Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 In which I introduce myself
 In which I entertain peculiar...
 On board the typhoon
 The Nutter house and the Nutter...
 Lights and shadows
 One memorable night
 The adventures of a fourth
 I become an R. M. C.
 I fight Conway
 All about Gypsy
 Winter at Rivermouth
 The snow-fort on Slatter's...
 The cruise of the dolphin
 An old acquaintance turns up
 In which sailor Ben spins...
 How we astonished Rivermouth
 A frog he would a-wooing go
 I become a blighted being
 In which I prove myself to be the...
 In which I leave Rivermouth
 Exeunt omnes
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: The story of a bad boy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00083195/00001
 Material Information
Title: The story of a bad boy
Physical Description: xiii, 286 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 1836-1907
Frost, A. B ( Arthur Burdett ), 1851-1928 ( Illustrator )
Houghton, Mifflin and Company ( Publisher )
Riverside Press (Cambridge, Mass.)
H.O. Houghton & Company
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin and Co.
Riverside Press
Place of Publication: Boston ;
New York
Manufacturer: Electrotyped and printed by H.O. Houghton and Company
Publication Date: 1895, c1894
Copyright Date: 1894
Subject: Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Practical jokes -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Grandfathers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Slaves -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1895   ( local )
Genre: Family stories   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
Summary: These boyhood adventures of a mischievous lad in nineteenth-century New England are based on the author's own experiences. This "Northern man with Southern principles" was sent from New Orleans to Massachusetts to live with his grandfather.
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas Bailey Aldrich ; illustrated by A.B. Frost.
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083195
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002221595
notis - ALG1820
oclc - 02651376
lccn - 13012929

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Frontispiece 1
        Frontispiece 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Illustrations
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    In which I introduce myself
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    In which I entertain peculiar views
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    On board the typhoon
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    The Nutter house and the Nutter family
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Lights and shadows
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    One memorable night
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    The adventures of a fourth
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    I become an R. M. C.
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    I fight Conway
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    All about Gypsy
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    Winter at Rivermouth
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    The snow-fort on Slatter's Hill
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    The cruise of the dolphin
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    An old acquaintance turns up
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
    In which sailor Ben spins a yarn
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
    How we astonished Rivermouth
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
    A frog he would a-wooing go
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
    I become a blighted being
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
    In which I prove myself to be the grandson of my grandfather
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
    In which I leave Rivermouth
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
    Exeunt omnes
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
    Back Matter
        Back Matter 1
        Back Matter 2
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

1, -A

The Baldwin Library


.< .. j

- --

'M ly name 's Tom Bailey ; whale 's your name ?"


($be lfiberibe re Cambribe

Copyright, 1869, 1877, and 1894,

Copyright, 1894,

All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., T. S.A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.


STHE Publishers of the pres-
ent new edition of THE STORY
OF A BAD BOY have requested
my agency in the matter of
Sprocuring from the author
V .I ; a few lines by way of intro-
..duction. It seems to me
that the Bad Boy requires no introduction to
a public that has tolerated him for upwards
of twenty years. Moreover, I am no believer
im.prefaces. The author :who has not been
able in the course of several hundred pages
to say what he had to say is not likely to
accomplish that feat in narrower compass.
On consulting with the Bad Boy, I find this
to be the view which he himself entertains.
He claims that he faithfully perfumed the
modest task he undertook, and is not con-


scious that anything in the narrative requires
elucidation. As he concerned himself with
little that did not come within the sphere of
his own experience, he ran less risk of mak-
ing mistakes than if he had attempted to
write pure fiction. A generous destiny pro-
vided him with ample materials for his auto-
biography, and he invented next to nothing.
The statement of this fact incidentally and
economically answers the fifteen hundred or
two thousand insidious letters which have
been addressed to him by autograph-hunters
desiring to know whether The Story of a
Bad Boy" was a true story.
These are points, however, on which the
author would probably not touch, could he
be induced to write a preface. He would
deal, rather, with the subsequent fate of the
characters who lend what life there is to his
little seaport comedy. With one exception
they all have made their exit from that larger
stage on which they moved more or less suc-
cessfully. The exception is the Hon. Pepper


Whitcomb. The newspapers, which relieve
our Chief Magistrates from the embarrass-
ment of selecting cabinet officers, foreign
ministers, collectors of the port, and other
high public functionaries -the newspapers,
I repeat, are at the present moment engaged
in putting Pepper Whitcomb into the next
vacancy that may occur on the bench of the
Supreme Court of the United States. The
historian of Rivermouth could have made
much of this dignified circumstance, and
much, also, of the singular fact that the old
Temple Grammar School building was de-
stroyed by fire, a number of years ago, in
precisely the manner foretold in the story:
a coincidence worth dwelling on. Perhaps,
too, the author, with the chronic weakness
peculiar to preface-writers that sudden
impulse which seizes them to give their own
case away might have been led to confess
a doubt touching his-wisdom in calling the
book The Story of a Bad Boy." He wished
simply to draw a line at the start between


his hero -a natural, actual boy and that
unwholesome and altogether improbable lit-
tle prig which had hitherto been held up as
an example to the young. The title of the
volume has doubtless turned aside many
excellent persons who would have found
nothing seriously reprehensible in the volume
itself. On the other hand, this lurid title
may have invited the curiosity of the vicious
and depraved, and trapped them into reading
an entirely harmless story. In which case
the author may felicitate himself on sowing
a seed in the wider field, for the vicious out-
number the virtuous ten to one. Besides,
the virtuous need no missionary.
As the author has never evinced the faint-
est regret in connection with the title chosen,
he probably feels none, and it would be idle
on my part to give further chase to a mere
The poet Wordsworth, assisted by Plautus,
maintains to the everlasting confusion of
Mr. Darwin that "the good die first."


Perhaps this explains why the Bad Boy has
survived so many good boys in the juvenile
literature of the last two decades. It only
partly explains it, however. The secret of
his persistence may be stated without cast-
ing any shadow upon the general respec-
tability of his character. Indeed, the secret
was long ago kindly disclosed by Mr. How-
ells1 when he said: No one else seems to
have thought of telling the story of a boy's
life with so great desire to show what a boy's
life is, and with so little purpose of teaching
what it should be; certainly no one else has
thought of doing this for the American boy."
At the period when the author penned
these chapters he was far enough away from
his boyhood to regard it in retrospect, and
yet not so far removed as to be beyond the
lightest touch of its glamour. His attitude
was wholly without self-consciousness; no
photographer of manners had told him to
" look natural;" he did not have one eye on
I In The Atlantic Monthly for January, 1870.


his inkstand and the other on his public.
He had a message, such as it was, and he
delivered it with as good grace as he could.
If he wrote with little art, he wrote with suf-
ficient sincerity, and it so chanced that he
appealed directly not only to the sense of
youthful readers, but to the sympathy of such
men and women as still remembered that
they once were young.
To these two classes the author again of-
fers his unpretentious chronicle, now enriched
by sixty designs from the pencil of Mr. A. B.
Frost, but otherwise unchanged. The writer
tells me that in supervising the sheets for
the press he has a hundred times been
tempted to recast a page or a paragraph;
but there was a morning bloom upon the
faulty text, a bloom that he could not touch
without destroying a nameless quality of
unknowing youth, impossible to recapture,
and for the lack of which no later art could
compensate. T. B. A.
Tenant's Harbor, Maine,


IX. I BECOME AN R. M. C. 101


"My name's Tom Bailey; what's your name ?" Frontispiece
Not a Cherub .
Judge Pepper Whitcomb 3
Black Sam 5
My Indian Ancestor 8
" Tom, you will be the death of me 9
The Captain 13
Playing Checkers 16
In the Forecastle 19
A Glimpse of the Battle 25
The Vanishing Landlord 29
"Miss Jocelyn's respectful compliments" 33
A Fine Black Eye .37
A Rainy Afternoon in the Garret 39
Miss Abigail and Kitty Collins 43
Waiting for the Conflagration 49
Mr. Grimshaw 53
Swallowing the Candy 56
The Drama of William Tell 63
Crushed .67
Mr. Grimshaw looked Queer. 73
The Interrupted Celebration .81
"What would you do?" .85
"Miscreants unknown" 88
" Are you hurt ?" 92


The Perfection of Pith and Poetry 96
The Result of the Explosion. 99
Gently checked 103
The Initiation 105
Charley Marden exhumed 109
Preparing for the Battle 5
Phil Adams shaking Hands 18
Afterwards 119
Rev. Wibird Hawkins and Poll 125
Gypsy's Lunch 1z27
Prize No. 2 30
Talking over the Great Storm 135
Eating His Apple 137
Kitty and Tom enjoying the Joke 139
The Commanders 144
Holding the Fort on Slatter's Hill 149
The Unsuccessful Attack. i53
I faced Captain Nutter I.58
On Sandpeep Island 163
Drifting Away 169
The Telegraph 8r
A Midnight Call 84
Introducing Sailor Ben 1. 89
" Lookin' for a job ?" 196
Settling the Land Shark's Account 99
In the Cabin 205
Cleaning Her Out .. 214
Miss Abigail awakes 221
Bailey's Battery booming 222
The Discovery 231
The Last Evening 240
Removing the Spermaceti 243


In Love .
The Cherub .
I am a Blighted Being
The Admiral on Guard.
Playing "Seven Up"
The Near-Sighted Man.
My First Grief .
The Last of Gypsy

. 276




THIS is the story of
a bad boy. Well, not
such a very bad, but a
pretty bad boy; and I
( ought to know, for I
am, or rather I was,
e" that boy myself.
Lest the title should
mislead the reader, I
S. hasten to assure him
i (/lIf here that I have no
dark confessions to
make. I call my story
the story of a bad boy,
Not a Ceru partly to distinguish
myself from those
faultless young gentlemen who generally figure in
narratives of this kind, and partly because I really
was not a cherub. I may truthfully say I was an
amiable, impulsive lad, blessed with fine-digestive
powers, and no hypocrite. I did not want to be
an angel and with the angels stand; I did not

think the missionary tracts presented to me by
the Rev. Wibird Hawkins were half so nice as
Robinson Crusoe; and I failed to send my little
pocket-money to the natives of the Feejee Islands,
but spent it royally in peppermint-drops and taffy
candy. In short, I was a real human boy, such as
you may meet anywhere in New England, and no
more like the impossible boy in a story-book than
a sound orange is like one that has been sucked
dry. But let us begin at the beginning.
Whenever a new scholar came to our school, I
used to confront him at recess with the following
words: "My name's Tom Bailey; what's your
name? If the name struck me favorably, I
shook hands with the new pupil cordially; but if
it did not, I would turn on my heel, for I was
particular on this point. Such names as Higgins,
Wiggins, and Spriggins were deadly affronts to
my ear; while Langdon, Wallace, Blake, and the
like, were passwords to my confidence and esteem.
Ah me some of those dear fellows are rather
elderly boys by this time lawyers, merchants,
sea-captains, soldiers, authors, what not ? Phil
Adams (a special good name that Adams) is consul
at Shanghai, where I picture him to myself with
his head closely shaved- he never had too much
hair-and a long pigtail hanging down behind.
He is married, I hear; and I hope he and she that
was Miss Wang Wang are very happy together,
sitting cross-legged over their diminutive cups of

tea in a sky-blue tower hung with bells. It is so
I think of him; to me he is henceforth a jeweled
mandarin, talking nothing
but broken China. Whit-
comb is a judge, sedate and
wise, with spectacles bal-
anced on the bridge of that
remarkable nose which, in
former days, was so plenti-
fully sprinkled with freckles
that the boys christened him
Pepper Whitcomb. Just to
think of little Pepper Whit-
comb being a judge What .age Peffer Whicom
would he do to me now, I
wonder, if I were to sing out "Pepper!" some
day in court ? Fred Langdon is in California, in
the native-wine business he used to make the
best licorice-water I ever tasted Binny Wallace
sleeps in the Old South Burying-Ground; and
Jack Harris, too, is dead -Harris, who com-
manded us boys, of old, in the famous snow-ball
battles of Slatter's Hill. Was it yesterday I saw
him at the head of his regiment on its way to join
the shattered Army of the Potomac ? Not yes-
terday, but six years ago. It was at the battle
of the Seven Pines. Gallant Jack Harris, that
never drew rein until he had dashed into the
Rebel battery So they found him lying across
the enemy's guns.

How we have parted, and wandered, and mar-
ried, and died I wonder what has become of all
the boys who went to the Temple Grammar
School at Rivermouth when I was a youngster ?
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces "
It is with no ungentle hand I summon them
back, for a moment, from that Past which has
closed upon them and upon me. How pleas-
antly they live again in my memory! Happy,
magical Past, in whose fairy atmosphere even
Conway, mine ancient foe, stands forth transfig-
ured, with a sort of dreamy glory encircling his
bright red hair !
With the old school formula I begin these
sketches of my boyhood. My name is Tom Bailey;
what is yours, gentle reader? I take for granted
that it is neither Wiggins nor Spriggins, and that
we shall get on famously together, and be capital
friends forever.



I WAS born at Rivermouth, but, before I had a
chance to become very well acquainted with that
pretty New England town, my parents removed
to New Orleans, where my father invested his
money so securely in the banking business that
he was never able to get more than half of it out
again. But of this hereafter.
I was only eighteen months old at the time of
the removal, and it did not make much difference
to me where I
was, because I
was so small;
but several years
later, when my
father proposed
to take me North
to be educated, I -
had my own pe- Bck
culiar views on
the subject. I instantly kicked over the little
negro boy who happened to be standing by me
at the moment, and, stamping my foot violently
on the floor of the piazza, declared that I would

not be taken away to live among a lot of Yan-
kees !
You see I was what is called "a Northern man
with Southern principles." I had no recollection
of New England: my earliest memories were con-
nected with the South, with Aunt Chloe, my old
negro nurse, and with the great ill-kept garden in
the centre of which stood our house-a white-
washed brick house it was, with wide verandas -
shut out from the street by lines of orange, fig,
and magnolia trees. I knew I was born at the
North, but hoped nobody would find it out. I
looked upon the misfortune as something so
shrouded by time and distance that maybe nobody
remembered it. I never told my schoolmates I
was a Yankee, because they talked about the
Yankees in such a scornful way as to make me
feel that it was quite a disgrace not to be born in
Louisiana, or at least in one of the Border States.
And this impression was strengthened by Aunt
Chloe, who said, "Dar ain't no gentlemen in the
Norf noway," and on one occasion terrified me
beyond measure by declaring: "If any of dem
mean whites tries to git me away from master,
I's jes' gwine to knock 'em on de head wid a
gourd !"
The way this poor creature's eyes flashed, and
the tragic air with which she struck at an imagi-
nary "mean white," are among the most vivid
things in my memory of those days.

To be frank, my idea of the North was about as
accurate as that entertained by the well-educated
Englishmen of the present day concerning Amer-
ica. I supposed the inhabitants were divided into
two classes Indians and white people; that the
Indians occasionally dashed down on New York,
and scalped any woman or child (giving the pref-
erence to children) whom they caught lingering in
the outskirts after nightfall; that the white men
were either hunters or schoolmasters, and that it
was winter pretty much all the year round. The
prevailing style of architecture I took to be log-
With this delightful picture of Northern civili-
zation in my eye, the reader will easily understand
my terror at the bare thought of being transported
to Rivermouth to school, and possibly will forgive
me for kicking over little black Sam, and other-
wise misconducting myself, when my father an-
nounced his determination to me. As for kicking
little Sam I always did that, more or less gen-
tly, when anything went wrong with me.
My father was greatly perplexed and troubled
by this unusually violent outbreak, and especially
by the real consternation which he saw written
in every line of my countenance. As little black
Sam picked himself up, my father took my hand
in his and led me thoughtfully to the library.
I can see him now as he leaned back in the
bamboo chair and questioned me. He appeared

strangely agitated on learning the nature of my
objections to going North, and proceeded at once
to knock down all my pine-log houses, and scatter
all the Indian tribes with
which I had populated the
greater portion of the East-
ern and Middle States.
"Who on earth, Tom,
has filled your brain with
such silly stories ? asked
my father, wiping the tears
from his eyes.
I "Aunt Chloe, sir; she
told me."
S "And you really thought
your grandfather wore a
blanket embroidered with
beads, and ornamented his
Mydn Ancestor leggings with the scalps of
My Indian Ancestor
his enemies ? "
"Well, sir, I did n't think that exactly."
"Did n't think that exactly ? Tom, you will be
the death of me."
He hid his face in his handkerchief, and, when
he looked up, he seemed to have been suffering
acutely. I was deeply moved myself, though I did
not clearly understand what I had said or done to
cause him to feel so badly. Perhaps I had hurt his
feelings by thinking it even possible that Grand-
father Nutter was an Indian warrior.

My father devoted that evening and several sub-
sequent evenings to giving me a clear and succinct
account of New England; its early struggles, its
progress, and its present condition- faint and con-
fused glimmerings of all which I had obtained at
school, where history had never been a favorite
pursuit of mine.

"Tom, you will be the deahk of ne "
I was no longer unwilling to go North; on the
contrary, the proposed journey to a new world full
of wonders kept me awake nights. I promised
myself all sorts of fun and adventures, though I
was not entirely at rest in my mind touching the

savages, and secretly resolved to go on board the
ship the journey was to be made by sea-with
a certain little brass pistol in my trousers pocket,
in case of any difficulty with the tribes when we
landed at Boston.
I could not get the Indian out of my head.
Only a short time previously the Cherokees-or
was it the Camanches ? had been removed from
their hunting-grounds in Arkansas; and in the
wilds of the Southwest the red men were still a
source of terror to the border settlers. "Trouble
with the Indians" was the staple news from
Florida published in the New Orleans papers. We
were constantly hearing of travelers being attacked
and murdered in the interior of that State. If
these things were done in Florida, why not in
Massachusetts ?
Yet long before the sailing day arrived I was
eager to be off. My impatience was increased by
the fact that my father had purchased for me a fine
little mustang pony, and shipped it to Rivermouth
a fortnight previous to the date set for our own
departure -for both my parents were to accom-
pany me. The pony (which nearly kicked me out
of bed one night in a dream), and my father's
promise that he and my mother would come to
Rivermouth every other summer, completely re-
signed me to the situation. The pony's name
was Gitana, which is the Spanish for gypsy; so I
always called her she was a lady pony Gypsy.

At last the time came to leave the vine-cov-
ered mansion among the orange-trees, to say good-
by to little black Sam (I am convinced he was
heartily glad to get rid of me), and to part with
simple Aunt Chloe, who, in the confusion of her
grief, kissed an eyelash into my eye, and then
buried her face in the bright bandana turban
which she had mounted that morning in honor of
our departure.
I fancy them standing by the open garden gate;
the tears are rolling down Aunt Chloe's cheeks;
Sam's six front teeth are glistening like pearls; I
wave my hand to him manfully, then I call out
"good-by" in a muffled voice to Aunt Chloe;
they and the old home fade away. I am never to
see them again!



I DO not remember much about the voyage to
Boston, for after the first few hours at sea I was
dreadfully unwell.
The name of our ship was the "A No. I, fast-
sailing packet Typhoon." I learned afterwards
that she sailed fast only in the newspaper adver-
tisements. My father owned one quarter of the
Typhoon, and that is why we happened to go in
her. I tried to guess which quarter of the ship he
owned, and finally concluded it must be the hind
quarter- the cabin, in which we had the cosiest
of staterooms, with one round window in the roof,
and two shelves or boxes nailed up against the
wall to sleep in.
There was a good deal of confusion on deck
while we were getting under way. The captain
shouted orders (to which nobody seemed to pay
any attention) through a battered tin trumpet, and
grew so red in the face that he reminded me of a.
scooped-out pumpkin with a lighted candle inside.
He swore right and left at the sailors without the
slightest regard for their feelings. They did n't
mind it a bit, however, but went on singing:

Heave ho!
With the rum below,
And hurrah for the Spanish Main "
I will not be positive about the Spanish Main,"
but it was hurrah for something O. I considered
them very jolly fel-
lows, and so, indeed,
they were. One
weather-beaten tar in
particular struck my
fancy a thick-set,
jovial man, about fifty
years of age, with
twinkling blue eyes
and a fringe of gray
hair circling his head
like a crown. As he
took off his tarpaulin
I observed that the
The Captain
top of his head was
quite smooth and flat, as if somebody had sat down
on him when he was very young.
There was something noticeably hearty in this
man's bronzed face, a heartiness that seemed to
extend to his loosely knotted neckerchief. But
what completely won my good will was a picture
of enviable loveliness painted on his left arm. It
was the head of a woman with the body of a fish.
Her flowing hair was of livid green, and she held
a pink comb in one hand. I never saw anything

so beautiful. I determined to know that man. I
think I would have given my brass pistol to have
had such a picture painted on my arm.
While I stood admiring this work of art, a fat,
wheezy steam-tug, with the word AJAX in staring
black letters on the paddle-box, came puffing up
alongside the Typhoon. It was ridiculously small
and conceited, compared with our stately ship. I
speculated as to what it was going to do. In a
few minutes we were lashed to the little monster,
which gave a snort and a shriek, and began back-
ing us out from the levee (wharf) with the greatest
I once saw an ant running away with a piece of
cheese eight or ten times larger than itself. I
could not help thinking of it, when I found the
chubby, smoky-nosed tug-boat towing the Typhoon
out into the Mississippi River.
In the middle of the stream we swung round,
the current caught us, and away we flew like a
great winged bird. Onlyit did not seem as if we
were moving. The shore, with the countless
steamboats, the tangled rigging of the ships, and
the long lines of warehouses, appeared to be glid-
ing away from us.
It was grand sport to stand on the quarter-deck
and watch all this. Before long there was nothing
to be seen on either side but stretches of low
swampy land, covered with stunted cypress-trees,
from which drooped delicate streamers of Spanish

moss a fine place for alligators and congo snakes.
Here and there we passed a yellow sand-bar, and
here and there a snag lifted its nose out of the
water like a shark.
This is your last chance to see the city, Tom,"
said my father, as we swept round a bend of the
I turned and looked. New Orleans was just a
colorless mass of something in the distance, and
the dome of the St. Charles Hotel, upon which the
sun shimmered for a moment, was no bigger than
the top of old Aunt Chloe's thimble.
What do I remember next? the gray sky and
the fretful blue waters of the Gulf. The steam-tug
had long since let slip her hawsers and gone pant-
ing away with a derisive scream, as much as to
say, "I've done my duty, now look out for your-
self, old Typhoon !"
The ship seemed quite proud of being left to
take care of itself, and, with its huge white sails
bulged out, strutted off like a vain turkey. I had
been standing by my father near the wheel-house
all this while, observing things with that nicety
of perception which belongs only to children ; but
now the dew began falling, and we went below to
have supper.
The fresh fruit and milk, and the slices of cold
chicken looked very nice; yet somehow I had no
appetite. There was a general smell of tar about
everything. Then the ship gave sudden lurches

that made it a matter of uncertainty whether one
was going to put his fork to his mouth or into
his eye. The tumblers and wineglasses, stuck in
a rack over the table, kept clinking and clinking ;
and the cabin lamp, suspended by four gilt chains
from the ceiling, swayed to and fro crazily. Now
the floor seemed to rise, and now it seemed to sink
under one's feet like a feather-bed.
There were not more than a dozen passengers
on board, including ourselves; and all of these,
excepting a bald-headed old gentleman a retired
sea-captain disappeared into their staterooms at
an early hour of the evening.
After supper was cleared away, my father and
the elderly gentleman,
I whose name was Cap-
S. tain Truck, played at
checkers ; and I amused
myself for a while by
watching the trouble
they had in keeping the
Si men in the proper
places. Just at the most
Playing Checkers exciting point of the
game, the ship would
careeen, and down would go the white checkers
pell-mell among the black. Then my father
laughed, but Captain Truck would grow very an-
gry, and vow that he would have won the game in
a move or two more, if the confounded old chicken-

coop-that's what he called the ship -hadn't
"I- I think I will go to bed now, please," I
said, laying my hand on my father's knee, and feel-
ing exceedingly queer.
It was high time, for the Typhoon was plunging
about in the most alarming fashion. I was speed-
ily tucked away in the upper berth, where I felt a
trifle more easy at first. My clothes were placed
on a narrow shelf at my feet, and it was a great
comfort to me to know that my pistol was so
handy, for I made no doubt we should fall in with
pirates before many hours. This is the last thing
I remember with any distinctness. At midnight,
as I was afterwards told, we were struck by a gale
which never left us until we came in sight of the
Massachusetts coast.
For days and days I had no sensible idea of
what was going on around me. That we were
being hurled somewhere upside-down, and that I
did not like it, was about all I knew. I have, in-
deed, a vague impression that my father used to
climb up to the berth and call me his "Ancient
Mariner," bidding me cheer up. But the Ancient
Mariner was far from cheering up, if I recollect
rightly; and I do not believe that venerable navi-
gator would have cared much if it had been an-
nounced to him, through a speaking-trumpet, that
"a low, black, suspicious craft, with raking masts,
was rapidly bearing down upon us!"

In fact, one morning, I thought that such was
the case, for bang! went the big cannon I had
noticed in the bow of the ship when we came on
board, and which had suggested to me the idea of
pirates. Bang! went the gun again in a few sec-
onds. I made a feeble effort to get at my trousers
pocket. But the Typhoon was only saluting Cape
Cod the first land sighted by vessels approach-
ing the coast from a southerly direction.
The vessel had ceased to roll, and my seasick-
ness passed away as rapidly as it came. I was all
right now, "only a little shaky in my timbers and
a little blue about the gills," as Captain Truck
remarked to my mother, who, like myself, had
been confined to the stateroom during the passage.
At Cape Cod the wind parted company with us
without saying as much as "Excuse me;" so we
were nearly two days in making the run which in
favorable weather is usually accomplished in seven
hours. That's what the pilot said.
I was able to go about the ship now, and I lost
no time in cultivating the acquaintance of the
sailor with the green-haired lady on his arm. I
found him in the forecastle- a sort of cellar in
the front part of the vessel. He was an agreeable
sailor, as I had expected, and we became the best
of friends in five minutes.
He had been all over the world two or three
times, and knew no end of stories. According to
his own account, he must have been shipwrecked

at least twice a year ever since his birth. He had
served under Decatur when that gallant officer
peppered the Algerines and made them promise not

In the Forecastle

to sell their prisoners of war into slavery; he had
worked a gun at the bombardment of Vera Cruz
in the Mexican War, and he had been on Alexan-
der Selkirk's Island more than once. There were

very few things he had not done in a seafaring
I suppose, sir," I remarked, that your name
is n't Typhoon ?"
Why, Lord love ye, lad, my name's Benjamin
Watson, of Nantucket. But I'm a true blue Ty-
phooner," he added, which increased my respect
for him; I do not know why, and I did not know
then whether Typhoon was the name of a vegeta-
ble or a profession.
Not wishing to be outdone in frankness, I dis-
closed to him that my name was Tom Bailey, upon
which he said he was very glad to hear it.
When we got more intimate, I discovered that
Sailor Ben, as he wished me to call him, was a
perfect walking picture-book. He had two an-
chors, a star, and a frigate in full sail on his right
arm; a pair of lovely blue hands clasped on his
breast, and I have no doubt that other parts of his
body were illustrated in the same agreeable man-
ner. I imagine he was fond of drawings, and took
this means of gratifying his artistic taste. It was
certainly very ingenious and convenient. A port-
folio might be displaced, or dropped overboard;
but Sailor Ben had his pictures wherever he went,
just as that eminent person in the poem
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes"
was accompanied by music on all occasions.
The two hands on his breast, he informed me,
were a tribute to the memory of a dead mess.

mate from whom he had parted years ago -and
surely a more touching tribute was never engraved
on a tombstone. This caused me to think of my
parting with old Aunt Chloe, and I told him I
should take it as a great favor indeed if he would
paint a pink hand and a black hand on my chest.
He said the colors were pricked into the skin with
needles, and that the operation was somewhat
painful. I assured him, in an off-hand manner,
that I did n't mind pain, and begged him to set to
work at once.
The simple-hearted fellow, who was probably
not a little vain of his skill, took me into the fore-
castle, and was on the point of complying with my
request, when my father happened to look down
the gangway a circumstance that rather inter-
fered with the decorative art.
I did not have another opportunity of conferring
alone with Sailor Ben, for the next morning, bright
and .early, we came in sight of the cupola of the
Boston State House.



IT was a beautiful May morning when the Ty-
phoon hauled up at Long Wharf. Whether the
Indians were not early risers, or whether they
were away just then on a war-path, I could not
determine; but they did not appear in any great
force in fact, did not appear at all.
In the remarkable geography which I never
hurt myself with studying at New Orleans was a
picture representing the landing of the Pilgrim
Fathers at Plymouth. The Pilgrim Fathers, in
rather odd hats and coats, are seen approaching
the savages; the savages, in no coats or hats
to speak of, are evidently undecided whether to
shake hands with the Pilgrim Fathers or to make
one grand rush and scalp the entire party. Now
this scene had so stamped itself on my mind that,
in spite of all my father had said, I was prepared
for some such greeting from the aborigines.
Nevertheless, I was not sorry to have my expec-
tations unfulfilled. By the way, speaking of the
Pilgrim Fathers, I often used to wonder why there
was no mention made of the Pilgrim Mothers.
While our trunks were being hoisted from the

hold of the ship, I mounted on the roof of the
cabin, and took a critical view of Boston. As we
came up the harbor, I had noticed that the houses
were huddled together on an immense hill, at the
top of which was a large building, the State
House, towering proudly above the rest, like an
amiable mother-hen surrounded by her brood of
many-colored chickens. A closer inspection did
not impress me very favorably. The city was
not nearly so imposing as New Orleans, which
stretches out for miles and miles, in the shape of
a crescent, along the banks of the majestic river.
I soon grew tired of looking at the masses of
houses, rising above one another in irregular tiers,
and was glad my father did not propose to remain
long in Boston. As I leaned over the rail in this
mood, a measly-looking little boy with no shoes
said that if I would come down on the wharf he
would lick me for two cents not an exorbitant
price. But I did not go down. I climbed into
the rigging, and stared at him. This, as I was
rejoiced to observe, so exasperated him that he
stood on his head on a pile of boards, in order to
pacify himself.
The first train for Rivermouth left at noon.
After a late breakfast on board the Typhoon, our
trunks were piled upon a baggage-wagon, and our-
selves stowed away in a coach, which must have
turned at least one hundred corners before it set
us down at the railway station.

In less time than it takes to tell it, we were
shooting across the country at a fearful rate now
clattering over a bridge, now screaming through a
tunnel; here we cut a flourishing village in two,
like a knife, and here we dived into the shadow of
a pine forest. Sometimes we glided along the
edge of the ocean, and could see the sails of ships
twinkling like bits of silver against the horizon;
- sometimes we dashed across rocky pasture-lands
where stupid-eyed cattle were loafing. It was fun
to scare the lazy-looking cows that lay round in
groups under the newly budded trees near the
railroad track.
We did not pause at any of the little brown sta-
tions on the route (they looked just like overgrown
black-walnut clocks), though at every one of them
a man popped out as if he were worked by ma-
chinery, and waved a red flag, and appeared as
though he would like to have us stop. But we
were an express train, and made no stoppages, ex-
cepting once or twice to give the engine a drink.
It is strange how the memory clings to some
things. It is over twenty years since I took that
first ride to Rivermouth, and yet, oddly enough,
I remember as if it were yesterday that, as we
passed slowly through the village of Hampton, we
saw two boys fighting behind a red barn. There
was also a shaggy yellow dog, who looked as if
he had begun to unravel, barking himself all up
into a knot with excitement. We had only a hur-


ried glimpse of the battle -long enough, however,
to see that the combatants were equally matched
and very much in earnest. I am ashamed to say
how many times since I have speculated as to
which boy got licked. Maybe both the small
rascals are dead now (not in consequence of the
set-to, let us hope), or maybe they are married,
and have pug-
nacious urchins
of their own; --
yet to this day
I sometimes
find myself won-
dering how that
fight turned
We had been
riding perhaps .---
two hours and.-
a half, when we /
shot by a tall /
A Glimpse of the Battle
factory with a
chimney resembling a church-steeple; then the lo-
comotive gave a scream, the engineer rang his bell,
and we plunged into the twilight of a long wooden
building, open at both ends. Here we stopped,
and the conductor, thrusting his head in at the car
door, cried out, "Passengers for Rivermouth!"
At last we had reached our journey's end. On
the platform my father shook hands with a

straight, brisk old gentleman, whose face was very
serene and rosy. He had on a white hat and a
long swallow-tailed coat, the collar of which came
clear up above his ears. He did not look unlike
a Pilgrim Father. This, of course, was grand-
father Nutter, at whose house I was born. My
mother kissed him a great many times; and I was
glad to see him myself, though I naturally did not
feel very intimate with a person whom I had not
seen since I was eighteen months old.
While we were getting into the double-seated
wagon which grandfather Nutter had provided,
I took the opportunity of asking after the health
of the pony. The pony had arrived all right ten
days before, and was in the stable at home, quite
anxious to see me.
As we drove through the quiet old town, I
thought Rivermouth the prettiest place in the
world; and I think so still. The streets are long
and wide, shaded by gigantic American elms,
whose drooping branches, interlacing here and
there, span the avenue with arches graceful
enough to be the handiwork of fairies. Many of
the houses have small flower-gardens in front, gay
in the season with china-asters, and are substan-
tially built, with massive chimney-stacks and pro-
truding eaves. A beautiful river goes rippling by
the town, and, after turning and twisting among
a lot of tiny islands, empties itself into the sea.
The harbor is so fine that the largest ships can

sail directly up to the wharves and drop anchor.
Only they do not. Years ago it was a famous sea-
port. Princely fortunes were made in the West
India trade; and in 1812, when we were at war
with Great Britain, any number of privateers were
fitted out at Rivermouth to prey upon the mer-
chant vessels of the enemy. Certain people grew
suddenly and mysteriously rich. A great many
of "the first families" of to-day do not care to
trace their pedigree back to the time when their
grandsires owned shares in the Matilda Jane,
twenty-four guns.
Few ships come to Rivermouth now. Com-
merce drifted into other ports. The phantom
fleet sailed off one day, and never came back
again. The crazy old warehouses are empty; and
barnacles and eelgrass cling to the piles of the
crumbling wharves, where the sunshine lies lov-
ingly, bringing out the faint spicy odor that
haunts the place the ghost of the old dead West
India trade.
During our ride from the station, I was struck,
of course, only by the general neatness of the
houses and the beauty of the elm-trees lining the
streets. I describe Rivermouth now as I came to
know it afterwards.
Rivermouth is a very ancient town. In my day
there existed a tradition among the boys that it
was here Christopher Columbus made his first
landing on this continent. I remember having

the exact spot pointed out to me by Pepper
Whitcomb. One thing is certain, Captain John
Smith, who afterwards, according to the legend,
married Pocahontas -whereby he got Powhatan
for a father-in-law- explored the river in 1614,
and was much charmed by the beauty of River-
mouth, which at that time was covered with wild
Rivermouth figures prominently in all the colo-
nial histories. Every other house in the place has
its tradition more or less grim and entertaining.
If ghosts could flourish anywhere, there are cer-
tain streets in Rivermouth that would be full of
them. I do not know of a town with so many old
houses. Let us linger, for a moment, in front of
the one which the Oldest Inhabitant is always
sure to point out to the curious stranger.
It is a square wooden edifice, with gambrel
roof and deep-set window-frames. Over the win-
dows and doors there used to be heavy carvings -
oak-leaves and acorns, and angels' heads with
wings spreading from the ears, oddly jumbled
together; but these ornaments and other outward
signs of grandeur have long since disappeared.
A peculiar interest attaches itself to this house,
not because of its age, for it has not been stand-
ing quite a century; nor on account of its archi-
tecture, which is not striking but because of the
illustrious men who at various periods have occu.
pied its spacious chambers.

In 1770 it was an aristocratic hotel. At the
left side of the entrance stood a high post, from
which swung the sign of the Earl of Halifax. The
landlord was a stanch
loyalist that is to
say, he believed in the
king, and when the "
overtaxed colonies de- '/
termined to throw off '
the British yoke, the
adherents to the Crown
held private meetings
in one of the back
rooms of the tavern.
This irritated the reb-
els, as they were
called; and one night The Vanishing Landlord
they made an attack on
the Earl of Halifax, tore down the signboard, broke
in the window-sashes, and gave the landlord hardly
time to make himself invisible over a fence in the
For several months the shattered tavern re-
mained deserted. At last the exiled innkeeper, on
promising to do better, was allowed to return; a
new sign, bearing the name of William Pitt, the
friend of America, swung proudly from the door-
post, and the patriots were appeased. Here it
was that the mail-coach from Boston twice a week,
for many a year, set down its load of travelers and

gossip. For some of the details in this sketch, I
am indebted to a recently published chronicle of
those times.
It is 1782. The French fleet is lying in the
harbor of Rivermouth, and eight of the principal
officers, in white uniforms trimmed with gold lace,
have taken up their quarters at the sign of the
William Pitt. Who is this young and handsome
officer now entering the door of the tavern ? It is
no less a personage than the Marquis Lafayette,
who has come all the way from Providence to visit
the French gentlemen boarding there. What a
gallant-looking cavalier he is, with his quick eyes
and coal-black hair Forty years later he visited
the spot again ; his locks were gray and his step
was feeble, but his heart held its young love for
Who is this finely dressed traveler alighting
from his coach-and-four, attended by servants in
livery ? Do you know that sounding name, written
in big valorous letters on the Declaration of Inde-
pendence written as if by the hand of a giant ?
Can you not see it now ? JOHN HANCOCK. This
is he.
Three young men, with their valet, are stand-
ing on the door-step of the William Pitt, bowing
politely, and inquiring in the most courteous terms
in the world if they can be accommodated. It
is the time of the French Revolution, and these
are three sons of the Duke of Orleans Louis


Philippe and his two brothers. Louis Philippe
never forgot his visit to Rivermouth. Years
afterwards, when he was seated on the throne of
France, he asked an American lady, who chanced
to be at his court, if the pleasant old mansion was
still standing.
But a greater and a better man than the king of
the French has honored this roof. Here, in 1789,
came George Washington, the President of the
United States, to pay his final complimentary visit
to the State dignitaries. The wainscoted cham-
ber where he slept, and the dining-hall where he
entertained his guests, have a certain dignity and
sanctity which even the present Irish tenants
cannot wholly destroy.
During the period of my reign at Rivermouth,
an ancient lady, Dame Jocelyn by name, lived in
one of the upper rooms of this notable building.
She was a dashing young belle at the time of
Washington's first visit to the town, and must
have been exceedingly coquettish and pretty, judg-
ing from a certain portrait on ivory still in the
possession of the family. According to Dame
Jocelyn, George Washington flirted with her just
a little bit in what a stately and highly finished
manner can be imagined.
There was a mirror with a deep filigreed frame
hanging over the mantel-piece in this room. The
glass was cracked and the quicksilver rubbed off
or discolored in many places. When it reflected

your face, you had the singular pleasure of not
recognizing yourself. It gave your features the
appearance of having been run through a mince-
meat machine. But what rendered the looking-
glass a thing of enchantment to me was a faded
green feather, tipped with scarlet, which drooped
from the top of the tarnished gilt mouldings.
This feather Washington took from the plume of
his three-cornered hat, and presented with his
own hand to the worshipful Mistress Jocelyn the
day he left Rivermouth forever. I wish I could
describe the mincing genteel air, and the ill-con-
cealed self-complacency, with which the dear old
lady related the incident.
Many a Saturday afternoon have I climbed up
the rickety staircase to that dingy room, which
always had a flavor of snuff about it, to sit on a
stiff-backed chair and listen for hours together to
Dame Jocelyn's stories of the olden time. How
she would prattle! She was bedridden poor
creature and had not been out of the chamber
for fourteen years. Meanwhile the world had shot
ahead of Dame Jocelyn. The changes that had
taken place under her very nose were unknown to
this faded, crooning old gentlewoman, whom the
eighteenth century had neglected to take away with
the rest of its odd traps. She had no patience
with new-fangled notions. The old ways and the
old times were good enough for her. She had
never seen a steam-engine, though she had heard


" the dratted thing screech in the distance. In her
day, when gentlefolk traveled, they went in their
own coaches. She did not see how respectable
people could bring themselves down to "riding in
a car with rag-tag and bobtail and Lord-knows-
who." Poor old aristocrat! the landlord charged
her no rent for the room, and the neighbors took
turns in supplying her with meals. Towards the
close of her life she lived to be ninety-nine -
she grew very fretful
and capricious about
her food. If she did
not chance to fancy
what was sent her,
she had no hesitation /
in sending it back to
the giver with Miss '
Jocelyn's respectful
But I have been
gossiping too long-
and yet not too long "Aiss eln's reaci, co, nl,,iets
if I have impressed
upon the reader an idea of what a rusty, delightful
old town it was to which I had come to spend the
next three or four years of my boyhood.
A drive of twenty minutes from the station
brought us to the door-step of Grandfather Nut-
ter's house. What kind of house it was, and what
sort of people lived in it, shall be told in another



THE Nutter House all the more prominent
dwellings in Rivermouth are named after some-
body; for instance, there is the Walford House,
the Venner House, the Trefethen House, etc.,
though it by no means follows that they are
inhabited by the people whose names they bear -
the Nutter House, to resume, has been in our
family nearly a hundred years, and is an honor to
the builder (an ancestor of ours, I believe), sup-
posing durability to be a merit. If our ancestor
was a carpenter, he knew his trade. I wish I
knew mine as well. Such timber and such work-
manship do not often come together in houses
built nowadays.
Imagine a low-studded structure, with a wide
hall running through the middle. At your right
hand, as you enter, stands a tall black mahogany
clock, looking like an Egyptian mummy set up on
end. On each side of the hall are doors (whose
knobs, it must be confessed, do not turn very
easily), opening into large rooms wainscoted and
rich in wood-carvings about the mantel-pieces and
cornices. The walls are covered with pictured

paper, representing landscapes and sea-views. In
the parlor, for example, this enlivening figure is
repeated all over the room : A group of English
peasants, wearing Italian hats, are dancing on a
lawn that abruptly resolves itself into a sea-beach,
upon which stands a flabby fisherman (nationality
unknown), quietly hauling in what appears to be
a small whale, and totally regardless of the dread-
ful naval combat going on just beyond the end of
his fishing-rod. On the other side of the ships is
the mainland again, with the same peasants dan-
cing. Our ancestors were very worthy people, but
their wall-papers were abominable.
There are neither grates nor stoves in these
quaint chambers, but splendid open chimney-
places, with room enough for the corpulent back-
log to turn over comfortably on the polished and-
irons. A wide staircase leads from the hall to the
second story, which is arranged much like the first.
Over this is the garret. I need not tell a New Eng-
land boy what a museum of curiosities is the gar-
ret of a well-regulated New England house of fifty
or sixty years' standing. Here meet together, as
if by some preconcerted arrangement, all the bro-
ken-down chairs of the household, all the spavined
tables, all the seedy hats, all the intoxicated-looking
boots, all the split walking-sticks that have retired
from business, "weary with the march of life."
The pots, the pans, the trunks, the bottles who
may hope to make an inventory of the number-

less odds and ends collected in this bewildering
lumber-room ? But what a place it is to sit of an
afternoon with the rain pattering on the roof what
a place in which to read Gulliver's Travels, or the
famous adventures of Rinaldo Rinaldini !
My grandfather's house stood a little back from
the main street, in the shadow of two handsome
elms, whose overgrown boughs would dash them-
selves against the gables whenever the wind blew
hard. In the rear was a pleasant garden, covering
perhaps a quarter of an acre, full of plum-trees and
gooseberry-bushes. These trees were old settlers,
and are all dead now, excepting one, which bears
a purple plum as big as an egg. This tree, as I
remark, is still standing, and a more beautiful tree
to tumble out of never grew anywhere. In the
northwestern corner of the garden were the stables
and carriage-house, opening upon a narrow lane.
You may imagine that I made an early visit to that
locality to inspect Gypsy. Indeed, I paid her a
visit every half-hour during the first day of my ar-
rival. At the twenty-fourth visit she trod on my
foot rather heavily, as a reminder, probably, that I
was wearing out my welcome. She was a knowing
little pony, that Gypsy, and I shall have much to
say of her in the' course of these pages.
Gypsy's quarters were all that could be wished,
but nothing among my new surroundings gave me
more satisfaction than the cosy sleeping apartment
that had been prepared for myself. It was the hall
room over the front door.

I had never before had a chamber all to myself,
and this one, about twice the size of our state-room
on board the Typhoon, was a marvel of neatness
and comfort. Pretty chintz curtains hung at the
window, and a patch quilt of more colors than were
in Joseph's coat covered the
little truckle-bed. The pat- )
tern of the wall-paper left no-i
thing to be desired in that line.
On a gray background were
small bunches of leaves, un-
like any that ever grew in this
world; and on every other
A fine black eye "
bunch perched a yellow-bird,
pitted with crimson spots, as if it had just recov-
ered from a severe attack of the small-pox. That
no such bird ever existed did not detract from my
admiration of each one. There were two hundred
and sixty-eight of these birds in all, not counting
those split in two where the paper was badly joined.
I counted them once when I was laid up with
a fine black eye, and falling asleep immediately
dreamed that the whole flock suddenly took wing
and flew out of the window. From that time I was
never able to regard them as merely inanimate
A wash-stand in the corner, a chest of carved
mahogany drawers, a looking-glass in a filigreed
frame, and a high-backed chair studded with
brass nails like a coffin, constituted the furniture.

Over the head of the bed were two oak shelves,
holding perhaps a dozen books among which
were Theodore, or The Peruvians; Robinson Cru-
soe; an odd volume of Tristram Shandy; Baxter's
Saints' Rest, and a fine English edition of the Ara-
bian Nights, with six hundred wood-cuts by Harvey.
Shall I ever forget the hour when I first over-
hauled these books ? I do not allude especially
to Baxter's Saints' Rest, which is far from being
a lively work for the young, but to the Arabian
Nights, and particularly Robinson Crusoe. The
thrill that ran into my fingers' ends then has not run
out yet. Many a time did I steal up to this nest
of a room, and, taking the dog's-eared volume from
its shelf, glide off into an enchanted realm, where
there were no lessons to get and no boys to smash
my kite. In a lidless trunk in the garret I subse-
quently unearthed another motley collection of nov-
els and romances, embracing the adventures of
Baron Trenck, Jack Sheppard, Don Quixote, Gil
Bias, and Charlotte Temple all of which I fed
upon like a bookworm.
I never come across a copy of any of those works
without feeling a certain tenderness for the yellow-
haired little rascal who used to lean above the
magic pages hour after hour, religiously believing
every word he read, and no more doubting the
reality of Sindbad the Sailor, or the Knight of the
Sorrowful Countenance, than he did the existence
of his own grandfather.

A Rainy Afternoon in the Garret

Against the wall at the foot of the bed hung a
single-barrel shot-gun placed there by Grand-
father Nutter, who knew what a boy loved, if ever
a grandfather did. As the trigger of the gun had
been accidentally twisted off, it was not, perhaps,
the most dangerous weapon that could be placed
in the hands of youth. In this maimed condition
its bump of destructiveness was much less than
that of my small brass pocket-pistol, which I at
once proceeded to suspend from one of the nails
supporting the fowling-piece, for my vagaries con-
cerning the red man had been entirely dispelled.
Having introduced the reader to the Nutter
House, a presentation to the Nutter family nat-
urally follows. The family consisted of my grand-
father; his sister, Miss Abigail Nutter; and Kitty
Collins, the maid-of-all-work.
Grandfather Nutter was a hale, cheery old gentle-
man, as straight and as bald as an arrow. He had
been a sailor in early life; that is to say, at the age
of ten years he fled from the multiplication-table,
and ran away to sea. A single voyage satisfied
him. There never was but one of our family who
did not run away to sea, and this one died at his
birth. My grandfather had also been a soldier-
a captain of militia in 1812. If I owe the British
nation anything, I owe thanks to that particular
British soldier who put a musket-ball into the fleshy
part of Captain Nutter's leg, causing that noble
warrior a slight permanent limp, but offsetting the

injury by furnishing him with material for a story
which the old gentleman was never weary of telling
and I never weary of listening to. The story, in
brief, was as follows.
At the breaking out of the war, an English fri-
gate lay for several days off the coast near River-
mouth. A strong fort defended the harbor, and a
regiment of minute-men, scattered at various points
alongshore, stood ready to repel the boats, should
the enemy try to effect a landing. Captain Nut-
ter had charge of a slight earthwork just outside
the mouth of the river. Late one thick night the
sound of oars was heard; the sentinel tried to fire
off his gun at half-cock, and could not, when Captain
Nutter sprung upon the parapet in the pitch dark-
ness, and shouted, Boat ahoy A musket-shot
immediately embedded itself in the calf of his leg.
The Captain tumbled into the fort, and the boat,
which had probably come in search of water, pulled
back to the frigate.
"This was my grandfather's only exploit during
the war. That his prompt and bold conduct was
instrumental in teaching the enemy the hopeless-
ness of attempting to conquer such a people was
among the firm beliefs of my boyhood.
At the time I came to Rivermouth my grand-
father had retired from active pursuits, and was
living at ease on his money, invested principally
in shipping. He had been a widower many years;
a maiden sister, the aforesaid Miss Abigail, man-

aging his household. Miss Abigail also managed
her brother, and her brother's servant, and the vis-
itor at her brother's gate not in a tyrannical

Mliss A bigail and Kitty Collins

spirit, but from a philanthropic desire to be useful
to everybody. In person she was tall and angu-
lar; she had a gray complexion, gray eyes, gray
eyebrows, and generally wore a gray dress. Her
strongest weak point was a belief in the efficacy
of hot-drops as a cure for all known diseases.
If there were ever two persons who seemed to

dislike each other, Miss Abigail and Kitty Collins
were those persons. If ever two persons really
loved each other, Miss Abigail and Kitty Collins
were those persons also. They were always either
skirmishing or having a cup of tea lovingly to-
Miss Abigail was very fond of me, and so was
Kitty; and in the course of their disagreements
each let me into the private history of the other.
According to Kitty, it was not originally my
grandfather's intention to have Miss Abigail at
the head of his domestic establishment. She had
swooped down on him (Kitty's own words), with a
band-box in one hand and a faded blue cotton
umbrella, still in existence, in the other. Clad in
this singular garb- I do not remember that Kitty
alluded to any additional peculiarity of dress -
Miss Abigail had made her appearance at the
door of the Nutter House on the morning of my
grandmother's funeral. The small amount of bag-
gage which the lady brought with her would have
led the superficial observer to infer that Miss Abi-
gail's visit was limited to a few days. I run ahead
of my story in saying she remained seventeen
years! How much longer she would have re-
mained can never be definitely known now, as she
died at the expiration of that period.
Whether or not my grandfather was quite
pleased by this unlooked-for addition to his family
is a problem. He was very kind always to Miss

Abigail, and seldom opposed her; though I think
she must have tried his patience sometimes, es-
pecially when she interfered with Kitty.
Kitty Collins, or Mrs. Catherine, as she per-
ferred to be called, was descended in a direct line
from an extensive family of kings who formerly
ruled over Ireland. In consequence of various
calamities, among which the failure of the potato-
crop may be mentioned, Miss Kitty Collins, in
company with several hundred of her countrymen
and countrywomen--also descended from kings
-came over to America in an emigrant ship, in
the year eighteen hundred and something
I do not know what freak of fortune caused the
royal exile to turn up at Rivermouth; but turn
up she did, a few months after arriving in this
country, and was hired by my grandmother to do
"general housework" for the modest sum of four
shillings and sixpence a week.
Kitty had been living about seven years in my
grandfather's family when she unburdened her
heart of a secret which had been weighing upon
it all that time. It may be said of people, as it is
said of nations, Happy are they that have no his-
tory." Kitty had a history, and a pathetic one, I
On board the emigrant ship that brought her
to America, she became acquainted with a sailor,
who, being touched by Kitty's forlorn condition,
was very good to her. Long before the end of the

voyage, which had been tedious and perilous, she
was heart-broken at the thought of separating
from her kindly protector; but they were not to
part just yet, for the sailor returned Kitty's affec-
tion, and the two were married on their arrival at
port. Kitty's husband she would never men-
tion his name, but kept it locked in her bosom
like some precious relic had a considerable sum
of money when the crew were paid off; and the
young couple for Kitty was young then -lived
very happily in a lodging-house on South Street,
near the docks. This was in New York.
The days flew by like hours, and the stocking
in which the little bride kept the funds shrunk
and shrunk, until at last there were only three or
four dollars left in the toe of it. Then Kitty was
troubled; for she knew her sailor would have to
go to sea again unless he could get employment
on shore. This he endeavored to do, but not with
much success. One morning as usual he kissed
her good day, and set out in search of work.
"Kissed me good-by, and called me his little
Irish lass," sobbed Kitty, telling the story -
"kissed me good-by, and, Heaven help me! I
niver set oi on him nor on the likes of him again."
He never came back. Day after day dragged
on, night after night, and then the weary weeks.
What had become of him ? Had he been mur-
dered? had he fallen into the docks ? had he-
deserted her? No! she could not believe that; he

was too brave and tender and true. She could not
believe that. He was dead, dead, or he would
come back to her.
Meanwhile the landlord of the lodging-house
turned Kitty into the streets, now that her
man" was gone, and the payment of the rent
doubtful. She got a place as a servant. The fam-
ily she lived with shortly moved to Boston, and she
accompanied them; then they went abroad, but
Kitty would not leave America. Somehow she
drifted to Rivermouth, and for seven long years
never gave speech to her sorrow, until the kind-
ness of strangers, who had become friends to her,
unsealed the heroic lips.
Kitty's story, you may be sure, made my grand-
parents treat her more kindly than ever. In time
she grew to be regarded less as a servant than as
a friend in the home circle, sharing its joys and
sorrows a faithful nurse, a willing slave, a happy
spirit in spite of all. I fancy I hear her singing
over her work in the kitchen, pausing from time
to time to make some witty reply to Miss Abigail
- for Kitty, like all her race, had a vein of uncon-
scious humor. Her bright honest face comes to
me out from the past, the light and life of the
Nutter House when I was a boy at Rivermouth.



THE first shadow that fell upon me in my new
home was caused by the return of my parents to
New Orleans. Their visit was cut short by busi-
ness which required my father's presence in
Natchez, where he was establishing a branch of
the banking-house. When they had gone, a sense
of loneliness such as I had never dreamed of filled
my young breast. I crept away to the stable, and,
throwing my arms about Gypsy's neck, sobbed
aloud. She too had come from the sunny South,
and was now a stranger in a strange land.
The little mare seemed to realize our situation,
and gave me all the sympathy I could ask, re-
peatedly rubbing her soft nose over my face and
lapping up my salt tears with evident relish.
When night came, I felt still more lonesome.
My grandfather sat in his armchair the greater
part of the evening, reading the Rivermouth
Barnacle, the local newspaper. There was no gas
in those days, and the Captain read by the aid of
a small block-tin lamp, which he held in one hand.
I observed that he had a habit of dropping off
into a doze every three or four minutes, and I for-

Waiting for the Conflagration


got my homesickness at intervals in watching
him. Two or three times, to my vast amusement,
he scorched the edges of the newspaper with the
wick of the lamp; and at about half past eight
o'clock I had the satisfaction I am sorry to con-
fess it was a satisfaction -of seeing the River-
mouth Barnacle in flames.
My grandfather leisurely extinguished the fire
with his hands, and Miss Abigail, who sat near
a low table, knitting by the light of an astral lamp,
did not even look up. She was quite used to this
There was little or no conversation during the
evening. In fact, I do not remember that any
one spoke at all, excepting once, when the Captain
remarked, in a meditative manner, that my parents
" must have reached New York by this time; at
which supposition I nearly strangled myself in at-
tempting to intercept a sob.
The monotonous "click click" of Miss Abi-
gail's needles made me nervous after a while, and
finally drove me out of the sitting-room into the
kitchen, where Kitty caused me to laugh by say-
ing Miss Abigail thought that what I needed was
"a good dose of hot-drops "-a remedy she was
forever ready to administer in all emergencies.
If a boy broke his leg, or lost his mother, I believe
Miss Abigail would have given him hot-drops.
Kitty laid herself out to be entertaining. She
told me several funny Irish stories, and described

some of the odd people living in the town; but,
in the midst of her comicalities, the tears would
involuntarily ooze out of my eyes, though I was
not a lad much addicted to weeping. Then Kitty
would put her arms around me, and tell me not to
mind it that it was not as if I had been left alone
in a foreign land with no one to care for me, like
a poor girl whom she had once known. I bright-
ened up before long, and told Kitty all about the
Typhoon and the old seaman, whose name I tried
in vain to recall, and was obliged to fall back on
plain Sailor Ben.
I was glad when ten o'clock came, the bedtime
for young folks, and old folks too, at the Nutter
House. Alone in the hall-chamber I had my cry
out, once for all, moistening the pillow to such an
extent that I was obliged to turn it over to find
a dry spot to go to sleep on.
My grandfather wisely concluded to put me to
school at once. If I had been permitted to go
mooning about the house and stables, I should
have kept my discontent alive for months. The
next morning, accordingly, he took me by the
hand, and we set forth for the academy, which
was located at the farther end of the town.
The Temple School was a two-story brick
building, standing in the centre of a great square
piece of land, surrounded by a high picket fence.
There were three or four sickly trees, but no grass,
in this inclosure, which had been worn smooth and

hard by the tread of multitudinous feet. I noticed
here and there small holes scooped in the ground,
indicating that it was the season for marbles. A
better playground for base-ball could not have been
On reaching the schoolhouse door, the Captain
inquired for Mr. Grim-
shaw. The boy who an-
swered our knock ush-
ered us into a side room,
and in a few minutes- ( i
during which my eye took
in forty-two caps hung on
forty-two wooden pegs- /
Mr. Grimshaw made his '..
appearance. He was a
slender man, with white, '
Mr. Grimslaw
fragile hands, and eyes
that glanced half a dozen different ways at once
- a habit probably acquired from watching the
After a brief consultation, my grandfather pat-
ted me on the head and left me in charge of this
gentleman, who seated himself in front of me and
proceeded to sound the depth, or more properly
speaking, the shallowness, of my attainments. I
suspect that my historical information rather star-
tled him. I recollect I gave him to understand
that Richard III. was the last king of England.
This ordeal over, Mr. Grimshaw rose and bade

me follow him. A door opened, and I stood in
the blaze of forty-two pairs of upturned eyes. I
was a cool hand for my age, but I lacked the
boldness to face this battery without wincing. In
a sort of dazed way I stumbled after Mr. Grimshaw
down a narrow aisle between two rows of desks,
and shyly took the seat pointed out to me.
The faint buzz that had floated over the school-
room at our entrance died away, and the inter-
rupted lessons were resumed. By degrees I re-
covered my coolness, and ventured to look around
The owners of the forty-two caps were seated at
small green desks like the one assigned to me.
The desks were arranged in six rows, with spaces
between just wide enough to prevent the boys'
whispering. A blackboard set into the wall ex-
tended clear across the end of the room; on a
raised platform near the door stood the master's
table; and directly in front of this was a recita-
tion bench capable of seating fifteen or twenty
pupils. A pair of globes, tattooed with dragons
and winged horses, occupied a shelf between two
windows, which was so high from the floor that
nothing but a giraffe could have looked out of them.
Having possessed myself of these details, I
scrutinized my new acquaintances with uncon-
cealed curiosity, instinctively selecting my friends
and picking out my enemies-and in only two
cases did I mistake my man.

A sallow boy with bright red hair, sitting in the
fourth row, shook his fist at me furtively several
times during the morning. I had a presentiment
I should have trouble with that boy some day -
a presentiment subsequently realized.
On my left was a chubby little fellow with a
great many freckles (this was Pepper Whitcomb),
who made some mysterious motions to me. I did
not understand them, but, as they were clearly of
a pacific nature, I winked my eye at him. This
appeared to be satisfactory, for he then went on
with his studies. At recess he gave me the core
of his apple, though there were several applicants
for it.
Presently a boy in a loose olive-green jacket
with two rows of brass buttons, held up a folded
paper behind his slate, intimating that it was in-
tended for me. The paper was passed skillfully
from desk to desk until it reached my hands. On
opening the scrap, I found that it contained
a small piece of molasses candy in an extremely
humid state. This was certainly kind. I nodded
my acknowledgments and hastily slipped the
delicacy into my mouth. In a second I felt my
tongue grow red-hot with cayenne pepper.
My face must have assumed a comical expres-
sion, for the boy in the olive-green jacket gave an
hysterical laugh, for which he was instantly pun-
ished by Mr. Grimshaw. I swallowed the fiery
candy, though it brought the water to my eyes,

and managed to look so unconcerned that I was
the only pupil in the form who escaped question-
ing as to the cause of Marden's misdemeanor.
Marden was his name.
Nothing else occurred that
S morning to interrupt the ex-
ercises, excepting that a boy
S in the reading class threw us
\ all into convulsions by call-
S ing Absalom A-bol'-som, -
"Abol'som, O my son Abol'-
som !" I laughed as loud as
Swnallowing the Candy
any one, but I am not so sure
that I should not have pronounced it Abol'som
At recess several of the scholars came to my
desk and shook hands with me, Mr. Grimshaw
having previously introduced me to Phil Adams,
charging him to see that I got into no trouble.
My new acquaintances suggested that we should
go to the playground. We were no sooner out of
doors than the boy with the red hair thrust his way
through the crowd and placed himself at my side.
"I say, youngster, if you're coming' to this
school you've got to toe the mark."
I did not see any mark to toe, and did not un-
derstand what he meant; but I replied politely,
that, if it was the custom of the school, I should
be happy to toe the mark, if he would point it out
to me.

"I don't want any of your sarse," said the boy,
"Look here, Conway!" cried a clear voice
from the other side of the playground, "you let
young Bailey alone. He's a stranger here, and
might be afraid of you, and thrash you. Why do
you always throw yourself in the way of getting
thrashed ?"
I turned to the speaker, who by this time had
reached the spot where we stood. Conway slunk
off, favoring me with a parting scowl of defiance.
I gave my hand to the boy who had befriended
me his name was Jack Harris and thanked
him for his good-will.
"I tell you what it is, Bailey, he said, return-
ing my pressure good-naturedly, "you'll have to
fight Conway before the quarter ends, or you'll
have -no rest. That fellow is always hankering
after a licking, and of course you'll give him one
by and by; but what's the use of hurrying up an
unpleasant job? Let's have some base-ball. By
the way, Bailey, you were a good kid not to let on
to Grimshaw about the candy. Charley Marden
would have caught it twice as heavy. He's sorry
he played the joke on you, and told me to tell you
so. Hallo, Blake where are the bats ?"
This was addressed to a handsome, frank-looking
lad of about my own age, who was engaged just
then in' cutting his initials on the bark of a tree
near the schoolhouse. Blake shut up his penknife
and went off to get the bats.

During the game which ensued I made the ac-
quaintance of Charley Marden, and Binny Wallace,
Pepper Whitcomb, Harry Blake, and Fred Lang-
don. These boys, none of them more than a year
or two older than I (Binny Wallace was younger),
were ever after my chosen comrades. Phil Adams
and Jack Harris were considerably our seniors, and
though they always treated us "kids" very kindly,
they generally went with another set. Of course,
before long I knew all the Temple boys more or
less intimately, but the five I have named were my
constant companions.
My first day at the Temple Grammar School was
on the whole satisfactory. I had made several
warm friends, and only two permanent enemies -
Conway and his echo, Seth Rodgers ; for these two
always went together like a deranged stomach and
a headache.
Before the end of the week I had my studies
well in hand. I was a little ashamed at finding
myself at the foot of the various classes, and
secretly determined to deserve promotion. The
school was an admirable one. I might make this
part of my story more entertaining by picturing
Mr. Grimshaw as a tyrant with a red nose and a
large stick ; but unfortunately for the purposes of
sensational narrative, Mr. Grimshaw was a quiet,
kind-hearted gentleman. Though a rigid disciplin-
arian, he had a keen sense of justice, was a good
reader of character, and the boys respected him.

There were two other teachers a French tutor
and a writing-master, who visited the school twice
a week. On Wednesdays and Saturdays we were
dismissed at noon, and these half-holidays were
the brightest epochs of my existence.

Daily contact with boys who had not been
brought up as gently as I worked an immediate,
and, in some respects, a beneficial change in my
character. I had the nonsense taken out of me, as
the saying is some of the nonsense, at least.
I became more manly and self-reliant. I discovered
that the world was not created exclusively on my
account. In New Orleans I labored under the de-
lusion that it was. Having neither brother nor
sister to give up to at home, and being, moreover,
the largest pupil at school there, my will had sel-
dom been opposed. At Rivermouth matters were
different, and I was not long in adapting myself to
the altered circumstances. Of course I got many
severe rubs, often unconsciously given; but I had
the sense to see that I was all the better for them.
My social relations with my new schoolfellows
were the pleasantest possible. There was always
some exciting excursion on foot a ramble through
the pine woods, a visit to the Devil's Pulpit, a high
cliff in the neighborhood or a surreptitious row
on the river, involving an exploration of a group of
diminutive islands, upon one of which we pitched
a tent and played we were the Spanish sailors who


got wrecked there years ago. But the endless
pine forest that skirted the town was our favorite
haunt. There was a great green pond hidden some-
where in its depths, inhabited by a monstrous col-
ony of turtles. Harry Blake, who had an eccentric
passion for carving his name on everything, never
let a captured turtle slip through his fingers with-
out leaving his mark engraved on its shell. He
must have lettered about two thousand from first to
last. We used to call them Harry Blake's sheep.
These turtles were of a discontented and migra-
tory turn of mind, and we frequently encountered
two or three of them on the cross-roads several
miles from their ancestral mud. Unspeakable was
our delight whenever we discovered one soberly
walking off with Harry Blake's initials I have no
doubt there are, at this moment, fat ancient tur-
tles wandering about that gummy woodland with
H. B. neatly cut on their venerable backs.
It soon became a custom among my playmates
to make our barn their rendezvous. Gypsy proved
a strong attraction. Captain Nutter bought me
a little two wheeled cart, which she drew quite
nicely, after kicking out the dasher and breaking
the shafts once or twice. With our lunch-baskets
and fishing-tackle stowed away under the seat, we
used to start off early in the afternoon for the sea-
shore, where there were countless marvels in the
shape of shells, mosses, and kelp. Gypsy enjoyed
the sport as keenly as any of us, even going so far,

one day, as to trot down the beach into the sea
where we were bathing. As she took the cart with
her, our provisions were not much improved. I
shall never forget how squash-pie tastes after being
soused in the Atlantic Ocean. Soda-crackers dipped
in salt water are palatable, but not squash-pie.
There was a good deal of wet weather during
those first six weeks at Rivermoutb, and we set
ourselves at work to find some in-door amusement
for our half-holidays. It was all very well for
Amadis de Gaul and Don Quixote not to mind the
rain; they had iron overcoats, and were not, from
all we can learn, subject to croup and the guidance
of their grandfathers. Our case was different.
Now, boys, what shall we do ?" I asked, ad-
dressing a thoughtful conclave of seven, assembled
in our barn one dismal rainy afternoon.
Let's have a theatre," suggested Binny Wal-
The very thing! But where? The loft of the
stable was ready to burst with hay provided for
Gypsy, but the long room over the carriage-house
was unoccupied. The place of all places! My
managerial eye saw at a glance its capabilities for
a theatre. I had been to the play a great many
times in New Orleans, and was wise in matters
pertaining to the drama. So here, in due time,
was set up some extraordinary scenery of my
own painting. The curtain, I recollect, though it
worked smoothly enough on other occasions, inva-

riably hitched during the performances ; and it
often required the united energies of the Prince of
Denmark, the King, and the Grave-digger, with
an occasional hand from "the fair Ophelia" (Pep-
per Whitcomb in a low-necked dress), to hoist
that bit of green cambric.
The theatre, however, was a success, so far as it
went. I retired from the business with no fewer
than fifteen hundred pins, after deducting the head-
less, the pointless, and the crooked pins with which
our doorkeeper frequently got "stuck." From first
to last we took in a great deal of this counterfeit
money. The price of admission to the River-
mouth Theatre was twenty pins. I played all
the principal parts myself-not that I was a finer
actor than the other boys, but because I owned the
At the tenth representation, my dramatic career
was brought to a close by an unfortunate circum-
stance. We were playing the drama of "William
Tell the Hero of Switzerland." Of course I was
William Tell, in spite of Fred Langdon, who wanted
to act that character himself. I would not let him,
so he withdrew from the company, taking the only
bow and arrow we had. I made a cross-bow out
of a piece of whalebone, and did very well without
him. We had reached that exciting scene where
Gessler, the Austrian tyrant, commands Tell to
shoot the apple from his son's head. Pepper
Whitcomb, who played all the juvenile and women


parts, was my son. To guard against mischance,
a piece of pasteboard was fastened by a handker-
chief over the upper portion of Whitcomb's face,
while the arrow to be used was sewed up in a
strip of flannel. I was a capital marksman, and

The Drama of Willianm Tell

the big apple, only two yards distant, turned its
russet cheek fairly towards me.
I can see poor little Pepper now, as he stood with-
out flinching, waiting for me to perform my great
feat. I raised the cross-bow amid the breathless
silence of the crowded audience consisting of
seven boys and three girls, exclusive of Kitty Col-
lins, who insisted on paying her way in with a
clothes pin. I raised the cross bow, I repeat.

Twang went the whipcord ; but, alas! instead of
hitting the apple, the arrow flew right into Pepper
Whitcomb's mouth, which happened to be open at
the time, and destroyed my aim.
I shall never be able to banish that awful mo-
ment from my memory. Pepper's roar, expres-
sive of astonishment, indignation, and pain, is still
ringing in my ears. I looked upon him as a corpse,
and, glancing not far into the dreary future, pic-
tured myself led forth to execution in the presence
of the very same spectators then assembled.
Luckily poor Pepper was not seriously hurt; but
Grandfather Nutter, appearing in the midst of the
confusion (attracted by the howls of young Tell),
issued an injunction against all theatricals there-
after, and the place was closed; not, however, with-
out a farewell speech from me, in which I said that
this would have been the proudest moment of my
life if I had not hit Pepper Whitcomb in the mouth.
Whereupon the audience (assisted, I am glad to
state, by Pepper) cried Hear hear I then at-
tributed the accident to Pepper himself, whose
mouth, being open at the instant I fired, acted
upon the arrow much after the fashion of a whirl-
pool, and drew in the fatal shaft. I was about to
explain how a comparatively small maelstrom could
suck in the largest ship, when the curtain fell of
its own accord, amid the shouts of the audience.
This was my last appearance on any stage. It
was some time, though, before I heard the end of

the William Tell business. Malicious little boys
who had not been allowed to buy tickets to my
theatre used to cry out after me in the street:
"' Who killed Cock Robin ?'
'I,' said the sparrer,
'With my bow and arrer,
I killed Cock Robin "
The sarcasm of this verse was more than I could
stand. And it made Pepper Whitcomb pretty mad
to be called Cock Robin, I can tell you !
So the days glided on, with fewer clouds and
more sunshine than fall to the lot of most boys.
Conway was certainly a cloud. Within school-
bounds he seldom ventured to be aggressive; but
whenever we met about town he never failed to
brush against me, or pull my cap over my eyes,
or drive me distracted by inquiring after my fam-
ily in New Orleans, always alluding to them as
highly respectable colored people.
Jack Harris was right when he said Conway
would give me no rest until I fought him. I felt
it was ordained ages before our birth that we
should meet on this planet and fight. With the
view of not running counter to destiny, I quietly
prepared myself for the impending conflict. The
scene of my dramatic triumphs was turned into a
gymnasium for this purpose, though I did not
openly avow the fact to the boys. By persistently
standing on my head, raising heavy weights, and
going hand over hand up a ladder, I developed my

muscle until my little body was as tough as a hick-
ory knot and as supple as tripe. I also took occa-
sional lessons in the noble art of self-defense,
under the tuition of Phil Adams.
I brooded over the matter until the idea of
fighting Conway became a part of me. I fought
him in imagination during school-hours ; I dreamed
of fighting with him at night, when he would sud-
denly expand into a giant twelve feet high, and
then as suddenly shrink into a pygmy so small
that I could not hit him. In this latter shape he
would get into my hair, or pop into my waistcoat-
pocket, treating me with as little ceremony as the
Lilliputians showed Captain Lemuel Gulliver -all
of which was not pleasant, to be sure. On the
whole, Conway was a cloud.
And then I had a cloud at home. It was not
Grandfather Nutter, nor Miss Abigail, nor Kitty
Collins, though they all helped to compose it. It
was a vague, funereal, impalpable something which
no amount of gymnastic training would enable me
to knock over. It was Sunday. If ever I have a
boy to bring up in the way he should go, I intend
to make Sunday a cheerful day to him. Sunday
was not a cheerful day at the Nutter House. You
shall judge for yourself,
It is Sunday morning. I should premise by say-
ing that the deep gloom which has settled over
everything set in like a heavy fog early on Satur-
day evening.

At seven o'clock my grandfather comes smile-
lessly down stairs. He is dressed in black, and
looks as if he had lost all his friends during the
night. Miss Abigail, also in black, looks as if she
were prepared to bury them, and not indiposed to
enjoy the ceremony. Even Kitty Collins has
caught the contagious gloom, as I perceive when
she brings in the coffee-urn a solemn and sculp-
turesque urn at any time, but monumental now -
and sets it down in front of Miss Abigail. Miss
Abigail gazes at the urn as if it held the ashes of
her ancestors, instead of a generous quantity of fine
old Java coffee. The meal progresses in silence.
Our parlor is by no means thrown open every
day. It is open this
June morning, and is
pervaded by a strong
smell of centre-table.
The furniture of the
room, and' the little
China ornaments on
the mantel-piece, have
a constrained, unfamil-
liar look. My grand-
father sits in a ma-
hogany chair, reading
a large Bible covered
with green baize. Miss Cruswed
Abigail occupies one end of the sofa, and has her
hands crossed stiffly in her lap. I sit in the corner,

crushed. Robinson Crusoe and Gil Bias are in
close confinement. Baron Trenck, who managed
to escape from the fortress of Glatz, can't for the
life of him get out of our sitting-room closet. Even
the Rivermouth Barnacle is suppressed until Mon-
day. Genial converse, harmless books, smiles,
lightsome hearts, all are banished. If I want to
read anything, I can read Baxter's Saints' Rest.
I would die first. So I sit there kicking my heels,
thinking about New Orleans, and watching a mor-
bid blue-bottle fly that attempts to commit suicide
by butting his head against the window-pane.
Listen no, yes it is it is the robins singing
in the garden the grateful, joyous robins sing-
ing away like mad, just as if it were not Sunday.
Their audacity tickles me.
My grandfather looks up, and inquires in a
sepulchral voice if I am ready for Sabbath-school.
It is time to go. I like the Sabbath-school; there
are bright young faces there, at all events. When
I get out into the sunshine alone, I draw a long
breath; I would turn a somersault up against
Neighbor Penhallow's newly painted fence if I had
not my best trousers on, so glad am I to escape
from the oppressive atmosphere of the Nutter
Sabbath-school over, I go to meeting, joining
my grandfather, who does not appear to be any
relation to me this day, and Miss Abigail, in the
porch. Our minister holds out very little hope to

any of us of being saved. Convinced that I am a
lost creature, in common with the human family,
I return home behind my guardians at a snail's
pace. We have a dead-cold dinner. I saw it laid
out yesterday.
There is a long interval between this repast and
the second service, and a still longer interval be-
tween the beginning and the end of that service;
for the Rev. Wibird Hawkins's sermons are none
of the shortest, whatever else they may be.
After meeting, my grandfather and I take a
walk. We visit, appropriately enough, a neighbor-
ing graveyard. I am by this time in a condition
of mind to become a willing inmate of the place.
The usual evening prayer-meeting is postponed for
some reason. At half past eight I go to bed.
This is the way Sunday was observed in the
Nutter House, and pretty generally throughout
the town, twenty years ago. People who were
prosperous and natural and happy on Saturday
became the most rueful of human beings in the
brief space of twelve hours. I do not think there
was any hypocrisy in this. It was merely the old
Puritan austerity cropping out once week. Many
of these people were pure Christians every day in
the seven--excepting the seventh. Then they
were decorous and solemn to the verge of morose-
ness. I should not like to be misunderstood on
this point. Sunday is a blessed day, and there-
fore it should not be made a gloomy one. It is


the Lord's day, and I do believe that cheerful
hearts and faces are not unpleasant in His sight.

day of rest? How beautiful, how fair,
How welcome to the weary and the old I
Day of the Lord! and truce to earthly cares!
Day of the Lord, as all our days should be I
Ah, why will man by his austerities
Shut out the blessed sunshine and the light,
And make of thee a dungeon of despair "



Two months had elapsed since my arrival at
Rivermouth, when the approach of an important
celebration produced the greatest excitement
among the juvenile population of the town.
There was very little hard study done in the
Temple Grammar School the week preceding the
Fourth of July. For my part, my heart and brain
were so full of fire-crackers, Roman-candles, rock-
ets, pin-wheels, squibs, and gunpowder in various
seductive forms, that I wonder I did not explode
under Mr. Grimshaw's very nose. I could not do
a sum to save me; I could not tell, for love or
money, whether Tallahassee was the capital of
Tennessee or of Florida; the present and the plu-
perfect tenses were inextricably mixed in my
memory, and I did not know a verb from an ad-
jective when I met one. This was not alone my
condition, but that of every boy in the school.
Mr. Grimshaw considerately made allowances
for our temporary distraction, and sought to fix
our interest on the lessons by connecting them di-
rectly or indirectly with the coming Event. The
class in arithmetic, for instance, was requested to

state how many boxes of fire-crackers, each box
measuring sixteen inches square, could be stored
in a room of such and such dimensions. He gave
us the Declaration of Independence for a parsing
exercise, and in geography confined his questions
almost exclusively to localities rendered famous in
the Revolutionary War. "What did the people
of Boston do with the tea on board the English
vessels ?" asked our wily instructor.
Threw it into the river! shrieked the smaller
boys, with an impetuosity that made Mr. Grim-
shaw smile in spite of himself. One luckless ur-
chin said, Chucked it," for which happy expres-
sion he was kept in at recess.
Notwithstanding these clever stratagems, there
was not much solid work done by anybody. The
trail of the serpent (an inexpensive but dangerous
fire-toy) was over us all. We went round deformed
by quantities of Chinese crackers artlessly con-
cealed in our trousers-pockets; and if a boy whipped
out his handkerchief without proper precaution,
he was sure to let off two or three torpedoes.
Even Mr. Grimshaw was made a sort of acces-
sory to the universal demoralization. In calling
the school to order, he always rapped on the table
with a heavy ruler. Under the green baize table-
cloth, on the exact spot where he usually struck, a
certain boy, whose name I withhold, placed a fat
torpedo. The result was a loud explosion, which
caused Mr. Grimshaw to look queer. Charley

Marden was at the water-pail, at the time, and
directed general attention to himself by strangling
for several seconds and then squirting a slender
thread of water over the blackboard.
Mr. Grimshaw fixed his eyes reproachfully on
Charley, but said no-
thing. The real cul- .
prit (it was not Charley
Marden, but the boy
whose name I with-
hold) instantly regret- ''
ted his badness, and
after school confessed
the whole thing to Mr. :. .
Grimshaw, who heaped -' .
coals of fire upon the-
nameless boy's head by
giving him five cents for ,fr. Grimsha looked Que r
the Fourth of July. If
Mr. Grimshaw had caned this unknown youth, the
punishment would not have been half so severe.
On the last day of June the Captain received a
letter from my father, inclosing five dollars "for
my son Tom," which enabled that young gentle-
man to make regal preparations for the celebration
of our national independence. A portion of this
money, two dollars, I hastened to invest in fire-
works; the balance I put by for contingencies.
In placing the fund in my possession, the Captain
imposed one condition that dampened my ardor

considerably--I was to buy no gunpowder. I
might have all the snapping-crackers and torpe-
does I wanted; but gunpowder was out of the
I thought this rather hard, for all my young
friends were provided with pistols of various sizes.
Pepper Whitcomb had a horse-pistol nearly as
large as himself, and Jack Harris, though he, to
be sure, was a big boy, was going to have a real
old-fashioned flint-lock musket. However, I did
not mean to let this drawback destroy my happi-
ness. I had one charge of powder stowed away
in the little brass pistol which I brought from
New Orleans, and was bound to make a noise in
the world once, if I never did again.
It was a custom observed from time immemo-
rial for the towns-boys to have a bonfire on the
Square on the midnight before the Fourth. I did
not ask the Captain's leave to attend this cere-
mony, for I had a general idea that he would not
give it. If the Captain, I reasoned, does not forbid
me, I break no orders by going. Now this was a
specious line of argument, and the mishaps that
befell me in consequence of adopting it were richly
On the evening of the third I retired to bed very
early, in order to disarm suspicion. I did not
sleep a wink, waiting for eleven o'clock to come
round; and I thought it never would come round,
as I lay counting from time to time the slow

strokes of the ponderous bell in the steeple of the
Old North Church. At length the laggard hour
arrived. While the clock was striking I jumped
out of bed and began dressing.
My grandfather and Miss Abigail were heavy
sleepers, and I might have stolen downstairs and
out at the front door undetected; but such a com-
monplace proceeding did not suit my adventurous
disposition. I fastened one end of a rope (it was
a few yards cut from Kitty Collins's clothes-line)
to the bedpost nearest the window, and cautiously
climbed out on the wide pediment over the hall
door. I had neglected to knot the rope; the re-
sult was, that, the moment I swung clear of the
pediment, I descended like a flash of lightning,
and warmed both my hands smartly. The rope,
moreover, was four or five feet too short; so I got
a fall that would have proved serious had I not
tumbled into the middle of one of the big rose-
bushes growing on either side of the steps.
I scrambled out of that without delay, and was
congratulating myself on my good luck, when I
saw by the light of the setting moon the form of
a man leaning over the garden gate. It was one
of the town watch, who had probably been ob-
serving my operations with curiosity. Seeing no
chance of escape, I put a bold face on the matter
and walked directly up to him.
"What on airth air you a-doin'?" asked the
man, grasping the collar of my jacket.

"I live here, sir, if you please," I replied, "and
am going to the bonfire. I did n't want to wake
up the old folks, that's all."
The man cocked his eye at me in the most
amiable manner, and released his hold.
"Boys is boys," he muttered. He did not
attempt to stop me as I slipped through the gate.
Once beyond his clutches, I took to my heels
and soon reached the Square, where I found forty
or fifty fellows assembled, engaged in building a
pyramid of tar-barrels. The palms of my hands
still tingled so that I could not join in the sport.
I stood in the doorway of the Nautilus Bank,
watching the workers, among whom I recognized
lots of my schoolmates. They looked like a legion
of imps, coming and going in the twilight, busy in
raising some infernal edifice. What a Babel of
voices it was, everybody directing everybody else,
and everybody doing everything wrong !
When all was prepared, some one applied a
match to the sombre pile. A fiery tongue thrust
itself out here and there, then suddenly the whole
fabric burst into flames, blazing and crackling
beautifully. This was a signal for the boys to
join hands and dance around the burning barrels,
which they did, shouting like mad creatures.
When the fire had burnt down a little, fresh staves
were brought and heaped on the pyre. In the
excitement of the moment I forgot my tingling
palms, and found myself in the thick of the ca-

Before we were half ready, our combustible
material was expended, and a disheartening kind
of darkness settled down upon us. The boys col-
lected together here and there in knots, consulting
as to what should be done. It yet lacked four or
five hours of daybreak, and none of us were in the
humor to return to bed. I approached one of the
groups standing near the town-pump, and discov-
ered in the uncertain light of the dying brands the
figures of Jack Harris, Phil Adams, Harry Blake,
and Pepper Whitcomb, their faces streaked with
perspiration and tar, and their whole appearance
suggestive of New Zealand chiefs.
"Hullo! here's Tom Bailey!" shouted Pepper
Whitcomb; "he'll join in!"
Of course he would. The sting had gone out
of my hands, and I was ripe for anything none
the less ripe for not knowing what was on the
tapis. After whispering together for a moment,
the boys motioned me to follow them.
We glided out from the crowd and silently
wended our way through a neighboring alley, at
the head of which stood a tumble-down old barn,
owned by one Ezra Wingate. In former days this
was the stable of the mail-coach that ran between
Rivermouth and Boston. When the railroad super-
seded that primitive mode of travel, the lumbering
vehicle was rolled into the barn, and there it stayed.
The stage-driver, after prophesying the immediate
downfall of the nation, died of grief and apoplexy,

and the old coach followed in his wake as fast as
it could by quietly dropping to pieces. The barn
had the reputation of being haunted, and I think
we all kept very close together when we found
ourselves standing in the black shadow cast by
the tall gable. Here, in a low voice, Jack Harris
laid bare his plan, which was to burn the ancient
"The old trundle-cart is n't worth twenty-five
cents," said Jack Harris, "and Ezra Wingate ought
to thank us for getting the rubbish out of the
way. But if any fellow here does n't want to have
a hand in it, let him cut and run, and keep a quiet
tongue in his head ever after."
With this he pulled out the staples that held the
rusty padlock, and the big barn door swung slowly
open. The interior of the stable was pitch-dark,
of course. As we made a movement to enter, a
sudden scrambling, and the sound of heavy bodies
leaping in all directions, caused us to start back in
Rats cried Phil Adams.
"Bats !" exclaimed Harry Blake.
"Cats!" suggested Jack Harris. "Who's
afraid ? "
Well, the truth is, we were all afraid; and if the
pole of the stage had not been lying close to the
threshold, I do not believe anything on earth would
have induced us to cross it. We seized hold of
the pole-straps and succeeded with great trouble

in dragging the coach out. The two fore wheels
had rusted to the axle-tree, and refused to revolve.
It was the merest skeleton of a coach. The cush-
ions had long since been removed, and the leather
hangings, where they had not crumbled away, dan-
gled in shreds from the worm-eaten frame. A load
of ghosts and a span of phantom horses to drag
them would have made the ghastly thing complete.
Luckily for our undertaking, the stable stood at
the top of a very steep hill. With three boys to
push behind, and two in front to steer, we started
the old coach on its last trip with little or no diffi-
culty. Our speed increased every moment, and,
the fore wheels becoming unlocked as we arrived
at the foot of the declivity, we charged upon the
crowd like a regiment of cavalry, scattering the
people right and left. Before reaching the bonfire,
to which some one had added several bushels of
shavings, Jack Harris and Phil Adams, who were
steering, dropped on the ground, and allowed the
vehicle to pass over them, which it did without
injuring them; but the boys who were clinging for
dear life to the trunk-rack behind fell over the
prostrate steersmen, and there we all lay in a heap,
two or three of us quite picturesque with the nose-
The coach, with an intuitive perception of what
was expected of it, plunged into the centre of
the kindling shavings, and stopped. The flames
sprung up and clung to the rotten woodwork, which

burned like tinder. At this moment a figure was
seen leaping wildly from the inside of the blazing
coach. The figure made three bounds towards us,
and tripped over Harry Blake. It was Pepper
Whitcomb, with his hair somewhat singed, and
his eyebrows completely scorched off!
Pepper had slyly ensconced himself on the back
seat before we started, intending to have a neat
little ride down hill, and a laugh at us afterwards.
But the laugh, as it happened, was on our side, or
would have been, if half a dozen watchmen had
not suddenly pounced down upon us, as we lay
scrambling on the ground, weak with mirth over
Pepper's misfortune. We were collared and
marched off before we well knew what had hap-
The abrupt transition from the noise and light
of the Square to the silent, gloomy brick room in
the rear.rf the Meat Market seemed like the work
of enchantment. We stared at each other aghast.
Well," remarked Jack Harris, with a sickly smile,
"this is a go! "
"No go, I should say," whimpered Harry Blake,
glancing at the bare brick walls and the heavy
iron-plated door.
"Never say die," muttered Phil Adams, dolefully.
The bridewell was a small low-studded chamber
built up against the rear end of the Meat Market,
and approached from the Square by a narrow pas-
sageway. A portion of the room was partitioned

The Interrupted Celebration

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