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The Baldwin Library
m u Florid.
THE GIANT SCISSORS
Annie Fellows Johnston
THE LITTLE COLONEL SERIES
The Little Colonel $ .50
The Giant Scissors .50
Two Little Knights of Kentucky .50
The Little Colonel Stories 1.50
(Containing in one volume the three stories, "The
Little Colonel," The Giant Scissors," and "Two
Little Knights of Kentucky.")
The Little Colonel's House Party. 1.50
The Little Colonel's Holidays 1.50
The Little Colonel's Hero 1.50
The Little Colonel at Boarding-School 1.50
The Little Colonel in Arizona 1.50
Joel: A Boy of Galilee. $1.50
Big Brother .50
Ole Mammy's Torment. .50
The Story of Dago .. .50
Cicely . .50
Aunt 'Liza's Hero .50
The Quilt That Jack Built .50
Asa Holmes 1.00
Flip's "Islands of Providence" 1.00
Songs Ysame (Poems, with Albion
Fellows Bacon) 1.00
L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
200 Summer Street Boston, Mass.
ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON
AUTHOR OF THE LITTLE COLONEL,"
BIG BROTHER," "OLE MAMMY'S
ETHELDRED B. BARRY
L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
BY L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
All rights reserved
Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co,
Boston, U. S. A.
I. IN THE PEAR-TREE II
II. A NEW FAIRY TALE 26
III. BEHIND THE GREAT GATE 47
IV. A LETTER AND A MEETING 65
V. A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE. 80
VI. JOYCE PLAYS GHOST 00
VII. OLD NUMBER THIRTY-ONE" 120
VIII. CHRISTMAS PLANS AND AN ACCIDENT 139
IX. A GREAT DISCOVERY 155
X. CHRISTMAS 174
WHERE JOYCE LIVED .
"'HE IS STOPPING AT THE GATE' .
THE KING'S SONS
"HE CUT IT LOOSE AND CARRIED IT HOME"
"HE LAID HIS HEAD ON THE SILL" .
"IT FELL TO THE FLOOR WITH A CRASH"
OUT WITH MARIE
"HE CAME TOWARDS HER WITH A DAZED EXPRES-
SION ON HIS FACE
INITIAL LETTER .
A LESSON IN PATRIOTISM .
TRYING TO READ .
" 'OH, IF JACK COULD ONLY SEE IT I '"
"'BROSSARD, BEWARE BEWARE'" 115
"THE CHILD CREPT CLOSE TO THE CHEERFUL FIRE" 121
*JOYCE AND SISTER DENISA 127
NUMBER THIRTY-ONE 134
"JULES CAME OVER, AWKWARD AND SHY" 14
"SITTING UP IN BED WITH THE QUILTS WRAPPED
AROUND HIM" 49
"'THAT'S NUMBER THIRTY-ONE"' 161
"WALKING UP AND DOWN THE PATHS" 166
"KEEPING TIME TO THE MUSIC" 18
HE TOOK THE LITTLE FELLOW'S HAND IN HIS" 185
THE GATE OF THE GIANT
IN THE PEAR-TREE.
JoYCE was crying, up in old Monsieur Gr6-
ville's tallest pear-tree. She had gone down
to the farthest corner of the garden, out of
sight of the house, for she did not want any
one to know that she was miserable enough
She was tired of the garden with the high
stone wall around it, that made her feel like a
prisoner; she was tired of French verbs and
foreign faces ; she was tired of France, and so
homesick for her mother and Jack and Holland
and the baby, that she couldn't help crying.
12 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
No wonder, for she was only twelve years old,
and she had never been out of the little West-
ern village where she was born, until the day
she started abroad with her Cousin Kate.
Now she sat perched up on a limb in a dis-
mal bunch, her chin in her hands and her
elbows on her knees. It was a gray afternoon
in November; the air was frosty, although the
laurel-bushes in the garden were all in bloom.
I s'pect there is snow on the ground at
home," thought Joyce, "and there's a big,
cheerful fire in the sitting-room grate.
Holland and the baby are shelling corn, and
Mary is popping it. Dear me I can smell it
just as plain! Jack will be coming in from the
post-office pretty soon, and maybe he'll have
one of my letters. Mother will read it out
loud, and there they'll all be, thinking that I
am having such a fine time; that it is such a
grand thing for me to be abroad studying, and
having dinner served at night in so many
courses, and all that sort of thing. They
don't know that I am sitting up here in this
pear-tree, lonesome enough to die. Oh, if I
could only go back home and see them for
even five minutes," she sobbed, "but I can't!
IN THE PEAR-TREE.
I can't! There's a whole wide ocean between
She shut her eyes, and leaned back against
the tree as that desolate feeling of homesick-
ness settled over her like a great miserable
ache. Then she found that shutting her eyes,
and thinking very hard about the little brown
house at home, seemed to bring it into plain
sight. It was like opening a book, and seeing
picture after picture as she turned the pages.
There they were in the kitchen, washing
dishes, she and Mary; and Mary was stand-
ing on a soap-box to make her tall enough to
handle the dishes easily. How her funny little
braid of yellow hair bobbed up and down as she
worked, and how her dear little freckled face
beamed, as they told stories to each other to
make the work seem easier.
Mary's stories all began the same way: "If
I had a witch with a wand, this is what we
would do." The witch with a wand had come
to Joyce in the shape of Cousin Kate Ware,
and that coming was one of the pictures that
Joyce could see now, as she thought about it
with her eyes closed.
There was Holland swinging on the gate,
14 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
waiting for her to come home from school, and
trying to tell her by excited gestures, long
before she was within speaking distance, that
some one was in the parlor. The baby had on
his best plaid kilt and new tie, and the tired
little mother was sitting talking in the parlor,
an unusual thing for her. Joyce could see her-
self going up the path, swinging her sun-bonnet
by the strings and taking hurried little bites of
a big June apple in order to finish it before
going into the house. Now she was sitting on
the sofa beside Cousin Kate, feeling very awk-
ward and shy with her little brown fingers
clasped in this stranger's soft white hand.
She had heard that Cousin Kate was a very
rich old maid, who had spent years abroad,
studying music and languages, and she had
expected to see a stout, homely woman with
bushy eyebrows, like Miss Teckla Schaum,
who played the church organ, and taught
German in the High School.
But Cousin Kate was altogether unlike Miss
Teckla. She was tall and slender, she was
young-looking and pretty, and there was a
stylish air about her, from the waves of her
soft golden brown hair to the bottom of her
IN THE PEAR TREE.
tailor-made gown, that was not often seen in
this little Western village.
Joyce saw herself glancing admiringly at
Cousin Kate, and then pulling down her dress
as far as possible, painfully conscious that her
shoes were untied, and white with dust. The
next picture was several days later. She and
Jack were playing mumble-peg outside under
the window by the lilac-bushes, and the little
mother was just inside the door, bending over
a pile of photographs that Cousin Kate had
dropped in her lap. Cousin Kate was saying,
"This beautiful old French villa is where I
expect to spend the winter, Aunt Emily.
These are views of Tours, the town that lies
across the river Loire from it, and these are
some of the chateaux near by that I intend to
visit. They say the purest French in the
world is spoken there. I have prevailed on
one of the dearest old ladies that ever lived to
give me rooms with her. She and her husband
live all alone in this big country place, so I
shall have to provide against loneliness by tak-
ing my company with me. Will you let me
have Joyce for a year ?"
Jack and she stopped playing in sheer aston.
16 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
ishment, while Cousin Kate went on to explain
how many advantages she could give the little
girl to whom she had taken such a strong fancy.
Looking through the lilac-bushes, Joyce
could see her mother wipe her eyes and say,
"It seems like pure providence, Kate, and I
can t stand in the child's way. She'll have to
support herself soon, and ought to be prepared
for it; but she's the oldest of the five, you
know, and she has been like my right hand
ever since her father died. There'll not be a
minute while she is gone, that I shall not miss
her and wish her back. She's the life and sun-
shine of the whole home."
Then Joyce could see the little brown house
turned all topsy-turvy in the whirl of prepa-
ration that followed, and the next thing, she
was standing on the platform at the station,
with her new steamer trunk beside her. Half
the town was there to bid her good-by. In
the excitement of finding herself a person of
such importance she forgot how much she was
leaving behind her, until looking up, she saw a
tender, wistful smile on her mother's face, sad-
der than any tears.
Luckily the locomotive whistled just then,
WHERE JOYCE LIVED.
IN THE PEAR-TREE.
and the novelty of getting aboard a train for
the first time, helped her to be brave at the
parting. She stood on the rear platform of
the last car, waving her handkerchief to the
group at the station as long as it was in sight,
so that the last glimpse her mother should
have of her, was with her bright little face all
All these pictures passed so rapidly through
Joyce's mind, that she had retraced the experi-
ences of the last three months in as many min-
utes. Then, somehow, she felt better. The
tears had washed away the ache in her throat.
She wiped her eyes and climbed liked a squirrel
to the highest limb that could bear her weight.
This was not the first time that the old pear-
tree had been shaken by Joyce's grief, and it
knew that her spells of homesickness always
ended in this way. There she sat, swinging her
plump legs back and forth, her long light hair
blowing over the shoulders of her blue jacket,
and her saucy little mouth puckered into a soft
whistle. She could see over the high wall now.
The sun was going down behind the tall Lom-
bardy poplars that lined the road, and in a dis-
tant field two peasants still at work reminded
20 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
her of the picture of "The Angelus." They
seemed like acquaintances on account of the re-
semblance, for there was a copy of the picture
in her little bedroom at home.
All around her stretched quiet fields, sloping
down to the ancient village of St. Symphorien
and the river Loire. Just across the river, so
near that she could hear the ringing of the
cathedral bell, lay the famous old town of Tours.
There was something in these country sights
and sounds that soothed her with their homely
cheerfulness. The crowing of a rooster and the
barking of a dog fell on her ear like familiar
"It's a comfort to hear something speak
English," she sighed, "even if it's nothing but
a chicken. I do wish that Cousin Kate
wouldn't be so particular about my using
French all day long. The one little half-
hour at bedtime when she allows me to speak
English isn't a drop in the bucket. It's a
mercy that I had studied French some before
I came, or I would have a lonesome time. I
wouldn't be able to ever talk at all."
It was getting cold up in the pear-tree.
Joyce shivered and stepped down to the limb
IN THE PEAR-TREE.
below, but paused in her descent to watch a
peddler going down the road with a pack on
"Oh, he is stopping
at the gate with the
big scissors!" she
cried, so interested
that she spoke aloud.
"I must wait to see
if it opens."
There was some-
about that gate across
the road. Like Mon-
sieur Gr6ville's, it
was plain and solid,
reaching as high as
the wall. Only the
lime-trees and the -
second story win-
dows of the house could be seen above it.
On the top it bore an iron medallion, on which
was fastened a huge pair of scissors. There
was a smaller pair on each gable of the house,
During the three months that Joyce had
22 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
been in Monsieur Gr6ville's home, she had
watched every day to see it open; but if any
one ever entered or left the place, it was cer-
tainly by some other way than this queer gate.
What lay beyond it, no one could tell. She
had questioned Gabriel the coachman, and
Berthe the maid, in vain. Madame Gr6ville
said that she remembered having heard, when
a child, that the man who built it was named
Ciseaux, and that was why the symbol of this
name was hung over the gate and on the gables.
He had been regarded as half crazy by his neigh-
bors. The place was still owned by a descend-
ant of his, who had gone to Algiers, and left it
in charge of two servants.
The peddler rang the bell of the gate several
times, but failing to arouse any one, shouldered
his pack and went off grumbling. Then Joyce
climbed down and walked slowly up the grav-
elled path to the house. Cousin Kate had
just come back from Tours in the pony cart,
and was waiting in the door to see if Gabriel
had all the bundles that she had brought out
Joyce followed her admiringly into the house.
She wished that she could grow up to look
IN THE PEAR TREE.
exactly like Cousin Kate, and wondered if she
would ever wear such stylish silk-lined skirts,
and catch them up in such an airy, graceful
way when she ran up-stairs; and if she would
ever have a Paris hat with long black feathers,
and always wear a bunch of sweet violets on
She looked at herself in Cousin Kate's mir-
ror as she passed it, and sighed. "Well, I am
better-looking than when I left home," she
thought. "That's one comfort. My face isn't
freckled now, and my hair is more becoming
this way than in tight little pigtails, the way
I used to wear it."
Cousin Kate, coming up behind her, looked
over her head and smiled at the attractive re-
flection of Joyce's rosy cheeks and straightfor-
ward gray eyes. Then she stopped suddenly
and put her arms around her, saying, "What's
the matter, dear? You have been crying."
"Nothing," answered Joyce, but there was
a quaver in her voice, and she turned her head
aside. Cousin Kate put her hand under the
resolute little chin, and tilted it until she could
look into the eyes that dropped under her gaze.
"You have been crying," she said again, this
24 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
time in English, crying because you are home-
sick. I wonder if it would not be a good occu-
pation for you to open all the bundles that I
got this afternoon. There is a saucepan in one,
and a big spoon in the other, and all sorts of
good things in the others, so that we can make
some molasses candy here in my room, over the
open fire. While it cooks you can curl up in
the big armchair and listen to a fairy tale in
the firelight. Would you like that, little one ? "
"Oh, yes!" cried Joyce, ecstatically. "That's
what they are doing at home this minute, I am
sure. We always make candy every afternoon
in the winter time."
Presently the saucepan was sitting on the
coals, and Joyce's little pug nose was raptur-
ously sniffing the odor of bubbling molasses.
" I know what I'd like the story to be about,"
she said, as she stirred the delicious mixture
with the new spoon. "Make up something
about the big gate across the road, with the
scissors on it."
Cousin Kate crossed the room, and sat down
by the window, where she could look out and
see the top of it.
Let me think for a few minutes," she said.
IN THE PEAR-TREE. 25
"I have been very much interested in that old
She thought so long that the candy was done
before she was ready to tell the story; but
while it cooled in plates outside on the win-
dow-sill, she drew Joyce to a seat beside
her in the chimney-corner. With her feet on
the fender, and the child's head on her shoulder,
she began this story, and the firelight dancing
on the walls, showed a smile on Joyce's con-
tented little face.
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
ONCE upon a time, on a far island of the sea,
there lived a King with seven sons. The three
eldest were tall and dark, with eyes like eagles,
and hair like a crow's wing for blackness, and
no princes in all the land were so strong and
fearless as they. The three youngest sons
were tall and fair, with eyes as blue as corn-
flowers, and locks like the summer sun for
brightness, and no princes in all the land were
so brave and beautiful as they.
But the middle son was little and lorn; he
was neither dark nor fair; he was neither hand-
some nor strong. So when the King saw that
he never won in the tournaments nor led in
the boar hunts, nor sang to his lute among
the ladies of the court, he drew his royal
robes around him, and henceforth frowned on
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
To each of his other sons he gave a portion
of his kingdom, armor and plumes, a prancing
charger, and a trusty sword; but to Ethelried he
gave nothing. When
the poor Prince saw
his brothers riding
out into the world to
win their fortunes, he
lowed. Throwing -i
himself on his
knees before the
King, he cried, "Oh,
royal Sire, bestow
upon me also a sword
and a steed, that I
may up and away to
follow my brethren."
But the King
laughed him to scorn.
" Thou a sword he ''""
quoth. "Thou who hast never done a deed of
valor in all thy life In sooth thou shalt have
one, but it shall be one befitting thy maiden
size and courage, if so small a weapon can be
found in all my kingdom "
28 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Now just at that moment it happened that
the Court Tailor came into the room to measure
the King for a new mantle of ermine. Forth-
with the grinning Jester began shrieking with
laughter, so that the bells upon his motley cap
were all set a-jangling.
"What now, Fool ? demanded the King.
I did but laugh to think the sword of Ethel-
ried had been so quickly found," responded the
Jester, and he pointed to the scissors hanging
from the Tailor's girdle.
"By my troth," exclaimed the King, "it
shall be even as thou sayest!" and he com-
manded that the scissors be taken from the
Tailor, and buckled to the belt of Ethelried.
Not until thou hast proved thyself a prince
with these, shalt thou come into thy kingdom,"
he swore with a mighty oath. Until that far
day, now get thee gone "
So Ethelried left the palace, and wandered
away over mountain and moor with a heavy
heart. No one knew that he was a prince;
no fireside offered him welcome; no lips gave
him a friendly greeting. The scissors hung
useless and rusting by his side.
One night as he lay in a deep forest, too
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
unhappy to sleep, he heard a noise near at
hand in the bushes. By the light of the
moon he saw that a ferocious wild beast had
been caught in a hunter's snare, and was
struggling to free itself from the heavy net.
His first thought was to slay the animal, for
he had had no meat for many days. Then he
bethought himself that he had no weapon large
While he stood gazing at the struggling
beast, it turned to him with such a beseeching
look in its wild eyes, that he was moved to pity.
"Thou shalt have thy liberty," he cried,
"even though thou shouldst rend me in
pieces the moment thou art free. Better
dead than this craven life to which my father
hath doomed me!"
So he set to work with the little scissors to
cut the great ropes of the net in twain. At
first each strand seemed as hard as steel, and
the blades of the scissors were so rusty and
dull that he could scarcely move them. Great
beads of sweat stood out on his brow as he
bent himself to the task.
Presently, as he worked, the blades began to
grow sharper and sharper, and brighter and
30 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
brighter, and longer and longer. By the time
that the last rope was cut the scissors were as
sharp as a broadsword, and half as long as his
At last he raised the net to let the beast go
free. Then he sank on his knees in astonish-
ment. It had suddenly disappeared, and in its
place stood a beautiful Fairy with filmy wings,
which shone like rainbows in the moonlight.
"Prince Ethelried," she said in a voice that
was like a crystal bell's for sweetness, "dost
thou not know that thou art in the domain of a
frightful Ogre ? It was he who changed me
into the form of a wild beast, and set the snare
to capture me. But for thy fearlessness and
faithful perseverance in the task which thou
didst in pity undertake, I must have perished
At this moment there was a distant rum-
bling as of thunder. 'Tis the Ogre!" cried
the Fairy. "We must hasten." Seizing the
scissors that lay on the ground where Ethelried
had dropped them, she opened and shut them
several times, exclaiming:
Scissors, grow a giant's height
And save us from the Ogre's might I"
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
Immediately they grew to an enormous size,
and, with blades extended, shot through the
tangled thicket ahead of them, cutting down
everything that stood in their way, -bushes,
stumps, trees, vines ; nothing could stand before
the fierce onslaught of those mighty blades.
The Fairy darted down the path thus opened
up, and Ethelried followed as fast as he could,
for the horrible roaring was rapidly coming
nearer. At .last they reached a wide chasm
that bounded the Ogre's domain. Once
across that, they would be out of his power,
but it seemed impossible to cross. Again the
Fairy touched the scissors, saying:
Giant scissors, bridge the path,
And save us from the Ogre's wrath."
Again the scissors grew longer and longer,
until they lay across the chasm like a shining
bridge. Ethelried hurried across after the
Fairy, trembling and dizzy, for the Ogre was
now almost upon them. As soon as they were
safe on the other side, the Fairy blew upon the
scissors, and, presto, they became shorter and
shorter until they were only the length of an
32 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
"Here," she said, giving them into his hands;
"because thou wast persevering and fearless in
setting me free, these shall win for thee thy
heart's desire. But remember that thou canst
not keep them sharp and shining, unless they
are used at least once each day in some unself-
Before he could thank her she had vanished,
and he was left in the forest alone. He could
see the Ogre standing powerless to hurt him,
on the other side of the chasm, and gnashing
his teeth, each one of which was as big as a
The sight was so terrible, that he turned on
his heel, and fled away as fast as his feet could
carry him. By the time he reached the edge
of the forest he was very tired, and ready to
faint from hunger. His heart's greatest desire
being for food, he wondered if the scissors
could obtain it for him as the Fairy had
promised. He had spent his last coin and
knew not where to go for another.
Just then he spied a tree, hanging full of
great, yellow apples. By standing on tiptoe
he could barely reach the lowest one with his
scissors. He cut off an apple, and was about
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
to take a bite, when an old Witch sprang out
of a hollow tree across the road.
." So you are the thief who has been steal-
ing my gold apples all this last fortnight! she
exclaimed. Well, you shall never steal again,
that I promise you. Ho, Frog-eye Fearsome,
seize on him and drag him into your darkest
At that, a hideous-looking fellow, with eyes
like a frog's, green hair, and horrid clammy
webbed fingers, clutched him before he could
turn to defend himself. He was thrust into
the dungeon and left there all day.
At sunset, Frog-eye Fearsome opened the
door to slide in a crust and a cup of water,
saying in a croaking voice, "You shall be
hanged in the morning, hanged by the neck
until you are quite dead." Then he stopped
to run his webbed fingers through his damp
green hair, and grin at the poor captive Prince,
as if he enjoyed his suffering. But the next
morning no one came to take him to the
gallows, and he sat all day in total darkness.
At sunset Frog-eye Fearsome opened the door
again to thrust in another crust and some water
and say, "In the morning you shall be drowned;
34 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
drowned in the Witch's mill-pond with a great
stone tied to your heels."
Again the croaking creature stood and
gloated over his victim, then left him to the
silence of another long day in the dungeon.
The third day he opened the door and hopped
in, rubbing his webbed hands together with
fiendish pleasure, saying, "You are to have
no food and drink to-night, for the Witch has
thought of a far more horrible punishment for
you. In the morning I shall surely come
again, and then -beware!"
Now as he stopped to grin once more at the
poor Prince, a Fly darted in, and, blinded by the
darkness of the dungeon, flew straight into a
spider's web, above the head of Ethelried.
"Poor creature!" thought Ethelried. "Thou
shalt not be left a prisoner in this dismal spot
while I have the power to help thee." He lifted
the scissors and with one stroke destroyed the
web, and gave the Fly its freedom.
As soon as the dungeon had ceased to echo
with the noise that Frog-eye Fearsome made in
banging shut the heavy door, Ethelried heard a
low buzzing near his ear. It was the Fly, which
had alighted on his shoulder.
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
"Let an insect in its gratitude teach you
this," buzzed the Fly. To-morrow, if you
remain here, you must certainly meet your
doom, for the Witch never keeps a prisoner
past the third night. But escape is pos-
sible. Your prison door is of iron, but the
shutter which bars the window is only of
wood. Cut your way out at midnight, and I
will have a friend in waiting to guide you to a
place of safety. A faint glimmer of light on
the opposite wall shows me the keyhole. I
shall make my escape threat and go to repay
thy unselfish service to me. But know that
the scissors move only when bidden in rhyme.
The Prince spent all the following time until
midnight, trying to think of a suitable verse to
say to the scissors. The art of rhyming had
been neglected in his early education, and it
was not until the first cock-crowing began that
he succeeded in making this one:
Giant scissors, serve me well,
And save me from the Witch's spell!"
As he uttered the words the scissors leaped
out of his hand, and began to cut through the
36 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
wooden shutters as easily as through a cheese
In a very short time the Prince had crawled
through the opening. There he stood, outside
the dungeon, but it was a dark night and he
knew not which way to turn.
He could hear Frog-eye Fearsome snoring
like a tempest up in the watch-tower, and the
old Witch was talking in her sleep in seven
languages. While he stood looking around
him in bewilderment, a Firefly alighted on
his arm. Flashing its little lantern in the
Prince's face, it cried, "This way! My friend,
the Fly, sent me to guide you to a place of
safety. Follow me and trust entirely to my
The Prince flung his mantle over his shoul-
der, and followed on with all possible speed.
They stopped first in the Witch's orchard, and
the Firefly held its lantern up while the Prince
filled his pockets with the fruit. The apples
were gold with emerald leaves, and the cherries
were rubies, and the grapes were great bunches
of amethyst. When the Prince had filled his
pockets he had enough wealth to provide for all
his wants for at least a twelvemonth.
The Firefly led him on until they came to a
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
town where was a fine inn. There he left
him, and flew off to report the Prince's safety
to the Fly and receive the promised reward.
Here Ethelried stayed for many weeks, living
like a king on the money that the fruit jewels
brought him. All this time the scissors were
becoming little and rusty, because he never
once used them, as the Fairy bade him, in
unselfish service for others. But one day he
bethought himself of her command, and started
out to seek some opportunity to help some-
Soon he came to a tiny hut where a sick man
lay moaning, while his wife and children wept
beside him. "What is to become of me ?"
cried the poor peasant. "My grain must fall
and rot in the field from overripeness because
I have not the strength to rise and harvest it;
then indeed must we all starve."
Ethelried heard him, and that night, when the
moon rose, he stole into the field to cut it down
with the giant scissors. They were so rusty
from long idleness that he could scarcely move
them. He tried to think of some rhyme with
which to command them; but it had been so
long since he had done any thinking, except for
38 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
his own selfish pleasure, that his brain refused
However, he toiled on all night, slowly cutting
down the grain stalk by stalk. Towards morn-
ing the scissors became brighter and sharper,
until they finally began to open and shut of
their own accord. The whole field was cut by
sunrise. Now the peasant's wife had risen very
early to go down to the spring and dip up some
cool water for her husband to drink. She came
upon Ethelried as he was cutting the last row of
the grain, and fell on her knees to thank him.
From that day the peasant and all his family
were firm friends of Ethelried's, and would have
gone through fire and water to serve him.
After that he had many adventures, and he
was very busy, for he never again forgot what
the Fairy had said, that only unselfish service
each day could keep the scissors sharp and
shining. When the shepherd lost a little lamb
one day on the mountain, it was Ethelried who
found it caught by the fleece in a tangle of
cruel thorns. When he had cut it loose and
carried it home, the shepherd also became his
firm friend, and would have gone through fire
and water to serve him.
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
The grandame whom he supplied with fagots,
the merchant whom he rescued from robbers,
the King's councillor to whom he gave aid,
all became his friends. Up and down the
land, to beggar or lord, homeless wanderer or
high-born dame, he gladly
gave unselfish service all
unsought, and such as he
helped straightway became
Day by day the scissors
grew sharper and sharper
and ever more quick to spring
forward at his bidding.
One day a herald dashed
down the highway, shouting
through his silver trumpet
that a beautiful Princess had
been carried away by the
Ogre. She was the only
child of the King of this country, and the
knights and nobles of all other realms and all
the royal potentates were prayed to come to
her rescue. To him who could bring her back
to her father's castle should be given the throne
and kingdom, as well as the Princess herself.
40 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
So from far and near, indeed from almost
every country under the sun, came knights
and princes to fight the Ogre. One by one
their brave heads were cut off and stuck on
poles along the moat that surrounded the
Still the beautiful Princess languished in her
prison. Every night at sunset she was taken up
to the roof for a glimpse of the sky, and told to
bid good-by to the sun, for the next morning
would surely be her last. Then she would
wring her lily-white hands and wave a sad
farewell to her home, lying far to the west-
ward. When the knights saw this they would
rush down to the chasm and sound a challenge
to the Ogre.
They were brave men, and they would not
have feared to meet the fiercest wild beasts, but
many shrunk back when the Ogre came rush-
ing out. They dared not meet in single combat,
this monster with the gnashing teeth, each one
of which was as big as a millstone.
Among those who drew back were Ethel-
ried's brothers (the three that were dark and
the three that were fair). They would not
acknowledge their fear. They said, "We are
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
only waiting to lay some wily plan to capture
After several days Ethelried reached the
place on foot. "See him," laughed one of the
brothers that was dark to one that was fair.
" He comes afoot; no prancing steed, no wav-
ing plumes, no trusty sword; little and lorn, he
is not fit to be called a brother to princes."
But Ethelried heeded not their taunts. He
dashed across the drawbridge, and, opening his
"Giant scissors, rise in power I
Grant me my heart's desire this hour!"
The crowds on the other side held their
breath as the Ogre rushed out, brandishing a
club as big as a church steeple. Then Whack!
Bang! The blows of the scissors, warding off
the blows of the mighty club, could be heard
for miles around.
At last Ethelried became so exhausted that
he could scarcely raise his hand, and it was
plain to be seen that the scissors could not do
battle much longer. By this time a great many
people, attracted by the terrific noise, had come
running up to the moat. The news had spread
44 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
far and wide that Ethelried was in danger; so
every one whom he had ever served dropped
whatever he was doing, and ran to the scene of
the battle. The peasant was there, and the
shepherd, and the lords and beggars and high-
born dames, all those whom Ethelried had ever
As they saw that the poor Prince was about
to be vanquished, they all began a great lamen-
tation, and cried out bitterly.
"He saved my harvest," cried one. "He
found my lamb," cried another. "He showed
me a greater kindness still," shouted a third.
And so they went on, each telling of some
unselfish service that the Prince had rendered
him. Their voices all joined at last into such a
roar of gratitude that the scissors were given
fresh strength on account of it. They grew
longer and longer, and stronger and stronger,
until with one great swoop they sprang forward
and cut the ugly old Ogre's head from his
Every cap was thrown up, and such cheering
rent the air as has never been heard since.
They did not know his name, they did not
know that he was Prince Ethelried, but they
A NEW FAIRY TALE.
knew by his valor that there was royal blood
in his veins. So they all cried out long and
loud : Long live the Prince Prince Ciseaux "
Then the King stepped down from his throne
and took off his crown to give to the conqueror,
but Ethelried put it aside.
"Nay," he said. "The only kingdom that I
crave is the kingdom of a loving heart and a
happy fireside. Keep all but the Princess."
So the Ogre was killed, and the Prince came
into his kingdom that was his heart's desire.
He married the Princess, and there was feasting
and merrymaking for seventy days and seventy
nights, and they all lived happily ever after.
When the feasting was over, and the guests
had all gone to their homes, the Prince pulled
down the house of the Ogre and built a new
one. On every gable he fastened a pair of
shining scissors to remind himself that only
through unselfish service to others comes the
happiness that is highest and best.
Over the great entrance gate he hung the
ones that had served him so valiantly, saying,
"Only those who belong to the kingdom of
loving hearts and happy homes can ever enter
46 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
One day the old King, with the brothers of
Ethelried (the three that were dark and the
three that were fair), came riding up to the
portal. They "thought to share in Ethelried's
fame and splendor. But the scissors leaped
from their place and snapped so angrily in their
faces that they turned their horses and fled.
Then the scissors sprang back to their place
again to guard the portal of Ethelried, and, to
this day, only those who belong to the kingdom
of loving hearts may enter the Gate of the
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
THAT was the tale of the giant scissors as it
was told to Joyce in the pleasant fire-lighted
room; but behind the great gates the true
story went on in a far different way.
Back of the Ciseaux house was a dreary field,
growing drearier and browner every moment as
the twilight deepened; and across its rough
furrows a tired boy was stumbling wearily
homeward. He was not more than nine years
old, but the careworn expression of his thin
white face might have belonged to a little old
man of ninety. He was driving two unruly
goats towards the house. The chase they led him
would have been a laughable sight, had he not
looked so small and forlorn plodding along in
his clumsy wooden shoes, and a peasar t's blouse
of blue cotton, several sizes too la-ge for his
thin little body.
48 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
The anxious look in his eyes changed to one
of fear as he drew nearer the house. At the
sound of a gruff voice bellowing at him from
the end of the lane, he winced as if he had
"Ha, there, Jules! Thou lazy vagabond!
Late again! Canst thou never learn that I
am not to be kept waiting?"
"But, Brossard," quavered the boy in his
shrill, anxious voice, "it was not my fault,
indeed it was not. The goats were so stub-
born to-night. They broke through the hedge,
and I had to chase them over three fields."
"Have done with thy lying excuses," was
the rough answer. "Thou shalt have no sup-
per to-night. Maybe an empty stomach will
teach thee when my commands fail. Hasten
and drive the goats into the pen."
There was a scowl on Brossard's burly red
face that made Jules's heart bump up in his
throat. Brossard was only the caretaker of the
Ciseaux place, but he had been there for twenty
years, so long that he felt himself the master.
The real master was in Algiers nearly all the
time. During his absence the great house was
closed, excepting the kitchen and two rooms
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
above it. Of these Brossard had one and
Henri the other. Henri was the cook; a slow,
stupid old man, not to be jogged out of either
his good-nature or his slow gait by anything
that Brossard might say.
Henri cooked and washed and mended, and
hoed in the garden. Brossard worked in the
fields and shaved down the expenses of their
living closer and closer. All that was thus
saved fell to his share, or he might not have
watched the expenses so carefully.
Much saving had made him miserly. Old
Therese, the woman with the fish-cart, used to
say that he was the stingiest man in all Tour-
raine. She ought to know, for she had sold
him a fish every Friday during all those twenty
years, and he had never once failed to quarrel
about the price. Five years had gone by since
the master's last visit. Brossard and Henri
were not likely to forget that time, for they
had been awakened in the dead of night by a
loud knocking at the side gate. When they
opened it the sight that greeted them made
them rub their sleepy eyes to be sure that they
There stood the master, old Martin Ciseaux.
50 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
His hair and fiercely bristling mustache had
turned entirely white since they had last seen
him. In his arms he carried a child.
Brossard almost dropped his candle in his
first surprise, and his wonder grew until he
could hardly contain it, when the curly head
raised itself from monsieur's shoulder, and the
sleepy baby voice lisped something in a foreign
By all the saints !" muttered Brossard, as
he stood aside for his master to pass.
It's my brother Jules's grandson," was the
curt explanation that monsieur offered. "Jules
is dead, and so is his son and all the family, -
died in America. This is his son's son, Jules,
the last of the name. If I choose to take him
from a foreign poorhouse and give him shelter,
it's nobody's business, Louis Brossard, but my
With.that he strode on up the stairs to his
room, the boy still in his arms. This sudden
coming of a four-year-old child into their daily
life made as little difference to Brossard and
Henri as the presence of the four-months-old
puppy. They spread a cot for him in Henri's
room when the master went back to Algiers.
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
They gave him something to eat three times a
day when they stopped for their own meals,
and then went on with their work as usual.
It made no difference to them that he sobbed
in the dark for his mother to come and sing
him to sleep, the happy young mother who
had petted and humored him in her own fond
American fashion. They could not under-
stand his speech; more than that, they could
not understand him. Why should he mope
alone in the garden with that beseeching look
of a lost dog in his big, mournful eyes ? Why
should he not play and be happy, like the neigh-
bor's children or the kittens or any other young
thing that had life and sunshine?
Brossard snapped his fingers at him some-
times at first, as he would have done to a
playful animal; but when Jules drew back,
frightened by his foreign speech and rough
voice, he began to dislike the timid child.
After awhile he never noticed him except to
push him aside or to find fault.
It was from Henri that Jules picked up
whatever French he learned, and it was from
Henri also that he had received the one awk,
ward caress, and the only one, that his desolate
52 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
little heart had known in all the five loveless
years that he had been with them.
A few months ago Brossard had put him
out in the field to keep the goats from straying
away from their pasture, two stubborn crea-
tures, whose self-willed wanderings had brought
many a scolding down on poor Jules's head.
To-night he was unusually unfortunate, for
added to the weary chase they had led him was
this stern command that he should go to bed
without his supper.
He was about to pass into the house, shiver-
ing and hungry, when Henri put his head out
at the window. "Brossard," he called, "there
isn't enough bread for supper; there's just this
dry end of a loaf. You should have bought as
I told you, when the baker's cart stopped here
Brossard slowly measured the bit of hard,
black bread with his eye, and, seeing that there
was not half enough to satisfy the appetites of
two hungry men, he grudgingly drew a franc
from his pocket.
"Here, Jules," he called. "Go down to the
bakery, and see to it that thou art back by
the time that I have milked the goats, or thou
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
shalt go to bed with a beating, as well as
supperless. Stay !" he added, as Jules turned
to go. I have a mind to eat white bread to-
night instead of black. It will cost an extra
sou, so be careful to count the change. It is
only once or so in a twelvemonth," he muttered
to himself as an excuse for his extravagance.
It was half a mile to the village, but down
hill all the way, so that Jules reached the
bakery in a very short time.
Several customers were ahead of him, how-
ever, and he awaited his turn nervously. When
he left the shop an old lamplighter was going
down the street with torch and ladder, leaving
a double line of twinkling lights in his wake, as
he disappeared down the wide "Paris road."
Jules watched him a moment, and then ran
rapidly on. For many centuries the old village
of St. Symphorien had echoed with the clatter
of wooden shoes on its ancient cobblestones;
but never had foot-falls in its narrow, crooked
streets kept time to the beating of a lonelier
The officer of Customs, at his window beside
the gate that shuts in the old town at night,
nodded in a surly way as the boy hurried
54 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
past. Once outside the gate, Jules walked
more slowly, for the road began to wind up-hill.
Now he was out again in the open country,
where a faint light lying over the frosty fields
showed that the moon was rising.
Here and there lamps shone from the win-
dows of houses along the road; across the
field came the bark of a dog, welcoming his
master; two old peasant women passed him in
a creaking cart on their glad way home.
At the top of the hill Jules stopped to take
breath, leaning for a moment against the stone
wall. He was faint from hunger, for he had
been in the fields since early morning, with
nothing for his midday lunch but a handful
of boiled chestnuts. The smell of the fresh
bread tantalized him beyond endurance. Oh,
to be able to take a mouthful, just one little
mouthful of that brown, sweet crust!
He put his face down close, and shut his
eyes, drawing in the delicious odor with long,
deep breaths. What bliss it would be to have
that whole loaf for his own, he, little Jules,
who was to have no supper that night! He
held it up in the moonlight, hungrily looking
at it on every side. There was not a broken
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
place to be found anywhere on its surface; not
one crack in all that.hard, brown glaze of crust,
from which he might pinch the tiniest crumb.
For a moment a mad impulse seized him to
tear it in pieces, and eat every scrap, regardless
of the reckoning with Brossard afterwards. But
it was only for a moment. The memory of his
last beating stayed his hand. Then, fearing to
dally with temptation, lest it should master him,
he thrust the bread under his arm, and ran
every remaining step of the way home.
Brossard took the loaf from him, and pointed
with it to the stairway, -a mute command for
Jules to go to bed at once. Tingling with a
sense of injustice, the little fellow wanted to
shriek out in all his hunger and misery, defying
this monster of a man; but a struggling spar-
row might as well have tried to turn on the
hawk that held it. He clenched his hands to
keep from snatching something from the table,
set out so temptingly in the kitchen, but he
dared not linger even to look at it. With a
feeling of utter helplessness he passed it in
silence, his face white and set.
Dragging his'tired feet slowly up the stairs,
he went over to the casement window, and
56 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
swung it open; then, kneeling down, he laid
his head on the sill, in the moonlight. Was it
his dream that came back to him then, or only
a memory? He could never be sure, for if it
were a memory, it was certainly as strange
as any dream, unlike
anything he had ever
Pal_'A known in his life with
Henri and Brossard.
Night after night he
had comforted himself
with the picture that it
brought before him.
He could see a little
white house in the
middle of a big lawn.
There were vines on the
porches, and it must
have been early in the
evening, for the fireflies
were beginning to twinkle over the lawn. And
the grass had just been cut, for the air was
sweet with the smell of it. A woman, standing
on the steps under the vines, was calling "Jules,
Jules, it is time to come in, little son "
But Jules, in his white dress and shoulder-
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
knots of blue ribbon, was toddling across the
lawn after a firefly.
Then she began to call him another way.
Jules had a vague idea that it was a part of
some game that they sometimes played together.
It sounded like a song, and the words were not
like any that he had ever heard since he came to
live with Henri and Brossard. He could not
forget them, though, for had they not sung
themselves through that beautiful dream every
time he had it ?
Little Boy Blue, oh, where are you ?
O, where are you-u-u-u ? "
He only laughed in the dream picture and
ran- on after the firefly. Then a man came
running after him, and, catching him, tossed
him up laughingly, and carried him to the
house on his shoulder.
Somebody held a glass of cool, creamy milk
for him to drink, and by and by he was in a
little white night-gown in the woman's lap.
His head was nestled against her shoulder,
and he could feel her soft lips touching him
on cheeks and eyelids and mouth, before she
began to sing:
58 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Oh, little Boy Blue, lay by your horn,
And mother will sing of the cows and the corn,
Till the stars and the angels come to keep
Their watch, where my baby lies fast asleep."
Now all of a sudden Jules knew that there
was another kind of hunger worse than the
longing for bread. He wanted the soft touch
of those lips again on his mouth and eyelids,
the loving pressure of those restful arms, a
thousand times more than he had wished for
the loaf that he had just brought home. Two
hot tears, that made his eyes ache in their slow
gathering, splashed down on the window-sill.
Down below Henri opened the kitchen door
and snapped his fingers to call the dog. Look-
ing out, Jules saw him set a plate of bones on
the step. For a moment he listened to the
animal's contented crunching, and then crept
across the room to his cot, with a little moan.
" O-o-oh o-oh he sobbed. Even the dog
has more than I have, and I'm so hungry!"
He hid his head awhile in the old quilt; then
he raised it again, and, with the tears streaming
down his thin little face, sobbed in a heart-
broken whisper: "Mother! Mother! Do you
know how hungry I am?"
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
A clatter of knives and forks from the kitchen
below was the only answer, and he dropped
despairingly down again.
She's so far away she can't even hear me "
he moaned. Oh, if I could only be dead, too "
He lay there, crying, till Henri had finished
washing the supper dishes and had put them
clumsily away. The rank odor of tobacco,
stealing up the stairs, told him that Brossard
had settled down to enjoy his evening pipe.
Through the casement window that was still
ajar came the faint notes of an accordeon from
Monsieur Greville's garden, across the way.
Gabriel, the coachman, was walking up and
down in the moonlight, playing a wheezy
accompaniment to the only song he knew.
Jules did not notice it at first, but after
awhile, when he had cried himself quiet, the
faint melody began to steal soothingly into his
consciousness. His eyelids closed drowsily,
and then the accordeon seemed to be singing
something to him. He could not understand
at first, but just as he was dropping off to
sleep he heard it quite clearly:
Till the stars and the angels come to keep
Their watch, where my baby lies fast asleep."
60 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Late in the night Jules awoke with a start,
and sat up, wondering what had aroused him.
He knew that it must be after midnight, for the
moon was nearly down. Henri was snoring.
Suddenly such a strong feeling of hunger came
over him, that he could think of nothing else.
It was like a gnawing pain. As if he were
being led by some power outside of his own
will, he slipped to the door of the room. The
little bare feet made no noise on the carpetless
floor. No mouse could have stolen down the
stairs more silently than timid little Jules. The
latch of the kitchen door gave a loud click
that made him draw back with a shiver of
alarm; but that was all. After waiting one
breathless minute, his heart beating like a
trip-hammer, he went on into the pantry.
The moon was so far down now, that only a
white glimmer of light showed him the faint
outline of things; but his keen little nose
guided him. There was half a cheese on the
swinging shelf, with all the bread that had been
left from supper. He broke off great pieces
of each in eager haste. Then he found a crock
of goat's milk. Lifting it to his mouth, he
drank with big, quick gulps until he had tc
" IT FELL TO THE FLOOR WITH A CRASH."
BEHIND THE GREAT GATE.
stop for breath. Just as he was about to raise
it to his lips again, some instinct of danger
made him look up. There in the doorway
stood Brossard, bigger and darker and more
threatening than he had ever seemed before.
A frightened little gasp was all that the
child had strength to give. He turned so sick
and faint that his nerveless fingers could no
longer hold the crock. It fell to the floor with
a crash, and the milk spattered all over the
pantry. Jules was too terrified to utter a
sound. It was Brossard who made the out-
cry. Jules could only shut his eyes and crouch
down trembling, under the shelf. The next
instant he was dragged out, and Brossard's
merciless strap fell again and again on the
poor shrinking little body, that writhed under
the cruel blows.
Once more Jules dragged himself up-stairs
to his cot, this time bruised and sore, too ex-
hausted for tears, too hopeless to think of
Poor little prince in the clutches of the ogre!
If only fairy tales might be true! If only
some gracious spirit of elfin lore might really
come at such a time with its magic wand of
64 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
healing! Then there would be no more little
desolate hearts, no more grieved little faces
with undried tears upon them in all the earth.
Over every threshold where a child's wee
feet had pattered in and found a home, it
would hang its guardian Scissors of Avenging,
so that only those who belong to the kingdom
of loving hearts and gentle hands would ever
dare to enter.
A LETTER AND A MEETING.
NEARLY a week later Joyce sat at her desk,
hurrying to finish a letter before the postman's
"Dear Jack," it began.
You and Mary will each get a letter this week.
Hers is the fairy tale that Cousin Kate told me, about
an old gate near here. I wrote it down as well as I
could remember. I wish you could see that gate. It
gets more interesting every day, and I'd give most
anything to see what lies on the other side. Maybe I
shall soon, for Marie has a way of finding out anything
she wants to know. Marie is my new maid. Cousin
Kate went to Paris last week, to be gone until nearly
Christmas, so she got Marie to take care of me.
It seems so odd to have somebody button my boots
and brush my hair, and take me out to walk as if I
were a big doll. I have to be very dignified and act
as if I had always been used to such things. I believe
66 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Marie would be shocked to death if she knew that I
had ever washed dishes, or pulled weeds out of the
pavement, or romped with you in the barn.
Yesterday when we were out walking I got so tired
of acting as if I were a hundred years old, that I felt as
if I should scream. 'Marie,' I said, 'I've a mind to
throw my muff in the fence-corner and run and hang
on behind that wagon that's going down-hill.' She had
no idea that I was in earnest. She just smiled very
politely and said, Oh, mademoiselle, impossible How
you Americans do love to jest.' But it was no joke.
You can't imagine how stupid it is to be with nobody
but grown people all the time. I'm fairly aching for a
good old game of hi spy or prisoner's base with you.
There is nothing at all to do, but to take poky walks.
"Yesterday afternoon we walked down to the river.
There's a double row of trees along it on this side, and
several benches where people can wait for the tram-
cars that pass down this street and then across the
bridge into Tours. Marie found an old friend of hers
sitting on one of the benches, such a big fat woman,
and oh, such a gossip! Marie said she was tired,
so we sat there a long time. Her friend's name is
Clotilde Robard. They talked about everybody in St.
,,.Then I gossiped, too. I asked Clotilde Robard if
she knew why the gate with the big scissors was never
opened any more. She told me that she used to be one
of the maids there, before she married the spice-monger
and was Madame Robard. Years before she went to
live there, when the old Monsieur Ciseaux died, there
OUT WITH MARIE.
irr rr CYCC~
A LETTER AND A MEETING. 69
was a dreadful quarrel about some money. The son
that got the property told his brother and sister never
to darken his doors again.
They went off to America, and that big front gate
has never been opened since they passed out of it.
Clotilde says that some people say that they put a curse
on it, and something awful will happen to the first one
who dares to go through. Isn't that interesting?
The oldest son, Mr. Martin Ciseaux, kept up the
place for a long time, just as his father had done, but
he never married. All of a sudden he shut up the
house, sent away all the servants but the two who take
care of it, and went off to Algiers to live. Five years ago
he came back to bring his little grand-nephew, but
nobody has seen him since that time.
Clotilde says that an orphan asylum would have
been a far better home for Jules (that is the boy's name),
for Brossard, the caretaker, is so mean to him. Doesn't
that make you think of Prince Ethelried in the fairy
tale? Little and lorn; no fireside welcomed him and
no lips gave him a friendly greeting.'
," Marie says that she has often seen Jules down in
the field, back of his uncle's house, tending the goats.
I hope that I may see him sometime.
"Oh, dear, the postman has come sooner than I
expected. He is talking down in the hall now, and if
I do not post this letter now it will miss the evening
train and be too late for the next mail steamer. Tell
mamma that I will answer all her questions about my
lessons and clothes next week. Oceans of love to
everybody in the dear little brown house."
70 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Hastily scrawling her name, Joyce ran out
into the hall with her letter. "Anything for
*me?" she asked, anxiously, leaning over the
banister to drop the letter into Marie's hand.
"One, mademoiselle," was the answer. "But
it has not a foreign stamp."
"Oh, from Cousin Kate! exclaimed Joyce,
tearing it open as she went back to her room.
At the door she stooped to pick up a piece of
paper that had dropped from the envelope. It
crackled stiffly as she unfolded it.
Money she exclaimed in surprise. "A
whole twenty franc note. What could Cousin
Kate have sent it for ?" The last page of the
"I have just remembered that December is not very
far off, and that whatever little Christmas gifts we send
home should soon be started on their way. Enclosed
you will find twenty francs for your Christmas shopping.
It is not much, but we are too far away to send any-
thing but the simplest little remembrances, things that
will not be spoiled in the mail, and on which little or no
duty need be paid. You might buy one article each
day, so that there will be some purpose in your walks
I am sorry that I can not be with you on Thanks-
giving Day. We will have to drop it from our calendar
A LETTER AND A MEETING.
this year; not the thanksgiving itself, but the turkey
and mince pie part. Suppose you take a few francs to
give yourself some little treat to mark the day. I hope
my dear little girl will not be homesick all by herself.
I never should have left just at this time if it had not
been very necessary."
Joyce smoothed out the bank-note and looked
at it with sparkling eyes. Twenty whole
francs! The same as four dollars! All the
money that she had ever had in her whole life
put together would not have amounted to that
much. Dimes were scarce in the little brown
house, and even pennies seldom found their
way into the children's hands when five pairs
of little feet were always needing shoes, and
five healthy appetites must be satisfied daily.
All the time that Joyce was pinning her
treasure securely in her pocket and putting on
her hat and jacket, all the time that she was
walking demurely down the road with Marie,
she was planning different ways in which to
spend her fortune.
"Mademoiselle is very quiet," ventured
Marie, remembering that one of her duties was
to keep up an improving conversation with her
72 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Yes," answered Joyce, half impatiently;
"I've got something so lovely to think about,
that I'd like to go back and sit down in the
garden and just think and think until dark,
without being interrupted by anybody."
This was Marie's opportunity. "Then
mademoiselle might not object to stopping in
the garden of the villa which we are now ap-
proaching," she said. "My friend, Clotilde
Robard, is housekeeper there, and I have a
very important message to deliver to her."
Joyce had no objection. "But, Marie," she
said, as she paused at the gate, I think I'll not
go in. It is so lovely and warm out here in
the sun that I'll just sit here on the steps and
wait for you."
Five minutes went by and then ten. By
that time Joyce had decided how to spend
every centime in the whole twenty francs, and
Marie had not returned. Another five minutes
went by. It was dull, sitting there facing the
lonely highway, down which no one ever seemed
to pass. Joyce stood up, looked all around, and
then slowly sauntered down the road a short
Here and there in the crevices of the wall
A LETTER AND A MEETING.
blossomed a few hardy wild flowers, which
Joyce began to gather as she walked. I'll go
around this bend in the road and see what's
there," she said to herself. By that time
Marie will surely be done with her messages."
No one was in sight in any direction, and
feeling that no one could be in hearing distance,
either, in such a deserted place, she began to
sing. It was an old Mother Goose rhyme that
she hummed over and over, in a low voice at
first, but louder as she walked on.
Around the bend in the road there was
nothing to be seen but a lonely field where
two goats were grazing. On one side of it
was a stone wall, on two others a tall hedge,
but the side next her sloped down to the road,
Joyce, with her hands filled with the yellow
wild flowers, stood looking around her, sing-
ing the old rhyme, the song that she had
taught the baby to sing before he could talk
Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn.
Little Blue Blue, oh, where are you?
Oh, where are you-u-u-u?"
74 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
The gay little voice that had been rising
higher and higher, sweet as any bird's, stopped
suddenly in mid-air; for, as if in answer to her
call, there was a rustling just ahead of her, and
a boy who had been lying on his back, looking
at the sky, slowly raised himself out of the
For an instant Joyce was startled; then see-
ing by his wooden shoes and old blue cotton
blouse that he was only a little peasant watch-
ing the goats, she smiled at him with a pleasant
He did not answer, but came towards her
with a dazed expression on his face, as if he
were groping his way through some strange
dream. "It is time to go in!" he exclaimed,
as if repeating some lesson learned long ago,
and half forgotten.
Joyce stared at him in open-mouthed aston-
ishment. The little fellow had spoken in Eng-
lish. "Oh, you must be Jules," she cried.
"Aren't you? I've been wanting to find you
for ever so long."
The boy seemed frightened, and did not
answer, only looked at her with big, troubled
eyes. Thinking that she had made a mistake,
"HE CAME TOWARDS HER WITH A DAZED EXPRESSION
ON HIS FACE."
A LETTER AND A MEETING.
that she had not heard aright, Joyce spoke in
French. He answered her timidly. She had
not been mistaken; he was Jules; he had been
asleep, he told her, and when he heard her
singing, he thought it was his mother calling
him as she used to do, and had started up ex-
pecting to see her at last. Where was she?
Did mademoiselle know her? Surely she must
if she knew the song.
It was on the tip of Joyce's tongue to tell
him that everybody knew that song; that it
was as familiar to the children at home as the
chirping of crickets on the hearth or the sight
of dandelions in the spring-time. But some
instinct warned her not to say it. She was
glad afterwards, when she found that it was
sacred to him, woven in as it was with his one
beautiful memory of a home. It was all he
had, and the few words that Joyce's singing
had startled from him were all that he remem-
bered of his mother's speech.
If Joyce had happened upon him in any other
way, it is doubtful if their acquaintance would
have grown very rapidly. He was afraid of
strangers; but coming as she did with the
familiar song that was like an old friend, he
78 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
felt that he must have known her sometime, -
that other time when there was always a sweet
voice calling, and fireflies twinkled across a
Joyce was not in a hurry for Marie to come
now. She had a hundred questions to ask, and
made the most of her time by talking very fast.
"Marie will be frightened," she told Jules,
" if she does not find me at the gate, and will
think that the gypsies have stolen me. Then
she will begin to hunt up and down the road,
and I don't know what she would say if she
came and found me talking to a strange child
out in the fields, so I must hurry back. I
am glad that I found .you. I have been wish-
ing so long for somebody to play with, and
you seem like an old friend because you were
born in America. I'm going to ask ma-
dame to ask Brossard to let you come over
Jules watched her as she hurried away, run-
ning lightly down the road, her fair hair flying
over her shoulders and her short blue skirt
fluttering. Once she looked back to wave her
hand. Long after she was out of sight he still
stood looking after her, as one might gaze long-
A LETTER AND A MEETING. 79
ingly after some visitant from another world.
Nothing like her had ever dropped into his life
before, and he wondered if he should ever see
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
i p HIS doesn't seem a
bit like Thanksgiving
Day, Marie," said
Joyce, plaintively, as
I' she sat up in bed to
take the early breakfast that
her maid brought in, a cup
of chocolate and a roll.
"In our country the very
minute you wake up you can feel that it is a
holiday. Outdoors it's nearly always cold and
gray, with everything covered with snow. In-
side you can smell turkey and pies and all
sorts of good spicy things. Here it is so warm
that the windows are open and flowers bloom-
ing in the garden, and there isn't a thing to
make it seem different from any other old
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
Here her grumbling was interrupted by a
knock at the door, and Madame Greville's
maid, Berth6, came in with a message.
Madame and monsieur intend spending the
day in Tours, and since Mademoiselle Ware has
written that Mademoiselle Joyce is to have no
lessons on this American holiday, they will be
pleased to have her accompany them in the
carriage. She can spend the morning with
them there or return immediately with Ga-
"Of course I want to go," cried Joyce. "I
love to drive. But I'd rather come back here
to lunch and have it by myself in the garden.
Berth6, ask madame if I can't have it served
in the little kiosk at the end of the arbor."
As soon as she had received a most gracious
permission, Joyce began to make a little plan.
It troubled her conscience somewhat, for she
felt that she ought to 'mention it to madame,
but she was almost certain that madame would
object, and she had set her heart on carrying
"I won't speak about it now," she said to
herself, "because I am not sure that I am
going to do it. Mamma would think it was
82 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
all right, but foreigners are so queer about
Uncertain as Joyce may have been about
her future actions, as they drove towards town,
no sooner had madame and monsieur stepped
from the carriage, on the Rue Nationale, than
she was perfectly sure.
"Stop at the baker's, Gabriel," she ordered
as they turned homeward, then at the big
grocery on the corner. "Cousin Kate told
me to treat myself to something nice," she
said apologetically to her conscience, as she
gave up the twenty francs to the clerk to be
If Gabriel wondered what was in the little
parcels which she brought back to the car-
riage, he made no sign. He only touched his
hat respectfully, as she gave the next order:
" Stop where the road turns by the cemetery,
Gabriel; at the house with the steps going up
to an iron-barred gate. I'll be back in two or
three minutes," she said, when she had reached
it, and climbed from the carriage.
To his surprise, instead of entering the gate,
she hurried on past it, around the bend in the
road. In a little while she came running back,
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
her shoes covered with damp earth, as if she
had been walking in a freshly ploughed field.
If Gabriel's eyes could have followed her
around that bend in the road, he would have
seen a sight past his understanding: Mademoi-
selle Joyce running at the top of her speed to
meet a little goatherd in wooden shoes and
blue cotton blouse,- a common little peasant
"It's Thanksgiving Day, Jules," she an-
nounced, gasping, as she sank down on the
ground beside him. "We're the only Ameri-
cans here, and everybody has gone off; and
Cousin Kate said to celebrate in some way.
I'm going to have a dinner in the garden.
I've bought a rabbit, and we'll dig a hole,
and make a fire, and barbecue it the way Jack
and I used to do at home. And we'll roast
eggs in the ashes, and have a fine time. I've
got a lemon tart and a little iced fruit-cake,
All this was poured out in such breathless
haste, and in such a confusion of tongues, first a
sentence of English and then a word of French,
that it is no wonder that Jules grew bewildered
in trying to follow her. She had to begin
84 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
again at the beginning, and speak very slowly,
in order to make him understand that it was a
feast day of some kind, and that he, Jules, was
invited to some sort of a strange, wonderful
entertainment in Monsieur Gr6ville's garden.
" But Brossard is away from home," said Jules,
"and there is no one to watch the goats, and
keep them from straying down the road. Still
it would be just the same if he were home," he
added, sadly. "He would not let me go, I am
sure. I have never been out of sight of that
roof since I first came here, except on errands
to the village, when I had to run all the way
back." He pointed to the peaked gables,
adorned by the scissors of his crazy old
"Brossard isn't your father," cried Joyce,
indignantly, "nor your uncle, nor your cousin,
nor anything else that has a right to shut you
up that way. Isn't there a field with a fence
all around it, that you could drive the goats
into for a few hours?"
Jules shook his head.
Well, I can't have my Thanksgiving spoiled
for just a couple of old goats," exclaimed Joyce.
" You'll have to bring them along, and we'll
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
shut them up in the carriage-house. You
come over in about an hour, and I'll be at
the side gate waiting for you."
Joyce had always been a general in her small
way. She made her plans and issued her orders
both at home and at school, and the children
accepted her leadership as a matter of course.
Even if Jules had not been willing and anxious
to go, it is doubtful if he could have mustered
courage to oppose the arrangements that she
made in such a masterful way; but Jules had
not the slightest wish to object to anything
whatsoever that Joyce might propose.
It is safe to say that the old garden had
never before even dreamed of such a celebra-
tion as the one that took place that afternoon
behind its moss-coated walls. The time-stained
statue of Eve, which stood on one side of the
fountain, looked across at the weather-beaten
figure of Adam, on the other side, in stony-
eyed surprise. The little marble satyr in the
middle of the fountain, which had been grin-
ning ever since its endless shower-bath began,
seemed to grin wider than ever, as it watched
the children's strange sport.
Jules dug the little trench according to
86 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Joyce's directions, and laid the iron grating
which she had borrowed from the cook across
it, and built the fire underneath. We ought to
have something especially patriotic and Thanks-
givingey," said Joyce, standing on one foot to
consider. "Oh, now I know," she cried, after
a moment's thought. "Cousin Kate has a
lovely big silk flag in the top of her trunk.
I'll run and get that, and then I'll recite the
SLanding of the Pilgrims' to you while the
Presently a savory odor began to steal along
the winding paths of the garden, between the
laurel-bushes, a smell of barbecued meat sput-
tering over the fire. Above the door of the
little kiosk, with many a soft swish of silken
stirring, hung the beautiful old flag. Then
a clear little voice floated up through the pine-
"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing! "
All the time that Joyce sang, she was mov-
ing around the table, setting out the plates and
rattling cups and saucers. She could not keep
a little quaver out of her voice, for, as she went
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
on, all the scenes of all the times that she had
sung that song before came crowding up in her
memory. There were the Thanksgiving days
in the church at home, and the Washington's
birthdays at school, and two Decoration days,
when, as a granddaughter of a veteran, she had
helped scatter flowers over the soldiers' graves.
Somehow it made her feel so hopelessly far
away from all that made life dear to be singing
of that "sweet land of liberty" in a foreign
country, with only poor little alien Jules for
Maybe that is why the boy's first lesson in
patriotism was given so earnestly by his home-
sick little teacher. Something that could not be
put into words stirred within him, as, looking up
at the soft silken flutterings of the old flag, he
listened for the first time to the story of the
The rabbit cooked slowly, so slowly that there
was time for Jules to learn how to play mumble-
peg while they waited. At last it was done, and
Joyce proudly plumped it into the platter that
had been waiting for it. Marie had already
brought out a bountiful lunch, cold meats and
salad and a dainty pudding. By the time that
88 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
Joyce had added her contribution to the feast,
there was scarcely an inch of the table left
uncovered. Jules did not know the names of
half the dishes.
Not many miles away from that old garden,
scattered up and down the Loire throughout
all the region of fair Tourraine, rise the turrets
of many an old chateau. Great banquet halls,
where kings and queens once feasted, still stand
as silent witnesses of a gay bygone court life;
but never in any chateau or palace among them
all was feast more thoroughly enjoyed than
this impromptu dinner in the garden, where a
little goatherd was the only guest.
It was an enchanted spot to Jules, made so
by the magic of Joyce's wonderful gift of story-
telling. For the first time in his life that he
could remember, he heard of Santa Claus and
Christmas trees, of Bluebeard and Aladdin's
lamp, and all the dear old fairy tales that were
so entrancing he almost forgot to eat.
Then they played that he was the prince,
Prince Ethelried, and that the goats in the
carriage-house were his royal steeds, and that
Joyce was a queen whom he had come to visit.
But it came to an end, as all beautiful things
N Ze -
A LESSON IN PATRIOTISM.
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
must do. The bells in the village rang four,
and Prince Ethelried started up as Cinderella
must have done when the pumpkin coach dis-
appeared. He was no longer a king's son; he
was only Jules, the little goatherd, who must
hurry back to the field before the coming of
Joyce went with him to the carriage-house.
Together they swung open the great door.
Then an exclamation of dismay fell from
Joyce's lips. All over the floor were scattered
scraps of leather and cloth and hair, the kind
used in upholstering. The goats had whiled
away the hours of their imprisonment by chew-
ing up the cushions of the pony cart.
Jules turned pale with fright. Knowing so
little of the world, he judged all grown people
by his knowledge of Henri and Brossard.
" Oh, what will they do to us ?" he gasped.
"Nothing at all," answered Joyce, bravely,
although her heart beat twice as fast as usual
as monsieur's accusing face rose up before
"It was all my fault," said Jules, ready to
cry. "What must I do ? Joyce saw his
distress, and with quick womanly tact recog-
92 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
nized her duty as hostess. It would never do to
let this, his first Thanksgiving Day, be clouded
by a single unhappy remembrance. She would
pretend that it was a part of their last game;
so she waved her hand, and said, in a theatrical
voice, "You forget, Prince Ethelried, that in
the castle of Irmingarde she rules supreme.
If it is the pleasure of your royal steeds to
feed upon cushions they shall not be denied,
even though they choose my own coach
pillows, of gold-cloth and velour."
But what if Gabriel should tell Brossard ? '
questioned Jules, his teeth almost chattering at
the mere thought.
Oh, never mind, Jules," she answered, laugh-
ingly. Don't worry about a little thing like
that. I'll make it all right with madame as
soon as she gets home."
Jules, with utmost faith in Joyce's power to
do anything that she might undertake, drew
a long breath of relief. Half a dozen times
between the gate and the lane that led into
the Ciseaux field, he turned around to wave his
old cap in answer to the hopeful flutter of her
little white handkerchief; but when he was
out of sight she went back to the carriage-
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
house and looked at the wreck of the cushions
with a sinking heart. After that second look,
she was not so sure of making it all right with
Going slowly up to her room, she curled up
in the window-seat to wait for the sound of the
carriage wheels. The blue parrots on the wall-
paper sat in their blue hoops in straight rows
from floor to ceiling, and hung all their dismal
heads. It seemed to Joyce as if there were
thousands of them, and that each one was more
unhappy than any of the others. The blue roses
on the bed-curtains, that had been in such gay
blossom a few hours before, looked ugly and
Over the mantel hung a picture that had
been a pleasure to Joyce ever since she had
taken up her abode in this quaint blue room.
It was called "A Message from Noel," and
showed an angel flying down with gifts to fill
a pair of little wooden shoes that some child
had put out on a window-sill below. When
madame had explained that the little French
children put out their shoes for Saint Noel
to fill, instead of hanging stockings for Santa
Claus, Joyce had been so charmed with the
94 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
picture that she declared that she intended to
follow the French custom herself, this year.
Now, even the picture looked different, since
she had lost her joyful anticipations of Christ-
mas. It is all No-el to me now," she sobbed.
" No tree, no Santa Claus, and now, since the
money must go to pay for the goats' mischief, no
presents for anybody in the dear little brown
house at home, -not even mamma and the
A big salty tear trickled down the side of
Joyce's nose and splashed on her hand; then
another one. It was such a gloomy ending for
her happy Thanksgiving Day. One consoling
thought came to her in time to stop the deluge
that threatened. "Anyway, Jules has had a
good time for once in his life." The thought
cheered her so much that, when Marie came in
to light the lamps, Joyce was walking up and
down the room with her hands behind her back,
As soon as she was dressed for dinner she
went down-stairs, but found no one in the
drawing-room. A small fire burned cozily on
the hearth, for the November nights were grow-
ing chilly. Joyce picked up a book and tried
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
to read, but found herself looking towards the
door fully as often as at the page before her.
Presently she set her teeth together and swal-
lowed hard, for there was a rustling in the hall.
The portiere was pushed aside and madame
swept into the room
,. ~in a dinner-gown of
.. dark red velvet.
.V:'.\ \ '(I eyes she seemed more
imposing, more ele-
Sgant, and more unap-
,';,"--- .... proachable than she
had ever been before.
h, ,.- At madame's en-
i,'.: ,'; trance Joyce rose as
S'usual, but when the
S red velvet train had
swept on to a seat
beside the fire, she still remained standing.
Her lips seemed glued together after those
first words of greeting.
Be seated, mademoiselle," said the lady,
with a graceful motion of her hand towards a
chair. "How have you enjoyed your holiday ?"
Joyce gave a final swallow of the choking
90 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
lump in her throat, and began her humble con-
fession that she had framed up-stairs among
the rows of dismal blue wall-paper parrots. She
started with Clotilde Robard's story of Jules,
told of her accidental meeting with him, of all
that she knew of his hard life with Brossard,
and of her longing for some one to play with.
Then she acknowledged that she had planned
the barbecue secretly, fearing that madame
would not allow her to invite the little goat-
herd. At the conclusion, she opened the hand-
kerchief which she had been holding tightly
clenched in her hand, and poured its contents
in the red velvet lap.
"There's all that is left of my Christmas
money," she said, sadly, seventeen francs
and two sous. If it isn't enough to pay for the
cushions, I'll write to Cousin Kate, and maybe
she will lend me the rest."
Madame gathered up the handful of coin,
and slowly rose. "It is only a step to the car-
riage-house," she said. If you will kindly
ring for Berth to bring a lamp we will look to
see how much damage has been done."
It was an unusual procession that filed down
the garden walk a few minutes later. First
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.
came Berth6, in her black dress and white cap,
holding a lamp high above her head, and screw-
ing her forehead into a mass of wrinkles as she
peered out into the surrounding darkness.
After her came madame, holding up her dress
and stepping daintily along in her high-heeled
little slippers. Joyce brought up the rear,
stumbling along in the darkness of madame's
large shadow, so absorbed in her troubles that
she did not see the amused expression on the
face of the grinning satyr in the fountain.
Eve, looking across at Adam, seemed to wink
one of her stony eyes, as much as to say,
" Humph! Somebody else has been getting
into trouble. There's more kinds of forbidden
fruit than one; pony-cart cushions, for in-
Berth6 opened the door, and madame stepped
inside the carriage-house. With her skirts
held high in both hands, she moved around
among the wreck of the cushions, turning over
a bit with the toe of her slipper now and then.
Madame wore velvet dinner-gowns, it is true,
and her house was elegant in its fine old fur-
nishings bought generations ago; but only her
dressmaker and herself knew how many times
98 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.
those gowns had been ripped and cleaned and
remodelled. It was only constant housewifely
skill that kept the antique furniture repaired
and the ancient brocade hangings from falling
into holes. None but a French woman, trained
in petty economies, could have guessed how
little money and how much thought was spent
in keeping her table up to its high standard of
Now as she looked and estimated, counting
the fingers of one hand with the thumb of the
other, a wish stirred in her kind old heart that
she need not take the child's money; but new
cushions must be bought, and she must be just
to herself before she could be generous to
others. So she went on with her estimating
and counting, and then called Gabriel to con-
sult with him.
Much of the same hair can be used again,"
she said, finally, and the cushions were partly
worn, so that it would not be right for you to
have to bear the whole expense of new ones.
I shall keep sixteen,- no, I shall keep only
fifteen francs of your money, mademoiselle. I
am sorry to take any of it, since you have been
so frank with me; but you must see that it
A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE. 99
would not be justice for me to have to suffer in
consequence of your fault. In France, children
do nothing without the permission of their
elders, and it would be well for you to adopt
the same rule, my dear mademoiselle."
Here she dropped two francs and two sous
into Joyce's hand. It was more than she had
dared to hope for. Now there would be at
least a little picture-book apiece for the chil-
dren at home.
This time Joyce saw the grin on the satyr's
face when they passed the fountain. She was
smiling herself when they entered the house,
where monsieur was waiting to escort them
politely in to dinner.