The B adidn Ljbnry
~s I ----~c ----~
A QUICK-RUNNING SQUASH. PAGE 6.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
MARIE L. DANFORTH
E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY
68I FIFTH AVE.
E. P. DUTTON & CO.
First printing, July, 1905
Second Aug., 10o7
Third July, o909
Fourth Dec., 1p9o
Fifth May, z191
Sixth Feb., 1914
Seventh July, 1915
Eighth May, z117
Ninth July, 1918
Tenth Feb., 1zp9
Eleventh Mar., z99z
Twelfth July, 919z
Thirteenth Feb., 1920
Printed in the United States of America
"THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF THE HOUSE"
IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED
BY HIS MOTHER
THESE stories are bits of that pure imagina-
tion of which the best types are to be
found in Grimm's Collection of German
Household Tales, and of which the line was so well
continued by Hans Andersen. Many have tried to
follow in the same path; but none, it seems to me,
have done it so well as Mrs. Aspinwall. Her stories
have that pure impossibility in which children de-
light, that fresh vigor which carries attention along,
and that suggestion which even children vaguely
feel of deeper meanings. The Quickly-Growing
Squash," for instance, is to the child who hears it,
as it doubtless was to the author, only a bit of
frolic extravaganza; but if it had been written-as
it well might have been-by Tieck or Hoffmann
or Musius, it would have had ere now a dozen
viii Prefatory Note.
theories and elucidations advanced by wise com-
mentators. It would have been held to express
systematically the growth of a sin or of a suspicion
or of a superstition, or of any one of half a dozen
other things of which the author never dreamed.
That is the test of a fantasy-piece, that it has
something for all; it rouses a whole swarm of
analogies and suggestions, yielding a moral when
the author sought only innocent fun and the
delights of narration. The lover of childhood and
the lover of creative imagination may alike find
pleasure in this book, and it should have ten
THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON.
CAMBR GE, MASS.
A QUICK-RUNNING SQUASH
BOSH-BOSH OIL .
THE TOAD .
TULA OOLAH .
THE N. S. BICYCLE .
THE TIGER ON THE HUDSON
LUCIA, THE ORGAN-MAIDEN
THE SHADOW .
WHAT THE SQUIRREL DID FOR RICH
THE RUNAWAY WATCH
A GRASSHOPPER'S TRIP TO THE CITY
THE LIGHT-HOUSE LAMP
MONKEY TRICKS IN THE JUNGLE
THE IRON DOG .
MY FLANNEL ROOSTER .
THE STATUE AND THE BIRDS
THE TOAD-BOY .
THE SAD EXPERIENCE OF POOR POMPOSITY
RED BOOTS .
THE DISOBEDIENT ISLAND.
THE BOLD BAD BICYCLE .
THE LADY OF SNOW .
HOW THE ANDIRONS TOOK A WALK.
"ACHUSETT'S RIDE TO PHILADELPHIA"
THE MOUSE'S REVENGE
THE TAIL OF A MOUSE
SHORT STORIES FOR SHORT PEOPLE
A QUICK-RUNNING SQUASH.
CHARLES owned a garden. One morning
his father called him and pointing to four
stakes driven in the ground which certainly
had not been there the night before, said:
"All the land within those four stakes is yours,
your very own."
Charles was delighted, and thanking his dear
father ran off to get his little cart, for he wished
at once to build a stone wall about his property.
He did not fear it would run away, but he knew
__ ~' ~Y c~-
A Quick-Running Squash.
that land-owners always walled in their posses-
"After the wall is built," said his father, "you
may plant in your garden anything you like, and
James will give you what you ask for."
In two days the wall was built, and a good
one it was too, being strong and even.
The next day James set out some plants
for him, and gave the boy some seeds which
he planted himself, James telling him how to
He then got his watering-pot and gently
sprinkled the newly planted ground with warm
water. Running across the lawn he looked down
the road to see if his father had not yet come
from the village. His father was nowhere to be
seen, but coming down the road was a most
remarkable looking man. He was tall and thin
and had bright red hair which had evidently not
been cut for a very long time. He wore a blue
coat, green trousers, red hat, and on his hands,
which were large, two very dirty, ragged, white
kid gloves. This wonderful man came up to
A Quick-Running Squash.
Charles and asked for a drink of water, which he,
being a polite boy, at once brought. The man
thanked him, and then said:
"What have you been doing this morning,
Charles told him about his new garden, and
the man listened with much interest.
"Little boy," said he, "there is one seed that
you have not got."
"And what is that?"
"The seed of the quick-running squash."
Charles's face fell.
"I don't believe James has that, and I don't
know where to get one," he faltered.
"Now, as it happens," said the man, "I
have one of those very seeds in my pocket. It
is not, however, that of the common, every-
day quick-running squash. This one came from
India, and is marvellous for its quick-running
qualities. You have been kind to me, little boy,
and I will give it to you," and with a peculiar
smile, this strange man produced from his pocket,
instead of the ordinary squash seed, an odd,
4 A Quick-Running Squash.
round, red seed which he gave to Charles, who
thanked him heartily, and who ran to plant it at
once. Having done so, he went back to ask
when the quick-running squash would begin to
grow. But the man had disappeared, and al-
though Charles looked up and down the dusty
road, he could see nothing of him.
As he stood there, he heard behind him a little
rustling noise, and turning, saw coming toward
him a green vine. He had, of course, seen vines
before, but never, never had he seen such a queer
one as this. It was running swiftly toward him,
and on the very front was a round yellow ball,
about as big as an orange! Charles looking back
to see where it came from, found that it started
in the corner of his garden. And what had he
planted in that corner? Why, to be sure, the
seed of the quick-running squash which the
strange man had just given him.
"Well, well, well," he shouted, in great ex-
citement, "what an awfully quick-running squash
it is. I suppose that little yellow thing in front is
the squash itself. But indeed it must not run
A Quick-Running Squash. 5
away from me, I must stop it," and he darted
swiftly down the street after it.
But, alas, no boy could run as fast as that
squash, and Charles saw far ahead the bright
yellow ball now grown to be about the size of
an ordinary squash, running and capering merrily
over stones big and little, never turning out for
anything, but bobbing up and down, up and
down, and waving its long green vine like a tail
behind it. The boy ran swiftly on. It shall not
get away," he panted. It belongs to me."
But that the squash did not seem to realize
at all. He did not feel that he belonged to any-
body, and he did feel that he was a quick-running
squash, and so on he scampered.
Suddenly he came to a very large rock, and
stopped for a moment to take breath, and in
that moment Charles caught up with him and
simply sat down on him.
Now, squash," said he, slapping him on the
side, "your journey is ended."
The words were scarcely spoken when he
suddenly felt himself lifted up in the air, and
A Quick-Running Squash.
bumpity, bump, over the stone flew the squash,
carrying with him his very much astonished little
master! The squash had been growing all the
time, and was now about three times as big as
an ordinary one. Charles, who had a pony of
his own, knew how to ride, but never had he
ridden anything so extraordinary as this. On
they flew, roll, waddle, bump, bump; roll,
waddle, bang," the boy digging his knees hard
into the sides of the squash to avoid being
thrown. He had a dreadfully hard time. Mount
the next quick-running squash you meet, and
you will see for yourself how it is.
To Charles's great delight he now saw his
father coming toward him, riding his big black
horse Nero, who was very much frightened when
he saw the boy on such a strange yellow steed.
But Nero soon calmed down at his master's
voice, and turning, rode along beside the big
squash, although he had to go at full speed to do
so. Gallopty-gallop went Nero and "bumpity-
bump" went the squash. Papa lost his hat
(Charles had parted with his long before).
A Quick-Running Squash.
"What are you doing, my son, and what,
what is it you are riding?" asked his father.
"A quick-running squash, Papa," gasped
Charles, who, although bruised and aching, re-
fused to give up the squash, and was still
pluckily keeping his seat. "Stop it, oh, do stop
His father knew that this could be no ordinary
squash, and saw that it evidently did not intend
"I will try to turn it and make it go back," he
said, so riding Nero nearer and nearer the squash,
he forced it up against a stone wall. But, instead
of going back, this extraordinary squash jumped
with scarcely a moment's hesitation over the
high wall, and went bobbing along into the rough
field beyond. But alas, before them was a broad
lake, and as he could not swim, back he was
forced to turn. Over the wall and back again
over the same road and toward the garden
whence he came, Charles still on his back and
Charles's papa galloping at full speed behind.
The squash, however, must have had a good
A Quick-Running Squash.
heart, for when he reached the house again, he
of his own accord turned in at the gate and
ran up to the wall of Charles's garden. There
he stopped, for he was now so big that he could
not climb walls, and indeed had he been able to
get in he would have filled the little garden
to overflowing, for he was really enormous.
Charles's father had actually to get a ladder for
the poor little fellow to climb down, and he was
so tired that he had to be carried to the
house. But the squash was tired, too, dreadfully
tired. I suppose it is a very bad thing for a
growing squash to take much exercise. This
certainly was a growing squash, and there is also
no doubt that he had taken a great deal of exercise
that morning. Be that as it may, when the family
were at luncheon, they were alarmed by hearing
a violent explosion near the house. Rushing out to
see what could have happened, they found that the
marvellous quick-running squash had burst!! It
lay spread all over the lawn in a thousand pieces.
The family, and all the neighbors' families for
miles around, had squash pie for a week.
A FAIRY STORY.
GARDNER had started off by himself for a
long tramp through the woods. He had
walked quite a distance when he suddenly
came to a small brown hut, which he was about to
pass when he heard cries of pain coming from it.
Running quickly to its one window, he looked in,
and saw a most extraordinary sight. An old man
was alone in the one room, standing near the wall
and with his face pressed hard against it. The
tears were running down his cheeks, and he was
"What is the matter?" said Gardner, "and
why do you stand there with your face pressed to
"Come in, little boy, and I will tell you," was
Gardner ran in, and seated himself on a three-
legged stool, which stood in the middle of the
Day before yesterday," began the old fellow,
" I was standing at my door, and a small man,
with a tall pointed cap and a long beard, passed,
dressed entirely in brown. He tripped and fell,
and I laughed, which made him very angry. 'I
will teach you to laugh at me,' he scolded. 'I am
a Brownie, and no one may laugh or even look at
a Brownie.' Then he told me that in punishment
I must stand here with my nose glued to the wall
till some kind boy got for me the Bosh-Bosh
Oil.' If I rub some of that on my nose I shall
then be free. You have a kind face, and I wonder
if you would be willing to help me?"
Indeed I will get this wonderful oil for you if
I can," said Gardner. Where is it to be found ? "
Bosh-Bosh Oil. II
"There," and the old man pointed to the top
of a mountain near the house. "But the path
is a very steep one, little boy, and the Brownie
said there were many dangers to be braved
before one could reach the top. When fairly
there, however, you will find the oil in a golden
box, in a golden house, and guarded by the
famous Gold-Bird. Many boys have been here,
but no one would venture, and I suppose I shall
have to stay here till I die," and he began to
Now Gardner was a brave as well as kind
boy, and he was greatly touched by the old
man's sad position.
"I will go," he said, "and don't lose your
courage, for I will come back soon, and if it is a
possible thing, bring the oil."
The old man was delighted, and thanked the
boy heartily, as he started on his mission.
He found the path up the mountain with no
difficulty, and a pleasant path it was, being
shaded and with flowers on either side. He
walked on for a hundred yards or so, when he
12 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
was stopped by a very strong wire, which was
stretched directly across the path. He got down
on his knees and tried to crawl under it, but
lo and behold, down came the wire and he could
not pass it! "I will then jump over it," he
said. But when he got up, up it flew, for it
was a magic wire, and was there to prevent
people going any farther. Gardner looked to the
right and left, but found that it stretched way
off in the distance, on either side, which made
it impossible for him to go round it. He sat
down for a moment, discouraged, but not for
long. That very morning he had exchanged with
a boy friend a fine three-bladed knife for a big red
marble and a wonderfully powerful magnet. This
magnet he now took from his pocket, and held
toward the wire.
"Ah, ha!" he shouted, for the wire, though
evidently with the utmost reluctance, bent to
meet it. Magic though it was, it had to obey
the magnet. Gardner held the magnet lower
and lower, finally laying it on the ground, and,
sadly obeying it, down, down, down came the
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 13
wire also. Then the boy stepped over it, and it
rattled angrily as he did so. Looking back and
laughing merrily, he found to his amazement that
the wire had disappeared! And not only that,
but his magnet as well, had vanished! Gardner
was, of course, greatly surprised, but he expected
to see strange things, and so, in a moment,
continued his journey.
He had not gone far when he saw before him,
sitting in the middle of the path, a small but very
pretty Italian greyhound, who was looking at him
intently, her little head cocked on one side, and
her two ears, which were enormous, raised in the
greatest astonishment. *
"Where did you come from, boy?" she
"I came from below," he answered, "and my
name is not Boy, but 'Gardner,' doggie."
"And my name is not Doggie, but 'Little
Pitcher,'" was the answer while the large ears
were held proudly upright.
"Well, 'Little Pitcher,' you seem to be a nice
This picture is taken from a living "Little Pitcher."
14 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
dog, but I cannot waste time talking to you, I
must hurry on."
"I am sorry," said the dog, politely but very
firmly, "but this place you shall not pass."
"You funny little thing," he said; "and how
are you going to prevent my doing so?"
"In this way," and the boy suddenly found
himself seated in the path tripped by the nim-
ble little hound!
Three times was this repeated, till Gardner at
last sat down by the side of the path and glared
angrily at his small tormentor. Then he remem-
bered that he had a cracker in his pocket. Taking
it out he offered it to the little animal.
"Thank you, I have already dined," was the
"Then don't you want to come for a walk
with me?" and Gardner smiled persuasively at
the dog, who wagged her tail but said she had
just returned from a long walk.
The boy's heart sank. There remained but
one more thing to try.
"On my way up here,"
fully too), "I saw a cat."
he began (and truth-
At this Pitcher's eyes glistened, and she was visi-
bly affected, although she was silent for a moment.
Then coming nearer the boy, she whispered:
16 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
"What kind of a cat? Big and strong and
a fighter, I daresay?"
"No, rather a gentle, frightened looking cat."
The small dog's body grew suddenly rigid. Her
eyes rolled. She smacked her lips and said:
"Ah, well, she was very near her home, I
"No, in a field."
"Z'hounds! You don't say so? Of course she
was near shelter of some sort? Near a tree?"
"No, in an open field."
"You don't say so?"
Pitcher was now trembling and her voice was
hoarse with excitement.
"This cat-this cat," she panted, "was facing
the road, I suppose?"
"On the contrary," said Gardner, "her back
was toward the road, and she was sound asleep."
"Back toward the road-and asleep! Great
Sirius! This is too much!! I cannot let this
chance go," and with a howl of delirious excite-
ment, Pitcher vanished down the path! Gardner,
laughing heartily, went on.
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 17
But only for a few steps, for his way was again
blocked. This time by a bush, a cruel looking
bush, covered with long, sharp thorns which grew
directly in the middle of the path. The boy tried
to pass on the right side, when to his amazement,
the thorn-bush gave a funny little hop and placed
itself directly in front of him. He then ran quickly
to the left, but the bush ran too, and stood firmly
before him, again barring the way.
While wondering what to do, he saw lying on
the ground near, a small box. Full of curiosity
he opened it and found it contained a large fat
yeast cake. But it was not a common everyday
yeast cake, for it smelt like delicious candy.
Gardner tasted it carefully, and finding it was as
good as it smelt, ate it all, and then what do
you think happened? He suddenly felt himself
rise. Up, up, up he was lifted, high over the
thorn bush, and then down, down, down he
slowly came on the other side. For the yeast
he had eaten was made in fairyland, and, working
much quicker than ours can, had made Gardner
rise at once. Four times he bounded up into
18 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
the air, each time being carried not quite so high,
and the last time he was dropped right in front
of a boy who was seated in the middle of the
path, and who looked at him in surprise. This
boy was older than Gardner, and he was big and
fat, and, to Gardner's horror, he had a bright blue
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 19
"What are you bounding along in that absurd
way for?" he asked, and Gardner told him about
the yeast cake and begged him to let him go on
"No," said Blue-Face, with much firmness,
"that I shall not do. I have sat here for five
years, and shall do so for the next five. Come
again in five years, and then perhaps I will let
"Oh," said Gardner, "that will be much too
late. I am in a great hurry, for I wish to get
some of the Bosh-Bosh Oil for the poor old man
at the foot of the hill. He is suffering."
"Well," said Blue-Face, indifferently, "that,
of course, is nothing to me. I cannot let you
Gardner put his hand into his pocket and drew
forth the big red marble.
Oh, what a beauty," said Blue-Face ad-
It shall be yours, if you will let me pass."
"Then it shall be yours if you can catch it"
20 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
"Take your offer and thanks for it," said Blue
Gardner then threw up the marble, and in
such a way that when it fell it must roll down
the path. This it did, and Blue-Face, seeing
what was now his own property rolling rapidly
down the hill away from him, forgot everything
and dashed after it, while Gardner, seizing his
chance, flew in the other direction.
"Good-bye, Blue-Face," he shouted, but re-
ceiving no answer, looked back, to find no boy,
and, alas, no marble.
"What a strange path this is," he said, "and
how can things disappear so quickly."
The air was now suddenly filled with deafen-
ing barks. Bow-wow-wow in a very high key,
"bow-wow-wow" in a middle-sized key, and
"bow-wow-wow" in a very low key. Gardner
stopped and looked about him, but saw no dogs.
"Those are dogs, I know," he said, "and
wherever they are, I am sure I hope they are
muzzled," for he could not help feeling a bit
A sharp turn, and a strange sight was before
him. In the very middle of the path stood an
enormous brown jug, and in this jug, and appar-
ently fastened by their tails, were about twenty
snakes! At least Gardner thought they were
snakes, till on examination he found that each
had the head of a dog. One the small head of
a black and tan, another of the impertinent pug,
22 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
one of the big, shaggy St. Bernard, another of
the Newfoundland, and so on; and each dog-head
was barking its loudest, while the snake-bodies
were writhing wildly from side to side. The
boy's heart sank.
"Never, never, can I pass those-those-
things-whatever they are," he said. Then he
remembered the poor old man waiting for him.
"Good dogs, good doggies," he said, in a
wheedling tone, though his teeth were chattering
His answer was louder barking from the dog-
snakes, and wilder writhing from the snake-dogs.
Suddenly he thought of the cracker in his pocket.
Breaking off a piece, he threw it down near the
jug. Snap," and one of the dog-snakes had
eaten it, and with apparent relish. Then he broke
up all the crackers into small pieces, and going as
near the big jug as he dared, threw them on the
ground at one side. All the dog-snakes bent at
once to eat them, which for a second left the other
side free, and in that second, but with his heart
beating hard, Gardner darted by. The dogs, find-
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 23
ing that he had escaped them, gave one tremen-
dous bark, and then-when the boy looked back,
nothing was to be seen except the dusty, brown
path stretching off behind him.
On he trudged and suddenly stepped into
something horrid, very black and fearfully sticky.
He drew back his foot quickly, but in doing so,
the boot was actually torn from him. He then
tried to go round the sticky mass, but, alas, it
seemed to extend on either side as far as the eye
could reach. Then he tried to pull out his boot,
but it was as firmly imbedded as if it had grown
This," he said, "is the very worst place I
have reached yet. What shall I do?"
A bunch of brilliant yellow flowers now at-
tracted his attentions.
"Buttercups," he said, "and what monstrous
ones they are, and oh, what in the world does
this mean? They are real buttercups." For, on
stooping to examine them, he found that each
little yellow flower was filled to overflowing with
something that certainly looked like very good
24 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
butter. Gardner was amazed, and then a funny
thought came to him. "Why not butter my feet,
and then perhaps I shall be able to cross this pitch
pond." So laughing at the thought, he carefully
covered the sole of his boot and the sole of his
stocking (and very nasty that felt, too) with the
butter. Then he cautiously tried one foot on the
pitch, and found that he could now walk over it
with the utmost ease! He had soon crossed it,
and turned to give one last look at his lost boot,
when-and Gardner rubbed his eyes to make sure,
for he thought he must be mistaken-he found
that the black, sticky mass had disappeared, and
with it his boot !
He had scarcely recovered from his astonish-
ment, when he was startled by hearing a tre-
mendous quaaaack." Looking up, he saw, a
little way up the path, a monster duck-never
had he imagined such an enormous bird. Its
mouth was wide open, and was fully as large as a
window This alarming creature was coming
down upon Gardner as fast as she could waddle,
and her eyes were snapping angrily. He had,
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 25
poor boy, but a moment in which to make up his
mind, and what do you think he did ? Seizing a
handful of buttercups (and how fortunate it was
for him that they happened to grow right there) he
covered his entire head with butter. Then gather-
ing himself together, he ran toward the duck with
a tremendous rush. He was the very best runner
at school, which was, of course, of the greatest
assistance to him in doing this wonderful thing.
Can you credit me, when I tell you that Gardner
jumped directly into the widely opened mouth of
the monster duck, and that he went with such tre-
mendous force that he shot right through her, land-
ing a foot beyond her, face down, on the ground !
26 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
Of course, his slippery, buttered head was a great,
great help to him, but it was in any case a most
marvellous thing for a boy to have done, was
it not? He lay there for five minutes, without
moving, for he felt, naturally, quite weak. Then,
remembering the poor old man, he slowly
picked himself up, and went on, first turning to
see what had become of the duck, whose dead
body he expected to see. But no duck, either
dead or alive, was there. He was, however, be-
yond being astonished at anything now.
"I don't at all like the feeling of this butter on
my head," he said, as he continued his journey,
and I wish I could find some water, so that I
could wash it off."
His wish was gratified, for there, right before
him, was a well. And not only a well, but a
bucket, too. This Gardner filled, and succeeded in
washing most of the butter from his head. Then
he saw that to continue on his road, he must either
go round the well, or step over it. To go round
was impossible, as the ground on either side was
too steep. To step over was equally impossible,
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 27
for the well was very large. "Butter won't help
me here," he thought, sadly. Looking down into
the well he called out,
"Won't you please go off, Well, and let me
get the Bosh-Bosh Oil for the poor old man?"
And then, he almost fell into the hole, for a
voice far, far below answered, saying,
"Who is speaking to me?"
Gardner was much frightened, for he thought
this must be some other boy who had fallen into
"Who are you?" he called out.
"Truth," came the answer, and then Gardner
remembered to have heard that "truth lies at the
bottom of a well."
"I wish you would come up here, Truth," he
said (for an idea had suddenly come to him).
"Very well," said Truth, "wait a moment and I
will be there."
Gardner promised, for, indeed, what else could
he do but wait ? Soon a scrambling and scratching
was heard, and Truth slowly crept up till he reached
a big stone which jutted out at one side, about
28 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
two feet from the top. And on this he sat, while
Gardner looked at him in astonishment, for he was
truly a most remarkable fellow. He looked
young, he looked old. He was very big and
round, and he had the kindest, frankest, sweetest
face you can imagine. Gardner thought at first
he must be made of glass, for he was so wonder-
fully transparent-you could see right through him.
"Now, boy," said he, "what do you want to
"Why you don't tell the truth at all times ?"
"Tell the truth at all times? I do. I am Truth
itself," was the indignant answer.
"But every one says that 'truth lies at the bot-
tom of a well.' "
At this Truth laughed heartily, so heartily that
he almost fell from his slippery seat, and then he
explained that it was a different kind of a "lie."
"But I don't see," continued Gardner, "why
you live at the bottom of a well, anyway. I should
think you would prefer the top. But perhaps,
Truth, you can't lie down as easily at the top of a
"Oh, yes, Truth can go anywhere," was the
proud answer. "I will show you," and crawling up,
he lay down over the well, completely covering it.
This was the little boy's chance, for which he
had been waiting. With one bound he was over,
using poor Truth for a bridge, but stepping very
lightly, not to hurt him. He heard a great splash,
a loud cry from Truth, and looked back to see-
nothing, nothing but the dusty path. The well
and fat, pleasant Truth had vanished !
Now as the boy went on, the path changed.
It became very beautiful. On either side most
gorgeous flowers filled the air with delicious
perfume, while lovely birds, which Gardner had
never seen before, sang loudly. Suddenly, he felt
a light touch on his arm, and turning, saw beside
him a wee maid-a fairy.
"Gardner," said she, "you have been a very
brave boy. You have passed in safety all the
dangers of the path, and I will now lead you to
the Golden Temple, containing the Bosh-Bosh Oil,
which is guarded by the famous Gold-Bird."
So Gardner walked on with her, trembling with
30 Bosh-Bosh Oil.
excitement. Sweet music was heard-a soft yel-
low light shone on him, and then, looking up, he
saw before him-the Temple. It was a round
house made of solid, shining, yellow gold. Slen-
der gold pillars supported the roof, which was
made of diamonds, and was too dazzlingly beauti-
ful to look at. They entered and sat down on
the wonderful chairs, which were made of precious
stones, one being of sapphire, one of rubies, one
of emeralds, and so on. A small gold table stood
in the middle of the room. On it was a golden
box containing the wonderful oil, and guarded by
the Gold-Bird. His head was a huge diamond,
his eyes two brilliant emeralds, and his body and
wings were of gold. When he saw Gardner, he
opened the box-lid with his bill, and there lay
seven tiny bottles of the wonderful oil, which to tell
the truth, looked just like kerosene. The fairy
gave one bottle to Gardner, who thanked her and
the bird, and with his prize clasped in his hands,
ran swiftly down the path, delighted to think that
even if he had lost his boot and his marble and
magnet, he could now help the poor old man.
Bosh-Bosh Oil. 31
He had reached the foot of the path, when he
saw a small black object, lying directly in the mid-
dle of it. When he came up to it, he found, to
his delight, that it was his boot. Sitting down, he
tried to put it on, but something hard in the heel
prevented his doing so. Putting in his hand, he
drew out his magnet. Again he tried, and this
time something round and hard in the toe pre-
vented him. This proved to be his lost marble-
and now the little boy was quite, quite happy.
Running to the hut, he found that the old man
was crying as if his heart would break, for he
thought that the boy, who had been gone a long
time, was never coming with the magic oil, and
that he would have to remain there, his face pressed
to the wall, till death came. Gardner ran to him
and showed his treasure, and they at once rubbed
some of the oil on the poor old sufferer's nose,
which, as the Brownie had said, immediately be-
came free !
And then Gardner, followed by the old man's
thanks and blessings, went home.
ONE day Reginald's mamma asked him if he
would n't like to get some mushrooms. He
said he would, and taking his pail in his
hand, off he went. First to a place where he thought
he had seen some growing, but they proved to be
toad-stools, which, although pretty, are very dan-
gerous to eat. Reginald knew this, so he did not
touch them, but went on farther. Soon he found
a beautiful mushroom, and was about to pick it,
when a voice quite near, said:
Boy, how do you do ?"
Reginald turned, but seeing no one thought he
must have been mistaken, and again stooped to
pick the mushroom, when he saw, sitting beside
it, an enormous toad. Just then he again heard
the same voice, and this time louder:
"I said, boy, how do you do?" And if you
can believe me, the voice was the toad's voice,
and it was he who had spoken I Reginald, who
had never heard a toad speak before, and in fact
did n't know that they could, was so much
astonished that he fairly gasped.
"That mushroom," continued the toad, calmly,
"is mine, and you cannot have it. Go and pick
But," said Reginald, who had somewhat
recovered from his astonishment, "I don't want
"Well, then," said the toad, "of course, that is
not my fault, now is it ?"
"No," said Reginald, somewhat timidly.
"Then the best thing for you to do, boy, is to
But, I came to pick mushrooms for my
mamma, and I certainly shall not go home because
a toad tells me to do so. I am not ready to go."
"Oh," said the toad, "I beg your pardon; I
thought perhaps, you were ready. If you are not,
then why don't you stay here? And if you stay,
perhaps you would like to go fishing with me ? It
will really give me much pleasure to show you
how I catch fish."
Reginald, who was very, very fond of fishing,
could not resist this, and said:
Yes, thank you, I should like that very
Then the toad stood on his hind legs, slipped
his cold, slimy hand in the boy's, and on they
walked toward the brook.
You are really the most remarkable toad I ever
saw," said Reginald. What is. your name?"
"Wait," was the answer, and perhaps you
may guess it before our walk is over."
As soon as they reached the brook, the toad
seated himself on the very edge, in the mud.
"Sit down beside me," said he to Reginald,
who did not at all like to do this, for he did n't
want to get wet. But he had often been told by
his father that whenever he went fishing with
any one, he must do just as he was told to do,
so when the toad said again, "Sit down here,"
this time very sternly, why Reginald-sat down.
REGINALD AND THE TOAD. PAGE 34.
"Now," said the toad, "I think I may truly say,
that you will be surprised." So they waited and
waited and waited and waited, and no fish came.
At last Reginald lost all patience, and said, I
will wait no longer, I have not seen a single fish."
Then," said the toad, "if they don't come,
I can't catch them, can I ? But there is one thing
I can do, and I do it well, too, and that is to catch
butterflies. Would you like to see me do it? "
"Toads can't catch butterflies," said Reginald,
"I ask you again, rude boy, will you come
and see me catch butterflies ? "
"I should like to very much."
"Then come, and you are to look up in the
sky all the time, and when you see a butterfly,
tell me," directed the toad.
So on they went, the toad holding Reginald's
hand, and Reginald looking up into the sky. But
although they walked for more than an hour, and
the poor boy's neck ached cruelly, not one butterfly
did they see.
At last, Reginald, as before, lost patience, and
sitting down, said angrily: "I shall go no farther.
I have not seen any butterflies at all."
"Well," said the toad, "then of course you
don't blame me for not catching them. You seem
tired, and you are hungry too, I am sure. Are
you fond of wild honey?"
"I never tasted any."
"You don't say so," said the toad; "then
come," and Reginald, much delighted, followed
him. They walked on and on and on, till the
poor boy was ready to drop with fatigue. At last
they returned to the very spot where they had
first started from. And now, what do you sup-
pose that horrid, disagreeable toad did? He
walked to the mushroom, and sitting down upon
it, said, "Well, Boy, have you had a pleasant
Reginald was, of course, very angry. "I
think you are a horrid, wicked toad I" said he,
"a perfect fraud."
"Ah, ha," said the toad, "I thought perhaps
you would guess my name, and you have done
so. My name is-'Fraud.' And, little boy, there
38 The Toad.
are no fish in that brook; and there are never any
butterflies in these woods, nor is there any wild
honey, for there are no bees. Also, there is but
one mushroom here, and as I am sitting on that,
there is, as you see, not 'mush room' for you.
So, as I remarked to you about three hours ago,
Those were the toad's last words, and poor
Reginald, grieved and angry, did go home,
with an aching neck and an empty pail; and
told his dear mamma all about it.
L ITTLE Celia Cameron lived with her
mother in a cottage by the sea. Her fa-
ther had been a fisherman, but was drowned
some years before, when Celia was quite a baby.
Since then her poor mother had to work very
hard to support herself and her child. She did
washing for the rich city-people who spent the
summer at the big hotel half a mile down the
beach. Good little Celia did all she could to help
her mother, by gathering driftwood for their
winter fire. There was much of this wood to be
found on the beach, for many a good ship was
wrecked on that dangerous coast. This occupa-
tion brought little Celia nearly every day to the
beach, where she was as much at home splashing
in the water, as any fish.
There were many seals on that coast, who used
to come up in the early morning and sit round
sociably together, sunning themselves, and lazily
rubbing their sides against the rocks. Whether
it was because they had got used to seeing her, or
because they thought Celia must somehow belong
to them on account of her name, I don't know,
but they certainly were not afraid of her, but would
come quite near, and sometimes even allow her
to stroke their wet glossy backs.
There was one seal in particular, with whom
she became quite intimate. She often brought
him bits of her breakfast, going without herself,
poor little thing, in order to do so. Of course
the seal did not know that, but he certainly
seemed to be very fond of her, and to appreci-
ate her kindness, looking at her with love and
gratitude, in his great soft eyes. After a while
he seemed to feel that it was not right for him
to be the one to receive presents, and to give
nothing in return, so after this, every time that
Celia appeared he would dive into the deep water,
and come to her proudly bearing a gift. And
Tula Oolah. 41
such odd gifts they were: fishes, sometimes liv-
ing, sometimes dead, bits of wood, a piece of an
old chain, and another time a piece of slimy sea-
weed, fully ten feet long. Once he brought her a
beautiful pink shell.
Celia was always very careful to thank the seal
(Soft-Eyes, she called him) for all the things he
brought her, whether she really liked them or
not, for she would not have hurt his feelings for
anything. But when she saw the beautiful pink
shell, she gave a shout of delight, and stooping,
kissed Soft-Eyes right on his wet head. He
gave a little contented grunt, and nestled up to
her, and there they both sat for a long time, sun-
ning themselves, Soft-Eyes munching the cracker
she had brought, and Celia examining the lovely
shell. It was afterward put on a shelf in the one
room of the tiny cottage, and every one admired
it, for it was not often that any one had so pretty a
shell, and particularly one brought up from the
ocean-bed and given by a soft-eyed, friendly seal.
One day Celia went to the rocks, and her dear
friend was not there.
42 Tula Oolah.
Soft-Eyes," she called, and several seals bobbed
up their heads, but Soft-Eyes was not among them.
Seating herself she waited, thinking perhaps he
had gone farther, trying to get another pink
shell for her. "He will be here," she said, and
sure enough she soon heard a great puffing,
snorting noise, and on came Soft-Eyes swim-
ming slowly toward her, and carrying in his
mouth-something. What it was she could not
make out. Twice it slipped from him and he had
to dive for it. When he got nearer, Celia saw that
it was an iron box, he was carrying. Crawling up
on the rocks, he dropped this strange gift by her
side, and then looked triumphantly into her face
with eyes that said plainly, "There, what do you
think of that for a gift ?"
Celia did n't know what to say but looked at
the box with the greatest astonishment.
"Where did you get it, Soft-Eyes?" she said,
but he only grunted, thinking, no doubt, that the
little girl was thanking him again for what he had
brought her. And indeed it had been no easy
matter for him to pick up that heavy iron box from
the bottom of the ocean, where it had lain almost
hidden by great pieces of iron, and a pile of rot-
ten timbers, which had crumbled as he pulled away
the box, and which was all that remained of a big
ship that had been wrecked there many, many years
But of this the seal knew nothing, nor, of
course, did Celia. The box was about a foot
square, made of iron, and was locked, and there
was no name or inscription of any sort on it.
"Where is the key, Soft-Eyes?" said Celia,
but he made no answer.
Then she decided to break the lock, so running
home, she got a hammer, and a very heavy iron
spike. She thought it only right to open the box
on the beach, in the presence of the seal, for she
could not help feeling that he would be as much
interested as she to see what it contained.
And indeed he seemed to be, and sat there
breathing hard, with his big eyes fixed steadily on
the little girl who, with beating heart, at last suc-
ceeded in prying open the lock. Lifting the lid,
Celia and Soft-Eyes looked in, and saw, fitted
44 Tula Oolah.
neatly into the box, another, exactly like the first.
Taking it out, they found that that too was locked.
Placing it on the rock between herself and Soft-
Eyes, Celia looked through the key-hole, but could
Suddenly both she and the seal started back,
and looked in terror at the box, for from it came
an awful sound, as of some one in distress I The
voice was soft and muffled, and sounded like a
child moaning. The seal was so much alarmed,
that he scuttled off, and was about to jump into
the water, when poor little Celia called piteously
Come back, Soft-Eyes," she said, don't
leave me all alone with this thing, whatever it
is," and the seal, who, at heart, was ashamed of
his cowardice, came back, though with evident re-
"Now," said Celia, "whatever is in this, is
small, and I am sure can't hurt us much, and I
am going to find out what it is."
So with some difficulty, she broke the lock and,
saw still another box At this, both she and Soft-
Eyes felt relieved. The seal came quite near, and
even bravely smelt of it, which, after all, was a
good deal for him to do, as he was frightened al-
most out of his wits.
Celia lifted the third box out, and now the cries
of the creature, or whatever it was, inside, grew
very loud. This box differed from the others, be-
ing made of brass, prettily ornamented with scroll-
work. It was quite dry, all the boxes being so
tightly fitted into each other, that the sea-water
had been unable to force its way in.
This, too, was locked, but its key hung on the
handle at the side. Unlocking it, Celia opened the
lid very cautiously. The seal, meanwhile, had gone
to the edge of the rock again, ready to at once
jump into the water, should an enemy spring out
upon them. But as nothing of the kind happened,
curiosity got the better of him, and joining Celia,
they both looked into the box together, and saw,
standing in the middle of it, an elephant about
eight inches long 1I
He was exquisitely made and his wee trunk
was waving restlessly from side to side, while he
moaned piteously, Tula Oolah, Tula Oolah,"
over and over again. Celia lifted him out of
the box on to her lap, and found to her aston-
ishment, that he was not alive, but was made of
some hard metal-brass, she thought, for the color
But, if he is not alive, then how can he wave
his trunk and talk? And what, Soft-Eyes, oh,
what is he saying?"
But of course the seal did n't know, and he
evidently did not like the looks of the uncanny
little elephant at all, for as the small creature
raised his voice, and said louder and with still
more piteous sound, "Tula Oolah," Soft-Eyes
gave a yell of terror, jumped into the water, and
for three days Celia saw nothing of him!
She put the poor little animal back into the
brass box, and locking it, carried it home and put
it on the table. Her mother was away for the
whole day, and Celia ran to the cupboard, and
took out the glass of milk, which had been left
there for her dinner. She poured a little into a
CELIA FINDS AN ELEPHANT. PAGE 46. 47
48 Tula Oolah.
"He must be hungry," she said, "and perhaps
'Tula Oolah' means 'give me food' in the ele-
But when she took the little creature out and
offered him the milk, he did not take it, and 't was
the same with the bread she then gave him.
"Oh, what can it be that you want?" said
tender hearted Celia, who was greatly distressed
by its evident grief.
"Tula Oolah," was the answer.
At last she could bear it no longer, and lock-
ing the elephant in his box, she went off for drift-
wood, taking her lunch with her, for she meant to
wait till her mother came home before going into
the house, and listening again to that pitiful cry.
She gathered a great deal of wood, which she piled
neatly in the shed at the back of the cottage.
At last, when the sun began to go down, Celia
saw her mother coming, far down the beach, and
ran to meet her. Her mother was much as-
tonished, when she heard the story of the elephant,
and much more astonished when she saw the little
animal herself, and listened to his moaning cry.
Tula Oolah. 49
"Celia," said she, "perhaps he is talking French.
Now, there is a French gentleman at the hotel,
and to-morrow I will ask him to come and see
the elephant, and perhaps he can understand
So the next morning at about ten Professor
Turier came to the cottage.
"Where ees de leedle elephante" said he,
and when he saw him, he began:
Bonjour, vous parlez Francais?"
"Tula Oolah," answered the elephant.
"Que voulez-vous?" continued the French
gentleman, and "Tula Oolah," moaned the ele-
At last the Frenchman went awvay, and told
all the people at the hotel what he had seen.
Among them was a German.
I vill minezelf haf von gonverzazhuns mit dot
leedle elephantchen," said he, and followed by
the two hundred and thirty guests of the hotel,
he went to the cottage.
"Nun, elephantchen," said he, when he and
each of the two hundred and thirty guests had
satisfied their curiosity by looking at the mar-
vellous little animal. "Wie geht's?"
"Tula Oolah," was the answer.
"So? Kannst also kein Deutsch sprechen?
Don't shpeak chermans, eh?" enquired the Ger-
man gentleman, sadly.
"Tula Oolah," replied the elephant with equal
sadness, and so the interview ended.
Then one of the ladies advised Celia's mother
to take him to the gang of Italians who were work-
ing on the bridge below the hotel.
"What he says sounds to me like Italian," she
said. But when the Italians heard the "Tula
Oolah" they could make nothing of it, nor did
the elephant pay the slightest attention to them,
although they talked loudly and all together.
At last the landlord said, "Mrs. Cameron, to-
morrow a gentleman, a Mr. Newcombe, is coming
here, who understands elephants-I mean real
ones. He has lived in India for many years. He,
I think, will be able to help you."
When Mr. Newcombe arrived, he heard about
the little elephant, first from the clerk, and then
Tula Oolah. 51
from each of the two hundred and thirty guests,
and the following day, the procession, he leading
it, came to the cottage, and he at last was able to
"Tula Oolah ?" he said enquiringly to the
elephant, and "Tula Oolah," answered the little
creature, no longer sadly but joyfully.
I understand him," said Mr. Newcombe.
He is speaking the language of a people who
live in the southeastern part of northwestern
Hindoostan. Now, it happens that I lived right
among those very people for several years, and
am glad you came to me, as I am probably the
only man in this country who can speak and
understand their language."
"Then what, oh what, is he saying?" asked
Celia, and her mother, and the two hundred and
He says tula oolah,' which means 'putl me
in tce water.'"
But what for?" said Celia and the two
hundred and thirty, but Mrs. Cameron ran at
once to fill her largest tub with water. When it
52 Tula Oolah.
was full, little Celia dropped the elephant, who
was now shrieking "Tula Oolah, Tula Oolah," joy-
fully, and at the top of his voice, into the middle
of the tub The minute his feet touched the
water, he raised his trunk, threw his head back
and gave vent to a most ear-piercing shriek /
How such a small creature could produce such
a sound, was hard to understand, and the
German gentleman and the French gentleman,
were so much alarmed, that they immediately ran
out of the cottage I
The two hundred and thirty guests who were
waiting outside, hearing the loud cry, and seeing
the two frightened gentlemen, who were evi-
dently bent on getting away as quickly as possible,
became alarmed too, and ran for their lives, and
the beach was soon quite deserted. In the cottage
itself, only Celia and her mother and the ex-
Indian gentleman were left, and they all stood
there, watching carefully the wee elephant, to see
what would happen next.
He swam lazily round the tub three times,
trumpeting loudly and apparently having a very
fine time. The water in the tub, meanwhile, had
begun to change. It had grown quite thick-like
molasses, and was of a bright yellow color. After
the elephant had been round the three times, he
swam slowly to the middle. There he remained
for fully a minute, trumpeting occasionally, but
more softly, while the water grew constantly
thicker and yellower.
At last, raising his trunk once more, he said
softly and very sadly, Oolah," and then began
slowly to sink!
"Oh," screamed Celia, "he is drowning," and
she put out her hand to save him, but the gentle-
man prevented her, reminding her that the little
creature was not really alive.
I think I know all about this, but wait," he
Down, down, down went the elephant, till
only the very top of his head could be seen.
Then that too disappeared, leaving only a little
depression. At this the three looked for a
moment, till even that vanished, and the tub stood
there filled with a solid yellow mass of something.
54 Tula Oolah.
It was perfectly hard and smooth and looked like
burnished brass. They tried to lift it, but found
it so heavy that it was utterly impossible for them
to move it. Mr. Newcombe then hurried away,
and soon returned with a chemist who examined
carefully what was in the tub, and pronounced it
to be pure gold !
They were all, of course, very, very much sur-
prised, except, indeed, Mr. Newcombe.
"I suspected this might be gold," he said, and
I will tell you why. I have, as I told you, lived
among the people in the southeastern part of
northwestern Hindoostan, the country from which
this elephant probably originally came. It is a
mountainous region, and the people live isolated
lives. They have many interesting legends which
have been handed down from father to son, and
among them one that I think may apply to this
case." Then Mr. Newcombe translated the legend
"If you find an elephant, made of brass,
An elephant small and old-
Through 'Oolah'-the water-allow him to pass
And the Oolah shall turn to gold!
"This little elephant is undoubtedly one of that
kind, and is probably many hundred years old."
The gold was broken into small pieces, so that
it could be more easily carried away and sold.
Celia insisted on staying in the room, while this
was being done, for she could not help feeling
that somewhere in it she should find the elephant.
But they did not find him, although in breaking
the last bit of gold, which had been in the middle
at the very bottom of the mass, they came upon
two tiny tusks! And that was all that was left of
the Tula Oolah elephant.
The gold proved to be very pure and when
sold was worth a great many thousand dollars, so
that Celia and her mother became very rich
people. They gave a large lump of it to Mr.
Newcombe, for without his help they might never
have got the gold at all, and they were very
grateful to him. They built a beautiful house on
the beach so that Celia could always be near her
dear friend, Soft-Eyes, the seal, who had brought
all this good fortune to his dear little friend.
THE N. S. BICYCLE.
GORDON RANDALL had had some money
given him to buy a bicycle which he was to
Now, Gordon," said his mother, as he started
off for the shop, "if there is anything about the
bicycle that you do not understand, make them
explain it to you. Do not be afraid to ask ques-
And Gordon promised to be very careful. In
about an hour back he came, radiant.
"I have bought one, Mamma, and oh, such a
beauty you never saw. The man is to oil it and
send it up this afternoon, and oh, Mamma, I
am so happy."
When the bicycle came, Mrs. Randall was
delighted with the machine, which seemed to
be a very fine one.
The N. S. Bicycle.
"You have evidently made a good choice. But,
Gordon," said she, "what are those two letters
'N. S.' engraved on the handle? What do they
mean ? "
"Why," said Gordon, "I don't know. Per-
haps they are the initials of the maker, but (hanging
his head shamefacedly) I really did not see them
before, or I should surely have asked, as you bade
me. But, Mamma, I will ride down at once to the
shop on my new machine and ask the man."
"Very well," said his mother, "but be quick,
dear, for your supper will be ready before long."
So off went Gordon, his little heart swelling
with pride. He rode well, having ridden a good
deal before, but never on such a beautiful machine,
so light, yet so strong. "And it is mine, my
very own," he shouted in great delight. Soon
he came to the shop, and carefully guiding his
machine to the sidewalk, tried to go more slowly,
when to his horror he found he could not! The
wheels refused to stop. Round and round they
went, faster than ever, and poor Gordon was carried
by the shop in spite of himself! On and on he went,
The N. S. Bicycle.
and round and round went his poor, unwilling,
little legs, while his heart beat "thump, thump,"
in his terror. By the post-office, by the station he
shot, and on and on, far, far away from his home!
The town was left behind, and now he found him-
self on a quiet country road. He tried again and
again to make the bicycle go more slowly, but
no, it absolutely refused to obey him. Gordon,
who had only ridden the ordinary bicycles before,
did not know what to do to force this dreadful
creature to do his bidding. To his delight, he now
saw before him a very high, steep hill.
Ha, ha, Mr. Bicycle," said he, "your run will
come to an end here, I fancy."
But when they reached the hill, if you will be-
lieve me, the bicycle did not even seem to see that
there was a hill there, for he ran right up the steep
incline, as if it were the most level bicycle track in
"Oh dear, oh dear," said Gordon, "will nothing
stop it, and must I go on forever ? Why, it may
run on for years, and till I am an old, old man, and
how strange it will look to see a white-haired man
The N. S. Bicycle. 59
riding on a small boy's bicycle, and riding so
awfully fast, too. I wonder if kind people will
take pity on me and throw food to me as I pass ?"
The N. S. Bicycle.
Poor Gordon's supper time was now long past,
and he began to feel very hungry, you see. A
dreadful thought suddenly came to him-" If I
go on at this pace I am sure that in a few days
the land will give out, and then I suppose I
shall have to ride right into the ocean." At this
fearful idea, Gordon's tears began to flow. He
was now approaching a large town and every one
he met looked at him in surprise, for to see a ten-
year-old boy on a bicycle riding so wonderfully
fast, and crying as if his heart would break, was a
strange sight truly.
"Where are you going, little boy?" they
"I am sure, I don't know," said Gordon, and
before they could say any more he was gone. He
passed a big railway station and saw by its sign
that he was in the town of Boreborough, forty
miles from his home, and at this his tears again
"Wot yer cryin' 'bout ? said a very small and
very dirty boy, who was playing in the street.
"Yer a great big cry-baby, an' yer 'd better turn
' The N. S. Bicycle.
round an' go home ter yer ma," and the small boy
threw, I am sorry to say, a handful of mud at
But Gordon did not mind that at all, for at
the boy's words, an idea had come to him.
What was it he had said ? Turn round and go
home." Now was it not just possible that he
might do this? He knew that he could guide
the bicycle, even if he could not stop it, and why
could he not turn it entirely round? It was
certainly worth trying, and if you will believe me,
the idea of doing so had not once come to him till
the dirty little, mud-throwing boy had spoken.
He waited till he came to a wide, free space and
began to turn. Hurrah," he shouted as he
found the machine obeyed him beautifully and
came about with no trouble. He was very much
ashamed to think that he had not thought before
of this simple way out of his difficulty.
He was now on his way back, going as fast
as ever, but no longer crying. He was now
fairly shouting in his delight. Passing the small
boy again, he called out, "Thank you, thank you,"
62 The N. S. Bicycle.
and to this day that boy does not know what it
was that Gordon thanked him for. Back over the
same road he flew, and ah, so willingly now. Past
many twinkling electric lights, then out of the big
town, and on to the quiet country road again
where the trees looked very tall and black in the
darkness. Gordon was not very old, and he was
afraid to be out on that lonely road alone, but
he kept saying to himself, "I shall soon be at
home." He passed through many small towns,
then through the long, dark, wooden bridge that
spanned the river Nokowi, which he could hear
rushing and tumbling far beneath, hurrying on to
the sea. And then at last he saw the lights of his
own dear home, twinkling in the distance.
Down into the middle of the town he went, by
the station, post-office, and shop where he had
bought this terrible machine, and at last he came
to his home. Turning in at the gate, and gather-
ing his little remaining strength, he made a tre-
mendous effort and jumped from the bicycle.
And the bicycle, what do you think it did ? It
stopped short, and stood perfectly still, leaning
The N. S. Bicycle.
against the piazza, and looking as good and de-
mure as any ordinary machine could do. But
Gordon did not trust it, and running to the stable,
got a strong rope and tied it firmly to the piazza
post. Then he went in to his mother, whom he
found sobbing bitterly. Running to her and
throwing his arms about her, he told her the whole
wonderful story, and oh, how glad she was to
"And I thought," she said, "that I had lost
my dear boy. Men are searching for you in every
direction, while you, poor little fellow, were in
Boreborough, forty miles away."
She kissed him again and again and after he
had eaten something, for he was faint with hun-
ger, he went to bed and slept till eleven o'clock
the next day.
"Now, Gordon," said his mother, "the first
thing to do is to make the shop-man take back
the bicycle. I will go with you and help you pull
it, for you must not get on it again," and Gordon
was very willing to obey.
So they led the machine back, and it did not
The N. S. Bicycle.
seem at all ashamed, but held its bright nickel-
plated head up proudly, as if it were a very remark-
able machine, and truly I think it was, don't you?
When they got to the shop and told their story
to the man, he said: Why I supposed the boy
wanted one of the N. S. machines."
"And what does N. S.' mean?" said Gordon.
"Mean?" said the man. "'N. S.' means
Never Stop. They never stop, you see, till you
"Indeed they don't," said Gordon, "you are
quite right, and I think Never Stop' is a very
good name for them."
"Well," said Mrs. Randall, I think that both
my son and I would prefer the ordinary bicycle."
So the man exchanged the remarkable N. S."
bicycle for a common one, which is perfectly willing
to stop whenever its little master tells it to.
And do you know, the manufacturers found that
no one would buy the N. S. machines, so they gave
up making them some time ago, and now, no mat-
ter where you try, you will find it impossible to buy
an N. S. bicycle.
THE TIGER ON THE HUDSON.
H ARRY was spending his Christmas vacation
at Uncle Ned's. Uncle Ned had a fine
place on the Hudson, a place dear to the
boy's heart. There was always sure to be snow
there long after it had left other places. There
were horses, which meant sleigh-rides, unlimited
hills, which meant coasting, and lastly dear Uncle
Ned and Aunt Susie, who had no children of their
own, and who were very, very fond of their nephew.
In the house Harry's favorite room was his uncle's
" den," which by the way was n't a den at all, but
the biggest room in the house. The walls were
covered with guns, bows and arrows, odd-looking
swords, and pictures of strange places and animals,
for Uncle Ned had been a great traveller, and had
been at the places and seen the animals himself:
66 The Tiger on the Hudson.
and as he had a big stock of hair-bristling stories
to tell about his thrilling adventures and escapes,
he was a rare companion. There was a wide fire-
place in the room, a good fireplace, which knew its
duty, and performed it well, taking its smoke
decently up the chimney and not spitting it out into
the room, as so many spiteful fireplaces do. There
was no carpet on the floor, but across one end of
the room lay a magnificent rug, the skin of a
"Royal Bengal Tiger," which measured ten feet
from tip to tip. Uncle Ned had killed the tiger
himself, although Harry had never heard the story.
One time in the summer, when his uncle and he
were bathing, Harry had seen on his uncle's arm a
long, cruel red scar, extending from shoulder to
wrist. What is that ?" said the boy.
The Bengal tiger and I know all about that,"
was the answer, "and when you are ten years old,
I will tell you the story. You are too young
And Harry had not forgotten. He was ten
years old, on the twelfth of December, and his first
question to his uncle, when he came this time for
The Tiger on the Hudson.
his Christmas holidays was: "Will you tell me
the story of the tiger, Uncle, for I am now ten,
Uncle Ned smiled, and said : Come into my
den at five this afternoon, and I will tell you all
So after luncheon, and after two hours spent
in coasting, Harry went to the den. His uncle
had not yet come in, and he found, on looking at
the funny little bronze clock on the mantelpiece,
that it was only quarter-past four.
Harry was tired, and threw himself into Uncle
Ned's big leather chair to wait. It had already
grown quite dark outside, for the December days
were short. But the room was not dark, for there
was a glorious fire, blazing triumphantly up the
chimney, shining upon all the curious interesting
things in the room, and showing distinctly each
mark, spot, and stripe on the beautiful tiger-skin.
The tiger's head had been stuffed, and two
fearfully life-like, green eyes had been placed in it.
Harry used to be quite afraid to look into them,
they were so awfully real. He was looking at
68 The Tiger on the Hudson.
them now when, suddenly, he sprang to his feet in
unutterable horror, for he saw that the eyes had
begun to move Slowly, slowly they looked round
the room, and rested at last, upon him!
He met their gaze, and having once looked
into those cruel, green glaring eyes, he was en-
tirely unable to move. For fully a minute did
those two stare at each other silently, while the
small bronze clock ticked busily on, and the fire
snapped and crackled its way merrily up the wide
chimney. Then the Tiger opened his mouth, and
in a rough, hoarse voice spoke.
"I heard your uncle say that he would tell you
how I, the king of beasts, the Royal Bengal Tiger
came to lie here. I will tell you first my side of
the story. Sit still and listen" (and, indeed,
Harry was quite unable to do anything else).
"My home was on the banks of the river
Ganges. I had a beautiful wife and three beautiful
children." (Here the Tiger's voice became husky.)
"We had a happy home," he continued, "near an
old deserted temple. Plenty of water we had, a
pleasant climate and enough to eat. There was a
HARRY WAITING FOR HIS UNCLE. PAGE 67.
The Tiger on the Hudson.
village not very far away and there were herds of
cattle, stray monkeys, and occasional children.
Ah, those happy days, long-gone, long-gone."
(The Tiger seemed to be full of feeling.) Each
morning we all went down to the river Ganges for
a drink, I leading the way, followed by my gentle
wife and my three beautiful children. Then back
again, and if game was at hand, and I kept the
larder well stocked, we ate our breakfast. My wife
was busy all the morning, teaching the little ones
to hunt, and they did well, the dear little things-
they were my children. They killed the smaller
creatures, and once, one of them, perhaps the
bravest of the three, brought in a small monkey,
which he himself had killed, unaided. You can
imagine what a proud day that was for his mother
and me. Oh, my tender wife, and innocent
children, where are you now ?" (Here the Tiger
"Well," he continued, when able to speak,
"one night I was crouching near the village,
watching for prey, when I overheard a conversation
between two natives. It seemed that a white
The Tiger on the Hudson.
man had arrived at the village the night before,
and that he intended to make an end of me and
my family / Oh, how I roared in my rage, when
I heard that. How I lashed my tail from side
to side, as I hurried home to tell my wife.
"' Shall we not all go farther into the thicker
denser forest,' said she, 'farther from the haunts
of man ?'
But I turned fiercely upon her. 'I will de-
fend you,' I roared, I will defend you.'
"Three days after this, I was taking a nap in
a clump of bushes, when I heard an odd crackling
noise. Keeping perfectly still, I crouched and
listened. The boughs directly over my head were
now parted, and there stood a man, not two feet
away! Never had I been so near a man before.
He was a native, and his eyes seemed to have a
strange effect on me, for when I looked into them,
I was powerless to move. He grew very pale, and
his teeth chattered, but he kept his eyes steadily
fixed on me, while he slowly, slowly moved back-
wards. When I could no longer see those strange
eyes, I sprang, but alas, not upon him! He had
The Tiger on the Hudson.
just escaped me, and was running for his life.
I was after him like a flash, when suddenly, I
saw a white man standing directly in my way,
and who did not seem in the least afraid. At
this, my rage knew no bounds, for men always
fled from me in terror. I lashed my tail savagely,
growling all the time. I opened my mouth that the
white man might see my long pointed teeth, and I
put my gloriously sharp claws in and out, keeping
my eyes upon him all the time. He was a tall,
thin man, with brown fur covering the lower part
of his face. Why did he stand so fearlessly there?
How did he dare to brave me? In his hand he
held a common black stick, which he had raised to
his shoulder and held pointed at me. Roaring
louder in my rage, I crouched lower and lower,
and then gathering myself together, was just about
to spring upon him, when suddenly, without a
moment's warning, the common little black stick
in the man's hand, burst / Out of the end
rushed fire and flame. Bang! Bang /-some-
thing hit me--a red cloud came before my eyes-
I knew no more. And that 's how I came to be
The Tiger on the Hudson.
here. The next thing I knew, I was lying in this
quiet room, with new eyes and ears (oh, why did
they take from me my beautiful ears?) and here
I have been ever since. I am not the tiger I was,
and yet I should n't wonder if after all, there were
enough of me left to attack-say-a smallboy!"
Harry began to feel exceedingly uncomforta-
ble at these words. The tiger's voice, which had
been soft, now grew louder.
I am hungry-I have had nothing to eat for
ten long years. I am hungry," he repeated, and
this time his voice rose almost to a roar.
For a moment there was silence in the room
and then Harry, who was staring, fascinated, saw
that the creature was actually coming toward him i
Slowly he crept, his long white teeth gleaming in
the firelight, and his big green eyes snapping
"Yes, I am HUNGRY," he roared, for the
third time, and then poor Harry realized what the
tiger's horrible intention was-to satisfy that hun-
ger, by eating him. The poor boy's teeth chat-
tered, he trembled violently. In another minute
The Tiger on the Hudson.
the creature would be upon him. How could he
defend himself ?
The poker! Springing to his feet and seizing
the big iron poker, Harry advanced upon the
Meantime, the shovel and tongs, which stood
with the poker, followed the law of all fire-
irons and fell with a crash on the hearth! Roused
by this noise, Harry became suddenly conscious
that he was standing quite alone in the room,
fiercely brandishing the poker at-nothing! Rub-
bing his eyes he looked about him at the quiet
room, at the fire which had now burned low, and
lastly, and rather timidly, he looked at the tiger-
skin rug lying flatly and innocently upon the floor.
Just then the door opened, and he heard his
uncle's cheery voice.
"Well boysie, are you ready for the grewsome
"Why Uncle," said Harry, "I have just heard
Heard it ?" said Uncle Ned, in astonishment.
The Tiger on the Hudson. 75
"From the tiger himself." And then Uncle
Ned, looking more carefully at the boy's flushed
face, and tousled hair, laughed long and loud.
"You were dreaming, little boy," he said, at last.
"Oh, Uncle, it was too real to be a dream, I
will tell you about it," and he told him all.
When he had finished, Uncle Ned was very
much astonished. "The story is true, just as it
really happened," said he. My native guide came
running back to me with a white face, shouting 'the
tiger, the tiger when out he sprang. I had just
time to put my gun to my shoulder and fire.
Fortunately, my aim was true, for he fell at my
feet. I did not, however, know about Madam
Tiger or the three little Tigerses, and your friend
omitted to tell you that before we parted he gave
me this," and Uncle Ned showed the cruel scar on
I went up to him as he lay stretched out at
full length on the ground, supposing, of course,
that he was quite dead, and he-well, I found that
he was n't. But in the main, Harry, the story is
true, just as I would have told it myself, and it is
76 The Tiger on the Hudson.
certainly very odd that you should have dreamed
The following year Harry visited his aunt and
uncle in September. One day when his uncle was
in his den, writing, the boy came in with three
tiger-lilies. Going to the tiger, he placed them
under his paw.
"And why, dear?" said his uncle.
"Well, Uncle, I know, of course, that he was a
very bad tiger to scratch you," said Harry, "but
oh, it was n't the fault of his three dear little baby
tigers-and he loved them dearly-he said so him-
self, you know, and so-I brought him these three
tiger-lilies, one for each."
LUCIA, THE ORGAN-MAIDEN.
N EVER had Pietro Pitti turned out such a
wonderful hand-organ, and that is saying
a great deal. It had been made by a
new man, who had come from the cold North
country, and who had been with Pitti but a short
time. He begged to be allowed to make the
I have an idea," he said, "which, if I can
but carry out, will make you famous, master."
"I have fame already," was the proud answer.
"Ah, but there is always one step higher,
"Make the organ then, as you will, North-
erner," said Signor Pitti, and the young man had
This day it was finished and was to be tried
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
for the first time. Signor and Signora Pitti and
the children, four small Pittises, were present,
while the workmen stood in the background ex-
pectant, and many pairs of black eyes were fixed
eagerly upon the hand-organ which was brought
in by the Northerner. The covering cloth was
removed. The organ was made of selected rose-
wood, which Signor Pitti always used, and was
beautifully polished. But it differed from all the
other organs, for in front was a glass window,
through which you looked into a beautiful little
room hung with soft pink satin.
A doll's room, a salon," cried the youngest
Signorina Pitti. At the back of this room at one
side was a door.
Well, well," said Signor Pitti, "but what-"
"Patience, master, for a moment," said the
Northerner, and began to turn the handle of the
organ. It played a march through well and
clearly, and in perfect time, but then all Signor
Pitti's organs did that. Next it played La Bella
Napoli." Signor and Signora smiled, for they
loved their Naples and liked to hear its praises,
PAOLO AND HIS ORGAN. PAGE 81.
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
Then the door at the back of the small organ-
room opened slowly, and out came a most ex-
quisite doll about ten inches high. She was
dressed in pink and had long flowing hair, and it
was really hard to decide whether her cheeks were
pinker than her smile was broad, or her smile
broader than her cheeks were pink-they were
Coming forward she bowed very low to her
audience, and as they saw nothing of the spring in
her back, or the wire that made her do so, they
all bowed politely in return, for it really seemed as
if she must be alive. Then slowly, gracefully, the
little creature danced around her pink drawing-
room .in perfect time to the music. When that was
finished she bowed once more, the door at the back
opened and she disappeared.
The Pitti family were delighted. "Bella,
Bella, Wonderful," they cried, and the North-
erner's fortune was made from that day.
The organ was sold to one Paolo Cello for
quite a large sum of money, and Lucia, the little
dancing-lady, danced every day in beautiful
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
Naples, before hundreds of people. And wherever
she appeared, crowds of admirers applauded her.
Sometimes Paolo and she would go to some of
the villas in the neighborhood, where she danced
tirelessly, under trees laden with big yellow
oranges, and with flowers of all colors and kinds
growing about her.
One day they went to Pompeii and there, out-
side its ruined walls, Lucia danced for some
foreigners, in full sight of a big mountain out of
which smoke was coming forever, forever. Lucia
danced and Vesuvius smoked, each attending to
its own business. But whenever Lucia danced,
whether before strangers or dark-skinned Italians,
the result was the same-admiration. And Paolo
came to love the little creature almost as if she
were alive, and took the best care of her.
The window of her dancing-room, and the room
itself were spotless, the machinery well oiled, and
Paolo was always very careful to play her music
in good time, neither too fast nor too slow-in
dancing so much depends upon the music, you
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
Ah, those happy days, they were too good to
last, and they did n't. One day Paolo was taken
"We can't go out to-day, little Lucia," he said.
He often talked to her as if she were truly alive,
and as she did n't know she was n't, perhaps it
was just as well.
Worse and worse grew Paolo, as he lay upon
his narrow bed in his one small room. Gradually
the stock of money which he and Lucia had earned,
dwindled, disappeared. One by one the bits of
furniture had to be sold. Then came a dreadful
day when Paolo pulled up the little window and
spoke to Lucia.
It almost breaks my heart," he said, "but we
must part, you and I. I am penniless. A man
has offered me a big sum for you. But I have
parted with everything else first, Lucia mia," and
the poor fellow, pointed round the room, which
was indeed quite empty, save for the bed and
organ. But, if I live, I shall work hard and try
to buy you back again. Remember that, Lucia."
Then Paolo stooped and kissed her, and no one
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
but he and she knew of that big hot tear which
fell on her cheek.
Later, a man knocked at the door, gave money
to Paolo, and took the organ away. Then followed
unhappy years for poor Lucia. Not that her new
master, Antonio, was unkind-he was simply a
very careless, untidy man. He left the organ
standing in cold places, where the wind crept in
and chilled her. Once he left the organ for a
while in the street on a stormy day, and the rain
came in through a crack in the case and dripped
on her pretty pink cheeks. The color ran, and
poor Lucia was greatly mortified, and looked it,
too. Sometimes Antonio played much too fast,
and Lucia was, of course, obliged to dance fast,
which, as she was a person of much natural dignity,
was very repulsive to her. Sometimes the Master
forgot to even oil the machine, and once he put in
too much oil. So much that it oozed out over the
floor, and poor Lucia's pretty pink slippers were
ruined, which, as she was an extremely dainty little
thing, hurt her feelings dreadfully.
But worse was to follow. Antonio, who was
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
quite old, gave up the business and sold the organ
to a man named Pietro Nolli, who took it to
America. For ten days poor Lucia was put in a
dark, dark place on the big steamer, where she
heard the most awful roaring noises, and was
tossed up and down, from side to side, till she
really longed to die. She thought of Paolo and
wondered if he had died, and if not, whether she
would ever see him again. It comforted her some-
what to remember that he had said he would try
and find her and buy her back again.
At last she reached America, and then fol-
lowed a year of wretched life to the poor dancer.
Nothing was done for her. The machinery was
broken and not mended. The organ was sadly
out of tune, but Pietro neither noticed nor cared.
The dust collected in the little drawing-room.
The window grew cloudy, but for that Lucia was
glad, for she was ashamed of the dirty room, and
also, alas, of her dancing. She was older, and had
rheumatism, for she was not used to the colder
climate of America, and so she danced in quite a
stiff jerky way, that would have been funny if it
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
had not been so sad. However, people still
seemed to like to see her dance, and crowded
about the organ whenever she began.
One bitterly cold day, Lucia, her bones aching,
was about to make her bow, when she felt some-
thing snap in her back, and instead of bowing for-
ward, she bowed backward It was with the
greatest difficulty that she stood upright again,
and went on with the dance. But from that time
on, she always bowed the same way, backward
and not forward. She had no idea how very funny
she looked, and when she heard the shout from
the people who were watching her, she supposed,
of course, it was a shout of delight, such as she
had heard many times in her life, and her poor
little cold heart warmed at the sound.
One day, by accident, her window was broken,
and of course not mended. So poor Lucia had
to dance in her drawing-room with the dust and
bitter, biting cold blowing in through the hole.
It was a frightful experience for her, with her
rheumatism, and dressed in the thinnest of thin
tulles with no underclothes to speak of. Through
86 Lucia, the Organ-Maiden.
the cruel hole she could now hear the people talk-
ing about her, but instead of the words of praise
she had heard all her life, she found that they
were laughing at her, making fun of her. At this
poor Lucia was almost broken hearted. It seemed
to her the very worst blow of all.
She now no longer tried to dance her best, or
even to keep up with the squeaky music, and one
day she felt very ill, and began to go slow-er and
s-l-o-w-e-r, and was about to stop altogether, and
never dance again, when she suddenly saw looking
at her, through the window a face that she knew !
A dear face with kind tender eyes, eyes that were
full of tears. She heard a voice, a long unheard
voice, saying, "Lucia, cara mia, Lucia 't is I, your
Paolo, I have found you at last," and then the
little dancer heard no more for she fainted and
fell on the floor of the room.
Five dollars did Paolo give to Pietro for the
organ, and then the old happy days began once
more. The machinery was mended, the organ
thoroughly made over by Paolo, who understood
well his business. Lucia was beautifully and
Lucia, the Organ-Maiden. 87
warmly dressed in rich crimson velvet. Her dig-
nity, grace, and youth came back again, and she
danced as before for Paolo, and put her whole
heart into it. I saw her only yesterday. I advise
you to look carefully at every hand-organ you
meet, and perhaps you may see her, too.