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AWAY FROM HOME ON CHRISTMAS-DAY.
Drawn by Mary Hallock Foote.
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[Copyright, 1883, by THE CENTURY CO.]
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
A Story of two Minitng Camp"s.
BY H. H.
WHEN Elsie McFarland's father said, one morn-
ing at breakfast, that he believed he would go up
to Tin Cup and see if he could get work, Elsie
burst out laughing, and thought he was making fun.
"What is there so funny in that, Elsie?" said
her father. "I thought you would be very sorry to
have me go away."
Elsie had been laughing so hard, she could
not stop for a moment or two, although her father's
tone sobered her, and his face looked so grave that
she knew he was very far from jesting.
Why, Papa," she said, as soon as she could
speak, I was laughing at the name 'Tin Cup.' I
thought you were joking. Is there really a place
called Tin Cup ? The name of this town is funny
enough, but Tin Cup is funnier."
Oh, yes," replied Mr. McFarland. "Did you
never hear anybody speak of it before ? It is only
four miles from here. The man who brought
those beautiful elk horns that are over the store
door lives in Tin Cup. It used to be a lively
camp, but there is n't much doing there now.
Still it is n't so dead as this place," and Mr. McFar-
land sighed heavily, and leaning forward, rested
his elbows on the table and buried his face in his
Elsie was fairly sobered by this time. Spring-
ing out of her chair, she ran to her father's side
and, putting both her arms around his neck, ex-
"Dear Papa! don't cover up your face that
way. What is the matter?" and the tears came
into Elsie's eyes so fast and so big, she had hard
work to keep from crying outright. She knew
only too well what was the matter. It was many
months now since she had known that her father
was getting poorer and poorer; that the whole
town was getting poorer and poorer, and all the
people who had money enough to take them away
were leaving. Every day she noticed one or two
more houses shut up, boards nailed across the
doors and windows, and the people gone. It was
very dismal; but Elsie would not have minded
the dismalness of it, nor the loneliness, if that had
been all. But it was not. Her father was a store-
keeper, and they had nothing to live on except the
profits he could make on selling goods; so, as the
people in the town grew fewer and fewer, and those
who were left behind grew poorer and poorer, the
business at the store fell off, until sometimes many
days would pass without a person coming in to buy
anything, and Mr. McFarland did not know what
In a few moments he lifted up his head, and
said: Never mind, Elsie. You are a brave little
girl, and a great comfort to Papa. We shall pull
through, somehow; but it looks as if I 'd have to
go and leave you alone here for awhile, and I
hate to do that."
Oh, I sha'n't mind it, Papa," answered Elsie.
" So long as Mrs. Christy stays, I would n't be a
bit afraid. I can call right through into her room
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE,
from mine, the house is so near. And if you 're
only going to be four miles away, that is n't far.
Shall you keep a store in Tin Cup?" and Elsie
laughed again, in spite of her sorrowful heart, at
the idea of keeping store in a "Tin Cup."
Mr. McFarland shook his head.
"No, Elsie," he said, "there is n't anything
more to be made out of store-keeping in Tin
Cup than here. I was thinking about working in
the Silver Queen mine. They want more hands
Elsie turned pale, and made no reply. Her face
was full of woe. At last, she gasped, rather than
"Oh, Papa! In a mine?"
"Yes, dear," her father replied. "I am afraid
I must, unless I can find somebody to buy this
cabin and store, and that is n't any way likely.
But I sha'n't go for a month yet, and perhaps some-
thing else may turn up. So don't you worry about
it, child. Mining is n't any worse than lots of other
things," and he pushed back his chair and, kissing
Elsie, went out of the room.
Elsie did not stir. She folded her arms and
stood leaning on the back of her father's chair,
with her eyes fixed on the floor.
In a mine she kept saying to herself. My
papa work in a mine !" And she recalled the
miners she had seen in the store, rough, dirty, ill-
clad men, who drank whisky, smoked pipes, and
talked in loud, coarse voices. My papa be a
miner I 'd almost rather he'd die and Elsie
broke into a paroxysm of loud crying, and sank
into the chair.
Whisht now, honey, what's after making' yees
cry ? It's killing' yersilf ye '11 be if yer cries like
that. Whisht now a bit, an' tell me what's 'ap-
pened," cried Mrs. Christy, the good-natured Irish
woman, whose cabin stood only a few feet from the
McFarland's house, and who had been Elsie's
stanch friend ever since they had moved into the
town. But Elsie turned away from her now with
an instinctive feeling that this was a grief she could
not confide to any one, least of all to Mrs. Christy.
Mrs. Christy would not understand why the being
a miner should seem to any one a terrible thing.
Her husband had been a miner, and her two eldest
boys were working in a mine now. In fact, they
were the very men whose faces, clothes, and gen-
eral behavior had given poor Elsie a great part of
her unspeakable dread of a miner's life.
"It 's nothing I can tell, Mrs. Christy. I
could n't tell anybody. And I'm silly to cry; but
it came on me all of a sudden," said Elsie, jump-
ing up, wiping away her tears, and beginning to
clear off the breakfast-table. "You wont praise
me for a housekeeper any more, if you come in
and find me sitting down to cry, and leaving my
work undone at this time in the morning."
"An' it's mesilf that's always a-praisin' ye for a
housekeeper," retorted Mrs. Christy, "an' always
will be; ye 've got the stiddiest head I ever see on
young shoulders, ez I've said a hunderd times ef
I've said it onc't; an' if ye 'd ease yer thrubble by
tellin', it's more 'n likely I cud help ye."
No, thank you, Mrs. Christy, not this time,"
said Elsie, now quite herself again. "But if I did
need help, you may be sure that there is nobody
in the town I 'd ask it of so soon as of you. I was
telling my father only this morning that I'd never
feel afraid, even if I were alone in the house, so
long as you lived next door."
"An' wull ye may Mrs. Christy replied, much
flattered. "I'm yer woman, whin ye want me,
that's sure; but I 'd hate to see ye a-atin' yer
heart out with a sorrer ye 'd not shpake about.
Shpache is a grate easemint to the feeling's, my
dear, ez ye '11 learn whin yer older. An' don't
ye ever misremember that I 'm here whin ye
want me," and the good soul whisked back to her
Elsie McFarland was indeed, as her father had
said, a brave little girl, and, as Mrs. Christy had
said, a housekeeper with a "stiddy" head on her
shoulders. She was only fourteen years old, and
so small that she did not look more than twelve,
but for a year she had taken all the care of her
father's house, and had done all the work except
the washing and ironing.
When Elsie's mother died, Mr. McFarland ex-
pected to go into a boarding-house to live; but, to
his great surprise, Elsie implored him to continue
to live in their own little house, just as they had
I know I can do all the work, just as Mamma
did," she said. "I always helped her do it. I
know just how she did everything. Oh, try me,
Papa, just try me. Try me one week. Don't let
us give up our house. It will be dreadful not to
have a house of our own."
Finally, Mr. McFarland consented to make the
experiment. He felt as Elsie did, that it would be
a dreadful thing not to have any house of their
own; and he knew, even better than Elsie, how
uncomfortable would be the very best boarding-
place that could be found. But he did not believe
the child realized what she was undertaking, or
would be strong enough to do the work. He did
not know how much she had helped her mother
for the last two years. In fact, Mr. McFarland
never knew as much as he ought to have known
about what was going on in his own house. Mr.
McFarland was a dreamer. He had come to Colo-
rado thirteen years before, when Elsie was a baby.
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
He had brought with him from the East thirty
thousand dollars, and had been sure that in a very
few years he would make a large fortune and
go home to live. Mrs. McFarland had from the
outset opposed the plan of coming to Colorado.
She had much more common sense than her hus-
band, and believed most firmly in the good old
proverb of "letting well enough alone."
"You have a good business where you are,
husband," she said; "and a good home. Every-
body knows and trusts you. It is wiser to stay."
But it takes a life-time to make a fortune
here," Mr. McFariand would reply. And out
in Colorado it is sometimes made in a day Once
there, I can put my money into mines, and let it
be turning over and over, while I make our living
by a store." ,
And now the thirty thousand dollars was all
gone. In one unlucky speculation after another,
in mine after mine, smelter after smelter, a few
hundreds here and a few thousands there, it had
melted away, and nothing was left "to show for
it," except a claim or two in the Elk mountain
In all this time, Mrs. McFarland had never
been heard to complain; but she had grown weaker
year by year. As they went slowly down in the
scale of living, she accepted each change without
any murmur; but when it came at last to living
in a log cabin in a mining camp, and doing with
her own hands all the necessary work, her strength
proved unequal to it; and when the first severe
winter weather set in, she took cold and, after only
three days' illness, died. The doctors said it was
of pneumonia; and that was, in one sense, true,
for she certainly had pneumonia. But the pneu-
monia would not have killed her if she had not
been feeble and worn-out by her twelve years of
hard work and unhappiness. Her death was so
sudden, that Elsie never fully realized that she
would not see her mother again. She was away
from home at the time, having gone to spend a few
days at the Chieftain mine, twelve miles distant.
The manager of this mine was an old friend of
her father and mother. He had recently mar-
ried, and brought his pretty young wife out from
the East to live in a log cabin at the mouth of the
mine. She was exceedingly lonely, and often used
to implore Mrs. McFarland to "lend" Elsie to her
for a week. And hard as it was for Mrs. McFar-
land to be without Elsie, even for a day, she never
refused to let her go; for she pitied the poor young
bride, who had come straight from New York City,
with all its gayeties and comforts, to this bare log
cabin on a mountain-top.
"If I had had to take it so sudden as that," Mrs.
McFarland once said to her, I should not have
borne it half so well as you do. I 'vc come to it by
slow degrees, and that's been hard enough, I '11
confess. If I had two daughters, I 'd almost let
you have one all the time."
Elsie had been away only two days when her
mother was taken ill. As it seemed to be nothing
more than a severe cold, Mrs. McFarland would
not send for the child, though her husband was
anxious to go immediately. Very bitterly he after-
ward regretted that he had not done so; for poor
little Elsie could never understand why it was, and
her cries of "Oh, Papa, oh, Papa! why did n't
you let me see my Mamma before she died?"
almost broke his heart.
The people in the town were exceedingly kind
to both Elsie and him. Several begged him to come
and make his home with them. Everybody had liked
patient, gentle Mrs. McFarland, and everybody
loved Elsie, for her gay and cheery ways. They
did not like Mr. McFarland quite so well. They
thought he held himself a little aloof from them.
That is never a popular course anywhere, but of
all places in the world most unpopular in a mining
camp. It was not really true of Mr. McFarland,
at all. He had no idea of holding himself aloof;
but he wore better clothes than the other men in
the camp, his habitual speech was more refined,
and he did not drink whisky; and these things
made a barrier between him and the rest, in spite
of all his kindliness and good fellowship.
And so it came about that after the first outburst
of sympathy for him, at the time of his wife's
death, had spent itself, and it had come to be an
oldstoryin the camp about "poor McFarland, livin'
there all alone with his little gal," he was left more
and more alone; and this really had something to
do with the falling off in his business, though Mr.
McFarland did not know it. There was a sort of
store over at Tin Cup, a combination of whisky
saloon and store, where most of the common gro-
ceries, and a few of the cheaper dry goods, could
be bought; and the Red Jacket men had gradually
fallen into the habit of making their purchases
there whenever they could "make it come in their
way," as they said.
I '11 be goin' over to Tin Cup before long; if
you can get along till then, we might as well trade
at Ben Holladay's," many a man said to his wife
when she asked for money to buy something; and
the wife was very sorry to get the reply, for she
knew it meant that her husband would lounge
around in Ben Holladay's store, incur habits and
associations that were not good for him, and very
possibly come away, after all, without buying the
thing she had asked for.
No one who has not seen a mining camp" can
have the least idea of what a strange sort of town
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
it is, and what a strange life the miners' families
It does not take many days to build the kind of
town miners are willing to live in, and they don't
care what sort of a place they put it in, either, if it
is only near the mines. It may be in the very midst
of a pine forest, or out on the steep, bare side of a
mountain, all stones and rocks. They cut down
a few trees, and leave all the stumps standing; or
they clear away the biggest of the stones, enough
to make a sort of street; and then every man
falls to and builds the cheapest house he can, in
the quickest way: sometimes of logs, sometimes
out of rough boards; often with only one room,
very rarely with more than three. When they wish
to make them very fine, they make the end front-
ing the street, what is called a "battlement front ";
that is, a straight square wall, higher than the
house, so as to convey the impression that the
house is much bigger than it is. It is a miserable
make-believe, and goes farther than any other one
thing to give to the new towns in the West a
hideous and contemptible look. These log cabins,
board shanties, and battlement fronts are all crowd-
cd as near together as they can be, and are set
close to the street: no front yards, no back yards,
no yards at the side,-but, around the whole set-
tlement, a stony wilderness. It is n't worth while
to put anything in order, because there is no know-
ing how long the people will stay. Perhaps the
mines will not turn out to be good ones; and then
everybody will move away, and in very little more
time than it took to build up the town it will be
deserted. There are a great many such deserted
towns in Colorado and California. They always
seem to me to look like a kind of graveyard.
The town of Red Jacket, in which the McFar-
lands lived, was named for the Red Jacket mountain
near which it stood; in fact, it was close to the
base of the mountain. At the time Mr. McFar-
land moved there, a tremendous excitement had
arisen about Red Jacket mountain. Silver ore
had been found there, so rich that men said the
whole mountain must be made of solid silver.
From far and near, people rushed to Red Jacket.
Whole mining camps in the neighborhood were
deserted in a week; everybody "moved to Red
A brisk, busy little town was built, and, in less
than a month, two thousand people were living
there. Every foot of the mountain was staked out in
"claims," and hundreds of piles of rock and earth
thrown out in all directions showed how many were
at work. This was one year before the time at which
our story begins. Very soon, people began to find
out either that their claims were not good for any-
thing or that it needed so much machinery to get
the ore out that they could not afford to work
their mines. Red Jacket mountain was not made
of solid silver, by any manner of means. Then
the camp began to dwindle. Man after man sold
out his claim for a song, if he could find somebody
to take it off his hands; family after family moved
away, until there were not more than two hundred
souls, all told, in the town, and more than three-
quarters of the houses were empty.
No wonder Mr. McFarland was discouraged. Of
his own two ''claims," one had proved to be worth-
less, the other was in a rock so difficult to work
that nothing could be done with it without spending
thousands of dollars on machinery; the store, which,
in the time of the camp's biggest "boom," Mr.
McFarland had spent nearly his last dollar in stock-
ing, had ceased to bring in any reliable income,
and was now bringing in less and less each day. It
looked as if the owner would be left alone with a
large quantity of unsalable goods. The winter was
near at hand, and after it had once set in, there would
be no going out of or coming into Red Jacket.
By the first of November, the snow would be from
ten to twelve feet deep, all roads closed, and no
getting about except on snow-shoes. The poor
man sat in his silent and deserted store, day after
day, brooding over this state of things, and unable
to devise any scheme for bettering himself, till he
was nearly out of his wits. Then he would go
home to the little log cabin, and find it clean and in
order, and the simple meal well cooked and neatly
set out on the table by the affectionate Elsie, always
so glad to see him, and so guilelessly proud of her
housekeeping, and he would feel more self-reproach
than ever that by his folly and lack of judgment
he had brought so sweet a child into such straits.
It was in one of these discouraged and remorse-
ful moments that he exclaimed to Elsie, at break-
fast, that he believed he would go up to Tin Cup
and look for work. The more he thought of it,
the more sensible the plan looked. In truth, it
was the only way he could see of being sure of
money enough to support Elsie and himself through
the winter. In the spring, people might come back
to the camp again, and he might sell his goods.
Elsie's grieved and astonished cry, "Oh, Papa!
In a mine !" had cut him to the heart; but he
tried to forget it, and he resolved that she should
never see him in his miner's suit. The thought of
leaving her alone in the cabin through the long
and dreary winter was terrible to him; but he re-
flected that she would be safe there; he could see
her every Sunday; and good Mrs. Christy, within
call by day and night, would keep as close watch
over her as if she were her own child. The tears
came into his eyes as he thought to himself: "It
has really come to this, that a poor ignorant Irish-
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
woman is the very best friend I have to trust my
little daughter to."
Poor Mr. McFarland It was a sore secret that
lay between him and his little girl for some days
after his suggestion of the Tin Cup project. Each
was thinking of it, and knew the other must be,
but neither would speak of it. Perhaps it was as
well. Both father and daughter were being; by
these sad and secret thoughts, prepared for the
inevitable. And when it came they were able to
meet it more calmly.
When, a week later, Mr. McFarland said to Elsie:
"I have been up to Tin Cup, Elsie, and got the
place I was speaking of, and I shall go the first of
next month. Will you be afraid to stay here alone
I shall come down to see you every Sunday,"-
Elsie replied, with only a little quiver of her lip :
"No, indeed, Papa; I shall not be afraid. I only
wish there was something I could do to earn money,
too. I've been trying to think of something; but I
can't think of anything."
"My dear child," said Mr. M\cFarland, "don't
worry yourself about that. You are all the comfort
Papa has left to him in this world. You just keep
up courage, and I think better times will come be-
fore long. I don't want you to earn money; what-
ever happens, Papa will always have enough to
take care of you."
This he said to cheer Elsie, but in the bottom
of his heart he did not feel sure of it.
Only three weeks were left before the time fixed
for him to go to Tin Cup, and there were so many
things to be done to make Elsie comfortable for the
winter, that it kept him busy enough till the last
minute. In the first place, he cut and split and piled
up a quantity of wood for her to burn. He piled it
so high that Elsie said the wood-pile looked bigger
than the cabin, as indeed it did. Besides this big
pile out-of-doors, he filled one small room in the
house full of wood, to be used when the weather
was too bad or the snow too deep for her to get to
the big pile outside.
The next thing he did was to get Mrs. Christy's
permission to build a covered passage-way from
her kitchen window to Elsie's bedroom window.
Elsie's window he made into a door, opening into
this passage-way, and then he built steps at the
end which joined Mrs. Christy's house, so that, by
going up these steps, Elsie could get into Mrs.
Christy's kitchen through the window. When
Elsie found that this was to be done, she jumped
for joy. "Now I wont be one bit afraid," she
said; and by that, her father knew that she had
really felt a little afraid before, but would not dis-
tress him by letting him know it. Elsie was a
very brave and loving little girl, as you will see
before we get to the end of the story of this winter.
There was no difficulty about her food ; for in the
store were barrels of flour ind crackers and sugar
and salt pork, and shelves full of canned fruits,
vegetables, and meats. When Mr. McFarland had
carried in as much of all these as he thought Elsie
could use, and had arranged them on shelves and in
the corners of the room, the place looked more like
a shop than like the living-room of one little girl.
Elsie thought so herself. "' Why, Papa," she
exclaimed, it looks just like a little store What
made you bring in so many things ? Why could n't
I go to the store when I wanted things ? Or you
could get them out for me Sundays, when you
"I know,'" replied her father. But it wont
do any harm to have them all here. There may
be such deep snows that I can't get down some
weeks, and you can't get out. I 'd feel easier to
know that you have everything under this roof
that you could need for the whole winter."
Well, I 'm sure I have," answered Elsie, look-
ing around. "I should think I 'd enough for a
whole year. I 've enough to take boarders!
You'll see there 'll be lots left when you come
home in the spring."
"Papa," she continued, can I get anything
else out of the store, if I want to ? I don't mean
things to eat, but other things."
"What is there in the store that you want,
Elsie ? said her father, a little surprised. Do
you want a new gown ? "
"Oh, no, no, indeed!" cried Elsie. "I have
plenty of gowns. But there is something there that
I 'd like to crib from; but I don't want to tell you
what it is," and she turned very red in the face.
Mr. McFarland hesitated. He did not like to
refuse Elsie anything, but he could not imagine
what it could be she wanted; and, as he had some
valuable silks and laces in the store, he feared she
might have set her heart on something he could
not afford to let her have. But he need not have
been afraid to trust his little Elsie's good sense.
Seeing that he was hesitating, Elsie laughed out:
Oh, you need n't be afraid, Papa; it is n't any
of the nice things I want. It is only some of that
yarn that old Mrs. Johns brought to pay for the
flour. Don't you remember? It 's under the
counter, in a box, a whole lot of it; I heard you
tell Mamma when you took it, you did n't believe
you 'd ever sell it, it was such a horrid slaty color.
Mrs. Johns dyed it herself. Mrs. Christy says
she'll teach me to knit this winter, if I can get
the yarn. So I thought of that."
Yes, indeed, child," replied Mir. McFarland,
and he felt quite ashamed of himself. "You can
have that and welcome,-the whole of it."
So when he went to the store the last time, he
192 CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
brought over the box of Mrs. Johns's yarn, and
away down in the bottom of the box, under the
"horrid slaty" skeins, he put in some nicer yarns,
a big bunch of bright red and some blue, and
green, and yellow, and a great lot of white.
Poor little girlie he said to himself, "if she
is going to find any pleasure in her knitting, she
must have some bright colors to mix in."
And so Elsie was left all alone to keep house by
herself in the cabin, where only one year before
she had been living, a happy, gay little girl, with her
father and mother. It was pretty hard, but Elsie
never stopped to think about its being hard. She
just went to work. That is the only way in this
world ever to bear up under things that are hard.
Go to work, and keep busy. It is worth all and
everything else in the way of what people call
"consolation." That word consolation I never
liked, myself. It does not seem to me to mean
much. There is n't any such thing, to my mind,
as being consoled for a real trouble. If it is
a real trouble, it will be a real trouble always, as
long as you live; but you can always go to work
and keep busy, and so long as you do that the
trouble can not get the better of you. But that
is neither here nor there in this story about Elsie
McFarland, except that it was the way Elsie did.
How the wisdom came to her, I don't know. No-
body had ever told her, and she never put it into
words to herself. It simply seemed to her the
natural way to do.
Her head was full of plans of what she would
accomplish in the winter. She was going to learn
to knit, for one thing. She already knew a great
many ways of crocheting, but she was going to
learn to knit stockings and mittens, and perhaps a
bed-spread like one Mrs. Christy had once shown
her. She was going also to learn to cook a great
many things; she now knew how to cook only a
few simple dishes.
I mean to have some one new thing for Papa
every Sunday when he comes down," she said.
"I '11 go right straight through Mamma's cook-
book; only, the worst of it is, most of the things
take eggs, and there wont be any eggs very often.
I remember Mamma used to say she wished some-
body would make a cook-book of good things for
poor people," and Elsie sighed and felt sad as she
recalled the days when she used to help her mother
in all the household work.
There was another air-castle in Elsie's mind,-a
beautiful secret which gave her joy whenever she
thought of it. In one of the trunks where her
mother's clothes had been put away was nearly a
whole piece of cotton cloth, a half dozen linen
bosoms and collars and cuffs, and, nearly finished,
one shirt, on which Elsie had been at work just
before her mother died. Three more shirts were
cut out, and Elsie's air-castle was to cut out two
more, and have a half dozen nice new shirts all
ready for her father in the spring. She had been
meaning to go to work on them all through the
summer, but summer days were great temptations
to Elsie; there was nothing she loved better than to
ramble in the caions and grassy hill slopes, and
gather flowers. Red Jacket was a wonderful place
for flowers; such fields full of purple asters were
never seen anywhere else in the world, I do believe.
They were as thick as clover in a clover field, and
looked like a solid surface of beautiful purple.
Then there were dozens of other flowers, red and
blue, and white and yellow, some of which are not
to be found anywhere outside of Colorado. Elsie
was never tired of arranging great bouquets of
them. She put them in the window-seats, on the
shelves, on the table, in the fire-place, till some-
times the little cabin looked like a garden.
So, while the summer lasted, Elsie had not found
time to sew. After her housework was done, she
had usually rambled off after flowers. When her
own room was as full as it would hold, she would
bring bunches to Mrs. Christy, who did not care
much for them at first, but after a time began to
notice their splendid colors, and to like them for
their own as well as for Elsie's sake. Mrs. Christy
loved Elsie with all the strength of her warm Irish
Indade, an' she 's more to me, thin, than I 'm
likely to be to her, an' that 's the thruth," she
replied to Mr. McFarland, when, on the morning
he set off for Tin Cup, he had told her how grate-
ful he felt for her kindness to Elsie, and that he
felt easy to leave the child in her protection.
"An' it's no great purtectin' she nades," she
added, looking after Mr. McFarland as he walked
slowly and sadly away. "To my way o' thinking ,
it 's pertectin' yees she '11 be, an' not so long time
first, nayther. There 's more o' the making' uv a
man in her than ye 've got yersilf "
But we have run away from Elsie's air-castles.
There were the knitting, the cooking, the shirt-
making, these three; then there was one other,
which I dare say many of you will think was the
queerest of all: Elsie was going to learn to wash.
This also was a secret from her father. He had
arranged with Mrs. Christy to continue to do the
washing, as she had hitherto done, and Elsie had
said nothing; but in her own mind it was all
arranged that, as soon as her father had gone, she
would coax Mrs. Christy to teach her how to do
And then I can do up the shirts as fast as they
are finished," thought Elsie, and that will be the
greatest surprise of all to Papa."
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
And so Elsie entered on her winter. It was the of them were shoveled clear, so as to let the light in.
first of October when her father went away. In The covered passage-way between Elsie's room and
less than a month, the snow came; day after day Mrs. Christy's kitchen was buried up entirely, so
it snowed soft, steady, and still, until nothing could that it looked like nothing but a snow-drift.
THE SNOW-SLIDE. [SEE PAGE 195.]
be seen of the Red Jacket cabins except their roofs,
chimneys, and, in some of the higher ones, the
upper halves of the windows. To the door of every
inhabited cabin a long passage-way, like a tunnel,
was dug through the snow, and the windows in some
There is something beautiful as well as terrible
in such a winter as this. The surface of the snow
shines and sparkles as if it were made of millions
of diamonds. It is sometimes almost as hard as
ice, and men can glide about it on snow-shoes,
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
over miles of country and from one town to another,
as fast as they can skate.
One of the last things Mr. McFarland had done
for Elsie was to make her a new pair of snow-
shoes. She had learned the art of walking on
them the winter before, and was as fond of it as
of sliding down hill on a sled. She often caught
a tumble, but she only thought it all the more
fun. Everybody in the camp liked to see her go
skimming by, with her cheeks red and her eyes
shining; and there was not a boy in the camp
who could go faster than she.
Mrs. Christy used to stand at the window and
watch her with mingled terror and pride.
Luk at her, thin she would exclaim. Isn't
it a birrd she is But the heart av me 's in me
mouth, so long ez she 's got her two feet in thim
Mrs. Christy herself had never mustered courage
to learn to use snow-shoes. She put them on once,
took two steps from her door, lost her balance, and
fell headlong in the snow.
"' I '1 not timpt Providence any more," she said.
I '11 stay in till it places God to lift the snows
from aff us." And stay in she did through that
entire winter-twelve long weeks-until the snows
Nobody would believe how fast Elsie's days flew
by in this strange and lonely life. She was as busy
as a bee all day long, and in the evenings she sat
with Mrs. Christy, knitting and listening to Irish
fairy stories, of which Mrs. Christy knew many, so
weird and fascinating that Elsie was never tired of
hearing them over and over. The "slaty-colored"
yarn proved a great success, when the gayly-col-
ored was mixed with it; and Elsie before many
days had passed, had completed a pair of mittens
with long gauntlet tops, and a splendid scarf a
yard and a half long, for her Christmas presents to
These Mrs. Christy exhibited with great pride to
her acquaintances, and the first thing Elsie knew
she was besieged with entreaties to knit more such
mittens for sale. This gave her real delight. Here,
at last, was a way by which she could earn money,
-only a little, to be sure, but it was something.
Every one who saw the mittens wanted a pair, men
and women alike. They would have bought twice
as many as Elsie could have knit before spring.
All through November, Mr. McFarland came
down every Sunday and spent the whole day with
Elsie. What happy days they were Elsie grew
reconciled to her father's being a miner, as she
listened to all he had to tell her of the wonderful ores
in the mine, and how they were made into money.
He brought her some pieces of what is called pea-
cock ore." It has all the colors of a peacock's
neck in it. Elsie was never tired of holding it in
the sun and turning it over and over.
The first Sunday in December came a great dis-
appointment,-instead of her father, a strange man,
whom Elsie had never seen, bringing a note from
her father, to say that he had hurt his foot and
could not come down. But he hoped he should
be well enough to come the next Sunday. The
next Sunday came. No father. The same kind
man, however, came all the way down to tell Elsie
that her father's foot was much better, but still
not strong enough for snow-shoe walking.
By this time, all the miners in Tin Cup knew
about the little girl left alone in the cabin at Red
Jacket, and there was not a man of them all who
would n't have gladly walked the eight miles to
save her from being anxious about her father. In
fact, after the report which the first messenger car-
ried back, describing the neat room, cheery little
girl, and good dinner she gave him, there was
almost a rivalry among the men as to who should
go next time.
They had all become attached to Mr. McFarland
also. They had found that he did not really mean
to hold himself aloof from them at all; that he
took hold of the hardest work with good courage,
unused as he had been to it, and that he was as
friendly and kind-hearted as it was possible for a
man to be. Without knowing it, or trying to do
so, he had made dozens of friends, who were all
ready, if he should re-open his store, to give him
all the help they could.
At last there were only three days left before the
arrival of the Christmas Sunday, to which Elsie
had looked forward so long. Her father had writ-
ten that he would certainly be able to come down
if it did not storm.
"An' it 'ud niver have the heart to storm on
the blissed Christmas, an' it coming' on a Sunday,"
said Mrs. Christy.
"No, indeed! said Elsie. I'm sure it wont.
I wish Christmas always came on a Sunday." And
she danced around the room and hugged Mrs.
Christy for very joy.
Mrs. Christy's two boys also were coming from
the Chieftain mine, where they worked. Elsie
had long since got over her dislike of the Christy
boys. She had learned how kind and good
they were under all their roughness of manner.
The last time they had been home, they had,
of their own accord, brought her two splendid
young fir-trees for Christmas greens. They cut
the trees down, fastened them by stout ropes to
their belts, and came shooting into camp on their
snow-shoes, each with a fir-tree dragging twenty
feet behind him on the snow. Such a sight had
never been seen in Red Jacket before. Then they
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
chopped the boughs off in front of the cabin,
brought them in, and threw them on the floor in a
heap huge enough to trim two much bigger rooms
than Elsie's and Mrs. Christy's. Elsie and Mrs.
Christy worked the whole day before Christmas,
making wreaths and long festoons; and when all
was done, the rooms were so changed one would
hardly know them. Very late Elsie sat up that
night, for she had some things to do she did
not want Mrs. Christy to see: a nice scarf she
had knit for each of the Christy boys, and a warm
jacket for Mrs. Christy herself; and these were
to be wrapped up in clean paper, and a little note
written to go with each gift, and Elsie was a slow
writer. It was past twelve o'clock when she crawled
into her bed, very tired and sleepy. "It is Christ-
mas now," she thought. "By nine o'clock Papa
will be here. How he will like the greens! We
never had it so pretty before," and Elsie was asleep
in two minutes.
The next thing she knew, she heard voices talk-
ing outside, and saw lights flashing on the ceiling
of her room. It did not seem to her she had been
asleep a minute. The voices grew louder, and
more and more, and the lights kept flashing. Ter-
ribly frightened, Elsie sprang up, and ran through
the covered way to Mrs. Christy's room. As she
reached the window, she heard Mrs. Christy sob-
bing, and crying:
"Och, an' who 'll till her? Who 'll have a
harrt to till her? I'll niver be the one to till her!"
Like a flash of lightning, Elsie knew it was of her
that Mrs. Christy was speaking, and in a second
more she had sprung through the window, into
the center of a group of excited men, all talking
together, but all silent, as soon as she appeared;
all except Mrs. Christy, who burst out crying
louder than ever, and running to Elsie, threw her
arms around her, and gasped out: Och, honey,
there's bad news for ye. It's a slide they've had !
Och, an' who '11 till her? and Mrs. Christy broke
Elsie looked from one to another. She did not
cry, but she turned very white, and that frightened
the men. They were used to seeing women cry,
as Mrs. Christy was doing; but this little white-
faced, resolute-looking child,-as one of the men
said afterward, it took the strength right out of
a man to see her."
"Is my Papa dead? Is he buried up in the
snow-slide ?" said Elsie, speaking very loud in a
shrill voice. "Wont somebody please tell me
what has happened? and the tears began to roll
down her cheeks.
Then they told her all there was to tell. It did
not take many words. A man had just come down
from Tin Cup, running for dear life, to call all the
Red Jacket men to come up and help dig out
three cabins that had been buried in a snow-slide
at midnight. The slide was a terrible one, he said.
It had started with a sudden noise like a gun-shot,
waking everybody in the camp. Then, with a great
roaring sound like wind or a waterfall, the avalanche
of snow had swept down the mountain-side, carry-
ing away all the buildings of the Silver Queen Mine,
and burying up three of the miners' cabins, nobody
could tell how many feet deep. It was all over in
the twinkling of an eye.
Luckily, the moon was shining at the time;
and the people had turned out, and were d;. -.,;
as near as they could judge where the first cabin
stood. But the snow was piled like a mountain, and
there was hardly a hope of finding any one alive
in the cabins. The messenger had gone on to the
next town to get more help. While the men were
telling all this, Elsie stood very still, her eyes turn-
ing first to one, then to another; she did not in-
terrupt till they stopped speaking. Then she said:
Are you sure my papa was in one of those
The man who had been speaking last nodded
his head and looked away from her. He could
"The man that came down, he said so," said
another man. "He guy us the names. There 's
ten men in the three cabins, and there 's a woman
and baby in one. But we must be goin'. It's a poor
kind of a Christmas we 've got," and he glanced
at the evergreen wreaths and boughs around the
room. It 's miners' luck, anyhow. But keep up
your heart, Miss; we 'll send a man down to tell
ye the very fust news there is."
Elsie did not speak nor move. She stood as if
she were turned to stone, watching the men as
they examined and lighted their lanterns, muffled
themselves up, and prepared to set off. It was not
yet four o'clock.
Three more hours before daylight thought
Elsie. "How can they see in this awful darkness?"
Could n't I go with you ? she exclaimed, sud-
denly. I can run fast on snow-shoes. Oh, do
take me, so I can be there when they get my Papa
out! Oh, let me come I wont be any trouble."
"Bless your sweet eyes," cried one of the men,
"it 's all we 'lI be able to do ourselves to get
up Coal Creek Gulch! Ye could n't stand up a
minute, little gal, in the wind thet blows down
thet gulch a night like this 'ere. It 'ud take ye
like a dead leaf off a tree."
It was only a few minutes since the first sound
ot voices and,the flash of light in Elsie's room had
awakened her,-only a few minutes; but it seemed
a thousand years. The men were all gone; silence
reigned inside and outside; one flickering candle
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
gave a fitful half light in the room. Mrs. Christy
sat rocking backward and forward, occasionally
sobbing, and looking at Elsie without speaking.
She did not dare to say a word to her. She could
not understand the sort of grief which neither
cried, nor moaned, nor spoke. She was almost
afraid of Elsie. Elsie stood still at the window,
her face pressed against the pane. Occasionally,
a light would flash out in the distance, twinkle
for a few seconds, then fade away in the direction
of the Coal Gulch road- one more helper on the
way to Tin Cup. In times of such disaster, min-
ing people are all like brothers, in their eagerness
to help and to rescue.
Finally, Elsie turned away from the window and
said to Mrs. Christy:
"I think I will go back to bed again. There
is n't anything to do."
Mrs. Christy stared at her. She was on the
point of exclaiming in remonstrance, but suddenly
changed her mind, and replied:
"An' indade, if ye can slape, it 'ud be the best
thing for ye."
I don't think I shall go to sleep," said Elsie,
"but I suppose if I could, it would be better than
to lie thinking."
An' there 's no known' thin; ye mightjist fall
off unawaires like, an' a dale o' good it 'ud do
ye, darlin'. I'll not make a sound. Ye call me
when ye want me. I think I '11 maybe take a bit
av a nap mesilf," said Mrs. Christy, as she helped
Elsie over the window-sill.
Elsie felt guiltily relieved at these words, and
there was almost a remorseful tenderness in the kiss
she gave to the tender old Irishwoman as she
stepped down into the passage-way.
For nothing was further from Elsie's mind than
going to sleep. She had already decided on a
plan of action, which she knew Mrs. Christy would
oppose, perhaps even by force. Elsie had deter-
mined to go to Tin Cup. She knew the way.
Her father had told her where the road lay; it was
a road on which she herself had often walked a
long distance, gathering flowers. There were no
such purple asters anywhere as on the hills on the
north side of that road. The south side of it, as
far as Elsie knew it, was a steep slope down to the
bottom of the gulch, where ran a swift little stream,
called Coal Creek because there were coal mines
on the banks of it. Beyond this stream, the hill
rose abruptly again like a precipice, and was
covered thickly with a fir forest. Elsie never liked
to look at that side of the gulch. The fir forest
looked so black and gloomy, and reminded her
of fairy stories of forests where evil'gnomes and
Poor child If the fir forest had been grim and
terrible to her in summer, how much more so
would it seem now! She little dreamed how black
and fierce it would look with the whole country
round about white with snow, and the sparkling
stream hid from sight!
It seemed to Elsie that it would never be light.
When the first streak of red came in the sky, she
jumped out of bed and began to dress. By the
time it was light enough to see distinctly, she
was all ready.
"How lucky that our front door is on the side
Mrs. Christy can not see," thought Elsie, as she
crept out, strapped on her snow-shoes, and set off.
Nobody in the camp saw her. All the men had
gone to Tin Cup, and most of the women were still
asleep as Elsie sped down the silent street. When
she came to the corner where the road turned off
up Coal Creek Gulch, she halted a moment, dis-
mayed at the sight. She would not have known
the place. It seemed to her at first that it could
not be the way. The gulch was so filled in with
snow that the sides did not look half so high as
they used to look; and there was not a trace of a
road. No sleigh had been up Coal Creek Gulch
for a month.
Still, she could see the tracks where the men
had gone that morning, on their snow shoes.
I can follow those tracks," thought Elsie, "and
I can go by the trees, too. I think the fir forest
reaches all the way up and she hurried on. Oh,
how black the fir-trees looked, and how terribly
still it was! Not a sound except the sound of
Elsie's own sliding steps; and, to make it worse,
the rising sun, which at first had shone out for a
few minutes, soon went under a great gray cloud,
which gradually spread and covered the whole sky.
Elsie shuddered as she saw this. She knew what
it meant. It was going to snow. If it snows hard,
I shall lose my way, surely," thought Elsie, and she
hurried on faster and faster; too fast, alas for be-
fore long, she lost her balance on the treacherous
snow-shoes, reeled, pitched headlong, and fell.
Luckily, the leather bands of her snow-shoes gave
way; if they had not, she would have broken her
ankles. As it was, one of them was so sprained
that when she tried to get upon her feet, she fell
back again, almost faint from the pain. She tried
again and again, but each time the pain made her
more weak and dizzy.
"I guess I've broken my leg," thought Elsie,
" so now I shall have to lie here till I die. I don't
care; if my papa is dead, I might as well die, too."
Scattering snow-flakes began to fall. They came
faster and faster; soon, it was a blinding snow-
storm. Elsie was so cold, she could hardly move.
Again she tried to get upon her feet. It was of
no use ; the ankle was powerless, and the torture
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
of moving it was more dreadful each time she Elsie shrieked with the pain: Oh, sir my leg !
tried. Elsie shut her eyes, and thought to her- Don't. My leg's broken. I can't stand up."
self, Now, I will just say my prayers, and then As soon as she opened her eyes and spoke, the
I '11 be dead pretty soon." man bent over and took another look at her face.
A few tears rolled down her cheeks, but she Great Almighty!" he cried. "If it aint McFar-
4 "- WI
1% l. r:
"'IF IT SNOWS HARD, I SHALL LOSE MY WAY, SURE ENOUGH,' THOUGHT ELSIE, AND SHE HURRIED ON FASTER AND FASTER."
did not cry hard; in fact, she did not in any way
suffer so much as you would have supposed. She
was already benumbed by cold. To be frozen to
death is not so terrible a death as the words sug-
gest. A gentle drowsiness comes on, and the last
thing people who are frozen know is that they feel
like going to sleep. This was what Elsie thought.
"Why, how queer it is," she thought. I
don't feel half so cold as I did. Perhaps it is
getting warmer. I 'm so sleepy, I can't keep my
eyes open," and that was the last Elsie knew
till she felt a man shaking her shoulder hard, and
pouring into her mouth some bad-tasting stuff
that made her throat burn like fire.
"Git up, little gal--git up!" he said, trying
to lift her on her feet.
land's little gal Excuse me, Miss," he added; for
even in her great pain Elsie lifted her eyes
reproachfully at his first words. But how in
thunder come you here ?"
It was the man who came down to Elsie's house,
the first time, to bring the note from her father,
when he was hurt. As soon as Elsie recognized
his face, she felt she had found a friend, and then,
in spite of herself, she began to cry and sob.
My papa 's buried up in the snow," she said,
"and I was going up to Tin Cup, so as to be
there when they got him out. The men are all
digging. Don't you know about the slide ? All
the Red Jacket men have gone up to help; and
I knew the way, and I could n't stay at home,
and I was going too fast, and I fell over, and
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
my leg 's broken. I 've tried and tried to get up,
and I can't."
Before she had done speaking, the man had cut
her boot off from the sprained foot. As it fell, the
relief was so great that Elsie exclaimed :
Oh, thank you; it was the foot that was hurt
-was n't it? I guess I can get up now," and she
made a movement to try; but the man put his
hand on her shoulder and said:
I guess you can't, my gal. You 've got to let
me carry you. We '11 fix that all right. I '11 have
you into Tin Cup in next to no time."
Oh," said Elsie, you never can carry me.
I 'm very heavy. If you can mend the straps to
my snow-shoes, I 'm sure I can walk."
Snow-shoes be hanged !" said the man gruffly.
"That looks like snow-shoes, don't it?" pointing
to Elsie's foot. It frightened Elsie to see- it. It was
already much swollen, and the pain was coming
back again worse than ever.
"Now, jist don't you cry, little woman," said
the man, patting her head. You jist do as I tell
ye, an' I '11 tow yer in 's easy 's nothing You
heavy ?" he went on. "Why, ye 'r' no more 'n a
At this, Elsie gave a little smile, which seemed
to please the man greatly.
"Fact!" he said. Ef I kin onct git ye hoisted
on my shoulders, I kin run with ye 's well 's I
could without ye. There 's nothing' to ye, any-
Then he picked up Elsie's snow-shoes, tied them
together, and hung them upon a tree.
"We '11 git them another day," he said.
They '11 be safe there. Aint many tramps 'round
this kind o' weather."
Then he took off his comforter, bound the poor
swelled foot in it, and then, grasping his walking
pole in his right hand, he managed with some
difficulty to kneel down, close to Elsie, with his
back to her.
"There, dear," he said; "now you jist hug
your arms tight 'roun' my neck, and hang on,
an' I '11 git up slow, an' then we '11 be off in a
Elsie did as she was told, and the man, with his
strange load on his shoulders, rose slowly and care-
fully to his feet; but as soon as Elsie's sprained
ankle hung at its full weight, the pain was so ter-
rible that she could not endure it, and she gave a
shriek, exclaiming: Oh, my foot, my foot! Oh,
sir, please put me down I can't!"
"Blast it all said the man. Ye poor little
young 'un, I might ha' known ye could n't. I
forgot about yer feet a hangin'," and setting Elsie
down gently, he scratched his head and fell to
Elsie had around her neck a small plaid shawl,
tied on like a comforter. Could ye git along
without that shawl; ye '11 be putty warm up
there close to my back hair ?" he asked, laughing.
Oh, yes," said Elsie, taking it off at once, and
handing it to him.
Out of this shawl he made a kind of sling, and
knotted it across one of his shoulders. Then,
while still on his knees, he took the swollen foot
and very carefully set it in the sling.
,, .... .I
"There," he said, "that 's the best we can do.
It '11 help considerable to hold you up. I 'm
afeard it '11 hurt ye putty bad, even this way; but
ye '11 have to bear it 's well's ye kin, my gal," and
he set off at a quick pace. At first Elsie did not
suffer much, but in a few minutes the pain grew so
CHRISTMAS IN THE PINK BOARDING-HOUSE.
severe that she could not keep from groaning,
though she tried very hard to desist.
"Don't mind my groaning," she said at last.
"It hurts so I can't help it; but I can bear the
hurt. Please go quick. How far is it ?"
"Only two miles," he said. "We '11 soon be
"I did not think I had come two miles," said
Elsie, feebly, and that was the last word she said.
The man spoke to her several times, but could get
"Blest if the kid aint fainted," he thought.
"Well, it's jist as well; I 'll git her there quicker,"
and he shot along in great strides.
Just in the outskirts of Tin Cup was a two-story
frame house, the only frame house, the only two-
story house, in the region. It was a miner's board-
ing-house. It was painted an indescribable shade
of light red, and known as the "Pink Boarding-
house." Its size and its color combined made it a
conspicuous landmark, well known to everybody.
"Ef I can jist git to the Pink Boardin'-'us,
thet 's all I'll ask," thought Elsie's rescuer. Mis'
Barrett, she '11 bring her round first-rate. But I
dunno 's the poor little thing 's got much to come
round to. Her father 's dead 'n' gone, an' she
haint got any other folks as ever I heern on.
Blamed if it wa' n't a mighty foolish thing, a feller
like McFarland goin' into minin', anyhow."
It was not half an hour from the time Elsie had
been lifted on this kind miner's broad shoulders
before she was laid in Mrs. Barrett's own bed,
with blankets and bottles of hot water all around
her, and Mrs. Barrett rubbing her hands, holding
hartshorn to her nose, and doing all she could
think of to bring her to consciousness;- crying
over her, too, for Mrs. Barrett was a motherly soul,
and her lonely life of three long years at the head
of the Pink Boarding-house, and all the sufferings
and troubles she had seen in the mining country,
had made her compassionate and tender.
"I reckon she 's gone, Phil, "she said, when
he first staggered in with Elsie on his back.
No, she aint," he cried. "Ye kin feel her little
heart a-beatin', if ye try; she 's the pluckiest kid
ever I saw. It 's McFarland's little gal; she 'd set
out to come up here all alone, do ye know, 's soon
's she heard the news o' the slide. Got any on 'em
"No," said Mrs. Barrett. They have n't come
to any o' the cabins yet."
"They '11 all be dead, then, I 'm afeard," said
the man; adding "More 's the pity!" as he
looked toward Elsie. Mrs. Barrett nodded si-
lently. Which cabin was McFarland in ?" she
"The one nearest the mine," replied Phil.
"That one 'll have the best chance. It can't be
so deep up there 's 't is down in the holler."
"Poor young un," he added, "she 'd got the
two cabins, her'n and Christy's- (they was jined
into one; Mac did it before he came up here, so
Mis' Christy could look after the gal)--she 'd got
the two cabins all trimmed up with greens, like a
meetin'-'us, a-lookin' for her father to come down
to-day. I never 'll get over that fust time I took
her down the note to say he wa' n't coming The
tears cum in her eyes at fust, but in a minnit she
had 'em brushed away, and sez she, 'But you
will stay and eat your dinner with me, sir. That
is what my papa would like, and I, too. Then I
wont be all alone; an' the dinner 's ready,' jist
like a woman; an' a mighty good dinner the little
kid 'd cooked, too, all by herself."
"She's comin' to," said Mrs. Barrett, who had
not for a moment stopped chafing Elsie's hands.
" She 's comin' to, poor little thing; how '11 I ever
muster up courage to tell her about her father ? "
"Oh, she knows," said Phil, as he hurried
away. She knows it. That 's what brought her
up here. She overheered the men tellin' it at
When Elsie opened her eyes and saw Mrs. Bar-
rett's kind face bending over her, she thought she
had died and gone to heaven.
"Is this heaven?" she said. "Are you an
Good Mrs. Barrett, in telling the story afterward,
used to say: Well, of all the things that ever hap-
pened to me, I was never so took aback as I was
at that. And I never knew rightly what I did say
to the child in the first of it. But in a minute or
two she got her eyes really open, and then she
saw I was n't an angel. And she said, 'Oh,
thank you very much! I feel better. Where is
the kind man that brought me here ? Have they
got my papa out of the snow yet ?' An' she was as
calm 's a grown woman, and a sight calmer than
most of 'em; and there she lay all that dreadful
morning, just as peaceful 's any lamb. She 'd
answer when I spoke to her, and she 'd eat and
drink whatever I told her to. But I don't believe
she spoke six words o' her own accord-not till the
door opened, and her father walked in. And then
the scream that child gave It would ha' raised
the dead! I thought I 'd never get it out o' my
ears. She just raised up in bed, and gave that one
scream, and then she fell back in another dead
faint, worse than the one I 'd brought her out of
in the morning. I thought she never would come
out on 't. I wont ever forget it 's long 's I live.
And her father, he stood looking' at her with the
tears rolling down. And, says he, Mrs. Barrett,
this little girl's all I've got in the world to live for.'"
THE OAK AND THE MUSHROOM.-A FABLE.
Yes, it was indeed Elsie's father that opened the
door and walked in-safe and sound, and as well
as ever. A very strange thing had happened.
On the evening before, one of the miners, Mr.
McFarland's best friend and room-mate, had
asked him to take his place on what is called the
"night shift"-that is, the gang of men who work
in mines at night. It is a very common thing,
when mines are prosperous, to keep the work
going on in them night and day,- one set of men
working in the day-time and another at night.
So Mr. McFarland, to relieve his friend, had
gone into the mine to work that night, and was in
the tunnel when the snow-slide took place. His
friend had staid in the cabin, and was killed in-
stantly -crushed to death in his bed, under the tim-
bers of the.cabin. All who were in the other cabins
were killed except one man, whose escape seemed
like a miracle. The broken timbers fell in such
a way that they did not press on him, and held
the snow up like a roof above him; and there he
lay in his bed, unable to stir hand or foot, in total
darkness under the mountain of snow, till the morn-
ing of the second day, when he was taken out,
nearly dead from fright, but with not a hurt of
Elsie did not want to speak when she came out
of her fainting fit and found her father holding her
hand. She clasped both her hands tightly around
his, but she did not speak nor move. As he told
her how it had happened that he was saved, tears
trickled down her cheeks; but still she did not
speak. It seemed to her that she should never
want to do anything as long as she lived but to
hold her father's hand in hers and look into his
face. And he felt almost in the same way; as if
he never wanted to have his little daughter out of
his sight again.
In the course of the afternoon, he said to her:
"I have n't got any Christmas present for you,
Oh, Papa she said, in a faint little voice,-
for she was very weak still,-"I 've got the best
Christmas present in the world I don't believe
any other girl in the world ever had a Christmas
present of a papa "
THE OAK AND THE MUSHROOM.-A FABLE.
BY JOEL BENTON.
THE mushroom and the oak
In the meadow stood together,
When the former, in his cloak
Pearly-white, briskly said:
" I have just got out of bed,
And I find the world is radiant with good
I see a thousand pretty things-
Flowers with color, birds with wings
That fly so far and so fleetly; -
But there 's one thing puzzles me most com-
How a tree of power and size
Should take so long to rise.
I at once sprang from the ground,
And have hardly looked around,
And have not been here an hour;-
But, to win your state and power,
As your wrinkledness appears,
Took a dozen score of years.
Look at me,
And you '11 agree
I am whole and clear and sound.
Is n't that a perfect dower ?
And I 've not been here an hour!"
Then the oak
To his callow comrade spoke:
" All depends on what you set yourself to be-
Whether mushroom, or a tree.
Very little needs but little for supply;
And to one who can say
He has had no yesterday-
Who, springing from a shower,
Was born in an hour,
And with weeping and quick sorrow,
Must vanish ere to-morrow,-
Things are easy, I admit.
But if you had had a bit of real, sturdy wit,
You would know
Quick to come is quick to go.
"- But hither strolls the epicure;
He will settle this debate, I 'm sure.
See, he ends our fact or fable,
By picking you to sit as a morsel on his table.
But to you 't is little difference, any way-
Small intruder of a day-
Had he missed your meadowy spot,
Found you here, or found you not,
Death has uses:-and your take-off is as just,
For to-morrow you would crumble into dust."
1884.1 OUR SNOW-BALLING BRIGADE. 201
THE TWELVE LITTLE BROTHERS.
)ar',> A ^1L4D WINTER EVEn1r EVX1rACTLY Ar FIVE ,
I -- _-' "
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S BY N. G. CONE.
ri r NI:. Year gave a dinner to twelve little
No one of whom had the same tastes as the
The Moons, they are called, from the very large
.And wonderful roundness of all of their eyes.
'T was a mild winter evening, exactly at five,
When the twelve little brothers began to arrive.
March came in a comforter big as a shawl;
And August without any stockings at all;
And Feb. in an ulster, although he was small;
And April in boots, which he left in the hall;
December in arctics-he feared he would fall,
And therefore was constantly giving a haul
To the straps; and November, if right I recall,
Had brought an umbrella in case of a squall;
And May had a beautiful blue parasol;
And then came July, with the rosy-cheeked Jan.,
Though Jan. was in furs, and July had a fan;
And Septy and Octy in round caps and frills;
And June in a pinafore old as the hills.
There was plum pie, and peacock, and turtles, and thyme,
And more than I ever can tell in my rhyme.
May remarked, If you please, I '11 take lamb and green peas,"
While September exclaimed, Apple dumplings and cheese; "
TIE TWELVE LITTLE BROTHERS.
_<_ ,- ....
And July was inquiring for lemons to squeeze;
And August for ices his palate to freeze;
And June a great spoon did impatiently seize
And drummed on the table for "Fresh strawberries/ "
November said, "Turkey-I can't wait a minute!"
December said, "Pudding, with cinnamon in iti"
Jan. clamored for oysters-March hinted "Half-shell; "
Feb. thought chicken salad would do very well;
Said Octy, "Dessert without nuts can't excel;"
And April was anxious his wishes to tell-
(They were chiefly boiled eggs)-till, the tumult to quell,
The New Year made use of his silver hand-bell,
And was forced to confess, not at all at his ease,
That there never were twelve little brothers like these.
And he rose and declared he would stand it no more,
And the twelve little brothers he savagely bore,
By their twelve little collars, outside of his door;
And the last thing I heard of was June's pinafore,
Which caught on the door-knob and dolefully tore.
So, if these little brothers, in good Eighty-four,
Get treated to weather they '11 sadly deplore;
And it rains every day in the sweet month of May,
And freezes in August, my readers can say
That the twelve little brothers, so fractious and queer,
Have excited the wrath of the lordly New Year.
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MAGNIE'S DANGEROUS RIDE.
TALES OF TWO CONTINENTS.
BY HJALMAR HJORTH BOYESEN.
FIRST STORY-MAGNIE'S DANGEROUS RIDE.-(PART I1.)
MAGNIE never knew how long he was uncon-
scious. The first thing he remembered was a
delicious sense of warmth and comfort stealing
through him, and strange, unintelligible sounds
buzzing in the air about him. Somebody was
talking kindly to him, and a large, warm hand
was gliding over his forehead and cheeks. The
peace and warmth were grateful to him after the
intense strain of his dangerous ride. He was even
loth to open his eyes when his reviving memory
began to make the situation clear to him.
It was a reckless shot, Harry," he heard some
one saying in a foreign tongue, which he soon rec-
ognized as English, even if it did turn out well.
Suppose you had sent your bullet crashing through
the young fellow instead of the buck. How would
you have felt then ? "
"I should have felt very badly, I am sure," an-
swered a younger voice, which obviously belonged
to Magnie's rescuer; but I followed my usual way
of doing things. If I did n't act that way, I should n't
act at all. And you will admit, Uncle, it is a queer
sort of thing to see a fellow come riding on a rein-
deer buck, in the midst of a wild herd, and in a
trackless wilderness like this, where nobody but
wolves or geologists would be apt to discover any
attractions. Now, I saw by the young man's re-
spectable appearance that he couldn't be a geolo-
gist; and if he was a wolf, I did n't mind much if I
did shoot him."
MAGNIE S DANGEROUS RIDE
At this point, Magnie opened his eyes and
stared wonderingly about him. He found himself
in a small, cramped room, the walls of which were
draped with canvas, and scarcely high enough
under the ceiling to allow a man to stand erect.
Against the walls a number of shining brass in-
struments were leaning, and in a corner there was
a hearth, the smoke of which escaped through a
hole in the roof. Two bunks filled with moss,
with a sheet and a blanket thrown over each, com-
pleted the outfit of the primitive dwelling. But
Magnie was more interested in the people, than in
the looks of the room. A large, blonde, middle-
aged man, inclined to stoutness, was holding Mag-
nie's hand as if counting his pulse-beat, and a very
good-looking young fellow, of about his own age,
was standing at the hearth, turning a spit upon
which was a venison steak.
"Hallo! Our young friend is returning from
the land of Nod," said the youth who had been
addressed as Harry. "I am glad you did n't start
on a longer journey, young chap, when I fired at
you; for if you had, you would have interfered
seriously with my comfort."
Magnie, who was a fair English scholar, under-
stood perfectly what was said to him, but several
minutes elapsed before he could collect himself
sufficiently to answer. In order to gain time, he
made an effort to raise himself and take a closer
look at his surroundings, but was forced by the
older man to abandon the attempt. Not so fast,
my dear, not so fast," he said, stooping over him,
and gently pushing him back into a reclining po-
sition. You must remember that you have a big
lump on your head from your fall, and it wont do
to be frisky just yet. But before conversing fur-
ther, it might be well to ascertain whether we
understand each other."
"Yes, I think-I think-I do," stammered
Magnie. "I know some English."
"Ah, then we shall get along' charmingly," the
man remarked, with an encouraging smile. "And I
think Harry's venison steak is done by this time ;
and dinner, as you know, affords the most delight-
ful opportunity for getting acquainted. Gunnar,
our guide, who is outside skinning your reindeer
buck, will soon present himself and serve the
dinner. Here he is, and he is our cook, butler,
chambermaid, laundress, beast of burden, and in-
terpreter, all in one."
The man to whom the professor alluded was at
this moment seen crawling on his hands and feet
through the low door-way, which his bulky figure
completely filled. He was a Norwegian peasant
of the ordinary sort, with a square, rudely cut face,
dull blue eyes, and a tuft of towy hair hanging down
over his forehead. With one hand he was drag-
going the skin of the buck, and between his teeth
he held an ugly-looking knife.
We have got to bury him," he said.
Bury him cried Harry "Why, you blood-
thirsty wretch Don't you see he is sitting there,
looking as bright as a sixpence? "
Mean the buck," replied Gunnar, impertur-
"And why do you wish to bury the buck? I
would much rather eat him. This steak here has
a most tempting flavor, and I am quite tired of
canned abominations by this time."
The wolves will be sure to scent the meat, now
that it is flayed, and before an hour we might have
a whole congregation of them here."
"Well, then, we will shoot them down," insisted
the cheerful Harry. Come, now, Uncle, and let
us have a civilized dinner. 1 don't pretend to be
an expert in the noble art of cookery; but if this
tastes as good as it smells, I would n't exchange it
for a Delmonico banquet. And if the wolves, as
Gunnar says, can smell a dead reindeer miles
away, why they would be likely to smell a venison
steak from the ends of creation. Perhaps, if we
don't hurry, all the wolves of the earth may invite
themselves to our dinner."
Gunnar, upon whom this fanciful raillery was
lost, was still standing on all-fours in the door,
with his front half in the warm room and his rear-
ward portion in the arctic regions without. He
was gazing helplessly from one to another, as if
asking for an explanation of all this superfluous
talk. : Vill you cawme and help me, Mester
Harry ?" he asked at last, stolidly.
Yes, when I have had my dinner, I will, Mester
Gunnar," answered Harry, gayly.
"Vell, I have nothing more to say, den," grum-
bled the guide; "but it vould wonder me much if,
before you are troo, you vont have some unbidden
All right, Gunnar -the more the merrier;"
retorted Harry as, with exaggerated imitation of a
waiter's manner, he distributed plates, knives, and
napkins to Magnie and his uncle.
They now fell to chatting, and Magnie learned,
after having given a brief account of himself, that
his entertainers were Professor Winchester, an
American geologist, and his nephew, Harry Win-
chester, who was accompanying his uncle, chiefly
for the fun of the thing, and also for the purpose
of seeing the world and picking up some crumbs
of scientific knowledge. The Professor was espe-
cially interested in glaciers and their action in ages
past upon the surface of the earth, and, as the
Norwegian glaciers had never been thoroughly
studied, he had determined to devote a couple of
months to observations and measurements, with a
MAGNIE'S DANGEROUS RIDE
view to settling some mooted geological questions
upon which he had almost staked his reputation.
They had just finished the steak, which would
perhaps have been tenderer if it had not been so
fresh, and were helping themselves to the contents
of a jar of raspberry preserves, when Harry sud-
denly dropped his spoon and turned with a serious
face to his uncle.
Did you hear that?" he said.
"No; what was it?"
Harry waited for a minute; then, as a wild,
doleful howl was heard, he laid his hand on the
Professor's arm, and remarked:
"The old fellow was right. We shall have
But they are hardly dangerous in these regions,
so far as I can learn," said the Professor, re-assur-
That depends upon their number. We could
tackle a dozen; but two dozen we might find
troublesome. At any rate, they have spoiled my
appetite for raspberry jam, and that is something
I sha'n't soon forgive them."
Three or four howls, sounding nearer, and echo-
ing with terrible distinctness from the glaciers,
seemed to depress Harry's spirits still further, and
he put the jar away and began to examine the lock
of his rifle.
They are evidently summoning a mass meet-
ing," remarked the Professor, as another chorus
of howls reechoed from the glacier. I wish
we had more guns."
"And I wish mine were a Remington or a
Springfield breech-loader, with a dozen cartridges
in it," Harry exclaimed. These double-barreled
Norwegian machines, with two shots in them, are
really good for nothing in an emergency. They
are antediluvian both in shape and construction."
He had scarcely finished this lament, when
Gunnar's huge form re-appeared in the door, quad-
ruped fashion, and made an attempt to enter.
But his great bulk nearly filled the narrow room,
and made it impossible for the others to move. He
examined silently first Harry's rifle, then his own,
cut off a slice of steak with his pocket-knife, and
was about to crawl out again, when the Professor,
who could not quite conceal his anxiety, asked
him what he had done with the reindeer.
"Oh !" he answered, triumphantly, I haf
buried him among de stones, here it vill be safe
from all de volves in de vorld."
"But, my dear fellow," ejaculated the Professor,
hotly, "why did n't you rather let the wolves have
it? Then, at least, they would spare us."
"You surely vould n't give a goot fresh rein-
deer, legs and all, to a pack of skountrelly volves,
vould you? "
I would much rather give them that than give
"But it is vorth tventy dollars, ef you can get
it down fresh and sell it to de English yachts,"
protested Gunnar, stolidly.
"Yes, yes; but you great stupid," cried the
Professor in despair, "what do you think my life
is worth? and Master Harry's? and this young
fellow's? (pointing to Magnie). "Now, go as
quick as you can and dig the deer out again."
Gunnar, scarcely able to comprehend such crim-
inal wastefulness, was backing out cautiously
with his feet foremost, when suddenly he gave a
scream and a jump which nearly raised the roof
from the hut. It was evident that he had been
bitten. In the same moment a fresh chorus of
howls resounded without, mingled with sharp,
whining barks, expressive of hunger and ferocity.
There was something shudderingly wild and mourn-
ful in these long-drawn discords, as they rose
toward the sky in this lonely desert; and brave as
he was, Magnie could not quite restrain the terror
which he felt stealing upon him. Weakened by
his icy bath, moreover, and by the nervous strain
of his first adventure, he had no great desire to
encounter a pack of ravenous wolves. Still, he
manned himself for the occasion and, in as steady
a voice as he could command, begged the Pro-
fessor to hand him some weapon. Harry, who
had instinctively taken the lead, had just time to
reach him a long hunting-knife, and arm his uncle
with an ax, when, through the door which Gunnar
had left open, two wolves came leaping in and
paused in bewilderment at the sight of the fire on
the hearth. They seemed dazed by the light, and
stood panting and blinking, with their trembling
red tongues lolling out of their mouths. Harry,
whose gun was useless at such close range,
snatched the ax away from the Professor, and at
one blow split the skull of one of the intruders,
while Magnie ran his knife up to the very hilt in
the neck of the other. The beast was, however,
by no means dead after that, but leaped up on his
assailant's chest, and would have given him an
ugly wound in the neck, had not the Professor torn
it away and flung it down upon the fire, where
with a howling whine it expired. The Professor had
also found time to bolt the door, before more
visitors could enter; and two successive shots with-
out seemed to indicate that Gunnar was holding
his own against the pack. But the question was,
how long would he succeed in keeping them at
bay? He had fired both his shots, and he would
scarcely have a chance to load again, with twenty
hungry beasts leaping about him. This they read
in one another's faces, but no one was anxious to
anticipate the other in uttering his dread.
MAGNIE'S DANGEROUS RIDE.
Help, help cried Gunnar, in dire need.
"Take your hand away, Uncle!" demanded
Harry. "I am going out to help him."
"For your life's sake, Harry," implored the
Professor, "don't go! Let me go! What would
your Mother say to me, if I should return without
I'11 come back again, Uncle, don't you fear,"
said the youth, with feigned cheerfulness; "but I
wont let this poor fellow perish before my very
eyes, even though he is a fool."
It was his foolishness which brought this
danger upon us," remonstrated the Professor.
He knew no better," cried Harry, tearing the
door open, and with ax uplifted rushing out into
the twilight. What he saw seemed merely a dark
mass, huddled together and swaying sideways, from
which now and then a black figure detached itself
with a howl, jumped wildly about, and again joined
the dark, struggling mass. He could distinguish
Gunnar's head, and his arms fighting desperately,
and, from the yelps and howls of the wolves, he
concluded that he had thrown away the rifle and
was using his knife with good effect.
"Help !" he yelled, "help!"
"You shall have it, old fellow," cried Harry,
plunging forward and swinging his ax about
him; and the Professor, who had followed close
at his heels, shouting at the top of his voice,
pressed in Harry's wake right into the center of
the furious pack. But, at that very instant, there
came a long Hallo-o! from the lake below, and a
rifle bullet flew whistling above their heads and
struck a rock scarcely a yard above the Professor's
hat. Several wolves lay gasping and yelping on
the ground, and the rest slunk aside. Another
shot followed, and a large beast made a leap and
fell dead among the stones. Gunnar, who was
lying bleeding upon the ground, was helped to his
feet, and supported by Harry and the Professor to
the door of the cottage.
Hallo, there shouted Harry, in response to
the call from below.
"Hallo some one shouted back.
The figures of three men were now seen looming
up in the dusk, and Magnie, who instinctively
knew who they were, sprang to meet them, and in
another moment lay sobbing in his brother's arms.
The poor lad was so completely unnerved by the
prolonged suspense and excitement, that he had
to be carried back into the hut, and his brother,
after having hurriedly introduced himself to the
Professor, came very near giving way to his feel-
ings, too. Gunnar's wounds, which were numerous,
though not serious, were washed and bandaged by
Grim Hering-Luck; and having been wrapped in a
horse-blanket, to keep out the cold, he was stowed
away in a bunk and was soon asleep. As the hut
was too small to admit all the company at once,
Grim and Bjarne remained outside, and busied
themselves in skinning the seven wolves which had
fallen on the field of battle. Harry, who had
got a bad bite in his arm, which he refused to
regard as serious, consented with reluctance to his
uncle's surgery, and insisted upon sitting up and
conversing with Olaf Birk, to whom he had taken a
great liking. But after a while the conversation
began to lag, and tired heads began to droop;
and when, about midnight, Grim crept in to see
how his invalid was doing, he found the Professor
reclining on some loose moss upon the floor, while
Harry was snoring peacefully in a bunk, using
Olaf's back for a pillow. And Olaf, in spite of his
uncomfortable attitude, seemed also to have found
his way to the land of Nod. Grim, knowing the
danger of exposure in this cold glacier air, covered
them all up with skins and horse-blankets, threw
a few dry sticks upon the fire, and resumed his
post as sentinel at the door.
The next morning, Professor Winchester and his
nephew accepted Olaf's invitation to spend a few
days at Hasselrud, and without further advent-
ures the whole caravan descended into the valley,
calling on their way at the saeter where Edwin
had been left. It appeared, when they came to
discuss the strange incidents of the preceding day,
that it was Magnie's silk handkerchief which had
enabled them to track him to the edge of the lake,
and, by means of a raft, which Bjarne kept hidden
among the stones in a little bay, they had been
enabled to cross, leaving their horses in charge of
a shepherd boy whom they had found tending
goats close by.
The reindeer cow which Olaf had killed was
safely carried down to the valley, and two wolf-
skins were presented to Magnie by Harry Win-
chester. The other wolf-skins, as well as the skin
of the reindeer buck, Bjarne prepared in a special
manner, and Harry looked forward with much
pleasure to seeing them as rugs upon the floor of
his room at college; and he positively swelled with
pride when he imagined himself relating to his
admiring fellow-students the adventures which had
brought him these precious possessions.
LUCY LEE FROM HIGH DUNDEE.
iliii' L LF :*IL" l ci
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rb1~om 'L3~7.1-,: .
11 come Fr a 0oo0 look down
Wtle& oH~J wee-
Lfarfix whp dao chaw willh > Pen (or jee
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SPINNING-WHEEL STORIES. NO. I.
BY LOUISA M. ALCOTT.
IT is too bad to have our jolly vacation spoilt
by this provoking storm. Did ri't mind it yester-
day, because we could eat all the time; but here we
are cooped up for a week, perhaps, and I'd like to
know what we are to do," growled Geoff, as he
stood at the window looking gloomily at the bleak
scene without. It certainly was discouraging; for
the north wind howled, the air was dark with
falling snow, and drifts were rising over fences,
roads, and fields, as if to barricade the Christmas
party in the great country house.
"We can bear it pleasantly, since it can't be
helped," said gentle sister Mary, with a kind hand
on his shoulder, and a face full of sympathy for
his disappointment. "I 'm sorry for the coasting,
skating, and sleighing frolics we have lost; but if
we must be shut up, I 'm sure we could n't have a
pleasanter prison or a kinder jailer. Don't let
Grandma hear us complain, for she has made great
exertions to have our visit a merry one, and it will
trouble her if we are not gay and contented."
"That's easy for a parcel of girls, who only
want to mull over the fire, and chatter, and drink
tea; but it's rough on us fellows, who come for the
outside fun. House is well enough, but when you've
seen it once there 's an end. Eating is jolly, but
you can't stuff forever. We might dig or snowball
if it did n't blow a gale. Never saw such a beast
of a storm !" and Geoff flattened his nose against
the window-pane and scowled at the elements.
A laugh made him turn around and forget his
woes, to stare at the quaint little figure that stood
curtseying in the door-way of the keeping-room,
where a dozen young people were penned while
the maids cleared up the remains of yesterday's
feast in the kitchen, the mothers were busy with
the babies upstairs, and the fathers read papers
in the best parlor; for this was a family gathering
under the roof of the old homestead.
A rosy, dark-eyed face looked out from the
faded green calash, a gayly flowered gown was
looped up over a blue quilted petticoat, and a red
camlet cloak hung down behind. A big reticule
and a funny umbrella were held in either hand,
and red hose and very high-heeled, pointed shoes
covered a trim pair of feet.
God bless you, merry gentlemen,
May nothing you dismay;
Here's your ancient granny come
To call, this Christmas day,"
sang Minnie, the lively member of the flock, as she
bobbed little curtseys and smiled so infectiously
that even cross Geoff cheered up.
. "Where did you get that rigging?" "Is n't
it becoming!" "What queer stuff!" Did
Grandma ever look so, I wonder ?"
These and many other questions rained upon
the wearer of the old costume, and she answered
them as fast as she could.
"I went rummaging up garret for something
to read, and found two chests of old duds.
Thought I 'd dress up and see how you liked me.
Grandma said I might, and told me I looked like
her when she was young. She was a beauty, you
know, so I feel as proud as a peacock." And Min
danced away to stand before the portrait of a
blooming girl in a short-waisted, white satin gown
and a pearl necklace, which hung opposite the
companion portrait of an officer in an old-fashioned
'So you do. Wonder if I should look like
Grandpa if I got into his old toggery?" said Geoff,
looking up at the handsome man with the queue
and the high coat-collar.
"Go and try; the uniform is in the chest, and
not much moth-eaten. Let 's have a jolly rum-
mage, and see what we can find. We did n't eat
ourselves sick, so we will amuse these lazy inva-
lids," and Min glanced pityingly at several cousins
who lay about on sofas or in easy chairs, pre-
tending to read, but evidently suffering from too
great devotion to the bountiful dinner and evening
feast of yesterday.
Away went Min and Lotty, Geoff and Walt,
glad of anything to beguile the stormy afternoon.
Grandma smiled as she heard the tramp of feet
overhead, the peals of laughter, and the bang of
chest-lids, well knowing that a scene of dire con-
fusion awaited her when the noisy frolic was
done, but thankful for the stores of ancient finery
which would keep the restless children happy for a
It was truly a noble garret, for it extended the
whole length of the great square house, with win-
dows at either end, and divided in the middle by a
solid chimney. All around stood rows of chests,
dilapidated furniture, and wardrobes full of old
relics, while the walls were hung with many things
for which modern tongues can find no names. In
one corner was a book-case full of musty books and
papers; in another, kitchen utensils and rusty
weapons; the third was devoted to quilts hung on
210 SPINNING-WHEEL STORIES. [JANUARY,
lines, and in the fourth stood a loom with a spin-
ning-wheel beside it, both seemingly well cared
for, as the dust lay lightly on them, and flax was
still upon the distaff.
A glorious rummage followed the irruption of
the Goths and Vandals into this quiet spot, and
soon Geoff quite forgot the storm as he pranced
about in the buff and blue coat, with a cocked hat
on his head, and Grandfather's sword at his side.
Lottie arrayed herself in a pumpkin hood and
quilted cloak for warmth, while Walt, the book-
worm, went straight to the ancient library, and
became absorbed in faded souvenirs, yellow news-
papers, and almanacs of a century ago.
Having displayed themselves below and romped
all over the house, the masqueraders grew tired at
last, and early twilight warned them to leave be-
fore ghostly shadows began to haunt the garret.
I mean to take this down and ask Grandma to
show me how it's done. I 've heard her tell about
spinning and weaving when she was a girl, and
I know I can learn," said Minnie, who had fallen
in love with the little wheel, and vainly tried to twist
the flax into as smooth a thread as the one hang-
ing from the distaff, as if shadowy fingers had lately
Queen Victoria set the fashion in England, and
we might do it here. Would n't it be fun to have a
wheel in the parlor at home, and really use it, not
keep it tied up with blue ribbons, as the other girls
do cried Lotty, charmed with the new idea.
Come, Geoff, take it down for us. You ought
to do it out of gratitude for my cheering you up so
nicely," said Min, leading the way.
So I will. Here, Walt, give it a hoist, and
come behind to pick up the pieces, for the old ma-
chine must be about a hundred, I guess."
Shouldering the wheel, Geoff carried it down;
but no bits fell by the way, for the stout little
wheel was, all in order, kept so by loving hands
that for more than eighty years had been spinning
the mingled thread of a long and useful life.
Glorious fires were roaring up the wide chim-
neys in parlor and keeping-room, and old and
young were gathering around them, while the
storm beat on the window-panes, and the wintry
wind howled as if angry at being shut out.
See what we 've stolen, Grandma," cried Min,
as the procession came in, rosy, dusty, gay and
"Bless the child! What possessed you to lug
that old thing down ? asked Madam Shirley, much
amused, as the prize was placed before her where
she sat in her high-backed chair, a right splendid
old lady in her stately cap, black silk gown and
muslin apron, with a bunch of keys at her side,
like a model housekeeper as she was.
"You don't mind our playing with it, do you?
And will you teach me to spin ? I think it 's such
a pretty little thing, and I want to be like you in
all ways, Grandma dear," answered Min, sitting
on the arm of the great chair, with her fresh cheek
close to the wrinkled one where winter roses still
"You wheedling gypsy! I '11 teach you with
all my heart, for it is pretty work, and I often won-
der ladies don't keep it up. I did till I was too
busy, and now I often take a turn at it when I 'm
tired of knitting. The hum is very soothing, and
the thread much stronger than any we get nowa-
As she spoke, the old lady dusted the wheel, and
gave it a skillful turn or two, till the soft whir made
pleasant music in the room.
Is it really a hundred years old ? asked Geoff,
drawing nearer with the others to watch the new
Just about. It was one of my mother's wed-
ding presents, and she gave it to me when I was
fifteen. Deary me, how well I remember that day,"
and Grandma seemed to fall a-dreaming as her
eyes rested on the letters E. R. M. rudely cut in
the wood, and below these were three others with
something meant for a true lover's knot between.
"Whose initials are these?" asked Min, scent-
ing a romance with girlish quickness, for Grand-
ma was smiling as if her eyes read the title to
some little story in those worn letters.
Elizabeth Rachel Morgan and Joel Manlius
Shirley. Your blessed Grandfather cut our names
there the day I was sixteen, and put the flourish
between to show what he wanted," added the old
lady, laughing as she made the wheel hum again.
Tell about it, please do," begged Min, remem-
bering that Grandma had been a beauty and a
"It's a long tale, my darling, and I could n't
tell it now. Sometime when I 'm teaching you to
spin I '11 do it, maybe."
But the girl was determined to have her story;
and after tea, when the little ones were in bed, the
elders playing whist in the parlor, and the young
folks deciding what game to begin, Minnie sat
down and tried to spin, sure that the familiar
sound would lure Grandma to give the lesson and
tell the tale.
She was right, for the wheel had not gone around
many times, when the tap of the cane was heard,
and the old lady came rustling in, quite ready for
a chat, now that three cups of her own good tea
and a nap in the chimney corner had refreshed her.
"No, dear, that 's not the way; you need a
dish of water to wet your fingers in, and you
must draw the flax out slow and steady, else it
runs to waste, and makes a poor thread. Fetch
me that chair, and I '11 show you how, since you
are bent on learning."
Establishing herself in the straight-backed seat,
a skillful tap of the foot set the wheel in swift and
easy motion, and the gray thread twisted fine and
evenly from the distaff.
Is n't it a pretty picture ? said Min to Lotty,
as they watched the old lady work.
Not so pretty as the one I used to see when
my dear mother sat here, and I, a little child,
at her knee. Ah, my dears, she could have told
you stories all night long, and well worth hearing.
I was never tired of them."
"Please tell one now, Grandma. We don't
know what to play, and it would be so nice to sit
around the fire and hear it this stormy night," sug-
gested Min, artfully seizing the hint.
Do do We all love stories, and we '11 be as
still as mice," added Geoff, beckoning to the others
as he took the big arm-chair, being the oldest
grandson and leader of the flock.
Camping on the rug, or nestling in the sofa
corner, the boys and girls all turned expectant
faces toward Grandma, who settled her cap-strings
and smoothed her spotless apron, with an indul-
gent smile at her little audience.
"I don't know which one to tell first."
The ghost story; that's a splendid one, and
most of the children never heard it," said Walt.
"Have Indians and fighting in it. I like that
kind," added Geoff.
"No; tell a love story. They are so interest-
ing," said Lotty.
I want the story about the initials first. I know
it is very sentimental. So do begin with that,
Grandma," begged Min.
"Well, dears, perhaps I 'd better choose that
one, for it has the battle of New Orleans, and
wolves, and spinning, and sweethearts in it; so
it will suit you all, I hope."
"Oh, lovely! Do begin right away," cried
Minnie, as the clapping of hands showed how
satisfactory the prospect was.
Grandma gave a loud hem!" and began at
once, while the little wheel hummed a soft accom-
paniment to her words.
WHEN I was fifteen, my mother gave me
this wheel, and said: 'Now, daughter Betsey, it
is time for you to begin your wedding outfit, for
I mistrust you '11 marry young.' In those days
girls spun and wove webs of fine linen and laid
'em up in chests, with lavender and rosemary, for
sheets and table-linen after they married. So I
spun away, making all manner of fine plans in my
silly head, for I was a pretty piece, they all said,
and young as I was, two or three fine lads used to
come evenings and sit staring at me while I worked.
"Among these, was my neighbor Joel Manlius
Shirley, and I was fond of him, but he had n't
much money, so I put on airs, and tried his pa-
tience very much. One day he came in and said:
'Betsey, I 'm going a-soldiering; they need men,
and I 'm off. Will you think of poor Joe when
I 'm gone?'
"I don't know how I looked, but I felt as if I
could n't bear it. Only I was too proud to show
my trouble; so I laughed and gave my wheel a
twist, and said I was glad of it, since anything was
better than hanging round at home.
"That hurt him, but he was always gentle to
saucy Betsey, and taking out his knife, he cut those
letters under mine, saying, with a look I never
That will remind you of me if you are likely
to forget. Good-bye; I'm going right away, and
may never come back.'
He kissed me and was off before I could say a
word, and then I cried till my flax was wet and
my thread tangled, and my heart 'most broken.
Deary me, how well I remember that heavy day "
Grandma smiled, but something shone in her
old eyes very like a tear, and sentimental Lotty
felt deeply interested at this point.
"Where does the fighting come in?" asked
Geoff, who was of a military turn, as became the
descendant of a soldier.
I did n't know or care much about the War of
1812, except as far as the safety of one man was con-
cerned. Joe got on without any harm till the bat-
tle of New Orleans, when he was nearly killed
behind the cotton-bale breastworks General Jack-
"Yes, I know all about it! Jackson fought
against twelve thousand and lost only seven men.
That was the last battle of the war, January 8, 1815.
Three cheers for Grandpa! shouted Geoff, waving
a tidy, as no hat was at hand.
The others echoed the hurrah, and Grandma
beamed with pride as she went on : We could n't
get news from the army very often in those troublous
times, and Joe was gone two years before'the war
ended. After the great battle we had no news for
a long spell, and we feared he was one of the
seven men killed. Those were dreadful days for
all of us. My honored mother was a pious soul,
and so was Mrs. Shirley, and they kept up their
hearts with hope and prayer; but I, poor thing,
was young and weak, and I cried myself half blind,
remembering how naughty I had been. I would
spin no more, but set the wheel away, saying I
should have no need of wedding gear, as I should
never marry;- and I wore black ribbon on my
caps, and one of Joe's buttons strung about my
neck, mourning dismally for my lost dear.
So the winter ended, and the summer went,
and no news came of Joe. All said he was dead,
and we had prayers at
church, and talked of
setting a stone up in
the grave-yard, and I
thought my life was
done; for I pined sad-
ly, and felt as if I
could never laugh
again. But I did, for
the Lord was very
good to us, and out
of danger and cap-
tivity delivered that
solemnly, and folded
her hands in thanks-
giving as she looked
up to the picture of
the handsome officer
hanging on the wall
before her. The eld-
er children could just -
as a very old and
feeble man, and it
struck them as funny
to speak of him as a
"dear boy "; but they
never smiled, and du-
tifully lifted their eyes
to the queue and the
wondering if Joe was
as rosy in real life as
in the portrait.
"Well, that's the
sentimental part; now j, -
comes the merry part,
and that will suit the "'VHEN" MY DEAR MOTHER SAT
boys," said the old lady, briskly, as she spun away,
and went on in a lively tone:
One December day, as I sat by that very win-
dow, dreaming sorrowfully at my sewing work,
while old Sally nodded over her knitting by the
fire, I saw a man come creeping along by the
fence and dodge behind the wood-pile. There
were many bad folks 'round in those times; for war
always leaves a sight of lazy rascals afloat, as well as
poor fellows maimed and homeless.
Mother had gone over to the sewing society at
Mrs. Shirley's, and I was all alone, for Sally was
so stiff with rheumatics she could scarce stir, and
that was why I staid to take care of her. The
old musket always hung over the kitchen chimney-
piece loaded, and I knew how to fire it, for Joe
taught me. So away I went and got it down, for I
.,.- g -
::I-,..% L'. *:9 ,'-:.',-. _,:". '7 it,'!
-iERE, AND I, A LITTLE CHILD, AT HER KNEE. [SEE PAGE 211.1
saw the man popping up his head now and then
to spy the land, and I felt sure he meant mischief.
I knew Sally would only scream like a scared hen,
so I let her sleep; and getting behind the shutter I
pointed my gun, and waited to blaze away as soon
as the enemy showed signs of attacking.
"Presently he came creeping up to the back
door, and I heard him try the latch. All was fast,
so I just slipped into the kitchen and stood behind
the settle, for I was surer than ever he was a rascal
since I'd seen him nearer. He was a tall man,
dreadful shabby in an old coat and boots, a ragged
hat over his eyes, and a great beard hiding the
lower part of his face. He had a little bundle and
a big stick in his hands, and limped as if foot-sore
I was.much afeard; but those were times that
made heroes of men and taught women to be
brave for love of home and country. So I kept
steady, with my eye on the window, and my finger
on the trigger of the old gun that had n't been
fired for years. Presently the man looked in, and
I saw what a strange roll his great eyes had, for he
was thin-faced, and looked half-starved. If Mother
had been there, she'd have called him in and fed
him well, but I dared not, and when he tried the
window I aimed, but did not fire; for finding the
button down he went away, and I dropped on the
settle shaking like a leaf. All was still, and in a
minute I plucked up courage to go to look out a
bit; but just as I reached the middle of the kitchen,
the buttery door opened, and there stood the rob-
ber, with a carving knife in one hand and my best
loaf of spice bread in the other. He said some-
thing, and made a rush at me; but I pulled the
trigger, saw a flash, felt a blow, and fell somewhere,
thinking, Now I 'm dead !'"
Here Grandma paused for breath, having spoken
rapidly and acted out the scene dramatically, to
the intense delight of the children, who sat like
images of interest, staring at her with round eyes.
But you were n't dead? What next?" cried
"Bless you, no I only fell into Joe's arms, and
when I came to, there the dear fellow was, crying
over me like a baby, while old Sally danced round
us like a bedlamite, in spite of her rheumatics,
shouting: 'Hosanna! Thanks and praise! He's
come, he's come !' "
"Was he shot? asked Geoff, anxious for a little
"No, dear; the old gun burst and hurt my
hands, but not a mite of harm was done to Joe.
I don't think I could tell all that happened for a
spell, being quite dazed with joy and surprise; but
by the time Mother came home I was as part as a
wren, and Joe was at the table eating and drinking
every mortal thing I could find in the house.
He 'd been kept a prisoner till exchanged, and
had had a hard time getting home, with little money
and a bad wound in the leg, besides being feeble
with jail fever. But we did n't fret over past
troubles, being so glad to get him back. How my
blessed mother did laugh, when we told her the
reception I gave the poor lad. But I said it served
him right, since he came sneaking home like a
thief, instead of marching in like a hero. Then he
owned that he came there to get something to eat,
being ashamed to go in upon his mother with all
her company about her. So we fed and comforted
him; and when we'd got our wits about us, 1
whipped away to Mrs. Shirley's and told my news,
and every one of those twenty-five women went
straight over to our house and burst in upon poor
Joe as he lay resting on the settle. That was my
revenge for the scare he gave me, and a fine one
it was; for the women chattered over him like a
flock of magpies, and I sat in the corner and
laughed at him. Ah, I was a sad puss in those
The old lady's black eyes twinkled with fun, and
the children laughed with her, till Walt caused a
lull by asking:
"Where do the wolves come in, Grandma ?"
"Right along, dear; I'm not likely to forget
'em, for they most cost me my life, to say nothing
of my new slippers. There was great rejoicing
over Joe, and every one wanted to do something to
honor our hero; for he had done well, we found
out, when the General heard his story. We had
a great dinner, and Judge Mullikin gave a supper;
but Major Belknap was bound to outshine the rest,
so he invited all the young folks over to his house,
nigh ten miles away, to a ball, and we all went. I
made myself fine, you may believe, and wore a
pair of blue kid slippers, with Mother's best buckles
to set 'em off. Joe had a new uniform, and was an
elegant figure of a man, I do assure you. He
could n't dance, poor dear, being still very lame;
but I was a proud girl when I marched into that
ball-room on the arm of my limping beau. The
men cheered, and the ladies stood up in chairs to
see him, and he was as red as my ribbons, and I
could hardly keep from crying, as I held him up;
the floor being slippery as glass with the extra
waxing it had got.
"I declared I would n't dance, because Joe
could n't; but he made me, saying he could see
me better, so I footed it till two o'clock, soon for-
getting all my sorrow and my good resolutions as
well. I wanted to show Joe that I was as much a
favorite as ever, though I'd lived like a widow for
a year. Young folks will be giddy, and I hope
these girls will take warning by me and behave
better when their time comes. There may n't be
any wolves to sober 'em, but trouble of some sort
always follows foolish actions; so be careful, my
dears, and behave with propriety when you 'come
out,' as you call it nowadays."
Grandma held up a warning forefinger at the
girls, and shook her head impressively, feeling that
the moral of her tale must be made clear before
she went on. But the lassies blushed a little, and
the lads looked all impatience, so the dear old lady
introduced the wolves as quickly as she could.
"About half-past two, Joe and I drove off home
with four fine hams in the bottom of the sleigh,
sent by the Major to our mothers. It was a bitter-
cold February night, with just light enough to see
the road, and splendid sleighing, so we went along
at a good pace till we came to the great woods.
They are all gone now, and the woolen mills stand
there, but then they were a thick forest of pines,
and for more than three miles the road led through
them. In former days Indians had lurked there;
bears and foxes were still shot, and occasionally
wolves were seen when cold weather drove them
to seek food near the sheep-folds and barn-yards.
"Well, we were skimming along pleasantly
enough, I rather sleepy, and Joe very careful of
me, when, just as I was beginning to doze a bit
with my head on his arm, I felt him start. Old
Buck, the horse, gave a jump that woke me up,
and in a minute I knew what the trouble was, for
from behind us came the howl of a wolf.
"'Just the night to bring 'em out,' muttered
Joe, using the whip till Buck went at his quickest
trot, with his ears down and every sign of hurry
and worry about him.
"'Are you afraid of them?' I asked, for I'd
never had a scare of this sort, though I 'd heard
other people tell of the fierceness of the brutes
when hunger made them bold.
"' Not a bit, only I wish I had my gun along,'
said Joe, looking over his shoulder anxiously.
"' Pity I had n't brought mine-I do so well with
it,' I said, and I laughed as I remembered how I
aimed at Joe and hurt myself.
'Are they chasing us?' I asked, standing up to
look back along the white road, for we were just
on the edge of the woods now.
Should n't wonder. If I had a better horse
it would be a lively race, but Buck can't keep this
pace long, and if he founders we are in a fix, for I
can't run, and you can't fight. Betsey, there 's
more than one -hold tight and try to count 'em.'
Something in Joe's voice told me plainer than
words that we were in danger, and I wished we'd
waited till the rest of our party came; but I was
tired, and so we started alone.
"Straining my eyes, I could see three black
spots on the snow, and hear three howls as the
wolves came galloping after us. I was a brave
girl, but I 'd never tried this kind of thing before,
and in a minute all the wolf stories I 'd ever heard
came flying through my mind. I was mortally
afeared, but I would n't show it, and turned to Joe,
trying to laugh as I said: 'Only three as yet.
Tell me just what to do, and I '11 do it.'
'Brave lass I must see to Buck or he '11 be
down, for he 's badly scared. You wait till the
rascals are pretty close, then heave over one of
these confounded hams to amuse 'em, while we
make the most of their halt. They smell this
meat, and that 's what they are after,' said Joe,
driving his best, for the poor old horse began to
pant, and limp on his stiff legs.
Lucky for us we 've got 'em,' says I, bound to
be cool and gay, 'if we had n't, they'd get fresh
meat instead of smoked.'
Joe laughed, but a long howl close by made
me dive for a ham, for in the darkness of the woods
the beasts had got closer, and now all I could see
were several balls of fire not many yards away.
Out went the ham, and a snarling sound showed
that the wolves were busy eating it.
'All right! said Joe. Rest a bit, and have
another ready. They'll soon finish that and want
more. We must go easy, for Buck is nearly blown.'
"I prepared my ammunition, and, in what seemed
five minutes, I heard the patter of feet behind us,
and the fiery eyes were close by. Over went the
second mouthful, and then the third, and the fourth;
but they seemed more ravenous than ever, and each
time were back sooner in greater numbers.
"We were nearly out of the woods when the
last was gone, and if Buck had only had strength
we should have been safe. But it was plain to see
that he could n't keep up much longer, for he was
very old, though he 'd been a finehorse in his prime.
This looks bad, little Betsey. Cover up in the
robes, and hold fast to me. The beasts will begin
to snatch presently, and I '11 have to fight 'em off.
Thank the powers, I 've my arms left.'
As he spoke, Joe pulled me close, and wrapped
me up, then took the whip, ready to rap the first
wolf that dared come near enough to be hit. We
did n't wait long; up they raced, and began to leap
and snarl in a way that made my heart stand still at
first. Then my temper rose, and catching up the
hot brick I had for my feet, I fired it with such
good aim, that one sharp, black nose disappeared
with a yelp of pain.
'Hit 'em again, Betsey Take the demijohn
and bang 'em well. We are nearing Beaman's,
and the brutes will soon drop off.'
It was a lively scrimmage for a few minutes, as
we both warmed to our work, Joe thrashing away
with his whip on one side, and I on the other flour-
ishing the demijohn in which we had carried some
cider for the supper.
"But it was soon over, for in the fury of the
fight Joe forgot the horse; poor Buck made a
sudden bolt, upset the sleigh down a bank, and,
breaking loose, tore back along the road with the
wolves after him.
'Run, Betsey run for your life, and send
Beaman's folks back! I 'm done for-my leg's
broken. Never mind, I '11 crawl under the sleigh,
1884.] SPINNING-WHEEL STORIES. 215
and be all right till you come. The wolves will
take a good while to pick poor Buck's bones.'
Just waiting to see Joe safe, I ran as I never
ran before, and I was always light of foot. How
I did it I don't know, for I'd forgot to put on my
moccasins (we did n't have snow-boots, you know,
in my young days), and there I was tearing along
that snowy road in my blue kid slippers like a crazy
thing. It was nigh a mile, and my heart was 'most
broke before I got there; but I kept my eye on
the light in Hetty's winder and tugged along,
blessing her for the guide and comfort that candle
was. The last bit was down hill, or I could n't
have done it; for when I fell on the door-step my
voice was clean gone, and I could only lie and
rap, rap, rap! till they came flying. I just got
breath enough to gasp out and point:
Joe-wolves-the big woods-go !' when
my senses failed me, and I was carried in."
Here Madam Shirley leaned back in her chair
quite used up, for she had been acting the scene
to a breathless audience, and laying about her
with her handkerchief so vigorously, that her eyes
snapped, her cheeks were red, and her dear old
cap all awry.
But Joe-did they eat him?" cried the boys
in great excitement, while the girls held to one
another, and the poor little wheel lay flat, upset by
the blows of the imaginary demijohn dealt to an
equally imaginary wolf.
"Hardly,-since he lived to be your grand-
father," laughed the old lady, in high feather at the
success of her story.
"No, no,-we mean the horse ; shouted Geoff,
while the others roared at the mistake.
"Yes, they did. Poor old Buck saved us at the
cost of his own life. His troubles were over, but
mine were not; for when I came to I saw Mr. Bea-
man, and my first thought and word was Joe ?'
Too late-they 'd got him, so we turned back
to tell you,' said that stupid man.
I gave one cry and was going off again, when
his wife shook me, and says, laughing:
"' You little goose He means the folks from the
Major's. A lot came along and found Joe, and
took him home, and soon 's ever you 're fit we '11
send you along, too.'
"'I 'm ready now,' says I, jumping up in a
hurry. But I had to sit down again, for my feet
were all cut and bleeding, and my slippers just
rags. They fixed me up and off I went, to find
Mother in a sad taking. But Joe was all right; he
had n't broken his leg, but only sprained it badly,
and being the wounded one he was laid up longer
than I. We both got well, however, and the
first time Joe went out he hobbled over to our
house. I was spinning again then, and thought I
might need my wedding outfit after all- On
the whole, I guess we '11 end the story here; young
folks would n't care for that part."
As Grandma paused, the girls cried out with one
voice: Yes, we do we like it best. You said
you would. Tell about the wedding and all."
"Well, well, it is n't much. Joe came and sat
by me, and, as we talked over our adventure, he
cut that true lover's knot between the letters. I
did n't seem to mind, and spun away till he pointed
to it, saying with the look that always made me
meek as a lamb: 'May it stand so, my little
Betsey ? '
I said Yes, Joe,' and then -well, never mind
that bit; -we were married in June, and I spun
and wove my wedding things afterward. Dreadful
slack, my mother thought, but I did n't care. My
wedding gown was white lutestring, full trimmed
with old lace. Hair over a cushion with white
roses, and the pearl necklace, just as you see up
there. Joe wore his uniform, and I tied up his
hair with a white satin ribbon. He looked beauti-
ful, and so did I."
At this artless bit of vanity, the girls smiled, but
all agreed that Grandma was right, as they looked
at the portraits with fresh interest.
"I call that a pretty good story," said Walt,
with the air of an accomplished critic.
"'Specially the wolf part. I wanted that longer,"
"It was quite long enough for me, my dear,
and I did n't hear the last of it for years. Why,
one of my wedding presents was four hams done up
elegantly in white paper, with posies on 'em, from
the Major. He loved a joke, and never forgot how
well we fought with the pigs' legs that night. Joe
gave me a new sleigh, the next Christmas, with two
wolf-skin robes for it. Shot the beasts himself,
and I kept those rugs till the moths ate the last
bit. He kept the leavings of my slippers, and I
have them still. Fetch 'em, Minnie-you know
where they are."
Grandma pointed to the tall secretary that stood
in a corner, and Minnie quickly took a box from
one of the many drawers. All the heads clustered
around Grandma, and the faded, ragged shoes
went from hand to hand, while questions rained
upon the story-teller till she bade them go to bed.
Nothing but the promise of more tales would
appease them; then, with thanks and kisses, the
young folks trooped away, leaving the old lady to
put the little wheel to rights and sit thinking over
her girlhood, in the fire-light.
OUR SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY.
a pi e o a h b wih latam d a Tam
Cottage. book, arnd the amount needed for a
DURING last winter's holiday season, the fuls of gelatine. Then they held a meeting
young people of our quiet village were sur- and selected by vote eight prizes, consisting of
prisead .at pleased at receiving pretty cards, oe box ofa assorted candied fruits, one box of
each bearing a picture of a huge bubble, with chocolate-cream drops, a Tam o' Shanter
the party 'were- ahet as ignorant as their red, green, white, brown, yellow, violet,
two pipes crossed beneath it,' and an invitat"' \ ,,p,. one pair of silver bangles, a box
to attend a soap-bubble party at Wistarii cologne, a silk mouchoir-case, a story
Cottage. d tether a fw of tr book, and the amount needed for a
All were curious to attend the party; for, i year's subscription to the.ST. NICH-
although they had seen this novel enter- OAS. Eac h prize was done up in
tainment mentioned iin. the newspapers, no several wrappers to make. the parcels
one had the least idea of what it consisted. "S nearly alike in size, and each was tied
In fact, the young ladies w h wereto gi: ith a ribbon of a special color, viz.:
the: party were. almdt as ignorant as their '.' red, green, white, brown, yellow, violet,
guests as to the manner of conducting it; '.'rai 'i pink or blue.
but they called together a few of their *' As nhnlt forty guests were expected, forty
bri ght.::. I :i.- I .:.: :.-.I. .' :e decorated, each with a rib-
prepa bs,;. ..i :... ii. i I:.:' and streamers of one of the
orders-.l I'r,:.'. i _i-.. :.:, LI.. :! ... .. -'.I.iii.' 1:,, -_. ,I :,l,...:. -,i.m ed colors-- five pipes with
pipes 'ri ..n. -.i.:l..-. .:.. ...st!r, five with another, and so on
stems, ':! :i~'i n'. y pa. Il the eight colors were appor-
differr.Z .:.. ed. Besides these decorations,
red n1- ,..re were forty rosettes, five of a
row rl.,- -- :I .', so that each guest could have
bons, .f In.: for andthpipe to halls atc. Grand
fi' n,,,-a: n prize was next prepared. This
". ,.rn-sted of a pair. of bellows very
Stwo slengaged to supply pipes cti-ossed on
'le venlnge upper side. Chinese lanterns
I l 'l "!i7\,i and flowers were procured
I1 I" ,.an experienced pianist was
''engagedto supply the music.
At last the long-expetted
"ii',:'I ')).f'1 V i l9 H^ lf guests drew near, the win-
dows of Wistaria Cottage
S glowed through the wintry
yards darkness with the light that
ofeac, shone from its broad .fire-
They .-.. places, piled high with blaz-
puirch -.:.1 ing brands.
twodozcnll JIIL When ready, the guests
Japanese fans and a were formed in pairs for
large bowl, which they filled with strong soap-suds, the march; and as the leading couple reached the
to every quart of which were added two'teaspoon- entrance to the drawing-room, they were stopped
1884.] OUR SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY. 217
by a little boy and girl holding a basket, from wreaths of bright flowers, and gay fans and white
which each was requested to draw a rosette and to pipes in graceful groups. From the ceiling, lanterns
WHOSE IS THE BIGGEST?
fasten it upon the left shoulder with a pin, from a of many colors were suspended, but some were
cushion held by the girl. As pair after pair were made of plain white oiled paper to represent huge
REPELLING AN ATTACK OF BUBBLE-BLOWERS.
thus decorated, the procession moved on, into bubbles. Large vases of flowers and graceful ferns
the room, the walls of which were adorned with filled each corner, and in the center of the room a
OUR SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY.
round table was placed, bearing, on a pedestal of
moss and flowers, the bowl of soap-suds, around
which were the prizes in packages and the forty dec-
orated pipes. After marching twice around this
table, the company were grouped about it and the
colors were called out by the little girl who had
distributed the rosettes. As one color was called,
all who wore it advanced and selected pipes to
match, and when each had taken one, all formed
themselves into groups of a color, each group choos-
ing two umpires from one of the seven other shades.
The girl then again called out a color, and the
five blowers who wore it took their places around
the bowl. She next named a color for umpires,
and they also took their places at the right and
left of the circle, where each could see plainly.
It was the aim of each blower to make the largest
bubble. Each was allowed I.i. 1- i-
utes at first for practice, bur !. I.1 rl-.r
privilege of devoting all of -hi- iti. ti
one bubble. But when one i:. i.i 1- i
pires called "Time !" all w.:i .-.Li, .-.I
to goonwith the onethenbe .-,, i. r .. r:
by blowing too hard exp .:.-l.:.t rh. r ..
bubbles, but could not beg,. :i ...rl. ,
after the word "Time" hid t:-,..! I I
spoken. Others were so ._ .
careful, that their bub-
bles were small. The um- ------- l-
pires, of course, award- -
ed the prize to the one
making the largest bub-
ble that was the last to,--"
explode; but, if two or ,
more bubbles were alike
in size and duration, the
blowers of them were at
once allowed to contest i
again until one gained t
the prize. '
And so the fun and 7 -
merriment went on that
memorable night atWis- i
taria Cottage, and it was -
a late hour before the --
last of the happy guests
In order to give our THE CHAMPION PR
boy and girl readers an
intelligent idea of all that may be done on such an
occasion, we will follow out in detail the plan which
we have seen adopted with the greatest success.
We will suppose the party assembled as described
above, and one merry group of blowers to have been
disposed of by their umpires. The latter and those
of their color then take their places, while another
group, marked with a ribbon of different color, sit
injudgment upon them; and thus the contest goes
on until one player of each color has won a prize.
The children then bring in a quantity of smaller
bowls or cups, which they fill from the large bowl
and pass to any of
the players who are ,
ready for them.
The grand ..
march, shown "--
in the picture
ners of the
'I '' I
IZE-WINNER OF THE EVENING.
prizes are escorted by the others once around the
room, and then take their places in a semicircle in
front of the table, where the prizes are distributed to
them by some gentleman, designated by the hostess
to act as orator, who should make a pompous speech
of a humorous nature to each one of the fortunate
winners.. During this march and lively presen-
tation ceremony, the air is .filled with bubbles
~- L ~i
OUR SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY.
blown by the other players in honor of the winners
and of the orator, who, perhaps, is surrounded by
a cloud of them in acknowledgment of some very
brilliant remark. Then the grand trial for the
prizes then each take a fan from the wall and
station themselves outside of the rows of players,
four on each side; they choose umpires for each
of the lines, who stand midway between them,
BURSTING THE BUBBLES.
chief prize is announced; and the fortunate win-
ners of the minor prizes,- one from -.:1i ...'!..--
each having deposited in a place of safety the pack-
age which was tied with ribbon of his color, surround
the bowl and prepare for the contest. The orator
acts as chief umpire, summoning to his aid two of
the other players, and when he calls "Time !" great
is the interest felt in the trial. Among so many
of the best blowers, the rivalry is veryclose; but
After a merry struggle, the champion is at last
decided upon, and is made the happy recipient of
the grand prize (whatever may have been selected
for the purpose), which is delivered to him by
the orator, with a flowery speech; a general
salute of bubbles from the other players follows,
after which the march is continued around the
room, and the players, bowl in hand, form in
two lines, ten feet apart. The winners of the
at the end of each row. Two players from each
side provide themselves also with fans, and stand
between the lines at the center. The umpire calls
"Time !" and the blowers in each line make bub-
bles as fast as they can, which the fan-players in
the center try to fan (without exploding them) over
the heads of the opposite line. The players outside
try to fan them back, and the umpires declare that
side to be the winner which has been able to drive
the most bubbles over the heads of the opposite
line, in spite of the efforts of the outside players
to fan them back. A little practice in using the
fan will often enable the players to drive the bub-
bles very quickly without exploding them.
The prize for this contest is, appropriately, a fan
for each player on the winning side, the fans being
selected from the decorations on the walls. After-
ward, the pleasures of the evening may be length-
OUR SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY.
ened by a social dance, during
the change: .r i.1 1 ,. fl: ;.,-1,
of bubbles ,' Iu. i., '.i '
Any dancer ... i:' ,r i -- -..'-.'
to that p, : .-,'I
dancing, tl- -"'' .
around the r...!:., i:, h,. t ,, l
the long sti ':- -i i ., ,.i r ir ..,
be dipped li : !!i_. : ... .:r '
one of the .'1.:, -A. : i. ~-
about the ,.:. ..i ... -1 i... i i:.l --- .
Between ri: .:l :.. .. .i.. :
tests m ay I.,- iii:l t. i :, i. i
s e e w h i c h :. l I l ._. r I l
outlast the .. .: 1 ,1I. r l '_-"
ment as to :, ,:. L...h r!.11 I,:
chooses, foli. hI- 1 1-i l., l.,-i .! -.ii- r.l ,
room ended ..n r ,li ii.. i.: ri i. .r... r i -
from injury '.'- ri in ,: n -. r,. :
allowed, tl'.- !.I, i .i I I .-!: 1:
another's :"-.1lb.1. :r ,... r:l- =
blowing up-.: 1 ii ,i ii rI. i t 1:'I I I']-, .
But this st I, rr ..: i; ,.i .. .i .: : .:
interesting -ii.1 :lt.:-r i .-'-.
A another r.a, r...,, I .-i c,., ,:h .. r.:'i -,,
by com petir,- r :. .l.-:. _. i: .. .n ....:
the ceilin t- t r--.I- ..I.. ,r..i.-r
the sam e r, u.I!.I.'.:i-i 1 I..- i :
the bubbi [iil l. ,,ir ,l ..r.. -
none will i:..ri .i... _
,i r "
.- ] ..-
I r. i 11 .:.f
S. l-- .
=7 ..-- I
* contest, depending wholly on
1,,, ,_ n, i b .: ir ..] 1 -.:e;..-
.: r. ,r., ,.. r| i r ;, I ,,,1 ,:,: |, .n
-- .. Ibubbles
._- -' i
- .kj';' !i
^ -^.r N' J r j4 U
i ; _L ...
:i,' n-'- ''Ii
the contests, a little boy and girl should
simply touches there and breaks by the THE GRAND MARCH. flit about the room with sprayers, from
contact. which they blow a fine mist of cologne
OUR SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY.
and lavender water, thus making an agreeable
contrast to the odor of the soap and giving re-
freshment to the merry players.
A very pretty dance for the soap-
bubble party m-,- ib fn.ir in thi
pyram id figLo !, :. I ....- ..... .
waltzes to th. .. ......_
follow and s .,i'.1 Ia !: -
hind them !ri. :... ,i.!,- i'',
the next li-.. .. :i1 4 ,. '.1
prepare by wearing any odd costume or fancy
dress which the wearers may possess. And, in-
deed, fancy-dress costumes are in themselves
most appropriate for a soap-bubble party,
._ ....- th-.- frrm n 1ri Thr pageant well-
i .1.l i: .. 1. lanterns, the
-- : i'",.! i ... :.ols, and the
i .'I :. r. r !i .: ..! e bubbles.
i, i, i I I i .i... should begin
I'' i ... Ii 'i. and quicken
-. r -. II
5 .. ,, ^ _, _- _'.. ,* ,' l ,, :" ' ,
- 7 '. '7- -
i., .-,":' + .. . :- +
~. p ._ --i -. _
--- :- ------A -OA-- -. .. PRY O T O
A SOAP-BUBBLE PARTY OF TWO.
blowing bubbles while the rest of the company
march in single file in and out between the
Later in the evening, bon-bon costume crack-
ers may be used to advantage, and their fanci-
ful paper caps may be useful also to protect the
hair of the ladies from the showers of bubbles
which are constantly falling in the soap-bubble
For these showers, by the way, it may be well to
into a rapid measure, all the guests blowing bub-
bles as fast as possible, so that the air shall be
bright with them. In that way almost the finest
scene of the entertainment is produced. The shin-
ing bubbles mount up to the lighted ceiling and are
driven up and down in clouds by the flying fans,
and around about into the faces and over the heads
of the whirling dancers, until the bubbles burst,
and the soap-suds are exhausted as well as the mer-
ry and delighted guests of the soap-bubble party.
IN THE PARK.
BY BESSIE CHANDLER.
"WE must n't go near the pond, sissy,
'Cos there's something-I don't know what-
But I heard Mamma talking about it:
It is n't exactly a bear,-
But a stagnant, I think Mamma called it;
And she says she 's afraid every day
To live by the Park any longer,
And she wishes they'd take it away.
" I never have seen a real stagnant,
But I guess it has teeth and would bite;
But don't be afraid, little sissy,
Because, if it comes, I will fight.
I 'd be glad to see just what it looks like,
But I don't want to get very near,
'Cos it might make a spring of a sudden!
I guess we had better stop here,
And sit down on one of the benches.
Now, don't make a noise;-just keep mum!
And don't take your eyes off the water,
And we '11 watch for the stagnant to come."
BY JOHN R. TAIT.
I rhe Centennial
S I Exposition,
S'- not far from
-- the Turkish
i...-(. ed custom-
ers with very
S' tolerable cof-
'"- fee and very
i''. there was a
' -" stand owned
S and kept by
a Turk from
ple, whose stock-in-trade consisted principally of
rosaries cut in olive wood, and little heaps of
what looked like dried herbs. These latter were
objects of much speculation to American visitors;
but I recognized them at once, having often seen
them before, not in the Holy Land, whence they
come, but in the streets and squares of Munich and
other German cities, where they are always to be
bought at the kirmesse, or fair, which is held a
short time before Christmas. As in Philadelphia,
the merchant who had them for sale was always an
Oriental. In Munich, he was a Jew from Smyrna,
with a venerable white beard, and I well remember
his piping cry: "Jericho Rosen!" and the curi-
osity with which I first looked upon the seemingly
withered and worthless twigs he called by that
name, and which had not the slightest resemblance
to roses or, in fact, to any flower whatever.
Nevertheless, the Jew used to find many custom-
ers, of whom I was one; but it was not until a
German friend had explained what the queer thing
was, that I knew what to do with it, or whether it
was not, perhaps, intended to be eaten. The gray,
shriveled, apparently dead plant, the size of a
child's hand, possesses a singular and interesting
characteristic, which has given rise to the belief
(some would call it superstition), very general
among the people of Southern Europe, that, when
placed in a vessel of water on the night before
Easter or on the holy eve of Christmas, the withered
stems will-if good fortune awaits the household
during the year-revive, expand their tendrils, and
change to a fresher hue before morning.
After hearing this account of the plant, I carried
one home on a certain evening, when on my table
a little Christmas-tree stood, winking its waxen
tapers through a net-work of silver tissue, its green
boughs weighed down with incongruous fruit,-
rosy-cheeked apples, oranges, gilded walnuts, and
glass balls. Underneath it, in a glass of water, I
put the "rose," and went to bed.
My first thought the next morning was to see
what had happened. The story told of it was sub-
stantiated, and the rose had really bloomed, if by
"blooming" one understands only an entire change
of form and increase of size. The same thing
happened again at Easter; but I am bound to state
also, that it has happened frequently on other
evenings as well, which takes away a little of the
poetry of the story, and has made me doubt
whether, after all, its blooming is a sign of any
especial good fortune. Yet I hope it may be; for
when I brought it home, the specimen I still possess
looked like the picture here.
shown, while, placed in a --4. ._
glass of water, it grew, .5-., 1,
within twenty-four hours, .'(
to the form indicated by
the illustration near the top
of this page. Y'
Naturalists call the plant i
by a very hard name:
The leaves fall off from
the plant after the flower-
ing, and the branches and
branchlets become dry, hard, and woody, rising
upward and bending inward at their points; hence,
they become contracted into a globular form, in
which state the plant is carried off the sand by the
wind, and blown from the desert places where it
had its birth into the sea. Here, floating on the
water, the branches gradually expand and the pods
open and let out the seeds, which are in turn thrown
~- Vi p -t'' -'
'. '" -. ,,
back again upon the shore by the tides, to germi-
nate and grow.
Th6 home of the queer "rose" is amid the arid
wastes of Egypt, near Cairo, and those of Palestine
and Barbary. It flourishes on the roofs of houses
and on rubbish in Syria, and on the sandy coasts
of the Red Sea.
The plant long retains the power of expansion
when immersed in water,-the circumstance in
which originated the many wonderful stories told of
its miraculous influence. It is called KafMaryam,
or "'Mary's flower," in Palestine, where it is believed
that it bloomed at the time the Savior was born.
According to another legend, it sprung up in the
places where the Virgin Mary rested on her flight
into Egypt. It was probably first brought by the
crusaders to Europe, where it is still named the
" Holy Rose by those who believe the fable of its
blossoming only on the great festivals.
Whether one believes the fable or not, the plant
is of itself a wonderful one, and all of its names
are pretty. When it can be procured, it makes
a fitting accessory to a Christmas-tree, for the
reason, that it grew in the far country where our
Lord was born, and its strange reviving is a type
of his immortality and resurrection, from which,
indeed, it derives its generic name -'Andstasis
being the Greek word for Resurrection.
L'x -i r --;
THE BALLAD OF GOOD SIR URGAN.
OH, blue are the hills of Faeryland,
And green the summer meadows be,
And reedy many a river's strand,
And stately every forest tree.
And all the bridle bells do ring,
As knights come riding, two and two,
Aneath the wood; and, like a king,
Sir Urgan rides in armor blue.
And lo! as down the wood they rode,-
The lake beyond just gleams in sight,-
A wrinkled crone beneath a load
Bewails her bones in sorry plight.
" Good mother, be of better cheer;
Give me your load," quoth Urgan; "so-
Your fagots on my crupper here
Will ease you in the path you go."
r i'r, hi i i i l' |' : 1 I i i, ii' .
And off they rode, the flouting train;
Behind the hill the laughter died;
With kindly face and slackened rein,
He rode the aged dame beside.
" Now whither rid'st thou, fair Sir Knight,
By wild and waste and woody lane ? "
" I ride," quoth he, "in joust to fight,
Before the King in fair Mentaine."
" Now good betide thee, fair Sir Knight;
When thou a league hast parted hence,
The path that swerveth to the right
Will lead to Mentaine's battlements.
" And midway down the thicket's maze,
A horse and armor thou wilt find;
Mount; leave thine own; and ride thy ways;
Yon flouting train thou 'lt leave behind.
THE BALLAD OF GOOD SIR URGAN.
Who rides him, conquers; thou shalt win
Fame at this joust, good knight and fair."
And lo! the beldame old and thin
Did vanish into empty air!
Right well amaz'd, Sir Urgan rode
By many a bosky thicket's edge;
A summer brook beside him flowed
With hidden laughter in the sedge.
Till, gleaming through the dancing leaves,
A brazen charger reared on high;
With rusted lance, and helm, and greaves,
The faery armor hung thereby.
Flashed wide the charger's brazen eyes;
All fleshly warm the metal grew;
His mane began to stir and rise;
A single struggling breath he drew;
Through swelling veins his blood did run;
Sir Urgan felt his pulses beat,
He reared-he plunged from off the stone
And lighted down upon his feet!
Hold fast, Sir Urgan! with such haste
Thy courser never sped before!
By hill and dale and windy waste,
With headlong speed, the charger bore.
All mute upon the statue stared
Sir Urgan: "By my faith !" he cried,
" An thou hadst life, I had not cared
To find a nobler steed to ride.
Who rides thee, conquers !'" Then in haste
He cast his mail upon the gorse;
Soon, in the rusty armor laced,
He vaulted on the brazen horse.
As past the flouting knights he burst,
" Who rides," they wondered, "'in such haste ?-
A churlish knight, adorned with rust,
And in his grandsire's armor laced!"
But later, in the tourney's fight,
These scoffers somewhat changed their cheer;
" A braver than this stranger knight,
In joust hath never battled here."
For helms were cloven, spears were broke,
And knights and steeds of gallant course
Went down, before the charge and stroke
Of Urgan and his faery horse.
Him to the King the herald brought;
Throned high he sat above the lists.-
: Right well, Sir Stranger, have ye fought,
Though of your name we nothing wist."
His rusty helm the victor doff'd;
A murmur broke amid the crowd,
And acclamations swelled aloft
As good Sir Urgan, kneeling, bowed.
They crowned him victor.
Ye who read
With kindly eyes my story through,
Say, lives there not some victor's meed
For all good deeds that you shall do?
And when did Urgan kinglier show?
When glowed his breast with holier flame?
Was 't when he rushed upon the foe,
Or bent to help the aged dame?
BY ROSE HAWTHORNE LATHROP.
No MATTER how dark the day, there can be
fun-beams; and where there are children, the
mothers know how often they shine. There was
such a snow-storm outdoors that Roger said the
nursery must have sailed away from the rest of the
house, up into a cloud; and almost everybody
went to the window to see if what he said was
strictly founded on fact.
"The Angel" stood in the middle of the big, un-
encumbered nursery-floor (covered with a carpet of
roses on green grass), and seemed to be thinking
about the large snow-flakes which he saw falling,
falling, down across the upper panes of the wide,
wide window, while the others looked out of the
lower panes, with their faces close to the glass.
"The Angel's" other name was Dan.
The fire on the hearth crackled like a cricket
and whirred like a bird, and intimated that it could
melt the snow-flakes quicker than anybody else, if
it got hold of them. The children shivered and
ran back to the fire, eager to warm themselves,
heart and soul, by the genial blaze.
If there's to be a cold storm all the afternoon,"
said Vernon, "we 'd better play 'tropics,' and I
speak for being the boa-constrictor."
Oh," said Marie, you make such a big one,
it is terrible If you were only delicate, like Cara,
it would be more like 'playing.' "
If you want Cara to play something huge, you
can make her the elephant," replied Vernon, who
was the oldest of the children. And Roger shall
be a monkey, and Marie a lovely, red-headed cock-
atoo, as you really are. Then "the Angel" must
have a part assigned him. What shall it be, my
"I'll be a man," answered Dan, with good-
natured dignity, thrusting his fingers into his side-
pockets over his kilt, and walking forward and
backward with a slow step, like a sentinel.
"All right," cried Roger; "you shall be the
explorer who comes through the forest and finds
us all. As for me, I am a monkey from now on;
and I find it dreadfully hot all at once "
Among some odds and ends, Roger hunted out
the enamel-cloth cover to an umbrella, and this he
pinned to his jacket as the "monkey's" tail. As
often as necessary, however, Roger also fanned him-
self with this article. The umbrella itself was a
fine big, green, one, and Vernon spread it and set fury; and when Dan seized her by her tin nose and
it between two chairs, and then coiled himself in trotted her all over the floor at his will, you may be
and out of his jungle with dangerous grace; while sure the elephant's dignity was greatly impaired,
Cara, dear little sylph, upset everything small and and her own laughter crowned her defeat.
climbed over it; and, in short, swept all before her The boa had made off at the same time with the
as elephant, not forgetting to tie Dan's trum- monkey's tail, and hung his head down from
pet over her mouth for a rather stiff trunk. the top of a bureau, with glittering eyes;
Marie put on a little gray !-". .... I | i h I.: r .. -.:. who, the boa said, looked
pinned her auburn braids ul. !!:.: i j h I r ilfficiently without any tail
tuft on her head, and sat ulp..:. i -r I. stood pleading for his chief
table whistling in various fa-! .-- I .'.....t of distinction.
ions, to represent lively bir..l. "assure you, Vernon, there
"Now, Dan, be prepared I K~ nothing else in the room
to make your way through c- that makes such a good
the forest," cried Vernoni. tail as that cried the
We shall all be obliged I monkey, tearfully. It's
to attack you, as wild I 'J'_ too bad to be able to
things do men; but you 'understand that like a
must not be afraid. See, ,I ; ,,boy, and then keep my
here I come, wriggling i II~I, tail like a real boa! "
out from my trees and i ,. He ought to eat
bushes! And Vernon it, if he 's a real boa,"
hissed himself purple as said four-year-old Dan,
he slid around the floor pompously, as if he
and then glided up to were accustomed to
Dan's vicinity. "Now, being the Doge of
you must run away from Venice, and settling
me, Dan, and then make nice difficulties of the
up your mind to fight law. "If you keep it,
me," Vernon was say- Vern, you must swallow
ing; but all of a sudden I it! he commanded.
gave a splutter and "I'giveitup,'then!"
grunt, for Dan's warm exclaimed Vernon, with
little shoe had come down I awriggle on the bureau,
on the back of his neck "for I can't think of
and pinned him fast. r"-"I the right answer to
"No fair," called the m.-.n- Dan's puzzle. Oh, you
key from under the table, I rl. dear pet!" And down
center-leg of which he was .-1 ,, the boa clambered, and
"Youmustn'trealy killhi...I... I .. ... coiled over his small
Dan hadn't yet taken i., l i-.-: .: I ..1_ ..i. I :iher, giving him such an
pockets of which he was -.. i.i.. :.,i ...:. .- .i,..-tionate hug that he did
chalantly lifted his conqu,. -, ,. .., r! i..-... t .... ly choke him.
constrictor and sauntered ... Oh," said Marie, "I am
much ashamed to follow -,,. !,ri. I_. .. 1. i -, L ".,". .... r._i ally hot! Playing 'trop-
but made for the monkey, .1 .-.r .i.-. il ,l, .! ..:.:1 ,: is no joke, if it is going to
up with his tail and the .. i. i. g it on in this way."
Dan tried to catch the c... :.r...:. !... ni .. You speak as if South
from the table to the floor -.I i.i- **i.1 i.,, Ii .'.....rica was measles," re-
pursued by the explorer. I ..... -.- .ded Vernon; and I sup-
phant in her war-path, w I,..:. .,1 I I.. .: I r.. !i..! i-"..*..- we all should feel as we
them down, amid shouts ..-i I ,, li.: r ..I ., ....1 :.. 'o when we have fever, if
deal of damage from the trumpet. The elephant, WATCHING THE SNOW- we roamed about under a
in her peregrinations, had collected two palm-leaf FLAKES. broiling sun. Cara, go pick
fans, which she had hung in her hair by the handles up your cars and pass them to us, for I feel hot, too."
for a couple of ears; but in the heat of combat, the As Vernon was speaking, the monkey wound his
fans forsook her, instead of serving to cool her tail about his enemy's neck, and pulled him down
to the ground, from which he had risen, as the boa
occasionally rises from its coil; and when Vernon
fell there was a sound of parting splinters.
Oh, dear cried Marie, what is broken now?"
I don't know," replied Vernon, with a wry face;
" but whatever it is, I don't believe it feels as badly
as I do He got up, and Dan rushed to the
ruins. It was his darling little red cart, which he
loved better than all his other pet playthings, and
the four wheels were peeping into the cart in a man-
ner wholly at odds with t.'i tn--mlrn'er'! intentinrc
Bigtears stood in "' .- .:'- : .- I1.: I -:
looked pinker and so:i. rl-, r ii l..: i.-!'.
distress; and pretty ....,-, .:....' .. In. i ,..1i -!11.
out of his pocket to his I i 1 ti..: !'...1 i.' i 1 .:.:
of the nursery, while tli.
gently out of sym-
pathy with him.
"It 's too bad,
my dearboy," said
his eldest brother,
with a trembling
voice, "and I '11
mend it, if I have
to learn the car-
penter's trade, my
down and put the
lolling wheels into
the body of the
cart, and then took
up the disjointed
mass in his arms,
without a sob.
non," he said, in
sweet accents, and
walked away to
mourn in a nook
alone, and try to
arrange his cart
into a semblance
of its old self.
self-control was too
much for Marie,
who took down her
cockatoo's red top-
knot in honor of
her feelings, and
went to the fire to
throw on another
h1 ,1- i b kl1
"Where 's Nurse? said she. It is time for
you older children to come with me for your les-
son; but Dan is not old enough to learn this lesson,
and so he has to stay behind."
She saw by this time that there was rain in the
wind, and as everybody looked at Dan's back
where he sat on the floor, she knew that something
had happened to him. So, after ringing the bell
for Nurse, she went over to her small son and
found out the latest nursery news.
K [ -
r; pi, ',
wR NE SAW A C AS-P 2-30---
"'WHO MAY THIS YOUNGSTER BE WHO NEVER SAW A CHRISTMAS-TREE?' [PAGE 230.
C -llr11g c -og- .
Just then, when shadows hung throughout the : Mamma loves that cart, too," said she, cor-
play-room, the door opened, and therewasMamma; dially, and wants to have it in her own room
and, after one of her loving looks around the circle, until it is mended, so that no more harm can come
she came in with her delightful step. to it. And here is Nurse, and she will help take
it into Mamma's room, where Dan shall choose the handled before which was one of his objects.
place he wishes it to wait in; and then Vernon shall Mamma said, for many a day afterward, that he
do his best to put it together-dear old cart! had even succeeded in getting paste on the sewing-
And with a big kiss, that bright Mamma was gone, room ceiling, by dropping one end of Marie's wand
and "the Angel" was looking almost as happy as into the paste-bowl (an accident, no doubt) and
she had. then tumbling over the other end, which sent
The older children followed her, and brought everything flying. Then, too, Roger had a way of
up in the sewing-room, where great preparations drying his sticky fingers on his hair, so that after
were going on for the Christmas-tree, and for the awhile, if you touched him in the neighborhood
costumes of Dan's brothers and sisters, who were of his head, you were apt to get scratched, as if
to be quite transformed for Christmas Eve. There with cork-screws. Toward all remarks and excla-
had been no tree for several years, because every- nations of disgust, Roger remained calm and
body wanted to have it a complete surprise to Dan silent; for he was having a lovely time, and could n't
when he should be old enough to thoroughly en- stop to argue.
joy it. And Vernon was to be St. Nicholas; and Vernon's mamma seemed to take immense de-
Marie, Titania; and Roger, Robin Goodfellow; light in turning him into an old man as soon as
and Cara, the Frog who would a-wooing go, with possible, and knit him a flowing beard and curly
a hi and a ho and a gammon and spinach, heigh-ho wig of light-gray split zephyr, and then sprinkled
for Anthony Rowley.! which latter was a per- it well with little bits of wool and a glittering dust
sonage in a nursery-rhyme of no easily explained for snow-flakes. His cap and muffler were made
meaning, but deeply dear to Dan's noddle at bed- of crocheted silver thread, which Vernon had been
time, when he always heard it. Of course, the taught to work himself; and his coat was cut out
children had to rehearse their parts for the per- of Papa's faded purple velvet dressing-gown. His
formance, in order to conceal their real selves as leggings were fashioned out of old white satin,
long as possible from Dan; and then they had to with wool snow-flakes and more sparkling dust;
help make their dresses, besides collecting the and his switch was a bundle of twigs covered with
ornaments for the tree. An hour every afternoon tiny tin bells.
had long been devoted to this busy pastime, and The'old storm, which usually comes around at
Mamma always called if their lesson-hour, so that Christmas Eve, staid to see the celebrations all
Dan should only know that they were learning over town, and the fine snow-flakes scattered them-
something, and not that they were having quan- selves about next day, and got on people's noses,
tities of fun, or he would never have lingered so and stuck in their eyes, and tried to peep into the
patiently in the nursery until the great day. bundles of presents which were being carried to
Things were far advanced, as may be supposed, every house. But oh, how the great parlor, emp-
on that stormy afternoon, for the next evening tied of its tables, and its floor covered with white
would be Christmas Eve; and Cara's green sarcenet linen, and with its white and gold wood-work,
frog-dress, with yellow spots, had to be tried on, looked at six o'clock! The wonder-tree was alight
and her outer head (which looked dreadfully like a near the middle of the room, and the fairy children,
frog's) stuffed with a little more wool. Then down St. Nicholas, and Titania, were gliding near it,
she sat on the floor, and between long pauses gave while Robin Goodfellow capered in and out of
a jump, with so much effort (on account of her every corner. At the tree's foot sat the frog.
awkward position) that she looked for all the world "Bravo! cried Papa, laughing gayly. This
like a frog, which never seems quite contented with is a grand success, and dear old Dan must be
its own style of getting about. called forthwith "
Titania was very beautiful in a gown of feathery So Mamma went to bring the small fellow for
aspect, covered with pearls and spangles which whom all this magic and frolic had been planned;
had each been put on by her own fingers, and bor- and presently he was heard chatting on the stairs,
dered by a fringe of shells of her own gathering as he came down. The little brothers and sisters
that hung down in drops and tinkled together, waited with bated breath to see his face, eager to
And she had a long white veil of-several thick- find that he was enchanted by their work. The
nesses of tulle, so that her face was rather indis- door at the end of the room was thrown open, and
tirict. And oh, how her wand sparkled with a large Dan ran in.
paste diamond on its tip, and a thread of steel In a moment, he stood transfixed. His bright,
beads wound down its whole length! expressive eyes shone back at the gleaming tree,
Roger had had all his ten fingers in the pie of and his fair, waving hair fell like a gauzy veil from
making his own costume, and had used more paste under its golden cap over his forehead.
in sticking paper on his mask than any boy ever Oh, tree of stars he said.
"Darling child," called Titania, in an even voice,
coming toward him all sparkling like a mist, "how
do you do, this pleasant Christmas Eve? "
"Are you real, or a talking doll?" Dan asked,
stoutly, but feeling as if it was time to find out
just where he might be.
I am the Queen of the Fairies," answered she,
"who always does what is kind in your fairy tales.
And here is St. Nicholas, hobbling up to us, who
is always old, just as I am always young."
Ho, ho cried St. Nicholas, in a deep bass,
dropping some big apples and oranges out of the
bag over his arm as he approached. "Who may
this little youngster be, who, I hear, never saw a
Christmas-tree till to-night? "
"My name is Daniel Fairmont Roseley," replied
Dan, with pomp, and I think you are a very nice
man. I have heard of you. Pray, sit down," and
then Dan turned to Titania, slipping a couple of
fingers into his sash, as was his wont, and speak-
ing in a tone of great deference; "please sit down,
or fly, whichever you like best."
Titania and St.- Nicholas laughed and twirled.
around on their toes, and Robin Goodfellow, who
really was a naughty rogue, came scampering up ;
and St. Nicholas shook his switch of silvery bells
at him. Then the Frog hopped slowly out from
under the tree and all at once rolled over on the
floor with a burst of laughter; and pop off came
Cara's green head with its big mouth and eyes,
and her pretty flaxen curls peeped about her
At this, Dan gave a tremendous shout, and Papa
and Mamma chimed in, together with Nurse and
everybody in the hall; and Titania went sailing
and whirling hither and thither, like a dancing
dove, for sheer merriment.
How did you get in there, Cara ? asked Dan,
going up to the little green heap of sarcenet on the
white carpet, and placing his hands on his knees
while he took a good look. Do you want your
other head again, dear ? "
Just then, Robin Goodfellow blew a tiny horn at
Dan's ear, and made him turn about with a jerk;
but Robin was ever so far away before his rosy
victim stopped winking, and who could only run
after him. Then Titania called out in her clear,
"There are presents for 'the Angel' on this
tree Come and see what they are "
Dan knew his pet name well, and dashed up to the
tree from pursuit of Robin, his cheeks as red with
all this fun as if he had been out on a sleigh-ride.
Titania waved her sparkling wand, and then St.
Nicholas reached up to a branch and cried:
Here 's a little purse with DIaniel's name on it;
does that little boy know what to do with it ? It
says on the outside, Give this to the foor.' Are
you willing to give all this money to the poor? "
The sick-looking people on the street? asked
Yes," said Titania.
Dan thought awhile, feeling the soft purse with
all his small fresh fingers.
Yes, I do want to," he replied at last, looking
up at the tree. Because they were not invited
to our great Christmas Eve "
Here Robin gave Dan another merry jump by
blowing his wee horn at his elbow, and shooting
"You funny-looking thing !" called Dan. What
makes you dance so ? Does the floor scorch your
Papa laughed loudly at this, and Mamma's
sweet notes rang in; and everybody in the hall
Hallo, here's another present for Dan Fair-
mont," calls St. Nicholas. "A French doll forhim
to give as a present to his sister Cara. Will you
give it to her, Dan ? Or shall you keep it yourself?"
Dan took the doll, and looked into its face
I like it," said he.
"Yes, but so would Cara," Titania remarked
in a gentle voice.
Cara stood by, gazing with wide open eyes at
her possible treasure.
"Oh, Dan, I hope I know what you are going
to say she gasped.
Take it! he gulped; but instantly drew dolly
back. Then he kissed it and hugged it, and thrust
out his arm again. "You are Cara's dolly," he
said firmly, scowling a little. And Cara pounced
upon it immediately.
Here Goodfellow performed a wild, original reel,
all by himself, and to a song of his own, criss-
crossing down the center of the saloon, and ended
up with a somersault. This seemed to inspire
Cara, who put on her green head and began frog-
jumping, singing aloud the rhyme which Dan had
heard every night for a year.
The boy was delighted beyond measure, and he
followed Froggie's doublings to catch every word,
and to hasten the jumping process with a sturdy
little push upon Froggie's shoulder.
Suddenly, he stood still and turned all around.
Where are Marie, and Vernon, and Roger? "
he exclaimed, in a frightened voice. Oh, Mamma,
Swhy did not you tell them there was everything in
the parlor to-night ? And he ran up to her, look-
ing very solemn.
Oh, you must find them, Dan, my pet," said
Papa, giving him a toss up on his shoulder and
"You must ask Titania if she can help you,"
added his mother.
Naughty Titania said Dan. Do you think
you are good, when you let my sister stay in the
dark while you sparkle so? My sister would be
more polite, if she were you."
At this, Marie threw back her veil and knelt
down before Dan, who looked a trifle scared; and
then flung his arms around her neck and tried,
apparently, to dance off with it; which ended in a
heap of tarlatan and screams, and Dan's black
velvet body and rosy, white-socked legs showing
here and there in the veil.
And now, what had naughty Robin done but
gone hovering about the tree with a stage-strut,
looking at all the presents through his mask, and
calling out :
Where 's Roger Roseley; where's that sweet
child, I say? He wants his presents badly, I
A very queer fragrance pervaded the parlor at
that moment, and Roger's heavily pasted and
scarcely dry nose was seen to smoke like a new
sort of chimney.
"Oh, dear he shrieked, "I believe my paste
is cooking over again, Mamma Do untie my
face, somebody "
Papa had rushed to him and dragged him away
from the small candle which had too cordially
accosted his big paper nose, and St. Nicholas
showered a volley of thumps at him with his musi-
cal birch, and Mamma took the delinquent aside
and talked to him about the danger he had been in
from going too near the dazzling bough. It must
be confessed that the expression of Roger's funny
mask in contrast to his dejected figure, during this
whispered lecture, nearly cost Mamma a laugh, in
spite of her alarm.
"So that was Roger," said Dan, musingly; and
walked up to St. Nicholas. Did you ever hear
of Vernon Roseley ? asked he, with a merry twitch
of the lip.
St. Nicholas doubled himself over, and roared
like the winter wind in the country.
Oh, you little duck he cried. "Don't you
think I am too old to know the names of such
young folks as Vernon ? "
I think, if you let me pull your beard," Dan
said, "that it will come off!" And he whirled
around on his heel with his splendid deep laugh,
ending in a silvery chuckle, which nobody could
hear without wishing to be able to laugh in the
Come, St. Nicholas, come," called Papa from
the tree. "If you can prove that you are really
Vernon, you shall have a present-a box of very
fine minerals from Marie."
This was too overwhelming for old St. Nicholas,
who dropped his infirm step at once, and strode
quickly to his father.
So everybody was discovered, and all the pres-
ents distributed. Dan had a number of new treas-
ures to add to his old stores, and he piled them in a
sort of triumphal heap upon the floor; and by and
by, when Nurse reminded him that there was still
bread and milk in the world, and the "heigh-ho
for Anthony Rowley waiting in the book at this
point, without more words, Dan became sleepy, and
walked away from the scene.
Small guests arrived for an hour's frolic; and
a dainty collation was served at one end of the
parlor, in full sight of the wonderful lighted fir.
The old snow-storm was still flickering down from
the dark heavens, so said the little guests ; but it
did not creep indoors at the Roseleys'. And it is
doubtful whether it ever will.
S -" 1 ", ,' /:" ;",?i i, ;
WHEN Almion arrived a- il. i i r. -- -
gloomy clouds had thickened ... .t r.. .. :l '
mountain was quite shut oui ..I -,!l. E. ,., .:,, ---- -
did not trouble himself ab:.ui. rl.i l- i i j i "
was not with the mountain .:.! ilh-.- !. I -u l l '
the pit, where the gold-dust lay. So he clambered '' \
down and set to work, digging and sifting, and
chanting the same old song; and the grains of dust -.
rose higher and higher in his bucket. By evening,
it was heaping full, and so heavy that he could -
hardly carry it. His heart was also heavy, as if and dignity. What it was about her that made
the golden grains were beginning to sift into it him know she had ever been the ugly, hooded old
and transform it into lifeless metal, woman of the market-place, he could not have
However, he toiled slowly up the steep sides of told; and yet, so it was. But now, at all events,
the pit, and when he came to the brink there was she was a charming creature, about his own age,
a fine sight, indeed He beheld beautiful young with the manners and appearance of a princess.
girl, clad in a costly robe, with a golden diadem Yes, a princess; and what other princess could she
on her yellow hair, and an air of great stateliness be-than the one he had seen in his dream? She
ALMION, AURIA, AND MONA.
ALMION, AURIA, AND MONA.
BY JULIAN HAWTHORNE.
ALMION, AURIA, AND MONA.
was not exactly like her, it is true; there was a
difference,-it would be hard to say what; but
probably it was only such a difference as there
must always be between a dream and a reality.
She greeted him with a most enchanting smile.
My dear, beautiful, wealthy Almion," she said,
"at last our troubles are over! You have done
your work, and now all that remains for us is to
enjoy our riches and our happiness. Your gar-
ment is all finished, and to-morrow you shall put
it on and become my prince. We will sit side by
side at our ease, and look down upon all the rest
of the world, and fare sumptuously every day.
Until now, I have been compelled to wear a dis-
guise; but hereafter you must know me as the
Princess Auria, and we belong to each other
"And Mona-what is to become of her?"
"Oh! she will not trouble us much longer,"
replied Auria, tossing her head; "nor must you
think of her any more. She is a lazy, malicious
little wretch, and when she sees you in your jew-
eled garment, and knows how happy we are, I
should n't wonder if she were to die of spite."
Almion said nothing, but went homeward gloom-
ily, with his eyes fixed on the ground and his
heart heavier than ever. He had won beauty and
riches and a princess; and yet, for some reason
or other, he was not happy. That must be a mis-
take, however; he must be happy, only he had not
yet become so accustomed to happiness as to know
what it was. When he had had his supper and
a good night's sleep, and had sat at his ease beside
Auria, and looked down at all the rest of the world,
-then, no doubt, he would be as happy as the day
When they reached home, a sumptuous banquet
was already set out on the table; and. Mona was
nowhere to be seen, though Almion fancied that
he caught a glimpse of a little bundle of. black
rags, huddled up in a corner of the kitchen, which
might have been she. But Auria was so hand-
some, her eyes were so blue, and her cheeks were
so rosy, and her hair was so yellow, and she talked
to Almion and admired him in such a soft and
charming way, that the idea of troubling himself
about such a miserable little wretch as Mona
seemed absurd. Auria brought out the garment
that he was to wear in the morning, and really it
was magnificent, though so heavy that Almion
could hardly lift it. But since he was going to sit
at his ease for the rest of his days, that did not so
So he sat down to supper, and Auria sat opposite
to him; but, although all the viands were so
delicate and so exquisitely cooked, and 1!...i.l.
Auria kept pressing him to eat and tempting him
with one dish after another, Almion felt no appetite,
and was able to swallow scarcely anything. He
almost wished that he had never awakened from
that pleasant dream that had come to him on
the borders of the new country; for then he had
thought that there was something better to do in
the world than to dig all day in a dust-hole, or
even to sit in a jeweled robe and look down on
other people. He was tired of looking down ; he
would have liked to look up, for a change. But
what was there to look up to? There was the
dream-princess,-he might have looked up to her,
for she had seemed to him like some holy spirit
descended from heaven. And yet, since she was
but a dream-princess, she could have lasted no
longer than the dream; or, if there were anything
real in her, then Auria must be that reality.
Almion looked at Auria; she was smooth and
smiling and handsome, but he could not look up
to her, for she sat directly in front of him. When
supper was over, she got up and went into the
kitchen, and he heard her voice-the harsh,
cracked, angry voice of the old woman. What
was she doing to poor Mona? In order not to be
troubled by this thought, Almion stretched out his
weary limbs and tried to go to sleep.
He could not sleep at first, though he was not
quite awake, either; but lay in a half dream, so
that the sounds and movements that went on
around him seemed strange and fantastic. He
fancied that Auria had laid aside all her comeli-
ness and youth, as one lays aside a mask, and was
once more the hideous old-woman of the market-
place. And now she was creeping on tip-toe to-
ward the corner of the kitchen where.Mona was
lying. She pounced upon her with a shriek of
triumph, as a great cat pounces on a mouse; and
in a moment she had bound her, hand and foot,
and laid her out upon the hearth. Almion looked
to see whether Mona made.any resistance, but she
lay quite still, and only a faint :1,,ir.,;... of the
heart showed that any life was left in ler. If I
were awake," said Almiion to himself, I would
not let that old hag use the poor creature so."
But he could not move any more than Mona.
Now the old woman was scraping together all the
gold-dust that Almion had dug and sifted during
his three days in the pit. She came up to Mona,
with the dust in her hands, and began to spread
it all over her motionless form, until it was quite
covered up, and nothing was to be seen of Mona
but a mound of dust. "But, after all, this is
nothing but a nightmare," said Almion to him-
self. Then all became dark and still, and Almion
sank into a still deeper sleep; and by and by he
had a vision.
ALMION, AURIA, AND MONA.
It seemed to him that Mona had come out of
the kitchen and was standing at his bedside. She
was as slender and fragile as a spirit, and she was
robed in a garment of gray mist, and a veil was
over her face. Yet he felt that she was gazing at
him, and that her gaze was mournful and tender.
And he gazed back, in his dream, trying to see
through the misty veil. Then slowly, slowly,
beneath his gaze, the veil melted away, and he
beheld a face that made his heart burn and trem-
ble. Ah, why had he not known her before? He
did not know that his eyes had been darkened by
a pair of horn spectacles, which the old woman
had slipped over them while he slept so heavily,
the first night he spent in her house. But now
it was too late; for, as he continued to gaze at
Mona, she seemed to move slowly away from him,
as a memory vanishes away from us, though we
try to call it back. And now she was gone !
All at once, Almion awoke. It was still dark
night, and the air was full of mysterious meaning
and muttering; for the spirits of the storm were
rousing themselves, and would soon be rushing
and howling abroad. Almion, too, arose, and
stood erect, listening and peering into the dark-
ness. Through the door-way of the kitchen came
a little glimmer of light, from the dying embers
on the hearth. With a light step, and holding his
breath, Almion stole toward it. Yes, there lay
Mona, motionless, with the yellow dust all sifted
over her. Aimion bent down and gently blew it
off. How pale her face was! and her star-like eyes
were closed. But there was a spark of life left in
her still, even as there was a spark of fire in the
embers. Almion stooped and lifted her in his
arms; but either he had grown very weak or
Mona, in spite of her slender fragility, was
strangely heavy; it was all his strength could do
to hold her. He staggered with her to the door
of the house, trying to make no noise lest he
should awaken Auria. But behold! there lay,
directly across the threshold,-not Auria, indeed,
but the hideous hag who had worn the Auria
mask. She was asleep, with a malicious grin upon
her lips; for the old witch was dreaming how, by
the cunning of her wicked enchantments, she had
got Almion into her power, and had almost de-
stroyed the only guardian power that could redeem
him. But her victory was not yet complete.
Gathering Mona more closely in his arms, Almion
summoned all his strength to leap across the
threshold; but, as he did so, his foot touched the old
woman's shoulder, and with a cry the witch awoke !
"Fly, fly !" whispered a voice in Almion's ear;
fly, or we are lost 1 "
He fled on, stumbling through the darkness
and panting with the strain of the heavy weight he
bore,-so heavy that he thought it must drag him
to the earth. Yet he kept on, for the faint voice
in his ear was like the call of a trumpet to his heart;
it was the voice of the dream-princess from whom
he had so nearly been separated forever. He fled
toward the dark valley; but now the storm burst
forth and shrieked in his face, and the wind and
the fierce rain drove against him, and the light-
ning divided the darkness, and the thunder shud-
dered and rumbled in the black heavens. And as
he fled, he saw that the village, with all its inhab-
itants, had vanished: they had been but a part of
the witch's enchantments, helping to beguile Al-
mion into mistaking the dirt of the pit for gold
and smothering his soul to death in it. But the
witch herself had not vanished: she was following
close behind them, carrying with her the garment
of gold and jewels which she had woven for Al-
mion. And well might she carry it, for it was
upon that garment that her power over Almion
depended. It was woven, warp and woof, out of
the selfishness and greediness that nature spins
around men's hearts as a spider spins its web; and
if she could once succeed in throwing it over Al-
mion's shoulders, he was lost forever. But the
wind became entangled in the garment, and strug-
gled with it so furiously that the old witch could
scarcely keep her hold upon it, and it prevented
her from running so fast as she would otherwise
have done. Almion, therefore, burdened though
he was by Mona's weight, was able to keep a little
in advance; but just before he reached the verge
of the plain, where it overhung the valley, he
stumbled and fell, and a great terror passed over
his soul; but he still held Mona safely.
Then the witch laughed, for she thought her
victory was secure. And in a moment she had
re-assumed the smiling and rosy mask of Auria;
and when Almion lifted up his eyes from his fall,
he saw her standing there, between him and the
valley, holding out the jeweled garment in her
"Dear Almion," she said, in her softest voice,
"what madness has come over you? Why do
you fly from your Auria, who loves you and serves
you? And why do you carry that dead creature
in your arms? Throw her down, and let me wrap
you in this garment, and you shall be the greatest
prince in the world. Throw her down into the
valley, and return with me."
The witch said this because she had not the
power to cast the garment over Almion so long as
he clung to Mona. But if she could separate them,
then Almion was hers.
I will not throw her down," replied he, strug-
gling to his feet. I have found her, and I will
never leave her."
ALMION, AURIA, AND MONA.
"She has left you already," said the other, "for
she is dead; that body that you carry, and which
weighs so heavily, has no life in it. Throw it
away, and come back with me to ease and happi-
He looked at Mona, and she seemed lifeless in-
deed; her face was like marble. But tears gushed
to his eyes as he answered : Dead or alive, I will
never leave her; and I will have no ease or happi-
ness except with her."
"Whither will you carry her? asked Auria.
"Through the valley and up the mountain," he
"You would perish by the way," she said. Yet,
if you will go, I will guide you thither, for only by
my help can you find the road. Give Mona to me,
and wrap yourself in your garment, and I will fly
with you to the mountain-top in the twinkling of
I will not go with you," said Almion.
The witch trembled with rage, but she made one
"Almion," she cried, "I have done all this to
try you,-to prove whether you were really worthy
of my love. You have withstood the test, and
now I will declare myself to you : I am the true
Mona,-the princess of your dream,-your guard-
ian angel! That burden you carry is but a figure
that I have made in my own image. Cast her
down, and claim your own Mona "
Then Almion became indignant, and his indig-
nation renewed his strength. He struggled to his
feet, still holding the form of Mona, and exclaimed:
"You are false and wicked And I have been
your slave; but your power over me is ended.
This is my princess, and you shall not part us.
Stand aside and let me pass; for, with Mona as
my guardian, I am mightier and more terrible
than you "
So saying, he strode boldly forward; and the
witch, with a long howl of hate and fury, resumed
her proper form, and was swallowed up in the
earth. But Almion stood for a moment on the
verge of the dark valley, and then sprang forward
into the abyss.
And even as he sprang he felt a change come
over him', and Mona stirred and breathed, and
awakened from her death-like trance; and her form
was no longer heavy, but lighter than the air, so
that her lightness bore him up; and, instead of
being dashed to pieces against the rocks at the
bottom of the valley, they ended their fearful flight
through the air as softly as a feather from a bird's
wing touches the earth. The storm had passed
away, and in the deep sky above them the stars
shone out. Mona took Almion by the hand, and
said: "Come, we shall yet find the right gold and
the true beauty. But -we have far to go, and the
way is dark and perilous. Lose no time, therefore,
but follow me."
So Almion followed his guide with a trusting
and quiet heart, though she led him straight down
into the depths of that wild and awful valley. The?
went onward, but slowly; for great boulders of
rock rose up and opposed their progress, and
tangled vines coiled themselves like snakes across
their path, and rude brambles-stretched out their
thorns like claws and strove to hold them back.
And they passed by yawning caverns, in the
depths of which glowed the savage eyes of wild
beasts; and through obscure ravines, which echoed
with the bark and whine of wolves and the snarl-
ing of hungry tigers. At other times, their feet
were chilled by the slimy waters of a pathless
morass, in which Almion had surely been lost but
for Mona's unerring guidance. Now the air about
them was stirred by the silent wings of birds of
the night, and bats, which are to the air what
reptiles are to the earth; and here and there phan-
tom lights moved over the surface of the swamp,
now seeming to retreat before them and now to
follow them in pursuit. But, through all, Mona
moved onward toward the distant mountain,
though even its topmost summit was now hidden
from Almion's eyes by the surrounding rocks and
pines. Still the path plunged downward, until it
seemed as if it would lead them to the center of
the earth, and that never again could they hope to
breathe the upper air. At this depth, all presence
of living creatures, save themselves, ceased; no
vegetation softened the naked rocks; the very
atmosphere was dead and still, and a profound
silence, more appalling than any sounds, brooded
over all. The heavens above were shut out by the
beetling cliffs, and Almion's spirit began to faint
Mona, Mona," he whispered, "I dare go no
further. There is no bottom to this abyss, and no
hope that I can ever ascend from it to the mountain,
-if, indeed, there be any mountain, which I al-
"Would you go back, Almion? said Mona.
No, that I never will," he replied. But my
spirit faints in this darkness and solitude, and I
have no hope. Leave me here to die, if it must
"You shall not die, Almion," she answered,
"nor shall the darkness and the solitude drive
away your hope. Hold fast my hand, and close
your eyes, and you shall see something that will
Almion did as she bade him; and soon, as it
were, through his closed eyelids, he became aware
of a distant brightness, small at first, but seeming
SANTA CLAUS AND THE MOUSE.
to grow nearer and larger.- At last, it appeared
as a great door-way, through which came troop-
ing many glorious and lovely figures, whose faces
shone with cheerfulness and peace. Down they
came into the dark valley, and gathered about
Almion with looks and smiles of encouragement;
so that, instead of being alone, as he had thought
he was, this heavenly retinue encompassed him on
every side. And Mona said: "All these have
been through the valley before us, and some of them
had to pass through even profounder abysses than
we; yet all, at last, reached the mountain, and
their hope did not fail them."
"Your hand in mine helps me more than all,"
With that he opened his eyes; and behold, the
valley lay behind them, and they were upon the
side of the mountain. The air was fresh and pure,
and the dawn was beginning to break; even now
the highest peaks were tinted with rosy light. A
delicious vigor, such as he had never known before,
began to grow warm in Almion's limbs and to
brighten in his eyes. He stepped forward joyfully,
but Mona still led the way. As they mounted
higher and higher, leaving the dark valley far be-
neath, the great splendor of the coming sun kin-
dled all. the east, and the stars in the vault of
heaven- withdrew themselves one by one. All
things were undergoing a wondrous transforma-
tion,.and out of gloom and emptiness came forth
beauty and life. And Almion saw how the robe
of misty gray that Mona wore was illuminated by
the increasing light, until it took on once more the
celestial tints that he remembered the first night
of his dream, only now it had the more.vivid luster
of a waking vision. Then, with a sense of shame
and humility, he remembered howmean and shabby
was his own appearance. His garments were torn
by the brambles of the valley, and he was stained
by the slimy waters of the swamp, and he was not
even cleansed from the defilement of the dust-pit
in which he had toiled for the witch's gold. He
paused and hung his head.
"Come, dear Almion," said Mona; "we are
nearly at ourjourney's end."
I can not come, Mona," he murmured sadly.
" I am not fit to tread this holy mountain, nor to
be seen with those who came out of the door to
meet us. I have brought no beauty, nor any riches,
but only poverty and ugliness. Let me go down
again to the valley, for it is better I should be there
Mona made no answer in words; but she smiled
upon him with her star-like eyes, and pointed
toward the east.
Almion looked; and the sun rose up above the
margin of the waiting world, and flooded all the
earth, and turned the mountain-top on which they
stood into a spire of gold. Its rays fell upon
Almion, and clothed him with a radiance more
beautiful than all the gorgeous accouterment of
kings. It placed an airy diadem on Mona's head,
and revealed all the love and loveliness of the
countenance which she turned upon Almion.
This is the right gold, dear Almion," she
said, and it is all yours, for the lord of our coun-
try gives it to you. And all the beauty that you
see in me is yours, for it was your bravery and
devotion that saved me from the witch and lent
me the power to guide you through the dark valley.
And all the love of the inhabitants of this kingdom
is yours, because you were merciful and pitiful,
and chose to plunge into the abyss with me rather
than to live in ease and luxury without me. So
come with me, and be at peace! "
Nevertheless, Almion still hung his head, for
he felt that, of himself, he could do nothing, and
that he was unworthy of this happiness. But Mona
held fast his hand, and drew him on along a bright
ascent of clouds, until, with a distant triumph of
music, they vanished into a region whither our eyes
can not follow them.
SANTA CLAUS AND THE MOUSE,
BY EMILIE POULSSON.
ONE Christmas eve, when Santa Claus-
Came to a certain house,
To fill the children's stockings there,
He found a little mouse.
" A merry Christmas, little friend,"
Said Santa, good and kind.
" The same to you, sir," said the mouse;
I thought you would n't mind
SANTA CLAUS AND THE MOUSE.
" If I should stay awake to-night
And watch you for awhile."
" You 're very welcome, little mouse,"
Said Santa, with a smile.
And then he filled the stockings up
Before the mouse could wink,--
From toe to top, from top to toe,
There was n't left a chink.
" Now, they wont hold another thing,"
Said Santa Claus, with pride.
A twinkle came in mouse's eyes,
But humbly he replied:
" It 's not polite to contradict, -
Your pardon I implore, -
But in the fullest stocking there
I could put one thing more."
"Oh, ho! laughed Santa, "silly mouse!
Don't I know how to pack?
By filling stockings all these years,
I should have learned the knack."
And then he took the stocking down
From where it hung so high,
And said: "Now put in one thing more;
I give you leave to try."
The mousie chuckled to himself,
And then he softly stole
Right to the stocking's crowded toe
And gnawed a little hole !
" Now, if you please, good Santa Claus,
I 've put in one thing more;
For you will own that little hole
Was not in there before."
How Santa Claus did laugh and laugh !
And then he gayly spoke:
" Well! you shall have a Christmas cheese
For that nice little joke."
238 A NEW JACK AND JILL. [JANUARY,
3 7Y.- 4a--o ) _- ,,.
I r t *Vh.** Bk I I -* A\
A NEW JACK AND JILL.
THERE WAS A SMALL PERSON OF PAH.
7fj' I S
T o c i 6 ct all A hoSCjt Stor1is Dcih
'ut qvery ni'ht '
= moulb JumP outc b jd -hoUtmf gT,,*5-a f 0o
BY WILLIAM 0. STODDARD.
(Continued from page 22 of the November number.)
VOSH STEBBINS hurried away from Deacon
Farnham's a little after supper, but he had under-
stood his duty precisely, all along; for the first
words of his mother, on his return, were :
"Made you stay to tea, did they? Well, I
would n't have had you not stay for anything.
Susie 's brought her brother with her this time,
has she ? Sit right down, and I wont say one word
till you get through. And I want to know- "
Miss Farnham wants a dozen of eggs -"
"You don't say! Well, take 'em right over,
but don't wait a minute. Tell her our poultry 's
doing well, and I don't see why she does n't ever
have any kind of luck with her chickens. She
does n't manage right, I'm afraid."
Vosh had his eggs in a basket and was out of the
door before his mother had said half she wanted to
about the best way of caring for poultry in cold
weather. He obeyed orders, however, and came
back at once, to sit still and put in a few words,
here and there, while Mrs. Stebbins told him all
he had done and said, and all anybody else had
done and said, at Deacon Farnham's tea-table. It
seemed as if she could almost have gone right on
and told him all that was being done and said
around the big sitting-room fire, where he so much
desired to be, just then.
There was a good deal of pleasant talk there;
but Mrs. Farnham insisted upon it that her niece
and nephew must be tired with their long journey,
and that they must go to bed in good season.
The last words Porter Hudson heard anybody
say, that night, just before he shut the door of his
bedroom, came from Penelope: You need n't
wait for me to ring the second bell in the morning,
and you 'd better come right down into the sitting-
room, where it 's warm."
It had taken -three generations of hard-working
and well-to-do Farnhams to build that great, queer,
comfortable old farm-house. Each had made some
addition, on one side or another, and there was
room in it now for a very large family. -So Porter
Hudson had a good-sized chamber all to himself;
but he remarked, after he got into it:
"No furnace heaters in this house. Of course
not. They don't have such things in the country."
He had never before slept on a feather bed; but
he was not at all sorry to burrow into one, that
night, out of the frosty air of his room.
It was as dark as a pocket when he heard the
clang of Pen's "first bell," next morning, but he
sprang out of bed at once.
One glance through the frosty window-panes
told him how little of the country around could be
seen in winter before sunrise. In another instant
all his thoughts were centered on the great fire-
place down-stairs, and he dressed himself very
quickly. He thought he had never seen a finer
looking fire, the moment he was able to rub his
hands in front of it.
Mrs. Farnham was there, too, setting the break-
fast table and smiling on him, and Porter's next
thought was, that his aunt was the rosiest, pleasant-
est, most comfortable of women.
"It would take a good deal of cold weather to
freeze her," he said to himself, and he was right.
He could hear Aunt Judith, out in the kitchen,
complaining to Susie and Pen that everything in
the milk-room had frozen; and when Corry and his
father came in from feeding the stock, they both
declared that it was a splendid, frosty, nipping
kind of a morning." They looked as if it might be,
and Porter hitched his chair a little nearer the fire,
but Corry added: Now for some fun, Port."
"All right. What is it? "
We 're going to the woods after breakfast.
You and I '11 take our guns with us and see if we
can't knock over some rabbits. I'll take father's
gun and you can take mine."
Just then Pen's voice sounded from the kitchen,
excitedly: Do you hear that, Susie? They're
going to the woods Let's go "
"Oh, if they '11 let us !"
Of course they will "
"'Penelope Farnham! Look out for those cakes! "
"'I 'm turning 'em, Aunt Judith. I 'm minding
'em every minute, -Susie, those sausages are al-
most done; let me take them out for you."
"No, Pen. I want to cook them all myself.
You take care of your cakes."
SBuckwheat cakes and home-made sausages -
what a breakfast that was for a frosty morning
Susie Hudson would have been puzzled to say
which she enjoyed most, the cooking or the eat-
ing, and she certainly did her share of both very
well, for a young lady from the city,
Port, can you shoot ? asked Corry, somewhat
suddenly, at table.
"Shoot? I should say so. Do you ever get
anything bigger than rabbits out here ?"
"Didn't you know? Why, right back from
where we 're going this morning are the mountains.
And then, there is n't a farm, till you get away out
into the St. Lawrence River country."
"Yes, I know all that."
Well, sometimes the deer come right down
among us, especially in winter. Last winter a bear
came down and stole one of our pigs. But we
followed the bear, and we got him; Vosh Stebbins
and father and I."
Porter tried hard to look as if he were quite ac-
customed to following and killing all the bears that
meddled with his pigs, but Pen exclaimed: "Now,
Susie, you need n't be scared a bit. There wont
be a single bear, not where we're going."
"Wont there ? said Susie, almost regretfully.
"How I'd like to see one !"
There was a good deal more to be said about
bears and other wild creatures and, just as break-
fast was over, there came a great noise of rattling
and creaking and shouting in front of the sitting-
room windows; and there he is said Corry.
Susie and her brother hurried to look, and there
was Vosh Stebbins, with Deacon Farnham's great
'" wood-sleigh," drawn by two pairs of strong, long-
horned, placid-looking oxen. Couldn't one pair
draw it ? asked Porter of Corry.
Guess they could, but two pairs can do it more
easily, and beside, they 've nothing else to do.
We'll heap it up, too. You '11 see."
There was not long to wait, for the excitement
rose fast in the sitting-room, and Susie and Pen
were in that sleigh a little in advance of anybody
else. Its driver stood by the heads of his first
yoke of oxen, and Susie at once exclaimed:
Good-morning, Vosh. What a whip! "
"Why, Susie," said Pen; "that is n't a whip,
it 's an ox-gad."
"That's it," said Vosh, but he seemed disposed
to talk to his oxen rather than to anybody else.
The yoke next the sleigh stood on either side of a
long, heavy "tongue," to the end of which the
forward pair were fastened by a chain, which passed
between them to a hook in their yoke. These
forward oxen animals, as Vosh explained to Susie,
"were only about half-educated, and they took
more than their share of driving. "
He began to pay attention to them, now, and it
was half a wonder to see how accurately the huge
beasts kept the right track, down through the gate,
and out into the road. It seemed easier then, for
all they had to do was to go straight ahead.
"Let me take the whip. Do, please," said
Susie, and Vosh only remarked, as he handed it
to her : Guess you '11 find it heavy."
She lifted it with both hands, and a smile illu-
minated his broad, ruddy face, as she made a
desperate effort to swing the lash over the oxen.
Go 'long, now Get up Cluck-cluck! "
She chirruped to the oxen with all her might,
while Vosh put his handkerchief over his mouth
and had a violent fit of coughing.
Boys," shouted her uncle, from behind the
sleigh, you 'd better put down your guns. Lay
them flat, and don't step on 'em."
Porter Hudson had clung to his gun manfully,
from the moment it was handed him. He had
carried it over his shoulder, slanting it a little
across toward the other shoulder. He had seen
whole regiments of city soldiers do that, and so
he knew it was the correct way to carry a gun.
He was now quite willing, however, to 'imitate
Corry and put his weapon down flat on the bottom
of the sleigh. The gun would be safe there, and,
besides, he had been watching Vosh Stebbins and
listening, and he had an idea it was time he should
show what he knew about oxen. They were plod-
ding along very well at the moment.
Susie," he said, give me that gad."
Vosh looked somewhat doubtful as she surren-
dered the whip. They were going up a little ascent
and, just beyond, the fences on either side of the
road seemed to stop. Still further on, all was
forest, and the road had a crooked look as it went
in among the trees.
Porter had stronger arms than his sister, and he
could do more with an ox-gad. He gave the long,
hickory "stalk" a swing, and the heavy, far-
reaching lash at the end of it came around with
a "swish" and knocked the coon-skin cap from
the head of Vosh. Then the whip came down,
stalk, lash and all, along the broad backs of the
Gee Haw G'lang Getup G'lang, now "
Porter felt that his reputation was at stake. He
raised the gad again and he shouted vigorously.
The hinder pair of oxen did not seem to mind
it much and plodded along as if they had not
heard any one say a word to them, but their
younger and more skittish helpers in front shook
their heads a little uneasily. Gee Haw!
Porter was quite proud of the way the lash came
down, this time, and the cracker of it caught
the near ox of the forward team smartly on the left
ear. It was a complete success, undoubtedly; but,
to Porter's astonishment, the bewildered yoke of
oxen in front whirled suddenly to the right. The
next moment, they were floundering in a snow-drift.
On the instant, Vosh snatched the gad from
Porter and sprang out of the sleigh, saying some-
thing, as he went, about not wanting to have
the girls upset." Corry was dancing a sort of
double-shuffle and shouting: Well done, Port !
That 's the first time I ever saw an ox-team 'gee'
I1 I 'I
b i ,
'I I '':
II.'" II **iI
"IT WAS ENTERTAINMENT ENOUGH TO WATCH THE CHOPPERS
and 'haw' at the same time. Hurrah for you,
The double team had set out to do it, quite
obediently; but Vosh got matters straightened very
quickly. Then he kept the whip and did his own
driving, until the sleigh was pulled out of the
road, half a mile further, into a sort of open space
in the forest. There was
not much depth of snow
I on the ground, and there
were stumps of trees
sticking up through it all
S' about. Vosh drove right
S, on until he halted his
,.I team y a great pile of
S .. logs that were already cut
for hauling. Are they
'"'' not too big for the fire-
place?" asked Susie of
., .'.; Pen.
,." Of course they are,"
.' 1 .'said Pen; but Corrv ad-
S" '1 ded: "We can cut up all
i we want for the stoves
S. ; rj after we get the logs
i home. And the big ones
!- will be cut up for back-
.,'. .' logs for the fire-place."
*i'^ I '" '"I He had been telling
I' Porter, on the way, about
Sthe fun there was in fell-
|i ing big trees, and that
S, young gentleman had pro-
'posed to cut down a few
before they set out after
.' any rabbits or bears.
"Just see father swing
That ax!" said Pen,
proudly, as the stalwart
old farmer walked up to
a tall hickory and began
to make the chips fly.
'% Is n't it a fine sight? "
S said Susie.
Vosh Stebbins had his
ax out of the sleigh, now,
determined to show what
he could do.
It looked like the easiest
thing in the world. He
and the deacon merely
AND SEE THE CHIPS FLY." swung their axes up and
let them go down exactly
in the right place, and the glittering edges went
Port! "Pen," said Susie, "what does he in, in, with a hollow thud, and at every other stroke
mean ?" a great chip would spring away across the snow.
Mean? Don't you know? Why, you say It does n't take either of them long to bring a
Sgee 'to turn 'em this way, and 'haw' to turn 'em tree down," said Corry. Take that other ax
that way. They can't turn both ways at once." there and we '11 try one. They 've all got to come
down, so it does n't make any difference what tree
we choose." The girls were contented to stay in
the sleigh and look on, and the oxen stood as still
as if they intended never to move again.
"Susie," exclaimed Pen, "here comes Ponto !
Nobody knew where he was when we started."
There he was now, however,-the great, shaggy,
house-dog,-coming up the road and giving a suc-
cession of short, sharp barks, as if protesting against
being left out of such a picnic party as that.
Pen, he 's coming right into the sleigh."
"No, he is n't. You '11 see. He '11 go after
Corry. .He 's only sniffing to see if the guns are
here. He knows what they mean."
Does he hunt ? "
"Indeed, he does.".
He seemed, just now, to be stirred to a sort of
frenzy of delighted barking, but at the end of it he
sat down on the snow near the sleigh. No dog of
good common sense would follow a boy with an
ax, away from the place where the guns were.
Meantime, Corry had picked out a maple tree,
of middle size, and had cut a few chips from it.
It was easy to see that he knew how to handle an
ax, if he could not bury one as deeply in the
wood of a tree as could his father or Vosh. He
also knew enough, it seemed, to get well out of
the way, when he handed the ax to Porter Hud-
son, remarking: Now, Port, cut it right down.
Maybe it's a bee tree."
Bee tree ? Do you ever find any.in winter ?
Well, not as a regular thing; but there are bee
trees, and the bees must be in them just the same,
in any kind of weather."
That was so, no doubt,; but if there had been a
dozen hives of- bees hidden away in the solid wood
of that vigorous maple tree, they would have been
safe there until spring, so far as Porter Hudson's
chopping was concerned. He managed to make
the .edge of the ax hit squarely the first time it
struck; but it did no more than go through the
bark. No scratch like that would get a chip ready.
Porter colored with vexation, and he gave his next
stroke rather hastily, but he gave it with all his
might. The edge of the ax hit several inches from
the first scratch, and it seemed to take a quick twist
on its own account, just as it struck. It glanced
from the tree, and away the ax went into the snow,
jerking its handle rudely out of Porter's hands.
I say, Port, let 's not cut down any more trees.
Let 's get our guns, and go down into the swamp
for some rabbits. There 's Ponto. He '11 stir 'em
up for us," said Corry.
Porter was fishing for his ax, with a pretty red
face, andhe replied: I suppose we bettere. I 'm
not used to chopping."
Of course not."
"We burn coal, in the city."
No chopping to do,--I know. Come on."
All that was very polite, but Corry had less
trouble, now, in .keeping up a feeling of equality
with his city cousin.
They had tucked their trousers into their boots
when they left the house, and now they took their
guns out of the sleigh, slung their powder-flasks
and shot-pouches over their shoulders, and marched
away through the woods.
The two girls looked after them as if they, also,
were eager for a rabbit-hunt. As for Ponto, that
very shaggy and snowy dog was plainly intending
to run between every two trees, and through each
and every clump of bushes, as if in a desperate
state of dread lest he should miss the tracks of some
game or other.
"Boys canhave more fun in the woods than girls,"
began Susie, when she and Pen were left alone.
"No, they can't, Susie. Just watch that tree
yonder. It '11 come down very soon, and it will
make a great crash when it falls."
It was entertainment enough to watch the chop-
ping and see the chips fly. Susie found herself
becoming more and more deeply interested, as the
wide notches sank farther and farther into the
massive trunks of the two trees that her uncle and
Vosh Stebbins were felling.
Vosh chopped for dear life, but in spite of all he
could do, the deacon had his tree down first.
It was a tall, noble-looking tree. There were
no branches near the ground, but there was a fine,
broad crown of them, away up where the sun could
get at them in summer. It seemed almost a pity
to destroy a forest king like that, but at last it
began to totter and lean.
Oh, Pen, it 's coming exclaimed Susie.
Don't shut your eyes, Susie. Keep them open
and see it come."
Susie did try ; but when the tall, majestic
trunk seemed to throw out its great arms and give
up the struggle, she could not look any longer, and
she put her head down. Then she heard a tre-
mendous, dull, crashing sound, and her eyes came
open to see a cloud of light snow rising from the
spot on which the forest king had fallen.
Is n't it splendid ? "
"Yes, Pen, it's wonderful."
"Vosh's tree is almost ready. Look! Look "
Vosh had not been as careful as Deacon Farn-
ham in directing the fall of his tree, for it went
down into the arms of a smaller one, crashing and
breaking through them, and the sharp, snapping
sound of the crushed branches went far and wide
through the silence of the snowy forest.
Pen was quiet for a moment, and Susie was con-
scious of a sort of awed feeling, and said nothing.
(To be continued.)
i---zz-S-5 Z- ; -- ^-
I~~- ~-, -~.-
THE STAR IN THE EAST DRAWN BY JOHN LAFARGE.
T~lELANDOF FRE. JAN AJ~Y
'_ ____' ,, -" 'r--
DI CK'S COIN C ON A STRYW- IDE,
JUST FISTHE qRPoYWN FOLKS DO;
IF HIS HORSE 15 LITTLE,
STRONq /AND YI/LL1Nq TOO I
THE LAND OF FIRE.
A Tale of Adventure in Tierra del IFuego.
BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID.
NOT long does Captain Gancy lament the loss
of his fine vessel and valuable cargo. In the face
and fear of a far greater loss-his own life and
the lives of his companions, -there is no time for
vain regrets. The storm is still in full fury; the
winds and the waves are as high as ever; and
their boat is threatened with the fate of the bark.
The bulk of the Calypso's crew, with Lyons,
the chief mate, have taken to the pinnace; and the
skipper is in his own gig, with his wife, daughter,
son, young Chester, and two others-Seagriff,
the carpenter, and the cook, a negro. In all, only
seven persons, but enough to bring the gunwale
of the little craft dangerously near the water's
edge. The captain himself is in the stern-sheets,
tiller-lines in hand. Mrs. Gancy and her daugh-
ter crouch beside him, while the others are at the
oars-in which occupation Ned and Chester oc-
casionally pause to bale out, as showers of spray
keep breaking over the boat, threatening to swamp
What point shall they steer for? This is a
question that no one asks, nor thinks of asking
as yet. Course and direction are as nothing now;
all their energies are bent on keeping the boat
above water. However, they naturally endeavor to
remain in the company of the pinnace. But those
in the larger craft, like themselves, are engaged in
THE LAND OF FIRE.
1884.] THE LAND OF FIRE. 247
a life-and-death conflict with the sea, and both
must fight it out in their own way, neither being
able to give aid to the other. So, despite their
efforts to keep near each other, the winds and
waves soon separate them. Anon, they can catch
glimpses of each other only when buoyed up on the
crest of a billow. And presently, the night coming
on,-a night of dungeon darkness,- they see each
other no more.
But, dark as it is, there is still visible that which
they have been long regarding with dread-the
breakers known as the Milky Way." Snow-white
during the day, these terrible rock-tortured billows
now gleam like a belt of liquid fire, the breakers
at every crest seeming to break into veritable
flames. Well for the castaways that this is the
case ; else how, in such obscurity, could the dan-
gerous lee shore be shunned ? To keep off that is,
for the time, the chief care of those in the gig; and
all their energies are exerted in holding their craft
well to windward.
By good fortune, the approach of night has
brought about a shifting of the wind, which has
veered around to the west-northwest, making it pos-
sible for them to scud," without nearer approach
to the dreaded fire-like line. In their cockle-shell
of a boat, they know that to run before the wind is
their safest plan, and so they speed on south-east-
ward. An ocean current setting from the north-
west also helps them in this course.
Thus doubly driven, they make rapid progress,
and before midnight the Milky Way is behind
them, out of sight. But, though they breathe more
freely, they are by no means out of danger-alone
in a frail skiff on the still turbulent ocean, and
groping in thick darkness, with neither moon nor
star to guide them. They have no compass; that
having been forgotten in their scramble out of the
sinking ship. But even if they had one, it would
be of little assistance to them at present, as, for
the time being, they have enough to do in keeping
the boat baled out and above water.
At break of day, matters look a little better.
The storm has somewhat abated, and there is land
in sight to leeward, with no visible breakers be-
tween. Still, they have a heavy swell to contend
with, and an ugly cross sea.
But land to a castaway His first thought, and
most anxious desire, is to set foot on it. So in the
case of our shipwrecked party; risking all reefs and
surfs, they at once set the gig's head shoreward.
Closing in upon the land, they perceive a high
promontory on the port bow and another on the
starboard, separated by a wide reach of open
water; and, about half-way between these prom-
ontories and somewhat farther out, lies what
appears to be an island. Taking it for one, Sea-
griff counsels putting in there instead of running
on for the more distant main-land.
But why should we put in upon the island?"
asks the skipper. Would n't it be better to keep
on to the main ? "
"No, Captain. There's a reason agin it; the
which I 'll make known to you as soon as we get
Captain Gancy is aware that the late Calypso's"
carpenter was for a long time a sealer, and in this
capacity had spent more than one season in the
sounds and channels of Tierra del Fuego. He
knows also.that the old sailor can be trusted, and
so, without pressing for further explanation, he
steers straight for the island.
When about half a mile from its shore, they
come upon a bed of kelp,* growing so close and
thick as to bar their farther advance. Were they
still on board the bark, the weed would be given a
wide berth, as giving evidence of rocks underneath.
But, in the light-draught gig, they have no fear of
these; and with theswell still tossingthem about, are
even glad to get in among the kelp, and so steady
themselves awhile. Their anxiety to force a way
through the tangled mass is heightened by the fact
that, on the farther side of it, they can descry
waveless water, seemingly as tranquil as a pond.
Luckily the weed-bed is not continuous, but tra-
versed by an irregular sort of break, through which
it seems practicable to make way. So into this the
gig is directed, and pulled through with vigorous
strokes. Five minutes afterward, her keel grates
upon a beach, against which, despite the tum-
bling swell outside, there is scarce so much as a
ripple There is no better breakwater than a bed
The island proves to be a small one; less than
a mile in diameter, rising in the center to a rounded
summit, three hundred feet above sea-level. It
is treeless, though in part overgrown with a rank
vegetation, chiefly tussac grass,f with its grand
bunches of leaves, six feet in height, surrounded
by plume-like flower-spikes, almost as much higher.
Little regard, however, do the castaways pay to
the isle or its productions. After being so long
*The ficus giganiteus of Solander. The stem of this remarkable sea-weed, though but the thickness of a man's thumb, is often over
130 yards in length, perhaps the longest of any known plant. It grows on every rock in Fuegian waters, from low-water mark to a
depth of fifty or sixty fathoms, and among the most violent breakers. Often loose stones are raised up by it, and carried about. when the
weed gets adrift; some of these are so large and heavy that they can with difficulty be lifted into a boat. The reader will learn more
of it further on.
t Dactylis cespilosa. The leaves of this singular grass are often eight feet in length, and an inch broad at the base; the flower-stalks
being as long as the leaves. It bears much resemblance to the"pampas grass," now well known as an ornamental shrubbery.
THE LAND OF FIRE. [JANUARY,
tossed about on rough seas, in momentary peril
of their lives, and with scarcely a mouthful of food
the while, they are now suffering from the pangs
of hunger. So, as soon as the boat is beached,
and they have set foot on shore, the services of
Csesar, the cook, are called into requisition.
As yet, they scarcely know what provisions they
have with them, so confusedly were things flung
into the gig. An examination of their stock
proved that it is scant indeed; a barrel of biscuits,
a ham, some corned beef, a small bag of coffee in
the berry, a canister of tea, and a loaf of lump
sugar were all they had brought with them. The
condition of these articles, too, is most dishearten-
ing. Much of the biscuit seems a mass of briny
pulp; the beef is pickled for the second time (on
this occasion with sea-water); the sugar is more
than half melted, and the tea spoiled outright, from
the canister not having been water-tight. The ham
and coffee have received least damage ; yet both
will require a cleansing operation to make them
fit for food.
Fortunately, some culinary utensils are found in
the boat; the most useful of them being a frying-
pan, kettle, and coffee-pot.
And now for a fire Ah, the fire !
Up to this moment no one has thought of a fire;
but now it suddenly presents itself to them as a
difficulty they see no means of overcoming. The
mere work of kindling it were an easy enough
task, the late occupant of the Calypso's" caboose
being provided with flint, steel, and tinder. So,
too, is Seagriff, who, an inveterate smoker, is
never without igniting apparatus, carried in a
pocket of his pilot-coat. But where are they to
find firewood? There is none on the islet-not a
stick,-as no trees grow there; while the tussac
and other plants are soaking wet; the very ground.
being a sodden, spongy peat.
Upon making this discovery, Captain Gancy
turns to Seagriff and remarks, with some vex-
Chips,* I think, 't would have been better'if
we 'd kept on to the main. There 's timber enough.
there, on either side," he adds, after a look through
his binocular "The hills appear to be thickly
wooded half-way up."
His words are manifestly intended as a reflection
upon the judgment of the quondam seal-hunter,
who rejoins shortly :
"It would have been a deal worse, sir. Aye,
worse nor if we should have to eat our vittels raw."
"I don't comprehend you," says the skipper;
"you spoke of a reason for our not making the
main-land. What is it?"
"Wal, Captain, there is a reason, as I said,
an' a good one. I did n't like to tell you, wi' the
others listening. He nods toward the rest of the
party, who are at some distance, and then con-
tinues: "'Specially the women folks; as 't aint a
thing they ought to be told about."
Do you fear some danger? queries the Skip-
per, in a tone of apprehension.
"Jest that; an' bad kind o' danger. As fur's
I kin see, we've drifted onter a part of the Fewee-
gin Coast, where the Ailikoleeps live; the which
air the worst and cruelest o' savages-some of 'em
rank cannyballs It is n't but five or six years
since they murdered several men of a sealin' vessel
that was wrecked somewhere about here. For
killing' 'em, mebbe they might have had reason,
seeing' as there was blame on both sides, an' some
whites have behaved no better than the savages.
But jest fur that, we, as are innocent, may hev to
pay fur the misdeeds o' the guilty Now, Captain,
you perceive the wharfor o' my not wantin' you
to land over yonder. 'Ef we went now, like as
not we 'd have a crowd o' the ugly critters yellin'
But, if that 's so," queried the Captain, will
we be any safer here ?"
"Yes we're safe enough here -'s long as the
wind's blowin' as 't is now, an' I guess it allers does
blow that way, round this speck of an island. It
must be all o' five mile to that land either side; an'
in their rickety canoes the Feweegins never venture
fur out in anything' o' a rough sea. I calculate,
Captain, we need n't trouble ourselves much about
'em -leastways, not jest yet."
"Aye,-but afterward!" murmurs Captain
Gancy, in a desponding tone, as his eyes turn
upon those by the boat.
"Wal, sir," says the old sealer; encouragingly,
afterward '11 have to take care. o' itself. An' now
I guess I'd better determine ef thar aint some
way of helping' Ciesar to a spark o' .fire. Don't
look like it, but looks are sometimes deceivin'."
SAnd, so saying, he strolls off among the bunches
of tussac grass and is soon out of sight.
But'it is not long before he is again making
himself heard, by an exclamation, telling of some
discovery -a joyful one, as evinced by the tone of
his voice. The two youths hasten to.his side and
find him bending over a small heath-like bush,
fromvhich he has torn a handful of branches.
What is it, Chips? ask both in a breath.
S"The gum-plant, sure," he replies.
'fWell, what then? What's the good of it?"
they further interrogate. You don't suppose that
green thing will burn wet as a fish, too ?"
"That's jest what I do suppose," replied the
old sailor, deliberately. You young ones wait, an'
you'll see. Mebbe you'll lend a hand, an' help
me to gather some of it. We'll want armfuls; an'
*All ship-carpenters are called "Chips."
THE LAND OF FIRE.
THE LAND OF FIRE.
there 's plenty o' the welcome plants growing' all
about, you see."
They do see, and at once begin tearing at them,
breaking off the branches of some and plucking up
others by the roots, till Seagriff cries, "Enough!"
Then, with arms full, they return to the beach in
high spirits and with joyful faces.
. G A. R N. -LD-OF..FI
MAKING A FIRE IN THE LAND OF FIRE.
Arrived there, Seagriff selects some of the finest
twigs, which he rubs between his hands till they
are reduced to a fine fiber and nearly dry. Roll-
ing these into a rounded shape, resembling a
VOL. XI.-17. *Hydrocelice
bird's nest, click! goes his flint and steel,-a
piece of "punk" is ignited and slipped into the
heart of the ball. This, held on high, and kept
whirling around his head, is soon ablaze, when it
is thrust in among the gathered heap of green
plants. Green and wet as these are, they at once
catch fire and flame up like kindling-wood.
All are astonished, and pleased as well;
-- and not the least delighted is Casar, who
dances over the ground in high glee as he
prepares to resume his vocation.
A BATTLE WITH BIRDS.
THROUGH Caesar's skillful manipulations
the sea-water is extracted from the ham;
and the coffee, which is in the berry and un-
roasted, after a course of judicious washing
and scorching, is also rendered fit for use.
The biscuits also turn out better than was
anticipated. So their breakfast is not so
bad, after all,-indeed, to such appetites
as theirs, it seems a veritable feast.
While they are enjoying it, Seagriff tells
them something more about the plant which
has proved of such service to them. They
learn from him that it grows in the Falk-
land Islands, as well as in Tierra del Fuego,
t and is known as the gum-plant,"* be-
cause of a viscous substance it exudes in
large quantities; this sap is called "bal-
sam," and is used by the natives of the
countries where it is found as a poultice
for wounds. But its most important prop-
erty, in their eyes, is the ease with which
it can be set on fire, even when green and
growing, as above described,- a matter of
no slight consequence in regions where rain
falls five days out of every six. In the
Falkland Islands, where there are no trees,
the natives often roast their beef over a fire
of bones,- the very bones of the animal
from which, but the moment before, the
meat itself was stripped,- and they use the
gum-plant to kindle this fire.
Just as Seagriff finishes his interesting
dissertation, his listeners have their atten-
tion called to a spectacle quite new to them
Sand somewhat comical. Near the spot
where they have landed, a naked sand-bar
projects into the water, and along this a
number of odd-looking creatures are seen, side by
side. There are quite two hundred of them, all
facing the same way, mute images of propriety
and good deportment, reminding one of a row of
THE LAND OF FIRE.
little charity children, all in white bibs and tuckers,
ranged in a rank for inspection.
But very different is the behavior of the birds
-for birds they are. One or another, every now
and then, raises its head aloft and so holds it,
while giving utterance to a series of cries, as hoarse
and long-drawn as the braying of an ass, to which
sound it bears a ludicrous resemblance.
"Jack-ass penguins," Seagriff pronounces them,
without waiting to be questioned; "yonder're more
of 'em," he explains, out among the kelp, divin'
after shell-fish, the which are their proper food."
The others, looking off toward the kelp, then see
more of the birds. They had noticed them before,
but supposed them to be fish leaping out of the
water; for the penguin, on coming up after a
dive, goes down again with so quick a plunge
that an observer, even at short distance, may easily
mistake it for a fish. Turning to those on the
shore, it is now seen that numbers of them are con-
stantly passing in among the tussac grass and out
again, their mode of progression being also very
odd. Instead of a walk or hop, as with other birds,
it is a sort of rapid rush, in which the rudimentary
wings of the birds are used as fore-legs, so that,
from even a slight distance, they might easily be
mistaken for quadrupeds.
It is likely they have their nests yonder," ob-
serves Mrs. Gancy, pointing to where the penguins
keep going in and out of the tussac.
The remark makes a vivid impression on her
son and the young Englishman, neither of whom is
so old as to have quite outgrown a boyish propen-
sity for, nest-robbing.
Sure to have, ma'am," affirms Seagriff, respect-
fully raising his hand to his forelock; an' a pity
we did n't think of it sooner. We might 'a' hed
fresh eggs for breakfast."
"Why can't we have them for dinner, then?"
demands the second mate, the third adding:
Yes; why not? "
Sartin we kin, young masters. I knows of no
reason agin it," answers the old sealer.
Then let's go egg-gathering! exclaimed Ned,
The proposal is accepted by Seagriff, who is
about to set out with the two youths, when, look-
ing inquiringly around, he says:
As thar aint anything in the shape of a stick
about, we had best take the boat-hook an' a couple
"What for ? ask the others, in some surprise.
"You '11 larn, by an' by," answers the old salt,
who, like most of his kind, is somewhat given to
In accordance with this suggestion, each of the
boys arms himself with an oar, leaving Seagriff the
They enter the tussac; and, after tramping
through it a hundred yards or so, they come upon a
" penguinnery," sure enough. It is a grand one,
extending over acres, with hundreds of nests-if
a slight depression in the naked surface of the
ground deserves the name of nest. But no eggs
are in any of them, fresh, or otherwise; instead,
in each sits one young, half-fledged bird, and one
only, as this kind of penguin lays and hatches but
a single egg. Many of the nests have old birds
standing beside them, each occupied in feeding its
solitary chick, duckling, gosling, or whatever the
penguin offspring may be properly called. This
being of itself a curious spectacle, the disappointed
egg-hunters stop awhile to witness it; for they are
still outside the bounds of the penguinnery," and
the birds have as yet taken no notice of them. By
each nest is a little mound, on which the mother
stands perched, from time to time projecting her
head outward and upward, at the same time giving
forth a queer chattering noise, half-quack, half-bray,
with the air of a stump-orator haranguing an open-
air audience. Meanwhile, the youngster stands
patiently waiting below, evidently with a fore-
knowledge of what is to come. Then, after a few
seconds of the quacking and braying, the mother-
bird suddenly ducks her head, with the mandibles
of her beak wide agape, between which the fledge-
ling thrusts its head, almost out of sight, and so
keeps it for more than a minute. Finally with-
drawing it, up again
goes the head of the
mother, with neck
craned out, and os-
cillating from side
to side in a second
ing. These curious
actions are repeat-
ed several times, .' ,'. l
the entire perform- .
ance lasting for a
period of nearly a "CHIPS."
quarter of an hour.
When it ends, possibly from the food-supply having
become exhausted, the mother-bird leaves the little
glutton to itself and scuttles off seaward, to replen-
ish her throat-larder with a fresh stock of molluscs.
Although, during their long four years' cruise,
Edward Gancy and Henry Chester have seen many
a strange sight, they think the one now before
their eyes as strange as any, and unique in its
*Afitenodytes Patackonica. This singular bird has been christened "Jack-ass penguin by sailors, on account of its curious note,
which bears an odd resemblance to the bray of an ass. King penguin" is another of its names, from its superior size; as it is the largest of
the auk, or penguin family.
x884.] THE LAND OF FIRE. 251
quaint comicality. They would have continued
their observations much longer but for Seagriff, to
whom the sight is neither strange nor new. It has
no interest for him, save economically; and in this
sense he proceeds to utilize it, saying, after an in-
terrogative glance; sent all over the breeding
Sartin, there aint a single egg in any o' the
nests. It 's too late in the season for them now,
an' I might 'a' known it. Wal, we wont go back
empty-handed, anyhow. The young penguins
aint sech bad eatin', though the old uns taste
some'at fishy, b'sides bein' tough as tan leather.
So, let 's heave ahead, an' grab a few of the gos-
lin's. But look out, or you '11 get your legs
All three advance upon the penguinnery," the
two youths still skeptical as to there being any dan-
ger-in fact rather under the belief that the old salt
is endeavoring to impose on their credulity. But
they are soon undeceived. Scarcely have they set
foot within the breeding precinct, when fully half
a score of old penguins rush fiercely at each of the
intruders, with necks outstretched, mouths open,
and mandibles snapping together with a clatter
like that of castanets.
Then follows a laying about with oars and boat-
hook, accompanied by shouts on the side of the at-
tacking party, and hoarse, guttural screams on
that of the attacked. The racket is kept up till
the latter are at length beaten off, though but few
of them are slain outright; for the penguin, with
its thick skull and dense coat of feathers, takes as
much killing as a cat.
Even the young birds make resistance against
being captured, croaking and hissing like so many
little ganders, and biting sharply. But all this does
not prevent our determined party from finally se-
curing some ten or twelve of the featherless creat-
ures, and subsequently carrying them to the friends
at the shore, where they are delivered into the eaget
hands of Caesar.
A WORLD ON A WEED.
A PAIR of penguin squabss makes an ample
dinner for the entire party, nor is it without the ac-
companiment of vegetables; these being supplied
by the tussac-grass, the stalks of which contain an
edible substance, in taste somewhat resembling a
hazel-nut, while the young shoots boiled are al-
most equal to asparagus. *
While seated at their midday meal, they have
before their eyes a moving world of Nature, such
as may be found only in her wildest solitudes. All
around the kelp-bed, porpoises are plowing the
water, now and then bounding up out of it; while
seals and sea-otters show their human-like heads,
swimming among the weeds. Birds hover above,
in such numbers as to darken the air ; at intervals,
individual birds dart down and go under with a
plunge that sends the spray aloft in showers, white
as a snow-drift. Others do their fishing seated
on the water; for there are many different kinds of
water-fowl here represented:-gulls, shags, cor-
morants, gannets, noddies, and petrels, with sev-
eral species of Anativce, among them the beautiful
black-necked swan. Nor are they all sea-birds,
or exclusively inhabitants of the water. Some of
those wheeling in the air above are eagles, hawks,
and vultures-the last, the Chilian jota.f Even
the gigantic condor often extends its flight to the
Land of Fire, whose mountains are but a continu-
ation of the great Andean chain.
The ways and movements of this teeming or-
nithological world are so strange and varied that
our castaways, despite all anxiety about their own
future, can not help being interested in observ-
ing them. They see a bird of one kind diving
and bringing to the surface a fish, w'.ich another,
of a different species, snatches from it and bears
aloft; in its turn, to be attacked by a third equal-
ly rapacious winged hunter, that, swooping at
the robber, makes him forsake his ill-gotten prey;
while the prey itself, reluctantly dropped, is dex-
terously recaught in its whirling descent, long ere
it reaches its own element--the whole incident
forming a very chain of tyranny and destruction !
And yet a chain of but few links, compared with
that to be found in and under the water, among the
leaves and stalks of the kelp itself. There, the
destroyers and the destroyed are legion; not only
in numbers, but in kind. A vast conglomeration
of animated beings, always at war with one an-
other,- a world of itself, densely populated, and
of so many varied organisms that, for a due deline-
ation of it, I must again borrow from the inimitable
pen of Darwin. Thus he describes it:-
The number of living creatures of all orders, whose existence
entirely depends on the kelp, is wonderful. A great volume might
be written describing the inhabitants of one of these beds of sea-
weed. Almost all the leaves, excepting those that float on the sur-
face, are so thickly encrusted with corallines as to be of a white
color. We find exquisitely delicate structures, some inhabited by
simple, hydra-like polyps; others by more organized kinds. On the
leaves, also, various shells, uncovered molluscs, and bivalves, are
It is the soft, crisp, inner part of the stem, just above ihe root, that is chiefly eaten. Horses and cattle are very fond of the tussac-
grass, and in the Falkland Islands feed upon it. It is said, however, that there it is threatened with extirpation, on account of these
animals browsing it too closely. It has been introduced with success into the Hebrides and Orkney Islands, where the conditions of its
existence are favorable-a peaty soil, exposed to winds loaded with sea-spray.
t Cathartes jota. Closely allied to the turkey-buzzard" of the United States.
THE LAND OF FIRE. [JANUARY.
attached. Innumerable crustacea frequent every part of the plant.
On shaking the great, entangled roots, a pile of small fish-shells, cut-
tle-fish, crabs of all orders, sea-eggs, star-fish, sea-cucumbers, and
crawling sea-centipedes of a multitude of forms, all fall out to-
gether. Often as I recurred to the kelp, I never failed to dis-
cover animals of new and curious structures. *
I can only compare these great aquatic forests of the Southern Hemi-
sphere with the terrestrial ones of the intertropical regions. Yet, if
in any country a forest were destroyed, I do not believe so many
species of animals would perish as would here from the destruction
of the kelp. Amidst the leaves of this plant numerous species of fish
live, which nowhere else could find food or shelter; with their de-
struction, the many cormorants and other fishing birds, the otters,
seals, and porpoises, would perish also; and lastly, the Fuegian
savage, the miserable lord of this miserable land, would redouble his
cannibal feast, decrease in numbers, and perhaps cease to exist."
While still watching the birds at their game of
grab, the spectators observe that the kelp-bed has
become darker in certain places, as though from
the weeds being piled up in layers.
It 's lowering to ebb tide," remarks Captain
Gancy, in reply to an interrogation from his wife,
"and the rocks are a-wash. They '11 soon be
above water, I take it."
Jest so, Captain," assents Seagriff; "but'taint
the weeds thgt's making' those black spots. They're
movin',- don't you see ? "
The skipper now observes, as do all the others,
a number of odd-looking animals, large-headed,
and with long, slender bodies, to all appearance
covered with a coat of dark-brown wool, crawling
and floundering about among the kelp, in con-
stantly increasing numbers. Each new ledge of
reef, as it rises to the surface, becomes crowded
with them, while some disport themselves in the
Fur-seals* they are," pronounces Seagriff, his
eyes fixed upon them as eagerly as were those of
Tantalus on the forbidden water; an' every skin
of 'em worth a mint o' money. Bad luck he
continues, in a tone of spiteful vexation. A mine
o' wealth, an' no chance to work it! Ef we only
had the ship by us now, we could put a good
thousand' dollars' worth o' thar pelts into it. Jest
see how they swarm out yonder An' tame as pet
tabby cats There 's enough of 'em to supply
seal-skin jackets fur nigh all the women o' New
No one makes rejoinder to the old sealer's re-
gretful rhapsody. The situation is too grave for
them to be thinking of gain by the capture of
fur-seals, even though it should prove "a mine of
wealth," as Seagriff called it. Of what value is
wealth to them while their very lives are in jeop-
ardy ? They were rejoiced when they first set foot
on land; but time is passing; they have in part
recovered from their fatigue, and the dark, doubt-
ful future is once more uppermost in their minds.
They can not stay forever on the isle-indeed, they
may not be able to remain many days on it, owing
to the exhaustion of their limited stock of pro-
visions, if for no other reason. Even could they
subsist on penguin's flesh and tussac-stalks, the
young birds, already well feathered, will ere long
disappear, while the tender shoots of the grass,
growing tougher as it ripens, will in time be
No; they can not abide there, and must go else-
where. But whither? That is the all-absbrbing
question. Ever since they landed, the sky has been
overcast, and the distant main-land is barely visible
through a misty vapor spread over the sea between.
All the better for that, 5.:.i !t has been thinking
hitherto, with the Fuegians in his mind.
It '11 hinder 'em seeing' the smoke of our fire,"
he said; the which mout draw 'em on us."
But he has now less fear of this, seeing that
which tells him that the isle is never visited by the
They hain't been on it fur years, anyhow," he
says, re-assuring the captain, who has again taken
him aside to talk over the matter. "I 'm sartin
"What makes you certain?" questions the
Them 'ere- both of'em," nodding first toward
the fur-seals and then toward the penguins. "If
the Feweegins dar' fetch thar craft so fur out sea-
ward, neither o' them ud be so plentiful nor yit so
tame. Both sort o' critters air jest what they sets
most store by-yieldin' 'em not only thar vittels,
but sech scant kiver as they're customerd to w'ar.
No, Capting-the savagers haint been out hyar, an'
aint a-goin'to be. An' I weesh, now," he continues,
glancing up to the sky, I weesh't wud brighten
a bit. Wi' thet fog hidin' the hills over yonder,
't aint possybul to gie a guess az to whar we air.
Ef it ud lift, I mout be able to make out some o'
the land-marks. Let's hope we may hev a cl'ar
sky the morrer, an' a glimp' o' the sun to boot."
"Aye, let us hope that," rejoins the skipper,
"and pray for it, as we shall."
The promise is made in all seriousness, Captain
Gancy being a religious man. So, on retiring to
rest on their shake-down couches of tussac-grass,
he summons the little party around him and offers
up a prayer for their deliverance from their present
danger; no doubt, the first Christian devotion ever
heard ascending over that lone desert isle.
Otaria Falklandica. There are several distinct species of "otary," or "fur-seal"; those of the Falkland Islands and Tierra del
Fuego being different from the fur-seals of northern latitudes.
(To be continued.)
THE LAND OF FIRE.
884.] OUR MUSIC PAGE. 253
THERE'S A SONG IN THE AIR.
WORDS BY DR. J. G. HOLLAND. Music BY HUBERT P. MAIN.
I. There's a song in the
2. There's a tu mult of
3. In the light of that
4. We re joice in the
_r tt-1- 2 _.___ --- --- o-
... -7_ ,2
air! There's a .star in the sky! There's a moth er's deep prayer And a
joy O'er the won- der ful birth, For. the Vir gin's sweet boy Is the
star Lie the a ges im- pearled; And that song from a far Has swept
light And we ech o the song That comes down through the night From the
-o-"---'" --- .--..- -o- --+-o- ---- -i- --t- -o- -- --i----- .-
vy- --* ^3--*y ^ F I-i^T-- -*--- ~-F^- -
ba by's low cry! And the star rains its fire while the Beau ti ful
Lord of the earth; Ay! the star rains its fire, and the Beau ti ful
o ver the world; Ev ery hearth is a flame, and the Beau ti ful
heavy en ly throng; Ay! we shout to the love ly e van gel they
--- _0- m_-- L0_ -
sing, For the man ger of Beth le hem cra dles a King!
sing, For the man- ger of Beth le hem cra dles a King!
sing In the homes of the na tions that Je sus is King!
bring, And we greet in His cra die, our Say iour and King!
_--\--^ -^-^-L [-f-^-------q--~-l7-y--,---r-f--b----y_-:_-IP--. -
-- Ie -
Copyright 1883, by- HuIer T P. M-a.Ii
FOR VERY LITTLE FOLKS.
GOING TO SLEEP.
S ; ,.I
; i '
1 ...L J iL -
B.ABY, her head
--.n the pillow
\Vat'hi-s the pretty
ni.--i t-i.,ht burning.
t_-,.-._ .e.-'ily wink and
So over the
l-i,,.t n-v. 1t thl '.-.I ht does baby
counterpane one last peep,-
The night-light 's shown her the way to sleep!
1884.] THE ST. NICHOLAS ALMANAC. 255
INTRODUCTION TO "THE ST. NICHOLAS ALMANAC
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS."
BY ROYAL AND BARR HILL.
IN each number of ST. NICHOLAS for this year, our
young readers will find that portion of an almanac,
specially prepared for their use, which belongs to the
month for which it is issued. Owing to the very extended
circulation of ST. NICHOLAS, it is found impossible to
give columns for the time of the rising and setting of the
sun and moon, the length of the day, etc., etc. These
should be looked for in the local almanacs, which are
now calculated for nearly every large city of the United
The column after the days of the month and week gives
the age of the moon; that is, the number of days since
new moon. The next column gives the moon's place in
the heavens at the hour of half-past eight every evening,
whether it is visible at that hour or not. Almanacs
usually refer the moon's place to the sign in which it
is said to be; but as it is the object of this almanac to
teach the young readers of ST. NICHOLAS something
about the principal stars and constellations, advantage is
taken of the moon's daily change of place to make use
of it as an index, like the hand of a clock, to show
what constellation it is situated in as nearly as can be
given without explanation; and, by watching the motion
of the moon throughout the year, and comparing it with
this almanac, a very fair idea can be gained of the position
of the constellations of the Zodiac. For two days on
each side of new moon, the moon's place is not given, as
the stars near it are also too near the sun to be seen.
The next column gives the time near 12 o'clock every
day, when the shadows of upright objects point exactly
north. If any of our readers have a noon-mark, they can
regulate their time-pieces very closely, as, at the moment
the shadow is on the noon-mark, the hands of a clock or
watch should show the time here given.
In the next column are noted such occurrences as are
interesting to those who watch the skies, the principal
events being the dates when the moon and principal
planets pass each other in their wanderings over the sky;
for, though the stars are fixed, the planets move among
them in a very curious way,-forward, backward, stop-
ping, starting up and down, wandering about, so that the
ancients called them planets, or "wanderers."
One of the special features of our almanac will be
found under the head of "Evening Skies for Young
Astronomers," and we hope many of our young readers
will avail themselves of this opportunity to learn the
places of, and find for themselves, the principal con-
stellations and brightest stars that adorn the skies.
On account of the motion of the earth around the sun,
the heavens never present quite the same appearance at
the same hour on two successive evenings. It varies by
about four minutes each day, and thus, during the course
of the year, the whole circuit of the heavens is presented
to our gaze; that part which now is hidden in the glare
of the sunlight will be visible in the south at midnight
on the first of July, while the sun will then be among the
stars which we now see at midnight on the meridian.
In each of the short articles describing the evening
skies, the reader is supposed to be out-of-doors, or at
some window having a southern view, and to have the
exact direction of the south from the chosen position
indicated by some conspicuous mark, as a steeple, chim-
ney, cupola or, best of all, a pole set up in the required
direction. A lantern placed upon the ground also forms
a very good mark. By carefully noticing the direction
of the shadows of upright objects, as cast by the sun at
the time given in the noon-mark column, the exact
direction of the south from the place of observation can
The time for which the descriptions of the evening
skies are written is half-past eight on the evening of the
15th of each month. This date has been chosen because
throughout the year the moon will never be above the
horizon on the 15th day of the month at that hour of the
evening. Many of the most interesting objects in the
heavens can not be observed when the moon is above the
horizon, especially if it be near the full. The aspect of
the heavens will not vary much for several evenings be-
fore and after the 15th of the month. On the evenings
immediately preceding the 15th, the stars and planets
will be a little east of the positions described, and for a
few evenings following the I5th a little west of them.
It is only possible, in the limits of the short space
given each month for that purpose, to point out the
most conspicuous of the objects in view. The four
planets, VENUS, MARS, JUPITER, and SATURN, will
always be pointed out when visible; the other planets
being too difficult of observation, no mention will be
made of them. Twenty-eight of the constellations will
be pointed out during the year, nine of which belong to
the Zodiac, which is the name given to that path among
the stars which is pursued by the sun, moon, and planets
in their circuit around the heavens. Among these twenty-
eight constellations will be mentioned twenty-four bright
stars, besides other stars not so bright, and minor groups
of stars, in all about forty conspicuous and interesting
objects, the names of which will be given, and their
positions pointed out in such a way that they can be
In order that everything in our almanac may be per-
fectly intelligible to our readers, the marks and signs
which are commonly used in all other almanacs are
omitted in this one, except that the sign C is used for
the moon in the calendar. By a little observation, our
young readers may easily learn the names and positions
of a number of the most interesting objects in the starry
skies, and be prepared to observe the heavens more
minutely, if they have a taste in that direction.
It is very seldom that any year begins with so fine an
exhibition in the winter skies, as, independently of the
advantageous view of the fixed stars which belongs to
every month of January, three of the planets are near
their brightest phase, and are also situated in the richest
part of the sky.
6HE SI. nIGHOLAS FLMANAG
BY ROYAL AND BARR HILL.
drives the Sun,
and the water
Holidays and Incidents.
SPORTS FOR THE MONTH.
SNEEZY, breezy, very freezy, in comes January, wheezy.
New Year's day. Boys and girls, with flying feet, Pacing to see which can beat,
General Wolfe born, 1727. O'er the ice, which cracks so loud underneath the skating crowd.
d close to Saturn.
( near star Aldebaran.
(12th) (I near Jupiter.
(13th) ( passes over star
st Sunday afterE. 5 about
( near Mars.
( near star Regulus.
Gibbon, historian, d. 1794.
Benj. Franklin born, 1706.
Daniel Webster, b. 1782.
( near Spica.
2d Sunday after E.
Francis Bacon born, 1561.
Robert Burns born, 1759.
Dr. Jenner died, 1823.
3d Sunday after E.
( near Venus after sunset.
Ben. Jonson born, 1574.
EVENING SKIES FOR YOUNG ASTRONOMERS.
JANUARY 15, 8.30 P. M.-The moon does not rise till about
this time, and will not interfere with our view of the most
beautiful part of the starry heavens that can be seen during
VENUS is not above the horizon. MARS is in the south-east,
about two hours high, and may be recognized by its red color
and steady light. JUPITER is higher up, in the south-east, and
is by far the most conspicuous and beautiful object in the
heavens. SATURN, though not near so bright as JUPITER,
shines brightly and steadily exactly in the south. SATURN is
situated half way between the Pleiades, or Seven Stars, and
the bright, red star, Aldebaran, which are the principal marks
in the constellation of Taurus, or The Bull, one of the
constellations of the Zodiac. The two bright stars near JUPI-
TER, but a little higher up, are the twin stars, Castor (the
upper one) and Pollux (the lower one); they are the principal
stars of the constellation Gemini, or The Twins, also one of
the constellations of the Zodiac. If you imagine a line drawn
from SATURN through Aldebaran, it will strike the star Betel-
guese, the brightest star in Orion, which is the finest
of all the constellations. Another star in Orion, nearly
as bright, but lower down, is Rigel; and between Betelguese
and Rigel is a row of three bright stars, called The Sword
Belt of Orion. A line drawn through the Sword Belt toward
the south-east will strike Sirius, the brightest fixed star in
the heavens. It is in the constellation of Canis Major, the
Great Dog. Between JUPITER and Sirius is the fine star
Procyon, in the constellation Canis Minor, the Little Dog.
Nearly overhead is the bright star Capella, in the constellation
Auriga, or the Charioteer.
Let us notice the path that the Sun, in his yearly course
around the heavens, travels among the stars now in view. On
the 24th of May he will almost cover the spot where you now
see SATURN, and on the 22d of July he will be exactly in the
place where you now see JUPITER.
THE FOX AND THE HEN.
[A Fable with many Morals.]
"How big a brood shall you have this year, madam? said the Fox to the Hen, one cold winter even-
ing in the barn-yard.
"What's that to you ?" said the Hen to the Fox.
Supper! replied the Fox, promptly.
"Well, I don't know," said the Hen, in reply; "I may have ten; but I never count my chickens before
they are hatched."
Quite right," said the Fox, neither do I; and, as a hen in the present is worth ten chickens in the
future, I will-eat you now." So saying, he carried her off.
The next morning the farmer, seeing the tracks of the fox in the snow, took his gun and went out and
shot him. "Alas !" said the Fox, I should have waited for the ten chickens; there is no snow in
"The names of planets are printed in capitals; those of constellations in Italics.
But tie weather
is so cold, into
snow it chills.
"WELL said January, walking in one bright winter morning, with the snow clinging to his hair and
beard, "here I am once more, Mother; how have you got along without me all these eleven months ? "
Oh, very well, indeed," said sweet Mother Nature, cheerily. I 've had plenty of your brothers and
sisters; but turn and turn about, it is your turn now, and I am very glad to see you. You know it is my
motto to welcome the coming and speed the parting guest; so walk in, walk in, January, and sit right
down on that lump of ice. I do hope you will give me plenty of snow. December was very stingy, in
spite of all his promises, and my poor roots and plants are freezing down in their earthy bed. Do be
good now, January, and spread a good thick coverlid over them."
"All right," said January, I 'll go and blow up some clouds this minute."
THE old Earth lying bare and cold,
Beneath the winter sky,
Beheld the storm-king marshal forth
His battle force on high.
"Ah! soon," she said, "beneath the snow
Full warmly I shall lie."
The wind unfurled his banners
And rushed into the fray,
The round moon hid her jolly face
Within a cloud of gray,
And not one single star peeped out,
To drive the gloom away.
The snow, encamped behind a cloud,
Sent flying, here and there,
Its white-winged heralds to proclaim
Its presence in the air;
Until, at last, the fairy host
Burst from its cloudy lair.
The snow-flakes rushing downward,
Each in a whirling dance,
Before the winds are driven
Like armies by the lance;
But still, upon the waiting Earth
The shining hosts advance.
The wild wind, shrieking as he goes,
Flies fiercely to and fro,
And strives, with all his mighty force,
To sweep .-- the snow;
But bravely '.I the soft flakes fall
Upon the Earth below.
All white and swift it settles down,
Ti, ,,. Boreas howl and storm,
S.11 I is~ Summer's green the robe
It folds about her form;
No drapery of leaf and flower
Could make the Earth so warm.
It charges with no battle-cry;
But pure, and soft, and still,
It falls upon the waiting Earth,
Its promise to fulfill:
And foils the angry, I..:.l... wind
By force of gentle .1
The foe has furled his banners,
And hastened from the fray;
The round moon peeps with jolly face
From out the cloud of gray;
And all the stars come twinkling out
To see who gained the day.
There all the earth lay shining,
In -nr'f-n rure and white;
The s, I. 1i .1 its mission,
And, conquering in the fight,
Had warmed the old Earth to the heart,
Beneath its mantle white.
f'if -S \,
^ Wv,.^ -
A .b -N- 1'-1 U .
2 JACK-IN- I-HE-PULPIT.
A HAPPY Christmas to you, one and all, dear
friends, and a right wholesome New Year I 'd
like to give you some good advice on this occasion,
but the fact is I already have given you so much--
Christmas after Christmas, New Year after New
Year-that you surely must be fully supplied by
Let us therefore all join hands,-first calling in as
many new friends and followers as possible, so as to
make the circle doubly large,-and then resolve
to behave ourselves better than usual in future.
We really have not done this up to the present
date, my beloved, but it is never too late to try.
Here 's for a fresh start.
COASTING ON BARE GROUND.
SHOULD you like to read this letter just received
from a little friend in Kansas ?
PARADISE RANCH, 1883,
DEAR JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT: I am a little girl thirteen years old.
I live on a sheep ranch in-Central Kansas, and when I see the mail
carrier, with his funny home-made stage, coming down the road on
"ST. NICHOLAS day," as we call it, I know what is just the very
best thing he has in that old stage: it's dear old ST. NICK, with
his splendid stories, and beautiful pictures that make the stories real.
Our family once lived in Massachusetts, so I know a little about
coasting in the New England States; but did any one ever hear of
coasting on bare ground ?
I used to read in Mother Goose" about "five children sliding on
dry ground," and since I came here, where the ground is bare a good
part of the winter, I find that such a thing is possible. We who
came from a coasting country take our sleds out to an incline cov-
ered with buffalo grass, and by getting a good start we can ride a
long way without stopping.
There used to be a great many buffaloes in this place. Papa says
that he has heard settlers say that only ten years ago, in 1873, fif-
teen hundred buffaloes were killed on this range within the short
space of two weeks. This prairie is covered with countless old
buffalo wallows, which show what vast numbers of buffaloes must
once have roved over it. Now we can find nothing but their bleached
bones and, once in a great while, a head with the horns complete.
But we still have plenty of buffalo grass, and this is what they used
to feed on. It is short and curly, and does n't have to be cut to dry
as other grass does, and it is used here as food for all kinds of stock.
After walking a little while upon this grass, your shoes become so slip-
pery that you can hardly stand up when running or walking fast,
and this is what makes our slopes so capital for coasting.
We have some very dear pets among the sheep. Once, while the
herder was eating his dinner on the range, one, named "Jim Sheep,"
and a pet, of course, coolly pulled the cork out of the herder's sirup
bottle and ate it up- the cork, I mean.
Yours, with love, B. H. S. /
A SHELL FOR YOUNG CONCHOLOGISTS TO OPEN.
DEAR JACK: Pray allow me to tellyour "chicks" this true story:
Certainly not less than twenty years ago, I gathered on the
Cohasset beach a quantity of the common little white shells that are
abundant, I suppose, on every shore. When I came home, I put
them away in an old vase, and finally in an attic closet. There
they were forgotten for many years; but last November, having
gathered some beautiful mosses and ferns, I arranged a miniature
fernery, with a soup-plate for my "wardian case" and a gigantic
goblet for a cover. With the help of a warm temperature, and with
daily sprinkling, my tiny fernery was soon a "thing of beauty,"
and a joy to me, at any rate. Then it struck me that a row of those
white shells placed round the edge of the plate, outside the glass
shade, would be charming; so I hunted up my long-forgotten shells,
and when I had arranged them to my mind, I thought my little
center-table ornament was about perfect. Well, one day, two or three
weeks after, when I was about to sprinkle my mosses, as usual, I saw
one of the shells move I rubbed my eyes--it could not be! Yes,
it certainly did move, and another and another! Goodness! What
did it mean ? For a minute or two I was too much frightened to do
anything but stare and wonder. Presently, I ventured to look closer,
and with a bit of stick to turn two or three of the shells over, when,
lo and behold in every one were three or four moving white bodies
with black heads. Then I was thoroughly scared, and what do
you think I did? I, who had fancied myself something of a natural-
ist, and who pride myself on being humane as well as scientific.
What did I do but take my pet fernery, with its living occupants,
into the "jungle" at the back of our house and slide it off the
plate into'the leafless bushes. Cruel and stupid, too, was it not?
for who knows what wonderful discovery I might have made if I
had only watched over and petted these little nondescripts, instead
of turning them out on the frozen ground to shift for themselves.
So would not Agassiz have done. Now, all I can do, dear Jack,
is to ask some of your bright young hearers, who, no doubt, are
posted up in conchology, what were these tiny creatures that the
warm air and the moisture oozing from the fernery brought to life,
after twenty years of dry and dark imprisonment,- fishes or insects
or what? INQUIRER.
A VERY WORDY POEM.
HERE is a verse containing some X-Z-dingly
queer words. Deacon Green wrote it one day,
in the hope of puzzling the dear Little School-
ma'am's best scholar. And what do you think
that bright little youngster did ?
Why, he opened a big volume, which the
School-ma'am calls her UNABRIDGED, and in less
than five minutes he understood the Deacon's story
perfectly. And so may you. It is called
THE ZEALLESS XYLOGRAPHER.
A Xylographer started to cross the sea
By means of a Xanthic Xebec;
But, alas, he sighed for the Zuyder Zee,
And feared he was in for a wreck.
He tried to smile, but 't was all in vain,
Because of a Zygomatic pain;
And as for singing, his cheeriest tone
Reminded him of a Xylophone-
Or else when the pain would sharper grow
His notes were as keen as a Zuffolo I
And so, it is likely, he did not find
On board, Xenodochy to his mind.
The fare was poor, and he was sure
Xerophagy he could not endure;
And the end of it was, he never again
In a Xanthic Xebec went sailing the main.
THREE BLACK CROWS.
DEAR JACK: Pray let me tell you and your flock a new Three
Black Crows story, which differs from the great original story in not
being an exaggeration. Indeed, I have been assured on good
authority that it is a perfectly true incident.
A dog who was enjoying a large piece of meat was watched by
three envious crows, who soon made an effort to snatch it away
from him, but in vain. Then they withdrew to a neighboring tree,
and apparently holding a hasty consultation, they proceeded to
carry their plan of attack into execution. Two of them approached
JAC K IN -THE -PULPIT.
the dog in the rear and suddenly bit his tail, while at the same
instant a third crow drew as close as he dared to the meat. The
biting was severe, and of course doggie turned with a yelp. In-
stantly the crows seized upon the coveted meat and flew with it to
the top of a high wall, where they made a hearty meal (for crows)
in full sight of their astonished victim.
Your faithful friend, M. G. L.
THREE CENTS FOR A LIFE.
ALBANY, N. Y., Nov. 10, 1883.
DEAR JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT: It will be just a year ago Christmas
since a very queer thing happened at our house. You see my
brother Henry had a perfect rage for catching mice, and so had
Ella's cat. I r7-- t- mention that there are three of us,-Ella,
Henry, and m. .I, just for fun, Santa Claus put a large mouse-
trap among Henry's Christmas presents, and that very night Henry.
set it in the back kitchen. In the morning, before any one else was
up, our cook came softly to our room and whispered for Ella and me
to come and see." Well, we put on our clothes in a hurry and
stole softly afterher in our stocking-feet, neither of us saying another
word, because she held her fingers to her lips. When we reached
the back kitchen, what do you think we saw? Why, Henry's trap,
with three fine mice in it, safe and sound, but dreadfully frightened,
and Ella's puss watching them with glaring eyes. She was too mad
to move. You never saw a cat so dumbfounded. Well, Ella and I
did n't know what to do. We knew the mice really belonged to
Henry-but we knew, too, that the cat would seize them the mo-
ment he opened the trap. Boys are so dreadful! Any way, the
mice would be killed in some way, and it did seem too bad that they
should suffer any more after their double fright. So what did I do
child money with which to buy the material. The queen forgot the
circumstance till her birthday came, when she was reminded of it by
the arrival of a pair of well-knit stockings and the maker's best
wishes. Not to be outdone, Queen Margherita sent a pair to her
young friend as a return gift, one stocking being full of silver coin
and the other of bonbons. They were accompanied by a little note,
" Tell me, my dear, which you liked best ? This reply reached the
palace next day: Dearest Queen: Both the stockings have made
me shed many bitter tears. Papa took the one with the money,
and my brother took the one with the bonbons."
A ROYAL DETECTIVE.
DEAR JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT: Here is a little
story, which I clip, for your young folk, from Our
Venture, an admirable amateur magazine published
in Scotland. Yours faithfully,
Prince Peter of Oldenburg is chief of the Imperial colleges for
girls, and exercises the duties of the office with diligence. Lately
he decided to investigate, himself, whether there were any grounds
for the numerous complaints which had reached him of the food at
4.7 Cm-lr;7 Convent, where about eight hundred girls are edu-
-.,-.i .; to the institute just before the dinner-hour, this
..,- i : imperial colleges walked straight to the kitchen. At
its door he met two soldiers carrying a huge steaming caldron.
"Halt!" he cried out; "put that kettle down." The soldiers
~-- ---------~ II. I.
but run up and wake Henry, and ask him what he would take for
the first three mice he caught in his trap.
"Three cents apiece," says he, quick as a flash.
Done! says I, and off I ran.
Ellen and Cook held the cat; I carried the trap all the way to the
cellar, where I let the poor little creature out close by a hole in the
wall. My, how they scampered! They were out of sight in a
twinkling. I was so glad. By that time Henry was up, but he was
too late. I handed him his nine cents. You see, three cents a life
was cheap, though it was a good deal of money for me. BERTHA G.
A SAD PAIR OF STOCKINGS.
Now, how can a pair of stockings be sad ?
The only answer I can give is to tell you this
true story that came one breezy day to my pulpit:
Some months ago, Queen Margherita, of Italy, asked a little girl
to knit her a pair of silk stockings as a birthday gift, and gave the
obeyed. "Bring me a spoon," added the Prince. The spoon
was produced, but one of the soldiers ventured to begin a stam-
mering remonstrance. "Hold your tongue!" cried the Prince;
" take off the lid; I insist on tasting it." No further objection was
raised, and his Highness took a large spoonful. "You call this
soup?" he exclaimed; "why, it is dirty water'" "1 is, your
Highness," replied the soldier; "we have just been cleaning out
THE CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS CLUB.
THE dear Little School-ma'am requests me to call
your special attention to a paper in ST. NICHOLAS
for last month, entitled The Children's Christmas
Club." This is a sort of seed-story, I 'm told, which,
if properly attended to, tvill bloom and bear fine
fruit for the next Christmas holidays-and many
a New Year after.
DES MOINES, IOWA.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: The children in our neighborhood had a
concert for the benefit of the Cottage Hospital this summer, and the
principal piece in it was The Land of Nod," published in ST.
NICHOLAS of 1880. The concert was under the management of
Carrie Weaver and myself, two girls of sixteen. We played it at
Carrie's home, her father being so kind as to make a stage for us.
We made nearly thirty dollars. Every one who heard the play
thinks it is lovely. The oldest one in it was thirteen years old; the
youngest, four. A little girl played the accompaniments. As we
realized so much, I thought you would like to hear of our success.
Your constant reader,
The above is only one out of many letters informing us of the
successful performance of Mr. Brooks's capital operetta; and we
are sure that we shall hear as favorable accounts from the same
author's Christmas play, in our last number, entitled, "The
Three Somber Young Gentlemen and the Three Pretty Girls."
Mr. Brooks has written a whole series of similar plays, which, under
the general title of Comedies for Children," will appear in future
numbers of ST. NICHOLAS.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I think I can tell a funnier tale about birds'-
nests. Our servant hung out some clothes to air one day, and a
little wren began to build a nest in one leg of a pair of trousers.
Your constant reader, REGINALD.
Locust Grove, Kent Co., Md.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Please print this letter for me; I am seven
years old, and when my ST. NICHOLAS comes, Mamma reads it to
me, and helps me guess the puzzles. We live in the country, but
my sister Flora got sick, and Mamma took her here, and took me,
too. Flora says I must not write on the other side of this paper, so
I wont. In the country I have a sweet little pony named Slipper;
I go out riding every evening. Flora says I have written too much,
so I'll stop. Your loving friend, JENNIE C.
TARRYTOWN, October 3ist, 1883.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: In the Letter-box" I saw that a lady want-
ed to know how to train her dog. I do not think that there is any
particular way to do it. We have a pug, and he knows quite a good
many tricks- at least, I think so. He can sit up on his haunches,
give his paw, sneeze when he wants you to take awalk, walk on his
hind-legs for his dinner, sit up with a cake on his nose till you
count five, when he will eat it; and then if you put a cake on the floor
and say, "Cost money," he will not touch it till you say, "Paid
for." He takes the letters from the postman, and plays hide the
handkerchief. But this is not telling how to teach other dogs to do
these things. When I taught him to "cost money," I slapped his
head when he went to eat the cake ; then he tried to paw it, but I
hit his paw, and he was wise enough not to try it again. He taught
himself to play hide the handkerchief- that is, when we were
playing, as he was running around hefound it; he seemed to be
pleased, so after thatwe played with him. This is such a long letter
that I am afraid you will not publish it; but I hope you will. I have
taken you for a long time. Your loving friend,
SUSIE E. M
BOSTON, September 3, 1883.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I saw, in a recent Jack-in-the-Pulpit, an
inquiry as to how rubber balls were made hollow. I think they are
made in two pieces, which are afterward fitted together. My
brother had a rubber ball, and it came apart in two pieces.
I would like to ask y- ;,. ':.. ., 1 e answered through the
Letter-box. What is the .n -. :.. : ..- .. gutta-percha and India-
rubber? It is not a conundrum.
I like you very much. I have you from the h" n-inn- bound in
the covers you have for that purpose. I -I.... i. Tinkham
Brothers' Tide-Mill is very nice indeed. I liked "Phaeton Rogers "
I hope you will print this letter, as it is the first I have written
you. Yours truly, C. HERBERT SWAN, JR.
OAKLAND, CAL., August 29, 1883.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have taken you for over a year, and
love you a great deal. I think the way rubber balls are made is by
blowing them the way you do glass things. I can't think of any-
thing else to say, so will bid you good-bye. Your little friend,
MY little brother has been hearing of the way in which glass is
manufactured and blown, and thought, all of himself, that rubber
balls were made in that way, so dictated the above note, thinking
that it might be the right answer. Yours, ESTHER SEVINSON.
Which of the theories about the rubber ball is correct, young
friends ? One of the letters, you '11 notice, comes from the Atlantic
coast and the other from the Pacific-so, rubber balls must be famil-
iar affairs at both ends of the continent.-Who can answer the ques-
tion as to the difference between India-rubber and.gutta-percha?
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: My cousin who lives in New York sends
the ST. NICHOLAS to my sister and me every month. We enjoy read-
ing it ever so much. A friend of mine made a match house from
the description given in ST. NICHOLAS for November, z881, and it
was a perfect success.. We have a sewing society of eighteen girls,
and when we sold the things we had made, among others we sold
the match house, for which we received forty cents. I will be fifteen
very soon. Ever your friend, NELLIE H. P.
AGASSIZ ASSOCIATION-THIRTY-THIRD REPORT.
WE were sorry that our report was necessarily deferred last month,
but we are partially consoled by. the very large number of bright
and encouraging letters which have reached us during the past four
weeks. The most satisfactory evidence of the real vigor of the A. A.
is the fresh zeal with which our Chapters return to their work after
the long summer vacation.
Their unanimous voice is, "We are more interested than ever."
" We have returned to our work with renewed enthusiasm." We
have not forgotten the A. A. during our vacation journeyings, but
have brought back from sea-side or mountain-top many beautiful
specimens for our cabinet, which shall serve also as pleasant reminders
of the happy hours spent in searching for them."
Such expressions prove that our interest in Nature is not a pass-
ing fancy, but a permanent attachment; the reason being that the
field for our observation is without limit, and the more we learn, the
more we see, beyond, -1. r ;. to know.
The subject for the entomological essays this month is INSECTS IN
GENERAL. The papers should be planned somewhat as follows:--
i. Define insects, as a class, as fully and accurately as possible.
2. Describe any typical insect fully.
3. Give the sub-divisions of the class Insecta, with a definition
and example of each.
4. Uses of insects: b. Food-producers.
5. Insects as emblems or types.
Of course, it is not necessary that this scheme be rigidly followed,
or even adopted at all. But it may prove useful in showing how to
go to work to outline a paper that shall have some logical connec-
tion of thought.
This is the last exercise of the course; and as soon as possible
after the papers have been sent to Prof. G. Howard Parker (as ex-
plained in July ST. NICHOLAS), the diplomas will be awarded, and
the successful students named here.
The following scheme closes our course in botanical observation.
It might be continued through Trichomes, or the minute hairs that
beset plants; but perhaps that would be too difficult at present.
For full explanation of the work to be done this month, we refer
THE LETTER-BOX. 261
again to ST. NICHOLAS for July, where Prof. Jones's plan is fully
Even those who have not followed this course during the past six
months, will find Prof. Jones's schedules of great value as a guide
to private botanical study next summer.
Shapes (see leaves, etc.),
Open (pines, etc.),
shapes (see leaves and
shapes (see leaves and
ovary (see fruit also),
two or more celled,
ovules (see seeds also),
position in pod,
position on stalk,
seeds (mature ovules),
appendages (see pol-
fruits (mature pistils),
to release the
outer coat (dry or
conical (composite, etc.),
urn-shaped (roses, etc.),
etc. (see leaves),
It is proper to note in passing that, by an error, Prof. Jones's
name was given incorrectly in a recent report. His address is-
Marcus E. Jones, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Our thanks are due to the gentlemen whose kind offers of assist-
It will give me much pleasure to assist your A. A. Society, so
far as I am able, in matters pertaining to American coleoptera.
Very truly yours,
FRED. C. BOWDITCH, Tappa st., Brookline, Mass.
51 DOUGLASS STREET, BROOKLYN, N. Y.
I shall be glad to assist your A. A. with the macro-lefidofiera.
I hope that the members will freely tax my knowledge of this branch
of entomology with questions and determinations.
Sincerely yours, A. W. PUTMAN-CRAMER.
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia,
S. W. Cor. of Nineteenth and Race streets,
PHILADELPHIA, August 14, 1883.
To HARLAN H. BALLARD, Esq., Agassiz Association, Lenox, Mass.
Dear Sir: I beg leave to state that, if agreeable to you, I
would be most happy to aid in answering any questions, that can
be answered, upon ethnology. Communications addressed to me,
care of Ethnological Department, Academy of Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia will receive prompt attention.
Yours truly, H. T. CRESSON.
The new chapters, formed since our latest report, follow:
No. Name. No. of Mlembers. A address.
522 Sharon, Conn., (A)...... 16..Miss Caroline S. Roberts.
523 Chicago, Ill., (0)........ 4..A. L. Baxter, 334 Monroe st.
524 Milwaukee, Wis., (A).... 6..A. S. Taylor, 135 Martin st
525 Monmouth, Ill., (A)..... 4..D. E. Waid.
526 Leavenworth, Kas., (B).. 5..Harry Johnson.
527 San Francisco, Cal., (G). 6..Norman Sinclair, 1633 Tylerst.
528 Huntingburg, Ind., (A).. 4..H. C. Rothert.
529 Buffalo, N. Y., (H)...... 7..Miss Margarett Evans, 44 No.
530 St. Johnland, N. Y., (A). 7..Win. H. White.
531 Chicago, Ill., (P)........ 6..Harry Hirsch, 3o01 Mich ave.
532 Sewickley, Pa., (A)...... 7..M. A. Christy.
533 Troy, N. Y., (A)...... 7..Robert M. Cluett, Jr., 52 4th.
534 London, Eng., (C)...... 5..Montague Gunning, 52 Tavis-
535 Chapel Hill, N. C., (A).. 5.. Miss Clara J. Martin.
536 St. Johnsbury, Vt., (A) .. 6..I. J. Romer, box 82e.
537 Mansfield, 0., (A)....... i..E. Wilkinson, Jr.
538 Evanston, Ill., (A)....... 4..Mrs. Morton Hull.
539 W. Phila., Pa., (P)..... o..C. M. List, 3406 Hamilton.
540 Oskaloosa, Iowa, (B).... 8..0. D. McMains, box 682.
541 Chicago, Ill., (Q)........ 4..Oren E. Taft, 30o4 Mich ave.
542 Faribault, Minn., (A).... o..St. Mary's Hall.
543 Washington, N. J., (A).. 5..Dr. W. M. Bairdlock, box 6.
544 Oxford, Miss., (A)....... 6..Ch. Woodward Hutson, Uni-
versity of Miss.
545 Fall River, Mass., (A)... 8..0. K. Hawes.
546 Palo, Iowa, (A). ....... 1o..Miss Mella Barnhill.
547 Shellsburg, Iowa, (A).... 25..Ollie M. Thompson.
Minerals for Indian relics. Write first.-W. G. Merritt, Battle
Maple and other leaves, pressed and oiled leaves.-L. A. Nichol-
son, Vancouver, W. T.
Silkworm cocoons (Samia cynthia), for pressed plants. -J.
McLeod, 247 W. 23d st., New York, N. Y.
Fine minerals.- E. Y. Gibson, 123 W. Washington ave., Jackson,
A tacrus cecropia, for other moths, or butterflies.-Miss McFar-
land, I727 F. st. Washington, D. C.
Michigan copper ore, for nearly pure mica.-E. R. Heitshu, Lan-
Cotton balls and leaves. Write first.--Ennie Stone, Columbia,
F?,u hlinwn through one hole, and bird skins.- Grafton Parker,
I -. ave., Chicago, Ill.
Perfect pentremites, for 4-oz. specimens of stilbite, wavellite, lepi-
dolite, or ores of zinc, tin, or mercury. F. W. Wentworth, 153
25th st, Chicago, Ill.
A collection of twelve different kinds of eggs, a sand-dollar, sea-
urchin, and star-fish, for a perfect trilobite, not less than three inches
long. Also, petrified shark's teeth. Write first.-R. W. Wood, Jr.,
Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Correspondence with a view to exchange.--A. S. Taylor, x53
Martin st., Milwaukee, Wis.
Skins of black-capped titmice and other birds, for insects. Insects
in papers preferred.-W. B. Olr.ey, East Providence, R. I.
Pampas grass plumes and sea mosses for minerals and shells.
Write first.- Edith Drennan, Santa Cruz, Cal.
Book on insects and cocoons of Illinois. Write first.--Ch. B.
Coxe, box 78, Rogers Park, Ill.
Four-leaved clovers.-L. L. Lewis, box 174, Cy-rnht7en N.Y.
Gold and silver ore, etc., for insects.- Fran i .,--1., Lisbon,
Sand-dollars, sea-urchins, and star-fish, for rare moths or beetles.
-Belle Walker, 81 School st., Concord, N. H.
Minerals and eggs.-W. K. Trimble, Princetoi, Ill.
Star-fish and crystals. Write first.- Ch. Ennis, Lyons, N. Y.
Petrified palm-wood, for eggs or insects.-W. D. Burnham, 697
Curtis st., Denver, Col.
N. B.-What can we feed silkworms on ? There are no mulberry
leaves here. [Some one lease tell us all.]
General exchanges.--Kitty C. Roberts, sec., Blackwater, Florida.
I will send good specimens of concretions of pyrites in argillite to
any Chapter sending ten cents to pay postage. I will send my ex-
change list of invertebrate fossils to any one who will send me his.-
W. R. Lighton, sec. Chapter 15.
262 THE LETTER-BOX. LJAN VARY,
Minerals and flowers.-Annie Darling, 47 Concord sq., Boston,
Eggs, moths, and butterflies.--Warren Adams, 307 N. 3d st.,
Camden, N. J.
Horned nuts from China, for a "sea-horse."- A. Lawson Baxter,
sec. 523, 334 W. Monroe st., Chicago, Ill.
Canal coal, iron ore, and canary eggs, for eggs.-John C. Clapp,
Jr., 729 E. 4th, So. Boston, Mass.
Labeled minerals, for labeled fossils; crinoids, for zinc, tin, and
iron ore.--E. P. Boynton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Rare lepidoptera, for Luna and Io cocoons, H. Eurytris, Lycana
Epinanthe, P. Ajax, Cyn 1.. L-. : 1 i list of dupli-
cates. Folded specimens ,.... i i i .. ., 16 Seminary
st., Auburn, N. Y.
REPORTS FROM CHAPTERS.
15. Ottuzmwa, Iowa.-We have been very busy since my last re-
port. By an entertainment whi --. we cleared $32.05, and
we are going to get a room at ,. : I r of the furnishings have
been promised to us already. Dr. C. N. Ball, Eldon, Iowa, offers
his services to the A. A. as an expert mineralogist and chemist. -
Will. R. Lighten.
44. Valparaiso, Chili.-You asked me to give you some account
of South American life. The Chilenos carry their milk about in tins
on horses. They carry their potatoes and other vegetables in skins
tied on horses, and in selling them, they measure by deka litres.
They sell grapes by the bunch, and peaches, apples, etc., by the
dozen. The common people wear a large shawl, called a "manto,"
instead of a hat. On feast days, they dance several fancy dances.
The huaasas, or country men, go about on horseback. Their saddles
are made of sheep-skins; and if overtaken by night, they unstrap
them, and make themselves comfortable beds. Here in Valparaiso
are seven English schools and some lyceums. We have a cabinet.
A gentleman very generously gave us $1o. A microscope has been
ordered. Hoping the A. A. will prosper.-W. Sabina, Sec.
1og. Washington, D. C.-We have had several field meetings.
One at Mt. Vernon, where we found Indian strawberry ,
Vesca), which is rare here.- Robert P. Bigelow, 1501 ; i. N '.
499. Princeton, Ill., Oct. 15, 1883.- Our Chapter, which number-
ed six in July, has now fifteen members. We hold meetings every
week. The attendance is always good, and the reports full of in-
terest. I wish the A. A. reports were longer.-Harry Bailey.
57. Plantsville, Conn., B., Cct. 15, 1883.-During the summer
quite a number of coleoptera have been collected-- some quite rare.
Last summer we collected many cocoons, and kept them carefully
through the winter. This summer several fine moths hatched from
them. One of our members has brought from Switzerland a very
pretty collection of Alpine flowers. The latest meetings promise
well for the work during the fall and winter.- L. J. Smith.
87. N. Y., B.-The fall has brought nes. enthusiasm to us. More
interest is now felt than ever. One of our members has just returned
from a tour in Europe. We are ...i ,-.: r combine the Chap-
ters of this city on the same plain. I-.. i .. Chapters.-Geo.
Aery, Jr., 257 Madison Ave.
[The plan is excellent, and ought to succeed.]
339. Salt Lake, A.-- Two new members. The interest in our
meetings is steadily growing. We have notes on subjects relating to
Natural Science, and learn a great deal in studying for them. Then,
we have started something in the way of original investigation.
Each selects one object, and examines it carefully, finds out all he
can about it, and then tells us what he has discovered. We are now
preparing microscopic slides of all things of interest which we have.
For instance, of the pubescence of plants, the hairs of quadrupeds,
the feathers of birds, and the different parts of the bodies of insects.
Our zoologist has a stuffed specimen of the yellow-bellied marmot,
which he killed at the height of about xo,ooo feet near Alta. Our
ornithologist had an owl in confinement for some time, studying its
habits. Please ask the other Chapters whether an owl has the power
of moving its eyes in their sockets or not.
[We will, with pleasure. Has an owul t/e power of moving its
eyes in their sockets? ]
We are going to spend next summer m taking mountain trips and-
collecting specimens.- Fred. E. Leonard.
353. Phila., Pa., K.-Our Chapter is still progressing. Two new
members. We have put up some shelves in our room, and have
some minerals and birds' eggs. We have added several new books
to our library, and have a scrap-book nearly full of newspaper clip-
pings. We have visited the Academy of Sciences.-W. M. Yeomans,
1959 N. 13th.
448. Wasbington, D. C., G.-We have lately been busy with the
back numbers of ST. NICHOLAS, and are now quite familiar with the
history of a very "happy thought." Chapter 448 is disposed to be
enthusiastic. Its members have, with one exception, all been present
at every meeting. The absentee was on a trip to California. We
have a cabinet, an herbarium, and many miscellaneous specimens.
Our members are about twelve years old, on an average. We have
two new members. Over our cabinet hangs a stalk of shepherd's
crook grass (?) from Kansas, eight feet in length.--Isabelle F.
[ Will some one tell us more about this sierheplrd's crook grass?]
509. slMacomb, ll., A.- Progressing nicely. We meet at each
other's houses every Friday afternoon after school. Almost all of us
have been collecting insects during the summer. We have a paper
read every two weeks, to which we contribute original articles on
anything pertaining to Natural History. The Chapter is divided into
two parts, and each part edits the paper alternately. We cannot
understand how other Chapters have nice club-rooms and cabinets
and microscopes, etc. Where do they get their money? We like
the A. A. very mucA.- Nellie H. Tunnicliff.
[ Tze next letter nay s/Lww v/ere ite money comes from /]
395. iMontreal, Canada, A.-H. H. BALLARD, Lenox, Mass.,
U. S. -Dear Sir : I intended to write you before this; but
as the press of business has been so great, I could not get time.
Since writing you last, seven very rl-. -rt m--.t; .. have been held,
at which sixteen new members j ..... .... .I total of twenty
eight regular members. We also elected seven honorary members,
including Messrs. F. B. Caulfield, taxidermist; J. M. M. Duff; Wm.
Couper, editor Canadian Sportsman and Naturalist; Rev. Canon
Norman, M. A., D. C. L.; Rev. Canon Ellegood, M. A.; Rev.
Jas. McCaul, and Dr. Dawson, LL. D., F. R. S., F. G. S., C. M. G.,
Principal McGill University. We have purchased a cabinet, and
have already filled it so full that we had to order another one about
twice as large. You can imagine the size of the collection we have,
when I tell you the cabinet we have now is six feet high and three
feet wide, and then it does not hold half the collection. We held a
lecture a few weeks ago in aid of the society. It was a grand suc-
cess, as we paid for the cabinet, purchased a number of valuable
specimens for the museum, and had $7 as a balance on hand. We
are going to open a room for the society about the ist of May,
which will be used as a museum and reading-room.-W. D. Shaw.
Address: 34 St. Peter st., Montreal, Can.
313. Chicago, H.-We have been going on over a year; and
although our numbers are small, we take quite an interest in our
work. We hope to have a nice cabinet in a short time. We gave
an entertainment, and it could not have gone offbetter. Each mem-
ber had his piece perfectly. Here is the programme: i. Piano solo.
2. Opening address. 3. Essay-Life of Agassiz. 4. Debate-
Resolved, That the study of minerals is more useful than the study
of plants. 5. Recitation. 6. Essay-Wood and its uses. 7. Speech.
Part 2.--. Music. 2. Song. 3. Debate--Resolved, That general-
ists accomplish more than specialists in the study of Nature. 4. Poem,
by Longfellow, on Agassiz's birthday. 5. Essay -Benefits derived
from the study of Nature. 6. Recitation. 7. Recitation. 8. Hu-
morous reading. 9. Music. o. Refreshments--Ice cream (atimal
and vegetable and mineral). Cake (vegetable and animal).
Strawberries (vegetable). Lemonade (mineral and vegetable).-
O. J. Stein.
2214. Corresponding member.- My interest in the A. A. has never
flagged. My older sister and one younger are alike interested in
every branch. Our specialty is insects. We have many from
foreign countries, and all found in this vicinity. We have over three
hundred cocoons and chrysalids now, that will come out during the
next six months. We have five hundred sea-shells, two hundred
minerals, one hundred and ten kinds of woods, sea-mosses, lichens,
pressed flowers and ferns, and about seventy-five birds' eggs. We
try to learn about insects first, but learn what we can, from time to
time, of the other things. We have Harris, all of Dr. Packard's
books, "Insect Lives," and English Butterflies "; and we take tl&
Pafilio, by Edwards. My sister often writes to him for information
when we cannot find a name; also to Professor Riley, of Washing-
ton, D. C., and to Dr. Scudder of Camhricl,. We have Groti's
Check List and one of the Lepidoptera i ii -Will. C. Phillips,
New Bedford, Mass., box 3.
I57. Detroit, Mick., C.- One new member. We are planning a
S .1 ..-r r ,,,, ,,,,, .1 collections.- A. T. i.:..
: -- With the exception I I. i. .left
town, our working members remain with us. We have many plants
to exchange. Our boys find nothing so interesting as entomology.
We had one place for meeting last year, but now go about to the
homes of the members, and find that what was begun as a necessity
proves pleasanter than the old way.-Edith M. Field.
391. Meredith, N. H.-Our Chapter has been doing finely all
summer. Our labor has been confined chiefly to the collection of
plants, of which we have about one hundred and fifty. We are all
farmers' children, some of us at school, some teaching, or working
at trades, so we do not have so much time as we wish, but we shall
do our best.- C. F. Robinson.
258. Reading, Pa., A.-We have a total of twenty-four active
and interested members. All of us have the silver engraved badges,
and are quite proud of them. We have studied coral, lichens, pond-
lilies, moss, diamonds, cotton, flax, spiders, and birds. O-r routine
was on one occasion varied by a general discussion on the sparrow
question. We have had some correspondence with 133, and earnest-
ly desire to communicate with other Chapters.- Miss Helen B. Baer,
and G. F. Baer, Esq., Sec.
409. Sag Harbor, N. Y.-Our Chapter is getting on very well,
and now numbers twenty-seven regular and seven honorary mem-
bers. Our collection of specimens has increased largely. At our
weekly meetings, the president gives out : i ,chmem-
ber, 1 .- .. a .... C c e .I L
374 .' I., L. .n parlor concert. C. K. Lin-
T.] THE RIDDLE-BOX. 203
son gave us a chalk talk." At one side of the parlor we had a
table with some specimens on it; and after the entertainment we in-
vited our friends to inspect them. We have now money enough to
get a cabinet. We have decided to have a course of lectures-one
delivered by each member on his chosen branch.-A. D. Phillips.
[This "course of lectures is one of Ite brightest plans yet firo-
350. Neillsville, IYis., A.-My report is late, but not for lack of
interest. Though busy people, we find time to pursue our study out-
doors. Sometimes, instead of our regular evening meeting, we take
the afternoon, or all day, and go off for a regular tramp to the
woods, the fields, or the river.- Mrs. M. F. Bradshaw.
472. Hazleton, Pa., A.-We are making individual collections.
We spend most of our time in studying the formation of the rock
and coal found here.-Anne A. McNair.
18o. Iilford, Conn., A.- The secretary's address is changed to
W. A. Buckingham, box 422.
57. Icebergs. Icebergs are formed from glaciers. These often
extend from the sea for miles into the interior, and have an exceed-
ingly slow motion down into the water. When the end of the glacier
has been forced so far into the sea that the strain caused by the up-
ward pressure of the water is stronger than the cohesive force of the
ice, vast portions break off from the glacier, and rising through the
water, float off as icebergs. [See Question 7, in Report 23.]-E.
58. Star-fis.-I have seen a six-rayed star-fish-in other re-
spects exactly like the ordinary five-rayed ones.-A.
59. Bluets.- I have found blues (Houstonia Cerulia) with three,
four, five, and six petals.-H.
Other interesting notes must go over until February, and we close
this report by wishing all the members and friends of the Agassiz
Association a very Happy New Year.
Address all communications to the President,
HARLAN H. BALLARD,
PRINCIPAL OF LENOX ACADEMY,
LENOX, BERKSHIRE Co., MASS.
TWO HOLIDAY PUZZLES.
-eJ i-if1 \5
I r. .B li,.-r r, '.r.r ., Th (.- e-r..i." 1
FIRST PUZZLE. Rebus. Read, as a rebus, the pictures on the
holly-leaves, :....:.._ ,r. ile one in the -'pper left-hnr d corner.
The result wi ll .- ... one ofJ. G. I ....
SECOND PUZZLE. Illustrated Zigzag. Each of th ten smallillus-
trations may he described by a word of four letters. When these
have been rightly guessed, and placed one below another in the
order here given, the zigzag, beginning at the upper left-hand
corner, will spell a name familiar at this season. G. s.
LICHL raise dan nirtwy sniwd! Ym rea
Sha wrong arimlafi twih royu nogs;
I erha ti ni elt nigenop arey,
I selnit, dan ti sherce em goln.
I AM composed of seventy-eight letters, and am part of a poem by
My 35-51-21-10-24 is to observe attentively. My 54-22-47-14-5
is dexterous. My 33-75-49-15-62-23 is a small cable. My 26 is one
hundred. My 69-45-17-27-64-9-50-25-78 is to institute. My 63-
36-4-70 is a dish that has been cooked by boiling slowly. My 52-
30-71 is an adjective often used in connection with the foregoing
dish. My 19-68-6-39-16 is a place of public contest. My 66-1a-
is to move to and fro. My i8-60-13-57 is a girl's name.
-2-44 is a covering for the head. My 48-74-3-8-31 is a
fiend. My 67-53-42-59-17 is to weave so as to produce the appear-
ance of diagonal lines. My 58-46-1-73 is external aspect. My 41-
76-34-77-56-6q-43 is inscribed. My 72-38-29-28-2-7-61 is a small
elevation of land. "PARTHENIA."
8 o 2
7 9 3
6 5 4
From i to 9, to oscitate; from 2 to 9, a preposition; from 3 to 9,
a sort of fine linen; from 4 to 9, black; from 5 to 9, an aquatic fowl;
from 6 to 9, a metal; from 7 to 9, an ecclesiastical dignitary; from
8 to 9, level.
The letters represented by the figures from i to 8 spell the old
name for a time of merry-making. DYCIE.
THE centrals, reading downward, name an inland country of Asia.
CROSS-WORDS; I. A seaport town of England. 2. The most
south-western county of Connecticut. 3. A name by which a city
of Belgium, capital of the province of West Flanders, is sometimes
called. 4. A seaport city of Brazil. 5. The city of France in which
Henry IV. was born. 6. In AQantic. 7. The abbreviation of one
of the United States. 8. A city of Hungary located on the Danube.
9. The capital of New Mexico. 10. An island in the Atlantic Ocean
-**T-nn-7 t- Great Britain, in. A small town in Bradford County,
S..... I .... A. TASSIN.
204 THE RIDDLE-BOX. [JANUARY.
CENTRAL SYNCOPATIONS. head a small opening, and leave unrefined metal. 3. Behead to
oscillate, and leave a side-building. 4. Behead a kind of turf, and
leave to consume. 5. Behead round, and leave a small mass of no
_, n Be definite shape. 6. Behead a very hard mineral, and leave raveled
0f~c .k linen. H. POWELL.
How short myfirst, when pleasure has full sway;
SHow long, when pain and sickness fill the day.
How oft my second fills my 6rst with glee,
Though on the morrow sad the reckoning be.
My whole will tell you when myfirst is past,
Useful no more till you reverse my last.
R. H. W.
5 /^ / PLACE these sixteen figures in the sixteen vacant squares of the
diagram in such a manner that the sum of twenty-one may be
obtained by combining four of the figures in fourteen different ways,
EACH of the ten pictures may be described by a word of five let- The figures in each of the four lines reading across to amount to
,ters, or else is a five-letter word made into a rebus. When these ten twenty-one:
words have been rightly guessed, syncopate the central letter of the The figures in each of the four lines reading up and down to
first word, and it will leave a garden vegetable; the second, a fleet amount to twenty-one.
animal; the third, an ascent; the fourth, to gasp; the fifth, places; The four corner figures to amount to twenty-one.
the sixth, units; the seventh, a pause; the eighth, pastry, the The four central figures to amount to twenty-one.
,ninth, to revolve; the tenth, kitchen utensils. The syncopated T he four figures (2) above and (2) below the central figures
letters will spell a well-known name. A. to amount to twenty-one.
letters will spell a well-known name. A.G. The four figures (2) right and (2) left of the central figures to
EASY BEHEADINGS. amount to twenty-one.
The diagonals from the upper left-hand corner to the lower right-
THE first letters of the beheaded words, read in the order here hand comer to amount to twenty-one.
.given, will spell the name of an American poet. The diagonals from the upper right-hand corner to the lower left-
Cross-words: i. Behead sluggish, and leave depressed. 2. Be- hand corner to amount to twenty-one. WILLIAM ROBERT H.
ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN THE NOVEMBER NUMBER.
PROVERB REBUS. Fools make feasts and wise men eat then. THREE WORDS WITHIN WORDS. I. C-a-pit-a-l. 2. D-is-put-
Two PUZZLES FOR THANKSGIVING. I. Small cheer and great in-g. 3. G-at-her-in-g. 4. P-art-is-an-s. 5. B-on-a-part-e.
welcome makes a merry feast."- Comedy of Errors, Act iii., Sc. I. DOUBLE DIAGONALS. From left to .; ,r T Tichigan; from right
II. Primals, Suez; finals, Erie. Cross-words: I. ScribE. 2. U1- to left, Superior. Cross-words: I. i! i..- a. Dialogue. 3.
'terioR. 3. Ennui. 4. ZouavE. Rebus: The Suez Canal opened Decrepit. 4. Hitherto. 5. Usurious. 6. Triangle. 7. Con-
November seventeenth, 1868.. ErieCanal finished November sec- jugal. 8. Rogation.
ond, 1825. DIAMOND IN A HALF-SQUARE. Cross-words: a. Deleted. 2.
INCOMPLETE RHOMBOID. Across: I. Hoop. 2. Wood. 3. Elided. 3. Linen. 4. Eden 5. Ten. 6. Ed. 7. D. Included
Fool. 4. Loot. 5. Room. 6. Poor. 7. Tool. 8. Doom. 9. Diamond: i. L. 2. Lid. 3. Linen. 4. Den. 5. N.
Foot. so. Noon. II. Rook. ZIGZAG. Pocahontas. Cross-words: i. Purl. 2. NOte. 3.
DIAMOND. 0. P. For. 3. Corea. 4. Forceps. 5. Por- RaCk. 4. EtnA. 5. OtHo. 6. MOle. 7. Nigh. 8. ATom.
celain. 6. Reflect 7. Apace. 8. Sit. 9. N. 9. FiAt. ao IsiS.
ANAGRAMMATICAL SPELLING-LESSON. I. Liliputian. 2. Om- EASY WORD-SQUARES. I Leaf. 2. Emma. 3. Amen. 4.
nipotent. 3. Promiscuous. 4. Tempestuous. 5. Lexicographer. Fans. II. I. Arms. 2. Root. 3. Mode. 4. Stem. III. a.
'6. Constellation. Wink. 2. Iron. 3. Nose. 4. Knee.
THE NAMES of those who send solutions are printed in the second number after that in which the puzzles appear. Answers should be
Addressed to ST. NICHOLAS Riddle-box," care of THE CENTURY Co., 33 East Seventeenth street, New York City.
ANSWERS TO ALL THE PUZZLES IN THE OCTOBER NUMBER were received, before October 20, from Paul Reese-" A. P. Owder, Jr." -
"Professor and Co."-S. R. T.-Philip Embury, Jr.-Alex. 1: -1.. --; _... T. Turrill-Heath Sutherland-P. S. Clarkson -Wil-
lard Little Bessie C. Rogers 2045" lamb--" San Anselm .11: I I. Two Annies--Two Subscribers C. S. C.- Madeleine
Vultee -George Willicm Sumner- Hugh and Cis Francis W. Islip Harry M. Wheeloc'- Mabel B. Canon.
ANSWERSN PZZES IN THE OCTOBER NUMaBER were received, before October 20, from Samuel Holzman, 4- Fannie S., i Georgie
Denton, Susie Sadtler and Lillie Van Meter, 5- Howard Rondthaler, i- Tille, 5--G. M. R. T., 5 Edward J. V. Shipsey, 8-
Guy Van Arminge, i-Weston Stickney, 4- Albert Stickney, Jr., i -Wm. B. Morningstern, II-C. Louise Weir, 3- M. T. Pierce,
ai- M. B. Clarke, 5-C. Howard Williams, 2- Patience," 8- E. T. S., I -" Buckingham Lodge," 8- Marie Pitts, 8- Ed and
Louis, 4-Henry Amsden, 2--Ernestine Wyer, Arthur G. Farwell, and Sidney E. Farwell, 5-" Gen'l Warren," 7--Allan Lindsley, --
"The Stewart Browns." 12-Minnie B. Munrray, 7-W. H. W., 4-Arian Arnold, no-Jennie and Birdie, o--Effie K. Talboys, 9-
Ethel M. Eager, 9- "Kansas Boy," 3 -" Hoffman H.." 5-" Fin. I. S.," 2- Louisa'H., 6- Pansy and Elsie, 4- F. Sternberg. 12-
"Boston," 4-Dvcie, lo-Willie Trapier, --Emma Trapier. 2-Samuel Branson. 7-E. M., Jr., 2-Florence Galbraith Lane. 9-
Emmit and Frankie Nicoli, I- DIB. Shumway, I --'"Kingfishers," 4- Beth Lovitt, 8- No Name, Philadelphia, 2- Millie White,
.7-Fred Thwaits, 12--Jessie A.'Platt, a2-Charles H. Kyte, o- Marguerite Kyte, --Eliza Westervelt, 4-Florence Savoye, 6-
Essie Jackson, io Florence E. Provost, 9 -Vessie Westover, 7-L-. I., io-Theo. B. Appel, o--Annie Custer, a2-Margaret S.
Bush, 6-Clara J. Child, 12-Paul England, 3-Jeanne Bull, 2-The Tame Irishman, 8-Katie L. Robertson, 6- Mother, Bertha,
and Reby, 3-G. Lansing, ai-Nella,'Maude, and Tat, z -Lily and Agnes Warburg, 12-Hester Powell, 5 Marion. Kent, 7.