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AUTHOR OF BIRCHWOOD" FITCH CLUB RIVERSIDE MUSEUM
THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO.
13 ASTOR PLACE R
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' "~~OPYRIGHT,- Ioz '''8-" *'-.'..' I," 'y
BlY THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. ';.
5^ '.'** *. :. t ~BOSTON. * .'
Si-' '-' '*''' ' ' /' "' '' - ' ' *~~ *g i' ; - '' ,*,'"*' "'" .-.is "-,
I. AN ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT .5
11. THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE" 17. .
III. THE SKY-ROOM .. . 4
IV. THE UNWELCOME GUEST 58
V. COMPROMISES. .. . :. ..i. 87
VI. TWo LESSONS FROM NATURE. III
VII. PIERRE'S STORY .' . 141
VIII. AT THE COTTAGE .. 185
IX. LOST. .. .. 207
X. TROUBLE . ......... 237
XI. GOING FOR RUTH . ... .262
XII. THE DAY ..... 291
XIII. GOING TO THE HARBOR ... :. ..328
XIV. ODDS AND ENDS-. . .. 350
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S PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
AN ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT.
JOHNNY had been named The Professor by
some of his young friends, because he wore
spectacles, was fond of studying natural philos-
ophy and chemistry, and of performing experi-
ments. He had become so used to the name
that he did not mind it much, even when some
of the rude boys in the street called him Pro-
fessor or Prof. His merry little sister Sue, also,
was quite as apt to call him Prof. as Johnny.
One evening in June, Johnny and Sue were
at home alone. Their father and mother were
making calls; and Kate, the girl, had gone out
marketing. It was not very uncommon for them
to be in the house alone; for although Sue was
rather wild and thoughtless, Johnny was very
quiet and thoughtful, and Sue had been taught
to mind him when her parents were away.
6 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
Johnny had been reading, and Sue amusing
herself by undressing her doll and putting it to
bed; but after the doll was in bed, and sup-
posedly sound asleep, she could not think of
any thing else to do by herself, and so began to
tease Johnny to put up his book and play with
her. Johnny was so much interested in his
book that he paid but little attention to her at
first, merely replying that he would play by and
by. But finally Sue took hold of his book play-
fully, saying, -
"I mean to take away your book, for you
have read long enough: mamma would say so
herself if she were here."
"That's a very handy excuse for you: when-
ever you want me to play, you have a sudden
anxiety about my eyes."
"But you know it's just what papa and
mamma say, that you read too much, and they
ask you to stop reading a good deal oftener than
I do. I'm sure, if they had been here, you
would have had to put up that book half an
"I shouldn't wonder if you were right about
that. Well, what shall we do ? Shall we play
"Oh, no don't let's play any thing still : let's
romp a little."
AN ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT. 7
"Romp! exclaimed Johnny, making up a
comical face. "You know I hate romping.
Let us play a game of chess."
No: you always beat me at those games,
and so it isn't any fun; but I can beat you at
romping, and so I like it. Besides, papa and
mamma say it is better for you to exercise
more, and they like to have you romp with
"I should think you were setting up for a
doctress, if I didn't know you better. You are
the greatest girl to get up excuses for whatever
you want to do. But I suppose there'll be no
peace until I romp."
Johnny put down his book with a sigh and a
smile. Sue said, Come, let's play tag. Catch
me if you can!" and ran off into the dining-
room. As the gas was only lighted in the front
hall and in the sitting-room, it was pretty dark
in the dining-room ; but this suited Sue all the
better: she ran around the table, with Johnny
after her; and, as she hit now and then against
the table, the dishes rattled ominously. She
was laughing uproariously all the time, and evi-
dently thought of nothing but the sport of dodg-
ing Johnny, at all risks.
"This won't do," said Johnny, coming to a
stand-still, as Sue, in trying to escape him as -
he turned suddenly in the direction in which
8 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
she was running, knocked over a pitcher near
the end of the table: we shall be sure to
break something before long, at this rate."
"Let's go into the kitchen, then," replied
Sue: "there isn't any fire in the stove, and we
can't hurt any thing there. It'll be real nice
and dark too: I'll bet I can hide where you
can't find me."
"All right," said Johnny; and Sue danced into
the kitchen, and hid behind the door. Johnny
cornered her at once, however; for it happened
to be lighter there than in the dining-room.
"Why, this is real queer!" exclaimed Sue, in
a half vexed tone, as Johnny pulled- her from
her hiding-place : "it isn't dark here a single
So it isn't," replied Johnny. "I wonder
what makes it so light The light comes in
at the window. There must be a lamp in the
shed, or out on the platform."
Johnny opened the door and went out. Sue
followed him. The "platform" extended some
little distance from the back-door, and was
covered by a roof : it might have been called a
piazza or a porch but for its width. At the side
of the "platform" was what Johnny called the
" shed :" it had been intended only for storage
of wood and coal, but was so large that a small
summer kitchen had been partitioned off next
AN ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT 9
to the kitchen, with a door into the kitchen,
and another opening upon the: platform. This
kitchen was used in warm weather for baking,
washing, and ironing, in order to keep the heat
out of the house. Kate had been ironing that
afternoon, and the fire in the stove had no
As soon as they were outside the door, Sue
set up a cry of alarm.
"Fire! Fire !" she cried. The house is on
fire! 0 Johnny, let's run off! we shall get
burned up !"
Johnny stood quite still, and said nothing.
O Johnny! come come what makes you
stand there ? It's going to explode! It'll reach
over here, and set the house on fire! Let's run
out into the street, and call some one to come !
What makes you stand there, and not call out ?
You'll let the house burn up! But I sha'n't go
and let you be burned up: you've got to come
She took hold of his jacket, and pulled with
all her might; for she thought Johnny was too
frighined to stir.
"Keep still, Sue: I'm thinking," he replied,
looking calmly and fixedly at the alarming light
in the shed-window. "I can't get at it through
this door very well: I guess I'll go around
through the kitchen-door."
10 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
You ain't going near it ? cried Sue, in as-
tonishment and alarm.
"Of course I am: I can't put it out without
: going near it."; . "" ; :
You sha'n't do it! There! It's getting
worse than ever! 0 Johnny, come in !- It's
going to explode this minute !"
Johnny came in, but it was not on account of
Sue's direction : he had just thought what to do.
The danger proceeded from a kerosene-lamp
which stood in the summer kitchen, on a table,
near the window facing the platform. It was
streaming up very high, and blazing in a very
remarkable and peculiar manner, as if on the
point of instant explosion: the flashing and
flickering were what had lighted up the kitchen
On entering the kitchen, Johnny seized a:
piece of carpet which was in front of the sink,
and ran with it toward the inner door of the
"You sha'n't go in there, Johnny! ", cried
Sue. "You're going to kill yourself, and me,
too, 'cause I sha'n't run away and leave you,;
and she began to cry bitterly. But Johnny
hurried on into the shed, and Sue dared not:
follow him : she was only just brave enough not
to run out of the house, and leave him there to
die or be horribly burned alone.
w'lii~rid ~n-ino th sh~, ~ S~~d~a 'Ii
AN ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT. I
Just then Kate returned. As she stepped
upon theplatform, and saw the alarmi speta
cle, she screamed wildly, Fire help! help "
ust at that moment, too, a boy in the neigh
hood, who had heard Sue's cries, came rushing
into the yard. Hearing Kate's outcry, and see-
ing the blaze in the shed, he rushed into the
street, shouting "Fire! at the top of his voice,
and telling everybody he met that the back
part of Mr. Le Bras' house was all in a blaze.
The first man who heard the news gave the
signal at the alarm-box at the corner.
But before Kate or Sue could scream again,
Johnny had darted through the inner door, and
thrown the rug over the lamp.
Johnny! Johnn! run! run! it'll explode:
now, sure !" cried Kate wildly, thinking the
carpet would send the blaze down into the lamp:
instantly. But all was in darkness.
Johnny Oh where is he ?" screamed Sue,
almost fancying he must have died with the
Sure, and there ain't any fire now at all!
said Kate, in wonderment. Where are you,
Johnny ? "
"Here I am," said a calm voice at her elbow.
"Didn't that go out quickly? I knew it would i
as soon as the rug was over it, but I was a lit-
tle afraid it might explode before I could get it
12 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
covered: I didn't really believe it would, though;
for father says he is always very careful to get
the best of kerosene."
SWhat a brave boy!" said Kate admiringly.
But you oughtn't to have risked your life so,
Johnny. And what could have ailed that lamp ?
I'll light a candle, and go and see what the mat-
ter was; forIn't dn'tare touch another kerosene-
lamp. I left that one all right when I went off,
about an hour and a half ago."
After lighting the gas in the kitchen, Kate
lighted a candle, and entered the shed, pre-
ceded by Johnny. Sue still feared it was un-
safe, and stood on the platform, telling them
they had better not go in.
Kate took up the end of the rug, and peered
cautiously underneath, p arpared to run and pull
Johnny after her if there was a spark of fire
left; but, as all was dark, she assisted Johnny
to remove the rug. The lamp appeared to be
all right. Johnny put his hand upon the glass
"Why, see how hot it is, Katie!" he said: "it
must have got heated standing in this little
warm room so near the stove, and that made
the kerosene swell, I guess, and go up in the
wick, and run over at the top; and so the kero-
sene was on fire on the outside,-that was all."
"That was all !" exclaimed Sue, who had now
AN ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT. 13
ventured to follow them. "Well, I should think
that was enough. I never was so scared in all
my life.- But there's a fire somewhere, for
there's the bell ringing."
Sure enough," said Johnny; "and it's our
At that moment, a number of men and boys
came running into the yard.
"Where's the fire ?" said the foremost man,
as he stepped hurriedly upon the platform.
"There isn't any fire here," replied Johnny:
"a kerosene-lamp was blazing, that's all; but
we've put it out."
Then" the men went off laughing, and the
boys hooting. Kate let the fire down in the
grate, saying she was going to have every spark
of fire out in that stove before she went to bed ;
and the children went back into the sitting-
Well, Sue," said Johnny, "I hope you've had
all the romping you want for this evening."
Just then a key turned hurriedly in the door,
and Mr. Le Bras entered, followed by Mrs. Le
Bras. Mr. Le Bras glanced at Sue and Johnny
without.saying a word; and Mrs. Le Bras sank
into a chair, looking very pale and helpless.
Mr. Le Bras went to the dining-room an got
some water, without saying a word to the chil-
dren, who stood by in great alarm.
*' *. ,
14 PROFESSOR JOHNNY
"What is the matter with mamma?" asked
Sue, in a hushed voice.
Mr. Le Bras offered his wife the water, but
she shook her head. "I shall feel better pres-
ently," she said, in a faint voice. : Can, the
house be on fire, and they not know it,
"No, indeed," replied Mr. Le Bras; "and Ii
told you the engine would not have gone back
into the engine-house unless it were a false
alarm, or the fire was put out." Then he said,
turning to Johnny, "The fire has been put out,
hasn't it, my son? "
"Yes," said Johnny: "it wasn't any thing
but a kerosene-lamp blazing up in the summer
And 'twas Johnny who put it out," said
"Sue and Katie screamed, and made the
alarm," said Johnny.- "So they got the engine
started, did they ? "
"Yes," replied Mr. Le Bras: "it was just
going back into the engine-house when we
came by there. As we turned the corner, we
heard a man saying our house was on fire; and
I thought your mother would die before I got
her home, although I called her attention to
the fact that the engine was going back."
"I feel better now," said Mrs. Le Bras. "So
A ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT. 15
there hasn't been a fire at all! I never had
such a fright before in all my life!
But Mrs. Le Bras was still so nervous that
her husband would not allow the children to
talk about the accident any more, after they and
Katie had fully explained the occurrence. The
corversation regarding it was ended for the
evening by Johnny's saying to his father, "That
was a pretty good experiment to illustrate how
soon a fire will stop if the supply of oxygen is
cut off : only it was an accidental experiment."
"aIt could I ot properly be called an experi-
x ient," replied his fasther: a experiment is
something done purposely; but it answered the
"I don't undterstand why the fire went out
when Johnny threw can b the nlrug over it," said
"That's what I can't understand," added
"I'll explain it to you to-morrow," said Johnny.
"Alec Miner is coming over to-morrow after
school to see me perform some experiments:
and while I am performing some of them, I will
explain how a fire is caused by the uniting of
oxygen with carbon and hydrogen; for it is
nothing but a chemical union, like ever so
many that can be made; only it is so common
16 PROFESSOR JOHNNY
"So common that folks don't think about
it ? said Sue.
"Johnny has stated it very well," said Mr.
Le Bras, smiling. "If you saw a fire for the
first time, Sue, you would be very anxious to:
know what produced the heat and the bright:i
light; but because you have seen the phenom-
enon so often, ever since you can remember,
you never think to ask the cause of it." .
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 17
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE".
SOMETHING happened the next day to dis-
turb Johnny's naturally good spirits. When
he got home from school at noon, Sue met him
at the door with, -
Something has happened to make you feel
awful bad, Johnny. It came this morning in a
letter; and mamma said I might prepare your
mind for it, but I mustn't tell you right out in
the first place."
Mr. Le Bras, who was in the sitting-room
when Sue made this announcement, began to
"Well, well, Sue he said: if your mother
heard how well you tell bad news, I am afraid
she would not trust you to do it again. Why,
[you have given Johnny a regular bomb-shell to
"I guess it isn't any thing so bad as you pre-
tend, Sue, since father is laughing at it," re-
plied Johnny cheerfully, although his face had
I8 PROFESSOR JOHNNY
fallen considerably before his father began to
"I'll bet you," said Sue, looking quite dis-
turbed at her father's interference in her news-
telling, "that he's only laughing so as not to
let you think it's so bad as it is : but now he's
begun, he can tell it to you his own self; though
mother said I might."
Sue went off into the dining-room, where
Kate was, with tears in her eyes, and something
very like a pout about her mouth.
"I think papa was too bad !" she said.
"What is it, father?" asked Johnny, after
Sue had disappeared.
"I think I'll let Sue tell, when she gets over
her pet," replied Mr.nLe Bras. "The heavens
are not going to fall, Johnny. I think you are
enough of a philosopher to rise above the ca-
lamity, although I really suppose you will feel
pretty badly in the first place."
"This is funny enough," said Johnny, not
knowing whether to laugh or feel anxious: al-
though, of course, he saw it must be only an in-
dividual annoyance pertaining to himself, and
not a household misfortune, since his father
was inclined to laugh so heartily over it.
Just then Mrs. Le Bras entered the room.
"Mother," asked Johnny, "what dreadful thing
has happened to me ?"
pssv '^ ':*"** . ^'^'y,
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 19
Hasn't Sue told you?" replied his mother.
"No," said Johnny, and he related what had
Sue has prepared your mind for it, then, and
your father has shown that it is something that
can be lived through: I think that will do until
Sue gets ready to tell you the rest ; for, al-
though she is inclined to be sulky, I think I
will not break my promise of letting her tell
you, unless she gets to be very naughty iin-
Kate then announced that dinner was ready;
and they all went into the dining-room, and sat
down at the table. Sue was there in her place
by Johnny's side; but she said nothing more
about the bad news, and looked quite dignified
as well as very sober.
"Come, Sue," said Johnny coaxingly, "tell
me what has happened."
"No: papa can tell you, since he couldn't let
me do it my own self."
"I don't see what bad news could possibly
come to me in a letter."
"But there has, and that's all I'm going to
say about it: papa can tell you," replied Sue
"Don't tease Sue. to tell you," said his
mother. If it were good news, you would nat-,
urally be anxious to hear it; but since Sue as-.
. .... .* .. .. :. ; * :; '* :: ": G s' fe :'
20 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
sures you that it is bad news, the longer you
are ignorant of it the better."
"Only it rather keeps me in suspense," said
Johnny, smiling. Come, Sue, tell me, please."
"No, I sha'n't," said Sue, shaking her head
Mr. Le Bras gave Johnny a look which meant,i
"Don't ask her to tell ;" and nothing more was
said about the bad news that noon. Johnny
went off to school in quite goodi spirits : and
when he got home, and found Alec there, and
his sister Belle with him, he was wholly forget-
ful of the calamitous news in store for him ; so
that he had quite a.little respite between the
first hint of the coming misfortune and the bit-
ter realization of it which arrived shortly after-
After talking upon ordinary topics with his
visitors for a little while, Johnny said, Since
you wanted to see some little experiments, if
you will go up in my laboratory I will perform
a few. As I haven't any but the very simplest
apparatus, and besides don't know much about
chemistry and philosophy, I can't show you
much; but I'll do the best I can."-
"You know a good deal more than I do,"
replied Alec. "I expect to study chemistry and
philosophy at the high school next year; but I
don't know any thing about them now, and, of
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 21
course, Belle don't; she just came over with me
out of curiosity, 'when I tVold her you had prom-
if I would come over to-day."
Is there any particular subject you would
like to have illustrated? asked ohnny p
:'.'. .. :.ised to..I~ ~ E .. ...w' .m i .
"No," replied Alec: "one thing will do just
as well as another."
Then, perhaps you would like to see how
two "chemicals will combine to make a third
entirely different from either of the two."
"Yes," replied Belle, "I should like that very
"So should I," said Alec.
I think I'll call Sue to go into the laboratory
with us, as I promised to show her some ex-
periments when you were here; -if you will
please excuse me a moment."
Presently Johnny came back with Sue.
As soon as Sue got into the room, she said,
"Johnny's going to tell us all about fire, and
how the rug came to put the lamp out."
Of course, then Johnny had to explain what
Sue meant; and that led to a full account of the
accident of the evening before, and how Sue
and Kate got out the fire-engine, which inter-
este d and amused the visitors very much.
The laboratory was a small room at the end
22 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
of the upper hall. As there were plenty of
rooms up-stairs, there had never been a bed in
it; and after Johnny began to have so many
chemicals, and to experiment so much, Mrs.
Le Bras had taken up the carpet, and allowed
him to use the room for a laboratory. :Mr.S'
Le Bras had hired a carpenter to put some
shelves in the front part of the closet; and
here were arranged the various bottles, jars,
saucers, tumblers, pipes, tubes, and other
appliances which Johnny had collected.
There was a table in the centre of the room,
with a chair beside it.
"I will get some chairs," said Johnny, disap-
pearing as soon as the guests were ushered in;
while Sue politely offered the chair to Belle.
"Johnny don't have company in the labora-
tory very often," she explained.
Johnny came back immediately, bringing two
chairs; but Alec said he did not care to sit
down at present. As for Johnny, he was very
busy taking things from the closet-shelf, and
arranging them on the table, talking all the time.
I suppose you know what chemical union
is ?" said Johnny to Alec.
"No, I don't think I do," replied Alec hesi-
tatingly. That is, although I know what union
means, and what chemical means, I am not sure
what they mean together."
K K'" -. :*** '*:i;;::
"You know how sugar and salt dissolve in
water, the particles of sugar and salt lying be-
tween the particles of water, just as a whole
lot of different kinds of little seeds might be
all mixed together without uniting at all ?~
S'I never thought about tha before," replied
Alec. "I didn't suppose fluid could be compared
to seeds; and I had an idea that the salt and
sugar became fluid somehow when they were
dissolved, and so mixed in with the water."
"The particles of the water are very small;
and the sugar and salt, when they come into
contact with water, separate into very tiny par-
tides, which fill in the places between the par-
ticles of water until there is no room left, and
then all the sugar or salt you put in afterwards
settles to the bottom by itself. But there is
no union at all between the salt or sugar and
the water; that is, they do not unite to form
any different substance."
While Johnny was saying this, he was pour-
ing some grayish powder into a cup. Then he
put an old spoon in the powder, and took a vial
of yellow liquid from the shelf.
"This is whiting," said' Johnny. "If I put
some water on it, and stir them together, I shall
have nothing but whiting and water. Perhaps
I'd better prove that first."
Here he took out a spoonful of the whiting,
24 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
and put it into a little saucer, and poured some
water upon it, and stirred it.
There you have. a mixture similar to sugar
and water, or salt and water; the ingredients
are very closely mixed, but they are not united
to form any different substance; if it should
stand a while, the water would evaporate, and
leave the same amount of real whiting. But
now I will pour some vinegar on the whiting in
the cup, and you will see a difference."
Johnny poured some vinegar from the vial
into the cup, and stirred the mixture with the
"You see all those bubbles? Those. are
bubbles of a kind of gas; as fast as they break,
the gas that has been formed by the chemical
union of the vinegar and whiting will pass into
the air, and what is left in the cup will not be
vinegar and whiting; there will be no real vine-
i gar and no real whiting left; parts of each
have united to make the gas; so each has lost
something peculiar to itself, and cannot be the
very same article that it was before."
Some of the bubbles are real big, and you
can't break them easily with the spoon," said
Sue, who was stirring the mixture curiously.
"I wish my soap-bubbles would be as tough."
"Now," continued Johnny, "mixing the whit-
ing and the vinegar caused a real chemical
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 25
union: two substances united to make a third
substance entirely different from the two origi-
"I think I understand what a chemical union
is now," said Alec. ..
.And so do I," said Belle.
"This would be a beautiful experiment to
illustrate a chemical union, if it were not so
very common," continued Johnny.
As he spoke, he took a match from a match-
safe he had placed on the table, struck it against
the edge of the table, and held it out, smiling
"Fire is one of the most beautiful chemical
unions known; and the burning of a match is
an excellent illustration of the different tem-
peratures which different substances require,
in order that they may unite with the oxygen in
the air, or be on fire as we call it."
As the match was pretty well burned by this
time, Johnny applied the flame to a spirit-lamp
upon the table, which was the principal purpose
for which he had lighted the match.
"A very moderate amount of heat will cause
pphophorus, which is the substance on the end
of the match, to form a chemical union with the
oxygen in the air: brimstone requires a little
higher temperature than phosphorus, but not
so high as wood requires. The heat produced
26 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
by a little friction is enough to light the phos-
phorus, the heat produced by the burning phos-i
phorus is enough to cause the brimstone to
take fire, and that produced by the burning
brimstone is enough to cause the wood to burn;
that is, to form a chemical union with oxygen.
And, although the burning phosphorus or brim-
stone would not have produced sufficient heat
for lighting the lamp, the burning wood fur-
nished the necessary temperature; so that the
alcohol in the wick began the union at once,
when the blaze of the wood came in contact
"I see now how it is that we kindle a coal-
fire," replied Alec. "First we put some paper
in the grate, and then some pine-kindlings, and
then some charcoal, and then the hard coal :
then we set the paper on fire with a match, and
presently the coal is burning."
"And we separate the kindlings so that the
oxygen can get to them more easily," said
"How queer we never understood exactly
why a fire was kindled in that way, until now,"
said Belle. "And I should never have thought
of fire being a chemical union."
"You can carry on the same principle a good
deal farther," said Johnny. "From having a fire
of coals, you might have a house on fire, and this
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 27
would produce heat sufficient to set the neigh-
boring houses on fire; and the uniting of such
a quantityofcarbon and hydrogen with oxygen,
to make carbonic-acid gas, would create such a
vacuum by the rising of the heated air andgas,
that so much oxygen would rush in about the
fire, in the form of a high wind, as to make
the fire hotter and hotter, until, if it surrounded
an iron building, it would burn it up just as
easily as wood houses are burned in an ordiary
fire; as was the case at the great Chicago fire,
where so many fire-proof blocks were totally
But the iron buildings did not actually burn:
they only melted down in the great heat," said
Oh, no! they burned," said Johnny: "there
is no trouble about burning iron up, if you get
the right degree of heat."-
"I should think there was a good deal of
trouble about it, if great buildings they didn't
mean to have burned, if there was a fire, did go
and burn up right before their eyes," said Sue.
"Do you mean that the iron really burned as
wood does ?" said Belle.
"Why, certainly," replied Johnny: "iron will
burn up more completely than wood ; for when
wood is burned, the earthy part remains in the
form of ashes: but pure iron, which has no
.. .' .' ' '*y 1s i 1
* ,. : '., ',h :" *. '. *.' * : ; ; -. ':' '.
28 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
earthy matter in it, will burn up completely; it
will all combine with the oxygen in the air ,to
form gas. When iron is in a mass, it takes a
very intense heat to produce this chemical
union with oxygen; but when it is separated
into very small particles, it will burn in an ordi-
"If iron will burn up, I wonder we never see.
it burning so," said Alec. "I've been in black-
smiths' shops and founderies, and I never saw
any iron burning up, although I've seen it at a
"The fires in blacksmiths' shops and foun-
deries are not hot enough to burn iron in the
mass," replied Johnny; "or, if they are, they
can't get enough oxygen near enough to combine
with it. At the great Chicago fire, the intense
heatcaused such a high wid,that ca d h i i, is, such a
flow of oxygen toward the fire, that the fire
became so intensely hot there was no difficulty
in the iron blazing and burning more completely
than the wood."
Here Johnny looked rather disconcerted at
Alec's apparent incredulity.
"But, Alec," said he, "if little particles of
iron, such as you would file off of a bar of iron,
will burn up, of course the whole bar could be
burned if it was all filed up; and if the filings
could be burned in an ordinary lamp like this,
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 29
why couldn't the whole bar be burned in afire
that was hot enough ?:
"Yes," said Belle, who was troubled at Alec's
being so impolite as to seem to doubt Johnny's
word: "it's just like the difference between a
log of wood and the sawdust produced by saw-
ing the log in two; you couldn't burn the log
without building a hot fire under it, while you
could set the sawdust on fire with a match."
"That is a very good illustration," said
Johnny. "-Now, I lit this lamp to show you
how nicely iron will burn."
Johnny took a large-mouthed bottle from the
shelf, which was about half full of rather bright
These are steel-filings I got at a machine-
shop; but, if you prefer, I will get a nail and
file, and let you make some iron-filings yourself,
which will answer just as well. I keep the
steel-filings because they are so handy. I just
ask the men for them, and they give me a
whole lot that last ever so long."
Johnny then opened his knife, and, taking
out some of the filings on the end of the blade,
dropped them, or rather shook them, slowly
into the flame.
Oh, how pretty!" exclaimed Belle: "they
burn something like gunpowder.".
"So they actually burn up, and don't just
30 PROFESSOR JOHNNIY.
get red-hot and fall down and cool ?" said
"Oh, yes!" replied Johnny: "they burn up
just like so much sawdust, only more so; for
there would be some ashes left of sawdust, even
though they might be invisible."
So the filings have combined with the oxy-
gen in the air, and gone off in gas?" said Belle.
"Yes," replied Johnny.
"I wish you would file some iron," said Sue,
"because that experiment makes such pretty
"Very well, I will, if you will go down and
bring me a piece of iron from papa's tool-box."
Sue ran off, and Johnny continued,-
"I think I'll show you now how I make gas
on a small scale."
What kind of gas ?" inquired Alec. .
"Oh! such gas as we burn in stores and
houses. I've got my pipe already prepared : if
I hadn't, I couldn't show you that experiment
very well to-day. I got the pipe ready to show
to a boy who was coming to see me last week;
but he was sick and didn't come, so I didn't use'
Johnny took a common clay pipe from his
closet, and showed Alec and Belle that the top
of the ball of the pipe was closed with plaster
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 31
"I pounded a little piece of bituminous coal,
such as they use at the gas-works," said Johnny,
"and nearly filled the bowl of the pipe with it;
then I wet a little plaster of Paris, and closed
the end of the bowl to make it air-tight, that
is, to keep out the oxygen. There are carbon
and hydrogen in the coal, and they will both
combine with oxygen very quickly at the right
degree of heat : the hydrogen will form a flame,
and the carbon will look bright as you see it in
a piece of burning wood or coal. But you see
the pipe is fixed so that the oxygen can't get
at the coal at that end."'
"Is the flame of a fire or a lamp caused by
the burning of hydrogen ?" inquired Belle.
"Yes: the flame is the hydrogen combining
with oxygen, and the glowing coal or wick is
the carbon uniting with oxygen. The gas from
the gas-works is the hydrogen of the coal sepa-
rated from the carbon. When we heat it with
a match to set it to uniting with oxygen, we
have nothing but a flame. You know the coal
is heated in air-tight retorts; it is heated hot
enough to burn, but it can't burn because there
is no oxygen for it to unite with ; but the heat
causes the hydrogen to separate from the car-
bon, and then it finds its way out through the
opening in the retort into the pipes, and when
it reaches the air at the end of a pipe, you can
32 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
heat it a little with a match, and it will begin to
unite with the oxygen."
SAnd the coal that is left in the retorti isii
called coke. I have seen it very often," said
Alec: "the reason it looks different from coal,;
and burns differently, then, is because it has lost
its hydrogen ? "
"Yes," replied Johnny: "almost all ordinary
combustibles are composed of carbon and hy-
drogen, wood, coal, oil, etc.; and there are
a great many other things that oxygen has a
great affinity for, and will combine with at the
right temperature : the things that it won'
combine with are such as have all the oxygen
in them that they will contain, like dirt and
stones and ashes."
"And how about the pipe ?" asked Alec.
"Why, after Sue gets back with the piece of :l
iron, we will go down and set the ball of the
pipe in Katie's fire. When it gets hot, we shall-
see a smoke coming out of the pipe, which will
be composed chiefly of hydrogen gas : we will:
touch a match to it, and there will be a flame
at the end of the pipe until all the hydrogen"
which was in the coal in the ball of the pipe.
has united with oxygen. That is one way to
make gas on a very small scale."
And then, if we break the plaster of Paris,
and take out what is left of the coal, we shall;
have some coke," said Alec.
THE "ILLUSTRATED LEC7TURE." 33
"Yes," replied Johnny.
Sue now appeared, bringing a small cold
chisel. Johnny took a file from the closet, and
placing the chisel over the flame of the lamp,
began to file it briskly: beautiful little points of
light at once commenced to play about the file
and chisel at the point of contact.
Why don't the filings fall down into the
flame?" inquired Alec. *
"I suppose the current in the flame blows
them up, they are so small," replied Johnny,
"or perhaps the motion of the file does."
Alec, Belle, and Sue then took turns at mak-
ing the fireworks," as Sue called them.
"I think I understand now about fire being a
chemical union between oxygen and other sub-
stances," said Alec; "but I don't understand
about the heat. What makes heat? or why does
a chemical union of that kind produce heat ? "
"Why, friction makes heat," replied Johnny;
"particles of matter coming against each other
violently. You know the Indians used to get
the oxygen to combining with the carbon and
hydrogen in two pieces of dry wood, by rubbing
them together briskly; and before matches
were invented, they kindled a fire by striking
flint and steel over tinder; and a steel peg in
your shoe-heel sometimes strikes fire on the
pavement by the heat produced by friction;:
34 PROFESSOR JOHNNY
and I think I have seen it stated, that, when
oxygen is uniting with other substances, it is
the very quick motion of the little particles of
matter among themselves that produces the
I shouldn't think such little invisible parti-
cles as those of oxygen and hydrogen could
make friction enough by their motion as to pro-
duce heat," said Alec.
"Why, Alec," replied Belle, "don't you re-
member what terrible force the air has in hur-;
ricanes, and even in a common gale ? "
"But that is in an immense volume," replied
". Oxygen is in a comparatively mild and
harmless state when it is by itself," said
Johnny; "but when it gets to combining with
any thing it has a great affinity for, it is in a
sort of rage. I think myself that there must
be some pretty rapid motion going on in a fire,
even if we can't see it."
Johnny had handed the chisel to Sue, telling
her to put it right back where she found it.
"Well, I will," replied Sue; "but I guess
things won't be put back in their right places
much after Felix gets here."
Sue had no sooner said this, than she clapped
her hand over her mouth. Oh !" she ex-
claimed, "if I haven't gone and told!"
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 35
Johnny's face had grown very long in an in-
Is that your bad news ? he said. When
is Felix coming ? "
SI don't know," replied Sue: you'll have to
ask mamma, for she was to decide."
Sue then went back with the chisel, and Alec
So your cousin Felix is coming again, is
he ? "
"I suppose so," replied Johnny briefly, as if
it was not a very pleasant topic.
What a funny boy he is said Belle. I
never saw him but once, and only for a few
minutes; but he seemed to be ready for any
kind of mischief."
"Yes," replied Johnny: "he's as fond of
noise and mischief as oxygen is of carbon and
hydrogen; but I guess he won't stay very
This latter reflection seemed to console
Johnny, for he began to look tolerably cheer-
"Shall we go and make hydrogen gas now ?
But at that moment, Sue came running back,
"Some folks in a carriage are having an ac-
cident right out by our front-door! "
36 PROFESSOR JOHATY.
"What kind of an accident ?" inquired
Is it a runaway ?" inquired Belle.
"No, it isn't a runaway, for they can t get
the wagon to move: at any rate, I heard a mani
say the wheel wouldn't turn around." .
Let's go and see," said Alec.
So they all went out at the front-door to see
what was the matter.
SThey found a carryall and a span of horses
standing near the sidewalk. A lady and a little
girl were in the carryall. Two gentlemen were
examining one of the wheels, and several boys
stood near looking on.
"I don't know what ails it," said one of the
men; "but the wheel won't turn around, that's
sure. I think we'll have to go and ask a black-
smith to come and see to it."
Johnny and Alec went out on the sidewalk,
while Belle and Sue stood on the doorstep.
"I guess it's a hot wheel," said Johnny to
"What did you say ?" asked one of the gen-
tlemen, turning around quickly.
S"I said perhaps it is a hot wheel," replied
Oh, no!" said the gentleman, looking rather
perplexed: "the wheel is not hot at all."
"No," said Johnny, "it isn't hot now ; but
SI~ ?^^""i;- ' f *'** '
perhaps it has been hot, and that caused the
wheel to get welded to the axle so that it
wouldn't turn; and after it wouldn't turn, there
was no friction, and so the wheel cooled."
"I- shouldn't wonder if he is right," said the
other gentleman: "that often happens tocar-
wheels on a fast train, and we have been driv-
ing pretty fast, you know."
"Well, young man," said the other gentle-
man, "since you know so much about wheels,
can you tell me why this wheel should act so,
while the others are all right ? "
"I presume it wasn't greased so well as the
others," replied Johnny.
Just then a man who was passing by stopped
to see what was the matter:. he was a mechanic
coming home from the rifle-factory, which,
closed at five o'clock. He asked a few ques-
tions, looked at the wheel, and said, "Oh! that's
a hot wheel: you'll have to prop the carriage
up, and pound it off from the axle. You've
been doing a little blacksmithing as you came
along. I presume the wheel and the axle are
pretty neatly welded together, but yet not so
much so but that a little artificial blacksmithing
will set it all right again."
Then there was considerable stirring about
the carriage was propped up under the direc-
tions of the mechanic, and, after a good deal of
*" ~ . .
38 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
hammering, the wheel was pronounced all right.
Johnny brought out an oil-can; and, after the
wheel was well oiled, the gentleman thanked
everybody around, and offered to pay all who
had helped, includiig Johnny. But every one
refused to take any pay, except two or three
boys who had hindered more than they had
That was a pretty good illustration of the
effect of friction," said Alec.
"Yes," replied Johnny. "Now let us go in
and make the gas."
"I sha'n't be able to stop any longer now,
thank you," said Alec, "as my father told me
to be home by half-past five. But I'll get a pipe
and fix it myself, if I can find a piece of the
right kind of -coal, and that will save your pipe
until another time."
"Sawdust, or almost any thing that will burn
well, will answer to fill it with," said Johnny.
"I am ever so much obliged for your illus-
trated lecture," said Alec. I've learned a
good deal, and I wish you would come over to
our house some day before long. I can't per-
form many experiments yet, but we'll have a
good time somehow. I mean to begin to per-
form experiments, and study up about these
things. I am two years older than you are, but
I don't know half as much as you do."
4- f' '" l
THE "ILLUSTRATED LECTURE." 30
"You know ever so muchmore than I do
about history," said Johnny, "and Dick knows
more about carpentry, and Fred about print-
"And that's the way it is with grown-up folks,"
said Belle : "one takes to one thing, and an-
other to another; and so, between them all; the
different kinds of work in the world get done."
As for me," said Sue, I like to have a good
time most any way.
After their visitors were gone, Johnny went
in to ask his mother about Felix.
i "Why, my dear," replied Mrs. Le Bras, "your
aunt Mary is in very poor health, and is going
to Europe on a three months' trip with your un-
cle Louis. Your uncle thinks she will be much
better if she-does not have the care of Felix;
and yet she is unwilling to leave him behind,
unless we will let him come here. Of course,
we could not refuse; although it will be a great
care for me, and a worry to you; but we are
well, and aunt Mary is ill."
Johnny tried not to cry, but the tears rolled
down his cheeks in spite of all his efforts to
There won't be any peace and quiet and
comfort in the house after Felix comes," he said;
"and to stay a whole three months '- But then,
if aunt Mary is sick"-
40 PROFESSOR JOZIIVNY.
SPerhaps he has improved since we saw him,"
replied Mrs. Le Bras: "if not, your father says
he shall be made to mind and behave himself.
Since his father and mother will not be here,
he will be obliged to obey your father and me,
and we shall be decided with him."
When will he come?" '
"In about two weeks."
"I shall try to enjoy myself as well as I can
before he comes, because I know it won't be
very pleasant after he gets here."
Mrs. Le Bras said nothing, because she was
afraid Johnny was about right. As Johnny
went up to the laboratory to put up his pipe
and the other articles, he looked very sober and
thoughtful: he was already planning how he
could escape from Felix's racket and nonsense.
When Johnny came down again, Sue said, -
"You didn't explain, after all, how the rug
put out the lamp last night."
"Put out the light, you mean. Why, don't
you see? The rug prevented the air from
reaching the fire, and, as there was no more
oxygen to combine with the hydrogen and car-
bon, there could be no fire."
THE SKY-ROOM. 41
CHAPTER IIL I.
JOHNNY felt so badly about the coming of
Felix, and begged so hard to be allowed
some place of refuge during the stay of this
wild guest, that his father said he might have
the large back-room in the French roof, if his
mother was willing. Mrs. Le Bras said she
had no objection, if Johnny did not mind hav-
ing all the things about that were stored in that
room, since there was no other place to put
them in. Johnny said all he wanted was some-
where to go when Felix got too rude, where he
could be sure Felix would not follow him: he
said, too, that he should like to keep the chem-
icals he was using in the same place; because,
if they were not out of the way, Felix would be
meddling with them.
"I will have a lock put on the door of the
room, and give you the key," said his father;
"and then if you let in any one you don't want,
it will be your own fault. You can carry the
42 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
things from your laboratory into this private
domicile, and whatever else you wish."
"'I will carry most of my books, then," said
Johnny; "for I haven't a single book that Felix
will want to read."
"But you must not put your mother or me to
any trouble about fixing up the room," added
his father; "you must be contented with the
bare floor; and if you want the things which
are stored there put up out of the way, you
must re-arrange them yourself, and be sure they
are as neatly and safely placed as they were
"I am perfectly willing to agree to that," re-
turned Johnny, looking brighter than he had
before since the announcement that Felix was
to spend the summer with them. Can I begin
to get the room ready to-day ?"
"Yes," replied his mother. "I have no ob-
jection, since I am not to do any thing about
it, and can trust you not to put any thing out
of order in moving the articles about."
Johnny went up into "the attic," as it was
called, immediately, followed by Sue. There
was only one finished room in the French roof:
this was in front, and was occupied by Kate.
The remaining space was not plastered, and
'had great beams overhead : it was called "the
storeroom," and was separated from Kate's
THE SAY-ROOM. 43
room by a narrow hall formed by the placing of
a light board partition about four feet distant
from the finished room in front. A thin plank
door, without lock and key, was in the end of
the partition, near the head of the stairs.
There were four large windows in the rooms,
one at each side, and two in front. .
"It's a real pleasant room, isn't it ? said
Johnny, looking about with interest for the first
time; for he had never entered the room before
except for the purpose of storing something
there, or getting something which had been put
away in some of the trunks or boxes. These
trunks and boxes, some old furniture, and a large
cedar chest in which his mother kept furs and
other expensive articles liable to be disturbed
b' moths, were scattered about rather promis-
cuously, without regard to any particular order.
"I'll tell you what I've a mind to do," said
Johnny. I think I will put all the things that
are stored here at the back part of the room,
and then I'll take the old clothes-line, and draw
it across in front of them, and hang some of
mother's old drapery curtains on it: I don't be-
lieve but that she has enough to go clear across
the room; only I shall leave an opening in front
of the door to get through."
"Mamma's got a set of old cretonne, real
pretty, too, with bright red flowers on them;
44 PROFESSOR JOH-NNY.
and I know she'll let you have them," said
"And she's got another set, of cheese-cloth,
that she won't use again," said Johnny.
"There's four more : I'll alternate them, -that
will be prettiest. I guess they'll go clear across,
and be a little full too. And then see what a
monstrous room we shall have left all to our-
1" But you won't let me come in, will you ? I
thought you wanted it all to yourself."
"Oh I shall let you come in sometimes, when
you don't want to romp; and perhaps I will let
Felix in once in a great while, when I am sure
he won't stay long: but, as I shall have a lock
and key, I can keep folks out when I am read-
ing or busy."
"How far off you can see at these front win-
dows!" said Sue. "I can see way up the river,
and all those blue hills, and over hundreds and
hundreds of houses, and lots of sky! "
Johnny came and stood by her side, and
looked out at the landscape.
S"It is beautiful, isn't it?" said he. "Why,
I do believe it's the very handsomest view I
ever saw It is queer I never noticed before
how fine it was. I wonder if father and mother
know we've got such an observatory! '
"Wouldn't it be a pretty picture ? said Sue.
THE SKY-ROOM. 45
I wish it was a picture instead of real; for
then I could carry it down in my room, and
hang it up."
"Oh, no! it wouldn't be half as nice as it is
now it is real. Just think how many changes
we can see on all that great sweep of sky, how
many clouds altering their shapes and colors
every minute, and what glorious sunsets! We
must come up here after supper to-night, and
see the sunset. Let's surprise father and
mother, Sue. If we can get the curtains, I'll
have them up by that time, if you'll help me."
Won't that be nice !" exclaimed Sue, dan-
cing about. "And just see, Johnny here's ur-
niture enough to furnish your room right off :
there's that red plush chair that isn't faded very
badly; and that great, comfortable old wicker
rocker that we used to like so much, because it
would hold both of us easy,-and all that ails'
it is that it looks kind of old; and there's mam-
ma's old toilet-table and a big ottoman ;--and,
O Johnny there's our lounge in the corner that
I've missed so much, because the new sofa isn't
half so big."
"Yes, that's an idea!" replied Johnny.
"There is quite a lot of furniture here; and
that sofa looks like an old friend, if there is a
hole in the cover that you kicked through. I
guess mamma can find me a piece of cretonne
46 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
'il'l '" yl iv isiaS ^+.i/^;^
the holes. And then, don't you remember, Sue,
what a lot of old pictures there are in that big
trunk, which were put up here when father
bought so many new pictures at that sale ? and
.some of those old ones are real pretty too,
especially the engravings."
"And don't you remember the chromo with
the winter in it, Johnny? "
"Oh, yes! that winter scene was pretty good:
it represented the poet Whittier when he was a
little boy, going to a country school."
"Oh, yes! I remember now," replied Sue;
"and Mr. Whittier was in the picture, when he
was a little boy, and his little girl that loved
him was there with a blue apron on. Let's get
'em right out, and look 'em over, and see which
you will hang up."
"No," replied Johnny: "we'll go down and
tell mamma our plans first, and ask her if we
may have the curtains, and hang up the pic-
Mrs. Le Bras was very much pleased when
Johnny came down looking so animated and
happy: she had begun to feel as if his pleas-
ure was to be spoiled for the summer by the
advent upon the scene of such a thoughtless
and rude boy as Felix. She assented very will-
ingly to all his plans, and said he could take
THE SKY-ROOM. 47
any of the discarded things in the attic to fur-
nish his room,
latingthat Sue was not to be allowed to touch
any thing without his orders or permission.
She said all the old curtains were in the lower
drawer of the bureau in the attic, and Johnny
could select which he pleased. As for a cover-
ing for the lounge, she would give him a piece
of very pretty new cretonne which had been
left over of some she got for curtains to Kate's
As it was Saturday morning, there was plenty
of time for Johnny to get his room in order
before the' time for the sunset exhibition.
Having charged Sue, again and again, not to
ask his mother to come up until all was in
readiness, and to give him warning if there was
any danger of her making her appearance, he
went to work with a will, allowing Sue to help
himr all she could, for the sake of her company,
and because he saw that this kind of business
pleased her greatly. By four in the afternoon,
the room was finished; and a very attractive
place it was. Johnny had opened all the win-
dows, and thrown back the blinds, so that the
great space was flooded with light, and as pleas-
ant as out of doors. The breeze was so strong,
however, since there was nothing to intercept
48 PROFESSOR JOHNTYY
it at that height, that Johnny was obliged to
cilose all but the front windows.
"I know it will be cool here on the warmest
day in summer," said Johnny, "because it is
ever so much cooler here to-day than it is in
any other part of the house./ That isn't gener-,
ally the way with attics: but then, this is dif-
ferent from an attic ; it is larger, and has more
windows, and the roof is different."
If there is a very, very warm day, you can
go out at the scuttle," remarked Sue.
Oh! I'll tell you what the scuttle will be
good for," replied Johnny: "we can go up
there evenings, and see the stars splendidly.
I shall call that my observatory. We will try
it this evening."
The scuttle was in the little hall between the
storeroom and Kate's room,, and was reached
by a kind of stair-ladder: there were several
large panes of glass in it, which afforded suffi-
cient light for the little hall-way.
S"Now we will go down and get all the books
I shall need," said Johnny.
Johnny's books were in one corner of Mr. Le
Bras' large bookcase, which nearly filled one
side of the sitting-room. When they reached
the sitting-room, they found their father had
returned from his office.
"I'm going, to carry some of my books into
THE SKY-ROOM. 49
my sky-room," said Johnny, "but I don't know
what to keep them in: my table isn't large
enough to hold any thing but my inkstand, pens,
and pencils, and some paper for writing and
Are there not some empty packing-boxes in
the storeroom which we used when we moved
here.? remarked his father.
"Take several of those which are of about
the same size, and place them one above the
other. If they are not quite firm enough, drive
in a few nails. That will give you shelves for
books and other things. Put some white paper
on the bottom of the shelves, and a little light
fancy paint in front, and on the top and sides,
if you like."
"I wonder I did not think of that," replied
Johnny; "for I have seen a very pretty book-
case which Dick Scott made out of boxes."
Johnny then began to take down some books
from the shelves. First he took down four
volumes of Jacob Abbott's Science for the
"I thought you had got through with those
books long ago," remarked his father.
"No. I forget something in them some-
times, and then I want to look it up again ;
besides, I like to read parts of them over once
50 PROFESSOR JOHNNAY.
in a while; and when I don't want to study,
they are more interesting than my chemistries
and philosophies, because there is a little story
mixedin. Iwish I could get some more just
such books telling of things I haven't learned
"It is a pity there is no Mr. Abbott here
now to write more books," said his father.
"I'll tell you what you must do, Johnny: when
you get old enough, you must write some similar
books for young folks yourself, to cover the sub-
jects Mr. Abbott left."
"But I sha'n't be a boy to be interested in
such books then."
"Never mind," said his mother: there will
be ever so many more Johnnys to be interested,
and it is pleasanter to give than to receive, you
Johnny looked rather doubtful about that, but
he said nothing. He took down his books upon
chemistry and philosophy, which were such as
are used in high schools and academies, and a
number of books upon other solid subjects, also
a few story-books and a dictionary.
"What do you want of a dictionary in vaca-
tion?" asked his mother.
"When I am reading, I often come across a
word which I do not understand : and then, I
shall write considerably this vacation, and the
THE SKY-ROOMf. 51
dictionary will help my spelling; I intend to
write a good many compositions- some of which
I shall use in school next year, which will save
"But I don't think youought to do school-
work in vacation: you ought simply to enjoy
yourself, or do manual labor, which will not tax
your mind," said Mrs. Le Bras.
But writing compositions don't tax my mind,
unless I am in a hurry about something else: I
shall just write the compositions in vacation for
the fun of it, and then, in school-time, I can let
them take the place of real wqrk."
That is a good idea," said Mr. Le Bras. "
little providence like that saves a good deal of
the friction of working-time."
"Yes," said Johnny, "and friction is apt to
His mother laughed.
"You mean by that," she said, "it is likely
to make folks lose their patience and temper."
"Come, Sue, I guess I've got enough now,"
said Johnny : "if I haven't, I shall think of the
others by degrees."
Sue held out her apron : Johnny put as many
books in it as he thought she could carry easily,
and piled up the remainder, and took them in
his arms, with some assistance from his father
in getting them well balanced.
52 PROFESSOR OHNNY.
"I think I will go up with you to see how
your 'sky-room'" looks," remarked Mr. Le Bras.
1" Oh, no! don't!" said Johnny. "We're not
ready to have you and mother come up yet.
I'll tell you when we are ready."
"You mustn't come up till after supper,"
added Sue, "not till sundown."
"You look out, Sue," said Johnny warningly,
"or you'll let it all out before you know
Sue looked back and laughed, as she walked
off with her bulged-out apron.
The boxes were speedily arranged, the bottom
of the shelves covered with white paper, and
the books deposited upon them.
"When I get time, I will fasten and stain the
boxes; but this will do at present," said Johnny,
standing back to observe the effect.- "That
looks quite like a bookcase, don't it ? "
"It's just splendid," replied Sue. "And what
shall we do now ?"
"We will arrange the lounge and table and
chairs, here near the front windows, in a space
about a ges large as our sitting-room : we can have
that for the in-doors, and then we can make be-
lieve that all outside of that square is out of
doors, and have it to exercise in. I think I will
call that the promenade."
SThen, let's get some chalk, and mark off
THE SKY-ROOkM. 53
the room, so that we can tell exactly where the
room ends, and the promenade begins.
"Very well," replied Johnny, laughing: that
wouldn't be a bad plan. If you will run down
and get one of my crayons, I will mark it off
now. You can get the yardstick too. While
you are gone, I will be moving the furniture
into the front part of the room'."
The bookcase stood between the two front
windows. Johnny moved the table up near the
bookcase, and placed the sofa a little to the left
of the left-hand window, with one end toward
the front wall of the room. He then arranged
the chairs and ottoman.
When Sue came back, she said a lounge
ought to be against the wall, instead of extend-
ing out into the room.
"It is against the wall," replied Johnny : it
is against the crayon-wall we are to make for
this side of our room.
"Why, that's so!" replied Sue, half laugh-
ingly and half wonderingly. "I forgot that
three of the walls of the room were to be
The room was soon chalked off very dis-
That seems a good deal more like a room
and a promenade than it did, don't it?" said
54 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
"Yes," replied Sue: "I think I like walls
that you can see right through, very well. I
wish some of the walls down-stairs were like
that, so we could see out into the back-yard."
Let us go down in the yard now, and stay
till supper-time," said Johnny: "we have been
working hard all the afternoon, and I think I
will romp.with you now a while, if you want to;
since you have been so good-natured about help-
ing me, and keeping me company, in getting
the room ready."
"Come, then let's go right off! exclaimed
Sue, with delight. "I'll be down in the yard
before you !" and she ran off as fast as she could
go, while Johnny followed more leisurely, medi-
tating upon the pleasant respites he could take
from Felix's society in his beautiful and com-
There chanced to be an unusually beautiful
sunset that evening; and, when it was in its
glory, Johnny invited his father and mother to
come up and see the new apartment.
"'There's going to be a free show for you,
"Yes," said Johnny; "and it didn't cost any
thing to get it up, either."
"No," added Sue: "it got itself up, and it'll
do it almost every day this summer, without
even being asked."
THE SKFY-ROOMII. 5 5
"0 Sue !" whispered Johnny in her ear,
"you'll let it out before we get up there, if
you're not more careful."
When they entered the transformed attic, a
beautiful scene was presented. The four large
dormer windows were all open, and a flood of
soft sunset-light filled the apartment. But best
of all was the beautiful sky on all sides; for the
room faced the west, anthe wet, sky all around
was full of variously colored clouds, of various
shades and degrees of brightness, from brilliant
red and gold to delicate shades of pearl, yel-
low, and violet, with the blue sky for a back-
"Well! this is glorious!" exclaimed Mr. Le
Bras. "I did not know we had such a room in i
the house! Why! it is like discovering a gold-
S"Don't you remember," replied Mrs. Le Bras,;
"that I said, when we first came here, and were
putting away some things in the attic, that
there was a beautiful view up here, and it was
a great pity it could not be down-stairs ?"
I don't remember it," replied Mr. Le Bras.
" I think, whenever I have been here, the blinds
have been closed; and as I have always been to
get something, or put something away, I never
have thought of looking out of the windows."
"I have opened one of the blinds sometimes,"
56 PROFESSOR JOHAANNY.
replied Mrs. Le Bras, sitting down in the rock-
ing-chair by one of the front windows, "and
noticed how far the prospect extended; but I
have never been here before at sunset-time.
How very, very beautiful! "
.Why, yes this is perfect fairyland!" said
Mr. L Bras, sitting down by the other front
window, in the arm-chair, and looking out at
the brilliant scene produced by the green land-
scape, with its blue river and purple hills and
flaming sky. ,
Mr. and Mrs. Le Bras, upon looking around
the interior, praised Johnny and his assistant
very much for the neat and tasteful arrange-
ment of the curtains,, furniture, etc., and were
greatly amused at the chalk-line dividing the
room from the promenade. They remained
until the stars began to come out, declaring it
was too pleasant a place to leave, as long as any
of the scenery was visible.-
"You see, this house is on a hill, and above
the houses about here, which are only two
stories," said Mr. Le Bras, "and also above
the trees in the park. You are a lucky boy,
Johnny, to own a room like this for the sum-
mer, which you can have all to yourself: so
I think we will say it is a pretty good offset for
all the annoyance you are likely to experience
THE SKY-ROOM. 57
"And I suppose you will let me in here once
in a while, if I get too tired of Felix's non-
sense ? remarked Mrs. Le Bras.
Oh, yes I will let any one in except Felix
himself ; and I will let him in for a little while,
sometimes, if he will promise not to touch any
of my things, or race about."
You had better not give him much encour-
agement to come here," said Mr. Le Bras, "or
he may tease you too often to let him in. I
would not have him know any thing about the
room, until he finds it out in some way himself."
"Yes, that will be the best plan," added Mrs.
Le Bras : "it will save considerable questioning
and wonderment, to say the least."
58 PROF';" "ESSeOR JOH.NYW,VY.
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. '
F ELIX was the son of Mr. Le Bras' brother,
who was a wholesale merchant in New
York, and very rich. It was doubtful if Felix
had ever been denied any thing which he
wished ; that is, if it could be bought. Among
the rest of his possessions were a pony, a bi-
cycle, and a. boat; for Mr. Louis Le Bras had :
a summer residence on the shore.
Felix arrived with his father Wednesday
afternoon. They drove up in a carriage, with
quite a large trunk behind, which contained
Felix's summer outfit. A bicycle also was
strapped on over the trunk; and, when the
visitors alighted, a large Newfoundland dog
bounded out of the carriage. Felix was a
handsome boy, with large -brown eyes, and
dark, curling hair. The dog was very black
"So we have a third visitor ?" said Mr. Frank
THE UtNWELCOMr GUEST. 59
Le Bras, after he and Mrs. Le Bras and the
children had shaken hands with his brother
S;Oh, yes replied Mr. Louis Le Bras: "Felix
will not go anywhere without Clyde."
Johnny of Felix. j
"About two weeks. Isn't he a fine old fel-
low ? He cost thirty dollars."
"Do you like riding a bicycle pretty well ? '
asked Joh ny, as the hackman took that article
"Well, I guess so! I don't walk hardly at all
now, when I get where there are dirt-roads.
You won't see much of me till I've explored
all the country round here."
SDidn't you want to go to Europe ?inquired
No, not with mother, 'cause she's so awful
nervous, and scares at every thing; and then,
father gave me a new gold watch for staying at
home, -though I don't care much about it,
now I've got it."
Felix took out the watch carelessly, and
showed it to Johnny and Sue.
"That's ever so nice," said Sue. "Aren't
you a lucky boy, Felix ? "
"I don't know," replied Felix : "all I know
is, I mean to have a good time wherever I am.
6o PROFESSOR JOH2NNY.
Father, I guess I'll try this road on my bicycle |
before i go in."
"No," replied his father: "come in and visit
a while first."
S"No," returned Felix, vaulting upon the bi-
cycle: "I'm just going round the park square.
That's just a mile, isn't it, Johnny ?
"Yes," replied Johnny : "it's a quarter of a
mile on each side."
"But supper is nearly ready," objected Mrs.
"Never mind: you needn't wait for me; I'll
have my supper when I come back," returned
'Felix, shooting off up the road, followed by
Felix's father was talking quite busily with
his brother, without payingg any further atten-
tion to Felix. But just as the young man was
vanishing around the corner, he turned, and ob-
"Why! I thought I told that boy he couldn't
go," he said..
"Yes, you did," replied Mrs. Le Bras.
"There's no keeping track of him," said his
father, with an air of resignation. "Well, I
suppose boys must be boys I shouldn't won-
der if we used to bother our folks a good deal
when we were boys, Frank."
"If we did, we got bothered in turn by our
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 6 1
father and mother, if I recollect rightly," replied
Mr. Le Bras. "I did not venture to disobey
my father very often, and I had reason to re-
member it when I did. I had an idea your
experience was about the same."
"Parents were more strict in those days; I
don't know but I think they were too strict;
I am certain I used to think so when I was a
"I doubt if it would have been any better
for us if our parents had been more indulgent,"
returned Mr. Le Bras, "and I am certain that
it would have been very much worse for them.
SHaving unruly children about is rather a doubt-
ful blessing. By the way, Louis, you remember
my stipulation, that, if Felix stays here, I shall
insist upon strict obedience? I cannot possi-
bly promise care and safe-keeping without that
proviso. I suppose you have given him to un-
derstand what I expect ? "
Oh, yes he understands, and that is all
right. I hope you can teach him to mind. It
will be a great favor to us if you will: his
mother is in too poor health, and too fond of.
him, to cross him much ; and I am not at home
a great deal. To tell the truth, I would give
any one a thousand dollars to teach that boy to
behave himself: in fact, I would give more."
Mr. Frank Le Bras laughed at this remark,'
62 PROFESSOR JOHNNY
as if it were a very good joke. "I don't know
of any way of teaching a boy to do well right
along, Louis, without the proper kind of gov-
ernment continues right along until the boy is
grown up, unless, indeed, the boy were so re-
markable that he might be taught to govern
himself by his own reason and conscience; and
such boys are very rare: in fact, I don't know
as I ever saw such a boy. But I shall do the
best I can by Felix, not only for his sake and
yours, but for my own comfort and that of my
household. We shall not attempt to govern
him while you are here, however."
"I shall be off on the eight o'clock train ; so.
your authority will begin very soon. I can't
tell you all how thankful I am that you have
agreed to take charge of the young rogue. Of
course we love him dearly, but even his mother
is beginning to see that he is getting to be too
much for us: I fancy her nervous .disease is
greatly aggravated by her worry over Felix."
They were sitting in the house by this time,
and now Kate rang the supper-bell. Felix did
not appear during supper-time, nor until past
seven o'clock : then he came in with a very red
face, accompanied by Clyde, who was panting,
with his tongue out of his mouth.
"Where have you been? inquired his father.
Oh I met a boy over by the park, and we
TIME UNWELCOME GUEST. 63
went racing. We went up to the trotting-park,
and tried the course, I guess I've got up an
appetite for supper."
"You will find something on the table," said
his aunt ;"but, of course, you won't expect to
have any thing hot, an hour after supper-
"I do at home," replied Felix, looking slight-
"But you must remember you are not at
home," replied his father: "there is but one
servant here, and you make an extra person in
the family, at the best."
Felix sat down at-the table, appearing rather
out of sorts. Kate did not look very pleasant
either, as she waited upon him : ordinarily, she
would have had the table cleared and all the
dishes washed before that time.
"Are we to have this kind of doings all the'
time ?" she asked of Mrs. Le Bras, as the latter
came into the kitchen of an errand.
,"No, indeed!" replied Mrs. Le Bras : "this
is the very last time, Katie ; after this, if Felix
is not here at meal-time, the table will be
cleared, and nothing will be brought out for
him but bread and butter. We shall give him
to understand how it will be, and then it will
be his own fault if he gets served that way."
When Mr. Louis Le Bras took his leave,
64 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
he gave much good advice to Felix, and charged
him to make as little trouble as possible.
"I sha'n't be any trouble," replied Felix: "I
sha'n't be in the house but precious little, any-
way. Clyde and I won't see much of the inside
of the house till we've scoured all the region
round, to begin with."
But if you are scouring the country, how
can your aunt and uncle take care of you?"
replied his father. "You may get into all sorts
of scrapes and dangers."
"I guess I'm old enough to take care of my-
self! I ain't a baby," replied Felix indignantly.
As the hack had just driven up to the door,
and there was no time to spare, Mr. Le Bras
shook hands all around, kissed Mrs. Le Bras
and the children, said he wished he was a Ger-
man so that he could kiss his brother too, as the
gentlemen kissed each other in Germany, added
at the last, "Now, you make that boy mind, at
all costs," sprang into the carriage, told the
driver to hurry, and rode off, while Felix
shouted after him, -
"Don't you forget, father, that I can take
care of myself !"
Johnny and Sue then took Felix up to see
his room, for he had not visited them since
they had moved into their new house. It was
a very pretty room, fourteen feet square, in the
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 6
L over the kitchen, and had a charming view of
the yard and the park beyond. It was Sue's
room, but she was to sleep on a cot-bed in her
mother's room while Felix staid; and she rather
liked the change, because her mother's room
looked out on the street, where she could see
Johnny's room was over the dining-room, and
so next to Felix's, but only opened into the hall.
The spare chamber was over the sitting-room.
"This will pass," said Felix, when Johnny
and Sue called his attention to the various good
points about the room. "It is about half as
large as my room at home ; but I dn't care for
that, nor that thet re isn't any bath-room or
dressing-room out of it, 'cause I sha'n't be in
my room but precious little, and I mean to go
down to the river and bathe every day, swim,
I mean. I can swim like a fish, since we've
had our cottage down by the shore: I learned
.last season. By the way, father says we can
all go down to the cottage if we want to: it's
furnishedyou know, and empty."
Oh, I wish we could !" said Sue. "I'll go
and ask mamma if we are going."
Sue ran off, while Felix opened his trunk and
showed Johnny his new summer clothes, which
were very fine; also his jointed fishing-rod and
various other boyish possessions, which were
66 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
recent acquisitions of which he had not yet
tired, since they were all fresh from the stores,
most of them being presents his mother had
given him to reconcile him for being deprived
of a voyage to Europe.
Presently Sue came back, saying it was not
decided about the offer of the cottage being
accepted : it depended upon whether her father
could get away for a long vacation, for her
mother said she should not. go unless he was
able to go too.
"But I shouldn't wonder if we did go," added
Sue hopefully; "for mamma looked as though
she rather thought father would be able to get
away, and she aid he could tell better in a few
"Now, what am I to do all this evening ?"
said Felix. "What's going on in this place,
Not very much, that I know of," replied
Johnny; "and as I make up all my amusements,
or almost all of them, I shouldn't know as well
what is going on as Harrison Brown would."
"Who is Harrison Brown?" inquired Felix
"He's a boy who lives on State Street, op-
posite the north side of the park," replied
"Has he got a bicycle ? and does he wear a
.. ., . '" . '' :-. ''.* :. ;' -w y **
THE UNWELCOME GUEST 67
blue suit with a little plaid in it ? inquired
"Yes," said Sue: "that's his new suit, and I
think it's real pretty."
Why, he's the boy that I raced with," con-
tinued Felix: "I guess I'll go right over and
see him, and Isk him what is going on. Can't
you come along, Johnny ?"
I'll ask mother," replied Johnny doubtfully.
"Can't I go too ? asked Sue.
"You?" replied Felix. "What does a girl
want to go round with boys for? and what do
boys want girls going around with them for ?
"But I go 'most everywhere with Johnny,"
replied Sue, looking rather hurt.
'" But Johnny is different from other boys,"
As Johnny had gone to ask his mother about
going with Felix, he did not hear this remark.
"But Belle Miner goes with her brother
Alec, and Terry Scott goes with her brother
Dick, and we all go together; and ever so many
boys and girls I know of, that are not brothers
and sisters, play together, and have real good
times. I like to play with boys very much,
when they are not too rough and hateful.; and
I can run as fast, and play as well, as any of
them, at most things."
Felix laughed loud and long.
68 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
ride a bicycle."
I could ride a tricycle, "said Sue, "if I had
one; and if I had one to ride, I could go fish-
Johnny came back, saying his mother would
like to see Felix in the sitting-room. So they
all went down to hear what she had to say.
We are not in the habit of allowing our
children to go out in the evening, unless by
especial invitation, or with us, or by our advice
or consent : and of course, Felix, since we are
Ito do by you just as we do by our own children,
S we cannot allow you any more liberty than they
have; it would not be right."
But I don't see what harm there could be
in my just going a little way, to ask a boy a
We shall not expect you to see the reasons
for all our rules, any more than we expect
Johnny and Sue to see them, and we cannot
take time and pains to explain them to you ; for
very likely you would not understand them any
better then, since many of them can only .be
understood by grown persons," replied Mrs. Le
Bras mildly, continuing her sewing, and not
seeming to pay very much attention to Felix,
who was looking decidedly cross.
"I wish I hadn't agreed to come here," he
THE UAWELCOMVE GUEST. 69
said: :I don't think much of such strict rules. w
My father and mother are not so notional."
Mrs. Le Bras made no reply: she seemed to
be very much absorbed in her sewing. Felix
got into a rocking-chair on his knees, and began
rocking it violently back and forth. Johnny
wished he could get up to his sky-room. Sue
spread a newspaper on the floor, and, sitting
down before it, began to cut a fine lady out of
a colored fashion-plate, for a doll. Johnny took
one of his books down, and turned over the
pages mechanically; it was not the book he
wanted, as that was in the sky-room; and he
was afraid, too, that it would not be polite to
read while Felix was unoccupied. But if Felix
had not been there, he would have sat down
with a book, and been happy, or amused him-
self in some. other way.
"This is awful stupid! said Felix.
"Here's an interesting story: don't you
want to read it?" suggested Johnny. "It's
about a family of children who lived up in
No! I hate books !" replied Felix: "they're
awful stupid things. I never read if I can help
it. I have more than all the reading I want at
school; and I don't go to school when I don't
want to, either."
Mrs. Le Bras smiled to herself.
70 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
"How often do you go to school, Felix?"
Two or three times a week. I go when I
can't think of any thing else to do."
Then, as you can't think of any thing
else to do this evening, why not read a little
while? that will help to pass away the time."
"No! I don't want to read! what do I care
about folks in Iceland ? It's summer now, and
I want to know what folks are doing in sum-
I've got a book that tells how some boys
had a garden in summer, and sold vegetables
enough to buy all the sleds and skates and caps
and mittens they needed for the next winter,"
"Oh, ho! I can have all such things without
having a garden."
"But they couldn't, and it's real interesting
to read how they managed their little farm."
"Farm? I thought you said it was a garden."
"It was such a large garden that they called
it their farm : it was an acre of ground."
"How much is an acre ?"
"You know how many acres there are in the
park ? "
How should'I know ?"
You know it is a quarter of a mile on each
side, don't you ?"
THE UNWELCOAE GUEST. 71
"What of that ?"
"That makes a quarter of a mile square,
don't it ? :
I don't know."
"And it makes a quarter of a square mile."
"Well, what of that ? "
"You know how many acres there are in a
square mile, don't you ? "
"Of course I don't Why should I ?"
"Haven't you learned square measure at
"Oh! I went past that long ago. I'm over in
"Then, you know that six hundred and forty
acres make a square mile." :
No, I don't remember any thing about it
I don't expect to remember a thing after I've
been pastitit a little while, and I never do: so I
don't see what's the use of learning books at all."
"-And if there e are six hundred and forty acres
in one square mile," continued Johnny, '"in a
quarter of a square mile there would be one-
fourth of that, which is one hundred and sixty
"Why, if there are that many acres in the
park, one acre wouldn't be any thing," replied
Felix. "It isn't a large park at all."
Johnny laughed as he replied, "Isn't our
yard of pretty good size ?"
72 PROFESSOR JOHNNK
"Well, our yard hasn't a quarter of an acre
in it, I am sure. Let's measure it to-morrow,
and see just what part of an acre there is in
How can you tell ? replied Felix.
Why, don't you know ?" replied Johnny.
"No. How did you learn how ?"
"Why, by studying square measure at school."
"I guess your schools are different from ours,
then: I didn't learn any thing but the table,
and how to do a few sums; and just as soon
as I had learned that, I forgot all about it I
say, I can't stand this! I'll go and call Clyde
in, and have a good time with him."
Clyde had been in so many times, putting
his muddy paws upon the furniture and her
delicate dress, that Mrs. Le Bras was dismayed
at this announcement.
"I think you will enjoy yourself better with
Clyde out on the platform," she suggested.
Come, Johnny, let's go out, then," said Fe-
lix. I'll show you some of Clyde's tricks. He's
a trained dog."
Can't I go ?" said Sue.
Yes, come along if you want to; but I ain't
used to having girls tagging me around."
At first Sue was a little provoked, and
thought she would not go; but she was so fond
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 73
of romping, that she soon followed the boys,
saying to her mother, -
"Johnny will have to romp now, whether he
wants to or not."
"Poor Johnny !" sighed Mrs. Le Bras.
Presently Mr. Le Bras came in ; and his wife
told him how restless and out of humor Felix
had been, and said she could not imagine what
they were to do with him, especially evening
if they tried to be at all particular where was,
and what company he kept.
"We must manage it somehow," replied Mr.
Le Bras thoughtfully; "and I cannot have you
and Johnny fretted either."
"I don't know but I had better go t tthe cot-
tage, whether you can go or not," continued
Mrs. Le Bras; "for then he and Clyde will
wear out and soil Louis' furniture instead of
ours. Clyde has nearly ruined my dress already,
by jumping up upon me in his good-natured
way; and I have been around trying to get
stains off of the upholstering of the chairs. As
for Sue, I cannot pretend to dress her up at
all nicely while the dog is around; and I know
it frets Johnny very much to have the mud-
stains on his new drab suit. If we were at
the seaside, the children could dress in com-
mon clothes, and there would be more harm-
less outdoor amusements."
74 PROFESSOR JOHNY
"It will never do for you to take the whole
charge of that boy : it would make you ill. He
must be under the eye of a man ; I will see to
him : and as for Clyde, I will soon settle him.
I hope to be able to leave my business a while
by the first of August, and then we will go to
the cottage: by coming back for a few days at
a time, now and then, I think I can stay some
weeks; and whenever I come back, I shall bring
Felix with me, unless he has greatly improved."
Just then Johnny came in, and asked his
father if he would let him take his large tape- .
"What do you want it for?" replied Mr. Le
"I want to show Felix how to find out what
part of an acre there is in our yard."
Hasn't he learned enough arithmetic to do
that himself ?"
"No, sir: he's been over as far as I have,
but he says he don't know any thing about
"I'll warrant!" replied Mr. Le Bras, taking
the measure from one of the drawers under the
library-shelves, and handing it to Johnny.
When Johnny reached the garden again, he
found Felix on the roof of the shed.
"Come down, and help me measure, Felix,"
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 75
"No," replied Felix: "I'll sit up here, and
see you do it.'"
"Oh that's the kind of a surveyor you'll be,"
replied Johnny; "you'll survey from a distance:
but this is ever so much more interesting
Come, Sue, you hold the measure for me, and
I'll measure the width of the yard first. Stand
back there, and keep the measure close to the
fence; and when I say Come,'; bring it to me."
As it was getting pretty dark, Felix could
not see much except Johnny's and Sue's forms
as they moved about. Having measured the
width of the yard, Johnny measured the length.
"It is three times as long as it is broad," he
"I could have told that without measuring,
returned Felix scornfully. "Arithmetic isn't of
any use at all."
"You had better come down before it gets
any darker," said Johnny, or you may fall."
"Fall! Oh, ho! I guess not! I ain't a baby."
"I'm going in now, to reckon this out," said
Johnny. Seventy-five feet wide, and two hun-
dred and twenty-five feet long, or twenty-five
yards wide, and seventy-five yards long. Itwill
be easiest to find the square'yards."
"How do you find the square yards," de-
"Oh! I know that," remarked Sue; "just
76 PROLFESSOR JOHNNY.
multiply the yards long by. the yards wide:
don't you, Prof.?
"Of course," replied Johnny.
"'Of course !' mimicked Felix. "Well, I
guess I'll come down now, since the prospect
isn't as good as it might be."
Johnny went in to get a pencil and a piece of
paper: Felix began to come down from the
roof by swinging himself off, and letting his
feet rest upon the slender railing that passed
along the outer edge of the platform. Just as
he was putting his feet down, Clyde jumped
upon him; and in trying to extricate himself
from the dog, and touch the railing at the same
time, he missed the railing in the darkness,
and fell down, giving an impatient exclamation
of pain as he reached the ground.
Sue was frightened, and ran in with the an-
nouncement that Felix had fallen off of the roof.
Mr. Le Bras went out immediately, followed by
Johnny and Mrs. Le Bras. Felix had arisen,
but was limping up the steps, and half crying
with pain. "Oh, dear !" said he, "I've sprained
my ankle awfully; so I'm about sure I can't
ride my bicycle for a week; and then I'd like
to know what I'm going to do, staying around
in the house all the time !"
Johnny's heart sank: he had counted on
Felix's being off on his bicycle a good part of
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 77
the next day, and what should he do if he were
to be at home all the time expecting him to
keep himcompany. Would he be able to enjoy
his beautiful sky-room after all ?
"Perhaps it is not as bad as you imagine,
Felix," said his aunt encouragingly, while his
uncle helped him up the steps and into the
house; but the boy limped badly, and there
was an expression of genuine pain upon his
face. Mr. Le Bras seated him in an easy-chair,
and placed another chair for him to rest his foot
upon, while Mrs. Le Bras got the arnica to
bathe the ankle. After the ankle had been
bathed and bandaged, and the slippers which
Sue had found in Felix's trunk substituted in
place of shoes, to accommodate the swollen foot,
Felix began to exclaim desolately at his forlorn
condition. "I can't even do any thing to
amuse myself this evening," he said; "and it's
no use to go to bed, because my foot pains me
so that I couldn't sleep, even if it were not
early in the evening."
"Sit up hhe table," replied Johnny,
"and let's figure out what part of an acre there
is in the yard. Here's an extra pencil and
sheet of paper. It will be real fun : let's see
who gets it right first."
"It won't be any fun at all," replied Felix;
"just as if there is any fun in figuring! youI
78 PROF'SSOR JOHzVNY.
might as well say there is fun in going to school ;
jl and studying old dry books."
Johnny made no reply. He had begun. to
"What are you going to do first ?" asked
"Why, multiply the length by the breadth in
yards, to get the square yards in the garden."
What next ? "
"Why, then reduce an acre to square yards,
so as to know how many square yards there are
in an acre."
"I can do that," said Felix, looking slightly
interested ; "but I never could see what use
there was in it, and I don't see now."
"Come and do it, then," said Johnny coax-
Felix hopped to the table slowly, on one foot,
and sat down in the chair Sue placed for him ;
while Johnny brought the other chair for his
">How many square yards were there ?" said
Felix, taking the paper and pencil, and resting
the paper on a book he took from the table.
"You do it all yourself," replied Johnny;
"seventy yards long, you know, and twenty-
five yards wide."
Presently Johnny stopped figuring.
Have you got through? asked Felix.
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 79
"No: I'm waiting for you to catch up."
i,875 square yards," said Felix.
"Yes; and now reduce an acre to square
Afterfiguring a few minutes, Felix announced
4,840 square yards in an acre. "What do you
do next ? he said.
." One yard, then, would be what part of an
acre ? asked Johnny.
After a moment's hesitation, Felix said, io
of anf acre."
Then, 1,875 square yards would be how many
4,840ths of. an acre ?" .
"Why," replied Felix, after a little further
consideratonn, "I 8J of an acre."
"Now let's reduce that fraction as low as we
can, by dividing both terms by five, and what
does it give us ?"
," -T of an acre."
Now, is that about a fourth of an acre, or
about a third of an acre?" ?
Felix looked at the figures a moment, and
then said, It's a good deal more than a quar-
ter of an acre, and-it's more than a third of
an acre too."
"Yes, it's a little more than a third of an
acre: there's more ground in our house-lot than
I thought there was. You know now about
how large those boys' farm was, nearly three
So PROFESSQR JOHNNY.
times as large as our yard. Now let's see ex-
actly how many roods and rods and yards and
feet and inches there are."
How do you do that ?" asked Felix, looking
"Why, reduce your 1,875 square yards in the
garden, to higher denominations."
Oh, yes replied Felix, brightening: I've
done those sums lots of times, and those de-
nominate fractions like | ; but I never could
see any sense to it before. Let's see, what do
you divide by first ? Oh I remember, 30i."
Felix figured away bravely; but when he gave
his result, it differed considerably from John-
ny's. After some expressions of impatience,
he looked it over, and, with some assistance
from Johnny, found his mistake; their answers
then agreed; and he read the result aloud, with
something of an air of pride in his achieve-
rood, 21 square rods, 29 square yards, 6
square feet, io8 square inches. And that's the
first time I ever saw any sense in square meas-
ure, and all those things. I thought arith-
metic was just to keep boys busy in school,
and I could always find enough to do without
it. I tell you, I've played more pranks -on the
teachers and I didn't get found out very o v ften
neither ; and when I did, they didn't dare pun-
THE UNWELCOME GUEST. 8I
ish me, for fear my folks would make a fuss
and they would too."
"It is eight o'clock now ; and I always read
to our children for an hour or so before they go
to bed," said Mrs. Le Bras, "or have them read
aloud to me."
Let us all take turns to-night," said Johnny.
"You or father begin."
"Very well," said Mrs. Le Bras, taking a
book from one of the library-shelves. "We are
to begin our new book to-night, which is fortu-
nate on Felix's account."
"It'll, be awful stupid, I know," said Felix:
"all books are. I wish books had never been
invented, and then a fellow would not have to
go to school at all."
"You begin, Frank," said Mrs. Le Bras.
Mr. Le Bras put down his paper, and began
to read in the book. It was an account of a
pedestrian excursion made by two boys in the
Alps: they were German boys, and this was
the way they spent their summer vacation.
Felix did not intend to listen to the reading:
he had begun to draw comic pictures on his
sheet of paper; he was trying to represent him-
self and Clyde, as he was falling from the roof ;
his attempt, however, was not very artistic. But
soon he became very much interested in the
story, and sat quite still, listening. Mr. Le
82 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
Bras, after reading about fifteen minutes, passed
the book to Mrs. Le Bras. She read about the
same length of time, and then passed the book
to Felix. Felix said at first that he did not like
to read aloud, and would have passed the book to
Johnny. But his uncle said, No, Felix, I want
to hear you read ;" and Felix, who stood rather .
in awe of his uncle Frank, did not like to dis-
obey him. He made so many mistakes, and
mixed his words up so badly by reading too
fast, that Sue was about to say she could not
understand his reading, when her mother shook
her head at her.
When Johnny's turn came, he read remark-
ably well, so much so, that Felix felt quite
ashamed of his own reading, which he knew
was not good, although he did not know exactly
what was the matter with it, except that he
could not pronounce all the words. Sue read
exceedingly well for a little girl, -very much
better than Felix.
"It is nine o'clock now," said Mrs. Le Bras
at length, "and we must put the book aside
until to-morrow night."
Oh, no exclaimed Felix : "we are at the
most interesting part now."
But Mrs. Le Bras explained that they never
read more than an hour in this way; and, as
she said this, she replaced the book on the shelf,
THE UNWELCOME GUEST 83
remarking that it was time for the children to
go to bed.
"I never go to bed till I get ready," replied
Felix, "and generally I sit up until ten."
"What time do you rise in the morning?"
inquired his uncle.
"Most any time, -about eight generally."
"We breakfast at half-past seven," replied his
aunt : so you see you will need to go to bed
earlier than you do at home."
Mrs. Le Bras then bathed Felix's ankle again
with the arnica, and Mr. Le Bras said he would
help him up to his room.
So ended the first day of Felix's visit.
The next morning Felix's ankle was so badly
swollen that it was evident bicycle-riding was
out of the question for the present.
"I wish now," said he, "that I had brought
my pony and dog-cart; but I was tired of them
Where are they?" asked Johnny.
"They're at our summer place, with the other
horses and carriages. Oliver has gone down
there to take care of the horses and things
while father is gone."
"If we go to the cottage, can I ride in your
dog-cart ?" asked Sue.
"Yes, if you want to; it's just fit for girls :
Sbut give me a bicycle or a boat. We've got a
84 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
sail-boat; but father won't trust me without'
Oliver goes, and Oliver hates to go sailing with
boys. I've got a row-boat of my own."
After breakfast, it was discovered that Clyde
was missing. He had been put in the summer
kitchen for the night, and the door had been
left open. The whole household called him,
and searched for him, except Mr. Le Bras;
but nothing could be heard or seen of him. A
sudden suspicion flashed upon the mind of Mrs.
Le Bras; and she said, in a low tone, to her
husband, "Do you know where Clyde is?"
"The fewer questions you ask me, the bet-
ter," he replied; and she said no more.
If he is not found by to-night," said Felix,
"I shall have an advertisement put in the
"That would be of no use," replied Mrs. Le
Bras ; "since- his name, you say, was on his col-
lar, with the words, 'Owned by F. Le Bras.'
As your uncle is the only man by the name of
Le Bras in town, and F. is his first initial, any
one who found him accidentally would bring
"While, if he was taken intentionally from
the shed during the night, as I have no doubt
he was, the person, who took him does not
mean to return him," added Mr. Le Bras.
"Then, I must have another dog," replied
THE UNWELCOME GUEST 85
"Very well," said his uncle: "if you do not
find Clyde by the time we go to the seaside,
you shall have another; but I think, while you
are in town, you can get on very well without
a dog, provided Clyde does not find his way
"He would have woke us all up if the thief
had not muzzled him," said Felix.
I presume he was muzzled," replied Mr. Le
Bras. "This is a bad neighborhood for dogs;
I have no idea that you could keep a dog safe
here a week; there is a great prejudice in this
neighborhood against dogs."
Mr. Le Bras then turned the conversation by
saying to his wife, You remember Pierre was
to stay here while his folks are away ? "
"Yes," replied Mrs. Le Bras: "I am quite
willing he should come at any time; he makes
scarcely any trouble at all."
"Trouble!" exclaimed Sue: "I think he
makes a great deal of pleasure."
"So do I," said Johnny. "When is he com-
Week after next, I believe," replied Mr. Le
Bras, taking his hat, and going toward the door..
"His father and mother have decided to spend
the rest of the summer at the White Moun-
tains, on account of his father's health: he is
suffering seriously from malaria."
86 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
The next thing was, what was to be done
with Felix that day, since he was contented
with nothing but lively outdoor amusements.
Johnny was too polite and kind-hearted to
leave him to his own slender devices, while he
was in such a helpless condition; but he thought
sadly of the quiet and beauty of the sky-room,
which he had not been able to visit since Felix
S OW will you amuse yourself to-day, Fe-
S-Ilix ?" asked Johnny, as they walked
aimlessly into the sitting-room. Johnny was
thinking to himself, "I wish school was not
out, and then there would not be so much time
in which I should have to think of being polite
to' Felix, instead of going about the things I
like to do myself, and which he don't care any
thing at all about."
"Oh! I don't know, I'm sure," replied Felix,
yawning : can't yu think up something ? I
know it's going tb be as stupid as can be. I
wish I had insisted on going to Europe."
"I know what I would do, if I was only tall
enough," said Sue: "I'd try to ride Felix's bi-
cycle myself. I think it must be great fun.
This made Felix laugh. "It would be good
as a play to see 'you try," he said; "I just
wish you could; it would give us some fun to
see you wobble about on it, and scream every
time you thought it was going to fall over."
88 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
"Why don't you have Johnny try ?' sug-
gested Sue; "it would be pretty near as -much
fun; only Johnny wouldn't scream, if he di all
over; he never screams at any thing."
"That's an idea," said Felix. "Yes, Johnny,
you try the bicycle: it's great fun to see a
Now, the truth was, Johnny had for some
time been wishing hi had a bicycle, although
he had not as much as hinted this desire to his
father or mother; since he belonged to a so-
ciety of boys and girls who called themselves
"Independents," because they had pledged
themselves not to spend any money for amuse-
ment, etc., which they had not earned them-
selves. Johnny wore the badge of the society,
and had taken great pleasure in earning the not
very large amount of money he needed for his
chemicals and other trifling expenses, by carry-
ing papers, and doing various other little odd
jobs which came in his way. Indeed, he had
got to be the great errand-boy of the neighbor-
hood, because it had come to be understood
that he was willing to make himself useful for
a very reasonable remuneration. His father
and mother had not discouraged this endeavor,
because Johnny was inclined to read and study
too much, and any thing which would divert
his mind out of doors in healthful exercise was
beneficial to him. But as fr earning enough
to buy a bicycle, of course that was beyond
Johnny's present abilities as an Independent.
"Would you be willing that I should try it ?
"Why, of course! You may hurt yourself,
but you can't hurt the bicycle; and if you did,
I could have it mended or get another before
my ankle gets well."
"You must ask mother, Johnny," said Sue,
who began to look rather sober over the possi-
bility of Johnny's getting hurt.
Mrs. Le Bras was just entering the room.
"May I try Felix's bicycle, mother ? asked
Johnny, with a wistful look.
"Why, yes," she said, "if you can try it in a
safe way: you will have to have some one hold
it for you."
"I'll hold it, ma'am," said Kate, who was
clearing off the table in the dining-room: '"I'm
very strong in my arms."
"The platform will be a grand good place to
mount," said Felix. "You can step up on the
railing, and get right on : you can't get on as I
do, very well, until you get used to it."
Come right out now, before I wash my
dishes," said Kate.
"But you must promise, Johnny, that if I
think there is any danger, and ask you to get
90 PROFESSOR JOHNNY.
down, you will obey me at once," said Mrs. Le
Bras: "I am almost sorry I said you could try,
before your father came home."
They all went out on the platform; and
Johnny brought the bicycle out of the shed, and
leaned it up against the railing of the platform,
near the steps on which Kate was standing.
Kate came out, and held the wheel with a firm
grip, while Johnny stepped on the railing, and
got upon the seat.
"Now, Katie," said Johnny, "just help me
wheel it out, where I can balance it."
Kate cautiously pulled the machine away
from the platform; while Johnny placed his
feet firmly on the pedals, and turned the wheel
slowly at first, while Kate was holding it.
"Let go now, Katie," he said.
"Shall I?" asked Kate doubtfully, looking
at Mrs. Le Bras.
"No, no !" cried Sue : "he'll fall if you do,
I know he will! "
I am afraid so too," said Mrs. Le Bras.
"We don't want two boys with sprained ankles,
"But I think I can keep my balance," re-
plied Johnny; "and of course I can't learn to
ride while Katie is holding the wheel still."
"Oh, let go of it! said Felix. "I don't be-
lieve he would fall; anyway, he can jump off:
he'll only waver around a little, but he's got to
do that before he learns."
Move it over gently, Katie," said Mrs. Le
Kate tried to do this; but in moving her
hands to turn the wheel, Johnny, who was
working the pedals, eluded her, and sailed off
;into the garden. After he had gone a little
way, the bicycle ywavered to the left. Sue
shrieked ; Kate rushed forward with out-
.stretched arms; and Mrs. Le Bras called out,
" Jump off, Johnny!" But Johnny quickly re-
covered his balance, and went bravely on down
"I knew he wasn't going to fall off," said
Felix. He's getting on all right."
Johnny experienced a slight difficulty in
turning around the walk at the foot of the
garden, but performed that feat without falling,
and arrived safely at the platform amid hearty
congratulations, and loud clapping of hands.
"I knew that boy could do any thing he un-
dertook," said Kate admiringly; for she was
veriy fond of Johnny.
"All that is necessary," said Johnny, "is to
preserve the centre of gravity."
Johnny then took a more extensive tour,
going around the house, and making another
circuit of the yard.
-v :4 !
92 PROFESS OR Hvvy.
"I guess I can try the street now," he said:
"I might as well get really used to it while I
am about it. I don't go very straight yet : but
there are ever so many beginners who go on
the street; I see them almost every day."
"Yes," replied Sue: "you go better than
Walter Cross now, and he's been trying ever
So they all went out to the front-door, to see
how the novice would succeed there. The se-
quel was, that Johnny rode out of sight, and left
them gazing into vacancy.
"If that boy don't beat all!" said Kate.
"Law, ma'am, he'll be on the race-course before
we know it."
That is a good joke !" said Mrs. Le Bras,
laughing: "our professor on the race-course!
Aren't you afraid you have lost your bicycle,
Felix ? "
"No," replied Felix : "this is prime! for uncle
will have to get Johnny a bicycle now, and then
we can ride everywhere together, when my
ankle gets well; for by that time he can ride
capitally, I'll bet."
Johnny came back in about half an hour,
quite flushed with success and exercise, and
looking very animated.
I surprised the boys I met," said he. I
met Alec and Fred walking together, and they