• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Advertising
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Tamed
 Trouble in Dark Hollow
 An unconscious hero
 Gretchen
 An Easter rose
 Back Cover






Group Title: Editha series ; 4
Title: Tamed
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00083206/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tamed and other stories for girls
Series Title: Editha series
Physical Description: 118 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stoddard, William Osborn, 1835-1925
H.M. Caldwell Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: H.M. Caldwell Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1895
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Short stories, American   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1895   ( lcsh )
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by William O. Stoddard ; illustrated.
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083206
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237888
notis - ALH8381
oclc - 05759550

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Advertising
        Advertising
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Tamed
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Trouble in Dark Hollow
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 22a
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    An unconscious hero
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Gretchen
        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
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    An Easter rose
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text






















































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TAMED
AND OTHER STORIES













The Editha Series

For Little Girls

NEW EDITION, 1908


1 Editha's Burglar
By Burnett
2 Pinocchio's Adventures
3 Burglar's Daughter
By Penrose
4 Tamed
By W. 0. Stoddard
5 Peggy's Trial
By Mary Knight Potter
6 The Little Professor
By Ida Horton Cash
7 A Child's Garden of Verses
By Stevensun
8 Little Rosebud
By Harraden
9 Simple Susan
By Maria Edgeworth
10 The Golden Apple
By Hawthorne
11 The Birthday Present
By Maria Edgeworth
12 Hop o' My Thumb and
Other Stories
By Miss Mulock
13 Adventures of a Brownie
By Miss Mulock
14 The Pygmies
By Hawthorne
15 The Brownies
By Ewing
16 Cuckoo Clock
By Molesworth


17 The Sleeping Beauty
By Martha Baker Dunn
18 Jackanapes
By J. H. Ewing
19 Alice in Wonderland
By Carroll
20 Rab and His Friends
By Dr. John Brown
21 Through a Looking-Glass
By Lewis Carroll
22 The King of the Golden
River
By John Ruskin
23 Snap-Dragons and Other
Stories
By J. H. Ewing
24 Madame Liberality
By J. H, Ewing
25 Millicent in Dreamland
By Edna S. Brainerd
26 Flower Fables
By Louisa M. Alcott
27 Legend of Sleepy Hollow
By Washington Irving
28 Lives of Two Cats
By Pierre Loti
29 Wonder Box Tales
By Jean Ingelow
30 Boss and Other Dogs
By Maria L. Pool


H. M. CALDWELL CO.

Publishers

NEW YORK AND BOSTON







'hhe
E DITHA SERIES





T AM ED




By
WILLIAM O. STODDARD
AND
tt~tr atoriet for eivIs





ILLUSTRATED

H. M. CALDWELL CO.
PUBLISH E RS .& &
NEW YORK (. BOSTON
































Copyright, 1895
\V. \. \Vi&.i & Co.





















TAMED.


BY
WILLIAM O. STODDARD.









TAMED.


T HANK you, Mr. Holbrook," she said, "but
I 'm not going to the county fair to-morrow.
Which of those horses did you say was Kick ? "
She was not looking at his face or she might
have seen how all but savage was the silent com-
ment in it that the subject of conversation had been
changed with dreadful suddenness.
He replied aloud: -
Kick? Oh, he is that horse away over yonder,
beyond the others. He is n't like any other horse
that we ever had. He's as ugly as sin. You can't
do anything with him. I 'm really sorry -
Is he so very terrible?" She interrupted him
as if the character of that animal were a matter of
deep interest to her.
He is vicious," responded the young man with
somewhat needless energy. "It is n't easy to keep
him in even in winter. The county fair -
"Kick, Kick, come here!" called out the girl
who was making such particular inquiries about him.





TAMED.


No use! exclaimed Mr. Holbrook, and he may
or may not have referred entirely to the quadruped,
but he added: Why, Miss Granger, he has thrown
every man on the place."
She had evidently no reply to make to so stun-
ning a statement as that.
The quadruped subject of his criticisms had
indeed a wild look, and his chestnut coat -Mr.
Holbrook's was of very neat blue flannel did not
seem to have ever been made acquainted with
currycomb or brush. At that moment he threw up
his heels with a sharp whinny and put another
dozen or so of yards between himself and the
house-yard fence behind which they were standing.
He looked at them intently, and Miss Granger
continued to gaze very studiously at him, but Mr.
Holbrook turned suddenly and walked away with
a half-audible remark about about nothing in
particular. Perhaps he had duties on his hand;
but half an hour later he was standing in front
of the bars which connected the Holbrook pasture-
lot with what he spoke of as "the rock lot"
of the Granger farm adjoining. He was staring
at the bars, but his mind may have been dis-
turbed or preoccupied, for he seemed not to





TAMED.


notice that the upper bar had been carelessly left
down.
I did think," he said to himself, that I could
fix it all up. It's rough I meant to take Harma
Granger to the fair, but if she won't, she won't.
No use! And her aunt says she's going back to
the city at the end of the week! "
He turned away toward the village of barns,
large and small, behind the Holbrook house, but if
he had been in front of the rock-lot bars ten min-
utes later he might have seen Kick standing in an
attitude of deliberation, scratching a small hollow
in the earth with his right fore-hoof and consider-
ing the unwonted absence of the top bar.
There was a curveting around in front of the bars
for a full half-minute as if Kick were experimenting
upon the springs in his legs, and then he made a
run toward the diminished barrier which had hither-
to pinned him in.
It was well done, that splendid flying leap, and
away he galloped, out of sight, before one of old
Colonel Holbrook's men, on his evening tour of
inspection, came along and put up the missing
bar.
Kick had a grand time in the Granger lot for an






TAMED.


hour and a half after his escape over the bars.
He went all around that new country, along every
fence and into every corner, and he discovered that
he had it all to himself. Not another horse was
there, nor any other beast of the field, to dispute
with him the right of possession. He was free,
delightfully free, but one of the most important
of the discoveries he made was that he had not
tasted a drop of water since early that morning,
and that there was not any to be had in the
Granger lot.
Darkness came down over all at last, and he
began to experience also a new and strange sen-
sation of loneliness. The night came on, hot and
dry, without any dew, and every time Kick lay
down and rolled over and tried to sleep he found
himself tempted to dream of the log water-trough,
into which a cool stream was always running, in the
Holbrook stable-yard. He was up before the sun
next morning, but he found that the short, withered
grass and mullein stalks and sorrel of that pasture
were of no account whatever. As the hours went
by and the sun climbed higher, it seemed to Kick
as if the air he breathed grew hotter, while every-
thing around him and within him was getting dryer.





TAMED.


His head drooped, his tail drooped, his spirits
drooped; he had not enough of wild life left in him
to curvet or to prance, and late in the afternoon
he walked slowly along the north fence as if he
were not himself at all, but altogether another
horse. Walking in that direction, however, brought
him nearer and nearer to the Granger farmyard,
with its inviting barns, and thus, farther on, to the
house-yard and all the shady trees and the shrub-
bery.
There was a green, cool look on the grass when
he looked so wistfully over the fence, but at first
he did not appear to take any interest in anything
in particular.
From one of the lower branches of a tree in the
front yard, however, to a lower branch of another
tree stretched a hammock, and in that hammock lay
a girl with a pamphlet in her hand. Her other
hand had held a paper-cutter, until she fell asleep
and dropped it on the grass, but she had uncon-
sciously clung to the magazine.
"That's the same girl," said Kick to himself
after a little reflection, that I saw Henry Holbrook
talking to yesterday. I don't care. I 've thrown
him."






TAMED.


He stood and stared at her and then, he hardly
knew why, he whinnied loudly.
The sound of his voice startled her and in
another moment she was on her feet, walking
toward him.
Oh! she exclaimed, how did you get here?
Why, it's Kick. It's the one that's so savage."
She walked close up to him and very cautiously
she put out a white hand and patted his face, and
he did his best to tell her that he liked it. She
patted him again and again, saying several pleasant
and complimentary things while she did so.
"Why, Kick," she remarked at last, "you don't
seem to be wild at all. You're a lovely horse. Do
you want some water ? and then she added: Why,
of course he does, this blazing, hot day! "
She found a tin basin on the platform by the
pump and she filled it and brought it while he stood
with his head over the fence and watched her.
Anybody who did not consider Harma a pretty girl
should have been there to see her pumping water
and carrying it to Kick.
Hurrah!" he exclaimed, partly to himself and
partly aloud, "she understands me "
It sounded to Harma like a prolonged whinny of






TAMED.


eagerness and delight, and the basin was drained in
a twinkling. His very eyes seemed to ask her for
more, and his heart went out to her unreservedly
as he saw her hurry to the pump and hurry back to
hold the basin up to him again. Then she brought
him a piece of bread, three or four pieces, and an
apple and a lump of sugar, and all the while she
was remarking, -
"Why, he's as good as he can be! He's a
splendid fellow. So gentle, too."
At last another idea came to her.
"Come along, Kick," she said, I'm going to
open the gate."
She walked rapidly away in the direction of the
barnyard, and Kick followed her along the fence as
if he had been a dog that belonged to her. Neither
of them knew that all of their proceedings had
been watched, but now there broke out an excited
bit of conversation at one of the open windows of
the house.
"Aunt Betty!" exclaimed a shrill, young voice,
" what's Harma going to do with Kick ? Oh! oh!
He'll kill her!"
"Polly!" replied aunt Betty. "Why, she's
crazy! He's a pesky, dangerous brute. Come





TAMED.


right along with me, Polly. He's a biter. How I
do wish some of the men were at home "
They were too late to stop Harma. She had
opened the barnyard gate and Kick had walked in
before they were out of the house. He whinnied
very affectionately to Harma, but he walked straight
through the barnyard into the house-yard, and he did
not stand still until he reached the pump. Harma
went along with him, but aunt Betty and Polly ran
as if he were after them. Probably not many people
who knew aunt Betty believed that she could run.
As for Polly, she screamed as she ran, till they
reached the back doorstep, and she looked as if she
were about to begin again when aunt Betty whis-
pered to her: -
Polly puff- Polly! We'd best be puff
- quiet, and not puff rile him up."
"Why, aunt Betty," called out Harma just then,
"he is n't wild at all. He's as tame as a kitten.
Polly, dear, get me another piece of bread for him,
please."
The bread was brought while Harma was pump-
ing more water for Kick, and Polly put it down on
the pump platform and ran away as fast as she could
out of Kick's reach.





TAMED.


He '11 bite you, Harma! she exclaimed as soon
as she felt safe enough to speak.
If I had a bridle, now" said Harma, very
much as if she were studying some tremendous
impossibility.
Bridle ?" said aunt Betty, staring at her. "Why,
he's never had a bridle on him. Leastwise if they
did get one on, he did n't let 'em keep it on."
"Aunt Betty," said Harma earnestly, I don't
care If I had a bridle here, I 'd try."
"I'11 get one! I'll get one!" exclaimed aunt
Betty as if a sudden fit of desperate determination
had seized her. I'd like to see it done, but I
won't come a-nigh that critter!"
She went for it and she brought it, and all the
while Harma continued in conversation with Kick.
As for him he had drunk more water, his mind was
full of pleasant impressions, and when Harma held
up the bridle he said to himself: -
Of course I '11 open my mouth for her any time.
She won't hurt me. I can't say I like it, but she
may put it on."
"Harma," said Polly, "here's a blanket and a
surcingle, if you'll just come and get them. I
da'sn't come any nearer."






2 A MED.


It was a gay red blanket and .the: surcingle was
new and bright colored. Harma folded the blanket
and Kick put out his head and smelled of it, and
then she laid it on his back and he stood as still as
a mouse while she arranged it in its place. She
made complimentary remarks to him all the while,
and he was particularly well pleased with .her tone
of voice.
"I'm dreadful 'fraid to have you reach under
him," said aunt Betty. He might kill you quick
as a wink."
There was a flash in Harma's eyes and a resolute
expression on her lips, but she said nothing. She
did reach under and catch the other end of that
long band, pull it tight, put it through the buckle,
and draw it as hard as she could.:
I'd really like to roll," thought Kick, "but I
won't this time."
Harmy, Harmy! Sakes alive What are you
going to do now?" screamed aunt Betty. "Where
are you a-leadin' that vicious beast? You don't
mean to tell me that you're goin' to try and ride
him ?"
SHarma was walking toward a big box that stood
in the side-yard, and Kick was doing the-same thing,





TAMED.


without any, orders. When she stood still he stood
still. She stepped up upon the box, and he only
gave a gratified whinny when she sat down upon
his blanketed back.
They watched her breathlessly while he very
quietly walked around the yard, and Harma's con-
fidence in him and in herself came to her so keenly
that she laughed aloud.
The front gate, the wagon gate, was wide open,
and Kick passed out through it just as several
wagons and a couple of men on horseback came up
the road. The two on horseback were Henry Hol-
brook and one of his men. Neither of them said
anything for a moment, but old Colonel Holbrook
stood right up in his wagon.
He '11 kill her he said in a low, hoarse voice,
and then he shouted: "Keep back, Barney Don't
you go near 'em! Harry, you ride alongside and
see if you can't get her out of that scrape. It's
awful! "
Harma! Harma!" half-whispered Henry as he
rode up by her, and she saw that his face was very
pale, for heaven's sake, be careful."
His hurried exclamation seemed to have a pang
of pain in it, but it was called out by a gentle curvet





TAMED.


and an uneasy whinny from Kick. He was not now
walking, for he could not perfectly control his feel-
ings, but the canter he indulged in was wonderfully
easy to his rider. All that Henry Holbrook could
do was to let his own horse canter alongside and to
watch Harma, in an agony of fear as to what might
come next. His face told a great deal more than if
he had spoken.
Kick has made friends with me," said Harma.
" Don't you see that he has? You need not feel
any fear about me. Oh!"- for Kick curveted
beautifully just then.
"There!" said Henry, with quick changes of
color as Kick quieted again. Harma" -
I wish I had a side-saddle," she interrupted
him, "and a riding habit. I must n't go any
farther now, Kick. You will have to carry me
home."
He obeyed the light touch of the rein and turned
and conveyed her straight to the big box in the
Granger side-yard.
"I'll help you dismount," began Henry; but
Harma stepped off at once and began to caress
Kick.
"Hurrah!" shouted the deep voice of Colonel





TAMED. 15

Holbrook, a little behind them. If she has n't
done it!"
His wrinkled face was beaming and glowing as
he added: -
Harma, Kick is your own horse, that is, if
he'll stay tamed."
"Thank you, colonel!" she exclaimed. Oh,
thank you He is such a beautiful creature! Is he
really mine ?" and she positively put her arms
around the neck of that dreadful colt.
Henry Holbrook made a forward step at that
moment, but his apparent attempt at an approach
was greeted by a fierce nicker and an ominous put-
ting back of Kick's ears.
I 've got to keep away, have I ? said Henry with
a deep flush of mortification upon his handsome face.
Kick! Kick!" said Harma reproachfully,
" make friends with him, won't you?"
Kick stood as still as a post for a moment, and all
the muscles of his body seemed to be stiffening and
hardening.
He's getting' ready for a bolt! growled the man
with Henry. Look out for 'im! "
"No, he won't, Henry," said Harma. "You
don't know how gentle and auiet he really is."





TAMED.


That was true; Henry did n't know, nor did Kick
himself, nor anybody that had been acquainted with
him, but he remained motionless, his ears back and
the whites of his eyes showing. He saw Harma
take one of Henry's hands in one of hers and
bring it closer and closer to his face. Then the
two hands patted him, in a sort of partnership
which altogether astonished him. So at the same
time did the voice of the young man, for it grew
wonderfully sort and winning as it spoke to him,
and there was a tone in it like something that Kick
had noticed in the voice of Harma.
Henry Holbrook knew a great deal about horses
and he pushed his new acquaintance judiciously.
Kick felt more and more as if the young man were
getting tamed somehow, while Harma talked to her
new pet and told him that he was to remain with
her. Perhaps Kick did not at first quite understand
his good fortune, but he began to do so when she
led him away toward the barn. When she reached
it she took his bridle off, put a halter on, tied him in
a stall, put liberal oats into the trough before him,
threw down straw for him to lie on, and patted him
good night.
Henry Holbrook was with her, helping her and





TAMED.


telling her what to do, and Kick found himself more
than a little puzzled about their voices. It seemed
to him that their tones blended and mingled and
had the same thrilling unaccountable tremor in them,
and it affected him powerfully.
"Harma!" exclaimed Henry at that moment,
"you have taught me what love can do."
Kick heard that, but he did not quite understand
what Henry went on to say. He listened in vain,
for they were away back of the stall near the barn
door.
Harma," said Henry at last, I am as thirsty,
as wretched, as utterly miserable, as he was, and
maybe I need taming as badly. Can't you try a
little kindness on me ?"
Kick answered with a loud, anxious whinny and
an effort to turn around in his stall and see what
was going on, and it was Henry who at once replied
to him: -
It's all right, Kick, old fellow! It's all right! "
Kick was entirely satisfied, for he he-.rd Harma
murmur, "Yes," and in a moment more he was
alone,





















TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.

BY
WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE.










TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


SHUT in by the great gloomy spires of the Cum-
berlands, under the frown of the mountains,
with one narrow neck leading out into the world
beyond; such is Dark Hollow.
Dark with the shadows cast by the surrounding
peaks and the rank, riotous growth of the forest
below.
Delightfully cool in summer, magnificently wild,
pathetically alluring, and hopelessly lonely always.
In winter the ice columns rear themselves fifty and
a hundred feet under the dripping, draining bluffs,
catching now and then an unwary fern in the coag-
ulation and holding it, a summer captive in the
grasp of grim old winter. Sometimes the winter-
green berries peep from the bluff above through a
veil of filmy ice, cheery, saucy, and full of a warm,
mute faith.
Gabe Brady found but little to admire in the
winter wildness as he stopped to rest his oxen
under one of the great bluffs that frown upon the
2I





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


Hollow. He glanced up at the glistening ice col-
umns and the imprisoned ferns, and whistled, half
in jest, half in earnest.
"We-uns air like that their yarb," he said, frez
up fur the winter. Frez up to be sho'; their' ain't
no haul'n' of a load up the Hollow sech weather ez
this. Them doz'n poplar logs hev' done tired the
critters plum out. We-uns orter crawl in a hole
and sleep in winter-time like the b'ars does, ha! ha!
What does you-uns think 'bout'n it, Queenie ? "
From the top of the. loaded wagon and from a
bundle of old quilts, a black bearskin, and a faded
red shawl, came the saucy answer in the piping voice
of a privileged child: -
I ain't faultin' uv the weather none ez I knows
on. It air older 'n I be; I ain't got no call ter
fault it."
"To be sho' yer ain't, yer sassy little cub,"
chuckled Gabe, muffled up in yer furs like a white
kitten, an' a-ridin' in yer fine kerridge while yer
old dad an' yer big brother air trompin' uv it, yer
kin lick yer paws an' pass complemints on the
weather, hey ? Waal, I reckin."
The only answer vouchsafed from the promis-
cuous bundle was a muffled chuckle, while the big





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


brother" alluded to, an overgrown boy of fifteen,
kicked the half-frozen mud from his shoes on the
hub of the wagon wheel and laughed at what he
called "Jo's peartness."
"Hit's mighty funny, air it?" said Gabe as he
arranged the heavy yoke about the necks of the
patient beasts. Hit air mighty funny? Waal, I
'low you-uns kin fetch the naixt load 'thout my
holpin' uv ye, yer seems ter favor the job so highly.
Mebbe ye kin git 'long better 'thout yer ole dad,
anyhow; hey, Kit ?"
Before the boy could reply, Jo, or Queenie, as
Gabe Brady insisted upon calling his daughter, put
her bushy brown head out from her wrappings of
fur and wool and said saucily: -
"Y' orter fetch yer wood in summer, dad, an'
save shoe luther."
Gabe laughed aloud; his pet piece of advice
had been tossed back to him. He rested an arm
on the wooden yoke and struck the palm of one
hand with the forefinger of the other, ready for
argument.
"Waal, honey," he said, it air too warm ter haul
in summer-time, don't yer know ?" and then, after
a moment's thought, an' it air too cold in winter.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


Lawd Lawd! it do seem ez ef the Almighty can't
fix things ter please us, nohow."
He dropped his hands, shook his head in disgust,
and gathered up the ropes.
"Git up, Jinks! Git up, Rube!" he called.
"We-uns hev' got to be a-hustlin'."
He trudged along by the side of his team, turn-
ing his head now and then to see if the precious
bundle on top was safe and comfortable. Kit, the
brother and son, followed on the other side, his
hands thrust into the pockets of his coat.
Not a sound broke the stillness of the Hollow,
except the creak, crack, and croaking of Gabe's
wagon, or the occasional snapping of his long whip
as the oxen ignored the repeated Whoa, ge-e!"
and infringed upon the driver's part of the road.
The peaks uplifted above the Hollow were heavily
veiled with mist, half blue, half madder, uncertain,
vague, dreamy, and magnificent.
A covey of snowbirds flew by with a startled
whi-r-r! and disappeared down one of the wild
gulches with which the Hollow abounds.
I '11 make a trap soon 's I git home," thought
Kit, "me 'n' Jo."
Indeed, Jo was included in every program ever





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW. 25

planned at Gabe Brady's cabin; she was first in
everybody's thoughts and entered largely into
everybody's calculations.
Seein' she ain't got no mammy we-uns humors
her some," Gabe would say by way of apology for
his little girl's authority, exercised boldly and often.
But he would immediately add, as if to gainsay any
possible injustice done his darling:-
But Queenie air peart, powerful peart fur her
age, she air jist turned seben."
"Seben, goin' on eight," Jo would amend; "be
eight come naixt Christmas."
Considering the fact that Christmas would not
come for eleven months and twenty days, Gabe was
not far from correct when he said his daughter was
"jist turned seben."
The ox-wagon drew up before the door of the
cabin, the wood was thrown into a pile, and Gabe
went to the shed for his axe, while the brother and
sister went into the cabin to rake up the coals,
and make the trap for catching the snowbirds.
When Gabe came in, bringing the axe, he found
Jo toasting her toes before the blaze of the kitchen
fire, while Kit prepared the yellow pine sticks for
the trap building.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


Gabe hesitated to break into the arrangement;
he was only an ignorant, untaught mountaineer, but
he understood and enjoyed the companionship, so
entire and satisfying, his children found in each
other. Still he was a systematic man, and when
there was a task to be done his hands were swift to
do it.
He looked down at the pile of pine sticks from
which Kit was making a selection. As the boy
drew his knife from his pocket, Gabe spoke:-
Sonny," he said, ye '11 hev' ter turn the grin'-
stun a minit, fur the axe air dull some."
Jo looked up from the shoestring she was trying
vainly to unknot.
Kit air making' uv a trap," she said. Kit air
too busy fur grin'-stuns an' sech."
Gabe showed his teeth in a pleased smile. Jo's
"peartness" always pleased him.
Waal," he said, ef Kit air busy, who air goin'
ter turn fur yer ole dad ?"
He slipped the axe through his hands, and while
the pole rested upon the toe of his boot he leaned
upon the handle and put his question again: -
"Who's goin' ter holp yer ole dad, I'd like ter
know? "





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


"Me," she replied, and Gabe fairly shook with
laughter.
"Shucks!" he said, "ye little sparrow, ye; I'd
like ter know how ye got yer eddication, turning' uv
grin'-stuns an' sech."
Jo showed spirit at this implied reflection upon
her ability.
"I kin anyhow," she declared. "I turns fur
Kit, an' our axe what we-uns grin's don't git dull
in one choppin', neither, there! Gimme a shoe-
string."
In her excitement she had pulled too vigorously
upon the worn leather lacer, and it snapped beneath
the strain.
Gabe selected another from a bunch hanging by
the mantelshelf, and Jo tossed the shoe to Kit.
Fix it, Kit," she commanded, an' git yer sticks
all split 'g'inst we-uns grin's the axe."
And so the work went cheerily on, as it always
did at Gabe Brady's cabin in the Hollow, in spite
of cold and poverty and ignorance. There was
something in the hearts of these untaught ones that
lightened the day's labor and brightened the dull
kitchen and kept the soul singing. Something
nature had placed there; something that transforms





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


the hut into a paradise, and without which the
princely hearth is desolate,- sympathy.
When the grinding was finished, and Gabe was
singing away at the woodpile, Jo came and sat
down beside Kit on the floor.
Four sticks systematically arranged in the form
of a square, the four corners crossed, a ball of stout
cord, and a half-dozen other sticks waited Jo's
coming.
"Tie 'em tight, Jo," advised Kit; "tie every
corner tight an' allus leave string enough ter tie
everyone plumb ter the top; traps ain't fitten fur
nuthin' ef the string air broke."
Slowly, stick by stick, the trap took shape, until
at length it was finished. As strong and secure
a trap as could be desired, even for the most
diminutive sparrow that ever skipped a prison.
Kit held it at arm's length and admired it.
I calls that a fust-rate job," he declared.
We made it fust-rate," Jo amended as usual.
"Does you-uns aim ter ketch a b'ar?" asked
Gabe, who had entered while the trap was under
examination.
Hit ain't too big," said Kit, who understood the
sarcasm of his father's remark.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


"Hit air roomy," Gabe insisted, but hit'll
answer. Wher does ye aim ter set it?"
"Over ter Middle Ridge," said Kit; their's
some snow their, and Luke Simpson 'lowed ter me
ez their wuz more game on the Ridge 'n yer could
shake er stick at."
Gabe looked doubtful. Does yer aim ter kerry
the little gal along ?" he asked.
I aims to go," Jo answered for herself.
Hit air toler'ble fur," Gabe argued, an' word
kem ter the Holler ez their wuz a b'ar killed on
Middle Ridge last Sadday. Had n't yer better set
it nigher home, or leave the little gal behind ?"
Gabe thrust his boot into the blaze; the well-
burned log fell apart, half falling either side of the
chimneyplace, while the saucy sparks snapped
and sparkled and disappeared up the sooty
chimney.
"Naw," said Kit. "I don't want ter go if Jo
can't. I promised ter take her, an' I 'low I kin
keep the varmints off'n Jo, an' fetch her back all
right. Jo ain't no baby; she kin tromp roun'
same's a boy, Jo kin."
"I kin fetch the birds back, too;" Jo paid the
additional compliment to her usefulness.





TROUBLE IN DRK HOLLOW.


S'posin' the birds turns out rabbits ?" suggested
Gabe.
"We aims ter shoot a b'ar," Kit admitted with
an embarrassed grin.
I reckin," assented Gabe, cur'us b'ar there on
Middle Ridge; don't need no dogs ter ferret 'em
out, nor nuthin'; jest stan's on th'ir hin' feet an'
axes to be shot. Mighty 'commodatin' b'ar; what
does you-uns think uv it, Queenie ?"
"I think I air goin'," was the reply, and as usual
she had her own way; against Gabe's judgment,
and with many cautions and admonitions and
warnings, and a promise to be back promptly at
sundown.
Woody and wild and lonely, full of jutting crags
and unexplored caverns, isolated and unattractive
save for its undisputed grandeur, no man cared to
plant his dwelling on the dangerous height known
as the Middle Ridge.
Even the hunters, lured by the abundance of
game, deer, fox, wildcat, and even bear, when
night came on would pitch their tents as near as
possible to the cabins dotting the side and base of
the Ridge.
In daylight, however, there was no cause for





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


alarm; the wildcat fled before the approach of
humanity and bruin seldom made his appearance
without warm and continued insistence. Jo had
hunted huckleberries, wild grapes, persimmons, and
hazelnuts with Kit and Luke Simpson every spring
and autumn since she could remember. But their
excursions had never extended farther than the
lower side of the Ridge when Jo formed one of the
company. This was her first real trip to the Ridge;
and as she stood under a great overhanging ledge
and looked down upon the Hollow, humble, noise-
less, and tiny, nestled among the purple-painted
mountains, hugging their very feet like a slave at
the footstool of a monarch, she clapped her hands
with wild delight.
Far away to the south Peak's Mountain rose,
wrapped in filmy, delicate azure; nearer towered
the familiar heights of Beersheba; while winding
away to the westward, like a serpent following a
zigzag trail, ran the distorted contortion known as
the Backbone.
There was but a sprinkle of snow on the Ridge,
and Kit felt that he had brought his birdtrap to
little purpose. However, he set it, well baited with
bread crumbs, in a bank of drifted snow, just with-





TROUBLE IV DARK HOLLOW.


out the ledge where Jo stood ankle deep in the
rustling dead leaves which the wind had heaped
under the arched rock Kit scooped the leaves into
a nest and cunningly tucked her into it.
You-uns set here an' watch fur snowbirds," he
said. "An' whatever ye does don't yer move away
till we-uns gits back. We air goin' up the Ridge a
little higher fur a b'ar."
"Holler when yer gits it?" asked Jo with a
merry little laugh.
"Ye misdoubts we-uns'll git it, I s'pose," said
Luke.
I '11 eat all yer kills," was the only compromise
she offered as she crouched deeper into the crisp,
dry leaves, and the two youthful hunters started
again up the Ridge.
Once Kit looked back. It did not seem alto-
gether the proper thing to leave her there. He
shook his finger warningly: Don't you move; the
b'ar '11 eat yer ef yer does."
Jo, left to herself, cuddled down among the crisp,
warm leaves, like a young cub. Afraid of the bears?
Not she; she laughed at the idea. It may be she
was too young, it may have been because of her
wild mountain life, its freedom and security; at any





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


rate accustomed to roam over the hills and through
the forests, she felt no fear of the dangers that
might lurk about the Middle Ridge.
For some time she sat there in her nest of
leaves, watching the cloud-shadows upon the Hol-
low, or clapping her hands gleefully whenever
Kit's rifle rang out, clear and sharp, farther up the
mountain.
Then the waiting became monotonous, the guns
were too far off to be heard; the last shot sounded
miles and miles away, Jo thought.
It was tiresome, the waiting, and both feet were
fast asleep, she had sat still so long. She pinched
her toe to wake it up, but the effect was only to
send a sharp, prickly sensation tingling through the
entire foot. She stood up; ah! that was better, and
she concluded to walk about some and find some-
thing, maybe, that would amuse her and help to
pass the monotonous hours.
But there was nothing under the crag but dry
leaves, and one great flat stone propped against the
side wall of the shelving alcove.
Looks like a cubby door," laughed Jo; mebbe
the b'ars keeps house their. "
She peeped behind the door," and, sure enough,





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


there was a small circular opening leading under
the great Ridge.
Jo almost screamed with delight.
I '11 hide, an' 'tend like I 'm losted," she said,
and, stooping, she peeped further into the cave.
It was not very dark and was truly magnificently
finished. Jo crawled in on hands and feet; how
warm and good it was after waiting so long in the
cold.
She concluded to remain a moment where she
was until the warmth of the place should thor-
oughly penetrate her chilled limbs; then she would
look about her at Mr. B'ar's house."
The floor was of soft white sand, and Jo,
doubling her shawl for a pillow, stretched herself
upon her back to admire the glistening stalactites
hanging above her. How distinct, how perfect they
were; each one had a firm, rock grasp upon the
vaulted roof. Was she sure of that? Jo smiled
lazily to see one of the longest and heaviest sud-
denly leave its place and swing partners with its
opposite neighbor; then the entire crowd began to
grow restless and to move up and down, swift and
swifter, in a mad whirl; they were drunk, crazy, she
could n't exactly remember which. And at that





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


moment a gun sounded a report far away and
muffled by a distance, and the large stalactite was
suddenly transformed into a great black bear that
opened its mouth and swallowed the smaller ones.
Jo would have screamed, so terribly was she
frightened, only that her lips were locked and she
could not utter a sound. She was utterly dumb
with fear; at that moment, when she thought the
monster about to turn upon her, a covey of snow-
birds flew by and, lifting her upon their wings, bore
her gently, easily, tenderly away; somewhere, it did
not matter where, the motion was so easy. She
was floating in the air going, going; she smiled
again and gave herself to the long, long journey
southward into sunlight, away from the Hollow.
Once there was a thundering crash, but the birds
told her it was only the falling in of the cave she
had left. Once she was almost sure she heard her
father calling, Queenie! Queenie!" But it was
only the brooks laughing and the sunbeams danc-
ing in the land through which they traveled the
beautiful land of dreams.
The sun was slanting alarmingly westward when
Kit Brady and Luke Simpson turned their faces
homeward. Against the latter's inclination, how-





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


ever; for the young hunters had brought down no
nobler game than a couple of rabbits.
Hit air two good hours afore night," Luke
insisted. But Kit pointed toward the crimsoning
west.
"When the sun straddles that their' Backbone of
the mount'n," said he, he takes a mighty fast trot
down on t' other side."
I 'm plumb shame ter go back thout 'n any b'ar,"
insisted Luke.
Can't help yer shame," said Kit; it be time
fur me ter light out! "
"An' mam jist lon'in' fur some wil' meat, an' so
air the chillen. They-uns'll be plumb disappointed
ter see me come snakin' up two hours by sun with
nuthin' 'cept'n' of a rabbit."
"See here, Luke," said Kit, "ef ye wants ter
stay here and hunt meat fur yer folks, ye stay. I
air goin' home ter split wood fur mine. I tell ye
it '11 be plumb dark in the Holler 'g'inst we git their. "
And Kit was right; he could hear the cowbells
tinkling already, and even the sound of the wood-
man's axe as some shiftless mountaineer chopped
his necessary evening's fuel.
Kit grew restless and uneasy as they descended





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


the Ridge through the crackling branches and
rustling dead leaves.
Queenie! She must be stiff frez by this time,"
he said, an' I 'low she air plumb scairt ter death."
"Jo ain't no fool, nor no idjit, nuther," said
Luke; she air bred an' born'd in the Holler an'
she knows their ain't no call ter get shuck up in
broad daylight."
Kit was comforted somewhat.
Naw," he assented; Jo ain't no fool, an' she
ain't no coward, nuther. She air plucky, Jo air,
plumb game ter the backbonee"
Yet as the sun crept farther and farther over
the Backbone, and the distance between him and
the spot where they had left Jo rapidly lessened,
his fears returned. She was such a little thing, it
was a shame to have deserted her so long. Yet
she was such a brave little thing, too ; he knew she
was not afraid. It was n't always safe in the forest.
Only a month before a panther had been killed in
the Ridge, and bears were constantly prowling
around. Poor Kit! he was beset by so many differ-
ent emotions; first of fear, then of hope.
I sholy reckin nothing' could worrit Jo," he said
again and again as he trudged on as rapidly as





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


might be to join her. But when they stood at
length under the cliff and found the place deserted,
not a sign of the child anywhere, the two boys
were for a moment speechless with fear and
surprise.
A painter hev' got her, I jest knows it," said Kit.
What '11 dad say o' me goin' off an' leaving' Jo ter
wil' cats an' things ? Oh, what '11 dad say ? "
Waal, ef I ware in yer place, I'd look around a
bit afore I'd begin ter whimper like you-uns air
a-doin'," said Luke. Mebbe as not Jo's jest
hidin' ter werrit we-uns. Holler out loud an' see
ef she don't answer."
So Kit called; once, twice, a dozen times, but
there was no other answer than the wind in the
cedars, or a far-away whip-poor-will calling plain-
tively to the night.
Then Luke adopted a ruse:-
"Jo! he called. "Aw, Jo! we-uns knows ye air
jest foolin'. An' we air goin' off an' leave you ef
ye don't come out'n thar."
"Thar" meaning the hiding-place Jo was sup-
posed to have chosen. But even this threat was
powerless to provoke a response. Then Luke fired
his gun and both boys shouted: "A b'ar a b'ar! "






TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


but the only answer was the ever-ready echoes call-
ing jubilantly among the crags.
She's a-playin' 'possum," said Luke. "I jest
knows she air."
And they fired the gun again three times, and
again shouted B'ar! but all to no purpose. And
then even skeptical Luke became alarmed no less
than Kit. It was evident that Jo was lost.
Mebbe she hev' gone home," said Kit.
Not by her lone se'f," said Luke; more likely
she tried ter go an' got lost."
She was certainly lost; there were the leaves
just as they had heaped them into a little brown
nest, but the little brown bird had flown, the nest
was empty.
To make matters worse, the sun, indifferent to
human needs and anxieties, cast one long, jubilant
beam into the darksome niche and dropped sud-
denly behind the Backbone, leaving the Hollow in
darkness.
"0 Lu said Kit, hit air night, an' Jo air not
foun'. Do ye reckin she could 'a' gone home,
Luke?"
Naw," said Luke; I know she ain't done no
sech o' a thing. She air lost, an' we-uns better be





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


making' tracks ter tell it, stid o' prowlin' roun' here
rakin' 'mongst dead leaves an' shakin' o' dead
bresh.
She air lost. I allus 'lowed as gal chillen did n't
have no call ter be a-trampin' roun' after boys,
nohow. First place, 't ain't manners; second place,
they ain't fitten fur that kind o' work. I be goin'
home my own se'f."
Kit forgot his anxiety for a moment in his anger.
The idea of going off and leaving a helpless little
girl alone on the mountain all night was something
too cowardly contemptible to contemplate for an
instant.
Ef ye air minded ter go, Luke Simpson, ye kin
go! he exclaimed. "Ef ye air so coward disposed
ye orter run 'long home ter yer mammy. An' ye
better trot long toler'ble peart else the dark ull
overtake ye foreshortly. I knows in reason ye air
bound ter be afeared o' the dark, sech a puny little
snaggle-tooth baby ez ye be. Go along o' ye! Ez
fur me, I hev' settled it in my own min' ef Jo air ter
sleep all night on the Ridge she air not goin' to be
the only one ter do that. I ain't goin' ter leave it
till she air found; not ef it takes till the judgment
day."





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


He bit his lips to keep back the tears, for rough
boy as he was there was a warm, brave heart in the
bosom of Kit Brady. Even thoughtless Luke was
touched by the boy's tears.
I ware not aimin' ter run away fur being 'feard,
Kit," he said. But I 'lowed someun ought ter
know ez quick ez might be. It be toler'ble col' on
the Ridge, an' Jo air sech a little mite. One o'
we-uns ought to go an' gin the alarm in the Holler.
You-uns go, an' I ull stay here an' hunt if ye say
so. I ain't a-keerin' which, unly someun ought ter
go; hit '11 soon be plumb, good dark."
I 'd ruther die ez ter go back without Queenie,"
sobbed Kit. I 'd ruther drap dead in my tracks
ez ter go back ter dad an' tell him ez I hev' lost her.
She air the light o' his soul, Jo air. I would n't go
back an' tell him I hev' done gone an' lost her,
mebbe lef' her fur a painter ter eat, not fur all the
Holler. I 'd cut my tongue out first."
Before Kit's mind passed in panoramic swiftness
and precision the scene at the cabin when the news
of the trouble should reach it. The look upon his
father's face he could see it as distinctly as he saw
it the day his mother lay in her white pine coffin.
And then the empty little chair in the chimney





TROUBLE IV DARK HOLLOW.


corner- that was Jo's chair and Jo's corner where
she sat every evening and sassed her father and
big brother. Nobody ever thought of that chair
without Jo in it, and now oh, the desolate days,
the lonely, grief-burdened nights that were in store
for them, should his sister indeed be lost to them
forever! He pressed his fingers upon his eyes to
shut out the horrible picture. The next moment
faith reasserted itself; he called himself a fool for
thinking Jo would not be found.
Go on, Luke," he said; I ware that worrit I
did n't know what I ware a-sayin'. You-uns go on
ez spry ez ye ever kivered groun' in yer life, an' gin
the alarm. Wake up the Holler--half of it air
asleep by sundown, an' t' other half noddin'. Stop
at Parson Tate's ez ye go by hit's the first place
- an' start him over to tell dad. He'll break it
more like something' than t' others. Then holler it
out ez ye go, ye knows how, an' the Holler folks '11
understand. They-uns knows what it air ter be lost
on Middle Ridge. Run on; I air not goin' ter
leave this here mount'n till Jo leaves it. Go on,
boy! The command was almost a threat, and Luke
sped off at once, disappearing almost immediately in
the gloom of the forest and the descending night.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


Down, down the rocky Ridge path, over brush
and brier and slippery stones he hurried, calling as
he went that cry which always awakens a dreadful
fear in the breast of the mountaineer, who under-
stands all too well what it means to wander unguided
and alone among those barren, snowcapped heights.
That cry which awakens, as nothing can beside, his
keenest interest, and enlists his broadest sympathy:
Lost! Lost! Lost! "
Old men heard it and left their chimney corners
to reach for the rifles above the kitchen doors. Old
women heard it and left their griddles to blow a
blast upon the horn that would announce the danger
to the next listener. Children heard it, and forgot
their supper smoking on their plates, to crowd
about the doors with white faces, wondering about
the child who was lost. Young maidens and young
men, forgetting sex in sweet humanity, went forth
together, one heart, one purpose, to rescue the
perishing.
"Lost! Lost! Lost!"
Kit heard the cry as the young courier sped on;
fainter and fainter it came to him, until at last he
failed to hear it at all. Then he knew Luke was
telling the story at the cabins as he passed along.





44 TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.

He could almost, he fancied, tell the very moment
when he stopped at such or such a door. But he
was not idle meanwhile; afraid to wander far from
the spot lest he should be going farther from his
sister, he spent the time in creeping in among the
shadowy crevices, both of crag and brush, and
searching as best he could in the darkness that was
fast settling upon the Ridge.
More than once he called, thinking she might
have fallen asleep.
Jo! 0 Jo! Jo air a soun' sleeper," he told
himself. I hev' knowed dad ter sprinkle water
out o' the gourd into her face morning's. An' she
must 'a' been mighty nigh fagged out with the tramp
up the Ridge. Jo! 0 Jo!"
But, if asleep, the slumber was too deep to be
broken by his call, and, heartsick and discouraged,
Kit sat down upon a rock and buried his face in
his hands. Lost! little Queenie; bright, part,
" sassy little Queenie. It could n't be; she must
be at home, safe in the cabin in the Hollow. Sud-
denly he bounded to his feet; he had heard that
which told him emphatically and distinctly that she
was not at home in the Hollow. It was a horn,
a blast blown loud and clear three times a pause,





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


and then the triple blast again. Everybody in the
Hollow and along the mountain side knew that it
meant danger of some kind; and Kit knew the
response to the signal to be always immediate.
Indeed while he listened there was an answer;
another and another; then a shout, repeated and
multiplied; and far down the Hollow a torch
blazed out like a red meteor in the blackness of
the night. In a moment others were lighted, and
still others; the entire valley was awake, the wilder-
ness ablaze with light.
They hev' heard the news," said Kit, an' they
air formin'. I wonder ef dad knows poor dad! "
He climbed upon the rocks, to the very tallest,
and hallooed until he was hoarse, although he knew
his voice was no more to that far-off band than the
echo of a little brook singing among its yellow
pebbles. Still he wanted to do something; he
must do something or his heart would burst.
When he listened again he knew the procession
was making the ascent of the Ridge, for the cries
came nearer and more distinct, and the horns were
awaking the echoes down the steep bluff's side.
Sweet sound, aye, music sweet as heaven's to his
ears! Then there came another sound- a nearer,






TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


clearer sound a sound that sent the life-blood
freezing to his heart, so full was it of horrible,
fiendish suggestions. He scrambled down from
the rocks to which he had climbed and stationed
himself in the leaves; he could feel them in the
darkness, crisp and crackling beneath his feet, the
very bed of leaves in which he had placed his
sister. Somehow he felt, he could not have told
why, nearer to her in that empty nest of brown
leaves, and his first thought when that hideous cry
rang out upon the night was one of protection to Jo.
Ef it hev' come fur her, mebbe it'll take me
instead," he told himself, and not once did the
brave heart falter. "An' ef it hev' already tuk her,
I'd ruther it tuk me ez ter not."
He had heard the cry of a panther in a laurel
brake near by.
Gabe Brady had kindled a lively fire in the big
old fireplace.
So's ter hev' it homeful an' chairful 'g'inst the
little gal gits back," he said as he drew up the big
wooden rocker before the blaze and sat watching
the sparks crackling about the red cedar with a
saucy jubilance which served partly to amuse and
partly to irritate him.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


Gabe never felt quite comfortable when Jo was
gone "on one o' them wil' tromps after Kit."
And to-night, somehow, the saucy sparks seemed
to be twitting him with her absence.
"Humph!" he said, "ye appears ter be sorter
spiteful like ter-night, ye sholy do; air it because
the little gal ain't here? She's a-comin', lemme tell
ye. An' she hev' got two eyes in that sassy head
o' her'n as '11 lay the best o' you-uns, ye imperdent
sparkers ye, cla'r back inter the shade."
Still, for all his gay banter, Brady felt a trifle
uneasy. He pushed his chair back and began to
busy himself about the more stirring matters of
the household; first he swung a black kettle to the
iron hook suspended in the big black fireplace, and
put some potatoes to roast, with their jackets on,
in the hot ashes. Then he opened the door and
looked out. The Hollow was shrouded in a dead-
white mist. The sun had already set and a brisk,
sharp breeze stirred the brown boughs of the oak
and moaned in the melancholy pine trees. Gabe
was restless.
Hit air lonesome, shore now," he declared.
"An' the wind do blow pitiful. I wish the little
gal wuz in; I certainly do."






TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


He went back to the fire and threw on another
log. Then he noticed that the kettle had begun
to hum. He.listened a moment, then impulsively
reached his hand and, lifting the pot from the hook,
set it back upon the hearth.
Ef ye can't sing no more chairfuller 'an that, ye
kin take a back seat," he said. I reck'n I knows
the little gal ain't come, 'thout you-uns tellin' me."
Again he went to the door and looked out,
instantly closed it and returned to the fire. His
pipe lay on the shelf above the fireplace; he took
it up mechanically, tapped it upon the jamb of the
chimney, and watched, without seeing, the white
ashes and half-burned tobacco drop upon the
hearth. Then suddenly he remembered that it
was Jo who always "tapped out the ashes," ai;d
Jo who always crammed in the fixin's when he
wished to smoke. He replaced the pipe upon the
shelf quickly as if it had unexpectedly stung him.
As he did so the blaze from the great back log
suddenly shot out its red tongue and, with a jubi-
lant roar, licked the black back of the chimney
with a kind of fiendish affection that made Brady
almost forget his uneasiness in hi:s citationn.
"An' what air you-uns a-jubileein' about ?" v:e





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


demanded. I declare ter goodness a man hev'
got no say-so in his own house these days."
The next moment he laughed; the absurdity of
the thing struck him, and he knew it was his own
warped fancy and uneasy mind had given tongue to
the inanimate objects about him.
Everything hev' gone crookety ter-night," he
said, all on account of the little sass-box not bein'
here. I'm mightily afeared I ought not to 'a' let
her go. Waal, ef she ain't here at home in a
mighty, mighty short time, I '11 go arter her."
Go-ho-ho-ho!" roared the blaze, and Gabe
stepped back in frightened astonishment.
Ye need n't be jubileein' 'bout'n it, Mr. Blaze,"
he said.
She'd laugh peart'r 'n ye kin ter see her foolish
ole dad a-traipsin' arter her."
Go-oh-oh-oh! It was the wind at the
window.
"I'low I knows when ter go," said Gabe. "It
do appear ez ef everything wuz sot on advisin' ter-
night, ez ef some'n' wuz ter pay sho enough."
Go! "
A saucy spark snapped the command in his very
face.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


One more tellin', an' I will," said Gabe. The
stout heart of the man was weakening in the
solicitude of the father, though he called himself
" a fool," a born'd idjit," and drew up the old rock-
ing-chair again, threw himself into it, and, rocking
slowly to and fro, listened eagerly and restlessly for
the sound of the merry clatter that always preceded
Jo's coming. But he could hear nothing save the
rough rockers crossing the uneven boards.
Go, G-a-b-e Go, G-a-b-e!" With a quick
emphatic jerk the sound of the rocking took form
into words.
At that moment a rifle shot, another, and, with
instantaneous rapidity, another rang out in sharp
succession. He listened but an instant.
Lost Lost! Lost! "
The old, terrible cry that meant a face missing
at some humble fireside.
Gabe sprang to his feet and jerked his rifle from
the rack above the cabin door, lifted the latch, and
stood face to face with Parson Tate.
For a moment neither spoke; each throat refused
utterance to the terrible truth that lay heavy on
each heart.
At length the preacher, for years the adviser and





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


a kind of oracle to the humble people of the Hol-
low, lifted his left hand and laid it upon Brady's
shoulder. In his right he carried a torch, and a
hunter's horn hung from his neck.
My brother," he said, the ways o' the Almighty
air past finding' out, but his arm air strong ter deliver
sech ez put their trust in him."
Brady staggered and leaned against the door;
for a moment his limbs refused to bear his weight.
By that word ye air meaning ter tell me ez it be
my own little gal ez be lost, Parson Tate, air ye? "
he asked.
A deep groan was the only answer, and Gabe
strode out into the night, where the neighbors, with
the quick sympathy that is characteristic of the
mountain people, had congregated to join in a
search for the lost child.
Parson Tate acted as director, and ordered each
man to provide himself with a torch; when this had
been done he led the procession toward the Ridge,
rising, a gaunt and forbidding barrier, on the east
boundary of Dark Hollow.
Men, women, and children, calling, shouting, fir-
ing of guns, and waving of torches, they scattered
and spread in small squads over the Ridge. At





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


midnight Parson Tate blew a loud blast upon the
hunter's horn hung about his neck and summoned
the unsuccessful searchers again at the foot of the
Ridge. Doubt was distinct on every face lit up by
the blazing torches that turned away from the tear-
less grief of the stricken father.
Go home, Gabe; ye air all onfitten ter be out'n
the night, an' we-uns kin do all ther''s to do. Go
home, Gabe."
A friendly neighbor tendered the advice. Gabe
slowly shook his head.
An' leave the b'ars, an' painters, an' wil' var-
mints to eat rry little gal ?" he asked.
The light 'll skeer the wil' things off," said one
of the men. You-uns better go home an' rest
afore the fire."
I ain't hnin' fur rest an' sech," said Gabe,
"whilst my 'i:tle gal air mebbe freezin', freezing !
O Lord! tLr think o' my poor little gal a-freezin'
on the mount'n." And the poor man dropped his
face in his hands and wept.
He no longer resisted when one of the neighbors
gently but firmly put his arm in his and led him
away to the lonely cabin in the Hollow. Mean-
while the search went on.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


Parson Tate formed the people in a line leading
up the Ridge; a man stood at the foot; twenty yards
further up another was stationed, then, another and
another, each twenty yards apart, until the last
man stood at the top of the Ridge.
At a given signal, passed from lip to lip, the
column moved slowly southward, each head bowed,
each torch ablaze, thrust now and then into suspi-
cious-looking hollows. Scarcely a word was spoken
as the melancholy march went on, until at last a
dull-gray line stretched across the eastern horizon.
The gray line grew to a silver shimmer; a mantle
spread across the heavens that were alive with the
new day. The torches were extinguished and
the sun rose to light the tireless watchers across
the mountain. Two hours more of daylight passed
and yet no trace of the lost child. The stoutest
heart among them grew hopeless; rough hands
were continually brushing off the tears that rolled
down rougher cheeks. The word passed up the
column to turn, and sadly the sympathetic hearts
obeyed, slowly retracing their steps over the lonely
Ridge.
The saddest among them all was Kit; he had
walked all night, keeping always ahead of the





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


others. Six o'clock found him again at the spot
where he had left Jo to watch the birdtrap; there
was the nest of brown leaves as he had fashioned
it the empty nest; he thrust the leaves aside with
his foot as if he half-hoped to find beneath them Jo.
'T ain't no use, nohow," he said to himself. I've
s'arched their' fifty times an' better."
Nevertheless she stooped and peered carefully
into the farthest recesses of the alcove. Nothing
but emptiness; he expected it, yet he was disap-
pointed. He was about to turn away in despair
when a brown object appeared, emerging from be-
hind the standing flat rock. Kit grasped his rifle,
that he still carried, but dropped it as a saucy voice,
that he knew could belong to no human being liv-
ing except Jo, called to him :-
Did you-uns shoot a b'ar, Kit ?"
As calm and as unconcerned as if Kit had just
returned from yesterday's hunt. The boy was
startled almost out of his senses; he believed
for a moment that it was Jo's spirit, and his first
impulse was to run away from it.
Instead, however, of doing that he put his hands
to his lips, making a kind of trumpet, and called
loudly, Come here A man at the foot of the




































Jl I






GABE BRADY ADVANCED TO MEET THEM.





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


advancing column of searchers heard the boy's cry
and repeated it instantly and loudly, Come here "
It passed to the next man and the next, "Come
here! Come here! Come here !" It was
little more than an echo when it reached the last
man, and the entire column, man by man, as he
sent his command to the next one, hurried down to
the cave's mouth where Jo sat laughing at their
wonder, and demanding, Wher' air dad ? "
SThey bore her home on their shoulders amid the
noise of guns and shouting and rejoicing. She was
a kind of hero that day, and she laughed and buried
her fingers in Parson Tate's woolly hair as she sat
upon the old man's shoulder.
The procession halted at the threshold of the
cabin in the Hollow. The door opened and Gabe
Brady advanced to meet them. Parson Tate
stepped forward and lifted his burden from his
shoulders.
"My brother, the Lord air merciful an' full o'
tender compassion. The lost air found." And he
placed Jo in Gabe's outstretched arms.
Where had she been ? She could not tell it all,
for laughing.
Fur away some'r's," she said; mighty fur, where'





TROUBLE IN DARK HOLLOW.


it wuz all warm an' sunshiny, an' the birds talked
like folkses, an' the flowers talked out loud."
All winter, indeed, Jo delighted to tell of that
wonderful night on Middle Ridge. Every evening
in the little chair by the chimney corner she would
repeat the story of that strange land which she had
visited. And at the close of each recital, for
neither Gabe nor Kit ever wearied of the story,
Brady would declare: -
"'Tware a mighty big dream o' your'n, ez ye
dreamt in that their' cave, Queenie. A sholy
mighty big dream."
And Jo would chuckle and show her white, kit-
tenlike teeth as she glanced roguishly at Kit across
the hearth.
Did n't no painter eat me, nuther; now, did it,
Kit ? "
But," said Brady, it sholy ware a oncommon
big dream."





















AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


BY
M. A. C. WILLARD.










AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


N OW, Ik, here you are again, working for us
when you ought to be attending to your own
place," remonstrated Mrs. Harold.
Ik, startled, scrambled up from his kneeling pos-
ture, jerking his excuse for a hat from his kinky
head, and stood before his former mistress with a
countenance indicative of having been caught in the
midst of unworthy deeds, a quaint, shabby, ungainly
figure in garments that defy my feeble descriptive
powers, an unmistakable son of darkest Africa, of
uncertain age and indescribable personality.
Ef you please, Mis' Mary," said he with look
and tone expressive of profound apology, I was
jest a-weedin' Miss Nell's pansy blossoms. Dey's
choked up wid de grass, dey is, and needs 'tention
mighty bad, dey does."
"So they do, Ik. And so does everything else
about the place. However," she added with a sigh,
" unless I manage better in the future than I have
in the past, I will soon have no claim upon it."
61





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


"Whot dat you sayin', Mis' Mary?" asked Ik,
lifting his head quickly. "Ain't gwine to sell de
ole place, is you, mist'ess ? "
Sell it, Ik! Don't you remember Mr. Grimsby's
mortgage ?"
I 'members it, mist'ess, well enough," responded
Ik with deep dejection, dropping his head again and
moving uneasily from one foot to the other, but I
thought dat business done been 'ranged long o'
Mars' Philip an' Mars' Grimsby."
So it was for a time, Ik, but another payment -
the last payment will be due on the last day of
this month, and unless I can meet that payment
promptly, Mr. Grimsby declares the old place
must go."
Can't Mars' Phil ?" began Ik anxiously.
No," said Mrs. Harold. He has done all that
he could as a lawyer and as a friend for us, and he
can do no more. He is a poor man himself, and
he has a large family of his own. Five hundred
dollars is not easy to get these days, Ik," with a
faint smile.
Ik looked up quickly again.
Five hundred dollars, Mis' Mary?"
"Yes, Ik, five hundred dollars. And if I could






AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


pay it the old place would be my own again, and
with a little help I could soon have it in good
condition and be comfortable once more, Ik, and
put Miss Nell at school and be able to help
you and Martha along. You have done so much
for us "
"Five hundred dollars!" repeated Ik again
thoughtfully, anxiously. Then with a quaver in his
humble tones: As to me an' Marthy, mist'ess,
whot's me an' Marthy done for you ? Whar'd we
be only fer you and my master dat 's dead ? Did n't
he give us dat place of our 'n and sot us bofe free
long 'fore freedom come and kered for us an'
helped us long as he lived? Mist'ess, you done
forgot all dat."
No, Ik, and I have n't forgotten all your faithful
service to your master, and to me since your master
died, and I am not likely to forget. You deserve a
great deal more than you ever have received or ever
will receive."
Ik shook his head, drew his hand across his eyes,
and opened his lips twice in unavailing effort to
articulate some sort of protest.
Well, well, Ik," said Mrs. Harold gently, per-
haps things will come out all right somehow,






ANV UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


We'll try to make the best of them in any case.
How is Martha to-day ?"
Fa'rly, mist'ess, fa'rly. Dat ile you sont her
helped her rheum'tism might'ly."
I am glad to hear it, Ik. I'11 go down to see her
in the morning; I sent Nell down to-day."
T'ank you, mist'ess; I lef' Miss Nell dar when I
come up here dis afternoon. Is you gwine to de
sto', Mis' Mary? Let me go fer you ?"
"No," said Mrs. Harold, moving away down
the garden path, "I am going to see Lawyer
Graves. See that Miss Nell comes home before
dark, Ik."
She walked slowly on and Ike stood still and
stared after her thoughtfully but vaguely.
Five hundred dollars !" muttered he. An'
she's got to hab it by de las' of dis mont', and dis
is de middle! Five hundred dollars An' to t'ink
I 'members de time when master thought nothing' o'
spending' five thousand' dollars, and when dat same
ole Grimsby'd a-been in de po' house, long o' his
kin', ef it had n't a-been fer my master, an' now he
trying to take de roof from over my mist'ess' head.
Him dat ain't no better'n de dus' under her foots!"
and Ik fell upon his knees again, and began an





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


unnecessarily savage onslaught upon the fresh
green grass among Nell's pansy blossoms.

Ef you please, Mars' Phil! "
Well, Isaac," said Lawyer Graves, turning from
his desk and looking kindly and inquiringly at his
sable visitor who stood hesitatingly half in and half
out of the office door, come in. What can I do
for you ? A message from Mrs. Harold? "
No, sah," said Ik, approaching to within a few
yards of the lawyer and pausing abruptly, shifting
from his right foot to his left as he stood, and twist-
ing his old hat unmercifully with his two coal-black,
nervous hands. I 's come on a little business o'
my own dis morning sah."
Business of your own, eh, Ik? Well, out with
it, old man. Let us hear what it is."
Ef you please, Mars' Phil," said Ik, hesitating
and doubtful, "I I's sole my place, sah "
Sold your place exclaimed the lawyer, aston-
ished. Why, Isaac, what possessed you ? Mr.
Harvey told me two months ago that you refused a
good offer from him "
So I did, Mars' Phil, so I did, sah but but-
I's sole it to him now. You see, Mars' Phil, it was





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


j'inin' o' dat fiel' o' his'n an' he wanted it mighty
bad," added Ik apologetically.
I see, Ik. But what do you want to do ? What
do you want me to do for you ? You are not going
to leave the country, I hope ? "
"No, sah, I ain't no sech notion as dat. You
see, Mars' Phil, sah," continued Ik, shifting uneasily
and staring down at the persecuted hat in his rest-
less hands, I was kinder tired like, livin' in one
place so long, an' I 'cluded 't would be de bes' for
me an' Marthy to live nigher de big house. Dere's
a little bit of a shanty in de backyard by de
kitchen dat Mis' Mary'll let us have till, till
sumudder 'rangements kin be made, and we'll be
nigh enough to help Mist'ess and Miss Nell more
'n we does now, an' "-
Ik," interrupted Lawyer Graves, does Mrs.
Harold know you have sold your place? "
No, sah," responded Ik with evident reluctance.
It was a nice place, Isaac, and you were very
comfortably fixed. A very nice place."
"So 't was, Mars' Phil. So 't was, sah!"
assented Ik eagerly. Marster helped me 'long
wid it, an''holped me to pay fer de house, an'- an'
- but Mars' Harvy wanted it powerful bad, an' -





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


How much did he pay you for it, Ik? "
Seven hundred an' fifty dollars, Mars' Phil;
more'n he offered me at fu'st. An' so," continued
Ik, still bent upon apologizing for the disposal of
his own lawful property, I 'cluded to sell out and
live nigher de big house an' keep Mis' Mary
an -
But, Isaac," said Lawyer Graves, do you know
that within a week's time, in all probability, Mis'
Mary will no longer have any claim upon the big
house? You ought to have consulted her before
you sold your place. You are better off to-day
than your old mistress, Isaac. I 've worked hard
to set things straight, but I don't see any help for
her. What are you going to do with your seven
hundred and fifty dollars, Ik? If"--he stopped
abruptly and looked hard at the shambling,
awkward, uneasy figure, looked so hard and search-
ingly that the anxious, wistful eyes fell beneath
his gaze.
In a week's time, did you say, Mars' Phil,
sah ? "
"In less than a week's time, Isaac, your old
mistress and her daughter will be houseless and
homeless, as far as I can see to the contrary."





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


Mars' Phil," stammered Ik hurriedly, still look-
ing down and crushing the shapeless mass in his
hands, I done come here dis morning' to tell you-
to ax you to but I dunno how to go 'bout it.
Me 'n Marthy wuz thinking Mars' Phil, could n't
you could n't some white gem'man -
Isaac!" shouted Lawyer Graves, springing to
his feet, grasping Ik's shoulder and shaking him
till his teeth chattered and his unfortunate rag of
a hat fell from his trembling hands. What have
you done ? What have you done ? "
Mars' Phil!" uttered Ik in frightened tones,
shrinking from the lawyer's grasp, 'deed, Mars'
Phil, I did n't mean no harm. I didn't mean my
mistress to know de money come f'um me! She
tole me, you tole me, Mars' Phil, sah, dat de money
could n't be got nohow, an' we could n't b'ar, me an'
Marthy, to see de ole place go like dat, an' so -
an' so 0 Mars' Phil, sah, 'deed I did n't mean
no harm! "
Harm!" cried the lawyer with shining eyes
and unsteady lips, Isaac! Isaac! You have done
what the noblest gentleman in the land might be
proud of having done, what not one 'white gem'-
man' in a million would think of doing! You





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


have sold the roof from over your head; you, in
your old age, have thrown yourself out of house
and home to O Ik! Ik!"
You '11 do it then, Mars' Phil cried Ik, eager
and excited, approaching the lawyer as he sank
back into his chair and touching his hand with the
tip of his black finger; "you '11 save de ole place
an' never let 'em know; min' dat, Mars' Phil!-
never let 'em know whar de money come f'um."
"I 'll do it, Ik; who would n't do it ? But after
it's done. Where's your money, Isaac? "
Here, right here, Mars' Phil! and drawing an
old stocking from hidden depths somewhere about
his person, Ik emptied its contents into the lawyer's
hands.
Isaac! Isaac!" said Lawyer Graves, give that
stocking to me. I'll keep it so long as there's a
shred of it left, and who else will be able to show
a like souvenir? Who else will be able to tell
a story such as I can and will tell? There's two
hundred and fifty dollars I '11 put down to your
credit till you call for it. That's over and above
the five hundred, you know. There's something
else written against your name in a mighty book,
Isaac -but I'm talking Greek to you! Go along





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


and tell Mrs. Harold I must see her immediately
and that I have good news for her. But, no; send
Grimsby here; I 'll settle with Grimsby first and
then I '11 see her."
And Ik, with beatified countenance, picked up
his disreputable headgear and shuffled off as fast
as his feet in their ragged coverings could carry
him.

Ik! Ik!" cried Mrs. Harold in broken tones.
The shambling, awkward, ungainly figure stood
before her in her own room, nervously turning and
twisting that disgraceful hat, his manner the manner
of a culprit called to account for dire misdeeds.
Ef you please, Mis' Mary, Mars' Phil he
promised not to tole you, he did," muttered Ik in
the lowest depths of humiliation and confusion.
"O Isaac! Isaac! I don't know what to do for
you, I don't know what to say to you continued
Mrs. Harold. How dared you do such a thing?
How dared you think of it? But, 0 Ik! Ik! I'm
glad to know that there's such a creature in the
world! You don't know, you can't know, what you
have saved us from, what you have done for us,
Isaac; but some day you shall have a home of





AN UNCONSCIOUS HERO.


your own again, you and Martha. And some day,
Ik, some day, when you meet your dead master
face to face in a better world -
Ik lifted a suddenly glorified face. Dat's
whot I's hopin' an' trying' fer, mistress," he whis-
pered under his breath, to meet my master some
day in dat better world. 'T ain't so fer away, Mis'
Mary, dat day, an' when I meets 'em dar, Mars'
Guy, an' my heabenly Marster, I wants to feel dat
I can look 'em bofe in de face widout fear an'
tremblin'. Dat's whot I's hopin' an' trying' fer,
mistress;" and turning away he shambled softly
from the room and back to Nell's flower-beds,
wholly unconscious of the heroism and self-sacri-
fice embodied in the deed he had done; mindful
only of, thankful only for, in the simple, humble,
unthinking ignorance of his untaught African soul,
the fact that the old home of his dead master was
safe once more in the possession of those who
loved and honored it for that dead master's sake.





















GRETCHEN.


BY
MARJORIE RICHARDSON.










GRETCHEN.


T was the second concert Gretchen Ritter had
ever attended. She was such a little girl, only
ten years old, and the grandfather was so poor. He
never had tickets given him, even though he helped
interpret Beethoven's great symphonies and all the
other wonderful compositions to a large audience
every Wednesday evening.
It was not his fault. It would have been like a
beam of sunlight to him to have seen his darling's
golden head and loving blue eyes among the audi-
ence when he took his place on the great stage and
looked down on the crowd of strange faces. But
what could he do ? He was only an obscure violinist
and must not ask for favors, and, besides, Gretchen
was such a very little girl to sit alone among all
those people for a whole evening.
Gretchen agreed with him perfectly. She had a
very humble opinion of herself, but she could afford
to be humble, for had she not the grandfather to be
proud of? Had she not dreamed of the day, that
75






GRE TCHEN.


delightful day, when Mr. Arnold, the cross director,
should find out how much talent Herr Ritter really
had and should allow him to play one of his own
compositions to that expectant audience ?
Gretchen had firm faith in her grandfather's music.
How she thrilled and wept while listening to some
of his dreamy andantes, and how her eyes danced
and her cheeks glowed while she kept time to the
bright little scherzos which sometimes, but not often,
found their way among his compositions! And she
could play them all herself, too. Ever since she
could remember she had shared the dear old violin
with him, and he had taught her his best, delighted
with the really extraordinary ability of the little maid,
whose small fingers seemed almost too tiny to fly
over the strings with such marvelous rapidity.
She can blay the piece," he often said to his
only friend and confidant, Fritz Liitzel, she can
blay the piece so goot as I. She can blay the piece
better than I. Ah, wait, Fritz, wait till my Gretchen
grow up a woman, then we shall see what we shall
see! "
Fritz thought he was quite right, only that a
mistake lay in waiting at all.
Why should not Gretchen astonish the world at






GRETCHEN.


once ? He had heard many a young artist applauded
and praised who had not, he was sure, half the deli-
cacy of touch, half the power of expression which
his little friend possessed.
But the grandfather would not allow him even to
speak of it.
She is yet a so small midchen," he would say
gently, and she haf no matter, only me, her poor
old grandfather, who can do nodings for her, nodings
but gif her his best teaching. Wait, Fritz, wait till
she grow a leetle older before we put her before the
peoples. Let her be a leetle girl for but a few more
year."
So Gretchen had waited and kept house in the
three little rooms over the bakery, and practised all
her odd moments, and once, once she had been to
a concert.
Fritz Liitzel, who played one of the French horns
in the orchestra, had hurt his hand, and being
granted a week's holiday, he made use of his
liberty by taking Gretchen to one of the concerts.
Should she ever forget the great event the lights,
the people, and, more absorbing still, the great,
beautiful music which seemed to fill her whole soul?
She had thought of it for months after, and now






GRETCHEN.


she was really to hear it again, and under what
circumstances!
Her dreams were to be realized, for the grand-
father was at length to be the soloist, and moreover
was to play one of his own compositions, Der
Abschied."
How such wonderful luck had come about,
Gretchen did not at first know. Herr Ritter
modestly attributed it to the sudden illness of Mr.
Gllitz, the intended soloist, and the necessity for
filling his place at once.
But when Fritz came in later in the evening he
told Gretchen gleefully how the great musical critic,
Mr. Warren, had overheard Herr Ritter playing over
to himself one of the little andantes from his
"Abschied." How he had been struck by his skill
and had spoken to Mr. Arnold of him, and begged,
or rather insisted, that he should be the soloist for
the next concert, filling the place of Mr. G6llitz and
playing that same little andante.
It was Mr. Warren's last week in America, and as
for years the concerts had been under his supervision,
Mr. Arnold was naturally anxious to please his
patron, even to the extent of bringing the obscure old
Herr Ritter into prominence.





GRETCHEN.


So the matter had been arranged, and already the
programs were being printed with Herr Ritter's
name as soloist in large letters at the end, and
" Selections from 'Der Abschied' (first time) in
small letters near the top.
Gretchen could hardly sleep that night for very
excitement. Already she imagined the wonder and
delight of the people at this new composer. The
questions which would be asked, of where he could
have remained hidden for so long; the increase of
engagements, and at last money enough to carry
them both, and Fritz Liitzel, back to the Father-
land, that sunny Fatherland, which Gretchen could
remember so faintly. Back to the grandfather's
land of music, and to the little cottage near the
great, bright city, where the first happy years of her
childhood had been passed. She talked about it
continually, and all day long after her modest house-
wifery was finished she would play parts of "Der
Abschied over and over.
Sometimes with closed eyes she imagined herself
playing before crowded houses as the grandfather
would play; sometimes with her eyes fixed on the
little strip of blue sky visible from the tiny window
she would dream herself back in her own little room





GRETCHEN.


in the Weissbeide cottage. The crowning moment
came when Fritz told her he had obtained per-
mission for her to go to the concert and remain in
the anteroom, where she could hear the music per-
fectly. Then for a day, it is true, Der Abschied"
was neglected while Gretchen washed and mended
and made over her one best frock, and pressed out
the broad pieces of blue ribbon which were to deck
out her person a little for the great occasion.
For a time she was almost too happy, but at
length came a cloud, and a very serious one it was.
Two days before the concert a painful attack of
rheumatism came upon the grandfather. The poor
old fingers of his right hand were so knotted that
he could hardly hold the bow, and yet he must go
to rehearsals and try to be thankful that it was his
right instead of his left hand.
Gretchen bathed the poor fingers in warm lini-
ment each night, and talked bravely of how the
rheumatism sometimes departed as suddenly as it
came; but her heart grew heavier and heavier, and
Wednesday morning, the day of the concert, she
could hardly keep back her tears when the grand-
father entered the kitchen with a pale, anxious face.
Mein Gretchen," he said in a low, trembling





GRETCHEN.


voice, "it has kom a leetle also to the other
hand."
They both knew too well that this was his only
chance; that after Mr. Warren had gone away
Mr. Arnold would trouble himself no more about
the playing or composition of the old violinist.
But if he could only be heard once! Herr Ritter
was very modest, but he did have some hope that
if his "Abschied" might be brought before the
public for even a single time, he might perhaps be
able to dispose of it; and now! If he could arrest
the rheumatism in his left hand for one day, just
for one day. He stayed in the house all that morn-
ing and afternoon, keeping the poor old hands as
warm as possible, while Gretchen cheered him as
best she could with her singing and hopeful words
of encouragement.
Seven o'clock came and with it Fritz Liitzel to
escort them to the hall.
To his great relief Herr Ritter found that the
rheumatism had gone from his left hand, and that
he could move his right with but little pain; so
Gretchen dressed herself with a light heart, hum-
ming little snatches from Der Abschied"; and,
as a crowning adornment, she placed in Herr




GRETCHEN.


Ritter's coat a gay little scarlet boutonniere, for
which she had been saving up her odd pennies -
and you may be sure they were not many -for
the past two weeks. Then the three set out for
the hall together.
At first Gretchen was almost frightened by the
noise and confusion, and after Herr Ritter and Fritz
had left her to arrange their music and stands for
the evening, she sat in a corner of the anteroom
bewildered and wondering.
Everyone seemed to have so much to say, and
said it in such a loud tone and with so many ges-
tures, that it fairly made her head whirl, and she was
glad enough when a gentleman who did not seem
to have anything especial to do, and who was
wandering aimlessly about, came at length to her
corner and asked kindly if she were waiting for
anyone.
She replied in her pretty, broken English, and
then, as he continued to smile so pleasantly at her,
she ventured to explain why she was there.
"Ah," said the gentleman thoughtfully, so Herr
Ritter is your grandfather! Well, well, and are you
fond of music, too?"
Gretchen laughed softly, quite forgetting her





GRE TCHEA.


timidity at this strange question. Fond of it?"
she repeated; "if one came to me and should
promise to me all the fine, beautiful houses, all the
bright dresses everything, if I give up the music,
I would say no; for noding could I give it up
except for the grandfader or Fritz, and they, they
know what it is to me, they would not ask it.
Why, see, then, mein Herr, I know each movement,
each note which my grandfader play to-night.
I have play it often myself, and I know how
I felt when first I heard it, how I feel when now I
hear it. It is as if life were one beautiful dream,
and when the people hear it, ah, mein Herr, it will
not be hard for the grandfader to sell his music after
that!
Do you know, perhaps, how he looks, which he
is ? There, coming here to us now with a red flower
on his coat, and that is Fritz behind with him, aber
- was ist denn ? "
She suddenly interrupted herself as they came
nearer and she caught sight of her grandfather's
white face.
In a moment she was at his side and had tenderly
lifted the poor trembling hands and looked earnestly
at them. She knew, alas! too well, what had





GRE THEN.


happened. The sudden change from the warm
bandages in which they had been wrapped all day
to the cold air of the hall had brought on a worse
attack of rheumatism, and she knew that it would
now be impossible with his hands drawn as they
were to touch the violin.
She stood for an instant unable to speak, scarcely
understanding anything but her terrible disappoint-
ment. At last she became conscious of Mr. Arnold's
angry voice beside them.
"Confound it, Ritter!" he was saying harshly,
you ought to have let me known in the morning
that you would n't be able to play. Anyone knows
that rheumatism is n't the work of a minute, and
what am I going to do now, I should like to
know ? All the people here and no one to play the
solos. Hang it, you'll have to play, or leave the
place for good and all. Mr. Warren," he said more
respectfully, turning to Gretchen's friend, who stood
listening silently, I am sure you agree with
me.
Herr Ritter looked slowly about him, at the man-
ager's angry face, at poor Fritz's distressed one, and
at Gretchen's bowed head, then wistfully at his own
swollen hands.





GRETCHEN.


I cannot blay," he said; "I cannot. Come,
Gretchen, we will go."
But a sudden thought had come to her; a
thought that made her flush and tremble and
shrink for a moment, and then she hurried to
Mr. Warren's side and looked up bravely into
his face.
"May I play 'Der Abschied' instead of my
grandfader ?" she said. "I know it well and can
play it as goot as he. Will you let me try?"
For a moment there was silence in the little room.
They were all too much astonished to speak. Then
as Mr. Warren did not answer, Fritz came eagerly
forward.
It is true," he said in a quick low voice; she
can play it as well, perfectly as well, as Herr Ritter.
Will you let her try?
Mr. Warren looked about in troubled perplexity.
It was impossible to provide a soloist at a moment's
notice. But then Gretchen was so small and he
had never heard her play. Still Herr Ritter had
great talent; why might not his granddaughter have
inherited some of it ? He glanced at Herr Ritter,
who stood looking at him with a gleam of hope in
his faded blue eyes as he waited breathlessly for





GRE THEN.


the decision. He looked at Gretchen. Her face
was very pale but her eyes shone with a brave,
steady light, and her voice did not falter as she said
again : May I try? "
The orchestra was in its place and the audience
was already growing impatient. It was a great risk,
but he decided to take it.
Yes," he answered slowly, you may play. Mr.
Arnold, you must go now and announce that a
change has been made in the program."
Mr. Arnold, angry and bewildered, left the room,
and Fritz, after an encouraging pat on Gretchen's
shoulder, hurried away to take his place, leaving
Mr. Warren, Herr Ritter, and Gretchen alone.
Mein Herr," said Herr Ritter tremulously, you
have done much for us. Do not be afraid for my
Gretchen. She can blay. You will see."
And he did see. When it came time for Gretchen
to take her place on the stage she turned to him, as
if understanding his fears, and said simply : -
Do not be afraid that I shall spoil your concert.
The people will like the grandfader's music, and I
will do my best."
Then with an unfaltering step she walked straight
on to the stage and took her place there alone,








II


T7

1<


A TRUE LITTLE GERMAN MAIDEN STOOD BEFORE THEM.






GRE TCHEN.


before all the people. There was a rustle through-
out the hall. Everyone was leaning eagerly forward
to catch sight of the little musician.
A true little German maiden stood before them.
Her face was very white, but there was a trusting
look in the sweet blue eyes which gazed down at
them appealingly as if asking for their approval.
There was a certain pathos, too, in the poor little
attempt which had evidently been made for a touch
of girlish finery. The snowy white ruffles in the
neck and sleeves of the carefully mended gown,
the fresh piece of blue ribbon at the throat, and the
little scarlet flower which at the last moment the
grandfather had pinned beside it.
When the first shock of meeting the glare of the
footlights and the gaze of the half-seen sea of human
faces had passed, Gretchen stood before her audi-
ence with full confidence in herself. She thought
only of the music she knew and loved so well and
of earning the grandfather's applause at the end.
Clasping closely the violin, her dear old friend, she
raised it to her shoulder and began to play. The
color returned to her face at the first familiar strain,
and she was back again in the little kitchen. The
people, the musicians, the great hall, everything






G&E TCI-ZN.


faded away from her, and it was not the soloist
playing for money or fame, but a true heart playing
for the happiness of those she loved and for all the
hopes of the future.
When the last soft note had died away, there came
at first that most flattering tribute which is accorded
only to a true musician a perfect silence.
The people were accustomed to listening to fine
artists, but seldom had the old hall rung with such
applause as then greeted the little girl who looked
down at them with the happy dreams awakened by
her music not yet gone from her eyes.
Suddenly she seemed to become aware that all
this commotion was for her. She smiled shyly down
at the friendly faces looking up at her, then hurried
across the stage to the anteroom door where Mr.
Warren was joining vigorously in the applause.
"Did you like it? Are you glad I tried? Will
the grandfader be able to sell the music now ?"
she cried.
She never for a moment dreamed that the
audience's approval was for her rendering, but
thought it was all for the beauty of Der
Abschied."
"I say, Ritter," said Mr. Arnold, drawing the





GRETCHEN. 91

grandfather aside, "that child of yours is a prodigy.
She'll make a great stir in the world, and the
younger she's brought out the better. I '11 tell you
what I '11 do I '11 give you a third of the profits,
and I '1 take her for a tour through the United
States, stopping at all the largest cities -
Mr. Arnold," interrupted Mr. Warren's quiet
voice, you need trouble yourself no further. The
musical education of Herr Ritter's granddaughter
will be my care for the future."




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