• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Business and pleasure
 A declaimer of modern poetry
 Eric makes new acquaintances
 A walk on the beach
 Sunday morning in a fishing...
 A visit to grandfather Breitma...
 A boat-race on the curische...
 The declaimer of poetry takes a...
 Eric in a storm on the bay
 Saltanisch praises micks
 The casket and what it reveale...
 A happy discovery
 Mrs. Linderman's letter
 A friend in need
 A summer's Acquaintances
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Erichs Ferien
Title: Eric's vacation, or, Taking God into one's work
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088930/00001
 Material Information
Title: Eric's vacation, or, Taking God into one's work
Uniform Title: Erichs Ferien
Alternate Title: Taking God into one's work
Physical Description: 96 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brandstædter, Hermann
Ireland, Mary E ( Mary Eliza ), 1834-1927 ( Translator )
Martin, George W
David C. Cook Publishing Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: David C. Cook Publishing Company
Place of Publication: Elgin Ill. ;
Chicago
Publication Date: c1899
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Vacations -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fishers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Clergy -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Clerks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Artists -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Illinois -- Elgin
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: translated from the German of H. Brandstædter by Mary E. Ireland.
General Note: Text in double columns.
General Note: "A summer's acquaintances" by George W. Martin p. 92-96.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088930
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222594
notis - ALG2840
oclc - 269328791

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Business and pleasure
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    A declaimer of modern poetry
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Eric makes new acquaintances
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    A walk on the beach
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Sunday morning in a fishing village
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    A visit to grandfather Breitman
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    A boat-race on the curische bay
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    The declaimer of poetry takes a plunge in the bay
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Eric in a storm on the bay
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Saltanisch praises micks
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    The casket and what it revealed
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    A happy discovery
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Mrs. Linderman's letter
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    A friend in need
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    A summer's Acquaintances
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text




ERIC'S


TAKING GOD INTO


VACATION;


ONE'S WORK.


TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF H. BRANDSTXEDTER
BY MARY E. IRELAND.


DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING COMPANY,
ELGIN, ILL., AND
36 WASHINGTON STREET, CHICAGO.

































COPYRIGHT, 1899.
BY DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING COMPANY.









ERIC'S VACATION;
OR,
TAKING GOD INTO ONE'S WORK.

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF H. BRANDST2 DTER.
BY MARY E. IRELAND.


CHAPTER I.

BUSINESS AND PLEASURE.

AM glad to find
you alone, dear
SEmma, for I wish
I to consult with you
in regard to our
summer vacation,"
said the grain mer-
chant, Ernest Lin-
derman, as he took
a seat near his wife in the shaded arbor in
the large garden back of their house, one
fine afternoon in early summer.
About our vacation, Ernest?" the lady
said, raising her eyes from the slip of em-
broidery upon which her skillful fingers
were engaged. "I thought all our plans
were made. Eric's school closes to-day,
and in a few days we are to go to Herings-
dorf to stay several weeks."
"Yes, I had intended all this, but cir-
cumstances have favored a change in my
business plans, and will necessitate my
constant presence; it would not be wise
for me to be from home even for one day.
The contracts I have on hand will require
my earnest thought and attention, but
this need not prevent you and the chil-
dren from going to Heringsdorf."
Certainly, my husband, you know me


better than to believe that I would go to
Heringsdorf, or anywhere, and leave you
alone, and with a great care on your
mind."
"I know, dear, that you are an affec-
tionate, home-loving wife," he replied,
looking tenderly upon the sweet face of
the lady, "and, while grateful to you, I
feel it would be selfish to keep you and
the children in the city during this in-
tense heat because I am unable to go."
"Not at all selfish; we shall want to
stay. We have a large, comfortable house,
and this great, shady garden where Mary
and Gertrude can play the whole day.
No, you need not consider us at all in
the matter; we shall fare very well at
home."
This is just the decision I might have
expected," Mr. Linderman said gratefully.
"And now about Eric; his heart is set
upon the fishing, rowing and bathing at
Heringsdorf."
"Yes, it will be a disappointment to
him, but I am .sure he will bear it bravely
when he hears the reason of our change
of plans."
"But he really needs a change; he has
studied faithfully all the year. I have
been thinking of your uncle the good
Pastor Newman of Nidden, who has so
often invited us to visit them. It .is a
fishing village, and I believe that Eric







ERIC'S VACATION.


would be contented there; and to go alone
will teach him self-dependence."
"He would have every care from dear
Uncle Lucian and Aunt Amy, both bodily
and spiritually," replied the lady reflec-
tively.
School is done!" shouted a glad voice,
and Eric bounded into the arbor, threw
his books on the bench, and sat down and
fanned his heated face with his hat.
Tell us of your report, son," said his
father; and the mother listened with all
interest.
Oh, father, I was a great person after
my report was read to the school! They
all treated me with as much respect as if
I were one of the Professors; and when I
met Walter Winter on my way home and
showed him my report, he offered me a
cigar!"
Of course you refused it," said Mrs.
Linderman.
No, mother, I took it. I did not like
to hurt his feelings by slighting his kind-
ness."
"Did you smoke it?" asked his father,
gravely.
"No, father. I gave it to Frederick,
who looked at me in surprise; and when I
told him who gave it to me, he said he
hoped I would take all that Mr. Walter
offers, for he smokes good cigars."
"My boy, you say that all treated you
with as much respect as if you were one of
the Professors; yet you acted like a child
in not having moral courage to decline the
offer of the cigar. One should never be
ashamed to do right; false shame is evi-
dence of a weak nature. Promise me,
Eric, that you will try in all ways and
under all circumstances to do the right,


and shun what you know to be evil. And
now let me look at your report."
Eric placed the report in his father's
hand, and, by the gratified smile as he
read it and passed it to Mrs. Linderman,
the boy knew that he was highly pleased.
"This is a great pleasure to your
mother and me, and in the future it will
be to you," continued the father. "An
education is a good foundation for success
in life. And now, my boy, I am sorry to
dampen your pleasure by telling you that
our visit to Heringsdorf must be given
up."
"Given up!" exclaimed Eric, looking
from one to the other in pained surprise.
"Why?"
Business keeps me in Konigsberg, and
your mother is not willing to leave me
alone, for which I cannot help being
glad."
Tears came into Eric's eyes and his
countenance showed his bitter disappoint-
ment. He had looked forward for
months to this visit, and anticipated jolly
times upon the seashore and on the boats,
and now all was over. He must reconcile
himself to walking the streets of the uni-
versity town of K6nigsberg, where every-
thing reminded him of school, or to the
public gardens, of which he knew every
spot.
My son," said his mother gently, "is
it, then, so hard to pass your vacation in
this good home, with your parents and sis-
ters?"
"No, mother," Eric replied bravely,
"but it is so unexpected to me to have to
stay at home that I cannot yet feel that it
is true."
Eric," said Mr. Linderman, "how






ERIC'S VACATION.


would you like to visit your mother's
uncle at Nidden? He has given us many
cordial invitations to come, and he and
your aunt would rejoice to have you in the
large, old-time parsonage."'
"Oh, I would be delighted to go,
father! It is so good of you to think of
it! Nidden is a fishing village, isn't it?"
Yes, and it is upon a narrow strip of
sandy land called the Neurung, lying be-
tween the Baltic Sea and Curische Bay.
It will not, of course, be as lively for you
there as it would have been at Herings-
dorf, but you will be with your good uncle
and aunt. You can go as soon as we get
word from him that it will suit them to
have you come."
Oh, I would love to go there! I do
hope it will be convenient for them to
have me. May I write to them now?"
"Yes, and you can probably go by the
day after to-morrow."
Eric flew out of the arbor and into the
house, where he wrote a letter to Pastor
Newman, mailed it, and then set about
preparations for his journey.
"I am glad he is satisfied to go there,"
remarked Mrs. Linderman, "but we will
miss his cheery presence."
I must go to the office now," said her
husband. "I think of giving the clerks
a holiday this afternoon, it is so intensely
hot; and I must also have a talk with
Burkholtz."
The office in question was one of the
apartments on the first floor of the build-
ing used in his business as grain mer-
chant, the second and third stories mak-
ing the comfortable home of the family.
In this, Mr. Linderman followed in the
footsteps of his forefathers, who for more


than a century had successively inherited
the home and the business.
The clerks in the meantime, especially
young Walter Winter, had been enduring
the heat impatiently, and wishing for the
hour to come when they would be at lib-
erty.
Walter Winter was the son of a wealthy
man, a friend of Mr. Linderman, and was
there for a year to learn the business. He
was handsome, well-dressed, and in dispo-
sition was kind-hearted and agreeable.
"Nothing seems to make progress in
this intense heat," he had said a short
time before Mr. Linderman came in. It
seems at least half an hour since I looked
at the clock, and it has not gone ahead ten
minutes; it is slow as an old cab-horse;"
and he laid aside his pen to wipe his fore-
head with his handkerchief.
I know something that moves quite as
slowly, Mr. Walter Winter, and that is
your pen," said a grave voice at the door,
that of the head bookkeeper and confiden-
tial adviser of the grain merchant. He
was a small, gray-looking man; his hair,
eyes, complexion, moustache and clothing
being, as Walter affirmed, the color of the
office Maltese cat. Being by nature cold
and reserved in manner, he had won the
appellation of "ice-man" among the
clerks, but all had genuine respect for his
integrity and worth.
Oh, Mr. Christian Burkholtz, is it
you?" exclaimed Walter, turning toward
the speaker. Come in. I am sure the
temperature of this furnace will go down
many degrees if you will lend your pres-
ence for a few minutes."
"There is something that moves too
quickly, Master Walter, if it is a hot day,







ERIO'S VACATION.


and that is your tongue," replied the book-
keeper grimly.
"And my feet, my feet! Only tell us
that the time is up, and you will see how
swiftly my feet will carry me to a cooler
place."
The other clerks smiled, but Mr. Burk-
holtz's face gave-no evidence of mirth; he
was too ruffled in feeling to trust himself
to reply, so he turned to his own room.
"These rich men's sons sent into busi-
ness houses only to keep them off the
street, are of no advantage to the busi-
ness, to the other clerks, nor to anyone,"
he said to himself as he took his place at
his desk. I shall be glad when the year
is out and his father takes him away."
Walter laid aside his pen the moment
the bookkeeper disappeared, and, going to
one of the windows that overlooked the
street, called to the old woman who had
a fruit-stand in front of the basement of
the building:
"Mother Pahlen! Pahlen! Send up
half a dozen of your finest oranges!"
In a few minutes a boy appeared with
the oranges and laid them upon the desk
of the purchaser, received the price and
returned with it to Mother Pahlen.
You are a good soul, Winter, if you do
worry poor Burkholtz out of his boots!"
commented Horace Sperder, as he laid
aside his pen to peel the orange which
Walter had laid upon his desk, and noticed
that he put one also upon that of each of
the other clerks, Henry Korbel and Fritz
Brettner.
"Thank you, Winter," said Korbel
gratefully, as the large, golden globe
settled itself before him; "you will ex-
cuse me from eating it just now;" and, un-


observed as he thought by the others, he
slipped the fruit into the pocket of his
coat, which was hanging upon a peg be-
side his desk.
"It will do me far more good to see
little Helen eat it than if I enjoyed it
here," he thought. How her blue eyes
will sparkle at the unexpected treat!"
The others had scarcely finished their
oranges and disposed of the peels, when
Mr. Linderman entered, whereupon each
of the clerks looked up with a welcoming
smile and then resumed their writing.
It is too insufferably warm in here to-
day for you to apply yourselves to writ-
ing," said the proprietor pleasantly, so I
will give you a holiday for the balance of
the afternoon, as there is nothing very
pressing in our correspondence for to-
day."
This was joyful news. Three hours
less of confinement in the hot counting-
room! The clerks hurried to take advan-
tage of the respite, and Walter, Fritz and
Horace were soon down the steps and
upon the street.
Henry Korbel was the last'to leave. He
must change his office coat for the one for
the street, and, to his surprise, he found
an orange in the other pocket.
"Winter must have put it there," he
said to himself. Bless the kind-hearted
boy! Now my wife shall have one, too,
and will enjoy it while we are taking our
afternoon coffee under the shade trees in
the garden."
Mr. Linderm, nferring this
kindness up employes, went to the
office of Chris an Burkholtz, to hold a
consultation in regard to business.
I have leased the Sprecker granaries,"






EBIC'S VACATION.


he said as he seated himself opposite the
bookkeeper, who sat at his desk. "They
are large, but I have made offers for extra
consignments of grain for the late sum-
mer sales, and will need much more room
than afforded by our granaries."
The Sprecker granaries! Extra con-
signments of grain!" echoed Mr. Burk-
hbltz mechanically. You certainly do
not mean to say that you have bargained
for grain in such quantities as to require
those immense granaries?"
Yes, that is exactly what I mean," re-
plied his employer cheerfully, "and I
hope you will look favorably upon the
scheme."
"No, I certainly do not look favorably
upon it," replied the bookkeeper anx-
iously.
Why not?"
Because there lie in our own granaries
tons upon tons of grain for which we paid
higher prices at the time of buying than
we have paid for years, and now, when it
has reached the highest price that I have
known since I entered your employ, now
when you can sell, and there is every rea-
son that you should sell, you have con-
tracted for more! I confess that I cannot
understand it; the strain will bring us to
bankruptcy!" and Burkholtz walked excit-
edly up and down the office.
Listen, Burkholtz, to what I have to
tell you, and only you. As you know, our
house has an especially good standing with
Russia, and I have every prospect of re-
ceiving soon a large or r for a consign-
ment of grain to that ) ent."
Mr. Linderman paused,aiat his words
might have the proper effect upon his
bookkeeper, who had again taken his place


upon the office stool, and he was glad to
see that the grave face had lighted some-
what at the prospect of a prompt demand
for grain.
"Are you sure that Russia will want
grain of us?" the bookkeeper asked.
Yes, as sure as one can be of anything
in this world. Now, Burkholtz, you un-
derstand my reason for contracting for
more grain and leasing the Sprecker gran-
aries."
"Yes, I understand it thoroughly, but
I cannot rejoice over it; it is such an over-
whelming undertaking. We are abandon-
ing the old, secure foundation principles
of our ancient house and entering the
whirlpool of speculation."
"That is a harsh word, Burkholtz,"
said Mr. Linderman, somewhat coldly,
"but I forgive it, knowing your faithful-
ness to my interests. A speculator, in the
accepted meaning of the word, I certainly
am not; I go only so far as I see fair pros-
pect for disposing of what I lay in."
"For more than a hundred years this
grain warehouse has been in your family,
and each successive owner conducted the
business with the most scrupulous integ-
rity," said the bookkeeper reflectively.
" They bought and sold with prudent
foresight, had sufficient capital to make
good any losses that might occur, and,
while not making any great winnings,
their sure foundation and perfect recti-
tude was acknowledged by all, and was of
more worth to them than millions gained
by reckless and conscienceless specula-
tion."
But, Burkholtz, no one shall suffer
from my negotiations; instead, I have
made the whole region grateful to me for







BRIC'S VACATION.


giving them better prices for grain than
they ever received. Think how many fine
farms have been sold because the price re-
ceived for grain did not pay the owners
for the outlay in raising it. You also
know that from far and near, by railroad,
boat and wagons, the grain has come to
our warehouse, and farmers have thanked
me with tears in their eyes for giving
them a good market for their grain."
"Yes, and these same men will have
no sympathy for you if your plan fails,"
replied the bookkeeper.
"But there is no reason for its failing.
Grain from Russia, that formerly ruled
the market, is not heard of this year; so
we are masters of the situation."
"You forget America, with its endless
resources."
"But it will be weeks before America
can send in any great quantity, and in the
meantime we can be making sales."
"I sincerely hope you are right. But
suppose you are mistaken?" and the
old bookkeeper's voice was low and
anxious.
"We will not borrow trouble. All will
come out right. I am not the least afraid
to risk it;" and, with a kindly nod, Mr.
Linderman left the office with a brisk
step, and went to the garden to take his
afternoon coffee.
"Mr. Linderman's forefathers were
God-fearing men, and carried on the busi-
ness on Christian principles," thought
Burkholtz when alone. "He, too, is a
conscientious Christian man. What has
tempted him to fall into this error? It
will be hard upon the poor who have here-
tofore bought their grain at a low price
from the farmers."


CHAPTER II.
A DECLAIMER OF MODERN POETRY.
-S THE Lindermans
had anticipated, the
S answer to Eric's letter
came on time, and was
all that could be de-
sired. Pastor New-
man wrote that his
wife and himself re-
S joiced at the thought
.....-. .... that the quiet parson-
age was to be enlivened by a young
person, especially one whom they so ad-
mired through his letter. On their part,
they promised to make his stay as pleas-
ant as possible. A small boat would be
sent out to meet the "Phcenix" that
afternoon, and it was hoped that nothing
would delay his coming.
This letter was received just as the Lin-
derman family was about to sit down to
breakfast, and Eric was so filled with ex-
citement and happy anticipation that it
was with difficulty he could force himself
to eat. Although sixteen years of age, he
had never been away from home unac-
companied by his parents, and he felt the
importance of this occasion.
Mrs. Linderman could scarcely keep
back the tears when she bade her boy
good-by, and his father felt that they
would miss him sadly; yet both were glad
to see him so pleased to go to a place
which they felt held but little prospect of
enjoyment for a young person.
"Promise me, Eric, that you will not
go into danger; you must know the ter-
rible grief it would cause us all if any acci-
dent should happen you," said his mother.






EBIC'S VACATION.


"No, I promise not to go anywhere
where there is the least danger, without
the consent of Uncle Lucian. Will that
satisfy you, mother?"
Yes; anywhere that your uncle and
aunt give you leave to go, you can, I am
sure, go with safety. Obey them in all
things, for they are good and kind. May
God protect you, dear son, in this your
first visit away from us!"
Frederick and the carriage were waiting
at the door to take Eric to the wharf, and,
gayly waving adieu, he stepped in and was
driven away.
It was a lovely morning and all Nature
seemed to smile upon the young traveler.
He enjoyed the pleasant drive to the boat,
and when the bay came in sight, with the
" Phoenix" sending forth clouds of smoke
from its tall chimney, Eric realized that
he was really going upon a journey.
There were many people on the wharf,
and freight was being put aboard with
much rolling of wheelbarrows and trucks.
Eric bade Frederick good-by, and, with
his satchel in hand, walked up the gang-
way into the boat, and stood watching the
busy scene.
People came hurrying on the boat, car-
rying satchels, baskets, boxes and packages
of all kinds. Artists with umbrellas and
paint boxes, tourists with cameras, and a
band of musicians who hoped to reap a
harvest at Memel, where the yearly fair
was about to commence. The whistle
sounded, and the musicians came on
board, their bright instruments gleaming
in the sunlight, and the "Phoenix" was
about to push off, when a singular-look-
ing individual appeared on the wharf with
slow and measured tread, and waved his


hand dramatically toward the men who
were about to loose the rope and take up
the gang-plank.
"Hurry up, young man!" called the
captain. The Phoenix' is like time
and tide it waits for no man."
The new arrival wore a broad-brimmed
traveling hat which almost concealed his
features, flapping as it did at every step,
and his costume was of buff cloth, very
fine, and stylishly fashioned. The man
who carried his satchel gave it to the
owner as he was about to step on the gang-
plank, and waited for his pay, but the
traveler turned and, waving his hand,
said in a deep, theatrical tone:
" So go thy way back to thy still herds,
And let thy conscience be thy sweet reward for
this good deed."
Fifty cents would suit me better," re-
plied the man gruffly. One cannot eat
and drink poetry."
Come on, sunflower!" called one of
the sailors; we are going to take in the
plank."
The sunflower" stepped rather tim-
idly upon the plank, saying:
"And may this weak and wavering bridge now
keep
Me safe from falling in the briny deep."
The captain looked with undisguised
astonishment upon the new arrival, who,
reaching out a very white hand, said:
"I greet the noble, brave and good commander
Who brings me to that home from whence I long
have strayed."
The captain was about to give a curt
reply, but noticing that the young man
with golden locks and yellow clothes was
the only son of the wealthy Councillor of







ERIC'S VACATION.


Commerce, Johann Friedrich Miiller of
Memel, who sent more freight by his boat
than all his other patrons put together, he
said:
"All right, all right, Mr. Miiller! But
let one of my men take your satchel down
to the cabin for you."
"I hope he will go with his luggage
and stay there!" remarked an elderly gen-
tleman to Eric. "He is undoubtedly
some stage-struck, weak-headed young
man."
"I read his name on the silver plate on
his satchel," said Eric; "it is 'Friedrich
Wolfgang Miiller, Declaimer of Modern
Poetry.'"
Ah! I thought something of the kind!
Well! well! it takes all kinds of people to
make a world, even one so small as ours.
Yellow is a beautiful color--for in-
stance, that of a field of ripe rye; and even
a canary bird is not to be despised but
for a man's whole outfit it is, to say the
least, remarkable."
Eric smiled, but made no reply; his eyes
and thoughts were upon the shore on
either side. They passed beautiful
meadows where cattle were grazing,
orchards with ripening fruit, vegetable
gardens, fields in which harvesters were
loading wagons with hay, the fragrance of
which reached the travelers, and even the
sound of their voices could be discerned in
the still air. Eric's glance took in the
red roofs of the cottages, the deep green
of the foliage upon trees and shrubbery,
the blue vault above them, and the spark-
ling water below. The band struck up
"The Watch on the Rhine," and his en-
joyment was complete.
"Oh, it is beautiful, all so beautiful!"


he said, and swung his cap aloft as if in
greeting of all created things that happy
day.
"Yes," agreed the elderly gentleman
at his side, "such a morning does us all
good; and the river affords us pretty,
peaceful views. Many travelers see no
beauty in anything but the Rhine and
Switzerland. That is because they view
all else with listless eyes instead of a
warm, grateful heart."
"It is all beautiful, especially in vaca-
tion," quoth Eric sincerely.
"Certainly, certainly!" laughed his
companion. "When a boy walks the
streets of a city every day to and from
school, he is excusable if he rejoices to.be
for a time free from study. Have you
ever read Hl6ty's Ode, 'Life in the
Country'?"
Oh, yes!" replied Eric eagerly, flush-
ing with pleasure, "H6lty is my favorite
poet. I learned that ode to recite at
our last examination. I know it by
heart."
"Will you oblige me by repeating it?"
asked the gentleman.
Eric had a good voice, he was trained to
obey his elders, and was of an agreeable
and obliging disposition; so he gave the
recitation in his best manner.
"Not badly done for an amateur," said
a measured voice near them, and turning,
they saw the yellow-costumed individual,
Mr. Wolfgang Miiller. "Not badly
done. But why should one put time and
memory upon such weak stuff?"
That poem is from Hilty!" said Eric
in surprise. "It is so beautiful that if he
had never written another, his name
would be treasured."







RBIC'S VACATION.


Ah, you are only a school-boy, a nov-
ice in the great art of declamation," said
Mr. Miiller in a satirical tone.
"I am in next to the highest class in
Frederick College," replied Eric proudly,
" and the Professors know what is good
poetry, if I do not."
"Yes, that is the course pursued by all
those severely regulated establishments,"
said the declaimer. The spirit of poetry
is not considered; those old-time Profes-
sors only think of the grammatical part
of a poem; the rules of composition are
their only guide; they have no poetry in
their souls, therefore cannot be expected
to appreciate real poetry."
They are learned men," interposed
Eric; "they know what is correct and
what is not."
"But behind the times," emphasized
the declaimer; "and it is my province
and mission to pave the way for the spirit
of the present. Goethe, Schiller, Uhland
and others of that ilk have had the field
long enough; they are gone and should
give place to the poets of young Germany.
Now, your old-time director -"
"Do not speak lightly of him," said
Eric; "he is a very learned man; so
learned that he is an authority in all
branches of education."
Oh, well, it is not worth my while to
argue with you; I will instead declaim a
sample of modern poetry." And Mr.
Miiller took a small volume bound in blue
and gold from his pocket, and removed his
hat.
As his listeners did not object, he put
his right foot forward, his left hand upon
his heart, and in thrilling tones de-
claimed:


"OUT IN THE STORM.
Advance! advance!
Thou majestic hero, storm!
Advance!
Toss thou at thy sweet will
My ambrosial curls,-"
(Here he emphasized the words by run-
ning his fingers through his long hair)
"Which flutter
Like those of peerless Hector.
With boisterous voice
Thou goest o'er the world,
And with thee go my thoughts,
My noble, high, and glorious thoughts,
O'er meadow, mountain, valley,
To that Parnassus-
Heights of noblest Muse-
Poesy."
"Is not that full of spirit, full of
power, a bold, original, exalted poem?"
he asked, almost out of breath from his
exertion. Besides, it is my own com-
position."
"It is certainly different from any-
thing I ever heard," answered Eric can-
didly.
"It is probably beyond your compre-
hension," replied the declaimer conde-
scendingly. "I will read something
plainer; it is entitled Revenge,' and is
also my own work."
Again he struck an attitude and recited
a poem treating of midnight in a dark for-
est, where a young man killed his friend.
Is not that thrilling?" he asked when
the recitation was concluded; "will it not
make weak natures tremble?"
"I am not a weak nature," said the el-
derly gentleman, speaking for the first
time, "but I tremble, not with agitation
over that trash you call poetry, but with
indignation that you should take this
boy's attention from the beauties of God's






ERIC'S VACATION.


hand in the landscape spread before us, to
listen to base deeds of wicked men. If
you know of anyone troubled with rats
and mice and such vermin, go read to
them."
The would-be poet looked at the older
man for a moment in blank amazement,
then, drawing himself to his full height,
he said, in impressive and tragic tones:
" Oh, hair that's gray protect him in his folly,
From noble anger of the eagle, which aims to-
ward the sun !"
Saying which he walked with stately tread
to his cabin, nor turned his head to view
the impression he had made.
I can at least say of you that you fly
high!" called after him the elderly gentle-
man. "You may wonder at my harsh-
ness," he continued, turning to Eric, but
when you see ill-breeding, ignorance and
conceit mingled in one person, it is diffi-
cult to keep from speaking one's mind."
Yes," agreed Eric, "and unless some-
one convinces him that he is not a poet,
he will never be anything but conceited."
No one could convince him, I think,"
commented his companion. "He will
never amount to anything but a petted,
spoiled only child; he will always depend
upon his rich father for support. He will
go through the world on stilts, and I
doubt if any ridicule will cure him of his
folly. What saddens me is that these
weak-headed poets have readers whose
hearts will not be ennobled by reading
such stuff. I hope, my boy, that you will
read only what is best in our literature."
"No one could make me forget our
great poets," said Eric warmly; "they
have given me some of the happiest hours
of my life."


"The good man's life shows in his
works, my boy. Pure thoughts are not
likely to flow from an impure source;
where love for sacred things is en-
throned in the heart of a writer, nothing
that will sully the mind of youth will flow
from the pen. Men who have made God
their leader can speak to you of what they
have experienced. What is noble and
beautiful lasts for all time, and will do
successive generations good. See, my
boy -we are now in the Curische Haff,
or Bay."

CHAPTER III.
ERIC MAKES NEW ACQUAINTANCES.
RIC had been so inter-
ested in the would-be
poet and the earnest
conversation of the
elderly gentleman that
he had not noticed
that the reed and
rush-grown shore on
either side was left be-
hind and they were
now in the broad, white-capped waters of
the bay. Here the wind was stronger, and,
as they progressed, the water grew
rougher, and, before an hour had been
passed upon the bay, many of the passen-
gers were seasick. Among these was Mr.
Friedrich Wolfgang Mliiller, who came
from his cabin with a face almost as yellow
as his garb, and made his way with
faltering steps to the side of the boat,
hoping the fresh air would revive
him. A girl about nine years of age was
kneeling upon the bench that ran around
the deck, looking with childish delight






ERIC'S VACATION.


upon the waves made by the wheel, and he
gave her a push which sent her to the
floor.
Eric's indignation rose at the selfish
cruelty of the act, and with a hasty step
he went to the assist-
ance of the little girl,
placed her upon her
feet, and then turned
to the intruder.
"I think it is mean
and heartless in you to
treat anyone in that
manner, especially a
helpless little girl!" he
said.
"It is the right of
the strong to secure
the best place for him-
self," was the reply -
but at that moment
"the strong" looked
very weak and miser-
able.
"Well, then, by the
right of the strong, I
insist upon your giving
this little girl her
place;" and Eric shoved
the small man in yellow
along the bench.
Mr. Miller sa w by "i insist u
Eric's eyes that he
was in earnest, and noticing the difference
between the well-developed boy and his
own spindling figure, he concluded that
discretion was the better part of valor and
gave the little girl her place.
Eric's heart was in the right place, and
when he saw the pallor of sea-sickness on
the face of the young man, he spread his


cloak on the bench for him to lie upon,
procured a pillow from the steward, and
made the declaimer as comfortable as cir-
cumstances allowed.
They were now almost out of sight of


,on your giving this little girl her place!"


land only the blue sky above them and
the water beneath. Thus they sped on
for many miles, until upon the north-
western horizon appeared a white strip of
what appeared to be land, dotted here
and there with dark spots.
What is that?" asked Eric, who had
again taken his place by his elderly friend.






ERIG'S VACATION.


That is the East Prussia Sahara,
called the Neurung a strip of desert
land between two bodies of water; an un-
fruitful desert in our blessed Fatherland."
"It is a dreary-looking place, indeed,"
said Eric. "But what are those dark
spots?"
"They are oases in the desert. About
a mile or so from each other are fishing
villages, where families of poor people are
struggling for existence. They neither
sow nor reap, and therefore the sea must
supply to them what the earth denies.
Winds and waves are their best friends,
and also their most dreaded enemies.
They live a pinched, narrow life, and
often find an unexpected and speedy
death. Do you see that mighty sand-
dune? That is called the traveling.
mountain, and it has already destroyed
many cottages and men's lives."
"But why do people stay there? They
could do no worse by going elsewhere."
"That is their home, and they love it,
as every man loves the spot where his
father, and his father before him for gen-
erations, have lived."
There I am to stay for four weeks!"
said Eric in a dismayed tone. "I don't
understand my uncle; he speaks of the
Neurung in his letters as if it were the
most attractive spot upon earth."
So you are to pass your vacation upon
the Neurung? Whom are you intending
to visit?"
"My uncle, or rather my great-uncle,
Pastor Newman, of Nidden. I thought
that where he lives would be the most
beautiful spot, but now I feel it to be a
terrible place in which to spend so much
time."


It is not wise to pass judgment upon
it until you have seen it," suggested his
companion. "Even the desert has its
charms when you come to know it. You
see from here the most unattractive view
of the Neurung. Behind that threaten-
ing dune lie a beautiful wood, and the
Baltic Sea; and even the poor fishing vil-
lage of Nidden, with its lowly cottages
and its simple, kind-hearted fishermen,
will be of interest to you, and you will ad-
mire their honest, God-fearing, innocent
manner of living. Give my kind regards
to your uncle, with whom I am well ac-
quainted. I am Professor Bettenberger."
Oh, I am so glad!" cried Eric, flush-
ing with delight, "because -" and he
hesitated.
"Why are you glad?" asked the
physician smilingly.
"Because I have heard so much of you
as a great physician and a great anti-
quarian, and now I have talked with you
and you have been so kind to me. My
father and mother will rejoice to know
what company I had on my journey."
"I, too, am pleased with my fellow-
traveler, although I have as yet not asked
your name, or that of your father."
"My father's name is Ernest Linder-
man; he is a grain merchant in Khnigs-
berg. And I am named Eric."
"Well, Eric, there is another person in
Nidden to whom I wish to send greetings,
and that is a boy about a year older than
yourself, named Reinhold Breitman.
Like myself, he has a great fondness for
archaeology, and the Neurung is rich in
antiquities. In ancient times it seems to
have been the abiding-place of a warlike
people, and to have also been a. spot to






ERIC'S VACATION.


which there were many voyagers from
foreign ports in search of amber. My
young friend Reinhold has wonderful dex-
terity in locating spots where these relics
of former days may be found, and some of
my rarest and most valued specimens of
Santiquity I owe to his researches."
That is splendid!" cried Eric joyfully.
"We can work together and perhaps can
find some relics of ancient times."
"I wish you would," said the Professor
earnestly; "it would not be time lost, I
assure you."
"I am so glad to know there is a boy
there," continued Eric. "I really only
thought of a quiet time in the parsonage
with uncle and aunt, except when uncle
could go out with me on the beach or the
bay."
"I know you will find Reinhold a con-
genial companion; he has written me sev-
eral letters, and I have been surprised at
the thoughts expressed therein, thoughts
that would do credit to a learned man.
That boy is a thinker. Living in such an
isolated place, he is slow in speech and
old-fashioned in dress and manner, but if
he could be given a chance for an educa-
tion, there is no one who would make bet-
ter use of it."
"Has he no chance at all in Nidden?"
"None except through the kindness of
Pastor Newman. All the spare time he
could give the boy he has given, and his
improvement is marvelous. He has a
fine mind, and is a lad of the noblest
character. Your uncle and aunt think
everything of him."
Whom does he live with?"
With his grandfather, alone in their
poor cottage in front of that terrible


sand-dune, which some day, and that not
far off, will destroy it. Toward the last
of your vacation I hope to visit Nidden,
and we and Reinhold will make some re-
searches in the earth under the sand
which holds so many treasures."
"I shall be so glad to see you! When
I write to my father and mother this
evening I will tell them of you; they will
be glad to know I have met you and heard
you talk."
The Professor smiled, not displeased at
the sincere admiration of the boy. "I
hope to see your parents sometime," he
said. "In the meantime there is a sail
coming toward us; it is from Nidden and
is coming for you."
Eric's face flushed with pleasure. He
felt the importance of having a boat with
flag flying come to meet him. The cap-
tain had been signaled, and was bringing
the steamer to a halt. One of his men
threw a coil of rope, which was caught
by a boy on the sail-boat, and soon it was
alongside.
"Is Eric Linderman on board?" called
a man in an oil-cloth coat, who was
standing in the boat.
"Yes! yes!" cried Eric, swinging his
cap. "Here I am!" And, bidding the
Professor good-by, he ran with satchel in
hand down the steps and sprang into the
boat.
"Is that really you, Pastor Newman?"
called the Professor, who had come to the
railing. "I thought you were a pilot
from the North Pole."
"Cannot a sheep wear wolf's clothing
for once in his life?" laughed the pastor.
" I did this in honor of my young relative,
who has greeted me so stormily that we






ERIC'S VACA T1ON


nearly lost our balance and pitched into
the bay. Come with us, Professor Betten-
berger; we have plenty of room in the old
parsonage."
Not now. But about the end of this
young gentleman's vacation you may ex-
pect me."
Let loose!" called the captain. The
rope dropped into the water, and the
steamer proceeded on its way, the waves
caused by its wheel making the sail-boat
rock like a huge cradle.
You are heartily welcome, my boy,"
said the pastor cordially. The weather
is so fine for fishing that our fishermen
are all out with their boats, but our good
Fishmaster Saltanisch took compassion
on me and brought me in his sail-boat to
meet you. He freely gave up his noon rest
to oblige us. Come, fishmaster, and see
if this city boy does not give promise of
bringing new life to our quiet village."
"In a minute, pastor," replied a gruff
voice behind the great sail; and very soon
a strongly-built man appeared, and, touch-
ing his cap, said, The king's fishmaster,
Saltanisch, at your service."
He wore a blue seaman's jacket, upon
which were bright metal buttons bearing
the raised figure of a crown. Under his
heavy brows glowed a pair of searching
eyes, but friendly withal, and his mous-
tache and whiskers were snowy white.
"I am very grateful to you, Mr. Fish-
master," said Erie; "it was very kind in
you to so favor my uncle and me."
"I would do anything for the pastor or
for anyone belonging to him," replied
Saltanisch earnestly. "He has written
many letters for me, and is kind to me in
other ways."


"Yes," smiled the pastor, "I write for
my good Russian friend, for our German
speech is a great trial to him."
"Not so much of a trial as the fisher-
men, although the speech is bad enough,"
interposed Saltanisch. "The miserable
fishermen would rob the bay if they were
not watched. I must protect the little
fish, or we would have no large ones. But
I know all their tricks; I was once a
fisherman myself."
Eric had never seen anyone like this
new acquaintance, and he was so enter-
tained and amused that he had not taken
time to notice the fourth person' on the
sail-boat, a boy of about seventeen years,
who was eying him with intense interest
from his place at the rudder.
He was taller and as strongly built as
was Eric; wore a suit of homespun linen,
a hat without a brim, and was barefooted.
At the first glance Eric thought him a
dull-looking boy. He was browned by
sun and wind, and there was a look of
sadness in the great, dark eyes, as if when
looking upon one from the outside world,
he grew more discontented than ever with
his monotonous and secluded life.
When he noticed that Eric's attention
was attracted to him, he cast down his
eyes and his cheeks flushed with embar-
rassment.
"This must be the boy of whom Pro-
fessor Bettenberger spoke," thought Eric,
and he walked with some unsteadiness of
footstep to where the lad sat.
"Are you Reinhold Breitman?" he
asked, taking a seat near him.
"That is my name," replied the other,
without raising his eyes.
"Then I have a greeting for you from






ERIC'S VACATION.


Professor Bettenberger. He said many
kind things of you, and hoped that we
would become acquainted. He said, too,
that you would be a congenial companion
for me."
"Then it was Professor Bettenberger
that spoke to the pastor!" commented
Reinhold, flushing with pleasure. I
thought it was, and longed to see him,
but -" And he cast his eyes upon his
clothing and his bare feet.
"The Professor would not have cared
for that!" said Eric, interpreting the
glance. But he is coming to Nidden
the latter part of my vacation, and then
you will see him."
Reinhold rose suddenly from his place
and, taking Eric's hand in both of his,
said joyously, Oh, that is good news! I
will be with you all I can at every leisure
time."
The pensive expression, which at first
sight of this other boy had impressed
Eric rather unfavorably, now disappeared.
His large brown eyes grew animated, his
grave lips parted in a sunny smile show-
ing a perfect set of teeth, and Eric de-
cided in his own mind that Reinhold
Breitman was handsomer than any boy of
his acquaintance.
He is not my Micks," commented the
fishmaster to the pastor, as he noticed the
two lads in earnest conversation. "No,
that Reinhold is a strange boy, not like
any other person in Nidden; one can tell
at a glance that he. was not born on the
Neurung. Now, my Micks was born
here, and proves it in all his ways. Oh,
Micks is another kind of a boy!" and he
smiled with fatherly pride.
The sail-boat had sped over the waves


during this conversation, and soon it
reached the beach, where stood a robust,
broad shouldered, overgrown boy of
eighteen years, his face round and full,
with large, dull-looking blue eyes, and a
complexion browned by sun and wind,
as was that of all the people of the fishing
village.
"There stands my Micks!" said the
father proudly; "that boy is always on
hand when wanted. Micks!" he called,
"come and help the pastor and his Eric
to land."
The boy, with a broad grin upon his
fat face, waded in, and, taking the pastor
on his back, landed him dryshod on the
beach and returned for Eric.
"No, uncle!" laughed Eric. "You can
with truth say that your parishioners sup-
port you, but I have no right to demand it
of them;" and, seizing an oar, he placed it
at arm's length in the water and swung
himself lightly to the shore.
"Bravo!" said Reinhold. "I will try
that plan. We have always waded ashore,
never thinking or caring for any other
way;" and he took another oar and landed
himself beside Eric.
There is strength in your young arms,
and the agility of youth in all your limbs,
or you could not spring such a distance,"
commented the pastor; and practice de-
velops strength."
"Well, I never saw the like of that!"
ejaculated the fishmaster. "Live and
learn, say I."
"Now, father, I am ready to carry you
across," said Micks, who had again waded
out to the boat.
But his father waved him back. "Do
you think I am going to let those green-






ERIC'B VACATION.


beaks laugh at me because I cannot spring
like them!" he said. "No, I will let
them see that not all the knowledge in
the world is locked up in their skulls."
"Don't risk it, Saltanisch!" called the
pastor. "There is Micks to carry you
across, and your limbs are not as supple as
they once were."
"What a boy can do, a king's officer
should be able to do," the fishmaster re-
plied proudly; and, taking an oar and
stretching out as far as possible, he was
soon in motion. It would have been a
success but for the fact that in his haste
he did not try the spot where he planted
the oar; that happened to be a hole, and
he went backward instead of forward,
and fell with his whole weight upon the
fish-tank of Hans Ortman, the magistrate
of Nidden, and one of the oldest and most
experienced fisherman on the Neurung.
The frail lid of the tank broke in and the
fishmaster disappeared from view. Soon
his discomfited face appeared above the
edge of the tank, and was greeted with
peals of laughter from those on shore,
and Micks, who was waiting by the boat.
"You were too quick on the spring,
Saltanisch!" cried the pastor as soon as he
could speak.
"Micks!" shouted the fishmaster, "why
are you standing there grinning, and let-
ting your own father be eaten up by crabs
and eels?" And, in his indignation, he
would not wait for help, but, putting his
hands on the edge of the tank, with a
mighty effort he scrambled out, and
waded to shore.
The merriment was so general that at
length he was forced to join in, and, good
humor restored, he accepted with a pro-


found bow and wave of the hand the
thanks of the pastor and Eric for bringing
them from the steamer. Then he and
Micks returned to the boat, while the
uncle and nephew took their way to the
parsonage.
In a wide bend that end of the village
extended to the bay, and reached in the
opposite direction the high sand-dune
named by the villagers "Der Schlangen-
berg," or serpent mountain, because of its
treacherous gliding toward the village.
Maple and service-berry trees lined the
sandy street and protected the poor cot-
tages from the rays of the sun and from
the bitter winds off the Baltic and the
bay. From each cottage there was a path,
more or less trodden, down to the beach,
and back of them were, as a rule, small
gardens in which glowed here and there
gillyflowers, marigolds, and other old-time
favorites.
Beyond the high dune were strong, tall
fir trees, and near them stood the church.
A grove of young cedars protected it
from the north winds, their dark green
foliage forming a good background for
the bright red brick of which the structure
was built. Its elevated position made
it visible from a long distance, and
homeward-bound fishermen greeted their
first view of it with pious satisfaction; it
was a beacon light to them in more than
one way. At the foot of the elevation was
the parsonage, a small flower garden sep-
arating it from the village street.
South of the village stood the light-
house, a mighty building in the tower of
which was a powerful light that shone
over sea and bay, warning vessels of the
dangerous coast of Nidden.






ERIC'S VACATION.


CHAPTER IV.
A WALK ON THE BEACH.
; RS. NEWMAN met
the two at the door
of the parsonage and
welcomed Eric
warmly, and a short
time after they were
seated at the table
and the visitor was
enjoying the deli-
cious baked salmon
and brown bread, sweet butter and coffee,
as only a healthy boy can who has spent
hours upon the salt water.
If the fisher-folk considered their pas-
tor the best of men, a faithful preacher
of God's Word, a comforter in time of
trouble, and a helper at all seasons, so did
they esteem and honor his wife as a help-
meet for him. Mrs. Newman was of a
gentle, sympathetic nature, and Eric felt
at home with her at once.
The old parsonage charmed him by its
quaintness, and when the afternoon sun
shone through the vines over the window,
upon the snow-white table-cloth, and the
kind faces of his relatives, he thought it
a picture that would always linger in his
memory.
When the meal was finished, his uncle
took his accustomed place of evenings in
a large arm-chair on the porch, in dress-
ing-gown and slippers, and rested from
the labors of the day.
"Well, my boy," said he, when Eric
came out and sat beside him, "do you
think you will be contented with us
here?"
Oh, uncle!" was the eager answer, I


am in a new world; the place and the peo-
ple are so different from any I have ever
seen!"
Our people are not learned, but you
can learn many things from them; they
can tell of what they know, and you may
rely upon its being the truth."
Mrs. Newman had left the table in the
hands of her faithful serving woman,
Margery, and now she, too, came out to
the porch, knitting in hand, and took a
chair beside her nephew.
I was telling Eric of our people here,"
remarked the pastor. He will, I think,
be interested in them."
Especially in the old man Breitman,"
said Mrs. Newman. "He is the grand-
father of Reinhold, and is a man who
unites the appearance and humble occu-
pation of a fisherman with the wide ex-
perience and culture of an educated and
traveled person. He is the very opposite
of Saltanisch."
"The fishmaster is a singular-looking
man," said Eric. "I could not be sure
whether his manner was natural, or put
on for the occasion. I have always
thought the position of fishmaster was
about on a par with that of forester."
"It is as a rule," assented the pastor,
"but our Saltanisch makes it an excep-
tion. He was a sailor on board 'The
Crown Prince'; perhaps you remember
the great catastrophe of that splendid
steamer going down and many lives being
lost. Saltanisch saved several people,
among them an officer in high position.
In recognition of his services he was ap-
pointed fishmaster at Nidden. He de-
served some recognition and reward, but
he is not capable in any way of filling this







ERJC',S VAOA7IOV.


post; to be one of the government officers
has turned his head."
"Now I understand," laughed Eric;
"and he is such an original character
that I long to see more of him. But much
more do I long to see Reinhold Breitman.
His handsome face and poor clothes do
not agree; one would take him to be a
prince in disguise, and each moment ex-
pect his beggar's clothes to drop off, and
the rich robes of a prince to take their
place."
"You are exactly right," agreed his
aunt. "Reinhold is not only handsome,
but is a boy of exceptional intelligence.
He would be a learned man if he could
have the chance."
"Have you known him all his life,
Aunt Amy?"
"No, only since he was about four
years old. The early part of his life is
hidden from all on the Neurung. No one
could tell of it except perhaps his grand-
father; but he is silent as the grave in re-
gard to it, even with your uncle, in whom
he has the greatest confidence. And no
one of course ever questions him."
Has his grandfather lived here long?"
Yes, all his life; and he is an old man.
I will tell you all I know or that anyone
knows of him. I am gil yI o.u are pleased
with Reinhold; he will be a congenial
companion for you."
"Now that you are both so agreeably
engaged," said the pastor, I will take the
time to look over my Sunday sermon.
You are on a subject that delights your
aunt, Eric, and may consider yourself en-
tertained for at least an hour."
That will be a short hour to me," said
Eric eagerly.


Mrs. Newman nodded, well pleased, and
the pastor went above to his study.
"At the extreme north end of our vil-
lage," began the lady, "there is an im-
mense mountain of sand, the very highest
point of the whole strip of country called
the Neurung, upon which stand Nidden
and other fishing villages. Forty or fifty
years ago, it lay much further back from
the village, but it has gradually come
nearer and nearer, choking up and de-
stroying everything in its way. At its
foot stands a miserable cottage, the last
dwelling in the village in that direction.
It is partly covered by the sand, and would
before this have been overwhelmed by the
Schlangenberg had not the grandfather
of Reinhold exerted all his strength to
save it. Once the old house was a com-
fortable home, with a row of beautiful,
stately fir trees at the back of it, but one
tree after another was covered by the
deadly sand, and then the house itself
was in its grasp. All the villagers have
implored the old man to abandon the
place, but he will not leave it. He looks
upon the Schlangenberg as a personal
enemy with which he must battle for his
life; a battle in which one or the other
will be victor. He has for long years used
his boat only for bringing lime and mud
from the bay, and the trunks of trees and
underbrush, to make a barrier for his
dwelling against the encroaching moun-
tain. He has become very poor, but so
far he has been victor."
"But how do he and Reinhold get
their living, aunt?"
"Reinhold works for other fishermen,
who are glad to hire him. He is a very in-
dustrious boy and deeply attached to his






ERIC'S VACATION.


grandfather; but you may know he leads
a dull, cheerless life in that miserable
place."
"It must be. Had he never any other
company there?"
"Never. His father was the only son
of the old man Breitman. He was a
handsome and intelligent boy much like
Reinhold. His name was Erdman Breit-
man, and he was loved by young and old.
He was an expert sailor, and no storm was
too severe for him to venture out, no sea
too rough. He was a dutiful, loving son
to his father, who idolized him, but he had
restless blood in his veins, and could not
longer be contented in this secluded spot;
he must see the world of which he had
read. So, when he was twenty-four years
of age, he left the Neurung secretly, and
no one, not even his father, knew where
he had gone."
"It must have been lonely for the
father after he left."
"It was a terrible trial; but he bore it
patiently, always hoping for his boy's re-
turn. But that did not come to pass for
ten years. Then one morning the whole
village was alive with the news that Erd-
man Breitman had returned. As sud-
denly as he left, so suddenly had he
re-appeared. But no one would have
recognized him, he was so changed. He
was handsome as ever, and more distin-
guished-looking, but his hair was mixed
with gray, and his thin, pale face bore evi-
dence of his frail health. With him was a
boy of about four years. That boy was
Reinhold, and be was so beautiful that our
people almost looked upon him as too
fair for earth.
"Erdman lived with his father and his


little boy, never leaving the cottage except
to visit the grove of pine trees. There he
sat for hours each day breathing the
resinous air. On the sea, which he had
once so loved, he could not go because of
the sand, which made the walking diffi-
cult, and when the winds of autumn came
he died."
"That must have been a terrible trial
for the father," said Eric, deeply touched.
"It was. He grew old rapidly, and was
seldom seen to smile afterward. He was
now alone in the old house with his
little grandson, and the love he had lav-
ished upon his own son was bestowed upon
the boy, who was fatherless and mother,
less."
Was Reinhold contented to live there,
aunt?"
Oh, yes, he soon began to love the sea
as his father had done. Instead of the
pretty velvet suit he had worn when he
first came, he, as soon as it was outgrown,
wore rough clothes like other fishermen's
boys. His delicate complexion became
rough and brown, and only his beautiful
eyes and his fair hair remained as they
were. He went with other fishermen's
sons in their boats, became an expert
sailor, and is now the support of his
grandfather, who only leaves his cottage
to go to church on the Sabbath." :,.
"Did Reinhold never go to.school?"
"Yes, he went to the school in the vil.
lage, but soon learned all that could be
taught there: Then your uqale under-
took his instruction, and he says he never
saw a boy with such ambition, memory
and gifts of intellect."
"I expect he is ahead of me in Greek
and Latin," said Eric with a sigh.







ERJC'1S VACATION.


"No, no," said his aunt, kindly, don't
think that I am comparing Reinhold's in-
telligence with yours or with that of any-
one. But you will see for yourself that
he is an uncommon boy."
"Yes, I would have thought so the
moment I saw him, even if Professor
Bettenberger had not told me of him.
But what does he like most to do, Aunt
Amy?"
To draw and paint. Once when here
he saw a map which I had drawn when a
girl at school. His beautiful eyes
beamed, and ever since he has used every
spare minute to draw and paint. He gives
all he earns as a fisherman to his grand-
father, except a small sum with which he
buys the pcor colors that are to be ob-
tained here, and he mixes them. himself.
Of course his work is crude, but one can-
not help seeing the artist back of it."
"Well, Eric," said the pastor, who had
returned and heard the latter part of the
conversation, "do you see any chance for
routing Reinhold from his place in your
aunt's heart, that you may take it?"
"Oh, no, I would not think of that!
But I would gladly share it with him."
"That you shall surely do," said Mrs.
Newman kindly; "and it will be a joy to
me to know that you and Reinhold are
friends."
"It will not be my fault if we are not.
I hope Reinhold and I may have many a
sail together."
His aunt's face took on rather an
anxious expression, but his uncle said:
"You could not have a safer com-
panion than Reinhold. He is at home
amid the winds and the waves. He under-
stands them better than anyone I ever


knew. And now suppose we take a walk,
Eric."
The boy was eager to go, and the two
went through the yard and out into the
sandy street, and took the narrow footpath
which led by straw-roofed cottages, over
the remains of discarded sails, past old
boats to the beach.
It was almost sunset, and the great dune
and the tall fir trees cast their shadows
into the clear waters of the bay. Only the
steeple of the church and the tall tower of
the light-house glowed in the light of the
setting sun, but its shimmering splendor
lay upon the water.
Myriads of tiny insects were dancing
in the mild evening air. Upon beams pro-
jecting from the sand, here and there,
hung nets, sails and ropes, and the top of
an old anchor kept them company. Sev-
eral boats were drawn up on the beach to
receive a coat of paint or new markings,
and the broken rudders of worn-out boats
were lying half buried in sand.
Women and children, and several old
fishermen who seldom went on the water,
had gathered upon the shore, and were at-
tentively watching a sail in the distance
that was coming toward land. It was old
Hans Ortman's boat, and all were inter-
ested in seeing it return safely and hoped
that he had met with good luck. There
were boats in every direction, and new
ones always appearing in sight, but this
one made straight for the spot where they
were standing, and it was easy to tell that
an experienced sailor was guiding it.
Soon the sail hung slack,.the keel grated
upon the sand, the anchor was cast out,
and the old fisherman and his helpers
waded ashore and were welcomed cordially






ERIC'S VACATION. 23

by the waiting neighbors. Hans had tor, too, seemed lost in thought. But, as
been very successful; he had plenty to they proceeded, the cheerful sound of


beside what he voices from the cottages and the gentle


leave in his fish tank,
would take to his cot-
tage, and a fine salmon
for the pastor.
Then the nets were
hung up to dry, the
tired fishermen went
to their homes, and
the pastor and Eric
continued their walk.
The sun had set, and
the light of the moon
trembled upon the
slightly ruffled waters
of the bay, and its sil-
very splendor lighted
up the sandy plain.
The waves lapped the
shore with a gentle,
gurgling sound, as if
soothing the world
into peaceful rest.
Then suddenly the
moonlight was ob-
scured, the world
seemed in shadow, and
the pastor and Eric
halted; their walk in
that direction had
come to an end,
Theateningly abo v e
them towered the


:,. ,-~ ,

-" "
f, ~ ,.'. ,.:';. o .."
,_:. ,. *: / -.. ..- .
: '%:'- "::'


Schlangenberg, that formed a steep de-
clivity to the bay. They turned and
slowly retraced their steps along the
shore.
There was something so repellant to
Eric in that terrible dune that he was
awed into silence, and for awhile the pas-


he pastor and Eric continued their walk.
The pastor and Eric continued their walk.


lapping of the waves had their influence
upon the two, and finally the pastor spoke.
I know of no better preparation for
my Sunday's sermon than a stroll upon
the beach," he said. "As I walk here,
often alone, a sweet peace comes into my
heart, and the daily struggle for subsist-







ERIC'S VACATION.


ance of these dear people seems far in the
past. I feel God nearer to me than ever;
his protecting arms are about me, he bears
me up, and enables me to enter into the
trials and sorrows of those about me, and
to give them the comfort which I receive
from communion with him. It is a wish
of my heart that the whole world could
have such a forerunner of the blessed
Lord's Day as one can have upon the
Neurung."
The pastor spoke in an awed, gentle
voice, and his words sank deep into Eric's
heart. Never had he imagined such still-
ness as reigned there, now that they were
beyond the sound of voices.
Oh, uncle," he said, I am glad that
you allowed me to share this beautiful
hour with you, and I am glad you have
many such hours."
"Yes, they recompense me for many
painful ones beside sick-beds and in the
homes where other sorrows have come; re-
compense me for hardships, privations,
and separation from kin and friends."
"But, uncle, why need you be separ-
ated? Could you not do as well some-
where else?"
"It seems to me and to your aunt that
it is God's will that we should be here.
These humble people have faith in us and
love for us; would it be right, think you,
to leave them?"
"But the solitude, uncle, when the
dreary winters set in!"
Solitude has its compensations, Eric.
Believe me when I say that it would be a
blessing to many a man if he would pass
more hours of his life in communing


heavenly kingdom, the smallness of his
earthly cares when he considers his
Father's love. Yes, in solitude, and with
the starry firmament above him, his soul
must grow calmer; must be filled with
peace."
But, uncle, I am sure I could not be
contented long in solitude."
No, my boy, nor do I wish to speak in
favor of it for anyone as a rule, but only
of the exception. I would not have you
look on the morbid side of life. You are
placed among your fellow-men where you
must fight the battle of life; but for rest
of body and mind, seek God's handiwork
in natural scenery."
"Every time I am tired of noise and
confusion, I will come to Nidden -it is
so still and beautiful here."
It is natural for you to think so at this
hour, and in this serene moonlight. And
as long as I am here and I hope never
to leave it until my heavenly Father calls
me Home nothing will give me greater
pleasure than to have you with us."
By this time the two had reached the
parsonage, and Mrs. Newman noted the
look of serene happiness which was always
upon her husband's face after a walk on
the strand when the moon shone clear and
the evening was still and the sea calm.
"Oh, aunt," said Eric, it is beautiful
here! I could be perfectly happy if
father and mother and my sisters were
here."
I, too, wish they could enjoy it with
you, Eric. Another summer I hope all
can come."
After an hour's pleasant chat the pastor


with Nature the emptiness of earthly read from the large Bible on the old-time,
riches compared with the riches of the claw-footed table, the evening prayer was






ERIC'S VACATION.


offered, and all retired to rest, Eric in the
gable room, which greatly pleased him by
its quaintness.
He sat down upon the broad sill of the
window and looked out over the quiet
scene. Clear moonlight was upon all,
and toward the Baltic the forest of pine
and fir trees seemed to make a solid wall.
Faintly from distant cottages came the
tones of a hymn, and through the small
windows he could see the humble fisher-
men and their families kneeling in prayer.
The boy could scarcely understand the
quietude that reigned. He felt each mo-
ment that he must hear the tramp of
horses and men upon the pavement, the
whistling, the ringing of bells, and all the
other noises which go toward life in a
city. He noticed that the lantern in the
light-house tower shone clear and bright
far over the sea and the bay, and knew
that a man was there keeping watch.
Then he sought his bed, and slept until
the morning sun shone in at his window.


CHAPTER V.
SUNDAY MORNING IN A FISHING VILLAGE.
O HEN at home, Eric
Swas not accustomed
to rise earlier than
was necessary for tak-
ing breakfast and be-
Sing in his place at
i school promptly on
time, but the view
from his window at
Nidden, the sea, and
the bay, were too much of a temptation to
permit him to lose any time.


He dressed as quickly as possible, and,
descending the steps quietly, went out
into the small garden at the front of the
parsonage. Dew sparkled on flower and
grass, and all was sweetly cool and fra-
grant. On the bay was a light mist, while
above, the blue sky gave promise of a
beautiful Sabbath.
If Eric had thought the stillness of the
evening before something to be wondered
at, that of Sunday morning on the Neu-
rung was a still greater surprise. Not a
sound was to be heard except his foot-
steps in the narrow path leading to the
gate, and occasionally the chirping of
birds in the trees. Knowing that it would
be some time before breakfast was ready,
he concluded to walk along the beach as
far as the dune, so he opened the gate
quietly and went out.
As he walked along he noticed that
while the sand prevented much growth of
vegetation, yet here and there wild thyme
and white clover had sprung up in places,
making the air fragrant, and hardy young
pines and firs bade fair to grow into
strong trees. Eric rejoiced in the novelty
of the view in every direction. The salt
air of the sea was delightful to him, and
the soft lapping of the waves was soothing
music to his ear.
When he reached the dune he was more
than pleased to see Reinhold Breitman
standing at its base looking out over the
bay.
Oh, is it you, Eric?" his new fr ini.
said gladly, when he turned upon hearing
a footstep. "I never thought of your
coming out so early."
"And I never thought of seeing you!"
replied Eric gladly. Now I am doubly






ERIC'S VACATION.


glad I came. Do you often come out
here?"
Yes, often. I love it, especially on a
beautiful Sunday morning like this, and I
am glad to have your company. I like
you; the first moment when I saw you
yesterday I felt acquainted; you do not
seem at all a stranger to me."
I felt acquainted with you, too. My
uncle and aunt and Professor Betten-
berger told me of you, and they are glad
to have us become friends."
"We will be friends," said Reinhold
warmly. "And now I will tell you what
I have told no other boy. I intend to be
an artist." He said this as earnestly and
confidently as if all he had to do was to
reach out and grasp the knowledge.
This certainly wa3 a surprise to Eric,
for he had heard of the early struggles of
artists in great cities, and of the long
years it required to be even a fair artist;
but he would not dampen Reinhold's
hopes. He could not refrain from asking
one question, however.
"Do you think it easy to paint?"
No, I 'do not suppose it is easy for
anyone, and it may be very hard for me.
I read once of a young man who wished
to learn, and he took service with a cele-
brated artist. While he waited upon his
master in his studio, he listened to the in-
structions given to pupils, and at night
when others slept, he painted. At length
one time his employer saw his work and
was so astonished at its excellence that he
took him for a pupil, and now he is a cele-
brated artist. I hope for some good for-
tune like that; but, if it never comes my
way, I will go sometime to a city where
artists live. It is not clear to me how I


could see them, but I will never let the
thought out of my mind until my aim is
reached."
Reinhold," said Eric, after a mo-
ment's reflection, "if you will let me, I
will ask my father to take you into our
house. He is good and kind, and would
help you to take lessons from some good
artist in Kbnigsberg."
"Oh, how kind you are!" exclaimed
Reinhold gratefully. But if your father
should be willing, I have no idea when I
could leave Nidden. I will never leave
my grandfather, for I believe that it would
be his death. He knows nothing of my
wishes, and looks upon the world outside
as a dangerous place which only brings
sorrow and death. Since my father's
early death, he has a horror of strange
places and people, and tries to impress it
upon me that there is nothing but malice
and uncharitableness out in the world,
and only upon the Neurung can one be
happy."
"I can understand that your grand-
father would never be willing to leave
here, Reinhold; but it is a pity that you
must stay, you are losing so much time."
No, Eric," replied the boy eagerly, I
have much to learn that I can learn with-
out help. I have heard of artists who,
before they had opportunity to have in-
struction, discovered new ways of mixing
colors, which they kept a secret from
others. I will do the same; I will study
the sky, the earth, the sea; I will search
the woods; I will copy the sunsets, the
moonlights, the inside of sea-shells, the
beautiful amber, the vessels at anchor and
in motion. Oh, I have much to do! And
then when I can paint, my best picture






ERIC'S VACATION.


shall be this dear fishing village of Nid-
den on the Neurung, and the title will be
' Sunday Morning.' Look; isn't it lovely!"
And he waved his hand to include the
landscape, his fine eyes beaming with ap-
preciation.
Eric's glance followed- the movement.
Beyond the dark green pine and fir trees
lay the Baltic, extending farther than
eye could reach, and its long, rolling
waves seeming about to cover the narrow
strip of sand and unite with the waters of
Curische Bay. The sun had dispersed the
mist, and now lighted up the dune and
the woods, and turned to gold the dancing
wavelets upon the bay.
"It is a beautiful, beautiful world!"
said Reinhold, "and surely the Neurung
is the most beautiful spot on it. Thank
God for that!-for dear grandfather could
never leave his almost wrecked home,
where he has lived all his life."
At that moment the clock in the church
tower struck seven, and the boys looked at
each other in surprise.
Can it be possible we have talked so
long!" exclaimed Eric; "I am afraid my
aunt will worry about me. I must hurry
back."
"You will be at church; I will see you
there," said Reinhold; and he, too, went
toward the poor place he called home.
A few hours afterward the village was
literally awake; cottage doors stood open,
and from them came the fishermen, their
wives and children, all clad in Sun-
day garb, and winding their way across the
sand to the village church.
Eric greatly admired his uncle when in
his own home, but that admiration was in-
creased when he heard him in the pulpit


giving the Word of Life to his humble,
and, as a rule, unlearned parishioners, in
words which the simplest among them
could understand. His theme was Christ
stilling the storm, and the lessons in it
were brought home to their hearts, be-
cause they knew so well all that pertained
to a sea-faring life.
When the service was over, Eric found
Reinhold waiting for him at the door.
"Come home with us and stay to-
day for company for -Eric," said Mrs.
Newman; "we will be glad to have
you."
The pleasure in the faces of the boys
showed their appreciation of this kind-
ness, and the pastor, coming out of the
church at that moment, seconded the in-
vitation.
"We had a splendid time together this
morning, uncle," said Eric. "We were
down by the dune, and the sun shone
beautifully on the sea and the bay."
Oh, the happy time of youth!" smiled
Pastor Newman. Well, Reinhold, will
you go with us?"
"I will go first and tell grandfather,
that he may not be anxious about me;"
and, noticing that the old man was slowly
walking toward home, Reinhold ran after
him and asked if he might accept the in-
vitation.
"Certainly, certainly, Reinhold," said
the grandfather. "I want you to have all
the pleasure you can. The pastor's
nephew is a manly, sensible, well-bred
boy; I noticed him in the church. He
has been well-trained, and I am glad for
you to have such a companion." .
The two boys did ample justice to the
excellent dinner which Margery had pre-







ERIC'S VACATION.


pared, and Eric wrote to his mother that
he had never in his whole life. tasted any-
thing so good as Margery's service-berry
pies.
They passed a long, happy afternoon to-
gether, and the pastor did not permit it to
be wasted time. Many a hint was given
that would be of spiritual help to them in
after life, and reminiscences of his own
early life and later experiences were re-
lated iii his cheery manner, entertaining
the boys as well as instructing.
The next day the fishmaster made his
appearance at the parsonage in a very
perturbed state of mind indeed.
"I have just received a letter from one
of the king's councillors," he said, "and
they are going to send something that will
make storms."
Oh, you are surely mistaken, Salt-
anisch," responded the pastor.
No, I am not. Here is the letter, and
it says when it makes a storm, fishermen
are advised to stay at home." He passed
the letter to the pastor, who read it and
smiled.
"Listen, Saltanisch," he said when he
had finished reading the letter. The
Signal Service is to send a signal to place
fn our light-house tower to give warning
when a storm may be expected, that our
fishermen may be prepared for it."
"Do you think I believe any such fool-
ishness as that a dumb thing can speak
and say a storm is coming? Can any
man know when the wind is going to blow,
or the government take it upon itself to
say that if the fishermen go out at such a
time, it will bring a storm?"
I think I can explain this to you when
I have time, Saltanisch; but dinner is just


ready, and Eric is hungry, as it is some-
what past the usual hour."
"How? Does our pastor's wife let you
go hungry, Eric?" asked the fishmaster.
" Well, then, come to our house, and you
may have all that Micks has left of the
flounders we had for dinner;" and Salt-
anisch departed, well pleased with his ex-
cellent joke, as he considered it.


CHAPTER VI.
A VISIT TO GRANDFATHER BREITMAN.
HE next morning Eric
rose early and wrote
a letter to his father,
telling of his delight
in the parsonage,
and his uncle and
aunt and Reinhold
-in fact, the whole
NTeurung and all
connected with it.
He had a great pleasure in prospect,
and that was to go to the cottage by
the dune to visit Grandfather Breitman,
the old man having sent him an invita-
tion by Reinhold.
As soon as his letter was finished, Erieq
walked through the village until he came
to the last house, as he had been directed
by his aunt, and was almost startled by
his first view of Reinhold's home. Cer-
tainly," he said to himself, "no human
being could live in such a place!" The
thatched roof was so low that the edge
was no higher than Eric's head, and the
front windows were nearly hidden by the
sand from the dune which had piled itself
against them. The one door had always






ERIC'S VACATION.


to remain partly open, and a deep walk up
to it was cut in the sand, which entirely
covered the spot in front that had once
been a fertile garden;
and back of it was
the terrible Schlang-
enberg Mountain.
Before the door,
on a bench from
which the ever-re-
turning sand had
been shoveled, as
fronr the path, sat an
old man mending a
net. He looked up
from his work as the
boy stopped in front
of him, and spoke,
with a kindly light
in his faded eyes.
You are the pas-
tor's nephew, Eric, of
whom Reinhold has
talked so much?" he (
said.
"Yes; and you are
Father Breitman?" :
"Yes, Father
Breitman," the old
man assented with a .,.
smile; "the fisher- ,' j-a_
men named me that
long ago. But none
of them come to see
me now, and if Rein- -
hold did not go He looked
among them, I would
be'entirely forgotten. Hans Ortman sent
for Reinhold this morning to help him
fish; his man is sick and cannot go out."
"Yes, he said if no one sent for him


he would take me out for a sail; but I am
glad he has something to do," replied Eric.
Will you go inside and rest?" asked


up from his work as the boy stopped.

the old man kindly, returning to his work
on the nets.
"I would far rather stay out here with
you," said the boy, fearing to enter the


Ai4:i~






ERIC'S VACATION.


dangerous-looking place. The very sight
of the mountain pressing against it op-
pressed him.
"It is not so terrible inside as one
would suppose," said the old man, reading
Eric's reason for hesitating to enter. "I
have lived my whole life in it. But I
know it is pleasanter for you to breathe
the pure air and enjoy God's blessed sun-
shine outside. You can sit beside me on
the bench if you will."
"Father Breitman," said Eric, accept-
ing the invitation, "how can you live
here? It seems almost as if you were
buried. Sand everywhere; nothing but
sand and a few stunted bushes."
The old man said nothing for a time;
he seemed lost in deep thought.
"To young eyes I suppose it does in-
deed look dreary," he said after a while in
his deep, mild voice, "but to me it seems
as it did before my Erdman died. Then
the woodbine grew rank on the hedges
around my garden, and the lilacs laid
their purple clusters upon the roof.
Then he nodded toward the dune -
"it was farther away, almost to the
woods. Beautiful grass grew where it
now stands, and made pasture for my cow.
Fine fir trees stood there, and the wind
sang softly through them. It was sweet
music to my boy and me. When we came
home weary from fishing it soothed us to
sleep, and woke me next morning to my
day of toil. Sometimes it sounded with a
note of warning; the wind in my fir trees
gave me warning that a storm was com-
ing, and I prepared for it. Then one
Sunday I saw nothing, I heard nothing
to give me warning but the Schlangen-
berg destroyed my last fit tree. Step by


step it had crept on; ten, twenty, thirty
years my fir trees had battled with it, but
all were overcome at last, always growing
weaker, always fewer, and I powerless to
save them. You have heard of heroes
who struggled against evil and deceit and
power, and were at last overcome. So
were my fir trees. I shoveled back the
sand, but in two weeks there would be
double the quantity to remove. No one
helped me until it reached my house; then
it was too late. So all is destroyed; noth-
ing remains to me except the sound of the
wind in my fir trees, which I have heard
for thirty, forty years; then I imagine that
all is as it once was, and I think I see my
wife and my Erdman. My flowers bloom,
my grass is green, my cow grazes in the
meadow, and I feel refreshed and happy.
Then that feeling passes away, and I real-
ize that I am alone; they will never come
to me, but very soon I will go to them.
But while I am spared to live on this
earth I will never abandon my cottage."
The old man seemed to forget that he
had an eager listener, his thoughts were so
intent upon the past. To Eric the spot
was a picture of desolation, but to the
aged man it was home. Here he had
played as a child, had grown to manhood,
had seen his friends come and go. Joy
and sorrow had been his in the humble
home, to which he was clinging with all
his feeble strength.
"Forgive me that I thought you could
ever leave this place, Father Breitman,"
said Eric. "I was thinking of Reinhold
and wishing that he might be where he
could cultivate his gift for art."
Yes, he has told me all about you and
your plans for him, and it is kind of you






ERIC'S VACATION.


to think of it," replied the old man.
"But let him be with me for the little
time I have to live. He is the only tie
that binds me to earth; he is my comfort,
my helper in every way; I would die if he
left me. He will not leave me, I am sure
of that; and it would be far better for him
if he could always be contented to live
here. My Erdman went away to see the
world, and found only trouble. He came
home to die, and it might be so with Rein-
hold;" and the speaker looked away in the
distance as if to solve the future of the
boy. "Yes, he will go," he said in a low
tone, "he will go and be a man among
men, and sometime he will come back to
the spot where this old home once stood.
But it will not be here; it will be gone,
and Father Breitman will be gone."
Eric's eyes were full of tears, and he
could not trust his voice to speak. The
words were a prophecy of what must come.
"You are young and are Reinhold's
friend," said the old man after a pause.
Somebody must be told something
which I have spoken of to no one, not
even our pastor. I feel that I can trust
you; then, if I am called suddenly to my
Home above, Reinhold will at least know
something more of his father's life than
he has yet been told. Come!"
The aged man rose slowly, and led the
way through the low, sandy doorway open-
ing into a room the whole breadth of the
small house. The air was not so oppres-
sive as Eric had feared it would be, as
there was a small open window which
looked out on the bay, and holes in the
walls.
In the center of the.room was a hearth
black with smoke and age; an ancient set-


tle stood in a corner; two old chairs and an
equally old table completed the furniture,
with the exception of a few poor cooking
utensils. The floor was strewn with
sand and calamus seeds, which emitted a
pleasant fragrance. In this room was a
door leading to a small bedroom on the
left, in which were two poor beds, a table
and two old chairs, with heart-shaped
pieces cut from the high backs. From
the wall of the bedroom the old man took
a key, and, turning the rusty lock of the
door leading to the room back of it, the
two stood upon the threshold.
"This was my Erdman's room. Here
he lived when he came back to me, and
here he died," said the old man, his trem-
bling voice growing fainter as he spoke.
He seemed so weak and faint that Eric
took his arm and led him to a chair,
where he sat in silence until he could re-
cover his usual manner.
The few articles of furniture in this
room were as old and plain as those in the
other apartments, but Eric noticed other
things which would not have been out of
place in the home of a rich man. A
handsome sword was on the wall, rusted
and spider-webbed; rich curtains, moth-
eaten, lay upon a chair, over whose back
was spread a beautiful cloak; and shells of
rare beauty lay under.a table, which had
once been painted red. On this old table
stood a box filled with artists' materials,
and Eric, who had often been in studios,
saw that all the belongings of Erdman
Breitman pointed significantly to one line
of work; and that line was art.
"It is a pity that such pretty things
should lie useless," he said.
My Erdman is not here to use them,"






ERIC'S VACATION.


the old man replied, "and they are of no
use to Reinhold or me. But this is not
what I brought you here to see."
He arose from his chair, pulled the bed
aside, and pushed back the bolt of a small
closet in the wall. Reaching in, he
brought out a small box, evidently of Chi-
nese workmanship. Placing this upon
the table, he pressed a spring, and the lid
flew open.
There were two compartments in the
box, one containing a few gold pieces and
some silver the gold of English coin-
age, and the silver of German and the
other was filled with papers with writing
upon them.
"This is Reinhold's patrimony," re-
marked the old man, and when he leaves
this home he will not be in pressing need
of means to live, at least for a time. The
gold pieces were left him by his father;
the German pieces I have gathered in the
course of years in my work as a fisher-
man, and of Reinhold's work after I left
off."
"Did your son bring that handsome
box which the money and papers are in?"
asked Eric.
Yes, and he valued it more than any-
thing he possessed. In his illness it was
always on the bed beside him. He would
take it in his hand and hold it open before
him. Sometimes he would whisper a
name that sounded like 'Ethel,' and in
his feverish sleep he would murmur the
same name. I longed to ask him of
it, but never did. He would often ask me
to bring little Reinhold to him, and when
the child came he would kiss him and
bless him; and once he whispered, 'If I
were well we would go to your mother.'


But he never got well, and Reinhold never
saw his mother after he left her."
"Did he ever speak of her?"
Yes, when he first came he would
tell me of her, and of his little sister,
and his pony; but no one talked to him
of them, and he has forgotten them long
ago."
' "Have you read these papers since your
son's death?" asked Eric, glancing at
them.
No, they are in a foreign language; I
cannot read them."
Eric had been looking at the lid of the
box, and now he noticed that it appeared
unusually thick. The inner side was
beautifully polished, and in the center of
the filigree work was a small carved
dragon with a tiny button in its open
mouth. Taking the box in his hands,
Eric pressed the button, and the inner
part of the lid dropped down, disclosing
the picture of a lady, young and fair and
with a smile upon the sweet, expressive
face. Her eyes were large and blue, and
a mass of blond hair covered the finely
shaped head.
The old man seemed bewildered by the
sudden appearance of the face, of the ex-
istence of which he had known nothing.
He stepped back and looked at it in silence
for a time.
"It is Reinhold's mother!" he said in a
trembling voice. "She looks good and
kind-not one who would bring unhappi-
ness to my son. Yet I always thought it
was because of her that my Erdman suf-
fered. I pray that I may be forgiven for
my injustice. That innocent, good face
could have no evil thought. My Erdman
said nothing, but he bore a heavy heart,






ERIC'S VACATION.

and I thought she was the cause. But word of w
now I am sure she was not to blame." what I ha
"May I take the picture out?" asked may beco:
Eric, for he felt sure that something Eric earned
might be written upon the back-of it. "That
The old man
nodded consent,
and the boy re-
moved the picture
and read the in-
scription a 1 ou d:
"'To my dear
husband, from his
Ethel.'"
"You have
done my Reinhold II
a great service,"
said Father Breit-
man, as Eric re-
placed the pic-
ture. Perhaps
through it he may
find his mother;
and, if not, that
sweet, kind face
will be a joy to f
him."


"Will you tell II III 'I
him that you have iIl
seen the picture i
of his mother?"
asked Eric.
To, oh, no! "You have
And I hope you
will tell him nothing. To his longing for
the world will be added his longing for his
mother, and it may be too heavy for him
to bear, and he will leave me, to seek her
and his sister;" and the old man's
wrinkled face grew paler at the thought.
"I shall never tell him or anyone a


ihat you have told me, nor of
Ive seen, until such time as it
me necessary to tell it," said
>stly.
is good; that is right; you have


done my Reinhold a great service."


given me great comfort. It would be a
great joy to my grandson to know it, but
he would storm me with questions that I
could not answer, and even if he did not
leave me, all his peace of mind would be
gone."
Feel no anxiety about having told


r






ERIO'S VAGA ION.


me," said Eric. I would not say or do
anything to give you an anxious moment."
Father Breitman's gaze again rested
upon the picture, as if he were studying
each feature.
I cannot think that she was the cause
of my Erdman's unhappiness. I cannot
think she sent him from her, and caused
him to die of grief, as I have always sup-
posed. Then what was it?"
Both were silent, then the old man
arose, and, closing the box, placed it in
the closet, and the two left the room.
May God's blessing ever rest upon
you!" said Father Breitman, when they
reached the outer room and Eric put on
his cap to depart. "It will always give
me pleasure to see you. I have faith in
you; you have a good, honest face. Al-
ways remain my Reinhold's friend."
Eric gladly promised, then he pressed
the old man's hand and went away, his
thoughts fixed upon what he had seen and
heard.

CHAPTER VII.
A BOAT-RACE ON THE CURISCHE BAY.
HE next morning there
was a stiff breeze from
the west, the Baltic
was restless, the sand
swirled upon the top
of the bleak dune,
and white capped
waves sparkled on the
bay. As far as eye
could reach, boats
were to be seen upon the water, for the
promise of a favorable day for fishing was
more than good.


Eric, with the pastor's family, had
nearly finished breakfast when Reinhold's
step was heard upon the porch, and his
handsome face appeared at the door.
Are you ready, Eric?" he asked. "It
is a splendid day for a sail."
Eric sprang up, forgetting that he had
not finished his cup of excellent coffee.
"Come in, Reinhold," called Mrs.
Newman. "Eric has not finished his
breakfast. Come and have a cup of coffee
and a roll."
The invitation was willingly accepted,
but very few minutes were spent at the
table, and both boys sprang up the mo-
ment they had finished eating.
Mrs. Newman had, in the meantime,
been planning in her mind a way to keep
them at home. She had a great fear of
sail-boats, especially upon a windy day.
"It would be a good time for us to
walk to Preil, Eric," she said now. I
have been promising for a long time to
visit a friend there, and would like you to
go with me."
"To-morrow, aunt, I will be glad to
go," the boy replied gayly, but I prom-
ised Reinhold to go with him the first day
that it was favorable for a sail."
"But the wind is so high! You cer-
tainly will have no pleasure out on the
water such a day as this."
"Not too high for sailing," Reinhold
assured her. In fact, all the fishermen
are rejoiced to see such a day."
Well, promise me to remain near
the shore. If you are far out and any-
thing happens, you will be lost."
"There is no fun in sailing close to the.
shore," protested Reinhold. "But don't
be anxious about us; we will be careful."






ERIC'S VACATION.


But at least promise not to put up the
great sail; the boat will go well enough
without it."
The boys could not help laughing at
this request, and did not think Mrs. New-
man was in earnest.
"We would be sea-sick, creeping along
so slowly, and allowing the boat to be
tossed by the waves," said Eric.
"Oh, you headstrong boys! You are
not worth bothering about! Can't you
wait at least a couple of hours? Perhaps
the wind .will fall and there will be less
danger."
"That is what I am afraid of," said
Reinhold, without the least intention of
being disrespectful. "I came early be-
cause the wind is apt to fall about noon."
The lads hurried away, leaving the lady
only half assured.
Have you a boat of your own?" asked
Eric of his companion as they walked
rapidly down to the beach.
Oh, no; but Brode has loaned me his
boat for the trip. It is the Eva,' and is
one of the best sailers on the bay. See,
there she lies, dragging upon the anchor
like a spirited horse that longs to be off."
In a few minutes their preparations
were made, the anchor taken in, and, with
the help of long staves, the boat was
pushed off the strand. It was heavy work
for Eric, and his face was flushed with the
exertion.
"Just wait until we get fairly started
and the wind fills the sails, and you will
see what speed the 'Eva' can make," said
Reinhold.
He pressed against the rudder, and, as
soon as the boat was far enough from the
shore, unfurled the sails to the breeze.


They filled immediately and the "Eva"
scudded along with a rapidity that de-
lighted Eric.
Now," said Reinhold, "if you wish to
visit Memel, we will go, and not be many
hours about it, either."
I would love to go," said Eric eagerly,
"but I am afraid it would keep us out too
long, and aunt would be anxious about us.
It is glorious out here in the bay."
It was with no uncertain movement
that the sharp-keeled boat cut its way
through the waves, and Eric arose and,
putting his arm about the mast, looked
back at the fast-receding village of Nid-
den. He saw the strip of woods which he,
and Reinhold were to visit, the light-
house silhouetted against the clear, blue
sky, the strand where he and his uncle
had walked in the still moonlight, and the
bleak sand mountain. Before him, as
far as eye could reach, were the wind-
tossed waters of the bay, glistening in the
rays of the sun. Sea-gulls flew past them
with shrill cries, and the boys' clear voices
joined in a boating-song, which to their
great satisfaction happened to be a favor-
ite with both.
They met the "Phenix on its return
trip, with a great head of steam on, be-
cause battling with adverse winds. Few
of the passengers were on deck, but those
few waved their handkerchiefs to the
handsome boys who had doffed their caps
to them. The "Eva" passed fishing
boats wherein the men, with reefed sails
and dragging nets, were hoping for rich
returns for their labor.
"This bay is a grand place!" com-
mented Eric, full of enthusiasm. "I
never imagined that sailing upon it could







ERIC'S VACATION.


be so delightful. I feel as if I had wings
and was flying into space."
"Yes, the Curische Bay is splendid
when in play," responded Reinhold.
"But wait until you see it in a storm!
Then every wave appears to be your
enemy, and seems determined to over-
power you; and you have to brace yourself
for the battle and do your best to win."
Reinhold's fine eyes grew brilliant as he
spoke from his place at the rudder.
"A person Tii-t learn presence of
mind, and the art of thinking and acting
quickly," commented Eric... "That, I
suppose, is the reason sea-faring people
are brave and strong in time of danger;
the sea makes them bold and hardy."
"Yes, but there is something else to be
said," replied his companion. "A life
upon the water may make a man bold and
hardy, but it also brings to him a knowl-
edge of his weakness;:. See! as long as this
rudder obeys the will of my hands, and
that sail stands the pressure of the wind,
I am master. But led the rudder break
or the sail be torn, and then I am at the
mercy of the waves, which may bring me
down to death. This constant looking
upon danger has its good side; it leads to
trust in God. Nowhere will you find
more sincere dependence upon him than
among our fishermen."
The boat was now far out upon the bay,
and the Neurung looked but a shimmer-
ing thread of light. A short distance
ahead the boys saw a sail-boat, and Rein-
hold, who knew every craft and boatman
belonging to Nidden, stepped upon the
rudder-bench and looked intently at it.
"I was sure of it!" he commented as
he stepped back to his place at the rudder.


" It is the fishmaster's Anita,' and she is
ahead of all the sail-boats for speed. But
I believe the 'Eva' can be made to sail as
well; I believe we could pass the 'Anita'
in a race. Let us try it."
Agreed!" cried Eric eagerly. "But
can you make the 'Eva' go any faster
than she is doing now?"
Yes. Let us fasten the rudder, and
then both use our strength in stretching
the sail to its fullest extent."
This was done. The sail was stretched
to its limit, and Reinhold returned to the
rudder.
"Is there anything that I can do?"
asked Eric, his cheeks glowing with de-
light.
"Yes, take that long-handled dipper
and dash water on the sail clear to the
top; that will fill up the meshes of the
sail-cloth and keep the air from passing
through it."
This was done, and the boys were well
satisfied that the distance was lessening
between the Eva and the Anita."
The two occupants of the other boat
seemed for a time unconscious that they
were being chased. The fishmaster was
on his usual tour of inspection; he had
halted each boat to inspect the condition
of the nets and the quantity of fish on
hand, and had found nothing to complain
of. He had just decided to visit a dis-
tant point of his range and surprise some
of the people who thought themselves un-
noticed, when he caught sight of the fast-
coming sail-boat.
"Micks!" he called to his sleeping son,
"wake up! There is a sail on the bay
that I cannot make out. See if you know
it."






ERIC'S VACATION.


Micks arose, rubbed his eyes, and
blinked in the direction pointed out by
the fishmaster.
"It is Brode's 'Eva,'" said the boy,
showing an inclination to return to his
sleeping-place.
Look and see who is on board!" called
his father again.
"It is Reinhold, and that Eric who is
at the pastor's;" and Micks sought his
sleeping-place, hoping there would be no
more interruptions.
He had scarcely closed his eyes, when
his father called impatiently, "Micks,
hurry! Make the sail taut, or that boat
will pass us!"
Grumblingly Micks obeyed. With
creaks and groans the sail was made like
a wall against the wind, and then he
dashed water against it and wet it as
thoroughly as Eric had that of the Eva."
And to the satisfaction of both, the boy
and his father found that the distance be-
tween them and the "Eva" was increas-
ing.
Simple boys, to think they could pass
me, the king's fishmaster!" said that dig-
nitary angrily. "But they are certainly
coming like the wind; 1 had no idea the
'Eva' could sail like that."
He sat there looking with scowling
glances at the other boat, and uttering
ejaculations of dismay.
"Micks!" he shouted, "those boys
will pass us, and we will be the laughing-
stock of Nidden! Run up another
sail!"
This was done, but it seemed impossible
to keep the Anita" as far ahead of the
Eva as was desired.
They will pass us, father!" said Micks,


now thoroughly awake. "Reinhold will
never give up the chase until he wins!"
Throw out the ballast!" cried the fish-
master, red with anger and excitement.
"It shall never be said that two boys
passed the boat of the king's fishmas-
ter!"
Micks threw out the stones, and asked
what else might be done.
Saltanisch had lost all composure. He
called to his son to try to make the sail
still more taut and dash more water on it.
The "Anita" danced over the waves at
her liveliest speed, but in vain the
"Eva" was'surely gaining upon her.
Saltanisch was beside himself with
chagrin. He pressed on the rudder until
his boat made a bend out of its course
and thus lost the full force of the favor-
able wind.
This was of advantage to the "Eva,"
and she sped forward like an arrow.
Reinhold was faithful to the rudder, and
Eric stood ready with a boat-hook to
grapple the Anita."
Greenbeaks! Popinjays!" shouted
Saltanisch. "Don't you dare to hook on
to my boat! Micks, splash him well with
water if he dares to hook on to our boat!"
Micks stripped off his jacket, just as the
boys with victorious hurrahs came along-
side, and Eric swung the hook with all his
strength. But, miscalculating the dis-
tance, it fell into the water, and Eric, los-
ing his balance, followed, and the waves
closed over him just as the Eva" flew
past her rival.
Reinhold gave a cry of dismay, and,
dropping the anchor in the water to stop
the progress of the boat, he threw off his
jacket, sprang over the side where Eric







BRIC'S VACATION.


had fallen from, and swam to the spot
where he had disappeared.
Eric!" he called with all the strength
of his voice.
There was no answer; only the swishing
of the wind-tossed waves. He knew that
Eric was a good swimmer, but he also
knew that the bay on a windy day was
not a city swimming-school.
"Eric!" he called again.
There was no answer, but to his joy
Reinhold saw his friend floating not far
away, and he swam toward him.
Eric was almost exhausted, and could
have struggled but a little while longer.
Reinhold threw himself upon his back
and pushed himself in a position to take
Eric's head upon his breast, then with his
free arm he swam toward his boat. It re-
quired but little exertion, for the waves
bore him along. He knew that Saltanisch
had anchored the Anita," and was right
in thinking she was near at hand.
Saltanisch!" he shouted.
There was no answer, and, feeling that
he could not continue in that position
much longer, Reinhold shouted again:
Fishmaster!"
Micks would have sprung into the bay
to assist the boys, but his father held him
back. No," said he, let them see what
they can do without our help, the con-
ceited jackanapes! It was fine fun to
race against the king's fishmaster; they
will tell the whole fishing-pack at Nidden
that they beat us!"
Although he talked so savagely, Salt-
anisch had kept track of the boys, and in-
tended to help them; for he was not a
heartless man, and, though smarting un-
der the defeat of the "Anita," he saw a


way in which he could purchase their
silence.
It was with hearty satisfaction that he
had seen Eric drop into the water at the
very moment when he was about to grasp
the "Anita" with the boat-hook, but his
respect and esteem for the pastor was too
great to allow anyone belonging to him to
be punished too severely. The pastor
would tell me that Christ loved his ene-
mies," he said to himself. "Well, old
Saltanisch will follow His example."
Reinhold had now reached the
"Anita," and he called once more to
Saltanisch, who leaned over the side and
spoke.
"Will you promise not to try to sail
past the 'Anita' again, if I help you
out?"
"Yes, yes! I promise!"
"Will you promise not to tell the fish,
ermen that Brode's 'Eva' can sail faster
than my boat?"
Yes, I promise." Reinhold's voice
was growing weaker; he was almost ex-
hausted.
"Will you promise not to laugh again
because I fell into the fish-tank?"
There was no reply, and Saltanisch
thought it better to lose no more time.
"Micks!" he called; and his son was at
his side in a moment. With strong arms
they drew the boys into the boat. Laying
Eric on the floor, they stood Reinhold on
his feet beside him. The moment the
latter recovered his breath, the weakness
passed away and he bent anxiously over
Eric.
"We will soon bring him around," said
the fishmaster, whose sympathy was now
fully aroused. "We have brought more






ERIC'S VACATION.


than one person back to life who passed
for drowned. Let us to work!"
They did work faithfully, and in a
short time Eric opened his eyes, and, see-
ing Reinhold, said, "Did we get the fish-
master?"
"No, but the fishmaster got you!" an-
swered Saltanisch with a hearty laugh.
"A minute longer and you would have
run no more races with the 'Anita.' My
Micks hauled you in. Oh, he is a brave
boy! You would have been food for the
fishes if it had not been for him!"
But Reinhold saved him," said Micks.
"You hauled him on board the Anita,'
Micks; he would have drowned in a little
while if you had not hauled him on board.
But Reinhold is a brave boy! Yes, Eric,
Reinhold saved your life."
"And nearly lost his own," said Eric,
with tears in his eyes. Oh, Reinhold,
how can I ever thank you?"
"By getting strong as quickly as pos-
sible, or I shall be sorry I invited you to
take a sail. If you had drowned I would
never have forgiven myself."
The two boys now thanked Saltanisch
and his son for their help. The fishmas-
ter responded with great condescension,
and Micks extended his hand awkwardly
to each, while his large mouth expanded
in a smile.
"It is warm to-day, although it is so
windy, so I don't think the bath will hurt
you," remarked the fishmaster; "but here
is a piece of old sail that Eric had better
wrap about him."
"Yes, take it Eric," insisted Reinhold;
you are not used to getting wet, like the
fishermen of Nidden."
Saltanisch now drew up his anchor,


and guided the "Anita" to the "Eva."
Then he helped Eric to his former place,
and Reinhold sprang in beside him.
Now, I want you boys to promise me
not to let the 'Eva' make a quicker sail
to Nidden than the 'Anita,'" the fish-
master called after them.
The promise was willingly given, and,
taking up their anchor and loosening the
sail, the two boys followed decorously in
the wake of the "Anita," smiling over
the circumstance, but with a prayer of
thanksgiving in their hearts.
"Reinhold," said Eric, "it was my care-
lessness that brought us both into danger,
yet had it not happened I would not have
owed my life to you."
"But I am ashamed to accept your
gratitude. If I had not invited you to
take a sail, you would not have run the
risk. Thank God that you knew how to
swim and float, or I would never have been
able to keep your head above water in the
bay to-day. If I had not found you "
Reinhold's heart was too full to say
more, and the two were silent until
they reached the Nidden strand, where
the pastor and his wife were waiting for
them.
It was not pleasant to have to tell of
the accident, but neither boy would tell
an untruth under any circumstances; yet
both were bound in honor not to break
their promise to the fishmaster. Eric still
wore the piece of sail-cloth, for in spite of
the heat of the day on land, he was shiver-
ing.
"I reached too far, and fell overboard,
aunt," said he to her anxious inquiry,
"and Reinhold saved my life."
"Oh, I dreaded it! I dreaded it!"






ERIC'S VACATION.


Mrs. Newman cried, wringing her hands,
while tears streamed down her face. Do,
Lucian, forbid Eric's going on the
bay in a sail-boat; or, if not, then only
when there is no wind."
Pastor Newman had been not only
anxious but frightened when returned
fishermen told him of the roughness of the
bay, but he could not repress a smile at
the conclusion of his wife's lament.
Dear Amy," he said, "while we know
that it was very foolhardy of the boys to
go out on the bay in such a high wind,
and I blame them for it, still Eric knows
now what danger is, and will, I think,
avoid it. Moreover, it appears that Eric's
mishap was not owing to the roughness of
the bay, the high wind, nor Reinhold's
management of the boat, but to his own
carelessness; they would have returned
without accident had he not recklessly
leaned too far over and fallen in. But he
has not told us yet what he was reaching
for when he fell in;" and the pastor
turned sharply to his nephew.
"I promised not to tell, uncle," said
Eric, flushing with embarrassment, and
I am sure that you and Aunt Amy would
be the very last ones to wish me to break
a. promise."
"You do not forbid his going in a sail-
boat!" exclaimed Mrs. Newman anxiously.
"And the next time he may be drowned!
Oh, I will never forget this morning's
anxiety!"
Dear aunt," said Eric, "I give you my
word that I will never do anything to
cause you a moment's anxiety; but I knew
that you trusted Reinhold."
"Yes, I trusted him, but I did not
know he would race. One of the fisher-


men told your uncle that you were trying
to pass the fishmaster's 'Anita.' "
Neither boy made reply, and Pastor
Newman came to the rescue.
We must not forget that Reinhold
saved our boy's life," he said.
"No, I shall never forget that, and I
would embrace him if he were not so wet.
Go straight home now, Reinhold, and put
on dry clothing; and I will take care -of
this giddy youth who reaches out for noth-
ing and drops into bays."
They hurried home, and Eric was pun-
ished for his outing in a manner un-
dreamed of by him, and that was by hav-
ing to "take a sweat."
On that hot summer day he was placed
in a feather bed, hot bricks were put to
his feet and thick blankets piled about
him, and, added to all, the bear-skin robe,
smelling of turpentine and moth-balls,
was piled on top of the blankets. In ad-
dition to all this, hot elderberry tea was
given in liberal quantities, until the pa-
tient broke into a profuse perspiration.
Even then the wrappings were not re-
moved until, as his aunt said, he had a
sweat that would be of some use." So,
for more than half an hour, he endured
what he called "steaming," and was al-
lowed to cool off so gradually that it was
nearly evening before he could rise, and
then he was not permitted to go out of
doors.
"Was I sweating only one hour, aunt?"
asked Eric; I thought it was six."
Only one hour this time. But if you
get wet again it will be three hours, if you
do not object."
Eric made such a wry face at the
idea of a three-hours' sweat that his






ERIC'S VACATION.


aunt was forced to laugh, but her face
grew grave again as she thought of his
narrow escape from death, and of the dis-
tress of his father and mother if he had
not been rescued.
"I am loath to mar your pleasure,
-Eric," she said earnestly, but you must
remember your promise to me not to run
into danger by going on the bay in such a
high wind, unless it should be an impera-
tive duty to do so. Think of your mother,
and a little of me."
Dear aunt, I promise that if I can pre-
vent it, you shall not have another anxious
moment about me; and I do thank you for
your kind care."
You have taken a great weight from
my heart, Eric, and we will try to forget
about your accident. Come, now; Mar-
gery has rung the supper bell, and I know
the good coffee, broiled ham and biscuits
will not come amiss."
The two went out to the table, where
the pastor soon joined them. All were in
cheerful spirits, and Eric's first adventure
was brought to a good ending.

For several days after, the air was so
still that to Mrs. Newman's great satisfac-
tion, there was not likely to be any sailing
on the bay, and she was glad to hear the
boys planning inland expeditions, espe-
cially one in search of ancient relics; in
that there could be no danger.
For three days the sun shone from a
cloudless sky, the weather was extremely
sultry, and the evenings scarcely brought
refreshing coolness. Until late at night
the fishermen and their families sat out-
side their doors, or on the beach, their
cheerful chat and laughter being pleasant


to hear. It was an enforced and un-
wished-for respite from labor to these in-
dustrious people, but they used their
leisure to the best advantage, mending
nets, patching sails, and marking or paint-
ing boats that needed it.
This was a happy time for Reinhold and
Eric, and they used each day as if it were
to be the last they would pass together.
Each evening found Reinhold at the door
of the parsonage, or Eric at that of the
tumble-down cottage of Father Breit-
man, and together they walked or sat on
the beach and talked. There they planned
the next day's jaunt to the woods and
sands, where, with a well-filled lunch-
basket provided by Mrs. Newman, they
staid the best part of the day; and if Rein-
hold never wearied of hearing of that out-
side world which he so longed to enter,
neither did Eric weary of hearing of the
exploits of the hardy fishermen, or of his
friend's own experiences ever since he
could remember.
When a breeze sprang up and the air
seemed to grow a trifle cooler, they would
leave the woods and walk to a ravine,
where, in a dilapidated shed, Reinhold
kept a spade, shovel and pick, for digging
the earth that lay under the sand. Some
pieces of ancient pottery, crudely orna-
mented, were there, and at every visit
Reinhold took them up and looked at
them with loving interest. "I once found
a whole ewer not far from this ravine,"
he remarked the first morning that Eric
visited the shed. I sent it to Professor
Bettenberger, who wrote to me that he
valued it more than any relic he possesses.
I am sure there are more valuable things
than it, deep down under the sand, if I







ERIC'S VACATION.


could only know where to find them. But
I have little time to work, and when I
leave off, the sand from the sea and the
bay drifts over the place, and if I succeed
in again finding the exact spot, all my
work has to be done over; so I make but
little headway."
"I will help all I can," said Eric
eagerly. "We will come to-morrow be-
fore the sun gets too hot, and will bring
something from the olden time to light."
"I hope it will be cloudy to-morrow;
then we could work without danger to
ourselves. The heat of the sun is unbear-
able on the sand. Now, let us go, but we
will take another way to return to the vil-
lage."
They went up the north end of the ra-
vine, and at once felt a change of air, and
inhaled the odor of the salt water.
At one point the sea was shaded by a
stranded schooner, and in a twinkling the
boys had disrobed and were splashing
about in the water, swimming, floating
and diving to their hearts' content.
"I feel that I could swim to Sweden,
only give me time," said Eric.
So could I," laughed Reinhold. "But
we have been in the water long enough."
He set the example by coming ashore, and
Eric followed.
Refreshed by the bath and with a keen
appetite, the two continued to the village
and the parsonage. Supper was just
ready, and Mrs. Newman invited Rein-
hold cordially to remain and partake of it.
He needed no second invitation, for he
and Eric had agreed when they sniffed
the odor of the savory food, that they were
as hungry as wolves.
They did full justice to the supper,


then all went to the porch and enjoyed
the beauty of the evening. This was an
ideal time to Reinhold in such society.
The full moon shone upon the ripples
of Curische Bay, changing them to silver,
while the summer insects were still sing-
ing their evening song in the fir trees.
The little company could hear the voices
of the old fishermen on the strand, who
never wearied of telling their experiences.
Many of them had passed years upon the
nation's war ships, and the wonders of the
East Indies and the dangers of the tropics
were their special theme.
Grandfather has often told me," re-
marked Reinhold, "that before the
Phoenician merchant-vessels traversed all
waters, and later the Roman eagle spread
its victorious wings over the East and
West, there was no Curische Bay, but the
waters of the Baltic flowed over what is
now our Neurung, it and the bay being
only parts of the Baltic. When the spring
and autumn storms came, the sea over-
flowed and there was left by the receding
waves a great quantity of amber, which
the East Indian and other foreign mer-
chants considered so precious that they
brought costly gems, gold, spices, and all
the riches of the Southland, to exchange
for it. With the wealth brought from
foreign parts, the people resolved to
build a city, a splendid city, with palaces
and other buildings of marble brought
from Italy. Back of this city was a great
forest of tall pine and fir trees, and the
sighing of the wind among the branches
made answer to the lapping of the waves
upon the strand. In the center of this
forest was an oak so immense in height
and circumference that the old-time peo-






ERIC'S VACATION.


pie believed the roots reached to the sea
and derived their sustenance from it. The
people of this city made that tree their
god and worshiped it, sacrificing as other
heathen do, and often offering up human
beings. But the sea arose one night dur-
ing a terrible storm, and destroyed the
city, the forest, and everything that had
life."
"Did the merchant-vessels ever come
back to get amber?" asked Eric, who had
been listening with the greatest interest
to this recital.
"Yes; and when they found the city
gone, and in its place this long strip of
sandy land which we call the Neurung,
they left in terror at the change which
they could not understand. But there
are yet treasures in the deep, and am-
ber is still found on the shores of the
Baltic."
The village clock struck eight, and
Reinhold went home, and the pastor and
his little household shortly after retired to
rest.

CHAPTER VIII.
THE DECLAIMER OF POETRY TAKES A
PLUNGE IN THE BAY.
WAS no unusual
thing for vessels
to strand on the
coast of the Baltic
Sea, and also that
of the Curische
Bay. Sticking
fast in the sand a hundred or more yards
from land, many human beings went
down to a watery grave who might have
been saved had there been any concerted


plan of action for the aid of such ship-
wrecked persons.
At length several of the most intelligent
of the fishermen formed a company of life-
savers, and established stations every few
miles along the coast; sheds in which were
life-boats, ropes, baskets, rockets, and all
things needed to save life. Courageous
and experienced fishermen were selected
for these posts, under the command of
tried seamen, and when, during a storm,
signal-guns were fired, or colored lights
exhibited by the wrecked vessel, the
watchman in the light-house tower gave
warning to the fishermen at the life-sav-
ing stations, and no one hesitated a mo-
ment to go in the life-boats to the rescue,
and risk his own life in behalf of his fel-
low-creatures.
It was during Eric's visit that a govern-
ment vessel from the seaport of Memel
was sent to inspect the workings of the
life-saving stations at Nidden, and the oc-
casion was a holiday for all the fisher-folk,
as well as the visitors.
The sun shone brightly, there was no
wind, and the bay was smooth. The fish-
ermen had decorated their anchored boats
with flags and pennons, and, in their high,
well-oiled boots, waited on the strand.
All the villagers had gathered there in
holiday attire, and when the vessels
neared the shore the visitors were greeted
by cheers and the waving of handker-
chiefs.
Reinhold stood a little back from the
others, and with him was Eric, greatly
enjoying a scene so novel. Reinhold, too,
was deeply interested, although he had
witnessed this scene each year since the
signal stations were established.






ERIO'S VACATION.


The first ones to be carried ashore from
the small boats that had brought them
from the vessels, were the superintendent
of pilots and the superintendent of fish-
masters, dressed in uniform, and received
with much distinction by the fishermen.
Several invited guests accompanied the
party, among them the Councillor of Com-
merce, Mr. Johann Friedrich Miller.
As soon as the superintendents were de-
posited on the beach, they extended wel-
coming hands to Mr. Miiller, who came
next, by which token the villagers knew
him to be a person of consequence and,
before the day was over, they were fully
convinced that he had a very high opinion
of himself.
"Where are the carriages? Where are
the carriages?" he demanded, as he
strutted along the beach with his watch
open in his hand. "Remember that I
must be back in Memel by four o'clock.
Very important business is awaiting me,
so bring this inspection to a terminus as
quickly as possible."
There is no need of a carriage, Coun-
cillor," explained one of the superintend-
ents; it is but a short distance to the first
station, and we go in boats from one to an-
other, unless we prefer to walk along the
smooth beach."
"Very unpleasant! Very unpleasant
indeed to one accustomed to his own
equipage! But I waive all responsibility
in the matter; only be quick--time is
precious with me."
The inspectors smiled indulgently. The
Councillor had assumed the whole expense
of one of the signal stations, so they felt
bound to listen to his lightest word with
respect.


"So there are no carriages to convey us
to the stations?" he commented. "Well,
then, let us he going. I waive all respon-
sibility in the matter; time is precious
with me. Come, Wolfgang; come, my
son."
The young man who had just been car-
ried across upon the back of a stalwart
fishermen, had, for the occasion, affected
the oriental style of costume. He wore a
light blue cloth tunic with broad crimson
sash, and full balloon trousers of the same
color, gathered below the knee into a
tight-fitting band.
"Is he a Turk, mother?" asked August
Sanders, one of the onlooking boys.
don't know. I never saw any-
thing like him," Mrs. Sanders responded
with a giggle in which the other women
joined.
The declaimerr of modern poetry"
stepped along the strand, his head held
high, and in his hand a little leather case
containing a camera, the first ever seen in
that primitive neighborhood.
That camera had given immense pleas-
ure to Wolfgang. Not a dog had howled
but was punished by having its picture
taken; no waiting traveler was secure;
and from his many artist trips," as he
called them, scores upon scores of pictures
had accumulated. Searchingly he now
scanned the crowd to see one to whom he
would be willing to entrust his camera,
and at length his glance rested upon
Reinhold.
Here, boy!" he called, "come and
carry this to the station for me."
The commanding tone repelled Rein-
hold. He reddened and was about to re-
fuse, then changed his mind and stepped






ERIC'S VACATION.


forward; but he was held back by Eric,
who said in a low tone:
"Let the conceited monkey carry it
himself!"
Why don't you come?" demanded the
amateur photographer, removing his hat
and fanning his heated face.
Offer him money, Wolfgang; offer
him money," advised his father. These
country people will do anything for
money."
The young man drew a silk purse with
silver clasps from his pocket, took a coin
from it, and tossed it toward Reinhold,
saying in dramatic tones:
"A rich reward I give thee;
Now haste and serve me well."

But the rich reward dropped in the
sand, and Reinhold turned away from the
spot.
Eric felt the slight put upon his friend,
and, stepping up to Wolfgang, he said in
a tone of remonstrance:
"It is ill-mannered in you to treat the
people who have welcomed you kindly in
the way you are doing; you should be
ashamed of yourself."
"Why, what do you mean? How have
I been ill-mannered?"
"In offering money for a service that
anyone here would gladly render, had it
been proper in you to ask it. You will
find that politeness would serve you as
well here as elsewhere."
"Wolfgang!" called the father hastily,
"who is that boy and what does he want
of you? Give him money, Wolfgang, give
him money;" and the pompous little man
drew himself to his full height, and, re-
moving his tall silk hat, ran his fingers


through his hair and looked complacently
about him.
The son made no reply, but cast his
eyes upward as if asking forgiveness for
exchanging words with such worms of the
dust as were the people of Nidden.
But the Councillor would not let the
matter rest; he came up to Eric and gazed
upon him with stern brow.
"Who are you, boy, and where did you
come from?" he demanded. "I judge by
your clothes that you do not belong to
this forlorn place."
My name is Eric Linderman, and my
home is in Kinigsburg."
"Is your father a grain merchant?"
"Yes; that is his business."
"Ha! So you are the son of that
great grain speculator, Ernest Linderman!
He thinks he is very shrewd, but he will
soon find himself at the wrong end of the
market. He will find that there are quite
as shrewd business men as himself. But
I waive all responsibility in the matter; I
waive all responsibility."
"My father is no speculator," said Eric
hastily, "and he asks no man to take re-
sponsibility for him;" and, turning
abruptly away, he followed Reinhold, who
had taken the footpath that led past the
dune to the woods.
So you have received an insult, too?"
remarked Reinhold, noting his friend's
excited manner.
"Yes; but we will not let it spoil our
enjoyment of the day. We have to touch
nettles sometime in our lives."
Shall we turn back and go with the
crowd to the life-saving stations?" asked
Reinhold.
"Yes, we might as well see all that is







ERIC'S VACATION.


to be seen; we can avoid that pompous
little man and his conceited son."
During this colloquy August Sanders
had picked the silver piece from the sand
and offered to carry the camera for that
sum. Then the delegation set out for the
life-saving station, Reinhold and Eric fol-
lowing.
On the way the superintendent in-
formed the fishermen that the government
had at last decided to make Nidden a
harbor town, and would build a wharf
that steamers might land there. This
was indeed good news, and all walked
along the beach with jubilant step, except
Councillor Miller. He complained of
the hardship of having to walk, com-
plained of the sand and the heat, and took
his handkerchief from his pocket for the
third time to wipe his bald head, inter-
spersing his complaints with the ever-re-
curring assertion that he waived all re-
sponsibility in the matter.
When the company reached the first
station, they were met by the fishmaster
and his men.
I am the king's fishmaster, Saltan-
isch," said he, making a military salute,
"and these are my helpers."
You would have light work to-day,
fishmaster," said the superintendent, as he
shook hands; the sea and bay are as calm
as mirrors."
The station was thoroughly examined,
and rockets tried upon a stranded
schooner. A fine line was attached to the
rocket and sent to the schooner, and there
received by a fisherman who had rowed
out to it for that purpose; then a rope was
attached to the line and drawn in by the
fisherman. Next a basket was put on the


rope by the fishmaster, and Micks Salt-
anisch, amid cheers and the waving of
handkerchiefs, came safely in the basket
from the schooner to the beach.
By this time Saltanisch had noticed
Wolfgang Miiller, and his small eyes were
fixed in astonishment upon him, and he
shook his head several times in wonder-
ment at the strange figure, who, with the
air of an expert, was following all the pro-
ceedings.
"Mr. Superintendent of Fishmasters,"
said he in a low tone, "what kind of
pantaloons is that young man wearing?
Do the Memel tailors make such things?"
They are life-saving breeches,"
laughed the superintendent. That
young man could float the Baltic; his
pantaloons would keep him from sinking."
"That seems incredible," said the fish-
master, shaking his head in astonishment.
"I never heard of such an invention."
He had no time for further comments.
The rockets, ropes and baskets having
been proved satisfactory, the life-boat was
manned, and the fishmaster, superintend-
ents and inspectors, including Councillor
Miller, were taken aboard.
"Be not so brave, Wolfgang!" the
father called, as the son was about to be
carried aboard; "one never knows how
these trial trips will turn out."
"Let weak and wavering ones
Choose spots that are secure;
The strong love danger,
And gladly seek it,"
declaimed the young man with pathos as
he followed into the boat.
Saltanisch sat at the rudder, and from
that vantage ground eyed the young man
with a perplexed countenance.






ERIC'S VACATION.


On his part, Wolfgang considered the
time and place an excellent opportunity to
distinguish himself, and, stepping upon
the ledge at the opposite end of the boat,
he put his hand upon his heart and de-
claimed a poem with all the inflections of
voice and all the gestures of which he was
master.
"Wolfgang, an artist with brush and
canvas should be here to perpetuate this!"
said his father proudly; "but I waive all
responsibility in the matter."
Superintendent of Pilots," said Wolf-
gang eagerly, "you understand the man-
agement of my camera; will you take my
picture while I declaim the poem?"
Certainly. I am willing to oblige,"'
was the reply. "Give me the signal at
the exact moment that you wish to be
taken."
Yes; take it at the exact moment that
I declaim:
"'Sea, O boundless, boundless sea!
Thou glittering tear in eye of Earth,
Amazed am I-'
"Not yet," he paused to say as he
noticed that the superintendent was about
to take the picture. I will extend my
arms as a signal for you, in these lines:
Here in thy shining depths,
Down-' "
He nodded to the superintendent, ex-
tended his arms and at that instant the
boat gave a lurch and he plunged head
foremost into the bay.
The Councillor gave a cry of affright.
Is there no man among you willing to
save a human life?" he shouted. "Do
you intend to let him drown? I waive all
responsibility in the matter."
Wait until he comes up, and my Micks


will attend to the rest," advised Salt-
anisch."
There is his bat!" exclaimed Micks;
"he will be up in a minute."
The boy was right. Soon an arm ap-
peared above the water, which Micks
grasped, and brought the frightened
Wolfgang safely into the boat.
An old sail was wrapped about him at
the request of the anxious father, and
then the party proceeded to the next sta-
tion.
"Look here, Saltanisch," said the
Superintendent of Fishmasters in a low
tone, "what possessed you to make the
boat lurch just at that moment?"
"I wanted to see if the baggy panta-
loons would keep him from sinking. I
knew he could not take cold such a hot
day as this."
The superintendent smiled, but Coun-
cillor Miller did not take the affair so
quietly.
"Who is that ignorant seaman at the
rudder?" he stormed. "He must be pun-
ished. How dare he risk people's lives in
that manner! Who allowed him to man-
age a life-boat? I waive all responsibility
in the matter."
"I am the king's fishmaster," ejacu-
lated Saltanisch in equal anger, and will
manage this boat just as I please. I did
not tell your son to fall into the bay."
"I am the Councillor of Commerce,
Johann Friedrich Miller, and one of the
proprietors of the life-saving stations; and
I affirm that if you cannot steer a boat
such a day as this, what would you do in a
storm? I waive all responsibility."
The fishmaster saw the danger of dis-
pleasing the Councillor, but he was of too






E.IC's VACATION.


much importance in his own eyes to let
the onlookers see that he was afraid of
losing his position, so answered insolently:
" If a man cannot stand in a boat with a
little lurch like that, he should stay at
home and play marbles."
I shall see that a man who knows how
to manage a life-boat is put in your
place!" said the Councillor, pale with
anger. "I waive all responsibility in the
affair."
Fortunately they reached the second
station before Saltanisch had time to re-
ply, and when they went on shore the su-
perintendent of fishmasters took the arm
of the Councillor to walk to the station.
"I hope, Councillor, that you will ex-
cuse the indiscretion of the fishmaster,"
said he; he is an excellent seaman, but
entirely ignorant of the courtesies of life."
The Councillor had not yet recovered
his equanimity, so did not respond, and
the superintendent sought the fishmaster.
Saltanisch," said he gravely, if you
wish to keep your position, you had better
make peace with the Councillor. He
thinks a great deal of his son, and it is no
wonder he is angry. How would you like
him to treat your Micks that way?"
I The idea of Micks falling into the bay
and being saved from drowning by Wolf-
gang was so comical that Saltanisch burst
into hearty laughter, in which all his
anger vanished, and, walking up to the
Councillor, he extended his hand.
"Don't hold spite against me, old gen-
tleman, because I let the boat lurch," he
said. "If your son will come next year
he may stand and spout as long as he has
breath, and I willTold the boat steady."
To some of the listeners the apology


was as bad as the offence, but the Coun-
cillor felt that he was victor; Saltanisch
had before them all acknowledged that he
was sorry; so, with a dignified motion of
his hand, the lordly little man said that
he waived all responsibility, and the mat-
ter was settled to the satisfaction of every-
body.
After all the stations had been visited
and the inspectors had departed, a group
of men were standing on the shore of the
bay discussing some flags which the super-
intendent of pilots had left for the watch-
man in the tower of the light-house.
"I wonder if he will understand how
to work them?" remarked one of the fish-
ermen. "I don't believe that I would
like to undertake them."
"It is very dumb in you fishermen not
to know!" said Saltanisch, coming up in
time to hear the last remark, and regard-
ing the flags with a superior smile.
"Well, how is it, fishmaster?" asked
the men.
"When a storm is upon us, the watch-
man hangs out one of the flags, and we all
stay at home. When it is good weather
for fishing, he hangs out the other, and we
all go out."
And this explanation being satisfactory
to himself, the fishmaster left them and
went home.

CHAPTER IX.
ERIC IN A STORM ON THE BAY.
E RIC waited the next morning for
Reinhold, but he did not come, and
finally he walked to the cottage to see
what was detaining his friend. Although
it was but eight o'clock, the heat from






ERIC'S VACATION.


the sun beating upon the sand was almost
unbearable, and the boy's head felt its
power as it had never done in the city
streets.
When he reached the cottage, Father
Breitman was not seated on the bench by
the door, as was his uiual custom, but
stood absently gazing at the Schlangen-
berg.
"It comes! It comes! And I can do
nothing more to prevent it!" he mur-
mured sadly.
"Good morning, Father Breitman!"
said Eric cheerfully.
Oh, it is you!" said the old man in a
pleased tone. Reinhold will be glad; he
is not well, his head pains him. I hope it
is only because of the heat, but I fear
it may be that he is taking a fever of some
kind. Oh, if the boy should be ill, I --:
And the old man could not finish the sen-
tence.
Eric went quickly into the cottage and
to Reinhold's room. The air was close
and damp, and the odor of the calamus
flags oppressed him. He could see noth-
ing until his eyes grew accustomed to the
darkness, but Reinhold reached out and
took his friend's hand.
"I wanted to come to the parsonage,"
he said, "but when I attempted to rise
my head felt so strange that I was com-
pelled to lie down. I am sorry, but I do
not believe I shall be able to go to the
woods or dig in the sand to-day. I do not
think I could declaim like Wolfgang; my
head feels so thick."
No, I hope not!" laughed Eric; but
his heart sank with anxiety, for Reinhold's
hand was hot and dry with fever.
"We must have some fresh air in here,


Reinhold," said he; and he attempted to
open a window on the shaded side of the
cottage. It would open only half way,
and the air was so hot from the sand
which pressed against it that the boy
closed the shutter and returned to the
bedside.
"Is there anything I can do for you,
Reinhold?" he asked.
I am very thirsty; if you will get me
some fresh water and set it by my bed, I
shall need nothing more."
Eric took the earthen pitcher from the
table, and, going' out, he cooled it well
with running water, filled it and brought
it to Reinhold, who drank eagerly. Then,
noticing that his friend had closed his
eyes as if to sleep, Eric thought it better
to go.
"I will come again this evening," he
said; "then you will have slept and will
be well."
Yes, and to-morrow we can take a sail.
The air will be cooler on the water than
here; I long to be on the water."
Eric made his way out of the darkened
cottage, and found that the old seaman
had taken his place upon the bench and
was mending a net.
Father Breitman," he said, "I think
Reinhold is feverish; he will want fresh
water often."
"Yes, he is far from well, and the air
is very oppressive. There will be a storm
soon; the fir trees are giving warning.
There will be vessels driven upon the
sand-bar, and the steersmen will be unable
to prevent it. Yes, I will make a cooling
herb tea for Reinhold; it will help him;"
and he arose and went indoors, and Eric
returned to the parsonage.







ERIC'S A GATION.


His uncle was sitting on the porch fan-
ning his heated face, and Eric, almost
overcome by his walk across the hot sand,
threw himself on the bench, while he told
of Reinhold's indisposition.
I think it is only the great heat," said
the pastor. Our Neurung may well be
called the East Prussia Sahara, for I doubt
if the real desert is any hotter than it is
here to-day. I think, however, that this
day is exceptional; I do not remember
any summer when we experienced such
heat."
Pastor," said the fishmaster, making
his appearance at that moment, tell your
wife that she need not cook a trout or
salmon for dinner; I can bring them to
her out of the bay already cooked!" And,
highly pleased with the aptness of his ex-
cellent joke, as he considered it, he passed
on; while the pastor, as in duty bound, re-
ported it to Mrs. Newman when she came
out, knitting in hand, to sit on the porch.
Eric arose to a sitting posture immedi-
ately upon her appearance, and told her of
Reinhold's fever.
"If the boy is sick, we will bring him
here, if his grandfather is willing," she
said. There are no accommodations in
that miserable place for a well person,
much less one who is ailing. You agree
with me that it would be better to bring
him here, do you not, Lucian?"
"Yes, far better. When the sun gets
lower, we will go and see how he is and
what can be done for him."
When afternoon came, a breeze suf-
ficient to fill sails had sprung up, and the
fishermen, weary of idleness, gathered
upon the strand. With thoughtful mien
they wiped the moisture from their fore-


heads, and cast searching glances at the
sky, which was becoming overcast.
There is going to be a storm," said
Hans Ortman; "when the fir trees sigh
and the silence is so great, we may look for
foul weather."
But it may not catch us on the bay,"
suggested Johann Frost; we may fill our
nets and get home before it comes. We
may as well run the risk of foul weather
as moulder here on shore."
"See! See!" exclaimed August San-
ders.
All eyes were turned to the tower of the
light-house, to which he pointed. A sig-
nal flag had been run up Violent
storm from the northwest."
The fishermen who had put their nets
in their boats were not able to decide what
course to take.
"We must not go," declared one of
them. I will bring my net out of the
boat. What is the use of having a signal,
if we do not obey it?"
"But we have been used to storms all
our lives," objected Hans Ortman; it
would set a poor example to our children
to be frightened by a few clouds."
Yes," responded Johann Frost, they
are poor fishermen who wait until every-
thing is favorable. It should not be said
of any of us that we dread foul weather."
All made ready to go, some with secret
misgivings but determined will, and
others fearing nothing.
"Surely you are not going out in your
boats?" exclaimed Pastor Newman
anxiously, as he and Eric walked down
the beach to where the fishermen were
standing.
"Yes," responded Hans Ortman.







ERIC'S VACATION.


" Our fish-tanks are empty, we are out of
money, and are doing nothing."
"But, Ortman, you see the signal on
the light-house tower. The storm will be
upon you before you can get back."
"It may come, pastor, and it may not.
How can any man tell when the wind will
begin or where it will end? It is not the
first thing, nor will it be the last, that we
can never understand."
"True, there are many things we can-
not understand; but the storm-signal tells
the truth, and you should heed it."
Pastor," returned the old man sol-
emnly and reverently, our Savior did not
tell his disciples that a storm was coming,
although he must have known it, but al-
lowed them to go on the sea. Shall these
signals made by men's hands lessen my
confidence in God? No! I have belief
in God's promise to care for us upon the
water as upon the land, and you have in
your sermons strengthened that belief. I
would be ashamed to show want of confi-
dence in him by staying ashore."
"Then may our heavenly Father pro-
tect you and bring you safely home," as-
sented the pastor.
. There was one good result from his
warning, and that was the taking of
everything needed in case of a storm. The
masts, sails and rudders were examined to
see-that they were in perfect order, and
extra ropes were taken to strengthen any
parts that proved weak.
Finally all the boats pushed off, and the
village resumed its usual quietude.
As soon as supper was finished at the
parsonage, Mr. and Mrs. Newman and
Eric set out for the cottage to see Rein-
hold. The sun was setting, a globe of


crimson; and above it was a bank of gray
cloud which, as soon as the sun disap-
peared, could scarcely be distinguished
from the water.
They found that Reinhold had re-
mained in bed most of the day, but was
now outside the cottage with his grand-
father. Both agreed with the pastor that
a storm was not far distant, so their stay
was shortened, and the visitors walked
hurriedly toward home.
Suddenly a wave washed up on the
beach with a short, sharp gurgle, as if the
sea had awakened, and it caused the hearts
of the two who understood it, to thrill
with anxiety.
It is coming!" said the pastor, and I
fear will be a terrible storm. May God
protect all who are on the sea!"
Soon they could hear the sound of the
wind among the fir trees, they saw leaves
and branches whirled in the air, and the
bank of cloud had extended to the zenith.
Then it was still; nothing could be heard
but the breakers dashing against the
shore.
Oh, uncle, let me go to the light-
house!" said Eric; the Baltic and the bay
must be grand in a storm."
Consent was given, only Mrs. Newman
implored the boy to be careful and not run
too close to the incoming waves. He
promised, and, speeding away down the
beach, soon reached the great building.
The odor of petroleum greeted his nos-
trils when he opened the door, for, al-
though early in the evening, the great
lantern was trimmed and burning bright-
ly, and its beams shone far over the sea
and bay.
The watchman made his caller very wel-







ERIC'S VACATION.


come, feeling not at all loth to have com-
panionship in the coming storm.
"You can sit by this window and look
out, if you wish," he said. If I am not
mistaken, we are to have a tempest that
will bring disaster in its train. Listen to
the howling of the wind; it will be terrible
on the sea!'
Eric pressed his face between his hands
and looked out. Flashes of lightning
showed him the breakers tossing high on
the beach; then it was dark, and thunder
drowned the roaring of the sea.
Presently, as though thrown by invisible
hands, sand and pebbles dashed against
the window as if seeking to destroy the
glass. Eric looked in almost terror toward
the watchman, who cast anxious glances
at the light. But it burned steadily and
clearly, undisturbed by the commotion
without.
The casing is firm and the glass
thick," he said; "it has withstood many
storms. If the boats on the sea were as
safe as this light-house, there would not
be so many anxious hearts in Nidden this
night."
Secure as he knew the massive building
to be, yet it trembled as the blasts of wind
swept over it. The blackness of the
storm-clouds had settled over sea and
land, only lighted at intervals by vivid
flashes of lightning.
"Did you happen to see a small yacht
on the bay to the northwest of Nidden
this afternoon?" asked the watchman after
a time.
No, I did not notice anything that I
took to be a yacht."
It appeared to me a stylish little craft.
I watched it for some time and could not


quite understand its movements. If it
has a commander with but little experi-
ence of storms on the Baltic or Curische
Bay, it will run aground and be wrecked,
or I am not an old seaman."
Do you think they were surprised by
the storm?" asked Eric, full of anxious in-
terest.
"They must have been; surely they
would not have run recklessly into such
danger in a yacht. The Nidden strand
in a storm is not to be trifled with."
"Are you anxious about our fisher-
men?"
"Yes, but their boats are well built,
and they are all experienced seamen, so I
hope for the best. But see!" and he
glanced quickly through the window,
" was that a flash of lightning or not?"
"It must have been lightning. What
else could it be?"
Before the watchman could reply, there
came another flash, blue in tint and-re-
maining longer than lightning would
have done.
It is a blue flash!" said the watchman
excitedly; "it is a signal of distress and is
from the yacht!"
Hurriedly he telegraphed the message:
"A sailing yacht in distress a thousand
steps west of the station!"
He listened, but no answer came. He
gave the signal alarm; still there was no
answer.
Eric had risen and was pressing his face
against the window in his eagerness to see
if there was another light from the
stranded craft.
"I am sure I heard the report of a
gun!" said he excitedly. Can it be from
the yacht?"






ERIC'S VACATION. 53
"No doubt of it! But Saltanisch is not .rap upon the door and shouted, There is
at his post, and I cannot leave here!" a ship in distress!" In a moment or more
But men's lives are in danger!" cried a window was raised and the trembling
Eric, turning pale with anxiety. "I will voice of an old woman responded:
run to the village and
get some men to go to
their help;" and he
turned to leave the
building.
But the watchman
grasped his arm. "It
will be of no use," he
said; "you will not
find five men that can
manage a boat in such
a storm; the fishermen / -
are all out in their
boats."
But let me try to
do something," said
the boy, "or I will feel
guilty all my after
life."
"Then go! And
may God enable you to
be of use!"
Eric ran down the
steps and out of doors,
but he had not realized A
the full force of the
wind. It was with the -
utmost difficulty that
he could keep his foot- .
hold. He halted to 7:-
recover breath, tied his
cap securely, buttoned ,"It is a blue flash!" said the watchman.--See page 52.
his jacket, and then
hurried on. Leaves from the trees flew in "There is no help here; no one is at
his face, branches fell about him, but he home but me. God pity all who are on
kept on until he reached the first cottage the sea this night!'
at that end of Nidden. There he gave a Not knowing what else to do, Eric ran






ERJC',S VACATION.


on to the parsonage and rushed into the
sitting-room, where he found his uncle
and aunt.
"There is a yacht in distress!" he said
almost breathlessly. "What can we
do?"
Yes, what can we do!" said the pastor,
springing to his feet and reaching for his
hat. There are no seamen left in the
village."
"I will run to the cottage of Father
Breitman. I am sure Reinhold will
go;" and Eric made for the door, and,
before his aunt could prevent him, rushed
out.
I will meet you at the station, Eric!"
called his uncle after him. "And now
for my storm-coat and boots."
These were hurriedly brought and his
wife helped him on with the coat.
"Don't let Eric go out in the boat!"
said she with pale lips. His parents
will never forgive us if anything happens
to him."
My wife, when duty calls, no one
should turn a deaf ear. What Eric can
do, he should do, with Christ as his helper.
Lives are in danger; suppose those lives
were Eric's and mine would you try to
prevent those who offered, from coming to
our aid?"
No, oh, no!" was the reply, while tears
ran down the lady's pale cheeks.
"I alone can do nothing; with Eric's
help perhaps I may be able to be of some
use," said the pastor; and, kissing his wife
farewell, he hurried out.
Eric had in the meantime reached the
cottage, from which gleamed a dim light
through the dilapidated, shutter, and he
heard the old man's voice repeating the


words: "He holds the waves in the hol-
low of His hand."
The boy dared not stop to listen, but
hurriedly opened the partly-closed door
and went through to the bedroom, where
he found Father Breitman reading a
psalm by the dim light and Reinhold list-
ening from his bed.
"What has happened?" the latter
asked, rising from his pillow.
"A yacht is stranded. We heard the
signal of distress, and all the fishermen
are away from home. I forgot that you
were not well, so I ran here for help. Per-
haps your grandfather can advise us."
The old man arose and stood as if not
knowing what to advise, and Reinhold
began hurriedly putting on his clothes.
"You must not go!" cried Eric, "it
will be your death!" And he tried to
make his friend return to bed.
"Let me try," said Reinhold; "the
fever seems to have left me and my head
feels clear." Yet he tottered as he
stepped a few paces from the bed, and Eric
put out a hand to support him.
"Do stay at home, Reinhold!" he said
entreatingly. "I blame myself for com-
ing here."
Could I lie at peace in my bed and not
make the least effort to help when people's
lives are in danger? No!" And the boy
stretched out his arms. "I feel the
strength that comes with storm and waves.
Come!"
"Father Breitman, do persuade Rein-
hold to stay at home!" pleaded Eric. He
is not able to go; it will be his death."
"We need his strong arm; and he is in
God's hands, as are the winds and waves.
Come!"






SERIC'S V

\The old man seemed to have grown ten
years younger. He extinguished the
lamp, and all passed through the low door,
and, as they did so, a rain of sand sifted
down upon them.
"The Schlangenberg has wakened; it
always wakens in a storm," said Father
Breitman in a low tone.
Placing their shoulders to the storm,
the three walked hurriedly along, the
foam from the breakers wetting their
faces and the darkness enveloping them
like a pall.
Eric felt so weak, so small and power-
less, during this turmoil of Nature! What
could two men and two boys do, in con-
tending. against the elements?
At length they reached the life-saving
station and entered the dark shed.
Father Breitman lighted a lantern, and
they all looked about them. There were
the life-boats, strong and heavy, and the
rockets.
"We can never move the boats," said
the old man. We must try the rockets,
although I fear the wind is too strong."
They prepared one and sent it out, hop-
ing to locate the stranded yacht by aiming
in the direction where Eric had seen the
blue light. The rocket whizzed and
hissed in the storm, and fell into the water
a short distance from shore.
"Let us try the storm lantern," said
Reinhold; and, hurrying into the shed, he
lighted the lantern, and, bringing it out,
swung it in a circle over his head, hoping
thus to attract the attention of the people
on the yacht. To their joy a faint blue
light was seen, which soon disappeared.
The boat is yet holding together; it
must be well built," commented Father


1


VACATION. 55
Breitman. We will try another rocket."
This was sent off, but, like the first, it
dropped into the water, so they decided
that rockets at that time were useless.
We must try the boats," Reinhold de-
clared; "there is nothing else left for us
to do. They are drawn up by the dune
for preservation during the storm; let us
go."
The little party left the station and
found the boats. Father Breitman went
from one to another, rapping them with
his knuckles. "This one is sound," said
he; "we will take it. Bring the oars out
of the life-boat."
The order was quickly obeyed. Ropes,
nets and sails were thrown out of the boat
and stones put in to steady it, and then
they pushed it along to the edge of the
breakers.
"Do you believe it is possible for it to
live in this sea?" asked the pastor
anxiously.
"With God all things are possible,"
was the reverent response from the old
man.
Mr. Newman knelt upon the sand,
Father Breitman beside him, and the two
boys followed their example.
"Heavenly Father," the pastor prayed,
"thou hast power over the storm; in thy
hand is the sea. Strengthen our weak
strength, guide our frail boat safely over
the raging waters, and help us, if it be thy
will, to save those who are in the jaws of
death. Amen."
"Amen, and Amen!" responded the
older man reverently. "Now we will
push off. Let us step in. Hold fast to
the oars; a lost oar would be our destruc-
tion."






ERIC'S VACATION.


There is someone calling!" exclaimed
Eric, and the voice is coming nearer!"
Above the roaring of the breakers could
be heard the stentorian tones of Salt-
anisch, and a moment later he and Micks
were in the circle of light made by the
storm-lantern.
We were at the light-house to find the
spot where the yacht is stranded," the fish-
master said breathlessly. Now we know
the place."
The two new-comers stepped in and
took the oars in their powerful hands, the
keel grated on the sand, then the boat shot
out among the waves and bounded toward
the stranded yacht.
Father Breitman sat at the rudder and
guided the boat; he seemed to have re-
gained the strength of youth. High upon
a wave and then down in the trough of the
sea, they kept on their way. Eric clung
to the side of the boat, scarcely able to
keep his place; but the others, accus-
tomed all their lives to tempestuous seas,
sat as erect and firm as if upon land. The
wind had torn Father Breitman's cap
from his head, and his thin white hair
floated across his earnest face. His eyes
shone lustrous in the light of the lantern,
and his hands held the rudder as if part of
it.
At length the dark outline of the yacht
was faintly visible. It was fast in the
sand, and a wild sea was breaking over it,
tossing it here and there. The planks
were now giving way, and those in the
rescue-boat saw that it could not stand the
tempest much longer.
Ship ahoy!" cried Saltanisch in his
powerful tones; and a weak voice an-
swered, "Ahoy!"


"Throw us a rope!" again called Salt-
anisch. But there was no reply.
"We will row close and go aboard.
Reinhold, you and Eric can spring on
deck; we must stay here and hold the boat
steady."
The boys were ready for this, and the
moment they came near enough, Rein-
hold, with the help of the others, sprang
aboard the yacht, and Eric followed. But
the latter could not retain his footing,
and would have rolled into the surging
sea, had not his friend grasped his arm.
"You must go down on bands and
knees and crawl to the mast," Reinhold
said. "I think someone is tied to it; and
he will drown, with the waves pouring
over him, if he is not already dead."
The boy was not mistaken. Tied to the
mast was a man, who responded with a
groan of anguish when Eric touched his
shoulder.
"Where are the others?" asked Rein-
hold, rapidly untying the rope.
In the cabin save them!"
Eric, hold him steady, while I tie this
rope to the mast, and give the other end to
Saltanisch; it will help him to keep the
boat alongside." And Eric, still on his
knees, held fast to the stranger until
Reinhold returned. Then they pushed
the nearly helpless man to the side of the
yacht and lifted him over into the strong
arms of Micks, and he was made as com-
fortable as possible by the help of an old
piece of sail cloth.
"Make as much haste as you can,
boys!" called Pastor Newman. "The
yacht cannot hold together much longer,
and our boat fills almost as rapidly as we
can bail it out."






ERIC'S VACATION.


No time was lost in reaching the cabin,
and to their relief the boys found it
lighted by a lamp, enabling them to see
about. There they found a gray-haired
man, his daughter and granddaughter,
and another man, his sailor bat so low
over his forehead that they could not have
told, had they taken time to notice,
whether he was old or young.
Save us!" cried the girl, stretching
out her hands imploringly.
"We will save you, but we have not a
moment to lose," said Reinhold, as he took
the slight form in his arms and made his
way to the side of the yacht.
Eric followed, supporting the mother,
and the two men kept closely behind them.
They were lifted into the boat -but
were they saved? It was already heavy
with the water dashed in by the breakers,
and which all the men in the boat who
could be spared for the work had helped
to bail out, and the five shipwrecked
strangers added to the weight.
But the rescuers could not hesitate.
The rope that bound them to the wreck
was cut. The distance between the boat
and the yacht must be increased as speed-
ily as possible.
The oarsmen bent to their work.
Father Breitman was immovable at the
rudder, Eric bailed out water, and, amid
storm and roaring waves, they flew toward
the shore.
"Hold fast!" cried Saltanisch. Here
comes a huge wave; if it breaks over us,
we are lost!"
A sigh escaped the old man, but he held
fast to the rudder. The boat mounted
the comb, and then down again in the
trough of the sea. They were in the


breakers- a little more and they would
reach the strand. The receding waves
strove to draw them back to sea, but the
keel of the boat grated upon the sand. In
an instant Saltanisch, Reinhold, Micks,
the pastor and Eric sprang out, grasped
the boat, and, in water above their waists,
with their united strength dragged it
upon the strand. The wave rolled back,
but the boat remained. No danger now,
though the breakers, like angry demons,
seemed loth to give up their prey.
The rescuers helped the terrified, ship-
wrecked strangers out of the boat. The
mother clasped her daughter in her arms,
the father clasped them both, and they
knelt upon the sand and, with tears of joy,
thanked God that he had allowed these
noble, brave men to save their lives.
Only Father Breitman remained in the
boat. His hand still grasped the rudder,
but his head had sunk upon his breast.
Grandfather!" cried Reinhold in
nameless anxiety, as he sprang into the
boat and took the old man's arm to help
him out.
The voice of the loved grandsnn seemed
to recall the departing spirit. The right
hand was raised and laid upon the bowed
head of the boy as if in blessing, then it
fell helpless at the old man's side. Father
Breitman was dead! Danger had spurred
him to exertion; it was past, and his work
on earth was done. The tempest still
raged and the billows rolled, but amid
the storm the old man had found everlast-
ing rest.
The others surrounded the boat, and
the pastor laid his hand upon the head of
the aged seaman. The Lord bless thee
and welcome thee into his kingdom.






EBIC'S YAOAIIOA.


Through tempest and angry seas hast
thou, with thy life, saved that of others.
Thine ear is deaf to the thanks of men,
but God, who strengthened thy arm, will
reward thee for ever. Amen!"
All eyes were filled with tears, and
Saltanisch turned his back and wiped his
face with his weary hands.
Come," said the pastor to the ship-
wrecked strangers, "the life-saving sta-
tion is near at hand; we will go there. It
is only a shed, but will afford us protec-
tion until the worst of the.storm is over."
The fishmaster led the way, and all fol-
lowed except Reinhold, who remained in
the boat, his arm about the still form of
the aged seaman. The boy realized with
bitter sorrow that he was now alone in the
world.
"Reinhold," said the pastor, turning
back when he saw that the lad was not
with the others, "come with us. Could
you wish a more beautiful calling Home
for your grandfather? He was your all,
but so also were you his. You will miss
him no one can take his place in your
heart but my house shall be your home,
and my wife and I will be mother and
father to you so far as we can. Come."
"I cannot leave him here alone," said
the boy with a sob. "I cannot!"
"Nothing can harm him now, Rein-
hold; he is safe in his Father's House."
Eric, too, had returned and stood by
the pastor, and now he stepped into the
boat and put an arm about his friend.
"Reinhold, let me be a brother to you.
Come with us; we cannot leave you here,
and we will not go without you."
Unselfish even ii grief, Reinhold arose
and, with tears relieving his oppressed


heart, he pressed a kiss upon the forehead
of his grandfather and followed Eric.
They dragged the boat farther up on
the beach, and, tenderly laying the body
down in it and covering it with a sail,
left it beside the sea which the old man
had so loved. Then they followed the
others to the life-saving station.


CHAPTER X.
SALTANISCH PRAISES MICKS.
HEN the little com-
pany reached the life-
S saving station they
found awaiting them
Mrs. Newman and her
faithful Margery, who
Shad brought a pot of
hot, strong coffee to
strengthen the ship-
wrecked ones and en-
able them to walk to the parsonage, where
all was in readiness for them.
The wife wept for joy when she em-
braced her husband and Eric, and when
they told her of the death of Father
Breitman, her heart went out in sympathy
to Reinhold.
Margery had brought cloaks, which
were wrapped about the shivering mother
and daughter, and all were served with a
cup of the hot coffee.
"This tastes rather better than sea
water," remarked Saltanisch. "It has
braced me up; when we stepped out of the
boat I could scarcely stand."
While the others were thus engaged,
Mrs. Newman went over to a bench where
Reinhold sat, and, brushing back the wet






ERIC'S VACATION.


hair from his forehead, she took his hand
in hers.
You are our son now," Reinhold," the
pastor's wife said tenderly. I know you
must grieve for the one who has left us,
but his calling Home is a blessing to him,
as his life was a blessing to others. But
your hands are hot, my boy; are you
sick?"
"I am thirsty all the time and my
head aches."
"We are going to the parsonage now,
Reinhold, and you will soon be in a com-
fortable bed, and have Eric for company.
You are wet and worn out with exertion
in this terrible storm; you need a good
night's rest."
Tears filled the eyes of the boy. He
could not speak as he thought of the aged
man on the beach, sleeping his last sleep,
the winds sighing a requiem, and the
waves of the sea he had so loved dashing
against the shore.
Refreshed and strengthened, all the
party felt able to breast the storm. They
left the shed, and were soon in the par-
sonage, where Reinhold was taken to his
room and made comfortable for the night.
"Shall I bring you up some supper?"
Eric asked, when about to return to the
parlor.
"Oh, no! I do not wish anything,
thank you."
The pastor in the meanwhile had taken
the two men to a room above and supplied
them with dry garments, for theirs were
wet through, and Mrs. Newman collected
from her wardrobe supplies for the ladies;
and, by the time Margery had a good sup-
per upon the table, all were ready to par-
take of it.


The gratitude of the shipwrecked ones
was boundless, all except the young
man who had kept his hat over his face
expressing their joy at being in this safe
and comfortable home; he sat silent and
depressed.
"I cannot say why it is," commented
Mrs. Winston in her gentle voice, but I
feel a blessed peace, in my heart, as if an-
other great joy, beside the saving of my
life and that of my loved ones, were in
store for me."
"Nor can I explain why your father
and your daughter and yourself seem like
old friends to me," replied Mrs. Newman,
"for I am sure we have never met until
to-night."
The pastor had by this time finished
changing his wet garments for dry ones,
and all sat down to supper. The bless-
ing had just been asked when Salt-
anisch made his appearance and was
welcomed cordially by the pastor and his
wife.
"I came to ask after Reinhold," he
said. Oh, he is a brave boy as brave
as my Micks, who is snoring already!"
"Eric is upstairs with him," replied
Mrs. Newman. "He will soon be down
and report. Come and have some supper,
fishmaster."
Saltanisch accepted the invitation, and
Margery brought plate and knife and fork
for him, and at that moment Eric came to
the table.
"Will Reinhold have some tea or coffee
now?" asked his aunt.
"No, he is sleeping. I waited a little
while until I saw his eyes close, then came
quietly out."
Sleep will be the best medicine," said







ERIC'S VACATION.


the elderly gentleman. "And you, my
brave boy, acted like an old salt in the
rescue," and he took Eric's hand in a
warm grasp. But the boy flinched and
withdrew it quickly.
So!" said his uncle, "your hands were
too tender for the hard oars? Let me see
them."
Eric flushed, but he opened his hand
and showed where the skin was worn en-
tirely off the fingers and palms.
You should be proud of your wounds,
my dear boy," commented the old gentle-
man. "Your parents are richly blessed
in having such a son."
In the excitement attending the rescue
and in the dimly lighted shed, Saltanisch
had had no opportunity to inspect the
wrecked strangers, but now in the brightly
lighted supper room he recognized in the
young man who had kept his hat over his
face until entering the parsonage, Wolf-
gang Muller, and next him was one of the
assessors.
Eric recognized them at the same mo-
ment, and he nodded to each as he took
his place at the table. But Wolfgang
flushed and did not respond.
It is no wonder I did not know him,"
thought Saltanisch. "He is dressed in
the pastor's clothes and looks like a
Christian man, instead of a heathen Turk
-with his balloon breeches. Nor is he
strutting about and spouting as he did
that day the inspectors were at the life-
saving stations."
The fishmaster was right. Every trace
of the young man's former conceit and ar-
rogance had disappeared, his eyes dropped
in embarrassment, and a flush mantled
his pale cheeks.


Do not think hard of me that I
brought you all into such danger this ter-
rible night," he said humbly. Perhaps
had you known it was I you would not
have helped me."
"Nonsense, young man!" ejaculated
Saltanisch impatiently. "I would have
tried to save my greatest enemy, even
Fritz Keller."
"You, too, are glad that I was saved!"
he said, turning to Eric. "Yet I was
so unkind in pushing that little girl
off the bench the day we were on the
'Phoenix.' "
"We will try to forget that," replied
Eric cheerfully.
"I see," remarked the elderly gentle-
man, "that the beautiful courtesy which
prevails among you, prevents your asking
the name and station of those you have
received so kindly under your roof. But
we do not wish to remain strangers. My
name is Edward Kingston, and I am a
grain merchant of Liverpool; and this
lady next to me is my daughter, Mrs. Win-
ston, and the younger one is her daughter,
Edith."
"I noticed that while you all speak
German well, you have the English ac-
cent," said the pastor.
Eric looked at Mr. Kingston with in-
creased interest, remembering that he had
heard his father's bookkeeper, Burkholtz,
speak with respect of the great grain mer-
chant, Kingston.
I have taken this visit to Prussia,"
the old gentleman continued, "on some
business which has caused my daughter
and myself much traveling and anxiety;
and, to our sorrow, we do not seem to be
any nearer our object than when we






ERIC'S VACATION.


started years ago. I will tell you the par-
ticulars later."
All returned to the parlor and gathered
about the blazing fire which Margery had
kindled upon the hearth, for, although it
was summer, the storm had brought cool-
ness, and to the guests the warmth was
more than welcome. The storm still raged
without, causing the windows to rattle in
their frames, the breakers dashed against
the beach, but within all was peace and
comfort.
Eric engaged Wolfgang and the young
assessor in conversation, thus allowing
the pastor to listen to Mr. Kingston as he
told how they happened to be out on the
sea in the storm. Saltanisch listened with
rapt attention.
"We went to Memel eight days ago,"
said Mr. Kingston, with the hope that
Councillor Miiller could give us some in-
formation upon the subject which has
caused us so much anxiety. He was un-
able to do so, but insisted that we should
remain as guests in his elegant home, with
the hope that he might be able to hear of
something to our advantage.
"We suffered terribly with the heat,
and this morning Wolfgang suggested
that we take a sail with him and young
Mr. Hoffman in his yacht, a present from
his father. He gave me to understand
that he and his friend thoroughly under-
stood the management of a yacht, but be-
fore the storm came upon us we found
they kiew nothing whatever about it."
"That Wolfgang is a great windbag!"
commented Saltanisch indignantly; "he
don't know a schooner from a war-ship,
nor a sail from my old red silk handker-
chief -and for him to undertake to


manage a yacht!" and the fishmaster
sniffed with disdain.
"We had no reason to doubt their
knowledge, and never thought of doing so.
An old pilot guided us safely out of the
harbor of Memel, and warned us not to
stay too long, as the signal service had
announced that a storm was not many
hours away. We sailed along beautifully
for about two hours or more, and then I
thought it better to return, but found to
my dismay that neither of the young men
knew how to manage the yacht."
"No, of course not!" commented Salt-
anisch. "If you had seen my Micks
about that time, you would know how a
yacht, or any other craft that sails, should
be managed."
They pulled on the ropes, pressed the
rudder, dragged the sails up and down,
and at last were compelled to acknowledge
they could do nothing with it. I insisted
that they should take the boat to land be-
fore the coming storm was upon us, but
by this time they were so confused that
they seemed to have lost the little knowl-
edge they possessed, and fumbled so long
with the rudder and sails that, just as the
storm burst upon us, we stranded. We
set up a flag of distress, but no one saw it,
and the waves dashed with such force
against the yacht that we expected every
moment to see it go to pieces. We stayed
on deck as long as we could, making sig-
nals with the light, and firing off the one
load that was in the gun which happened
to be on the yacht. We could not keep
our footing on deck, and all went to the
cabin to await death; all except the
assessor, Hoffman he refused to go, and
had Wolfgang tie him to the mast, where







ERIC'8 VACATION.


he would have been drowned had not as-
sistance come at the moment it did."
Thank God for that!" said the pastor
reverently. "All have been saved, and I
hope you will find comfort with us after
your terrible exposure to danger, that our
Neurung may not remain a fearful picture
in your memory."
This thought was also in the mind of
Mrs. Newman, and she asked them, as a
favor to her husband and herself, to make
up their minds to remain at the parsonage
for a visit. Mrs. Winston and her
daughter eagerly assented, if it would suit
Mr. Kingston to stay, and they awaited
his decision.
"It is a genuine kindness, which we
deeply appreciate," said that gentleman,
and we will. stay at least until the old
man who remained so faithfully at the
rudder is laid in his grave, and until we
see that no serious illness following the
exposure to the storm comes to his brave
grandson."
This decision was received with un-
mingled satisfaction. The parsonage was
large enough to accommodate a dozen
guests and no one be inconvenienced.
The assessor and Wolfgang said they must
return to Memel the next day or rather
that day, for it was past midnight and
Saltanisch promised to flag the
"Phcenix" for them, and take them to
it in his sail-boat. Then he departed to
his cottage, Mrs. Newman assigned rooms
to her guests, and soon all retired to get a
few hours' sleep. The storm had sub-
sided, clouds were flying swiftly overhead,
the wind still whistled in the pine trees,
and the breakers beat upon the shore, but
the promise was for a fair day.


Mrs. Newman could not go to rest until
she had for the third time that evening
visited Reinhold. She went to his room
and, standing by the bedside, looked
anxiously upon him. Eric was in a deep
sleep, which had come to the weary boy
the moment his head touched the pillow.
Reinhold, too, was sleeping, but was rest-
less. His forehead was hot, his pulse
rapid, and his features contracted.
"Water!" he whispered; and Mrs. New-
man placed to his lips a glass of water
mingled with raspberry vinegar, which he
drained without opening his eyes, and
then sank back upon the pillow as if to
sleep. The pastor's wife went to her
room feeling anxious; she feared that the
boy was seriously ill.
The next morning Mr. Newman, Salt-
anisch and Micks, Assessor Hoffman,
Wolfgang and Eric went to the boat on
the beach, where lay the body of Father
Breitman. The wind had abated, but
the sea was still very high. Reverently
they lifted the body, carried it to the life-
saving station, and placed it upon a bed of
sails. They decked the room with
branches of the fir trees which the old
man had so loved, then the pastor and his
guests returned to the parsonage. On the
porch stood Mrs. Winston and Edith.
They had come out to view the beautiful
summer morning, feeling it a luxury to
breathe the pure air, inhale the odor of
the fir and pine trees, and listen to the
songs of the birds, while in their hearts
was deep gratitude to God for their pres-
ervation from a watery grave.
Oh, Edith," said the mother, if ever
we are tempted to be dissatisfied with any-
thing in life, let us call to mind the ter-






ERIC'S VACATION.


rors of our shipwreck and compare it with
the safety and peace we have found in this
sweet home! God is so good to us! What
can we do to prove our gratitude?"
Edith's heart was too full for words;
she could only press her mother's hand in
deep emotion.
Margery appeared to see if the pastor
had returned, and, finding him on the
porch conversing with Mr. Kingston, went
back to put breakfast on the table, while
the pastor went to his room to complete
his toilet.
When he came down to the dining-
room and the bell sounded for breakfast,
the guests and Eric came in from the
porch just as Mrs. Newman appeared with
a plate of rolls and one of honey to place
upon the table.
"Please let me help you, dear Mrs.
Newman," said Edith, running to put
the chairs in their places. "I love to do
little things to help when I am visiting."
Mrs. Newman looked at the girl, her
thoughts not upon the service offered, but
upon the brown eyes of her sweet young
guest. "She has Reinhold's smile, his
beautiful eyes, his hair and his features,
only more delicate," the lady thought.
"Eric," she said, "look at our young
friend and tell me if she reminds you of
anyone you know."
"Yes, she is like Reinhold; I noticed it
while we were at supper last night."
"Is the young man any better this
morning?" asked Mrs. Winston.
"Yes, I have just been up to see him;
he is sleeping and does not appear so
feverish."
"I feel much drawn to that boy," re-
marked Mr. Kingston, "when I think of


the will-power he displayed in rising from
a sick-bed to go to the help of strangers,
and his managing the rescue like an old
and experienced mariner."
I will never forget the moment when
he came into the cabin and said, 'We will
save you, but there is not a moment to
lose,' said Mrs. Winston with tears in her
eyes. "I felt just as sure he would save
us as if we were already upon land."
"If you could know him as I know
him," said Eric, "you would see what a
noble fellow he is. There is no boy in
Kinigsberg that I honor so much."
"If you knew my Micks," remarked
Saltanisch, who had followed the pastor to
the parsonage to get some information in
regard to Father Breitman's funeral, if
you knew my Micks, you would think as
much of him, if not more, than of that
stranger boy. My Micks knows how to
manage a boat just as well, and is much
stronger than Reinhold."
No one could help smiling at the art-
lessness of the fishmaster.
"Why do you call him a stranger?"
asked Mrs. Winston, turning to Saltanisch.
Because he was not born on the Neu-
rung, as the rest of them were. We don't
know where he came from."
The fishmaster departed, and the family
and guests gathered about the breakfast
table.
It was decided that Wolfgang, when he
returned to Memel that day, should send
a physician to see Reinhold, and Mrs.
Winston asked the young man, in the
name of her father and herself, to thank
his parents for all their kindness, and to
ask them to send her trunks down by the
Phoenix on its return trip.






EBIC'S TACAT1O1V.


While these arrangements were being
made, Eric was thinking of the great re-
semblance between Airs. Winston and the
picture in the box belonging to Erdman
Breitman, in the deserted cottage by the
sand dune. "Oh," he thought, "it
would be the happiest day of my life if I
could help Reinhold find his relatives!"
However, he said nothing to the others
about the casket and the picture in it,
until sure that he was correct in thinking
there was a resemblance. In the mean-
time, as soon as breakfast was finished, he
ran up to Reinhold.
"A splendid morning for a sail, Rein-
hold!" he said cheerfully, when he saw
that his friend was awake.
But Reinhold did not appear to under-
stand. His mind was on the shipwreck
and his words were indistinct.
Much alarmed, Eric hurried down to his
aunt, who went immediately up to see the
sick boy. She put cloths dipped in cold
water to his head, gave him cold water to
drink, and bound bruised onions about his
wrists and ankles. Then she sought
Wolfgang and the assessor, who were
about starting for -Memel.
Do not fail to go to the office of Dr.
Vischer as soon as you get there," she
said, "and tell him to come in the next
boat to Nidden. A boat will meet the
steamer and bring him to the village."
It was with a feeling of relief that she
saw the two depart, and then waited with
as much patience as she could command
for the coming of Dr. Vischer.
"Don't be worried about the boy," ad-
vised Saltanisch when he called for more
information in regard to Father Breit-
man's funeral. "A jib-boom once struck


Micks on the head, and he lay like a dead
calf for half a day, then waked up and ate
a big dish of cold cabbage."
This advice was well meant, but it
brought no comfort to Mrs. Newman.
She was anxious for the doctor to come.
"Tell me about this Reinhold," said
Mrs. Winston, at the first opportunity she
had to talk with her hostess.
Margery had been sent up to give the
invalid cool drinks and moisten the cloths
upon his forehead, so Mrs. Newman took
her knitting and the two ladies sat down
on the porch, and Mrs. Winston heard the
same story the pastor's wife had told Erie
and was always glad to recount. And, as
she heard, the guest wept tears of sorrow
and of hope, for the thought would come
to her, Perhaps he is my son!"



CHAPTER XI.
THE CASKET AND WHAT IT REVEALED.
RIC felt real anxiety
and sympathy for his
friend, but he also had
a duty upon his con-
science which he felt
should not be put off
a moment longer than
possible. Therefore
the moment he fin-
ished breakfast, he
started for the cottage of Father Breit-
man to get the casket and bring it to the
parsonage.
It was a tedious walk. The storm had
washed great heaps of sand upon the
beach, and branches of trees were blown
across his path. His heart was sad. as






ERIC'S VACATION.


he walked along, thinking of the change
that had come. He would miss the smil-
ing welcome of Reinhold and the kindly
nod of the old grandfather.
When the boy reached the dune and the
spot where the cottage had stood, he
stopped and rubbed his eyes in bewilder-
ment. The small house had disappeared,
so had all the protecting trunks of trees
and stumps which the old man with in-
finite labor had put behind it. Nothing
was to be seen but the immense mountain
of sand, the sun glowing warmly upon its
steep sides.
In dumb anxiety Eric looked about
him. How could the casket ever be
found? It was clear in his mind what
had happened. The storm of the night.
before had caused a sand-slide, and this
had buried the little home which had been
the scene of happiness and sorrow for
many generations. Nothing marked the
spot where it was hidden except a beam
sticking above the sand, probably from the
broken roof.
It was a sad pleasure to the boy that
the old man had not witnessed the de-
struction of his home. His last days
were not embittered by having been
driven fr6m the spot on earth that he
loved as he loved his own life.
The most painful thought to Eric was
that the casket was hopelessly buried un-
der the huge mass and could never be un-
earthed, and that Reinhold's whole life
would be shadowed by the sand dune
which had darkened the life of his grand-
father.
He resolved that this should not be, if
it lay in his power to prevent it. But it
was not in his power to do the work


single-handed. He thought of Micks,
who was strong and would be willing to
help, so he turned his steps toward the
cottage of the fishmaster.
Saltanisch had just reached home and
was sitting by the table, where Micks was
eating his breakfast of pancakes.
"Ho, Eric! Is that you?" the seaman
exclaimed. It is good of you to come to
see the king's fishmaster. Take a chair."
Micks did not allow the arrival of Eric
to interrupt his meal, but glanced up with
a friendly smile; and, when Eric made the
situation known, both Micks and Salt-
anisch agreed to help all they could, and,
if needed, procure more help.
"And so the old hut is gone at last!"
commented Saltanisch reflectively. "We
were all dreading lest the old man and his
grandson should be killed by the Schlang-
enberg. It is a mercy that Reinhold was
at the parsonage last night."
When Micks had eaten all the pan-
cakes, he proclaimed his readiness to go,
and, providing shovels and an ax, he led
the way to the dune.
You young people have no experience
in this sand business," remarked Salt-
anisch importantly as they stood before
the great mass. "What part of the cot-
tage was the casket in?"
"In the back room, in a cupboard be-
hind the bed."
Then the best plan will be to find the
roof and shovel the sand from it, to keep it
from pouring down into the room when an
opening is made. But we must work
carefully; if the roof crushes in with the
weight of the sand, it will take days to get
it out, for the front of the cottage is
banked to the roof."






ERIC'S VACATION.


This seemed best to Eric and Micks, and
all went to work. Eric's hands burned
like coals of fire, but he persevered, saying
over and over to himself, It is for Rein-
hold! It is for Reinhold!"
After a time the workers reached the
roof, and with great care Saltanisch cut a
hole in it, while Micks went for a ladder.
When it was brought, Eric descended
into the house, and, when he reached the
floor, could scarcely breathe, so oppressive
was the air. He felt his way to the bed,
drew it carefully from the wall, opened
the little door, and took out the casket,
his heart filled with joy that the treasure
was secured.
You are as red as a boiled lobster!" re-
marked Saltanisch when Eric's head ap-
peared at the opening in the roof. "I
guess you were pretty warm down there."
"It was terrible; I felt that all the
blood in my body was rushing to my head.
But I shall never think of that, pow that I
have the casket. Father Breitman and
Reinhold could not have lived five min-
utes, I think, if the sand had fallen on the
house while they were asleep."
Micks gathered up shovels and ax, and
the fishmaster took the ladder. Their
work was done, and Eric thanked them
heartily for coming to his assistance.
"Yes, God was good to take'them from
the hut before last night's storm," said
Saltanisch, looking back at the dune.
" That dune was the old main's enemy,
but it can trouble him no more."
Before Eric reached the parsonage he
met his uncle coming to search for him;
he had been away so long that his aunt
feared some accident had befallen him.
As they walked along Eric told him of


the burying of Father Breitman's cottage
in the sand, showed him the casket, and
related what he knew of its history.
It is wonderful wonderful!" com-
mented the pastor. "The contents of
that casket will no doubt throw light upon
Reinhold's early childhood."
When they reached the parsonage, Eric
gave the box into his aunt's care, and she
placed it upon the parlor table to await
the return of her guests, who had gone for
a walk.
The moment Mrs. Winston's eyes rested
upon the casket, she turned very pale, and
her father supported her to a chair.
"You recognize it, my daughter?" said
Mr. Kingston.
"Yes, I gave it to my husband the day
our little Reinhold was four years old!"
was the lady's reply.
She pressed the spring, the box flew
open, and there were the letters, yellowed
by time and worn from many readings.
"They are my letters to my husband
before we were married," she said, while
tears rained from her eyes. "Oh, my
friends!" she continued, "this is indeed
joy and sorrow for me!"
She could say no more, but wept bitter
tears of longing for the past that would
never return.
"Be calm, my daughter," said Mr.
Kingston tenderly; "we will explain all
to our good friends after a time."
In a short time the lady recovered com-
posure, and, putting her finger upon the
little knob in the head of the dragon, the
lid fell apart and she took from the orifice
the picture of herself which had given
comfort to the heart of Father Breitman.
But there were others of which Eric,






ERIC'S VACATION. 67
standing by, knew nothing. In the pretty guide us as to the location of his former
frame was another spring, and this, when home, for, owing to an attack of brain
touched, flew open, revealing the pic- fever shortly after leaving it, he lost all re-
ture of a stately, handsome man, and a membrance of everything that had trans-
beautiful boy with long,
fair curls.
"My husband! My
boy !A" Mrs. Winston -
said, with such an ac-
cent of grief in her tone
that all eyes filled with e .
tears.
Pastor Newman and
his wife stepped for- .
ward and glanced at
the picture.
"Erdman Breitman!"
they said in a breath.
Deeply moved, Mr.
Kingston looked upon
the picture. "Try not
to grieve so, my child,"
he said; "we cannot re-
call the past!"
"My Alfred! My
Reinhold!" was her cry;
" how have I lived with-
out you!"
"Dear friends," said
Mr. Kingston, turning
to the pastor and his
wife, "the man whom .
you recognize as Erd-
man Breitman was the
husband of my only "I guess you were pretty warm down there," remarked Saltanisch.--P. 66.
daughter, Eihel, and the father of a little pired before, and was not even sure that
boy named Reinhold and of Edith; but we Alfred Winston was his name. By chance
knew him only by the name of Alfred we went to Memel, and, as in every place
Winston. We have sought for years to we visited, remained there for some time,
find him, but without avail; we have wan- hoping, -as always, that someone might tell
dered over Germany, having nothing to us something that would. lead to finding






ERIC'S VACATION.


the father and son. Councillor Miiller had
encouraged us to remain, but we had seen
no reason for staying longer, and our sail
in Wolfgang's yacht shortened the visit
only a day. This Erdman Breitman, of
whom you speak, was without doubt my
daughter's husband, and the Reinhold
whom you all love is her son and my
grandson."
"Yes, take me to him! I must see
my boy my long-lost boy!"
Mrs. Newman led the way to Reinhold's
room, and Margery, who was sitting beside
the sick-bed, arose and slipped out
quietly.
Mrs. Winston dropped upon her knees
and grasped the feverish hand.
My son! my son!" she moaned. Oh,
heavenly Father, save him to his mother!"
"I, too, will love him!" whispered
Edith, kneeling beside her mother; "love
him as I love you and grandfather."
But Reinhold was unconscious of all
this. His mind was active, but only in
the flitting fancies of fever. Now he was
upon the sea, trying to save the terror-
stricken people on the yacht; now he was
trying to portray with his poor materials
the beauty of sky and sea and strand; now
the sand dune gave him anxiety, more for
his grandfather's sake than for his own.
Again and again he would imagine that
with his grandfather he was listening to
the sighing of the wind in the fir trees,
and would quote the oft-repeated words
of the old man, It was thus they sighed
the day my Erdman died." And -oh,
what joy to the grieving heart of Mrs.
Winston!-at times would come the whis-
pered words, My mother!" in his native
tongue, and prattle of the things which


had been his treasures in his English
home.
It was late in the afternoon when Dr.
Vischer reached the parsonage, and the
anxious hearts of all grew lighter at sight
of him, and more so when he seemed not
to despair of Reinhold's recovery.
"He is a very sick boy," he said after
prescribing for the patient, "but with
careful nursing there is no reason why he
should not be on his feet again in a short
time."
Careful nursing!" No need to specify
that. Mrs. Newman could not be excelled
in that line, and the mother oh, the
mother was by the bedside, where she
would remain night and day until her son
was out of danger! What she had missed
for long years she would now make up
for, so far as lay in her power; she would
give now the mother's love and, care of
which her boy had been deprived, if her
life was to pay the forfeit.



CHAPTER XII.
A HAPPY DISCOVERY.
S WO days and nights
passed, and there
was no change for
the better in Rein-
-hold's condition, and
the mother watched
and prayed. Each
and every one of the
household implored
her to let them take
her place, that she might get sleep or at
least rest. But she could not; she felt that
she must do the little in her power to







ERIC'S VACATION.


atone for the long years that her son had
been without a mother's love and care.
"I consider the boy very ill," said Dr.
Vischer upon his second visit. "I would
like a consulting physician; have you a
choice?"
Oh, uncle!" said Eric eagerly, Pro-
fessor Bettenberger, of K6nigsberg, told
me that he was coming to Nidden the lat-
ter part of my vacation; he loves Reinhold
and would come now, I am sure."
I will telegraph for him from Memel,
and will return on the afternoon boat and
be here when he comes," said the phy-
sician. And so it was settled.
The Anita" was waiting to take him
to the Phoenix," so he hurried away.
But he returned again as soon as pos-
sible, and with him, to the great comfort
of all, was Professor Bettenberger.
I saw an account of the shipwreck on
the Nidden coast in a K6nigsberg paper,"
the latter explained. "It mentioned the
death of Father Breitman, and also the
serious illness of his grandson. My inter-
est and sympathy made me anxious, for I
love the boy. I had just time to catch the
Memel boat, and here I am."
"It is a Providence!" said Mrs. New-
man with tears of joy in her eyes. God,
is good!"
The two physicians went immediately
to Reinhold's bedside. Professor Betten-
berger saw at a glance the critical con-
dition of the patient. He took his tem-
perature, and asked a few questions of the
mother, then he and Dr. Vischer went to
the pastor's study.
They were in consultation but a few
minutes, and then the pastor was called.
"Have you ice here, Mr. Newman, in


sufficient quantity to make a bath-tub of
water ice cold?"
"Yes. When Dr. Vischer ordered it
for Reinhold, I made arrangements for all
that would be needed. I will have it in
less than five minutes."
By the time the bath-tub was ready, the
ice was there and placed in it, and when
the water was as cool as ice could make it,
the fever-parched body of Reinhold' was
carried by the two physicians and placed
in the tub. Professor Bettenberger stood
by with watch in hand, studying the effect
of the bath.
His experienced eye told him the mo-
ment when the patient should be re-
moved, which was quickly done; then he
was wrapped in a thick woolen blanket
and carried to bed, and again the Profes-
sor stood by vith watch in hand.
"If in thirty minutes no moisture ap-
pears, we can do nothing more for him,"
he said. "But I have every belief that
he will perspire freely."
Ten, twenty minutes passed, and the
sick boy's forehead remained dry. The
mother knelt by the bedside in an anguish
of despair.
Thank God!" whispered Dr. Vischer,
"I see moisture yes, drops are coming
upon his forehead."
Like the voice of an angel this sounded
in the mother's ear, but she waited for
the words of Professor Bettenberger.
"He is sleeping a natural sleep, and his
breathing is regular. Let him be kept
perfectly quiet, and when he wakes he will
be weak but conscious," he said in a low
tone.
Oh, the joy of hearing these words!
The mother could not restrain her emo-







EBIC'S VACATION.


tions. She arose and went softly to her
own room, where she knelt and thanked
God for his merciful kindness to her.
As soon as she returned, the others
went to the parlor below, where they
talked of the happy result of the ice-cold
bath, and rejoiced that Professor Betten-
berger had come just when he did.
"I rejoice, too," said that gentleman.
"But oh, Mrs. Newman," he added
archly, if you could but realize how hun-
gry I am! I hurried away from Kinigs-
berg without my breakfast."
All smiled, and Mrs. Newman started
for the kitchen to have something pre-
pared for the Professor, gratified that he
felt enough at home to ask for what she
had forgotten, in her pleasure at seeing
him.
But at the door she met Margery, who
had come to announce dinner, not wish-
ing to disturb the quiet of the sick-room
by ringing the bell.
It was a simple meal, but exquisitely
served; a fine baked salmon, fresh from
the sea, mealy roasted potatoes, light rolls,
coffee, and the Professor's favorite pickles.
The ever thoughtful and faithful Margery
took her place by Reinhold's bedside, that
Mrs. Winston might be with the others
for a little while.
The mother was loth to leave her boy,
but Margery seemed so disappointed at
not having her services accepted, that she
changed her mind and went. She was re-
freshed and strengthened by the cheerful
conversation and the short respite from
watching, but returned to the bedside the
moment the meal was concluded.
"Life will be more beautiful to me
than ever, now that I have a brother,"


said Edith to Mrs. Newman when they
all returned to the parlor, "and grand-
father's heart will have a heavy burden
lifted from it."
"You are right, Edith," said Mr.
Kingston, "a heavier burden than you or
your mother imagined. Many, many
nights I have lain awake for hours, tor-
mented with self-accusations and regrets
for the past. But it has resulted better
than I hoped, although I cannot make
restitution to the one that is gone."
No one replied; they could not under-
stand, so felt it best to be silent.
"I will ask Mr. Newman to explain to
Professor Bettenberger and Dr. Vischer
the relationship existing between us and
Reinhold," Mr. Kingston continued.
This was a pleasant task to the pastor,
and he enjoyed the surprise of the
physicians.
"That is great good fortune for the
boy," commented the Professor heartily.
"It would have been better had it come
earlier, but it is not too late. You have
a jewel in that boy, Mr. Kingston. I have
often pleaded with Father Breitman to
allow me to take him under my care, for
such talent and such a noble spirit as he
possesses should not be lost to the world.
But he could not part with him, nor
would Reinhold leave his grandfather."
There must be something more than
ordinary in a boy who, in poverty and
hardship, had a longing for better things,
yet so loved and honored his aged grand-
father that no prospect of advancement
for himself could induce him to leave him
and the ruined hut in which they lived,"
remarked Dr. Vischer.
He is a noble boy," said Pastor New-






ERIC'S VACATION.


man warmly; "he has been with us at the
parsonage a great deal, and we love him
like a son."
"But we must not overlook this boy
Eric, whom I love and have the highest
respect for," said Mr. Kingston. "It is
through him, by God's guidance, that we
have found our boy."
"I am glad to hear that," responded
the Professor heartily. I was attracted
to Eric the first moment I saw him on the
' Phoenix,' and was certain that a more ex-
tended acquaintance would not disappoint
me. Yes, gentlemen, so long as we have
such boys among us as Eric and Reinhold,
we need not entertain pessimistic views of
the future of our country. They are the
making of noble Christian men."
Come in, fishmaster!" said the pastor
to Saltanisch, who at that moment ap-
peared at the door.
"The king's fishmaster, Saltanisch, at
your service!" said that individual, touch-
ing his cap to the Professor.
"And I am Bettenberger, at your ser-
vice," smiled the Professor, extending his
hand.
"Are you the man that Reinhold
thinks so much of, and is always digging
under the sand to find rusty cups and
such-like things for?"
"Yes, I am the man. Do you happen
to have any ancient relics, in pottery or
metal?"
My wife has an old battered milk cup
that was dug from under the sand and
looks as if it had been through ever so
many wars."
"Do you think she would sell it to
me?" asked the Professor, with the eager-
ness of the genuine archaeologist.


She wouldn't want anything for it
except a new milk cup, if you thought
it worth a new one. She has been
wanting one of china with a flower on
it, but maybe the old one is not worth
that."
Let me see it," laughed the Professor.
"I am sure it is worth a china cup, if it
was in even one war."
The promise of a china cup with a
flower on it for his household brought the
spirits of Saltanisch to high-water mark,
and he discussed matters and things in
general with a piquancy amusing to the
visitors. He gave one piece of informa-
tion that was highly satisfactory, particu-
larly to Mr. and Mrs. Newman, which was
that not a life had been lost in the storm
of any of the fishermen of whom they had
knowledge. They had been told this the
next day and hoped it was true, and were
glad indeed to hear the report confirmed.
"No," commented the fishmaster,
"there was not one mishap except that
which happened to that pig-headed Fritz
Keller; he lost all his nets, and it served
him right," the speaker concluded with a
grin of satisfaction.
Oh, Saltanisch, it is not Christlike to
be glad of the misfortunes of another!"
reproved the pastor.
"But I did him a kindness, pastor; I
sent him a present of some good nets to
make up for his loss, and he sent word
back to me that the meshes were so large
that the little fish all slipped through;"
and Saltanisch ended his story with a sly
nod and another grin.
Dr. Vischer now took his leave, and
the others went out with Saltanisch to
complete the arrangements for Father







ERIC'S VACATION.


Breitman's funeral, which was to take
place the next morning.
Mrs. Newman went quietly up to Rein-
hold's room and glanced in. The mother
was sitting by the bed, her head upon the
pillow, the boy's hand in hers, and both
sleeping peacefully, which betokened re-
turning health for the son and a less bur-
dened heart for the mother.
The next morning the body of Father
Breitman was taken by his friends and
neighbors to his grave in Nidden church-
yard. As the humble funeral cortege
passed along, the fir trees which the old
man had loved, and the waves of the
sea which had been music to his ears
all his long life, seemed to whisper fare-
well.
Before the casket walked the pastor,
and following it were Mr. Kingston and
his daughter, Mrs. Newman and Edith,
and Professor Bettenberger and Eric.
Then followed all the people of Nidden,
from the fishmaster down to the humblest
helper of the fishermen.
I am the resurrection and the life; he
that believeth in me, though dead, yet
shall he live," said the pastor, as they
reached the open grave. Then arose from
the assembled ones a simple hymn, which
the soft air bore to the distant woods and
across the dune to the quiet bay. The
watchman in the tower of the light-house
removed his cap when it ceased, for he
knew the prayer was being said, and a
tear fell upon his folded hands. Under
the great oak in the church-yard, beside
his wife and his son Erdman, Father
Breitman's coffin was lowered into the
place prepared for it, and tearfully his
neighbors dropped upon it twigs of the fir


trees he had so loved, and the pastor
stepped to the open grave.
Farewell, thou faithful servant of the
Most High," he said. Thou hast been
faithful over a few things, thou art made
ruler over many. Thou hast entered
into the joy of thy Lord. Thou hast bat-
tled with storm and wave, against the
sand that destroyed thy home, and against
the sorrow that oppressed thy heart; but
in thy face was God's peace and in thy
heart his love. In thy poverty thou wert
yet a helper of many, and thy last deed
upon earth was to save the lives of thy fel-
low-men. Lord, keep us always in re-
membrance that we, too, must die!
Amen."
As soon as the grave was filled, the
whole company entered the church, to
unite in grateful thanksgiving to God that
while several hundred fishermen had been
out in that terrible storm, not one life
was lost, but all had reached the strand in
safety.
When Reinhold commenced to recover,
dating from the long sleep from which he
awoke conscious and rational, his im-
provement was rapid. He had a strong
constitution, and his life upon the water
and in the open air had fostered it. In a
few days he was able to come down to the
porch, where the salt air from the sea and
bay gave him new life; and, though he
missed his grandfather and grieved for
him, he could not be unhappy in the
society of his new-found friends, and Mr.
and Mrs. Newman and Eric. All had
avoided calling Mrs. Winston by her real
name of Breitman, fearing that it would
attract the convalescent's attention and
he would make inquiries which they did






ERIC'S VACATION.


not wish to answer until he was strong
enough to be told all.
It was a surprise to him when told, but
such a happy one that he seemed to gain
new strength every hour.
To think I have a dear mother and
sister and grandfather!" he would say as
if communing with himself; it seems too
good to be true."
"And that I have found my son seems
equally strange and joyous," said his
mother.
"I grieve for dear grandfather," the
boy said with tears in his eyes, "but a
great anxiety is gone from my heart.
When I was out on the sea or bay, I
feared that upon my return I would find
our home buried in sand. Dear old
grandfather! He loved me so. His
every thought was of my father and me."
Reinhold's eyes were full of tears and his
mother wept in sympathy.
"You called me 'dear mother' during
your illness," she remarked after a mo-
ment's silence, "and you cannot realize
how sweet it sounded to my ear. But
the 'mutterchen' of your German tongue
is just as sweet; and that you love me, and
feel at home with me, recompenses me for
all my sorrows. As a child you could not
realize your great need of a mother's care,
and your grandfather did all in his power
to make up for your loss, but I had the
pain of separation day after day and year
after year. You were but four years old
when we parted, and now are seventeen -
a manly, handsome boy," she concluded
with a smile of pride.
"And I have a beautiful and loving
mother and sister," supplemented Rein-
hold. "No one on earth has more rea-


son to be happy than I. And, dear
mother, if Eric had not come to pass his
vacation on the Neurung, I do not think
you would have ever found me."
"Which proves that God's hand was in
it all. It rejoices me that in your poverty
and hardship you found such a congenial
companion."
"Yes, his coming here was like sun-
shine in my darkened landscape. Put
there come the Professor and Eric."
"We have been searching for relics,"
said the Professor, "but the sand is too
deep, and besides I have not the least
knowledge of the most likely places to
look."
Perhaps I can go out in a few days,
and at least point out a place where some-
thing may be hidden, and get Micks to
dig for it."
"Not for ten days or two weeks must
you attempt anything of the kind; and
now you have been sitting up long
enough, and must go to bed immediately."
Reinhold arose, but was glad of the
assistance of Eric's arm. He went slowly
up the steps and dropped wearily upon the
bed. Eric read to him until he fell
asleep, then came back to the porch, and
Mrs. Breitman took her place at the bed-
side.
"The happy mother of a good son,"
commented Mr. Kingston, looking after
her.
"Yes, you have a grandson to be proud
of," assented the Professor. "Even in
his poor clothes he has a distinguished
appearance, and his heart is gold. He
has a fine mind; all it craves and needs is
cultivation."
"That shall not fail him," said Mr.






EBIC'S VACATION.


Kingston. What money can do for him
shall not be left undone. If he has high
aims, no hindrance that I can overcome
shall be put in his way. It has always
been a secret fear of mine that in case we
should find the boy, he would be one we
could not respect. We knew nothing of
his father's antecedents, and, feeling quite
sure that owing to his ill-health and
trouble he did not live long after leaving
us, we feared that little Reinhold had
been thrown upon the charity of the
world, and perhaps had grown up among
those who would be of no benefit to him
in any way."
"But the boy has good. blood on both
sides," responded the Professor; "and
that he has refined manners and some
education, we are indebted to our good
pastor and his wife."
"They are noble people," said Mr.
Kingston warmly. In them is the per-
fect embodiment of Christ's teaching.
Their rule of life is love and helpfulness;
to do good where opportunity offers. I
have felt happy in this dear home; here
is indeed rest and peace."
Reinhold remained in bed the rest of
the day, sleeping at intervals, and, after
the evening set in and he was comfortable
for the night, Mrs. Breitman sat on the
porch with the others, and for the first
time felt that she could speak to them of
her husband and her first meeting with
him.
He was mate on a vessel belonging to
my father, and upon which he had a val-
uable cargo," she said, "and during a
voyage he saw that the commander was
intending to prove faithless to his trust.
He planned it so that my father was saved


all loss. This so won my father's confi-
dence that he resolved to take him into
his employ, and he became his confidential
secretary and adviser. He had never been
strong since the attack of brain fever
which nearly proved fatal, and in which
he lost all recollection of his life before
it. He never believed that Alfred Win-
ston was his name, but kept it, being un-
able to recall any other.
"My father often brought him to our
home to pass his evenings, and in that
way we became acquainted, and, as a se-
quence, deeply attached to each other.
After he had been with us two years, we
were married, much against the wishes of
my brother, and scarcely less so of my
father, who, though he esteemed him
highly, was dissatisfied that his only
daughter should marry one of whom we
knew nothing. But we were very happy
together, and our two dear children were
my father's pride.
"But my husband was always sad and
dispirited. His position in my father's
employ was made almost unbearable by
the fault-finding of my brother, who was
associated with my father in the grain
business. This had its influence upon my
father, and he did not treat my husband
as his son, but as a hired assistant. This
galled the proud spirit of my husband, es-
pecially as he did not like the confined
life of office work in a city. He longed
for the bracing air and the free life that
had been his upon the sea, and he be-
sought my father to give him command
of a vessel. Father would have granted
this, and my brother urged it, but I
begged him not to go, for I had a great
dread of the sea and did not wish him to






ERIC'S VACA7ION.


leave me; and our little ones idolized him,
Reinhold grieving for him if they were
separated one day.
"Then came the great sorrow of our
lives. There was a safe in the office of
the warehouse of which only my father,
brother and husband had keys, and one
morning it was discovered that two thou-
sand pounds in bank notes was missing.
At first suspicion did not fall upon my
husband, but when my father remembered
hearing him say that if he could not go as
commander on my father's boat he would
have one of his own, he could not get the
thought from his mind that he had taken
the money. He told him so, and my hus-
band was almost beside himself with grief
and anger.
"That was a terrible time for us all,
for his love for my family was turned to
hate, and he wished he had never seen any
of us. I pleaded with him to leave the
city. I told him we could be happy and
contented in some quiet country place
until the money was found, and proved
to him that what he had saved of his sal-
ary would keep us in comfort in a quiet
way. But he declared that he would
starve before he would use one penny of
the money received from a man who
looked upon him as a thief. I went to
my father and begged him to conciliate
my husband, but he could not, for he be-
lieved him to be guilty. Almost heart-
broken, I returned to my home, to find my
husband gone and with him little Rein-
hold. He had taken nothing -not even
a change of clothing for the boy except
a few little articles he had gathered upon
his voyages, and the casket in which were
our pictures.


"I fell ill from trouble and grief, and
for several weeks was unable to leave my
bed. When I was strong enough to travel,
my father and I set out in search of my
husband and son, but we found no trace
of Alfred Winston, nor could anyone re-
member having heard the name. Notices
were put in the daily papers, both
English and German, but hope led us on
to defeat us in the end. Our coming to
Memel was the latest effort, and you all
know the result. I have found my son,
but not my loved husband--he died
without knowing -" Tears choked the
lady's utterance, and Mrs. Newman wept
in sympathy.
"Has that dark cloud in regard to the
missing money ever been lifted?" asked
the Professor of Mr. Kingston.
Yes," was the reply, and the speaker's
voice trembled with suppressed feeling,
"but he never knew it. That is my sin-
cere grief, and time does not soften it. I
believed him guilty, hnd his flight con-
firmed me in the opinion. After he had
been gone four weeks my son came to me
with blanched face and laid the packet
containing the two thousand pounds upon
my desk. He had found it in a corner of
his own desk under a pile of papers, and
together we recalled the whole circum-
stance. I had handed it to him to put in
the safe, without telling him the contents,
owing to an interruption at the time. He
intended putting it in the safe, and
thought he had done so. You may know
our distress over the result. We now put
new notices in the dailies, but there was
no response. We never heard a word
from him again."
A silence followed and all were in deep






ERIC'S VACATION.


thought. Mrs. Breitman wept as she
thought of the sorrows of the past.
But I cannot understand," said the
Professor, "why his years of faithful ser-
vice did not protect him from the sus-
picion of having taken the money."
That is what we remembered with re-
morse when too late," replied Mr. King-
ston. "We knew that his health was
delicate, that his physician had advised
him not to confine himself to business for
at least a year after his dangerous illness,
knew his longing for the sea and distaste
for the confinement of office life in a city,
and we jumped to the conclusion that he
had purchased his freedom at the expense
of his honor."
"But it is all in the past now," said
Mr. Newman soothingly. Try and look
upon the bright, side and see God's guid-
ing hand in it."
"I have tried always to comfort myself
with the thought that, as it was with no
malice in either myson or myself that we
suspected him, but from an honest convic-
tion that he had taken the money, there-
fore our conscience was clear of any wish
to injure him. But on his side, the
knowledge of our opposition to his being a
member of our family, a stranger, and his
name and antecedents unknown to us,
justified him in believing we were glad
of the opportunity to prove that our ob-
jections were not without foundation.
My lasting regret is that he died without
knowing that the money was found."
Eric had listened with the deepest in-
terest, and in silence, but as soon as Mr.
Kingston finished speaking, he mentioned
something that he had forgotten to speak
of before.


"I believe," said he, "that Reinhold's
father did know the money was found."
"What reason have you for thinking
so?" asked Mr. Kingston.
Because Father Breitman told me of
his last illness, and his great longing to
return to his family. He expected to be
able to go each day, but his hopes were
deceptive."
"It would be a great relief to me if I
could be assured of this," said Mr. King-
ston. Have you examined carefully all
the papers that are in the casket, daugh-
ter?"
"Yes, I have looked them all over sev-
eral times; they are only my letters to
him. But I will bring the casket, father;
it will be well to search again."
The box was brought, and all the let--
ters were taken out and opened, but noth-
ing further was found. Mrs. Breitman
was about to return them, when she
noticed that the lining of the floor of the
casket showed a slight bulge. With the
point of her scissors she raised it, and
found a letter addressed to herself, and
within it was the slip cut from a news-
paper, in which he was implored to return,
as the money had been found.
The last lines of the loved one were too
sacred to her to read aloud even to such
dear and sympathetic friends as were
about her. She could only say amid her
tears, "Dear father, he forgave us all; he
intended to come back to us, but was not
able. And above and beyond all, he died
a Christian."






ERIC'S VACATION.


CHAPTER XIII.
MRS. LINDERMAN'S LETTER.
IEINHOLD'S return to
health was rapid,
considering the se-
verity of his illness,
and he grew stronger
each day. But, in
spite of the fact that
his mother and sister
vied with each other
in anticipating every
want, he longed to be out in the air and
sunshine.
The Professor gave consent to this at
the earliest moment he considered it safe,
and the boy's first walk was to the grave
of his grandfather. His mother and sis-
ter accompanied him. They rested upon
the long bench which always remained by
a new-made grave, and Reinhold told of
the last years of that patient life.
The withered flowers had been re-
moved, and fresh ones were placed there
each day by Edith; pinks and roses from
the parsonage garden, and wild thyme
from the dune.
"No doubt death was welcome to him,
Reinhold, so do not grieve," comforted his
mother. With the thought ever in his
mind that the sand mountain would de-
stroy his home, and that you would be
alone in the world, it was a happy release
from care."
I cannot help grieving for him, for he
was so good and kind," replied the boy.
"Yet I do believe that death was a bless-
ing to him. Had you found me earlier,
his last days would have been miserable
from the thought that I wished, and


ought, to go with you. I would never
have left.him -forgive me, mother, but
I could not--but he would have been
wretched with the thought that I was pin-
ing to go."
"I grieve that I did not see him; not
only to thank him for his great love and
care for you, but to tell him that I was
not to blame that his son left me and his
home," said Mrs. Breitman tearfully.
But, mother dear, grandfather knew
nothing of the suspicion against my
father of which you told us last evening.
He thought it was ill-health that made
him melancholy."
"But he had the casket always in his
keeping, and he may have known of the
letter under the lining, and the slip cut
from the daily saying that the money had
been found."
"I feel sure that he never saw it; and,
if he had, the letters 'A. W.' would have
raised no thought in his mind that they
related to father."
"He must, in his mind, have censured
me as the cause of his son's unhappiness,
because your father never alluded to me or
talked to you of your mother."
"But Eric told me something this
morning which is proof that in his last
days at least grandfather did not censure
you," said Reinhold eagerly; and he re-
lated what his grandfather had said in re-
gard to his mother's picture.
That is comfort indeed!" said Mrs.
Breitman, while her delicate face flushed
with joy. "I was never to blame except
in the one act of entreating him not to go
to sea, when I knew he longed to go."
"Grandfather did not seem unhappy,"
said Reinhold reflectively. We had many






EBIC'S VACATION.


cheerful days and evenings together.
After being out on the sea I had plenty to
tell when I came home that was of keen
interest to him, and he would tell me tales
of the long ago when the people of the
Southern countries came here for amber,
and of his earlier fishing experiences. All
of these I treasure in my memory."
"I am glad to hear this," said the
mother gently; "so glad with the hope
that his poor life was not made unhappy
by knowledge of the injustice done his
son. God has shown his mercy in so many
ways, that I have the hope that your
grandfather was spared this."
"I wonder that Eric did not tell Mr.
and Mrs. Newman what grandfather had
told him," remarked Edith; "it was only
natural that he should do so."
"But Eric had promised to mention it
to no one, until such time as it was neces-
sary," said Reinhold; "and he kept his
promise."
Did grandfather ask him not to men-
tion it? Did he exact a promise from
Eric?"
Only in my case; he did not wish me
to know it. But Eric has told me that
when he promised to tell no one, it
seemed a great comfort to grandfather to
hear it."
Mr. and Mrs. Newman had never enter-
tained so many congenial people at one
time in the old parsonage, and they looked
forward to the parting with regret. Pro-
fessor Bettenberger was the first to say
that he must be in K6nigsberg by a cer-
tain day; Eric's vacation would be over
in less than a week; and Mr. Kingston
was only waiting for the completion of a
duty he had on hand, and that was to pro-


vide tombstones to mark the graves of
Father Breitman and his son. These
were carved and put in place by a marble-
cutter of Memel, and Reinhold had the
sad satisfaction of seeing all done that
could be done in token of respect for his
beloved grandfather.
The day before the Professor departed,
Reinhold, who had fully recovered his
strength, determined upon making re-
searches under the sand, with the hope of
finding a relic of ancient times as com-
panion to the battered milk cup which
Saltanisch had valued so lightly.
That cup proved to be all and more
than the Professor had hoped, and in re-
turn for it he ordered from K6nigsberg
not only a new pitcher with a flower on it,
but a whole tea service of china for the
happy Mrs. Saltanisch, who could scarcely
believe her eyes when she saw it.
The Professor and Eric accompanied
Reinhold that afternoon to the place
near the ravine where he had found many
relics. The late storm had washed up
much sand, and he and the others took
turns digging into the earth after it was
removed. At length Reinhold's spade
struck something that resounded like
metal, and all leaned eagerly forward to
see what it was.
Firmly imbedded in the earth, much
digging about it was necessary before the
object could be dislodged, but at length
Reinhold held up a large, hollow, rusty
something unknown to him.
It is an ancient cooking vessel of some
kind," suggested Eric.
"No, it is a helmet!" cried the Pro-
fessor, flushing with delight as he cleansed
the treasure from the earth that encrusted






ERIC'S VACATION.


it. "Yes, a helmet such as were worn by It was from his mother and read as fol-
the Tartar princes in battle. This is a lows:
great -find, Reinhold. There are but few My Dear Eric: Your holiday is almost over,
in existence, and the relic collectors and and it will be a great comfort to us to have you
museums would rejoice
to have it. You can
sell it for at least two I
thousand marks."
"0 h, Professor!"
said Reinhold, "many
thousand marks could
not give me the pleas- e
ure that I would have
in seeing it in your
possession. Besides,
you helped find it; it
is as much yours as
mine."
"No, I should never
have known where to
look for such things.
But I accept it from '"
you with many .
thanks;" and bearing
the precious relic, the
little company re-
turned to the parson-
age. There the Pro-
fessor read up the de-
scription of the Tartar ..,
helmet, and found it I
exactly fitted their dis-
covery, and his satis- .~ .
faction was complete. ,It is a helmet," said the Professor.
The next morning
they all accompanied the Professor down at home. We are not only counting the days,
to the beach, saw him in the Anita" to but the hours, until we see you again.
Our hearts can never fail in gratitude to God
be conveyed to the "Phcenix," and bade that you were spared in that terrible storm of
him farewell with regret. which you wrote us. There was also a full ac-
When they returned, Eric, to his joy, count of the rescue in our daily papers, and
you were the recipient of much praise for your
found a letter from home awaiting him. helpfulness in the rescue. Our acquaintances






ERIC'S VACATION.


came to congratulate us on your escape and
bravery.
But I am not writing to repeat what I wrote
when the first news of the rescue reached us
from you and the morning papers, but to tell
you that your father has had a great deal of
trouble in his business lately which will necessi-
tate much change in our manner of living, and I
wish to prepare you somewhat by telling you of
this, that you may not grieve your father by
showing disappointment over the turn affairs
have taken.
You remember that your father bought large
quantities of grain before you left home. He
did so under the impression that there would be
a great rise in the price, but he finds that this
expectation is not fulfilled, and every day the
price decreases. The loss to him will be very
great. He has kept nothing of this from me,
and I have tried to encourage him, but he only
says, It is not for myself that I grieve, but
that I have brought you and our children down
to poverty; this is what makes me almost sick
with remorse. And then to lose the credit that
our house has always borne! Our old honored
name will be gone, and through my mismanage-
ment."
So you see, dear Eric, he is in need of com-
fort. We must not be cast down because we
are poor, particularly at this time when we
have felt God's protecting care in preserving
your life in that fearful storm. We can be as
happy in small home as in this one, if only we
make up our minds to be so; and we must work,
and above all keep cheerful, for your father's
sake. Oh, my son, I would give up our all
gladly, if I could see him as happy as he once
was. I hope much from having you at home
again. God speed you on your way.
Give my best love to your uncle and aunt,
who have been as a father and mother to you.
If only they were here to advise us! Your
uncle's clear judgment and practical sense, and
your aunt's sympathy, would be invaluable to us
at this time. Thank them, dear Eric, for all
their goodness to you. Your loving
MOTHER.
Eric sat long in his room pondering
over this letter, his heart heavier than it
had ever been in all the sixteen years of
his life. It required several readings be-
fore he could fully understand its mean-
ing, for he had never before been brought


face to face with business losses or disap-
pointments.
His first thought was, "If father has
lost money by the fall in the price of
grain, we still have our house and
grounds, our horses and carriages, and
Frederick to take care of all." But the
business--that alone seemed to be the
trouble. He had heard his father say
that the firm of C. H. Linderman & Co.
had been in existence for more than a
hundred years and in the same place. For
all that time grain had poured into the
great granaries. Must that be changed?
Had the great house no money to pay for
it? The boy realized how it must wear
upon his father, robbing him of sleep.
And there could be no way out of the
trouble, or he and Burkholtz would have
found it. His father had always stood
first among merchants; must his good
name be blighted? Then like a stab in
his heart there came to Eric's recollection
the remark of Councillor Miiller the day
the inspectors of the life-saving stations
came to Nidden, and which he had for-
gotten in the pleasures that followed. So
it was known even then, in business cir-
cles, that his father was a speculator; and
now that he had failed in his plans, he
would be ridiculed by those who before
had envied him his dear, loved father!
Eric could be still no longer. He arose
and walked to and fro in his room, his
lips trembling with emotion.
A gentle rap came upon the door. He
opened it and his aunt entered.
What is it, Eric?" she asked anxiously.
"You are pale and excited. The fear
that you had bad news from home is my
reason for coming to seek you."






ERIC'S VACATION. 81
"I must go home, aunt, just as quickly My dear boy, I am sure you are
as it is possible for me to get there." more anxious than you need be. Your
Why, Eric, is anyone sick or dead?" mother does not appear despondent;
The boy gave the letter.into his aunt's she is only anxious to do everything
hand, and she read it
through. .. ....,
"This is certainly
unfortunate," she com-
mented, her voice M .
trembling with feeling.
"But, my dear, it will
be a greater or a less
trial, just as you choose
to make it. Do you set
so much store by
riches?"
"I! riches!" ex-
claimed Eric. "I never
thought of myself, but
of dear father and
mother. Neither do
they set so much store
by riches and a fine -"
home, but the loss of
the honored name
which our house has al-
ways borne!" and tears
came to the boy's eyes
at the thought.
"But do you really
think it will be such a
great grief to your
father?" the lady asked
gently.
Oh, I am sure of it! '. -:.
When he w a s chosen
When he w s chosen "What is it, Eric?" she asked anxiously.-See page 80.
president of the Grain
Exchange, I remember his modest pride possible to keep up the spirits of your
and pleasure in being so honored. Now father."
his name will be stricken from the regis- Dear mother! She is always cheerful,
ter, and all will be at an end." but she knows nothing of being poor, nor






ERIC'S VACATION.


of hardship. How can she leave her
beautiful home to live in some poor
place?"
"Eric," said his aunt, laying her hand
upon the boy's shoulder, do you remem-
ber the story of old Janson, who, when all
seemed hopeless, cried, 'God still lives,
and the old house of Gruit van Steen will
still stand!' "
Yes, but the house of Linderman falls.
My father has sent out no ship that will
return at the right moment to save it. I
must go home and do all I can to comfort
them."
"But the boats from Memel to K6nigs-
berg have passed, and there will be no
more to-day. Try and be as happy as pos-
sible until to-morrow, and we will signal
the 'Phenix' and see that you reach it
in good time."
Mrs. Newman left the room, taking the
letter with her, and Eric, feeling that he
must keep himself employed, took his
clothes from the wardrobe and put them
into his satchel. He could have wept at
the sad ending of his holiday, and when
he finished his packing and looked from
the window, the sea and bay and woods
which had so delighted him, had lost all
charm; the whole world seemed dreary to
him.
Mrs. Newman t6ok the letter to the
porch, where sat her husband and Mr.
Kingston, and gave it to them to read.
"Poor Eric! I am sorry for him as
well as for his parents," commented the
pastor, when he had read the letter aloud.
Dinner was just served, and all went to
the dining-room. Eric forced himself to
eat, but his thoughts were on the troubles
at home.


"Are you acquainted with any of the
grain merchants in K6nigsberg, Eric?"
asked Mr. Kingston when all were seated
on the porch after dinner.
"Yes, I know some of the most prom-
inent ones."
"Perhaps you know of someone. who
has a quantity of grain on hand which he
wishes to dispose of?" the gentleman said
in a quiet, friendly way.
Eric mentioned the names of several
grain merchants, concluding with that of
his father.
"I have heard that your father is an
extensive buyer. He is not entirely un-
known to me. Do you know whether he
has now a great quantity on hand?"
Hope dawned in the heart of the boy,
and he answered promptly. "I don't
know what you might consider a great
quantity, but I know that before I left
home my father had more grain in his
granaries than all the other grain mer-
chants in Kbnigsberg put together."
His aunt and uncle smiled contentedly,
and Eric arose quickly and stood before
Mr. Kingston.
"Have my uncle and aunt told you of
my father?" he asked. "Will you-
can you help* him?"
"I will try, my boy; I will surely try.
I believe I can help him to tide over this
anxiety."
Eric's face flushed with delight. Dear
aunt," he said joyously, "' God still lives,
and the house of Gruit van Steen will still
stand!' "
"I will explain to you what I have in
mind, Eric," said Mr. Kingston. "I
have made an agreement with the English
Government to furnish grain for the






BRIC'S VACATION.;


army, and it was partly for that purpose
that I came to East Prussia. I tried to
buy it in the provinces, but found that I
had been misinformed, and in Memel the
case was the same; Russia had secured it
for its army. You may know then that it
is to my interest to see your father in
regard to this matter, as well as a great
joy to me if I can help him over this hard
place. It was no breach of confidence in
Mr. and Mrs. Newman to show me your
mother's letter, for they knew that part of
my errand to Germany was to buy grain,
and also knew that your father had a large
supply on hand. I was watching the
markets daily, wishing to do justice to the
government as well as to those from whom
I buy."
"When will you see my father?" asked
Eric.
To-morrow we will go to K6nigs-
berg," was the reply.
"To-morrow you will go with me!" said
Eric joyfully. Oh, it seems too good to
be true!"
"Your father does not imagine that
help is coming from the poor little village
of Nidden," said Mrs. Newman cheer-
fully.
"And he will be more surprised when
he hears that Mr. Wolfgang Miiller's
ignorance in managing a yacht brought it
all about," laughed Mr. Kingston, look-
ing with pleasure upon the happy face of
the boy.
Oh, I have so much to tell them when
I go home!" said Eric. "There never
could be a more glorious place to spend
vacation than on the Neurung!"
Mr. and Mrs. Newman smiled, well
pleased.


CHAPTER XIV.
A FRIEND IN NEED.
HE weeks that Eric
passed upon the Neu-
rung had been a bless-
ing to him and to
Reinhold. Pastor New-
SI man had neglected no
opportunity to in-
S struct them in the way
I / that leads to peace,
and he had the joy of
knowing they were earnest Christians.
These weeks were busy ones in his
father's warehouse in K6nigsberg. Every
railway train and boat brought grain
from the provinces and lowlands, which
was hauled from station and wharf in
great wagons and stored in the granaries.
Mr. Linderman had taken no rest dur-
ing this busy time, and the pens of the
clerks in the office were seldom idle dur-
ing the whole day. Sometimes Christian
Burkholtz was in their office, they being
at the granaries or at the landing-place
of the freight, and his pen was indeed
busy.
This outdoor bustle of business suited
Walter Winter exactly. He was at home
on the wharves and in the confusion- of
the railway stations, and moreover he was
beyond the cold scrutiny of the head
bookkeeper.
Christian Burkholtz was, on the con-
trary, far from happy; it weighed upon his
heart that all this excitement would be
followed by collapse, and the ruin of the
old house of C. H. Linderman & Co. The
more grain that was stored in the gran-
aries, the more depressed became his






ERIC'S VACATION.


spirits. His thoughts were oftener upon
the future than the present, and even
when Mr. Linderman came with glowing
countenance to lay before him a letter
from the firm that had the contract for
buying grain for the Russian army, asking
his price and wishing immediate re-
sponse, Burkholtz could not rejoice. It
was a gleam of hope, but that gleam
might be- and, as later events proved,
was extinguished.
The purchasers upon whom Mr. Linder-
man confidently counted had not yet
come forward, and the price of grain had
not advanced. On the contrary there
was a rumor that there would be a fall,
owing to shipments that were to come
from America.
One morning the hands of Mr. Linder-
man trembled, as did those of Christian
Burkholtz, when they read in the Grain
Exchange Register that the price of grain
had fallen five marks on the ton.
"Make the effort to sell now while it is
possible, or we will be bankrupt!" insisted
the bookkeeper.
I will go to the Exchange," said his
employer, "and see what can be done;"
and he left the office to Burkholtz and his
anxious thoughts.
When Mr. Linderman stepped into the
great room of the Exchange, it was with
the same serene countenance that he al-
ways wore, and none suspected the
anxiety that reigned in his breast. He
passed a group of merchants from whom
he had confidently expected large orders,
and noticed a smile of derision upon their
faces which cut him like an arrow, but
which was not much harder to bear
than the expression of sympathy upon the


faces of those whom he knew to be his
friends.
In his usual tranquil manner he made
his first offer, but no one took it up, and
he left the building, went to the telegraph
office and sent messages to Berlin and
Hamburg merchants to whom he had ex-
pected to sell. But they had bought all
they needed for the present, and the next
morning the price had fallen twenty
marks on the ton.
Each day the merchant became more
alarmed and anxious. His face grew pale,
and his eyes proved that sleep was coy
and hard to win. The friendly smile and
word to each of his employes when pass-
ing through the counting-room were for-
gotten, but they held no resentment; too
well they knew the cause.
"Make a calculation, Burkholtz," he
said when he returned to the office, "and
tell me what our losses are, as grain now
stands; also what we have of funds on
hand to keep the business going."
There was no need to make a calcula-
tion at that moment; Burkholtz had it al-
ways up to date.
If we could sell at the price it is now,
our losses would be 300,000 marks," he
said in a low tone.
"And what are our assets?"
"About double that. If you could sell
now, we could keep our heads above
water; if the price falls as it has been do-
ing, we must go under."
Mr. Linderman turned paler than be-
fore at these words.
"It surely will not go lower than it is
now," he said. "Do you think the clerks
suspect our anxiety?"
"I don't see how they could fail to






ERIC'S VACATION.


see how the matter stands," replied the
bookkeeper; "they hear outside more
than we can tell them. Walter Winter's
father is a safe and shrewd business man,
and no doubt keeps his eye on our trans-
actions."
Of all the four clerks there was the
greatest change in Walter Winter during
this trying time. He came promptly at
the appointed hour, and left as promptly.
All jesting had ceased with him, which
the head bookkeeper looked upon as a
very bad omen for the condition of the
business, when coupled with the hint he
had heard that Walter's father wished
him to give up his position with the house
of Linderman.
"Is it true, Walter, that your father
wishes you to leave here?" asked Korbel
that afternoon in a low tone.
"Yes. He has been much disap-
pointed in the management here; he is
opposed to speculation in every shape and
form."
"But he must know that it is the first
misstep our employer has taken, and is
likely to be the last; and he ought not to
be too severe in his judgment."
He is not the only one who is severe.
I have for the past week taken my lunch
at a restaurant where the clerks from the
Kilbourn warehouse take theirs, and the
one who sits at the table with me loses no
opportunity to ridicule our way of doing
business. To-day he asked me if we were
not in need of an experienced manager
and adviser, for, if so, he thought his em-
ployer would be competent to take the
position and keep his own business going
at the same time."
"I hope you made no reply to that,"


said Korbel. Dignified silence is always
the best answer to rudeness."
"No, I made no reply, well knowing
that it would only bring out more words
against the business. My father would
caution me to silence if he knew that I
was tempted to retaliate, for he knows it
would do more harm than good to Mr.
Linderman."
Then your father does really like our
employer?"
He has great regard for him as a
friend and a Christian gentleman, and is
astonished that he has left the legitimate
manner of doing business for this wild
scheme of making money quickly; and he
does not wish to seem to sanction it by
allowing me to stay here."
Then how is it that you stay against
his wishes?"
"Because I cannot bear to leave when
Mr. Linderman and Burkholtz seem to be
in so much trouble. I told father that,
and he said I could stay until the end,
which he prophesies is not far off. It
may seem heartless in father to wish me to
leave, but he really feels very sorry for this
mistake of Mr. Linderman."
Yes, I believe there is not a business
man in the city who is not at heart sorry
for him. But that will not help him out
of his trouble. They all have as much as
they can do to keep their own business
going, and unless there is some Providen-
tial deliverance, our house must be bank-
rupt; there is no other help."
I hope something will arise to get Mr.
Linderman on his feet again, and let
Burkholtz get :back at least his gray
color."
It was a sad time indeed for the, faith-







ERIC'S VACATION.


ful Burkholtz. The days were full of
care and the nights restless and troubled;
and when he rose each morning, he felt no
more refreshed than upon retiring the
evening before.
"If I were thirty years younger this
misfortune would not affect me as it
does," he said to himself one morning, as,
after having arisen from an almost un-
tasted breakfast, he hurried through the
street to the warehouse, not wishing to
meet anyone he knew.
Mr. Linderman, too, had risen from
an almost untasted breakfast. He had
passed a sleepless night and was pale and
worn.
"Dear Ernest," said his wife, "do not
let the failure of your plans take such a
hold upon you. You have lost much, but
there remains much more. Think of us
all, and of how our happiness depends
upon your health and happiness. You
can get into business with someone; your
ability is so well known."
"Yes, my business ability has brought
you to poverty," he replied gloomily.
There is no poverty where there is
love and peace. Our happiness does noL
depend upon riches. We can be happy in
some small home, if only we have you,
and see you free. from care."
"It is not so much the loss of money
that I mind as the downfall of our house,
which has always been looked upon as the
standard in business circles. That is the
loss that robs me of all strength. Confi-
dence in myself is lost. I am entirely dis-
couraged."
"You miscalculated, as many of our
noblest and most sagacious business men
have done, but your conscience is clear;


you say that no one will lose a dollar by
your failure."
"Yes, but if you could see the shrugs
of shoulders when I appear, and the con-
descending nods, as much as to say, You
are not such a good business man as people
thought you! You are a speculator and
have overreached yourself.' "
Mr. Linderman saw the look of pain
upon the face of his wife, and, taking her
hand in his, he added: "Forgive me! If
only this uncertainty was past, we could, I
know, be happy in some other locality, al-
though it needs a long time for a tree to
take root and flourish in new soil. I am
grieved, too, on account of Burkholtz and
Korbel; they are faithful and have been
with me so long."
"Mr. Korbel wishes to see Mr. Linder-
man a moment," said a maid, after tap-
ping at the door of the library.
Show him in here."
Very soon the caller appeared, and Mr.
Linderman asked him to be seated.
"I come to you with a proposal,"
said Mr. Korbel in a hesitating manner,
"and hope you will receive it with favor.
My wife and I have in the savings bank
three thousand marks, and as we have no
need for it at this time, we thought it
might be of some use to you. I cannot
express the joy it will be to us if you
will accept it. Here is my bank book,"
and he reached the book toward his em-
ployer.
"You wish me to take the money that
you have saved by industry and frugal-
ity!"
"Yes, and we only hope that it will be
of use to you."
You and your wife have noble, gener-






ERIC'S VACA2JON.


ous hearts. Your attachment to me and
sympathy for me are like a glimpse of
sunlight upon a dark day. But I cannot
accept your offer. That sum, which will
be of great use to you, would only be swal-
lowed up in my losses, and would not in
the least change the aspect of affairs."
Mr. Linderman pressed Korbel's hand
and thanked him, and the clerk departed,
wishing that there was some way in which
he could be of use.
"I have found some true and faithful
friends in this misfortune," said the mer-
chant to his wife when they were alone.
"And now I must go to the warehouse.
I hope for some good news from Rotter-
dam and Stockholm. I have written to
merchants there, offering my grain at the
present depressed price. If I could sell
even now, I would be able to keep my
footing, and our house not go down like a
house of cards."
As he passed through the office on his
way to the bookkeeper's room, Mr. Lin-
derman noticed that Walter Winter was
tearing up a letter and throwing the frag-
ments into the waste basket, with a look
of chagrin and disappointment on his
countenance. In his state of nervous
anxiety even that slight incident made an
impression, and when the merchant
reached the bookkeeper's room he men-
tioned it.
"Yes," said Burkholtz, "it was from his
father. Walter wrote home telling the state
of affairs for it appears that he has
kept his family posted and asked his
father to come to your assistance. But,
instead of complying, his father wrote
that he preferred Walter should get a va-
cation and come home, and he would se-


cure a position for him in some other
house. He added that when he placed his
son here it was with the expectation that
he would learn safe and exact business
methods, and not the visionary schemes
that our firm has fallen into."
Did Walter say that he will leave us?"
asked Mr. Linderman in a depressed tone.
"Not that it will make any difference
now, for if the news from Rotterdam and
Stockholm is not what we hope for, we
will have to part with them all."
"No, he said he would stay with us
until we told him to go."
"Another friend in adversity," com-
mented Mr. Linderman, with a sad smile.
Outside the sun shone, the sky was
blue, the air pleasant, and birds sang in
the lindens, but employer and bookkeeper
sat silent, waiting for a message of some
kind from the two cities.
The clerks in the office were silent.
They knew the crisis would come that day,
and the business in which they had taken
so much pride would stand or fall.
The postman brought several letters for
the firm, and the two so eagerly wished
for were opened first. Mr. Linderman
asked Burkholtz to read them, feeling in-
capable of doing so himself. They were
worded very courteously, but stated in de-
cided terms that owing to the unsettled
condition of the grain market and the
prospect of large shipments of grain from
America, the writers had decided to post-
pone buying until later.
Then nothing remains for us but to
give up," said Mr. Linderman. You
can tell the clerks that we will need their
services no longer, and settle with them
in full. I feel that we are parting






BRIG'S VACATION.


with tried friends instead of hired assist-
ants."
"Let me get a little calm first," said
Burkholtz brokenly. "It will be no sur-
prise to them; they can wait."
"Father! dear, dear father!" cried a
joyous voice at the outer door of Burk-
holtz's office, I have come home!"
"My dear son!" was all Mr. Linderman
could say, as he rose and took his boy in
his arms.
Eric heard in the tone joy and love, but
also sorrow and the absence of hope.
"Father, Mr. Kingston is in the li-
brary; he has come to see you."
"Mr. Kingston!" echoed the father.
"I have no acquaintance by that name."
"Yes, father. He knows you through
my letters, as you know him; he is the
merchant from Liverpool who was at
Nidden with us."
"A grain merchant from Liverpool!"
thought Burkholtz, with a thrill of hope
in his heart, as Mr. Linderman arose
quickly and went to the library. "Eric,
do you know anything of the condition of
our business at this time?" asked the
faithful bookkeeper.
"Yes, mother wrote me all about it, and
Mr. Kingston knows it. He is commis-
sioned to buy grain for the English army,
and he came here to see father about his
grain. He would rather buy from him
than from any other person."
A prayer of thanksgiving went up from
the grateful heart. of Burkholtz, and he
looked ten years younger.
Oh, boy," he said, "I believe you, for
you were always truthful. If your father
is helped out of this stress, he will never
again leave the right track in conduct-


ing his business; he has assured me of
that."
"You'll see that he will not fail, Mr.
Burkholtz. 'God still lives, and the old
house of Gruit van Steen still stands!'"
"Bless the boy!" said the bookkeeper
to himself, as Eric hurried away. "His
bringing to memory that old story has
cheered me. I do have faith that all will
be well. God has sent a friend to Mr.
Linderman's help. One must take God
into his daily life and work, and keep him
always there, if he wishes prosperity."
Mr. Linderman found Mr. Kingston
alone, Mrs. Linderman having conducted
the ladies to their rooms to lay aside
wraps, and Reinhold was in the parlor
awaiting the return of Eric.
"Your son tells me that you have a
large quantity of grain on hand, Mr. Lin-
derman," said the visitor when greet-
ings were over. I have the contract for
supplying the English army, and came to
ask if you will enter into an agreement in
regard to it."
Mr. Linderman nodded acquiescence;
he could not trust his voice to speak.
How much could you deliver into my
hands in the course of four weeks?"
Ten thousand tons or more."
"That is good; and the price?"
You will set the price."
"How much was the cost to you, tak-
ing all expenses into consideration, as it
stands now in your granaries?"
Mr. Linderman gave the desired in-
formation, and Mr. Kingston figured
for a short time upon a page of his mem-
orandum book.
I can give you that sum and remove
the grain without expense to you. Will






ERIC'S VACATION.


you, on your part, agree to sell me all you
have on hand? I would be glad to get it
all from one house."
"Mr. Kingston, I do not know what
Eric has told you in regard to my anxiety
concerning the business, but I will make
no secret of the fact that I am on the
verge of bankruptcy, and accept your
proposition not only with joy but grati-
tude."
The two men went down to the head
bookkeeper's room, and there the contract
was signed, to the joy of Burkholtz, who
could scarcely believe that the storm
which had seemed about to descend upon
their house had cleared away.
The business settled for the time, they
returned to the dwelling part of the
house, where Mr. Linderman was intro-
duced to Mrs. Breitman and her daughter,
and welcomed them cordially to his home.
"And, father, this is Reinhold, the
dearest friend I ever had!" said Eric joy-
fully.
Through Eric's letters Reinhold was
well known to the Lindermans, as were
the others, and conversation was animated
as they discussed the Neurung, Nidden,
the dear friends at the parsonage, Wolf-
gang Miiller, the fishmaster and others.
Mr. Linderman talked and listened, an
undercurrent of joy in his heart that the
house was now upon its old foundation;
and he renewed in his mind the resolution
that no prospect of gain should ever again
tempt him to enter the realm of specula-
tion.
That evening the old home was brilliant
with light. A long table was set in the
supper-room and about it were gathered a
cheerful company, including Christian


Burkholtz. Just as Mr. Linderman was
about to ask the blessing, Professor Bet-
tenberger was announced, and without
hesitation accepted the cordial invitation
to make one of the company. Then in-
deed Reinhold's and Eric's satisfaction
was complete.
In their after-supper conversation it
was decided that Mr. Kingston should buy
a home for his daughter and her children
in Kbnigsberg, and the next day, with the
advice of Mr. Linderman, he made a selec-
tion of one near the Linderman home.
This was very pleasing to Eric and Rein-
hold, who now could be together some
part of every day. This matter settled,
Mr. Kingston continued his journey to
Liverpool.
Eric's holiday was over. He was ready
for school the day it opened and was there
on time. When he reached his desk he
saw upon it a crown of oak leaves, which
he took up and found attached thereto a
card bearing his name.
"Yes, it is yours," said one of the Pro-
fessors. "Your classmates present it to
you in recognition of your courage and
bravery in helping to save the lives of
several people on Councillor Miiller's
yacht."
This unexpected compliment was a de-
light to Eric. He bore the wreath
proudly home at noon, and received the
congratulations of all under the roof tree,
as well as of dear friends who came to wel-
come him back after his long absence.
Professor Bettenberger was the valued
friend of Reinhold and Eric, and their
mothers, knowing the Christian character
of the noted man, were sure of the good
influence he would have upon these young






ERIC'S VACATION.


minds, and were glad of the friendship.
Through him Reinhold was introduced to
one of the most noted artists of Khnigs-
berg, who took the boy as a pupil, and his
progress was rapid.
Mr. Kingston had not been long at his
office in Liverpool before the activity
which had formerly prevailed at the ware-
house and granaries of Mr. Linderman
was resumed this time to remove the
grain which had been stored and ship it to
England. He and Mr. Burkholtz had re-
covered their spirits; Walter Winter, Kor-
bel and the other clerks were busy during
all the office hours. Confidence in Mr.
Linderman was restored in business cir-
cles, and he was re-elected, president of
the Grain Exchange.
The following summer, Mr. and Mrs.
Newman were rejoiced to receive at the
parsonage nine guests who had come to
remain a week upon the Neurung. They
were Mr. Linderman, his wife and Eric,
Mary and Gertrude, Mr. Kingston, Mrs.
Breitman, Edith and Reinhold.
Saltanisch and his Micks received them
from the "Phoenix" and brought them
to land in his boat, for the promised wharf
had not yet been built and the steamer
could come no nearer the strand.
Oh, the joy of Reinhold and Eric! To
be once more upon the Neurung, to visit
their old haunts, the beautiful pine and
fir woods, the ravine, the light-house, the
beach by moonlight, and the life-saving
stations!
It was again Sunday morning, and the
two stood by the great sand dune, which
now so effectuallyQovered the cottage of
Father Breitman that even the beam
which had marked the spot was hidden


from view. The morning sun had dis-
pelled the light mist, and its brightness
rested upon the quiet village, the dis-
tant pine woods, the bay and the restless
sea.
The boys stood for some time in silence,
then Eric laid his hand upon the shoulder
of his friend.
"Reinhold," said he, "do you remem-
ber the morning we stood here and you
said, 'I will be an artist '?"
"Yes, I remember it."
"The wish bids fair to be gratified.
Professor Bettenberger reports that your
knowledge of the mixing of colors is sur-
prising, and he prophesies that you will
some day be one of our noted artists."
Dear old grandfather was not willing
that I should leave him to become an art-
ist, fearing the temptations of the world,"
said Reinhold reflectively; but by pre-
cept and example he taught me that one
can live a Christian life in any position
where he may be placed. That knowledge
is priceless to me."
The sound of the church bell put an
end to the conversation. The two boys
left the dune, and, joining the others
from the parsonage, went in to the simple
service.
When it was finished and all had left
for their homes except Mr. and Mrs. New-
man and their guests, the pastor led the
way to his study back of the pulpit, that
they might see the painting in oil which
Reinhold had done on his last visit to the
parsonage, and presented to the church
and its pastor.
It was "Peter on the Sea," a subject
upon which Mr. Newman loved to dwell
and his parishioners loved to hear. The






ERIC'S VACA TION.


scene was in many respects such as Rein-
hold had witnessed more than once in his
life the storm at its height, the vessel
at the mercy of the waves, and terror
and despair upon the faces of the dis-
ciples. Peter, with his hand in that of
the Savior, was walking upon the sea, and
the rugged yet serene face was that of
Father Breitman. The fisher-folk felt an
ownership in this picture, and considered
it a privilege to gaze upon it, none finding
reason to cavil except Saltanisch.
"No, no, Reinhold!" he had said, when
viewing it at the parsonage before it was
hung over the chimney-piece in the pas-
tor's study, "you cannot make the king's
fishmaster believe that the disciple of our
Lord looked like a plain fisherman."
"My grandfather was a disciple of our
Lord, a true and faithful follower you
can bear witness to that, fishmaster and
Peter was a fisherman."
"Yes, yes; I have no notion of disput-
ing any of that. But you never saw


Peter, and how do you know that Father
Breitman looked like him?"
"Saltanisch," said the light house
watchman, who had dropped in, "they
both loved their Lord, and were going to
meet him; why should they not be alike?"
The fishmaster was silent, but not con-
vinced. But he went with Reinhold to
the church and helped him put the pic-
ture in place.
In the parsonage parlor hung a paint-
ing which was the pride of Mrs. New-
man's heart. It was "Sunday Morning
on the Neurung," and was Reinhold's
first landscape.
The happy visit ended, and all returned
to their respective homes and employ-
ments. To no one had the sojourn given
more pleasure than to Eric, reminding
him as it did of his first visit to the fishing
village, quaint and well-loved Nidden.
Nor did he or Reinhold ever forget the
Christian teaching of the beloved pastor
of its little church.


THE END.










SUMMER'S


ACQUAINTANCES.


By GEORGE W. MARTIN.


,ROM my home on
the crest of war-
famed Missionary
Ridge to the
dummy station in
the valley I walk
e ver y morning,
through a half
mile of woodland,
and make the re-
turn trip at the close of a day's busi-
ness in Chattanooga. Down the steep
side of the Ridge, near a pretty spring
set like a mirror amid the trees, along
the border of a little farm, by the one-
roomed cabin of a negro, sticking like
.a wart on the edge of the woods, past a
limestone quarry, by the doorway of a lit-
tle church at the juncture of two high-
ways, a path leads me to the station shed.
Along this shady way, during a spring
and summer, I formed many charming
acquaintances among the birds; and here
are set down a few observations about only
a small number of these, disclaiming any
spirit of partiality. Although usually in
a hurry, with but little time for loitering,
to tell all that was seen and heard and en-
joyed in this brief walk of twice eighty
rods, would make a volume of fair size.
Though older than the history of man,
the birds seems always the same. Their
plumage, their songs, their wooing, their
coming, their going, are probably the
same to-day as when the prehistoric
Mound Builders had none to dispute their
sway; the same as when the Cherokees
softly trod these forests not yet profaned
by the axe. Go to the orchard and you
see the same oriole; walk around the field
and there is the identical woodpecker, to


a feather, that you knew -when a bar-
footed boy. The birds seem never to
grow old, never to change, never to die.
Yet a study of them and their actions is
ever fresh and interesting--as interest-
ing almost as a study of people and their
actions.
On this path, or within easy eye-shot,
there were twenty or more nests. That
many I found, and of course many I did
not find, since no special search was made
for them. He who loves the birds, who
has them in his eye and in his ear, will
always find birds, even where others de-
clare there are none.
I have wondered that birds did not
learn to go to woodland springs, nature's
hand-mirrors, to behold their own re-
flected loveliness. We could pardon a bit
of vanity in creatures so comely. Some-
times I would see a feather or two floating
in the spring on my pathway, and one
morning I saw a red-eyed vireo take a bath
there. With a dash the little bather
dipped into the clear water, splashing it
right and left with fluttering wings; rising
immediately, he clung, head downward, on
the bole of a small tree just above the
spring. Down he went again and up as
quickly, perching this time on a higher
limb. Here he ruffled his feathers and
shook them vigorously, combing them
with his beak. A few more dashes into
the water and away he went through the
green woods. These birds seem to
habitually prefer the plunge bath.
Walking home through the woods one
day I received the worst scolding of my
life. I was berated most unmercifully
and seemed to be called every ugly name
that could be thought of; followed and






A SUMMER'S^ ACQUAINTANCES.


fairly peppered with a vocal Gatling gun.
Going quietly along the path, intending
harm to no creature, it was some moments
before I realized that the attack was
aimed at me, so void of offence was my
heart.
She who thus emptied innumerable
vials of seething wrath upon my innocent
head was a pretty little yellow-throated
vireo. Virago- I would be tempted to
rechristen her, were she not so amiable
when not crazed with maternal solicitude.
Bless the tiny dear! nothing could have
been more foreign to my intentions than
to injure either her or her babies, some-
where near, doubtless, in a beautiful nest
artistically stuccoed with lichens. As a
vigorous scolder she ranks high, but she
should command respect and admiration
for the valiant defense of her home. She
did not dart about frantically and gesticu-
late wildly like an angry Frenchman.
While the verbal invectives came in a
rushing sluice, like escaping steam, her
body was comparatively motionless; so
much so indeed that I had difficulty in lo-
cating her, though she was right over my
head. The sound seemed to issue from
all parts of the large tree, and really there
was enough of it to give a tongue to every
branch. A dozen birds- several species
of vireos, chickadees, cat-birds, a summer
redbird and others attracted by the
outcry, came up hastily as though to learn
the cause, looked at me curiously for a
moment, and then went quietly away..
A few days later the little dame was
placed under obligations to me and cer-
tainly owed me an apology for her former
unwarranted abuse of so good a friend.
As I approached I heard her scolding ve-
hemently and saw two barefooted boys,
with stones in their hands, peering up
through the foliage. "There she is,
boys," I said, "a pretty little yellow-
throated vireo. I would not throw at her,
for, see, she has a caterpillar in her beak,


and if you kill her her babies might die."
They dropped their stones rather reluc-
tantly and passed on.
Afterwards I found the nest, thirty feet
above the ground, swung beneath an oak
limb. Capacious, rather bulky for the
size of the bird, it was composed chiefly of
gray lichens, with some bark strips, all
bound together and supported by spiders'
webs, and sparsely lined with grass. Cling-
ing to a leaf that was fastened to the nest
was the grotesque pupa shell of a period-
ical cicada an early breakfast, probably,
for the greenlet.
Referring to the interpretation of bird
language, John Burroughs says: I only
know the birds all have a language which
is very expressive, and which is easily
translatable into the human tongue." As
I waited at the station for the car, I heard
many mornings the sprightly call of the
Maryland yellow-throat over the fence in
a dense growth of sprouts and weeds where
the nest was placed on the ground. The
song of this warbler is thus verbalized by
one eminent ornithologist: "Whit-ti-ti,
whit-ti-ti, whit-ti-ti"; by another thus:
"Whee-chee-tee, whee-chee-tee, whee-
chee-tee." One bird loving naturalist
hears him say, What a pity, what a pity,
what a pity;" another, "Which way, sir?
which way, sir? which way, sir?" Who
is correct?
As I walk beside the brier-hidden fence
row his cheery notes often greet me. To
me he seems to say, "Secrecy, secrecy,
secrecy;" and secrecy it is, for, when I
press up close to the briers or stoop and
peer into the tangle, instead of seeing the
songster, he calls to me, in playful mock-
ery, "Secrecy, secrecy, secrecy," a rod or
two farther away. He plays hide-and-
seek with me and plays it well, though he
does all the hiding and I the seeking. Now
and then I may catch a glimpse of his
bright yellow throat and breast, made all
the brighter by contrast with the broad






A SUMMER'S ACQUAINTANCES.


black mask across the forehead and over
the eyes. Although unobtrusive and re-
tiring, loving the thick leafy tangle near
the ground, he is a dear little fellow, inno-
cent and sweet.
Just inside the farm fence, where the
poison oak completely covered the ground,
was the nest of another groundling, the
Kentucky warbler, a cousin of the last-
named vocalist. I would walk up to
within two or three feet and look down on
her. The rich yellow line that runs
above each eye and curls behind it gave
her a big-eyed, staring look that was al-
most grotesque as she sat on the nest down
under the noxious leaves. A very thick
cushion of dry leaves under the nest well
protects the eggs and young against the
chill and dampness of the ground. This
vivacious songster is abundant here.
That prophetic anchorite, the "rain-
crow," or yellow-billed cuckoo, built a
nest hard by my path, twenty feet above
ground on a platform made by the forking
branches of a hickory and the vine of a
Virginia creeper. It was a rude structure
of coarse twigs and contained three green-
ish-colored eggs when found. These were
hatched together and the young success-
fully launched. In this instance there
seems to have been no irregularity in lay-
ing and incubation, which sometimes re-
sults in there being found in the same nest
a fresh egg, a newly-hatched bird and one
about ready to take wing. Let us hope
that in this respect also our bird is becom-
ing orthodox; it is now rarely charged
with that reprehensible practice of slip-
ping its eggs into the nests of other birds,
as does its European namesake.
Once I heard one of the cuckoos call
"Ku, ku, ku, ku, ku," some seventy paces
away, and immediately the mate, quite
near the nest, answered, Ku, ku, ku,
kee-ow, kee-ow." So solitary are this
bird's general habits that any manifesta-
tion of fellowship is noticeable and pleas-


ing. After the young were hatched, if I
stopped under the nest, an old bird would
perch near it and make a most peculiar
noise, wholly unlike that of any other
bird. It was a decidedly wooden sound,
as like the "tack, tack, tack," made by
striking a tree with a stick as anything to
which I can liken it.
As I waited at my station one morning
a cuckoo sat on a limb overhead, not
twenty feet from me, and called persist-
ently, running again and again through all
the cuckoo notes: "Ku, ku, ku, ku;",
then that wooden sound: "Kee-ow,
kee-ow-oo, kee-ow-oo; ook, ook, ook."
Evidently this was a young bird, calling
for more breakfast, for the old one flew up
with an insect in her beak. Just then the
dummy came rushing up with clangor and
roar. Every observer has noticed that
cars, vehicles, horsemen, pedestrians, al-
ways do come by at the most inopportune
moment, when one is just about to see
something very interesting something,
may be, for which he has been waiting for
a long time. The young bird's tail was a
baton, bobbing fast or slowly, to suit the
notes of the bird. Ever and anon it would
be jerked up suddenly, like the tilting of a
balance pole, apparently to maintain the
bird's equilibrium. His experience in,
perching was as yet limited.
In August I noticed a cuckoo whose
usually neat, satiny costume looked
weather-beaten and ragged, it being the
moulting season. He was taking dinner;
and in the act gave abundant evidence of
his value to the orchardist as a destroyer
of insects. He sat carefully peering un-
der every leaf till some moth or caterpillar
was spied, when he would spring after it
and catch it, with much fluttering of
wings, and eat it after alighting again.
When he captured a katydid, it required
considerable time and effort to swallow it,
and while he struggled with it a hungry
mite was evidently getting its lunch on






A SUMMER'S ACQUAINTANCES.


the back of the bird's head, and with one
foot he clawed at it viciously.
The nest of the wood pewee, firmly
saddled on a limb, compact, smooth, stuc-
coed with lichens so as to resemble the
bark of the tree, is not readily found. In
such plain view, its conspicuousness often
conceals it. The bird unintentionally
helped me to find one on the limb of a
persimmon before it was completed, by
flying from it as I was walking past. A
second was on an oak near the quarry and
was hardly distinguishable from the ex-
crescences that grew on the limbs about it.
A third, on an elm, so closely resembled
the bark that no one, unaided, would have
found it, unless he had had the bird in his
eye. There were three young in the nest
and they, too, were covered with gray
down and were motionless, so that the
whole looked very like a gray knot. The
fledgelings, then two-thirds grown, were
decidedly crowded in the shallow nest, so
much so that one sat on top of the others.
The sun beat directly upon them and the
mercury registered ninety degrees in the
shade. Add to this the fact that the nest
was literally swarming with fiery-tongued
mites, and the temperature must have
been reckoned at one hundred and ninety
degrees by the helpless sufferers.
If you go near a wood pewee's nest in
which there are young, its presence is al-
most sure to be betrayed by the cries of
the parent birds. While examining a cat-
bird's nest in a grapevine my attention
was attracted by the cries of two pewees
a hundred feet or more away, and, going
near, I readily discovered the nest. I was
not close enough to alarm them, by appar-
ent evil designs on the occupants of their
wind-rocked cradle, and should have gone
off in another direction, except for their
piteous cries of "Go 'wa-a-ay, go
'wa-a-ay." They seem unable to conceal
their parental concern. This note, full of
anxious fear and distress, is quite unlike


the characteristic plaintive pewee." If
I approached the vicinity of any nest, the
birds would begin to plead Go 'wa-a-ay,
go 'wa-a-ay," often when I was a hundred
paces from the object of their solicitude.
One morning I found several jays, notor-
ious egg-suckers and bird cannibals, near
one of the nests and the cries of the
pewees were heart-rending. They were
greatly excited and made angry dabs at
the chuckling blue-coats, giving hot chase
when the latter were driven off by a well-
aimed stone.
On a flowering locust I often saw a
downy woodpecker hunting grubs in the
decaying bark. He would come sliding
down the trunk backward on his tripod, so
wonderfully adapted for vertical locomo-
tion, alert, eager, industrious, sinking his
horny pick into every spot that gave prom-
ise of a juicy tidbit. The strokes were
rapid and delivered with such force that
his head seemed to rebound at each blow,
as if the beak were rubber-tipped, and the
white stripe down his back suggested that
the strain had caused a rip in the central
seam of his bi-colored coat, displaying his
white shirt underneath. Sometimes the
prospects for a breakfast did not seem sat-
isfactory, and he would launch himself
across the ravine to another tree in his
characteristic open-and-shut mode of
flight, crying vehemently, Che, che, che,
cheat," in midair.
This woodland, through which I take
the daily walks, is a favorite haunt of that
glorious songster, the wood thrush. Right
by the roadside and within fifty feet of the
negro's hut, not fifteen feet above my
head, a nest was built, in plain view, with
no effort at concealment. When first made
some of the foundation material, becom-
ing loosened, hung down six or seven
inches, rendering it quite conspicuous.
Every morning and evening, when pass-
ing, I would look up at the nest and nearly
always saw above its rim the head and tail






A SUMMER'S ACQUAINTANCES.


of the sitting dame. The yellowish base
of the lower mandible and the darker col-
ored point gave the beak the appearance
of having a black lump on its end; as
though when plastering the nest some of
the mud had not been wiped off the trowel
and had hardened there. As I stopped
and gazed at her for a moment, sometimes
her eyes would close as though she was
dozing, and I suspect that she did sleep a
good deal as she sat there, motionless for
many hours, on her ovals of promise.
What a picture of cheerful patience is a
sitting bird! After the advent of the
young I would see the attentive mother,
sitting on the rim of the nest, with beak
down among the nestlings; and at such
times she did not show the least fear, tak-
ing ho notice of me, although I was less
than twenty feet from her. I hope she
had come to know me as a friend. I
missed her very much when she quitted
the nest with her children, and trust they
will all come back next spring after a win-
ter's sojourn in a warmer latitude. They
are truly divine singers.
A rag and piece of paper made a part of
the foundation of every wood thrush's
nest I found in these woods. One down
by the quarry had in and about it a large
piece of white muslin, a fragment of some
quarryman's shirt, I suspect. There were
also in it some white chicken feathers, five
to eight inches long, that showed on the


exterior as if stuck there for ornamenta-
tion. A hundred yards away on the
ground was a mass of the same kind of
feathers, evidently where one of Frau
Lieker's fowls had met a tragic death.
Often some bird drew me off from the
regular path, if I had a little time to
spare. On several such occasions I noticed
a young man walking with measured tread
back and forth, like a sentry on his beat,
and gesticulating earnestly; a young min-
ister, I learned, who was conducting ser-
vices in the little church out on the high-
way not far distant. Seeing him, I always
quickly and quietly withdrew, that I
might not disturb him. Here into the
solemn quietude of the woods, away from
all that could distract, he came to com-
mune with God, as was his Master's wont.
What place more favorable?
I, too, was there to commune with God,
to "look through nature up to nature's
God." I wondered if the young preacher
heard, as I did, that thrush glorifying his
Creator? It could but give a fresh, sweet
flavor of love to his sermon. No sweeter
voice ever sang His praise. How the full,
joyous notes, with the most exquisite sil-
very embellishments, rang through the
shady aisles of the woodland temple!
Hearty, unconscious, pure, soulful, they
thrilled me, lifted me Godward, till my
breast heaved with love for the One who
has made earth so beautiful.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs