. .... ...
The Baldwin Library
THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL
THE WOLF SEES MABEL HOME.
ADVENTURES OF MABEL
MELANIE ELISABETH NORTON
DODD MEAD AND COMPANY
BY DODD MEAD AND COMPANY
All rights reserved
JOHN LS iteN AD SO,
JoHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.
WHO ALREADY KNOWS THEM ALL BY HEART,
ARE LOVIL SCRt
ARE LOVINGLY INSCRIBED.
I. THE GREEN LIZARD ..... . I
II. THE TAMING OF REX. . . 14
III. THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE .. .. 31
IV. THE ROBBERS .... . .. . 42
V. REX PLAYS POLICEMAN . ... .74
VI. WALTER AND THE GOAT . . .84
VII. THE GREY RAT UNDER THE PUMP ... O6
VIII. THE ANIMAL PARTY . ... .. 125
IX. THE TRICKS OF THE BAD WOLF. ... .. 144
X. THE GIANT'S CASTLE ... . 72
XI. THE BROWNIE JELLY . ... .. .199
XII. THE RESCUE OF JACK . ... .226
THE WOLF SEES MABEL HOME .
MABEL RIDES REX . .
THE ROBBERY . .
TOWSER GNAWS THE ROPE ..
THE GOAT IS SORRY . .
THE KING SPIDER AT WORK .
THE WOLF ARRIVES . .
THE PILE OF WOLVES . .
THE GIANT LOOKS OUT OF THE WINDOW
IN THE GIANT'S NURSERY .
MABEL IN THE CAVE . .
MABEL LETS JACK OUT OF PRISON. .
. . 67
. . IOI
. . 117
. . 135
. . 181
. . 203
. . 239
THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
THE GREEN LIZARD.
ONCE upon a time there was a little
girl named Mabel, who lived in a
cottage with her Grandma, and her
brother Walter, and Jane the cook. The
cottage was not very near any other houses,
but was away out beyond the village and
near a large wood. The wood was very big,
and the trees in it were great tall trees all
covered with leaves, and having thick vines
around them, so that even in the middle of
the day it was shady and cool; and when
the sun began to go down it was so dark
that you could hardly see.
Mabel loved the big woods because when
the sun was hot she could go under the
2 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
trees and play on the moss in the shade of
the branches; and there was a lovely little
brook there with real fishes in it, and some-
times Mabel would go in wading, and the
little fishes would swim around her feet and
make believe bite them; but they did n't
really bite, because they were such little
fishes and had n't any teeth. And ever so
far down in the woods, where it was very
shady, Mabel used to find strawberries
growing, and blackberries, and little red
checkerberries all under the green leaves.
One day, late in the afternoon, when the
sun grew very hot, Mabel was tired of play-
ing with her dolls, so she got a little basket
and said to Grandma: -
"Grandma, may I go down in the woods
and see if I can pick some strawberries for
"It's pretty late," said Grandma; "but
you can go if you won't wander too far
away and be out after dark. You know,
Mabel, there are animals in the woods that
might hurt you; and they come out from
their caves as soon as it begins to grow
THE GREEN LIZARD.
Oh, I'm not afraid of animals said
Mabel; "and I won't be late. I'll pick
you a basketful of strawberries and then
I '11 come straight home."
So off she went, with her little sun-bon-
net on her head and with her basket on
her arm, down into the big shady woods.
When she reached them she strolled along
under the trees over the beautiful soft moss,
where the shadows made it nice and cool,
and where the birds perched under the
thick leaves and sang when they saw her
coming; for they all remembered Mabel,
and liked to see her playing around in the
Pretty soon she looked for the place
where the strawberries were, and she picked
and picked, and went further and further
into the bushes, until she had gone a long
way, and had filled her little basket nearly
full of ripe red berries. And as she picked,
the sun sank down behind the hills, and the
evening began to come on, and the little
frogs in the brook came out of their holes
Gracious !" said Mabel, all of a sudden,
4 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
" it's getting late. I must go home right
But just as she had picked up her basket
and was looking for her sun-bonnet on the
ground, she heard a queer little sound like
the squeak of a mouse.
"What's that?" said Mabel; and she
looked all around her to see where it was.
But there was nothing that she could find;
only the same queer little squeak kept on,
as though some one was hurt and was
crying with pain.
Mabel looked up into the trees, and peered
around in the grass, and looked among the
bushes, but she could n't find out where it
Well! she said, that's funny 1" and
she stooped down to pick up her sun-
bonnet: when all of a sudden right at her
feet she saw what it was that was making
the noise. There, down in the moss, was
a little bit of a lizard about as long as
Mabel's finger. It was bright green, and
had a little yellow spot on its head like a
gold crown; and when it saw Mabel looking.
down, it squeaked again as loud as it could.
THE GREEN LIZARD. 5
Dear me !" said Mabel. What's the
matter, little lizard ? Don't you feel
And then she saw what the trouble was.
A big stone had fallen on the end of the
lizard's tail, and held it down so tight that
the lizard could n't get away.
Why, you poor little lizard!" cried
Mabel. Here, I '11 help you."
So she took both her plump little hands
and gave the stone a big push, and away it
went off from the lizard's tail. The lizard
jumped up and whisked his tail around and
felt of it to see if it was broken. When
he found that the tail was all right, he
climbed up on the stone and looked up into
"You are a good girl," said the lizard.
He had a pleasant voice and a very good-
looking face, only his nose was rather
Why, I did n't know that lizards could
talk !" said Mabel.
I can," said the lizard, I am the King
of all the Lizards. Don't you see my
crown? And he pointed with one foot to
6 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
the little yellow spot on the top of his
head. "I can talk and I can do other
things, and I'm going to do something
for you, because you were so good to me
and because you rolled the stone off my
Oh," said Mabel, politely, you 're quite
welcome. I hope your tail is n't hurt."
Not a bit," said the lizard; "and see
here; I'm going to do something for you
that I would n't do for any other little
girl. I 'm going to make you so that
you can understand animal talk, and so
that all the animals will understand you
when you talk. And besides, I 'm going
to teach you how to make all animals
good to you."
"How's that ?" asked Mabel.
"This way; just listen," and the lizard
puffed out his cheeks and began to whistle
a little call. It was like this: -
Now," said he, you do it after me."
So Mabel puckered up her lips and tried
THE GREEN LIZARD.
to whistle the call; but she had never
learned how to whistle and so she only
gave a funny little wheeze that made the
lizard laugh so that he nearly fell off the
"Try again," said the lizard, after he had
got his face straight once more.
So Mabel tried again and again. She
made more little wheezes and she puffed
and blew until she was nearly out of breath;
and by and by she did make a noise that
sounded something like the call.
Good said the lizard. "That's the
way! Try some more."
So Mabel tried some more, and pretty
soon she could really do it quite well.
Now," said the lizard, if you want
any animal to be your friend, just whistle
that way to him. That's the call of all the
animals. Be careful and don't forget it.
And before Mabel knew what he was
doing, the lizard had jumped off the stone
and darted down into a hole in the ground.
"VWelll" said Mabel, "that's the fun-
niest thing I ever heard of. A lizard talk-
8 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
ing and teaching me to whistle But dear
me how late it's getting! I must hurry
home as fast as I can."
It really was growing very late. The
sun had gone away from the sky and the
woods were so dark that Mabel could hardly
see where she was going. All the little
birds had gone into their nests and the
butterflies were safe at home. It was very
still except for the tree-toads and the frogs
in the brook peeping mournfully, and every
little while Mabel could hear strange rust-
lings in the leaves. She tried to remember
the way home, but the woods looked so
different now that she could n't think which
way to go. She began to be frightened;
and all of a sudden, way off in the distance,
she heard a long howl.
What's that ?" said Mabel. "Oh, I'm
so frightened I "
In a minute or two she heard the howl
again, O-o-o-w! "- a long, wild cry. She
knew it must be some animal, and she
remembered what her Grandma had said.
Again and again she heard it, and she
knew that it was coming nearer. She
THE GREEN LIZARD.
began to run, but the poor little thing had
quite lost her way, and she was really get-
ting further and further into the woods. It
was so dark that she stumbled over the
bushes and the roots of the trees, and twice
she fell down. Nearer and nearer came the
strange howl, and before long she could
hear something moving through the bushes.
She was now in an open place where it was
a little lighter; and, as she looked back, all
of a sudden she saw a great wolf push-
ing through the underbrush, and coming
straight at her. He was twice as big as
the biggest dog, and his long red tongue
was hanging out of his mouth between his
Mabel thought of Grandma and Walter
and how they would never know what had
become of her; and then she remembered
what the lizard had told her. The wolf
was almost touching her and she was
frightened to death, but she made up her
mind to try to whistle the call. Round she
turned and looked right in the wolf's face.
She could feel his breath, her lips trembled,
but she gave the whistle.
io THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
O-o-o-w said the great wolf, and he
stopped as quick as a wink.
Mabel whistled again. The wolf put his
tongue in his mouth and hung his head
down. Then Mabel saw that his face
looked very pleasant, and she was n't afraid
any more. After all, he was just like a big
"Wolf," said Mabel, "I want you to be
my friend "
All right," said the wolf. He had a big
growling voice, and he spoke in wolf-talk,
but Mabel could understand what he said.
I've lost my way, wolf," said she;
"please show me the way home. I live at
I know," said the wolf, I've seen you
playing around in the daytime. Put your
hand on my neck and I '11 show you the
So Mabel put her hand on the wolf's neck
and they went along together. His fur was
very soft and long, and Mabel rested her
hand on it as she walked, for she was very
tired. On they went through the woods.
The wolf was not much of a talker, and
THE GREEN LIZARD.
Mabel could not think of anything to say,
so they kept very still. At last they got to
the edge of the woods.
"There 1" said the wolf, pointing with
his big paw; and Mabel could see through
the dark her home with a bright light
shining from the window.
"Good-bye, wolf," said Mabel. "Thank
you very much. I knew you were a good
wolf and wouldn't ever hurt little girls,
would you ?"
No," said the wolf in a rather queer
voice, and Mabel thought he looked rather
sheepish, and that he hung his head rather
"Well, good-night," said she, and she put
her arms round his big furry neck and gave
him a hug.
"Oh!" said the wolf; and he licked her
hands with his rough tongue, and then
trotted back into the dark woods.
Mabel's Grandma was standing on the
verandah. She was dreadfully worried be-
cause Mabel was so late.
"Mabel! Mabel I" she called as she
looked out into the dark.
12 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
"Yes, Grandma," said Mabel. And
Grandma just rushed down the steps when
she heard the little voice, and gave Mabel a
whole lot of kisses, for she had been afraid
that her little girl would never come back
After Mabel had had a fine supper in her
high chair in the cosy dining-room, and
when Grandma had undressed her and was
putting her to bed, she said:-
Oh, Grandma, I left my strawberries in
the woods !"
"Never mind, Mabel," said Grandma.
"We can go together to-morrow and get
them. But now I want to tell you how
frightened I was to have you out so late.
Don't you remember I told you how there
were animals in the woods? Well, this
afternoon, your Uncle Robert was here and
he said that only yesterday, when he was
going along the path, he saw something in
the bushes that looked like a wolf I Think
of that I"
Oh," said Mabel, I don't believe a wolf
would hurt a little girl, do you, Grandma ? "
"What, a wolf ? said Grandma. Why,
THE GREEN LIZARD. 13
Mabel, a wolf is the worst animal in the
world I If you had met a wolf he would
have eaten you all up, every bit of you "
Mabel did n't say anything, but she
laughed a little to herself, and then turned
over in her crib and curled up on her soft
white pillow and went fast asleep.
THE TAMING OF REX.
THE next morning Mabel came down
late to breakfast. She remembered
what had happened the day before,
but it seemed to her like a dream, and she
could scarcely believe that she had really
seen the talking Lizard and the good old
Wolf. But she remembered the call, and be-
fore she got out of bed she whistled it over
two or three times very softly to herself.
While she was eating her bowl of oat-
meal and an egg, Grandma, who had fin-
ished her own breakfast, said: -
Mabel, did you hear your Uncle Robert
come in last night after you had gone to
No, Grandma. Was he here ?"
"Yes; he spent the whole evening with
me, and he told me about a horse that he's
THE TAMING OF REX.
bought. He's having ever so much trouble
"Why? What's the matter, Grandma?"
"Oh, it's such a strange horse. Uncle
Robert bought him yesterday because he
was such a beauty -a great splendid black
animal; but now they have found that no
one can ride him. When any one goes up
to put on his bridle, he starts up on his hind
legs and kicks and rears and then runs
across the meadow. Uncle Robert thinks
that he '11 have to sell him again or else give
Oh, that would be a pity, would n't it,
Grandma? I do love horses sol May I
go down to Uncle Robert's and see him,
"Yes, after breakfast; only don't stay very
long, and don't go too near the horse, be-
cause he might kick you."
So after Mabel had finished her egg, she
slipped down from her high chair and got
Grandma to put on her little coat and her
straw hat, and off she went down the road.
Uncle Robert's house was about half a mile
away; and when Mabel came near she saw
16 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
him walking up and down the front yard,
talking to John the man.
Hullo, Mabel said Uncle Robert, when
he saw her. Going to make me a visit?
Yes, Uncle Robert," said Mabel. Grand-
ma said I might come down and see the new
Oh," said Uncle Robert. "So she told
you about the horse, did she? Well, he's
an awful bother to me. John and I were
just going out to the meadow to try him
again to see if we can't put a bridle on him
and make him mind. You know yesterday
he would n't let us go near him. Come on,
and let's take a look at him."
So John got the bridle, and they all
walked down to the meadow back of the
barn, Mabel following along behind, trying
to keep up, with her short little legs. There
in the middle of the meadow was a great
big black horse quietly eating grass and
swishing his tail around to keep off the
flies. He was a splendid looking horse,
with a long black mane, and a glossy coat
that shone in the sunlight as though it had
been polished with a blacking-brush When
THE TAMING OF REX.
he saw that some one was coming into the
field he cocked his head a little to one side
and sniffed, but kept right on biting at the
"Oh, is n't he a beauty cried Mabel.
"What's his name?"
"The man who sold him to me said his
name was Rex," answered Uncle Robert;
" and he is a beauty to look at; only he's
got an awfully bad temper. I wonder if
he's any quieter to-day. Here, John, give
me the bridle and I '11 tackle him first."
SSo Uncle Robert took the bridle and
walked very, very slowly into the meadow.
Rex did n't stir, but kept on quietly eating.
Nearer and nearer and nearer came Uncle
Robert, creeping along as softly as he
"I guess he'll get him this time," said
John to Mabel.
Uncle Robert was now almost up to Rex's
head. He spread out the bridle and took
the bit in his right hand and made one
more move forward. In half a jiffy he
would have had the reins over the horse's
neck, when--bang! all of a sudden, just
18 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
like lightning, up went Rex's head; he
snorted a tremendous snort and stood
straight up on his hind legs; then he
gave a terrific jump into the air, kicked
out his heels, and tore away through the
grass, plunging and cavorting like a crazy
Pah! said John, he's just as bad as
Uncle Robert tried again and again, but
Rex would n't let him come anywhere near
him. He kicked and pranced and galloped
about the field, until at last Uncle Robert
gave it up and came back to where Mabel
and John were standing. His hat had
blown off, and he was puffing and panting,
and his face was as red as a beet. He
took out his handkerchief and wiped his
"The ugly beast! he said. "What did
I ever buy him for ? He makes me so mad
I could shoot him !"
"Let me try him, sir," said John. "Per-
haps he 's tired of running now."
Then John took the bridle out of Uncle
Robert's hand, and started out in his turn.
THE TAMING OF REX.
Rex had stopped running, and was eating
clover again, as quietly as you please. He
cocked his head as John crept up, but did n't
budge an inch.
Whoa said John, as quietly as he
could. Who-o-a, old horse, who-o-a!"
Rex kept very still. John was now at
his head, and was just about to slip the
bridle on when bang up went Rex
in the air again, slash went his heels
straight out as he turned. His hoofs
with their iron shoes flew within an inch
of John's ear. If they had struck him
they would have knocked his head clean
"Ow! ow!" cried John, frightened half
to death. "If he'd kicked me, I'd have
been a dead man!"
Then he hurried back to where Uncle
Robert and Mabel stood, while Rex went
galloping around the meadow again, snort-
ing like mad.
"Isn't that the worst beast you ever
saw ?" cried Uncle Robert, who was dread-
fully vexed. "I '11 sell him or give him
away this very afternoon!"
20 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
Mabel kept very still for a moment.
Then she looked up into Uncle Robert's
face, and said in her soft little voice:-
Uncle Robert, will you let me try to
put his bridle on?"
Uncle Robert stared at her till his eyes
nearly popped out of his head. He was too
surprised to speak at first, and then he
began to laugh.
"Ha, ha he said. "What, you try to
put a bridle on him? Ha, ha! that's a
good joke !"
Ho, ho I" roared John. "Well, that's
the best I ever heard !"
May I, Uncle Robert?" said Mabel.
"Why, Mabel," said he, it 's perfect
nonsense for a little girl like you to think
of such a thing. The idea of your man-
aging a big ugly horse "
Sure," said John, "you're only a little
baby yet, and the horse'd eat you up or
kick you way across the lot."
Well," said Mabel, I could n't do any
worse than you did, anyhow !"
Mabel was angry. She did n't like to be
called a baby when she was nearly six years
THE TAMING OF REX.
old. Then she turned to Uncle Robert and
Please, lease let me try."
Uncle Robert laughed again.
Well, Mabel," he said, he '11 just run
away when you go near him, so it won't
do any particular harm; but you 're a
silly little girl to think that you can
do what John and I could n't. Why,
you're so small you '11 make the horse
laugh to see you coming up to him with
Never mind," said Mabel, stoutly. I 'd
like to see a horse laugh. If I can't put
his bridle on him I '11 come back again."
So she swung the bridle over her little
arm and started out through the clover.
She was so small that the clover-blossoms
came up almost to her neck, and her fluffs
of yellow hair touched them as she walked
along. It was a pretty picture that she
made, moving through the thick green
grass, and perhaps this was why Rex
stopped munching clover long before she
came near him, and began looking at the
little figure that was marching straight
22 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
toward him as he stood with his head
high up in the air.
Perhaps, though, he thought that he
could frighten her when he saw how small
she was; for he pawed the ground and
snuffed the air, and shook his mane at
her, and when she came near him he began
to lash his tail as though he were very
fierce. But Mabel looked up at him and
held out her hand, and as he lifted his
hoofs she whistled the Lizard's call.
Rex stopped as though he had been shot.
He pricked up his ears and looked at her
very hard. Then Mabel whistled the call
"Good old horsey," she said to him.
"You won't run away from me and be a
bad horse, will you ?"
Then she whistled the call for the third
time. Rex put his head down low and
gave a long soft whinny.
"Come here, Rex," said Mabel; and the
big horse walked quietly up to her, and
THE TAMING OF REX.
rubbed his nose on her cheek, whinnying
all the time as gently as if he had been
only a little colt.
Uncle Robert and John could n't believe
their eyes. They were too far away to hear
her whistle the call, so they just stood
there and wondered how on earth Mabel
was making friends with the horse.
Open your mouth, Rex," said Mabel.
He opened his mouth, and she slipped the
bit in between his teeth. Then she drew the
bridle over his ears and fastened the strap as
she had often seen men do when they har-
"Now, Rex," said Mabel, after she had
patted his nose and smoothed his neck, I
want you to come up to the fence, so that
I can climb up on your back and ride
Rex whinnied again and walked slowly up
to the high stone wall near by. Then Mabel
clambered up on the wall, and from the wall
she crept upon Rex's broad back and took
hold of the reins. When he felt her sitting
on him he stood up in the air on his hind
legs; but he did it so slowly that Mabel
24 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
did n't mind it, for it felt as though she was
on a big rocking chair, and she held on tight
by the reins and Rex's mane. Then, when
all his four feet were on the ground again,
she spoke to him once more, and he started
off with her across the meadow to the place
where Uncle Robert and John were stand-
ing. As soon as he got there he stopped
and stood beside them perfectly still with
Mabel laughing on his back.
"O Mabel, Mabel I" cried Uncle Robert,
whose eyes were as big as saucers. "How
in the world did you manage to do it?
Why, it's the most wonderful thing I ever
saw in my life Wonderful! Wonderful "
"Oh, I just spoke to him, Uncle Robert,
and he minded me all right," said Mabel.
"I think he likes little girls."
"He seems to," said Uncle Robert, still
"Am I a little baby now, John?" asked
"Sure, Miss Mabel," said John, "I '11 never
call you a little baby again. You're bigger
than the biggest man I ever saw I "
"Well," said Mabel after a little while,
MABEL RIDES REX.
THE TAMING OF REX.
"help me down, please, Uncle Robert. Rex
is good now, and you can ride him all you
No, no," answered Uncle Robert. You
have done such a wonderful thing with him
that I think he ought to belong to you after
this; so I 'm going to give him to you."
What, to keep ? For my ownty own ?"
"Yes," said Uncle Robert. If Grandma
will let you have him, you can keep him for
your own horse to ride on always. I think
you deserve to have him. And I '11 get you
a little girl's saddle and send it down to the
house for you."
"Oh, goody!" cried Mabel; and she
jumped so with joy that she nearly fell
off Rex's back. Would you like to be
my own horse, Rex?"
Rex gave a loud whinny.
"Thank you ever so much, Uncle Robert.
You are awfully good. May I ride him
home now, this very minute, to show
Of course," said Uncle Robert. "Only
hold on tight."
So Mabel spoke to Rex and off they
28 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
went, slowly cantering down the road to
Grandma was standing in the yard water-
ing her flower-beds, when all of a sudden
she heard a horse's hoofs clattering along
the hard road. She turned around and
looked, and then she saw a big black horse
coming straight toward her in a cloud of
dust. Her eyes were not very good, and at
first she did not see that there was any one
Dear me she said to herself. "That
must be Robert's new horse. I wonder if
he's broken loose and run away."
But in a minute she noticed something
like a little white bundle perched up on his
back, and a second or two later she saw that
it was Mabel, laughing away as she rode
the great horse right through the gateway
and over the lawn till she stopped him at
"Mabel! Mabel!" cried out Grandma.
"You on a horse's back? Why, how can
you ride like that? Aren't you afraid of
falling off ?"
Oh, no said Mabel. "It's lots of fun !
THE TAMING OF REX.
And, Grandma, Uncle Robert has given me
Rex for my ownty own horse to keep as
long as I live, and please let me have him.
There's room in the barn for him, and I '11
feed him every day and take good care of
him, and oh, won't it be lovely!"
"Dear me! dear me 1" said Grandma,
who did n't know what to make of it all.
" I never heard of such a little girl riding a
big horse. Why, Mabel, it's wonderful!"
"That's what Uncle Robert said," an-
swered Mabel. "But you will let me,
"Why, yes," said Grandma. "But I 'm so
surprised, I don't know what to say. Dear,
But by this time Mabel had ridden Rex
to the barn, and climbed down off his back
on the chicken-coop, and had led him into
an old stall. Then she got a rope for his
halter and tied him to the manger. Her
brother Walter, who did n't yet know what
it all meant, helped her put straw in the
stall for a bed, and got a pail of water.
Then Mabel pulled a lot of grass for Rex's
dinner and got Jane to give her a plate of
30 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
turnips for him and some salt, and when
she had heard Grandma tell a man to bring
a bag of oats and some hay, she felt that at
last she owned a real, live horse.
But she told no one about the Lizard's
call; for it was a secret, and she felt that
perhaps the Lizard would n't like to have her
THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE.
MABEL was very happy with Rex,
and every day she took more
and more pleasure in him. Each
morning she would run out to see him
before breakfast, and when he saw her
coming he would neigh and stamp. Then,
after she had had her own breakfast, she
would go again to the barn to feed him.
She always piled his manger full of sweet-
smelling hay, and mixed his oats and his
meal with her own little hands; and she fed
him bundles of rich clover, and pieces of
apple, and bits of fresh green cornstalks.
Mabel and Rex were the best of friends.
Mabel loved to perch upon the manger and
rub his nose and talk to him by the hour,
smoothing out his long mane and combing
his forelock; and he in his turn would put
32 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
his great head against her face and neigh
softly as she petted him.
After Rex had eaten his hay and his oats,
John from Uncle Robert's would come down
and curry him with a curry-comb, and put
Mabel's new saddle on him; and then she
would climb up on his back and start out for
her morning ride. She almost always rode
in the same direction: down the lane past
a house where a cross dog lived; then over
the bridge that crossed a pretty little brook;
then up a hill past a field where there was a
mooly-cow, and another house where Mabel
often saw a kitty-cat sitting in the front
yard; and finally down a long lane that went
through the woods till she came out into the
open country where a little pig lived in a
small red house. There were other roads
that went to the right and to the left of this
road; but Mabel did not try any of them,
because she did not yet know the way very
well, and was afraid of getting lost. She
loved to ride down the lane that went
through the woods, for it was so shady
when the sun was hot; and all the birds
and squirrels and tree-toads that lived there
THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE. 33
knew her. Sometimes when she looked
down through the long green thickets she
could see the Good Wolf lying among the
tangled leaves, and she always called out to
him, and he spoke back to her in a very
gruff, but good-natured voice. When Rex
first saw the big black wolf-head sticking
out of the bushes, and heard the growl, he
used to feel frightened, and would snort and
stamp; but after he found out that Mabel
knew the Wolf, and that the Wolf was very
friendly with Mabel, he left off being afraid,
and would whinny to the great black crea-
ture whenever he saw him.
In Mabel's morning rides she often
stopped Rex in the woods and climbed
down from his back, to pick berries or lie
on the moss under the trees. Rex would
always wait for her, so that she did not have
to tie him. While she was playing about
under the trees, he would nibble the sweet
grasses that grew by the roadside, and now
and then would put his head over the fence
and neigh in a friendly manner to his little
mistress, who always answered him in her
cheery little way. Since she had learned to
34 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
know animal-talk she had come to take a
great interest in all kinds of animals, for
they no longer seemed strange to her, but
just like little brothers; and when she
talked with them they could now understand
her; so that even the wildest of the squir-
rels and the shyest of the rabbits in the
bushes would come out to meet her and
eat out of her hands the nuts and acorns
and tender green leaves that she picked for
them. When she lay on the moss, they
played about her without the slightest fear,
running and jumping over her head, or nest-
ling down by her face and taking a long
nap beside her.
In the brook where the bridge was, there
lived a family of frogs. There was the big
green papa-frog, and a mamma-frog, and
five little baby-frogs. They often sat upon
stones in the middle of the brook and
croaked to Mabel in their funny little
voices as she went by, and she got to
know them all very well. One day all
seven of the frogs were out in the middle
of the bridge fast asleep in the sun when
Mabel came riding along. They were right
THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE. 35
in the way, and Mabel was afraid that if she
tried to cross the bridge Rex might step
on some of them and crush them. So she
stopped him and cried out to them.
Wake up, frogs !" she said. "Come,
wake up! I want to go by."
But the frogs did n't hear her and slept
straight on. Mabel called and called again,
but still they did n't hear. At last she rode
Rex up to the stone fence near by and
slipped down from his back. Then she
walked up to the big green frog and took
him by his fore-foot.
"Come, Frog!" she said. "Wake up!
you '11 get stepped on."
The Big Frog woke up all of a sudden,
with a start. At the same time all the other
frogs woke up. They saw some one bend-
ing over them, and at first thought it was a
bad boy who was going to catch them and
put them in a bag and sell them to some
cook who would cut off their hind-legs and
fry them. So, without waiting to see any-
thing more, they all gave a big jump and
went splash plunk! plunge! down into the
brook as hard as ever they could go. Pretty
36 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
soon, however, they popped their heads out,
and there they saw Mabel climbing up on
her horse again. Then they knew how good
she had been, and how she had taken all
that trouble to get down and wake them up
for fear they should be hurt. The Big Frog
swam up to a large flat stone that stood out
of the water, and as Mabel rode by on the
bridge, he puffed up his cheeks and said in
frog-talk and in his croakiest voice -
"Thank you! Thank you !"
"All right, Frog," said Mabel. "Only
don't go to sleep on the bridge again, or
next time some one may come along and
walk on you, and smash you all into little
Then she spoke to Rex and went gallop-
ing away home.
The next morning it began to rain, so
that Mabel could not take her ride. It
rained all day, harder and harder, and when
night came it just poured great sheets of
water. The next day it was just the same,
- rain, rain, rain. Mabel stayed in the
house and played with her dolls, and wished
the rain would stop. Early on the third
THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE. 37
day she got out of bed and went to the
window. The rain was over, and the sun
was shining, and everything glittered in the
Oh, goody!" cried Mabel. "Now I can
go out on Rex again!"
So she went down to the barn the first
thing after breakfast, and as soon as Rex
was fed and curried and saddled, up she
got on his back and cantered out of the
yard for a good long ride. Down the road
she went past the Cross Dog's house, down
the long hill, till at last she came to the
bridge over the brook. Then she saw that
the rain had filled the brook full, and had
swollen it out and made it almost as big
as a river. The water was high up, almost
touching the bridge, and it rushed along all
foamy and swift, roaring as it went.
Dear me I" said Mabel. Why, I never
saw so much water before in my life!"
Just then she noticed that the seven frogs
were all out of the water and were squat-
ting across the road in a line just in front
of the bridge. They reached all the
way over the road so that Mabel could not
38 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
get to the bridge without riding over
Good morning, frogs," said Mabel.
" How big your brook is this morning!
Come now, please get out of the road so
that I can ride over the bridge."
But the seven frogs never budged, but
just hitched up their shoulders and blinked.
"Come, frogs!" said Mabel again, very
much surprised. "Don't sit there in the
way. Can't you see that Rex will step on
you if I try to get past?"
But the frogs never stirred, and only
hitched up their shoulders and blinked
again very hard. Mabel began to be angry
"You stupid frogs!" cried she. Come!
hop away, quick! I want to go over the
Then the frogs all puffed out their cheeks
and croaked in frog-talk -
"Why, frogs!" said Mabel. "What do
you mean? Do you want to spoil my
ride? Aren't .you going to let me cross
the bridge?" .
THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE. 39
And the seven frogs all said in frog-talk -
"No! No "
Mabel was astonished.
"Dear me!" said she. "I don't know
what you want. Is anything the matter
with you ? "
They acted so strangely that Mabel rode
up to the fence and got down off Rex and
walked up to the frogs. When she came
near the bridge all the frogs hopped in front
of her and held up their fore-feet and croaked
as hard as they could.
"What, don't you want me to go over
the bridge?" she asked. Is anything the
matter with it? Tell me about it, frogs."
The frogs all hitched up their shoulders
and blinked very hard indeed. But they
did not say anything, for frogs cannot talk
very much, only a few short words.
Mabel went to the side of the road and
picked up a big stone, as heavy as she could
lift. She carried it up to the bridge and
threw it down on the planks -bang! No
sooner had the stone touched it than -
crack! the whole bridge fell to pieces and
went down with a splash into the brook.
40 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
The water swept over it in a minute and
carried it away, hissing and foaming.
Then Mabel saw that the brook had been
so swollen by the rain that it had washed
away all the posts that held the bridge up;
and that if she had ridden on it, she would
have broken through and fallen down into
the deep water and been drowned. The
frogs all croaked very loud.
Oh, you good little frogs I" cried Mabel.
" You knew that the posts were gone, did n't
you, and wanted to keep me out of danger?
Why, you have saved my life!"
The frogs hitched up their shoulders, and
as they blinked they all laughed together.
"Dear, dear little frogs cried Mabel.
"Thank you ever so much for being so
And she stooped down and patted all their
seven green heads one after another. They
all croaked in a satisfied way, and then gave
a big hop, and went splash! plunk I plunge I
down into the brook again as hard as ever
Mabel climbed up on Rex once more and
rode back home. On the way she met a
THE FROGS AT THE BRIDGE. 41
man, and told him that the bridge had
broken down; so before long a party of
men came and built a new bridge, with
stone pillars underneath it, so strong that
the brook could never wash it away again.
ONE morning Mabel sat eating her
breakfast with Grandma and Wal-
ter, when she heard a sort of knock
at the front door.
hWhat's that?" said she; "the post-
Oh, no," said Grandma. "The postman
always whistles. I don't think it's any-
thing at all."
But pretty soon another knock was heard,
and something began to scratch on the door,
"Let me go and see who it is," said
Mabel; and she jumped down from her
high chair and ran to the door.
When she opened it what should she see
but a large black dog standing on the door-
mat and scratching the door with one paw.
He was a dog that looked as though he had
been badly treated by some one and had
run away. He was very thin, so that his
bones stuck out all over him, and his eyes
were sunk deep down in his poor bony head.
He was all splashed with mud, and his hair
was matted close to his body. When he
saw Mabel, he crouched down as though he
thought she was going to beat him, and
"What do you want, doggie?" asked
Her voice was so kind and she looked so
pleasant that the dog knew that she was not
going to hit him, and he wagged his tail
feebly and began to lick her hand.
Poor old dog," said Mabel. You look
awfully hungry. See, Grandma, here's a
Grandma came to the door and looked at
Oh, what a miserable, dirty-looking
dog!" she said. "Come in, Mabel, and
shut the door. Perhaps he's an ugly dog
and will bite you."
Ah, no, he won't," cried Mabel. "And,
44 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
Grandma, let me give him some breakfast.
I don't think he's a bad-looking dog at all.
He's only muddy because he's been run-
ning along the roads. You wouldn't bite
me, would you, doggie? "
The dog put his nose up into the air and
gave three loud barks, as if to say-
"No! No! No!"
"There, Grandma; I knew he would n't!
Come now, let me give him something to eat."
So Mabel went to the breakfast-table and
got a big plate. On it she put three or four
chop-bones with plenty of meat on them, a
large piece of omelet, some bread, and a bit
of buttered toast. Then she carried the
plate out to the verandah and set it down
beside the dog. Oh, how he wagged his
tail and jumped when he saw it! But, hun-
gry as he was, he would n't touch a scrap
of food till he had licked Mabel's hand again
as if to thank her for being so good to him.
Then he just rushed at the plate, for he was
nearly starved, and ate and ate as hard as
ever he could. First, he gnawed every bit
of meat off the chop-bones, then he gobbled
the omelet, and then the toast. Finally, he
licked the plate clean and went back to the
bones again, crunching them all into little
pieces between his teeth.
"Well, you are hungry!" said Mabel.
"I '11 give you something more."
So she brought him out a large bowl of
warm milk with some oatmeal in it, and
watched him as he lapped it with his
long tongue down to the very last drop.
While she was standing there, Grandma
came by and looked at him.
Now, Mabel," she said, "as soon as he
has finished, drive him away. We don't
want such a looking dog as that around."
Oh, he is n't really so bad-looking," an-
swered Mabel. He's just a little muddy."
Grandma went upstairs; and as soon as
she was out of sight, Mabel ran into the
kitchen and got Jane to give her a large
bowl of warm water and a sponge, and a cake
of soap. Then Mabel sat down beside the
dog and dipped the sponge into the water.
"I 'm going to give you a nice bath,
doggie," said she; and he wagged his tail
and stood very still.
First, Mabel soaked the sponge full of
46 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
warm water and wiped off the mud from
the dog's face; then she wrung it out and
dipped it in the water again and went over
his body and his legs, going over and over
him till every bit of mud was gone. Then
she got a fresh basin of clean water and
sponged him all over once more, till he was
as clean as he could be, down to the very
tips of his black paws and the end of his
tail. Last of all, she brought a big clean
towel from the kitchen and rubbed him as
dry as a bone.
"There, doggie! she said proudly when
she had finished.
He looked like a different dog. His coat
was glossy and smooth, and shone in the
sunshine; and he felt so strong and well
after his big breakfast that he no longer
kept his head down and his tail drooping
on the ground; but he held them both high
up in the air, and his eyes were as bright as
jewels. Just then Grandma came down the
front stairs and looked out.
"Why, Mabel!" she cried. "Another
dog? Where did he come from? "
"What do you think of him, Grandma ?"
asked Mabel, while her eyes twinkled with
Oh, he's a very good-looking dog," said
Grandma. "Whose dog is he ?"
"Ha, ha!" laughed Mabel. "Why,
Grandma, it's the same dog that came
while we were at breakfast. I've just
Grandma was tremendously surprised.
"Well, well!" said she. "I shouldn't
have known him."
Now, Grandma," said Mabel, "you see
he's a good, handsome dog; so won't you
let me keep him? You know there's a
dog-house in the yard by the barn, and I
could take care of him. Do say yes,
Grandma, for I should dearly love to have
a dog of my own."
"What, a dog? "
"Yes, please, Grandma."
"Well, I don't know that I care. Only
his owner may come for him, and then you '11
have to give him back."
Oh, I don't believe he's got any owner;
and if he has, the owner ought to be ashamed
for letting him get so hungry and thin."
48 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
So Mabel kept the dog. When he found
that she was going to let him stay, he was
wild with joy, and frisked and jumped
around like mad, barking and yelping as
loud as he could. Mabel took him out to
the dog-house, and put some straw in it for
his bed, and a large bowl for him to drink
"Now," she said, "there's your house,
and you must be a good dog. I'm going
to call you Towser, because I 've got a
story-book in the house about a dog named
Towser, and I like the name."
So Towser walked into his new house
and curled up on the straw and went fast
asleep. The next morning when Mabel took
her ride on Rex, Towser ran behind them,
and the three were good friends at once.
That same afternoon two men walked
slowly by the house where Mabel lived. One
was a very tall, dark man with a heavy black
beard. The other was shorter with a smooth
face. Both of them wore slouch hats that
partly covered their faces, and high, thick
boots. Round their necks they had mufflers
of dirty red flannel. Each carried a long,
sharp knife in his pocket. They were
As they walked slowly by, the tall robber
looked into the yard and saw the stable-door
open and Rex inside eating hay out of the
Huh!" said the tall robber. "That's a
mighty fine horse. I wish I had him."
Well," said the short robber, "why not
steal him? We can come here in the dark
to-night and get him out of the barn. I
don't believe they lock the door nights."
That's a good idea," said the tall robber;
"and maybe they don't lock the house-doors
either; so perhaps we can get in and rob
Then, after they had looked very carefully
at the barn and at the house, they went away
to the place where they lived. It was a
small brown house a good many miles away.
When they reached it, they went inside and
waited till the sun sank down and darkness
came on. Then about midnight they got a
dark lantern, a bridle, a saddle, and four
large towels, and set out through the dark
toward Mabel's house. When they came
50 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
near it, they crouched down by the fence
and crept carefully along, keeping very still.
On they went till they came to the garden-
gate. They opened this as quietly as pos-
sible, and glided into the yard. The house
was all dark. The lights were out and
everybody was asleep.
I wonder if the house is locked," whis-
pered the short robber.
They crept up to the verandah, and the
tall robber fumbled in the dark till he found
the door-knob. He turned it and pushed
against the door. It was locked.
Pah! said the robber.
The short one tried the windows, but they
were locked too. Then they went noise-
lessly around to the back of the house and
tried the kitchen-door and the windows, and
the cellar-door; but they were also safely
"Say! said the tall robber. I 'm afraid
the stable's locked too."
Let's see," growled the short robber.
They made their way silently up to the
stable-door. One of them put his hand on
the big wooden latch and pushed it.
"Ha!" said he. "This ain't locked.
They opened the great barn-door and
went inside. When they found themselves
safely in, the tall robber took the dark-
lantern out of his pocket and flashed the
light around. There was Rex standing in
his stall, half asleep. He opened his eyes
when he saw the light, and wondered what
was going on, and who these men were.
Come! said the tall robber; let's get
They untied his halter and led him out
of the stable upon the soft grass. Then
they took the four thick towels that they
had brought, and muffled his hoofs up so
that he would not make a clatter in going
down the driveway. Next they put on him
the bridle and saddle. Poor Rex was still
half asleep, and had a sort of notion that
they were the blacksmith's men who had
come after him; so he kept quiet and let
them do whatever they wanted to. Finally,
the tall robber got up into the saddle and
took the reins, and the short robber climbed
up behind him. They clicked to Rex, and
52 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
he started slowly down the drive to the
road. The moment they passed out of the
gate and got into the road, the tall robber
hit Rex with a piece of rope and away they
went at a full gallop. They had stolen Rex
and got away safely.
Now all this time Towser had been asleep
in his dog-house near the barn; but the rob-
bers had moved about very quietly and he
had not heard a sound, for he was very tired
after his long run with Mabel and Rex in
the morning, so that he slept like a top. But
when Rex began to gallop down the road, the
sound of his hoofs, even though they were
muffled up in the towels, startled Towser,
and he sat up in the dog-house and looked
sleepily out into the darkness. As he did
so, he got a glimpse of two figures riding
swiftly away down the road and finally dis-
appearing. Then he looked all around and
in an instant he saw that the barn-door was
wide open. His eyes nearly jumped out of
his head. He gave one big growl and ran
to the barn and looked in. Rex was gone.
Oh, how badly Towser felt then! He knew
that Mabel's horse had been stolen, and it
made him wild to think he had slept so
soundly that he had not waked up and
fought the robbers. His heart almost
stopped beating. Then he ran as fast as
he could to the kitchen-door and struck his
head against it, and scratched and whined
and yelped and barked as hard as he
could. Bangety-bang! he went on the
kitchen door scratchety scratch bow -
Pretty soon Mabel stirred in her bed and
half-awoke. She heard the barking and
banging and scratching below.
"Goodness!" she said to herself.
"What's the matter with Towser?"
Bangety-bang! scratchety-scratch! bow-
Why, the poor dog must be sick! said
Bangety-bang I scratchety-scratch! bow-
Dear me!" said Mabel, who was now
thoroughly awake. "I 'd better go down
and see what he wants, or he '11 wake up
Grandma, and she '11 be angry with him."
So up she got in her little nightie, and
56 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
went pattering down the stairs in her bare
feet to the kitchen-door. She turned the
key and opened the door, and there was
Towser barking and yelping like mad.
"What's the matter, Towser ?" said
Mabel. "What do you want?"
For answer, Towser leaped up and put
his paws on her shoulders, and then darted
off toward the barn. Then he came back
and pawed her again, and once more darted
off. This he did three or four times, every
time barking as loud as he could. Mabel
was puzzled. She could not understand
what he wanted.
Why, Towser," she said, "I think
you're going mad."
Just then Walter, who had also been
awakened by the noise, came downstairs
partly dressed and with a candle in his
Oh, Walter cried Mabel. See how
strangely Towser acts! He paws at me
and then runs out into the dark, and then
runs back and paws at me again. What
do you suppose he wants?"
"Why, it looks as though he wanted you
to go somewhere," said Walter. "Here,
I '11 go with him."
So Walter went out with the candle, for
the night was very still. Towser gave
three loud barks and ran straight toward
the barn. Walter followed, and in a minute
he saw that the barn-door was wide open.
He looked in and found that Rex was gone.
He hurried back to the kitchen.
Oh, Mabel! he said; Rex is gone! "
Mabel did not know what to say.
I think he must have broken out," said
Walter. Perhaps you forgot to shut the
No, I did n't," said Mabel.
"Well, anyhow," said Walter, "I'll go
and finish dressing, and then go down to
the Farmer's house and see what he says."
In a few minutes Walter had dressed, and
with a lantern in his hand he ran down to
the road to the Farmer's house. He
knocked at the door and waked up the
Farmer, who dressed himself and followed
Walter back to the barn. By this time
Grandma had come down and heard about
what had happened. She dressed Mabel
58 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
and herself, and they both came out into the
yard. The Farmer went into the barn and
looked all around by the light of Walter's
"Huh!" he said. "That horse did n't
break away, because his halter's here, and
it's been untied."
Then he went outside again and held the
lantern down to the ground.
Footprints he said.
Then he looked at the grass, and found it
Two men have been here," he grunted.
"Robbers. The horse has been stolen.
You'll never see him again. Why did n't
you have a lock for the barn?"
Mabel burst into tears. Her dear Rex
stolen! Never to see him again She cried
as though her little heart would break.
It's no use crying," said the Farmer.
"By this time he's miles away from here.
Well, well, it's a bad business, but there's
nothing to be done. Good-night."
And he gave the lantern back to Walter
and walked off down the road through the
darkness to his own house. Grandma
carried Mabel up to bed again, and tried her
best to comfort her; but the little girl kept
sobbing and crying, and would not stop.
Oh, my poor Rex I" she said.
"They've taken him away, and I '11 never
see him any more. And we had such good
times together, the dear, dear thing! And
now maybe they won't give him enough to
eat, and perhaps they '11 be bad to him."
So she cried and cried all night long.
Out in the darkness in the yard lay Tow-
ser thinking about everything that had hap-
pened. He thought how good Mabel had
been to him, and how she had given him a
nice home; and then he remembered how
he had slept too soundly and had not waked
up, so that the bad robbers had stolen his
little mistress's horse away.
I am no good at all," he said to himself.
"Even a poodle would have done better
than I did. I ought to be killed."
And when it was morning again, and
Mabel came down with her eyes all red from
crying, he felt worse than ever. She would
not eat any breakfast, but went out and sat on
the manger just as she used to do when Rex
6o THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
was there; and her tears fell down her cheeks
as she thought how she would never see him
again. Towser's heart nearly broke with
grief as he lay on the grass and watched her
cry. All the morning he lay there with his
nose between his paws, thinking. When
Mabel went back into the house, he still
stayed there, keeping his eyes fixed on the
barn, and on the marks of the robbers' feet
in the dust. Oh, if he could only do some-
thing for Mabel!
Presently a thought flashed into his head.
He noticed the foot-prints further down the
drive, and the marks on the grass where the
robbers had ridden Rex out of the yard. He
pricked up his ears and sat up on his hind-
legs. He wagged his tail.
There is something that I can do, after
all!" he said.
Then he trotted across to the foot-prints
and began sniffing at them. He had a keen
nose like all dogs, and he sniffed and
smelled on the ground for a long time.
I could find them by the smell," thought
In an instant he began following the
hoof-prints on the grass with his nose close
to the ground. He did n't stop to think what
he could do if he should find the robbers,
but he started down the lawn to the front
gate still sniffing. He was very eager. His
tail was in the air, his eyes were big with
excitement, and as he went out of the gate
he gave a big bark. One last look behind
he gave, and saw Mabel standing by the
window drumming with her fingers on the
panes and with her eyes still red with tears.
She took no notice of Towser as he went
"Poor little thing!" said he to himself,
" I '11 do something for you as sure as I 'm
So out into the road he went, sniffing as
hard as ever he could.
It was a very hot day, and the sun shone
down like fire. It blazed on Towser as he
went along the open road, till he was half
melted by the heat. The dust flew up into
his nose and filled his eyes; and when he
opened his mouth to pant, it blew down his
throat and choked him. People looked at
him curiously as he went nosing his way
62 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
along; and one bad boy threw a big stone
at him and hit him in the hind-leg so that
it made him limp at every step. But he
kept right on following the trail of Rex.
Sometimes he lost it for a few minutes, but
he always found it again, and went on, on, on,
past the house where the Cross Dog lived,
over the bridge where the Frogs sat on the
stones in their brook, by the Mooly Cow's
house, and the Kitty-Cat's house, through
the dark woods where the Good Wolf
hunted, beyond the Little Pig's red house,
on, on, on, all the afternoon.
Late in the day, just as the sun was set-
ting, the hoof-tracks turned aside from the
road and seemed to go into a yard. Towser
stopped and looked up. It was a great yard
with a high stone fence around it, and an
iron gate which was half open. Towser
peered in and saw a dark gloomy-looking
house, with its blinds closed tight, and great
bars on the door. Rusty red stains were
streaked across the steps. Towser's heart
stopped beating. He knew that this must
be the robbers' home. He peeped in be-
tween the stone gate-posts, and wondered
where Rex was; but he did not dare to go
in for fear the robbers would kill him.
Pretty soon, however, he crept around the
outside of the fence, crouching on the grass,
until he had gone all the way around to the
back of the house, still hidden by the fence.
Then he lay down quite worn out. He
wanted to look over the fence to see what
there was in the back-yard; but he was
afraid that the robbers might be there.
Before long, however, he could not hold
himself in any more; so he stood up on
his hind-legs and put his fore-paws on the
top of the fence and peeked very cautiously
into the yard. Then his heart gave a great
jump, for there under a tall apple-tree stood
Rex! The big black horse was tied fast to
a limb of the tree by a thick rope, and he
looked very sad.
Towser was so delighted to see him that
he forgot all about the danger, and gave a
tremendous bark. Rex turned his head as
quick as a flash, and there was Towser's
face looking at him over the top of the wall.
Rex gave a great jump of joy, and lashed
his tail and whinnied loudly.
64 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
Just then the tall robber hurried out of
the house. He had a red shirt on, and a
broad leather belt with a big knife stuck in
it. He looked very ugly, for he was scowl-
"What's all this noise?" he snarled as
he went up to Rex. Stop it, I say! "
And he struck Rex with his hand slap!
right across the nose.
I heard a dog, too," said the tall robber;
and he began to look all around the yard.
Towser crouched flat on the ground behind
the wall, and kept as still as a mouse.
Huh!" said the tall robber. "I 'm
sure I heard a dog."
But after looking all about, he could not
see Towser, so at last he went back into
the house and shut the door with a bang.
Towser had been frightened half to death;
so he still lay very quiet behind the wall.
By this time it was evening, and it was
growing darker and darker all the while;
but Towser made up his mind not to do
anything more till the robbers had gone to
bed. He was so tired that he wanted to take
a nap in the grass; but he felt that it would
not be safe. So he just lay there and lis-
tened and waited.
About nine o'clock, the short robber came
out and walked around the yard. He was not
so bad as the tall robber and, before he went
in, Towser heard him giving Rex a pail of
water to drink. The robbers locked up
their house soon after; but there was a light
in the upper windows, and Towser could see
them inside walking back and forth. About
midnight, however, the light went out, and
then he knew that they had gone to bed.
He sat up on his hind-legs.
Now is the time," said he, and with one
big bound he jumped right over the wall
into the robbers' back-yard. The moon
began to come out from behind a cloud, and
he saw Rex and Rex saw him. Neither
made a sound, however, for fear the robbers
should hear them; but they rubbed their
noses together for a moment, and laughed
softly to themselves.
Towser put up his mouth and began to
feel of the rope by which Rex was tied to
the tree. It was a very thick strong rope,
and it did not seem as though it could ever
66 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
be broken in any way; but Towser put his
fore-paws up against the slanting trunk of
the tree to brace himself, and took the rope
in his teeth and began to gnaw it as hard as
he could. He bit and twisted and chewed
and gnashed and pulled and snapped. His
long sharp teeth sank down into the rope,
and began at last to cut it a little bit.
Finally one of the small strands of the rope
gave way. Towser almost barked with joy,
but he checked himself just in time, and
went on biting and gnawing harder than
ever. Little by little the rope began to
part. First one strand and then another
was bitten through, until only about a quar-
ter of the thickness was left. Then, all of
a sudden, Rex, who had kept very still, gave
a great pull with all his might, and the rope
snapped like a paper string. Rex was free!
He shook his mane and pawed the ground.
He was free! Towser, too, jumped about
him, while his heart beat fast with joy.
He had done something for Mabel at last.
A moment later, after he had picked the bits
of rope out of his teeth with his claws, he
beckoned to Rex to follow, and they both
TOWSER GNAWS THE ROPE.
went very softly out of the robbers' yard,
walking on the grass so as not to make a
noise. But the moment they were out in
the road, Towser waved his tail and gave
a terrific bark, and plunged away toward
home as fast as he could go, with Rex gal-
loping after him like mad.
It was nearly morning, and the sky was
beginning to grow pink all around the edges.
On went Rex and Towser, on, on, on, over
hill and dale, through valley and on the level
road, till they passed the Little Pig's red
house, and went through the woods where
the Good Wolf hunted, by the Mooly Cow's
house, and the Kitty-Cat's house, over the
bridge where the Frogs sat on the stones in
their brook, past the house where the Cross
Dog lived, until at last, just as the sun was
rising, they came thundering into Mabel's
yard, all safely home again 1
Mabel was lying awake in her crib. She
had slept very little all night, and was so
sorrowful that she thought she could never
be happy any more. All of a sudden she
heard a tremendous clattering of hoofs in
the yard right under her window.
70 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
Why, what's 'that? she said.
She got up slowly and went to the win-
dow and looked out.
She gave a scream so loud that every one
in the house heard it. Then she made one
big rush for the stairs, slid down the banis-
ters like a flash of lightning, and flew out
into the yard in her bare feet and with
nothing on but her nightie.
"Oh, Rex Rex 1 Rex! she cried, and
threw her little arms around his neck. He
whinnied as loud as he could, and put his
nose against her cheek; and she petted him
and cooed over him as though she would
never stop. By this time Grandma and
Walter and Jane, the cook, had all come
down, and were looking on in astonishment.
They could not understand how Rex had
come back from the robbers. Poor Towser
lay on the grass with his tongue out of his
mouth, and his coat covered with dust; but
no one noticed him at all or cared anything
about him. He was tired and hungry and
lame, and he was the one who had found
Rex and brought him back from the rob-
bers; so he hoped that Mabel would speak
at least one word to him. But he saw that
she was n't thinking of him at all; and as
he looked up wistfully at her, two big tears
came into his eyes.
Just then the Farmer came by on his way
to milk the cows. When he saw Rex stand-
ing in the yard he walked in.
"Well, well, well!" he said. "If there
ain't your horse back again! How did you
you get him ? "
He came back himself," said Mabel. I
don't know how he did it."
The Farmer saw the rope hanging to
Must have broke his rope," said he.
"Here, let's look. Why, this rope ain't
broken; it's bit. Looks as though a dog
had gnawed it. Mighty curious thing."
At that moment he noticed Towser, lying
beside the driveway and all covered with
Hullo! There's that dog of yours I
Looks as though he'd been on a journey.
Suppose he could have done it?"
Everybody turned and looked at Towser.
72 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
Why, he was away all yesterday after-
noon," said Walter, "and did n't come back
Mabel ran up to Towser.
Tell me, Towser," she said, did you go
and get Rex back? "
Towser stood up and wagged his tail, and
gave a great bark.
"Did he, Rex?" said Mabel.
Rex nodded his head yes, and gave a loud
Oh, you dear dog I" cried Mabel, as she
ran and threw her arms around his neck
with a big hug that nearly choked him.
"You good, good dog And I never no-
ticed you !"
Towser was so glad that he did n't know
what to say. He just rolled on the grass,
and then jumped up and down and put his
paws on Mabel's shoulders and licked her
face. Pretty soon Jane brought out a big
platter of meat and a bowl of milk for him,
and he ate and ate as though he had never
eaten anything before.
Eat away," said Mabel. After this I
am going to love you as much as I do Rex;
THE ROBBERS. 73
and you shall always have everything you
That same day Grandma sent for a man
who came and put a great iron padlock on
the barn-door; and every evening after that
Mabel and Walter locked it up tight so
that no robbers could get in again to steal.
REX PLAYS POLICEMAN.
ABOUT a week after Towser had
brought Rex home, Mabel rode out
one morning into the town, instead
of going along the country roads where she
nearly always went. Grandma wanted to
send a message by her to the ice-man.
When she reached the main street she
found great crowds of people there, because
a regiment of soldiers was going to march
through that morning, and everybody
wanted to see them. There were flags in
the windows, and the sidewalks were packed
with men and women and children, all
facing the street. As Mabel rode slowly
along, suddenly Rex gave a snort.
What's the matter, Rex? asked Mabel,
patting him on the neck. But before she
knew what he was doing, he had left the
REX PLAYS POLICEMAN.
middle of the street and was trotting right
up to the sidewalk, still snorting.
Whoa, Rex I said Mabel, but he would
not whoa. Mabel was rather frightened,
and looked hard at the crowd of people on
the edge of the sidewalk to see what there
was to make Rex act so strangely. Right
at the front of the crowd she saw two men
standing. One was a tall man with a black
beard, and the other a short man with a
smooth face. Both had mufflers of dirty
red flannel about their necks, and they wore
big boots. As soon as Rex got near them,
he opened his mouth and made a rush at
them as if to bite them.
Whoa! Whoa, Rex !" cried Mabel, pull-
ing hard at the reins and trying to stop him.
The two men turned very white when they
saw Rex, and they tried to run back into the
crowd; but the people were packed so
closely together that they could scarcely
move; and, besides, everybody pushed for-
ward to see what was the matter. Rex
snorted and neighed fiercely, as he snapped
at the men, and they dodged and jumped to
get away from him. Mabel kept pulling on
76 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
the reins and calling out to Rex, when all
of a sudden an idea flashed into her little
"Dear me!" she said. "The Farmer
thought there must have been two robbers
who stole Rex. Maybe these are the very
She was fearfully excited.
"Rex," she cried, "are these men the
robbers who stole you?"
Rex gave a tremendous snort. Mabel knew
that she was right. She leaned over and
pointed with her riding-whip at the men.
Robbers Robbers I" she cried.
Just then two big policemen came run-
ning down the middle of the street to
see what the matter was. They saw a great
black horse holding a tall man by the coat,
and another man struggling to get away
through the crowd. The policemen rushed
up to Rex and seized him by the bridle.
Here, here, little girl," they said; what's
the matter with your horse? Who let you
ride such a dangerous animal ?"
The two men struggled frantically to get
through the crowd.
REX PLAYS POLICEMAN.
"Oh, Policeman," cried Mabel, pointing
with her whip, there are two robbers!
Catch them quick! Hurry, before they get
She could hardly speak, she was so excited.
The policemen rushed in after the men, and
seized them by the necks.
What do you want ?" snorted the tall
man, turning around.
"This little girl says that you two are
robbers," said the Head Policeman.
"We ain't I" cried the tall man. "We 're
good people, and we was n't doing nothing
but just standing here peaceable, when her
old horse tried to bite us. You ain't going
to arrest us because a horse tried to bite
us, are you ? "
They are robbers !" cried Mabel. I
know they are. They stole my horse a
week ago; and that's why he tried to bite
them just now."
"Did you ever see them before?" asked
No," said Mabel.
"Then how do you know that they are
the men who stole the horse? "
78 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
"Because Rex- that's the horse said
so," answered Mabel.
The policemen laughed and looked doubt-
"We can't arrest them because a horse
said so," said the Head Policeman.
Just then the other policeman, who had
been feeling of the short man's coat, put his
hand down into the pocket of it.
"What's this ? said the policeman, as
he pulled out a long knife and an iron
tool called a "jimmy," such as robbers use
to break into houses. Both the men turned
Oh er ah I found this just now
in the street," said one of them, very much
You did, eh ? said the Head Policeman.
"Well, it's unlucky to find things like that.
I '11 have to take you to the Judge anyway,
and see what he says. Come along, little
So Mabel rode along, following the police-
men, who dragged the two men with them
by their coat-collars. Pretty soon they
reached the Court House, and then four
REX PLAYS POLICEMAN.
more policemen came out to meet them.
One of them helped Mabel down, and said
that he would hold Rex while Mabel went
in to where the Judge was.
The Judge was a fine-looking old gentle-
man who sat high up on a kind of throne.
There were two men at a table in front of
him, writing, and ten policemen stood with
their backs against the wall ready to do
anything that the Judge wanted done.
The Head Policeman went up to the Judge
and told him what Mabel had said, and
showed him the knife and the jimmy.
The Judge looked keenly at the two men,
and then called Mabel up beside him. He
spoke to her in a very kind, gentle voice.
What's your name, little girl?" he
Well, Mabel, so you think that these
men are the ones who stole your horse, do
Oh, yes, sir! I am sure of it. When I
asked Rex, he neighed ever so loud, and that
meant 'yes.' And the Farmer said that
the footprints in our yard after Rex was
80 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
stolen showed that there were just two
Then she told him all about the robbery,
and how Towser had brought Rex home
again. The Judge smiled.
That's a curious sort of story," said he.
Then he turned to the two men and asked,
" You say you are honest men, do you?"
Oh, yes, your Honour," said they both.
"We are good, honest men, and live very
quietly in our own house."
"Where is your house?" asked the
Judge; and they told him.
Well," said the Judge, to the Head Police-
man. You lock these men up for a little
while, till I can decide what to do."
When they had been taken away, he told
Mabel to sit down; and then he sent four
policemen to find the men's house, and to do
some things that he told them in a whisper
so that Mabel could n't hear.
"Now," he said to Mabel, "you go into
my office, and wait till the policemen come
back. I '11 have some lunch sent in for you,
as you must be hungry."
So Mabel sat in the Judge's office for two
REX PLAYS POLICEMAN.
or three hours; and a man brought her a
glass of milk, and a chicken sandwich, and
two nice long chocolate 6clairs that were
so good that Mabel was glad she had had
to wait. After a while the four policemen
came back, each with a great bag. Then
the Judge called Mabel into the court-room,
and the Head Policeman brought the two
men out of the place where they had been
locked up. When they came before the
Judge, Mabel saw that they had iron hand-
cuffs on their wrists. They looked very
Now," said the Judge, "you say that
you are good men, do you, and not
Oh, yes, your Honour cried they both.
" We're good honest men, and never stole
in our lives "
Then the Judge motioned to a policeman,
and he brought the four big bags and emp-
tied them out upon the floor. There were
gold watches and diamond rings and brace-
lets, and silver forks and spoons, and long
pieces of lace, and strings of pearls, and a
great many other very fine things. All of
82 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
them fell out of the bags in a heap on the
floor in front of the Judge.
Where did these come from ?" asked
From the men's house," said one of the
policemen. "We found them in the cellar.
And some of them are marked with the
name of the jeweller who was robbed last
week, and some of them show the name of a
person who was robbed here a month ago."
"Now," said the Judge to the men,
"where did you get these things ? "
The men both hung their heads, and had
nothing to say.
"Perhaps you found these, too, in the
road," said the Head Policeman.
"There's something more still, sir," said
one of the other policemen to the Judge.
"We questioned the people who live near
the robbers' house, and they said that a week
ago they saw a black horse, just like this
little girl's, tied to a tree in the back-yard all
It's a clear case," said the Judge.
"Take these men back to the cell, and next
week they shall be tried and sent to prison."
REX PLAYS POLICEMAN.
Then he took Mabel, up on his knee and
patted her head. Do you know," he said,
" that you and your horse have caught two
robbers whom all the policemen in the town
have been trying to catch for a year, and
never could do it? You are a very won-
derful little girl; and your horse is a very
wonderful horse. Good-bye, now."
Then he put her down, and the four police-
men went ahead of her to the door, while the
ten policemen all marched after her. They
put her on Rex's back, and as she rode off
she waved her whip to them, and all four-
teen of them stood in line and saluted her
with their clubs.
WALTER AND THE GOAT.
WHEN Uncle Robert gave Rex to
Mabel, Walter felt rather hurt to
think that he had no pet of any
kind for his own, and after Towser came he
grew more and more unhappy. He was a
whole year older than Mabel, and he was a
boy, too; and it seemed hard that she should
have two animals and he none. He used
to complain about it to Grandma, and she
told him that perhaps he could have a pony
when he grew older. But this did not sat-
isfy him, and sometimes he was very sulky
about it all.
One day, when both Mabel and Grandma
were out, he said to himself that he would
have a ride on Rex, because it was n't fair
that Mabel should have the horse all to
herself. He led Rex out of the barn, and
WALTER AND THE GOAT.
managed to get the bridle on him, and to
climb up on his back; but the next minute
Rex made a rush across the yard, and the
clothes-line caught Walter under the arms
and pulled him off, and gave him a bad
fall on the ground. When Grandma came
home, she found Rex eating grass on the
lawn, and Walter crying on the kitchen
steps, with his legs and arms all black and
After that he did n't want to try riding
Rex any more; but he made up his mind
that he would like some kind of a pet that
he would be better able to manage. At last
when his birthday came, he went down to
see Uncle Robert, who always gave him
a birthday present. This time Walter
decided to ask for what he wanted.
He found Uncle Robert sitting on a
steamer-chair under the big oak-tree on the
Good-morning, Uncle Robert," said
Walter. It's my birthday to-day."
So it is," said Uncle Robert. "You 're
getting on in life, are n't you? What do
you think you would like for a present ?"
86 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
"Well," said Walter, hesitating a little,
" I've been thinking it over, and I've made
up my mind that I should like a goat."
A goat! cried Uncle Robert. Well,
well What do you want a goat for? "
Oh," said Walter, "a goat would be
just splendid! I could play with him just
as Mabel does with Rex; and I could har-
ness him up to a goat-wagon, and make him
carry me all around. It would be lots of
fun I Do.give me a goat, won't you, Uncle
Ha, ha I laughed Uncle Robert. "Why,
I 've got a goat on the place now that you
can have if you really want him; but I
fancy he's a pretty frisky sort of a goat.
Do you think that you can manage him?"
Oh, yes !" cried Walter. Just give
him to me and see. Please, Uncle Robert."
Well, come on," said Uncle Robert.
"I'll let you have a look at him. He's out
back of the stable."
So they walked around to find him, Wal-
ter getting greatly excited. Sure enough,
there he was, a large black goat with a
long beard and two horns that curved back
WALTER AND THE GOAT.
over his head like crullers. He was fas-
tened by a rope to a big post, and was eat-
ing the advertisements out of a newspaper.
When he saw Uncle Robert and Walter
coming, he cocked his eye at them, but said
"Oh," cried Walter, "is n't he a splen-
did big goat! Just the kind I wanted.
I '11 make him drag me all over every-
The goat smiled.
"Yes," said Walter, "I think he's even
big enough for me to ride on his back the
way Mabel does on Rex."
The goat bit a large Sapolio advertise-
ment out of the newspaper, and laughed
very softly, all to himself.
"So you like his looks, do you, Walter?"
said Uncle Robert. "Well, then, he's your
goat, that is, of course, if your Grandma
says that you can keep him. I'll let you
take him home with you now, and you can
ask her about it."
So Uncle Robert unfastened the rope
from the post and gave the end of it to
Walter. He took it, and thanked Uncle
88 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
Robert many times. He was proud to
think that he owned a live goat, and he
thought to himself what good times he
was going to have with him.
"Come on, Goat!" said he. "You're
going to your new home now. Come
The goat followed along very quietly,
with the rope around his neck. Walter
went out into the road and started off to-
wards home, with the goat following along
meekly behind him. Walter felt very large
and like a man to think that the goat was
all his own. He held his head up very
high, and walked along as happy as a king.
When they got down the road a little way,
the goat suddenly put down his head and
made a rush whack! plunk! he butted
Walter right in the middle of the back and
knocked him off his feet flat in the dusty
"Oh Oh!" cried Walter. "I 'm killed!"
He was not really hurt, but his clothes
were all dust and his face was dirty. When
he got up again, the goat was standing
quietly by the side of the road eating
WALTER AND THE GOAT.
a large burdock-leaf. He looked very
I think it must have been an accident,"
said Walter, doubtfully. "Perhaps I was
walking too slowly, and so he ran up against
He picked up the rope again and called
to the goat to come on. The goat took
another bite of the burdock-leaf and started
along once more very meekly. Walter
walked on, a little anxious at first, but
pretty soon he began to think of how he
would astonish Grandma and Mabel when
he reached home. Just then the goat put
his head down and made a second rush.
Whack! plunk! he struck Walter right
in the middle of the back again, and this
time he knocked him away over into the
grass by the side of the road. Walter was
thoroughly frightened and began to cry.
He did not dare to get up, but just lay
there calling for help.
Uncle Robert had been watching the
two, and when the goat first knocked
Walter over, he had walked down the
road and followed him. He was now very
90 THE ADVENTURES OF MABEL.
near, though neither the goat nor Walter
had seen him. When Walter began crying
for help, Uncle Robert ran up. He took
the rope, and with the thick end of it he
gave the goat a good whipping. The goat
bleated with fright and pain.
"There! take that, you brute!" cried
Uncle Robert, as he gave the goat a last
blow across the back. If you play any
more of your tricks, I'll tie you up and
whip you with the carriage-whip."
Then he picked up Walter and comforted
him. It was a long time before he could
persuade him to lead the goat any more;
but finally he succeeded, and the two went
on again. This time the goat, who was
very much afraid of Uncle Robert, kept
very still and followed Walter quietly all
the way home, like the best goat in the
Grandma and Mabel were in the front-
yard when Walter led the goat in and told
them that this was Uncle Robert's birthday
present to him. Grandma said that Walter
might keep him, and they all went out
into the back-yard to see where he was to
WALTER AND THE GOAT.
be put. Walter tied the goat to a clothes-
post, and brought him some turnips to
To-morrow," said Grandma, "I '11 have
a man come and make a goat-house for
him; and I '11 get the harness-maker to
make a little harness. We can buy a goat-
wagon in the village, and then you'll be
all ready to drive him around. But what's
the matter with your clothes, Walter?
They're all covered with dust."
I-I-I fell down," said Walter, rather
sheepishly. He was ashamed to say that
the goat had butted him.
All that day the goat stood in the yard
as quiet as could be. The children gave
him his supper at night and some water
to drink, and when they went to bed he
seemed to be quite satisfied with his new
home. The lights were all put out and
the whole family were just getting to sleep,
when they heard a fearful noise in the
Every one sat up in bed to listen.