The Baldmin Library
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ROBERT BARNES
ENGRAVED AND PRINTED BY EDMUND EVANS
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY
56, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
Now, boys and girls, away we go,
A happy band,
To hear of many a joy and woe
If good ye gather while we stray
Thus side by side,
How bravely will the thought repay
Your friendly guide.
The Toung Artist.
D ID you ever hear an old song which says: "There is no luck
about the house upon the washing-day?" I suppose the
person who wrote it found washing-day very unpleasant. They
managed it badly in his household, perhaps, and he only remembered
it as an uncomfortable time when everybody was busy, and tired,
and cross. I believe.that is no uncommon thing. But washing-day
with us was quite different-in Summer, at all events. Indeed, we
children used to think it great fun; and I am sure our dear mother
was as brisk and cheery over the extra work as if she thought it fun
too. She generally had her tub and things in the garden, and the
newly-washed clothes were hung out to dry on the hawthorn bushes
and across the orchard. Sometimes it chanced that a shower came
on, and you should have seerr how we scampered and raced to take
Then, white as snow, and smelling of the fresh pure air in
which they had been blowing about, they were ironed and put away,
with sprigs of lavender and dried rose leaves laid among the folds to
make them sweeter still. Oh, certainly, all this was not disagreeable
in our family; and so far from there being no luck about the house
at that particular time, I can recollect one washing-day which was a
very fortunate one for us. If you like, 1 will tell you the story:-
It happened a long while ago, when I was a little girl about
nine years old, and my sister Polly, seven. Polly and I lived with
our parents in a cottage in the country. It was a good-sized cottage,
to THE YOUNG ARTIST.
and it had roses and honeysuckle climbing over the porch, and round
the windows, and up the roof; and a garden stocked with plenty of
other flowers, to say nothing of currant and gooseberry bushes, and
a strawberry bed in a sunny corner. Altogether we thought it a
charming spot, and when one day we heard we should have to go
away, and live somewhere else, it was very bad news indeed.
Go away!" cried little Polly, staring at my father, for it was
he who told us. But this is home; how can we go away?"
We were having tea in the rose-covered porch; which was
quite large enough to hold us and the table comfortably, and made a
capital arbour. This evening it seemed more pleasant than ever;
the pink and white roses, and the creamy clusters of honeysuckle,
were just in their first glory. There was a dish of radishes on
the table pulled from my own little garden, and from Polly's came
the bunch of yellow wallflowers, while the sprays of lilac we had
gathered from the old lilac-tree at the-back which shaded our swing
so nicely. Every thing around, the trees, the roses, the bee-hives
under the south wall, and the big lavender bush that grew by the
parlour window,. seemed like old friends. Well might Polly say,
" This is home; how can we go away ?" For my little sister and I
in the whole course of our short lives had known no changes except
such as came with the changing year; and who does not love them ?
For my part, I never know which I like best; do you ? Perhaps the
change from Winter to Spring has the greatest charm. To see the
tender leaves bursting from the bare, dry-looking boughs, to watch
the fields getting greener and greener, and to find all manner of
delicate blossoms nestling on the banks and hiding under the hedge-
rows is so wonderful. But if Spring is lovely, Summer is lovelier;
and Summer brings the haymaking, and the long- bright days that
are never too long for the happy children. And Summer has hardly
gone before Autumn is here. Ah, what treasures belong to Autumn!
7HE YOUNG ARTIST. II
The corn is ready for the reaper; the ripe apples and pears hang
thickly in the orchards; the vines are laden with purple grapes; in the
woods and by the wayside nuts and blackberries wait for any who will
come and gather them. And while we are harvesting and storing
up the fruits of Autumn, Winter steals upon us unawares; and he
wraps the earth in a mantle of snow, and sends the flowers to sleep,
and gives instead the sturdy holly and the mistletoe, and bids us
draw round our cheerful firesides and make the dark days bright and
merry with words and deeds of peace and goodwill. And then we
have time to think what a beautiful year we have had, and how in
due time it will all come over again. Yes; although we cannot
understand how it is to be done, we know that Spring, Summer, and
Autumn will not fail to return, for God Himself has promised that
"While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and
heat, and Summer and Winter, and day and night, shall not cease."
But, to go back to the time I was speaking of, we were very
sorry to hear we should have to find another home. Polly and I
went hand-in-hand round the garden, wondering who would run
races down the middle walk when we were gone, and who would
care for the slips of ivy we had trained over the broken bit of wall,
and the nest in the lilac-tree which we had been so careful never to
disturb. Did you ever disturb a bird's nest ? It is a cruel. thing to
do. Just imagine how you would feel if an immense ogre were to
come along big enough to carry away in one of his great hands you
and your brothers and sisters, and the very house you live in. Even
if he did not do it, but only poked you about a bit, out of curiosity,
I think you would be terribly frightened, and never have another
minute's peace for a long time, lest you should see him again. As
for your father and mother, well, they could hardly be expected to
feel very comfortable, knowing their children and their house had
once been exposed to such danger. And just so must it be with the
THE YOUNG ARTIST
birds: T he first time I ever sawi
:i bird's nest in a bo\-'s hand, I
was a little trot, stayingr with my
grandmother. The boy did not
mean to be cruel at all; he
S -,th:,ught he had done a tine
hin. in taking the nest with
SIthe four or five younc ones
110 in it, and he brought it
home in great g-lee. I
RGwas delighted, t,.o; but
i hI \ n graI told LIS
how the little shiver-
H O In th Ls were
"HE BROUGHT THE BIRD'S NEST HOME WTTH GREAT GLEE."
THE YOUNG ARTIST. 13
nearly sure to starve and die, and spoke of the poor mother-bird
grieving over her loss, I cried for pity; and Franky took the nest
back, and said he would not touch another. So it happened that-
I never saw a bird's nest without wishing to save it from being
meddled with ; and having discovered the one in the lilac, we had
taken' it under our special protection.
Our mother came out presently, and tried to cheer us up,
although I am sure she felt the bad news even more than we did;
for she and my father had settled in the cottage when they were
married, and had themselves planted many of the trees and shrubs.
But there was no help for it. The landlord was dead, and the new
owner wanted more rent. We agreed that he must be a hard-
hearted man; at least Polly and I held that opinion; but our mother
said it was not right to have such thoughts; of course he might do
as he liked with his own property; we should rather be thankful we
had enjoyed the pretty home all these years. And she went about
her household matters so cheerfully that we began to recover our
spirits; especially when we found the dreaded move need not take
place for a month.
But the month drew to an end very quickly, and it- wanted
little more than a week to the day on which we should have to go to
our new house, when we were awakened one morning by a clinking
of pattens, and much drawing of water, and other signs that soon
told us what was going on.
S"It's washing-day!" said Polly, springing up in bed. "How
nice! Oh, but I forgot," she added, dolefully; "it's the very last
washing-day we shall have here!"
It was this thought most likely that presently made Polly
sit in a melancholy fashion on the back-door step, watching my
mother at her wash-tub,
"Don't you feel dull, mother ?" I asked.
i4 THE YOUNG ARTIST.
I haven't time," she answered, smiling, as she wrung out
Don't people feel dull when they are busy ?" said Polly.
"They feel duller when they are idle."
Polly turned this over in her mind for a few minutes, and then
observed solemnly, I think, now we are going to move, Judy and
Poppy ought to have clean things."
So they ought," said I. "What a good idea, Polly !" and I
ran after mother, who was half-way down the garden by this time,
and begged her to let us have a bowl and a piece of soap, for we
were going to have a grand wash on our own account.
Judy and Poppy were our dolls. Judy belonged to me, and
Poppy to Polly; who named her Poppy because of her complexion,
which we thought lovely. She had such very red cheeks and lips,
while the rest of her wooden face was painted white. Her eyes were
jet black, and exceedingly large and round; it gave her a remarkably
wide-awake appearance. And when I tell you she had a quantity of
dark frizzy stuff on her head, which would have looked exactly like
hair if it had not been quite so green, you may picture for yourself
what a beauty she was. Judy was something in the same style, but
had been in the wars and lost part of her nose, and nearly the whole
of her wool-I mean hair. Still, I was very fond of her all the same.
One does not desert one's friends because they happen to lose their
We hastily undressed our family, bundled them into bed, and
soon collected quite a heap of things for our wash. Poppy's two
pinafores and her pink cotton dress and Judy's white petticoats
would make a brave show. Our skipping-rope did for a clothes-line,
and we fixed it between a couple of gate-posts, just high enough for
Polly to reach. Then I tucked my sleeves up like mother-Polly's
were short, so she hadn't that pleasure, and we set to work with a
THE YOUNG ARTIST. 15
will; and really, except that we could not help remembering every
now and then how few more games we should have in that pleasant
garden, we were very happy. We had just arranged the whole of
Judy's wardrobe on the skipping-rope, and were admiring the effect,
when Polly said, in a startled whisper, "What's that ?" And at the
broken bit of wall where we had trained the ivy, I saw a boy's face.
Now this would have been nothing uncommon in the front garden,
which was merely separated from the road by a fence; but here at
the back we scarcely ever saw any one, for there was nothing but a
wild bit of moorland beyond the wall, and our nearest neighbours
were half a mile off. So, with some surprise, I asked, "What do you
want, little boy ?" I knew he could not be very big, for only his
head came above the wall..
Will you tell me the way to Watford, please ? said he.
I began telling him, when. suddenly he disappeared, popping
down out of sight just like a Jack-in-the-box.
Why, where did he go to ?" said Polly, much perplexed.
"Never mind," said I, indignantly. "He is only a mis-
chievous boy making fun of us." But when we peeped over our side
of the wall he did not look very mischievous-he was lying on the
ground, and seemed asleep.
Of course we ran to mother, and she came back with us to see
this strange visitor.
"Poor little fellow!" said she. "It's only a faint. He is
getting better already. Wait a moment, my boy, we'll bring you
some water. I .dare say he has strayed across the downs from
Watford, and lost his way. The sun is powerful, too, for a delicate
lad like that."
What a dear, clever mother! It was exactly as she guessed.
The boy told us all about it when he had drunk the water. What he
wanted now was to get to the town again; but he owned he should
r6 THE YOUNG ARTIST.
never find his way back across the hills;, and hearing that Watford
by the road was a good seven miles off, his pale face grew paler still.
I tell you what," said my mother, seeing his trouble, "you
are tired and hungry, and cannot walk the distance. If you like, you
shall have some dinner with us, and when Master Bray comes along
with his ,cart, we will ask him to give you a lift."
Thank you, ma'am," said the boy, as politely as if she had
been the greatest lady in the land. You are very kind."
And he came round to the house, and sat down in the kitchen,
and -watched Polly and me while we set the table. We considered
it one of our washinggday treats to do this for mother, and then the
dinner was always cold, that she might not be interrupted more than
was necessary. For to-day we had a nice meat pie, and the rice
pudding and currant tart to follow were ready and waiting in the
The rest and a good dinner made a wonderful difference in
Bertie-that was the name of the boy. His cheeks were rather pale
yet, not a bit like our sunburnt and rosy ones; but he lived, he said,
in a town--a much bigger town than Watford, where he and his
father were spending a week-and that might account for it. He
made himself quite at home, and behaved so gently and gratefully
that he soon won our hearts. After dinner we went into the garden
to amuse ourselves until Master Bray should come.
The dolls' clothes were still fluttering in the wind. Polly felt
the pink dress, and asked me in an anxious whisper whether I thought'
Poppy would take cold if she were dressed in it and brought down.
Bertie followed wherever we led. He had a quiet, rather
grave manner, and seemed an old-fashioned -little lad; but there
could be no doubt'he was enjoying himself. Every now and then he
stopped to sniff at a fragrant rose, or to stoop over a clump of daisies;
and by-and-by he said, "What a nice garden this is! Do yo.uknow,
J G G O R
"JUST 11G NUHFRPOL ORAH
i8 THE YOUNG ARTIST.
I have hardly ever seen so many flowers together before ? It must
be delightful to live here!"
Then we told him of our great misfortune, and how after
next week we were going away. And Bertie, in the midst of his
sympathy, was struck with a bright idea.
Do you think," said he, "your mother would like it if I
made a little drawing of the house, which she could keep always ?"
"Oh, but could you ?" we cried.
"I can draw a little," said Bertie. I mean to be an artist
some day. Look, here are the sketches I made on the downs this
morning. That was how I came to forget the time."
He undid a leather case that he carried in his hand (I had
wondered what it was), and showed some drawings: a bit of furze, a
few stones with grass growing between, and others.
Oh," said we, "how clever you are! Do-do draw the
Very well. We will go down to the broken wall. I
thought what a pretty picture it made while I stood there."
So we took up our stations at the wall, and Bertie began his
"Why are you going to be an artist ?" said Polly, after
watching him some time.
Polly was a bit of a fidget, and I think found drawing rather
too quiet an employment to suit her.
Because I want to paint pictures, and I like beautiful
"Do you ?" said Polly. "Oh, then, I will certainly show
And away she trotted, as fast as she could, and presently
came back, quite out of breath, and carrying Poppy, neatly dressed
in her clean gown.
THE YOUNG ARTIST. 19
There," said Polly, graciously; you may nurse her if you
"No, thank you," said Bertie, looking doubtfully at the new
Polly was offended, I could see.
"I thought you liked pretty things," she said, in a dis-
I do," replied Bertie, humbly. "But she is not so very
pretty, is she ? This is what I call pretty." He plucked two or
three daisies, and stroked them lovingly with his fingers.
But Polly tossed her head, and called them "common things,
which anybody might have." She could not forgive the slight to
"But that is the best of it," said Bertie. "Anybody can
have the daisies, and the buttercups, and the sight of the hills, and
the trees, and the sky. Isn't the sky wonderful-always changing,
and always beautiful ? Look at it now, how blue it is; and those
great fleecy clouds are so white. What does the sky make you
think of this minute ?"
Soapsuds," said Polly, promptly. Soapsuds and starch.
The big white clouds are like soapsuds, and the blue part is like
This time it was Bertie's turn to look disappointed. He said
nothing, so I asked-
What does it make you think of ?"
Oh, lots of things," he answered, shyly. The white sails
of fairy boats floating over the sea, or angels' wings glistening in the
sunlight. I dare say it seems stupid to you."
It is prettier than soapsuds and starch," said I. Polly
would not have thought of that, only it is washing-day."
And then Bertie turned to his drawing, and while I was
20 THE YOUNG ARTIST.
thinking what a strange boy he was, we were called indoors, for
Master Bray had come.
Master Bray was an old countryman, who went about with a
cart selling flowers and vegetables. He always wore a smock frock
and gaiters; even on Sundays he kept to the smock frock, which
was ornamented with a great deal of stitching, and whidh I believe
he thought to be a much more stylish article of dress than a coat.
Master Bray often used to stop at our house for a rest and a
chat, so we were not surprised to see 'him comfortably seated in the
kitchen, smoking his pipe. He happened to be going through
Watford to-day, and was willing to take Bertie with him. But
when he saw the sketch of our cottage (my mother was so glad to
have it that she kissed the young artist on the spot), he said
.he ought to have a picture too; and made us laugh by asking if
Bertie could take likenesses. Bertie, however, took the matter
Is it your own likeness you want, sir ?" said he.
"Well," said Master Bray, modestly, it 'isn't, of course, that
I'm over and above handsome, but it would please my old woman if
you could manage it."
I'll try," said Bertie, "only I haven't done many faces, so
you must not mind, you know, if I don't get it exactly like you."
Oh, I'm not extra particular about the face," replied Master
Bray. "You just be careful to put in all this here,"-and he drew
his hand across the breast of his smock, where the most stitching
was displayed, and she'll know it by that. Did it; herself, every
bit don't he added proudly, and she sixty-two come Michaelmas."
It was a solemn proceeding, taking-Master Bray's likeness.
First, he had to be placed in an easy and elegant position, after
which he was asked to fix his eyes on the warming-pan and smile,
and then Bertie sat down and sketched away busily, while Polly and
"BERTIE SKETCHED AWAY BUSILY."
22 THE YOUNG ARTIST.
I looked over his shoulder, not venturing to speak, hardly to breathe,
lest we should break the spell.
I was glad Master Bray never smiled at anything else in just
the same way that he smiled at the warming-pan. It was not a bit
like the way he smiled generally. But I suppose he wanted some-
thing uncommon for such an uncommon occasion. He was much
pleased with the picture when it was finished. Bertie had done as
he wished, and paid a great deal more attention to the smock frock
than the face. The latter was certainly like the old man, except that
Master Bray did not squint, and had not quite such a long nose.
But he was satisfied, so that did not matter.
I cannot tell you how sorry we were to part from Bertie.
Our mother gave him a hot cake as he climbed into Master Bray's
cart, and Polly and I ran after them as they drove away, waving our
handkerchiefs, and crying, Come again, Bertie Do come again!"
Not that we much expected he ever would, for he was going home
in a day or two, he had told us; and home was in London, where
his father's aunt kept house for them, and had done ever since his
But we were mistaken; that was by no means the last we
were to see of our new playfellow. The very next day he paid us
another visit, and this time with his father, who called to thank my
mother for her kindness to his little boy. My father was at home,
and they all had a long talk together in the best parlour. And what
do you think they had settled before it was over ? Nothing less than
that Bertie, instead of going back to the close hot street in London,
was to come and stay with us right through the Summer, and to get
strong and brown like Polly and me. And the new house was to be
given up again, and we were actually to remain in the dear old
cottage-for the money paid for Bertie would enable us to do so.
Ah! what a happy afternoon that was! Our visitors stayed
THE YOUNG ARTIST. 23
until the evening, and we sat in the porch and had strawberries and
cowslip wine. And from that time to this Bertie (he can paint
likenesses now much better than when he drew Master Bray) has
been our very dear friend. And although we first met him on a
washing-day, yet it was a happy meeting for us, since a faithful
friend is one of the best things in the world. "A man that hath
friends, must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that
sticketh closer than a brother," is a verse I learnt long ago in
the Sunday School, and one of the hymns I love best is that
"One there is above all others,
Well deserves the name of Friend;
His is love beyond a brother's,
Costly, free, and knows no end:
They who once His kindness prove,
Find it everlasting love.
"Which of all our friends to save us
Could, or would, have shed his blood?
But the Saviour died to save us,
Reconciled in Him to God:
This was boundless love indeed,
Jesus is a friend in need !"
The Wayward Chicken.
T HE old brown hen has a fine brood, as usual," said the farmer
i to his wife.
Yes ; a better hen we never had;" said the wife. "She is a
capital manager, and brings up her young ones well."
The brown hen heard this, and clucked with satisfaction.
She had brought her tiny chicks to the kitchen door, as a gentle
hint to the mistress that it was nearly breakfast time. And she
thought, as the farmer's wife strewed the boiled rice plentifully
round, it would indeed be hard to find a finer family than hers.
Then she set to work to separate the lumps of rice, that they might
pick up the soft white grains more easily; and they crowded about
her, pushing and scrambling for their food. There were nine of
.them; funny little fluffy things, and all strong and hearty except
one, which was smaller than the rest, and rather puny-looking.
Gently, gently," clucked the old hen. Don't. choke, any
of you., It is bad manners to eat fast, and there's plenty of time."
Plenty of mouths, you meani" muttered the puny chicken,
pecking at one of his brothers, who, however, was too busy to mind
"Now, Puffle, no quarrelling," said his mother, breaking a
lump, and -scattering it before him. Puffle began to eat, but when
two or three- of 'the others came to join him, he tried to drive them
away; and not being able to do this, turned sulky, declared that he
was always robbed and cheated, and moped by himself, instead of
getting his breakfast. No-wonder he looked thin and woe-6egone.
THE WA YWARD CHICKEN. 25,
Puffle's conduct, being nothing unusual, did not spoil the
appetites of the rest. They soon finished the rice to the last crumb;
and then the hen took them for a stroll in the orchard, where she
hoped to pick up a tit-bit or two for lunch-a nice fat snail, perhaps,
"SHE SAT DOWN NEAR THE EMPTY PLATTER."
or a few tasty insects. But while searching about for these deli-
cacies, she took care to keep an eye on her young ones, to see they
did. not get' into mischief or danger-; and, as usual, Puffle wanted
most looking after, being not only weakly, but wayward.
26 THE WA YWARD CHICKEN.
First he fought with his brother Yellowbill, over a dead fly,
to which he had clearly no right, since Yellowbill found it. Then he
teased his sister Speckle until she lost patience and gave him a good
peck, which set him grumbling and sulking a long time. Then he
strayed away, and got entangled in some long wet grass. His
mother had just unearthed a large worm, and was promising herself
a fine feast; but hearing some feeble and despairing cries, she left it
to wriggle away unhurt, and bristled up to his assistance, clucking
loudly. The farmer's children, who were playing near, said to one
another, "What a noise the old hen is making!" If they had
understood her language, they would have known that Puffle was
getting the scolding he deserved.
Mercy on us!'" said she "where will you get to next ? If
you had done as I wished, and kept near me, you would not be in
this trouble. But you never seem to understand that older heads
are wiser than your own." And then the hen trod down the long
grass, and made a path for Puffle to come out, which he pretty soon
You might think he would have profited by this lesson, but
he was just as obstinate and self-conceited as ever. The hen
led them presently to another part of the orchard, where she
remembered having seen an anthill. Most of the chicks, antici-
pating a treat, crowded round her to watch the proceedings; but
Speckle and Downy and Puffle liked best to look about on their
own account, and it was to these she remarked, Don't go out of my
sight, children, and keep well away from that corner of the fence. I
shall be busy for a little while, but when I have finished we will go
back to the yard, for it must be nearly dinner-time, and we shall all
be glad of a rest." So saying, the hen began to scratch with a will,
and Downy and Speckle drew.a little nearer, to show they meant to
obey. But Puffle kept apart, and seemed to be thinking deeply;
THE WA YWARD CHICKEN. 27
and Speckle, who was a merry little chick, came up after a bit and
asked if he had anything on his mind.
Yes," said Puffle, gloomily; I have. I want to know why
we are not to go near the corner of that fence, or even round the
corner, if we like?"
Why, because mother says so," answered Speckle.
But why does she say so ?"
Because she knows best," said Speckle, very sensibly.
"That's always the cry," said Puffle, in his cross tone, I'm
tired of it. We have lived some days in the world: quite long
enough, in my opinion, to be able to judge for ourselves."
"We have not lived long enough to take care of ourselves,"
argued Speckle, with a sly glance, which Puffle would not notice, for
he knew she was thinking of his adventure in the long grass. So he
went on, more crossly than before, It is only because mother is
fond of cackling, Don't do that! Don't do this !' that we are kept
close to her wing."
Oh, Puffle!" exclaimed his sister, quite horrified; how can
you say it ? She takes such care of us, and is always looking about
and scratching, to get us nice things."
A joyful sound of clucking and chirping came at this moment
from the hen and her chicks.
They have found the ant-hill! Oh, delicious!" cried
Speckle. "Come along, Puffle!" and she hurried away as fast as
her little legs would carry her.
But the wayward chicken had made up his mind to find out
what was behind that fence; and seeing there was no chance of
getting Speckle to join him, he meant to go alone. With all his
boasting, he was a bit of a coward; indeed, between you and me,
boasters are not generally the bravest people, in. the.-world-; and-he- -
had to wait while he screwed up his courage; but little by little he
"THE FARMER'S WIFE WAS MAKING AN APPLE PiE."
THE WA WARD CHICKEN, 29
drew nearer the forbidden ground. There seemed to be several
scraps of food lying about the other side of the fence, and by stretch-
ing his neck he could see the 'rim of a large tin plate-just such a
plate as the one in the poultry yard, which was often filled with rice
or soaked bread for the chicks. This quite determined Puffle to go
on, for what a proud moment it would be for him, if he were able to
provide the family dinner! To return to the rest and say, in a care-
less off-hand way, "You need not trouble to go back to the yard-
and pray, my dear mother, do not wear yourself out with that end-
less scratching. Just leave matters more to me. See, I have found
abundance of food for our meal, while you have been toiling for a
He was so charmed with this idea that he stepped briskly
round the corner, when-oh, horror! the loud rattling of a chain
frightened him out of his wits, and a great, black, shaggy monster
(it was the farmer's dog Ben) sprang out, with a bark that drowned'
poor Puffle's feeble chirpings of dismay.
He got away though; squeezing himself anyhow through the
fence, and nearly falling, faint and trembling, in the midst of his
alarmed family, who were hastening up, with the hen at their head,
to see what fresh misfortune had befallen their unlucky relative.
This was not exactly the way, as we know, in which Puffle
had hoped to meet his friends. After all his fine speeches, here he
was, 'only too glad to run to his mother's friendly wing for shelter
and protection. I should have said to hobble to her wing, for now
he had hurt his leg, and was quite lame.
The poor hen was so much upset by this mishap that she
bade her children follow her at once to the yard; and there, as no one
'had yet appeared to give them their dinner, she sat down near the
empty platter to recover herself; and also to talk seriously to Puffle.
Downy meanwhile nestled comfortably on her back; and Yellowbill,
30 THE WA YWARD CHICKEN.
who was always hungry, jumped into the dish, to make sure it con-
tained nothing eatable.
Puffle felt very wretched-so wretched that he was half in-
clined to own disobedience does not bring happiness, and to make
good resolutions for the future. He had taken a chill while
struggling in the long damp grass, and was cold and shivering, and
now, to make matters worse, his leg pained him.
Presently the farmer's wife came out with her bowl of meal
and rice, and soon saw what was wrong. I am afraid," said she,
"that chick is hurt. Poor thing !" "There," thought Puffle, "she feels
for me, at any rate." And he looked as pitiful as he could, and
limped a little more, when to his great alarm she suddenly stooped
and caught him up in her hand. Puffle's heart beat fast-he made
sure his last hour was come, and threw one despairing glance at
Speckle, Downy, and the rest. It was all he had time to do, for his
captor, shaking the crumbs from her bowl, moved away to the house.
She opened a door and went into the kitchen, and a little girl
ran eagerly to meet her on seeing the chick. Puffle heard himself
called a "darling," and a "dear little mite." "Come, this sounds
promising," thought he. But he could not help shaking like a
leaf when he heard the little girl ask, "What will you do with him,
"We must nurse him up, and try to make him stronger,"
said the good woman. Run, Patty, and fetch the old cake tin."
The tin was brought half filled with hay, and in this soft bed, which
they placed near the fire, the new-comer was snugly tucked, and
covered with a piece of flannel.
Lulled by the warmth, and overjoyed at his good fortune, all
Puffle's conceit and folly returned, and he fell into a comfortable doze,
thinking himself of more consequence than ever.
He awoke feeling rather cramped, and determined to walk
THE WA YWARD CHICKEN. 31
about a little; so, pushing aside the flannel, he scrambled out of the
tin. But a very little girl, who was sitting on the floor, nursing
a doll with one arm, made such a noise when she saw him, that her
bigger sister Patty came directly and popped him back, laughing
heartily while she called him a "naughty chick." Put him on the
table," said the mother, "then I can see he does not get out."
Puffle was very indignant at hearing this, but he did not dare
do more than chirp in a fretful manner now and then. Luckily,
although Patty had tucked him up tighter than before, she had left a
peep-hole through which he could see what went on.
It happened to be baking-day, and the farmer's wife was
making an apple pie. Yonder in a bowl on the chair were the big
rosy-cheeked apples, and here on the paste-board was the crust, being
kneaded, and rolled, and cut to the proper shape. Puffle found it
quite interesting to watch all this, and so, it seemed, did Patty, for
she stood at the table with a very pleased look on her face, thinking,
perhaps, how much she should enjoy a piece of the pie when it was
By-and-bye the little girl pulled her mother's arm, and said
coaxingly, Dear mother, poor Betsy Strong is ill."
"Well," said her mother, smiling.
Do," whispered Patty, standing on tip-toe in her eagerness,
"make her one of your little cakes. I'm sure they are good for sick
people, and I will bring you the things you want-the eggs and the
flour and the currants, and everything."
The farmer's wife nodded kindly; and no sooner was the pie
safely in the oven than she made the cake. Again Puffle looked on
with interest, though it must be owned he turned rather faint as he
saw the cool way in which a couple of eggs were broken and whisked
into a froth-he had been an egg himself, you see, only a few days
ago. However, he forgot that by the time the cake was mixed, it
32 THE WA YWARD CHZIKEN.
looked sC good, thickly dotted with -i
the little dark specks they called
currants. "What a pit)y he could not _
taste it! To ble sure, he had plenty
of crumbs in h[-is tin, butt he was tired i:
of cruml-ibs. ust the-n the farmer' s
VC)ice was hIear. c-Alling ; the w Nife
left the room, and .Partv and the little
girl \with the doll ran after her.
N- Now's miny time!" said PLufhe
and making a -bold effort he h,:ppet
out of his prison, an.d right into the
middle .-,f the c'lke. BPit L
"GOOD MORNING TO YOU!"
THE WA YWARD CHICKEN. 33
lo and behold, it was so much softer than he expected, that he sank
up to his wings in the yielding mass, and could scarcely keep his head
free. The harder he struggled, the deeper he sank. Cake!"
chirped the wayward chicken, wildly; "it's nothing more nor less
than a quagmire Oh, dear what will become of me now ? I can-
not breathe-I shall be choked!" And choked he would certainly
have been had not Patty returned just in time to save him.
The next day, the leg being all the better for a good night's
rest, Puffle was restored to his friends. He gave himself great
airs on account of his visit to the house, and made it appear that he
had been quite an honoured guest. Of course he said nothing of the
little adventure with the cake, though there were the marks of it
hanging about him, for the sticky stuff would not come off easily.
The old hen heard his boasting with a mournful cackle. She saw
that if his leg was cured, his conceit was not, and she soon had a sad
proof that he had come back still wilful and perverse.
The morning was warm and sunny, and the kitchen door
stood open. The farmer's youngest child-a pretty, blue-eyed baby
-sat inside, playing with the one-armed doll. Puffle, anxious to
show that he was quite at home in the house, hopped upon the step
in order to be noticed. In vain the old hen clucked and called (she
was under a coop to-day, and could not follow him) ; in vain Speckle
tried to coax him back; the silly chick would not heed their warn-
ings. "Who's afraid ?" chirped he. "You forget that I am used to
this sort of company'now."
"Ah! but human beings are so big and awkward," said his
mother in a trembling voice; "and when they are quite young they
have no sense at all. That one, for instance, is what they call a
baby, and cannot even feed itself, but it may yet do you some harm.
Come away, my Puffle; come away."
"What nonsense !" said Puffle, impatiently. "To prove
34 THE WA YWARD CHICKEN.
you're wrong, I'm going inside for a chat." And he marched boldly
in at the door, and chirped a gay Good morning to you!"
The baby had thrown aside the doll, and. was playing with
her shoe; but the funny noise, which she meant for talking, Puffle
could not understand at all. So he tried again, with a polite How
do you do ?" Baby supposed this to be an invitation to a game of
play, and .replied by throwing her shoe at Puffle, who now,, fairly
frightened, took. to his heels. Baby was not going to lose her new
playmate like that. She gave a scream of delight, and rolled not
only after, but over the poor little chick. There was no chance then
of his getting away. Puffle had received his death-blow; he just
gave a feeble kick, and turned his dying eyes to the door, and it.was
all over. I fancy in that moment he felt how foolish he had been
through his short life.
So the farmer's wife found her baby still playing with the doll
and her own shoe, and the chick lying near as flat as a pancake. I
declare," said the good woman, "it is the very one I tried to take
care of yesterday. Well, I'm not surprised it came to grief, for it
was always getting into mischief."
And that was the end of THE WAYWARD CHICKEN.
SHERE were once four sisters, who lived in a little brown house
away in the country, and their names were Peggy, Emma,
Rose, and Nell. Rose, however, was nearly always called Goosey,
because she happened to be born on Michaelmas Day, and Peggy
and Emma sometimes said the name suited her exactly, for she was
the dearest little goose that ever was. They told her so when she
ran half a mile down the dusty road after the old pedlar, who had
dropped a paper of pins out of his basket; and when she cried over
the mouse that her own pet, Tib, laid one day at her feet; and when
she gave away all her dinner to the lame beggar, and never said a
word about it until she and Emma were going home from school in
the evening. The- walk seemed longer than usual, and the rain
coming on made it worse, and poor Goosey began to lag terribly,
and was at last obliged to confess to Emma, who was getting im-
patient, that she felt very tired, and "so hungry."
I'm rather hungry, too," said Emma; "but then I gave that
lame boy half my sausage-roll. Did you give him anything,
Yes," said Goosey.
Why, you never told me. How much did you give him ?"
He looked so thin, I gave him all I had," said Goosey, in a
"What, every bit ? the roll and the jam turnover as well ?
Oh, what a dear little goose! cried Emma, giving her a hug under
m l .. ...
OH, HATA DA 'ITT GOSE!
GOOSE F'S GIFT. 37
the big cotton umbrella. No wonder you are tired and pale.
Come along, and let mother scold you." And when they got home
Emma told the story, and Goosey had an egg with her tea, and soon
lost the tired feeling, and told her sisters she was all the more glad
she had given the poor lad the whole of her dinner, now that she
knew herself how bad it was to be hungry. And they laughed, and
said again it was-just like Goosey.
Only Emma and Rose went to school. Peggy was bigger,
and could read and write, and do sums very nicely. She had
finished her schooling, and .Nell, who was but two years old, had
not yet begun hers. Nell played about the house, and toddled con-
tentedly after her mother; while Peggy, hoping some day to earn
her own living as a good servant, made the beds, and dusted the
iooins, and learned to cook the dinner, and grew quite a clever little
housewife. And then, in the holidays, when the other two sisters
were at home, they made the most of being together, and enjoyed
themselves to their hearts' content.
It was in the middle of summer, and during the holidays, that
the mother had a message saying a dear friend was ill and wished to
see her. This friend lived a long way off, and it would take several
days to go and come back. The mother shook her head as she read
the letter, but the father urged her to go, saying, as he placed his
hard on the shoulder of his eldest girl, "See, here is Peggy. You
have made her handy and neat; she will manage well for- us while
you are gone." And to Peggy's great joy it was settled that she
should keep house.
So one fine morning the carrier's cart stopped at the door,
and the mother, dressed in her best gown and neat shawl, and carry-
ing a basket of good things for the invalid, set off on her journey
but not before the children had promised to be kind and gentle to
each other, and attentive and obedient to their father, with whom
38 GOOSE Y'S GIFT.
they stood at the, gate blowing kisses until the carrier's fat horse
turned the corner : all except Nell, who began to cry and stretch out
her arms, and Goosey, who soon had .to stop because her eyes were
full of tears, and her hands were wanted to wipe them away.
It seemed the strangest thing to go indoors and find no
mother waiting for them. Even Peggy, in spite of her new im-
portance, felt rather dull. Still, they wisely determined not to give
way to the feeling, but to be busy and cheerful as usual. So Peggy
turned her thoughts to her cooking, and Emma washed the dishes,
and Goosey took care of Nell; and when the father came home at
twelve o'clock, he found the little kitchen as neat as a new pin, and
the cloth laid, and a smoking dish of bacon and eggs done to a turn
for his dinner. You may be sure he praised the cook, and Peggy
would have blushed with pleasure, only her face was by this time as
red as a peony, owing to her exertions. She was not so lucky with
the pudding; for, in her anxiety about the bacon, she had forgotten
it, and let it burn nearly black. But everybody said they had en-
joyed the first course so much, they could not have eaten any more,
which was consoling. And Goosey begged that Tib might have it
for a treat; therefore it was not entirely wasted.
After dinner, when the father had gone again to his work, and
everything was put tidily away, and the fire was laid afresh, and the
kettle filled and set ready for tea, Peggy locked up the house, and
the four sisters started for a walk across the fields to thevillage; and
having reached it, they had a grand consultation before the window
of the principal shop. It was just such a shop as you may often see
in a village, one side being filled with groceries-currants, raisins,
sugar and tea; the other side with dresses, and ribbons, and every-
thing you can think of in the way of drapery. This was the side
which attracted the sisters; and some bright-coloured handkerchiefs
and neckties in one corner seemed especially to take their fancy.
GOOSE Y'S GIFT. 39
"I shall give him a handkerchief," said Emma. Look,
Peggy, at the one with the yellow border. Isn't it lovely ?"
"Yes; but have the blue; it will go so well with the blue tie
up there, which I mean to buy, if it is not too dear."
"Oh! I am not bound to have blue just because you are
going to choose a blue tie," said Emma; "and I think I like the
How disagreeable you are!" began Peggy, sharply; when
Goosey said, quietly, I know how we'll do it. Emma shall buy the
yellow one, and I will have the blue, and that will suit us all."
"But, Goosey," said Emma, feeling rather ashamed of her
hasty refusal to oblige Peggy, "you wanted to get father a pocket-
I will buy the handkerchief instead," said Goosey, who
thought she saw her way to pleasing two people; and although her
sisters pointed out a tempting parcel of just the books she had
wished for, she kept to her resolution, feeling sure she would then
be doubling the value of Peggy's present to their father on his
"We will not buy the things now," said Peggy, prudently;
"for we might, you know, see something we like better before
Friday. We will come in again, then, and give father our pre-
sents in the evening."
Peggy and Emma agreeing to this, they strolled merrily back
through the fields, crowning Nell as they went with the sweet wild
roses and trailing woodbine that grew in the hedges.
On Friday morning the father found a bunch of clove pinks
and double stocks beside his plate, and was greeted by his four girls
with the old-fashioned wish, Many happy returns of the day !"
He told them he should not be home to dinner, as he had
work to do at the Squire's; and this news made the sisters exchange
r40 OOSE~Y'S ^GIFT.
many smiles and knowing .looks, for it would leave them free for
much important business. 'First, there were the presents' to -buy;
"and then everything must be in apple-pie order for a grand tea-
drinking; and Peggy had some idea of trying her hand at a dish
'6f fritters to grace the table. In short, they hoped to be very happy,
'aid to have no drawback :to their pleasure, except mother's absence.
S- The best-laid schemes o' -mice and men
Gang aft a-gley."
While they were all busy clearing away the breakfast things, having
said good-bye to their father until the evening, Peggy saw him run-
ning back, after a word or two with Phil Morgan the postman.
Thinking he had forgotten a tool, perhaps, she hastened to the door,
when he shouted, "Anything wanted in the village ?"
One or two things," answered Peggy, wondering why he
asked, since he was going the other way.
Never mind them, whatever they are," said he. "Don't go
there to-day-that's all;" and turning round, he hurried down the
road .again, leaving. Peggy more surprised and disappointed than she
ever remembered feeling before.
There was no need to repeat the unwelcome order to Emma
and Goosey, for they had heard it, and met her with faces of blank
dismay on her return tothe.kitchen.. Indeed, in the confusion of the
moment, Emma was sitting on Nell's straw hat, and fanning herself
with the dish-cloth;, and Goosey had allowed the contents of the
kettle to boil over on the clean hearth. Peggy mopped up the wet
bricks with, an impatient exclamation, and said she believed it was
going to be an unlucky day i
It certainly seemed so, for the bread would not rise; Nell
managed to pinch her finger in the door; Tib got scalded, and
dashed into the garden spitting and swearing as if she were mad;
.i* s ^ ~ ~ e .-.
c"* w .
"THE BIGSSE N HELTL N.
42 GOOSE Y'S GIFT.
and through all these disasters one thought was uppermost, and
made them more difficult to bear: the walk to the village was'for-
I cannot see the sense of it," said Peggy, in an injured tone.
"Why shouldn't we go to the village to-day, as well as any other
time ? And, after all, the shop is this end; you can hardly call it in
the village. I've been thinking-suppose I run over alone,and get
what we want ?"
If you go, I shall go," said Emma. It's right for us, if it's
right for you. What do you think, Goosey ?"
I think," said Goosey, "father knows best, and we ought all
to stay at home."
And Goosey finished binding up Nell's finger, and went out
to stroke Tib into good humour, and was so much occupied in trying
to make things more comfortable, that she almost forgot her own
After this matters seemed to mend a little, and nothing more
was said in Goosey's hearing about the unbought presents, until
Peggy bade her put on her hat, as they were going to start.
Why, where are we going? asked Goosey, innocently.
"Now don't be stupid," said Peggy; "we are going to get
those things. Of course we shall come back directly, so it cannot
matter.; for I've no doubt in my own mind father was thinking of the
fair carts at the farther end of the village, and feared we might meet
with rough people. Where's your hat ? "
"Upstairs," said Goosey, slowly; "but- I'd rather not go,
"Well, if you're afraid, give me the money, and I'll get the
blue handkerchief, or a little pocket-book for you, whichever you
Goosey hesitated. Here was another temptation.
GOOSE Y'S GIFT. 43
." I cannot do that either," she said at last,. because I don't
think you ought to go yourself."
Peggy here grew very indignant, and said she was quite sure
their father would not object under the circumstances.
Shall you tell him, then ?" said Goosey.
I'll leave that for you to do," replied Peggy, angrily ..
Goosey's soft eyes filled with tears.
"No,, no," said Emma. Goosey may be a little goose, but
never a tell-tale. Cheer up, dear; we shall soon be back. I only
wish you were coming too, or at least that you would let us buy the
So saying, Emma ran after Peggy. Peggy had already
reached the. first stile, and- sprung lightly over it; while a boy,
who chanced to be standing by, made himself useful by lifting Nell
after her. Goosey thought what a pretty picture they made-the
big sister and the little one-stretching eager arms to each other,
their merry faces eloquent of trustfulness and love. She watched
them until they were out of sight, and then went sorrowfully into the
The brightness seemed all gone out of the day. Her eye fell
on her mother's old bonnet hanging undisturbed in its corner, and
the tears that Peggy's sharp tones had called forth rolled silently
over her cheeks. Yet she was not sorry she had refused to go ; for
surely she was showing, more love to her father by acting according
to his wishes, than by disobeying them, even though she did it to
buy him a present. That was Goosey's argument. And after she
had thought it over quietly, she felt comforted without exactly know-
ing why. You and I can easily guess the reason ; it was because her
conscience told her she had done right.
This point settled, she bathed her face in cold water. It would
never do for father to see she had been crying on his birthday.
44 GOOSE Y'S GIFT,
Then she brushed and neatly tied back her hair, put on her after-
noon pinafore, and, providing herself with a clean sheet of paper and
a new pen, sat down to write a little note in her best round hand.
She had decided that, having no present, she would give this, to
show her father he was not forgotten. And as writing was hard
work to Goosey, and spelling harder work still, for some time
nothing was heard but the scratching of her pen. I like to think
of her, as she sat in the quiet kitchen at her loving task. You may
see for yourself how intent she was upon it, by looking at the picture;
and I daresay you will agree with me that she would have found it
easier if she had chosen a higher chair. But it was no great con-
sequence, as the note was never finished; for what with a great blot
which hindered her dreadfully, and the time it took to consider the
spelling, she had only written--
My DEAR FATHER
I ope this finds u wel as it leeves me at pressent--"
when back came Peggy and Emma and Nell; and the kitchen was
quiet no longer.
"How cool and comfortable you seem!" said Peggy, who
certainly looked neither the one nor the other.
We hurried along at such a rate, I'm tired to death," added
Emma, pettishly. "What a horrid dusty walk it is!"
I thought you liked it yesterday," said Goosey. "And did
you get your things ?"
"Yes; but we might have saved ourselves the trouble; for
we met young Heath with a message from father that he might not
be home till late. Was ever anything so tiresome ?"
"And I believe that draper sells common things," said
Emma, who had unrolled her purchase, and was examining it.
" This handkerchief does not look half so good as it did in the
window; and your tie, Peggy, was very dear. I shouldn't wonder
GOOSE Y'S GIFT. 45
if they made a mistake in the price- they seemed in such con-
fusion. We had a strange young man to serve us, and somebody
was ill, he said."
Well, it can't be helped," sighed Peggy. "Let us have tea,
as it is no use waiting for father."
It was not a very pleasant meal. Peggy was too tired to
make the fritters; Emma could not get over her fears that she had
not laid out her money to the best advantage; and Nell was over-
heated and cross, and spilled her milk. But before it was, finished,
something happened which made them forget all their troubles; for
the carrier pulled up at the door, and with a joyful cry of Mother's
come back !" they rushed out in a body to meet her.
It was really quite odd how much more cosy and homelike
the little kitchen looked with mother seated again in her usual place,
and enjoying the hot cup of tea they soon got for her. But while
she drank it, their newly-found happiness vanished as quickly as it
had come, for she happened to say, I heard bad news down in the
village. The carrier tells me two of the children at the draper's are
ill with the fever."
Goosey gave a start, and turned as white as a sheet. Peggy
and Emma uttered a startled cry. They saw-too late-how foolish
they had been, and in a terrible fright hastened to confess their fault,
wringing their hands and weeping bitterly, for they had exposed
others to danger beside themselves; and even now little Nell, lying
flushed and sleepy in her mother's lap, might be sickening for an
In the midst of their alarm, in walked the father, and his joy
at the sight of his wife was of course checked by the tale she had to
tell. Tired as he was with his hard day's work, he started directly
for the village, to find out whether the report about the fever, which
he also had heard in the morning when he ran back to warn Peggy,
SHE SAT IN THE QUIET KITCfJEN AT HERZ LOVING TASK."
GOOSE Y'S GIFT. 47
It was an anxious time until his return, and one that the three
elder sisters never forgot. They put Nell to bed, and noticed thank-
fully that she was cooler and slept calmly. And at the first sound of
the well-known footstep, how eagerly they ran to meet their father;
and oh what a load seemed lifted, from their hearts at the sight of
his face; for, although very weary and a little sad, there was a smile
-upon it that spoke of comfort.
He had 'seen the doctor, and found there was no cause for
alarm. The draper had illness in his house, but it was not fever.
And as for the report, it had got about no one knew how, and was
likely to do the poor man some injury, by keeping people away from
"And now, Peggy," said the father, when everything had
been explained and forgiven, and, after this eventful day, they were
all- sitting together again, enjoying the summer twilight, "pray tell
us what pressing business took you to the village ?"
They went to buy presents for you," whispered Goosey,
as her sisters blushed and hesitated.
And what have I done, Goosey, that I do not receive my
"Perhaps you would not care for them now, dear father ?"
Nay, Peggy," said he, guessing her thought. "If they
remind me of your fault, they will remind me also it is a fault
So Peggy and Emma brought the blue tie and the yellow
handkerchief, and the father thanked them, and admired their choice.
And then he drew Goosey closer to his side, and said, "You must
not wonder, though, if I prize another gift-the gift of Goosey's
choosing-more than yours."
Why, father," cried the little girl, raising her innocent eyes,
48 GOOSE Y'S GIFT.
" I have given you nothing. Wait till to-morrow, and I mean to get
you a beautiful blue handkerchief to go with the tie."
But her father said, "You gave me what is better than a
hundred handkerchiefs, Goosey, when you gave me obedience; for
that is the best thing a child can ever give to father or to mother."
D IMPLEDICK and I had gone out for a little stroll, but it was
so warm we.sat down in a nice shady nook instead. At least
I sat down, and Dick stretched himself full length at my feet, and
rolled about on the short sweet grass, and looked dreamily up at the
blue sky, and laughed at the yellow butterflies that fluttered here and
there, and enjoyed himself generally.
Dick was only three years old-a chubby brown-eyed little
fellow with more dimples than you could count. His rosy cheeks
were dimpled, and so were his pink knuckles, and his fat round arms.
In fact, wherever there was the slightest excuse for a dimple, Dick
had one, and that was why we called him Dimpledick.
Presently the restless movements ceased, and Dimpledick lay
quite still. Now as this very seldom occurred unless he happened to
be asleep, I peeped at my pet's face to see if he was taking a nap.
No; his eyes were fixed on a large insect marching over the grass.
It was a beautiful beetle, with a golden green coat that shone like
armour in the sun. I have no doubt Dimpledick thought it would
make a capital toy, for his hand was just ready to pounce on the
pretty thing. But the beetle was too knowing for that. He spread
a pair of gauzy wings and flew out of reach. He did not go far, but
hovered round with a soft buzzing noise.
Dimpledick listened very attentively; perhaps he understood
the beetle's language. I know a little about it myself, and listened
also; and this is what I fancied we heard.
"Why did you try to catch me, Mr. Dimpledick ? Surely
the world is big enough for us both; and you love the air and the
light, and the sweet smell of the flowers so much that you cannot
wish to deprive me of the joy I find in flying about, or sunning my-
self on a blade of grass. Look how my coat shines! And in my
delicate wings are all the colours of the rainbow. It must, I should
think, give you more pleasure to see me as I am, than crushed and
dying in your hand. I know that some people say we poor insects
cannot feel pain; but then, my dear Mr. Dimpledick, why do we
struggle so hard when we are unlucky enough to get in their cruel
grasp ? And if they only knew how wonderfully we are made, and
what strange things happen to us in our short lives, they would, I
feel sure, think twice before illtreating us. Oh, yes! we have
marvellous adventures. For instance, I was not always a beetle.
When I came from the tiny egg which my mother had carefully
placed in an old tree, I was a grub, and a dreadfully greedy grub, for
I did nothing but eat all day long. I ate so much that after a while
I burst my skin; and then I ate no more for the very good reason
that I had no mouth. My life was now a blank, until-one glorious
and never-to-be-forgotten day I woke as from a long sleep, and found
myself furnished with wings and fitted to enjoy this beautiful world,
I could tell yet more wonderful tales of many of my friends and
acquaintances. My cousin yonder, the butterfly with dark spots on
her white wings, would you believe she was once a bluish-grey
caterpillar with sixteen feet, and an enormous appetite for cabbage ?
Now she sips honey from the choicest flowers; but then she cared for
nothing.but cabbage, and has even been known to eat twice her own
weight of that food in a day and a night. On account, of this-she is
generally known as the cabbage butterfly;'a proof, Mr. Dimpledick,
that the habits of early life are pretty sure to .leave some trace to;
the end of our days. But you will be tired of my gossip. Adieu,
DIMPL EDICK. 51
then. May the little I have said incline you to be merciful to us tiny
creatures. May you never wantonly rob us of our liberty, nor
imagine, as some thoughtless children do, that pulling off our legs
and wings is harmless fun. But may you, on the contrary, always
remember that no living thing is too insignificant to be treated with
Here the beetle flew slowly off; and I anxiously looked to
see what impression his words had made. But, alas! lulled by the
drowsy hum, Dimpledick was fast asleep.
S I PL/DICK..
Baby, and the Blackbird.
T HE blackbird and baby are very good friends,
Though sometimes the artful old fellow pretends
To drive us away in a terrible rage,
When baby's fat fingers reach up to the cage.
He flutters his wings, and he opens his beak,
And he looks so indignant, 'tis well he can't speak;
For angry, no doubt, are the words he would say;
And we do not like angry words even in play.
BAY AN THE LACKIRD,
A Puzzle for Maud.
T was Sunday, and Maud stood by her Grandmamma's side in the
wide red-cushioned pew she had known ever since she was a
very little girl indeed, and used to wish she might have one of the fat
stone cherubs carved on the wall to play with. She was getting
a great girl now-" nearly up to Grandmamma's shoulder;"' and
Maud raised her eyes until they rested on the kind face bent gravely
down. A worn and wrinkled face it was, but one very dear to many.
Gazing on it, Maud thought to herself what a wonderful thing it
must be to be old, and tried to fancy what Grandmamma was like a
long long while ago.
Perhaps," mused Maud, "she was like me; and some day I
shall be like her. But will everyone be as fond of me as they
are of Grandma ? Oh, I dare say they will, though; for I shall have
plenty of money, and I can send the cottagers soup and jelly, just as
she does ; and of course they will think a great deal of me. Ah, I
am glad I am rich! It must be horrid to be poor, and to have
nothing to give away !"
Maud was not the only one in church that morning who made
the mistake of fancying that money meant happiness. Up in the
gallery, and in full view of the red-cushioned pew, sat the children of
the village school; all neat and clean, but many of them poorly
dressed, and not a few looking with a little envy at Miss Maud,
in her handsome jacket, and the large-feathered hat which rested so
lightly on her golden hair. They imagined she must be happier
A PUZZLE FOR MAUD. 55
than they, because she had beautiful dresses and a fine house, and,
as she lived alone with her Grandmamma and her governess, and was
known to be much indulged by both these ladies, she had nothing to
do but to please herself. Certainly, therefore, she must be very
happy! This was how they argued. But, lest you should be in-
clined to agree with them, let me whisper in your ear that pleasing
oneself is hard work; and so, I believe, the young lady found it,
for although she constantly tried to please herself, and herself only,
she actually felt sometimes quite out of spirits and discontented,
which was provoking, to say the least of it.
The hymn being over, everybody settled down in their places
for the sermon. Maud, as usual, opened her Bible, and found the
text the minister gave out; and in doing so she caught sight of
another verse, one line of which greatly interested her. It was this :
" As poor, yet making many rich." Now, what could that mean ?
It seemed almost like an answer to her thoughts just now. Almost
as if poor folks had gifts at their command, like the wealthy. Maud
decided it would be absurd to remain poor yourself, if you could
make other people rich. She heard very little of the sermon that
day; she was puzzling all the while over that curious line, and she
determined to take the first opportunity of asking Grandmamma
about it. Miss Linn, the governess, was gone on a visit for a
week; so she could not ask her..
The opportunity did not come directly, for they stayed so
long on their way home, chatting with one and another-with Jamie
Luck, the cripple, whose sad eyes seemed always hungering for a kind
word; with Dame Brown, who was longing to tell Madame she had
heard from her son; with Joe Spany's wife, who had her baby out
for the first time-that they were quite late; and then the Rector
dropped in to lunch. Altogether, it was not until the evening that
Maud got Grandmamma to herself, as she expressed it. And now
r:I: ., I !.'
S"MAUD STOOD BY HER GRANDMAMMA'S SIDE."
A PUZZLE FOR MAUD. 57
out came the Bible, and her busy fingers quickly turned the leaves,
and pointed out the words which so perplexed her: "As poor, yet
making many rich."
Is it printed wrong, Grandma ? she asked. I do not see
how a poor person can possibly make another rich, do you ?"
Oh, yes," said Grandmamma, calmly; that is done every
Maud looked up quickly; she thought such an answer must
be given in fun. But no! Grandmamma was as grave as a judge,
until Maud's puzzled glance made her smile; and then she added,
"Well, dear,: cannot you believe it ?"
Oh," said Maud, of course,, since it is. in the Bible, it must
be true; but-but-I should like to see it done."
"So you can."
"What! really and truly see it! Should I have very far to
go? asked Maud, eagerly.
Oh, no! "
Maud sat quite still for some minutes, trying to solve this
mystery. At length she said, Grandma, where is the best place,
please ? If you have no objection, I will go to-morrow, and see
somebody made rich."
I do not object," said Grandmamma, smiling. Suppose we
go together ? Instead of driving in the afternoon, we will walk
through the village-you and I-and perhaps we shall be fortunate
enough to see the wonder performed."
That will be charming!" cried Maud.
But her smile suddenly changed to a pout, and her smooth
forehead became ugly with frowns, for Janet, her maid, stood at the
door, saying it was eight o'clock, and nearly bed-time. "Your bread
and milk is served, Miss Maud, and .I am afraid if you do not come
at once it will be cold."
58 A PUZZLE FOR MAUD.
"Never mind if it is," said Maud, impatiently. "Do go
away: I will come presently."
And Janet closed the door, with a cloud on her honest face.
..... --:--=---.:-.--- -:--- -- -- ----_----- -- -+ -- -I
" My young lady means well, I know," she murmured; "but I do
wish she would not snap one up so."
GAZING A O Y N E D
G G U OR
:cAIGAXOUL DW TE 0A.
6o A PUZZLE FOR MAUD.
Maud was ready for the promised walk long before her
Grandmamma; and while she waited in the garden, which was
pleasanter than the house this lovely spring day, Janet came out
with a beautiful bunch of wild flowers, that Jamie had managed, in
spite of his lame leg, to gather in the meadows. Maud was fond of
flowers, and always glad to have them, and she took out her little
velvet purse, and gave the maid a bright new sixpence for Jamie.
Won't you.see him, Miss Maud, dear ? asked Janet.
Oh, no," said Maud, carelessly; "I have no time now.
And what does it matter ? You can give him the sixpence, and
say I like the flowers."
But it mattered a great deal to Jamie, if Maud had only
known it. He was pleased to get the sixpence, of course, for they
were very poor people; but when he took it to his mother, he said,
soberly, I made sure she would come out herself, and give me a
smile and a thank you for the bits of flowers. It makes the money
worth double, somehow."
Well, Maud did not know this. She thought she had done
all that was necessary in paying Jamie for his trouble; and she sat
down on the trunk of the tall oak that shaded the lawn, and amused
herself by twining some of the pretty wild blossoms in her hat, and
arranging the rest according to her fancy. There were golden king-
cups, and pale primroses, and clustering cowslips; simple flowers,
but dearer, after all, than the grander ones in greenhouse and garden,
for they whispered of the woods, and the dewy meadows, and the
green hills when summer is coming again to make the happy earth
bright and beautiful. And so thinking, Maud presently gathered
up her treasures, and ran indoors, singing merrily-
"What is the tale the violets tell,
Nodding, nodding all the day?
Spring is here that we love so well,
Lads and lasses, be blithe and gay."
A PUZZLE FOR JMAUD. 61
The church clock struck four as they started for their walk.
Now to see somebody made rich !" cried Maud, skipping along.
"Grandma, I am in as great a puzzle as ever. I don't see how it
"MAUD TWINED THE BLOSSOMS IN HER HAT."
can be done, except by giving away great bags of money ; and a
person who had great bags of money to give away wouldn't be poor."
62 A PUZZLE FOR MAUD.
I don't at all suppose we shall see bags of money handed
about," said Grandmamma.
But it is money that makes people rich, isn't it ?" said Maud.
That is what we are going to find out, Maudie."
Oh, dear!" sighed Maud; "it is as bad as a riddle!" And
she walked on quite thoughtfully, until they turned into the village
street, which was almost empty, for the children were not yet out of
school; the mothers were shut up in their cottages, tidying them-
selves for tea; and the fathers were at work. There was nobody
to be seen but two girls standing at the window of the cake shop,
and a little way off a tiny child taking a bite from an apple which a
boy held out.
Have another, Nell," said the boy. Have a good big one!"
And Nell, looking very solemn, and opening her rosy mouth very
wide, in order to make the most of the invitation, had another bite,
and then another after that.
"Tommy Dean will not have much of his apple left," laughed
Maud. Look, Grandmamma; school is over; the children are
coming out. What a hurry Kitty Smart is in! Do you see her, swing-
ing her bag of books ? There, she has fallen down: careless child !"
Maud hastened on to Kitty, who had hurt her hand and
bent her hat, and was looking very doleful.
Why, Kitty, what made you fall? You should not run so
fast, if you cannot keep your feet better."
If you please, Miss, it wasn't my fault; it was the boot-lace."
The boot-lace ?" said Maud.
Yes," said Kitty, her voice beginning to tremble at Maud's
sharo manner. "It was undone, and it threw me down."
Very untidy of you, to be going about with your boot-lace
undone; and why do you not fasten it now, instead of crying as if
you were a baby ?"
A PUZZLE FOR MA UD. 63
"It's broken," said poor Kitty, fumbling at her boot, but
unable to see it for the tears that would come. She was as neat as
a new pin, and to be called untidy hurt her far more than the fall.
"Never mind, Kitty, I'll soon mend it!" cried a cheerful
voice. It was Tommy Dean, and Kitty brightened up directly.
Tommy lost no time; he went down on his knees, and quickly and
good-naturedly mended the lace and fastened the boot.
That is right," said Maud's Grandmamma. He is a friend
in need, is he not, Kitty ?"
I don't know, ma'am," said Kitty; "but he's always kind,
and he helps everybody."
Tommy was so much confused at this praise, that he rushed
off, without waiting for any thanks; and Kitty, comforted and
smiling, dropped a curtsey, and went her way.
I think," said Grandmamma, "we may call Tommy Number
"Number One, Grandma!" repeated Maud in surprise.
"Why are we to call him Number One ?"
But Grandmamma did not heed the question. She only
said, "And there, if I am not mistaken, is Number Two."
Maud looked about in great bewilderment for Number Two,
and all she could see was a child about her own age, trying to coax
a little cross boy along.
Come, Johnny," she was saying, gently; "mother will be
waiting for us. Let us try who can get home first, and give her
"Shan't!" said Johnny, hanging back, and rubbing his eyes
with his fist.
"You naughty boy!" cried Maud. "Go home with your
But this made matters worse. Johnny began to scream and
,. ,,i .,. I !,
11111 1 11 Jll
"A AN TH NLL"ti
.'' .. .. '
- -- ,,, ;.' ,
-'-:.-- -- -- --.,' .-.'.: .
,,, ;.- ;! d iii
HAVE--,-HER ,. N.
:, -: __: -. _: ... ..
: ... _.:_
-:-_. _:_-:-~~--~--~ .. ... -: ._. ._.-_
:--z:"--" "--t ' -
.- -. --.. _! : I_-- z :-_-_
,:-..i :-::r : --. ..- --.s*: -.s8~ s
.:t- ; ._ - -- __: .._-- ._:-.,_:,-,: ..,
" : :- :-- :.i:-,v,,--.... _... ,.:.-D ;.s
I .::.-,. ,'_ ,-:-... :-.-:.
"'-"K-- - ;- -': '- --: ' ". -
.-, - __ :- -- --
HAVE ANOTHER, NELL."
A PUZZLE FOR MAUD. 65
stamp; and Maud, alarmed at the storm she had raised, walked on,
saying, indignantly, I wonder she has patience with him; I am
sure I should have none._ I should leave him to get home as he
Grandmamma smiled, but said nothing; and Maud was just
going to ask why she had called the little girl Number Two, when
they came to a cottage, at the door of which a woman stood, gazing
anxiously down the road.
Good-day, Mrs. Potter," said Grandmamma. "Are you
looking for your children ?"
"Yes, ma'am," said Mrs. Potter; "I fancied I heard
Johnny's voice a minute ago. He's so fractious oftentimes, poor
little fellow, since he's been ill, that it's no uncommon thing to hear
Yes; he was in great trouble as we passed, but he seems to
have a very kind sister."
"Oh, if Annie is with him, it is all right !" said Mrs. Potter,
heartily, and the anxious look went out of her eyes at once. She
begged the ladies to step into the cottage and rest; and although
Maud did- not feel a bit tired, she was glad .her Grandmamma
accepted the invitation, the small kitchen being so snug and clean.
While Mrs. Potter talked of Johnny's illness, Maud had time
to admire the snow-white dresser, the shining plates, the nosegay or
bluebells and daffodils in a brown jug, the brass candlesticks, and the
mahogany chest of drawers, bright enough to be almost as good as a
On a wooden stool, near the window, sat a little girl, sewing;
while a black and white kitten rolled about at her feet, and tried in
the most absurd way to catch its own tail. She-the little girl, that
is-was so small, and so intent on her work, that Maud, with some
amusement, begged to know what she was making.
"A FRIEND IN NEED."
A PUZZLE FOR MA.UD. 67
The young needle-woman appeared flattered by the inquiry,
but. seemed to have lost her tongue. Maud tried another question.
"Why don't you turn your toes out when you sit at work ?"
Because I'm too busy," said the little girl, shyly.
"Do you sew every day ?" said Maud.
>" Yes," said the little girl, getting confidential; "sometimes I
pull through, and sometimes I cobble up. To-day, mother has
given me a whole reel of cotton and I'm cobbling up."
Maud did not -understand this at all, until Mrs. Potter ex-
plained that "pulling through" did not waste her cotton, as one
needleful would last any time. To be sure, there was not much to
show for this sort of work, and therefore "cobbling up" was con-
sidered a treat by little Susan, who hoped soom, however, to cobble
no longer, but to learn to sew neatly, and to hem her father's
Here the kitten rolled over, as much as to say it was high
time something besides work was talked about.
"Puss wants a game," said Maud.
I'm too busy," said little Susan again, very grandly.
"You had better tell him so," said Maud, laughing. -But-she
was rather astonished when Susan took her at her word, and, after
one doubtful glance at the -visitors, 'gravely addressed the kitten as
No, puss, I cannot always play,
I've something else to do;
To frisk and frolic- through the day
Is very well for you.
But boys and girls, my little kit,
Have books and work to mind;
So, if I sometimes quiet sit;
Don't think me puss, unkind.
V WL v
A PUZZLE FOR MA UD, 69
I'm just as fond as you of fun,
'Twill prove it, when I say,
The moment that my task is done
We'll have a game of play."
While Maud was asking Susan who had taught her to repeat
the lines, she heard Mrs. Potter say:-
"Yes, ma'am, my little Annie is indeed a blessing to us; so
cheerful, and kind, and willing. See, here she comes, and Johnny
with her as quiet as a lamb. She knows how it worries me to hear
him cry, and she is sure to coax him back to good temper, if any one
can. She never seems more contented than when she is serving
someone. And, as you say, Tom Dean is just such another. Ah,
ma'am! what a good thing it is for us poor folks who have little else.
to spare, that cheery words and a helping hand are worth so much."
"Grandmamma," said Maud, when they left the cottage, and
were walking home, I have found out the puzzle. It means that-.
that-I don't know whether I can put it into words, but there is
something besides money that makes people rich, is there not ?"
Yes, Maudie," said Grandmamma; or we should be poor
indeed. Happiness springs more than you think from the loving
smiles, the little kindly deeds, and the gentle words of those around
us. And so, you see, it is quite possible for the very poorest to make
many rich. There is another verse in the Bible which will help you
to remember the explanation of your puzzle; when you get home.
you can find it for yourself: Ye know the grace of our Lord, Jesus
Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became
poor, that ye, through His poverty, might be rich.' Not only with
regard to money, Maudie, but with regard to all the best gifts and
blessings of life, the words of the Book of Proverbs speak truly :
' There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that with-
holdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.' "
The Best of Masters.
OOD news! good news!", cried Lewis, dashing into the
school-room at such a rate that he ran against the table
and upset an inkstand over Francie's copy-book. "The holidays
will begin on Monday, and we are going to the sea-side."
Shouts of joy greeted, this speech. Hugh relieved his feel-
ings by dancing a hornpipe on the hearthrug, that being a sailor-like
accomplishment which seemed to suit the occasion. Nora waved a
rather dingy handkerchief (she had used it to clean her slate, having
lost her sponge; so you may guess it was not just what a young
lady's handkerchief should be). And little Francie clapped her
"Won't it be jolly?" said Lewis. N6 lessons, nor sums,
"Copies," murmured Francie, looking at her blotted book.
And nothing to do but be out-of-doors from morning till
I shall get Uncle Ted to teach me to row," said Hugh; I
ought to begin to learn, if I mean to be a sailor."
I shall dig in the sand, and build castles," declared Nora.
Little Francie said nothing. She had no very clear idea
what she would do in these glorious holidays that were coming, for
she had never seen the sea. But now that the sea alone occupied
the minds of her brothers and sisters, she heard so much about it,
and so many descriptions of its wonders and beauties, that 1 think
she half expected to find her Grandmother's house, where they were
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 7r
going to stay, a sort of enchanted palace, surrounded by golden sands,
on which the waves threw pearls, and shells, and all manner of
treasures for those to gather who would.
Perhaps this is what it actually seemed to her on the first
morning of their visit. At all events, no little girl ever ran down
more joyfully to the beach than Francie with her new spade
Grandmamma, Grandpapa, and Uncle Ted made the young
visitors very welcome and very happy. As Lewis had said, they
were out all day long. The two boys went crab-catching and
shrimping; and Lewis, who was of a warlike turn, built fortifica-
tions on the smooth wet sand, digging round his castles and forts a
deep trench, which instantly filled with water, and which he called a
moat. He was quite proud of his work sometimes, and rather pro-
voked to see the incoming tide wash it all away. But then, to be
sure, there was the fun of beginning again. Nora said it reminded
her of the parable in which we read of the foolish man who built
his house on the sand, and the wise man who built on a rock; and
she thought it helped her to understand that if we want any work of
ours to last it must be begun on a strong foundation.
Nora had struck up quite a friendship with a fisherman, who
was sometimes employed by Uncle Ted, and whenever the other
children missed her, she was nearly sure to be found sitting by his
side while he made or mended his nets. She often came back from
these chats with such strange stories of the creatures living in
the sea, that her brothers were inclined to call her a simpleton for
For instance, who ever heard of a lemon-coloured slug, with a
beautiful tiny plume of feathers springing from his back ? Or of
another, ornamented with pretty little bouquets of flowers ? Or of a
creature which could, when angry, throw away its inside, and then,
72 THE BEST OF MASTERS;
in a month or, so, begin to eat as greedily as ever, a new set of
organs having grown in the empty skin ? Uncle Ted, however,
assured them it was indeed true that such living things, and others
even more wonderful, had their home in that mighty ocean which
stretched away and away until it seemed to meet the blue sky in
After this they listened more respectfully. But one day,
then they were-laughing at the funny movements of a crab, which
evidently had no desire for their company, and-was scuttling off side-
ways as hard as he could go, Nora remarked that there was one
particular kind, Jenkins told her, furnished with two little brushes,
with which it scrubbed and cleansed the whole of its body.*
"Oh, come now!" said Hugh; "that won't do! You just
ask Jenkins, from me, whether he knows anything about the mer-
maids that sit on the rocks, and comb their. hair with a golden
"Jenkins is a great deal too sensible to believe in mermaids,"
said Nora, getting indignant at Hugh's mocking tone. He knows
there are no such things, any more than there are fairies on land."
Oh, but there must be sea-fairies," said Francie, for look,
here are their boats, that. I have picked up to sail on my pond."
Francie pointed to her fleet of blue mussel shells, and cockles,
and limpets; and Nora, laughing at her little sister's fancy, forgot
her anger; while Hugh walked off with a certain scornful toss of
the head, which was rather too frequent a habit of his.
Hugh was the eldest of the children, and thought himself an
important person on that account. He sometimes gave -his sisters,
and even Lewis, to understand that their games and amusements
were too childish for him, but he generally ended by enjoying them
The Porcelain Crab.
** "1 'sS L / ^'** ~ i ^ ^ ^' ,-i11,1'1'"- '''' "
-. '.[...-- -' .... .r ^ .., ..
^ ,, --
74 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
as much as they did. He had a great idea, too, that although the
others ought to do as they were told, he had reached an age when he
,might judge for himself, and act as he pleased. A sad mistake, was
it not, for a little boy of ten to make ?
One morning, Hugh found Jenkins telling Nora-while he
worked busily at a coarse net-about his own boyhood; and as this
sounded interesting, Hugh sat .down and listened also. The two
children heard how the fisherman, as a lad, ran away from home,
and, in spite of the warning of his friends, hired himself out to
the owner of a fishing smack; and how he had for a long time to
endure great hardships in consequence of his disobedience and
And so, you see," said Jenkins, winding up his story and
his string at the same time, and preparing .to go to his dinner, I
know now that good advice ain't to be despised. It's a bit of
wisdom I learnt from the Best of Masters."
Who is the Best of .Masters ?" said Nora.
His name's Experience; Missy !"
"But, Jenkins," said Nora, Experience is not a man; it's
May-be, Missy; but it's the, Best of Masters for all that;
because folks don't forget in a hurry what it teaches."
And then Jenkins went home to dinner, and the children ran
along the sands to meet Uncle Ted, who had promised them a
Isn't Jenkins clever ?" said Nora, admiringly.
Oh, pretty well," said Hugh; "but old Dunk is the man for
me; knows all about frigates, and yawls, and yachts, and is going to
show me how to make a square-topsail schooner."
"I like Dunk, too," said Nora, "especially when he lets me
look through that long spy-glass he carries about."
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 75
Spy-glass! You'd better not let him hear you call it a spy-
glass! That's a telescope; silly.girl!"
Well, telescope," said Nora, humbly. "AAnd, Hugh, there
he is ith his spy- telescope, talking to Uncle Ted. And on the
next seat I can see Grandpa, and Grandma, and Toby sitting at
Grandma's feet and doesn't Toby look knowing ?"
,So the two ran up to their friends in fine style; and Dunk
76 THE BEST OF .MASTERS.
gave Nora. a peep through his telescope, and did not seem in the
least offended when she so far forgot herself as to call it-a spy-glass.
And he promised Hugh that in the evening he would help him with
his boat. And by this time Uncle Ted had finished his cigar, and
was ready to take them to the donkeys, which Lewis and Francie
were already waiting impatienly to mount.
They had their ride, and came home in the best of spirits, but
so tired that for once they were glad to stay indoors through the hot
afternoon. When it began to get cool, however, they started again
for the beach; and Hugh, carrying his half-finished boat, went to
find Dunk. On his way he met a rough-looking lad, rather bigger
"Good evening, Mr. Hugh," said the rough-looking lad, in a
very friendly tone. Fine weather, Sir!"
Hugh was pleased at being called Sir," as if he were grown
up. He stopped to talk to Mike Bond, as he had done once or
twice before; and presently Mike said, Didn't you tell me you
were fond of the water ? Me and my mates are going out to-
morrow, in .a boat we've got lent us; and if you like to give me
sixpence, I'll make it all right for you to come too. I shall 'say
you're a gent who can handle an oar, and they won't make any fuss
about it. It's a rare chance, Sir; you'd better come."
Hugh's heart beat fast. It was a rare chance indeed, he
.thought; and how delightful to be called a gent who can handle an
oar !" But-but, of course, if he went, it must be without asking
leave; for leave to go out in that way, he knew very well, he would
never get; and this provoking recollection made him pause.
"Of course," said Mike, who was quite sharp enough to
guess the difficulty; "I. won't say another word, if it will get you into
trouble. I wouldn't have spoken of it to your little brother, now.
But, thinks I, a young gentleman like you must be his own master."
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 77
Directly Hugh heard this, he was in such a hurry to keep up
his dignity, that he answered, more hastily than truthfully, Oh, it
isn't that. I was only wondering whether I should have the time
"DOESN'T TOBY LOOK KNOWING?'
78 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
to-morrow. Look here, Mike; just tell me where you start from,
and-and don't let it be where everybody will see us, because-
because the children, you know, may bother me to take them too;
and if I can come, I will be there."
All right, Sir. You're the real sort, and have plenty of
pluck, I see. It'll be a jolly trip, depend on it."
And Mike named an out-of-the-way part of the beach as the
place of meeting, and sauntered off to loll on the shingle with a lot of
wild lads, as rough and dirty as he.
Hugh meanwhile walked on in some confusion and excite-
ment. He soon caught sight of Dunk, sitting on a coil of rope,
smoking his pipe, and resting comfortably after the labours of the
day. The old man was quite willing to hear all about the toy boat;
and he turned it this way and that, and talked of the square-topsail
she must carry on her main-topmast, in a manner that would have
delighted Hugh, if he had not been thinking of something else all
the while; and then, to make matters worse, what must Dunk do but
jerk his thumb in the direction of Mike's back, which was turned to
them as he sat on the beach, and say, Have a care, Master Hugh,
and don't be too friendly with that good-for-nothing young Mike; if
he can lead anyone into mischief, he will."
Hugh took this well-meant advice with a very ill grace,
muttering something about being able to take care of himself, and
privately thinking Dunk's speech a great liberty. So the worthy
fisherman only added, No offence, Master; no offence." But when
Hugh was gone, he told an old crony of his, who stood by, he had
thought better of the boy than that he would not heed a word of
And the two puffed solemnly away at their pipes, and agreed
it was a pity young folks were so headstrong. And the stars came
out one by one, and Mike still sat carelessly throwing stones in the
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 79
water; while his father, who disliked work as much as the son,
leaned against a stone pillar, and stared moodily at the sea. I fancy
neither Mike nor his lazy father was as happy as honest old Dunk,
with his toil-worn hands and few moments of leisure. For do you
know that, odd as it may sound, to be idle every day of one's life is
really the hardest work of any ?
Hugh did not sleep as soundly as usual that night. The
wind was high, and once or twice he heard the rain pattering sharply
against the window. He was not sure whether to be glad or sorry
for this. Of course, if it rained he could not go with Mike; and
there was just a little sense of relief in that thought. But if it were
fine, and he did not go, Mike would think he was a coward, or, what
would be almost as bad, that he had been forbidden. No; he
decided he must go if he could any how manage it safely, for he
trembled to think what Grandpa, Grandma, and Uncle Ned would
say, did they know the company he was keeping. Well, there was
no use troubling himself till morning. It might be wet; it rained
again now; and this time he felt sure he was glad to hear it; and he
dropped asleep, to dream that he was out in a boat, and that it began
to jump and bump about in the most curious fashion; until he made
the discovery that it was not a boat at all, but a donkey, which
kicked and plunged as surely donkey never kicked nor plunged
before. Altogether, it was not a comfortable night; and when he
opened his eyes in the morning he felt vexed, for the first time, to
see the sun shining.
"Ann says it has been pouring so hard all night there's no
rain left for to-day; isn't it lucky ?" cried Lewis, who was half-
dressed. Ann seemed about right; for the sea lay blue and
sparkling, and the sky was cloudless.
Hugh leant from the window, and thought the boating trip
seemed much more tempting under these circumstances. But how
80 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
to get away without being missed by Uncle Ted, who generally was
with them in the morning ?
Isn't it lucky ?" repeated Lewis. "Lucky for us, and
luckier still for uncle!"
"A LESSON IN SHIP-BUILDING."
Why so ?" said Hugh.
"Oh, didn't you know ? He's going to drive some ladies and
gentlemen over to Sandean, and he won't be back till dinner."
141~ ;N',, ',L17
-z. -2- --_-2 -.
q .,-'.- :
gentlemen over to Sandean, 'and be won't be back till dinner."
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 81
Well," thought Hugh, "it would be very stupid of me to
miss a chance like this." And he peeped into a little purse his
Mother had given him last Christmas, and made sure that a certain
sixpence, the only silver coin he possessed, was there, and deter-
mined, after breakfast, to slip off as quickly as he could.
*- Y0 .... ...-
"TWO LITTLE BROTHERS."
But this he failed to do, for Lewis had so many plans to pro-
pose, that at length Hugh found the only chance was to let him into
the secret, first making him promise to speak of it to no one.
Lewis was frightened at the notion of his brother venturing
82 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
out with those rough boys, and Hugh rather enjoyed telling him
there was no danger, and talking in a grand sort of way of boating,
as if he were quite used to it. But when Lewis, finding this made
no impression, asked if it would not be very wrong to go without
leave, Hugh got angry, and begged him to mind his own business.
"You're only a little fellow," said he, drawing himself up;
"go and play with Nora and Francie. It is different with me.
When people are bigger, they don't care, you know, to be with the
Lewis glanced at a merry-looking girl (much older than this
important brother of his) who was laughing and playing with a tiny
bare-footed sister, and thought it did not seem to be always the case,
and what a fortunate thing that was! And while he stood there,
silent and disappointed, Hugh marched off.
Hadn't you better take your boots ?" called Lewis.
Oh, yes; I may as well," said Hugh. And he came back,
and slung them over his shoulder; and then, in return for Lewis's
forethought, said, Good-bye, old fellow; I'll tell you all the fun."
And this time he was really gone.
SLewis, left to himself, looked enviously at two little brothers,
cosily perched together on a rock. He wondered whether they
would like to join him in a crab-hunt, such as he had hoped to
enjoy with Hugh. It was no use asking Nora, for she sympathised
so much with the crabs, that she generally ended by letting them go
again, which was rather trying.
However, being too shy to speak to the strangers, he ended
by giving up the crab-catching expedition, and getting his sisters to
help him build an extra-large fort instead. And while they are busy
raising walls and battlements, we will follow Hugh.
He found his new friends dragging an old punt down to the
water, at the appointed spot. They were an odd party; Hugh, in
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 83
his clean, nicely-fitting clothes, seemed very much out of place
among the rough, ragged lads whom Mike introduced as Bill, Tom,
and Curly. And he could not help thinking the boat looked rather
rickety and clumsy. But it was too late to draw back now, for
Mike, with an eye to business, had quickly asked for, and obtained,
the promised sixpence; and Curly, in a great hurry, helped him to a
seat in the stern ; and already it was hard work to look as if he
enjoyed it, for he had struck his leg, which was bare, as he had not
yet put on his shoes and stockings, against one of the thwarts, and
the blow hurt him badly. A great deal of fuss, in the way of
pushing and shouting, appeared necessary to get the boat off, but
Mike explained that she was a difficult one to manage.
Like to take an oar, Sir ?" he said, politely, but with a wink
at Curly, which Hugh did not see.
Hugh secretly thought he should not like it at all, big and
awkward as the oars were; but he only answered, "Not yet,
At which Curly winked back at Mike, and said, "May-be
the gentleman would rather make himself useful baling out ?"
"What do you mean ?" asked Hugh, in some dismay.
"Why, you see," said Curly, "accidents will happen; and the
boat-she's a beauty all the same-has sprung a leak."
Is that what makes it so sloppy ?" cried Hugh, beginning to
feel more uncomfortable than ever.
That's it, and no mistake. I don't think," said Curly,
gravely examining the extent of the damage, with his head on one
side, I don't think she will go down; if she does, of course we
must swim for it."
But I-I can't swim !" said Hugh, in a voice of horror.
"What! Can't swim! That's bad. You'd best go on
84 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
Hugh looked round, and, seeing nothing suitable, ventured to
ask what he was to do it with.
"Take yer hat, stupid!" shouted Mike, rudely. And this
SHE LOOKED THE PICTURE OF ENJOYMENT."
change of manner so startled poor Hugh, that he hastily pulled off
his straw hat, with its dainty strip of muslin, and began to ladle out
the water, which was slowly but surely coming into the boat. To
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 85
add to his misery, the rocking motion made him feel sick and ill; a
feeling which was increased by the sun pouring down on his un-
"If the gentleman wasn't such a thorough-going sailor, we
might think he was showing the white feather," muttered Curly with
It's the heat," said Hugh. And I am afraid I must own
that two or three salt drops, which did not come from the sea, fell
into the unlucky hat.
"Hold hard," bawled Mike; we don't want no more water-
works than we've got. Here's a hat, young 'un-don't be a baby."
He clapped his own shabby sou'wester on Hugh's head as he
spoke; and the whole party set up a loud laugh at the woe-begone
face that looked out from under it.
You've no right to take -me out in an old leaky boat like
this!" cried Hugh, in a passion. -" Put me on shore directly!"
"'Tis n't likely we're going to.have our row spoilt by a land-
lubber for nothing," said Tom. "What will you give to be taken
"Anything!" said Hugh, recklessly. "At least, all I've got;
and that's threepence halfpenny."
Throw in the boots," said Mike, snatching them up; "and
we'll say done."
And that's handsome, since you get the hat," added Curly;
"and such a becoming one into the bargain !"
Hugh did ri not dare refuse. He was only too thankful to see
the boat turned, once more to land. Curly helped him out with much
ceremony, and assured him that the very best remedy for sea-sick-
ness was a smart walk, as he would have an. opportunity of proving,
the town being a mile- off, but easily to be reached by keeping
along the shore. Then they pushed off again, in a very merry
86 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
mood, apparently; and Hugh was left alone to get home as best
Making his way slowly back, footsore and weary, he had
plenty of time to reflect on his folly. He saw plainly enough now
that Mike had been working on his vanity, and had only intended to
frighten him into paying more than the sixpence. He even had
doubts whether the leaking of the boat was not part of the trick;
for he certainly heard the boy say something about putting in the
plug the instant they got him out of it. However that might be,
they had clearly made him their dupe, and no doubt at this very
moment were laughing at him, if not engaged in quarrelling over his
property. And oh, dear! what would they say at home when they
saw the plight he was in ? And how should he ever get through the
town, where everybody would take him for a beggar or a vagabond,
with those bruised and dusty feet, and that horried hat, which he
was obliged to keep on his head for fear of a sunstroke ? Once he
sat down to rest, leaning his aching head on his hands, and wishing
-oh, so much !-his mother were near, that he might tell her all his
trouble. Then on he trudged again, limping hastily out of the way
if he saw any one coming, in order to avoid being noticed. At last
he was near the town; when turning suddenly round a high rock, he
came face to face with Lewis.
Lewis was seated on a low rock, comfortably dangling his
feet in a pool of shining sea water just deep enough to cover them.
He looked the picture of enjoyment; and, directly he saw Hugh--
the picture of surprise.
Hallo!" said he; so you're back. Why, what a funny old
hat! What have you done with yours ?"
Oh! never m:nd the hat," said Hugh, shortly. Where are
the rest ?'"
",I suppose it blew overboard," continued Lewis, who could
THE BEST OF MASTERS. 87
not get over his astonishment at Hugh's strange head-gear. "How
tiresome for you! The rest-oh! they are somewhere about. We've
had such a splendid morning; and Ann brought us lots of milk and
plum-cake for lunch-I should think you must be hungry-and we're
all going for another donkey-ride this afternoon; I'm glad you are in
time. How did you like the boat, Hugh ? And did you really row
yourself? I expect you did, because you look so tired, and-why,
Hugh, where are your boots ? You haven't forgotten them again,
have you ?"
They're lost," said Hugh, gloomily.
Lost!" repeated Lewis, stopping in the act of drawing on
his own. Oh, I say; won't you catch it !"
This was not exactly comforting; and Hugh fairly broke
down, and sobbed out the whole story to his little brother.
"I dare say," said he, at the end of it, "they will send me
home for the rest of the holidays; but I can't be wretcheder than I
am, even if they do!"
"Come along," said Lewis, hopefully. "We'll get to the
house by a short cut; and we'll try and see Grandma first-she is
always so kind."
Hugh was not sent home in disgrace, though he very
narrowly escaped that punishment; for Grandpa and Uncle Ted
both thought he deserved it. But Grandma pleaded for him, and
he was forgiven. Nora said she was quite sure they might trust him
never to be so foolish again, for he had had a lesson from Experience.
"And didn't Jenkins tell us, Hugh," she added, turning to her
brother, "that Experience is the Best of Masters ?"
He was a very hard master," grumbled Hugh.
"Yes," whispered Nora, softly; but you chose him yourself."
88 THE BEST OF MASTERS.
The next Sunday afternoon Grandma had one of those quiet
little talks with Hugh that the old lTdy and boy alike enjoyed.
Hugh's painful experience, still very clear in his memory, helped him
to feel the truth of Grandma's words, "The worst master we can
ever serves Hugh, is Ourself. We are wise and good and happy
only when we remember that one is our Master, even Christ, and try
to obey His commands,' Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.
S. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."'
( \'^ -
ticking of the little clock on the mantelpiece, and there was
Baby,' taking her- afternoon nap on the wide sofa, instead of being
tucked away as usual in the farthest corner of the night nursery, that
she might not be disturbed by the romping of her brothers and
sisters. No danger of that just now, for Jack, Lucy, and little
Fredt were all gone into the country, and would not be back until
the evening; and there was nobody at home besides Violet but
Nurse, who sat by the sofa mending some socks, and quite enjoying
the stillness, for once in a way.
Violet did not enjoy it so much; or, rather, she did not enjoy
so much of it. Jack and the rest had been gone ever since ten
o'clock, and it was now three. Five whole hours! When bidding-
them good-bye, she had consoled herself for not going also, with the
thought that it would be rather nice to be alone, and have no one
to interrupt her ; but before long she began to get tired of solitude,
and by dinner-time she had decided it would be a very dull wbrld
indeed without Jack's merry pranks, Lucy's laughter, and the chatter'
of the little. ones, and had quite forgotten that she sometimes found
them troublesome and teasing.
Ah !" said Nurse, "that's the way with most of us. We
90 QUEEN BLUEBELL.
never know the worth of a thing until we lose it, and 'absence
makes the heart grow fonder."'
Is that a song ?" asked Violet.
It's a saying," answered Nurse.
It's a very true saying," remarked Violet; "for, now they
are all gone, I feel getting fonder of them every minute."
After' dinner she tried to make a playfellow of Baby, and
began, with much condescension, a game of bo-peep. But Baby
was tired, and played in a very half-hearted fashion, idly sucking her
thumb behind the handkerchief Violet threw over her face; and at
last being rude enough to go fast asleep in the middle of the per-
formance, and leave her sister to find some other amusement..
Violet perched herself in the deep window seat, and looked
out at the tops of the opposite houses and the strips of blue sky
overhead. Her eyes were not unlike the sky, being just as bright
and blue. Only the tears did not seem- far off, and up yonder there
were no rain-clouds near. Poor Violet had been ill, and was not yet
quite strong again; and this might be one reason why she felt so
dull. "Oh, dear!" she sighed, "it's very stupid here all by myself.
What do you suppose they are doing now, Nurse ?"
Well, Miss Vi, if I was obliged to guess as near as I could,
I should say they were getting into mischief, and feel sure I was.not
far wrong. We all know what Master Jack is."
'' Perhaps," said Violet, not heeding this dark suggestion,
"they, are out in the fields gathering heaps of flowers to bring
home;" and there followed another deep sigh.
"Why don't you get something to do, Miss Violet? You
would be ever so much happier. There is your doll; the poor
thing has not been out of her bed for days."
I know," said Violet, gazing with shame at the cradle which
contained her neglected child. "The fact is, she has nothing to
QUEEN BLUEBELL. 9t
wear. She does not look respectable, now she has broken her nose,
so we took her silk dress to make flags. I think," continued
Violet, I shall never care for a baby-doll again. What I should
like better than anything else in all the world would be a grown-up
Just then- the door opened, and a lady came in. The lady,
who lived next door, and was a friend of theirs, walked up to Violet,
gave her a kiss, and asked how she was.
"I am better, thank you," answered Violet; but not well
enough, Mamma said, to go with the others, so I stayed with
"And you are all alone, to-day. Would you like to come and
have tea with me ?"
Oh, if you please !" said Violet, looking as if she would like
it very much indeed. And Nurse making no objection, she joyfully
took off her pinafore, put on her hat, and announced herself ready.
Mrs. Horn had no children of her own, which Violet thought
a great pity, seeing that she knew so well how to make boys and
girls happy. There was a certain cabinet in her pretty drawing-
room, filled with all sorts of curious things and treasures in the way
of toys; and when she had little visitors, she was sure to produce
something from this delightful place with which to amuse them
during their stay.
Violet, while she sat drinking tea out of the old-fashioned
china, and eating seed-cake, could not help looking now and then
at this cabinet, and wondering what it would have to show her to-
day. And Mrs. Horn, seeing these glances, smiled, took a bunch of
keys from her pocket, and said, as she selected the right one, "Now,
my dear, I am going to be your good fairy."
Violet laughed, a little doubtfully. Mrs. Horn was stout and
elderly-not a bit like a fairy, she reasoned inwardly; and, greatly to
92 UEEN BLUEBELL.
her dismay, for she did not wish to hurt'her kind friend's feelings,
that lady answered her thoughts, just as if she had spoken, saying
merrily, So you do not think me very fairy-like ?"
You would find it rather difficult to fly, wouldn't you ?"
"Very true. If you cannot be a fairy without flying, I must
give up the idea, that's certain. By-the-bye, what is your idea of a
fairy, Violet ?"
Violet explained that she had always understood the word-to
mean a delicate little creature, with gauze wings and not much
clothes; at least, not so much as people generally wore. But she
bwned she had never yet come across a real live fairy.
"Oh, yes, you have," said Mrs. Horn, "only you did not
know it. For the real live fairies, Vi, are Kindness and Gentleness,
Patience and Self-denial; and they hide sometimes in the plainest
and humblest folk, and win our love. And even Beauty and Clever-
ness could never do that without their help."
Violet nodded her head gravely, and thought how fortunate
this was, since everyone cannot be pretty or clever, but all may be
gentle and kind. And while she was so thinking, Mrs. Horn
unlocked 'the cabinet, and coming softly behind her, put something
in her lap, and in a moment the fairies were forgotten, for there lay
the loveliest lady-doll you can imagine! She was dressed quite
fashionably, in a blue velvet gown, trimmed with lace; she had a
chain round her neck, bracelets on her plump waxen arms, and
sparkling stones in her ears; and her abundant hair was arranged
in thick plaits, one of which encircled her head like a crown.
Violet gazed admiringly on this stately beauty, and lifted her
respectfully, in order to examine her charms more closely; but when
Mrs. Horn said, I am going to make you a present, Vi; and if
you like it shall be this," the littlegirl fairly jumped for joy.
QUEEN BLUEBELL. 93
It is just exactly what I was wishing for," she said; "and
to think my wish should come true the very first day! One has to
BABY PLAYED IN A VERY HALF-HEARTED FASHION."
wish so long sometimes. I wished for weeks before Mamma gave
me my puzzle map; and, do you know, I am afraid Jack will have to
wish for ever before he gets his boat, for Papa says no one is to give
-94 QUEEN BLUEBELL.
it. He must save up his pocket-money, and buy it himself; and that
is just what Jack cannot.do, though he is always trying."
"What prevents him.?"
Toffee !" said Violet, solemnly. And very often chocolate
creams. Mrs. Horn, what would be a pretty name for my doll ?"
"You might call her Bluebell."
"So I might; .and then her name would match her dress and
her eyes. Bluebell! it is very pretty, but hardly grand enough; she
looks like a queen."
"Why not make it Queen Bluebell ?"
"Ah, that is it!" cried Violet, joyfully. That will do
So the doll was named "Queen Bluebell," and her new
mistress carried her home wrapped in a silk handkerchief, for her
majesty's wardrobe, though rich, was not extensive, and she did not
possess a single outdoor garment.
ABOUT a month after this, while the children were at breakfast one
morning,, their Mother came into the room with an open letter in
her hand, and she said, "Good news! Who can guess what it is,
I wonder ?"
"The swing is finished !" said Lucy.
Kittens!" cried Jack. The cat has kittens!"
No!" said Violet. She would not write .a letter about it,
you know. We are going to see Aunt Anne-that is my guess,
QUEEN BLUEBELL. 95
All wrong !" answered the Mother, smiling. You guess so
badly, I must tell you my news. The letter is from Highfield, and
Cousin May is coming."
Hurrah !" cried Jack. ." Won't we have fun She shall go
with me to choose my boat."
"She will tell me all about my pictures," said Lucy.
How nice it will be to show her Queen Bluebell!" exclaimed
"And to listen to her stories," chimed in Fred. "I love
And even the Baby chuckled and crowed louder than ever,
which was the only way she had of giving an opinion on the subject;
and Nurse's face wore an extra smile. Clearly Cousin May was one
of those happy, people whom we all love, and who seem to bring
pleasure wherever they go.
So when Jack and Violet. drove with their Mother to the
station, and the train came rushing in, and the passengers trooped
out on the platform, nobody had a heartier welcome than a certain
young lady who carried a basket filled with roses and pinks, and
whose face was as bright as the blossoms.
Cousin May was nearly grown up-sixteen last birthday-
but a capital playfellow for all that. She had merry ways, and a
sweet voice that charmed the children; and although rather tired
with her journey, she would not disappoint them, but sat in the
rocking-chair and sang every song they asked for, to say nothing of
a new one which was so lively that Freddy jumped on her lap and
stood there shouting with glee, while she held his hands and they
swayed to and fro, keeping time to the tune, until he lost his footing,
and rolled, flushed and laughing, to the ground.
Then Jack told her his wishes about the boat, which seemed
in a fair way to be his at last; for lately he had made it a rule to
96 QUEEN BLUEBELL.
look another way when they passed the sweet shop, that neither
chocolate nor toffee might tempt him to part with his pence.
And Lucy displayed her tea set of pink and white china.
"I will give you a cup of tea to-morrow," said she, "if Nurse will let
me. Nurse sometimes fills the tea-pot with real tea, and you cannot
think how nice it tastes in these little cups."
You are better off then than Mabel and Edie," said Cousin
May, "for they had to make-believe when they played at five-
"Who were Mabel and Edie? Tell us about Mabel and
Edie," cried the children.
SWell, Mabel and Edie were two little girls"-
Can't you sing it ?" said Freddy, hoping for another ride.
"Anything else ?" laughed Cousin May. And she drew
.Freddy on her lap, and began again-
"Said Edie to Mabel,
'We don't want a table,
We'll sit on the -floor and pretend to make tea.
The rest we must fancy,
But dear Sister Nancy
Has given three sweeties for sugar, you see !'
"Said Mabel to Edie
(I fear she was greedy,
And cared for the sugar-plums more than the game),
'I will not play longer
Unless the tea's stronger,
You've made it too weak, and I call it a shame !'
"Then Edie, affrighted
To find her tea slighted,
Soon filled the small cups with her sugar-plums three;
And selfish Mab ate them,
Delighted to get them,
While kind little Edie looked on full of glee."
QUEEN BLUEBELL. 97
During the song Violet ran off for her doll, which she was
very anxious should be admired. Now, to tell the truth, Queen
Bluebell was such a favourite with her mistress that Jack and the
rest regarded her coldly. Violet's fear lest she might be injured
made her rather selfish over her treasure. She would not allow any-
one to nurse it, and once when Lucy ventured to take it up, scolded
the poor child until she cried. So everybody thought it safer after
that to take no notice of Bluebell; and it was quite a treat to Violet
to hear her praised.
While May was with them they went one day to the Tower,
and the things they saw gave them plenty to talk about. Violet and
Lucy were delighted with the sparkling jewels, but Jack was more
interested in the Beefeaters, the massive suits of armour, and the
block. Who cares for jewels ?" said he. We can look at them in
the jewellers' shops. I'd rather see the block any day. Just think
how many people have had their heads cut off on that very block !"
I know one," said Violet; it was Lady Jane Grey, and she
was very beautiful and young. But I cannot bear to think of it,
Jack, and I wonder you can."
No; that's where it is," said Jack, discontentedly; "you are
only a girl, and so dreadfully fidgety over your things, or we could
have a splendid game. Bluebell would make a famous Lady Jane,
and I could be the executioner, and we might have this for the
block." Jack pointed as he spoke to a wooden stool; but Violet had
already rushed to her doll, and was quite crimson with indignation,
and just then Cousin May came in.
"What is the matter ?" she asked.
"Nothing," said Jack, only Violet is a goose."
"I am not a goose," declared Violet; "but you must not
Isn't that rather unkind ?" said Cousin May.
98 QUEEN BLUEBELL.
I don't mean to be unkind !" exclaimed Violet; "but Jack
has such low ideas. He wants to be an executioner; and it was only
the other day he would be an engine-driver, and he made Baby the
stoker, and poor Baby got into a dreadful mess with the coals."
"It didn't hurt her," said Jack. "And stokers cannot be
very clean, so it made it all the more real when she began to look
-black; only Nurse-"
"Looked black also, I should think," remarked Cousin May,
laughing. "Violet, would you like to come with me while I dress ?"
Violet's frowns vanished at this proposal. She liked to sit at
May's toilet-table and turn over her trinkets and knick-knacks. She
'put Queen Bluebell carefully away in her drawer, and ran out of the
lack, rather cross, at being left alone- for Lucy, who had
curled herself up on a low chair with a book, could scarcely count for
anybody, she was so absorbed in her beloved fairy tales--Jack, then,
'drummed his fingers on the stool, and wondered what he should do.
His eye fell on his empty "bank," and he wished to-morrow were
here, for Cousin May and he had opened it an hour ago, and found
it contained enough to buy the boat, and she was taking care of the
Money, and next day perhaps they would go and choose a beauty.
"I have a great mind," thought Jack, "not to let Vi play with my
boat; She would not like that, I. know; but it would serve her
right for being so disagreeable about her doll. As if I meant to
hurt her doll, or to cut off her head in reality! And we might
have had a jolly game. I say, Lu!" and Jack raised his voice.-
"Do put down that stupid book, and talk. Would not it be a jolly
Now Lucy, you see, was deep in the story of "The Ugly
Duckling," and had not paid any attention to what was going on
between Jack arid Violet, so she raised a pair of dreamy eyes,