• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Little Bell; or, a modern...
 A hot dinner
 Giving a start
 The raging canal
 Rain
 The wicked grasshoppers
 A narrow escape
 The bridge of Avignon
 The tragedy of the unexpected
 Drawing an inference
 The great green frog
 The little aunt
 A slight misunderstanding
 Four-o'clocks
 "It will do"
 Counting the chickens
 An arbitration
 The baby's journey
 A singular omission
 "I can swim"
 Back Cover






Title: Little Bell and other stories for boys and girls
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053662/00001
 Material Information
Title: Little Bell and other stories for boys and girls
Physical Description: 120 p. : col. ill. ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Vandegrift, Margaret, 1845-1913 ( Author, Primary )
Bensell, Edmund Birckhead, b. 1842 ( Illustrator )
Ketterlinus Printing House ( Publisher )
Publisher: Ketterlinus Printing House
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Publication Date: c1884
 Subjects
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1884   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1884   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1884
Genre: Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Margaret Vandegrift, illustrated by E.B. Bensell.
General Note: Contains verse and prose.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053662
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002225086
notis - ALG5358
oclc - 64428066

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Little Bell; or, a modern instance
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    A hot dinner
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Giving a start
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The raging canal
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Rain
        Page 51
        Page 52
    The wicked grasshoppers
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    A narrow escape
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The bridge of Avignon
        Page 63
        Page 64
    The tragedy of the unexpected
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    Drawing an inference
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    The great green frog
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    The little aunt
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    A slight misunderstanding
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Four-o'clocks
        Page 81
        Page 82
    "It will do"
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Counting the chickens
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
    An arbitration
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    The baby's journey
        Page 112
        Page 113
    A singular omission
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    "I can swim"
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
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HOLIDAY"S A.T H1.


I/lustraf'td by E. B. BEA7.S'BLL,
FOR


BOY LISED AND RITE

BY

MARGARET VANDEGRIFT,
AUTHOR OF "CLOVER BEACH'," "U._ND)ER THILE i)DOG-STAR," AND
HOLIDAYS AT HOMEi."


Illustrated ,y E. ,. BE. NRASE IL,


PUBLSIIED AND PRINTED BY
c hlrliu rir)ln 1 Iousc.A-
PHILADELI)IIA.



























































COPYRIGHTED 1884,

BY

KETTERLINUS PRINTING HOUSE.
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KETRIU RNIGHUE


















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\NV\iE BUAX, OR N MODR \NSTNCA, 9

S- \NN- 25

G\\I\NG N STW, 30

SRG\G C 33- -

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TH W\CKD GRSSHOPPERS,- 53

SRROW SCAP, 56

TH\ BR\OGI OF M\GHOA 63

7Hc TRPGEDN OF ^ HXPGCT- 65

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\S\WW. Q MD PWED W
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N.'N, COB. tOURTH ti RRCH S~S.
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Little Bell,

and Other Stories.






























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LITTLE BELL;
()R,
A MODERN INSTANCE.
SI'PART I.

--y [ISTEN to me, you little girls,
J. And also little boys,
f iF Who count your rabbits, cats and dogs
Among your chiefest joys:

S I have a story to relate,
SUntold in any book;
And I will put the moral first-
"Don't aggravate the Cook!

I have a precept, too, to sell
K\ For nothing to each bidder;
i 'Tis that the Piper gave the Cow-
Consider, dears, consider.

The neighbors all loved little Bell;
She was a pleasant child,
Who very seldom frowned or cried,
And very often smiled



9















One person only-'twas the Cook,
Who long had served Bell's mother-
Disliked to see her bonny face,
And said she was "a bother."


And why? Because, on Saturday,
This little girl would go
And stop the Cook, to beg from her
"A little piece of dough."


Because, on Friday, Cook would waste
An hour, or even more,
Seeking the broom, which Bell had left
Upon the play-room floor.

Because, on Thursday, window-brush
And floor-mop were astray;
They made "such lovely heads for dolls,"
Bell had been heard to say.






IO0














Because, on Wednesday-baking day-
When Cook was mad with haste,
Bell "cluttered up" the range and sink
And table, making paste.

On washing and on ironing-days
Perhaps 'twas worst of all;
Bell soaped and starched and wrung and dried
For dolls, both great and small.

So now you will not be surprised,
That Cook no longer smiled
Upon this little Bell, but said,
"She's just the awfullest child."












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PART I I.

This little girl a kitten owned,
A lovely Maltese thing,
Who'd but one season in her year-
With her 'twas always Spring.



A fluttering tape, a swaying cord,
The tassel of a blind,
In short, whatever moved at all,
Engrossed her infant mind.






12















She seemed to have no sense of right,
She recognized no laws,
But those which she herself enforced,
Assisted by her claws.

And twice those claws on Cook's broad foot
A pattern had engraved,
Because, as Cook walked back and forth,
Her harmless shoe-strings waved.

The second time that this occurred,
Cook set her teeth and said
"You've done that trick for the last time-
You're just as good as dead!"

That night, while Bell, unconscious, slept,
The Cook, with savage joy,
Called in, to work her cruel will,
A neighboring stable-boy.






13













"Put this here Cat in that there Bag,"
She coldly, sternly said,
"And don't you let her out of sight
Until you're sure she's dead.


















And when you come and tell me so,
And bring me back her collar,
It's more than it is worth I know,
But you shall have a dollar!"




14
~-~sn <















Now though this boy was very poor,
The deed he meant to do
Grew quite impossible, when once
He heard the kitten mew.

He took her out, he cuddled her,
He said, "Upon my word,
I couldn't do it-not for five!"
The kitten loudly purred.

Next morning went the stable-boy,
And gave the Cook the collar,
Remarking, "I am sorry, ma'am,
I haven't earned the dollar.

The kitten was so small, and-well,
She seemed to love me so!
But I will keep her at our place,
And never let her go."






15














"Oh well, that's just the same," said Cook,
"So take your pay my boy."
She had relented in the night,
And heard the news with joy.


But though her conscience scolded her
For many nights and days,
She said, "I'll bring that kitten back
When that child mends her ways."


























PART III.


Poor Bell, distracted by her loss
Went everywhere to look,
And said, "If she were not so cross,
She'd help me,"-meaning Cook.


She searched the garret and the barn,
The poultry-house and loft;
The kitten's name-Penelope-
She called in accents soft.






17
























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She took her little brother's sword,
And, passing in review
The chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese,
Asked sternly if they knew.

But not a word did any speak,
And so, when daylight died,
And still the kitten was not found,
She sat her down and cried.

"She was so sweet" wept little Bell,
"And oh, so very small!
My heart is broken, and Mamma,
Cook does not care at all!"

Mamma spoke loving words of hope,
Her little girl to cheer,
And then she added, "as for Cook,
Why should'she care, my dear?






19















"When have you ever cared for Cook?
You meant no harm, I know,
But in your garden you expect
To gather as you sow.

"Perhaps we cannot always help,
But all, yes, even you,
At least can keep from hindering
Those who have work to do.

"And if the. kitten should come back,
As we both hope she may,
Then you can teach her not to keep
So much in poor Cook's way.

"And while you're teaching pussy, dear,
Perhaps it would be well,
To let her share her lessons with
A little girl named Bell."






20














PART IV.

Things just like this had many times
Been said to Bell before,
But now-perhaps because her heart
Was sorrowful and sore-


The child began to think at last;
So often she'd been blamed
For the same things, she all at once
Felt very much ashamed.


Not much she said, but, day by day,
She fought with all her might

To conquer selfishness, and be
Both thoughtful and polite.


And when the battle seemed too hard,
She softly stole upstairs,
And, knowing where to look for help,
Knelt down and said her prayers.





21















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She hoped that she had better grown,
Yet she could scarcely tell,
But everyone who knew her said,
"How changed is little Bell!"


Yes, even Cook I her conscience now
Kept her awake at night;
"I'll bring that kitten back," she said,
"I haven't done just right."






22















When Bell went down to tea one night,
She saw, beneath her chair,
A something gray; it stirred, it mewed!
Penelope was there!


For Cook had given the stable-boy
That day, another dollar
To bring the kitten back, and she
Bought it a brand-new collar.


Bell caught her darling up and gave
A joyful little scream;
That night Penelope was fed
On chicken, rolls and cream.


But, Ah! the kitten, did I say?
She was no longer that,
For in her absence she had grown
To be a sober cat.






23















Gone were her merry quips and pranks,
Her bright audacious ways;
"I wish they might come back," sighed Bell,
"Those lovely kitten-days!"

But that's what kitten-days can't do;
And Cook remarked that night-
Though only to herself-"Two wrongs
Don't never make a right!"

Something that came to little Bell,
I wish might come to you,
That we can sometimes make amends
For faults and slips is true;

But every fault to those we love
Some happiness has cost,
And nothing can bring back again
The "Kitten-Days" we've lost.






24













- A HOT DINNER.



R I Bear and his family happened to come,
",S; In the deep, dark woods, on a winter day,
To a camp where the woodmen were not at home-
S They had just that minute hastened away.
"Nr now I do admire a good hot fire,"
SSaid Mr. Bear, "in such weather as this,
And they've left their dinner-we'll see what it is."



Over the fire a great kettle was swung,
Filled with something that bubbled and boiled.
S Mr. Bear stepped up and the kettle unhung,
$ Chuckling, "We'll eat it before it's spoiled.
It is soup is it not? And it's piping hot.
I tell you these lumbermen know what's what!"




2,5



























Al


























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Around the kettle the family stood,
Each of them armed with a wooden spoon:
And, fearing the men might return from the wood,
They finished the kettleful very soon.
Now haste makes waste. If they'd stopped to taste,
This story of mine they had never graced.

It was a very cold winter day;
That kettle was full of the best gas-tar,
Which turned perfectly solid right away:
Oh then, what a howling was heard afar!
They could not stir, for there they were,
Turned into statues covered with fur!

And not very long did they even howl,
And not very long could they even groan;
The solid gas-tar was in each one's growl,
And they soon were still as statues of stone.
The last of their race, each sat in his place,
Frozen stiff in the act of making a face.






27




























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5 8 ,. -
.e8














When the campers came cautiously back that night,
They gave one look, and then hurriedly fled:
For the fire had gone out and the moon's pale light
Failed to show them the fact that the bears
[were dead.
So they meekly went to a lumberman's tent,
And agreed to pay him a moderate rent.


The spot where the bears took that heavy last meal
Has been ceded by universal consent.
Not a man in the wood can exactly feel
It's his duty to go and collect the rent,
Or the spoons and pot-no longer hot:
The fixtures went cheap, with the tent and the lot.


But sometimes, at twilight, a lumberman,
Who has chanced to go a little astray,
Vil! suddenly come in sight of the clan,
And-rather more suddenly-gallop away.
And he mutters low, "Well, I want to know!
They always are sitting exactly so!"





29
N















S, GIVING A START



;D, .AY what you will of it,
S- coasting is fun
^_ Forty boys, more or less-
lessons all done-

out to the hill
Close by the frozen pond,
near the old mill.















30















All sorts of sleds were there, great ones and small,
Painted all colors, not painted at all,
High-runnered, low-runnered, clumsy and fine,
Rusty and dull, full of glitter and shine.

One little home-made thing, flat as a duck,
SBalked in the starting-its owner said "Stuck!"
Such a small owner, too! Some one's good heart
Made him say, "Here, let me give you a start!"

Off went the little sled, skimming the hill,
Over the frozen pond down by the mill,
Straight up the hill on the opposite side-
Nothing but flying could equal that ride!

Some people say that they "do not like boys,"
And I'll admit that their name rhymes with noise,
But, when a boy is both manly and true,
Who can help liking him? I can't! Can you?




i3














; t .'A









9' !' "











Oh, but the thing I should most like to see,
Is, the true knight that each youngster might be!
Don't be content with just doing your part;
Hold your hands ready to wait on your heart;
Watch for the helpless on<. --give them a start.






312


















THE RAGING CANAL.











f


































































IN CAMP.--See pagd 40















THE RAGING CANAL.



r'" HE Paxton boys and the Dundas boys were very
good friends, but the former seemed, at the
time of which I mean to tell you, to be under
the impression that they owed the latter some-
5 thing. They did not mention exactly what it was,
even to each other, but it was known to be in some
way connected with an illuminated pumpkin-head which
Joe Dundas had made, and a long darn in \ill Paxton's
school-trowsers. The darn had been contributed by Mrs.
Paxton, who was, fortunately, a skillful and accomplished
darner, and Will had explained to her that he had torn
his trowsers in the act of climbing a picket-fence.
You must have been in a great hurry when you
climbed that fence, my son," said Mrs. Paxton, with a
twinkle in her eyes which might have been caused by
her efforts to thread her needle.
"I was, dear, in the worst kind of a hurry," replied
Will, kissing her, and immediately leaving the room.
He meant to tell her about his engagement with the






35














fence; but, in his opinion, the time was not ripe, and he
was afraid that if he stopped to converse about it, the
force of habit might prevail.
There were two Paxton boys, Will and Sam; Will
was thirteen, and Sam eleven years old; and there were
three Dundas boys, Joe, Tom and Maxwell, commonly
called Max; Joe, the oldest, was about fifteen, Tom and
Max twelve and ten. They had been born neighbors,
and had always played and gone to school with each
other. They we;e known in the neighborhood as "pretty
lively boys," and, when all five were together, this
description was a very mild one. They were considered
quite a power in the school which they attended, and
were occasionally accused of "putting on airs;" but, so
far, their influence had been used with good effect against
anything like meanness or cruelty.
Of course, when vacation came, they were together
most of the time, so they all felt somewhat injured, when
a camping-out scheme, originating with the Dundas boys,
was not smiled upon by Mr and Mrs. Paxton.
You mustn't imagine that I blame the ruling
powers, you know," said Will, when he brought the sad
news of the refusal, "we haven't a rich uncle, and he





36















didn't give us a tent, and the govern r-general says he's
sorry, but his liabilities are unpleasantly near his assets
this summer, and we must sail as close to the wind as
we conveniently can. If we'd only thought of it sooner,
I suppose we could have earned enough to buy a tent,
and the blankets and things, somehow, in the course of
the Winter."
Couldn't you borrow a tent somewhere?" asked
Tom, hopefully, we have all the cooking-things, and all
you'd want would be the tent and a couple pairs of
blankets, for we've two spare hammocks, and one of
those little canvas cots that you can carry on your
watch-chain."
"I thought of that," said Will, "but independently of
the fact that you are the only people we know who
own a tent, there's a prejudice in our family against
borrowing anything. No, we'll have to give it up, but if
you'll not go too far away, we can spend the days with
you. By the way, where do you propose to pitch your
tent? "
We thought of the island at first," said Joe, but
since that little Dutchman and his wife went there to
live, and set up a pea-nut stand, it's not so romantic








OWN-/








































as it might be, so we've chosen that place up the
river, where it takes a turn and widens-it's like a lake,
and it's lonesome enough for the heart of the Adiron-
dacks. Don't you remember, there's an old canal-boat
stranded just below the bend, that looks like Rudder





38














Grange-if it wasn't so shaky-looking you might live on
that. I should think they'd split them up for kindlings,
or something; but I've counted four or five, up and
down the river, left in the water to rot and go to pieces."
I don't suppose it pays to have them split up,"
said Will, "I remember the place-it's first rate: and
the fishing's good up there, too. Well, we won't howl
about it. We can have a jolly good time in the day-
time, but I always did want to sleep in a tent, by a
camp-fire."
Yes, you'll miss the fires in the evening," said
Tom, regretfully, and that's the best part of it."
"Oh! well, everybody can't have everything," replied
Will, with a sudden brightening-up which rather surprised
the Dundas boys; "how long are you going to stay?"
"Only three nights," said Joe, "somebody's been
saying malaria to the mother, and we were afraid to ask
for any more; she had hard work to bring herself to
reason even to that extent, so we tempered our valor
with discretion."
The campers rowed themselves up the river on the
morning after this conversation, and Will and Sam soon
followed in their boat, bringing a liberal contribution to





39














the dinner. The five boys were busy all the morning,
choosing a site for the camp, clearing away underbrush,
pitching the tent and swinging the hammocks. The
pangs of hunger hastened their preparations for dinner,
and they blessed the thoughtful mothers who had pro-
vided cold meat for the first meal.
"We can fish for our suppers this afternoon," said
Joe, "and I hope we'll catch about ten apiece-I feel
as if I could eat my own weight of 'most anything! "
The weather was all that could be desired, and
the three days passed pleasantly and only too rapidly.
\Vill and Sam went home at dusk in the evenings,
and rowed up the river early in the in'mrning-;, and
took the loss of the nights by the camp-fire as philo-
sophically as they. could.
On the third afternoon, after a highly-successful
fishing expedition to the head of the river, the two
non-residents started for home fully two hours before
dark, taking their share of the fish.
They were remonstrated with for leaving so early,
"but Will explained that he wishes to get the fish
home in time to have them cooked for supper. "And
besides," he added, soberly, "we've something to do





40















before dark; but we'll come up in the morning and
help you break camp and take the things home."
Thank you, said Joe, "I'm sorry you must go so
soon; we'll row down as far as the bend with you,
anyhow."
On reaching the bend, Tom gave an exclamation
of surprise.
"Why, boys! That old canal-boat's gone!"
"So it is," said Will, "somebody must have towed
it off."
But what on earth would anybody do with it ?"
said Joe, I noticed the day we came up the river that
it had settled since the last time I saw it, and it looked
as if a touch would send it to the bottom."
Perhaps the Dutchman's captured it for fuel to
roast his pea-nuts," su,. -1. .1 Tom, and nothing more
was said upon the subject.
The campers were a little late with their supper
that evening. They had discovered that under-done
fish are not agreeable, and so waited as patiently as
they might for the thorough cooking of the three or
four dozen which they had prepared. They built a
magnificent lire, when the cooking was done, for the





41















moon would not ris,- much ibelore ten 'cld ck, and ith-e
sat merrily down to their last supper in camp. Between
eating, talking and laughing they had been fully an
hour at their table-cloth, which was spread between the
fire and the tent, and twilight was fast giving place
to darkness, when, in a moment's pause, they heard
through the perfect stillness of the place the trampling
of hoofs on the tow-path which ran along the opposite
bank of the river, and a gruff voice shouting, "Gee!
Haw! "
"That's a queer thing," said Joe, starting up, "I
thought they'd given up using that tow-path since they
dug the new branch of the canal. Let's go see what's
going on."
The boys rushed to the bank, and saw, through
the dim light, that the driver had taken the tow-rope
from his single mule and was tying it securely to a
large tree. Having made the rope fast, he took the
mule by the halter and went into the woods, calling
back, in the gruff voice which they had heard a few
minutes before,
"Good night to you both! I'll be along in the
morning."





42















An awning was stretched above a small part of the
deck, and under this awning swung a lighted lantern,
while upon the deck stood a small stove or furnace.
The night was so still that the boys could distinctly
hear the hissing of a frying-pan, and a savory smell
as of fried potatoes was wafted across the river, which,
at this point, was less than a quarter of a mile wide.
Seated in front of the stove, and bending a little
toward it, was an unusually fat old woman; a shawl
was gathered about her shoulders, and on her head
was an immense sun-bonnet. The lantern was directly
behind her, so that the boys could not see her face,
but one hand held uplifted a long tin or iron spoon,
which gleamed in the light. A man's figure lounged
against one of the posts which held up the awning.
His hands were in his pockets, a wide, soft hat was
slouched over his face, and a long clay pipe hung
from his mouth.
"-Thfy look comfortable enough," said Joe, after a
long observation, "but it's the most extraordinary
thing-there hasn't been a boat-a canal-boat, I mean-
through there for more than two years, and if it wasn't
for the awning, I'd bet anything that it is the old
canal-boat that was below the bend yesterday."





43




































"Yes; and those people don't look unlike the
little Dutchman and his fat wife," said Max, "but
surely nobody would be crazy enough to undertake to
stay a night on that used-up-and-done-for old boat!"
He had hardly finished speaking, and they were
all looking intently at the figures on the boat, when
it suddenly gave a convulsive shudder, and began set-
tling with startling rapidity. In a moment, it seemed
to the boys, the deck was on a level with the water;




44














they heard the fire hiss as the water reached it; they
saw the man and woman throw up their arms, and
then the boat was gone !
"Keep up," shouted Joe, dashing down the bank,
"help's coming "
They were all three in their boat, rowing for dear
life, before the canal-boat had been out of sight two
minutes, and, as they neared the opposite shore, they
saw two dark objects bobbing about in the water of
the canal.
There was only the width of the tow-path between
the river and the canal; their boat was light, and they
easily pushed it across the narrow space and launched
it again.
"Take my oars, Max," said Joe, excitedly, "and
row between them-Tom, you grab the one on your
right, and I'll go for the other."
1\ax and Tom obeyed orders: Joe's hands clutched
the sun-bonnet, and Tom grasped the head from which
the hat had fallen. To their horror, both heads came
off in their hands, and, impelled by the vigorous pull
which each had given, fell side by side in the bottom
of the boat. MI.. having nothing to do but to keep





45














the boat steady, had made good use of his eyes, and
now he lay back on his oars, shrieking with laughter.
"What do you mean, sir?" asked Joe, fiercely.
"Oh!" gasped Max, as soon as he could speak,
"they're even with us now-one's a cabbage, and the
other a squash!"
It was really so. The old lady's sun-bonnet had
sheltered a remarkably fine head of cabbage, and the
slouch hat a large squash, upon which an absurd-
looking face had been carved. The pipe, which had
been firmly wedged in, still hung from the foolish-
looking mouth. The bodies had entirely disappeared.
How do you suppose they managed it?" said Tom,
after a silence of several minutes.
"I don't know," replied Joe, thoughtfully, "I can
make it all out but the mule-I don't see where they
got that-but see here, boys, don't let's say a word
when they come up to-morrow morning. They'll be
expecting us to burst out about it the first thing, but
if Will went straight home when he led the mule off,
he couldn't have seen the old thing go down, and he'll
be perishing to know whether or not we went to the
rescue.





46

















































'
- .. ~ '































47
~rJ L.














To this the younger boys agreed, and the two
heads, heavily weighted with stones, were sunk in the
river before the campers went to bed that night.
Will and Sam were on the ground bright and
early the next morning; fish were to be caught for
one course of the last dinner, which, thanks to the
mothers, was sumptuously provided for.
As they made ready to push off their boats, Joe
caught his foot in something, and measured his length
across the seats. He was not hurt, and started the
laugh which the others were politely repressing.
"I don't see what tripped-hello!" he suddenly
exclaimed, as he held up the cause of his downfall.
It was the large sun-bonnet, which, the night before,
had graced the head of the lady of the canal-boat!
The four other boys tried for a moment to keep their
faces straight, and then broke into a roar of laughter,
in which Joe heartily joined.
"The murder's out now," he said, when they had
quieted down a little, "and you may as well tell us
all about it-it was quite cleverly done for your ages,
but I've been racking my brain to think where you
found anybody to trust you with a mule. Were you





48














in the bushes there by the tow-path when we nobly
went to the rescue?"
Were we? I should rather think we were?" said
Will, with an ecstatic grin; "I wouldn't have missed
that show for a hundred dollars-my only regret was,
that it was too dark to see the expression of your
countenances."
But tell us where the mule came from and all
about it," said Tom, impatiently.
"Do you really wish to know about that mule,
my friends?" inquired Will, mischievously; "I see you
do. I must ask you to reminisce a little. Perhaps
you can recall the little farce enacted last winter by
the Minstrels' called 'Shoeing the Horse'? You
may remember that the fractious animal, being con-
tended for by two parties, settled the matter by breaking
himself into equal halves, and that we were compelled
to believe that he was composed of two of the
Minstrels? My respected father, after some solicitation,
officiated as head and forelegs of that mule, and the
hind legs were ably represented by Sam. We were
all on hand, in case you should do anything rash,
although that old branch of the canal is barely deep





49















enough to cover the boat, as we ascertained by
sounding. The plot, as we at first constructed it, was
very simple-we meant to hang a few old garments
on the line above the deck, tow the boat opposite
your camp, open the hole we had made in her side,
and give a resounding shriek from among the bushes;
but, as other ideas occurred to us, we began to consider
this course; one thing suggested another, until we
arrived at the perfection which you witnessed. Do
you call things square? Because, if you don't, I
daresay we might get up something else, when you're
off your guards again."
"Then, perhaps, we'd better call it square," said
Joe, with an amiable grin, "we wouldn't like to make
you over-exert your intellects-but there's just one
little difference to be observed; we ran towards your
cabbage-head, which you-- "
"Oh! never mind the cabbage-head," interrupted
Will, laughing, and turning red in the face, "let's talk
about the weather."









50
















- S. .:' ,, ,







RAI N.

R A I N, rain, go away,
Come again another day!"
That is the old verse that we sing,
Whenever there comes a rainy day;
And it is a very curious thing,
But it often drives the rain away!
Not always though-I think, sometimes,
That the rain must know, in spite of our rhymes,
That we do not mean their meaning, quite-
If it only always would rain at night!
There's so much, so much to do in the day;
So little time is left for play.




5'













"Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day!"
We are building a house at the end of the lane,
We are digging a cave in the gravel-pit,
We are planting our gardens over again,
We are raising a tent with a swing in it.
Just think, dear Sun, how our business crowds!
To you it is fun to scatter the clouds!
Oh there would be plenty of time, I think,
To give all the green things in the world a drink,
If it rained a little each night-please keep
The voice of the rain to sing us to sleep.















52




















THE WICKED GRASSHOPPERS.



SI 'T was a wicked Grasshopper,
"And he was one of three;
He sawed his hairy legs together,
.And laughed aloud in glee,
As he said, "How are the crops, my
[brothers ?
It is time to go and see.

"I will take the sweet-potato-patch,
And estimate the yield;
One of you can take the melon-patch,
And the other one the field.
Come, buckle on your armour, brothers;"
So each one donned his shield.



53














"If we find the crops are ready, brothers,
We will 'sound our clarion-call;
The army waits to hear from us-
I trow it is not small.
'Tis the farmer must economize,
If there's not enough for all!"

But we cannot always calculate.
The leader's speech was fine;
So also was the Turkey-Gobbler,
Who, going out to dine,
Said, "This is a goodly grasshopper,"
And yanked him off the vine.

The one who took the melon-patch,
Before he'd time to scorn it-
Because the crop was light that year-
Met with a deadly Hornet.
His circle was a large one, but
He will never more adorn it!





54














And the one who took the wheat-field,
Ere ever he could toot
His clarion-call, was stricken
Flat at a wheat-stalk's root.
He never knew what struck him, but
It was the farmer's boot.


This history gives the reason
Why, for one blessed year,
And tn one bles-ed farmer, ,

\Li AL''l, cd iltha' Icth ,
1TI,: .-Arml ,._i the ( r.t-.h ,lu. |.'| ,\' '










S. .. ,5.




55












"! .:... "".




" H spe t a tt, wit a ll,








A NARROW ESCAPE.



"And don't you stir until I coe back."



"I 6



56












"That's all very well," the setter grumbled,
As soon as his master's back was turned,
"All day through the stubble I have stumbled,
And the best of dinners I've fairly earned.

"Because you are asked to lunch with the 'Squire
You seem to think I will find it fun,
"While you sit snug by a cozy fire,
To lie on the cold ground and watch your gun.

The setter was hungry, his bones were aching,
For indeed the ground was both damp and cold,
"My legs," he muttered, "feel just like breaking,
My master forgets that I'm growing old."

For awhile with a wistful face he listened
For his master's whistle, and cheery call,
Then, although on the grass the white frost glistened,
He fell asleep and forgot it all.

Two near-sighted rabbits who'd been out walking,
Mistook the poor fellow for a log,
And came on boldly, merrily talking,
Till, "Oh my senses!" said one, "it's a dog!'





57













Twas lucky for them that the weary setter
So soundly slept-they'd--a chance to run,
But the bravest said, "It will be much better,
When we've such a fine chance, to steal the gun-

Take it I mean-it will not be stealing;
It is but an act of retaliation.
Then these hunters shall know how we've been feeling-
We'll begin a War of Extermination!

Softly the gun was between them lifted;
The dog slept on and they stole away:
They reached their hole and their burden shifted
To two young -rabbits they found at play.















58














Then they called a meeting; with exultation
They told of their feat amid loud applause.
"Hurrah for the War of Extermination!"
Shouted the rabbits, "I urrah for the Cause!"
















But a very old rabbit who hadn't shouted,
And who didn't appear to see the fun,
Said, "Our courage, of course, is quite undoubted,
But-can any one present fire a gun'"





59














This unpleasant but pertinent suggestion
Made them look at each other in blank dismay;
Not a voice was heard to answer the question;
The meeting began to steal away.

The old rabbit chuckled, "Aha! I thought so!
The meeting's come down, yes, several pegs.
But cheer up! our safety-we've long been taught so,
Is in our long ears and nimble legs."

The valiant rabbits who with such rapture
Had brought in triumph their stolen prize,
Now looked with alarm at their recent capture;
"It might go off," said one, "where it lies."

"I'll tell you what it is," said the other,
"We can't have it here in our daily track;
The very best thing we can do, my brother,
Is to pick it up-gently-and carry it back."






60














Now this was real courage, for, though in terror
Of what might come from their fearful load,
They bravely strove to repair their error,
And off with their burden sturdily strode.

The dog might wake--he'd be sure to do it
Should either happen to sneeze or cough;
The hunter was coming back-they knew it!
They might drop the gun, and so fire it off!

But none of the things they were so much dreading
-Not even the cough or the sneeze--occurred.
They reached the spot and, breathlessly treading,
Put the gun by the dog, who had not stirred.

When the hunter came back from lunch, the setter
Had just waked up-he was quite alone!
And the poor old fellow felt very much better
When he found his master had brought him a bone.






61















"Did you think you were going to have no dinner?"
Said the hunter, then-"Why! What under the sun?
You've been asleep, you hardened old sinner,
Here are rabbit-tracks all about my gun!"




























62











I ...















THE BRIDGE OF AVIGNON.



"-gl lJumping about in a merry ring,
< Each little lad and each little lass
Joins hand to hand and together they sing.
SThey part-they meet--and the song goes on,
S Sung with laughter by lads and lasses;
"Over the Bridge of Avignon
Everybody passes.


63














Grandmother, hearing the laughter sweet,
Smiles and sighs for the paths unknown,
Which are waiting to lead the little feet
Over their bridges of Avignon;
Till sooner or later the bridge be won
That guides tired feet to cool churchyard grasses.
"Over the bridge of Avignon
Everybody .passes."

She has fallen asleep in the evening light,
But the happy voices of boy and girl
Blend with her dreams, and the cloudlets bright
Are changed to a shining bridge of pearl.
It spans the earth and the heavens, and on
Through her dream goes the song of her lads
[and lasses:
"Over the bridge of Avignon
Everybody passes."








64









-ji

TH E TRAGEDY
OF THE UNEXPECTED.
__ | '. .

HIE Rag Doll hung
"[from the mantel]IIL '
SAnd the little kittens
[wcre just such geesc-
Though she was one, and .
[they were five- "
That they thought the
[Rag Doll was alive.
I '
The Rag Doll could -
[not help her eyes,
She did not mean to *
[express surprise,
But the kittens thought
[she was saving "Scat!"
And they screamed,
["Don't you look at us
like that!"


65












The Rag Doll thrashed her stiff arms about,
And she boxed the kittens' ears, no doubt,
But they were five times too stupid to learn
That it was the heat that made her turn.

She was really the meekest of the meek,
She could not cry, she could much less speak;
But the wicked kittens stood in a ring
And screamed, "Oh you impudent, brazen thing!l








Then one of them squeaked, "She pulled my tail!'
And they fell upon her, tooth and nail-
Five to one! It was very low,
But the poor Rag Doll could not tell them so!

And it would not have mattered what she said,
For the strongest kitten pulled off her head,
Which killed her, of course, and oh, just then,
The kittens' mamma came back again!



66
















.4)









When she saw it all, with sad surprise,
She held up her paws and shut her eyes,
And she said, in a voice of deepest gloom,
"There are but four corners to this room.

"The kitten who pulled off the Rag Doll's head,
Will go at once, for all day, to bed;
Each into a corner, the rest of you,
And don't come out till I tell you to!"

The kittens, who dared not disobey,
Went one to each corner, straight away,
And the worst, as she had been told, to bed:
But that didn't put on the Rag Doll's head.



67




















S'.
: 1 .. ', ; .



















DRAWING AN INFERENCE.

S.|ERT had met with a slight mishap,
For doing a very naughty thing,




68













He had painted a picture on Grandma's cap,
While she was quietly slumbering.
There are few common things-though he is so
[small-
That Bert has not put to uncommon use;
This original sketch on its novel wall,
Was done with a finger, in cranberry juice.

Grandma had waked at the final touch,
And smiled in her own sweet way to see
The little fellow she loved so much,
Standing quietly by her knee.
Then, after stroking the curly head,
She went, as usual, after her nap,
To "fix" herself, and then she said,
"Goodness gracious! What ails my cap?"

We will draw a veil over what ensued;
How can I tell you? I was not there!
But Master Bert, in a penitent mood,
Sat for some time on a tall hard chair.




69













Grandma forgave him-of course she did!
And Mamma did not proceed to extremes,
Because the culprit never hid
From the worst results of his deepest schemes.

About a month or so after this,
When everyone-with exception small-
Had forgotten this little slip of his,
He went with Mamma to make a call.
An elderly gentleman, whom they met,,
Had given himself a very red nose;
And Bert, who alone did not forget
His sketch on the cap, as you might suppose,

Looked at the nose, and looked again,
\ith many thoughts in his active mind;
His punishment had not been in vain,
Besides his dear little heart was kind,
So he said, with his most engaging grin-
He felt so sure he was being of use!-
"Do you know some naughty boy has been
And painted your nose with cranberry juice!"




70












1-'

iLA







THE GREAT GREEN FROG.


spite of his mother's well-known wish,
The little boy went by himself to fish.

... He tumbled off a slippery log,
And fell to the home of the Great Green Frog.
I..'

The little frogs brought their grandfather's chair,
And tied to it's back the little boy's hair,

And all day long, in spite of his yells,
They pelted him well with oyster-shells.



71






















The shells stuck fast from heels to neck,

Till he looked like a barnacle-covered wreck.


They gave him nothing at all to eat

But snappers' heads and lobsters' feet.


He'll be rescued, however, soon or late,

For his mother at last has guessed his fate.


She is weaving a long rope for his sake,

She will tie the rope to the oyster rake,


And the other end to a stout old oak,

And then, though the Great Green Frog may croak,





72




-. ..^ .. .- .. _. .. .__ ^ -- -. _















She will fish up her naughty little son,

And scrape off the barnacles, one by one.

And scrub him well, and make him neat,

And give him a royal supper to eat.

Perhaps he will mind her, after that.

If the barnacles should be nice and fat,

No doubt she will give them to the Cat.







7.




3. -,...,,. ,.....
c.2. -? .., t,"


~ A:73






























THE LITTLE AUNT.

"- H E baby-face wore a look of pride,
SAnd a thoughtful wrinkle marked the brow


74














As she drew me gently by her side-
"This is my little Aunt who died
When she was no bigger than I am now."

Her dimpled fingers opened the case,
Worn with the touch of tender hands,
And there was a laughing, childish face,
That had left forever an empty place,
When its owner entered the unknown lands.

"See," said the little niece to me,
"How pleased she looks-she is always so;
I am sure that wherever she may be
She sees the things she would like to see,
And knows whatever she wishes to know.

'I often wish that I had her here-
Don't you think her face is full of fun?
But mamma says-isn't it very queer?-
That if she were, she would not be near
My age, but as old as-anyone!"





75













Softly the case was shut again
On the little Aunt who would never grow old,
And I thought, with a sort of jealous pain,
"Ah well, she might have lived to be 'plain',
And to suffer, and feel that the world is cold."


The sunshine, lighting the happy eyes
Might have gone in a moment, behind a cloud;
As one grows old, one must needs grow wise,
And pity, if one would not despise,
And learn the loneliness of a crowd.


But this little Aunt, who, for all these years,
Has held her own with a smiling grace,
Smiles on- she knows nothing of griefs or fears
She can well afford to smile at the tears
Which gather in eyes that scan her face.








76
















.-.S I








A SLIGHT MISUNDERSTANDING.

j N, the beautiful bank of the Nile,
Far from Frenchmen, from boys and from dogs,
(,: Where the sky never lost its sweet smile,
Dwelt a happy commune of green frogs.

Long they'd lived there in comfort and joy,
Unmarred by a terror or pain;
But alas, all this peace to destroy,
There came to the marsh a huge Crane.




77













He went peering and poking about;
lie was far worse than Frenchmen or dogs;
Not a frog dared a head to put out,
For 'twas whispered he lived upon frogs!

But, after a week of despair,
A Sage said, "There still is a way-
For frogs he will surely not care,
If we take him a fish every day."

So, trembling and quaking with fear,
The family counted most brave
Took a fish, and the Crane they drew near,
Determined their country to save
















78













The Crane stood knee-deep in the Nile;
IHe never once opened his eyes,
As the spokesman, with tremulous smiles,
Began, "Oh most learned and wise,

"We pray you accept this fair fish-
You see we've removed it's back-bone-
We'll bring one ev'ry day, if you wish,
And will promise to let us alone!"

The Crane took the fish like a pill-
He enjoyed it, without any doubt-
Then he answered, "I will if you will,"
And he added, they thought, "now get out!"

The tribute went on for some years;
The Crane grew quite pleasant and kind,
But, if you'll believe it, my dears,
He was, and had always been, blind!

He could not have captured one frog,
No matter how hard he had tried,
You may guess at the rage in that bog
When his death spread this fact far and wide.





79



















f il

L. , I-





























8o













FO UR-O'C LOCK S.


I --3),ALK I NG up to the gray old house,
S Between the borders of formal box,
A sudden sweetness is in the air-
An odor of blooming four-o'clocks.

And, in a moment, this tame old heart
A Gives a sudden bound and again is wild,
And the weary woman is carried back
To the day when she trod this path, a child.

The memory grows, till the present time
Is blotted out and vanished away,
And she seems to herself once more the child
In a world of her own, that was made for play.

From the orchard-path, where the boys come home,
Ring the tramp of feet and a jolly shout,
And the little child gives an answer shrill,
For school, and the four-o'clocks, are out!



8i















She stops a moment beside the bed,
With its crimson and buff, a goodly show,
And says again, for the hundredth time,
"I wonder, I wonder how they know!"

The house-door opens, and who is this?
My double? She murmered, "I wish I knew!"
And then, with a spring, she is at my side-
"Do you love four-o'clocks, aunty, too?"

This is no double, for I must stop
"To lay a hand on the curly locks,
And I wake from my dream of that by-gone day
As she gently touches the four-o'clocks,

With a puzzled look on her bonny face-
"The clock just struck, it is really so!
They are opening, every one of them-
I wonder, I wonder how they know!"






82






i










"IT WILL DO."

I I
ii

i___...._ __... ...

















r

*. .. %. !





%". Y -







\ page" 8-.
































See page 89.
















"IT WILL DO."



r":- doesn't look very well, but it will do, for the
S present, anyhow," murmured Polly Mallory to
herself, as she hastily straightened books and
papers on the table, and crammed her sewing
Into a drawer. The clock had just given the
peculiar little stutter which it always gave five
minutes before striking; three minutes' hard
running would take her to the school-house door, as
she had often proved; this time she ran with an open
grammar in one hand and a book-strap in the other.
The grammar-lesson for that day was a review, and
a hard one, and Polly had meant to devote the whole
of the previous evening to studying it, but an enter-
taining neighbor had come. in, Polly had listened a
good deal more than she had studied, and, when nine
o'clock came, she had closed her book saying,
"Oh! well, it will do for to-night; I can go over it
before school in the morning."





85














It was a wonder that Polly could still delude herself
into thinking that she could go over anything but the
path to the school-house before school in the morning.
No matter how early she was called, there was always
a scramble, and, although she was rarely too late to
answer to her name, her "Present" was usually said
with a gasp, from her breathless race to be in time.
She was a great favorite both among her schoolmates
and her brothers and sisters, for her early good
nature had made her slow to take offence, and quick
to fall in with the plans and proposals of the others,
and she never minded the laughter which some of her
make-shift ways so often raised. She had been known to
come to school dressed in an overskirt of her mother's,
and a waist of her older sister's, explaining easily,
when the laugh her appearance raised had subsided,
"Well, girls, my school-frock was torn limb from
limb, and mother said that this time I must mend it
myself, to teach me to be more careful, and somehow
I didn't have time last night, so I thought these things
would do for to-day-mother's overskirt was just the
length of my frock, and it's an old one she meant to
give away, you know!"





86














It must not be supposed that Mrs. Mallory had
suggested this costume; Polly had been, as she frequently
was, late for breakfast, and although she had not
dreamed of concealing her device, her mother had not
happened to see it.
This was only one instance out of many. Polly
'said things "would do" as freely for other people as
she did for herself, and there was hardly a day when
somebody was not annoyed or put to inconvenience
by some ingenious substitution of the wrong thing for
the right one.
"She's (lone everything that could possibly be
thought of in her own special line," said her brother
Dick one day, "except taking the colander to fill the
tea-kettle, and I'm expecting her to do that, daily."
Polly had one sister and one brother older than
herself, and one brother younger; the two sisters had
each her little share of household work, for Mrs.
Mallory could dnly afford to keep one servant, so Susy
and Polly took "week about" dusting the parlor and
general sitting-room and trimming the lamps. Polly
always rejoiced when it was her week to dust; a
" slick and a promise" could be indulged in so much





87












I

more easily with the dusting than it could with the
lamps! The little girls were not required to make
their beds, for Mrs. Mallory believed in more airing
than the short time before school would allow.
Polly had saved up from her pocket-money until
she had ten cents to invest in a feather-duster, but
she was only allowed to use it upon condition of
making a careful and thorough use of the dusting-cloth
on the last day of her charge, and it had occurred
to her, once or twice, that she lost a good deal of her
Saturday holiday every other week, making up for the
delightful haste of the other days. Still, she could not
bring herself to give up the dashing feather-duster, which
certainly flew around a room twice as fast as the
dusting-cloth possibly could, and she wasted a good deal
of pity on the methodical Susy, who, declining all offers
of Polly's gay assistant, carefully wiped up the dust and
shook it from the window.
I "I shall sneeze my head off one of these days, I
know I shall! said Dick, gloomily, one evening, when a
slight disturbance among a pile of papers on the table
had raised a cloud of dust, "and when I do, mother, I
trust to you to have it mounted on a pole, and planted

i I




8$














in front of Polly's window-it may possibly reform her,
and lead to the abolishment of feather-dusters, and if it
should, I shall not have sneezed it off in vain!"
So it was not one exceptional hurry which sent
Polly flying to school that morning, with her grammar,
open at the half-studied lesson, in her hand. But it is
difficult to run and study at the same time. She felt
sure of the path, which was usually in good order, and
so did not look down at all; but some small boys had
been playing Duck-on-Davy," and had not thought it
worth while to remove the large stone from the sidewalk.
One of Polly's flying feet struck violently against the
heavy stone; she fell forward, with her head against a
low stone wall which bounded the path just here, and,
almost before she felt the thrill of agony which went
through her foot, she knew nothing more. She could
not tell, when she opened her eyes, whether she had
been unconscious for hours, or days, or weeks. Every-
thing looked strange. The room seemed to be intoler-
ably large, and light, and noisy. She tried to say
Mother," and, as if in response to the attempt, a tall
old woman, in a red cloak and pointed hat, approached
the bed, and bent over her, saying,





89














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"You called me, didn't you, dear?"
"No, thank you," said Polly, faintly, "I called
mother-oh! I don't want to stay here-I want to go to
my own little room, at home! "
Never mind," said the old woman, soothingly, "I
know I'm not your mother, dear, but I'll do just as
well, if you'll only think so. Did you want anything? "
"I want a drink," moaned Polly, too faint even
to contend for her mother, and the old woman,
smiling pleasantly, picked up from the table something
which Polly at first thought was a small tin cup, but
immediately afterward she saw that it was a strainer.
Into this the old woman began to pour water from a
tea-kettle which suddenly appeared upon a stove close
by the bed, remarking casually as she did so, "I can't
think what I've done with the tumbler that was here-
and there was a pitcher of ice-water, too, but we'll make
the strainer and the tea-kettle do for the present-the
water isn't very warm, and I can manage to get a little
to you in this, if I carry it quickly "
Again and again the strainer was held to poor
Polly's parched lips; sometimes a few drops of tepid
water would remain on the sides, but more often not
even a drop would be left.




"91














"Oh, do stop !" she moaned at last, "it's worse
than nothing."
"Have you had enough?" asked the old woman,
setting down the strainer, "Then I'll fill the kettle
again." And she .calmly picked up an empty coal-
scuttle, filled it with water from a spigot which suddenly
appeared in the wall, and emptied it into the tea-kettle.
Polly was speechless from disgust and weakness, and
the old woman remarked, as she set the coal-scuttle
down,
"I can't think where I've put the water-bucket,
but the coal-scuttle does nearly as well-it doesn't leak
at all, and I really think it holds more than the
bucket "
Polly made no reply, and her new friend continued:
"Poor child! I suppose you can't answer, because
you don't know what to call me. I can't think, just
at this minute, what my real name is, I've been called
so many things, but you might say 'Nurse' when you
speak to me; I'll answer to that, and, as I seem to
be the only person to take care of you, I suppose I
am your nurse, and so I ought to give you some
beef tea."






92














She turned away, as if in search of it, and Polly
was very glad, in a feeble sort of way, for she felt
dreadfully empty and weak. "Nurse" came back,
presently, with something in her hand which, as she
neared the bed, Polly discovered to be a soap-dish!
"I couldn't find a bowl without taking a great
deal of trouble," said "Nurse," cheerfully, "but I
happened on this, and it really does very well-I washed
it out, although it was pretty clean already, but sick
people have notions about things! You see there's
only the difference of a letter-a soap-bowl instead of
a soup-bowl. Will you sit up, dear, or shall I feed
you? "
"Feed me, please," said Polly, faintly; she felt
that she must have the soup, even if it should taste
of soap. "Nurse" dipped a salt-spoon into the
steaming bowl, saying, as she raised it to Polly's lips,
"I couldn't think where I'd put the teaspoons,
but I remembered noticing that your mouth was small,
so I thought this would do!"
Polly thought so, too, as soon as the salt-spoonful
had passed her lips.
"Why, it's catnip-tea!" she faltered, and began
crying from weakness and disappointment.




93














"Catnip-soup, dear," corrected "Nurse;" "there,
there, don't cry, it'll be cooler presently. You see, I
was just going out for some beef, when, by good luck,
I spied a great bunch of catnip hanging on the wall,
and I thought it would do instead, and save me a
trip to the butcher's. Have some more? Do! It's
cool enough for you to drink it right out of the
bowl now," and before Polly could remonstrate, "Nurse"
held the bowl to her lips, tipped it, and the odious
catnip-tea went down Odious as it was, it warmed
and soothed the little girl, and she was almost asleep,
when a dreadful smell of something burning recalled
her to consciousness.
"Oh! what horrid thing is burning?" she asked,
vainly turning her head away.
Only a pillow," replied "Nurse," in the most
matter-of-fact way imaginable, "the fire was nearly out,
and its so far to the wood-pile that I thought I could
make this do for awhile-it will keep the fire in, you
know, and by-and-by I will bring in enough wood to
last all night. "WVill you have some more soup, or
anything? "
"Is there any milk ?" asked Polly. The "catnip-
soup had done nothing to satisfy her hunger.




94














"I dare say there is, now!" said "Nurse" cor-
dially, "I'll see;" and she left the bedside.
It seemed to Polly that she was gone a good
while, but she came back, finally, carrying a large
bottle in her hand.
"Was I long?" she asked, as she put the bottle to
Polly's lips; "I hurried all I could, but I was hunting
for something you could drink out of, since you objected
so to the strainer, and I thought this would do-I couldn't
find a cup. Why, have you had enough already?" she
asked, with much surprise, when Polly, after taking
one swallow, feebly pushed the bottle aside.
"It's sour!" said Polly, trying hard not to cry
again, but not quite succeeding.
"Well, I'm sure," said "Nurse," seeming very much
concerned, "they told me it was turned, but I tasted
it, and it seemed to me so little that I thought it would
do. I'm sorry you mind it, but I'm not angry with
you, dear-I've always heard that when people are ill
they are captious and hard to please, so it's not your
fault, my dear!"
And Nurse" smiled at her so benevolently, that
she could hardly help smiling in return, or at least





95














she could not have helped it, had she been well;
as it was, disappointment and exhaustion conquered the
smile, and, although she despised herself for being so
foolish, she was unable to help crying again."
"There, there, dear, don't cry !" said Nurse,"
soothingly, or if you'd feel better for crying, just wait
a minute till I get you a handkerchief!" and she began
fumbling in a very deep pocket, whence, after a few
minutes search she drew out something white, and
handed it to Polly, who pressed it to her tear-blinded
eyes, but instantly pulled it away with a little scream,
for it burnt like fire: it was a mustard-plaster!
"I wish you would go quite away'!" screamed
Polly, "the other things were bad enough, but this is
the worst of all. A mustard plaster will not do for a
handkerchief! "
The old woman suddenly vanished; a soft cloth,
wet with cool water, was laid on Polly's burning eyes,
and a voice as soft as the cloth-her dear mother's
voice at last-said gently,
"Of course it will not, my darling; it was all a
mistake. There, do your poor eyes feel better?"
Dear mother !" said Polly, taking off the cool cloth
for a minute, that she might reassure herself by looking




96














into the beloved face, "Oh! I'm so glad that dreadful
old woman is gone, and that you are here at last, and
I'm back in my own room, too. Where was that
horrible, light, noisy place, and who was the old woman?
She didn't mean to be dreadful, perhaps, but she was!"
and Polly shuddered at the recollection of the various
hateful things which "Nurse" had managed to do in
her short term of office.
"I will tell you all about it when you are better,
darling," said Mrs. Mallory, as she settled Polly more
comfortably in bed, and turned her pillow; "I came
"the moment I heard of your fall, but they never sent
for me till this afternoon. Now drink this, and then
try to go to sleep!"
"This" was some delicious beef-tea, in a pretty
china cup, and Polly, with a sigh of contentment, drank
it all, dropped her head on the cool pillow, and was
asleep in two minutes. When she waked again, her
head felt quite clear ; she remembered all about her
fall, and tried to move the foot which had struck the
stone, but a sharp pain warned her to keep still. The
room was darkened, but a little sunbeam was creeping
in through a crack between the curtain and the window;





97























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