons well.
Noth-ing more was seen of

the thief, al-though Har-ry went
sev-er-al times dur-ing the day
to look at the foot-prints in
the straw-ber-ry patch. As he

was re-turn-ing from one of
these trips quite late in the
af-ter-noon, he sud-den-ly re-

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mem-bered that he had not fed
his birds. These birds were
very val-u-a-ble ones, and Mr.
May-nard had or-dered a fine

house to be built for them;
but it was clear-ly un-der-stood, -
that, as soon as the boy neg-
lect-ed them, they were to be
giv-en a-way. So Har-ry took
ver-y good care of them, you
may be sure.
As soon as his voice was
heard, oh! what a scream-ing
there was Down they all flew.
Some light-ed on his head, and
some strut-ted by his side; but
all gave him a warm wel-come,
For, be-side the food which they
were of course glad to get, they
loved their young mas-ter, who

was al-ways gen-tle and good
tem-pered with them.



Har-ry gave them some corn
and rice, which he kept in a
box near by for the pur-pose;

and then, leav-ing the door o-pen
so that they could get in and

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out as they pleased, he went
back to the house.
As he drew near, the sound
of voi-ces at-tract-ed his at-ten-

tion, and he knew that his
moth-er was just say-ing good-
by to some guest: so, not wish-
ing to dis-turb them, he sat
down on a seat un-der a tree
near by and wait-ed.
In a few mo-ments the car-
riage drove a-way, and Mrs.
May-nard walked down the path,
look-ing a-bout for some one.
When Har-ry ap-peared, walk-ing
tow-ards her, she ex-claimed,-
"Ah, Har-ry, you are just
the per-son I was look-ing for!
Will you take a walk with
me ?"

"Of course," an-swered the
boy: "where shall we go?"
Let's walk through the
woods,", said Mrs. May-nard,
"as far as Pe-ter Byrne's cot-
tage : that will be just far
So they walked on, talk-ing
up-on one thing af-ter an-oth-er,
un-til Har-ry asked his moth-er
if she had any i-de-a who could
be the per-son who had been
giv-ing so much trou-ble in the
neigh-bor-hood (for oth-er peo-
ple had com-plained of los-ing
things), when sud-den-ly, just

a-bove their heads, came a loud
"Whoo, whoo, whoo!"


Har-ry's mind be-ing full of
thieves, he was so star-tied that

his first im-pulse was to run;
but, re-mem-ber-ing his'moth-er,
he stopped, and, look-ing up
in-to the tree, soon burst in-to
a heart-y laugh.
The cause of their a-larm was
a sol-emn old owl, who stood
up-on the limb of a tree, blink-
ing at them.
Har-ry felt ver-y fool-ish, but
tried to look as if he had-n't
thought of run-ning a-way, and
was start-ing to make some
re-mark a-bout owls in gen-
eral, when they came in sight
of Mrs. Byrne's cot-tage. Two

of the chil-dren were play-ing
on the door-step, and the sight
of a cup which one of the

chil-dren had in its hand, re-
mind-ed Har-ry that he was
thirst-y; for what boy ev er

went for a half hour's walk
with-out want-ing "a drink"
be-fore it was o-verl
So Mrs. May-nard sat down
up-on the door-step and be-gan
to talk to the chil-dren, while
Har-ry went be-hind the house
to find the well. There he
found two more lit-tle tots, who
looked ver-y so-ber-ly at him as
he ap-proached them.
He was just pull-ing up the
rope, in-tend-ing to take a drink
from the buck-et, when Mrs.
Byrne her-self came out. In
one hand she car-ried a glass

T IS1'/ :


of milk, and in the oth-er a
plate of fresh cook-ies. It is
need-less to tell you what fol-
lowed. Down went the buck-et
in-to the well with a splash,
and in to the kitch en went
Har-ry; and there he stayed till
not a crumb was left bn the
plate, nor a drop in the
These things had de-layed
Mrs. May-nard and her son so
long, that, af-ter thank-ing the
good wom-an, they were hur-ry-
ing tow-ards home, when whom
should they meet but Mr. May-

nard and their two neigh-bors,
Mr. Ryle and Mr. Bliss.
They were on horse-back, and
were in search of the mys-te-

ri-ous thief. Sev-er-al chick-ens
had been stol-en; and the peo-ple
were in a state of great in-
dig-na-tion, and de-ter-mined to
catch him.

James had said that a-bout

four o'-clock he had heard one
of the pup-pies bark-ing vi-o-

lent-ly; and, that up-on look-ing
out, he had seen a man dodg-
ing a-mong the trees. 'Be-fore
he could reach the place, how-
ev-er, the man was gone.
An-oth-er of the men, in rid-
ing back from the vil-lage, had
found Watch guard-ing a bag
of corn which he had pre-pared
to take to the mill. It had
ev-i-dent-ly been stol-en, and
dropped sud-den-ly by the thief
in his flight. Watch was in a
ter-ri-ble state of ex-cite-ment,
and seemed to know that some-
thing was wrong.

So all these things had de-

ter-mined the three gen-tle-men

to find the tres-pass-er; but
their search proved to be fruit-
less. Mr. May-nard said, how-
ev-er, that he would sure-ly be
caught be-fore long.
The next morn-ing, when
Har-ry came down, he found
his fa-ther read-ing the pa-per.
In re- ply to his ques- tion
wheth-er there was an-y news,
he said that James thought
that he had a lit-tle clew to
the mys-te-ry.
The fam-i-ly then seat-ed
them- selves at the break-fast
ta ble, and af ter that came

morn-ing pray-ers. The chil-
dren were kneel-ing by the
so-fa, when sud-den-ly. the most
fear-ful sounds came from the

yard. The dogs barked, the
men shout-ed, and all this time
some one was shriek-ing in

As soon as they were up-on
their feet, ev-er-y one rushed to
the door; and what a sight
greet-ed their eyes! There was
a man try-ing to es-cape o-ver

the lawn. Four of the small
dogs had him by the legs, and
the large dogs were rap-id-ly
gain-ing up-on him, while his
shrieks rose up-on the air.

The men on the place ran
to the as-sist-ance of the dogs;
and as soon as the man was
caught, they called them off.
Half dead with ter-ror, the fel-
low was brought up to the
house and held, while one of
them ran to fetch a piece of
In the mean time, Har-ry,
wild with ex-cite-ment, had run
in-to the house in search of
his grand fa- their, whom he
found doz-ing com-fort-a-bly in
his arm-chair.
Grand- pa pa oh, grand-

pa-pa he shout-ed, shak-ing
him, "they have caught him at

last! Come and see the thief!
Come, grand-pa-pa!"
The old man looked up with
a start, and rub-bing his eyes,

ex-claimed, "Eh! what? Caught
him, did you say? Bless my
soul, but he de-serves a good
thrash-ing!" and, seiz-ing his
stick, he walked as rap-id-ly as
he could to the scene of action.
As soon as he saw the group
un-der a tree, he marched up, and,
siez-ing the wretch-ed man by
the col-lar, shook him un-til his
teeth chat-tered. Then, or-der-
ing the ser-vants to tie him, he
had him tak-en to a shed near by,
and care-ful-ly locked up, prom-
is-ing to send him to State's
pris-on in a day or two.

The of-fen-der proved to be
Hugh Giles, a young man a-bout
twen-ty years old; and he con-

fessed to hav-ing ta-ken fruit,
poul-try, and va-ri-ous small ar-
ti-cles from dif-fer-ent hous-es.

The old squire was in-dig-nant,
and so was ev-er-y one else.
How-ev-er, James was sent at
once with the man's break-fast,
and at noon his din-ner was tak-
en, and in the e-ven-ing he was
served to a com-fort-a-ble sup-
per; and al-though the squire
was care-ful to see that this
was done, he nev-er ceased to
rail a-gainst him in the fam-i-ly.
The next morn-ing Har-ry was
up ear-li-er than us-u-al; and,
hav-ing prom-ised to wait till
his lit-tle sis-ters were dressed
be-fore go-ing out, he was a-mus-

ing him-self by draw-ing dif-fer-
ent things up-on the fly-leaf of
his spelling-book. He had just
com-plet-ed a pic-ture of their last

Christ-mas pud-ding, when he
was star-tied to hear James call
to John, He's gone, as sure as
I'm alive !"
Down went the book and pen-

cil, and in a min-ute Har-ry's
head was out of the win-dow.
Yes, it was true! When James
went in-to the pris-on, as the
chil-dren called it, he found that
the pris-on-er had fled, hav-ing
left no trace be-hind.
The coun-try was searched for
miles a-round, but he was nev-er
seen a-gain; and so in-dig-nant
were grand-pa-pa and mam-ma,
that Har-ry that e-ven-ing pre-
sent-ed them with an-oth-er of
his ar-tis-tic per-form-an-ces.
Un-der-neath was writ-ten
"Squire May- nard and his

daugh-ter-in-law in search of
Hugh Giles."

E-vent-u-al-ly, how-ev-er, it be-
gan to be sus-pect-ed that the

old gen-tle-man had had some-
thing, to do with his es-cape, in
spite of his say-age threats.
Years af-ter they learned the
truth from the man him-self, who
came there re-spect-a-bly dressed,
and asked for the squire, who
had long be-fore passed a-way
from earth. He then told Mrs.
May-nard how the kind old man
had gone to him in the shed, and
talked ear-nest-ly to him; had
giv-en him some mon-ey to start
up-on, and had suc-ceed-ed in
mak-ing him wish to lead a bet-
ter life. Then he had o-pened

the door, and bade him hur-ry
a-way be-fore any one was a-
bout to see his es-cape. It was
just day-light when the squire
came to him, and no one was
stir-ring, so he had no trou-ble
in get-ting a-way safe-ly. He
had walked all day a-cross the
fields, for he did not dare to be
seen on the high-way; and at
night reached a sea-port town.
He had long had a fan-cy for
the sea, and now he re-solved to
be a sail-or.
So he shipped a-board a clip-
per, and was soon out of sight

of land. The old squire's word
had sunk deep in-to his mind,
and he was re-solved to make a
man of him-self. When-ev-er
a chance to rise came, he was
read-y to seize it; and now he
told them that he was a first mate
of a fine clip-per, and hoped be-
fore man-y years to be a cap-
He was ver-y much dis-ap-
point-ed not to see his old friend
a-gain, for he wished to show
him how much good he had done
by his word in sea-son.
He told Har-ry, who had quite

a num-ber of long talks with
him, and was now him-self al-
most a man, some of his ex-pe-
ri-en-ces as a sail-or. Twice he
had been ship-wrecked, and once
had been on a raft ten days.
Har-ry thought that per-haps a
sail-or's life was not all fun, as
near-ly ev-er-y boy thinks it.

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