• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chop-Chin and the golden drago...
 The three remarks
 The useful coal
 The naughty comet
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Chop-Chin and the golden dragon
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088851/00001
 Material Information
Title: Chop-Chin and the golden dragon
Physical Description: 69, 4 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Richards, Laura Elizabeth Howe, 1850-1943
Little, Brown and Company ( Publisher )
University Press (Cambridge, Mass.) ( Printer )
John Wilson and Son ( Printer )
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: University Press ; John Wilson and Son
Publication Date: c1899
 Subjects
Subject: Wit and humor, Juvenile -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1899   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre: Children's stories
Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Laura E. Richards ; illustrated.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088851
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236569
notis - ALH7045
oclc - 265143038

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
    Chop-Chin and the golden dragon
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    The three remarks
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 46a
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The useful coal
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    The naughty comet
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Advertising
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text

















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CHOP-CHIN

AND

THE GOLDEN DRAGON















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At last the Emperor began to dream. He heard an awful voice, the voice
of the Golden Dragon. "Wah-song I Wah-song I Awake I"


%.~: :~










CHOP-CHIN

AND


THE GOLDEN DRAGON


BY

LAURA E. RICHARDS
AUTHOR OF "CAPTAIN JANUARY," "IN MY NURSERY,"
THE JOYOUS STORY OF TOTO," ETC.




fltuetrateB









BOSTON
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY




























Copyright, 1881,
BY ROBERTS BROTHERS

Copyright, 1899,
BT LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.


















EJOibersiOt, C ss

JOHN WTILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.





















CONTENTS
PAGE
CHOP-CHIN AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON . 5

THE THREE REMARKS . 38

THE USEFUL COAL . . .. 51

THE NAUGHTY COMET . .. 58










CHOP-CHIN
AND

THE GOLDEN DRAGON



O NCE upon a time, long ago and long ago,
there lived in Pekin, which, as you all
know, is the chief city of the Chinese Empire,
a boy whose name was Chop-Chin. He was
the son of Ly-Chee, a sweeper of the Imperial
court-yard, whose duty it was to keep the
pavement of the court-yard always absolutely
clean, in case His Celestial Majesty, the Em-
peror, should feel inclined to put his celestial
and majestic nose out-of-doors. Chop-Chin
hoped to become a sweeper also, when he was
a little older; but at the time when my story
begins he was only twelve years old, and the
law required that all sweepers should have
passed their fourteenth year. So Chop-Chin
helped his mother about the house,-for he







CHOP-CHIN


was a good boy, carried his father's dinner
to him, and made himself generally useful.
One day Chop-Chin entered the court-yard
at the usual time, carrying a jar of rice on
his head, and a melon in one hand. These
were for his father's dinner, and setting them
down in a shaded corner, on the cool white
marble pavement, he looked about for his
father. But Ly-Chee was nowhere to be seen.
A group of sweepers stood at the farther end
of the court-yard, talking together in a state of
wild excitement, with many gestures. One
of them drew his hand across his throat rap-
idly, and they all shuddered. Some one was
to be killed, then? Chop-Chin wondered
what it all meant. Suddenly one of the
group caught sight of him, and at once
they fell silent. Two or three, who were
friends of his father, began to wring their
hands and tear their clothes, and the oldest
sweeper of all advanced solemnly toward
the boy, holding out both his hands, with the
palms downward, in token of sympathy.
My son," he said, "what is man's life but







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


a string of beads, which at one time or an-
other must be broken? Shall the wise man
disquiet himself whether more or fewer beads
have passed over the hand ?"
"What words are these?" cried Chop-
Chin, alarmed, though he knew not why.
"Why do you look and speak so strangely,
Yow-Lay; and where is my father?"
The old sweeper led the boy to a stone
bench, and bade him sit down beside him.
" Thou knowest," he said," that the first duty
of us sweepers is to keep the court-yard
always as clean as the sky after rain, and
as white as the breath of the frost."
I know it well," replied the boy. "Does
not my father wear out two pairs of scrub-
bing-shoes in a month ?"
"Alas! my son," said the old man, "your
father will wear out no more scrubbing-shoes.
Listen! This morning, while we were all
busily at work, it chanced through some
evil fate that His Celestial Majesty felt a de-
sire to taste the freshness of the morning air.
Unannounced he came, with only the Princely







CHOP-CHIN


Parasol-Holder, the Unique Umbrella-Opener,
and seven boys to hold up his celestial train.
You know that your father is slightly deaf?
Yes. Well, he stood -my good friend Ly-
Chee-he stood with his back to the palace.
He heard not the noise of the opening door,
and at the very moment when His Celestial
Majesty stepped out into the court-yard, Ly-
Chee cast a great bucketful of ice-cold water
backward, with fatal force and precision."
Chop-Chin shuddered, and hid his face
in his hands.
"Picture to yourself the dreadful scene!"
continued the ancient sweeper. "The Celes-
tial Petticoat, of yellow satin damask, was
drenched. The Celestial Shoes, of chicken-
skin embroidered in gold, were reduced to a
pulp. A shriek burst from every mouth!
Your unhappy father turned, and seeing what
he had done, fell on his face, as did all the rest
of us. In silence we waited for the awful
voice, which presently said: -
"'Princely Parasol-Holder, our feet are wet.'
"The Princely Parasol-Holder groaned, and








AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


chattered his teeth together to express his
anguish.
"' Unique Umbrella-Opener,' continued
the Emperor, 'our petticoat is completely
saturated.'
"The Unique Umbrella-Opener tore his
clothes, and shook his hair.wildly about his
face, with moans of agony.
"'Let this man's head be removed at
sunrise to-morrow!' concluded His Celestial
Majesty.
"Then we all, lying on our faces, wept and
cried aloud, and besought the celestial mercy
for our comrade. We told the Emperor of
Ly-Chee's long and faithful service; of his
upright and devout life; of his wife and chil-
dren, who looked to him for their daily bread.
But all was of no avail. He repeated, in
dreadful tones, his former words: -
"' Our feet are wet. Our petticoat is satu-
rated. Let this man's head be removed at
sunrise to-morrow.'
"Then the Unique Umbrella-Holder, who
is a kindly man, made also intercession for







CHOP-CHIN


Ly-Chee. But now the Emperor waxed
wroth, and he said: -
"' Are our clothes to be changed, or do we
stand here all day in wetness because of this
dog? We swear that unless the Golden
Dragon himself come down from his altar
and beg for this man's life, he shall die!
Enough!' And with these words he with-
drew into the palace.
"So thou seest, my son," said the old man,
sadly, "that all is over with thy poor father.
He is now in the prison of the condemned,
and to-morrow at sunrise he must die. Go
home, boy, and comfort thy poor mother,
telling her this sad thing as gently as thou
mayest."
Chop-Chin arose, kissed the old man's hand
in token of gratitude for his kindness, and
left the court-yard without a word. His head
was in a whirl, and strange thoughts darted
through it. He went home, but did not tell
his mother of the fate which awaited her
husband on the morrow. He could not feel
that it was true. It could not be that the







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


next day, all in a moment, his father would
cease to live. There must be some way, -
some way to save him. And then he seemed
to hear the dreadful words, Unless the Golden
Dragon himself come down from his altar
and beg for this man's life, he shall die." He
told his mother, in answer to her anxious
questions, that his father meant to pass the
night in the court-yard, as he would be
wanted very early in the morning; and as
it was a hot day, and promised a warm
night, the good woman felt no uneasiness,
but turned again to her pots and pans.
But Chop-Chin sat on the bench in front
of the house, with his head in his hands,
thinking deeply.

That evening, at sunset, a boy was seen
walking slowly along the well-paved street
which led to the great temple of the Golden
Dragon. He was clad in a snow-white
tunic falling to his knees; his arms and
legs were bare; and his pig-tail, unbraided
and hanging in a crinkly mass below his







CHOP-CHIN


waist, showed that he was bent on some
sacred mission. In his hands, raised high
above his head, he carried a bronze bowl of
curious workmanship. Many people turned
to look at the boy, for his face and figure
were of singular beauty.
"HIe carries the prayers of some great
prince," they said, "to offer at the shrine
of the Golden Dragon."
And, indeed, it was at the great bronze
gate of the Temple that the boy stopped.
Poising the bronze bowl gracefully on his
head with one hand, with the other he
knocked three times on the gate. It opened,
and revealed four guards clad in black armor,
who stood with glittering pikes crossed, their
points towards the boy.
"What seekest thou," asked the leader,
"in the court of the Holy Dragon ?"
Chop-Chin (for I need not tell you the
boy was he) lowered the bowl from his
head, and offered it to the soldier with a
graceful reverence.
"Tong-Ki-Tcheng," he said, "sends you







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


greeting, and a draught of cool wine. He
begs your prayers to the Holy Dragon that
he may recover from his grievous sickness,
and prays that I may pass onward to the
shrine."
The guards bowed low at the name of
Tong-Ki-Tcheng, a powerful Prince of the
Empire, who lay sick of a fever in his palace,
as all the city knew. Each one in turn
took a draught from the deep bowl, and the
leader said:-
"Our prayers shall go up without ceasing
for Tong-Ki-Tcheng, the noble and great.
Pass on, fair youth, and good success go
with thee!"
They lowered their pikes, and Chop-Chin
passed slowly through the court-yard paved
with black marble, and came to the second
gate, which was of shining steel. Here he
knocked again, and the gate was opened
by four guards clad in steel from top to
toe, and glittering in the evening light.
"What seekest thou," they asked, "in the
court of the Holy Dragon?"
I







CHOP-CHIN


Chop-Chin answered as before:-
Tong-Ki-Tcheng sends you greeting, and
a draught of cool wine. He begs your
prayers to the Holy Dragon that he may re-
cover from his grievous sickness, and prays
that I may pass onward to the shrine."
The guards drank deeply from the bowl,
and their leader replied: Our prayers shall
not cease to go up for Tong-Ki-Tcheng.
Pass on, and good success go with thee!"
Onward the boy went, holding the bronze
bowl high above his head. He crossed the
white marble court-yard, and his heart beat
when he came to the third gate, which
was of whitest ivory, for he knew that be-
yond the third court-yard was the Temple
itself,--the House of Gold, in which'dwelt
the mighty Dragon, the most sacred idol in
all China. He paused a moment, and then
with a steady hand knocked at the gate. It
opened without a sound, and there stood four
guards in white armor inlaid with gold. The
same questions and answers were repeated.
They drank from the bowl, promised their







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


prayers for Tong-Ki-Tcheng, and then bade
the boy pass onward to the golden gate,
which gleamed at the farther end of the
court-yard.
"But see that thou touch not the gate!"
said the chief soldier. "It is the gate of
the Temple itself, and no profane hand may
rest upon it. Speak only, and the priests
will hear and open to thee."
Softly Chop-Chin paced across the last
court, which was paved with blocks of ivory
and silver, laid in cunning patterns. Halting
before the gate of gold, he raised the bowl
in his hands, and said softly:-

"Ka HoYai! YaiNongTi!
Tong-Ki-Tcheng Lo Hum Ki Ni!"

The gates opened, and showed four priests
in robes of cloth-of-gold, with golden censers
in hand.
Rash youth said the chief priest, "by
what right or by whose order comest thou
here, to the Sacred Shrine of the Holy
Dragon ?"







CHOP-CHIN


Chop-Chin knelt upon the threshold of the
golden gate, and, with bowed head and down-
cast eyes, held out the bronze bowl.
By the right of mortal sickness, most
holy priest, come I hither!" he said, "and
by order of the noble Tong-Ki-Tcheng. He
prays thee and thy brethren to drink to his
recovery from his grievous malady, and that
your prayers may go up with mine at the
Jewelled Shrine itself."
The priest drank solemnly from the bowl,
and handed it to his assistants, the last of
whom drained the last drop of wine.
"Our prayers shall truly go up for Tong-
Ki-Tcheng," he said. "Give me thy hand,
fair youth, and I will lead thee to the Jew-
elled Shrine. But first I will cover thine
eyes, for none save ourselves, priests of the
First Order of the Saki-Pan, may look upon
the face of the Holy Dragon."
So saying, he bound a silk handkerchief
firmly over the boy's eyes, and taking his
hand, led him slowly forward.
Chop-Chin's heart was beating so violently







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


that he was half suffocated. He felt the
floor suddenly cold, cold, beneath his feet,
and knew that he was walking on the golden
floor of the Temple. A few steps farther, the
hand of the priest drew him downward, and
together with the four priests he lay pros-
trate on his face before the shrine of the
Golden Dragon.
A great silence followed. The warm, in-
cense-laden air was stirred by no sound save
the breathing of the five suppliants. No
breeze rustled the heavy satin curtains which
shrouded the windows; no hum of insect or
song of bird came from the outer world,
which was fast settling down into night.
Silence!
The boy Chop-Chin lay as still as if he
were carved in marble. He held his breath
from time to time, and his whole being
seemed strained to one effort, that of list-
ening. Did he hear anything? Was the
breathing of the four priests changing a
little, growing deeper, growing louder?
There! and -there again! was, that a whisper








CHOP-CHIN


of prayer, or was it- could it be- the faint-
est suspicion of a snore? He lay still; waited
and listened, listened and waited. After a
little while there could be no doubt about
it, the four men were breathing heavily,
slowly, regularly; and one of them rolled
out a sonorous, a majestic snore, which re-
sounded through the heavy perfumed air of
the Temple, yet caused no movement among'
the other three. There could be no doubt
about it, -the priests were asleep!
Slowly, softly, the boy lifted his head;
then he rose to his knees, and looked fear-
fully at the sleepers. There they lay, flat
on their faces, their hands clasped over their
heads. He touched one of them, there was
no answering movement. He shook another
by the shoulders; he shook them all. They
snored in concert, but gave no other sign of
life. The drugged wine had done its work.
Then, and not till then, did Chop-Chin
venture to lift his eyes and look upon the
awful mystery which was hidden by these
golden walls. He trembled, he turned white







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


as the tunic which covered his dusky limbs;
but standing erect, he gazed firmly at the
Golden Dragon. From the floor rose a
splendid altar of gold, studded thick with
precious gems. Rubies, sapphires, and emer-
alds, set in mystic lines and figures, formed
the characters which told the thirty-two
names of the world-renowned dragon; and
on the top of this glittering pedestal, fifteen
feet in the air, stood the idol itself.
It was, indeed, a marvellous thing to look
upon. Ten feet long, composed entirely of
thin scales of the purest gold, laid over and
over each other, and each scale tipped with
a diamond. Two magnificent rubies glowed
in the eye-sockets, and the head was sur-
mounted by a crown of emeralds worth any
ordinary kingdom. But the tail! the tail
was the wonder of wonders. Millions of deli-
cate gold wires as fine as silk waved grace-
fully from the scaly tip a length of three
feet, and each one was tipped with a dia-
mond, a ruby, or an emerald of surpassing
beauty and lustre. So wonderful was the







CHOP-CHIN


shimmering light of the stones that the
whole tail seemed to sway and curl to and
fro, as if some living creature were moving
it, and rays of rainbow-colored light darted
from it on every side, dazzling the eyes of
the beholder.
Chop-Chin gazed and gazed, and hid his
eyes and trembled, and gazed again. At
last he shook himself together, and whis-
pered, "My father! my father!" Then
softly, surely, he began to climb up the
golden altar. Stepping carefully from glit-
tering point to point, holding on here by
a projecting ornament of carven amethyst,
there by a block of jasper or onyx, he
reached the top; then steadying himself, he
leaned forward and lifted the Holy Dragon
from its stand. To his amazement, instead
of being barely able to move it, he found
-he could easily carry it, for the golden plates
which formed it were so delicate that the
weight of the whole great creature was in-
credibly small. Lightly the boy lifted it in
his arms, and slowly, surely, noiselessly bore







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


it to the ground. Here he paused, and
looked keenly at the sleeping priests. Did
that one's eyelids quiver? did his mouth
twitch, as if he were waking from his sleep?
Was that a movement of yon other man's
arm, as if he were stealthily preparing to
rise, to spring upon the sacrilegious robber?
No! it was but the play of the colored light
on the faces and raiment of the sleepers.
The voice of their snoring still went up,
calmly, evenly, regularly. The wine had
done its' work well.
Then Chop-Chin took off the sash which
bound his tunic at the waist, and shook out
its folds. It was a web of crimson silk, so
fine and soft that it could be drawn through
a finger-ring, and yet, when spread out, so
ample that the boy found no difficulty in
completely covering with it his formidable
prize. Thus enwrapped, he bore the Golden
Dragon swiftly from the Temple, closing the
doors of gold softly behind him. He crossed
the ivory and silver pavement of the inner
court, and came to the ivory gate. It was







CHOP-CHIN


closed, and beside it lay the four white-clad
warriors, sunk in profound slumber. Step-
ping lightly over their prostrate forms, Chop-
Chin opened the gate softly, and found himself
in the second court.. This, also, he traversed
safely, finding the armed guardians of the
steel gate also sleeping soundly, with their
mouths wide open, and their shining spears
pointing valiantly at nothing. A touch upon
the glittering gate,-it opened, and Chop-
Chin began to breathe more 'freely when he
saw the bronze gates of the outer court-
yard, and knew that in another minute, if
all went well, he would be in the open street.
But, alas! the four guards clad in black ar-
mor, who kept watch by the outer gate, had
been the first to drink the drugged wine,
and already the effect of the powerful nar-
cotic which it contained had begun to wear
off. As Chop-Chin, bearing in his arms
the shrouded figure of the mighty idol, ap-
proached the gate, one of the four sleepers
stirred, yawned, rubbed his eyes, and looked
about him. It was quite dark, but his eye







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


caught the faint glimmer of the boy's white
robe, and seizing his pike, he exclaimed,-
"Who goes there?"
Chop-Chin instantly stepped to his side,
and said in a low whisper,--
"It is I, Nai-Ping, second priest of the
Saki-Pan, bound on business of the Temple.
Let me pass, and quickly, for the chief priest
waits my return."
The sentinel bowed low, and undid the
fastenings of the huge bronze gates. They
swung open silently, and the boy passed
through with his awful burden.
"Strange!" soliloquized the guard, as he
drew the massive bolts again. I never
knew one of the priests to go out at this time
of night. But I dared not say anything,
lest he should find out that I was asleep
at my post. And now that he is gone," he
added, "I may as well just take forty winks,
as he may be away some time."
So saying, he curled himself up on the
marble pavement, and fell this time into a
natural slumber.







CHOP-CHIN


Ten o'clock of a dark night. The outer
gates of the royal palace were closed, though
lights still shone in many of the windows.
Outside the gate a sentinel was pacing up
and down, armed with pike and broadsword.
Every time he turned on his beat, he looked
up and down the narrow street to see if any-
thing or anybody were approaching. Sud-
denly, as he wheeled about, he saw before
him a figure which seemed to have sprung
all in a moment out of the blackness of
the night. It was the figure of a boy, car-
rying a burden considerably larger than him-
self, -a dark and shapeless mass, which
yet seemed not to be heavy in proportion
to its size.
What is this ? cried the astonished sen-
tinel. "Who art thou, and what monstrous
burden is this thou carries so lightly ? "
Hist! said the boy, speaking in an awe-
struck whisper, "speak not so loud, friend!
This is the Celestial Footstool!"
The sentinel recoiled, and stared in dismay
at the dark bundle.







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


"May the Holy Dragon preserve me !" he
said. What has happened ?"
"His Celestial Majesty," replied Chop-Chin,
"threw it in anger at his Putter-on-of-Slippers
yesterday, and broke one of its legs. All day
my master, the Chief Cabinet-maker, has been
at work on it, and now he has sent me with
it by nightfall, that no profane eye may see
clearly even the outer covering of the sacred
object."
"Pass in," said the sentinel, opening the
gate. "But tell me, knowest thou how it
will fare with the Putter-on-of-Slippers ? He
is cousin to my stepfather's aunt by marriage,
and I would not that aught of ill should
befall so near a relative."
Alas I know not," said the boy, hastening
forward. "I fear it may go hard with him."
The sentinel shook his head sadly, and re-
sumed his walk; while Chop-Chin crept softly
through the court-yard, keeping close to the
wall, and feeling as he went along for a cer-
tain little door he knew of, which led by a
staircase cut in the thickness of the wall to







CHOP-CHIN


a certain unused closet, near the Celestial
Bed-chamber.
While all this was going on, the Emperor
of China, the great and mighty Wah-Song,
was going to bed. He had sipped his night-
draught of hot wine mingled with honey and
spices, sitting on the edge of the Celestial
Bed, with the Celestial Nightcap of cloth-of-
silver tied comfortably under his chin, and
the Celestial Dressing-gown wrapped around
him. He had scolded the Chief Pillow-
thumper because the pillows were not fat
enough, and because there were only ten of
them instead of twelve. He had boxed the
ears of the Tyer-of-the-Strings-of-the-Nightcap,
and had thrown his golden goblet at the
Principal Pourer, who brought him the wine.
And when all these things were done, his
Celestial Majesty Wah-Song got into bed, and
was tucked in by the Finishing Toucher, who
got his nose well tweaked by way of thanks.
Then the taper of perfumed wax was lighted,
arid the shade of alabaster put over it, and
then the other lights were extinguished; and







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


then the attendants all crawled out back-
wards on their hands and knees, and shut
the door after them; and then His Celestial
Majesty went to sleep.
Peacefully the Emperor slept, one hour,
two hours, three hours, discoursing elo-
quently the while in the common language
of mankind, the language of the nose. At
last he began to dream, -a dreadful dream.
He was in the Golden Temple, praying before
the Jewelled Shrine. He heard an awful
voice, the voice of the Golden Dragon. It
called his name; it glared upon him with its
ruby eyes; it lifted its crowned head, and
stretched its long talons toward him. Ah!
ah! The Emperor tried to scream, but he
could make no sound. Once more the dread-
ful voice was heard: -
Wah-Song Wah-Song! Awake "
The Emperor sprang up in bed, and looked
about him with eyes wild with terror. Ah!
what was that ? -that glittering form stand-
ing at the foot of his bed; that crowned
head raised high as if in anger; those







CHOP-CHIN


glaring red eyes fixed menacingly upon
him!
"Ah, horror! ah, destruction! the Golden
Dragon is here! "
With one long howl of terror and anguish,
His Celestial Majesty Wah-Song rolled off
the bed and under it, in one single motion,
and lay there flat on his face, with his hands
clasped over his head. Quaking in every
limb, his teeth chattering, and a cold sweat
pouring from him, he listened as the awful
voice spoke again.
Wah-Song!" said the Golden Dragon,
" thou hast summoned me, and I am here! "
The wretched Emperor moaned.
"I -I- I sum-summon thee, most Golden
and Holy Dragon ?" he stammered faintly.
"May I be b-b-bastinadoed if I did "
"Listen !" said the Dragon, sternly, and
venture not to speak save when I ask thee
a question. Yesterday morning, in conse-
quence of thine own caprice in going out
unannounced, thy silly shoes and thy pusil-
lanimous petticoat became wet. For this







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


nothing, thou hast condemned to death my
faithful servant -Ly-Chee, who has brought
me fresh melons every Tuesday afternoon
for thirty years. When others, less inhuman
than thou, interceded for his life, thou madest
reply, 'We swear, that unless the Golden
Dragon himself come down from his altar
and beg for this man's life, he shall die !' "
The Emperor groaned, and clawed the
carpet in his anguish.
"Therefore, Wah-Song," continued the
Dragon, "I AM HERE! I come not to beg,
but to command. Dost thou hear me ?"
Ye-ye-yes murmured the wretched
monarch. "I hear thee, Most Mighty. I-
I--didn't know he brought thee melons. I
brought thee two dozen pineapples myself,
the other day," he added piteously.
"Thou didst!" exclaimed the Golden
Dragon, fiercely. "Thou didst, slave! and
they were half-rotten. HA! and he gave
a little jump on the floor, making his glitter-
ing tail wave, and his flaming eyes glared
yet more fiercely at the unfortunate Wah-







CHOP-CHIN


Song, who clung yet more closely to the
carpet, and drummed on it with his heels
in an extremity of fear.
"Listen, now," said the Fiery Idol, "to
my commands. Before day-break thou wilt
send a free pardon to Ly-Chee, who now
lies in the prison of the condemned, expect-
ing to die at sunrise."
"I will! I will!" cried the Emperor.
"Moreover," continued the Dragon, "thou
wilt send him, by a trusty messenger, twenty
bags of goodly ducats, one for every hour
that he has spent in prison."
The Emperor moaned feebly, for he loved
his goodly ducats.
"Furthermore, thou wilt make Ly-Chee
thy Chief Sweeper for life, with six brooms
of gilded straw, with ivory handles, as his
yearly perquisite, besides three dozen pairs
of scrubbing-shoes; and his son, Chop-Chin,
shalt thou appoint as Second Sweeper, to help
his father."
The Emperor moaned again, but very faintly,
for he dared not make any objection.







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


"These are my orders!" continued the
Dragon. Obey them strictly and speedily,
and thine offence may be pardoned. Neg-
lect them, even in the smallest particular,
and Ha! Hum! Wurra-wurra-G-R-R-R-R--R-R! "
and here the Dragon opened his great red
mouth, and uttered so fearful a growl that
the miserable Emperor lost hold of such little
wits as had remained to him, and fainted
dead away.
Ten minutes later, the sentinel at the
gate was amazed at the sight of the Chief
Cabinet-maker's apprentice, reappearing sud-
denly before him, with his monstrous bur-
den still in his arms. The boy's hair was
dishevelled, and his face was very pale.
In truth, it had been very hard work to
get in and out of the hollow golden mon-
ster, and Chop-Chin was well-nigh exhausted
by his efforts, and the great excitement
which had nerved him to carry out his
bold venture.
How now cried the sentinel. "What
means this, boy ?"







CHOP-CHIN


"Alas!" said Chop-Chin, "alas! unhappy
that I am! Was it my fault that the mended
leg was a hair-breadth shorter than the
others? Good soldier, I have been most
grievously belabored, even with the Sacred
Footstool itself, which, although it be a great
honor, is nevertheless a painful one. And
now must I take it back to my master, for
it broke again the last time His Celestial
Majesty brought it down on my head. Where-
fore let me pass, good sentinel, for I can
hardly stand for weariness."
"Pass on, poor lad !" said the good-natured
soldier. And yet stay a moment! think-
est thou that aught would be amiss if I were
to take just one peep at the Celestial Foot-
stool? Often have I heard of its marvellous
workmanship, and its tracery of pearl and
ebony. Do but lift one corner of the mantle,
good youth, and let me see at least a leg of
the wonder."
"At thy peril, touch it not !" cried the
boy, in great alarm. "Knowest thou not
that the penalty is four hundred lashes?







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


Not a single glance have I ventured to
cast at it, for they say its color changes
if any profane eye rest upon its polished
surface."
Pass on, then, in the name of the Dragon!"
said the sentinel, opening the gate; and bid-
ding him a hasty good-night, Chop-Chin
hurried away into the darkness.

Now, while all this was going on, it chanced
that the four priests of the First Order of the
Saki-Pan awoke from their slumber. What
their feelings were when they lifted their
eyes and saw that the Golden Dragon was
gone, is beyond my power to tell. Their
terror was so extreme that they did not
dare to move, but after the first horrified
glance at the bare altar flung themselves
flat on their faces again, and howled and
moaned in their anguish.
"We slept they cried, in a doleful chant
of misery. Yea, verily slept we.
"Ai! ai! we know not why;
Wow! wow! we know not how.
a







CHOP-CHIN


"Thou removedst thyself. Thou raisedst
the paw of strength and the hind-feet of
swiftness. Because we slept, thou art gone
away, and we are desolate, awaiting the
speedily-advancing death.

Hong Kong Punka-wunka-woggle !
Hong! Kong! Puunkawunka-wogg!"

While thus the wretched priests lay on
the golden floor, bewailing their sin and its
dreadful consequences, there fell suddenly
on their ears a loud and heavy sound. It
was at some distance, a heavy clang, as
of some one striking on metal. "Pong!
pong!" what could it be? And now came
other sounds, -the opening and shutting of
gates, the tread of hasty feet, the sound of
hurried voices, and finally a loud knocking
at the door of the Temple itself.
"Open, most holy Priests of the Saki-
Pan!" cried a voice. "We have strange
and fearful news! Open without delay!"
The unhappy priests hurried to the door,
and flung it open with trembling hands.







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


Without stood all the guards of all the gates,
the white and the steel-clad soldiers cluster-
ing about the four black-clad guardians of
the outer gate.
"Speak!" said the chief priest in great
agitation, "what is your errand?"
0 Priest! said the black guards, trem-
bling with excitement, "we heard a great
knocking at the gate."
"Yes, yes!" cried the priest, "I know
it. What more?"
"0 Priest!" said the guards, "we were
affrighted, so great was the noise; so we
opened the gate but a little way, and peeped
through; and we saw we saw They
paused, and gasped for breath.
Speak, sons of pigs shrieked the priest,
" what did you see ?"
"We saw the Golden Dragon!" said the
soldiers, in a fearful whisper. He is sitting
up-on his hind-legs-with his mouth open!
and he knocked he knocked "
But the priests of the Saki-Pan waited to
hear no more. Rushing through the court-







CHOP-CHIN


yards, they flung wide open the great bronze
gates. They caught up the Golden Dragon,
they raised it high on their shoulders, and
with shouts of rejoicing they bore it back
to the Temple, while the guards prostrated
themselves before it.
"He went out!" sang the priests. "He
walked abroad, for the glory and welfare of
his subjects. He cast upon the city the eye
of beneficence; he waved over it the pleni-
potentiary tail!*
"Ai!,ai! we know not why!
Wow! wow! we know not how!
Glory to the Holy Dragon, and happiness
and peace to the city and the people! "

But in the house of Ly-Chee all was sun-
shine and rejoicing. At daybreak, a pro-
cession had come down the little street, a
troop of soldiers in the imperial uniform,
with music sounding before them, and gay
banners flaunting in the morning air. In
the midst of the troop rode Ly-Chee, on a
splendid black horse. He was dressed in







AND THE GOLDEN DRAGON.


a robe of crimson satin embroidered with
gold, and round his neck hung strings of
jewels most glorious to see. Behind him
walked twenty slaves, each carrying a fat
bag of golden ducats; and after the troop
came more slaves, bearing gilded brooms
with ivory handles and scrubbing-shoes of
the finest quality. And all the soldiers and
all the slaves cried aloud, continually: -
"Honor to Ly-Chee, the Chief-Sweeper
of the court-yard! Honor and peace to him
and all his house!"
The procession stopped before the little
house, and the good sweeper, stupefied still
with astonishment at his wonderful good for-
tune, dismounted and clasped his wife and
children in his arms. And they wept to-
gether for joy, and the soldiers and the slaves
and all the people wept with them.
But the Celestial Emperor, Wah-Song, lay
in bed for two weeks, speaking to no man, and
eating nothing but water-gruel. And when
lie arose, at the end of that time, behold! he
was as meek as a six-year-old child.












THE THREE REMARKS.


THERE was once a princess, the most
beautiful princess that ever was seen.
Her hair was black and soft as the raven's
wing ; her eyes were like stars dropped in
a pool of clear water, and her speech like the
first tinkling cascade of the baby Nile. She
was also wise, graceful, and gentle, so that
one would have thought she must be the
happiest princess in the world.
But, alas! there was one terrible drawback
to her happiness. She could make only three
remarks. No one knew whether it was the
fault of her nurse, or a peculiarity born with
her; but the sad fact remained, that no mat-
ter what was said to her, she could only reply
in one df three phrases. The first was, -
"What is the price of butter ?"
The second, "Has your grandmother sold
her mangle yet?"







THE THREE REMARKS.


And the third, "With all my heart!"
You may well imagine what a great mis-
fortune this was to a young and lively
princess. How could she join in the sports
and dances of the noble youths and maidens
of the court? She could not always be
silent, either could she always say, "With
all my heart!" though this was her favorite
phrase, and she used it whenever she pos-
sibly could; and it was not at all pleasant,
when some gallant knight asked her whether
she would rather play croquet or Aunt Sally,
to be obliged to reply, "What is the price
of butter?"
On certain occasions, however, the princess
actually found her infirmity of service to her.
She could always put an end suddenly to any
conversation that did not please her, by inter-
posing with her first or second remark; and
they were also a very great assistance to her
when, as happened nearly every day, she re-
ceived an offer of marriage. Emperors, kings,
princes, dukes, earls, marquises, viscounts,
baronets, and many other lofty personages







THE THREE REMARKS.


knelt at her feet, and offered her their hands,
hearts, and other possessions of greater or
less value. But for all her suitors the prin-
cess had but one answer. Fixing her deep
radiant eyes on them, she would reply with
thrilling earnestness, Has your grandmother
sold her mangle yet ? and this always im-
pressed the suitors so deeply that they retired,
weeping, to a neighboring monastery, where
they hung up their armor in the chapel, and
taking the vows, passed the remainder of
their lives mostly in flogging themselves,
wearing hair shirts, and putting dry toast-
crumbs in their beds.
Now, when the king found that all his best
nobles were turning into monks, he was greatly
displeased, and said to the princess:-
"My daughter, it is high time that all this
nonsense came to an end. The next time a
respectable person asks you to marry him,
you will say, With all my heart!' or I will
know the reason why."
But this the princess could not endure, for
she had never yet seen a man whom she was







THE THREE REMARKS.


willing to marry. Nevertheless, she feared
her father's anger, for she knew that he
always kept his word; so that very night
she slipped down the back stairs of the pal-
ace, opened the back door, and ran away out
into the wide world.
She wandered for many days, over moun-
tain and moor, through fen and through
forest, until she came to a fair city. Here
all the bells were ringing, and the people
shouting and flinging caps into the air; for
their old king was dead, and they were just
about to crown a new one. The new king
was a stranger, who had come to the town
only the day before; but as soon as he heard
of the old monarch's death, he told the peo-
ple that he was a king himself, and as he
happened to be without a kingdom at that
moment, he would be quite willing to rule
over them. The people joyfully assented,
for the late king had left no heir; and now
all the preparations had been completed.
The crown had been polished up, and a new
tip put on the sceptre, as the old king had







THE THREE REMARKS.


quite spoiled it by poking the fire with it for
upwards of forty years.
When the people saw the beautiful prin-
cess, they welcomed her with many bows,
and insisted on leading her before the new
king.
"Who knows but that they may be re-
lated? said everybody. "They both came
from the same direction, and both are
strangers."
Accordingly the princess was led to the
market-place, where the king was sitting
in royal state. He had a fat, red, shining
face, and did not look like the kings whom
she had been in the habit of seeing; but
nevertheless the princess made a graceful
courtesy, and then waited to hear what he
would say.
The new king seemed rather embarrassed
when he saw that it was a princess who ap-
peared before him; but he smiled graciously,
and said, in a smooth oily voice, -
"I trust your 'Ighness is quite well. And
'ow did yer 'Ighness leave yer pa and ma ?"







THE THREE REMARKS.


At these words the princess raised her head
and looked fixedly at the red-faced king; then
she replied, with scornful distinctness, -
"What is the price of butter?"
At these words an alarming change came
over the king's face. The red faded from it,
and left it a livid green; his teeth chattered;
his eyes stared, and rolled in their sockets;
while the sceptre dropped from his trembling
hand and fell at the princess's feet. For the
truth was, this was no king at all, but a
retired butterman, who had laid by a little
money at his trade, and had thought of set-
ting up a public house; but chancing to pass
through this city at the very time when they
were looking for a king, it struck him that he
might just as well fill the vacant place as any
one else. No one had thought of his being
an impostor; but when the princess fixed her
clear eyes on him and asked him that familiar
question, which he had been in the habit of
hearing many times a day for a great part
of his life, the guilty butterman thought him-
self detected, and shook in his guilty shoes.







THE THREE REMARKS.


Hastily descending from his throne, he beck-
oned the princess into a side-chamber, and
closing the door, besought her in moving
terms not to betray him.
Here," he said, "is a bag of rubies as big
as pigeon's eggs. There are six thousand of
them, and I 'umbly beg your 'Ighness to hac-
cept them as a slight token hof my hesteem,
if your 'Ighness will kindly consent to spare
a respeckable tradesman the disgrace of being
exposedd"
The princess reflected, and came to the
conclusion that, after all, a butterman might
make as good a king as any one else; so she
took the rubies with a gracious little nod,
and departed, while all the people shouted,
"Hooray! and followed her, waving their
hats and kerchiefs, to the gates of the city.
With her bag of rubies over her shoulder,
the fair princess now pursued her journey,
and fared forward over heath and hill, through
brake and through brier. After several days
she came to a deep forest, which she entered
without hesitation, for she knew no fear. She







THE THREE REMARKS.


had not gone a hundred paces under the arch-
ing limes, when she was met by a band of
robbers, who stopped her and asked what she
did in their forest, and what she carried in
her bag. They were fierce, black-bearded
men, armed to the teeth with daggers, cut-
lasses, pistols, dirks, hangers, blunderbusses,
and other defensive weapons; but the princess
gazed calmly on them, and said haughtily, -
"Has your grandmother sold her mangle
yet? "
The effect was magical. The robbers
started back in dismay, crying, "The coun-
tersign!" Then they hastily lowered their
weapons, and assuming attitudes of abject
humility, besought the princess graciously
to accompany them to their master's pres-
ence. With a lofty gesture she signified as-
sent, and the cringing, trembling bandits led
her on through the forest till they reached
an open glade, into which the sunbeams
glanced right merrily. Here, under a broad
oak-tree which stood in the centre of the
glade, reclined a man of gigantic stature and






THE THREE REMARKS.


commanding mien, with a whole armory of
weapons displayed upon his person. Hasten-
ing to their chief, the robbers conveyed to
him, in agitated whispers, the circumstance
of their meeting the princess, and of her un-
expected reply to their questions. Hardly
seeming to credit their statement, the gigan-
tic chieftain sprang to his feet, and advancing
toward the princess with a respectful rever-
ence, begged her to repeat the remark which
had so disturbed his men. With a royal air,
and in clear and ringing tones, the princess
repeated,-
".Has your grandmother sold her mangle
yet?" and gazed steadfastly at the robber
chief.
He turned deadly pale, and staggered
against a tree, which alone prevented him
from falling.
"It is true!" he gasped. "We are un-
done The enemy is without doubt close at
hand, and all is over. Yet," he added with
more firmness, and with an appealing glance
at the princess, yet there may be one chance
























































It is true I" he gasped. We are undone 1 Noble princess! and here
he and the whole band assumed attitudes of supplication.







THE THREE REMARKS.


left for us. If this gracious lady will consent
to go forward, instead of returning through
the wood, we may yet escape with our lives.
Noble princess!" and here he and the whole
band assumed attitudes of supplication, con-
sider, I pray you, whether it would really
add to your happiness to betray to the ad-
vancing army a few poor foresters, who earn
their bread by the sweat of their brow.
Here," he continued, hastily drawing some-
thing from a hole in the oak-tree, is a bag con-
taining ten thousand sapphires, each as large
as a pullet's egg. If you will graciously deign
to accept them, and to pursue your journey in
the direction I shall indicate, the Red Chief of
the Rustywhanger will be your slave forever."
The princess, who of course knew that
there was no army in the neighborhood, and
who moreover did not in the least care which
way she went, assented to the Red Chief's
proposition, and taking the bag of sapphires,
bowed her farewell to the grateful robbers,
and followed their leader down a ferny
path which led to the farther end of the







THE THREE REMARKS.


forest. When they came to the open coun-
try, the robber chieftain took his leave of the
princess, with profound bows and many protes-
tations of devotion, and returned to his band,
who were already preparing to plunge into the
impenetrable thickets of the midforest.
The princess, meantime, with her two bags
of gems on her shoulders, fared forward with
a light heart, by dale and by down, through
moss and through meadow. By-and-by she
came to a fair high palace, built all of marble
and shining jasper, with smooth lawns about
it, and sunny gardens of roses and gilly-
flowers, from which the air blew so sweet
that it was a pleasure to breathe it. The
princess stood still for a moment, to taste
the sweetness of this air, and to look her fill
at so fair a spot; and as she stood there, it
chanced that the palace-gates opened, and
the young king rode out with his court, to
go a-catching of nighthawks.
Now when the king saw a right fair prin-
cess standing alone at his palace-gate, her
rich garments dusty and travel-stained, and







THE THREE REMARKS.


two heavy sacks hung upon her shoulders,
he was filled with amazement; and leaping
from his steed, like the gallant knight that
he was, he besought her to tell him whence
she came and whither she was going, and in
what way he might be of service to her.
But the princess looked down at her little
dusty shoes, and answered never a word; for
she had seen at the first glance how fair and
goodly a king this was, and she would not
ask him the price of butter, nor whether
his grandmother had sold her mangle yet.
But she thought in her heart, "Now, I have
never, in all my life, seen a man to whom I
would so willingly say, 'With all my heart!'
if he should ask me to marry him."
The king marvelled much at her silence,
and-presently repeated his questions, adding,
"And what do you carry so carefully in those
two sacks, which seem over-heavy for your
delicate shoulders ?"
Still holding her eyes downcast, the prin-
cess took a ruby from one bag, and a sapphire
from the other, and in silence handed them to
4







THE THREE REMARKS.


the king, for she willed that he should know
she was no beggar, even though her shoes
were dusty. Thereat all the nobles were
filled with amazement, for no such gems
had ever been seen in that country.
But the king looked steadfastly at the prin-
cess, and said, "Rubies are fine, and sapphires
are fair; but, maiden, if I could but see those
eyes of' yours, I warrant that the gems would
look pale and dull beside them."
At that the princess raised her clear dark
eyes, and looked at the king and smiled; and
the glance of her eyes pierced straight to nis
heart, so that he fell on his knees and cried:
Ah! sweet princess, now do I know that
thou art the love for whom I have waited so
long, and whom I have sought through so
many lands. Give me thy white hand, and
tell me, either by word or by sign, that thou
wilt be my queen and my bride "
And the princess, like a right royal maiden
as she was, looked him straight in the eyes,
and giving him her little white hand, answered
bravely, With all my heart!"












THE USEFUL COAL.


T HERE was once a king whose name was
Sligo. He was noted both for his riches
and his kind heart. One evening, as he sat
by his fireside, a coal fell out on the hearth.
The king took up the tongs, intending to put
it back on the fire, but the coal said:-
"If you will spare my life, and do as I tell
you, I will save your treasure three times,
and tell you the name of the ,thief who
steals it."
These words gave the king great joy, for
much treasure had been stolen from him of
late, and none of his officers could discover
the culprit. So he set the coal on the table,
and said:-
"Pretty little black and red bird, tell me,
what shall I do ?"
Put me in your waistcoat pocket," said the
coal, and take no more thought for to-night."







THE USEFUL COAL.


Accordingly the king put the coal in his
pocket, and then, as he sat before the warm
fire, he grew drowsy, and presently fell fast
asleep.
When he had been asleep some time, the
door opened, very softly, and the High Cel-
larer peeped cautiously in. This was the one
of the king's officers who had been most
eager in searching for the thief. He now
crept softly, softly, toward the king, and
seeing that he was fast asleep, put his hand
into his waistcoat-pocket; for in that waist-
coat-pocket King Sligo kept the key of his
treasure-chamber, and the High Cellarer was
the thief. He put his hand into the waistcoat-
pocket. S-s-s-s-s! the coal burned it so fright-
fully that he gave a loud shriek, and fell on
his knees on the hearth.
What is the matter ?" cried the king,
waking with a start.
"Alas! your Majesty," said the High Cel-
larer, thrusting his burnt fingers into his
bosom, that the king might not see them.
"You were just on the point of falling for-







THE USEFUL COAL.


ward into the fire, and I cried out, partly
from fright and partly to waken you."
The king thanked the High Cellarer, and
gave him a ruby ring as a reward. But when
he was in his chamber, and making ready for
bed, the coal said to him:-
Once already have I saved your treasure,
and to-night I shall save it again. Only put
me on the table beside your bed, and you
may sleep with a quiet heart."
So the king put the coal on the table, and
himself into the bed, and was soon sound
asleep. At midnight the door of the cham-
ber opened very softly, and the High Cellarer
peeped in again. He knew that at night
King Sligo kept the key under his pillow,
and he was coming to get it. He crept
softly, softly, toward the bed, but as he drew
near it, the coal cried out:-
One eye sleeps, but the other eye wakes!
one eye sleeps, but the other eye wakes!
Who is this comes creeping, while honest
men are sleeping?"
The High Cellarer looked about him in







THE USEFUL COAL.


affright, and saw the coal burning fiery red
in the darkness, and looking for all the world
like a great flaming eye. In an agony of
fear he fled from the chamber, crying,--
Black and red black and red !
The king has a devil to guard his bed."
And he spent the rest of the night shivering
in the farthest garret he could find.
The next morning the coal said to the
king: -
SAgain this night have I saved your treas-
tire, and mayhap your life as well. Yet a
third time I shall do it, and this time you
shall learn the name of the thief. But if I do
this, you must promise me one thing, and that
is that you will place me in your royal crown
and wear me as a jewel. Will you do this ?"
That will I, right gladly! replied King
Sligo, "for a jewel indeed you are."
"That is well!" said the coal. "It is true
that I am dying; but no matter. It is a fine
thing to be a jewel in a king's crown, even
if one is dead. Now listen, and follow my
directions closely. As soon as I am quite black







THE USEFUL COAL.


and dead, -which will be in about ten min-
utes from now,--you must take me in your
hand and rub me all over and around the
handle of the door of the treasure-chamber.
A good part of me will be rubbed off, but
there will be enough left to put in your
crown. When you have thoroughly rubbed
the door, lay the key of the treasure-chamber
on your table, as if you had left it there by
mistake. You may then go hunting or riding,
but not for more than an hour; and when
you return, you must instantly call all your
court together, as if on business of the great-
est importance. Invent some excuse for ask-
ing them to raise their hands, and then arrest
the man whose hands are black. Do you
understand ?"
"I do !" replied King Sligo, fervently, "I
do, and my warmest thanks, good Coal, are
due to you for this "
But here he stopped, for already the coal
was quite black, and in less than ten minutes
it was dead and cold. Then the king took it
and rubbed it carefully over the door of the







THE USEFUL COAL.


treasure-chamber, and laying the key of the
door in plain sight on his dressing-table, he
called his huntsmen together, and mounting
his horse, rode away to the forest. As soon
as he was gone, the High Cellarer, who had
pleaded a headache when asked to join the
hunt, crept softly to the king's room, and to
his surprise found the key on the table. Full
of joy, he sought the treasure-chamber at
once, and began filling his pockets with gold
and jewels, which he carried to his own apart-
ment, returning greedily for more. In this
way he opened and closed the door many
times. Suddenly, as he was stooping over
a silver barrel containing sapphires, he heard
the sound of a trumpet, blown once, twice,
thrice. The wicked thief started, for it was
the signal for the entire court to appear in-
stantly before the king, and the penalty of
disobedience was death. Hastily cramming
a handful of sapphires into his pocket, he
stumbled to the door, which he closed and
locked, putting the key also in his pocket,
as there was no time to return it. He flew







THE USEFUL COAL.


to the presence-chamber, where the lords of
the kingdom were hastily assembling.
The king was seated on his throne, still in
his hunting-dress, though he had put on his
crown over his hat, which presented a peculiar
appearance. It was with a majestic air, how-
ever, that he rose and said :-
"Nobles, and gentlemen of my court! I
have called you together to pray for the soul
of my lamented grandmother, who died, as
you may remember, several years ago. In
token of respect, I desire you all to raise your
hands to Heaven."
The astonished courtiers, one and all, lifted
their hands high in air. The king looked,
and, behold! the hands of the High Cellarer
were as black as soot! The king caused him
to be arrested and searched, and the sapphires
in his pocket, besides the key of the treasure-
chamber, gave ample proof of his guilt. His
head was removed at once, and the king had
the useful coal, set in sapphires, placed in the
very front of his crown, where it was much
admired and praised as a BLACK DIAMOND.











THE NAUGHTY COMET.


THE door of the Comet House was open.
In the great court-yard stood hundreds
of comets, of all sizes and shapes. Some were
puffing and blowing, and arranging their tails,
all ready to start; others had just come in,
and looked shabby and forlorn after their
long journeyings, their tails drooping discon-
solately; while others still were switched off
on side-tracks, where the tinker and the tailor
were attending to their wants, and setting
them to rights. In the midst of all stood the
Comet Master, with his hands behind him,
holding a very long stick with a very sharp
point. The comets knew just how the point
of that stick felt, for they were prodded with
it whenever they misbehaved themselves;
accordingly, they all remained very quiet,
while he gave his orders fbr the day.
In a distant corner of the court-yard lay
an old comet, with his tail comfortably curled







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


up around him. He was too old to go out, so
he enjoyed himself at home in a quiet way.
Beside him stood a very young comet, with
a very short tail. He was quivering with ex.
citement, and occasionally cast sharp impa-
tient glances at the Comet Master.
"Will he never call me ?" he exclaimed.
but in an undertone, so that only his com-
panion could hear. "He knows I am dying
to go out, and for that very reason he pays
no attention to me. I dare not leave my
place, for you know what he is."
Ah said the old comet, slowly, if you
had been out as often as I have, you would
not be in such a hurry. Hot, tiresome work,
I call it. And what does it all amount to ?"
"Ay, that's the point!" exclaimed the
young comet. What does it all amount
to? That is what I am determined to find
out. I cannot understand your going on,
travelling and travelling, and never finding
out why you do it. I shall find out, you
may be very sure, before I have finished my
first journey."







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


"Better not.! better not!" answered the
old comet. "You'll only get into trouble.
Nobody knows except the Comet Master and
the Sun. The Master would cut you up into
inch pieces if you asked him, and the Sun "
"Well, what about the Sun?" asked the
young comet, eagerly.
"Short-tailed Comet No. 73! rang sudden-
ly, clear and sharp, through the court-yard.
The young comet started as if he had been
shot, and in three bounds he stood before the
Comet Master, who looked fixedly at him.
"You have never been out before," said
the Master.
"No, sir!" replied No. 73; and he knew
better than to add another word.
"You will go out now," said the Comet
Master. "You will travel for thirteen weeks
and three days, and will then return. You
will avoid the neighborhood- of the Sun, the
Earth, and the planet Bungo. You will turn
to the left on meeting other comets, and you
are not allowed to speak to meteors. These
are your orders. Go "







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


At the word, the comet shot out of the
gate and off into space, his short tail bobbing
as he went.
Ah here was something worth living for.
No longer shut up in that tiresome court-
yard, waiting for one's tail to grow, but out
in the free, open, boundless realm of space,
with leave to shoot about here and there and
everywhere well, nearly everywhere- for
thirteen whole weeks Ah, what a glorious
prospect! How swiftly he moved! How
well his tail looked, even though it Was still
rather short! What a fine fellow he was,
altogether!
For two or three weeks our comet was the
happiest creature in all. space; too happy to
think of anything except the joy of frisking
about. But by-and-by he began to wonder
about things, and that is always dangerous
for a comet.
"I wonder, now," he said, "why I may
not go near the planet Bungo. I have always
heard that he was the most interesting of all
the planets. And the Sun how I should like








THE NAUGHTY COMET.


to know a little more about the Sun And,
by the way, that reminds me that all this
time I have never found out why I am travel-
ling. It shows how I have been enjoying
myself, that I have forgotten it so long;, but
now I must certainly make a point of finding
out. Hello! there comes Long-Tail No. 45.
I mean to ask him "
So he turned out to the left, and waited till
No. 45 came along. The latter was a middle-
aged comet, very large, and with an uncom-
monly long tail, quite preposterously long,
our little No. 73 thought, as he shook his qwn
tail and tried to make as much of it as
possible.
"Good morning, Mr. Long-Tail!" he said
as soon as the other was within speaking dis-
tance. "Would you be so very good as to
tell me what you are travelling for ?"
"For six months," answered No. 45 with
a puff'and a snort. Started a month ago;
five months still to go."
Oh, I don't mean that! exclaimed Short-
Tail No. 73. I mean why are you travelling
at all?"







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


"Comet Master sent me replied No. 45,
briefly.
But what for ? persisted the little comet.
"What is it all about? What good does it
do ? Why do we travel for weeks and months
and years? That's what I want to find
out."
"Don't know, I'm sure! said the elder,
still more shortly. "What's more, don't
care!"
The little comet fairly shook with amaze-
ment and indignation. "You don't care "
he cried. "Is it possible? And how long,
may I ask, have you been travelling hither
and thither through space, without knowing
or caring why?"
"Long enough to learn not to ask stupid
questions !" answered Long-Tail No. 45.
"Good morning to you!"
And without another word he was off, with
his preposterously long tail spreading itself
like a luminous fan behind him. The little
comet looked after him for some time in
silence. At last he said: -








64 THE NAUGHTY COMET.


"Well, I call that simply disgusting An
ignorant, narrow-minded old -"
"Hello, cousin!" called a clear merry
voice just behind him. "How goes it with
you? Shall we travel together ? Our roads
seem to go in the same direction."
The comet turned and saw a bright and
sparkling meteor. "I I must not speak
to you! said No. 73, confusedly.
"Not speak to me exclaimed the meteor,
laughing. "Why, what's the matter? What
have I done? I never saw.you before in my
life."
N-nothing that I know of," answered No.
73, still more confused.
Then why must n't you speak to me ?"
persisted the meteor, giving a little skip and
jump. "Eh? tell me that, will you ? Why
must n't you ?"
"I don't know!" answered the little
comet, slowly, for he was ashamed to say
boldly, as he ought to have done, that it was
against the orders of the Comet Master.
"Oh, gammon!" cried the meteor, with;







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


another skip. "I know! Comet Master, eh?
But a fine high-spirited young fellow like you
isn't going to be afraid of that old tyrant.
Come along, I say! If there were any real
reason why you should not speak to me-"
That's just what I say," interrupted the
comet, eagerly. What is the reason? Why
don't they tell it to me ?"
"'Cause there isn't any!" rejoined the
meteor. "Come along!"
After a little more hesitation, the comet
yielded, and the two frisked merrily along,
side by side. As they went, No. 73 confided
all his vexations to his new friend, who sym-
pathized warmly with him, and' spoke in most
disrespectful terms of the Comet Master.
"A pretty sort of person to dictate to you,
when he has n't the smallest sign of a tail
himself I would n't submit to it cried the
meteor. "As to the other orders, some of
them are not so bad. Of course, nobody
would want to go near that stupid, poky
Earth, if he could possibly help it; and the
planet Bungo is-ah-is not a very nice






THE NAUGHTY COMET.


planet, I believe." [The fact is, the planet
Bungo contains a large reform-school for un-
ruly meteors, but our friend made no mention
of that.] But as for the Sun, the bright,
jolly, delightful Sun,-why, I am going to
take a nearer look at him myself. Come on!
We will go together, in spite of the Comet.
Master."
Again the little comet hesitated and de-
murred; but after all, he had already broken
one rule, and why not another? He would
be punished in any case, and he might as
well get all the pleasure he could. Reason-
ing thus, he yielded once more to the persua-
sions of the meteor, and together they shot
through the great space-world, taking their
way straight toward the Sun.
When the Sun saw them coming, he smiled
and seemed much pleased. He stirred his
fire, and shook his shining locks, and blazed
brighter and brighter, hotter and hotter.
The heat seemed to have a strange effect
on the comet, for he began to go faster and
faster.







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


Hold on! said the meteor. "Why are
you hurrying so? I cannot keep up with
you."
"I cannot stop myself!" cried No. 73.
"Something is drawing me forward, faster
and faster! "
On he went at a terrible rate, the meteor
following as best he might. Several planets
that he passed shouted to him in warning
tones, but he could not hear what they said.
The Sun stirred his fire again, and blazed
brighter and brighter, hotter and hotter; and
onward rushed the wretched little comet,
faster and faster, faster and faster!
"Catch hold of my tail and stop me!" he
shrieked to the meteor. "I am shrivelling,
burning up, in this fearful heat Stop me,
for pity's sake!"
But the meteor was already far -behind,
and had stopped short to watch his compan-
ion's headlong progress. And now, ah,
me!-now the Sun opened his huge fiery
mouth. The comet made one desperate ef-
fort to stop himself, but it was in vain. An







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


awful, headlong plunge through the inter-
vening space; a hissing and crackling; a
shriek,--and the fiery jaws had closed on
Short-Tail No. 73 forever!
Dear me said the meteor. "How very
shocking! I quite forgot that the Sun ate
comets. I must be off, or I shall get an mon
in the Reform School for this. I am really
very sorry, for he was a nice little comet! "
And away frisked the meteor, and soon
forgot all about it.
But in the great court-yard in front of the
Comet House, the Master took a piece of
chalk, and crossed out No. 73 from the list of
short-tailed comets on the slate that hangs
on the door. Then he called out, "No. 1
Express, come forward !" and the swiftest of
all the comets stood before him, brilliant and
beautiful, with a bewildering magnificence of
tail. The Comet Master spoke sharply and
decidedly, as usual, but not unkindly.
"No. 73, Short-Tail," he said, "has dis-
obeyed orders, arid -has in consequence been
devoured by the Sun."







THE NAUGHTY COMET.


Here there was a great sensation among
the comets.
"No. 1," continued the Master, "you will
start immediately, and travel until you find a
runaway meteor, with a red face and blue
hair. You are permitted to make inquiries
of respectable bodies, such as planets or satel-
lites. When found, you will arrest him and
take him to the planet Bungo. My compli-
ments to the Meteor Keeper, and I shall be
obliged if he will give this meteor two seons
in the Reform School. I trust," he continued,
turning to the assembled comets, that this
will be a lesson to all of you "
And I believe it was.








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One volume, complete. Price, $1.50.
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY. BOSTON.


I







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JOLLY GOOD TIMES SERIES.


By MARY P. WELLS SMITH.


Jolly Good Times; or, Child=Life on a Farm.
Jolly Good Times at School.
The Browns; or, Jolly Good Times in the City.
Their Canoe Trip.
Jolly Good Times at Hackmatack.
More Good Times at Hackmatack.
Jolly Good Times To=Day.
A- Jolly Good Summer.
Price, $1.25 each.

Of all the modern books for children there are few so happy and wholesome, sa
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The tone of these books is pure and high; they are absolutely devoid of sensation-
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Few series of juvenile books appeal more strongly to children than the "Jolly
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Brothers. The naturalness of the stories, their brightness, their truth to boy and girl
life and character, and the skill with which the author manages incident and dialogue,
have given them deserved popularity. Transcripl, Boston, Mass.
One of the famous "Jolly Good Times Series into which Mary P. Wells Smith,
or P. Thorne as she used to be known, has packed so much of childhood's joys and
wisdom. There is no forced moralizing, but the stories teach their own sweet lesson
in childhood's own natural way. Golden Rule, Boston, Mass.
Cheerful and innocent reading, belonging to the class made famous by Miss
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The author has the charming power to take the common incidents of child-life,
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DEAR DAUGHTER DOROTHY.

BY MISS A. G. PLYMPTON.

With seven illustrations by the author. Small 4to, Cloth

PRICE, $1.00.







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DEAR DAUGHTER DOROTHY.
SThe child is father of the man," so Wordsworth sang; and here is a jolft
storyy f a little girl who was her father's mother in a very real way. There were
hard lines for him4 and she was fruitful of devices to help him along, even hat
ing an auction of the pretty things that had been given her from time to time, and
realizing a neat little sum. Then her father was accused of peculation; and she.
sweetly ignorant of the ways of justice, went to the judge and labored with him,
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wrong evidence, because it showed how poor her father was, and so established
presumption of his great necessity and desperation. But the Deus ex machina
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