Citation
In the sky-garden

Material Information

Title:
In the sky-garden
Creator:
Champney, Elizabeth W ( Elizabeth Williams ), 1850-1922
Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903 ( Illustrator )
Lockwood, Brooks, and Company ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
Boston
Publisher:
Lockwood, Brooks, and company
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
217 p. : ill., plates ; 20 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Astronomy -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1877 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1877
Genre:
Children's literature ( fast )
fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Lizzie W. Champney; Illustrated by J. Wells Champney ("Champ").

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
023478774 ( ALEPH )
02078851 ( OCLC )
AHL2716 ( NOTIS )

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Full Text




By LIZZIE W.CHAMPNEY = |
‘ILLUSTRATED By “CHAMP” ;





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Litt








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

BY

a7 hy Chain Ney.

ILLUSTRATED BY J. WELLS CHAMPNEY.

(“CHAMP.”)

BOSTON:
LOCKWOOD, BROOKS, AND COMPANY.
1877.



CopyRIGHT, 1876,

BY LOCKWOOD, BROOKS, & CO.







WELCH,
BIGELOW,
260

LNIVERSITY
FRESS.



[llustrations executed by the Photo-Electrotype Company.
BOSTON.





TO

PROFESSOR MARIA MITCHELL,

THIS LITTLE BOOK OF FABLES OF ASTRONOMY,

WRITTEN IN THE HOPE OF INTERESTING THE SMALL PEOPLE,
; AND LEADING THEM TO A STUDY OF ITS
MORE FASCINATING TRUTHS,

Is Gratefully and Dobingly Dedicated

BY HER PUPIL AND SATELLITE,

THE AUTHOR.










ia bee Or CONTENTS:

PEEP THE FIRST.
TRAINING THE POLE-STAR .

Part I.— TALES OF THE ZODIAC.

I. ARIES
II. Taurus .
III. GEMINI
IV. CANCER
V. LrEo.

VI. Virco AND LIBRA .

ECLIPSES

THE GOLDEN FLEECE
A. BULL AND AN UMBRELLA
ELIJAH’s RAVENS .
CATCHING A CRAB.
THE GHOST AT THE WHITE LION,

WorTH HER WEIGHT IN GOLD

PEEP THE SECOND.

Part II.— TALES OF THE ZODIAC,

VII. Scorpio .

VIII. SAGITTARIUS

IX. CApRICORNUS .

.

BosBy’s COMPOSITION

.

THE ARCHERY PARTY .

THE TURKISH RUG

13

29
43
55
65

73
86

103

131
136
148



XI.

XII.

XIII.

TABLE OF. CONTENTS.

AQUARIUS. - » Dappy WorRTHLESS .

Piscks . . _ . Dicx’s Fish Story .

PEEP THE LAST.

THE TAIL OF A COMET.
CLorH oF GOLD ‘ fe ;

e ° °

A RIDE ON THE ROCKET STAR. 6

e ° ° e



159
164

177
» 187





“Oh, stars wreathed vinewise round yon heavenly dells,
Or thrust from out the sky in curving sprays,

Or whorled, or looped with pendent flower-bells,
Or bramble-tangled in a brilliant maze,

Or lying like young lilies in a lake
About the great white Lily of the moon,

Or drifting white from where in heaven shake
Star-portraitures of apple-trees in June,

Or lapped as leaves of a great rose of stars,
Or shyly clambering up cloud-lattices,

Or trampled pale in the red path of. Mars,
Or trim-set quaint in gardeners’ fantasies ! ”

SIDNEY LANIER.







ieee a re aS

TRAINING THE POLE-STAR.











eee UY YYTYLY UY
DS ORIN












DIDN’T know that stars
needed trellises,” said Joy.

“They don’t general-
ly,” replied Puck; “but,
you see, this is the pole-
star, and I have to tie it
to the pole every night: if
I didn’t, it might droop down
or wabble about, and then what
would be the good of the nautical almanac ?”

“ How dreadful it would be, if you should forget!”

“But I never do, you see. I play when I play, and
work when I work. I cut up all manner of capers down
in your foolish world; but up here in the sky-garden I
attend to business. My work is done now, however ;
and, if you like, we will take a stroll.”

This was all a dream, of course, — a queer dream
that Joy Fairchild had, once upon a time. She had
13



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



— oo

rambled about all night in the beautiful sky -garden
overhead; but what she had seen had been so little in
comparison with its whole extent that it was really noth-
ing but a peep, after all.

It was not so very unlike one of our earthly gar-
dens. Angél-children were watering and tending the
star - flowers, which were not all white or colorless, as
seen from the earth, but quivered and flamed with
gorgeous hues like the flashing gem-fruits that grew
in the grotto, in the story of “ Aladdin and the Won-
derful Lamp.” She saw them hang above her in the
trees, —

“ And twinkle and burn and glow

Like brilliant rhombs of Iceland spar
When pierced by the sun’s bright bow.

And some were grouped in mystic curves,
And angles and spheres and zones

And prisms that on their axes burn,
As well as glittering cones.”

She walked, too, upon a mosaic of them, that in shape
and color resembled the patterns in her kaleidoscope at
home.
There were white ones too,—tiny silver spangles,

14



IN ‘THE SKY-GARDEN.
they seemed; but these were the snow-crystals, with
leaves and stems of cut or spun glass, that grow fastest
on the coldest winter nights. Joy did not mistake them
for stars, though they were similar in shape, and some
parts of the sky-garden were filled with them.

She was not surprised to see that the star-flowers were
not all white; for Joy’s father was an astronomer, and
had told her of the exquisite colors which some of them
display in the telescope: how the double stars, espe-
cially, loved to show brilliant complementary colors, tak-
ing just the hue that would contrast most charmingly
with that of the star that blossomed nearest, —a rose-
colored star beside an emerald one, a deep sapphire-blue
with a pale yellow primrose for a neighbor, white and
ruby, gold and purple, sea-green and orange,— each
enhancing the beauty of the others. She had never
been able to make out these colors for herself before;
but now that she found herself close to them, the tints
were very vivid and distinct.

The strangest thing of all to Joy was, that every thing
here should seem so perfectly familiar, being exactly
what she had expected. It was not a lonely garden, by
any means. She saw people moving about with whom

15



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe



she had long been acquainted in fairy-tales. Dear
North Wind swept by, with “ Little Diamond” cling-
ing in her hair. Joy wanted to creep up behind too;
but they passed like a flash, and did not notice her.
The wonderful trunk that kind-hearted Hans Andersen
left behind him sailed along more leisurely; and Joy
could see that it was filled with merry children: indeed,
it was so full that there was no room for her. There
were plenty of people from “ Mother Goose;” but Joy
had outgrown their society, and could not remember
having ever cared very much for them, they were such a
crazy, nonsensical lot.

A mischievous-looking little boy was training a tall
and slender star-stalk to a staff. Joy watched him at
his work. He did not seem too busy to notice her, for
he nodded good-naturedly as she approached, and an-
swered all her questions as politely as though he were
placed there on purpose to grant information to little
pilgrims from the earth. His name, he told her, was
Puck; and Joy gratefully accepted the invitation to walk
with him in this wonderful garden.

“That is Rainbow Bridge, that the spirit is eeiaiine
on,” said Puck; “and just beneath is Cloudland. Some

16



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
day perhaps we will go there together. It is an inter-
esting country, full of ghosts and goblins, but not nearly
so beautiful as our garden. Do you like bugs?”
The question was so abrupt that it startled Joy, and
she replied dubiously, “Some kinds.”



“Well, come this way with me: I want to show you
some curious insects that feed on our flowers.”
What queer things they were, buzzing about like
17



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

te



beetles or dragon-flies from flower to flower! When
Joy examined them attentively, she saw strange tubular
antennz protruding from their heads, which they were
continually whisking about in the most eccentric way,
pointing them at the star-flowers, shortening and extend-
ing them, but never quite touching the blossoms. This
made her think that these queer appendages were not, as
she had at first fancied, trunks and tubes through which
they sucked honey, but eyes of similar organism to those
possessed by certain beetles that she had heard Uncle
Briar talk about, — insects that could contract or lengthen
them like the tubes of an opera-glass, swelling or flatten-
ing the lenses so as to make magnifying-glasses of differ-
ent powers ; just as there are others that concentrate upon
the same point a great number of microscopic eyes.
When Joy mentioned this to Puck, he smiled good-
naturedly. “You are not so stupid as you look,” he
remarked, by way of encouragement. “These funny
bugs, as you call them, are scientific men, whose eyes
have become so accustomed to their work that they
shoot out telescopes and microscopes of their own, and
come up here in their dreams to carry on their observa-
tions. That very solemn beetle, watching the comet, is
18



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo +

your father. Some of the most remarkable astronomi-
cal discoveries have been made in this way. You see
they get a great deal nearer to the stars here; and, by
looking intently, what they see becomes photographed
upon. their eyes, so that when they next look into a
telescope during their waking hours they see it again;
and as they have forgotten all about their dream, they
fancy they see it for the first time. There is only one
trouble about it. Sometimes, when they have been
observing snow-flakes with their microscopic eyes in
their sleep, they will, when awake, next look at some
heavenly body, and then they are liable to make some
astonishing assertion like this: that ‘It is all a vulgar
_mistake to suppose that Saturn is now surrounded by
concentric rings, for when last attentively observed by
me they had disappeared, and the planet had assumed
the shape of a hexagonal crystal, with connecting alabas-
ter spars, much resembling one of my wife’s patterns
for crocheting a tidy.’ Or perhaps it will be a micro-
scopist, who has been using his telescopic eyes at night;
and he writes, in the report which he is to read before
- the State Medical Convention, that he believes he is ‘the
first to make the very important discovery that the spo-
19



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eo



radic germs of certain contagious diseases are lighted
by seven suns, of which the principal one is indigo
blue, the secondary orange, three minor ones white,
and two exceedingly minute ones like little ruby eyes.’
And this, you know, sounds like nonsense to some
people.”

Joy was a little tired of Puck’s talk about the scientific
beetles. It seemed to her that he was making fun of
her; and she was on the point of resenting his assertion,
that one of those strange insects could be her father,
when her attention was attracted by some beautiful cob-
webs suspended from some of the star-trees. They were
gemmed with dewdrops, and resembled the very finest
lace-work; they were so beautiful that Joy could not
help wishing that the old woman in “ Mother Goose,”
whose business it was “to sweep the cobwebs out of the
sky,” would not find them.

Puck saw her admiring them. “Your father would
call those gauzy things ‘nebule,” he said. “How
would you like one of them for a lace shawl?”

Then Joy remembered all that her father had ever
said about the nebulze,—how the resolution of these
fancifully shaped hazy clouds into clusters of stars was

20



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





—-e Go

one of the most interesting problems of the day. He
had showed her a space in the heavens filled with this
irresolvable star-dust and stars mixed. The nebula
formed an irregular lace whose pattern was marked out
by the stars; and she had spoken then of the beautiful
bridal veil it would make. Then her father had showed
her pictures of the fantastic forms of many of Lord
Ross’s and of Herschel’s nebulz; the dumb-bell, the crab,
the horse-shoe, the grotesque face in Ursa Major, and
the nebula in Berenice’s hair which only needed the
addition of a comb or a few hair-pins to bear a marked
resemblance to a switch. Joy wondered what could
have been the unlucky accident that hung it in the sky-
garden, so far from the head of the hapless Berenice. |
Perhaps she was playing croquet the night of the great
meteoric shower, and lost it in her excited chase after
the fiery balls. She had heard, too, of the beautiful
nebula in the Southern Cross, composed of one hundred
and ten stars, of which eight of the more conspicuous
ones being colored various shades of red, green, and
blue, the whole had the appearance of a rich piece of
jewelry, more dazzling than the crosses that emperors
sometimes wear as decorations in their buttonholes. It

2I



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

—o 3



was all so wonderfully beautiful, whether they seemed
to float in the sky —

“ Like pale rose chaplets or like sapphire mist, —
Or hang or droop along the heavenly ways
Like scarves of amethyst!”

“Come,” said Puck, as Joy seemed inclined to waste
too much time over the cobwebs. “At this rate of
getting along, we shall never see the animals.”

“What do you mean?” asked Joy. “Is the sky-
garden like the Zodlogical in London? do you keep
wild beasts here?”

“Look and see,” replied Puck; and Joy uttered a
scream of fright as she saw coiling toward her an im-
mense sea-serpent, while bears, lions, leopards, lynxes,
bulls, dragons, and other monsters followed in its
wake.

“Don’t be afraid,” said Puck: “they are only the con-
stellations. And here we are at the zodiac; this is the
.most interesting part of the garden, because each of
these great flower-beds has a fascinating mythological
story connected with it, which I will tell you, if you
choose, as we walk through. They were the fairy-stories

22



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo

of the Greeks. I have no doubt Alcibiades had them
told to him when he was a little boy. Some of the



legends are a great deal older still. I should not wonder
if Pharaoh’s daughter, when she wished to steal away
the heart of her little adopted son, told them —

‘’Mongst the bulrushes to little Moses
Way down on the banks of the Nile;’

for the Egyptians gave the names to the constellations
of the zodiac, twenty-five hundred years before the birth
of Christ.”

Joy knew the names: her father had taught them to
her by means of a very old rhyme, which she now
repeated : — .

“The ram, the bull, the heavenly twins,
And next the crab the lion shines,
The virgin and the scales,
The scorpion, archer, and the goat,
The man who holds the watering-pot,
The fish with glittering tails.”

As she approached nearer, she was surprised and pleased
to find that they were not live animals, after all, but
23



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





2

only flower-beds laid out in these varied shapes; and
the star-flowers that grew in them were quite similar to
those in the other parts of the sky-garden. Joy asked
their names, and was told that they were sunflowers.
She was a little surprised at this; for they did not in the
least resemble the sunflowers on her grandfather's farm
in Vermont. She was very anxious to have Puck begin
his fairy-tales; and, after some urging, he did commence
one on the constellation of the ram, which promised to
be very interesting; when she felt her mother shaking
her vigorously by the shoulder, and heard her say that
every one had finished breakfast, that Bobby Copernicus
had eaten up all the waffles, and if she did not hurry she
would be late to school. Joy burst into tears: she could
have borne the loss of the waffles, but she had lost the
stories too. Night after night, she hoped and longed
that Puck would come again; but he did not. And
when she sat in the evening with her father and Uncle
Briar, on the observatory roof, the stars looked far away
and mysterious: all their brilliant coloring seemed to
have faded out. The constellations were not distinct, as
they were in the sky-garden, but had some way jumbled
themselves together; so that it was hard to tell where
24



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.







one began and another left off. Uncle Briar had studied
in Germany and in Paris, and now her father was trying
to make an astronomer of him. | Joy liked him very
much, he was so gay and kind; and she wondered if he
knew the stories of the zodiac. She felt sure that, if he
did, he would tell them to her. And so one night when
he was sitting up in the observatory waiting for an
eclipse which would not be on for an hour or two, and
Cousin Myrtle had gone up to keep him from being
lonely, Joy woke Bobby Copernicus; and the two crept
up the narrow stair in their nightgowns, and ran to
where their pet uncle and cousin were sitting.

“You bad children! what did you come here for?”
said Cousin Myrtle, taking them both in her lap, and
wrapping them warmly in her soft gray shawl.

Then Joy told her dream, and how much she wanted
to hear the stories of the zodiac. When she spoke of its
all seeming so much plainer and more natural in the sky-
garden than here upon the earth, Cousin Myrtle repeated
softly, —

“ And the wonder of wonders is to me,

That the stars should nightly seem

Only a mystery in fact, — .
A reality in dream!”

25



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo

“JT should love dearly to please you, children,” said
Uncle Briar; “and if you can get mamma’s permission
to listen to them, I think Cousin Myrtle and I can tell
you some tales of the zodiac which will perhaps interest
you as much as those that your little friend Puck would
have told. We will have one every evening. The first
shall be for Joy; and Joy, I know, would like a romance
best, — something about brave knight and lady fair and
the Crusades; would she not?”

“ But can I have my choice?” asked Joy.

“ These stories shall be made to order,” replied Uncle
Briar. “And, since Joy does not object, we will begin
the first one.”



26





Part I.

CARES OF TEE ZOp ie









SA// Lt
EMC,
LEE LS f

i















HE cluster of stars called
the Constellation of the
Ram was so named by
a the Greeks,
ee ere old
fable of the
Golden Fleece.
The ancients
believed that
far away in the
{land of Col-
chis the fleece
of this ram was
hung upon a
tree guarded by a dragon. Jason went in search of it
in a ship called the “Argo;” and, being helped by the
daughter of the king of the island, the beautiful Medea,
29



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe



i

he killed the dragon and carried away not only the golden
fleece, but Medea too.

In the fourteenth century, when so many chivalric
organizations were formed, one of the orders of knight-
hood was that of the Toison d’Or, or Golden Fleece.
There stands now in France, not very far from Paris, an
old chateau built by a knight of this order, after he
returned from fighting the infidels in the Holy Land.
His portrait hangs in the great hall, and over it a
coat-of-mail which they say was worn by the old crusa-
der. The chateau is called the Falcon’s Nest. There.
are magnificent avenues running through the hunting-
grounds, a beautiful gate of forged iron, and a deep moat.
In the family chapel the light falls through glorious old
stained windows, the vivid violet and scarlet flaming on
the damp stone pavement until they almost warm it. The
saints in these gorgeous robes have, for the most part,
faces cracked and patched and time-discolored, and are
not very beautiful; but if you half close your eyes, so as
not to see the forms, but only the color, the effect is very
brilliant. The whole furnishing of the chateau resem-
bled the chapel in that it was very magnificent and old
and uncomfortable. It was filled with staircases, short

30



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



+e

and narrow: there was no handsome flight that ran from
hall to roof, but every room seemed built at a different
elevation from the ground, and you could not pass from
one to the other without stumbling up or down a few
steps. There were no carpets; the dark hardwood floors
were waxed till they reflected all the long slender legs of
the furniture, and until it was a difficult matter to walk
upon them. The hall that contained the portrait of
Toison d’Or, as the servants called the old knight, was
seventy feet square, and was meagrely furnished with
chairs and tables and mirrors placed against the wall,
while the centre of the room was left vacant, as though
cleared for a dance or for a funeral. The only homelike
"spot in it was the oriel window, where Madame sat with
a crimson Turkey rug under her feet, a table filled with
bright house-plants at one side, and a basket of many-
colored worsteds at the other, from which she continually
embroidered fire-screens and chair-covers of nondescript
and hideous pattern, sometimes of no pattern at all,
—mere dashes and splashes of pleasantly contrasting
hues. She called them church windows; and their effect
was similar to that which I have described in the old
chapel. A bright, pleasant little woman was Madame,
31



°

IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe

with her very black eyes under her very white hair. She
would have been a very happy woman, if it had not been
for Gaston. Gaston was her only child, and the pride
and torment of her life. In the first place, since he had’
come of age he insisted on living in Paris, and only
came to the chateau in the hunting season, with some of
his wild companions. Madame did not care to live in
Paris; besides, Gaston did not need her there, and the
old place did. Her thrifty oversight took the place of
a man of affairs. There was a large farm connected
with the chateau, and from it and the forest came the
’ revenues of the family. They would have been ample
too, but living in Paris was so expensive, and all the
money went to Gaston: nothing was left for improve-
ments, new tools and buildings and animals; and so the
magnificent place was gradually going to decay, and it
no longer brought in as much money as in former years.
There was a great mortgage on it, too, which there was
‘no hope of ever paying; and Madame prayed that the
settlement might only not come in her day: Gaston
would not very much care if the old place did go out of
the name. But Gaston aa care more than his mother
knew. ,He was kind and noble at heart; but his good
32



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

He ae



qualities were crusted over by idleness and bad compan-
ionship. Down at the Grange the farmer and his family
believed in Gaston. They took good care of his hounds
that he loved so dearly; and Fifine, the farmer’s daugh-
ter, said again and again, that all would be right if only
M. Gaston could be persuaded to give up Paris, and
live at the chateau.

One morning Baptiste, the house-servant, came down
in a great hurry. Fifine was needed at the chateau; for
there was to be company, among the rest some ladies,
and Fifine must act as maid while they remained.

The company was all in honor of the youngest guest,
—a golden-haired American girl, Miss Beatrice Rich,
familiarly called Betty, whose acquaintance Gaston had
made in Paris. Papa and Mamma Rich had been much
pleased with the young man; and when an invitation
came from Madame (at Gaston’s request), to visit at the
chateau during the hunting-season, they complied with
a pleasure not unmixed with some curiosity, and half-
formed ambitious plans for Beatrice. Fifine was de-
lighted with the young lady who rode so well, and whose
beautiful blonde hair floated in that semi-savage Ameri-
can way, below her slender waist. M. Gaston had chosen

33



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,





othe

a wife worthy of himself; and Fifine yielded her the
homage of a true feudal vassal. One day the two girls
stood alone before the portrait of Toison d’Or. “How
much he resembles your master!” said Betty. “Do tell
me who he was.”

“He was one of M. Gaston’s ancestors,” replied Fifine,
“a knight of the Golden Fleece. He killed four hundred
Turks for the honor of the dear Christ and the Toison
d’Or. M. Gaston is like him in character too; for I
think he would do any thing for the Golden Fleece.”

Miss Betty’s brow clouded. “Do you mean,” she
asked, “that he would do any thing for money?” —

“Ah, no, mademoiselle,” said the girl impulsively.
“T meant that mademoiselle’s beautiful hair was like a
golden fleece, and that M. Gaston would perform prodi-
gies of valor for it,and— I wish I might say it; but
no: that would be too bold.”

“What was it you wished to say? You have begun
with such a pretty compliment that I could forgive
almost any thing now.”

“T only meant that M. Gaston would do any thing
mademoiselle wished; and if she would persuade him
to give up his absinthe and his wild companions, and

34



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



22

live all the year at the chateau, mademoiselle would
make madame his mother and all of us very happy.”

Betty Rich did not reply. She had often seen the
young Frenchman seated at one of the little open-air
tables in front of a fashionable restaurant in Paris,
toying with a tall glass of whity-green absinthe,—a
liquor very much in vogue in Paris, but worse in its
effects than the vilest whiskey. They had tastes in com-
mon, which it would be very easy to cultivate together
in this romantic spot. What if she could persuade him
to give up idling on the boulevards, and devote his life
to nobler purposes ?

She had a long, serious talk with him that evening,
as they rambled in the park. He was willing to leave
Paris, he said, willing to live anywhere in the wide
world, if only Betty would be his wife, and live there
with him; but he could not see any harm in wine, and
Betty seemed to him very unreasonable and fanatical to
wish him to give it up. “ Well, if I cannot make you
see it as I do, Gaston,” she had said at last, with tears
‘in her eyes, “will you not give it up simply for love of
me, granted that it is all right enough? Can you not
deny yourself just a little because I wish it?”

35



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.,



ee Be

Gaston was on the point of yielding; but he took her
hand, and asked, “And you will not marry me if I
refuse ?”

Betty’s lip quivered; but she answered firmly, “ No,
Gaston.”

This was certainly a very different young lady from
any he had ever met before. And Gaston’s crooked
European brain placed the situation before him in this
way: here was a girl who preferred her own will to his
pleasure, and was even willing to sacrifice her love
for him, simply for the sake of having her own way.

“Then you cannot love me very much, Betty,” he
replied; and they entered the chateau with a great
cloud of uncertainty and misunderstanding between
them. The next day Gaston passed hunting with Mr.
Rich; and in the evening there was a grand dinner, a
number of his friends having driven out from Paris, and
several of the neighboring families having been invited
to share in the hospitalities of the mansion. The table
was spread in the great hall; and Beatrice sat opposite
Gaston and the portrait of Toison d’Or, which loomed
above him, dim and mysterious, into the gloom of the
upper part of the high vaulted room; for the candles

36



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

oe



were all clustered in many-branched candelabra upon
the table. The resources of the cellars of Falcon’s
Nest seemed inexhaustible; for, between the many
courses, bottle after bottle of costly wines, with illustri-
ous names, and corks bearing dates farther back than
the Riches could trace their pedigree, were opened, and
filled the variously shaped glasses that were grouped
about the plate of each guest. Every gem with which
Betty was familiar, except the blue-tinted ones, was rep-
resented: there was deep amber, rosy ruby, pale straw-
colored topaz; liquors flashing and colorless as diamond,
and deeply purple as amethyst. Baptiste filled her
glasses once; and, though he was sent to her frequently
with some rare old bottle reposing carefully in its
wicker reclining-chair, he always found the glasses as
he had left them,—full. Gaston noticed this circum-
stance from across the table. “You do not like our
European wines, Mlle. Beatrice?” he asked. “Ah,
well, you shall have something to remind you of
home, —a drink which some Americans introduced to
our club last winter, and which I am ashamed not
to have already offered you. It is pouch au rhum,a
very aristocratic beverage, so they tell me, in your
37



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eo os



country. — Baptiste, bring me a decanter of the best
old rum.”

Beatrice hardly knew whether to be amused at the
droll change of name which rum-punch had undergone
in its passage across the ocean, or to be indignant at
the assertion that it was a fashionable drink in America,
when she was struck by something peculiar in Baptiste’s
behavior. The valet shrugged his shoulders, and de-
clared that it was impossible.

“ How impossible?” asked Gaston. “Do you mean
to tell me that that barrel of rum is gone already?”

“No, m’szeu,” replied Baptiste meekly ; “ but the cellars
have been wet ever since the inundations, and we keep
the wine now in the family tomb in the park. Since
all of m’szew’s ancestors are removed to the cemetery,
it seemed too bad not to make the stone vault of use;
but though there are no longer any dead people there,
m stew knows that to-morrow is the Your des Morts, and
that to-morrow is already here, for it is now past mid-
night. The dead are out; and, very like, some of them,
being so used to the old tomb, may mistake their way
home. I brought up all the wines that I thought could
be used this afternoon; for I would not go to the

38



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



<--0- --o—

vault—no, not if m’szew would give me all that it
contains.”

Gaston laughed, and the company followed his exam-
ple; but Beatrice thought she discovered beneath the
noisy merriment an under-current of nervousness. our
des Morts was All Saints’ Day: the evening before cor-
responded with our Halloween; and the French are
very superstitious in their observance of it.

“Tt is a fine joke,” said Gaston, after the laughter had
subsided; “for the wine which we are drinking now is
an old acquaintance of my grandfather, the last who was
laid to rest in the old tomb. He kissed the girls at its
vintage, I have not a doubt. And the first for whom the
sepulchre was reared, the chevalier whose portrait hangs
above my head, regarded every flagon as a holy grail.
They were all deep drinkers, all generous hosts: they
ought to make a company of choice spirits. Gentlemen,
I rise to propose their healths. — And now, Baptiste, give
me the keys, and I will go for the liquor myself. As a
family, we have doubtless many darker sins; but there is
not a taint of cowardice in the whole line.”

Beatrice smiled at this rather grandiloquent address,
and rose from the table at the same time with Gaston,

39



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe

endeavoring to dissuade him from his freak. But the
young man’s pride was aroused, and he set out with a
great appearance of courage. A half-hour, an hour
passed; and still he did not return. After another inter-
val, some of the bravest of the company, headed by Mr.
Rich, went in search of him. They found him stretched
in a fit upon the floor of the vault; and the next morn-
ing the young man related a wild ghost-story of how the
bottles greeted him as he entered, saying that they con-
tained the spirits of his forefathers; and, when he pooh-
poohed at such nonsense, explained it philosophically,
saying that lovers in this world become so completely
identified as to exchange not their hearts alone, but their
souls; that the process of assimilation was carried on by
mind, as well as body; souls grew good by absorption,
and the mind took its tint from the body’s food. “And
so,” added the ghosts, “we gained our daily inspiration
and mental force from the bottle; and now, instead of
spirits of rectitude, we are all turned into rectified spirits
of wine.”

Mr. Rich shook his head gravely when he heard the
account. He was not a man of strict habits himself;
but a son-in-law with a tendency toward delirium tremens

40



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



was not to be desired. He gave the young man a long
and earnest talk, which, in the light of the event of the
past night, had more effect upon Gaston’s mind than
Betty’s arguments. He was the first to broach the sub-
ject when next they met, professing himself ready to
make any promise that she wished. They were stand-
ing before the portrait of old: Toison d’Or; a sheet of
paper lay on a writing-table just beneath; and, seating
herself beside it, Betty drew up a new oath of knight-
errantry such as the “new crusade” in our own country
battled for; and, when she left the room, it was with a
temperance-pledge bearing Gaston’s name in her pocket,
and a betrothal ring upon her finger.

Betty’s fortune repaired the old chateau, and put the
farm into fine working order; but it was Gaston’s talent,
energy, and faithfulness to his pledge, that carried it
forward so successfully, and inspired so much confidence
in him in the minds of his neighbors, that, the next time
he visited Paris, it was as member of the Corps Légis-
latif.

The old green dragon of absinthe was slain, and the
Golden Fleece was won.

41



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

a





“TI don’t call ¢ha¢ much of a story,” said Bobby Coper-
nicus contemptuously, as Uncle Briar ended his recital.
“Tt may do well enough for girls; but it isn’t a bit the
style that boys like. Love-stories just make me sick.
I want something about fighting Injuns or bears or
something, or a regular staving good story about pirates
and snakes and things. I should think you might tell
a story on purpose for me this time. Come, now: won’t
you?”

“A fighting spirit is a very good one,” said Uncle
Briar, “ provided you fight for something worth fighting
for. We have need of warriors and heroes nowadays;
and as our next constellation is that of the bull, and
seems to suggest something belligerent, I will try to
tell Bobby a story to-morrow night, of something that
happened in Spain. It is the story of a boy with tastes
somewhat like Bobby’s.





v la

all (RANT

“HR

~ a

Se a







T was not at all like your father’s umbrella, with
the carved ivory handle, respectable black silk
cover, and neat oilskin case; nor a dainty little
en tout cas like the one at Maud’s silver chate-
laine; nor a huge white canvas sketching-umbrella
such as Cousin Fred, the artist, takes with him to
the Adirondacks. Neither was it exactly like
Grandfather Prendergast’s blue gingham, nor the
bamboo affair with which Wah Lee the Chinese
laundryman protects his pigtail upon state occa-



sions. Father Zenobe’s was claret-color, bordered with
five white lines. It was considered a very sober and
steady-going affair; for in Spain the priests, who love
bright colors as much as other Spaniards, make up for
their black robes by the gayest possible umbrellas.
Father Zenobe’s was only a rich, dark dahlia, compared
to the gorgeous tropical flowers which blossomed over
the heads of some of his brother-priests. Father Igna-
tius could be seen of an afternoon, strolling along the
43



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

Be = ao



seashore, laughing and chatting with all he met, under a
bright yellow one with pale blue lining. Father Pedro’s
was rose-color lined with yellow; and when standing on
the town-wall, with the setting sun behind him, he
looked like a picture of one of the old saints with
a glory about his head. Father Sebastian generally
appeared with an assortment of walking-sticks and
umbrellas under his arm, so that he presented a striking
resemblance to his patron saint in the church paintings,
—all bristling with arrows. They were all priests,
curés at the church of Fontarabia, just over the bor-
der-line from France, the most northern seaport town
of Spain,— picturesque old Fontarabia, as seen from
French territory, with its crumbling walls from twenty
to thirty feet in thickness, its ruined castle, and church
with beautiful semi-Moorish cupola. It stands upon a
promontory, the sandy shoals of the Bidassoa in front,
and the sea shimmering away to the west, seemingly an
enchanted isle. Nor is a walk in the streets of the old
town less bewitching. They are very narrow, and the
houses very high, a balcony running along the front of
each story. Sometimes these balconies have balustrades
of forged iron in beautiful lace-like tracery; sometimes
44



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo oo

they are of carved wood: whatever the material, they
are always brilliant with color,— pots and boxes of gay
flowers, bird-cages, rugs, and strips of bright carpeting
hung over the railing, dark-eyed ladies in still more
dazzling costumes; and, as if this were not bright
enough, the very walls of the houses painted in stripes,
drab and pink, white and green, and deep red. The
most interesting spot in this most interesting town is
the old church. It is one of the few fortified churches
to be found in Europe. As you enter the door, you are
startled: you almost think you have lost your way; for,
instead of shrine or confessional, you find yourself con-
fronted by the grim loop-holes of a stone barricade.
In this church, with its walls covered with rich maroon
and gilding tarnished to the right degree of artistic
dinginess, Father Zenobe said the masses for the dead,
and heard the boys say their catechism. He loved the
boys, though he had small cause to do so; for a dirtier
or more idle set, except where mischief was concerned,
could not be found in all Spain, playing their pranks
even in the old church, and on Father Zenobe himself.
Nor was the other part of his vocation a cheerful one;
and yet the happy old priest preferred his duties to those
45



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe —e-5-0—



of any of his brothers. He would never have exchanged
them with Father Sebastian, who did the christening ;
for his bright street boys were so much more interesting
than the blinking, spasmy babies, who shuddered’ and
shrieked in such heretic fashion when the Church re-
ceived them into its bosom; or with Father Pedro, who
performed the marriage ceremony. It was always a
severe trial for Father Zenobe, when, as it sometimes
happened, away on the church’s business, he was called
upon to do this: the sweet, flushed faces of the brides
recalled to memory an early hope laid on the altar of
Mother Church. Not for worlds would he have heard
the confessions, like Father Ignatius (the recitals of
sin and frailty were too heart-rending); or administered
the last communion and visited the sick, like Father
Francisco. It was all very well, rather cheerful than
otherwise, he would have told you, to do what he could
to rest people’s souls after they were dead; but he had
a sympathetic heart, and the sight of human suffering
and death wrung it sorely. A genial, easy-going man
at this time was Father Zenobe. He used to say of
himself, that he resembled Spain’s greatest painter in
two things: he loved the Madonna and ragged street-
46



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eC rr

boys. Wilder and more ragged than any gamzn that
Murillo, ever painted, was Fadrique Zuloaga. He was
Father Zenobe’s favorite, for he was brighter and gayer
than the others, though he was always foremost in
scrapes, and determined to learn as little as possible of
the catechism, for the simple reason that his parents had
destined him to the Church; and Fadrique had deter-
mined in his rebellious little heart that he would be as
wicked as ever he could, so as not to be fit for a priest.
Father Zenobe taught the boys to sing, as well as to
repeat the catechism; and on state occasions, robed in
pretty lace overskirts and scarlet dresses, they would
roar out the church canticles while they held the candles
and banners, censers and crucifixes. Fadrique was
always grimacing and joking on such occasions; but
he sang with the rest because he had an ear for music,
and some way the song would roll out in spite of him.
Sometimes he liked the words too, they were so odd
and quaint. I will give you an almost literal transla-
tion of some of the verses of a Christmas carol which
was one of Fadrique’s favorites, because it was always
acted in pantomime, and Fadrique loved acting even
better than singing : —
47



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



“ He was born in a hovel

Of spider-webs full :

Beside Him there grovel
An ox and a mule ;

And King Melchior bade,
To honor the day,

And that none might be sad,
The musicians should play.

“T’m a poor little gypsy

From over the sea:

I bring him a chicken
That cries ‘ guzr-2-gud ;’

For each of us, sure,
Should offer his part :

Be you ever so poor,
You can give him your heart.

“Good night, Father Joseph !

Madonna so mild,

We leave with regret
Your adorable child,

With the crown on his locks,
The symbol of rule:

Sleep in peace, Sefior Ox!
God bless you, Sir Mule!”

48



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

ae

Fadrique loved the good priest; and so, despite his
hatred of the Church, he remained with him, studying
and singing, until he was nearly old enough to take
clerical orders. Then one day he suddenly disappeared;
and his father came to Father Zenobe with the intelli-
gence that Fadrique had run away with a company of
torreros, or bull-fighters.

The old man looked grave; for the news made him
sore at heart. “This is because we were trying to
force him into the Church,” said he. “If you want to
serve God with a child, you must let him become what
God has fitted him to be. Now, Fadrique is no more
fitted to be a bull-fighter than he is to be a priest: he
has always wanted to be a sailor. And you know,
we Basques have a proverb, ‘If a man does not know
how to pray, let him go to sea, and the storms will
teach him.’”

“ All that may be very true,” said Fadrique’s father ;
“and I had certainly rather that my son should be a
sailor than the most skilful pzcador that ever worried a
bull. But you should have told me this before: it seems
to me that it is too late now.”

“Perhaps not,” said Father Zenobe.

49



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



After this occurrence the good priest developed a
strange taste for bull-fighting. He sat long in the little
tobacco-shops, reading the newspapers; and he never
seemed to read any thing but notices of entertainments
of this kind. He bought all the bills and programmes
that were offered him, no matter at what place the
combat was to take place. He had long conversations
with people who made it their business to bet on the
event of such combats; and altogether one would have
thought that the reverend gentleman was developing
very unclerical tastes. It was about a year after this,
that a bull-fight was announced for the festival of St.
Ignatius at Loyola. As this is one of the principal
religious féte-days in Spain, Father Zenobe obtained
permission to attend, without difficulty. It was not
a very singular thing to see priests at bull-fights. At
Loyola was situated one of the most magnificent con-
vents in all Spain; and the entertainments held here
on the festival of St. Ignatius were always under the
especial patronage of the Church. Among the gayly
dressed banderilleros who exposed their lives that day
in the arena, was a slender boy, dressed in a tightly
fitting suit of delicate green satin, with flesh-colored

50



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe ao

stockings, gold ornaments, and a rose-colored sash.
Father Zenobe knew him by his curly head, and the
dash and bravado of his bearing. He was the youngest
combatant, and seemed to be a special favorite with
the audience and with the troupe; for the former
showered down cigars and bouquets at each daring
exploit, and the latter shielded him as much as possi-
ble, keeping him away from the more dangerous parts
of the field. Father Zenobe had taken one of the high-
priced seats usually reserved for the “fancy,” or pro-
fessional connoisseurs at bull-fights, in the front row.
The awning that covered the audience in the higher
tiers did not shade him, and he sat exposed to the rays
of the summer sun. At first he had cautiously raised
his beloved umbrella; but he had been obliged to close
it instantly, some of the audience objecting even to his
long, skiff-shaped, black hat, as too much obstructing the
view. The spectacle, with all its horror of blood and
brutality, had gone on for some time; and now the
moment had arrived for Fadrique’s feat. Seated in a
chair in the centre of the arena, he was to fix a little dart
in each side of the bull’s neck as it charged toward him.
The animal was a huge creature, black as a coal, with a
51



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



+B 0 ote

small fiery eye. A garnet ribbon, which indicated to
whose drove he belonged, was fastened to one horn,
and ran trickling down the middle of his forehead like
a rill of blood. He advanced slowly toward Fadrique, as
though curious to know why he was sitting. When he
had reached the proper distance, Fadrique raised both
arms, and threw the darts with all his force into the bull's
flesh ; then the creature, maddened by the pain, lunged
suddenly forward; and something was tossed again and
again from his horns into the air. It was only the chair;
for Fadrique had saved himself by an agile leap to one
side, and was now standing in a statuesque attitude with
folded arms, seemingly indifferent to the plaudits that
rang around the arena. But he was too careless: the
bull discovered in a moment that the chair was not his
real enemy, and tossed Fadrique just as, off his guard,
he was replying to the audience with a graceful bow.
He fell heavily, not far from the spot where Father
Zenobe was sitting. There happened to be no attend-
ants in this part of the field, and the bull was
approaching with lowered horns. Fadrique lay com-
pletely in his power, when a red meteor shot through
the air, and diverted the animal’s attention. It was
32



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



—— 0-2.

Father Zenobe’s great claret-colored umbrella, which he,
with remarkable presence of mind and exactitude of
aim, had thrown before the eyes of the angry bull.
When, after the sport, it was handed to him again, two
springs were broken, and its rich claret cover was
stained with an angrier hue: thank Heaven it was not
human blood! for in that brief interval some of the
assistants had had time to drag Fadrique out of the
bull’s reach. His life was saved; but a leg was broken,
and it would be necessary for him to give up his new
profession for a long time. Father Zenobe had him
carried carefully back to Fontarabia, and nursed him
with true paternal care through his long convalescence.
At length, when it was evident that he had almost
recovered, and would soon have the use of his limb as
before, he bade him good-by. “I shall not be able to
attend every bull-fight,” said he; “but I shall pray to Our
Lady to shield you from all danger.”

Fadrique’s eyes filled with tears: “I have had enough
of bull-fighting,” he said; “and if you wish it I will be
a priest.”

“T do not wish it,” replied the wise old man; “but I
have your father’s permission for you to go to sea: you

53



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

will have nobler opportunities for daring there than
in the bull-ring, and can, if you choose, serve God as
truly as in the cloister.”

And so Fadrique became a sailor on the stormiest
of waters, —a fisherman of the Bay of Biscay. On his
return from his first voyage he hung as a votive offer-
ing, before the picture of Christ walking upon the sea,
in the old church of Fontarabia, a model of his ship;
such as are common in Spanish churches, as mementos
of rescues from shipwreck, and which sway like pendu-
lums from long cords attached to the ceiling. Father
Zenobe was right: he did not know how to pray, but
the storms had taught him. They have taught him
more; for, in the most terrible gales that drive the surf
high upon this formidable coast, there is no one more
active in fitting out the life-boat for the rescue of those
in distress than Fadrique. He is as reckless as ever,
and counts his life as little worth, if only he may lay it
down in a cause that is really worthy.

54

















HE raven, though an unclean
bird, brought food to Elijah.”
The words were those of the
celebrated missionary, Dr. Wil-
liam Goodell. Sallie had heard
Miss Dibbs read them long
ago; but they came back to her with
new force to-day. “If ebber dar war
a prophet ob de Lord,” she muttered to
herself, “Miss Dibbs is dat ar. An’ if

ebber dar war two ornery brack crows,



dem ar’s Praise an’ me.”

Praise was Sallie’s twin brother. Their mother —a
very pious old negress, who did Miss Dibbs’s washing
—had named her children Praise and Salvation; and,
dying a few years before the beginning of this story,
had left them both, twelve years of age, as a legacy to
Miss Dibbs. Sallie’s mother had experienced so many

55



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

kindnesses from Miss Dibbs’s hand, that she was not to
blame for thinking her the possessor of considerable
wealth; but she was, in reality, an industrious, economi-
cal little old lady, who found it hard work enough to
make her accounts square on each Saturday night. She
had a tiny room in the upper story of a second-class
boarding-house, on a shady street in New York City.
It was up so high that the sun could peep in and cheer
up the cosey little apartment, with the geraniums in the
window, the canary in its cage, and the old-fashioned
painted tea-set on the rack against the wall. There were
many bright spots of color in. the room, which rendered
it remarkably cheery, and gave it a right to the name
of Cherith, which Miss Dibbs had conferred upon it
one day when she was particularly lonesome, and could
compare herself to no one but Elijah in the desert.

And now the ravens had come too. Miss Dibbs
would not have known what to do with them if
she had not received that very day another legacy of
several thousand dollars from an early friend. There
was no excuse for her now. She was quite independent,
and could live comfortably on the income of her money:
no need to make pincushions and tidies for the fancy-

56



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



to i

stores any longer; and she accepted both legacies with
thankfulness. She determined to devote her leisure
time to instructing Sallie in sewing and in the line of
work which she had herself pursued, hoping thus to
make the child self-supporting. But what to do with
Praise? This was indeed a problem. She had visions
of giving him a theological education, and sending him
as a missionary to christianize Africa. But Praise soon
showed her that, in spite of his name, he was a most
irreligious youth. He occupied Miss Dibbs’s coal-closet
with great delight at night, and by day roamed the
streets with the utmost freedom. “I will consult the
child’s taste,” said Miss Dibbs to herself, “and try to
help him forward in any career in life which he may
have chosen for himself.” And Praise, when asked what
he would like to be when he grew up, replied, with
intense enthusiasm, “A brakeman!”

Miss Dibbs had just invested her money in railway
shares, and listened to the boy’s preference with more
leniency than she otherwise might. By dint of many
calls at offices, she obtained for him the position of night
sub-porter, on a train leaving New York at ten o'clock,
and arriving at Grimy Junction early in the morning.

57



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oH oo





He had charge of the boot-blacking department, and
was generally the slave of stalwart Mose, who wore the
silver label on his cap that proclaimed him the proper
person to receive fees from passengers for this same
boot-blacking and other services executed by Praise.
At Grimy Junction, Praise swallowed a cup of coffee,
and sprang on board a returning freight-train, reaching
New York about noon, and at once coiled himself up
to sleep in Miss Dibbs’s coal-closet.

Once Miss Dibbs took a trip on the owl-train. “I
shall feel perfectly safe,” were her good-night words to
Praise, as she carefully held the curtains together
beneath her nose, —“I shall feel perfectly safe, because
you have charge of the train.”

Praise perched himself on the wood-box, with his
arms hugging his knees, and waited for the conductor
to make his last round. It was a perfect night, and he
meant to spend it upon the rear platform; but he knew
that if the conductor found him there he would kick
him; and so he sagaciously bided his time. He loved
to sit there, with his eyes fixed upon the brilliant crim-
son lantern. To Praise, it was a glorious ruby pendent
from the ear of his lady-love; for he had learned to

58



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



—oso— —o—-o

love the owl-train, and its swift dashing through the
night.

Praise had dozed upon the platform for several hours,
when he woke suddenly to a consciousness of something
wrong. He was slow of thought, but it came to him at
last, —the lantern was gone! The train was running
along the river-bank, on piles that carried the track out
over the water. A fog had come up from the river,
hiding every object; and the danger-signal was not in
its place: it had probably been insecurely fastened, and
dropped off. His first impulse was to go and tell Mose,
when straight out of the blackness there blazed upon
him a sun,—the head-light of a rapidly approaching
locomotive. Praise danced and shrieked in terror, but
the engineer neither saw nor heard; and the next sensa-
tion that he experienced was that of flying rapidly
through the air, and landing suddenly in the soft mud,
covered with yellow water-lilies, on the landward side of
the track. He picked himself up entirely uninjured, and
waded back to the train. The last car lay upon its side
in the water. “Number six,” said he to himself, count-
ing the windows, and bursting in the blinds of one of
them by frequent applications of his head in the style of

59



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





o--*

a battering-ram. Through this opening he drew out
little Miss Dibbs fainting with pain, and sadly injured.
He staggered with her to shore, and sat holding her in
his arms until the relief-train was made up to convey the
wounded to the city. The physician who waited on the
gentle lady the next morning said that she would never
walk again, never stand or sit erect; for her spine was
incurably injured. She did not suffer very much, but
lay with a cheerful smile on her sweet face; and Sallie
waited and tended upon her most devotedly.

“Tt isn’t as bad as it might be,” said the uncomplain-
ing little lady. “I can afford to be sick. My income
comes every month, without any exertion on my part.
I am one of God’s broken-winged sparrows; and he
always takes care of them.”

It was now, too, that Miss Dibbs took real comfort
in her other legacy, the twins. To her many thanks
Sallie’s unfailing reply was, “Clar to goodness, Miss
Dibbs, I only wish I could do mo’.”

Her wish was gratified sooner than she thought. Late
one night, after extra work at the bank, Mr. St. Ledger,
the pleasant-faced old gentleman who usually brought
Miss Dibbs her crisp new bills in a great yellow envelope,

60



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe 2

appeared before the astonished child, and with a dis-
tressed look, and a nervous rubbing of his hands, in-
quired for her mistress.

“Her back powerful bad to-day, sah, and she done
gone to bed,” replied Sallie.

“Perhaps you can communicate the news as well,”
said the old gentleman, with a start of relief. “The
company in which Miss Dibbs’s funds were invested
has utterly failed. I have been able to save nothing,
absolutely nothing. You will please tell her how much
it pains me to be the bearer of such tidings.” And, with
a bow, the little old gentleman was gone.

Sallie entered her mistress’s room. How peacefully
she slept! As she watched her, the tears welled up into
her great eyes. She turned, and sat down upon the rug
before the grate, holding her head between her hands,
gripping savagely into her woolly hair as she rocked to
and fro. She was thinking out a plan of her own.
“She sha’n’t nebber know it. Praise and me’ll fix it.”
And so they did; for the next morning Sallie went the
rounds of the fancy-stores where Miss Dibbs had been
known, and obtained a quantity of dolls to dress for the
‘ approaching holidays, together with orders for needle-
61



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



a 2-9-0

books, pincushions, and tidies, enough to keep her at
work for a whole year. But Sallie did not intend to do
a stitch of this work. She knew plenty of needy girls
and women out of employment, who would be glad to do
it for her at a less price than the shopkeepers had
offered. Her next work was to visit the fashionable
dressmakers, and for a trifling price buy up pieces and
remnants of silk and other goods, which she distributed
among her workwomen. Her scheme progressed finely.
Miss Dibbs imagined that Sallie was attending school ;
and as she only went out in the afternoon, when Praise
could take her place, her mistress did not lack for atten-
tion. The boy helped with his earnings too; and at
the close of the month, when they counted them over in
the coal-closet, they found they had a few pennies more
than Miss Dibbs’s monthly income.

Praise took a little heap of currency, and had it
changed into larger and newer bills. Then he bought
an envelope like Mr. St. Ledger’s; and, when Sallie pre-
sénted it to her mistress, the good lady had no idea but
that it was her rightful due.

This went on throughout the winter; but, when the
stifling summer came, Miss Dibbs grew tired of her

62



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



one oto

upper room with its continual glare, and made the an-
nouncement to the horrified Sallie that she intended to
pass a month at Saratoga. “I find that I can board
there as cheaply as here,” she said. “I shall buy a great
reclining-chair: you can wheel me about, and perhaps
the water will do me good. I will write a note to
Mr. St. Ledger to send my remittances there.”

There was nothing to be said. Sallie explained her
work to Praise, and asked him to carry it on during her
absence. The boy did his best; but he was not as
successful as Sallie, and at the close of the month he
lacked several dollars of the required amount. He
walked bravely to the bank, and asked Mr. St. Ledger to
lend him the sum. Deeply touched by this simple story
of love and devotion, Mr. St. Ledger made out a check,
and, enclosing with it a short business note, addressed
the whole in his well-known hand to Miss Dibbs.
“ After this, come to me every month, my boy,” said he.
“Let me make it up whenever it falls short, and bring
it regularly as I used to.”

Mr. St. Ledger came, but not as he used to. His
visits were more frequent than business required; and
as he sat in pleasant room “Cherith,” watching the

63



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

sweet-faced woman reclining on the crimson couch, her
silvery curls peeping from under a dainty cap with fresh
lavender ribbons, his sympathy grew more and more
unbounded. And so it happened that the minister came
with him one evening, and Miss Dibbs was changed to
Mrs. St. Ledger. Little room “Cherith” spread itself
out into an entire flat, about which Sallie wheeled her
mistress with infinite delight. Mr. St. Ledger often
says in joke, that he married his wife for her money;
and she retorts pleasantly, that he shall never have a
penny of it, for she intends to leave it all to the twins.
She means it too, good lady; for to this day she believes
herself independent in fortune, and does not know how
for many months she was supported by “Elijah’s
Ravens.”











\ O you wish one of my war ex-



periences (said Uncle Briar to
the children the next evening).
As it happens, there was one
Bla which might have happened
E=j under the constellation of the
Crab. It was in the month of
June, 1861, that Gen. Butler sent a
party from Fortress Monroe to for-
tify a point called Newport News at the mouth of the
James River. I formed one of the expedition. We
had remained here for some time, when my command-
ing officer thought it necessary to communicate with
Gen. Butler, and despatched me with written documents
to Fortress Monroe. I started alone, and on foot. The
attempt was a hazardous one; and I came very near
falling into the hands of a troop of Confederate cavalry.)
But evening found me safe at the little town of Hamp-
ton,{ overlooked by the frowning walls of the fortress.
65



{
{

\
\

IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oH.



Its population had been so disloyal that out of a

‘thousand inhabitants there now remained but one hun-

dred who avowed themselves Unionists, and claimed
Gen. Butler's protection. }

I had intended to go directly on; but the night
promised to be a stormy one, and I concluded to pass it
at Hampton. The hotel was closed; and selecting a
large hospitable-appearing mansion, I asked if I could
obtain shelter for the night. A tall, brilliant-appearing
Southern girl heard my request, and saying, “I will see,”
gave me a seat in the hall, and vanished. I was not its
only occupant. A ragged little darkey sat upon the
lower step of the grand staircase, amusing himself by
training a crab. He held in his hand a ball of kite-
twine, the end of which was attached to one of the
creature’s claws. (As he unrolled this, the crab ambled
briskly down the hall, guided in its movements by
sundry twitches and tugs at the line, accompanied by
such exclamations as, “Gee! Whoa dar! Keep de road,
sinnah! Go for true, dar. Keep a steady trot. We
don’t want no ‘lopin’ nor canterin’ on dis yere race-
course.”

In spite of my weariness, I found myself much inter-

66



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe

ested in this queer performance, “What is your name,
my boy? ” T asked.

“Gen. Lee Beauregard Jefferson Davis,” he re-
plied. .

“ That is a suspicious name,” I thought, “for an occu-
pant of a Union family.”

“Crabs is mighty knowin’,” continued the boy. “I
let dis one hab de whole run of dis yere ball ob twine,
and den I winds him up again. (One day when I began
to wind, it didn’t come easy; an’ de next minute my
marm done pumped him out ob de cistern. Clar to
goodness, massa, if dis yere crab hadn’t clomb up de
chimney, slumped ‘long de roof into de eaves-spout,
flop down into de cistern, an den come up tru de
pump. If you don’t beliebe me, just look at dat knot in
my kite-string ; dat’s where I bust it befo’ I ebber got
it straightened out.”

I had not time to object to the improbability of the
story ; for ) the young lady whom I had before seen
now appeared, and introduced her mother, a dignified,
handsome woman, who welcomed me cordially to the
hospitalities of the mansion, At the supper-table, the
younger lady appeared remarkably nervous and excited,

67



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

—oe





(starting at the least sound, eating nothing, and taking
no part in the conversation.) Even her mother, although
perfectly polite, seemed a trifle absent-minded.

Suddenly there was a heavy tread upon the veranda,
and a loud, familiar knock at the door. The daughter
sprang from her seat, overturning it) and sped away into
the hall, closing the door behind her. My hostess made
no remark at the conduct of her daughter, and enter-
tained me agreeably throughout the meal, (with only a
little spot of heightened color on either cheek to tell of
any agitation she might have felt) Nothing remarkable
happened during the evening; and I was shown into a
spacious chamber opening upon a hall( that branched in
two directions, and was well lighted by large windows
through which the moonlight streamed; for the threaten-
ing storm had cleared away, and/I had a vague feeling
that perhaps I ought even now to continue my journey.
But tired nature prevailed, and I was soon fast asleep.
I was awakened by a scratching and shuffling noise in
my room, for which I was for some time at a loss to
account. I sat up in bed, and looked and listened, and
at length discovered a small object (on the uncarpeted
floor, Jjust passing over the door-sill into the hall. It

68



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+e





oe

was Gen. Lee Beauregard Stonéwall Jaekson’s crab.
“] will throw that nuisance out of the window!” I
exclaimed, and sprang from my bed. The creature
was out of my room; and I made a hasty half-toilet
before following it. Chere it was at some distance
down the hall; but, before reaching it, I heard some
one mounting the staircase, and(under the impulse of
the moment) I stepped into a room which (through its
open door, [ saw to be unoccupied. (From behind this
door, I could have, unobserved, a view of the hall) it
was the General himself, who had come up the stairs,
and who now intruded his woolly head into my chamber.
He made some strong expression of surprise, that)was
interrupted by the falling of a hand upon his collar, and
a sudden facing about to meet the angry looks of his
mistress, who, with her daughter, ‘had come up from the
other end of the hall,

“What do you mean by looking into a gentleman’s
room?” she exclaimed,(in a stage whisper, shaking the
boy violently with both hands,

“I was lookin’ for my crab, missus,” gasped the
boy.

“You know that is not the truth,” replied the lady.

69



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

ea



“Go down to the kitchen ; (and to-morrow you shall
have such a whipping!” .

“ Yes, missus,” replied the boy submissively. But, the
instant that he was released, he exclaimed, “ Dar’s my
crab now!” sprang by my door, pocketed his property,
and then obeyed his mistress’s orders.)

Mother and daughter walked down the hall, (and stood
together by the great window near the door behind
which I was concealed.)

“Tt is almost time they were here,” said the mother:
“it does not usually take so long to go and come from
Little Bethel.”

“Father said he would ride as fast as he could,”
replied the girl, “and bring back enough of the soldiers
to secure his capture. Father thinks he may be the
bearer of important despatches.”

“We can only wait, my dear,” replied the lady:
“let us go down into the parlor. (I have locked his
door on this side; you may have the key to give to
your papa, if you wish.” 5

After they had gone, I found myself in a new dilem-
ma. How was I to descend and leave the house, when
the ladies were in a room commanding a view of the

7O



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,





Oe ee

only staircase with which I was acquainted? While
I stood’ hesitating in the hall, my foot struck a small
white object; and, stooping, I found that I had the
General’s ball of kite-twine. Its end was probably at-
tached to the crab. I walked slowly along, winding the
ball as I went, and following the thread(which stretched
on before me, round an angle, through a narrower and
more dimly lighted passage, and down a winding and
uneven staircase/ ‘which led me to a rear entrance to the
house. The door was open; and the twine still led on
to where, at the foot of the garden, the General was
swinging on the gate.

“Here is your ball,” I said to him, as his eyes pro-
truded to their utmost in recognizing me.

As I passed on towards the shore, I heard some one
running behind me. It was the General.

“Clar to goodness, massa!” said he, “my crab done
lighted out for de salt water: shouldn’t wonder if he
foun’ him in -Pete’s boat; he allers did like to go a-fishin’
with Pete. He’d sit up on de side ob de boat, an’ help
him claw in de lines. I'll go an’ fotch Pete.”

Pete, a stalwart fisherman, readily agreed to take me
across to the fortress in his boat.

71



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o



“T’ ll go wid yer,” said the General: “ shouldn’t won-
der if my crab war ober dar: don’t see him nowhar
‘bout dis yere boat.”

And a tacit agreement was immediately instituted
between us, whereby the General became my faithful
follower through the entire war, at the close of which
he entered a school for freedmen, and is himself now a
teacher of his race, remarkable for his integrity and love
of truth. )

Established in our new quarters at the fortress, as
I poured out the water for my morning ablutions, I
found the General’s crab in my wash-basin.

“Done tole yer so, massa,” said the boy. “Dis yere |
crab done swum across de bay: mose likely he was
up dar at headquarters, an’ hearn tell jus’ whar he
should find us.”

“General, General!” I said, “if you are to stay with
me, you must speak the truth.” And so he did; for
I never knew him to prevaricate in any instance,
except when it concerned his crab.

72

























LEASE, Cousin Myrtle,
yn there isn’t any such
thing as ghosts, is
there?” asked Bobby
Copernicus, one evening.

“ That depends,” replied Myr-
tle.

“Coz I told Joy I was going




to tease for a ghost-story to-
night, —a regular scarer; like
the kind the snark told, you

‘Till each man’s blood
Up on end it stood,
And the hair ran cold in their veins.’

And Joy said she didn’t want that kind: she’s ’fraid of
‘enn,

“ Only people who do wrong need be afraid of
ghosts,” said Cousin Myrtle; “and it is very seldom

73



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

2



that other people see them. If you ever do any thing
mean or shameful, you may be sure that it will haunt
you all your life; and you will never need a candle to
see it in the darkest night. But good people can almost
always sleep soundly, even after a supper of strawberry
shortcake, and never see one of the hobble-de-goblins;
and, even if they do, there are no lions in the way,
that can hurt Mr. Greatheart. By the way, our con-
stellation to-night is that of the Lion. Bobby shall
have his wish; for I do not think Joy would have been
a bit frightened by

THE GHOST AT THE WHITE LION.

In the little village of Pudsey-in-the-Mud, England,
stands the comfortable, old-fashioned inn of the White
Lion. It was a hostelry of style and importance, with
no lack of patronage, when the London stage-line swept
through Pudsey; but the new railroad had left the little
town several miles one side, and there was now little in
its appearance to suggest its former state. Only chance
travellers stopped here now, strangers visiting Pudsey
for the first time; for in spite of its large, airy chambers,
its cosey sitting-room with the carved fireplace and red

74



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
window-curtains, its garden overgrown with sweet, old-
fashioned flowers, its cook noted for making the most
melting pastry in the shire, its obliging landlord and
low charges, the White Lion was shunned by summer |
boarders, and by all who knew its history; for no one,
even in incredulous England, liked to stop at a haunted
house; and the inn was haunted, not by one ghost
alone, but by many. It seemed as if it was the house
spoken of in the Scriptures, found empty, swept and
garnished, by the evil spirit, who immediately filled it
with a variety of occupants as evil as himself; for none
of the ghosts told of by the lodgers at the White Lion
bore any great resemblance to each other.

The landlord was not a man to be frightened out of
his wits by such stories: he had never seen any ghosts
in the house, and, if he had, he would not have cared
very much, if they had only paid their bills like respect-
able boarders. But they were now so deeply in his
debt, and had kept away more lucrative lodgers so long,
that the thing was growing unbearable ; and, as a last
resort, he had asked the sheriff to serve them with a
notice to quit. This he had neatly framed, and hung
in the haunted chamber. It was the pleasantest room

75



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oo



in the front part of the house, with a very large square
window filled with very small diamond-shaped panes.
A small brass rod ran across the lower part of this
window, and from it hung a ruffled muslin curtain; but
the upper and larger part was not covered by blind or
curtain or screen of any kind, and allowed the sunlight
or moonlight to fall in a broad band upon the well.
scoured floor. Outside the window, a narrow balcony
ran; but it had only been for ornament in its best days,
as the window was not made to open; and now no
human being could have walked across it; for the floor
was gone, and nothing was left but the cast-iron railing.
Over the balcony hung the sign of the house, a wooden
lion in a defiant attitude, with his paws raised as though
for a trial of skill in boxing, and a very long curly tail
twisted into several impossible knots. The lion was
suspended from an iron rod fastened into the house
above the window, and for several years had bid defi-
ance to the ghosts, and beckoned passing travellers in
vain.

The last lodger who had seen an apparition here was
a queer old gentleman from London. He seemed very
rich, but was much out of health, and was accompanied

76



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





by a servant and a nurse who put him to bed as soon
as he arrived. At midnight he aroused the house by
ringing his bell violently. When the landlord entered
the room, he lay in a fit with his back to the window;
and, when he came out of it, could not be persuaded
to look in that direction. He said that he had seen a
spirit, a white lady, who glided along the floorless
balcony, and peered into the window. The nurse and
landlord could see nothing remarkable; but the vision
had made such a strong impression on the old gentle-
man’s mind, that the next day he sent for a lawyer, and
made a new will. “The greater part of my fortune,”
he said, “belonged to my cousin Helen. I was her
guardian. It was all invested in a company that failed
dishonestly ; but I had been shrewd enough to with-
draw the money before the failure. No one knew of
this, however; for the company’s books were burned by
a member of the firm, and Helen believed that her
fortune was lost. She is dead now. She lived all her
life in poverty, while I have been very rich. It was she
who came last night; she beckoned to me. I cannot
give her back her property, but I can leave all, hers and
mine, to her children; and this is why I wish to make
7



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



a new will.” The old gentleman felt that his cousin
would come again the next night, and that when he saw
her he would die. But she did not appear: the night
was a rainy one, and I believe no one ever saw a ghost
with an umbrella; and the next day the old gentleman
was so much better that he went back to London. He
did not die for many. years afterward, but he sought out
his cousin’s children, and made ample restitution. In
spite of his great wrong, they grew to love him very
tenderly, living with him and caring for him until he
died.

This was the last ghost that had been seen at the
White Lion, when one afternoon a traveller arrived
who was to deliver a lecture that evening at the town-
hall. To honor his guest, the landlord and his wife
attended the lecture. It was a great piece of nonsense ;
for the poor man tried to prove that the Bible was not
true, that there were no angels, no future life, no God.
He gave many quotations from the Scriptures to prove
their absurdity. He scoffed at the visions of Daniel, at
the winged lion, at the beast with ten horns, and made a
great many jokes about the creatures in the Revelation,
especially those that. were like horses prepared for

78



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



battle, with crowns of gold on their heads, men’s faces,
women’s hair, the teeth of lions, and tails like scorpions
with terrible stings, and were commanded to hurt only
those men who had not the seal of God in their fore-
heads.

When he returned to the inn, the landlord shook
hands with him warmly. “You are just the person
I have been wanting to see,” he said. “I have a room
in my house that they say is haunted. If you do not
believe in the supernatural, you will not object to sleep-
ing there; and it will be a great thing for me if you can
assert afterward that the ghosts are all humbug.”

The lecturer professed himself perfectly willing to
_make the experiment; but he showed the landlord a
brace of loaded pistols, and warned him that if he
saw any thing unusual during the night he should
‘certainly fire at it. Then he ate a hearty supper of
dumpling and Welsh rarebit, washed down with strong
ale, and went to bed. It was a moonlight night, —
just such a one as the ghost of the White Lion pre-
ferred for its rambles; and the landlord was not much
surprised at being awakened, when the night was half
over, by the rapid firing of his guest’s pistols. After

79



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





the shots, all was silent for a few moments; and then
the lecturer came tumbling down the winding stairs,
his face colorless with fright. “I take it all back!”
he shrieked. “I will nail my recantation to the
church doors, only let me off this time! let me off
this time!”

“What's the matter?” asked the landlord, who was
standing at the foot of the stairs with a lighted candle
in his hand.

“J have seen it!” said the frightened man, trem-
bling violently, and clutching his host’s arm.

“Seen what?”

‘a hie: beast!.”

“The fiddlesticks! you've been dreaming; you've
had the nightmare; you are not awake yet. If you
saw any beast, it was the ghost of that Welsh rare-
- bit.”

“T have not been asleep at all. The Prince of the
Power of the Air has been banging every shutter
about this ruinous old house, and yelling down the
chimneys, in a way that would have made it impossible
for any one to sleep, even if he had not believed in
demons, and had supposed it was only the wind, as I

80



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





#3

did. Let me go into your tap-room, and lock the
door well, and I will tell you all about it.”

And the lecturer told how he had grown so ner-
yous, what with the hearty supper and the wind, that
he found it impossible to sleep; and finally sat up in
bed, wondering if it really was the wind that made
all that noise. Suddenly something flew slowly across
the window: it was a dark object, and might have been
e bat, if it had not been of such great size. He
looked again, and the object returned, this time clearly
defining its shape, that of a lion; but who had ever
seen a lion fly in this way between heaven and earth?
Suddenly he remembered the winged lion of Daniel,
and the creature of the Revelation that he had so
derided. Yes, this answered the description perfectly,
even to the flowing feminine tresses, and the tail with
the terrible stings. The beast seemed to be trying the
window-sash; for it rattled fearfully as his claws ap-
proached now the upper and now the lower portion,
now the right and now the left side. The lecturer
aimed his pistols at the animal’s head, and fired them
together, shivering the glass. But the ghostly thing
did not seem in the least troubled by the shots: it

81



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

C—O

paused an instant, and regarded him with two luminous
eyes. that he had not noticed before, and then made a
sudden swoop toward the broken casement, he did not
stop to see with what success, for he knew that he had
not the seal of God in his forehead.

It was a singular story, and reminded the landlord of
the one told by an occupant of the room several months
before. He was a suspicious-looking character, who
carried a small black valise of which he was particularly
watchful. Very early the next morning, he had awak-
ened the landlord by shaking him roughly by the
shoulder, and saying, “ Here is the money for my night’s
lodging. If aman by the name of Green calls for me
in a few days, give him that valise; if not, here is an
address to which you may send it. I am off. I suppose
I hardly need tell you that your room is haunted. I lay
with my back to the window; and in the bright space
on the wall opposite, I kept seeing shadow-pictures like
those they throw on a sheet from a magic-lantern; only
I had the same picture all night long, and that not a
very agreeable one, —a man hanging from a gallows-
tree. I concluded at last it might be a warning, and I
mean to profit by it.” The next day a man who gave

82



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



his name as Detective Green did arrive, looking, as he
said, for a burglar who had recently made away with a
quantity of silver. He opened the black valise that
had been ‘left for him, and found every missing article.

How very unlike the different ghosts had been!
— the white lady, the demon in the shape of a dragon,
and the shadow of the gallows. And, not long after,
an apparition was seen that was stranger still. -The
landlord hired a new hostler, a cruel boy, coarse and
rough, with apparently no sensibilities to be troubled
by spirits, and lodged him in the fated chamber.
He woke the house with terrific yells, screaming that
the ghost of a great yellow cat he had burned to
death was coming to carry him off. The landlord felt
that there was but a step from the sublime to the
ridiculous, and that the boy had taken it. Cats could
not have ghosts: that was too absurd. The thing
rust be explained. These stories and all the others
that had been told, of clanking chains, creaking hinges
to invisible doors, mysterious knockings, and other
strange noises, must either be lies, or else there was
some natural cause.

The next guests that came to his house were a

83



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





2

minister and his little daughter. The landlord told
them the history of the room. “It is the best I have
in the house,” he said; “but I am afraid to give it to
this young lady, lest she should see something that
would frighten her. It is a pity, too; for just across the
hall is another large room which would do very nicely
for you, sir.”

“Let me sleep there, papa,” pleaded the little girl.
“If there are ghosts, I do not think that any of them
will harm me. All these people seem to have been
frightened by something wrong they had done. I
wonder what I shall see.”

The night passed without alarm of any kind. When
the landlord served their breakfast, he could not restrain
his curiosity, and asked the little girl what she had seen.
“ Nothing strange,” said she. “I woke up once, and
saw the moon shining on a white figure gently swaying
back and forward before the window. I thought at first
it was an angel; but when I got out of bed, and went to
the window, I saw it was only the sign of the inn, — the
white wooden lion that hangs in front of the house.”

On examination, it seemed most probable that this
was all that the others had seen. The noises were occa-

84



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



He



sioned by the creaking of its rusty hinges; and guilty
imaginations had created from this simple object all the
varied visions that had been seen in the room. The
story became known: other people were found brave
and innocent enough to sleep there. No more ghosts
were seen; and the White Lion is now as prosperous
an inn as you can find in any village in England. The
Sunday after the little girl and her father stopped there,
he preached a sermon from the text, “Conscience is
a terror to the wicked, but a comfort to good men.”



85













HAT an_ old-fashioned,
clumsy, rusty pair of
scales they were! And

—————$——.
No meo,|

how many queer things



were weighed upon them
in that dingy little country store!

If they could have talked, they
might have told you the likings



of every family in the village ; for
= they were in the habit of giving
people just what they called for.



And the weights were so familiar
with the duty expected of them, that each prepared
to skip into the scales when his particular customer
entered the door, —from the brass thimble that clicked
impatiently to weigh out Miss Tibb’s cent’s worth of
snuff, to the great hollow projectile that Cousin Jack
sent home from the war, and was used for the heavier
commodities, such as flour, sugar, shot, and nails. The
set of weights had been complete once; but they had
87



IN THE SKY-GARDEN,



eae ae

gradually been lost in the course of years, Dr. Stockstill
having carried off the largest one to fasten to his horse’s
hitching-strap, and Aunt Snip taken the big flat one
to keep the pork under the brine. Tommy Billings had
stolen the cunningest one of all to make a sinker for his
fish-line ; and so by degrees the regular weights had
been replaced by rather queer equivalents. Hepsy
knew them all by heart; for she had helped her grand-
father keep store ever since she was a very little girl.
When she began going to school, and the teacher
assigned her the tables of apothecary’s and avoirdupois
weight for an arithmetic lesson, she glanced at the
title with a contemptuous “Guess I ought to know
that;” and, when the class recited, astonished her
teacher by the glib announcement that —

4 brass thimbles make . . ; 1 big pewter button.
5 of grandfather’s pewter buttons make 1 glass door-knob.

6 glass door-knobs make ; : the little flat-iron.
The little flat-iron, and 2 glass door-

knobs, and the brass extinguisher,

make . : ; : . : 1 pound.
The big white stone, and a stove-lid,

make . , : ; ; : ro pounds.
Cousin Jack’s bombshell is. : 20 pounds,

88



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



io oo

Hepsy kept the two brass plates that belonged to
the scales so well scoured that they shone like Ossian’s
shield. They were magic mirrors, which reflected the
codfish or beeswax, horse-powders or tobacco, laid within
them, and told by the alternating quantities of yarn and
dye-stuff, or quinine and liver-pills, that went down to
Aunt Tirzah’s, whether the family were afflicted with
the chills, or in good working condition ; told, too, some-
thing of the moral condition of the community, as the
quantity of opium for old Deacon Feeblemind lessened,
and the rate of tea, butter, eggs, spice, sugar, and soap
for the family, with maple-sugar and hoarhound for the
youngsters, increased. And they could have told how
lazy Lem’s weekly expenditure in spruce-gum and gin-
ger-pop ceased, and he invested instead in garden-seeds
after his father gave him that half-acre of meadow to
cultivate for his very own. They could have told
something of the love-affairs of half the academy girls:
_for Hepsy’s grandfather kept the post-office ; and those
great yellow business-envelopes that came regularly
every week, and oftener, were frequently so bulky as to
need extra postage, and were thrown into the scales
for the brass thimbles to tell how many more stamps

89



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



eo

were required. Not only did the scales tell of the
health, the morals, the wealth, and the love, of the com-
munity: they had their influence also in the intellectual
world; for Miss Squibbs’s MS. was duly weighed in them
before being sent to the editor of “ The Enlightener ;”
while the parson, who was caught at the store during a
thunder-storm, was observed to gaze attentively and
abstractedly at them during his entire stay; and his
next sabbath’s sermon, the best of the whole year, was
from the text, “Thou art weighed in the balance, and
found wanting.” Babies were often brought in triumph,
and laid upon the shining trays. Hepsy had herself
been weighed here, she could not exactly remember
when; but grandfather said she was the least of the lot,
and only weighed seven and a half pounds. When
Jack’s bombshell came home from the war, it was
hollow and empty; and as it happened to come on one
of the anniversaries of Hepsy’s birthday, and hap-
pened, on investigation, to contain just seven and
a half pounds of shot, grandfather filled and plugged
the aperture in order, as he said, “that in future
years she might know to a bullet just how little
she amounted to when she first came on the stage,
go



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o oe

and that it might take all pride and vain conceit out
ot her.”

It would have been hard to find a girl with less
pride than Hepsy. She was so gentle, so good-
humored, and so serviceable, that her grandfather
used often to say that she was worth her weight in
gold. But even this compliment did not spoil her.
“He would never have said so, you know,” she
thought, “if I had not weighed so little when I was a
baby.”

As the years went by, Hepsy went to the academy,
and only tended store out of school-hours. Before
she finished her course, her grandfather died, and a
stranger bought the shop and its contents, all but the
scales: these the old gentleman left in his will to Hepsy,
with his blessing. The two bequests were inseparable :
if she ever gave up the scales, the blessing would go too.
The scales lay in a box, with the weights, up in the
attic: for, since the stranger had taken possession of the
store, Hepsy had given up her clerkship, and devoted
her entire attention to her studies. Her grandfather
had been something of an apothecary. . She had liked
best to see him weigh out and compound drugs; and

91



IN THE SKY-GARDEN.,



-—-a- 2

she had often wept foolish little tears because she was
not a boy, and could not be a doctor.

It was examination week at the academy. Hepsy’s
class was to graduate. The programmes were out, and
she saw her name in print for the first time, — Hephzi-
bah Smith. No one had called her Hephzibah but
grandfather, and he always added the signification of the
name, “ My delight is in her,” and said that if ever a
child was rightly called, Hepsy was; so that the name
was a very sweet and precious one to her. The exami-
nation was looked forward to with more than ordinary
interest by the graduating class this year. For Mr.
DeClercq, the great man of the place, had been ap-
pointed to a foreign consulship, and was intending to
sail for Europe soon after, with his family. He had
been one of the school committee-men, and he knew
well each member of Hepsy’s class, and had announced,
as soon as he received his appointment, that he would
offer the position of governess for his children to the
young lady graduating at the head of the class. This
news had created intense rivalry among the girls; they
were nearly all poor and ambitious. To go to Europe,
to go to Europe! It seemed the most delectable thing

92



Full Text




By LIZZIE W.CHAMPNEY = |
‘ILLUSTRATED By “CHAMP” ;


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IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

BY

a7 hy Chain Ney.

ILLUSTRATED BY J. WELLS CHAMPNEY.

(“CHAMP.”)

BOSTON:
LOCKWOOD, BROOKS, AND COMPANY.
1877.
CopyRIGHT, 1876,

BY LOCKWOOD, BROOKS, & CO.







WELCH,
BIGELOW,
260

LNIVERSITY
FRESS.



[llustrations executed by the Photo-Electrotype Company.
BOSTON.


TO

PROFESSOR MARIA MITCHELL,

THIS LITTLE BOOK OF FABLES OF ASTRONOMY,

WRITTEN IN THE HOPE OF INTERESTING THE SMALL PEOPLE,
; AND LEADING THEM TO A STUDY OF ITS
MORE FASCINATING TRUTHS,

Is Gratefully and Dobingly Dedicated

BY HER PUPIL AND SATELLITE,

THE AUTHOR.




ia bee Or CONTENTS:

PEEP THE FIRST.
TRAINING THE POLE-STAR .

Part I.— TALES OF THE ZODIAC.

I. ARIES
II. Taurus .
III. GEMINI
IV. CANCER
V. LrEo.

VI. Virco AND LIBRA .

ECLIPSES

THE GOLDEN FLEECE
A. BULL AND AN UMBRELLA
ELIJAH’s RAVENS .
CATCHING A CRAB.
THE GHOST AT THE WHITE LION,

WorTH HER WEIGHT IN GOLD

PEEP THE SECOND.

Part II.— TALES OF THE ZODIAC,

VII. Scorpio .

VIII. SAGITTARIUS

IX. CApRICORNUS .

.

BosBy’s COMPOSITION

.

THE ARCHERY PARTY .

THE TURKISH RUG

13

29
43
55
65

73
86

103

131
136
148
XI.

XII.

XIII.

TABLE OF. CONTENTS.

AQUARIUS. - » Dappy WorRTHLESS .

Piscks . . _ . Dicx’s Fish Story .

PEEP THE LAST.

THE TAIL OF A COMET.
CLorH oF GOLD ‘ fe ;

e ° °

A RIDE ON THE ROCKET STAR. 6

e ° ° e



159
164

177
» 187


“Oh, stars wreathed vinewise round yon heavenly dells,
Or thrust from out the sky in curving sprays,

Or whorled, or looped with pendent flower-bells,
Or bramble-tangled in a brilliant maze,

Or lying like young lilies in a lake
About the great white Lily of the moon,

Or drifting white from where in heaven shake
Star-portraitures of apple-trees in June,

Or lapped as leaves of a great rose of stars,
Or shyly clambering up cloud-lattices,

Or trampled pale in the red path of. Mars,
Or trim-set quaint in gardeners’ fantasies ! ”

SIDNEY LANIER.




ieee a re aS

TRAINING THE POLE-STAR.





eee UY YYTYLY UY
DS ORIN









DIDN’T know that stars
needed trellises,” said Joy.

“They don’t general-
ly,” replied Puck; “but,
you see, this is the pole-
star, and I have to tie it
to the pole every night: if
I didn’t, it might droop down
or wabble about, and then what
would be the good of the nautical almanac ?”

“ How dreadful it would be, if you should forget!”

“But I never do, you see. I play when I play, and
work when I work. I cut up all manner of capers down
in your foolish world; but up here in the sky-garden I
attend to business. My work is done now, however ;
and, if you like, we will take a stroll.”

This was all a dream, of course, — a queer dream
that Joy Fairchild had, once upon a time. She had
13
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



— oo

rambled about all night in the beautiful sky -garden
overhead; but what she had seen had been so little in
comparison with its whole extent that it was really noth-
ing but a peep, after all.

It was not so very unlike one of our earthly gar-
dens. Angél-children were watering and tending the
star - flowers, which were not all white or colorless, as
seen from the earth, but quivered and flamed with
gorgeous hues like the flashing gem-fruits that grew
in the grotto, in the story of “ Aladdin and the Won-
derful Lamp.” She saw them hang above her in the
trees, —

“ And twinkle and burn and glow

Like brilliant rhombs of Iceland spar
When pierced by the sun’s bright bow.

And some were grouped in mystic curves,
And angles and spheres and zones

And prisms that on their axes burn,
As well as glittering cones.”

She walked, too, upon a mosaic of them, that in shape
and color resembled the patterns in her kaleidoscope at
home.
There were white ones too,—tiny silver spangles,

14
IN ‘THE SKY-GARDEN.
they seemed; but these were the snow-crystals, with
leaves and stems of cut or spun glass, that grow fastest
on the coldest winter nights. Joy did not mistake them
for stars, though they were similar in shape, and some
parts of the sky-garden were filled with them.

She was not surprised to see that the star-flowers were
not all white; for Joy’s father was an astronomer, and
had told her of the exquisite colors which some of them
display in the telescope: how the double stars, espe-
cially, loved to show brilliant complementary colors, tak-
ing just the hue that would contrast most charmingly
with that of the star that blossomed nearest, —a rose-
colored star beside an emerald one, a deep sapphire-blue
with a pale yellow primrose for a neighbor, white and
ruby, gold and purple, sea-green and orange,— each
enhancing the beauty of the others. She had never
been able to make out these colors for herself before;
but now that she found herself close to them, the tints
were very vivid and distinct.

The strangest thing of all to Joy was, that every thing
here should seem so perfectly familiar, being exactly
what she had expected. It was not a lonely garden, by
any means. She saw people moving about with whom

15
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe



she had long been acquainted in fairy-tales. Dear
North Wind swept by, with “ Little Diamond” cling-
ing in her hair. Joy wanted to creep up behind too;
but they passed like a flash, and did not notice her.
The wonderful trunk that kind-hearted Hans Andersen
left behind him sailed along more leisurely; and Joy
could see that it was filled with merry children: indeed,
it was so full that there was no room for her. There
were plenty of people from “ Mother Goose;” but Joy
had outgrown their society, and could not remember
having ever cared very much for them, they were such a
crazy, nonsensical lot.

A mischievous-looking little boy was training a tall
and slender star-stalk to a staff. Joy watched him at
his work. He did not seem too busy to notice her, for
he nodded good-naturedly as she approached, and an-
swered all her questions as politely as though he were
placed there on purpose to grant information to little
pilgrims from the earth. His name, he told her, was
Puck; and Joy gratefully accepted the invitation to walk
with him in this wonderful garden.

“That is Rainbow Bridge, that the spirit is eeiaiine
on,” said Puck; “and just beneath is Cloudland. Some

16
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
day perhaps we will go there together. It is an inter-
esting country, full of ghosts and goblins, but not nearly
so beautiful as our garden. Do you like bugs?”
The question was so abrupt that it startled Joy, and
she replied dubiously, “Some kinds.”



“Well, come this way with me: I want to show you
some curious insects that feed on our flowers.”
What queer things they were, buzzing about like
17
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

te



beetles or dragon-flies from flower to flower! When
Joy examined them attentively, she saw strange tubular
antennz protruding from their heads, which they were
continually whisking about in the most eccentric way,
pointing them at the star-flowers, shortening and extend-
ing them, but never quite touching the blossoms. This
made her think that these queer appendages were not, as
she had at first fancied, trunks and tubes through which
they sucked honey, but eyes of similar organism to those
possessed by certain beetles that she had heard Uncle
Briar talk about, — insects that could contract or lengthen
them like the tubes of an opera-glass, swelling or flatten-
ing the lenses so as to make magnifying-glasses of differ-
ent powers ; just as there are others that concentrate upon
the same point a great number of microscopic eyes.
When Joy mentioned this to Puck, he smiled good-
naturedly. “You are not so stupid as you look,” he
remarked, by way of encouragement. “These funny
bugs, as you call them, are scientific men, whose eyes
have become so accustomed to their work that they
shoot out telescopes and microscopes of their own, and
come up here in their dreams to carry on their observa-
tions. That very solemn beetle, watching the comet, is
18
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo +

your father. Some of the most remarkable astronomi-
cal discoveries have been made in this way. You see
they get a great deal nearer to the stars here; and, by
looking intently, what they see becomes photographed
upon. their eyes, so that when they next look into a
telescope during their waking hours they see it again;
and as they have forgotten all about their dream, they
fancy they see it for the first time. There is only one
trouble about it. Sometimes, when they have been
observing snow-flakes with their microscopic eyes in
their sleep, they will, when awake, next look at some
heavenly body, and then they are liable to make some
astonishing assertion like this: that ‘It is all a vulgar
_mistake to suppose that Saturn is now surrounded by
concentric rings, for when last attentively observed by
me they had disappeared, and the planet had assumed
the shape of a hexagonal crystal, with connecting alabas-
ter spars, much resembling one of my wife’s patterns
for crocheting a tidy.’ Or perhaps it will be a micro-
scopist, who has been using his telescopic eyes at night;
and he writes, in the report which he is to read before
- the State Medical Convention, that he believes he is ‘the
first to make the very important discovery that the spo-
19
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eo



radic germs of certain contagious diseases are lighted
by seven suns, of which the principal one is indigo
blue, the secondary orange, three minor ones white,
and two exceedingly minute ones like little ruby eyes.’
And this, you know, sounds like nonsense to some
people.”

Joy was a little tired of Puck’s talk about the scientific
beetles. It seemed to her that he was making fun of
her; and she was on the point of resenting his assertion,
that one of those strange insects could be her father,
when her attention was attracted by some beautiful cob-
webs suspended from some of the star-trees. They were
gemmed with dewdrops, and resembled the very finest
lace-work; they were so beautiful that Joy could not
help wishing that the old woman in “ Mother Goose,”
whose business it was “to sweep the cobwebs out of the
sky,” would not find them.

Puck saw her admiring them. “Your father would
call those gauzy things ‘nebule,” he said. “How
would you like one of them for a lace shawl?”

Then Joy remembered all that her father had ever
said about the nebulze,—how the resolution of these
fancifully shaped hazy clouds into clusters of stars was

20
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





—-e Go

one of the most interesting problems of the day. He
had showed her a space in the heavens filled with this
irresolvable star-dust and stars mixed. The nebula
formed an irregular lace whose pattern was marked out
by the stars; and she had spoken then of the beautiful
bridal veil it would make. Then her father had showed
her pictures of the fantastic forms of many of Lord
Ross’s and of Herschel’s nebulz; the dumb-bell, the crab,
the horse-shoe, the grotesque face in Ursa Major, and
the nebula in Berenice’s hair which only needed the
addition of a comb or a few hair-pins to bear a marked
resemblance to a switch. Joy wondered what could
have been the unlucky accident that hung it in the sky-
garden, so far from the head of the hapless Berenice. |
Perhaps she was playing croquet the night of the great
meteoric shower, and lost it in her excited chase after
the fiery balls. She had heard, too, of the beautiful
nebula in the Southern Cross, composed of one hundred
and ten stars, of which eight of the more conspicuous
ones being colored various shades of red, green, and
blue, the whole had the appearance of a rich piece of
jewelry, more dazzling than the crosses that emperors
sometimes wear as decorations in their buttonholes. It

2I
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

—o 3



was all so wonderfully beautiful, whether they seemed
to float in the sky —

“ Like pale rose chaplets or like sapphire mist, —
Or hang or droop along the heavenly ways
Like scarves of amethyst!”

“Come,” said Puck, as Joy seemed inclined to waste
too much time over the cobwebs. “At this rate of
getting along, we shall never see the animals.”

“What do you mean?” asked Joy. “Is the sky-
garden like the Zodlogical in London? do you keep
wild beasts here?”

“Look and see,” replied Puck; and Joy uttered a
scream of fright as she saw coiling toward her an im-
mense sea-serpent, while bears, lions, leopards, lynxes,
bulls, dragons, and other monsters followed in its
wake.

“Don’t be afraid,” said Puck: “they are only the con-
stellations. And here we are at the zodiac; this is the
.most interesting part of the garden, because each of
these great flower-beds has a fascinating mythological
story connected with it, which I will tell you, if you
choose, as we walk through. They were the fairy-stories

22
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo

of the Greeks. I have no doubt Alcibiades had them
told to him when he was a little boy. Some of the



legends are a great deal older still. I should not wonder
if Pharaoh’s daughter, when she wished to steal away
the heart of her little adopted son, told them —

‘’Mongst the bulrushes to little Moses
Way down on the banks of the Nile;’

for the Egyptians gave the names to the constellations
of the zodiac, twenty-five hundred years before the birth
of Christ.”

Joy knew the names: her father had taught them to
her by means of a very old rhyme, which she now
repeated : — .

“The ram, the bull, the heavenly twins,
And next the crab the lion shines,
The virgin and the scales,
The scorpion, archer, and the goat,
The man who holds the watering-pot,
The fish with glittering tails.”

As she approached nearer, she was surprised and pleased
to find that they were not live animals, after all, but
23
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





2

only flower-beds laid out in these varied shapes; and
the star-flowers that grew in them were quite similar to
those in the other parts of the sky-garden. Joy asked
their names, and was told that they were sunflowers.
She was a little surprised at this; for they did not in the
least resemble the sunflowers on her grandfather's farm
in Vermont. She was very anxious to have Puck begin
his fairy-tales; and, after some urging, he did commence
one on the constellation of the ram, which promised to
be very interesting; when she felt her mother shaking
her vigorously by the shoulder, and heard her say that
every one had finished breakfast, that Bobby Copernicus
had eaten up all the waffles, and if she did not hurry she
would be late to school. Joy burst into tears: she could
have borne the loss of the waffles, but she had lost the
stories too. Night after night, she hoped and longed
that Puck would come again; but he did not. And
when she sat in the evening with her father and Uncle
Briar, on the observatory roof, the stars looked far away
and mysterious: all their brilliant coloring seemed to
have faded out. The constellations were not distinct, as
they were in the sky-garden, but had some way jumbled
themselves together; so that it was hard to tell where
24
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.







one began and another left off. Uncle Briar had studied
in Germany and in Paris, and now her father was trying
to make an astronomer of him. | Joy liked him very
much, he was so gay and kind; and she wondered if he
knew the stories of the zodiac. She felt sure that, if he
did, he would tell them to her. And so one night when
he was sitting up in the observatory waiting for an
eclipse which would not be on for an hour or two, and
Cousin Myrtle had gone up to keep him from being
lonely, Joy woke Bobby Copernicus; and the two crept
up the narrow stair in their nightgowns, and ran to
where their pet uncle and cousin were sitting.

“You bad children! what did you come here for?”
said Cousin Myrtle, taking them both in her lap, and
wrapping them warmly in her soft gray shawl.

Then Joy told her dream, and how much she wanted
to hear the stories of the zodiac. When she spoke of its
all seeming so much plainer and more natural in the sky-
garden than here upon the earth, Cousin Myrtle repeated
softly, —

“ And the wonder of wonders is to me,

That the stars should nightly seem

Only a mystery in fact, — .
A reality in dream!”

25
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo

“JT should love dearly to please you, children,” said
Uncle Briar; “and if you can get mamma’s permission
to listen to them, I think Cousin Myrtle and I can tell
you some tales of the zodiac which will perhaps interest
you as much as those that your little friend Puck would
have told. We will have one every evening. The first
shall be for Joy; and Joy, I know, would like a romance
best, — something about brave knight and lady fair and
the Crusades; would she not?”

“ But can I have my choice?” asked Joy.

“ These stories shall be made to order,” replied Uncle
Briar. “And, since Joy does not object, we will begin
the first one.”



26


Part I.

CARES OF TEE ZOp ie



SA// Lt
EMC,
LEE LS f

i












HE cluster of stars called
the Constellation of the
Ram was so named by
a the Greeks,
ee ere old
fable of the
Golden Fleece.
The ancients
believed that
far away in the
{land of Col-
chis the fleece
of this ram was
hung upon a
tree guarded by a dragon. Jason went in search of it
in a ship called the “Argo;” and, being helped by the
daughter of the king of the island, the beautiful Medea,
29
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe



i

he killed the dragon and carried away not only the golden
fleece, but Medea too.

In the fourteenth century, when so many chivalric
organizations were formed, one of the orders of knight-
hood was that of the Toison d’Or, or Golden Fleece.
There stands now in France, not very far from Paris, an
old chateau built by a knight of this order, after he
returned from fighting the infidels in the Holy Land.
His portrait hangs in the great hall, and over it a
coat-of-mail which they say was worn by the old crusa-
der. The chateau is called the Falcon’s Nest. There.
are magnificent avenues running through the hunting-
grounds, a beautiful gate of forged iron, and a deep moat.
In the family chapel the light falls through glorious old
stained windows, the vivid violet and scarlet flaming on
the damp stone pavement until they almost warm it. The
saints in these gorgeous robes have, for the most part,
faces cracked and patched and time-discolored, and are
not very beautiful; but if you half close your eyes, so as
not to see the forms, but only the color, the effect is very
brilliant. The whole furnishing of the chateau resem-
bled the chapel in that it was very magnificent and old
and uncomfortable. It was filled with staircases, short

30
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



+e

and narrow: there was no handsome flight that ran from
hall to roof, but every room seemed built at a different
elevation from the ground, and you could not pass from
one to the other without stumbling up or down a few
steps. There were no carpets; the dark hardwood floors
were waxed till they reflected all the long slender legs of
the furniture, and until it was a difficult matter to walk
upon them. The hall that contained the portrait of
Toison d’Or, as the servants called the old knight, was
seventy feet square, and was meagrely furnished with
chairs and tables and mirrors placed against the wall,
while the centre of the room was left vacant, as though
cleared for a dance or for a funeral. The only homelike
"spot in it was the oriel window, where Madame sat with
a crimson Turkey rug under her feet, a table filled with
bright house-plants at one side, and a basket of many-
colored worsteds at the other, from which she continually
embroidered fire-screens and chair-covers of nondescript
and hideous pattern, sometimes of no pattern at all,
—mere dashes and splashes of pleasantly contrasting
hues. She called them church windows; and their effect
was similar to that which I have described in the old
chapel. A bright, pleasant little woman was Madame,
31
°

IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe

with her very black eyes under her very white hair. She
would have been a very happy woman, if it had not been
for Gaston. Gaston was her only child, and the pride
and torment of her life. In the first place, since he had’
come of age he insisted on living in Paris, and only
came to the chateau in the hunting season, with some of
his wild companions. Madame did not care to live in
Paris; besides, Gaston did not need her there, and the
old place did. Her thrifty oversight took the place of
a man of affairs. There was a large farm connected
with the chateau, and from it and the forest came the
’ revenues of the family. They would have been ample
too, but living in Paris was so expensive, and all the
money went to Gaston: nothing was left for improve-
ments, new tools and buildings and animals; and so the
magnificent place was gradually going to decay, and it
no longer brought in as much money as in former years.
There was a great mortgage on it, too, which there was
‘no hope of ever paying; and Madame prayed that the
settlement might only not come in her day: Gaston
would not very much care if the old place did go out of
the name. But Gaston aa care more than his mother
knew. ,He was kind and noble at heart; but his good
32
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

He ae



qualities were crusted over by idleness and bad compan-
ionship. Down at the Grange the farmer and his family
believed in Gaston. They took good care of his hounds
that he loved so dearly; and Fifine, the farmer’s daugh-
ter, said again and again, that all would be right if only
M. Gaston could be persuaded to give up Paris, and
live at the chateau.

One morning Baptiste, the house-servant, came down
in a great hurry. Fifine was needed at the chateau; for
there was to be company, among the rest some ladies,
and Fifine must act as maid while they remained.

The company was all in honor of the youngest guest,
—a golden-haired American girl, Miss Beatrice Rich,
familiarly called Betty, whose acquaintance Gaston had
made in Paris. Papa and Mamma Rich had been much
pleased with the young man; and when an invitation
came from Madame (at Gaston’s request), to visit at the
chateau during the hunting-season, they complied with
a pleasure not unmixed with some curiosity, and half-
formed ambitious plans for Beatrice. Fifine was de-
lighted with the young lady who rode so well, and whose
beautiful blonde hair floated in that semi-savage Ameri-
can way, below her slender waist. M. Gaston had chosen

33
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,





othe

a wife worthy of himself; and Fifine yielded her the
homage of a true feudal vassal. One day the two girls
stood alone before the portrait of Toison d’Or. “How
much he resembles your master!” said Betty. “Do tell
me who he was.”

“He was one of M. Gaston’s ancestors,” replied Fifine,
“a knight of the Golden Fleece. He killed four hundred
Turks for the honor of the dear Christ and the Toison
d’Or. M. Gaston is like him in character too; for I
think he would do any thing for the Golden Fleece.”

Miss Betty’s brow clouded. “Do you mean,” she
asked, “that he would do any thing for money?” —

“Ah, no, mademoiselle,” said the girl impulsively.
“T meant that mademoiselle’s beautiful hair was like a
golden fleece, and that M. Gaston would perform prodi-
gies of valor for it,and— I wish I might say it; but
no: that would be too bold.”

“What was it you wished to say? You have begun
with such a pretty compliment that I could forgive
almost any thing now.”

“T only meant that M. Gaston would do any thing
mademoiselle wished; and if she would persuade him
to give up his absinthe and his wild companions, and

34
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



22

live all the year at the chateau, mademoiselle would
make madame his mother and all of us very happy.”

Betty Rich did not reply. She had often seen the
young Frenchman seated at one of the little open-air
tables in front of a fashionable restaurant in Paris,
toying with a tall glass of whity-green absinthe,—a
liquor very much in vogue in Paris, but worse in its
effects than the vilest whiskey. They had tastes in com-
mon, which it would be very easy to cultivate together
in this romantic spot. What if she could persuade him
to give up idling on the boulevards, and devote his life
to nobler purposes ?

She had a long, serious talk with him that evening,
as they rambled in the park. He was willing to leave
Paris, he said, willing to live anywhere in the wide
world, if only Betty would be his wife, and live there
with him; but he could not see any harm in wine, and
Betty seemed to him very unreasonable and fanatical to
wish him to give it up. “ Well, if I cannot make you
see it as I do, Gaston,” she had said at last, with tears
‘in her eyes, “will you not give it up simply for love of
me, granted that it is all right enough? Can you not
deny yourself just a little because I wish it?”

35
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.,



ee Be

Gaston was on the point of yielding; but he took her
hand, and asked, “And you will not marry me if I
refuse ?”

Betty’s lip quivered; but she answered firmly, “ No,
Gaston.”

This was certainly a very different young lady from
any he had ever met before. And Gaston’s crooked
European brain placed the situation before him in this
way: here was a girl who preferred her own will to his
pleasure, and was even willing to sacrifice her love
for him, simply for the sake of having her own way.

“Then you cannot love me very much, Betty,” he
replied; and they entered the chateau with a great
cloud of uncertainty and misunderstanding between
them. The next day Gaston passed hunting with Mr.
Rich; and in the evening there was a grand dinner, a
number of his friends having driven out from Paris, and
several of the neighboring families having been invited
to share in the hospitalities of the mansion. The table
was spread in the great hall; and Beatrice sat opposite
Gaston and the portrait of Toison d’Or, which loomed
above him, dim and mysterious, into the gloom of the
upper part of the high vaulted room; for the candles

36
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

oe



were all clustered in many-branched candelabra upon
the table. The resources of the cellars of Falcon’s
Nest seemed inexhaustible; for, between the many
courses, bottle after bottle of costly wines, with illustri-
ous names, and corks bearing dates farther back than
the Riches could trace their pedigree, were opened, and
filled the variously shaped glasses that were grouped
about the plate of each guest. Every gem with which
Betty was familiar, except the blue-tinted ones, was rep-
resented: there was deep amber, rosy ruby, pale straw-
colored topaz; liquors flashing and colorless as diamond,
and deeply purple as amethyst. Baptiste filled her
glasses once; and, though he was sent to her frequently
with some rare old bottle reposing carefully in its
wicker reclining-chair, he always found the glasses as
he had left them,—full. Gaston noticed this circum-
stance from across the table. “You do not like our
European wines, Mlle. Beatrice?” he asked. “Ah,
well, you shall have something to remind you of
home, —a drink which some Americans introduced to
our club last winter, and which I am ashamed not
to have already offered you. It is pouch au rhum,a
very aristocratic beverage, so they tell me, in your
37
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eo os



country. — Baptiste, bring me a decanter of the best
old rum.”

Beatrice hardly knew whether to be amused at the
droll change of name which rum-punch had undergone
in its passage across the ocean, or to be indignant at
the assertion that it was a fashionable drink in America,
when she was struck by something peculiar in Baptiste’s
behavior. The valet shrugged his shoulders, and de-
clared that it was impossible.

“ How impossible?” asked Gaston. “Do you mean
to tell me that that barrel of rum is gone already?”

“No, m’szeu,” replied Baptiste meekly ; “ but the cellars
have been wet ever since the inundations, and we keep
the wine now in the family tomb in the park. Since
all of m’szew’s ancestors are removed to the cemetery,
it seemed too bad not to make the stone vault of use;
but though there are no longer any dead people there,
m stew knows that to-morrow is the Your des Morts, and
that to-morrow is already here, for it is now past mid-
night. The dead are out; and, very like, some of them,
being so used to the old tomb, may mistake their way
home. I brought up all the wines that I thought could
be used this afternoon; for I would not go to the

38
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



<--0- --o—

vault—no, not if m’szew would give me all that it
contains.”

Gaston laughed, and the company followed his exam-
ple; but Beatrice thought she discovered beneath the
noisy merriment an under-current of nervousness. our
des Morts was All Saints’ Day: the evening before cor-
responded with our Halloween; and the French are
very superstitious in their observance of it.

“Tt is a fine joke,” said Gaston, after the laughter had
subsided; “for the wine which we are drinking now is
an old acquaintance of my grandfather, the last who was
laid to rest in the old tomb. He kissed the girls at its
vintage, I have not a doubt. And the first for whom the
sepulchre was reared, the chevalier whose portrait hangs
above my head, regarded every flagon as a holy grail.
They were all deep drinkers, all generous hosts: they
ought to make a company of choice spirits. Gentlemen,
I rise to propose their healths. — And now, Baptiste, give
me the keys, and I will go for the liquor myself. As a
family, we have doubtless many darker sins; but there is
not a taint of cowardice in the whole line.”

Beatrice smiled at this rather grandiloquent address,
and rose from the table at the same time with Gaston,

39
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe

endeavoring to dissuade him from his freak. But the
young man’s pride was aroused, and he set out with a
great appearance of courage. A half-hour, an hour
passed; and still he did not return. After another inter-
val, some of the bravest of the company, headed by Mr.
Rich, went in search of him. They found him stretched
in a fit upon the floor of the vault; and the next morn-
ing the young man related a wild ghost-story of how the
bottles greeted him as he entered, saying that they con-
tained the spirits of his forefathers; and, when he pooh-
poohed at such nonsense, explained it philosophically,
saying that lovers in this world become so completely
identified as to exchange not their hearts alone, but their
souls; that the process of assimilation was carried on by
mind, as well as body; souls grew good by absorption,
and the mind took its tint from the body’s food. “And
so,” added the ghosts, “we gained our daily inspiration
and mental force from the bottle; and now, instead of
spirits of rectitude, we are all turned into rectified spirits
of wine.”

Mr. Rich shook his head gravely when he heard the
account. He was not a man of strict habits himself;
but a son-in-law with a tendency toward delirium tremens

40
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



was not to be desired. He gave the young man a long
and earnest talk, which, in the light of the event of the
past night, had more effect upon Gaston’s mind than
Betty’s arguments. He was the first to broach the sub-
ject when next they met, professing himself ready to
make any promise that she wished. They were stand-
ing before the portrait of old: Toison d’Or; a sheet of
paper lay on a writing-table just beneath; and, seating
herself beside it, Betty drew up a new oath of knight-
errantry such as the “new crusade” in our own country
battled for; and, when she left the room, it was with a
temperance-pledge bearing Gaston’s name in her pocket,
and a betrothal ring upon her finger.

Betty’s fortune repaired the old chateau, and put the
farm into fine working order; but it was Gaston’s talent,
energy, and faithfulness to his pledge, that carried it
forward so successfully, and inspired so much confidence
in him in the minds of his neighbors, that, the next time
he visited Paris, it was as member of the Corps Légis-
latif.

The old green dragon of absinthe was slain, and the
Golden Fleece was won.

41
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

a





“TI don’t call ¢ha¢ much of a story,” said Bobby Coper-
nicus contemptuously, as Uncle Briar ended his recital.
“Tt may do well enough for girls; but it isn’t a bit the
style that boys like. Love-stories just make me sick.
I want something about fighting Injuns or bears or
something, or a regular staving good story about pirates
and snakes and things. I should think you might tell
a story on purpose for me this time. Come, now: won’t
you?”

“A fighting spirit is a very good one,” said Uncle
Briar, “ provided you fight for something worth fighting
for. We have need of warriors and heroes nowadays;
and as our next constellation is that of the bull, and
seems to suggest something belligerent, I will try to
tell Bobby a story to-morrow night, of something that
happened in Spain. It is the story of a boy with tastes
somewhat like Bobby’s.


v la

all (RANT

“HR

~ a

Se a




T was not at all like your father’s umbrella, with
the carved ivory handle, respectable black silk
cover, and neat oilskin case; nor a dainty little
en tout cas like the one at Maud’s silver chate-
laine; nor a huge white canvas sketching-umbrella
such as Cousin Fred, the artist, takes with him to
the Adirondacks. Neither was it exactly like
Grandfather Prendergast’s blue gingham, nor the
bamboo affair with which Wah Lee the Chinese
laundryman protects his pigtail upon state occa-



sions. Father Zenobe’s was claret-color, bordered with
five white lines. It was considered a very sober and
steady-going affair; for in Spain the priests, who love
bright colors as much as other Spaniards, make up for
their black robes by the gayest possible umbrellas.
Father Zenobe’s was only a rich, dark dahlia, compared
to the gorgeous tropical flowers which blossomed over
the heads of some of his brother-priests. Father Igna-
tius could be seen of an afternoon, strolling along the
43
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

Be = ao



seashore, laughing and chatting with all he met, under a
bright yellow one with pale blue lining. Father Pedro’s
was rose-color lined with yellow; and when standing on
the town-wall, with the setting sun behind him, he
looked like a picture of one of the old saints with
a glory about his head. Father Sebastian generally
appeared with an assortment of walking-sticks and
umbrellas under his arm, so that he presented a striking
resemblance to his patron saint in the church paintings,
—all bristling with arrows. They were all priests,
curés at the church of Fontarabia, just over the bor-
der-line from France, the most northern seaport town
of Spain,— picturesque old Fontarabia, as seen from
French territory, with its crumbling walls from twenty
to thirty feet in thickness, its ruined castle, and church
with beautiful semi-Moorish cupola. It stands upon a
promontory, the sandy shoals of the Bidassoa in front,
and the sea shimmering away to the west, seemingly an
enchanted isle. Nor is a walk in the streets of the old
town less bewitching. They are very narrow, and the
houses very high, a balcony running along the front of
each story. Sometimes these balconies have balustrades
of forged iron in beautiful lace-like tracery; sometimes
44
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo oo

they are of carved wood: whatever the material, they
are always brilliant with color,— pots and boxes of gay
flowers, bird-cages, rugs, and strips of bright carpeting
hung over the railing, dark-eyed ladies in still more
dazzling costumes; and, as if this were not bright
enough, the very walls of the houses painted in stripes,
drab and pink, white and green, and deep red. The
most interesting spot in this most interesting town is
the old church. It is one of the few fortified churches
to be found in Europe. As you enter the door, you are
startled: you almost think you have lost your way; for,
instead of shrine or confessional, you find yourself con-
fronted by the grim loop-holes of a stone barricade.
In this church, with its walls covered with rich maroon
and gilding tarnished to the right degree of artistic
dinginess, Father Zenobe said the masses for the dead,
and heard the boys say their catechism. He loved the
boys, though he had small cause to do so; for a dirtier
or more idle set, except where mischief was concerned,
could not be found in all Spain, playing their pranks
even in the old church, and on Father Zenobe himself.
Nor was the other part of his vocation a cheerful one;
and yet the happy old priest preferred his duties to those
45
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe —e-5-0—



of any of his brothers. He would never have exchanged
them with Father Sebastian, who did the christening ;
for his bright street boys were so much more interesting
than the blinking, spasmy babies, who shuddered’ and
shrieked in such heretic fashion when the Church re-
ceived them into its bosom; or with Father Pedro, who
performed the marriage ceremony. It was always a
severe trial for Father Zenobe, when, as it sometimes
happened, away on the church’s business, he was called
upon to do this: the sweet, flushed faces of the brides
recalled to memory an early hope laid on the altar of
Mother Church. Not for worlds would he have heard
the confessions, like Father Ignatius (the recitals of
sin and frailty were too heart-rending); or administered
the last communion and visited the sick, like Father
Francisco. It was all very well, rather cheerful than
otherwise, he would have told you, to do what he could
to rest people’s souls after they were dead; but he had
a sympathetic heart, and the sight of human suffering
and death wrung it sorely. A genial, easy-going man
at this time was Father Zenobe. He used to say of
himself, that he resembled Spain’s greatest painter in
two things: he loved the Madonna and ragged street-
46
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eC rr

boys. Wilder and more ragged than any gamzn that
Murillo, ever painted, was Fadrique Zuloaga. He was
Father Zenobe’s favorite, for he was brighter and gayer
than the others, though he was always foremost in
scrapes, and determined to learn as little as possible of
the catechism, for the simple reason that his parents had
destined him to the Church; and Fadrique had deter-
mined in his rebellious little heart that he would be as
wicked as ever he could, so as not to be fit for a priest.
Father Zenobe taught the boys to sing, as well as to
repeat the catechism; and on state occasions, robed in
pretty lace overskirts and scarlet dresses, they would
roar out the church canticles while they held the candles
and banners, censers and crucifixes. Fadrique was
always grimacing and joking on such occasions; but
he sang with the rest because he had an ear for music,
and some way the song would roll out in spite of him.
Sometimes he liked the words too, they were so odd
and quaint. I will give you an almost literal transla-
tion of some of the verses of a Christmas carol which
was one of Fadrique’s favorites, because it was always
acted in pantomime, and Fadrique loved acting even
better than singing : —
47
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



“ He was born in a hovel

Of spider-webs full :

Beside Him there grovel
An ox and a mule ;

And King Melchior bade,
To honor the day,

And that none might be sad,
The musicians should play.

“T’m a poor little gypsy

From over the sea:

I bring him a chicken
That cries ‘ guzr-2-gud ;’

For each of us, sure,
Should offer his part :

Be you ever so poor,
You can give him your heart.

“Good night, Father Joseph !

Madonna so mild,

We leave with regret
Your adorable child,

With the crown on his locks,
The symbol of rule:

Sleep in peace, Sefior Ox!
God bless you, Sir Mule!”

48
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

ae

Fadrique loved the good priest; and so, despite his
hatred of the Church, he remained with him, studying
and singing, until he was nearly old enough to take
clerical orders. Then one day he suddenly disappeared;
and his father came to Father Zenobe with the intelli-
gence that Fadrique had run away with a company of
torreros, or bull-fighters.

The old man looked grave; for the news made him
sore at heart. “This is because we were trying to
force him into the Church,” said he. “If you want to
serve God with a child, you must let him become what
God has fitted him to be. Now, Fadrique is no more
fitted to be a bull-fighter than he is to be a priest: he
has always wanted to be a sailor. And you know,
we Basques have a proverb, ‘If a man does not know
how to pray, let him go to sea, and the storms will
teach him.’”

“ All that may be very true,” said Fadrique’s father ;
“and I had certainly rather that my son should be a
sailor than the most skilful pzcador that ever worried a
bull. But you should have told me this before: it seems
to me that it is too late now.”

“Perhaps not,” said Father Zenobe.

49
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



After this occurrence the good priest developed a
strange taste for bull-fighting. He sat long in the little
tobacco-shops, reading the newspapers; and he never
seemed to read any thing but notices of entertainments
of this kind. He bought all the bills and programmes
that were offered him, no matter at what place the
combat was to take place. He had long conversations
with people who made it their business to bet on the
event of such combats; and altogether one would have
thought that the reverend gentleman was developing
very unclerical tastes. It was about a year after this,
that a bull-fight was announced for the festival of St.
Ignatius at Loyola. As this is one of the principal
religious féte-days in Spain, Father Zenobe obtained
permission to attend, without difficulty. It was not
a very singular thing to see priests at bull-fights. At
Loyola was situated one of the most magnificent con-
vents in all Spain; and the entertainments held here
on the festival of St. Ignatius were always under the
especial patronage of the Church. Among the gayly
dressed banderilleros who exposed their lives that day
in the arena, was a slender boy, dressed in a tightly
fitting suit of delicate green satin, with flesh-colored

50
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe ao

stockings, gold ornaments, and a rose-colored sash.
Father Zenobe knew him by his curly head, and the
dash and bravado of his bearing. He was the youngest
combatant, and seemed to be a special favorite with
the audience and with the troupe; for the former
showered down cigars and bouquets at each daring
exploit, and the latter shielded him as much as possi-
ble, keeping him away from the more dangerous parts
of the field. Father Zenobe had taken one of the high-
priced seats usually reserved for the “fancy,” or pro-
fessional connoisseurs at bull-fights, in the front row.
The awning that covered the audience in the higher
tiers did not shade him, and he sat exposed to the rays
of the summer sun. At first he had cautiously raised
his beloved umbrella; but he had been obliged to close
it instantly, some of the audience objecting even to his
long, skiff-shaped, black hat, as too much obstructing the
view. The spectacle, with all its horror of blood and
brutality, had gone on for some time; and now the
moment had arrived for Fadrique’s feat. Seated in a
chair in the centre of the arena, he was to fix a little dart
in each side of the bull’s neck as it charged toward him.
The animal was a huge creature, black as a coal, with a
51
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



+B 0 ote

small fiery eye. A garnet ribbon, which indicated to
whose drove he belonged, was fastened to one horn,
and ran trickling down the middle of his forehead like
a rill of blood. He advanced slowly toward Fadrique, as
though curious to know why he was sitting. When he
had reached the proper distance, Fadrique raised both
arms, and threw the darts with all his force into the bull's
flesh ; then the creature, maddened by the pain, lunged
suddenly forward; and something was tossed again and
again from his horns into the air. It was only the chair;
for Fadrique had saved himself by an agile leap to one
side, and was now standing in a statuesque attitude with
folded arms, seemingly indifferent to the plaudits that
rang around the arena. But he was too careless: the
bull discovered in a moment that the chair was not his
real enemy, and tossed Fadrique just as, off his guard,
he was replying to the audience with a graceful bow.
He fell heavily, not far from the spot where Father
Zenobe was sitting. There happened to be no attend-
ants in this part of the field, and the bull was
approaching with lowered horns. Fadrique lay com-
pletely in his power, when a red meteor shot through
the air, and diverted the animal’s attention. It was
32
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



—— 0-2.

Father Zenobe’s great claret-colored umbrella, which he,
with remarkable presence of mind and exactitude of
aim, had thrown before the eyes of the angry bull.
When, after the sport, it was handed to him again, two
springs were broken, and its rich claret cover was
stained with an angrier hue: thank Heaven it was not
human blood! for in that brief interval some of the
assistants had had time to drag Fadrique out of the
bull’s reach. His life was saved; but a leg was broken,
and it would be necessary for him to give up his new
profession for a long time. Father Zenobe had him
carried carefully back to Fontarabia, and nursed him
with true paternal care through his long convalescence.
At length, when it was evident that he had almost
recovered, and would soon have the use of his limb as
before, he bade him good-by. “I shall not be able to
attend every bull-fight,” said he; “but I shall pray to Our
Lady to shield you from all danger.”

Fadrique’s eyes filled with tears: “I have had enough
of bull-fighting,” he said; “and if you wish it I will be
a priest.”

“T do not wish it,” replied the wise old man; “but I
have your father’s permission for you to go to sea: you

53
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

will have nobler opportunities for daring there than
in the bull-ring, and can, if you choose, serve God as
truly as in the cloister.”

And so Fadrique became a sailor on the stormiest
of waters, —a fisherman of the Bay of Biscay. On his
return from his first voyage he hung as a votive offer-
ing, before the picture of Christ walking upon the sea,
in the old church of Fontarabia, a model of his ship;
such as are common in Spanish churches, as mementos
of rescues from shipwreck, and which sway like pendu-
lums from long cords attached to the ceiling. Father
Zenobe was right: he did not know how to pray, but
the storms had taught him. They have taught him
more; for, in the most terrible gales that drive the surf
high upon this formidable coast, there is no one more
active in fitting out the life-boat for the rescue of those
in distress than Fadrique. He is as reckless as ever,
and counts his life as little worth, if only he may lay it
down in a cause that is really worthy.

54











HE raven, though an unclean
bird, brought food to Elijah.”
The words were those of the
celebrated missionary, Dr. Wil-
liam Goodell. Sallie had heard
Miss Dibbs read them long
ago; but they came back to her with
new force to-day. “If ebber dar war
a prophet ob de Lord,” she muttered to
herself, “Miss Dibbs is dat ar. An’ if

ebber dar war two ornery brack crows,



dem ar’s Praise an’ me.”

Praise was Sallie’s twin brother. Their mother —a
very pious old negress, who did Miss Dibbs’s washing
—had named her children Praise and Salvation; and,
dying a few years before the beginning of this story,
had left them both, twelve years of age, as a legacy to
Miss Dibbs. Sallie’s mother had experienced so many

55
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

kindnesses from Miss Dibbs’s hand, that she was not to
blame for thinking her the possessor of considerable
wealth; but she was, in reality, an industrious, economi-
cal little old lady, who found it hard work enough to
make her accounts square on each Saturday night. She
had a tiny room in the upper story of a second-class
boarding-house, on a shady street in New York City.
It was up so high that the sun could peep in and cheer
up the cosey little apartment, with the geraniums in the
window, the canary in its cage, and the old-fashioned
painted tea-set on the rack against the wall. There were
many bright spots of color in. the room, which rendered
it remarkably cheery, and gave it a right to the name
of Cherith, which Miss Dibbs had conferred upon it
one day when she was particularly lonesome, and could
compare herself to no one but Elijah in the desert.

And now the ravens had come too. Miss Dibbs
would not have known what to do with them if
she had not received that very day another legacy of
several thousand dollars from an early friend. There
was no excuse for her now. She was quite independent,
and could live comfortably on the income of her money:
no need to make pincushions and tidies for the fancy-

56
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



to i

stores any longer; and she accepted both legacies with
thankfulness. She determined to devote her leisure
time to instructing Sallie in sewing and in the line of
work which she had herself pursued, hoping thus to
make the child self-supporting. But what to do with
Praise? This was indeed a problem. She had visions
of giving him a theological education, and sending him
as a missionary to christianize Africa. But Praise soon
showed her that, in spite of his name, he was a most
irreligious youth. He occupied Miss Dibbs’s coal-closet
with great delight at night, and by day roamed the
streets with the utmost freedom. “I will consult the
child’s taste,” said Miss Dibbs to herself, “and try to
help him forward in any career in life which he may
have chosen for himself.” And Praise, when asked what
he would like to be when he grew up, replied, with
intense enthusiasm, “A brakeman!”

Miss Dibbs had just invested her money in railway
shares, and listened to the boy’s preference with more
leniency than she otherwise might. By dint of many
calls at offices, she obtained for him the position of night
sub-porter, on a train leaving New York at ten o'clock,
and arriving at Grimy Junction early in the morning.

57
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oH oo





He had charge of the boot-blacking department, and
was generally the slave of stalwart Mose, who wore the
silver label on his cap that proclaimed him the proper
person to receive fees from passengers for this same
boot-blacking and other services executed by Praise.
At Grimy Junction, Praise swallowed a cup of coffee,
and sprang on board a returning freight-train, reaching
New York about noon, and at once coiled himself up
to sleep in Miss Dibbs’s coal-closet.

Once Miss Dibbs took a trip on the owl-train. “I
shall feel perfectly safe,” were her good-night words to
Praise, as she carefully held the curtains together
beneath her nose, —“I shall feel perfectly safe, because
you have charge of the train.”

Praise perched himself on the wood-box, with his
arms hugging his knees, and waited for the conductor
to make his last round. It was a perfect night, and he
meant to spend it upon the rear platform; but he knew
that if the conductor found him there he would kick
him; and so he sagaciously bided his time. He loved
to sit there, with his eyes fixed upon the brilliant crim-
son lantern. To Praise, it was a glorious ruby pendent
from the ear of his lady-love; for he had learned to

58
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



—oso— —o—-o

love the owl-train, and its swift dashing through the
night.

Praise had dozed upon the platform for several hours,
when he woke suddenly to a consciousness of something
wrong. He was slow of thought, but it came to him at
last, —the lantern was gone! The train was running
along the river-bank, on piles that carried the track out
over the water. A fog had come up from the river,
hiding every object; and the danger-signal was not in
its place: it had probably been insecurely fastened, and
dropped off. His first impulse was to go and tell Mose,
when straight out of the blackness there blazed upon
him a sun,—the head-light of a rapidly approaching
locomotive. Praise danced and shrieked in terror, but
the engineer neither saw nor heard; and the next sensa-
tion that he experienced was that of flying rapidly
through the air, and landing suddenly in the soft mud,
covered with yellow water-lilies, on the landward side of
the track. He picked himself up entirely uninjured, and
waded back to the train. The last car lay upon its side
in the water. “Number six,” said he to himself, count-
ing the windows, and bursting in the blinds of one of
them by frequent applications of his head in the style of

59
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





o--*

a battering-ram. Through this opening he drew out
little Miss Dibbs fainting with pain, and sadly injured.
He staggered with her to shore, and sat holding her in
his arms until the relief-train was made up to convey the
wounded to the city. The physician who waited on the
gentle lady the next morning said that she would never
walk again, never stand or sit erect; for her spine was
incurably injured. She did not suffer very much, but
lay with a cheerful smile on her sweet face; and Sallie
waited and tended upon her most devotedly.

“Tt isn’t as bad as it might be,” said the uncomplain-
ing little lady. “I can afford to be sick. My income
comes every month, without any exertion on my part.
I am one of God’s broken-winged sparrows; and he
always takes care of them.”

It was now, too, that Miss Dibbs took real comfort
in her other legacy, the twins. To her many thanks
Sallie’s unfailing reply was, “Clar to goodness, Miss
Dibbs, I only wish I could do mo’.”

Her wish was gratified sooner than she thought. Late
one night, after extra work at the bank, Mr. St. Ledger,
the pleasant-faced old gentleman who usually brought
Miss Dibbs her crisp new bills in a great yellow envelope,

60
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe 2

appeared before the astonished child, and with a dis-
tressed look, and a nervous rubbing of his hands, in-
quired for her mistress.

“Her back powerful bad to-day, sah, and she done
gone to bed,” replied Sallie.

“Perhaps you can communicate the news as well,”
said the old gentleman, with a start of relief. “The
company in which Miss Dibbs’s funds were invested
has utterly failed. I have been able to save nothing,
absolutely nothing. You will please tell her how much
it pains me to be the bearer of such tidings.” And, with
a bow, the little old gentleman was gone.

Sallie entered her mistress’s room. How peacefully
she slept! As she watched her, the tears welled up into
her great eyes. She turned, and sat down upon the rug
before the grate, holding her head between her hands,
gripping savagely into her woolly hair as she rocked to
and fro. She was thinking out a plan of her own.
“She sha’n’t nebber know it. Praise and me’ll fix it.”
And so they did; for the next morning Sallie went the
rounds of the fancy-stores where Miss Dibbs had been
known, and obtained a quantity of dolls to dress for the
‘ approaching holidays, together with orders for needle-
61
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



a 2-9-0

books, pincushions, and tidies, enough to keep her at
work for a whole year. But Sallie did not intend to do
a stitch of this work. She knew plenty of needy girls
and women out of employment, who would be glad to do
it for her at a less price than the shopkeepers had
offered. Her next work was to visit the fashionable
dressmakers, and for a trifling price buy up pieces and
remnants of silk and other goods, which she distributed
among her workwomen. Her scheme progressed finely.
Miss Dibbs imagined that Sallie was attending school ;
and as she only went out in the afternoon, when Praise
could take her place, her mistress did not lack for atten-
tion. The boy helped with his earnings too; and at
the close of the month, when they counted them over in
the coal-closet, they found they had a few pennies more
than Miss Dibbs’s monthly income.

Praise took a little heap of currency, and had it
changed into larger and newer bills. Then he bought
an envelope like Mr. St. Ledger’s; and, when Sallie pre-
sénted it to her mistress, the good lady had no idea but
that it was her rightful due.

This went on throughout the winter; but, when the
stifling summer came, Miss Dibbs grew tired of her

62
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



one oto

upper room with its continual glare, and made the an-
nouncement to the horrified Sallie that she intended to
pass a month at Saratoga. “I find that I can board
there as cheaply as here,” she said. “I shall buy a great
reclining-chair: you can wheel me about, and perhaps
the water will do me good. I will write a note to
Mr. St. Ledger to send my remittances there.”

There was nothing to be said. Sallie explained her
work to Praise, and asked him to carry it on during her
absence. The boy did his best; but he was not as
successful as Sallie, and at the close of the month he
lacked several dollars of the required amount. He
walked bravely to the bank, and asked Mr. St. Ledger to
lend him the sum. Deeply touched by this simple story
of love and devotion, Mr. St. Ledger made out a check,
and, enclosing with it a short business note, addressed
the whole in his well-known hand to Miss Dibbs.
“ After this, come to me every month, my boy,” said he.
“Let me make it up whenever it falls short, and bring
it regularly as I used to.”

Mr. St. Ledger came, but not as he used to. His
visits were more frequent than business required; and
as he sat in pleasant room “Cherith,” watching the

63
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

sweet-faced woman reclining on the crimson couch, her
silvery curls peeping from under a dainty cap with fresh
lavender ribbons, his sympathy grew more and more
unbounded. And so it happened that the minister came
with him one evening, and Miss Dibbs was changed to
Mrs. St. Ledger. Little room “Cherith” spread itself
out into an entire flat, about which Sallie wheeled her
mistress with infinite delight. Mr. St. Ledger often
says in joke, that he married his wife for her money;
and she retorts pleasantly, that he shall never have a
penny of it, for she intends to leave it all to the twins.
She means it too, good lady; for to this day she believes
herself independent in fortune, and does not know how
for many months she was supported by “Elijah’s
Ravens.”





\ O you wish one of my war ex-



periences (said Uncle Briar to
the children the next evening).
As it happens, there was one
Bla which might have happened
E=j under the constellation of the
Crab. It was in the month of
June, 1861, that Gen. Butler sent a
party from Fortress Monroe to for-
tify a point called Newport News at the mouth of the
James River. I formed one of the expedition. We
had remained here for some time, when my command-
ing officer thought it necessary to communicate with
Gen. Butler, and despatched me with written documents
to Fortress Monroe. I started alone, and on foot. The
attempt was a hazardous one; and I came very near
falling into the hands of a troop of Confederate cavalry.)
But evening found me safe at the little town of Hamp-
ton,{ overlooked by the frowning walls of the fortress.
65
{
{

\
\

IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oH.



Its population had been so disloyal that out of a

‘thousand inhabitants there now remained but one hun-

dred who avowed themselves Unionists, and claimed
Gen. Butler's protection. }

I had intended to go directly on; but the night
promised to be a stormy one, and I concluded to pass it
at Hampton. The hotel was closed; and selecting a
large hospitable-appearing mansion, I asked if I could
obtain shelter for the night. A tall, brilliant-appearing
Southern girl heard my request, and saying, “I will see,”
gave me a seat in the hall, and vanished. I was not its
only occupant. A ragged little darkey sat upon the
lower step of the grand staircase, amusing himself by
training a crab. He held in his hand a ball of kite-
twine, the end of which was attached to one of the
creature’s claws. (As he unrolled this, the crab ambled
briskly down the hall, guided in its movements by
sundry twitches and tugs at the line, accompanied by
such exclamations as, “Gee! Whoa dar! Keep de road,
sinnah! Go for true, dar. Keep a steady trot. We
don’t want no ‘lopin’ nor canterin’ on dis yere race-
course.”

In spite of my weariness, I found myself much inter-

66
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe

ested in this queer performance, “What is your name,
my boy? ” T asked.

“Gen. Lee Beauregard Jefferson Davis,” he re-
plied. .

“ That is a suspicious name,” I thought, “for an occu-
pant of a Union family.”

“Crabs is mighty knowin’,” continued the boy. “I
let dis one hab de whole run of dis yere ball ob twine,
and den I winds him up again. (One day when I began
to wind, it didn’t come easy; an’ de next minute my
marm done pumped him out ob de cistern. Clar to
goodness, massa, if dis yere crab hadn’t clomb up de
chimney, slumped ‘long de roof into de eaves-spout,
flop down into de cistern, an den come up tru de
pump. If you don’t beliebe me, just look at dat knot in
my kite-string ; dat’s where I bust it befo’ I ebber got
it straightened out.”

I had not time to object to the improbability of the
story ; for ) the young lady whom I had before seen
now appeared, and introduced her mother, a dignified,
handsome woman, who welcomed me cordially to the
hospitalities of the mansion, At the supper-table, the
younger lady appeared remarkably nervous and excited,

67
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

—oe





(starting at the least sound, eating nothing, and taking
no part in the conversation.) Even her mother, although
perfectly polite, seemed a trifle absent-minded.

Suddenly there was a heavy tread upon the veranda,
and a loud, familiar knock at the door. The daughter
sprang from her seat, overturning it) and sped away into
the hall, closing the door behind her. My hostess made
no remark at the conduct of her daughter, and enter-
tained me agreeably throughout the meal, (with only a
little spot of heightened color on either cheek to tell of
any agitation she might have felt) Nothing remarkable
happened during the evening; and I was shown into a
spacious chamber opening upon a hall( that branched in
two directions, and was well lighted by large windows
through which the moonlight streamed; for the threaten-
ing storm had cleared away, and/I had a vague feeling
that perhaps I ought even now to continue my journey.
But tired nature prevailed, and I was soon fast asleep.
I was awakened by a scratching and shuffling noise in
my room, for which I was for some time at a loss to
account. I sat up in bed, and looked and listened, and
at length discovered a small object (on the uncarpeted
floor, Jjust passing over the door-sill into the hall. It

68
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+e





oe

was Gen. Lee Beauregard Stonéwall Jaekson’s crab.
“] will throw that nuisance out of the window!” I
exclaimed, and sprang from my bed. The creature
was out of my room; and I made a hasty half-toilet
before following it. Chere it was at some distance
down the hall; but, before reaching it, I heard some
one mounting the staircase, and(under the impulse of
the moment) I stepped into a room which (through its
open door, [ saw to be unoccupied. (From behind this
door, I could have, unobserved, a view of the hall) it
was the General himself, who had come up the stairs,
and who now intruded his woolly head into my chamber.
He made some strong expression of surprise, that)was
interrupted by the falling of a hand upon his collar, and
a sudden facing about to meet the angry looks of his
mistress, who, with her daughter, ‘had come up from the
other end of the hall,

“What do you mean by looking into a gentleman’s
room?” she exclaimed,(in a stage whisper, shaking the
boy violently with both hands,

“I was lookin’ for my crab, missus,” gasped the
boy.

“You know that is not the truth,” replied the lady.

69
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

ea



“Go down to the kitchen ; (and to-morrow you shall
have such a whipping!” .

“ Yes, missus,” replied the boy submissively. But, the
instant that he was released, he exclaimed, “ Dar’s my
crab now!” sprang by my door, pocketed his property,
and then obeyed his mistress’s orders.)

Mother and daughter walked down the hall, (and stood
together by the great window near the door behind
which I was concealed.)

“Tt is almost time they were here,” said the mother:
“it does not usually take so long to go and come from
Little Bethel.”

“Father said he would ride as fast as he could,”
replied the girl, “and bring back enough of the soldiers
to secure his capture. Father thinks he may be the
bearer of important despatches.”

“We can only wait, my dear,” replied the lady:
“let us go down into the parlor. (I have locked his
door on this side; you may have the key to give to
your papa, if you wish.” 5

After they had gone, I found myself in a new dilem-
ma. How was I to descend and leave the house, when
the ladies were in a room commanding a view of the

7O
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,





Oe ee

only staircase with which I was acquainted? While
I stood’ hesitating in the hall, my foot struck a small
white object; and, stooping, I found that I had the
General’s ball of kite-twine. Its end was probably at-
tached to the crab. I walked slowly along, winding the
ball as I went, and following the thread(which stretched
on before me, round an angle, through a narrower and
more dimly lighted passage, and down a winding and
uneven staircase/ ‘which led me to a rear entrance to the
house. The door was open; and the twine still led on
to where, at the foot of the garden, the General was
swinging on the gate.

“Here is your ball,” I said to him, as his eyes pro-
truded to their utmost in recognizing me.

As I passed on towards the shore, I heard some one
running behind me. It was the General.

“Clar to goodness, massa!” said he, “my crab done
lighted out for de salt water: shouldn’t wonder if he
foun’ him in -Pete’s boat; he allers did like to go a-fishin’
with Pete. He’d sit up on de side ob de boat, an’ help
him claw in de lines. I'll go an’ fotch Pete.”

Pete, a stalwart fisherman, readily agreed to take me
across to the fortress in his boat.

71
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o



“T’ ll go wid yer,” said the General: “ shouldn’t won-
der if my crab war ober dar: don’t see him nowhar
‘bout dis yere boat.”

And a tacit agreement was immediately instituted
between us, whereby the General became my faithful
follower through the entire war, at the close of which
he entered a school for freedmen, and is himself now a
teacher of his race, remarkable for his integrity and love
of truth. )

Established in our new quarters at the fortress, as
I poured out the water for my morning ablutions, I
found the General’s crab in my wash-basin.

“Done tole yer so, massa,” said the boy. “Dis yere |
crab done swum across de bay: mose likely he was
up dar at headquarters, an’ hearn tell jus’ whar he
should find us.”

“General, General!” I said, “if you are to stay with
me, you must speak the truth.” And so he did; for
I never knew him to prevaricate in any instance,
except when it concerned his crab.

72



















LEASE, Cousin Myrtle,
yn there isn’t any such
thing as ghosts, is
there?” asked Bobby
Copernicus, one evening.

“ That depends,” replied Myr-
tle.

“Coz I told Joy I was going




to tease for a ghost-story to-
night, —a regular scarer; like
the kind the snark told, you

‘Till each man’s blood
Up on end it stood,
And the hair ran cold in their veins.’

And Joy said she didn’t want that kind: she’s ’fraid of
‘enn,

“ Only people who do wrong need be afraid of
ghosts,” said Cousin Myrtle; “and it is very seldom

73
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

2



that other people see them. If you ever do any thing
mean or shameful, you may be sure that it will haunt
you all your life; and you will never need a candle to
see it in the darkest night. But good people can almost
always sleep soundly, even after a supper of strawberry
shortcake, and never see one of the hobble-de-goblins;
and, even if they do, there are no lions in the way,
that can hurt Mr. Greatheart. By the way, our con-
stellation to-night is that of the Lion. Bobby shall
have his wish; for I do not think Joy would have been
a bit frightened by

THE GHOST AT THE WHITE LION.

In the little village of Pudsey-in-the-Mud, England,
stands the comfortable, old-fashioned inn of the White
Lion. It was a hostelry of style and importance, with
no lack of patronage, when the London stage-line swept
through Pudsey; but the new railroad had left the little
town several miles one side, and there was now little in
its appearance to suggest its former state. Only chance
travellers stopped here now, strangers visiting Pudsey
for the first time; for in spite of its large, airy chambers,
its cosey sitting-room with the carved fireplace and red

74
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
window-curtains, its garden overgrown with sweet, old-
fashioned flowers, its cook noted for making the most
melting pastry in the shire, its obliging landlord and
low charges, the White Lion was shunned by summer |
boarders, and by all who knew its history; for no one,
even in incredulous England, liked to stop at a haunted
house; and the inn was haunted, not by one ghost
alone, but by many. It seemed as if it was the house
spoken of in the Scriptures, found empty, swept and
garnished, by the evil spirit, who immediately filled it
with a variety of occupants as evil as himself; for none
of the ghosts told of by the lodgers at the White Lion
bore any great resemblance to each other.

The landlord was not a man to be frightened out of
his wits by such stories: he had never seen any ghosts
in the house, and, if he had, he would not have cared
very much, if they had only paid their bills like respect-
able boarders. But they were now so deeply in his
debt, and had kept away more lucrative lodgers so long,
that the thing was growing unbearable ; and, as a last
resort, he had asked the sheriff to serve them with a
notice to quit. This he had neatly framed, and hung
in the haunted chamber. It was the pleasantest room

75
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oo



in the front part of the house, with a very large square
window filled with very small diamond-shaped panes.
A small brass rod ran across the lower part of this
window, and from it hung a ruffled muslin curtain; but
the upper and larger part was not covered by blind or
curtain or screen of any kind, and allowed the sunlight
or moonlight to fall in a broad band upon the well.
scoured floor. Outside the window, a narrow balcony
ran; but it had only been for ornament in its best days,
as the window was not made to open; and now no
human being could have walked across it; for the floor
was gone, and nothing was left but the cast-iron railing.
Over the balcony hung the sign of the house, a wooden
lion in a defiant attitude, with his paws raised as though
for a trial of skill in boxing, and a very long curly tail
twisted into several impossible knots. The lion was
suspended from an iron rod fastened into the house
above the window, and for several years had bid defi-
ance to the ghosts, and beckoned passing travellers in
vain.

The last lodger who had seen an apparition here was
a queer old gentleman from London. He seemed very
rich, but was much out of health, and was accompanied

76
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





by a servant and a nurse who put him to bed as soon
as he arrived. At midnight he aroused the house by
ringing his bell violently. When the landlord entered
the room, he lay in a fit with his back to the window;
and, when he came out of it, could not be persuaded
to look in that direction. He said that he had seen a
spirit, a white lady, who glided along the floorless
balcony, and peered into the window. The nurse and
landlord could see nothing remarkable; but the vision
had made such a strong impression on the old gentle-
man’s mind, that the next day he sent for a lawyer, and
made a new will. “The greater part of my fortune,”
he said, “belonged to my cousin Helen. I was her
guardian. It was all invested in a company that failed
dishonestly ; but I had been shrewd enough to with-
draw the money before the failure. No one knew of
this, however; for the company’s books were burned by
a member of the firm, and Helen believed that her
fortune was lost. She is dead now. She lived all her
life in poverty, while I have been very rich. It was she
who came last night; she beckoned to me. I cannot
give her back her property, but I can leave all, hers and
mine, to her children; and this is why I wish to make
7
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



a new will.” The old gentleman felt that his cousin
would come again the next night, and that when he saw
her he would die. But she did not appear: the night
was a rainy one, and I believe no one ever saw a ghost
with an umbrella; and the next day the old gentleman
was so much better that he went back to London. He
did not die for many. years afterward, but he sought out
his cousin’s children, and made ample restitution. In
spite of his great wrong, they grew to love him very
tenderly, living with him and caring for him until he
died.

This was the last ghost that had been seen at the
White Lion, when one afternoon a traveller arrived
who was to deliver a lecture that evening at the town-
hall. To honor his guest, the landlord and his wife
attended the lecture. It was a great piece of nonsense ;
for the poor man tried to prove that the Bible was not
true, that there were no angels, no future life, no God.
He gave many quotations from the Scriptures to prove
their absurdity. He scoffed at the visions of Daniel, at
the winged lion, at the beast with ten horns, and made a
great many jokes about the creatures in the Revelation,
especially those that. were like horses prepared for

78
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



battle, with crowns of gold on their heads, men’s faces,
women’s hair, the teeth of lions, and tails like scorpions
with terrible stings, and were commanded to hurt only
those men who had not the seal of God in their fore-
heads.

When he returned to the inn, the landlord shook
hands with him warmly. “You are just the person
I have been wanting to see,” he said. “I have a room
in my house that they say is haunted. If you do not
believe in the supernatural, you will not object to sleep-
ing there; and it will be a great thing for me if you can
assert afterward that the ghosts are all humbug.”

The lecturer professed himself perfectly willing to
_make the experiment; but he showed the landlord a
brace of loaded pistols, and warned him that if he
saw any thing unusual during the night he should
‘certainly fire at it. Then he ate a hearty supper of
dumpling and Welsh rarebit, washed down with strong
ale, and went to bed. It was a moonlight night, —
just such a one as the ghost of the White Lion pre-
ferred for its rambles; and the landlord was not much
surprised at being awakened, when the night was half
over, by the rapid firing of his guest’s pistols. After

79
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





the shots, all was silent for a few moments; and then
the lecturer came tumbling down the winding stairs,
his face colorless with fright. “I take it all back!”
he shrieked. “I will nail my recantation to the
church doors, only let me off this time! let me off
this time!”

“What's the matter?” asked the landlord, who was
standing at the foot of the stairs with a lighted candle
in his hand.

“J have seen it!” said the frightened man, trem-
bling violently, and clutching his host’s arm.

“Seen what?”

‘a hie: beast!.”

“The fiddlesticks! you've been dreaming; you've
had the nightmare; you are not awake yet. If you
saw any beast, it was the ghost of that Welsh rare-
- bit.”

“T have not been asleep at all. The Prince of the
Power of the Air has been banging every shutter
about this ruinous old house, and yelling down the
chimneys, in a way that would have made it impossible
for any one to sleep, even if he had not believed in
demons, and had supposed it was only the wind, as I

80
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





#3

did. Let me go into your tap-room, and lock the
door well, and I will tell you all about it.”

And the lecturer told how he had grown so ner-
yous, what with the hearty supper and the wind, that
he found it impossible to sleep; and finally sat up in
bed, wondering if it really was the wind that made
all that noise. Suddenly something flew slowly across
the window: it was a dark object, and might have been
e bat, if it had not been of such great size. He
looked again, and the object returned, this time clearly
defining its shape, that of a lion; but who had ever
seen a lion fly in this way between heaven and earth?
Suddenly he remembered the winged lion of Daniel,
and the creature of the Revelation that he had so
derided. Yes, this answered the description perfectly,
even to the flowing feminine tresses, and the tail with
the terrible stings. The beast seemed to be trying the
window-sash; for it rattled fearfully as his claws ap-
proached now the upper and now the lower portion,
now the right and now the left side. The lecturer
aimed his pistols at the animal’s head, and fired them
together, shivering the glass. But the ghostly thing
did not seem in the least troubled by the shots: it

81
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

C—O

paused an instant, and regarded him with two luminous
eyes. that he had not noticed before, and then made a
sudden swoop toward the broken casement, he did not
stop to see with what success, for he knew that he had
not the seal of God in his forehead.

It was a singular story, and reminded the landlord of
the one told by an occupant of the room several months
before. He was a suspicious-looking character, who
carried a small black valise of which he was particularly
watchful. Very early the next morning, he had awak-
ened the landlord by shaking him roughly by the
shoulder, and saying, “ Here is the money for my night’s
lodging. If aman by the name of Green calls for me
in a few days, give him that valise; if not, here is an
address to which you may send it. I am off. I suppose
I hardly need tell you that your room is haunted. I lay
with my back to the window; and in the bright space
on the wall opposite, I kept seeing shadow-pictures like
those they throw on a sheet from a magic-lantern; only
I had the same picture all night long, and that not a
very agreeable one, —a man hanging from a gallows-
tree. I concluded at last it might be a warning, and I
mean to profit by it.” The next day a man who gave

82
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



his name as Detective Green did arrive, looking, as he
said, for a burglar who had recently made away with a
quantity of silver. He opened the black valise that
had been ‘left for him, and found every missing article.

How very unlike the different ghosts had been!
— the white lady, the demon in the shape of a dragon,
and the shadow of the gallows. And, not long after,
an apparition was seen that was stranger still. -The
landlord hired a new hostler, a cruel boy, coarse and
rough, with apparently no sensibilities to be troubled
by spirits, and lodged him in the fated chamber.
He woke the house with terrific yells, screaming that
the ghost of a great yellow cat he had burned to
death was coming to carry him off. The landlord felt
that there was but a step from the sublime to the
ridiculous, and that the boy had taken it. Cats could
not have ghosts: that was too absurd. The thing
rust be explained. These stories and all the others
that had been told, of clanking chains, creaking hinges
to invisible doors, mysterious knockings, and other
strange noises, must either be lies, or else there was
some natural cause.

The next guests that came to his house were a

83
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





2

minister and his little daughter. The landlord told
them the history of the room. “It is the best I have
in the house,” he said; “but I am afraid to give it to
this young lady, lest she should see something that
would frighten her. It is a pity, too; for just across the
hall is another large room which would do very nicely
for you, sir.”

“Let me sleep there, papa,” pleaded the little girl.
“If there are ghosts, I do not think that any of them
will harm me. All these people seem to have been
frightened by something wrong they had done. I
wonder what I shall see.”

The night passed without alarm of any kind. When
the landlord served their breakfast, he could not restrain
his curiosity, and asked the little girl what she had seen.
“ Nothing strange,” said she. “I woke up once, and
saw the moon shining on a white figure gently swaying
back and forward before the window. I thought at first
it was an angel; but when I got out of bed, and went to
the window, I saw it was only the sign of the inn, — the
white wooden lion that hangs in front of the house.”

On examination, it seemed most probable that this
was all that the others had seen. The noises were occa-

84
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



He



sioned by the creaking of its rusty hinges; and guilty
imaginations had created from this simple object all the
varied visions that had been seen in the room. The
story became known: other people were found brave
and innocent enough to sleep there. No more ghosts
were seen; and the White Lion is now as prosperous
an inn as you can find in any village in England. The
Sunday after the little girl and her father stopped there,
he preached a sermon from the text, “Conscience is
a terror to the wicked, but a comfort to good men.”



85




HAT an_ old-fashioned,
clumsy, rusty pair of
scales they were! And

—————$——.
No meo,|

how many queer things



were weighed upon them
in that dingy little country store!

If they could have talked, they
might have told you the likings



of every family in the village ; for
= they were in the habit of giving
people just what they called for.



And the weights were so familiar
with the duty expected of them, that each prepared
to skip into the scales when his particular customer
entered the door, —from the brass thimble that clicked
impatiently to weigh out Miss Tibb’s cent’s worth of
snuff, to the great hollow projectile that Cousin Jack
sent home from the war, and was used for the heavier
commodities, such as flour, sugar, shot, and nails. The
set of weights had been complete once; but they had
87
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,



eae ae

gradually been lost in the course of years, Dr. Stockstill
having carried off the largest one to fasten to his horse’s
hitching-strap, and Aunt Snip taken the big flat one
to keep the pork under the brine. Tommy Billings had
stolen the cunningest one of all to make a sinker for his
fish-line ; and so by degrees the regular weights had
been replaced by rather queer equivalents. Hepsy
knew them all by heart; for she had helped her grand-
father keep store ever since she was a very little girl.
When she began going to school, and the teacher
assigned her the tables of apothecary’s and avoirdupois
weight for an arithmetic lesson, she glanced at the
title with a contemptuous “Guess I ought to know
that;” and, when the class recited, astonished her
teacher by the glib announcement that —

4 brass thimbles make . . ; 1 big pewter button.
5 of grandfather’s pewter buttons make 1 glass door-knob.

6 glass door-knobs make ; : the little flat-iron.
The little flat-iron, and 2 glass door-

knobs, and the brass extinguisher,

make . : ; : . : 1 pound.
The big white stone, and a stove-lid,

make . , : ; ; : ro pounds.
Cousin Jack’s bombshell is. : 20 pounds,

88
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



io oo

Hepsy kept the two brass plates that belonged to
the scales so well scoured that they shone like Ossian’s
shield. They were magic mirrors, which reflected the
codfish or beeswax, horse-powders or tobacco, laid within
them, and told by the alternating quantities of yarn and
dye-stuff, or quinine and liver-pills, that went down to
Aunt Tirzah’s, whether the family were afflicted with
the chills, or in good working condition ; told, too, some-
thing of the moral condition of the community, as the
quantity of opium for old Deacon Feeblemind lessened,
and the rate of tea, butter, eggs, spice, sugar, and soap
for the family, with maple-sugar and hoarhound for the
youngsters, increased. And they could have told how
lazy Lem’s weekly expenditure in spruce-gum and gin-
ger-pop ceased, and he invested instead in garden-seeds
after his father gave him that half-acre of meadow to
cultivate for his very own. They could have told
something of the love-affairs of half the academy girls:
_for Hepsy’s grandfather kept the post-office ; and those
great yellow business-envelopes that came regularly
every week, and oftener, were frequently so bulky as to
need extra postage, and were thrown into the scales
for the brass thimbles to tell how many more stamps

89
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



eo

were required. Not only did the scales tell of the
health, the morals, the wealth, and the love, of the com-
munity: they had their influence also in the intellectual
world; for Miss Squibbs’s MS. was duly weighed in them
before being sent to the editor of “ The Enlightener ;”
while the parson, who was caught at the store during a
thunder-storm, was observed to gaze attentively and
abstractedly at them during his entire stay; and his
next sabbath’s sermon, the best of the whole year, was
from the text, “Thou art weighed in the balance, and
found wanting.” Babies were often brought in triumph,
and laid upon the shining trays. Hepsy had herself
been weighed here, she could not exactly remember
when; but grandfather said she was the least of the lot,
and only weighed seven and a half pounds. When
Jack’s bombshell came home from the war, it was
hollow and empty; and as it happened to come on one
of the anniversaries of Hepsy’s birthday, and hap-
pened, on investigation, to contain just seven and
a half pounds of shot, grandfather filled and plugged
the aperture in order, as he said, “that in future
years she might know to a bullet just how little
she amounted to when she first came on the stage,
go
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o oe

and that it might take all pride and vain conceit out
ot her.”

It would have been hard to find a girl with less
pride than Hepsy. She was so gentle, so good-
humored, and so serviceable, that her grandfather
used often to say that she was worth her weight in
gold. But even this compliment did not spoil her.
“He would never have said so, you know,” she
thought, “if I had not weighed so little when I was a
baby.”

As the years went by, Hepsy went to the academy,
and only tended store out of school-hours. Before
she finished her course, her grandfather died, and a
stranger bought the shop and its contents, all but the
scales: these the old gentleman left in his will to Hepsy,
with his blessing. The two bequests were inseparable :
if she ever gave up the scales, the blessing would go too.
The scales lay in a box, with the weights, up in the
attic: for, since the stranger had taken possession of the
store, Hepsy had given up her clerkship, and devoted
her entire attention to her studies. Her grandfather
had been something of an apothecary. . She had liked
best to see him weigh out and compound drugs; and

91
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.,



-—-a- 2

she had often wept foolish little tears because she was
not a boy, and could not be a doctor.

It was examination week at the academy. Hepsy’s
class was to graduate. The programmes were out, and
she saw her name in print for the first time, — Hephzi-
bah Smith. No one had called her Hephzibah but
grandfather, and he always added the signification of the
name, “ My delight is in her,” and said that if ever a
child was rightly called, Hepsy was; so that the name
was a very sweet and precious one to her. The exami-
nation was looked forward to with more than ordinary
interest by the graduating class this year. For Mr.
DeClercq, the great man of the place, had been ap-
pointed to a foreign consulship, and was intending to
sail for Europe soon after, with his family. He had
been one of the school committee-men, and he knew
well each member of Hepsy’s class, and had announced,
as soon as he received his appointment, that he would
offer the position of governess for his children to the
young lady graduating at the head of the class. This
news had created intense rivalry among the girls; they
were nearly all poor and ambitious. To go to Europe,
to go to Europe! It seemed the most delectable thing

92
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



that life could offer; and none coveted the opportunity
more than Hepsy.

She had been so wholly absorbed in her studies, that
not until a week before the eventful day had she given
a thought to what she should wear on the occasion.
But when she heard the other girls telling of their new
dresses, sashes, and gloves, she awoke to the humiliating
consciousness that she had only her old white dimity,
without an extra scrap to make an overskirt, and so
scant in the skirt that it would not admit of the wearing
of a bustle. Hepsy went home sad at heart. She saw
from a distance that the upright brooms of the tin-
peddler, set like banners in his flaming red cart, had
paused before her home; and she hastened her steps to
tell him that it would be of no use to knock, for her
mother did not need any thing in his line. “Perhaps
not, miss,” replied the peddler with engaging cheerful-
ness. “I should not wonder if my present stock would
be more likely to suit you than your ma. You see I
knew it was about commencement time; and I laid in
a choice stock of millinery and dry goods, the newest
and most fashionable styles.”

Caleb Cox was gifted with a persuasive tongue; and,

93
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

before Hepsy knew, she had asked him into the house,
and was looking at the tempting fabrics. There was
a black-and-white summer silk which pleased her espe-
cially; a Boston lady had worn one quite similar at
church several Sundays before, and Hepsy had studied
it all through the service, and felt sure that she could
make it up in the same style. Her mother was a good
fitter; and by sewing steadily there was still time to
have it done. It would make such a handsome suit
for graduation, and, if she should go to Europe, she
ought to have oe stylish costume at least. “ But,
Hepsy,” whispered her mother, “twenty dollars! And
we haven’t but fifteen between us.”

“TI don’t mind having all in cash,” said the obliging
peddler. “I had just as lief, now, take out five dollars’
worth in dicker, — soap-grease, rags, fresh-laid eggs, old
iron and brass.”

“Hepsy, bring the rag-bag,” said Mrs. Smith. “I
was thinking of making a new rag-carpet for the sitting-
room; but, if there’s enough to make out your dress,
we'll let it go.”

“T’ll allow you three dollars for them rags,” said the
peddler.

94
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



“Couldn't you let us have the dress for that and
fifteen dollars in cash?” asked Hepsy.

“No, I really don’t believe I could. Twenty is the
lowest figure I could let that pattern go at; and even
then I oughtn’t to take any thing but money in hand
for it. Haven’t you got any old brass andirons or
knockers, or pewter platters?”

“ Hepsy,” said Mrs. Smith, “there are your scales.”

“ But I couldn’t sell grandfather’s legacy, you know.”

“Great lumbersome things, —you had better bring
them down: perhaps Mr. Cox won’t want ’em any way.”
But Mr. Cox looked at them condescendingly, and
concluded to accept them, with the weights, in lieu of
the missing two dollars; and the sale was effected.

Examination-day came; the dress was finished, and
Hepsy knew that for once she looked well. The first
recitation was in chemistry; this was her strong point,
and Hepsy led her classmates so markedly that the ,
fact could not escape the notice of any present. Mr.
DeClercq jotted her name down, and determined to
pay particular attention to her replies throughout the
day. Another old gentleman —a doctor from Boston
—seemed much interested, and catechised her quite

95
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



severely on antidotes for poisons. Hepsy stood the
test to his satisfaction; and he walked quite across the
platform to inquire her name. The examination went
on with varying results; but, at its close, the palm
was awarded with justice to Cora Sturtevant. Hepsy
crowded back her tears until she reached home. “It
need not have been so,” she said, “if I had only spent
my time preparing for examination, instead of making
my dress. To think, too, that to get it I gave up dear
grandpa’s scales! He said that I ‘ would lose a bless-
ing’ if I ever parted with them: and he was right;
for the dress has lost me my trip to Europe. I wanted
to go so much! and I never, never can have another
opportunity. Oh, you wretched dress, I should like to
tear you to atoms! ”

“ Hush, Hepsy!” said her mother, entering her room.
“ There is a strange gentleman down stairs, who wishes
to speak with you.”

It was the physician whom she had seen at the
examination. “I have a proposition to make to you,
Miss Smith,” he began quite abruptly, “which may,
however, seem somewhat beneath the notice of a
young lady who has an opportunity of going abroad.

96
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



to eo

It is simply this: There is a vacancy among the nurses
in the Massachusetts Woman’s Hospital; we wish to
fill it with a young woman who has some taste for
the medical profession. If you should see fit to
accept this position, you will acquire an excellent
preparation for a medical course, and some practical
knowledge of the treatment of certain cases, which
will be invaluable to a young practitioner.”

“ But, sir,” stammered Hepsy, “you did not stay
through the examination; and I did not stand first
in any of the other studies.”

“So much the better: then you will not be embar-
rassed by a choice between two offers; and your mother
gives me hope that you will accept mine.”

“TI have always wanted to be a physician,” said
Hepsy ; “and if this is a stepping-stone to it” —

So, for a year, Hepsy served in the hospital,
doing good to others while she was gaining valuable
knowledge for herself. Many a sufferer echoed her
grandfather’s assertion that she was rightly named,
and that their delight too was in her. At the close
of the year the doctor said, “ We hate to give you up,
for you are worth your weight in gold; but, if you

97
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





oo

are going to the Medical College at Philadelphia, you
ought not to stay with us any longer.”

“TI may come back again in the fall, doctor,” replied
Hepsy; “for, though I may be worth my weight in
gold, I cannot reduce any of my possessions to hard
cash; and Philadelphia looks a great way off.”

While Hepsy was at home that summer, Caleb Cox,
the peddler, called again; and she thought of the silk
dress that had only been worn. once, and had lost her
the opportunity of a trip to Europe. She did not
mind that now; for she had learned how much better
it was to help herself, than to be helped, and how the
very best thing of all was to help others. But there
was one thing which she ad mind. If she only had
not parted with grandfather’s scales, it seemed to her
that she could have borne all the rest; but they were
gone, and, worst of all, the blessing with them. A
wild idea came to her; and she stopped Caleb Cox
just as he was driving away. “Do you remember
what you ever did with the scales and weights I gave
you in part payment for a silk dress last year?”

“Wall, yaas,” said Caleb. “My wife uses the brass
plates to cook flapjacks on; and the other things I sent

98
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
ee
down with a lot of truck to the foundery, except the big
bum-shell. I didn’t durst drive so far with it a-rattling
around amongst the old iron in my cart: was afeard
there might be something explosive left in it. Mrs. Cox
was fur busting it open to find out; but says I to her,
‘Unless you want me to marry again before the sum-
mer’s out, you let that alone. There was a woman
down to Pot’s Corners tried to open a nitro-glycerine
can with a ax,and’— Wall, my wife concluded to let
it be.”

“Then you have got the bomb-shell yet,” said Hepsy
eagerly. “Oh, if you would just change it and the
brass plates back again for the silk dress! it has only
been worn once, and perhaps it will fit Mrs. Cox, or you
could sell it to some one else.”

Mr. Cox examined the dress, declared himself “ willing
to oblige,” and the next day the brass plates and Cousin
Jack’s shell were again in Hepsy’s possession. She ran
up stairs hugging both in her arms in high glee; but,
just as she gained the top, the heavy projectile slipped
from her arms, and rolled bumpety-bump down the stairs
again. Caleb Cox heard the noise, saw it coming, and,
fearing to partake in the explosion which he was sure

99
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe +o



would follow, drove away from the door at the top of his
horse’s speed.

Hepsy hurried down stairs again, and found that the
wooden stopper, which grandfather had fastened in so
many years before, had become loosened by the fall, and
had come out. The contents of the bomb were spilled
all along the lower stairs and in the hall. They were
not the explosives which Caleb Cox had feared, nor the
leaden shot with which grandfather had first filled it, but
gold dollars, shining gold dollars, that lay in a drift at
her feet, and which grandfather had slipped into the
shell one by one as he earned them, until there were
seven pounds and a half of them, and Hepsy was really
“worth her weight in gold.”

“Who would have thought it!” exclaimed Mrs. Smith
in indignation ; “ but father always had just that pernick-
ety way of doing things.”

And so Hepsy went to Philadelphia; she graduated
with honor there, and is now pursuing her medical
studies still further in Paris. The two brass plates have
been cut down, and now form a part of a very dainty
pair of apothecary’s scales, with tiny gilded and silvered
weights. Dr. Hephzibah Smith will use them some day

100
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe oe

in her office. Everybody says she is cut out for an old
maid and a doctor; but Hepsy cannot help that, and
does not care, for she was born under the constellations
of the Virgin and the Scales.



1oL


PEEP THE SECOND.

PCEIPSES,








































we HE sun was shining
Oe broadly outside of Joy’s
window, but she was still
in her little lace-canopied
bed. She was not asleep:
she lay watching a broad sheet
of rainbow-colored dancing motes
that the sun was sifting through
a crack in the shutter. They
were finer than the flakes of
flour that Dinah sent dusting
through the sieve when she took
it into her head to make bride’s-cake, and of such
beautiful colors that Joy’s head fairly ached when she
tried to think what a cake made from them would look
like. She closed her eyes, not to see them any more,
and listened. Grandma was singing. Grandma was a
sweet, funny old lady, and she had a sweet but very
funny voice. She had been a famous singer in her day,

105
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



ee

had sung in the choir, and could carry her part triumph-
antly through the most intricate of the old fugue tunes;
but her sweet, old-fashioned voice was cracked, and had
all sorts of queer little quavers and quirks and unex-
pected trills and tremors in it; and her memory played
her as false as her voice, for she could not “give the
words of the most familiar hymn correctly from begin-
ning to end, but invariably mixed it with some other
with which it was connected in her mind from a similar-
ity of subject. She was singing now in a brisk, inspir-
ing way that ought to have roused Joy to instant
action, —
“ Come, let us anew our journey pursue.
His adorable will let us gladly fulfil,
Roll round with the sun, and never stand still.
The rising sun that swift
Pursues his shining way,
And wide proclaims his Maker’s praise
With every brightening ray.
The source of light, who bids the sun
On his burning axles run,
Stars like dust around him fly,
Strew the area of the sky.
And never stand still, and never stand still,
While they gladly fulfil his adorable will.”

106
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

1





And then Joy knew by the brisk snapping that ensued,
and by the commotion in the slanting wall of motes
(for Joy when awake could never keep her eyes closed
long), that grandma was beating the dust out of her
rugs on the wrought-iron balustrade of the window next
her own.

“ T wonder how the man who wrote that hymn knew
it,” thought Joy. “ But it was like that, just. The stars
flew away on all sides, from the wheels of the Sun’s
chariot, like puffs of dust, and glittered like powdered
gems as we whirled: through them.”

Joy had been to the sky-garden again. This time
she had not strolled about with Puck; but old Sol him-
self, the glorious sun king, had taken her up into his
golden car, and they had driven once around the many
thousand mile track on which he exercises his fast
trotters every day. Joy had been once to Jerome Park,
and had seen a great many handsome turnouts. She
had thought then that it must be very grand to sit
beside the driver of a four-in-hand; but the sun drove
a ¢wenty-four-in-hand, for his steeds were the hours.
Eight of them were white, eight black as night, and
eight as gray and spectral as the pale horse in the

107
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





oo

Revelation, or the sunless, shadowless skies of some
twilights and dawns-that she had known. She was quite
certain that, with all the'wealth and display at Jerome
Park, there was not a team there that could compare
with old Sol’s. Joy had gone to sleep the night before
with a heavy disappointment on her mind; and it was
very kind and considerate in the Sun to come for her
just at this time. She had tried so hard to make her
table the most attractive one at the fair, and had hoped
to hand in more money than any of the other girls,
when Helen Earlewinne had stepped in, and gathered
all her laurels. As Mrs. Fairchild said, Joy had been
completely eclipsed. She had said too, that it would
be a good lesson for her little girl; that Joy was growing
too fond of approbation, and too confident of her own
powers: a little taking down would be good for her.
But Joy’s mother was wrong here: the child’s heart
was swelling with the injustice of the thing; and morti-
fied pride, disappointed ambition, and a spice of revenge,
were making a true witches’ caldron of her breast.
This was how it all happened. A fair had just taken
place for the benefit of the orphanless children, as
Bobby called the little folks who lived in the great

108
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



un-homelike brick building that people called the Home.
It was a children’s fair, all the -departments being
assigned to children, while the grown-up ladies had
nothing but the general management. Joy had the art-
table. It was just the one that she coveted most;
and she had worked hard for two months to make it a
success. She had made two handsome chromo scrap-
books; had been around to all the book-stores, and
obtained, at low prices, engravings, stereoscopic views
and other photographs, with the privilege of returning
those unsold; she had a few very pretty brackets and
photograph-frames in Sorrento carving of holly and
ebony. But what she was especially proud of was ‘her
decorated china. Joy belonged to Miss Earle’s paint-
ing-class; and she had interested all of the girls, some
of whom painted very nicely, in her table. Together
they purchased a number of plain Parian vases of grace-
ful shape, and a quantity of terra-cotta flower-pots and
hanging-baskets; these they decorated very prettily
with flowers and vines, arabesques and silhouettes from
Paul Konewka. The things were beauties, and could
not fail to be one of the features of the fair. Miss Earle
herself had contributed a beautiful painting on porce-

109
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe a



lain, of arbutus and ferny moss. Besides all this, Uncle
Briar had given Joy ten dollars, not for the fair, but for
her very own; though he consented to her request to
be allowed to purchase something from her own table
with it as a souvenir of the fair, and to help swell
the sum which she hoped to hand to the committee;
and Joy had set her heart on Miss Earle’s arbutus.
Just at the last moment, Helen Earlewinne had ap-
peared, and said that she had several boxes of fine
French flowers which she had learned to make when at
school in Paris; and, if Joy would give her a corner
of her table, she would sell them for the benefit of the
fair. Of course, Joy could not refuse. But, when they
. arranged the table, Helen caught sight of the vases and
flower-pots, and exclaimed at once, “ Oh, how fortunate !
these are just what I want to mount my flowers in.
You will see how lovely they will look.” And in half an
hour, Helen had fulfilled her promise; for each vase
contained a dainty little bouquet of rosebuds, heliotrope,
and fuchsia, or carnation pinks, vivid geraniums, and
snowy lily-of-the-valley, so natural that it needed the
sense of touch to detect the deception, while from the
flower-pots there rose hyacinths exquisitely imitated

IIo
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



from nature, and rose-bushes whose every thorn and
leaf were copied from June’s own handiwork. From the
hanging-baskets trailed waxy-leaved ivies or other vines;
and in the centre of each stood a mottled begonia or
other foliage-plant. The flowers thus arranged took up
more than half the table, so that it was Joy who had
the “corner.” Late in the afternoon, and just before all
was ready, a man appeared, carrying a statuette of
- Mercury, in plaster. “I bought this for you at Casters
& Chizzler’s,” said Helen: “they only asked twelve
dollars for it, as it was for the fair, and we can sell it in
shares. At fifty cents a chance, we shall only have to
sell twenty-four to pay for it; and after that, all will be
clear gain.”

“ But,” said Joy, “I don’t think that raffling is right.
I know they are going to do it at all the other tables,
but I didn’t mean to have any thing of the kind at
mine.”

“TI don’t see that you can do any thing else now,”
said Helen, “for I bought it in your name. I was sure
you would jump at the chance, and I don’t believe we
could find any one to buy such an expensive thing
outright. Now, you needn’t look so cross; there isn’t

Til
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



Se oe

a bit of risk, for one of my gentlemen friends has
promised to take all the shares that are unsold at the
close of the evening.”

Helen was several years older than Joy, and she had
usurped the lead so naturally that there seemed nothing
for Joy to do but to yield the point. “Very well,” she
said reluctantly, “if you will sell the shares, and take
the whole responsibility ” —

“ Certainly,” said Helen, eagerly placing the statuette
in the centre of her flowers; “and see what a handsome
ornament it makes for your table.” The gleaming
white figure certainly had a very fine effect supported
on all sides by masses of brilliant flowers; and Joy could
not help feeling that it made her poor little chromos
and photographs look very insignificant and mean by
comparison.

The flowers, or the pots and vases which held them,
proved very popular, and sold rapidly; but when the
~ evening was nearly over Helen came to Joy with a long
face, saying that she had only sold four shares for her
Mercury. “That is too bad,” said Joy; “but I don’t see
that it makes a great deal of difference if your friend
is willing to take all the rest.”

112
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



—1 te

“He said he would yesterday,” said Helen; “ but to-
night I can only get him to take four shares.”

Joy ceased looking after the interests of her own
articles, and devoted herself to offering the Mercury
shares to all who stopped at her table. She met with
no success, however, for every one seemed to have
done spending money for that evening. Then Joy in
desperation bought the remaining twenty shares with
the ten-dollar bill that Uncle Briar had given her, with
the sinking feeling at her heart that after all not a cent of
it would go to the fair, but all would belong to the firm
that had furnished the statuette. “Of course I shall
draw it,” she thought; ‘‘and then I will give it back to
the fair, and they can sell it at auction with the other
things left over.” But the strange fate that presides
over lotteries decreed that Helen’s friend should hold
the lucky number that drew the Mercury, which he
immediately presented to her. Three dollars was the
highest sum that had been offered for Miss Earle’s
water-color, and Joy could have cried when she saw it
carried away; the photographs were all sold at only
an advance of a few cents over their original price;
the chromo scrap-books would not sell at all, and were

TI3
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



disposed of at the auction for about half their cost.
When the reports were handed in, Helen Earlewinne
gave thirty dollars as her share, while Joy could only
show four dollars and thirty-seven cents. “I am afraid
the art table would not have amounted to much without
Miss Helen’s assistance,” was the remark made by the
president of the fair; and poor Joy ran and hid in the
coal-closet, where she could cry without being seen.

Yes, Joy had been completely eclipsed, but it did
not seem likely to do her good. She had been humble
enough before: she was humiliated now; and such an
experience is seldom a beneficial one. Her mother’s
words made an impression on her mind, but she did
not quite understand it. “Father, what is an eclipse?
she asked, as they rode home through the night.

Mr. Fairchild began a scientific description and expla-
nation of the phenomenon, just such a one as he would
have given to the junior class at the university, but illus-
trated it from the present surroundings by calling the
axle of the front wheel of the carriage the earth, the
lantern the sun, and a cake of mud that had adhered
to the tire of the wheel, and was revolving rapidly
around the axle-earth, the moon. The only trouble was

114
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



— oo

that the revolutions of the mud moon were so swift
that it made Joy nearly dizzy to keep it in view; and
her father’s demonstration, with its learned allusions to
parallax, the sun’s photosphere, heliocentric longitude,
and the perturbation of the elliptic motion of the moon,
was quite as difficult to follow. When she tried to apply
it to her own case, and see just how it was that she had
been eclipsed, the problem became still more compli-
cated; and she became hopelessly puzzled in trying to
decide whether Helen Earlewinne had come into con-
junction with the carriage lantern, or whether the daub
of mud in its perturbations had occasioned an obscura-
tion of her decorated pottery. Mr. Fairchild, in a pause
in his lecture, saw by the dreamy look in his little girl’s
eyes, and the yawn suppressed behind the polite little
hand, that she had not understood a word of his expla-
nation. “It is too hard for you, is it not, Joy?” he
said kindly. “Well, all that you need try to under:
stand is, that one body is eclipsed when another throws
it completely into the shade.”

That was simple enough certainly, but it did not
make her feel any happier; and she went to sleep with
very unkind thoughts toward Helen Earlewinne, who

115
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

3 oa

had so completely thrown her in the shade. Scarcely
had her eyelids closed, when the great, genial Sun reined
in his twenty-four-in-hand at her window, and invited her
to take a ride. Joy clambered up by his side, and was
delighted to find that from her elevated seat she could
look away across the sky-garden, and see not only the
part she had visited with Puck, but vaster unexplored
regions stretching away on every side. She wondered
if it was all as beautiful as the portion with which she
was already familiar. She could see a silvery white
river gliding placidly through the heavenly fields. It
was so calm, and the country through which it flowed so
level, that it made her think of some views she had seen
of Holland, especially as here and there she caught
sight of tall mills not very unlike the windmills that
dotted the pictures she had seen of that country.

“What river is that?” she asked of the Sun.

“It is the Milky Way,” replied her escort. “We shall
have a better view of it after we pass the judge’s stand;”
and the Sun reached far forward, and touched his
leader’s ear lightly with the tassel of his whip, making
his team fairly spin around the magnificent race-course.

What a beautiful, broad, gently curving river it was!

116
~D Nig

-
is

il

sy

<
ane


IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





Little elves were rowing about upon it in butter boats,
some of which were piled with great rolls of butter like
rafts of logs. These boats seemed to have just left
some one or other of the mills; and Joy suddenly
noticed that these tall towers were shaped exactly like
churns, and some of them had streaming from the high
flagstaff that surmounted them a pennon with the
inscription, “ Buttermilk Mills.” The frothing cascade
which poured down the race at their sides was certainly
real buttermilk; and the mill-wheels were not arranged
on the ordinary plan, but looked more like the dashers
of churns than any thing else. There was a pleasant,
busy, splashing sound going on inside; and the elves
with butter-paddles and butter-knives for oars kept
busily coming and going.

A little farther down, the banks of the river were
formed of cliffs of milk-toast, whose strata the elves
were separating by means of toasting-forks and gravy-
spoons. The great slabs had been so coated with the
washings of the river, that they were as white and
smooth as marble; while, between the crevices, streams
had oozed and trickled, leaving long white stalactites
on the rough brown edges.

117
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





oe

Beyond Milk Toast Quarries, the river was yellow
with things which Joy at first fancied were water-lilies,
but which were in reality custard-flowers. Then its
curdling waves swept round Cream Cheese Castle, a
massive round structure, and next they darted in a
torrent of foam down Whipped Cream Cascade. After
this, the Milky Way seemed to flow through a colder
climate; for it was frozen, and little men and women
were skating upon it. Some, more industrious than
the others, were sawing and cutting the ice into fanci-
ful shapes, — great shafts like Bunker Hill Monument,
and fluted columns, buff, chocolate, and rosy-tinted.
Joy was not surprised to see that these columns were
variously labelled Vanilla, Lemon, and Strawberry ;
for, as cream always rises to the surface of milk, of
course the ice formed on the Milky Way would be ice-
cream. Neither was it at all astonishing that, after the
ice was removed, the river should flow on with pale
blue waves, and be called Skim Milk Canal. She did
not care to follow its meanderings any farther, espe-
cially as the Sun told her that it next moved sluggishly
through Sour Milk Marsh; and she turned her gaze
from the landscape, and fixed it upon her companion ;

118
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



—e--—

and, as she did so, was surprised to find that though
he had a shining countenance, she could yet look
him squarely in the face without being dazzled as she
had always been when attempting the same experi-
ment from the earth, The Sun seemed to read her
thoughts; for he answered just as though she had
spoken, —

“That is because you have never really seen my
face: what you have seen is only my golden shield
that hangs here by the side of my chariot.”

“Cousin Myrtle looks at it every day,” said Joy,
“through the coast-survey” (the coast-survey was the
name of one of her father’s telescopes). “She is keep-
ing a diary of the sun-spots for Uncle Briar; she
paints a little picture of them every day, and dates it,
so that she knows just how they change. Uncle Briar
is going to have them all printed in color for a book
he is writing.”

“And what do you suppose the sun-spots are?”
asked the Sun.

“When I thought it was your face,” replied Joy, “I
thought they were freckles: it’s the sun that makes
them come on our faces, and I should think you would

119
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





+20

have lots of them. But, now that they are on your
shield, I don’t know what they are, unless the wheels
of your carriage going round have splashed mud on
it, as the perturbation of the moon did on our car-
riage.”

“Nonsense,” said the Sun with a laugh: “they are
scars and dints that I have received in my battles
with the Powers of Darkness. I am a great warrior;
never a day passes but I shiver countless lances of
light against the shadow demons in your world. But
I don’t suppose you know any thing about fighting:
you are only a little girl.”

“T have read about Arthur’s Table Round,” said Joy
modestly, —‘“ King Arthur's, who went out through all
the world to help the weak and the oppressed, and to
fight with every kind of wrong.”

“So do I,” said the Sun. “Each twenty-four hours
I make a pilgrimage all around your earth, kissing
the tears out of the eyes of the violets, helping every
aspiring plant to climb up a little higher than it was
the day before, and making every evil and shameful
thing fly before me and hide itself, as the snakes
do, in dark dens. I have a great deal of work to do,

120
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



io

and a great many battles to fight in your world, little
girl, but I don’t mean to tell you of them: if you
are thoughtful and observant, you will find them out
for yourself; and, if you should not happen to find
them out, I don’t know that it makes much difference
after all. I am like Arthur’s knights in one thing at

least : —
““* My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,

ba)

Because my heart is pure.

Joy looked at the great Sun in admiration; what a
worker he was, to be sure! He was busier every day
and always than she had been the past two months for
the fair; and yet no one took any notice of what he did,
in the way of giving him the credit for it. She had
never heard any one say, “ How very kind it is of the
Sun to dry up all that mud, so that we can go to the picnic
to-day!” or, “Don’t you think it was very thoughtful in
the Sun not to forget to rise this morning?” They did
not even, when Christmas came, get him up a present
and a vote of thanks, as they did for the postman, who
“must find it so tiresome to keep going the same rounds

121
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

—e--—



every morning.” And, worst of all, her father had told
her that every little while the Sun was totally eclipsed,
just as she had been; and nobody was sorry for him.

“Poor Sun!” said Joy, the tears filling her eyes, “7:
am sorry for you. I have been eclipsed, and I know
what it is like.”

“Pooh! that’s nothing,” replied the Sun, who seemed
to have followed her entire train of thought. “You
may think you know what it is to be eclipsed; but I
don’t believe you really do, if you think it is any thing
to cry about.”

“ Father said being eclipsed was being thrown into the
shade,” said Joy.

“Now, I call that a very poor definition,” replied the
Sun. “When I am eclipsed I am never thrown into the
shade: I am just as bright-faced and warm-hearted as I
was before. What do you suppose I care, if a few
people down in your little world lose sight of me for
a few minutes? It brings the Moon into notice, and
pleases her, you know; and I like to please the Moon,
for she never did me any harm, or meant any malice
in simply coming between me and the public.”

The Sun’s words started a new train of thought in

122
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



ee oo

Joy’s mind. Why shouldn’t she, too, be as bright-faced
and warm-hearted as ever, in spite of her eclipse?
Perhaps Helen Earlewinne had not meant to do her
an injury by her own success ; and, after all, she could
not help carrying off the honors of the day any more
than the moon could.

“Then, you know,” continued the Sun, “that I am
never totally eclipsed except to a very small portion of
the world at the same time. While just in one par-
ticular line it is just the same to people as if I had
gone out of the heavens, to the rest of the world I am
of as much consequence as I ever was.”

Was not that true of her too? To be sure, the com-
mittee ladies thought that Joy might have been quite as
well omitted from the workers for the fair; but her father
and mother, and Cousin Myrtle and Uncle Briar, and
Miss Earle’s girls, and Helen Earlewinne herself, knew
how much she had helped.

« And there is little Mercury,” said the Sun: “no one
thinks how instrumental I am in their getting a peep
at him. Astronomers last year were all aching to see
him; but they couldn’t have done it, if I had not been
eclipsed.”

123
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



2-0 a

Joy did not see, just then, how this point was applicable
to her, though she did a little later in the night. Evi-
dently some one wanted the statuette of Mercury which
she had helped purchase. She wondered who it was.

“So, you see,” said the Sun, “I think your father’s
definition of an eclipse unworthy of his reputation as
an astronomer. I should like to know what the scientific
world in general would think of such a slipshod use of
terms.”

“Oh! papa did give me a very scientific explanation
of it all,” said Joy eagerly, anxious to defend her father
to the irate old Sun, who was fast growing hot with
indignation. “It was so very scientific, and had so much
about parallax and axles and the daub of mud that
kept going round and round, that I could not under-
stand it at all; but that wasn’t my papa’s fault.”

“T don’t see why he said any thing about parallax,”
grumbled the Sun, “though that matter is easy enough
to understand. Didn’t he try to tell you what it
was?”

“He said,” replied Joy, speaking very slowly and
distinctly, for she wished to be sure of giving her father’s
exact words, — ‘he said that parallax was the change of

124
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

ete ---5-e



place which an object undergoes when viewed from two
different stations.”

“Certainly, certainly,” assented the Sun. “Now, if
you were walking under an apple-tree, the apples could
‘look down upon you; but if you were sailing over it in
a balloon, you could look down upon the apples: that
would be a case in which the parallax would amount to
180°. Did you never notice how very different things
look when viewed from different standpoints? This
question of parallax will keep coming up all your life
long, and you might as well try to understand it now.
People make enormous mistakes in their life-problems
by not allowing for it: they think, because a thing seems
to them to occupy a certain position, it really zs there,
and never take into consideration the fact that if they
changed their place of observation the object in question
might appear to be in a different place too. Now don’t
yawn, for I am going to tell you why I have been talking
to you about parallax. JI presume you think Helen
Earlewinne just about the unkindest girl in the world;
now, don’t you?”

“ No-o-0,” said Joy.

“Well, you did last evening; and what you ought to

125
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o 2-2



do now, is what the astronomers always do before they
finish calculating an eclipse,— make the correction for
parallax. You should try to see Helen Earlewinne
from some other standpoint.”

“I should like to,” said Joy submissively, “but I don’t.
see how I can. You see, she is such a great girl, we are
not in the same set at all.”

“Would you like to look into her room at this very
moment?” asked the Sun.

“Tf it would make me like her any better.”

“ Answered like a true-hearted little girl I cannot
go with you, for she would be surprised and frightened
to see me at this time of night; but I will set you on
the back of my black leader there, and, as you pass
Helen’s window, you can look in: she will not see you,
for his flowing mane will cover you all over like a man-
tle.”

The Sun dismounted from his chariot, and, walking
along beside his handsome tandem team, lifted Joy to a
seat on the very blackest of his horses. It was named
Midnight, and had a white star in its forehead. Then
the Sun vanished, and Joy knew that she was looking
into Helen’s room. It was simply furnished; for, though

126
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

the Earlewinnes had been wealthy, they were now in
straitened circumstances. Helen was speaking to her
mother. She seemed to have been relating the experi-
ences of the evening ; for the first words that Joy heard
were, —

“ And so, mother, all of my flowers were sold,— all of
them. I don’t regret the work I put into them. But I
don’t believe they would have gone, if the little mistress
of the art-table had not let me have some of the pret-
tiest pots and vases to put them in that you ever saw.
She was the most unassuming little thing; she quite won
my heart. I mean to know her better some day. And
when that wretched Mr. Reed would not fulfil his
promise about the statuette, she bought all the shares
herself. I was so provoked when he drew it! And, to
make the matter worse, he must needs present it to me.
I was so mortified, I wanted to give it right to that little
Joy Fairchild; but there was such a quiet dignity about
the little thing, that actually I hadn’t the face to do it.
She said so simply, ‘I did not want the Mercury; and
all I am sorry for is, that the orphans will not be any
better off for it. Dear little thing! you've no idea,
mother, how insignificant she made me feel. But the

127
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

a ————— — SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsSSSSSSsSSSSSsSsSFMSsééF_,g,

orphans shall have some pleasure from it; for I am
going to take that great bracket of mine, and make a
back to it of the piece of green velvet that you gave me
for my winter bonnet. It will throw out the statuette
finely; and then I'll set it up in the schoolroom at the
Home. It is the most dreary place you ever saw; and
the little things are pining for something beautiful to
look at. I wish they could know that they owed it to
Joy Fairchild; but since they can’t, you may be sure
that no one of them will ever hear of my name in
connection with it.”

“That was just like the sky-garden too,” Joy thought,
“for people thanked the Moon as little as they did the
Sun for causing the eclipse, and letting them see Mer-
cury.” And how unconscious Helen Earlewinne was!
she did not appear to know that she had eclipsed Joy at
all. Joy felt her heart warm toward her more when she
went on, “ And, mother, Iam so glad! I have found out
what her favorite flower is, —arbutus. I can imitate it
perfectly ; and I mean to make her a long trailing wreath
of it to wear on her spring hat next season. I would
rather she should know I sent it, on one account; for I
should like to have her like me: but, I guess, on the

128
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





He

whole, it will be nicer to send it to her in some way that
will not be likely to betray me.”

At this point, Joy was seized with such an irresistible
desire to kiss Helen, that if her coal-black steed had
not borne her very swiftly on, she would have sprung
through the window.

“What do you think of Helen Earlewinne now?”
asked the Sun as he helped her to dismount.

“ She is just sweet !” exclaimed Joy enthusiastically.

“ Parallax! parallax!” he replied pleasantly; “and
eclipses are not such bad things either. My gray horse,
Dawn, is just over your window now. Perhaps you had
best slide down, and some other time you shall have
another ride.”

And Joy lay in her bed. Was it all a dream? She
thought so, until a package was left mysteriously at her
door containing a garland of arbutus: then she knew
that it was all true. Helen Earlewinne became her
dearest friend; but she never told her of her ride, or of
the unkind feelings she had had toward her before.
But, as her mother wished, she had learned not to care
very much whether people appreciated her efforts, but,
whether they did or not, to work on just as earnestly.

129
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+





oo

John Brown’s favorite couplet, that grandma sang so
often, ran in her mind every time she looked at a sunrise ;
for she knew that the brave old Sun would watch her
throughout the day, and be ashamed of any faint-
heartedness on the part of his little friend; and so she
too repeated the couplet after grandma, —

“ Count that day lost whose low-descending sun
Views from thy hand no worthy action done.”



130


Part II.

TALES OF IE: ZODIAC




















CORPIO suggested no

story to either Cousin

Myrtle or Uncle Briar,

and this sign of the

zodiac might have been

slighted if it had not

been for the youngest

-member of the party.
“Never you mind,



Cousin Myrtle,” said
Bobby Copernicus: “I’ve got a composition to write, and
I'll write it on scorpiums. I always like to write about
some kind of a beast. All you have to do is to go
straight to Goldsmith’s ‘ Animated Nature,’ and read all
he says about ’em, and then write down all he said that
you can remember, and all you know about it your own
self.”
“ But isn’t that stealing?” asked Cousin Myrtle.
“When authors do so, and print what they write, it is
called plagiarism.”

133
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe



“Oh, mine ain’t plaguey-ism,” said Bobby proudly.
“Father explained all that to me. He said when I took
any thing out of a book, I must be very careful to
mention my authority, tell just what book it was, and
who wrote it, and then it was all right. I do that every
time now; you'll see.”

And so they did, on the following Saturday evening,
when a small but appreciative audience listened with
rapt attention to —

SCORPIUMS.

Scorpiums are a very big kind of bug. Mr. Gold-
smith says in his “Animated Nature,” that in Africa
they grow as big as lobsters. But I guess that is a
whopper, unless it was a very little baby lobster about as
big as a fiddler. A fiddler is a kind of crab they have
down to Newport. They call them fiddlers because one
of their claws is shaped like a vialscentium, and the
other like a trombone or a clarionet, or a kettle-drum,
or something, I forget what it was Uncle Briar said.
Any way, I couldn’t see any difference in ’em. They
looked just like claws, that was all. And I think Uncle
Briar must see very queer out of his eyes sometimes.

134
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



2a



For Cousin Myrtle has nice pumpkin-colored hair, and
he told her it was woven sunshine, and sunshine is just
no color, like water or glass. I asked mother about it,
and she said that was just the way father used to talk
before they was married, and that lovers saw every
thing through rose-colored spectacles. But, if that is so,
I should have thought he would have thought her hair
was red. Lovers must be queer things, any way. Mr.
Goldsmith says in his “ Animated Nature” that they are
the meanest things living, for they eat up their own
relations quicker’n any thing. Oncet there was a man
had one big one and thirty-seven little ones in a pickle-
bottle, and it ate em every one up; and one little one
clumb on to its mother’s back so it couldn’t eat it, and
held on tight until it had eaten its mother, which I think
just served her right. But father says it is very wrong
to eat mothers.

Goldsmith says in his “ Animated Nature,” that they
are a great deal more poisonous than tarantulas. Taran-
tulas are spiders. But in Texas they call whiskey taran-
tula juice, which I think is a very good name for it, for
the temperance man told us at Sunday school that at
the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like a

135
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



yellow-jacket. Yellow-jacket is hornets. I never tasted
any, but I should think it must be a good deal like
Jamaica ginger. Whiskey causes more intemperance
than any other kind of unhappiness in the world. That
is what the man said we must always remember.

Goldsmith says in his “ Animated Nature,” that there
are nine different varieties of this dangerous insect, dis-
tinguished by their colors,—ash color, rusty-iron color,
green color, greenish-yellow color, yellowish-green color,
yellow color, and seven others that I don’t remember; of
which one is more venomous than the other four.

Father says some boys remind him of scorpiums,
specially of that little one that ate up his mother. He
said there was a boy one Fourth of July that fired off
all his fire-crackers under his mother’s rocking-chair, .
what was real sick at the time. And he said that boy
was as mean as the little scorpium. But he didn’t say
how that boy’s father wolloped me for it, nor how the
next Fourth of July he took the money my grandpa sent
me for torpedoes, and bought me a microscope with it
instead, because microscopes was more instructive. And
then, mother wouldn’t let me have no satisfaction out of
it, but burnt up her needle-case chockfull of ants that I

136
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



ee

was saving to examine, and took me right up stairs, and
shut me up in her closet. I think microscopes are
humbugs. Goldsmith says in his “Animated Nature ”
that their mouths are principally composed of jaws, all
notched into each other like a circular saw-mill. There
was a little boy once that fell into one, and was tored
up quicker than a wink. I know our teacher wishes
sometimes that she was a circular saw-mill. For boys—
I mean some boys—can be just as teasin’ as any thing
to school-teachers. Goldsmith says in his “Animated
Nature,” that he thinks their malignity and venomos-
sity has been greatly exaggerated, for he knew a man
that tried all he could to make one bite him, and it
wouldn't. I saw one in a bottle oncet at the museum, or
else it was a horned toad or a centipede, I don’t remem-
ber which. And there were so many reptiles and other
lizards in with it, that I don’t remember exactly what it
looked like. And this is all I know about scorpiums.
A man named Mr. Goldsmith has written about them
some too, in a book called “Goldsmith’s Animated
Nature.” But it wouldn't pay you to read it, for he
doesn’t know much more about them than I do.

137




RANDMA had
many curiosities in
her room, and Joy
loved dearly to look
them over. To be
allowed to do so,
however, was a high privilege which





was only granted at rare intervals,
and was prized accordingly. On one
of Grandma’s especially gracious days,
Joy was seated, with all the timidity of
respectful anticipation, on the extreme

/} edge of one of the high-backed May-

es flower chairs, while she examined the
contents of a drawer in a quaintly carved red-cedar
cabinet, Grandma’s pet repository for her treasures.
This particular drawer seemed to be devoted to Indian
curiosities. There were jasper and carnelian arrow-
heads, very rudely carved, from the battle-field of Bloody
139
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



Brook, where the old records of the family stated that a
remote ancestor had been “slayne by y°* bloodthirsty
salvages.” There were the arrows that Cousin Dick,
who died with Custer, had sent home the very summer
of the massacre, — long light reeds fastened to the heavy
heads with a wax so soft that the warmth of the body
would cause it to melt, leaving the arrowhead in the
wound when an attempt was made to withdraw the
shaft; and others designed with an equally inhuman
ingenuity, with spiral channels winding around the shaft
like the grooves of a screw, leaving open passage-way
for scarlet rivulets, which would soon allow the victim to
bleed to death. There were a few arrowheads of ancient
nations, brought from foreign countries by friends of
Grandma’s; but what most excited Joy’s curiosity was a
piece of a broken bow, of some polished expensive wood,
the long bow-string, with a faded green silken tassel,
being still attached to the unshattered end.

“Did you-ever hear of a little winged boy,” said
Grandma, with a smile, “who is very skilful in archery
practice, but has a very cruel habit of always aiming his
arrows at human hearts? See, here is his portrait on
the back of this miniature of my father.”

140
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

a



oo

“Do you mean Cupid, Grandma?” asked Joy. “ There
is another picture of him on the valentine Willie Softs
sent me last spring. I don’t see, though, how Cupid
could have used such a large bow as this must have
been before it was broken: the string is nearly five feet
long.”

“It is an’ English bow, my dear, such as English
ladies of quality amused themselves with a hundred
years ago. It came from England with several more
like it, and witnessed many a fashionable merry-making
given by the ladies of New York to the British officers,
who then occupied the city.”

“OQ Grandma!” exclaimed Joy enthusiastically, “ it
ought to go to the Centennial. Do tell us about it.
Is it a love story? and were you in it?”

“Yes, and no,” replied Grandma. “It acted an im-
portant part in an old romance; but you must think your
grandmother a more ancient lady than she is, if you
fancy that she could have figured in it. My mother
lived in New York throughout the entire Revolution.
Her father, Heinrich Van Vechten, did not take any
active part on either side of that great conflict. But he
was noted as being one of the most bountiful enter-

141
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

++





tainers in the city, and his hospitable house overflowed
now with Tory, and now with patriot guests. This
created a very gay life for my mother, who was then a
young lady. She formed the acquaintance of most of
the prominent men of the day; and the leaders of both
sides regarded the brilliant Josephine Van Vechten
with equal admiration. Her home was situated on the
bank of the Hudson, near the site of Columbia College,
and was then considered quite out of town. She knew
most of the professors and many of the older students.
There were two, Alexander Hamilton and David Dal-
zell, who were frequent callers. They were both young
men of talent, and stanch patriots; and from their
stirring conversation, Josephine, who was at first as
indifferent as her father to politics, became interested
in the revolutionary movement.

“ After the defeat of our army on Long Island, on the
27th of August, 1776, most of the men noted for their
patriotic sympathies left the city; but young Dalzell
remained, and, to Josephine’s astonishment, mingled
more unreservedly than was his wont in the social
entertainments of the time. He was of good family,
and was well received everywhere. Some of his rela-

142
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



tives were Tories, and his own sentiments were not
generally known. He was not as outspoken now as
he had been in the old familiar talks the winter
before, when he brought his orations to read to her
before delivering them at the college; and Josephine
wondered if he was changing, and felt her admira-
tion for him subside a little. He seemed so very
friendly with some of the young British officers, she
could hardly reconcile it with his professed admira-
tion for Washington, with whose acquaintance he had
been honored but a short time previous. It was a sad
disappointment to her to discover that one whom she
had regarded as quite a hero was so false or fickle.
She told him so one evening at a reception at Sir
Henry Clinton’s, when he reproached her with having
changed, and no longer extending toward him the old
friendly familiarity. ‘Josephine, he said, replying to
her quick retort, ‘you used to be a patriot too; and
you cannot have seen me at more English entertain-
ments than you have yourself attended; and I have
never seen you look displeased on receiving attentions
from Lord Percy or Count Knyphausen.’

“*T am only a girl,’ she replied, while tears of vexation

143
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,



oe

started to her eyes; ‘ but, if I could serve my country
by staying away, you may be sure I never would attend
one of these gatherings.’

“*Can you not imagine, said young Dalzell mysteri-
ously, ‘that I have not changed at all; that in associat-
ing intimately with those in the confidence of the British
commander, I may be able to serve my country better
than by running away, or bringing suspicion upon
myself by foolhardiness ?’

“A glance of intelligence was exchanged between the
two. She understood now; and, though a spy’s calling
was the most dangerous he could have chosen, her
heart gave a little leap of triumph at the assurance
‘that he was not recreant to his convictions. There
was a little pause, and then she said cordially, —

“<«Tf Tcan help you in any way’ —

“«Thank you, replied David Dalzell; ‘but I fear
that my own mission here is drawing to a close. There
are a number of suspected characters about whom a
red circle is being drawn; I think that I have so far
succeeded in keeping out of it. But, once in that situa-
tion, I shall have to give up the game, and leave the
city as quickly as possible.’

144
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

“* Perhaps,’ said Josephine, ‘I can enact Jonathan
to your David. You know the old Scripture story,
—how Jonathan discovered that mischief was devised
against his friend, and warned him of it in his con-
versation, with the ingenious double meanings at the
target-shooting by the stone Ezel, so that “only Jona-
than and David knew the matter,” while the lad who
gathered up the arrows “knew not any thing.” I will
try to find out to-night whether your suspicions have
any foundation, and will warn you if you are in
danger.’

“« Your suggestion is a capital one; and there is no
time to be lost. I have important business which will
prevent my remaining here longer this evening; and
I do not see how I can come out to your house to-
morrow. Can you not manage to be in the city during
the day?’

“«T am invited to the archery party at Sir Guy Carle-
ton’s in the afternoon.’

“* Then we can make a genuine Jonathan-and-David
affair of it; for I will call there during the day, and,
instead of leaving, manage to secrete myself in the boat-
house at the foot of the garden. One of the targets is

145
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



1

fastened against its side; and, when you are standing
near it, I can easily hear all you say.’

“Then remember, said Josephine, ‘what you said
about the red line being drawn around the suspected
ones, and about giving up the game; for I shall try to
use those words in some way.’

“«T trust all to you,’ replied David Dalzell as he took
leave: ‘ you are my last, my only dependence.’

“«T pray I may not prove a broken reed for you to
lean upon, responded Josephine.

“ For two hours longer, Josephine danced and chatted
and flirted with different officers. Twice her mother
came to remind her that it was time to leave; but she
begged so earnestly for just a few minutes more that
Mrs. Van Vechten yielded. No one had ever before
seen Josephine so animated and apparently carried away
with the pleasure of the evening. She had never been
so witty, or so universally admired; and on no other
occasion had she appeared to better advantage. To
Josephine herself, the two hours seemed frightfully short.
She never lost sight of her aim, and from each of her
partners adroitly extracted an additional scrap of infor-
mation, until she knew for a certainty that David Dal-

146
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



7s oo

zell’s fears were not groundless. He was more than
suspected : it might even now be too late to save him.

“ That night she hardly slept; and all the next morn-
ing she glided about the house in a fever of anxiety.
What if he were already arrested! Executions followed
with such terrible rapidity, that they might at this very
moment be leading him out to be hung.

“At length the hour arrived for the archery party.
For a wonder, Miss Van Vechten was very prompt,
being among the earliest arrivals. A long garden and
lawn stretched back of Sir Guy Carleton’s residence to
the river-side. At each extremity, large targets were
erected. Beginning at the mansion, the party were to
shoot at the one ‘by the side of the boat-house until all
their arrows were exhausted; and then, walking to that
end of the field, collect their shafts, and aim at the other
target. The /é¢e was one that Josephine had looked
forward to with high anticipation. She wore a costume
prepared expressly for the occasion, of green flowered
brocade, with a pointed hat of the same material, and a
snow-white ostrich feather that curled over its great
green hollow like the crest of a wave at Long Branch.
But the mermaiden within the wave had any thing but a

147
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+s



merry face. She was noted for the exactitude of her
shots, and for her magnificent pose at the instant the
arrow quitted the string. But this afternoon she was
' remarkably reckless. Not one of her arrows touched
the golden centre, and not once did she strike. her
favorite Diana attitude, with the lithe hand and arm
curved gracefully above the puffings on her shoulder.
She was strangely silent too, until they took their second
stand, by the river; and then several times her voice
rose high above the rest in a way that was almost
unladylike, and with a cutting intensity in its quality
that no one had ever noticed before. The first time that
she spoke was when young Col. Bartlett, who led her
side, took his turn. ‘You are inside the red circle!’
The words had a sharp vibrant ring in them; and the
colonel answered somewhat testily, ‘ Well, what if I am?
that is not bad: red is next to gold’ He looked at her
in surprise when she repeated the same exclamation in
the same shrill tones after the shooting of the next two
players. ‘Why, Josephine Van Vechten!’ exclaimed
one of the girls, ‘I think you must be getting near-
sighted. That is my arrow in the green circle. It is
your turn now; see if you can do any better.’
148
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o



“ Josephine took her stand, placing the end of her bow
against her right foot in the scientific position for string-
ing it, but drawing the cord so smartly that it snapped
at once. ‘ There is nothing to be done,’ she cried in a
tone of vexation, ‘ but to give up the game.’

“«Try my bow,’ said one of her friends.

“« They are all alike, she replied, ‘ all equally unrelia-
ble. This was my main dependence; and it can do
nothing further for me.’

“Later, when they were talking of long shots, one of
the company boasted that he could shoot across the
river; and, on his attempting it, Josephine called to
the darting arrow, ‘ Fly, fly! quick, quick! to the Jersey
shore.’

“«That would be a long shot,’ said Col. Bartlett with a
laugh, and then he attempted to engage Josephine in
conversation. But her replies were very low and brief;
and no one recollected to have heard her speak aloud
that afternoon, except in the odd exclamations which I
have repeated.

“While the party was going on, a band of soldiers with
a warrant of arrest were searching everywhere, without
success, for David Dalzell. And a few days later, Sir

149
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





oo

Guy Carleton told Josephine that his row-boat had been
stolen in a mysterious manner that very evening.

“Tt was not till after peace was declared, that David
Dalzell returned, and told how he drifted down the river,
passed the sentries under cover of the midnight with
muffled oars, and reached the American camp the next
day in safety.

“ Theirs was a stately, old-fashioned wedding. The
artist who painted the miniature on ivory, which was to
be David’s wedding-gift to his wife, was not surprised
that he wanted a picture of Cupid, with bow and arrows,
on the reverse. Young men often had such romantic
notions. But he could not conceive why my father
should insist that the bow should be represented as
broken.”



150















ND blue and purple and scarlet and
™ fine linen and goat’s hair, and rams’
skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins,”
Na Said Joy softly to herself, as Cousin
\ Myrtle passed through the room.
“Why, Joy,” said Cousin Myrtle,
“is it quite right to be playing in
\that way on Sunday?” for Joy had
built herself a queer little hut,



LY
-
rN
yy
pa
SS

\ and a couple of high-backed
“chairs, and had covered it
with all the rugs she could find in the library, from the
gray badger’s skin lined with red flannel that Uncle
Ranger had sent home from Wisconsin, to the beautiful
Turkish rug that was Uncle Briar’s special pride.

Joy popped her curly head from between the curtains
of her wigwam. “It’s all right, Cousin Myrtle,” said she

151
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,



ee >to

re-assuringly: “it’s a holy game. You see our Sunday-
school lesson was about the Tabernacle, and I have
been building one to see what it looked like. I haven't
quite enough curtains.. I wish you would let me have
your camel’s-hair shawl, and—oh! have you got any
goat's hair? You know it says that ‘all the women
whose hearts stirred them up in wisdom spun goat's
Rair.”” :

“The Turkish rug is made of goat’s hair,” said Uncle
Briar, who had followed Myrtle just in time to hear
Joy’s last request; “and if you will hurry and take that
edifice down before aunt returns from church, and come
out and swing in the hammock with me, I will tell you a
story about it. We will take out the reclining-chair for
Cousin Myrtle, and perhaps she will come with us.”

So, when they were all fixed out of doors, Uncle Briar
went on as follows : —

“Away in Central Asia there lives a wild, nomadic
tribe, called the Turcomans. They live just as Jacob
and Rachel and Isaac and Rebecca used to. They have
camels and horses, and flocks of goats and sheep; and
they move about from place to place oftener than fash-
ionable people, who can only stay at Saratoga a few

152

*
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



He +2

weeks, and must then whisk off to Long Branch for the
season there, and then to the White Mountains, chang-
ing their location not because they like one place any
better than another, but because everybody in their set
does so. The Turcomans are very much like our
fashionable people: they change their residences in this
way, just because their set have always done so. They
do not carry great Saratoga trunks around with them;
but they carry their houses, and they are nearly as large.
Zuleika was a little Turcoman girl, wild and fierce and
brave. She had long, straight black hair, and a pretty,
oval, olive face. She had no brothers nor sisters, and her
only playmate was Mustruf. Mustruf was a silky-haired
goat whose milk she drank, and whose hair her mother
spun and dyed, and wove in fantastic Oriental patterns,
such as her grandmother and great-grandmother and
great-great-grandmother had woven. She made mats for
their tent and for the top of their cart, to keep the sun
from Zuleika’s eyes when the cart swayed along over the
sand. And Zuleika lay with wide-open, never-winking
eyes, staring up at the blending blue, violet, and scarlet,
and reading stories of her own from the quaint characters,
—spots and bars, and waving lines, that might be the
153
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

SS ee ey ES

alphabet of some lost language. Sometimes her mother
wove the golden threads of the silkworm, that looked
like long beams of sunshine streaming through her
fingers; and as she wove she always sang some simple
native melody, with a soul and a meaning in it like that
in Barry Cornwall’s ‘Weavers’ Song, though the words
were different : —

‘Weave, sisters, weave! Swiftly throw
The shuttle athwart the loom,

And show us how brightly your flowers grow,
That have beauty, but no perfume.

‘Sing, sing, sisters! Weave and sing!
*Tis good both to sing and to weave ;
’Tis better to work than live idle ;
’Tis better to sing than grieve.

‘Weave, sisters, weave! Weave and bid
The colors of sunset glow ;

Let grace in each gliding thread be hid ;
Let beauty about ye blow.

Let your skein be long, and your silk be fine,
And your hands both firm and sure ;

And time nor. chance shall your work untwine,
But all — like the truth — endure.’

154
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





ne

“ And then what romps Zuleika had with Mustruf, who
was the most intelligent goat in the world! She had all
the natural qualities necessary to a trained goat. All
she needed was education; for she was far more saga-
cious than Djali, the performing goat in Victor Hugo’s
story, ‘Notre Dame de Paris, and could easily have
learned the alphabet and to tell the time of day if her
mistress had but taught her; but her mistress could
not do so, for she had never learned them herself.
The goat loved Zuleika, too, with all the affection of
which its brute heart was capable, and was often left
in charge of her, as a Newfoundland dog might have
been.

“ There came a time when the great Khan of Khiva
and the Emperor of Russia thought that Mustruf and
Zuleika had frolicked, and Zuleika’s mother woven, long
enough; and so, between them, they organized a war
involving in suffering and death thousands of other
beings as innocent and ignorant as Zuleika and her
goat.

“ There was a terrible battle in the desert. Zuleika’s
mother watched it from an oasis, standing in the cart in
which Zuleika and Mustruf were curled up together.

155
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



+o eo

She could see nothing but a great swirling cloud of
dust, when suddenly from its midst wheeled a band
of dusky horsemen: the Turcomans were fleeing. She
watched a little longer: swart arms were tossed in the
air, and their owners rolled from their horses lifeless to
the ground. Suddenly she started, leaped from the cart,
and, quite forgetful of Zuleika, ran with bounding leaps
straight through the advancing Cossacks toward one of
the prostrate men. And Zuleika and Mustruf lay and
waited. The battle raged around them, and, with great
frightened eyes, they saw it through the rents in the gay
rugs that covered their cart. By and by the tumult
ceased, for the battle had swept on. Zuleika called her
mother, but she did not come. Women were weeping
over their dead in carts near by, but no one came to
them. Zuleika was hungry. She took down her little
gourd, milked Mustruf, drank, and then, because there
was nothing else to do, waited again. The stars came
out, and she drew a little rug over herself, and fell asleep.
Morning came, and she found herself quite alone; for
Mustruf had gone away in search of some one, and the
people in the neighboring carts had fled: during the
night. She climbed down out of the cart, and running
156
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





a little way stepped upon a sabre that lay half hidden in
the sand, and gashed her bare foot badly. Even then
the brave little thing did not cry, but limped painfully
back to the cart, and sat down again wounded and
desolate. But Mustruf had not deserted her mistress,
and in her dumb way was working for her better,
perhaps, than a human friend could have done.

“The chief of a tribe with whom the Russians were
on friendly terms had encamped not far from the field
of battle; and one of the officers had been sent by the
Russians to make an official call upon him. Now, I
should never have known any thing about this story, if
this officer, Major Makinoff, had not happened to be an
old friend of mine; for he it was who told me all about
it when I met him the next summer in Paris. And who
was it that told Major Makinoff? Why, Mustruf, to be
sure. As the major alighted from his horse, and entered
the sheik’s £zdztka, or tent, Mustruf, whose more than
instinct had told her where the nearest assemblage of
human beings was to be found, trotted into the encamp-
ment, and followed him into the presence of the great
man. Major Makinoff noticed his companion, but sup-
posed, from her excessive familiarity, that she was a pet

157
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



a 2-9

of the sheik’s. The sheik was somewhat surprised at
his visitor, but concluded, as she came with the officer,
that she belonged to him, and was perhaps to be offered
as a present; and both were too polite to make any
remark about the shaggy intruder. But Mustruf, though
she was a true scape-goat, had no intention of being
used as a peace-offering; and, when she saw that no
attention was paid to her, she began to force herself
upon their notice. She made a furious charge upon the
major just as he rose to make a little speech, running
between his legs, and knocking him down. The sheik
was too well versed in Oriental etiquette even to smile;
and Major Makinoff felt that it would not do to be
angry with a favorite of the chief, no matter what
liberties she might feel inclined to take: so he picked
himself up, with a smile, and remarked that much was to
be permitted to the pets of princes; and the sheik,
though he did not understand the remark, bowed
gravely. The major went on with his oration; and
Mustruf, after careering madly three times about the
tent, knocked over a tall, gracefully shaped metal pitcher,
containing coffee, which stood near the sheik’s feet.
Fortunately it was not hot, and the sheik was not
: 158
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe —_—_—_______—o-4-—

scalded; but his yellow satin cushion was stained, and
he scowled visibly.

“ Major Makinoff ventured the observation that some
people liked goats. The sheik replied that he did, but
only when they kept their places. ‘Then, why don’t
you teach yours manners?’ asked the major.

“<“My goat!’ exclaimed the sheik in surprise. ‘I never
saw the creature before. I supposed you brought it
here.’

“* And I wondered if you kept the beast on purpose
to insult your visitors; for of course I thought it was
yours, said Major Makinoff, rising, and assisting the
attendants to drive poor Mustruf off. But, like Mary’s
little lamb, Mustruf still lingered near, and waited
patiently about till the major did appear: then it followed
him contentedly as long as his course lay toward Zulei-
ka’s cart. But, when he turned aside to ride in another
direction, Mustruf planted herself in his way, and quite
{frightened his horse by her ridiculous charges and dan-
cing. Major Makinoff saw that something was really the
matter with the animal; and he reined in his horse, and
waited for an explanation. Then Mustruf would run a
little way toward the oasis, and, returning, repeat her odd

159)
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oa © —_—_—5-2—

gambols; and the major decided to follow her a little
way, and see if he could ascertain what she meant.
They had not far to go; and the major, riding to the
cart, lifted out the littlke wounded Zuleika. But even
then she took him for an enemy, and resisted all she
could, biting and scratching fiercely. He spoke to her
very gently and re-assuringly; but she understood Mus-
truf’s actions best, which said as plainly as could be, ‘I
have brought you a friend.’ And she finally allowed
herself to be lifted to the saddle, and carried away to
the Russian camp.

“ Here the surgeon dressed her foot; and the major
tended her in his own tent, becoming greatly attached to
her, and determining to adopt her as his own daughter,
and carry her back to Russia with him. But Mustruf
spoiled the plan; for one day, among some haggard
women who haunted the camp, demanding that their lost
relatives should be restored to them, she recognized
Zuleika’s mother, and led her by the same dumb panto-
mime to Major Makinoff’s tent. Zuleika and she sprang
into each other’s arms. It needed no interpreter to ex-
plain their relationship; and, without even thanking the
major for his care of her child, Zuleika’s mother marched

160
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

eee lng

her away, Mustruf jogging along in their rear with a
perfectly self-satisfied expression of countenance.

“Zuleika’s mother was grateful, though; and she showed
her thanks in deeds instead of words, before the Major
left for Russia, bringing him one day a roll of Turkish
rugs, each one representing a year’s labor. There were
five in all,—one for each year of Zuleika’s life. Major
Makinoff accepted the rugs; but he insisted on paying
for them in silver coin, which will probably form a part
of Zuleika’s marriage-portion some day.

“When he told me this story in Paris, I was so much
interested that he gave me one of the rugs: so here you
have not only a specimen of Zuleika’s mother’s skill in
weaving, but also a souvenir of Mustruf, composed from
many locks of the hair of the faithful goat.”



161




Db AR’S bressing in baptizing
drops,

Dey dribes de Debble out;

De rain dat falls upon de
fields,

It makes de taters sprout.

a I f Den sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle,



(=i

7 While de bells go tinkle, tinkle:
“@# _ Swing low, old chariot,
We'll dribe old Satan out.”



Oe ;
' The long, steep streets of Nashville glowed
With white dust, parched and dry;
The wind like a sirocco scorched ;
Like copper glared the sky.
A ghastly form strode through the town,
And at each fireside stood;
It paused at door of rich and poor,
To trace its sign of blood.
163


IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

Nashville held many heroes brave,
And ladies fair and gay;

But each man’s lip was blanched with fear,
And mirth all fled away.

Grim Cholera reaped her harvest down,
And faster toiled each day;

While none could turn her sickle back,
And none her march could stay.

Young Doctor Starr worked day and night —
Martyr of science he —
To trace the sources of the blight, —
And what its cause might be.
One night he started from his desk,
Pushed back his microscope,
And from his laboratory strode,
All fresh inspired with hope.

“ The seeds of death are in the air,
And we must beat them down:
Oh for refreshing showers of rain !
E’en now they ’d save the town.
I'll lay my plans before the Board
Of Health at break of day.”
164
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



The morrow came; and Doctor Starr
The cholera’s victim lay.

Only a negro, gray and old,
Bent o’er his master’s bed,

And listened carefully to all
He in delirum said.

“ Dey calls me Daddy Wufless,” thought
The negro to himself:
“ Dey ’ll take back dat ar name before
I’se laid upon de shelf.
I'd like to spite ole Satan once:
He thinks to him Pll go;
But I has got some money saved
In an ole stockin’ toe.
I tought dat dat ar money might
My freedom-papers buy ;
But when a man sees duty clar,
And sneaking lets it lie,
It had been better for dat man,
As Judas Scarrot said,
If he ’d been frown into de sea,
A meal-sack roun’ his head.
165
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



And so the old man’s money bought
A horse and water-cart;

And every day he drove about
The city streets and mart,

Till sick men, tossing on their beds
Of fever and of pain,

Said, as they feebly raised their heads, —
“T hear the sound of rain,

As when, in nights of childhood past,
Upon the roof and pane:

The air is fresher than it was,
And I can breathe again.”

The last in every funeral train,
His water-cart passed by;
And, as he went, he often sang,
With thin voice cracked and high, —

“ Dar’s bressing in baptizing drops,
Dey dribes de Debble out ;
De rain dat falls upon de fields,
It makes de taters sprout.
166
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



Den sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle,
While de bells go tinkle, tinkle:
Swing low, ole chariot,
We’ ll dribe ole Satan out.”

The scourge is lifted from the town;
But he who died for it

Lies buried, like a faithful hound,
Beside his master’s feet.

And when I tread that burial-ground
The tears unbidden start,

To honor “ Daddy Wufless” and
The old man’s sprinkling-cart.



167




ICK BRAGG had a won-
ae derful imagination. He
Ds did not really mean to

ag tell lies; but every fact
that came under his
observation was so ex-



aggerated and changed




in his report, that it was hardly
the same thing. Trifling incidents
became terrible calamities, good for-
tune was magnified in the same ratio,
every thing was a great deal worse or
a great deal better than it really was.
It seemed as if he wore a pair of internal magnifying-
glasses that made him see things larger than they actu-
ally were; and his whole arithmetic was a table of mul-
tiplication. If he found a nest of five or six eggs in
the barn, he would say there was about a bushel. He
reported that there were millions of potato-bugs on one
169
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



eo oe

of the hills; and when his father made him pick them
off, and count them, he could only find forty. He said
that it was hot enough to melt lead in the hayfield; and
his sister found a little pat of butter in his dinner-pail,
which had returned nearly as solid as it went out. He
was sure there were a thousand peaches on his tree;
and was triumphant when they were gathered to find
that there was a “hundred anyhow.”

All this might have passed for a very unfortunate
mental disorder, if it had been only a tendency to exag-
geration. It might have been said that he was not
accountable for giving false impressions, if these were
the ones that he received. But Dick sometimes made
stories out of whole cloth, that needed a great deal of
explanation to take the lie out of them. Why these
works of fiction should be called fish-stories, I cannot
say, unless it is that anglers have a temptation to boast
of large catches. But, at all events, no superannuated
whaler sunning himself on the beach was fuller of these
fishy-flavored stories than Dick.

Suddenly there was a great change in him; and no
one was more particular than Dick that the impressions
he gave others should be correct. This was how it

170
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

oe



came about. He lived upon the seashore; and there
came to board at his father’s house, one summer, a very
peculiar gentleman. He had been a sea-captain, but
had left the sea after having gained a large fortune. He
was not a happy man, in spite of his wealth; for, while
away on his last voyage, he had met with a loss that
took away all the enjoyment from life. His wife had
died. His only child, a little girl, had been taken away
by an aunt, of whom, strange to say, he could find no
trace, though he had spared no pains or expense in the
search. He had given it up now, and would sit for
hours in a reclining-chair on the piazza, looking off at
the sea with an expression of despondency that it was
pitiful to see on the face of a strong man in the prime
of life. Sometimes he would rouse from his melancholy,
and talk with Dick, whose bright replies interested him ;
and Dick, emboldened by the gentleman’s attention,
would relate the most impossible adventures, of the truth
of which his hearer never expressed the slightest doubt,
listening quietly, with an amused smile now and then
creeping across his face.

“You will be telling me some yarn about Capt. Kidd
next,” he said one day.

171
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





“Who was he?” asked Dick.

“ A pirate who sailed and sailed, and who is said to
have left untold treasures buried at various points along
our coast. There are few seaports that haven't their
legends of sacks of gold hidden somewhere by him;
but no one has been fortunate enough to find them yet.”

Dick was quiet for some time, for his busy brain was
at work. “Capt. Starboard,” said he after a pause, “I
should not wonder if that old pirate you mentioned just
now azd have a cave or something near here; for I know
a little girl whose mother found lots and lots of guineas
somewhere along the coast.”

“Dick, Dick!” said Capt. Starboard reprovingly.

“Yes, she did, though,” persisted the boy. “ And they
weren't tied up in bags nor nothing neither; and she
lives on ‘em now, honest Injun.”

“ Honest Injun” was Dick’s most solemn affirmation.
When he said that, and looked you straight in the face
with his one gray and one blue eye, you might be sure
that it was equivalent to an oath at court, and that what
he said was the unvarnished truth or—that it was a
great deal bigger lie than usual. Capt. Starboard looked
at Dick thoughtfully. “I must inquire into this,” he said

172
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

ee



2 o

to himself, “and, if the boy has no grounds for his asser-
tion, see if something cannot be done to correct this bad
habit.”

As far as words went, Dick had been speaking the
truth; but Capt. Starboard had not understood him
correctly, as Dick had intended he should not; and,
as sin consists in an intention to do wrong, Dick had
told a downright lie. The truth was this: Ata lonely
house down on Sandy Cove, lived a poor old woman,
who had come to the place some three years before,
and who earned a scanty living by doing washing.
She had a little girl strangely delicate and beautiful,
quite unlike the rough mother, though each seemed
exceedingly fond of the other. Dick had seen her when
he had been sent to the house with clothes, and had
struck up quite an intimacy with the lonely little thing.
Once when he came he did not find her. ‘Where is
Floy?” he asked of the woman.

“Oh, I found a flock of guineas,” she replied; “and
Floy is up on the hill taking care of them. I expect
they strayed from some farm near here. If you hear of
any one having lost them, let me know.”

Dick climbed the sandy bank, and found Floy in fats

173
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



meadow watching the guinea-fowls that were stepping
stiffly about in the grass. They were quite shy of him;
but they allowed Floy to come near to them, and a few
were even bold enough to eat from her hand.

“ They are so pretty,” said she, “and I think they look
real stylish, Mamma used to have a dress like that
with white polka spots in it, only the ground was black
instead of gray: it was trimmed with black lace, I re-
member. My papa brought it to her from some foreign
country. It was some sort of gauzy stuff, and she wore
it over a long black silk skirt; and you don’t know how
beautiful she looked with the starry chrysanthemums in
her black hair.” .

“ But your mamma has red hair,” said Dick.

“T know this mamma has, but my other one didn’t
use to,” persisted the child.

Not long afterward it was ascertained that the guinea-
fowls belonged to a kind-hearted farmer for whom the
old woman did washing. But they had become so much
attached to their new home that they would not return ;
and the farmer seeing that Floy would be nearly heart-
broken if they were taken away, and feeling just then
remarkably good-natured from having sold his hay-

174
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



crop to good advantage, made her a present of them.
After this Floy was not quite so lonely; for her guineas,
as she called them, were companions as well as a source
of income for her.

This was what Dick had in mind when he told Capt.
Starboard his remarkable fish-story about the guineas;
and the captain had replied, “I wish you would tell me
where this old woman lives who found the gold. I
should like to see if any traces can be found of Capt.
Kidd in this region.”

Dick started. He had not expected that his story
would be put to the test; but his love of fun triumphed
over the dislike of being detected in deception. It
would be such a good joke to set the captain on a wild-
goose chase after relics of Capt. Kidd! With a little
enlargement it would make the grandest kind of a story
to tell at school that winter; and so he directed him
carefully to the house of the washerwoman at Sandy
Cove, and with the greatest inward glee watched the
apparently unsuspecting gentleman set out upon his
expedition.

Capt. Starboard little thought, as he knocked at the
door, that he was on the verge of discovering a treasure
175
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



2

more precious to him than a hundred chests of golden
guineas.

“Rachel!” he exclaimed in astonishment, as the hard-
visaged, red-haired woman met him. “How did you
come here?” For this strange creature was the ignor-
ant but faithful nurse that he had left with his wife and
baby daughter when he set out on his last voyage.
And Rachel between her sobs told the whole sad story
of how Mrs. Starboard had died, and her sister who had
come to nurse her had taken them away, intending to
share her own home with them until Capt. Starboard
returned, but was stricken down by the same disease
on the way, and died in a strange city. Then Rachel
had tried to return to the town they had left, but in her
ignorance had bought a ticket to the wrong place, and
found herself penniless here. She could not write, and
could think of no friends to whom to apply; and so in
her uncomplaining fortitude and stout-heartedness she
had determined to stay here until she could earn enough
to take her home, hoping that by that time she would
find out somehow where home was.

This was the explanation, but it did not all come at
once; for, in the first part of it, Capt. Starboard had

176
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



caught sight of flaxen-haired little Floy peering wonder-
ingly at him from behind the wash-tubs. She had out-
grown any likeness to the baby that he had left; but she
had acquired instead a remarkable resemblance to her
mother. And the captain caught her in his arms with a
great cry of joy. He could not speak for a while, but
held her upon his knee, stroking her silky hair, while
great tears rolled down his face. When he found his
voice at last, it was in prayer, the first that he had
uttered since his loss. And then he sobbed aloud again,
called her his own, own little girl, and declared that she
should not stay another hour at Sandy Cove.

“ Come, Rachel,” he said. “ It will not take you long
to pack, and we shall be in time for the afternoon train.
I.am impatient to show Floy to her old friends.”

“ But, papa,” said Floy, “what shall we do with the
guineas ?”

“Then you really did find some guineas on the beach?
Dick Bragg told me so; but I thought it was all a fish-
story, and that the young scamp was fooling me. How
many are there left?”

“ Twenty, papa.”

“Well, pet, I should like to make Dick a very hand-

177
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



some present; for he has brought us together again.
What do you say to letting nurse carry up the guineas
to him, since I have money enough for us both? She
can tell his father at the same time to send my trunk to
the depot.

“TI like Dick very much. He isa bright boy, and, I
am told, one of the best scholars at the district school.
-He confided to me that it was the ambition of his life
to go to college; but he did not think his father could
ever afford it. He said that he was saving up all his
spending-money toward that end. I think his hoard
amounts now to one dollar and sixty-five cents; and the
guineas will be an important addition.”

A half-hour later, Dick was astonished at receiving
the following note: —

Master Dick Bracc, +I am glad to find that you have told me
the truth, and you will not be sorry to learn that little Floy is my lost
lassie. I send you by the bearer of this note one hundred and twenty
dollars, English money, which I am sure will be rightly expended.

With sincere regard, yours,
N. E, STaRBoarD.

One hundred and twenty dollars! He turned faint,
and every thing whirled about him. He could go to col-
178


IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



0

lege next year! He could scarcely see Rachel through

the blur that gathered over his eyes. She recalled him

to himself with the remark, “ The guineas are in the

garden.” That was a strange place to leave money!

And, hatless and breathless, he rushed out only to see

the detestable fowls destroying his mother’s flower-bed.
It was his last fish-story.



179



PEEP THE Lass,

THE TAIL OF A COMET:

——















yeux tapestries which
have been handed down
through the centuries,
to tell of the exploits of
William the Conqueror,
and of the patience and
skill of the ladies of
his court who thus






recorded them, there

WZ :
i > is one that represents
A :
; - Wy the army marching
pap fe :
ee ge to victory, led by a

r ‘a brilliant comet.

“The comet had more to do with the expulsion of the
Danes, the end of the Saxon rule in England, and the
establishment of Norman rule there, than history gives it
credit for, or than usually falls to the lot of these flame-
birds from the Sky-Garden.

183
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



1-3 2-0

“Hundreds of years ago, during the reign of Edward
the Confessor in England, there lived across the Chan-
nel, in the Province of Normandy, a great duke named
William. His wife Matilda was a very remarkable
woman; and their children, of whom five were girls and
three boys, were accomplished in all the arts of the age.
Cicily, the eldest daughter, was pure and stately as a
lily. She had been consecrated from her birth to the
church, and afterward became abbess of the Convent
of the Holy Trinity at Caen. She was still at home;
but the shadow of her approaching separation from her
family rested upon her, and kept her more constantly
than her other sisters at her mother’s knee, while looks
of tenderness and frequent caresses passed between
them. Constantia, the beauty of the family, had just
been married to Alan Fergaut, the great Earl of Brit-
tany, and had gone away, a happy bride, to her hus-
band’s castle. She was sadly missed at home, for she
was as lovely in disposition as in feature; while her witty
and brilliant conversation led her father to call her the
central rose-diamond in his coronet of girls. Alice, the
third daughter, did not by any means take her place, for
she was shy as well as wilful, and plain of feature, com-

184
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



2 oe

pared with her handsome sisters. Adela, her younger
sister, a rosebud girl hardly more than a child, was
already betrothed to Stephen, Earl of Blois, — and Blois
was one of the most beautiful cities and richest earldoms
in the South of France. But Alice had never had a
suitor; and she combed her straight black hair smoothly
back under her little Norman cap, with the bitter feeling
at heart, that no one, even here in her father’s house,
cared very much for her, and that tiny Agatha had
already, in her short life, found more of love than she.
Into this family, at the time that our story begins,
there came a visitor, young Harold the Saxon, brother-
in-law of the King of England. Duke William informed
him of his design of claiming the English crown, on the
death of the king; and Harold took the most solemn ~
oaths to support his claims. The blue eyes and yellow
hair of the stalwart Saxon formed a striking contrast to
the appearance of the more polished but less manly
Norman knights with whom Alice was familiar. Their
guest seemed more heroic than any one she had yet
seen; while, to Harold, shy Alice was more pleasing
than any of the Duke’s handsome daughters. He loved
to sit in the oriel window, and hold the skeins of violet
185
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

~~



silk that she wound; or watch the slender form droop
over the tapestry-frame, on which the deft white fingers
moved swiftly backward and forward. Sometimes, when
he talked of England, there was a swift lifting of the
long, fringy lashes, and an interested look in the dark
eyes; and both Harold and Alice bent readily to the
will of the Duke, which betrothed them to each other.
As they stood together one evening, in the window,
under the sparkling starlight of a Norman night, look-
ing away toward the stormy sea that Harold was soon
to recross, Alice looked at him so fixedly that he be-
came uneasy, and asked her what she meant by so ear-
nest a gaze.

“«The starlight lets me look down through your eyes
to your soul, she replied; ‘and it is not all open and
clear there. You do not love me, Harold, with an un-
divided heart; and something tells me that you will
forget the promises you have made on French soil.

“But Harold took the cold white hand in his, and,
pointing to the sky, said, ‘I will be as true as the stars,
Alice. When you see one of them wandering about
among the fixed constellations, then Harold will wander
from his love. When one of heaven’s steadfast lights

186
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





0-8-2.

flies away from its place, nevermore to return to its
shining companions, then you may doubt that Harold
will return. Dry your tears; for I will be true, my
Alice, — as true as the stars.’

“Then Harold went away, and the days that followed
were long and lonely. Alice’s brothers had been her
comfort before; but, since her betrothal to the Saxon
nobleman, they regarded her as an alien and a stranger ;
and Short-stockinged Robert and William the Red-head
(nicknames which clung to them even after one was a
distinguished knight fighting under Godfrey in the Holy
Land, and the other had become King of England) sud-
denly lost all their old sympathy, and became as rude
and rough with her as with any one else. Then Edward
the Confessor died; and Harold, forgetting his promises
to William of Normandy, caused himself to be pro-
claimed King of England. News came, too, that he had
been as false to Alice as to her father, and that he had
married a Saxon princess far away in Northumberland.

“*FHle has broken no promise to me,’ said Alice
proudly ; and she pointed to the skies, where, away in the
north, a star was moving among the fixed constellations ;
and, willing even then to justify and forgive the man

187
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



2-2 oe

who had wronged her so cruelly, she repeated her last
conversation with Harold.

“* Wandering stars,’ quoted her Uncle Odo, the Arch-
bishop of Bayeux, from his Latin Bible, — ‘ wandering
stars, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for-
ever. But Duke William saw in the comet an augury of
success for his cause. He could not forgive Harold as his
daughter had done, but adopted the comet as his ensign,
and caused to be inscribed upon his banners the motto,
‘Nova Stella, Novus Rex,;—a new star, a new king.
Many powerful nobles and celebrated knights came and
asked to be allowed to fight under him; and a large and
formidable army set out for the conquest of England.
While the bold warrior believed that he was following
the guidance of, the comet in this incursion, his wife
Matilda gathered her maids of honor about her in her
old chateau in Normandy, where they beguiled the
absence of their fathers, brothers, and lovers by embroid-
ering the wonderful Bayeux tapestries, working the
comet in, and representing it as leading the army to
victory. We can imagine how these medizval ladies
chatted as they drew the richly tinted silks through the
cloth of gold, alternately discussing the new sign in

188
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



He he

the heavens, and vaunting the merits of their favorite
knights ; and while one boasted that Eustace Count of
Boulogne was most noble, another replied that Aimeri de
Thonars was bravest, a third declared Roger de Beau-
mont most accomplished and elegant in manners, and
others boasted Hugh de Grantmesriel as wealthiest,
Charles Martel as the perfection of manly beauty, and
William de Warenne as purest and best.

“ Alice alone was silent; but we can believe that no
other fingers than hers embroidered the comet, in its
glowing flame-color and gold. Before the tapestry was
completed, news was brought to the castle of the battle
of Hastings, of the defeat of the English, and the death
of Harold. William of Normandy was William the
Conqueror and King of England now. . The comet and
Harold had alike vanished, and were forgotten. But we
can guess through whose influence a monastery, called
Battle Abbey, was erected on the field of the bloody
conflict, where prayers were to be offered for Harold’s
soul throughout all future time; for the Normans showed
themselves as magnanimous to their conquered enemies
as they were cruel on the field. And the abbey and the
tapestries passed down through the ages, —

189
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+o oo



‘ Thanking God, whose boundless wisdom makes the flowers of pardon
bloom

In the battle’s blood and horror, in the tissues of the loom.

Vanished are the story’s actors ; but, before my dreamy eye,

Wave these mingling shapes and figures, like a faded tapestry.’”

“ And is that all the story?” asked Joy.

“No,” replied Uncle Briar; “for this was not the first
or the last time that this comet visited our earth.
Indeed, it has been proved to be an old acquaintance of
ours, who drops in to see us once every seventy-five
years; and we may consider these calls quite frequent if
we compare them with those of almost any other comet
of our acquaintance. The Chinese have kept an account
of its first visits for us. It was not noticed by the
European nations until the year 837, during the reign of
Louis the Gay, son of the great Emperor Charlemagne.
He was so frightened by its appearance, that he knelt
and prayed to it, and spent the remainder of his life in
building abbeys and cathedrals. In 1456, during the
war with the Mussulmans, it appeared like a flaming
Turkish cimeter in the sky, and was taken as a favora-
ble omen for the Mahometans, who were really success-
ful for some time; and Pope Calixtus III., to encourage

190
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



2-3-0 of -e

the Crusaders, excommunicated the comet publicly.
One would have thought that it would have been so
offended as not to come again; -but punctually in 1531
the comet re-appeared; and Louise of Savois, the mother
of Francis I., who was lying upon her death-bed, saw it
flash through her palace window, and accepted it as the
sign of her death. Kepler studied it upon its next visit ;
and in 1682 Edmund Halley, who was on his way to
Paris, observed it again. All the scientific world was
interested in the comet now, and set to work on the
problem of its period of revolution, or in trying to pre-
dict when it would again be seen. Halley was the first
who identified it with the one whose appearances I have
already mentioned, and foretold its coming correctly. He
showed that the comet would not be promptly on time
at its next visit, for its track lay near Jupiter and Saturn.
And, by a comparison of the masses of these planets
with that of the comet, he was enabled to tell that
Jupiter would retard it five hundred and eight days, and
Saturn one hundred ; and so fixed its return on the 13th
of April, 1759. Reviewing his work, he admitted that
there might be an error in it of a month, and so left it
for the future to verify or disprove. How much he
191
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oh 0 Otte

must have longed to live until this time, to know’ the
result! But he died an old man, in his chair, without
a groan, in 1741. The comet had been prayed to and
excommunicated, followed as a symbol of victory, and
feared as a foreteller of disaster; but it was not chris-
tened until 1759. Then, when on the 12th of March,
within the limits which Halley assigned it, the comet
really appeared, it was named by unanimous consent,
Halley’s Comet, —a just tribute to the immense pains-
taking and accuracy of the astronomer’s calculations.

“YT owe much that I have told you to Camille Flam-
marion’s ‘Stories of Infinity. But he will lead you
farther into the fairy-land of astronomy, telling you what
the comet thought of the earth at each visit, and not, as
I have done, what the earth thought of the comet.

“You may see the comet for yourself, little Joy; for
it will call again in 1911. Look for it, and remember
Alice, the daughter of William, who deserved the title of
conqueror less than his daughter, for she conquered all
revengeful feeling. And, if any one has wronged you,
try to forgive them for His sake whose birth was ushered
in by the beautiful star in the east.”

192




LOLS ACCT a1 CP Wael 1s uae


S Joy stood at her window, and once
more looked up at the star-bright
sky, she was filled with sadness:









she was to hear no more stories;
for she had just met with a great
loss,— Cousin Myrtle and Uncle
Briar both taken away from
her at one blow. She had
known for a long time that
it would come to this.





There did not seem




v 4@GGeaas
2 PL Ces

to be any thing very
dreadful then in the mere fact that Uncle Briar loved
Cousin Myrtle; and she had never thought of its leading
to any thing like this,—of his taking her away from
them, and going away himself, “for always.” But Uncle
Briar had obtained a position in a party of scientific
men who were going away to a foreign land to observe

193
IN THE SKY~GARDEN.

a —

the transit of Venus; and he had thought it a favor-
able opportunity to be married, and take Cousin Myrtle
with him. The wedding had been a very grand affair;
and as Joy and Bobby Copernicus had been first brides-
maid and first groomsman, and had preceded the bridal
party up the broad aisle of the church, standing beside
the altar-rail while the mystical words were spoken, and
sharing in all the festivities of the evening, being dressed,
too, almost as handsomely as Cousin Myrtle, Joy could
not divest herself of the idea that she had been married
to Cousin Myrtle, and constantly spoke of it in this way,
to the great amusement of the company, and especially
of Uncle Briar, who was quite left out in the cold by
this arrangement. All this was only yesterday evening ;
but now the Chinese lanterns in the garden were all ex-
tinguished. Cousin Myrtle’s presents, which had loaded
the library-table, had been packed away ready to be sent
to her new home when she should return from her wed-
ding tour; and Cousin Myrtle and Uncle Briar them-
‘ selves were far away, enjoying their honeymoon at that
commonest and loveliest haunt of newly married couples,
Niagara Falls, while they waited for the assembling of
the party with which they were to start upon their

194
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oe 5 oe

astronomical mission. Joy could not understand it very
clearly. They were going to see the transit of Venus;
and yet Uncle Briar had said that Venus had already
crossed his pathway, or he should not have been married.
But then, Uncle Briar was such a funny man, one could
never tell when he was in jest, and when in earnest.
Joy had been so lonely all day that in the evening her
father, pitying his forlorn little girl, had taken her upon
his knee, and read her the ballad of the “Culprit
Fay.” The last part reminded her very much of
the Sky-Garden and of her playfellow Puck; and she
thought that if he had loved her as the Fay did
the earth-maiden, he would have known that she had
lost Cousin Myrtle, and would have come to comfort
her ere this.

As the thought passed through her mind, she felt a
fairy kiss upon her cheek, — the merest touch, as from
rosebud baby lips, and looking up saw Puck at a little
distance, bestriding a very strange steed. It hada head
like an old man, and at the same time like a star. A
white, gauzy veil was thrown over its face, and streamed
far back, mingling with its white hair, and quite conceal-
ing whatever of body this strange being possessed.

195
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
Joy’s thought flew back to her last star talk with Uncle
Briar; and she was not much surprised when Puck
introduced his companion as Halley's Comet.

“Come, Joy,” said Puck: “this is a beautiful night for
a ride. You have only seen a very few of the beauties
and marvels of the Sky-Garden. We should never be
able to see them all if we walked slowly through it as we
did on your last visit; but we can accomplish a great
deal on such a swift courser as this. If you had rather
ride in a carriage, as you generally do here in this slow
world, I will fly up to the sky, and bring down Charles's
Chariot, or Charles’s Wain, which is the old-fashioned
name your father calls it by. But we shouldn’t move
nearly so fast; and I doubt if you would be any more
comfortable.”

“Indeed, indeed,” protested Joy, “I would much
rather go on horseback.” And then, seeing by the smile
on the comet’s face that she had used the wrong term,
she added, “ Excuse me, sir. I know that you are not a
horse; but I didn’t know what to call you.”

“Never mind,” said Puck, holding out his hand to
assist her: —

196
-_



HUCKET- STAR

TUTUVUVVVUTUUUUUUUUUUUUUN
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

““* Mount thy steed, and spur him high
To the heaven’s blue canopy ;
And, when thou seest a shooting star,

29)

Follow it fast, and follow it far.

Joy seated herself behind Puck, twining her arms
about him, while the phosphorescent trail of the comet
formed a soft but firm pillion beneath her. It was some-
thing like Diamond in North Wind's hair, she thought.
And now they darted straight up, up, till they entered
the clouds. They seemed in a region bewitched. Some-
times the shifting cloud-forms parted, and gave her a
glimpse of the earth, falling, falling, away beneath: some-
times they closed about her, rising in gigantic shapes,
but always dim and spectral, though they threw dashes
of real spray in her face, as Kuhlborn the water-sprite
did to Undine when he followed her through the forest.
The light was that noticed by Herschel in his descrip-
tion of Halley’s comet,—“a light that never shone on
sea or land.” Sky there was none. There seemed to
be nothing beyond but solid banks of rainbow-streaked
mother-of-pearl. And yet these shimmering phantoms
of the upper air did not in the least depress Joy: they
seemed to be spirits of the grotesque, —fun etherealized ;

197
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

+



and she told herself how exactly like the “Culprit Fay”
it all was. And, while she rested her chin on Puck’s
warm shoulder, she repeated to him as much as she
could remember of the poem, telling how —

“Up to the vaulted firmament,
His path the fire-fly courser bent.
He flies like a feather in the blast
Till the first light cloud in heaven is past ;
But the shapes of air have begun their work,
And a drizzly mist is round him cast ;
He cannot see through the mantle murk:
He shivers with cold, but he urges fast ;
Through storm and darkness, sleet and shade,
He lashes his steed, and spurs amain,
For shadowy hands have twitched the rein,
And flame-shot tongues around him played.
His eyes are blurred with the lightning’s glare,
And his ears are stunned with the thunder’s blare.”

Till —
“Howling the misty spectres flew:
They rend the air with frightful cries,
For he has gained the welkin blue,
And the land of clouds beneath him lies.”

As Joy repeated the last line, the cloudy gates of pearl
198
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



flew open. (They were the same as the ivory gate that
old Virgil told about when he said, —

“ Sleep gives its name to portals twain ;

And one that bright with ivory gleams
Whence Pluto sends delusive dreams.”

But Joy did not know this, for she had not begun to
study Virgil yet; and she would have felt badly enough
if she had known that her ride on the rocket star was all
a delusive dream.) With the opening of the gates, Joy
found herself once more in the enchanted Sky-Garden.

“ Are we going through the Zodiac?” she asked; for
she recognized the constellation Taurus, just where she
was when Bobby Copernicus waked her from her last
delightful ramble with Puck.

“No,” replied the elfin jockey: “the comet will pursue
the same course that it did when last observed from the
earth. Even comets do not wander about by chance as
some people think. They have their route marked out
for them, and always obey orders: if they did not,
Halley would not have been able to tell when this very
one would arrive.”

199
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



“It must be stupid enough,” said Joy musingly.

“What must be stupid?” asked Puck.

“To always have to be on time, just like a railroad
engineer or a schoolgirl. And it seems to me that Mr.
Comet was tardy the time that Halley told about, and
played truant with Jupiter and Saturn for ever-so long.”

“No: because things do not always happen in just the
same way, is no reason that they are not ordered and
arranged beforehand just the same. Saturn is a comet
ruler, and the comet was told to do his errands for a
time. It was late at school; but it did not receive a
tardy-mark, for its excuse was all written out, and Halley
knew it. Do you happen to know where you are now,
little Miss Joy ?”

“Yes,” replied Joy; “that is, I think we are among
the Pleiades. Uncle Briar said I could see them upon
the meridian ten minutes before nine any New Year's
night. And that V-shaped cluster in the bull’s face is
the Hyades, is it not?”

“Yes. But do you know the names of the Pleiades,
and who they were?” asked Puck.

“No,” replied Joy. “Were they not always stars?”

“ They were all girls once, the Greek mythology tells

200 :
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



ot

us; and their names were Alcyone, Merope, Maia, Elec-
tra, Tayeta, Sterope, and Celeno. But they were all so
lovely and good that they were allowed to come up into
the Sky-Garden, not just for a little ride such as you are
taking, but to live here always; and, if you are very good
indeed, you can too: though I suppose you don’t believe
a word I am saying, just because you never heard it at
your Sunday school.”

“ But I have heard it there,” said Joy. “The minister
said so last Sunday.”

“He did, eh?” exclaimed Puck in surprise. “ Then
he must be a much more sensible man than most minis-
ters: that’s all.”

“And they that be wise,” repeated Joy “shall shine
as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn
many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.”
And, as they swept away from the Pleiad sisters, Joy
sang to them, as she had done at sabbath school a few
days before, —

“O ye stars! shine on
Far up in heaven’s own blue:
Some time, some time, I too shall shine,
I shall shine as brightly as you.”

201
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



<2 e me

“You are a queer little girl,” said Puck.

Onward and still onward sped the comet between the
constellation of the Twins and that of Auriga the chari-
oteer, who Puck said was no other than Phaeton, thrown
here when attempting, like some inexperienced young
London blood, to drive the Sun’s great twenty-four-in-
hand. The thought of the accident made Joy shudder,
and cling closer to Puck, though Auriga looked con-
tented enough where he sat with the Kids in his lap.
They had passed into the kingdom of the Lynx now; and
Joy looked the savage animal bravely in the eye, — that
strange eye formed of a gold and purple double star.
She was near enough to his mouth to see the triple star
in his lower jaw, shining orange, blue, and garnet.

“We are just behind Charles’s Wain now,” said Puck ;
“and it started long before we did. You can see what a
slow coach it is compared to our lightning express.”

Joy shaded her eyes with her hand, and peered for-
ward. “ Why, it is only the Dipper!” said she.

“Call it by what name you like,” replied Puck. “The
ancients called it the Plough, and some call it the Great -
Bear; it can be any and all of these, and my favorite
plat of star-flowers at the same time. I don’t know

202
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

te 2-2.



that it makes any difference what you mortals call the
stars.

“The man that I knew best in your world, and the
one whose opinion I have the greatest respect for, —
gentle Will Shakspeare, — loved them right loyally, but
did not care for their names. He used to say of astron-
omers, —

‘Those earthly godfathers of heaven’s lights,
That give a name to every fixéd star,
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk, and know not what they are.’”

“T think that Mr. Shakspeare was wrong,” said Joy
modestly. “I am sure, the more we know about any
thing, the more we enjoy it. But see, we are following
right on in the track of Charles’s Chariot, as you call it.
This is just the way that the Culprit Fay went. There
is one verse which just describes us now : —

‘Borne afar on the wings of the blast,
Northward away they speed them fast ;

And their courser follows Charles’s Wain
Till their hoof-strokes fall like pattering rain,
While swiftly follows in their flight

The streaming of the rocket-light.’ ”

203
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



But the comet was swifter than the great wagon, and
they soon passed ‘it, nodding kindly, as they went by, to
Bootes the bear-driver, and taking a look next at the
resplendent northern crown; but, before they turned
their faces southward, Puck stopped to see that the
Pole-star was securely fastened to its slender staff.

“You shall come with me on some great /é¢e night,
and see the wonderful dance,” said Puck. “This is the
best place from which to watch it;” and he led her into
the Pole-star pavilion, whose

“ Spiral columns gleaming bright
Were streamers of the northern light.”

How beautiful the stately lily-star looked as seen
through the rose-colored arches that surrounded it! Joy
had seen it often from the earth, between the fluttering
pink silk curtains that fell from the spiral columns; but
it had only seemed a star to her then, with streaks of
pale light wavering about it. Now it was all so much
plainer, so much more beautiful! “What dance do you
mean?” she asked, turning to Puck with wistful eyes.
“The dance of the angels,” replied Puck quite seri-
ously.

204
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



“ But it is wicked to dance,” said Joy; “and I am sure
the angels never do so.”

“But Milton, who knew more, or at least wrote more,
about the angels than any one else, says they do,” per-
sisted Puck. “He tells of one day which, —

‘As other solemn days they spent
In song and dance about the sacred hill ;
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere
Of planets and of stars in all her wheels

292

Resembles nearest.

Their comet ride was almost ended. They darted on
between Hercules and Serpentarius down into Ophiu-
chus, the symbol of the healing art, telling its starry
allegory of how those who spend their lives in alleviating
human suffering, in lifting away the serpents of sin and
pain and poverty and ignorance that coil about their
helpless brothers, shall finally have their place in the
heavens; and the comet had finished the visible path
which it had traversed on its last earthly appearance.

“T want to take you now,” said Puck, “to a part
of the star-garden so distant that if we should go and
return on the comet it would be years before we should

205
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.





reach the earth again; and your father and mother would
be anxious and sad enough if they found you had van-
ished away like Kilmeny. We must travel in some
faster way. There is the lightning now: how would
you like to take a ride on that?”

“Not a bit,” said Joy with a shudder. “It must be
very dreadful indeed, especially if the thunder goes
along too.”

“T did not think you would like it,” said Puck; “and
then, after all, it isn’t fast enough either.”

“Why, what can go faster than lightning?”

“A thought-beam; and we will travel on one of
them. You can pass over millions of miles in a second
on a thought.”

As he spoke, Joy caught a last glimpse of the rocket-
‘star vanishing in the distance; but she never forgot her
wonderful ride, and could point out for you now, if you
asked her, either in the heavens or on a celestial globe,
the track of Halley’s Comet.

“What are you thinking about?” asked Puck sud-
denly.

“I was only saying a foolish little rhyme to myself,”
said Joy blushing; and she repeated, —

206
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.,

eo



“Star bright, star light, the first star I’ve seen to-night,
I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish to-night.”

“Well, that is foolish in good earnest,” said Puck,
laughing. “The first star, indeed! when you've seen
thousands of them. Well, what did you wish?”

“T wished that I could see something that was pass-
ing on our earth,” said Joy.

“ That is just like you mortals,” replied Puck, “always
wishing for something you haven't got. When you
were on the earth, you wanted a nearer view of the Sky-
Garden; and, now that you are here, you want to look at
the earth. Though, come to think of it, your request is
not so nonsensical, after all; for some things do look
better from a distance: and so, if you like, I will show
you a set of heliotypes.”

“What! do they have them up here?” asked Joy in
surprise.

“What ave heliotypes?” retorted Puck.

“Why, a sort of photograph. Father has lots of
them at home in a portfolio.”

“Nonsense! Heliotypes are sun-pictures, that’s all;
and the light is a sort of postman that carries and de-
livers them wherever it goes. Now, if you look just in

207
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



the direction that I point, you will see a heliotype of the
earth.”

“It is so very small,” said she, quite disappointed.

“One should never look at heliotypes without a mag-
nifying-glass,” replied Puck, offering her his own.

Joy uttered a little scream of delight. “I can see
our very own house,” said she, “with the observatory on
the roof, and father at the transit, and — why, if there
isn’t Uncle Briar and Cousin Myrtle, as large as life!
Have they really come back so soon ?”

“If you had read Camille Flammarion’s stories, you
would not make that mistake,” replied her companion.
“What you see is not what is happening on the earth
now, but what happened a week ago.”

“How can that be?” asked Joy.

“ An astronomer’s daughter ought to know that light
does not pass from place to place instantaneously, any
more than sound or your earthly postman. It takes
nearly nine minutes to reach your earth from the sun.
Now, we are many thousand times farther off from the
earth than the sun is, and consequently it takes the
light a much longer time to reach us; and the pictures
which he brings are of things that happened some time

208


































































RC UNL HSE


IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



since. It is not quite so bad here, however, as it
was with the man who lived in Southern Africa, where
it took sailing-vessels six months to come to him from
his home, so that all of his newspapers and letters were
six months old; though Light has some places that
take him quite as long to reach, for his postman’s
round is a long one.”

Joy had not been listening to the last part of what

Puck had been saying. She seemed very much inter-
ested in what she saw; and she now exclaimed, “ Why,
I can see me, my ownty-donty self, walking around!
How very funny!” Suddenly her face displayed an
expression of extreme vexation.
. “That was the day I told the lie,” she said; “such a
mean lie too. I wish Light would not go on making
me say it over again. I am sure I am sorry enough for
it; and I didn’t want you, Puck, to know I had ever
done any thing so wicked.”

“ Being sorry is good,” said Puck, “but it does not
make the matter all right again. Light tells every
thing. He is worse than the daily newspaper, because
every one knows that he never slanders or exaggerates,
but that every thing he tells is strictly true; and the

209
IN THE SKY-GARDEN,.





o-oo

trouble of it is, that he tells every thing, and tells it
everywhere, so that, no matter what naughty thing we
do, Light carries heliotypes of it from star to star, from
world to world, and keeps on carrying them for ever
and ever.”

“ And can any one who comes to the Sky-Garden see
them? When Uncle Briar and Cousin Myrtle come,
will they know?” .

Puck nodded sadly. “ There will not be a spot in the
Sky-Garden where Light will not have left this helio-
type. Your friends will probably be as interested as
you are in seeing what is passing on the earth; and, if
they love you, they will take pleasure in going just to
that spot where Light will spread your whole life before
them.”

“Oh! I never can look them in the face again,
never!” said Joy, covering her crimson cheeks with her
hands. “To think that they will sit and see me do that
mean thing over again, and maybe I be with them too,
and be obliged to see myself disgrace myself before the
people I love best! Oh! it is too much.”

“Do not cry so,” said Puck soothingly, “but try to be
more careful in future what heliotypes you let Light

210
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



ee eee te

carry away to the Sky-Garden. Let there be so many
of real repentance for this wrong act, and so many of
beautiful deeds done secretly, that your friends in looking
them over, and remembering the sin and weakness of
their own lives, will be able to forgive this black one,
and to love you as much, when they know all, as they
do now. It will take a great deal of resolution to
remember this always. But there is one star that
is a symbol of will; and you can let it be a re
minder to you, as well as a comfort, whenever you
see: it.”

“ What star is it?” asked Joy.

“Tt is the planet Mars,” replied Puck. “Did you
never read Longfellow’s poem about it? You see, I
know all the poets, for they all know me. I want you to
learn the whole poem as soon as you reach home. But
I will repeat a few verses from it now, that you may be
sure you have found the one I mean: —

‘There is no light in earth or heaven,
But the cold light of stars ;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.

21I
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



‘The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast

Serene and resolute and still,
And calm and self-possessed.

‘And thou too, whosoe’er thou art,
That readest this brief psalm,

As one by one thy hopes depart,
Be resolute and calm.

‘Oh, fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know ere long, —
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.’ ”

“T will try to remember,” said Joy, wiping her eyes.
“ But, oh! I would so like to see Uncle Briar and Cousin
Myrtle just for two minutes!”

“Then you need not look toward the earth any
longer; for they are not there,” replied Puck.

“Why! where can they be, then?”

“ In the moon, to be sure.”

“In the moon!”

“Yes, in the honey-moon. When people get married,
they are usually carried to the moon to live, for a while
at least; some people never get there at all, and some

212
eo



WY
MY

2



Ny
1
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



oo Sr nad

never get back. There are your father and mother;
they have gone on living in the moon ever since they
were married, and there is not the slightest doubt that
they will remain there permanently.”

“T know Cousin Myrtle used to be very fond of the
moon,” said Joy thoughtfully. “She modelled the prin-
cipal craters in wax for Uncle Briar; and she used to
quote all sorts of sentimental poetry about it; and, my!
didn’t she use to like to take moonlight walks, though! ”

“Take my magnifying-glass, and look at the moon
now,” said Puck, “and you will see them. Do you
remember the names of any of the localities in the
moon? Though perhaps your cousin did not see fit to
explain them to you as she modelled them.”

“Oh! yes, she did,” exclaimed Joy. “I remember
the Lake of Dreams, especially, and the Sea of Serenity
too.”

“The Lake of Dreams,— hum! that’s where they are
now. All young married people go there first ; but they
never stay long. They either drop right out of the
moon as soon. as it changes from full to crescent, or else
pass on to the shores of the Sea of Serenity, as your
parents did. The moon is a royal queen-mother to all

213
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

0-0 4 0



children, and to all people with childlike hearts. You
know how full Mother Goose is of moon-stories. The
sweetest lullaby that was ever written says, —

‘Sleep, baby, sleep :
The great stars are the sheep ;
The little stars are the lambs, I guess ;
And the white moon is the shepherdess.’

Among grown-up people, only poets and lovers, astrono-
mers and lunatics, care for the moon; only very happy
or very sad, very wise or very silly people. You never
hear commonplace folks talking about it; they seem to
think that it is a sign of weakness to care for her: but
the great and powerful ocean, that no human might can
control, that kills strong men who dare to come near it
in its fits of fury, follows the moon like a little child, and
obeys her rule as though it were an abject slave. That
is what it is to exert an influence, little Joy. One may
not be very powerful of one’s self, and yet may influence
some giant nature in some way that we never thought
of. Itis not the great world alone that has an atmos-
phere: every heavy-headed poppy and every sweet rose
has one.”
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.



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Suddenly Puck started. “ Day glimmers in the east,”
he said: “if you do not return to your earthly home
soon, you cannot go at all. But oh, Joy, why do you
go? You have not seen half the wonders of the Sky-
Garden.

‘Return no more to your woodland height,

But ever here with me abide

In the land of everlasting light:
Within the fleecy drift we’ll lie ;

We'll hang upon the rainbow’s rim ;
And all the jewels of the sky

Around thy brow shall brightly beam’;

And thou shalt bathe thee in the stream
That rolls its whitening foam aboon,

And ride upon the lightning’s gleam,
And dance upon the orbéd moon ;

We’ll sit within the Pleiad ring,

999

And rest in Orion’s starry belt’” —

“Stop, Puck,” said Joy: “if the Culprit Fay could
resist such an invitation, surely I ought to. I shall
come to you all in good time some day, and come to
stay; but do not urge me, for I am afraid if you did I
should stay, and I haven’t any beautiful heliotypes yet to
surprise my friends with when they come here.”

215
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

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“You are right, Joy,” said Puck sadly; “remember
what a gentle poetess who loved the stars said of one
that faded out of the Sky-Garden, and was lost forever
to mortal view.”

Then all grew confused and giddy to Joy. She could
see nothing distinctly; but she could hear several voices
calling her by name, and saying, “ Where is Joy? Where
can that child have gone?” Then she felt her mother’s
arms about her, and heard her say, “ Why, darling, you
must have been walking in your sleep. Did you know
that you were standing on the verge of the observatory-
roof when we found you? Your papa has been up all
night watching the meteoric shower. Just before dawn
there was such a magnificent display that he called us
all up to see it. You were not in your bed; and, when I
rushed up to tell your papa, our attention was attracted
by a superb falling star; and just as it sunk out of sight
we saw you standing where it disappeared, like a little
white ghost.”

“T suppose I must have slipped off of it,” said Joy
musingly; and then they all laughed, and her father
carried her down to her bed, saying that she was not
thoroughly awake. But, as soon as they left her, Joy

216
IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

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stole to her book-case, and, taking down a volume of
Jean Ingelow that Cousin Myrtle had given her as a
parting gift, read the passage that Puck had referred to
just before she left him : —

“ More than content were I, my race being run,
Might it be true of me, though none thereon
Should muse regretful, ‘While she lived, she shone.’”



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