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"HELLO, PIRATES!" SAID JAM.
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION
AND OTHER STORIES
AUTHOR OF "PENNYROYAL AND MINT," "CAPTAIN POLLY," FLYING
HILL FARM," "THE MATE OF THE MARY ANN," ETC.
E. B. BARRY AND OTHERS
ESTES AND LAURIAT
Copyright, 1890, z89i, z892, 1893, *894,
BY THE CENTURY CO.
BY ESTES AND LAURIAT
C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, Mass., U.S.A.
Electrotyped by Geo. C. Scott & Sons
The Lollipops' Vacation .. 1
The Gentleman from China 16
Little Miss Muffet and Her Spider 33
A Queer Valentine 48
The Doll That Could n't Spell Her Name 62
The Man in the Moo .. 77
A Great Financial Scheme 92
The Cow That Considered 107
A Moving Story 126
Nora's Oil Well .. 140
A Scientific Experiment. 153
Mrs. McGinty's Pigs 170
Why the Clock Struck One 177
Pease-Porridge Cold 193
The Crew of the Captain's Gig .. 211
Why the Black Cat Winked 232
Being Responsible for Toffy 244
" Hello, Pirates!" said Jam Frontispiece
Cherry .. 8
A Most Extraordinary Thing Happened. 21
Miss Muffet and Her Spider 37
Mrs. O'Flanigan and Her Queer Valentine .. 55
Lady Marion and Mary Ann Seated Side by Side in State 67
The Man in the Moon 78
" We're Goin' Home to the Moon as Soon as We Can Find a Con-
veyance," He Said .81
The Bank-President and the Chief Depositor. "I've Come for My
"Jim Crow" .109
"Dat am a Cur'us Cow, no Mistake!" remarked Tony 115
"' She Threw Her Arms Around His Neck, and Waited" 138
" I Do Be the Washerwoman, Sir" '147
The Inventor Unbends to Caddy Jane 157
" Dulcie and Caddy Jane Looked Askance at Each Other" 161
" Micky Clutched His Pigs Tightly, and Prepared to Jump" 175
" Kitty Was in the Gardeh Trying to Put Salt on a Robin's Tail" 178
The Mysterious Clock 185
"The Clock Struck One" 189
The Hangel" 207
That Boy Nick Started Them. 215
Cap'n'Siah Hadlock 217
The Captain's Gig at Great Porpoise Island 219
"There's a Squall Coming" 223
" His Father Had Talked to Him Earnestly". 246
"' It's Capital; Labour Can't Contend Against It,' said Toffy,
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION
AND OTHER STORIES
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
'"I-WANT to go where they let you break in colts, and the
circus comes 'round every week," said the second Master Lollipop,
named Granbury,.but commonly called Cranberry by his friends,
who thought Cranberry Lollipop sounded particularly well.
I think it is time that I entered fashionable society," said the
eldest Miss Lollipop, who was past sixteen.
I always think first of my children," said the fourth Miss
Lollipop, who was called Cherry, and who was the mother of ten
dolls, just as many as she had brothers and sisters,--" and
Christabel Marie is suffering for sea-bathing."
"I want to go where there are sunsets and no cows," said
Jujube Lollipop, who was fifteen, and painted in water-colours.
"I'm not going where a fellow has to wear his best clothes
and there must be cherry pudding every day."
This was the third Master Lollipop, who had been christened
Adonijam, but seldom had the benefit of anything but the last
syllable of that dignified appellation, Jam Lollipop being thought
a very appropriate name for him. Indeed, all the Lollipops'
names were capable of being shortened into such very appropriate
ones that most people believed they had been christened with this
nicknaming in view. The eldest Miss Lollipop was named
Araminta, and her name was usually shortened to Minty, or
Mint, and people who wanted to tease her even went so far as to
call her Peppermint Lollipop; but she did not like that, and was,
cultivating a dignified manner, in the hope of preventing it. Julia
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
Lollipop was always called Jujube, and Tryphena was Taffy, both
at home and abroad. Carrie Amelia was called Caramel, by com-
mon consent, and Margaret Nutter (named after her grandmother,
who had always been called plain Margaret) was called Nutmeg
oftener than anything else. Charity was always Cherry, and Molly,
Molasses. And the boys did not fare much better. Sherburne
was nicknamed Sherbet, and Erastus was never called anything
but Raspberry. They did not mind it very much, though Sher-
bet was sometimes heard to say that he wished they didn't all
make people think of something good to eat. Papa Lollipop had
been a confectioner, and people would say that he had become
confused, and thought he was naming his candy when he
named his children.
All these stories would probably be soon forgotten, now, for
Papa Lollipop had retired from business, with a fortune; they had
moved from the rooms over the shop, where they had always lived,
into a fine, large house, on a fashionable street, and if any of the
younger children made any reference to the shop, and the times
when Papa was a confectioner, all the others said, "'Sh! 'sh! "
And it was because they were rich people now, and were
trying to live as rich people did, that they were going to take a
vacation trip. They had never taken one before, except out to
Aunt Jane's in Popleyville. Aunt Jane kept a candy shop in
one corner of a big, dilapidated, old house, on the main street.
Papa Lollipop had kept her supplied with candy. The upper
shelf of her shop had eight large glass jars, filled with sugar -
plums artistically arranged in lines of contrasting colour, and in-
tended merely for ornament. Those jars had stood there for
twenty years, and all the babies in Popleyville had cried lustily
for them; but Aunt Jane, whose heart was torn by a baby's cry
for anything else, had never relented so far as to take one, sugar-
plum out of them. Babies of sense, and discretion soon learned
to look at them with the silent and hopeless longing with which
they looked at the moon. On the next shelf were the sticks of
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
candy, of every colour and flavour known to the confectioner's art,
and always fresh and crisp. Then came, on a lower shelf, jars
of mint-drops and lozenges, sugared alnionds and peanuts,
cream dates and walnuts, and caramels of every flavour; and on
the lowest shelf of all were trays of molasses candy, peanut
taffy, and corn-balls. The contents of that lowest shelf were
always made by Aunt Jane's own hands, and her pride in them
was only a trifle less than in the ornamental jars.
And though Aunt Jane's wares were so superior, it was uni-
versally acknowledged that there was "more for a cent" to be
got there than anywhere else in town. Moreover, Aunt Jane
had a most unbusiness -like way of slipping a square of peanut
taffy or a corn-ball into a penniless little pocket; and when she
saw a sad and longing little face glued to the outside of her
window-pane, she mysteriously beckoned it in, and it went away
a jolly little face that you would n't have known for the same
one., Of course, the natural result of this unusual fashion of
shopkeeping was that the penniless pockets and the mournful
little faces came often, and Papa Lollipop shook his head
gravely, and declared that Jane would be ruined.
But Aunt Jane wasn't ruined. She proved herself to be
possessed of a Yankee bump for trading, with all her generosity.
Everybody in the town was her customer, from sixty year old
Deacon Judkins, down to the newest baby, who was never
thought to have properly made its entrance into Popleyville
society until it had been, taken to Aunt Jane's shop; and the
summer visitors who came to Osprey, the seashore resort only
five miles away, were always driving over to Popleyville for
the express purpose of buying some of Aunt Jane's candy. She
did not make a fortune, but she made enough money to enable
her to support herself, and care for several household pets,
including two dogs, three cats, and four or five canary-birds, and
also to have a very stiff and rustling black silk dress to wear to
church and to neighbourhood tea-drinkings. If greater happiness
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
than that was to be found in the world, Aunt Jane never sighed
for it. But when the eleven Lollipops came out to spend the
summer vacation, her cup of joy overflowed. Some people might
have thought there were too many of them, but if Aunt Jane
had a regret, it was that they were only eleven. As for the little
Lollipops, they thought there was nothing in this world so much
like Paradise as Aunt Jane's.
But now that they had become rich and fashionable, of course
going to Aunt Jane's was not to be thought of. It would have
been such a dreadful thing if any of their fashionable friends
had discovered that they had an aunt who kept a little candy-
shop.in a queer, old, dilapidated house, that. was running over with
birds, and cats, and dogs, and who kept no servant except a little
lame pauper girl whom she had taken out of pity, and whom she
waited upon as tenderly as she did upon the birds. No, indeed !
fashionable society could not be expected to recognize people
with such an Aunt Jane as that, so, although it was a great pity,
they never could visit Aunt Jane any more.
In the family council that they were holding to decide where
they should go for the summer, nobody mentioned Aunt Jane's.
It never will do to have it said that the Lollipop family went
anywhere but to Newport or Bar Harbor," said Mamma Lollipop,
who had been a plump and jolly little woman, but had grown
wrinkled and anxious-looking since they became fashionable.
I don't want to go to Bar Harbor," said Taffy Lollipop, with
deep feeling, "because the Krauts go .there, and they say they
won't associate with us!"
Well, I sha' n't allow my children to associate with them!"
said Mamma Lollipop, with decision.
"If the Krauts go to Bar Harbor, we'll go to Newport!"
"There are several confectioners in Newport who bought all
their supplies from me, and I'd rather not go there, anyhow,"
said Papa Lollipop.
We might go to Europe," said Taffy Lollipop.
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
"The ship might go down," said Sherbet.
Mamma Lollipop turned pale. She was very timid; and
Europe's fate was sealed.
They looked at each other in dismay. There didn't seem to
be anywhere to go. ..They had never felt any inconvenience
from want of space before; but now the world was not large
enough for the Lollipops.
Papa Lollipop, who was a nervous little man, walked up and
down the room, and mopped his bald head with his handkerchief,
as if he were very warm indeed. But suddenly such a bright
idea seemed to strike him, that he cut a little caper to relieve
his excited feelings.
"I have an idea! We'll all go everywhere, and we won't any
of us go anywhere!" he cried, with the delight of one who has
made a great discovery.
All the other Lollipops were delighted, too. It was a myste-
rious idea, but it sounded as if it solved all their difficulties, and
the way things sound makes a great difference in this world.
My idea," he went on, addressing Mamma Lollipop, "is to
let 'em all go just where they please, each by himself or herself,
if they like. We've got servants enough, so that each one of
the children can take one as a companion. That will make the
servants of some use, and keep me from being all worn out try-
ing to find something for 'em to do! You and I will take the
same privilege. I'll go where I please, and you can go where
you please! And as I am in something of a hurry, I'll leave
you to lock up the house !"
Out of the room hurried. Papa Lollipop, and in less than ten
minutes they heard the hall door shut with a bang, and, looking
out of the window, they saw Papa Lollipop rushing down the
street, with a huge travelling bag, in too great a hurry to remem-
ber that he now kept a carriage.
Mamma Lollipop looked after him admiringly.
My dears," she said, "your father has a great mind. I
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
thought so when his marshmallow caramels took the first
prize -- "
"'Sh! 'sh!" cried Minty. But Mamma Lollipop went on,
I thought so then, but I know it now. We will do just as
"I do wonder where he has gone, in such a
hurry," said Taffy, who was the inquisitive one
of the family.
Mamma Lollipop, who was a very
shrewd woman, looked at the news-
paper which Papa Lollipop had just
been reading, and saw a notice of a
Confectioners' Convention in Chicago.
It was almost a thousand miles away;
but what were miles to a mind like
The door opened, and there stood
Master Cranberry Lollipop, with a bun-
die of clothes slung over his shoulder
upon a stout walking-stick; behind him
stood Coffee, the coloured boy who
cleaned the knives and did the took's
errands, and he was similarly equipped
SHERBET. for travelling.
"We're goin' good-bye!" said Cran-
berry. Mebbe we shall come back some time, but if you heal
of orfle piruts on the high seas, it's us."
Mamma Lollipop thought of screaming and fainting at this
dreadful announcement, but she remembered what a mind Papa
Lollipop had, and decided to have perfect faith in his plan.
And Cranberry and Coffee marched off, with fierce determina-
tion in their looks.
The next to go was Miss Minty, who first had her. hair dressed
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
so it would last all summer, if she did n't sleep in it, bought
seventeen new bracelets for each arm, and a pair of eye-glasses,
though she was not in the least near-sighted, had seven Saratoga
trunks packed, ordered the carriage, and took her own maid
Jam and Taffy were the only ones
who told each other where they were
going, and they happened to be going
to the very same place. Jam and Taffy
were twins, and thought just alike about
everything. They seemed very happy
in their plans, Jam occasionally giving
expression to his feelings by uttering '
whoops and turning somersaults; but
they evidently felt at the same time
that they were going to do something
rash and dreadful, and it was generally
suspected that they meant to distinguish
themselves by doing something even
more terrible than turning pirates; and
it severely tested Mamma Lollipop's
faith in Papa Lollipop's plan to let them
go. But they took Betty, who had been
their maid-of-all-work in the old days,
when they lived over the shop, and Betty
had brains; she could make jujube paste
and pipe-stem candy that rivalled every-
.body's except Aunt Jane's; even if Jam
should decide to be a wild man of Bor- JUJUBE.
neo, like one he had read of, and was
always longing to imitate, Mamma Lollipop felt that Betty would
be equal to the occasion.
Sherbet took his drum with him, and hinted, darkly, that he
might be heard from on the field of battle; so it was generally
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
supposed that he had gone to be a soldier, though where and
whom he was to fight remained a mystery. Mamma Lollipop
looked anxious, but did not attempt to influence him; she merely
reminded him that for soldiers and pirates, as well as for less war-
like members of society, school
began on the twenty-ninth of
Raspberry was seen negotiat-
ing with the proprietor of a
hand-organ; it was evident that
he intended to attain to the great ambition of his life, and enter
the organ-grinding profession.
Jujube, who had just begun to paint in water-colours, bought
artist's materials of all kinds, enough to last her a year if she
painted every day from morning till night, and went off with
"Picturesque America" under one arm and the "Tourist's
Guide under the other, and entirely forgot her trunk.
Caramel wanted to go where there was a Sunday- school pic-
nic every day in the week, and she was supposed to have gone
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
in search of such a place, as she had all her cambric dresses
freshly done up, and bought two new umbrellas.
Nutmeg had taken her nurse with her and gone, it was
thought from her remarks, in search of a fairy who would tap
her with her wand three times lightly and make diamonds and
pearls fall from her mouth. Nutmeg was the youngest of the
Lollipops, and believed firmly in fairies.
Cherry went off with her ten dolls and
their wardrobes. It was thought prob-
able that she had gone where there was
sea-bathing to be had, and also where it
was cool-as her wax children were '
seriously affected by heat.
Molly wanted to find a kitten with
double claws, to be a gypsy, to go up
in a balloon, to dig clams, and to see
Queen Victoria. It was evident that
she was much perplexed by these va-
ried desires, and her destination was
shrouded in deep mystery, as the only
baggage she took was a book, almost as
big as herself, from the top shelf in
the library, entitled The Guide to
Last of all, Mamma Lollipop, having MOLLY.
dismissed the coachman and her own
maid, the only servants who were left, locked the doors of the
house, and sauntered off down a little side street.
Aunt Jane was in trouble. Everybody in Popleyville seemed
to have developed a sweet tooth, since her supplies from Papa
Lollipop's manufactory had been cut off. Osprey and even
Popleyville itself were full of summer visitors, who thronged her
shop and complained that the acid drops were sweet, and the
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
barley-sugar sour, that the chocolate creams tasted like flour-
paste, and the caramels were burnt. It was just because they
had been accustomed to Papa Lollipop's candy that they
thought so; of course, there was no candy to be found like
that. There was nothing that tasted as it used to, they said,
but the corn-balls and the peanut taffy, and Aunt Jane had
to make corn-balls and peanut taffy into the small hours
every night. And the circus was coming, to say nothing of a
menagerie, and two small shows, and a military celebration and
excursion parties and picnics almost every day. The demand for
candy would be stupendous, and already a rival establishment
was set up in the town, prepared to seize Aunt Jane's trade.
If she had n't been a Lollipop, she should have gone crazy, she
knew she should, Aunt Jane said. Nobody to help her the least
bit! Her little maid-of-all-work was willing, but she had no
talent for confectionery; it was not to be expected; she didn't
come from a talented family; her plain molasses candy was
streaked and lumpy. Now, the little Lollipops, down to the
youngest, had talent to their fingers' ends. Jam, at the age of
three, had made taffy that was fit to set before the king, Aunt
Jane proudly told her neighbors; and Cherry's cayenne lozenges
would draw tears from a stone, so they would.
But alas! just when she wanted them most, the Lollipops had
all written to say they were not coming!
Aunt Jane was standing in front of her door, with a tame
squirrel perched on one shoulder and a kitten on the other. She
was tasting the wares of a wholesale dealer in confectionery, who
drove a pair of prancing steeds, and a huge wagon as gayly
painted as if it belonged to a circus. As soon as she had tasted
the candy herself, she gave a bit to the squirrel and offered a bit
to the kitten, who declined, but rubbed his head against it as a
token of gratitude for the attention.
But Aunt'Jane did not find the candies satisfactory, and the
candy dealer was so angry at her disparagement of his wares that
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
he drove off and left her standing there, candy-less; with several
of her empty jars staring at her from the window.
Aunt Jane would have tried to call him back; but, at that
moment, her attention was arrested by the driving up of the stage,
and the appearance of three unexpected visitors Jam and Taffy
She was so overjoyed that she ran forward eagerly and hugged
them all, even Betty, till they' were almost purple in the face.
For with Jam and Taffy and Betty to help her, there was no
more fear 'of the rival shop.
But you must n't let Mamma or Papa or any of them know
we are here," said Taffy, earnestly, "because you know Popley-
ville is n't fashionable. She did not want to say that it was n't
fashionable to have an aunt who kept a candy-shop, for fear of
wounding Aunt Jane's feelings, and Aunt Jane didn't suspect
anything of the kind, for she thought her little shop was some-
thing to be proud of, and would n't have changed places with a
queen on her throne.
They all made candy for three days, and great fun it was;
they might not have enjoyed it so much once, but now it was new.
And Aunt Jane's empty jars were filled, and people were quick
to find out that they were filled with real Lollipop candy. The
shop-bell was kept jingling nearly all the morning, and very few
persons lifted the latch of the rival shop-door.
On the next afternoon, Jam and Taffy thought they would
like a little variety, so they hired a donkey and cart of the man
next door, took six tin pails and three baskets of luncheon and
the little servant, and started to go a-berrying.
Before they had gone half a mile out of the village, on the
road to the nearest railroad station, they met two very ragged
and forlorn-looking boys. Both looked bruised and torn, as if
they had been fighting, and one was limping painfully. The
other one was a coloured boy, and Taffy remarked that from a
distance he did not look unlike their Coffee, only that. Coffee was
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
always so spick and span. When they came nearer, they saw
that it was Coffee, and his companion, the poor limping lad with
a blackened face, was Cranberry.
Hello, pirates! called Jam, cheerfully. "A short cruise
and a merry one, was n't it ?" Jam was always provoking.
We carried off a boat from a wharf, and the owners did n't
understand the first principles of piracy; they took us for
thieves!" said Cranberry, in an aggrieved tone. "And Coffee
was seasick, and I had to pay all my money for the boat, and it
was n't like a book, anyway. There's more fun in Popleyville
Jam helped them into the donkey-cart, and drove them to
Aunt Jane's, where they received such a welcome as is not often
accorded to pirates returned from the high seas.
Jam and Taffy had scarcely started again upon their berrying
excursion, when they met a fine carriage driving through the
main street. A head was thrust out of the carriage window;
the countenance was a very singular one, though strangely
familiar; it looked very hot and flurried, and was surrounded by
a mass of disheveled auburn hair, ringlets, braids, and puffs -
all fluttering in the wind.
"I had to come home," said the piteous voice of Minty.
"There were many more stylish dresses than mine, and a girl
said my bracelets were brass, and I got entangled in the points
of my-parasol and had to be taken to pieces. And I'11 never be
fashionable again !" And off whirled the carriage bearing Minty
to Aunt Jane's comforting arms.
Before they had gone half a mile farther they met the stage,
and there sat Jujube on the top, making a sketch.
"There are no sunsets anywhere but in Popleyville, so I had to
come," she explained, calmly working away at her sketch. Inside
the stage sat Caramel lunching off a hard-boiled egg and a pickle.
"Couldn't you find enough picnics?" asked Jam and Taffy,
TH.E LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
"I am sure that there are more picnics in Popleyville than
anywhere in the known world," replied Caramel, between her
Before Jam and Taffy reached the railroad station, they met
Raspberry, with a monkey perched on his shoulder and a tam-
bourine in his hand.
I had an organ, but it was too heavy," he announced as
soon as they came within hearing. Monkeys draw better in
Popleyville than they do anywhere else. You'll just see fun, I
can tell you. I suppose you have n't a quarter that you could
lend a fellow ? The hand-organ business is very expensive."
Of course, they had to carry Raspberry to Aunt Jane's, if they
never got any berries, but it did seem very queer that before they
had gone a mile on their way again, they should meet Sherbet,
with his drum on his back, and his arm in a sling.
Had a good time?" demanded Jam.
Splendid! only off on a furlough now, till my country needs
me again," said Sherbet, and that was all he would say. Sher-
bet wasn't one to say much, but he looked as if serving his
country had been hard work.
The berrying party went on; they had promised Aunt Jane
some berries, and they must be had, however attractive the
family reunion at Aunt Jane's might seem. When they got as
far as the railroad station, whom should they see alighting from
the cars but Nutmeg and her nurse.
"Nobody seems to know anything about fairies except Aunt
Jane, and I don't believe they li'e anywhere but in Popleyville.
And ignorant people laugh at one; so I came here," said Nut-
meg, with dignity.
At the other end of the platform they espied Cherry, who had
evidently come in the same train. She was negotiating with a
man for a baby carriage to transport her ten children in. They
were in a truly pitiable condition, some with sawdust oozing
from every pore, some with broken limbs and noses, and some,
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION.
alas! who had evidently been where it was very warm, had
quite, lost the shape of humanity and were nothing but lumps
,"Travelling didn't agree with the poor dears," explained
Cherry. "People with large families never ought to travel.
Popleyville is just the place to bring up children in. I don't
think I shall ever go anywhere else."
The donkey-cart with its load went on, after taking Cherry's
ten dolls upon the back seat, and making them as comfortable
as circumstances would allow.
Just at sunset, the donkey-cart started for home, with the six
tin pails full to the very top and the luncheon baskets empty to
the very bottom. As they drew near the house Jam and Taffy
saw, walking ahead of them, a very familiar figure. It was a
lady with a richly embroidered shawl over her shoulders.
Yes, it was Mamma Lollipop and the drab parrot, and a jubi-
lee the Lollipops had, you may be quite sure, when they got
together in Aunt Jane's house.
I went back to the old rooms over the shop where we were
so happy before we got rich," said Mamma Lollipop; "but I was
lonely without any of you, so I thought I would come to see
Aunt Jane. But I shouldn't care to have your father know
Just then the door of Aunt Jane's kitchen, whence came a
delicious odor of cooking candy, was opened, and there stood
Papa Lollipop, looking happier than they had ever seen him look
since he retired from business.
It seemed that he had come early that morning, and Aunt
Jane had kept him hidden.
It was a miserable affair that convention," said he ; "they
openly favoured using terra alba and poisonous colouring stuff.
The American people will be poisoned if I don't return to the
business. It is my duty, and I will!" At which announce-
ment all the children clapped their hands with delight.
THE LOLLIPOPS' VACATION. 15
But where is poor little Molasses ? She is the only one
missing," said Mamma Lollipop.
At that very moment a knocking was heard at the door, and,
when it was opened, there stood Molly, panting for breath, and
with her cheeks all stained with dust and tears. She had a few
torn leaves of the big Guide to Happiness still clutched in her
hand, but she tossed them away as Aunt Jane caught her in her
"It's a silly old book," sobbed Molly, all full of big words
that don't s:y anything about good times. Aunt Jane knows
ten times as much about 'em, so I came here."
Popleyville never was so pleasant in the world as it was that
summer, and I only wish I had space to tell you of all the fun
that the Lollipops got out of their vacation, after all.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
THERE he stood, on the nursery mantel-piece, grin'n' and
grin'n', as if he'd grin the hairt out iv him," as Nora, the nurse,
said, and nobody seemed to know how he came there. He
might have walked all the way from China, and set himself up
there of his own accord, for all that Dode or Teddy or Marion
or the baby knew. But he looked so much like a gentleman on
a screen down in the library, that Marion ran down to see if it
were not he. She had thought, before, that he must have a
very stupid time, standing there on the screen, always squinting
with his queer long eyes at nothing in particular, and she did
not think it in the least strange that he had preferred to hop off,
if he could, and come up to the nursery where there was always
something going on.
But no; there he was on the screen, squinting away, just as
usual, and when you -came to compare them, the resemblance
was not so very great. Instead of an agreeable smile, the one
on the screen had a scowl, and his petticoats were purple,
instead of red, like the gentleman's in the nursery, and his tunic
and trousers, instead of being a lovely gold colour like his, were
a very dull, unpleasant pink. He had no queer, box-like cap
perched on the top of his head and tied under his chin, like the
one upstairs; but when you came to his pigtail, there was the
greatest difference. The Chinese gentleman in the nursery had
a pigtail of truly" hair, well combed and glossy, and reaching
almost to his feet; while the one on the screen had only an
embroidered one, that couldn't have looked like anything but
sewing silk, if he had come off.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
Marion decided that they could be only distant relatives.
When she got back to the nursery, she found that an aston-
ishing thing had happened.
Teddy had given the Chinese gentleman's pigtail a jerk, and
there had suddenly appeared in the front of his queer little box
of a cap the word, SATURDAY.
It was Saturday. They did not need to be told that, for
Saturday was a holiday. But how he knew what day of the
week it was, the children could not understand.
The letters seemed to be rattling about in his head like the
bits of glass in a kaleidoscope, and suddenly to rattle themselves
together into a word.
It's a wise would felly he is," said Nora, shaking her head,
mysteriously. It's meself knew that same be the quare looks
iv him. He'll be after watching' iverythin' that's go'n' on,
and if there's mischief done he'll not kape it til himself. Och,
but he has a shly way wid him."
The children looked at each other in dismay; there was cer-
tainly something very queer about him. He ran his tongue out
in a mocking and very unpleasant way when the word appeared
in front of his cap, and there was no denying that he had a
very sly and knowing twinkle in his eye.
He seemed to know altogether more than was proper for a
gentleman who, after all, was only made of wood, if he was
Chinese; and if he was going to be a spy, and tell who did mis-
chief, he was not to be tolerated. Teddy gave his pigtail
another jerk, after a rather cross fashion, and out came his
tongue in that very impolite way, and up into his cap popped
the word Sunday.
Pooh! he is n't much," said Dode. He is only just fixed
up inside so that he can tell one day after another. Just let him
alone, and he '11 say to-morrow is Monday. Nora is only trying
to scare you. I should think she might know that I would
know better." And Dode drew himself up to look just as tall as
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
he possibly could, which was not, after all, so tall as he could
wish, and did not seem to impress Nora, although it did impress
Teddy and Marion and the baby.
"He's only an old, wooden image, is he ? and not so very
pretty, either! said Marion, who almost always believed what
Dode told her.
He's a calendar! He's useful. I know Aunt Esther
bought him," said Dode, with great contempt.
Aunt Esther was very kind about some things, and she had a
big dog named Ponto, who could dance a polka, though she
valued him only because he kept burglars away. But she had
one failing that almost spoiled her; she would make useful pres-
It was not of the least avail for Marion to hint, about Christ-
mas time, that her doll, Lady Jane Grey, was suffering for a
Saratoga trunk full of stylish clothes; Aunt Esther was sure to
send her a work-box, or a writing-desk. She. gave Teddy a
dozen pocket-handkerchiefs when he wanted a pistol; and Dode
a very dry History of the World, in seven volumes, when he had
hinted for a banjo.
She took Teddy to a lecture on Fossil Remains, when he
wanted to go to the circus, and she made Dode go to the School
of Anatomy to see a lot of skeletons, instead of to the Zoilogical
Gardens. She never bought candy, and she thought Mother
Goose was silly. She said dolls were a waste of time, and she
thought drums made a noise.
Aunt Esther had no children of her own. They all died
young. Dode said it was no wonder.
It did not seem, at first thought, as if Aunt Esther could
have bought the Gentleman from China. He was so red;and-
gold, and had such a grin; he looked exactly as if Aunt Esther
would not approve of him.
"If you pulled his pigtail every morning he would tell you
what day of the week it was, and that was useful, certainly;
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
but if Aunt Esther had bought a Chinese Gentleman at
all, she would have bought a drab one, who wouldn't under
any circumstances have run out his tongue," the children
How he came there was not explained to the satisfaction of
Marion and Teddy and the baby, whatever Dode might think;
and they did think he was a little quare," and feel a little awe
of him, although they pretended not to.
He had such an opportunity to make himself disagreeable if
he really could watch all the mischief that was done, and tell
who was at the bottom of it! For there was no denying that
they were full of mischief -Dode and Marion and the baby.
Teddy did not really belong to the family; he was a little orphan
cousin. "He is just the same as one of us, only not so bad,"
Marion always explained.
It was not often Teddy who did the mischief, but it was very
often Teddy who was blamed for it.
For several days the Gentleman from China conducted himself
as mildly and unobtrusively as a wooden gentleman might be
expected to ; he certainly saw plenty of mischief, if he kept his
eyes open, but he never mentioned it, and the children grew so
bold as to laugh to scorn Nora's warnings that he was a "foxy
would felly, that was layin' up a hape o' saycrets to let out agin
'em, some foine day."
His smile became very tiresome, and it was decided that he
was not, after all, very handsome. His pigtail was not pulled,
even once a day, and the children's big brother, Rob, said he
"smiled and smiled and was a villain," because he so seldom
told the truth about the day of the week.
One rainy day, Dode did take him down to try to find out
what was inside of him. He was a long time about it; but he
put him back rather suddenly at last, and went off as if he were
in a hurry. And neither Marion nor Teddy nor the baby cared
enough about the Chinese Gentleman to remember to ask him,
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
when he came back, if- he found out where the gentleman kept
One reason for this may have been that the nursery was enliv-
ened, just then, by three of the most bewitching kittens that
ever frisked. Three fuzzy balls with blue eyes, and the pinkest
of noses and toes; and they tore and scampered over everything,
like small whirlwinds. They understood so thoroughly the art
of being agreeable, there was such variety in their entertain-
ments, and they enjoyed them so much themselves, it was no
wonder that they put the Chinese Gentleman in the background.
The kittens, to be sure, could not tell you what day of the week
it was, -the baby had pulled each of their tails to see, but
so long as there was time enough in it to turn somersaults,
race together pell-mell, and tumble headlong, they did n't care.
It was a great shame that such lovely kittens should not have
had prettier names; but there had been so many kittens in that
family that the children had exhausted all the pretty names, or
got fairly tired out thinking them up. They had had Gyps, and
Fluffs, and Daisies, and Muffs, and Pinkies, and Fannies, and
Flossies, and Minnies; and dignified names, too, Lord This
and Lady That; a splendid old patriarch named Moses, and a
wicked little black kitten called Beelzebub; and now there
really did n't seem to be any names left for these three but Rag,
Tag, and Bob-tail; and Rag, Tag, and Bob-tail they were accord-
Bob-tail did have a funny little bob of a tail; it looked as if
half of it had been bitten off; that was what made them think
of his name, and his name suggested the others. Bob-tail was
white, without a speck of any other colour upon him; but I am
sorry to say that he usually looked somewhat dingy. His one
fault was that he would not keep himself clean.
Marion and the baby -who was a three-year-old 'boy, if he
was still called the baby, and could do as much mischief as an
ordinary ten-year-old one had become so disgusted with Bob-
A MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING HAPPENED.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
tail's want of cleanliness, that they had resolved to dye him.
He really ought to be of some dark colour that would not show
dirt, they thought.
And they had found, in Mamma's room, a bottle of indelible
ink, of a 'bright, beautiful, purple color, which, they decided,
would be just the very thing to dye him with.
The operation was performed that very day, as soon as Dode
had finished examining the interior arrangements of the Chinese
Gentleman, and left the room.
They waited until he had gone, because he always wanted to
superintend things, and thought he ought to, because he was the
oldest. Marion and the baby thought, as it was their own idea,
they ought to have the privilege of dyeing Bob-tail just as they
pleased; so it was just as well not to let Dode know anything
about it until it was done.
Teddy was allowed to look on, and was finally promoted to
the honour of holding Bob-tail, who, being only a kitten, had not
sense enough to understand the advantage of being dyed purple,
and struggled and scratched like a little fury.
The baby thought he would be prettier dyed in spots; but that
was found to be impossible, because he would not keep still.
The only way was to pour the ink over him, and they had to
take great care to prevent it from getting into his eyes. A
great deal went upon the carpet; but, as Nora was down in the
kitchen, ironing, and would never know how it came there, I am
sorry to say that they did not think that was of much conse-
quence. Marion did look up, once, at the Gentleman from
China, to see if he showed any signs of noticing what was going
on, any more than any image would, for she could not rid her-
self of the fancy that, after all, Nora might be right about his
being quaree" and "shly." But he exhibited only his usual
pleasant grin, and no more of a twinkle in his queer, long eyes.
Marion concluded that it would be just as absurd to suspect him
of noticing what was going on as it would be to suspect the
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
little brass Cupid on the chandelier, who always had his arrow
poised, but never let it fly.
It was proposed to hold Bob-tail over the furnace-register
until the ink was thoroughly dry; but Nora suddenly opened the
door, and Bob-tail took advantage of the commotion which her
entrance caused to make his escape. It happened, unfortunately,
that the street-door had been left ajar, and out Bob-tail slipped.
When Marion and Teddy reached the lower hall there was no
kitten to be seen. They called until they were hoarse, but no
Perhaps he has gone to see if his mother will know him,"
suggested the baby; for Bob-tail's mother, a sober-minded and
venerable tabby, lived only a few blocks away.
If he should happen to see himself in a looking -glass, he
might think it was n't he, and never come home," said Marion;
" just like the little old woman on the king's highway who had
her petticoats cut off, and said:
"' Oh, lauk a mercy on me! This surely can't be I!'"
I 'm not afraid of that," said Teddy, after some deliberation,
" because he '11 know himself by his bob-tail."
Still, they all felt very anxious and uneasy, and would have
rushed out in pursuit of him, only that it was raining very
hard, and they were not allowed to go out.
They thought he would be sure to come home to supper, for
Bob-tail was the greediest of the three, and always cried lustily
for his saucer of warm milk.
But supper-time came, and no Bob-tail.
It was so sad to miss his shrill little mew! that they all
three cried, and were quite cross to Rag and Tag, who had not
The next morning, they were all up bright and early to see if
Bob-tail had not come home. But, alas! there were Rag and
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
Tag alone, and so dejected in spirit that they hardly cared to
play, and looking very melancholy with the bits of black ribbon
which Dode, who was rather heartless and would make .fun, had
tied around their left forefeet.
Marion and Teddy went up and down the street, and called
Bob-tail in beseeching tones, but no Bob-tail responded.
When they came home from school, and found that he had not
come back, it was resolved that something must be done.
"I 'd rather have him dir-dir-dirty-white and found, than pur-
pur-purple and lost! sobbed the baby.
And they all agreed to that sentiment. But that did not help
matters.in the least.
If the Chinese Gentleman really knew as much as Norah
said, he might tell us where Bob-tail is," said Teddy. "Let's
give his pigtail an awful pull! "
"Pooh! he'll only say it is Wednesday. I suppose he will
tell the truth, because he was pulled yesterday, but we all know
that already," said Marion.
Dode cast a somewhat uneasy glance at the Gentleman from
China, but said nothing.
Teddy gave his pigtail an awful pull." And a most extra-
ordinary thing happened. Instead of the name of the day of the
week, this was what appeared in the front of the Chinese Gentle-
SEND E W
Some of the letters were tipsily askew, but the message was
plain enough. Send E. W." Of course, E. W. stood for
Edward Warren, Teddy's name.
Teddy turned pale, and Marion thought that Nora was cer-
tainly right, and wished that she had believed her before.
Dode looked a little frightened, but he laughed and went and
gave the Chinese Gentleman's pigtail another twitch.
"We '11 find out whether he really means it," he said.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
Those letters fell away, and up came: YES.
The letters were even more askew than the others, and there
was a great rattling before they came, as if he had to make a
great effort to get them up into his cap. But here it was, as
plain a "Yes" as one could wish to see.
There's no doubt about it; he means for you to go, Teddy,"
said Dode, laughing still, though he did look a little frightened
- and Dode was not easily scared.
"And oh, Teddy, perhaps you will find Bob-tail!" cried
Marion, forgetting her fears in joy at this prospect.
Teddy prepared at once to obey the Chinese Gentleman's
direction. He had not the least idea where to go, but he had
faith that he should find Bob-tail, for the Chinese Gentleman
seemed gifted with miraculous powers.
Dode and Marion and the baby escorted him down to the
door; and Marion, determined to have everything properly done,
tied a handkerchief over his eyes, and made him whirl around
until he could not tell which way he was facing, and then
started him off. When he took the handkerchief off; he found
he was turned in just the opposite direction to the one he had
intended to follow; but, since Marion was sure it was the
proper way to do, he went on, having a queer feeling that the
Chinese Gentleman had had something to do with turning him
On he went, up one street and down another, peering into
every alleyway, and calling Kitty, Kitty," or Bobby, Bobby,"
continually. Several times he stopped and asked persons whom
he met if they had seen a purple kitten without very much of
a tail." They all looked surprised and said "No;" one boy
laughed and said there was no such thing as a purple kitten.
Teddy did not condescend to explain, and, as the other boy was
a big one, Teddy did not tell him what he thought of him.
He grew very weary and discouraged, and had begun to think
that the Gentleman from China was a humbug, when suddenly
STHE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
he espied a crowd collected around a hand-organ. Perhaps
there was a monkey! If there was anything in the world that
Teddy thoroughly delighted in, it was a monkey. He forgot
that he was tired, he almost forgot Bob-tail, for there was a
monkey, and an uncommonly attractive one, too, with scarlet
trousers and a yellow jacket, ear-rings in his ears, and a funny
little hat, with a feather standing upright in it. He was hold-
ing his hat out for pennies, and, suddenly seeing a lady at an
upper window of a house, he darted nimbly on to the window-
blind, and so made his way up to her.
The lady put some money into his hat, and he turned away;
but something on the roof of the house suddenly caught his eye,
and he darted up the spout to the very top of the house!
There sat a kitten a most forlorn, and dirty, and draggled-
looking kitten, of a dull, dingy, black colour, with streaks and
spots of dirty white here and there, and not very much of a tail
-Bob-tail's very self; but oh, how changed from the happy,
frisky Bob-tail of other days!
The monkey advanced, chattering, and with uplifted paw,
and cuffed poor Bob-tail's ears.
The kitten made a fierce little spit at the monkey. And then,
seeming to be overcome with fear of a kind of enemy which was
new to his experience, and might be altogether too much for
him, he turned and fled.
Teddy could see an open sky-light, and the tip of the kitten's
tail vanishing into it.
Teddy ran up the steps of the house and rang.the bell.
My kitten is in your house. I saw him go down through
your sky-light," he said to the young girl who opened the
"Is it a queer kitten, that looks as if he'd been through
everything ? said the girl.
"Yes, perhaps he does. He's been dyed," said Teddy, rather
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
"Dyed? What a cruel, wicked boy you must be to dye a
poor little kitten! said the girl, severely. "He has been cry-
ing around here all day. He would n't eat anything, he was so
frightened. I'm sure I don't know about letting you have
We thought he would be prettier purple. But we '11 never
dye him again," said Teddy, meekly.
The girl seemed to have some difficulty in catching Bob-tail,
but she at last appeared with him, though he was struggling
frantically for freedom.
The moment he saw Teddy he made a leap iiito his arms.
He was of a forgiving disposition, and willing to overlook the
dyeing, or perhaps he had found, already, that there is no place
like home. At all events, he curled up snugly in Teddy's arms,
and Teddy, rejoicing, carried him home.
Great was the joy among the children over the wanderer
restored to the bosom of his family, but Rag and Tag were
somewhat cold and reserved in their manner toward him.
They eyed him askance for awhile, Tag even .showing an
inclination to. do battle with him, but at last they both drew
near and smelled of him, and seeming reassured by this, they
set to work to restore him to his natural colour. But they
retired from the labour with disgusted faces before long, evi-
dently not finding the taste of the ink agreeable.
It was night then, and Dode and Marion did not think Bob-
tail looked very badly, considering that purple is not expected
to be very pretty by gas-light; but the next morning Marion
thought he did look horrible," as she said.
"Oh, I wish we had him back as he was!" she exclaimed.
"I don't think purple is in good taste for kittens, and he's
almost black anyway, and so streaked! What shall we do ?"
"Ask the old chap; maybe he '11 know," said Dode.
"Oh, the Chinese Gentleman! Do you dare to twitch his
pigtail, Dode ?" asked Marion, in a voice of awe.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
Dode pulled it, and with a great deal of rattling--more
than he had made just to tell the days of the week up came
these letters: D UBT Y.
"Dirty! why, of course Bob-tail is dirty. That's true, old
fellow, if you can't spell!" cried Dode.
Oh, hush, Dody! Perhaps that's the way they spell it in
China. How could he know?" cried Marion.
"I don't see that we know any more," said Teddy. You'd
better ask him again, Dode, how we can clean him."
Dode twitched the Chinese Gentleman's pigtail again, he
being the only one who had the courage to do it.
STAY came up, the letters askew, as if he were in a great
Stay ? What does he mean by that? We won't let Bob-tail
stay purple, if that's what you mean, my ancient chap," said
Dode, whose bump of reverence was but small.
I should n't want to be so rude to a witch like him," said
Teddy, seriously. "He might turn you into something."
"There are n't any gentleman witches in my book," said
Marion, doubtfully; "but perhaps they have them in China.
Pull him once more, Dode, and be awfully polite."
Dode pulled, and TRY came up, straight and trim.
"Try So we will. We will wash him like everything," said
And into the bath-tub went poor Bob-tail as soon as they
came from school that afternoon, and such a scrubbing as he
had it is probable that no other kitten was ever compelled to
endure since the world began.
They could hardly tell whether he looked any better or not
that night, he was so wet, and draggled, and unhappy. And the
next morning he was still shivering, and seemed, as Marion
said, as if he were going to have a fit of sickness." The
purple had come off a good deal, but that was no comfort if he:
were going to die.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
I'd a good deal rather have him pur-pur-purple than not to
have him a ter-ter-tall! cried the baby.
"Oh, Dode, ask the Chinese Gentleman what we shall do for
him! exclaimed Marion.
"All right," said Dode. It's Friday to-day, is n't it ?"
"What has that to do with it ? demanded Teddy.
"Oh, nothing," said Dode, "only he 'll be sure not to say the
same that he did yesterday."
What do you mean, Dode ?" said Marion.
Oh, nothing, only they never repeat themselves in China,"
said Dode, who could be very disagreeable about keeping things
He jerked the pigtail, and IRDI greeted the children's
"What does it mean?" exclaimed Marion.
"It's probably Chinese. If you only understood Chinese
you'd know just how to cure Bob tail. I'11 pull again and ask
him to speak English."
The pigtail being jerked, up came these letters:
That's English, anyway! And I don't suppose he's quite
dry, or he wouldn't shiver so. Let's wrap him up in warm
The Chinese Gentleman's command was accordingly obeyed,
and in twenty-four hours Bob-tail was himself again, and really
more a white kitten than a purple one.
Sunday afternoon, it happened that Dode and Marion were
alone in the nursery. Marion, who had been earnestly looking at
the Gentleman from China, suddenly said, in a very serious tone:
Dode, do you think he really is a witch ?"
Oh, you goose I should think anybody might see through
that," said Dode, who was in an unusually good-natured mood.
" I broke him, trying to find out how he was made, and now,
instead of coming up in order, the letters that make the name of
THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
the day come any way; that's all. Sometimes it makes a word,
and sometimes it does n't. It has happened queerly, sometimes,
and that's all. Yesterday I pulled him, and he said DUTY;
now we '11 see what he '11 say."
D UNS came up, at which Dode clapped his hands provok-
ingly, and declared that the old Chinee had some sense, after
all; for if that did n't spell dunce," what did it spell ? and
didn't it just describe the girl that thought he was a witch?
It was rather hard to make Marion believe Dode's simple
explanation, and he told her, grandly, that "half the grown
people in the world could be humbugged by a simple thing like-
that, which any fellow, with a head on his .shoulders, could
explain to them in two minutes."
Teddy, on being summoned, was inclined to agree with
Marion in thinking that the Chinese Gentleman must have
brains, instead of machinery, in the head which that wonderful
pigtail grew out of.
But they all united in one opinion, that he was the splendid-
est fun they ever had; and if Aunt Esther did buy him, he
made amends for all the useful presents she had ever given
It happened that Aunt Esther came to see them the very next
day. The first thing that she said, when she came into the
"I am very glad to hear that you liked the present I sent you.
I did n't suppose you would, because it is not a frivolous, useless
toy. I am sorry that it is broken, and I will have it repaired."
Oh, Aunt Esther, please don't! cried Marion. We hated
him when he went right. We only like him spoiled i"
Aunt Esther heaved a great sigh.
It is just as I might have expected. You never will care
for anything useful. Hereafter, I -shall give my presents to
Just at that moment Dode slyly pulled the Chinese Gentle-
32 THE GENTLEMAN FROM CHINA.
man's pigtail, and of course it was very impolite and wrong,
but he did n't know any better the Chinese Gentleman, run-
ning out his tongue, and, it seemed to the children, with a
broader grin than he had ever grinmed before, rattled these
letters up into his cap: 0 .2r .
And Aunt Esther will not believe, to this day, that the chil-
dren did not mean to make fun of her.
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
Eating of curds and whey:
There came a great spider, and sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away."
SHE was not Mother Goose's Miss Muffet; she was not even a
I may as well tell you that, in the beginning, and then you
won't be disappointed. For I know that we are all very much
interested in that Miss Muffet. Mother Goose was such a
shrewd old lady! She knew how to tell just enough, and not
too much. Some story-tellers would have informed us whether
curds and whey were little Miss Muffet's customary diet, or an
unusual treat, and whether they agreed with her; just what kind
of a bowl and spoon she used, and who gave them to her;
whether she had her hair banged, and whether her little brother
wore copper-toed shoes; to say nothing of the spider's whole
family history, and whether he was only prowling about in a
general way, or had special designs on Miss Muffet.
And when we knew all that, we should have no further
interest in little Miss Muffet, nor in the spider. I am afraid we
might even forget that they had ever existed.
But now we all have an opportunity to set our imaginations
at work, and, if we are Yankees, we guess" who Miss Muffet
was, and where she lived, and, especially, where she went when
the spider frightened her away, and whether she ever came back
to her curds and whey.
I do not profess to know any more than anybody else about
34 LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
that Miss Muffet. As I said before, the little Miss Muffet whose
story I am going to tell was no relation to her, whatever; and,
as for the spider, he certainly was not even a descendant of
Mother Goose's spider.
To tell you the truth, my little Miss Muffet's real name was
not Miss Muffet at all. It was Daffy Crawford. No, -now I
think of it, that was not her real name, neither! She was
called Daffy, because she had the yellowest hair that ever was
seen; and as her mother had a fancy for dressing her in green,
she did look like a daffodil. The first person who noticed this
called her Daffodil, and Daffy-down-dilly, and by and by it was
shortened to Daffy, and everybody, even her own father and
mother, adopted it. They almost forgot that she possessed such
a dignified name as Frances Imogen.
How she came to be called "little Miss Muffet" will take me
longer to tell; but I assure you I know all the facts of the case,
for I was well acquainted with her, and I was, as you might say,
on intimate terms with the spider.
It was one summer, down at Dashaway Beach, that Daffy met
She had been making mud-pies all the morning with Tuny
Trimmer and Jimmy Short-legs, that was not his real name,
but they called him so because he still wore knickerbockers,
although he was a very old boy, -and with her own brother,
Sandy. Sandy and Jimmy Short-legs both felt above mud-
pies, as a general thing, but they were down on the beach, and
the tide was out so far that they could neither wade nor fish,
and they had built an oven of stones to bake the pies in, and
made a fire of drift-wood, so it was a more exciting amusement
than the making of mud-pies usually is.
Daffy and Tuny were very proud of the company they were
in. Sandy and Jimmy, besides being boys, were almost eleven,
and they did n't very often condescend to play with girls. Tuny
Trimmer did everything they told her to, even to taking off her
LITTLE MISS BUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
stockings and shoes and wading into the mud up to her knees.
She did not even rebel, when, after the mud-pie making began
to grow monotonous, Jimmy Short-legs proposed to play that her
new Paris doll was a clam, and buried it deep down in the mud.
Daffy took off her shoes and stockings, and got down on all
fours, and pretended that she was a frog, so that Sandy could
swallow her when he was being a crocodile-though she did not
at all enjoy having him a crocodile, he made up such horrid
faces, and squirmed so. But when they wanted to play Indian,
and tie Lady Florabella, her wax doll, to a stake, and burn her
up, while they danced the Ojibbewa war-dance around her, that
was too much even for Daffy's accommodating disposition. She
held out against it stoutly, although they called her a baby, and
said that girls never wanted to have any fun. And Jimmy
Short-legs, who read story-papers, said Florabella would be like
" the Golden-haired Captive of the wild Apaches." And when
Sandy attempted to seize Lady Florabella, and make a martyr of
her against her mamma's will, Daffy snatched her away and ran.
She's a homely old thing, anyhow !" Sandy called after her.
"She isn't pretty enough to be the Golden-haired Captive! And
I'11 burn her up in the kitchen stove when I catch her -old
pink silk dress, and yellow wig, and all !"
This very disrespectful way of speaking of Lady Florabella
excited Daffy even more than the fearful threat.
You are a very worse boy! she screamed, with tears, and
I shall tell Susan of you, right off! "
But as Susan, their nurse, had accepted an invitation to take
a sail with an old sailor admirer, who had appeared at Dasha-
way Beach in the character of a fisherman, it was not easy to
" tell her, right off." The stones cut her bare feet, but Daffy
ran until she felt sure that Lady Florabella was out of danger.
Then she looked back to see if Tuny were not coming, too. But
alas, no! Tuny showed no sympathy in her friend's griefs.
And she evidently -preferred the society of those wicked boys.
36 LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
She was even allowing them to dig up her doll, who had been a
clam, and tie her to a stake: Tuny's doll was going to be the
I don't know how she can bear it!" said Daffy, giving Lady
Florabella an extra hug at the thought.
It was clear that Tuny Trimmer had not the feelings of a
mother. And such a beautiful doll, too, with truly" hair, and
I wonder what her Aunt Kate, who sent it to her from
Paris, would say," thought Daffy. "I don't believe she'll get
another very soon."
What life would be without a doll, Daffy could not imagine.
She did not believe that she could possibly endure it, so she
determined to go on a little farther, lest Sandy's desire for burn-
ing golden-haired captives should be increased by that one
She walked along until she came to the lobster-boiling estab-
lishment of Old Uncle Jollifer. He had been a fisherman all
his life, and was rough, and jolly, and kind. He called Daffy
up to his door, and gave her a very small boiled lobster, warm
from the pot. And with this under one arm, and Lady Flora-
bella under the other, Daffy wandered on. It was not altogether
to get out of Sandy's reach that she went on now. It seemed
like an adventure to have gone so far by herself, and she wanted
to see how it would seem to go still farther. She thought that,
having come so far, she might as well see how the world
looked around the Point where she had never been. So she
travelled on, out of sight of the Ojibbewa war-dance out of
sight, even, of Uncle Jollifer's lobster-factory.
At last she grew so tired and warm that she had to sit down
on the big stone to rest. She discovered that she was hungry,
too; so she cracked the shell of her lobster with a stone, and
began to eat it.
She was just remarking to Florabella that she had never in
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER. 37
all her life eaten anything that tasted so good, when, stretched
out from somewhere behind her, came a long, lean, black hand
and arm, and snatched a claw of her lobster.
Daffy screamed and ran, as was no wonder; but she had gone
only a few steps when she realized that she had left Lady Flora-
Poor Lady Florabella! had she escaped from the Ojibbewa
Indians only to fall into other dangers ? Daffy ventured to
MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
look back, although expecting that long, lean, black hand to
clutch her as she did so.
No; there he sat, quietly devouring her lobster, the very
longest, thinnest, raggedest, blackest, and woolliest negro that
ever was seen.
Now, Daffy was not at all familiar with coloured people, as
her home was in a New England town, where they were very
rarely seen. But she was very familiar with goblins, and
gnomes, and imps, and demons, because Susan, her nurse, knew
38 LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
an inexhaustible stock of stories in which they figured; indeed,
if you might trust Susan's account, she herself had enjoyed an
intimate acquaintance with them. And these interesting people
were, according to Susan, invariably black.
This apparition, who was calmly eating her lobster, -with
Lady Florabella lying across his knees! might be a negro.
Daffy knew, of course, that there were such people. She had
heard all about Topsy and little Eva; she had once seen an old
Dinah, who was cook in a family where she visited. He might
be a negro, but it struck Daffy as much more probable that he
was an imp or a goblin.
It was horrible to run away and leave Lady Florabella in his
clutches; but, if she staid, he would probably turn her into a
white cat. Anybody who had anything to do with imps and
goblins was always turned into a white cat in Susan's stories.
So Daffy turned again and ran as fast as one might he
expected to run from the possibility of becoming a white
The negro boy ran after her, holding Lady Florabella above
his head, and shouting:
Hyar, missy, aint yer gwine to fotch dis yere ?"
Daffy could not understand a word that he said, but she had
no doubt that he was casting a spell over her. .The witches in
Susan's stories always repeated a mysterious jargon of words
when they transformed their victims into animals. She was
very much surprised, and drew a long breath of relief, to find
that, after he had repeated that gibberish three times, she was
still Daffy Crawford. There was not the least sign of white fur,
nor claws, nor whiskers, about her. Perhaps the charm would
not work. There might be a good fairy who prevented it.
But he was following her, as fast as his long legs would carry
him, still shouting, and waving Florabella wildly over his head.
Perhaps he wanted to "grind her bones to make his bread," like
the giant who was always saying, Fee-fi-fo-fum!"
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
Daffy had come to a long pier, reaching down to the -water,
and a little row-boat lay at the end of it. Wild with fright, she
ran down the pier and jumped into the boat. It was only
loosely fastened by a rope, and Daffy untied it. Just one push
she gave, with all her little might, and away floated the boat on
the receding tide. By the time her pursuer reached the end of
the dock, a wide expanse of water lay between it and Daffy's
boat. He danced about and gesticulated frantically. Daffy
thought he had gone crazy with rage and disappointment that
she had escaped from his clutches; and it really did look like it.
He had no boat, so he could not follow her, and Daffy felt quite
secure; and, if she had only had Lady Florabella, she would
have been happy. She had not an oar, nor a scrap of sail, and
would not have been able to use either if she had had it; so she
was as completely at the mercy of the winds and waves as were
the Three Wise Men of Gotham, who went to sea in a bowl.
But she was accustomed to going on the water, and was not at
all afraid of it. It was a new sensation to be all alone in a boat,
drifting she did not know where; but I am afraid the truth of
the matter was that Daffy did not know enough to be afraid.
Susan's stories had filled her mind with fears of imaginary
dangers, but they had had very little to say about real ones.
Suddenly her pursuer turned back, as if a new idea had struck
him. Daffy watched him out of sight, feeling greatly relieved
that he had gone, but with her heart aching at the loss of Flora-
bella. He had gone off, with the doll thrown carelessly over his
shoulder, and, as long as he was in sight, Daffy watched Flora-
bella's beautiful golden curls dancing in the sunlight. It was
truly a pitiful sight Florabella carried off by a dreadful goblin,
and her mamma powerless to help her!
But, very soon, Daffy began to think that she was not much
better off than Florabella. The sea was very rough, and the
little boat pitched and tossed so that it made her giddy; and now
and then a great wave that looked like a mountain would come
40 LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
rolling along, threatening to swallow her up. She was very
much frightened, although the great wave would only take the
tiny boat up on its broad back, in the most careful and friendly
manner, and, after giving it two or three little shakes, set it
down uninjured. When a wickeder wave might come along,
there was no telling; and home was farther and farther away
At length, Daffy saw a little sail-boat bearing down upon her.
It was such a very tiny sail-boat that, at first, she thought it was
only a white-winged gull..
A young man was lying at full length in the bottom of the
boat. He had on a velvet jacket, and a red smoking-cap, with a
gilt tassel, and he was playing on a violin and singing as uncon-
cernedly as if boats could be trusted to sail themselves.
His song broke off when he caught sight of Daffy, and he ex-
claimed, in a tone of great surprise:
Hello, little girl! How in the world did you get here ?"
"How do you do, sir ? I came in the boat," replied Daffy,
calmly, and looking at him with an expression of great
She was very particular about politeness, and she thought
"Hello, little girl!" was a too familiar greeting for a strange
"I -don't suppose you swam, although I did take you for a
mermaid, at first; but how do you happen to be all alone ?"
Because there is n't anybody with me," replied Daffy, coldly.
She did n't mean to be rude, but she did n't like to be asked so
Where is your mother ? Where is your nurse? Where do
you live ? How came you in the boat ?"
Daffy heaved a great sigh. He was such a man to ask questions
that she began to think she might as well tell him all about it.
I ran away from Ojibbewa Indians and a jet-black goblin,"
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
"Wh-e-w!" he whistled. "That's about enough to make
anybody run away, I should think."
He stared at her, in a perplexed way, for a moment, and then
he began to laugh.
Daffy thought it very rude of him to make light of the dan-
gers she had passed, in that way.
Where are the Indians and the goblin?" he asked.
The Indians well, I think they've gone to get their bath-
ing dresses on, by this time; and the goblin he was a truly
goblin, as black as anything, and his lips stuck out, and he
winked his eyes dreadfully he ran away when I got into the
boat. But, oh, dear! he took Florabella with him, and I don't
suppose I shall ever see her again."
"Is Florabella your sister ?" asked the young man, looking
"No; she is my dearest doll, and he will be sure to shut her
up in an enchanted castle, for a thousand years, if he does n't
cut off her head, like Bluebeard's wives. Don't you think you
could find his castle and rescue Florabella, and cut off his head ?
If you would, I would marry you, just like the stories, and we
should live happy ever after."
Thank you; that is very kind of you!" said the young man,
but he threw back his head, and laughed, as if it were something
very funny, instead of a very serious matter, as Daffy thought.
While they had been talking, he had fastened Daffy's boat
with a rope to the stern of his own. It seemed to Daffy that he
was taking a great liberty; she thought he had better have
asked her permission.
"What did you do that for?" she asked him, sharply.
"I am going to take you home, if I can find out where you
live. What do you suppose would become of you, if I should
leave you drifting about here ?"
"I have been thinking that I should come across our nurse,
Susan? A fisherman took her out sailing."
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
"Your nurse Susan gone sailing with a fisherman? Well,
they will never pick you up. He is drowned. I know a song
about it. I was singing it when I caught sight of you."
And this very funny young man began to play on his violin
and sing this song:
"There was a bold fisherman set sail from off Billingsgate,
To catch the mild bloater and the gay mackereel;
But when he got off Pimlico,
The raging winds began to blow,
Which caused his boat to wobble so that overboard he went.
Twinky doodle dum, twanky doodle dum,' was the highly interesting
song he sung,
STwinky doodle dum, twanky doodle dum,' sang the bold fisherman.
"He wibbled and he wobbled in the water so briny,
He yellowed, and he bellowed, for help, but in vain;
So presently he down did glide,
To the bottom of the silvery tide,
But previously to this he cried, Farewell, Susan Jane 1'
Twinky doodle dum,'" etc.
"You see there is no chance of their picking you up," he said,
when he had finished. He is drowned."
It does n't mean our Susan, nor her fisherman, at all," said
"Her name is Susan Jane, though!" she added, feeling a
But the young man laughed so that she knew he was teasing
her, and her pride was deeply wounded.
"It is impolite to laugh at people. I think you behave very
worse indeed," she said, with great dignity. "I shouldn't
wonder if the goblin should get you."
Even as Daffy spoke, an Indian canoe came into sight,
swiftly propelled by the long arms of the goblin! Daffy
screamed with terror, and begged the young man to take her
into his boat.
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
But this very unsatisfactory young man only laughed.
"Is that your goblin ? that innocent-looking little darkey ?
I should have thought you were too brave a girl to be afraid of
Daffy thought she was very brave, and she disliked strongly
to have her courage questioned. Nothing disturbed her so much
as to have Sandy and Jimmy Short-legs call her a "'fraid-cat."
(That is a mysterious epithet, and not to be found in any
dictionary, but Daffy knew only too well what it meant.) So,
now, although she set her teeth tightly together, and breathed
very hard, she kept perfectly quiet while the goblin drew his
boat up beside hers.
He was smiling so very broadly that he looked all teeth; but
it was certainly a very good-natured smile. Daffy thought he
looked like an amiable goblin, but no such being was mentioned
in Susan's stories, so it was necessary to account for him in
some other way; and, after long scrutiny, Daffy decided that he
was probably only a coloured boy. And Florabella was sitting in
state in his boat, quite unharmed.
Missy skeered ob me," he explained to the young man.
" She done cl'ar'd out, like a streak ob lightning But I's
peaceable as a lamb, I is, Missy. I wouldn't hurt a ha'r ob
your head. I could n't luff yer lobster alone, I was so dreffle
hnmgry. 'Pears like my insides was all holler. But I's gwine
to get yer anoder lobster, and I's gwine ter car' yer home. And
I done fetched yer babby. Don't yer be skeered ob me, Missy."
Daffy could not understand all that he said, his language was
so very peculiar, but she understood that he wanted to row her
home, and although she was not so much afraid of him as she
had been at first, she shook her head, decidedly, at that. Gob-
lins were sometimes very polite for the sake of getting people
into their power!
What is your name, and where do you live ?" said the young
man in the boat, to the coloured boy.
44 LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
"Name, George Washin'ton 'Poleon Bonaparte Pompey's Pil-
lar, but dey calls me Spider for short, bekaze my appearance is
kind ob stragglin' I aspects Whar does I lib? As you mought
say, I resides most eberywhar, and I does n't reside much ob any-
whar! Dat is to say, I trabbels. I worked in a sto' in New
York, but I was tuk wif misery in my side, and de gemmen at
de hospital dey said I'd die sure 'nuff if somebody did n't fotch
me inter de country. So I done cl'ar'd out, in de night, and
fotched myself. As you mought say, I's residin at de sea-sho'
for my healf. I's been libin' out ob do's, sleeping' under boats
and sich, but jest at present I's visiting' de Ingines, ober to de
P'int. Dey has pressedd de opinion dat dere never was a tent
big 'nuff for a Ingine and a nigger, and I 'spect dey'll be a-hintin'
for me to cl'ar out soon. Dey said niggers ought to stay in deir
own country, whar dey belonged, but I never belonged nowhar,
and nobody never wanted me, since I left my ole mammy. Dey
don't want to hire no skeletons ober ter de hotel, dey says, but
no nigger can't fat hisself up on raw clams, pertickerly when he's
got misery in his side. And dem low down Ingines will be
hintin' befo' long, sure 'nuff. But now, Missy, you come long ob
me, and I'll take de bery best ob car' ob yer !"
"I think you had better go with him," said the young man.
"You see he is not a goblin, but a very agreeable coloured boy,
and I am sure he will carry you safely home."
"I like you better," said Daffy to the young man-- a state-
ment which made Spider look sad.
That is very flattering," said the young man; but my boat
would have to go against the wind to reach the beach that you
came from, and it might take until night, and your mother
would be dreadfully worried about you."
Even that argument failed to convince Daffy. She was satis-
fied that Spider was not a goblin, but she had a great objection
to his complexion.
To tell you the truth," said the young man, impressively,
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
" although I may seem very pleasant, I really am an ogre. I
have n't felt moved to eat you, because I had several little girls
for my breakfast, but if I should once get you into my boat,
I should carry you home to my wife, who is a very lean and
hungry ogress, with a terrible appetite for red-cheeked little
Daffy scrutinised him gravely. She did not believe he was an
ogre. She thought it probable that he was teasing her. He was
so unlike the ogres that Susan knew about. But there was the
awful possibility that he might be. There might be a variety of
ogre which Susan had never met.
Daffy got into the canoe. She clutched Florabella tightly in
her arms. It was a great comfort to have her again, when she
thought she had lost her forever.
The young man in the boat took off his smoking-cap to her
very politely as the Spider paddled away. Daffy responded only
by a very distant and dignified nod. Whether he was an ogre
or not, she did not at all approve of him. As he sailed away,
she could hear him playing on his violin, and singing about the
fisherman and Susan Jane, and she resolved to ask Susan, if she
should ever see her again, whether ogres were musical.
Spider paddled with a will; but Dashaway Beach was a long
way off. He entertained Daffy by stories of de Souf," where
he had lived when he was a pickaninny," before he strayed
away from his ole mammy," and Daffy -after she became
accustomed to his dialect found his stories almost as delightful
as Susan's. It was almost sunset when Spider drew the canoe up
the beach, at the very spot where the Ojibbewa war-dance had
And there was Susan, running frantically up and down the
beach, wringing her hands and shedding floods of tears, because
Daffy was lost! And Sandy came running, and crying, breath-
You need n't tell on me, because I did n't mean to burn up
46 LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER.
your old doll, anyhow! If you won't I '11 give you my Chinese
lantern; and if you do I'11 drown your kitten as soon as we get
Daffy agreed to silence, on the proposed terms. Sandy was
not quite so bad a boy as he pretended to be, and probably would
not have drowned the kitten; but Daffy felt that the risk was
too awful a one to run.
Then came Jimmy Short-legs, also panting and breathless;
and he said with great emotion:
I thought you had gone and got drowned, with my' bean-
slinger' in your pocket!"
His face brightened very much when Daffy took the "bean-
slinger" out of her pocket and returned it to him uninjured.
Daffy heard that there had been a panic about her, and that her
father had sent men in every direction to search for her. He,
too, came hurrying down to the beach when he heard she had
come; and he hugged and kissed her, as if he realized the dan-
ger she had been in; and when she told him all about it, ex-
cepting the Ojibbewa Indian episode, -he seemed to 'think that
Spider was a good boy, and he took him up to the hotel for sup-
per; and on the hotel steps whom should he meet but a coloured
woman, who had come from New York to serve as cook; and
she threw her arms around Spider's neck and hugged him, and
called him "her own honey," her dear pickaninny" and her
" sweet George Washington 'Poleon Bonaparte Pompey's Pillar !
It really was Spider's ole mammy," whom he had not seen
for seven years!
Spider and his mammy were both happy then, you may be
sure, and Daffy danced for joy.
Daffy told her adventures to the people in the hotel, and one
of the ladies drew a picture of Daffy sitting on the rock eating
lobster, with Spider coming along beside her; and underneath
she wrote: "little Miss Muffet and the Spider." And people
began to call her little Miss Muffet."
LITTLE MISS MUFFET AND HER SPIDER. 47
The day after her adventure, a queer thing happened. A beau-
tiful toy canoe, made of birch bark, like the real ones, and a big
box of candy, were sent to the hotel for Daffy. With them came
a card inscribed, "With the ogre's compliments." How he had
found her out Daffy never knew.
Mr. Crawford hired Spider to take the children to row every
day, because he was so careful and trustworthy; and Daffy grew
so fond of him that, when the time came for her to go home, she
begged that he might go, too; so her father hired him to work
about the grounds, -for, with sea air and plenty of wholesome
food (which latter item his ole mammy" attended to), Spider
had entirely recovered from the misery in his side." His ole
mammy" could not be separated from him, and Daffy's mother
discovered that her kitchen was in need of a cook; so Spider's
"ole mammy" was engaged, also.
And Spider has almost forgotten what it was to "belong no-
whar" and have nobody want him." He does all his work
faithfully, but he is especially devoted to Daffy. He hoards the
ripest strawberries and the biggest peaches for her, and brings
her the very first nuts that are to be found.
Now, if you should ever meet Daffy Crawford, and hear her
called "little Miss Muffet," you would know how she happened
to get the name.
A QUEER VALENTINE.
IT did n't seem as if anybody in the world would be less likely
to receive a valentine than Mrs. Bridget O'Flanigan. It was no
wonder that she laughed when 'Nezer asked her if she expected
to have one-laughed until her chair threatened to give way
under her, and her stand shook so that the apples and oranges
began to roll off, and the peanuts and chestnuts hopped almost
out of their baskets; for Mrs. Bridget O'Flanigan's laughter had
the effect of a small earthquake.
Is it til the likes av me that anybody would be after
sindin' a foine bit av paper, wid flowers on it and small little
b'ys widout a stitch til their backs barrin' wings ? Sure, is it a
swateheart ye think I have, an' me a dacent widdy tin years agin
May? Go 'long wid ye now, ye spalpeen! "
And the "widdy" was again overcome with mirth at the
thought, and 'Nezer had to go to work again at picking up the
apples and oranges. 'Nezer was sitting at what Ben Mudgett
called the "leeward side" of Mrs. O'Flanigan's apple-stand, eat-
ing a turnover and drinking a cup of hot coffee.
A thrifty and hard working woman was Mrs. O'Flanigan,
with a trading-bump equal to any Yankee's; but for all that she
tolerated some unprofitable customers. If it was n't for the
soft-hairtedness in her she'd be rowllin' in gold be this time,"
her neighbours said.
It was in vain for her to try to harden her heart against a
cold and hungry child, who looked wistfully at her tempting
stores; and it was very often indeed that an orange or a stick
of striped candy found its way into a penniless little pocket.
But she had to restrain her generous impulses to a considera-
A QUEER VALENTINE.
ble extent, or her stand would have become so popular, not only
among the children who had no pennies, but among those who
wanted to try the extraordinary and delightful experiment of
getting their candy and keeping their pennies, that the cus-
tomers who filled the money-box would have been crowded off.
Now she had learned from long experience to attend to her
unprofitable customers slyly, exacting from them promises of
'Nezer was one of the unprofitable customers. He was thin
and hungry-looking, and Mrs. O'Flanigan had invited him to
breakfast at her stand whenever he was in town.
In the autumn he came into the city from Scrambleton about
once a week, with Ben Mudgett. Ben worked on a large farm,
and brought wagon-loads of vegetables and poultry and butter
and eggs to market. 'Nezer was an orphan from the poorhouse.
He had been "bound out" to the Widow Scrimpings, who
did n't live on a farm, but who raised poultry and sent it, with
a few eggs and some very small pats of butter, to market.
She tried to raise the poultry on the same principles by which
she was raising 'Nezer-very short commons and very hard
work-but the chickens, and geese, and turkeys were all so lean
and tough that 'Nezer could get for them only about half as
much as Ben Mudgett got for his nice plump ones, and they
would n't lay half as many eggs as Ben's did. And the Widow
Scrimpings thought 'Nezer was to blame. In fact, she thought
'Nezer was to blame for almost everything.
She blamed him because he had a very good appetite, and
because he grew fast. And he always had to go hungry, and
his legs were almost a quarter of a yard longer than his trou-
sers, and his sleeves came only a little ways below his elbows,
and he had to wear the Widow Scrimpings's Uncle Plunkett's old
hats, and Uncle Plunkett was the biggest man in Scrambleton,
and 'Nezer had hard work to keep the hats from completely
extinguishing his head. The rest of him grew and grew, but it
A QUEER VALENTINE.
did seem to 'Nezer as if his head would never grow to fit Uncle
Almost the only good times 'Nezer had were when he went
to market with Ben Mudgett, and those good times came very
seldom now that it was winter. Ben had saved a few barrels of
apples and squashes, to sell when prices were higher than they
were in autumn, and he had a few fat chickens and turkeys that
had survived the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasting, and the
Widow Scrimpings was glad of an opportunity to send 'Nezer
along with a few meagre fowls that looked as if they must have
died of starvation, some eggs that she had saved with care until
prices were as high as they were ever likely to be, and some
cranberries half spoiled by being kept too long.
It was very cold weather, now, and he had been obliged to set
off at four o'clock in the morning, without any breakfast, but
there were snug and warm places in Ben's big wagon in which
to stow one's self away, and Ben could spin yarns and sing
songs that would make you forget all about being cold or hun-
gry or sleepy. Such a big voice as Ben had! He waked all the
sleepy farm-houses as they went along. Ben always had his
breakfast before he started, and he did n't know that 'Nezer
did n't have his; he would have been sure to have brought a
lunch with him if he had; but 'Nezer was not the kind of a boy
to complain. So it happened that 'Nezer, being very faint with
hunger, had cast wistful glances at Mrs. O'Flanigan's apple-
stand, and that worthy woman, after trying in vain to harden
her heart according to the advice of her friends and neighbours,
raised her fat and somewhat grimy forefinger and slyly beck-
oned to him. And every time he came to town after that,
'Nezer found awaiting him a snug seat behind the stand, in the
shelter of Mrs. O'Flanigan's capacious person, a doughnut or a
turnover, and cup of hot coffee.
Mrs. O'Flanigan and 'Nezer had become great friends. He
had been so little used to kindness in his life that a little
A QUEER VALENTINE.
seemed a great deal to him, and he thought Mrs. O'Flanigan
was like an angel. He was always trying to devise a plan for
making some return for her kindness, but beyond doing an
errand for her occasionally there seemed to be no way. Now
he had been looking admiringly at the valentines with which the
shop windows were filled, and he wanted dreadfully to send her
a valentine. He had fifteen cents which a man had given him
for holding his horse, and he meditated the bold plan of buying a
valentine for Mrs. O'Flanigan with it, instead of giving it to
the Widow Scrimpings. But when he delicately sounded Mrs.
O'Flanigan on the subject of valentines, he received the dis-
couraging response recorded at the beginning of this story. Mrs.
O'Flanigan laughed to scorn the idea of her receiving a valentine.
Sure it's the purty young girls that has valentines, an' not
the likes av me, ye gossoon! said she. "An' is it Micky
O'Rourke, the peanut man around the corner and a chatin'
would rashkil he is, bad cesss til him !-is it him that ye think
would be after sindin' me a valentine? Or is it me first
cousin, Barty Macfarland, the would widdy man that comes very
wake askin' the loan av a quarter ? Och, an' it's the foine
swatehearts I has It's foolicht enough they are, but not that
foolicht to be sindin' bit pictures til the likes av me! If it
was a foine, fat young goose for me dinner-pot, now, or a good
shawl wid rid stripes intil it, thim would be valentines that ud
suit me, jist! "
'Nezer heaved a deep sigh. That kind of a valentine was
altogether beyond his reach.
If she only would have liked one of those at which he had
been looking, which could be bought for fifteen cents. There
was one that had a red-and-gold heart upon it, two doves and
two clasped hands, and some verses, beginning:
Your eyes are bright, your heart is light;
You are my darling dear! "
A QUEER VALENTINE.
'Nezer thought it was beautiful, and he could not see why it
was not very appropriate indeed for Mrs. O'Flanigan. But it
was evident that it would not suit her taste at all. He must try
to think of something else. You'd orter have the very nicest
valentine in the world!" he said, gazing at her affectionately,
with his mouth full of mince turnover.
"Listen til the blarneyin' tongue av him! Be aff wid ye,
now, ye rashkil, and pit thim in your pocket agin ye be hongry
go'n' home! "
And Mrs. O'Flanigan thrust two doughnuts into his pocket,
and sent him off, with a playful push.
'Nezer was silent and sad all the way home. It was queer,
but the fact was that he was sad for the first half of the way
because he could n't think of anything to send Mrs. O'Flanigan
for a valentine, and he was sad the last half because he had
thought of something!
It was what she said about a foine fat goose for her dinner-
pot" that made him think of it.
There are very few people so poor that they have n't some one
possession that is very precious to them. 'Nezer, although he
was bound out to Widow Scrimpings, had one, and it was a
Not a fine, fat young goose," but a lean, old, lame goose,
but still, for a dinner-pot, better than no goose at all, and for a
valentine- well, 'Nezer had a vague idea that if he should
send the most precious thing he had that would be just what a
valentine ought to be. It would show his real feeling for Mrs.
But he had another feeling that complicated matters and
made him very unhappy. He was so fond of Peg-leg that he
could n't bear the thought of her being put into a dinner-pot.
You may think it strange that anybody should be fond of a
goose, but 'Nezer was a very affectionate boy, and he had never
had much in his life to be fond of. Nobody had ever petted
A QUEER VALENTINE.
him, and he never had anything to pet. And so, though Peg-
leg was n't, even for a goose, very amiable or interesting, 'Nezer
had set his affections upon her.
In appearance she was a most unprepossessing goose. She
was not only so lame that she could scarcely waddle, but her
neck and head were almost bare of feathers, and she had but
one good eye. And she had a queer little drooping and ragged
bunch of tail-feathers, that gave her a dejected look. But with-
out the misfortunes that had given her her ungainly appearance
she would never have been 'Nezer's goose.
At a very tender age she had fallen into the clutches of a big
dog, and been so badly treated that the Widow Scrimpings gave
her up as dead, and ordered 'Nezer to give her to the cat. But
'Nezer discovered that the breath of life was still in her, and by
careful and tender nursing he had brought her up to compara-
tively vigorous goosehood. But he had built a little house for
her on Ben's farm, and took care to keep her there, and the
Widow Scrimpings never knew that her cat had not made a
meal off her.
At first, 'Nezer had fed her with food saved from his own
scanty meals, and with corn and meal that Ben gave him
occasionally, but for a long time now she had supported herself
by laying eggs.
I am sorry to say that she had never seemed to return
She was a very cross goose; she ran her long neck out, and
hissed fiercely at everybody ; and she hissed only a little less.
fiercely at 'Nezer than at other people. She always came when
he called her, but Ben insisted that it was because he almost
always gave her something to eat. 'Nezer thought, however,
that it was a proof of affection for him. Ben did n't appreciate
her. It was he who had named her Peg-leg.
'Nezer did n't mention to Ben his intention of sending Peg-
leg as a valentine to Mrs. O'Flanigan. Ben would be sure to.
.. A Q UEER VALENTINE.
approve of it heartily, and urge him to do it, and he was not
quite ready to decide upon the matter yet.
But as St. Valentine's Day drew near, and no stroke of good
fortune had come to him to enable him to buy "a shawl wid rid
stripes," which was the only other valentine that Mrs. O'Flani-
gan regarded as desirable, 'Nezer canie to the decision that Peg-
leg must be sacrificed.
He made only one concession to his feelings -he would not
mention the dinner-pot, and it was just possible that Mrs.
O'Flanigan might think Peg-leg too attractive to be boiled and
eaten. There was also a chance that she might think her too
lean and scraggy, as she was fond of good eating.
Moreover, she might guess from whom the valentine came, as
he had told her about Peg-leg, and refrain from boiling her for
the sake of the giver.
So it was not without some hope of again beholding Peg-
leg in life that 'Nezer boxed her up and sent her, by express, to
Mrs. O'Flanigan; the expressman, who was a friend of Ben's,
charging but half price, and promising to take the best possible
care of her.
In the box with Peg-leg 'Nezer put a card upon which he
had written the verse which he had seen upon the valentine
that he especially admired:
Your eyes are bright, your heart is light;
You are my darling dear "
He was afraid she might not understand that Peg-leg was
a valentine if there were no verse.
On the outside he wrote: Take care it bites "
That made it seem very unlike a valentine, but it was absolutely
necessary for Mrs. O'Flanigan's protection, for Peg-leg's disposi-
tion would not be improved by six hours' confinement in a box.
It was a little past noon on the 14th of February, when
MRS. O'FLANIGAN AND HER QUEER VALENTINE.
A QUEER VALENTINE.
the expressman set down before Mrs. O'Flanigan's astonished
eyes the box with its warning sign, Take care it bites."
Take care 'Dade, thin, an' I will. Ye can take it back
wid ye, whatever it do be she screamed after the expressman,
who was already a long way down the street, and did not
manifest the slightest intention of turning back.
What murtherin' rashkil is after sindin' me a crathur that
bites ? An' mesilf a dacint, paceable widdy woman, that nivir
did no harum till anybody! Sure an' it do be a livin' crathur,
for I hears him a-movin' an' a-rustlin' likee" And Mrs.
O'Flanigan stood at a respectful distance, and gazed with
fascinated curiosity at the box.
There were small holes at each side of the box,- 'Nezer
had taken care that Peg-leg should be able to breathe,-and
Mrs. O'Flanigan felt a keen desire to peep through these, but
she dared not.
Sure, it might be a crocydile, or a shnake wid rattles til
him, if it don't be anything worse! And as a very queer
noise proceeded from the box, Mrs. O'Flanigan stood still
farther off, and crossed herself devoutly.
The likes av it! It might be the would Imp himself said.
she. But just at that moment a loud and angry squawk came
from the box.
A look of relief, and gradually a broad grin, overspread the
face of Mrs. O'Flanigan.
Ayther that do be the v'ice of a goose, or it's dramin' I am,
intoirely!" she exclaimed. And in a twinkling she pulled off a
portion of the top of the box. Peg-leg's long neck was thrust
out with a frightful hissing and snapping.
Och, the oogly crathur, wid but a handful av feathers til
her Sure, it's not a right goose she is at all, at all! "
By this time a crowd had collected around Mrs. O'Flanigan's
stand. Trade had been dull to-day; the children had spent all
their pennies for valentines, and the stand had been almost
A QUEER VALENTINE.
deserted. But Peg-leg was more attractive than even valentines.
The crowd increased until it threatened to blockade the street.
Mrs. O'Flanigan was very much annoyed. She prided herself
upon keeping her bit place qui't and respectable." She stood
waving her apren wildly, and shooing" the people off, as if
they were so many chickens. Kape off, will yees, now, or
the murtherin' baste will bite yees! Sure, and has n't a dacint
widdy woman a right to kape a goose if she plazes ? -bad
cesss til the rashkil that sint him til me! But, sure, it's not
long I '11 be wringin' the oogly neck av him, if ye kape off an'
give me the chance !"
The crowd cheered Mrs. O'Flanigan's speech, but showed
no signs of dispersing.
Peg-leg kept people at a respectful distance by hissing fiercely
and snapping her bill, and now and then uttering a loud and
angry squawk; but Mrs. O'Flanigan, with the courage of despair,
was about to seize her and wring her neck, when she caught
sight of the card. She took it out and looked at it, upside
down and all around.
But Mrs. O'Flanigan's education had been neglected. She
could not read writing, and the card threw no light upon the
goose. She beckoned from the crowd a small boy, who was one
of her regular customers, and could be trusted, and requested
him to tell her what was written on the card.
As he read the word valentine," and the tender lines that
followed, light burst upon Mrs. O'Flanigan's mind. It's that
b'y 'Nezer! An' sure it's a kind hairt he has, though the
saints be good til me it's the quarest valentine iver I seen !
An' now, whatever will I do wid it at all, at all, for he towld
me how fond he was av it, an' the hairt av him wud be broke
intoirely if I kilt it! An' me not havin' the last accommy-
dashins for a goose "
A man with a good-natured face, looking like a sailor, stood
near and listened to Mrs. O'Flanigan's lamentation. "If you
A QUEER VALENTINE.
want to get rid of it, I '11 take care of it for you," said he. I
have just bought me a little place, five miles from the city, and
I am going to keep poultry."
Sure, it's an angel ye are to mintion it, but it's a b'y that
thinks the wurruld av it is after sindin' it til me, an' I'm not
loikin' to part wid it, though sure I'm not seeing' how I can
kape it, be the same token "
"Where is the boy ? asked the sailor.
Sure, it's away off to Scrambleton he lives, wid a lone
widdy, that stingy that she picks the bones av him. A sight
to bring tears to your eyes, he is, wid the hatchet face
av him, and-his legs doon beyant his trousis like two sticks,
Scrambleton ? said the man. I used to have a sister who
lived in Scrambleton. But I've.been away for years, sailing all
around the world, and she is dead, like everybody else that
belonged to me she and her husband, and the child, I sup-
pose, for I can't hear anything of it. You don't happen to
know this boy's name, do you ?"
I don't, sir. It's 'Nezer he says they calls him, but sure
that's no name for a Christian. "
Ebenezer, perhaps," said the man. That's my name.
Perhaps I '11 go out to Scrambleton I might hear something
about my sister there. And I'll go to see this boy and tell
him what's become of his goose that is, if you let me
Seein' it's only kapin' it ye '11 be, in a friendly way, perhaps
I 'd better lave it go," said Mrs. O'Flanigan. "For it's kilt
wid it I'11 be, if I kapes it, sure. But if you see 'Nezer ye'll be
after tellin' him that I thinks the wurruld av me valentine, but
be rayson av having' no accommydashins I 'm after lindin' it
for a bit, its dispersition not bein' that reasonable it wud be
continued in a box "
The man nailed the cover of the box once more over Peg-leg
A QUEER VALENTINE.
and her hissing, and carried her off. Mrs. O'Flanigan heaved a
sigh of relief as she saw her valentine disappearing in the
distance and the crowd dispersing.
But as the days went by and no tidings came of either man
or goose, Mrs. O'Flanigan began to feel a pang at the sight of a
hungry-looking boy, fearing he might prove to be 'Nezer, and
dreading to tell 'Nezer what had become of the goose.
But when, about two weeks after Valentine's Day, 'Nezer did
appear, she had to take two or three good long looks at him
before she recognized him. For his legs were no longer doon
beyant his trousis." He had on a brand-new suit from top to
toe, and his cheeks were almost fat! He held his iead up, and
his eyes were bright, and he did not look like the same boy.
And the man who had carried off the goose was with him!
"He is my nephew, my only sister's son," said the man to
Mrs. O'Flanigan. "And if I had n't stopped to see the goose,
and you hadn't told me his name was 'Nezer, and he lived
in Scrambleton, I should, perhaps, never have found him, for
I thought he was dead. And I've got him away from the
Widow Scrimpings, and as I have a snug bit of property, and
nobody but him belonging to me, we 're pretty comfortable
'Nezer's face fully confirmed his uncle's story.
And I 'm hoping to make some return to you for your kind-
ness to my nephew," said 'Nezer's uncle. And 'Nezer could with
great difficulty refrain from telling her of the plans they had
formed for supplying her next summer with the finest fruits
from their garden.
But Mrs. O'Flanigan protested that the bit and the sup" she
had given him would make her "niver a bit the poorer;" and
he was "that dacint and perlite that it more than paid her, to
say nothing of the "foine valentine" he had sent her.
Peg-leg has lots more feathers growing out on her!" said
A QUEER VALENTINE. 61
It's a foine fowl she- do be, annyhow !" said Mrs. O'Flan-
And I think her temper is improving," said 'Nezer's uncle.
She have but the last bit in life av a timper," said Mrs.
O'Flanigan; and sure what would anny av us be widout
it ?" By which you will see that Mrs. O'Flanigan understood
fashionable manners, if she was only an apple-woman.
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME.
ToM was really at the bottom of it. It very often turned out
that Tom was at the bottom of things.
In the Belknap household, when the pot of jam tumbled off
the top shelf of the pantry, when the cream was all drunk up,
when the Sevres china cups were broken, they never suggested
that it was the cat; they merely groaned, Tom "
Sometimes there was mischief done for which Tom was not
accountable, but, being proven guilty of so much, of course he
was blamed for it all.
Bess had Tom for a brother. She had no sister and no
other brother, so, of course, she had to make the best of Tom.
And sometimes he was really quite nice; he had once taken her
out into the park, and let her fly his kite a beauty, with Jap-
anese pictures all over it, and yards and yards of tail; once in a
while he would draw her on his sled though I am sorry to say
he generally did n't want to be bothered with girls; and now
and then, though not often, he had more caramels than he
He put on as many airs with Bess as if he were the Great
Mogul, and, if he had been, Bess could not have had greater
faith in him, or obeyed him more implicitly. When you are a
boy thirteen years old and study Latin, it is easy to be the Great
Mogul to a little body not quite eight, who is only a girl, any
way, never went to school in her life, and can't go out when it
rains, because she is delicate.
Bess was sure that a boy who studied Latin and could .ride on
a bicycle, as Tom could, must know everything. So when Tom
told her that, if her doll was going to give a kettledrum, she
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME. 63
(the doll) ought to write the invitations herself, she did not
think to question it. She could n't quite see how it was to be
done, but it must be the proper way, if Tom said so.
"It's the fashion now for ladies to write their own invita-
tions," said Tom. "Have n't you noticed that Mamma writes
all her cards ? Never has them engraved, as she used to. It
would n't be at all stylish, or even proper, for your doll to have
a kettledrum, unless she wrote the invitations herself."
But Lady Marion can't write," said Bess, mournfully. I
was going to ask Mamma to write them."
Oh, you have only to put the pen in her hand and guide it
slowly, and she will write them well enough. I will tell you
what to have her write. And she must draw a kettle at the top
of the sheet and a drum at the bottom, like those that Miss
Percy sent to Mamma, you know."
It would be beautiful, Tom, but Lady Marion never could do
it in the world said Bess.
Oh, pooh I '11 show you just how, and you can help her.
It will be just the same as if she did it all herself. There that
is the way to draw a kettle, and that's a drum," and Tom drew,
with just a few strokes of his pencil, a kettle that was just like a
kettle, and a drum that you would have known anywhere, while
Bess looked on in breathless admiration, and thought Tom was
almost a magician.
And this is what you 're to write to make the doll write,.
I mean." And he repeated a formula several times, until Bess
had learned it by heart.
Oh, Tom, it will be perfectly splendid! How good you are
to me !" said Bess, gratefully. You shall have my new
Roman sash for a tail to your kite!"
Mamma would n't like that, and she would be sure to find it
out; but I '11 tell you how you can pay me; you can lend me
your two dollars and fifteen cents. I am awfully short, and I
must have a new baseball bat."
64 THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME.
Bess's face fell at this suggestion. She had been hoarding
that two dollars and fifteen cents for a long time, to buy Lady
Marion a new traveling trunk, her old one being very shabby,
and having no bonnet-box in it, so that her bonnets got fright-
fully jammed whenever she went on a journey; and Nurse ad-
vised her never to lend money to Tom, because his pay-day was
so long in coming; and when he got to owing too much he often
went into bankruptcy, and paid but very little on a dollar.
But when one has been very kind, and shows you how to get
up beautiful invitations, it is not at all easy to refuse to lend
him your money. And, besides, if Bess should refuse, Tom
would be very likely to tear up the beautiful kettle and drum
that he had drawn, and, without a pattern to copy, Lady Marion
could never draw them.
So Bess produced her purse, and poured its contents into
"I '11 be sure to pay you, Bess, the very first money I get,"
said Tom, as he always said.
"I hope you will, Tom," said Bess, with a sigh, "because
Lady Marion is suffering for a new trunk. She '11 have to stay
at home from Newport if she does n't get it."
Oh, you '11 get the money long before summer. And I say,
Bess, I shall expect you to save me some of the goodies from
that kettledrum though I don't suppose you can save much,
girls are such greedy things !"
"I will, Tom," said Bess, earnestly. "I will save lots of me-
ringues and caramels, because those are what you like. And
I 'm very much obliged to you."
Well, you ought to be I don't know how you 'd get along
without me." And Tom went off, singing at the top of his
voice, about the "ruler of the queen's navee."
Left alone, Bess went to work diligently. Lady Marion's ket-
tledrum was to come off next week; it was high time that the
invitations were out.
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME. 65
Lady Marion had been invited out a great deal, but she had
never yet given a party. She was well fitted to be a leader of
fashion, but hitherto her mamma's health had prevented her
from assuming that position. Nature had been very bountiful
to her, giving her cheeks just the colour of strawberry ice-cream,
eyes like blueberries, and truly hair the colour of molasses candy
that has been worked a long, long time. She was born in Paris,
and had that distinguished air which is to be found only in dolls
who have that advantage. She had, it is true, been out for a
good many seasons, and looked rather older than several of her
doll associates; her cheeks had lost the faintest tinge of their
strawberry ice-cream bloom, and her beautiful hair had been so
tortured by the fashionable style of hair-dressing- bangs, and
crimps, and frizzes, and Montagues, and water-waves, and puffs-
that it had grown very thin in front, and she was compelled to
wear either a Saratoga wave or a Marguerite front to cover
it. The Saratoga wave was not a perfect match for her
hair, so she wore that only by gaslight. She had also been in
delicate health, the result of an accident which strewed the
nursery floor with sawdust, and made poor Bess fear that her
beloved Lady Marion would be an invalid for life. The acci-
dent happened at the time when Tom had decided to be a
surgeon, and had bought three new knives and a lancet to
practise with, and the dreadful cut in Lady Marion's side
looked, Bess thought, very much as if it had been done with
Tom, however, affirmed that it was caused by late hours and
too much gayety, and Bess did not take Lady Marion to a party
again for more than two months. The accident destroyed her
beautiful plumpness, but Mamma thought that slenderness added
to her distinguished appearance, so Bess was comforted. This
kettledrum was intended to celebrate Lady Marion's return to
society, and Bess was anxious that it should be a very elegant
affair. It was to be held in the drawing-room, and Bess had
66 THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME.
permission to order just what she liked for refreshments. There
was to be more than. tea and cake at that kettledrum.
And the invitations must be in the very latest style. Bess
felt as if she could not be grateful enough to Tom for telling
her just what was the latest style.
She aroused Lady Marion from her afternoon nap and forced
a pen into her unwilling fingers being such a fashionable doll
Lady Marion had neither time nor taste for literary pursuits,
and I doubt whether she had ever so much as tried to write her
name before. But at last the pen was coaxed to stay between
her thumb and forefinger, and Bess guided her hand. After
much patient effort and many failures, a tolerably legible one
was written, and Bess thought it was a great success for a doll's
first effort, although the kettle and drum were not by any
means perfect like Tom's, and, indeed, she felt obliged to write
their names under them, lest they should not be understood.
They did not all look quite so well as the first. After one
has written twenty-five or thirty invitations, one's hand grows
tired, and one is apt to get a little careless; but, on the whole,
Bess thought they did Lady Marion great credit. Not one was
sent that had a blot on it, and Bess was satisfied that the spell-
ing was all quite correct. Before six o'clock they were all
written and sent, and Bess had a great weight off her mind.
But she was very tired, and Lady Marion was so exhausted that
she did n't feel equal .to having her hair dressed, and was
not at home to visitors.
Before she slept, however, Bess made out a list of the refresh-
ments she wanted for the kettledrum, and she gave especial
orders that there should be plenty of meringues and caramels,
that Tom need not come short-he was so fond of them, and
he would make such unpleasant remarks about the girls if they
were all eaten.
And having settled all this, Bess felt that there was nothing
more to do but to wait for that slow-coach of a Tuesday to come
LADY MARION AND MARY ANN SEATED SIDE BY SIDE IN STATE.
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME. 69
around; party days always are such slow-coaches, while the day
on which you are to have the dentist pull your tooth comes like
the chain-lightning express. There was nothing more that she
could do, but there was one thing that didn't quite suit her;
she wanted to invite the nice little girl who lived around the
corner of Pine Street, and when she had asked leave, Mamma
"Oh, hush, dear! No, no! you mustn't ask her. You
mustn't speak of her! Papa would be very angry."
Bess thought that was very strange. She was a very nice
girl. Bess had made her acquaintance in the park; they had
rolled hoops together, and exchanged a great many confidences.
Bess had told her about her parrot that could say Mary had a
little lamb," and about the funny little mice that Tom had
tamed, and described Lady Marion's new dresses that Aunt Kate
had sent her from Paris; and the strange little girl told her
that her name was Amy Belknap,--Belknap, just like Bess's
name, which Bess thought was very strange,- and that she
had three bran- new kittens, as soft and furry as balls of down,
with noses and toes just like pink satin, with dear little peaked
tails, and the most fascinating manners imaginable; and she
had invited Bess to come and see them. But her mamma
would not let her go, and told her that if she ever talked to the
little girl again her papa would be angry. And Mamma looked
very sad about it; there were tears in her eyes. It was all
very strange. Bess did not know what to think about it, but
Papa was very stern when he was angry, so she did not say
anything more about Amy, although she met her two or three
times at parties. But shl did so want to have Lady Marion
invite her doll to the kettledrum that she could not help asking;
but it was of no use, and Mamma said Hush! hush! as if it
were something frightful that she had proposed. And last
night she had heard Nurse talking with Norah, the parlour-maid,
when they thought she was asleep, and Nurse had said that
70 THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NA.ME.
Amy Belknap's father was Papa's own brother, but they had
quarreled years before about a will, and were so angry still that
they would not speak to each other. And Amy's mother was
Mamma's cousin, and had been brought up with her, so that
they were just like sisters, and Mamma felt very unhappy about
It did not seem possible to Bess that her papa would quarrel,
when he always told Tom and her that it was wicked, and when
he got down on his knees and said, Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us," just as if he
Just what a will was, Bess did not know, but she had a vague
idea that it had something to do with money. Surely her
father would not quarrel about money! She had heard him say
that it was very wrong to think too much of it.
There must be a mistake somewhere, Bess thought, and she
wished very much that it might be set right, so that Amy and
she might be friends.
Tuesday came at last, and long before four o'clock Bess and
Lady Marion had their toilets completed, and were perched up
on the window-seat to watch for the coming of their guests. It
was not very dignified, certainly Mamma never did so when
she expected guests; but then Lady Marion was of a nervous
temperament and could not bear to sit still.
Lady Marion had on a lovely "tea-gown" of Japanese foulard
over blue satin, trimmed with beautiful lace, and carried a new
Japanese fan, with pearl sticks and lace, and her hair was
arranged in a new style that was extremely becoming.
The refreshments and flowers had all come; there was
nothing wanting to make the kettledrum a complete success -
nothing but the guests. Strangely enough, they did not appear!
Four o'clock came, and half-past four, and not one of the dolls
that Lady Marion had invited came, but all the time a stream of
carriages had been going around the corner of Pine Street, and
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME. 71
stopping at Amy Belknap's door; and Bess could see gayly
dressed little girls tripping up the steps, every one with her doll
in her arms!
Had Amy Belknap sent out invitations for this afternoon, and
did all the girls prefer to go to her party? It was very strange.
And a doll's party, too, apparently! Amy's best doll, Flora
McFlimsey, had been left carelessly on the mantelpiece when a
very hot fire was burning in the grate, and there was nothing
left of her when Amy found her but a pool of wax, a pair of
lovely, blue glass eyes, and some locks of golden hair. And Amy
declared that she never would have another doll that looked in
the least like Flora; it would break her heart. But she had
another doll, who, strange as it may seem to you when I tell
you how she looked, was very popular in society. She was a
coloured doll, and her name was Mary Ann. A very black doll
indeed she was, with the kinkiest wool that ever was seen, eyes
that would roll up so that you could see only the whites, and
very big, red lips, that were always smiling and showing her
white teeth. She looked so jolly that it made one laugh just to
see her. She could turn her head from side to side and give you
a friendly little nod, and if you pulled a string she could walk
and dance. It was not a dance suited to polite society that she
danced--it was a real negro breakdown; indeed, I do not
think that Nature had intended Mary Ann for polite society, but
for all that she was very popular in it. No doll's party was
thought to be complete without her, and her mamma paid
as much attention to her toilet as to the lamented Flora
McFlimsey's. Was Mary Ann having a party this afternoon?
A suspicion darted into Bess's mind. The names were a good
deal alike Marion and Mary Ann. Could they have. made a
She rushed up to the nursery, and found one of the invitations
which had been discarded by reason of many blots. It seemed
to her that the o was plain enough, but, oh, dear! Mamma
72 THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME.
had told her once that Marion was spelled with an i and not
with a y.
It was Lady Marion's fault! If I had been writing by my-
self I should have thought. It does look like Mary Ann, and
Amy's Mary Ann has so many parties, .and goes so much, they
thought it must be, her kettledrum, and they have all gone
Bess wrung her hands, and hid her face on Lady Marion's
sympathising bosom. Only for one moment; in that moment
she decided that she could not bear it. She rushed to the table,
in a little anteroom, where the refreshments were spread, and
taking up her overskirt, apron fashion, she filled it full of
goodies, tossing them all in helter-skelter, never minding that
the candied fruit was sticky and the grapes juicy. Then she
seized Lady Marion upside down, actually with her head down-
ward and feet sticking up in the air, so that she was in immi-
nent danger of apoplexy -not to mention her feelings, which
were terribly wounded by such -an indignity and ran out of
the street door, not waiting for hat or cloak !
Mamma was away and would not be at home until night, but
if Nurse saw her she probably would not allow her to go, so she
closed the door very softly behind her. In her eagerness she
quite forgot that there was a mysterious reason why she should
not go to Amy Belknap's house; she only realized that Lady
Marion's kettledrum had gone astray, and she was fully deter-
mined not to lose it entirely.
The servant who opened the door had been surprised at the
appearance of so many little girls and dolls, when none had been
invited, but she was still more surprised when she opened the
door to a little girl without hat or cloak, with her overskirt full
of bonbons, and her doll's legs waving wildly in- the air !
Amy had thought it a surprise party, and there had been no
explanations until Bess and Lady Marion appeared. The girls
were all very much surprised at the mistake, and said they did
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME. 73
not understand why Lady was prefixed to Mary Ann's name,
and some of them thought they ought to go at once to Lady
Marion's house, since the invitations had really come from her;
but Bess was quite willing to stay where she was, and Lady
Marion made no objection.
The only difference was that there were two hostesses instead
of one, Lady Marion and Mary Ann being seated side by side in
state. Lady'Marion was very elegant and polite, and was greatly
admired; and as for Mary Ann, she fairly outdid herself, setting
everybody into roars of laughter with her dancing; and the
refreshments were not so very much mixed up.
Bess and Lady Marion staid after the others were gone.
Bess wanted to see the kittens and the other pretty things that
Amy promised to show her; and, besides, she had begun to
realise by this time that she had done wrong in coming, and she
did n't want to go home and tell how naughty she had been.
If it were wrong merely to mention Amy's name, how dread-
fully wrong it must be to have run away, without asking leave
of anybody, and stay so long in Amy's house! She must be as
bad as Tom was when he got acquainted with the circus clown,
and went home with him and staid all night. Tom was kept
shut up in his room all day, on bread and water, and Papa said
he would "rather have no boy at all than a boy he could n't
trust." Would he wish that he had no girl at all? That was
a dreadful thought.
But why should n't she visit Amy, who was the very nicest
little girl she knew, and never got cross and said she would n't
play if you did n't do just as she wanted to, as some of the girls
Bess turned it over and over in her small mind, and decided
that it was very unjust. But she was very tired, and while she
was puzzling over it her thoughts got queerly mixed up, and be-
fore she knew what she was going to do, she had "taken the
boat for Noddle's Island." They were sitting on the warm,
. 74 THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME.
fluffy rug, before the fire, in the nursery. Amy's nurse had a
given them some bread and milk, and then she had hinted, very
strongly, that it was growing late, and Bess had better go home.
Bess did n't choose to pay any attention to the hints. She
dreaded going home, and it was very pleasant where she was.
They had the three kittens, who were twice as furry, frolicsome,
and fascinating as Amy had said; a toy mouse, with a spring
that, when wound up, would make him run and spring so like a
"truly" mouse that it made one's blood run cold, and nearly
drove the kittens frantic; a music-box that played the loveliest
tunes, and a jack-in-the-box that fired off a tiny pistol when he
popped out; all these delightful things they had on the hearth-
rug, besides Lady Marion and. Mary :Ann, who were a little
neglected, I am afraid, but so tired and sleepy that they did n't
After such an exciting day as Bess had spent, one can't keep
awake long, even when there is so much fun to be had, especially
when it is past one's bedtime.
Nothing but politeness had kept Amy's eyes open so long, and
when she saw that Bess was asleep she gave a great sigh of
relief, and she, too, got into Noddle's boat. The three kittens,
finding it very tame to play with a mouse that would n't go for
the want of winding up, curled up together in a little furry, purr-
ing heap, and went fast asleep, and the jack-in-the-box, losing
all hope of getting another chance to pop out, did the same.
Lady Marion had long ago been lulled to sleep by the soft strains
of the music-box, and, last of all, Mary Ann, who ached in every
joint from so much dancing, and whose eyes were strained and
smarting from continual rolling up, but who never left the post
of duty while there was anybody to be entertained, stretched her-
self comfortably out on the soft rug and, like the others, forgot
her weariness in slumber.
The nurse stole out to have a chat with a crony. Amy's
mother was out, and there was no one to notice that it was very
THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME. 75
quiet in the nursery, or think that it was time for the strange
little girl to go home. But in the strange little girl's own house
they were thinking that it was time for her to come home!
They had discovered her absence two or three hours before,
and had been seeking her far and near in the keenest anxiety
and distress. They had visited every house where they thought
she would be at all likely to go; they had given notice of her
loss at several police stations, and secured the aid of two or three
police officers in the search. Last of all, having heard that Amy
Belknap had had a party that afternoon, they came there: Papa
and Mamma almost beside themselves; Nurse never ceasing to
weep and wring her hands; Tom outwardly stolid, and with his
hands in his pockets, but inwardly wishing heartily that he had
been a great deal better to Bess, and resolving that, if they ever
found her, he would pay her that two dollars and fifteen cents
I am sure she is n't here," said Bess's mamma, as they rang
the door-bell. Bess never does what she knows I would not
wish her to."
But when the door was opened the servant said she thought
she was up in the nursery. And up-stairs rushed Bess's father
and mother immediately, scarcely remembering whose house they
were in, but thinking only of their lost little girl who might be
It happened that they opened one door into the nursery just
as Amy's papa opened another. And when Bess opened her
eyes, almost smothered with her mother's hugs and kisses, there
stood her papa and Amy's papa, looking at each other, as Tom,
afterward, rather disrespectfully remarked, just as his big New-
foundland Rover and Bobby Sparks's big Caesar looked at each
other, when they had n't made up their minds whether to fight
each other or go together to lick Dick Jefferd's wicked Nero "
Bess discovered that she was not going to be scolded, but was
the heroine of the hour; even Tom, who hated making a fuss,"
76 THE DOLL THAT COULD N'T SPELL HER NAME.
was actually crying and kissing her; and Bess began to feel
very important, and thought she might set things to rights. She
tugged at her father's coat-tails to gain his entire attention.
Papa," she began, don't you know Birds in their little
nests agree,' and Let dogs delight to bark and bite ?' I'11 get
Nurse to say them to you, if you don't. It is n't right for you to
quarrel just because you're big! And he's your brother, too
- just like Tom and me. And he's Amy's father, and Amy's
my pertikler friend. You kiss him, now, and say you're sorry,
and and I'11 buy you something nice "
In her eagerness, Bess had fallen into Nurse's style of bribery.
There was one very good thing about it it made everybody
laugh; and sometimes a laugh will swallow up more bitterness
than tears can drown. They did not kiss each other, to Bess's
great disappointment; but the very next day Amy came to see
her, and Amy's mamma, too, and she and Bess's mamma kissed
and cried over each other, just as if they were schoolgirls; and
they called Bess a blessed little peacemaker;" so Bess is quite
sure that it is all coming out right, and that she shall always
have her cousin Amy for her pertikler friend."
When Bess's mamma heard that it all came about because
Lady Marion couldn't spell her own name, she praised Lady
Marion, and said her ignorance was better than all the accom-
plishments that she ever knew a doll to have !
But as for Tom, who was really at the bottom of it, nobody
thought of praising him.
But Bess had saved a great many meringues and caramels for
him-more than anybody but a boy could eat--so he didn't
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
HE might have come from the moon, for all I know," said
Deborah, rather crossly. She was sprinkling and folding the
clothes for to-morrow's ironing, and she wanted to get them done
before her "beau" should come, to take her to drive, and the
tramp had hindered her; and now Jack was asking questions.
Deborah often declared that if ever she hired out" again, it
would be "with folks that didn't allow their children to ask so
many questions as the little Mudgetts asked. She was all wore
to skin and bone with them."
As Deborah was very buxom and rosy, she evidently intended
that remark to be taken in a figurative sense; but the children
were trying, with their endless questions, especially Jack, the
oldest boy, who never believed anything.
Stella, the youngest girl, believed everything. She never had
the slightest doubt that all the wonderful things related in the
Arabian Nights, Grimm's Goblins, and Mother Goose, actually
happened. Stella was Deborah's favourite. She was her Uncle
John's favourite, too, and Uncle John was of great conse-
quence, because he was the captain of a vessel, and had been all
around the world. He was expected home in a few days from a
long voyage, and all the children lay awake nights storing up
questions to ask him. He always would tell Stella stories, when
he would not tell them to anybody else, because she never asked
him if they were true. She asked him everything she could
think of, but she never thought of that.
Jack had only asked Deborah who it was that had knocked at
the door; what he wanted; of what country he had seemed to
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
be a native; if he were well dressed; what he had on; if he had
been drinking; if he had a bundle with him; if he wanted to
stay all night; if he wanted anything to eat; if he got anything;
if she asked him in; what she thought his name was; if he had
a red nose; if his hair was curly; and where she thought he
came from. And he didn't think that Deborah ought to be
so cross, as if he had asked many questions !
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
Jack could ask questions when he tried, but he had not got
fairly under way then.
Stella came into the kitchen with her doll, Cinderella, under
her arm, just as Deborah said that. The little girl was going
to sprinkle and fold Cinderella's clothes, which were always
washed on Monday, and ironed on Tuesday, just like anybody's.
But she forgot all about the clothes when she heard Deborah say
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
there was a possibility that the man came from the moon.
Stella was very much interested in the moon. As she firmly
believed it to be made of green cheese, and also that one man
lived in it, her interest is scarcely to be wondered at.
Oh, Deborah, was it really the Man in the Moon ?" she
Well, I should n't wonder," said Deborah, and she laughed
a little, though she was cross. Come to think of it, he did
inquire the way to Norwich. And he seemed terrible hungry,
as if he had come a long journey."
"Did you give him anything to eat? asked Jack.
"I gave him a piece of bread that he could eat if he was hun-
gry. I ain't a-goin' to pamper up tramps with my best victuals
that I've wore my fingers to the bone a-cookin' of," said
No cheese? Oh, Deborah !" said Stella, reproachfully.
Of course the Man in the Moon was accustomed to eating
cheese, since his dwelling-place was made of it, and he might
miss it very much. It was Stella's opinion that Deborah ought
to have thought of that.
And why, oh, why, did n't Deborah ask him to come in To
think of coming so near to seeing the Man in the Moon, and
missing it! It was very cruel of Deborah.
Did he look much like other people, Deborah ?" asked
Come to think of it, he favoured a pirate, as much as any-
thing," said Deborah. Though that might 'a' ben owin' to
his havin' but one eye, and that one kind of squinty."
Do you think he was a cross man, Deborah ?" asked Stella,
after a moment of deep meditation.
"I don't know nothing' about the dispositions of folks in the
moon. I 've got all I can do to contend against the trying' dis-
positions of them here below," said Deborah.
There ain't any folks in the moon! said Jack, diving his
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
head into the clothes-basket, and turning a somersault. "If there
was, they'd all be like busted balloons; there is n't any air
there. Stella believes everything."
"It's boys that don't believe nothing' that comes to the gal-
lows," said Deborah, severely.
Meantime, Stella had slipped into the wood-shed, to see if she
could catch a glimpse of the man's retreating figure, from the
Oh, joy! there he sat at the end of the wood-pile, only a few
Stella went into the pantry, and got a huge piece of cheese;
then she ran out, and sat down on a log, opposite him. She
was at quite a distance from the house, it was growing dark,
and the man did look rather cross, but Stella was never afraid
of anything excepting thunder and curly dogs. Everybody
has his weak points, and those were Stella's. She did not once
think of being afraid of the Man from the Moon,'though she
did hope that he was n't cross, because cross people would never
answer all the questions that one wanted to ask.
She sat and stared at him for a minute or two, the big piece
of cheese in one hand, and Cinderella, held by the heels, in the
other. She was casting about in her mind for some suitable way
of addressing him; being entirely ignorant of the etiquette of
the moon, she was afraid of seeming impolite. But at length,
nothing better occurring to her, she said, blandly:
How do you do, man?"
The man responded, civilly, but rather gruffly, that he was
"as well as poor folks could expect to be."
I suppose you don't have bread at home," remarked Stella.
"Not much, that's a fact," said the man.
But if you live on cheese entirely, won't you eat the moon
all up some day, and tumble down to the ground ?" That was
a problem that had been troubling Stella ever since she had first
heard that the moon was made of cheese.
" WE 'RE GOIN' HOME TO THE MOON AS SOON AS WE CAN FIND A CONVEYANCE," HE SAID.
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
The man gave her a rather puzzled look, and laughed a little.
"Eat the moon up ? Well, I be hunger-bitten enough to do it,
sometimes, that's a fact. And I'm pesky fond of cheese. I
like the looks of that 'ere piece in your hand."
I brought it on purpose for you," said Stella, presenting it,
and making a low bow, to show her respect for so exalted a per-
sonage as the Man from the Moon.
The man devoured the cheese, with such great hungry bites
that she was more than ever convinced that it was his natural
"How did you come down? was her next question.
"Well, I come down on a broomstick, but I'm going home
around by the way of Norwich," he answered.
On a broomstick! Stella wanted to ask him whether he
was any relation to the old woman who went up on one to
sweep the cobwebs from the sky, but she was afraid it would not
be quite polite. She might be only a poor relation, of whom
such a great man would not wish to be reminded. But, surely,
there could not be many people who could ride on broomsticks!
She and Percy, her youngest brother, had tried it, and they
had n't gone up a bit.
She was anxious to ask no questions that were not strictly
polite, so she was very slow and deliberate.
Have you any children?"
Four on 'em," answered the man, between his bites.
"Four ? That is very few; there are nine of us. But per-
haps that is just as well; they might fall off."
"Fall off ?" repeated the man, with a start. Fall off of
what ? How come you to know "
Why, off the moon, of course; you live in the moon, don't
you ? "
The man gave her a long, puzzled look; then he tapped his
forehead, significantly, with his forefinger. Tetched, as sure
as you're born he said to himself. Though I never did see
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
sich a little one tetched. Mebbe the big one, that give me the
dry bread, was loony, too; that might be what made her sich
a spitfire. It might be a lunatic hospital;" and he arose and
looked back at the house, reflectively.
Oh, yes, I live in the moon," he said, seating himself again.
" Sartingly, I live in the moon."
A shadow of painful doubt had been creeping into Stella's
mind; he was so very much like other people; his manners
were not elegant, and he was very badly dressed; but his own
assertion was satisfactory. She heaved a great sigh of relief.
Only the fear that he would vanish before she could return pre-
vented her from going in search of Jack, the unbelieving, who
certainly would have to believe now, she thought. She resolved
to extract from the man all the information possible, and to use
it to convince Jack.
What kind of cheese is green cheese ? she inquired.
"Well, it is sage cheese," answered the man, after some de-
liberation. Cheese with so much sage into it that it is kind
of greenish completed, so to speak."
"That is what Percy and I thought!" cried Stella. But
Uncle John thought it was new cheese."
"There's nobody knows much about the moon, but them as
lives there," said the man, in a tone and manner full of mystery.
"It must be very funny. But you have n't burst, have you ?
You don't look very limpsy. Jack says people there must be
just like my balloon after he stuck a pin into it, because there
is n't air in the moon."
Air? bless you, there's air enough! Air and water -
that's about all there is that's plenty where I live! and the
man laughed harshly.
Stella resolved to enlighten Jack on that point, the very first
Presently, she asked: Did you see the cow when she jumped
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
That was another important point on which Stella wished to
obtain testimony, for Jack boldly declared his opinion that
Mother Goose was not a faithful historian.
"The cow? Cows bein' such a plentiful animal, I can't
rightly tell which one you mean."
Stella opened her eyes wide with astonishment.
"Don't you know
"' Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon ?'"
Oh, to be sure! That .'ere event occurred some time ago,
and it had kind of slipped my mind. Yes, I see her. She gin
the moon a clip with her heels when she went over, and knocked
it kind of slantwise. Mebbe you've noticed, sometimes, that it
looks kind of slantwise."
Yes, I have! cried Stella, eagerly. Surely such proof as
this would convince even Jack, she thought.
Oh, I wish I could go to the moon! You could n't possibly
take me, could you ? and bring me back again ?" she added, with
a sudden thought of home.
I expect they think a good deal of you to home, and mebbe
they would n't want to spare you," said the man.
Yes, they do. I am the youngest. Papa says he would n't
take a million dollars for me. But, of course, I could come
Of course. I might take you along with me now, if you was
a good girl and did n't make no noise, and I could bring you
back again before they missed you," said the man.
Oh, will you?" cried Stella, hopping on one foot. That
was the way in which all the little Mudgetts expressed their
greatest joy. "And Cinderella, too It will be such a thing
Stella had heard her mother say that about Polly, their eldest,
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
when she was invited to go on a trip to Europe. "And perhaps
they don't have dolls in the moon, and will like to see her."
The man examined Cinderella critically. She was large and
heavy, but she was made of wax and had "truly hair," and he
said Stella might take her.
He looked cautiously around to see if anybody saw them, as
he slung his worn, old leather bag across his shoulder by means
of a walking-stick, and, taking Stella's hand in his, started off.
Stella wondered whether they were to go up on broomsticks,
but her new friend was not as talkative as he had been at first.
He seemed to have got tired of answering questions, like Debo-
rah. She could only discover that they were going by the way
of Norwich," which was a seaport town about ten miles away.
Stella had been there, often, with her Uncle John; it was from
there that his vessel sailed. But she had never heard that there
was any conveyance from Norwich to the moon. Jack would be
very much surprised to know it. He would be very likely to
say, I don't believe it." That was almost the last distinct
thought that Stella had. She grew so sleepy that she stumbled
along, half-dragged by her companion. It was long past her
bedtime, and sleep conquered even the delight that she felt that
she was on the way to the moon. At length the man, grum-
blingly, lifted her in his arms, sound asleep. Her hold upon
Cinderella had relaxed, and the man stuck Her Dollship, head
first, into his grimy pocket, the legs waving wildly in the air.
And so this strangely assorted company travelled on in the
Stella opened her eyes upon the very queerest place they had
ever seen. It was a ship's cabin she knew that at a glance,
having often been on board her Uncle John's ship, -but the
darkest, dingiest, most forlorn one imaginable. She rolled
quickly out of the dirty and stifling bunk in which she was
lying, and took a survey of her surroundings. One side of the
cabin seemed to be a mass of broken timbers, through which
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
came little gleams of daylight and a glimpse of waving grass.
The ship was evidently not on the water, and would never be
likely to be again.- It was very queer, but it might be the
fashion in the moon to live in a ship, Stella thought.
Three or four of the raggedest and dirtiest children Stella had
ever seen were quarrelling over some object. As Stella drew
near them, she saw that it was oh, horror !- the headless
body of Cinderella. And the man her acquaintance of the
night before was holding up, by its golden locks, poor Cin-
derella's head, for the inspection of a dirty and dejected-looking
Stella screamed at that sight; it was too much even for her
stout little heart to bear.
The man shook her roughly and told her to keep still. The
children forgot the doll, and gathered about her, staring at her,
with mouths and eyes wide open.
If you are the Man in the Moon, you have n't any right to
cut off my Cinderella's head!" said Stella, boldly. If there
are any policemen in the moon, I shall have you arrested. And
I want to go home. I don't think I shall like the moon at
The man and woman both laughed. The man said something
that sounded like regular little Bedlamite." The woman com-
plained that they should find her in the way, and the man
replied that he would keep her till there was a reward offered,"
and that they might as well humour her notions." They
offered her some fried fish for breakfast, but, brave as she was,
she was too homesick and frightened to eat. The children were
very social, and invited her to accompany them to the deck.
There was a rickety ladder, up which they scampered like
squirrels, and Stella climbed after them. She looked around
her with great curiosity; out-of-doors in the moon might be
pleasant if the dwellings were not, she thought.
Why, it is n't the moon, at all! It is Norwich! she cried.
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
" If we have n't got there, I don't think I'11 go. I would rather
They were on the wreck of a fishing-schooner, which was
half-imbedded in the mud, in a little retired cove just outside
the harbour of Norwich. Less than a mile away lay the
Stella was disappointed, but a feeling of relief that she was
so near home mingled with her disappointment. For the Man
in the Moon had certainly hot improved upon acquaintance. He
was no longer agreeable; he had become very unwilling to
answer questions, and he had cruelly murdered Cinderella.
How do you get to the moon? asked Stella.
The children looked puzzled, and giggled, and said nothing.
An expression came into Stella's face that made her look like
"Do you live here all the time ? she said solemnly.
Oh, no! We've only been here a week. We don't live
nowhere. We tramp," said the oldest boy.
This was not very intelligible to Stella. At that moment,
the man came up the ladder, and at once sent his children
below. Then he said:
"We've just put in here for repairs clothes and victuals,
and sich. We're a-goin' home to the moon just as soon as we
can find a conveyance," he said.
It was.true, then; and it was very disappointing. It occurred to
Stella that Mother Goose was right in saying that he came down
too soon." He might just as well never have come at all!
I think I will go home. May be you won't get a conveyance
for a good while, and they '11 be worried about me at home."
Stella tried to be polite, but she spoke very decidedly.
"Oh, we could n't think of givin' up the pleasure of a visit
from you at our beautiful home in the moon!" said the man.
Here you don't see us at our best; our ship has run aground,
so to speak. My wife and I are goin' out now, to see if we
THE MAN IN THE MOON. .
can't hire a balloon to take us up to-night, and you had better
wait and go with us."
It did sound inviting to go in a balloon up to the moon!
But Stella was thoroughly homesick. I'm very much obliged
to you, but I think I'd rather go home. Perhaps, the next
time you come down, I'll go home with you," she said.
Well, if you ha' n't changed your mind before night, when
we come back with the balloon, I'11 take you home," said the
And all Stella's pleading and tears were unavailing. The
children were sent away, with empty baskets on their arms, in
the direction of Norwich; then the man and his wife went off
in another direction, and they took down the ladder which led
up the vessel's side, so that Stella could not get down to the
And as they went, Stella saw Cinderella's beautiful golden
ringlets hanging out of the man's pocket, and she heard the
man say to his wife that, as the head was wax and the hair real,
they might perhaps sell them for a few cents!
Left alone, poor little Stella sobbed and screamed until she
was exhausted. But only the echoes answered. There were
woods on one side, the ocean on the other; not a living being
was within reach of her voice. Now and then a vessel sailed
by, but always too far off to hear her.
Before noon she was hungry enough to eat the few dry crusts
which had been left for her dinner, and then she felt a little
more hopeful, and, curling herself up in a corner, she forgot all
her woes in sleep.
The crashing of thunder awoke her. Her greatest terror had
come in the train of her other troubles.
Thunder and lightning were even worse to Stella than curly
dogs. Cozily cuddled in her mother's arms a thunder-storm
was bad enough, but to be all alone in this strange and solitary
place, the sky black, excepting when tongues of flame splintered