S- ... .
"The Baldwin Librn
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DODD, MEAD & COMPANY
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
"AuNT Lou," said Gertie, "do tell me a
You had better ask your Aunt Kate," said
Aunt Lou, she is a much better story teller
And your Aunt Carrie is much better than
either of us," said Aunt Kate.
I'll tell you what it is," said Gertie de-
cidedly. Each one of you shall tell me a
story. Aunt Lou shall be the first. Shut up
your book, Auntie, and begin."
It was a very dreary day. Though it was
8 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
June, an open fire was very pleasant to sit by,
for out of doors the rain was coming down in
torrents. This was the third day of the
storm, and. Gertie, who had been used to play-
ing out of doors nearly all the time, was quite
restless and unhappy. If it had not been that
her bosom friend, Grace Leigh, had been taken
ill, she would have had her come spend the
day or would have gone to her house to visit
her. But Grace had caught a bad cold and
was in bed, and so Gertie had been alone for
three days. She had wandered up and down
stairs, had looked through all her books, and
had been in the garret and rummaged over
some trunks full of old 'things. For a .time,
she had found it good fun to dress up in the
quaint frocks that she found in some of them,
and she had -presented herself before her
aunts, much to their astonishment; in the dress
of her great grandmother, with the very same
10 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. I
bonnet and spectacles and other apparel which
the old lady had been wont to wear.
But this grew tiresome after awhile, and a
rat had scampered across the floor quite near
her, and that had frightened her so that she
had dropped every thing in great haste and
hurried down stairs. She went through the
kitchen and stood at the open door looking
out into the yard. There were a few hens,
who, despairing of ever seeing sunshine again,
had ventured out in a much drabbled condi-
tion in hopes of finding a stray worm; but
they had speedily given up the hope in de-
spair and hastened under shelter once more.
Bridget in the kitchen was busily at work.
As Gertie stood at the door she heard her
reading over to herself: One cup of flour, one
tablespoonful of molasses," and so on, from a
receipt book, and when she turned about she
found her busily at work. "Oh! Bridget,"
12 GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y.
she exclaimed, I smell fresh cookies. Do
give me one.
No," said Bridget, your mamma said that
I must not give you any 'thing between
The fates seemed to be against Gertie, and
so she had left the kitchen in disgust, and had
gone to the library where her three aunts were
sitting, and had made her demand for a story.
"Why, Gertie," said her Aunt Lou, when
the peremptory request had been, made, "how
melancholy you look. Come, you shall get up
in my lap, big girl as you are, and I'll tell you
Gertie climbed up with great satisfaction.
"Go on. Auntie," she said. "Once upon a
That is not the way my story begins," said
her aunt. Did you notice in one of the
trunks in the attic, a green dress ?"
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 13
"Yes," said Gertie, and I wondered why it
was kept, for it had a big piece burned out of
the front breadth."
"My story is about that front breadth, and
how it came to be burned," said her aunt.
Was it your own dress ?" asked Gertie.
Yes," said her aunt.
And was it burned when you had it on?"
Yes, but you must not'ask so many ques-
tions, or I shall have no chance to tell my
Very well then," said Gertie, "only I hope
you did not get burned to death."
I should hardly be here now if I had,"
laughed Aunt Lou.
No, that dress was bought for me when I
was sent to school. It was long before you
were born. Your grandpapa and grandmam-
ma decided to go abroad for the summer, and
your mamma and Aunt Kate were to go with
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GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 15
them. Your Aunt Carrie was then very small,
and she and I were to be left at home. She
was to go to stay with her grandmamma and
I was sent to school."
I think you were treated very unkindly,"
said Gertie, you poor little thing Why did
they not take you with them !"
It was my own wish to be left behind," said
Aunt Lou. "I was only too glad to go to
school, for there were but three other girls be-
side myself and one of them was my dearest
friend Alice Lane. It was hot a grim build-
ing to which we were going, but a little old
cottage in the country all covered with vines
and surrounded with shrubs and rose bushes.
My papa arrd mamma took me there, and
though they could only stay a half hour be-
cause they had to take the train back to town,
and I knew that I should not see them for a
whole six months, yet I was so pleased to be
16 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
with Alice that I cried hardly at all, and al-
most before their cab was out of sight I was
chasing Alice up and down the paths."
What was your teacher like," asked Gertie.
We had two teachers," answered Aunt
Lou. One was a lady of almost forty-five
years, Mrs. Hall by name, and the other was
her daughter whom we called Miss Rose."
And were they nice to you ?"
"They were indeed, and we loved them
dearly. We did not have to study all the
time. From nine until twelve in the morning
we worked away at our books, and in the af-
ternoon each one of us had to practice on the'
piano for an hour."
"Let me see," interrupted Gertie, hat
would make four hours, as there were four of
you, that the piano was going. I should
think it would have been happy when night
I8 GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y.
If it were not, Mrs. Hall was, I have no
doubt. She used to sit in the room with her
knitting, and say, 'time, time, my dear, keep
Did you always know your lessons ?"
I am sorry to say that I was very slow
and stupid. It used to be a great wonder to
me how Alice could master hers so quickly.
Many and many are the good cries I have had
over my tasks, but Miss Rose was very patient
with me, and after-I had tried again I gener-
ally came out victorious in the end. The
work I dreaded most was the piano practicing,
for while one was at work she could hear the
voices of the other girls at play, and the hour
-went by very slowly indeed under such cir-
"Back of the house was an apple orchard.
The trees were very old, and the branches
hung down almost to the ground. We often
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 19
climbed up in them, and each girl had her
own particular tree which was her castle. But
one day May Jones, in getting down from her
castle, slipped and her hair caught over a limb
and she swung suspended in mid air. I ran
shrieking to the house for help, but Alice, who
was much quicker than I, caught up an old
wooden bench, and, by the time that I was
back with Mrs. Hall and Miss Rose panting
at my heels, she had put it under her and May
was standing on it though still fast by her
hair to the bough. I remember that the
kitchen steps had to be brought out before
she could be set free. After that we were for-
bidden to climb the trees any more."
"It must have hurt her ever so much," said
Yes, it did, but she was so glad to get free
that she quite forgot the pain and the fright
she had had. Besides, May was quite a tom-
20 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
boy. She could run along the top of a
fence like a squirrel, and had had a good
many knocks and bruises, so that a little
adventure like that seemed a small matter to
In the next field to the house was a brook,
and such fun as we had with it. It was a lazy
brook, stopping short in its course to the river
to idle in broad pools where pond lilies grew,
and where turtles used to come out of the
quiet water to sun themselves on any log that
might be near. We played in it, and about it,
by the hour. When the warm summer wea-
ther came we waded about, thinking the water
deliciously cool after the hot fields over which
we had walked. One afternoon we decided
that we would make a pond. May Jones,
who was the most adventurous, called our at-
tention to the fact, that if we could build a dam
at a spot where the brook was very narrow,
GER TIE'S RAIN Y DA Y. '1 I
the water would flood quite a large space
above and make quite a little pond.
When May had an idea she lost no time in
carrying it out. 'Come on, Alice,' she called,
let's get the shovel and spade from the gar-
* _... > _~
22 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
den and set to work Lou, you and Flo get
together all the stones you can while we are
They ran off with all haste and presently
came back dragging the tools on the ground
behind them. May dug away vigorously but
was speedily called to come in and practice.
'Work on, girls, while I'm gone,' she said.
We did work ;-our dresses and aprons were
spotted with mud and water. We took turns
at digging, and while one dug the others
brought stones and threw in. The dam grew
apace, and the lazy brook, only too glad of an
excuse to stop and rest, made no objections
but speedily began to develop into a pond.
By the time May came back the pond was
twenty feet wide. It looked quite dangerous
but was nowhere more than a foot in depth.
We worked on still at the dam, and by the
time that Alice was back from her practicing,
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 23
it was at least forty feet wide. Flo and I had
finished our hour at the piano before, and it
was now nearly six o'clock.
"'Girls,' said May, tossing back her hair
and wiping her heated brow. 'This is what
I call a triumph-Isn't it just splendid We'll
keep a lake here always and by and by the fish
will grow in it and then we'll have a boat and
go fishing.' She was standing on the newly
made dam and just as she finished what she
was saying she lost her balance and went
headlong face downward into the water. Flo
caught her by the skirts and pulled her back,
and she got up spluttering, and as wet as she
could be. In her struggles she broke down
the dam and the water came rushing on with
great force, and by the time she had wiped
her face and stood on dry land the pond had
"There was nothing for us to do but hurry
'abl ?-cisax,l;lcwsgi-p\rZeP) C:ru1.1r
GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y. 25
to the house before May should catch cold from
her wet clothes, and hurry we did. Miss Rose
met us at the door and I shall never forget
her look of astonishment as we appeared be-
fore her.. May was of course the wettest, but
the others of us were covered with mud."
Did she scold you ? asked Gertie.
No, she was very kind to us. I remem-
ber that when we had all changed our clothes
we had our tea on the lawn, and very good it
"That is the kind of school I should like
to go to," said Gertie. How long did you
stay there ? "
All summer long and well into the au-
tumn," said Aunt Lou. Until your grandpapa
and grandmamma came home from England."
But you have not told me about the burn-
Oh to be sure. That hole was burned in
26 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
September. We girls were wild for some new
kind of play. We had tried every game that
we knew of. We had had a post office'--"'
What is a post office ?" interrupted
You get a cigar box," said Aunt Lou, tie
the lid down firmly. Then you cut a long
slit in the lid, and dig a hole just the size of
the box in which you sink it. This is to keep
it from being seen by any one passing. One
girl was appointed post mistress and at certain
hours each day the box was opened when, as
we played, the mail came in. Our supply of
paper was not sufficient to last us long, and we
wrote letters with a pin on the back of lilac
"Go on," said Gertie, "that doesn't seem
much of a game to me."
Nevertheless, we had a good deal of fun
with it," said her aunt.
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28 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
"Well, as I have said, we were tired of all
our old plays, post office and all, and May was
especially tired of them, and into her head
came the idea that we would camp out. We
were to build a fire and roast some potatoes.
Miss Rose had been unwell for a day or two
and was in bed, and Mrs. Hall had her hands
full in hearing our lessons and nursing Miss
Rose, or our plan would have been discovered
and forbidden. As it was, just as soon on that
September morning as I had recited to Mrs.
Hall the piece I had learned, I hurried to join
Did you learn pieces of poetry?" asked
"Once a week each one of us learned a
short poem," said her aunt. I remember the
one I recited that morning perfectly. It was
by Charles Kingsley.
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 29
"' My fairest child, I have no song to give you :
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and gray ;
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you
For every day.
Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever :
Do noble things, not dream them all day long;
And so make life, death, and that vast forever,
One grand sweet song.' "
That's very pretty," said Gertie, I mean
to learn it; but go on, Auntie dear. When
you had recited you went down to find the
other girls ? "
I found them in the out house just help-
ing themselves to a quantity of potatoes.
Alice carried these in her apron, while May
went into the kitchen to get some matches.
Then we went off into the meadow by the
brook, where there were a quantity of rocks
and stones, for May said we must go so far
irn h--p-cqWqg j*CM*;SB
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 31
away from the house that there should be no
danger of setting it on fire. We were in plain-
sight, though, from the window.
May had read in a book how to roast the
potatoes. First she dug a hole in the ground,
not very deep, into which she put them.
Then she covered them all over with dirt.
Meantime Alice and Flo had been busy col-
lecting drier, leaves and sticks, and over the
buried potatoes we kindled our fire. When
we had once got it started, it burned beauti-
fully, and we all were kept busy in hunting for
wood to keep it going. And just at this
moment happened an awful accident. May
and I were standing beside the fire, when a
log in it snapped and a spark flew right into
my apron. In a minute it began to blaze. I
was dreadfully frightened but 1 managed to
beat it out with my hands. But May had no
such good fortune. Several sparks fell on her,
32 GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y.
and she ran shriekiC for help to the house.
The wind fanned t'le flames and she seemed
all on fire.
It so chanced that Miss Rose, who was ill
in bed, had happened to lookout of her windov,
just at the moment the sparks fell on us. Sh(
caught up a blanket and rushing down stairs
with it met May and wrapped her in it front
head to foot, and smothered the flames. Bu
she was dreadfully burned in putting out the
flames, and as for May she screamed with pain
"Mrs. Hall came hurrying out and carries
May in, as well as she could, and put her intc
bed, while Miss Rose went back to her owr
bed, for now that it was over, she was so weal
that she could not stand. Alice and I rar
, with all speed to our next neighbor, who go
up his horse and wagon and started off to brinf
the doctor, while his wife went back with u
to see if she could help.
34 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
"We were three frightened little girls that
night, for the doctor had come, and had said
that it was doubtful whether May could live,
so badly had she been burned. We could
hear her moans and cries all through the night,
whenever we chanced to wake."
And how about Miss Rose ?" asked Ger-
She was very ill, but as she did not make
any noise we thought that she could not be
much injured. It was more than a month be-
fore she was able to go out, and even then she
could go only a few steps. I remember walk-
ing with her, and we had not gone a hundred
yards before she was glad enough to sit down
on a log to rest. I ran about and gathered a
handful of the purple asters and little yellow
daisies that dotted the meadow, and brought
them to her while she rested. And then she
went back to the house again.
36 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
But when once she began to mend, she soon
got well and strong again. May, however,
was a long, long time in bed, and in ery great
pain. It was a couple of weeks before we were
let in to see her, and then we could only go
one at a time and stay for a few minutes. Very
pale she looked and there were bandages all
over her body and arms. We had no practic-
ing at all in those days, only our lessons in the
And was May ill very long ? asked Ger-
It was six weeks," answered her aunt, be-
fore she left her bed. She had had what the
doctors call a shock, besides the burns."
It must have been pretty hard for her,"
"It was indeed," said Aunt Lou. But
when she grew better and could sit up in bed
we did all we could to amuse her. There was
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38 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.-
a very poor woman with a little baby whom
we heard of, as living near by, and we deter-
mined to make some little things and have a
fair to help her. May worked away at these
with great success, and made nearly as many
things as all the rest of us put together. Then
one day we had our fair. All our neighbors
came to it. We had lemonade and cake, and
we sold all the things we had made, and one
old gentleman gave us five dollars. And so
when they had all gone and we had counted
up what we had made, it was over fifteen dol-
"Was the poor woman glad to get the
money?" asked Gertie.
We did not give it to her," answered
Aunt Lou, "for we thought, and so did Miss
Rose, that we could lay it out to much better
advantage than she. We bought warm stuff
for the baby, and Mrs. Hall cut it out and we
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 39
all sewed, and with her help we made tip
enough things to keep the baby well clad all
the winter. We sent them in a big package
"Did she say any thing ?"
She did, indeed. She came up to the
school and called on all the saints to bless us.
She was Irish, and thankful enough. She in-
vited us to come and see her darling, and we
went quite often."
Well said Gertie.
"That's the end of my story," said Aunt
Lou. "One day when I was playing in the
orchard, Mrs. Hall came out and said that
there was some one in the house wanted to see
me. I followed her in slowly, and there to my
astonishment and delight, whom should I see
but my own papa. I rushed forward and
jumped into his arms. Then I sat down on
the floor by his side, while he told me that
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 41
they had all come home from abroad only two
days before. Mamma and my sisters were at
home, and he had hurried down into the coun-
try to bring'me back with him. That very af-
ternoon I left school, my trunks were packed
in a hurry and I was off. I cried very hard at
the thought of leaving the girls and Miss
Rose, but I was very glad to get back to my
dear mamma, and my tears were dried before
I was in the train, and that is the end of my
Now," said Gertie, I am ready for your
story, Auntie Kate."
Suppose," said Aunt Kate, who was busi-
ly reading, that you run down stairs and out
through the woodshed to the barn. Be sure
42 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
and go through the woodshed so as not to
get wet, and ask Michael to give you some of
the lemons that he was to have bought at the
village this morning. Then ask the cook to
squeeze them, and bring up the juice in a
tumbler with some sugar and-and let me
see-one, two, three, four tumblers-there are
just four of us. Then you can fill the little
brass kettle with water, and I'll put it on the
coals here, and we'll have a hot- lemonade,
and by the time that is ready I'll have finished
my book and can begin my story."
Gertie rushed down stairs and out to the
barn. Michael handed her the lemons from
under the seat of the wagon where he had put
them that morning. Then she took them in-
to the kitchen, and while the cook was squeez-
ing three or four, she carried the tumblers
and the sugar and put them on the table near
her aunt. Then she. filled the kettle and set
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 43
it on the coals to boil and went back for the
May I make the lemonade, Auntie ?" she
Of course you may," answered her aunt,
" only be sure you get the right proportions,
so as not to have it too sweet or too sour."
Gertie was very much interested in her
work. She put the lemon juice into.the tum-
blers and added sugar, and then sat down to
wait for the kettle to boil. But the kettle
had evidently made up its mind to take its
own time, and showed no signs of doing as
Gertie wished it.
How long it takes," she exclaimed.
Did you never hear the old saying, 'a
watched pot never boils,'" asked her aunt.
" Suppose you run out to the barn again and
ask Michael to give you four iice large straws.
Then we can drink our lemonade through them,
44 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
and by the time you are back I've no doubt
the kettle will be boiling."
Gertie hurried off and when she came back
the kettle was boiling, as her aunt had pre-
dicted, and at the same time Aunt Kate fin-
ished her book and laid it down.
Now then, Gertie, pour in your hot water
and let us see how it tastes. Very good, in-
deed," she said, taking little sips through her
Gertie filled her own glass after each of her
aunts had theirs, and taking her seat on a
stool leaning up against Aunt Kate said :
Now, Auntie, begin."
When your Aunt Lou said that she was very
glad to be home again after her summer at
school, and to see her sisters once more. she
did not include me for I did not come home
with the others, I was left behind 'on the
46 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
"Why, Auntie," exclaimed Gertie, did they
forget you ?"
Not exactly," answered Aunt Kate.
" But I will tell you how it happened. It was
June when we sailed away for England.
Your mamma, grandpapa, and grandmamma,
and myself, made up the party. We left port
late in the afternoon and before land had
faded from sight it was night. I saw the red
glare of the light-house grow fLinter and
fainter before I went below. Were you ever
on an ocean steamer, Gertie ? "
No," said Gertie, but papa promised to
take me aboard one, some time."
You would be surprised to see how tiny
the staterooms are. Two persons could hard-
ly dress in one at once. And the berths, as
the beds are called, are just like shelves one
above the other. Your mamma and I had
one together and as we were quite big girls
* ;4 -
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 47
we undressed ourselves and scrambled into
bed without any help. It was well that we
could do that, for your grandmamma was very
sick. The ship was rolling and pitching tre-
mendously, as the sea was very heavy. Our
papa came into her room where she lay in her
berth, and we heard her say : 'Do see how the
little girls are,' and then he came into our
room and called out 'Well, Chickens, how goes
it ? both in bed all right.'
"We told him that we were, and he kissed us
both good night, after we had said our pray-
ers. We begged him to sit down on the lock-
er and tell us a story, and he hesitated for a
minute and then he said that he must go and
look after mamma, and that we had better go
to sleep at once. And so we did.
"The next morning we were up bright and
early. The ship pitched about as much as
the night before, and it was hard work to
48 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
dress because we were thrown about a good
deal, but at last we succeeded. We went in
to see mamma, but she said she should not
get up, and that we must take great care of
ourselves and not fall overboard. It was three
or four days before she came on deck, and by
that time we had been over the ship from one
end to the other and knew every inch of it.
We had a very good time on the voyage.
We saw an iceberg before we had been out
four or five days ;-then we saw a whale which
came to the surface and spouted not far away,
Sand we saw the stormy petrels or Mother Cary's
chickens as the sailors call them. They live
jar out at sea, and when they are tired instead
of needing a tree or fence to rest on, just sit
o the waves. But one night the captain told
-. that the next morning we might expect to
r scr land, and surely enough when we girls
* '._ent pn deck there was the Head of Kinsale
ii P IT
50 GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y.
close at.hand, with the green fields stretching
away beyond it. That noon we were in Cork
harbor and twenty-four hours later we were
ashore at Liverpool."
"Did you enjoy getting ashore?" asked
"Very much, for though we had had a good
time on ship-board, we had grown rather tired
of it and we expected to see many strange
sights. The room seemed to spin around a
good deal at first, but the effect of the ship's
motion soon wore off."
"Well," asked Gertie, what did you do
now that you were ashore ?"
We made a trip to the Cathedral towns,"
answered her aunt. Your mamma and I did
not enjoy the Cathedrals very much, but we
enjoyed strolling about the quiet old towns.
The inns were such quiet, tidy places. One
night, when we had seated ourselves at supper
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 51
the door of our room was suddenly. pushed
open violently, and in walked a huge black
Newfoundland dog. He looked at us all, slowly
wagging his tail in a friendly way, and then
took his place between your mamma and me
and looked at us expectantly. We gave him
all the bones we had left, and he made a capi-
tal supper and seemed to enjoy himself very
How was it that you came to be left be-
hind," asked Gertie. I'm coming to that,"
said Aunt Kate. We had a very pleasant
summer, but no especial adventures. At last
it came to be the twentieth of October, the day
we were to take the steamer for the return voy-
age. We were at Liverpool again. The ships
there lie out in the stream, and the passen-
gers are taken out to them in a tug. It so
happened that when we reached the landing
a piece of baggage was missing and papa told
52 GER TIE'S RAINY DAY.
us to go aboard and get on the steamer, and
he would hunt up the missing trunk and come
with it on the next trip, which would be the
last. We were on the tug, when I thought I
would wait for papa, and calling out to mam-
ma that I would wait and come with him I
stepped back to the landing just as the tug set
out. Papa was in plain sight, looking about
among the piles of baggage, and so mamma
did not worry about me but went aboard the
steamer when she reached it with my sister,
and began to arrange things in the stateroom.
I sat down on a big case to wait until papa
should have finished his search. It was very
interesting. Tugs were coming to and from the
landing and different ships that lay at anchor
in the stream. I watched it all, keeping one
eye on papa, but in some way forgetting that
he did not know that I was not with mamma,
and expecting him to come for me. A family
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 53
of children came down to take a boat, and
there was among them a girl just my age. I
was very much interested in watching them go
aboard their tug. When they had gone I
raised my eyes to see if papa had found his
trunk, but could see nothing of him. At the
instant, I noticed that the steamer in the
stream, which he had pointed out to me V
our own, was in motion. It all flashed upon
me at once, papa knew nothing about my
being on shore, but supposed, of course, that I
had gone with mamma. He had taken his
boat while I was gazing about, and was now
on his way to sea and I was left behind."
How perfectly dreadful! exclaimed Ger-
tie. "What did you do!"
I was frightened out of my wits," answered
her aunt. I rushed up to a man in uniform
and exclaimed : My papa where is he!'
The man stooped down kindly and asked
54 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
me my name. I told him, and said we were
to take the Scotia.
"' Why that is the Scotia just going to sea
now,' said he. Did your papa not know
you were waiting for him ?'
Then I broke out into a fit of crying, and
told him my story. He asked me if I had any
friends in England, but the only name I could
remember was that of Mr. Rolfe who had
come to see us the night before at the hotel.
"'Well, my dear, cheer up,' said he. The
tug that took your father out is just coming
back. Perhaps he may have missed you and
is on it. Dry your eyes! If he be not, we'll
take a cab and hunt up Mr. Rolfe.'
I did dry my eyes, but no papa did I see,
and so I broke out crying afresh. The official
called a cab, and we got in and after stopping
several times to make inquiries, we finally
found Mr. Rolfe's office. We walked in and
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 55
saw a clerk who said that Mr. Rolfe was very
much engaged and could not see us;-but my
friend said that it was most important, and
so he finally took him word to that effect. In
a moment he came to the door of his private
office, but the instant he saw me, he exclaimed,
'Why, Katie Randolph, what is the matter,
child! Come right in here and tell me a11
I tried to tell him but was crying so hard at
his kind words, and the sense of my misery
that I could not speak, and the official
told him the state of the case. He looked at
his watch. 'Too late to catch the express for
Queenstown,' he said, 'the Scotia has to stop
there for the mails. What is to be done? I'll
think it over. Well, my man, you need
not trouble further. Her father is an old
friend of mine, and she shall be well taken
care of,' and he gave him some money.
56 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
"'Good by, little Miss,' he said, as he went
"'Good by,' I answered, dolefully enough.
"' Now, Katie,' said Mr. Rolfe, 'you shall
come home with me. The steamer has to stop
at Queenstown, and we can send a message to
your papa there by telegraph, and get an
answer from him to-morrow. Dry your eyes
and let us write it out. How would this do.
Your papa, I know, had to be in New York
on the third day of November, for he told me
so; so I will send' this message to him:
"'John Rolfe, Liverpool, to Ernest Randolph
passenger on Scotia, Queenstown. Katie is
with me and very well. Too late to catch the
express and overtake you. I will bring her to
New York when I come in January. She
sends her love.'
I quite cheered up when I looked at Mr.
Rolfe's kind face, and knew that papa and
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 57
mamma would know about me the next day
and that I should hear from them, besides I
had fancied I should have to cross the ocean all
alone, and it did not seem half so hard when I
knew that Mr. Rolfe would go with me.
"' Now then, little woman,' said Mr. Rolfe,
'my carriage will be at the door in five minutes,
and we will drive home. So bathe your face
here with cold water, and you s'Jx-,7iip'3f
the front seat with me. I have a boy at home
just your age. His name is Jack, and there is
a little girl older than you whose name is
Mary. You will all be fast friends, I am sure.'
Pretty soon the carriage came to the door,
and we set out. to drive to Mr. Rolfe's home
some two miles out of the city."
58 GER TIE'S RAINY DAY.
"What did grandmamma say when she
found you were missing?" asked Gertie.
"She did not find it out until nearly half an
hour after the steamer had started, for papa met
some friends on deck, and stopped to chat with
them, supposing that we were all in our state-
room. When he went down and it was found
that I was missing, mamma nearly fainted
away. All night long she did not sleep a wink.
Papa tried to comfort her but she would
not be comforted. He was sure that some
one would find me, and that they would
have a telegram at Queenstown, but I have
often heard him say that he was dreadfully
anxious himself. Nothing could be done until
they reached there the next afternoon.
"When we arrived at Mr.- Rolfe's house he
took me down from the seat and carried me
to Mrs. Rolfe, who made much of me. .Then
when I had tidied my dress I went down
GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y. 59
stairs to find Jack. He was practicing on the
organ, but stopped at once and came and
shook my hand most cordially.
60 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
"'I say,' he exclaimed, 'it's awfully jolly
don't you know. We're just about the same
age, and we'll be fast friends. Mary is getting
stuck up and young ladyish and is no fun
Mary was very kind, indeed, notwithstand-
ing Jack's opinion that she was stuck up and
of no good. She came at once to see me, and
we were firm friends in no time, and when I
went to bed all tired out I fell asleep and
dreamed happy dreams, instead of tossing in
fright as my mamma was doing.
Mr. Rolfe went back to his business the
next morning, saying as he drove away:
"' Have a good time, Katie, when I come to-
night I shall have a message from your papa
I did not have a very good time, though
Jack did his best to amuse me, for I was still
very much worried at the plight I found my-
62 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
self in, and so the day passed slowly away.
At six o'clock I heard the sound of wheels and
ran to the door just in time to see Mr. Rolfe
get down from his carriage.
"' Good news, Katie,' he cried. 'Here's
the message I promised you,' and he put a
slip of paper into my hands. I read on it :
"' Ernest Randolph, Queenstown, to John
Rolfe, Liverpool. Telegram received. We
accept your offer to bring Katie to New York
with many thanks. Give her our love, and
tell her to be a good girl. Have written.'
"I was very much cheered by this and began
to look forward to my three months' visit with
great satisfaction. Jack was such a nice boy
that I was sure I should have a good time.
All at once a sudden thought struck me, and I
'What shall I do for clothes ? All of mine
except what were needed for the voyage were
GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y. 63
in a big trunk, and I had seen a red label
'Hold' pasted on it and so knew that it was
now in the hold of the Scotia, a hundred
miles out at sea, off the Irish coast."
"'Oh, we'll manage that,' said Mrs. Rolfe.
' Mary has a good many that she has outgrown
that will fit you, and we'll buy a few to help
I went to sleep that night very quickly, for I
knew that mamma was now easy in her mind
"'Mary,' said Mr. Rolfe at breakfast the
next morning, 'I wish you would ride over to
your grandmamma's, and take a message for
This is my morning to go in town to see
the dentist,' said Mary. 'I wish it were not.'
"' Oh, very well then. But why shouldn't
Katie go for me. Your pony is as kind as
can be. and the ride is a short one.'
64 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
"'She can, just as well as not,' said Mary.
'Would you like to, Katie ?'
"My eyes sparkled at the idea. I had ridden
once or twice and enjoyed it ever so much, and
it was decided that an hour after breakfast the
pony should be brought to the door. Mary's
old riding suit fitted me exactly.
You'll have a jolly time,' said Jack as he
went off to school. 'How I wish I did not
have to study. How -ver, I'll be at home at
one, and then we can do something or other.'
I had a delicious ride. Michael, the groom,
went with me and showed me how to hold the
reins, and to sit in the saddle.. Mr. Rolfe's
mother, a sweet little old lady, came out on the
steps, when she heard our horses' feet on the
gravel road. She looked very much surprised
when she saw me, and then she smiled, and
"'You are the little American girl that I
66 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
heard about yesterday. Get down, my dear,
and come in, and have a little chat with me.
I met your papa a great many years ago, when
he was only a little boy.'
Michael helped me down and I went in and
made her quite a visit, not forgetting to give
her the letter which Mr. Rolfe had sent.
"'You must come and see me often, my
dear,' she said, as I rode away. I shall get
very ond of you.'
"Well, the days slipped away in very pleas-
ant fashion. Jack went to school but was home
at one, and we were the very best of friends.
Mary had a governess who came every morn-
ing for three hours, and who taught me, too,
for Mrs. Rolfe said that I should be much
happier if I did a little work, than if I were
idle. We practiced on the piano, too.
My letter written from Queenstown by my
papa, 'had come ; a long one full of directions
68 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
and full of love from mamma, and since that
one I had had several, telling me that they were
safely at home, and that my sister Lou was
back from school, and that they missed me
The days, as I have said, slipped away. The
leaves were long since off the trees, and we
"could plainly see the great nests of the rooks
in the branches over our heads-"
"Are rooks birds?" interrupted Gertie.
"Yes," answered her aunt, "great shiny
black fellows. They used to wake me up in
the morning with their cawing for some time,
but at last I became used to them.
November went by, then.came December.
Christmas was. near at hand, but I was quite
wretched, and this was my trouble: I did not
have a penny of money. How could I get
through Christmas without giving my kind
friends presents. I felt sure that they would
GER-TIE'S RAINY DA Y. 69
70 GER TIE'S RAINY DAY.
give me some, and it would be very hard not
to be able to give as well as receive. Papa
had always given us money at home just be-
fore Christmas. At last I decided to go to
Mr. Rolfe, and with much sinking of heart, and
many blushes, caught him one day when he
was all alone and said :
If you please, Mr. Rolfe, could I have a
little money, and I'm sure my papa would pay
it back to you in New York.'
I don't doubt that fora minute,' he said,
'but what do you want money for, childie. Is
it to.buy sweets ?' They call candy, sweets, in
"-' No indeed,' I answered much re-assured
by his kind words. But Christmas is com-
So it is, so it is, I had quite forgotten ; of
course, you shall have some money. Here are
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 71
"How much are three pounds?" inter-
Fifteen dollars," answered Aunt Kate.
What a lot of money," exclaimed Gertie.
I was very happy to get it, I remember,"
went on her aunt. "I took Jack into my
confidence. I wanted a book for his mamma,
and we went to -the bookseller's together
and found a dainty little one, which we
both thought just the thing for her. I
wanted to make something for Mr. Rolfe,
and so' I bought some silk and knitted
him a pair of wristlets, and very nicely they
looked, too. I was very much puzzled to know
what to get for Mary, but finally decided on-a
gold thimble which I knew she wanted very
much. Jack's present I had to buy when he
was not about, and it took me a long time to
make up my mind, but at last I determined in
favor of a pair of skates."
I II I il
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 73
"I put all my presents away in my room
very carefully, where no one should see them.
Besides those for my English friends, I
managed to get out of my money something
for my papa and mamma, and each one of my
sisters. It had to be something very small
as it must be sent through the mail, but there
was some little thing for each one, and I put
the stamps on the packages and directed them
all myself with the very greatest satisfaction.
The weather grew colder and colder as
Christmas drew near. They all said that it
74 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
was much more severe than usual. The birds
hopped about on the bare branches, and were
only too glad to hurry to eat the crumbs that
we threw out for them. It is never so cold
in England as in our own country, and the
people are not used to such severe weather;
butwhen it comes they have to make the best
of it. The ponds were all frozen solidly, and
people were sliding and skating every-where.
Jack regretted very greatly that he had not
skates, and was quite astonished when I told
him that in the United States every boy had a
pair and skated as naturally as he walked. He
wanted very much to buy himself some, and I
was afraid that he would and so would antici-
pate my present, and was much relieved when
he told me that he had only a shilling and
six-pence on hand of his month's allowance.
He was so melancholy about it, that I came
very near telling him that I had bought a pair
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 75
for his Christmas. Fortunately, though, I did
"The cold weather was very hard on the poor,
76 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
a great many of whom lived not far away from
us. Mrs.Rolfe went about to see if they needed
help in any way and Mary and I went with
There was one house where we went quite
often. There was a little girl who was about
our own age, and once we took her flowers
for she was just recovering from a long illness
and could only sit up when bolstered up in an
easy chair. She and her mother were both
very poor and Mary and I worked away and
helped make a thick warm dress for her."
What did you get at Christmas ?" asked
Wait a little," said her aunt. "We have
not reached Christmas yet. The cold weather
held on, but we did not mind it, indoors. The
grates were heaped high with coal, and we
sat about the roaring fires, and in the evenings
Mr. Rolfe told us stories of the days when he
6 1, il
78 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
was a boy. We had dressed the house with
holly, and a big branch of mistletoe was on
hand ready to be hung up on Christmas
I know all about mistletoe," interrupted
Gertie, its a parasite and grows on oak trees,
mostly, and in the end it often kills them. You
GERTIE'S RAINY tA Y. 79
hang up your bough at Christmas, and then
any boy can kiss any girl whom he catches
"In fact we were all very busy and very
happy, though Jack used to lament his lack of
skates especially when he saw the other boys
dash over the ice, and so the days went by and
Christmas was close at hand.
"The morning of the twenty-fourth when I
opened my eyes and looked out the whole
world was changed, for it had snowed in the
night. Close by my window a bird sat on a
bough of a tree, amid the falling flakes, look-
ing as if he thought this betokened any thing
but a merry Christmas for him. Jack was at
home that day for his Christmas holidays be-
gan the night before, when he came back
from school. He had won two prizes and so
was very much pleased with himself, as he
had good right to be, He and I looked af-
`-~ I---~- jf IIm b ---~ y~-_ l
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 8I
ter the birds who would have been hungry
enough had we not borne them in mind.
We scattered bread crumbs on the snow, and
then as we found that it was fast hidden from
sight beneath the freshly falling flakes, we
set down a plateful on the piazza where it was
out of the reach of the storm. From the
drawing-room windows we saw them come by
the dozens. All day long they crowded about
our plate with much chirping and fluttering
of their tiny wings, and ate away so lustily
that we had to refill it several times.
82 GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y.
"THE storm cleared away before night, and
Jack and I were busy digging paths about the
house when Mr. Rolfe came home. He had
a number of big packages in his carriage,
which were taken into the house, and which
Jack eyed very sharply.
"' My eye,' he said. Do you think any of
those packages looked as if they might be
skates for a fellow about my size ?'
"We were not to have our presents until the
next morning, and we were both very much
excited. Jack, of course, knew that he would
have something, and he had confided to me
that he had seen three stunning presents, for
me, so that, of course, I shared his excitement.
To keep us quiet Mrs. Rolfe promised to tell
us a story, and we were all sitting around the
---- -* M
84 GER 7E'S RAINY DA Y.
fire after we had finished warming our toes
before going to bed, when from under our
window suddenly came the sounds of a Christ-
mas carol sung by men. These were the
'God rest ye, merry gentlemen ; let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour,was born on Christmas day.
The dawn rose red o'er Bethlehem, the stars shone
through the gray,
When Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas
'God rest ye, little children : let nothing you affright,
For Jesus Christ, your Saviour, was born this happy night;
Along the hills of Galilee the white flocks sleeping lay
When Christ, the child of Nazareth, was born on Christ-
'God rest ye, all good Christians ; upon this blessed
The Lord of.all good Christians was of a woman born
GERTIE'S RAINY DAY. 85
Now all your sorrows he doth heal, your sins he takes
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas day.'
"Jack and I jumped up and ran to the win-
dow as soon as we heard the first notes. We.
could see six or eight men standing in the
snow. Their voices sounded very well togeth-
er, and not a word was spoken until they had
finished, when Mr. Rolfe said 'Jack ask the
waits to come around to the kitchen-' "
What are waits ?" asked Gertie.
Bands of men and boys who go around
Christmas eve and morning singing carols.
They expect to get some money, and in the
country something to eat and drink besides.
Mr. Rolfe's house was not in the country, ex-
actly, but he always treated the waits kindly,
and that perhaps was the reason they came so
regularly every year. We went into the kitch-
en where they all came trooping, and the
86 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
cook who knew that they were sure to come
gave them each a big cup of coffee ard some
good food. Mr. Rolfe gave each one a piece
of money and they all wished him a merry
Christmas, most heartily. Then we young
people went off to bed to dream of what we
should find in our stockings the next morning."
"And what did you find ?" asked Gertie.
There was a big package of candy in my
stocking and that was all, for my other pres-
ents were laid on a chair drawn up by the head
of my bed. The first that I opened was a
beautiful book and in the front was written in
Jack's big hand: 'To Katie with Jack's Love.
The next was a beautiful work basket from
Mary, and the last was the best of all, a beau-
tiful little silver watch from Mr. and Mrs.
"" I have seen it in your drawer, Auntie,"
Said Gertie, Is that the watch? "
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 87
Yes," said her aunt, I have kept it very
And what did the others have ?"
I do not remember very well except that
Mary had a watch like mine. Besides my
English presents, I had a long letter from
home saying that I was not forgotten there,
but that they could not send my presents, and
so would put them away until I was with them
We all went to church in the morning and
after that, the guests began to arrive, for there
was to be a great family dinner, and all the
uncles, and aunts, and cousins, were to come,
and there were a great many of them.
When the dinner was over, we children
played games, and some of the grown people
joined in, and we had a verytnerry time. The
girls were caught and kissed under the-mistle-
"toe. We played blind man's buff and -Aen a
88 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
great bowl was brought in, and we tried our
hand at snap dragon."
What is that? "
It is played with a large deep bowl which
is partly filled with water. At the bottom of
the water lie raisins and small pieces of silver.
Then alcohol is poured on top of the water
and set on fire, and the children make plunges
u .iE -f
Ir ROXY 'YriEi:mWliY1PIY&' ----'r'~--C' gl%uca;-
90 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
with their hands through the flaming mass to
get out the good things that lie beneath."
It seems very dangerous," said Gertie.
" What keeps them from being burned? "
It is a favorite game at Christmas," said
her aunt, and not so dangerous as it seems,
for if you are quick and bold you can get out
the prizes without being hurt in the least. If
the lights are turned down in the room it is
quite a weird sight, for the alcohol burns with
a blue flame. I do not think it a very safe
I don't think I should like it at all," said
Gertie. But go on, Auntie."
Well Christmas day came to an end, and
all the guests went away. I began to think
about going home then, for it had been settled
that Mr. Rolfe and I were to sail on the fifth
of January. It was sure' to be a rough and
long passage; on account of its being winter,
GER TIE'S RAINY DAY. 91
but then the steamer would not be crowded as
it was in the autumn, and I had shown myself
a pretty good sailor. This time I did not in-
tend to be left behind. If I were, it should
be through no fault of my own.
As I have said, the time went on. The
holidays were over and Jack was back at
school, and in only a few days now I should
92 GER TIE'S RAINY DA Y.
be afloat. Jack was very wretched about my
leaving, and I tried to cheer him. It is such
a pity you are English, Jack,' I said, 'for you
are nice enough to be an American.'
"A day or two before we were to start he
came home from school in the afternoon, and
said that his eyes hurt him. The family doc-
tor dropped in that evening and Jack's eyes
were submitted to him for examination. He
looked at them, carelessly at first, then with
much more care. Finally, he said:
The boy will have to be careful or he will
have serious trouble. I should advise his giv-
ing up his books entirely for a couple of
Jack's face fell, for he studied hard and was
very ambitious to stand at the head of his
class; but I rushed across the room and
throwing myself down by Mr. Rolfe, and clasp-
ing his hand, exclaimed: 'Oh Mr. Rolfe, do,
Iw ii a;a irliile
Y-P-C-L- R EI 7L1
94 GERTIE'S RAINY DAY.
do, let us take him to New York. He's such a
nice boy, and he could stay at our house, and
it would be such fun. Do let's take him!'
Mr. Rolfe looked at me and whistled. Then
he said, 'That's not a bad scheme of yours,
lassie. I'll think about it.'
He did think about it, and the next morn-
ing Jack was told that he was to go. We were
sitting at the table when his father told him,
and he jumped up and danced a jig on the
floor in delight.
"'Sit down, my boy,' said his mamma,' and
eat your breakfast, you and I have a busy day
before us. We must go in town with papa,
and see that you have plenty of clothes. I
looked over your wardrobe last night, and
found that it needs some additions.'
"' It's a pity Katy hasn't a brother,' said
Jack, 'and then I could borrow of him,' and
he looked over at me mischievously.
GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y. 95
"You are a naughty boy, Jack,' said I, 'and
if you tease me about my being without any
clothes, I'll never come to stay with you again."
Jack went off with his father and mother
and came back at night very much set up by
his purchases. He had a new leather trunk
with his initials on the end, and wore a new
heavy ulster which reached nearly to his feet.
It had a hood behind which could be drawn
up over the head. Coats like that are very
common now, but in those days they were
quite new. Jack informed me that he should
wear it on shipboard when the weather was
heavy, and was very proud of his appearance.
He put on a great many nautical airs the day
that elapsed before we sailed. Having found.
a book about ships in the library, he made me
read it to him, for he could not use his eyes,
and speedily picked up many sailor terms such
as port and starboard, which he used with
- .*~~~=- ---
-`---- -= --
GERTIE'S RAIVY DA Y. 97
great effect. We pored over the pictures to-
gether. Some of them were of ships of the
early days of navigation, and we were very
happy that we were not to go to sea in such
frail craft. He had picked up from some one
a sailor's song and could be heard all over the
house singing it.
A sailor's life's a life for me.
He takes his duty merrily ;
If winds can whistle, he can sing,
Still faithful to his friend and King;
He gets beloved by all his ship,
And toasts his girl and drinks his flip.
'Draw top sails, boys, the gale comes on,
To strike top gallant yards they run,
And now to hand the sail prepared,
Ned cheerful sings upon the yard.
'And now unnumbered perils passed,
On land as well as sea-at last
98 GERTIE'S RAINY DA Y.
In tatters to his Poll and home
See honest Ned a singing come.
'A sailor's life's a life for me.
He takes his duty merrily;
If winds can whistle, he can sing,
Still faithful to his friend and King;
He gets beloved by all his ship,
And toasts his girl and drinks his flip.'
"At last the day of sailing came. Notwith-
standing the thought of going was upon my
mind every moment, I was so tired out by the
excitement of the last few days that I slept
late, and when I awoke found that Mrs. Rolfe
had come in and was standing by the bed.
She kissed me, and told me that I had better
hurry my dressing as the steamer was to leave
at twelve. I hopped up with great speed, and
while I was dressing she talked very kindly
and told me that I had been such a good girl
GERTIE'S RAINY DA V. 99
since I had been with her that my visit had
been a real pleasure, and that she was very
sorry to have me go. Then she said that she
hoped Jack would be a good boy, and that she
and Mary would miss us all very much in-
deed. By that time I was dressed and we
went down to breakfast. Then our trunks
were strapped and carried away. At eleven
the big carriage came to the door, and we all
got in and started out. At a quarter before
twelve we were at the landing stage, again,
the very spot where I had lost my papa. How
well I remembered it, and my feeling of des-
pair when I found that I was left behind.
The same kind man who had come to my
rescue in my fright was there, in charge. I
knew him it once, and asked Mr. Rolfe if I
might run up and speak to.im. He said yes
and that he would not go without me, so I
ran across. The man knew me at once. 'Why
ill B )r' I I' (1, fr, ; '',I
.. . .,
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