Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The Infant Zephyr
 Chapter VI: Uncle Buckwig
 The Brave Maiden of Nancy

Group Title: The infant Zephyr : : a tale of strolling life
Title: The infant Zephyr
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00049516/00001
 Material Information
Title: The infant Zephyr a tale of strolling life
Physical Description: 128 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Clarke, Benjamin, 1836-1893
Sunday School Union (England) ( Publisher )
James Sears & Son ( Printer )
Publisher: Sunday School Union
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: James Sears & Son
Publication Date: [1881?]
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Students -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Circus -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Boarding schools -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1881   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1881   ( rbprov )
Family stories -- 1881   ( local )
Bldn -- 1881
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
Family stories   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Benjamin Clarke.
General Note: Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note: Presentatiion page printed in colors and gilt.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: "Fourth thousand"
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00049516
Volume ID: VID00001
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: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002224345
notis - ALG4607
oclc - 62295717

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    List of Illustrations
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The Infant Zephyr
        Chapter I: The Village Sunday-School
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
        Chapter II: The Village Fair
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
        Chapter III: The Accident to the Infant Zephyr
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
        Chapter IV: Miss Esther's Conversation
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
        Chapter V: The Signor Leaves the Show
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
    Chapter VI: Uncle Buckwig
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    The Brave Maiden of Nancy
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Cover 3
        Cover 4
Full Text

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SZIak of Strolling %ifc.












TIlE VILLAGE FAiIIn ... ... .. ... 25




MIss ESTtEPI'S CONVERSATION ... ... ... ... 67




UNCLE BVUCKWIG ... ... ... ... .. 9







AN ATTRACTIVE POSTEr... ... ... ... ... 59

THE BENEFIT ... ... ... ... ... ... G6

THE WHEELWRIGHT'S ... ......... .. 85

THE DISCOVERY ... .... ... ... ..... 109

A GALLANT DEFENCE ... ..... ... ... 11



S -PLEASANT village was
S Barton Woodley, and
very pleasant it looked
on the Sunday after-
"noon in June when
my story begins.
The old church,with
its grey tower that
could be seen for miles
40C around, and the old
churchyard, with its green yew trees and white
tomb-stones; the vicarage opposite in its nest of


tall elms and poplars, and several ornamental
and comfortable villas, surrounded by trees, were
bathed in Sabbath sunlight.
It was a lovely afternoon, and yet to be out in
the glaring sun, without any shade and without
anything to do, was not particularly pleasant, and
so thought a little girl, of about eight years of age,
as she strolled through a gateway that led up to a
building, from which came the sound of children's
voices, singing. The windows were wide open, and
the little girl listened with interest.
She was fond of music, though she had never
been taught; and she liked singing, though she
had never heard such as this. The music was
lively, and the singing was brisk, yet she knew it
was not a song, such as she had heard sung.
There was something about a river, and a crown,
and a golden city ; and the child tried to catch all
the words of the hymn, but when the chorus
came, which was sung more loudly and with more
spirit even than the other parts, she gave herself
up to its music, and drank it in, although she did
not understand it.
Then there was silence for a minute, and then a


man's voice, slow and solemn, as if he were going
to find fault with one of the children, for not sing-
ing properly, she thought.
But she got nearer to the door, and she found
he was asking somebody for something he wanted
very much. And she peeped in, expecting to see
some one near him, with something in his hand to
give the other ; but she only saw the one gentle-
man, and he had his eyes shut.
She was rather afraid to find herself near such
a strange place, though at other times, and with
those she knew, she was anything but nervous.
Still she could not make up her mind to run away,
although she felt half inclined to, when the gentle-
man had finished speaking : she only drew back a
little from the door, and waited.
Presently two little girls, one of them about her
own age and the other somewhat older, came up
the path, and when they saw her, they asked her
if she would like to go inside; but she shook her
head, and said she had no money.
Finding that she was rather shy, the girls went
in, and the elder one told a gentleman of the
stranger outside. It was the same gentleman who


had been speaking, as the little girl recognized
when he came outside.
Would you like to come in, this afternoon ? "
said he to her.
The girl hung down her head, and replied, "I
"Why not ? "
"Cos I got no money."
But you do not want any money here, my
child. Don't you know this is a Sunday School ?"
You can't go to school without money, can
you? That's why I never been, cos they hadn't
no money."
"But this is a Sunday School, and there is
nothing to pay. Will you come in? I think you
will like it."
The little girl seemed inclined to accept the
invitation, which was given in so kind and gentle
a manner that it found a way to the child's heart.
"Where do you live, little girl, and what is
your name ? inquired the Superintendent, for it
was he who was speaking.
3My name's Flo ; and I lives in the show," she

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"Where is that, my dear. I don't know such
a place as that in Barton."
"The show, there-Chigwell's show-a yellow
caravan," as she pointed in the direction of the
village green.
"Are you his daughter, then; is your name
"Oh no. He aint my father."
"What is your name, then ? "
Oh, I'm called Flo."
"Flo-Flo-what my dear? "
"Flo-why Flo nothing, that's all."
"What, are you not called something else-by
those who don't know you very well, I mean? "
Oh, yes. I know now what you mean," she
replied, smiling. I'm called Mamsel Floren-
tine ;' and I'm called in the bills, at big places
where we stick up bills, the Infant Zephyr.' "
The Superintendent then saw that the little girl
belonged to a show, and that she had forgotten her
surname, even if she had ever known what it was.
He would have liked to ask her further questions
about her life, but he thought he would defer them
until after school was over. He took the child by


the hand, and led her into the school, where many
eyes were directed to her. He took her to a class
where she at once saw one of the little girls that
had spoken to her outside, and who made room on
the form for her to sit beside her.
Let her be in your class this afternoon, Miss
Esther, will you, please ? You need not enter her
name, as I do not suppose she will come again.
She is only here for a day or two," said the Super-
Miss Esther shook hands with her, and asked
her her name and whether she could read, to both
of which questions she replied, almost in one
breath, Flo. No."
The teacher seemed inclined to ask her further
questions, but the other children stared at her so
as to make her feel nervous and bashful; and
seeing this, Miss Esther told her class to open
their Bibles at the ninth chapter of Mark, and to
commence reading at the fourteenth verse.
The scholars read on verse by verse, until the
twenty-ninth verse was reached, the little stranger
taking no part in the reading, but listening most


She had never heard the story before; and as
Miss Esther proceeded to tell it in her own words,
and ask her scholars questions concerning it, Flo
listened with eyes and mouth open.
See," said Miss Esther, "that great crowd
around the disciples; some are asking them
questions, and the Scribes are putting such
puzzling questions that the disciples are not able
to answer them. Some of the people are glad at
this and are enjoying it, but some one has espied
Jesus, and he tells the news that Jesus is coming,
and the people leave the Scribes and the disciples,
and hurry away to Jesus. But see how astonished
they look. Why is this? They have seen Jesus
before, but now He looks different. They cannot
make it out. Do you know why His face seemed
changed? Yes; He had recently been up in the
Mount of Transfiguration, and His face shines with
some of the glory there reflected.
"Do you remember who else went up into a
mountain ?"
"What did he go up for? "
"And how did he look when he came down? "
But the people are not terrified by the glory


on Christ's face. On the contrary, they draw near
to Him, and salute Him.
Presently He asked the Scribes what questions
they had been asking His disciples, and before
anyone could reply, a poor man made his way
through the crowd and said:
(" Read the seventeenth verse, Mary. Next
verse, Jane.)
"Jesus was very sorry-sorry for the poor
father and his poor boy, and sorry also for the
hardness of His disciples' hearts.
"Fancy what must have been the sufferings of
that poor boy! He had been born deaf and
dumb, so that he had never heard the song of
birds, nor his father's voice, nor his mother's gentle
tones. He was rocked to sleep without any music,
and he never heard any singing. It was no use to
buy him any toy that made a noise, for he could
not hear it; it was no use for him to go out and
play, for the boys could not make him understand
the games. He could not hear when he was
called, and his father was afraid he would be
knocked down and run over. Then he could not
talk like other children; and I don't suppose they


knew the deaf and dumb alphabet then; but if
they did, the children would not have the patience to
stay and talk with him, and so, poor boy, he was left
alone, without companions, and without playmates.
Did not his brothers and sisters pity him, and
were not they kind to him ?"
"' Yes,' you say, Emily. I'm afraid that's only
a guess of yours. Turn to the ninth chapter of
Luke, and read out the thirty-eighth verse."
(" And, behold, a man of the company cried out,
saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son;
for he is my only child.")
"Yes, thank you. Now you see that the poor
child was quite alone.
"But besides all this, he was vexed with an evil
spirit, that dashed him on the ground, and did with
him what it liked, so that the poor boy had no
control over himself. When he was in these fits
he foamed at the mouth, and gnashed with his
teeth, and bit his lips and tongue till they bled;
and then when the fit was over, the poor boy was
left without any strength. He had had so many
fits that his strength was wasting away, and he
would not live much longer.


Just fancy the poor father and mother, how
they must have wept over their dear child! They
compared him with other children of the same
age, and marked how small and thin he was;
when other boys ran by the window, or came in
at the door, to inquire after him, they wished their
poor boy could run about like that. And then,
when times were bad, and work was scarce, and
they had not all they wanted, I daresay the poor
father sometimes wished that his son was able to
work, and bring home some wages.
But the kind man did all he could for his son,
and never let him think he was a burden in any
way. lie had often told friends of his son's
infirmities, but whilst they had been sorry to hear
of them, they had been unable to relieve them.
Now, however, he was pouring out his sad tale to
One who would not only pity, but heal.
Though Jesus know all about the poor boy's
sufferings, He would have the father tell Him
himself. So in answer to the questions which
Jesus put, he told Him that often the devil had
thrown the child into the fire, so that he had been
nearly burned to death; and often he had thrown


him into the water, so that he had been nearly
"When Jesus heard the sad story of the boy's
sorrows, what did He say ?"
"Yes, bring him unto Me.
"Now, the father did not know exactly what
Jesus would do, nor did the poor boy. Hie looked
with wondering eyes on the crowd; but when he
looked up into the face of Jesus, though he did not
know who He was, nor had he ever seen Him
before, perhaps, yet he trusted Iim at once. But
the devil knew who Jesus was, and he knew what
He would do. So as they were bringing the boy
to Jesus, the devil thought it would be his last
chance, and he would kill the boy right out if
he could; so he tore him, and threw him downy
and would have worried him to death, if he
"There lay the child on the ground, foaming at
the mouth like a madman. The people, or some of
them, no doubt felt for the boy, and for the father;
and he, poor man, with eyes streaming with tears,
asked Jesus to help him.
"WWhat did he say?"


"Yes; 'If thou canst do anything, have com-
passion on us, and help us.'
"But that was not enough for Jesus. He
wanted the man to believe that He not only had
compassion, but had power to heal.
"Did he heal the boy at once ?"
No; He said, 'If thou canst believe, all things
are possible to him that believeth.'
"Had the father faith, then?"
"Yes, his reply shows it. Read the twenty-
fourth verse."
(" And straightway the father of the child cried
out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou
mine unbelief.")
"That was enough now for Jesus. He saw that
the man had faith, and that he had humility too,
and felt he wanted more faith, so He commanded
the unclean spirit to come out of the lad.
But the spirit was determined to do his worst,
ere he left the boy; and he tore him, and
exhausted him as much as he could; but he left
him, for he was obliged to when Jesus commanded
But the people thought that life had gone out


of him, too. Some of them had, perhaps, seen
him before when the fits were on him. And there
might have been some of them present who had
taken him out of the water before this, half-
drowned, or who had rescued him from the fire,
but they had never seen him so bad as this. He
lay, without moving, as one dead; and the poor
father was so anxious as he looked for any signs of
life, that his tears even stopped.
Then Jesus took him by the hand, and when-
ever Jesus takes anyone by the hand, it is sure to
be well with him. No sooner did the loving
fingers of the Saviour press the hand of that
exhausted boy than new life seemed to come with
the touch. Jesus lifted him up, and he arose-
not a frail, diseased, and helpless body to fall
down again when Jesus let go his hand, but like
a new creature. All his deafness and dumbness
were now gone. He heard the murmurs of
surprise and delight that escaped from the crowd:
he heard his dear father's voice for the first time;
all weariness and exhaustion were gone, and new
strength came into those wasted legs, and into
those thin arms. A new joy beamed from those


dull eyes that had never glanced with childish
pleasure, and new powers came to those lips
and tongue, that had never yet spoken. What
his first words were, we do not know; he must
have looked unutterable thanks at Jesus as He
handed him to his father, and as he nestled closely
in his father's arms he must have felt a joy which,
though he was no longer dumb, he was as yet
unable to express. But Jesus wanted no words of
thanks as He beheld the grateful look of the
father, nor did the joyful parent require any words
of love from his restored son, as he clasped him to
his arms."
The children had listened, as I have said, with
rapt attention whilst Miss Esther had told the story,
with more questioning than Ihave introduced; but
no one seemed so interested as little Flo.
The child looked at her teacher with longing,
wondering eyes, as though she would ask some
questions which she could not shape into words.
Did anyone ever take you by the hand, my
dear ?" said Miss Esther, looking tenderly at Flo.
Oh yes ; the Sinnor allus takes me by the hand,
and steadies me on the rope," replied the child.


"Would you like Jesus to take you by the hand
my child ?" asked Miss Esther, unable to repress a
smile at the poor child's reply.
Oh yes, ma'am; but-but-I'm not like that
poor boy," she replied (the latter part of the sen-
tence in a somewhat sad tone).
True, you are not just like that boy. You are
better off in some respects. But we all have the
evil one in our hearts, until Jesus bids him depart
from us. And though he has not the same power
over men's bodies as he once had, he still rules
men's hearts, and makes them do all manner of
wicked things."
The sun was streaming in at the open window
and as Miss Esther spoke to Flo, its beams fell
athwart that little form, that was now found, for
the first time, within so hallowed a place.
But the glory of those rays was as nothing to that
light which was struggling for entrance into her
young heart.
This was the first time Flo had ever heard the
Gospel ; it was the first time that she had ever heard
anything of Jesus, but His name.
She was not a little heathen, you see, brought up


in a far off-land, where the Gospel is never preached,
and where there are no Sunday Schools; but she
was an English child, one of a Christian nation, who
had lived eight years and more in this land of Bibles,
and in this land of churches, and chapels, and
schools, and who had never been told of the love of
This little wandering orphan had been leading
a wretched, neglected life, without so much as
hearing that she had a Father who loved her, and
who wanted her to love Him.
No wonder, then, that she listened as Miss Esther,
in language which I have narrated, and in a gentle,
loving manner which I cannot describe, told her
class of this miracle, and explained its blessed truths-
Perhaps some of my readers who have often heard
of the miracle before have thought Miss Esther's
account rather long and dull; but Flo had never
heard it before, and I wanted you to know just
exactly how she heard the first Gospel story.
Afterwards, when Miss Esther applied the lesson
o the girls of her class, and told them Jesus was
saying to her that day," Bring her unto Me," there
was one, at least, who had some desire to be brought


to Jesus, though she knew but little about Him, or
of the way to Him.
But it would be a strange road she would have
to travel.


FTER the school was
S'"t over, Flo rose to leave
S' when the other girls in
t.- he class did; but Miss
Esther asked her to
remain behind.
"- I should like the
gentleman who first
Spoke to you to see
S you before you go,"
she said, "that is, if you may stay any longer."
": 0 yes, I can stay," Flo replied. We don't
open till to-morrow; and I left mother, and
Chigwell, and the dwarf, and all of 'em asleep."


The Superintendent joined the little group just
at this moment, and Miss Esther told him how
interested the little stranger had been with the
afternoon's lesson.
And did you like what you were told about
the poor lad whom Jesus healed ? he inquired.
"Yes, that I did. 'Twas bootiful. I never
heerd tell of anything so fine. Why, its wonder-
ful! Mr. White's very clever-very clever.
Chigwell says he's the cleverest man travelling.
He can conjure heaps and heaps of things out of
a empty hat; and you should see him balance all
those plates and sticks on his nose, and lots more
besides. But that's nothing, I'm sure, to what I
heerd this afternoon."
The child's delight at the remembrance of what
she had heard overcame her nervousness, and she
felt quite at home with the Superintendent, who,
she could see at a glance, was a kind-hearted man.
He did not reprove her for comparing, for one
instant, the story of the cure of the demoniac lad
with the feats of a showman, for it was evident the
child had only thought of him as the most wonder-
ful man she had any knowledge of.


After the Superintendent had endeavoured still
to impress on the child the lessons that had been
already taught her, he gave her a small Testa-
ment; and then he and Miss Esther bade her
Those were not the only interested eyes that
watched the retreating form of the little girl. The
child that had first invited her to enter the school,
and who had sat beside her, felt very sorry when
she went away.
Do you think she will ever come again, and
hear about Jesus ? inquired this little one of the
"I can't say, my dear; not very likely, though.
But we can ask God to bless her, and give her a
new heart."
The Superintendent was the doctor of the village.
His name was Gilbert, and the little girl who had
just addressed him was his daughter, Lily.
Dr. Gilbert held a good position in the county
as a medical man, and his services were required
in many places besides Barton.
In going through the village you would be sure
to ask to whom that large low white house covered


with wisteria belonged.; and when you were
answered, you would at once imagine that he had
a good practice.
But it was the doctor's habit to do as little as
possible on Sunday. Of course, he was always
ready to go whenever he was required, but he kept
an assistant, who relieved him of much of his
work. This enabled him to undertake the superin
tendence of the Sunday School, which he had been
mainly instrumental in raising.
At the present time there were as many as one
hundred and fifty children in attendance, taught
by some ten or twelve teachers.
The teacher in whose class Flo had been placed
was Miss Esther Hope, a young lady who had
resided in Barton for about five years.
She had come to Barton with her father, who
was a retired naval officer, and an old friend of
Dr. Gilbert's. They had lived in a small but pretty
cottage; and as there were only Mr. Hope and his
daughter, for Mrs. Hope had been dead for some
years, Miss Esther had plenty of time to devote to
the good of others.
The Gilberts and the Hopes were on the best of


terms, and scarcely a day passed without some
interchange of visits.
Very often Miss Hope might be seen with the
doctor in his gig on her way to some poor person
at some distance, whom she would visit, whilst her
friend went further on to see another patient; he
would then call for her on his return. Mrs.
Gilbert was much younger than herhusband ; she
was his second wife, and she was the mother of
little Lily, now about ten years of age.
The doctor's wife and Miss Hope had been more
like sisters than only neighbours; but after
Mr. Hope's death, which took place about two
years before this time, they seemed even more
fond of one another.
The Gilberts pressed Miss Hope to share their
home with them ; but as she was left comfortably
provided for, she preferred to retain the little
cottage, hallowed as it was by the memory of her
dear father.
Barton, I have said, was a village, but it was a
"good sized one ; and as it was the centre of several
smaller ones, that were all situated within three
miles, it was a place of some importance.


It had this distinction-one of which the respect-
able inhabitants were not very proud-three or
four statute fairs were held there; and it was now
the eve of the Midsummer fair.
This accounted for the appearance of little Flo
at the school; for she and her mother belonged to
Chigwell's show, which had arrived, to open at
the fair.
Barton was astir early on Monday morning.
The fair people began to get their booths and stalls
ready, and the vil.g. '-, or the younger portion
of them, watched the movements with pleasure.
Early in the morning sundry caravans arrived,
which created some interest, but the greatest
excitement arose when five or six yellow caravans,
adorned with gorgeous paintings, passed through
the village, announcing that J umble's Wax Works
had come.
Now it must be confessed that ever since Flo
had left the school, Lily had entertained a secret
hope that she might find her out at the fair. She
knew that her father did not care for her to go to
that part of the village where the fair was held,
for he always said there was nothing really worth


seeing, whilst there was a great deal said and done
that was low, and rude, and improper. But
Jumble's Wax Works put another face on it. Dr.
Gilbert was obliged to confess, when pressed by
Lily, that he did not see any harm in wax works.
0 do let me go, papa, dear," pleaded she.
" I've had a bill given me, and there's the St.
Bernard Dogs and the Monks saving a man ; and
there's poor Lady Jane Grey, that I've read
about; and there's Napoleon, and ever so many
more; and its only two pence, and children half
price; and I've got a penny of my own, and I
don't want you to pay for me, if you'll let me go.
You will, won't you pa, dear ? Say yes, pa, dear,
At length it was settled that Miss Esther should
take her, and after an early dinner they both
But the wax works were not quite ready; they
had not set all the paintings, which were to adorn
the front of the show; and the band had not even
begun to play. It was only natural that both
should wish to look out for Flo.
The name of Chigwell soon caught their eye,


and presently that individual appeared on the
stage of his show, and began in a loud, harsh
hoarse voice to describe the wonders to be seen
inside. One of the marvels of his exhibition he
declared to be Mamsel Florentine, the Infant
Zephyr, who would go through a tight rope per-
formance with an ease and elegance which could
leave nothing to be desired. After enumerating
other treats in store for those who should enter, he
promised them a performance on the outside before
they began inside.
Then a miserable man with a very red face, and
very thin legs, took down a cornopean that was
hanging up over the drum, which latter instru-
ment Chigwell himself took charge of. But as
the number of players was limited to these two,
Chigwell had a cymbal fastened to the drum, so
that with one hand he beat the drum, and with
the other he brought down a cymbal on the one
that was fastened, and so played two instruments
at once.
With the first notes of the band the Infant
Zephyr appeared, but very unlike the little Flo of
the day before; so much so that Lily gave quite


a little shriek, as Mamsel skipped across the stage,
and dropping suddenly on one knee, kissed her
hand to the crowd.
She was dressed in a thin gauze dress, with
some pink bows fastened to it; and round her
head was a band of purple velvet studded with
gilt stars.
She did not notice Miss Esther or Lily; and
without delay she began to dance to the music of
the band.
Music it could not be called, however, for the
notes came out from the cornopean as if they had
been frozen, and required an immense effort to
bring them forth. Any drawback was made up
for to the best of Chigwell's ability, who played
with all his might; for two other showmen near,
seeing the crowd watching the Zephyr, began to
try and attract their attention by shouting through
a huge speaking trumpet and by beating a loud
But Flo kept on, and kept the people, for she
really danced very gracefully, and when she had
done, there was quite a little rush of people, who
went up the steps, and paid their money to Chigwell.


But they were not enough to fill the booth, and
so there must be a little more outside performance.
Chigwell now announced Signor Blanco, whom
Miss Esther at once guessed was the Mr. White
Flo had spoken of.
Signor Blanco came forward with a number of
balls in his hands, which he tossed up in the air
and caught with great dexterity; he then threw
up four knives, twisting them round and round
till it seemed as if he must catch them by the
A few other tricks followed, and then Chigwcll,
tapping the canvas, on which were painted a num-
ber of most wonderful performances, invited the
people to walk up and see the marvellous Signor
Blanco as he appeared in his drawing-room enter-
tainment at Windsor Castle.
Now Lily was most anxious to accept Chigwell's
invitation, not that the Signor was the attraction ;
but she longed to go in and see poor Flo.
For some time Miss Esther hesitated; she
surveyed the painted canvas, and tried to see if
there was anything there that she would wish Lily
not to see; but the feats were those of conjuring


and balancing, and she thought there was but
little harm to be got in seeing such an exhibition.
At all events she thought that as interest in
little Flo was her real motive for wishing to go
into the show, she would not do wrong in yielding
to the child's wishes.
Accordingly they paid their money and entered
the booth, remaining somewhat near the entrance.
Miss Esther felt rather uncomfortable: she did
not like to go farther into the booth, lest she should
be unable to retire if any performance took place
to which she objected; and she did not like to
remain so near the entrance for fear of being
recognized. But at last she made up her mind
that she was not doing wrong, and she made her-
self as comfortable as possible. It was not, how-
ever, a place to feel at home in. It was a low,
dirty tent, with a close smell of naphtha about it;
and there was no accommodation for sitting down.
The show did not appear to fill rapidly : there had
not been a new comer since our friends had
entered; for Jumble's Wax Work band had begun
to play, and as they numbered six performers they
proved an immense attraction. Some of C'i, -..ii's


patrons had come out on to the stage and inquired
when he was going to begin; and they were
assured that as soon as the band had finished they
would most positively commence.
In a minute or two after, the band stopped, and
Chigwell made another effort to fill his booth. He
directed attention to the greatest wonder of the fair
to be seen inside.
"Walk up, walk up, ladies and gentlemen, and
especially you young people, and see the most
extraordinary phenomener of nature the Sussex
Dwarf-the smallest man alive-inches shorter than
Tom Thumb, and a deal more manly. This is none of
your foreigners, but a true born Englishman, bred
and born on your own soil, who hopes you will
encourage native talent. This, understand, is none
of your unpleasant sights, as will frighten young
children, and as parents most properly objecks to ;
but a most interesting specimen of Liliputian
humanity; who to the grace and stature of a child
imparts the ease and manners of an English gentle-
man. The prodigy is likewise well informed, and
you will have an opportunity of conversing on any
subject with him. Besides, he will walk round and


shake hands with the company, to show his affer-
bility, and that there is no deception.
"I say, sir," continued Chigwell, turning to the
caravan ; then again facing the crowd he said, "Just
hear the little gentleman's voice out of the window."
There followed a little squeak which might have
come from a small child, but which Chigwell assured
the people was a full grown voice."
He says," continued the showman, interpreting
the squeak, that he hopes you are all very well,
and that you are coming in to make his acquain-
tance ; just like his afferble little self."
Another squeak from the dwarf, which Chigwell
interpreted, laughing as he did so: He also says
he hopes you'll bring yer spectacles with yer, for
he should be very sorry for you to pay and not to
see him; just like his humorous natur." Then
addressing the little man, he said : I say, sir, just
be good enough to wave your hand to the ladies and
gentlemen, and tell them we are just going to
Accordingly a little hand was thrust through an
opening in the back of the stage, and the same thin
voice repeated the showman's announcement.


Then several youngsters and five or six heavy-
looking farm laborers walked up, to whom Chig-
well pointed, as he shouted out, This is the exhibi-
tion what commands the patronage of the intelli-
gent classes."
This time he was as good as his word: they were
positively just going to begin. The drum and
cymbals were taken down, and the weak-legged
man with the cornopean followed Chigwell inside.
The Zephyr was the last to enter, and as she got
into the booth she gave a little start as she recog-
nised Miss Esther and Lily; she passed on, how-
ever, without appearing to notice them.
Now the performance began. Signor Blanco
was the first to appear, with his hands full of cups,
balls,rings, knives, and other things necessary to
exhibit his skill. He repeated the tricks he had
shown outside, and added others. He threw a
number of rings into the air, and kept them up in a
continuous semicircle ; he threw up balls in front
and jerked others up behind, and caught them all;
but his cleverest feats were those in which he
balanced on his nose and chin sticks on the top of
which were basins spinning. His last feat was of


course his crowning one. He balanced one stick
on his nose, another on his chin, he held one in each
hand; on the top of all the sticks basins were
spinning; and then he walked round the booth, and
finally lay down on the ground, and rose again,
without disturbing the balance of any of the
The audience were much pleased with his per-
formances ; and, indeed, if all exhibitions were as
harmless as those of Signor Blanco it would be a
great deal better for the performers, and for the
spectators too.
A wandering, unsettled life such as these men
lead is, of course, a very undesirable one. Their
earnings are very precarious, and except when they
are performing, which is not constantly, they are
not at work. This begets idle habits, and we know
who finds employment

For idle hands to do."

But of such performers, there is less to be
objected to in those like Signor Blanco than in
others whose training and performances must tend
to shorten life. But, alas the most popular exhi-


jitions now are those which involve the most
danger to life and limb; and if any one is able to
"perform some hazardous feats, at risk to himself, he
is sure to be encouraged, until some other succeeds
in doing something more foolhardy and hazardous.
If boys and girls would set their faces against
these performances, they would be doing some
good; for if the next generation would not support
such exhibitions they would soon cease.
I do not want you to be without amusements,
I would not shut up all shows ; but I would say,
give the preference to those which involve no
cruelty, or risk to human life.
As I have said, there was not much to object to
;n Signor Blanco's performance ; though I must
say that it was rather humiliating to think that one
of God's creatures, made in His image, and endowed
by Him with many wondrous powers of mind and
body, should earn his livelihood by tossing up balls,
and balancing basins on his nose.
But I wish that the remainder of Chigwell's
show had been as unobjectionable ; and had been
attended with no worse results than those that
followed the Signor's dexterity.


After he had bowed his thanks for the applause
which followed his efforts, and had retired, the
Infant Zephyr came tripping in with a long
balancing pole, for a tight rope performance.
The rope was already fixed, and now Chigwell
chalked it over to prevent the Zephyr from
slipping ; he also chalked the soles of her feet for
the same reason. He then hoisted her up, and
taking up the drumstick, he and the cornopear
played a tune.
The Zephyr skipped merrily up and down the
rope, increasing her speed from time to time; and
now springing up into the air, high enough to
twirl her feet over one another.
At first Lily was afraid to look, but when she
saw how easily the little girl did her work, her
fear was somewhat lost in admiration.
Then Chigwell handed her up a little chair, with
notches cut in the legs ; and, with only two of the
legs resting on the rope, Flo managed to balance
herself on the chair, much to the delight of the
The chair was then removed, and the pole was
handed to ('!;.:- :I, and it was thought that the

--------- --


II 1

'44') ,' _I

"IN ANOTHER SECOND I 'IIL/11 h .EII L OBi' ag'.--- c'qe 47.


Zephyr's performance was over. It would have
been well if it had been. Encouraged by the
applause which had greeted her, she walked up and
down the rope without the pole, and then began to
cross the rope more quickly; but before she was
half over she seemed to have lost her balance, which
made Lily scream with anxiety, and in another
second the Zephyr fell off. Now the height of the
rope from the ground was not many feet, but
Chigwell had imprudently placed the chair under-
neath the rope, so in falling Flo struck her leg
against it.
Chigwell ran to her help, and thinking she was
not hurt, he told her to curtsey and kiss her hand
to the company.
But little Flo was unable to rise; and when
Chigwell raised her in his arms he found her leg
was broken.
The look of alarm on his face, and of pallor on
Flo's, convinced the company that something was
amiss; whilst Miss Esther and Lily were deeply
Miss Esther had presence of mind to tell
Chigwell that Dr. Gilbert lived not far off, and she


was sure he would tend to the little girl ? and she
led the way, followed by Lily, who cried bitterly;
by Chigwell, who bore little Flo in his arms ; by
her mother, who had come out of the caravan;
and by a crowd of sympathetic folks from the show,
which gathered as it went along, as the witnesses
of the accident described it to inquiring groups

\''-1 7 .' .

... . -. .

S *. w 4, '


ISS Esther and Lily hur-
ried on in advance to
prepare Dr. Gilbert;
,,'" and fortunately he was
S: at home, although just
S'' getting into his gig to
", visit some patients at a
distance. He was in
-; i the surgery when the
'" party arrived, bearing
little Flo. The crowd
as closely as they might, but the doctor's
servant shut the outside gate, and kept them out.
OnlY ( i ,.--. and Mr. White, and Flo's mother
were admitted to the surgery; and all behaved with


composure, except the latter, who cried bitterly as
she looked on the pale and helpless form of her
child. The operation of setting the bone, for it was
a bad fracture, was a painful one, and many a cry
escaped the poor little sufferer. But the doctor's
manner was so kind, and Miss Esther, who held
one of her hands, whispered to her that Jesus who
pitied the poor boy she heard of on the Sunday,
would pity and bless her ; so the little one made
very brave efforts to bear it patiently.
At last it was done, and Flo was taken into the
doctor's parlour, and some wine was given to her.
He then added that she was to lie there for some
time, and get some sleep, if possible, for he rightly
thought that she would get but little comfort or
quiet in a close caravan at the fair. Miss Esther
promised to sit by her, a task which Lily begged to
be allowed to share; and the mother might call at
the house as often as she wished.
There is one thing I must tell you, however,"
saidthe doctor, addressingher mother and Chigwcll.
" It will be a long while before the little girl will
be able to join you, and I should advise you never to
let her resume her performances on the tight-rope."


Oh that's a bad job, doctor," replied Chigwell.
" That's the gal's best draw. I will say as the little
'un is clever on the rope ; but she ,...til.iih pay me
to keep her just for outside performance."
"And what shall I do ?" exclaimed the poor
mother, "for 'tis on her account chiefly that Mr.
Chigwell supports me, though I must say I keeps
the caravan, and makes things comfortable for all
of 'em ; and mends their dresses and things; but
there, come what may, I won't leave my darling
Well, doctor, 'tis out of the question my stay-
ing in Barton till the Zephyr's well, whatever we
may do when she can get about again. There isn't
folks enough in the place, barring fair-times, to
keep a show like mine-proprietor, the Sinnor hero
(turning to W\hli..;), the band, the missus here, and
two losses, no, not for three days. 'Tis very
awkward for us, too, ain't it, Sinnor ? just at the
height of the fair to lose a draw like this, for we're
the only tight-rope in Barton; and here's a fine
afternoon, and all the booths was filled when we
come by; and 'tis as good as thirty shilling out of
my pocket, knocking off like this, for of course


folks knows what has happened ; and though I told
the band to play away all he knowed till we come
back, and when he was tired to keep hollering out
that he was just going to begin, o' course folks
"won't believe him, and not a blessed one will pay.
It's awkward, very, ain't it, Mr. White ? jest as I
trained the gal to walk the rope with any one of
her age and size that travels ; and I will say this
for her, that she was smart enough in learning.
But 'tis award, very. Now ain't it, Mr. White ?"
Thus appealed to, the Signor readily assented.
I won't disguise as it be very much so, Mr.
Chigwell; but its a deal worse for the little one,
and her mother."
Quite right. That is just what I was about to
observe," remarked the doctor, "but I am glad the
-thought came from your friend."
"Why, you see, Chigwell," continued the Signor
you can fill the Zephyr's place in some way. If
you can't get another rope-dancer, why you can
get something else, without going into low bis'ness.
You know we might have had a sheep with five
legs last month; and you was offered a fat boy for
.a season; there's prodigies about fast enough.


Come, now, you must see 'taint so bad for you as
the little one and her mother."
Thinking Mr. White had struck a tender chord
in the showman's breast, the doctor thought it a
good opportunity to observe:
You see the child will want nursing for some
time, and the mother will have to take a lodging
for her here; I was thinking what you would
allow them on account of the accident."
No, no, sir. That ain't fair. It will be a loss
to me, no end of a loss to me, losing the gal at
this fair. I can't afford no more, nohow,"
replied the showman, and he thrust his hands in
his pockets as if he was determined that no coin
should be extracted therefrom.
Now Doctor Gilbert was a kind-hearted man ;
but he was also a shrewd man of business, and lie
did not like the unfeeling manner in which
C'i, ll Iwanted to throw off all responsibility
for any compensation to the poor girl, who
had met with so serious an accident in his
Much more was said on the point, but the shabby
and unfeeling showman showed no inclination to


yield. At last White hit upon an idea that he
thought might settle the difficulty.
"Now look 'ere, Chigwell," said he, don't you
think we might got up a benefit for 'em ? You see
the fair will be over to-morrow, and the next job
is Heythrop fair, and that isn't till Friday ; and
its only a day's journey, or at least we can manage
it in one day. WV might stay another day. I
daresay the doctor would make it all right about
the ground for us; and if the folks knew what we
were staying for, they'd tumble up in good
numbers. What do you think of that, doctor? "
Well, I think it is not a bad i- __. -; .: so far
as it goes ; but I am not well versed in your line
of life, and I hardly know what a benefit involves."
Why, a benefit is all the money taken at the
door, after expenses are paid; and sometimes the
performers do their part for nothing, and their pay
is thrown in to. Now, if C'i; ( .. 11 will consent to
that, I'll give my services, and I'm sure I can
answer for the band, for he were oncommon fond
of the Zephyr, he were; and, maybe, the pro-
prietor will give his services, and charge nothing
for expenses; and there's my friend, the little man,


that's the dwarf, doctor, the last not least, as the
saying is-I beg his pardon, I'm sure-he'll give
his valuable services, I am certain, for he's a
regular good sort, is our little man, doctor."
"But then there's the horses," growled old
Chigwell, for he did not like the way in which
White was settling everything.
"Oh I'm sure they'd go on half feed if they
knew what 'twas for. Now that would be some-
thing like a benefit; that's a full benefit, doctor.
And we'd have a few bills printed, telling the
public of the accident, and of the generous way in
which the proprietor was going to give up his
entire establishment for a full and free benefit;
and the band should go round the town, and I'd
give out the notice. Why, we should have the
booth crammed; and see how wouldd get your
name up, Chigwell. And if the doctor would
only let the performance be under his patronage,
why that would beat all."
"Well, I cannot say I approve of the last part
of your programme, for I do not generally go to
shows; but I must say it reflects great credit on
your kindliness, and nothing could be more


appropriate than that those among whom the poor
child's lot was cast, and with whom she performed,
should do something for her in her present sad
Well, doctor, I didn't suggest your coming
to the show for your own sake, for I daresay
you've seen a better performance elsewhere, I was
thinking what a draw you'd be, sir, for the gentry
folks ; and then we might have reserved seats, and
charge threepence. Not that you see or hear any-
thing improper at the show, doctor; for though
I'm a poor man, I have seen better days. I once
worked the West of England with Cooke's Circus,
that I did, sir. I'd never lend myself to anything
low or bad."
The doctor, however, was not persuaded to lend
his name to the entertainment, for he thought that
those who would go would do so, and those who
would not otherwise go, would not be persuaded
to because of his name being used as patron.
No, no," said he, I do not think my name
"would be of much service. I shall be atle to show
my interest in the little girl and her mother in
other ways, especially as they will have to stay


here, and the child will be under my care for some
time yet."
All this while Chigwell had made no response
to the appeal made to him; he only thrust his
hands deeper in his pockets, to resist, as it were,
the attack upon them.
This unwillingness on his part to assent to his
friend's proposition rather annoyed the doctor,
for he thought it excessively mean and unkind.
After waiting for some little time for Chigwell's
assent, and not obtaining it, Dr. Gilbert said, quite
"Very well, then, I tell you what it is; as
Mr. Chigwell seems disinclined to adopt the plan
so kindly proposed by you, Mr. White, I have
made up my mind what to do. You see this child
is in the employment of her master, and he brings
her to me for an operation. I can claim my
remuneration from him for my services now, and
for my attendance hereafter, and that I shall do
most assuredly; and Mr. Chigwell will find,
perhaps, that they will amount to more than the
value of his day's work, and the keep of his two
horses thrown into the bargain."


There was no getting over that, and Chigwell
found out he was in the doctor's power ; and
White's small, round eyes were lit up with secret
pleasure as he saw how the doctor had him.
"There, now, I'm sure the doctor's very fair,
very fair indeed. If nothing had been said about
the benefit he might have sent you in his bill as a
matter of course, and demanded instant payment;
but I think he would let you off easy if you consent
to a full benefit; won't you, sir? "
The doctor readily agreed; and then the show-
man assented, though not so readily.
"Now, then, I'll tell ye what I'll do," added
the Signor; "if you can't meet with anything
more to your mind, and will sell one of your
horses, and buy a stout young pony, I'll teach
him no end of tricks; for I learned that when I
was with Cooke's; and that's a performance
that always draws. It's amazin' popular with
children; and I've known people as wouldn't let
their youngsters go to no other show, go and see
a performing pony. It's a fine moral performance;
it's a triumph of instinct, that's what I call it.
Then a pony's very handy for travelling, for you


if IF

AN AiRACTIvE r E.-P e '1
I. "- j -. "Ir"

,_ -- +,_,

aN .iT~nac~r- r t.n.-- -- "_



can hitch him to the caravan without putting 'im
in the shafts, and that saves toll, only to have to
pay for a carriage on four wheels drawn by one
And so it was all settled ; and the Signor, who
was a better educated man than the showman,
undertook to draw up a bill and get it printed.
Accordingly, next day, stuck up against several
walls and in front of Chigwell's show, was the
-following bill-
The Public is respectfully informed that as THE
INFANT ZEPHYR was going through her inimitable
and graceful performance on THE TIGHT ROPE,
yesterday, at CHIGWELL'S SHOW, she met with an
THE PROPRIETOR has generously given the
resources of his establishment, and SIGNOR BLANCO,
the Wonderful Equilibrist,-ALPH-oNSO li: -i 1..; r,
the smallest full-grown man alive, and all the
artistes of the establishment have offered their
services for a
BUMPER BENEFIT, on behalf of


It is hoped that a kind public, in whose enter-
tainment she met with her severe accident, will
generously respond.
Admission-for this day only-Twopence.

Reserved Seats, Threepence.

For One Day Only."

The bill, as was expected, excited a great deal
of interest; and many determinations were ex-
pressed to attend the performance by those who
read the notice.
Not only did the public show their interest in
the event, but some of the performers from other
shows expressed their sympathy.
During a slack part of the afternoon, when the
people were at tea, some of the men from other
caravans came over and spoke with the Signor
on the matter.
Why, you see, you haven't much of an enter-
tainment when you do get them in, barring your-
self," said one of them to White. If the guv'nor
would let me stay behind, I'd be happy to play


outside; and the band-poor fellow I-he's rather
Well, now, that is kind of you, Sandy," replied
White. That's what we do really want, is a
good lively tune; for the poor little one did nearly
all our outside business. I don't mind saying to
you that the inside won't be much of it without
her; for there's only me and the little man, and
he, poor fellow, 's very slow. He hasn't no fun in
him. It's astonishing how folks will laugh at the
most ordinary things that dwarfs say. I suppose
they are not expected to have any minds at all.
I've had a mind to teach him a song, and I've
tried a bit ; but there, he hasn't a ghost of an idea
how to sing. However, it doesn't much matter;
they know 'tis for a benefit, and they won't mind
so much what they see."
Sandy was a good-natured Scotchman, who
played the cornopean at the wax-work show; and
when he asked permission to stay behind and give
his servicess at the benefit, it was readily granted.
The tact was, that the wax-works were going to
Heythrop, so there was plenty of time for them to
get there and open by the Friday. Two friends


of Sandy, the trombone and clarionet, also fol-
lowed his example, so that the band at Ch; ..-.li's,
reinforced by three tolerable performers with
tolerable instruments, was a great acquisition; and
so flattering an adjective could never be applied
either to the one or the other of Chigwell's band.
Meanwhile, the special performance was talked
of all over Barton; and great interest was expressed
in the poor little tight-rope dancer, who was, with
her mother, in small but comfortable apartments
in the village.
Wednesday was a fine day, so that some few
were tempted to come in from the neighboring
villages to patronise the benefit. The other shows
packed up and moved away; but before they went
most of their company wished success to the bene-
fit. Signor Blanco, who took far more interest in
the matter than Chigwell, was very busy all the
morning. He set apart a considerable space, and
fixed up several planks and forms as reserved seats.
He practised one or two of his more difficult feats
that he did not always exhibit to penny patrons,
for he felt that the great part of the entertainment
would devolve on him; he prepared a few words


to address to the audience, to thank them for their
kind support; he devoted some time to the little
man, brushing him up and making him look smart,
and teaching him some remarks that he was to
address to the audience.
All this time Chigwell was in no very good
mood; he had yielded with a bad grace to the
Signor's suggestion, and an event happened in the
forenoon to put him still further out of temper.
The sergeant of police who was stationed at
Barton came to the back to inspect the tight-rope
and its fixtures, with the view of seeing how far
the proprietor was responsible for the accident.
He made inquiries of Chigwell and the Signor,
and made entries in his pocket-book; and as he
said little or nothing himself, he left them in doubt
what his opinion was, or what the consequences
might be.
Now, there's a nice mess you and that doctor
have let me into," said Chigwell to White, when
the sergeant had gone. If it hadn't been for
you, we should be miles on the road by this time;
and I can see the fellow wants to make me respon-
sible, and no end of things besides. He says to


me, says he, 'So you're going to have a benefit
for the girl, are you?' and he winked his eyes at
me, as much as to say, that's admitting your
liability ;' leastways, that's what I'm sure he had
in his mind, and he made a note of my answer at
once. Alh my fine gentleman, I'd a given yon
the slip if I hadn't a been such a fool as to hearken.
to that sentimental doctoring chap, and my friend
here, who hasn't anything to lose by it."
But this grumbling had no effect on the Signor,
except to make him additionally anxious to make
the performance a complete success; as he saw
that was all the mother and child would get from
their employer. White did think of -,_ t; _as
one reason why the sergeant came, that if the
Zephyr did not get over the accident, there would
be a coroner's inquest; and it would be well for
the police to be able to give evidence as to the
state of the rope and its fixings at the time of the
accident; but he thought it would only still further
vex Chigwell, and he held his tongue.

F- -7- ....1'-"
[ f --- -- '- --_ -. -:'


H. IIE performance was an-
nounced for 3 o'clock
but long before that
hour there was quite a
little crowd in front of
S- the show. Nor was it
.composed entirely of
.-- -that juvenile class who
". ".i' invariably obtain good
i'' "'' places for any outside
performance, but who never pay for admis-
sion to any inside entertainment. There were
several young men and women from the villages
round, and a number of respectably-dressed
children belonging to Barton, who, from their


pleased expression, were evidently going to patro-
nise the benefit. Then there was a young ladies'
school, represented by seven couples of pupils,
and one teacher, who were loud in their expres-
sions of sympathy for the Infant Zephyr.
The crowd gained in numbers perceptibly when
the band began to play. The musicians paid the
original band the compliment of asking him for a
programme of his music; but as they found he
could only play a few tunes by ear, they were
compelled to arrange their own selection, and let
him come in with his cornopean whenever he
It must have been a proud moment for Chigwell,
in spite of his former sullenness, to see three
musicians on his stage, playing from note, with
music in front of them; and, not to be outdone in
appearance, he stuck up before him some music
also, as thoughhe, too, played his two instruments-
the drum and the cymbals-from note.
After the first tune was over the Signor, who
had been pacing the stage as though he were
monarch of all he surveyed, announced in briet
terms the nature and occasion of the performance,

m '-" i l, r
-. F'i. S^., '.1 1 0 '.',' '


- --" "-


and appealed to the benevolence of those before
him to walk up and fill the show.
Nor did the people require much urging ; nor
did they wait for an attractive outside perform-
ance. There was quite a rush made for the
entrance, where Flo's mother sat in a clean white
cap, with a bow of red ribbon of gigantic dimen-
sions, which the Signor had presented her for the
Poor soul! she was quite overcome with the
response to the appeal. The pence were tendered
faster than she could take them; and when the
girls' school, numbering fourteen scholars, came,
and the teacher said, in a very precise voice,
" Fifteen reserved seats at threepence-three
shillings and ninepence," and then deposited two
florins, and went in without waiting for the change,
the poor woman felt as if the great bow had made
her top-heavy.
The booth was soon comfortably filled; one of
the last of any note to enter being the doctor's
boy, whose bright and numberless buttons and
white cotton gloves would have made him an object
of observation at any time; but on the present


occasion he was regarded with great interest, as
one after another sought to obtain the latest par-
ticulars concerning the Zephyr.
The performance need not be described in
detail, as the people were in a good mood to be
pleased. The Signor never had performed better-
as he himself acknowledged; and the hearty ap-
plause that followed led him to repeat his tricks,
and even attempt some that he had not intended
to exhibit. The dwarf, too, fairly eclipsed himself,
and was so exceedingly jocose as to make even the
Signor cease to wonder that the people should
laugh at his remarks. But when he announced,
quite on his own responsibility, and as the result.
of his own deliberation, that he should walk round
and shake hands with all who would like to put
something in his cap for the Infant Zephyr, there
was quite a murmur of applause; and the Signor
slapped the little man so heartily on the back as
to threaten to seriously injure his spine.
And applause was not the only result of this
brilliant idea; for many were anxious to have the
honour of shaking that pale, thin little hand, and
at the same time to drop a coin into the cap.


The performance was so successful! and as
several more were waiting outside, ready to pay
when the others were coming out, a repetition of
the exhibition was announced for the evening. It
also was successful, though not so crowded as the
afternoon, especially in the reserved seats; and
when the Signor helped Flo's mother to count up
the takings, they were fairly staggered at the
result; for no less a sum than three pounds seven
shillings and elevenpence stood stacked up before
them on the drum-head in piles of copper and
"Come, now," said the Signor to Chigwell,
"let's make even money up to 'em;" and, strange
to say, he responded to the challenge, and three
pounds ten shillings was handed over to the mother,
as compensation for her daughter's broken leg, and
as their means of subsistence for an indefinite
Poor little Flo was meanwhile very anxious to
know the result of the benefit; and eagerly did
she wait the return of her mother. At length she
appeared with the Signor, from whose jubilant
manner the poor child inferred that there was


good news for her; but when White sat down and
counted out three pounds ten, which the mother
had given him for the purpose, into those little
hands, she shared her mother's joy, though she
was not inclined to 1n.,ii,-:t it in any other way
than by smiles.
Well, upon my word," said the Signor, C if
that ain't most fortunate that we didn't take any
more, for the Zephyr's hands couldn't have held it.
Look there! chuck full-as full as the reserved
seats, and I never expect to see such a sight inside
our booth again." As he spoke poor Flo laughed,
and as her hand shook, some two or three coins
fell out. "There," continued the Signor, "most
fortunate that there's no more, for it would only
have been lost. Now, if you please, I mean to
invite myself to supper, if the little invalid can
bear it; and I think I'll just run over to the
doctor's, and ask whether I might."
He met the doctor, who readily gave his consent;
and then the kind-hearted man purchased a few
articles for the supper.
On his return Flo's mother had tidied up the
room, and had made some preparations for the meal,


which was soon got ready. Just as they were
going to begin, a knock at the door announced a
Mr. Chigwell, perhaps," said Flo, to tell us
how the benefit went off."
But a more welcome sight than the appearance
of the showman presented itself; Miss Esther stood
at the door, with a basket on her arm.
I thought, perhaps, my dear, your good friend
Mr. White would be with you," she said, address-
ing Flo, and so I have brought you a little
something," and she deposited on the table a good
sized cake and a cold roast fowl.
Mr. White had risen, and had handed the chair
on which he was sitting to Miss Esther; and as
she was anxious to hear about the performance she
sat down, and listened.
The Signor told as much as he thought necessary;
but when he had finished, Mrs. Kiddle gave her
account of the kind manner in which the Signor
had behaved, as well as of the performances he
had given.
The Lord will reward you for all your kind-
ness to Flo," said Miss Esther to him; "for He


will reckon it as done unto Him. For He has
said, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of
the least of these My little ones, ye have done it
unto Me.' (Matt. xxv. 40.)
There was a pause for some seconds. The fact
was, these remarks set the Signor thinking, as
he poised his hat on his hand, as if he were about
to practise some new balancing feat.
"Do you see my meaning, my dear ?" said Miss
Esther, addressing Flo.
"Yes, ma'am," the child replied; "and I see how
kind the Signor has been to me, but-but I am not
one of the little ones."
"Oh yes, you are, my dear," eagerly responded
Miss Esther. We are all children of the same
dear heavenly Father; and kindness shown to any
of us, however wicked, He regards as kindness
showed to him.
A mother is grateful to a stranger who does a
service to one of her children, even though the
child be a troublesome and disobedient one. And
do you not think that God is more loving than
any mother can be ? He loves us all, and yearns
for our love. He does not begin to love us when


we are good, though of course He loves us to be
good, nor does He begin to love us when we begin
to love Him. Your mother, Flo, does not leave off
loving you when you are naughty, does she ? nor
did she wait for your love before loving you. She
loved you when you were a helpless infant, who
did not know her from anyone else; or, at all
events, did not know that you were her child.
Does a mother cease to love her wicked son
when he has, perhaps, run away from home, and
almost broken her heart ? No, she follows him with
her pity, and it may be, her prayers; and nothing
can make her happy till that son returns and she
can again enfold him in her arms. Her other
children are dutiful, and obedient, and affectionate,
and she rejoices in their love, but that cannot
fill up the void in her heart, which her absent,
wicked son has occasioned.
Just so is it with God. He rejoices in the
worship of angels, and of all those on earth who
serve Him; but there are others whose love He is
anxious to have, and into whose hearts He is wait-
ing to enter. May I ask if we all feel as if He
were our Father ? Do we all look upon Jesus as


our Elder Brother? Do we all regard heaven as
our home, to which we can lay as much claim as
Lily Gilbert can to a seat at her father's table,
because Jesus died that we might regain this right,
which we all lost through sin ? "
Miss Esther had said more than she meant to,
but she was prompted by the thought that the
poor child before her was very ignorant of religious
The Signor's manner also encouraged her, for
he listened most attentively, and seemed rather
perplexed when she had finished.
I must say, ma'am," said he, "this throws
new light on the subject. Religion has never
seemed the sort of thing for us strollers at all.
We seem to be cut off from other people, and to be
a race to ourselves, like. We never go inside
church or chapel, for we should feel out of place
there; and we are strangers in the different places
we visit, and no one ever speaks to us. No
doubt we keep ourselves to ourselves, but that is
more from shyness than pride. I was not brought
up to travelling, though I have been on the road
for some years. I have seen better days than now.


Father and mother before me never went to
church; never read a Bible; never spoke of God
or heaven at all. I once came across a Bible and
used to read it, but there seemed nothing to suit
me in it; there was no mention of circuses, or shows,
or menageries, or fairs, or clowns, or juggling, or
anything I was used to; and so I got to think it
did not much concern the likes of me. Besides,
you see, father and mother weren't much to me.
Mother, I was told, was very sorry when I came
into the ring, so to speak. It interfered with her
acting and dancing, and nursing me would have
spoiled her figure; so I was brought up anyhow.
The only education my father gave me was of the
joints; he never cared tuppence about training
my mind, but he did about training my body;
and when I was able to do all the splits and strides,
and could bend my head backwards till it touched
the ground, and in fact could do anything with my
arms and legs, he thought he had done his duty by
me. I ran away from home, however; and when
once I left him, I never cared much to go back to
"He and mother did not live together long


afterwards: father died of drink, and mother-
well, I won't say anything about her, for she was
my mother, after all. You see, ma'am, the Bible
hasn't come much in my way. I did wonder
where father had gone to when I heard of his
death; but I looked upon heaven like the shows
I'd heard of; a sort of wonderful grand place,
with a very high price for admission, where there
was no gallery for the poorer classes and roughs."
I am sorry that you made such mistakes, Mr.
White," replied Esther. If you had read your
Bible you would have seen that God's love was
just what you wanted. There is a verse in the
Psalms exactly suited for you: When my father
and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will
take me up;' and if you had only read your Bible,
and remembered that it was full of messages ol
love and mercy from a Heavenly Father to all His
children, everywhere, irrespective of what their
position or occupation might be, you would have
felt that, however cut off you were from human
society, you were still the child of God; and how-
ever sinful you had been, that you were still within
the reach of God's mercy.


"But there, I am afraid I have been talking too
much for the little invalid. I must say good-bye,
now, but I will come and see you in the morning,
Flo, and, perhaps, Mr. White, you will see me
before you leave."
The Signor went back to the caravan, and Flo
and her mother retired to rest; but all three were
occupied with what Miss Esther had been saying.
I dare say my readers will wish I had omitted
this bit of sermonising; but as these words of
Miss Esther's had much to do with the after-life of
those to whom she addressed them, I could not but
find a place for them.


{.*i' TEU^ I,'


ARLY the next morning
S- White and Chigwell
were busy packing up,
and before ten o'clock
A- they were well on the
road; not, however,
'i before the Signor 'had
S seen Miss Esther. He
S was, of course, very
sorry to leave the little
girl behind, but he was glad she was in such good
hands; and he was comforted by Flo's promise
that she would rejoin the caravan as soon as possible.
Chigwell, on the other hand, was in the worst


possible humour. The great draw of his show,
at all events with children, was gone: there was
no one to look after their things, and then he
regretted the day that had been lost by stopping
to give the benefit.
I know what 'twill be," he said to the Signor,
"4 when we get to Heythrop: there won't be a
place worth pitching in. Why there's no one on
the road, everybody's ahead of us; and venting
some of his ill-humour on his unfortunate horses,
he strove to induce them to make up for lost
ground. But there is such a thing as going too
fast both with show caravans and with the caravan
of life; and so it appeared on the present journey,
for one of the hind wheels came off just as they
were about to ascend a steep hill. Chigwell's first
impulse was to thrash the horses; and certainly
they had something to do with it, for had they not
shown their willingness to do their best by going
at their best pace, the accident would not then have
happened, and might have been deferred, perhaps,
till a more convenient spot. But the Signor's
sense of justice would not allow the poor horses to
be ill-treated, and so he interfered.


"Now, look here, Chigwell; sit down here and
take it quietly, for we shall have to wait here some
time till we can get a wheelwright. This here
wont do at all. If you're going to keep this bad
temper of yours, you'll lose another humble
individual of your troupe, and that's the Signor.
I'm sorry enough the Zephyr ain't with us, but
it can't be helped, and we must make the best
of it."
In coorse we must," said a thin little voice
near them, for the dwarf, guessing something was
wrong, had come out from the caravan. Tell'e
what 'tis," resumed the little man, we shall do
very well, Mr. Chigwell, at Heythrop: we know
there'll be nobody as can touch the Sinnor, and I
don't suppose as there'll be many greater prodigies,
or smaller ones, if you like." Here the little man
seemed quite convulsed with his own little joke,
and was unable to proceed.
The accident happened at some distance from
the nearest house, which happened to be a wheel-
wright's, though its picturesque and snug appear-
ance bore little outward indication of the man's
business. It seemed so restful and desirable a place,





that the Signor could not but contrast it with the
miserable shelter which served him for a home.
The repairs to the wheel caused a delay, so
that it was not until next morning that the
caravan was able to proceed; and it did not
arrive at Heythrop till the middle of Friday
morning, when, as C'I;gw.ll had feared, all the
best places were secured, and some of the shows
were ready to open.
The day thus badly begun continued so ; nothing
seemed to go right. The band was not to be found
when wanted; the little man had caught a cold
by exposure on the previous night, so that when he
was announced to address the crowd in front, from
the window, there was nothing but a faint wheeze
audible, As though the little gentleman had
swallowed a stocking," as the Signor observed;
that worthy individual, on whom so much
depended, had lost patience with Chigwell's ill-
temper, and had refused to exhibit his more
difficult feats, such as he had displayed at the
benefit, unless Chigwell advanced his wages. The
proprietor was consequently in a great rage; he
abused everybody, from the little man, who was


innocent of everything except of taking cold, to
the people in front of his show, who could not be
persuaded to enter.
It was a very wretched supper to which the
company sat down, at the end of the day. There
was no Mrs. Kiddle to prepare them some red
herrings, or some other tempting morsel; there
was no cloth, with a clean knife or two, and some
salt and pepper prepared : and as every one was
out of sorts, the day terminated more wretchedly
than it had begun.
Next day Chigwell was in no better humour,
and as the fair lasted but one day, the Signor had
no hesitation in carrying out his determination to
quit Chigwell's employ. Had Flo and her mother
been there he would have remained with them,
but now there was no reason why lie should
continue to put up with Chigwell's bad temper.
He felt some reluctance in leaving the little man,
but he was under an engagement for some
months, which did not terminate until the end of
Of course Chigwell was very angry, but the
Signor minded not his angry looks nor his violent


words, as he left the caravan with his little bundle
on his back.
This said bundle contained all his earthly
belongings; it contained his professional garments
and his stock-in-trade as a juggler and equilibrist.
But he was happier now in leaving the caravan
than he had ever been in it.
My readers will have gathered that the Signor
was come down in the world; he had been,
as they know, connected with a large circus, and
that was a considerable descent from his former
position. His real name was Buckwig, and he
was formerly in business as a hair-dresser, with
his brother. Many of his customers belonged to
the dramatic and equestrian profession, some of
whom he numbered as sincere friends. His
brother was of a sporting turn, and given to bet-
ting ; and when a man's mind is that way inclined,
good-bye to sober business habits, and very often
good-bye to uprightness of character.
No more fatal sign is to be observed in young
people than a fondness for gambling. Lotteries,
raffles, betting, games of chance where any sums
however small are at stake, should be carefully


avoided. Such practices, indulged in to a small
extent at first, have often led to dishonesty and
ruin; but where such disastrous results do not
follow, there is generally a blow dealt to steady,
persevering application to business. It is the
worst day's work for any young person when he
finds out that he can make a shilling faster than
by steady downright labour.
It was so with Walter Buckwig : he frequented
races; he made bets, sometimes winning, but
oftener losing ; he neglected his business; he got
into debt; he appropriated money to himself that
belonged only to him conjointly with his brother;
he accepted bills for himself and brother which
were not honoured when they became duo; and
in the end he fled from his creditors, leaving
nothing but bankrupt to his brother Philip.
I need not trace all the steps by which Philip
came to his occupation as a clown; but I must say
that it was not without many failures, in other
directions, that he adopted that calling. His
brother's wife, he understood, joined some travel
ling company, taking with her her infant child.
He was unmarried: and he was thankful that


no one had to drink with him his cup of
Up to this time he had been a strictly upright
and honourable man, though professing no regard
for religion. He found his new life beset with
many temptations, but he was determined however
he got his living to get it honestly.
He was not in the habit of attending a place of
worship, so that Sunday was to him only a day of
rest of body.
Failing health caused him to give up his position,
for exposure and fatigue were too much for him.
When he was able to get about again he found it
difficult to procure employment, until, after many
fruitless applications, he engaged himself to Chig-
well, and remained with him until the period of
our story.
Some time before this, he was sitting near the
caravan one Sunday evening-they had chosen a
grassy part of a bye-road, where the horse could
pick up a meal or two-and the Signor was smok-
ing a pipe with Chigwell, whilst Mrs. Kiddle was
preparing their tea. A gipsy kettle hung on a
triangle, and underneath it cracked some dry


sticks, which Flo and the little man nad gathered.
Sunday was always a welcome day for these two
at all events; for during the week the dwarf was
kept closely confined in the caravan, lest a gratui-
tous display of the prodigy should interfere with
the receipts for admission to see him. When the
company moved from place to place he seldom
had an opportunity of stretching his legs; for
though those limbs of his were but very short, they
sometimes longed for a larger sphere for their
exercise than the interior of the show admitted.
On this afternoon Flo and he had had quite a
country ramble, and had returned laden with a
bundle of sticks.
After tea the men lit their pipes and seemed
disposed for a stroll, when a sound of voices sing-
ing came across the fields, borne on the evening
air. The Signor suggested they should go in the
direction of the singing; and a short walk brought
them to an open-air service, conducted by some
good people from the neighboring town.
At first the two men hung on the edge of the
small crowd that was gathered to the service, but
gradually the Signor found himself near enough


to hear distinctly every word of the prayer that
was offered and of the address that was given.
It was a long while since he had listened to the
preaching of the Gospel; and probably he had
never listened with such interest as on the present
occasion. The preacher, who was a well-educated
layman, spoke with such feeling and eloquence of
the love of God, and with such an earnestness of
manner, as to rivet the man's attention. God's
spirit was striving with him that evening; but the
citadel of his heart, fortified by a long course of
irreligious years, was not to yield at the first on-
slaught, although he felt that his conscience, which
had been slumbering for a long while, was not yet
He went away with one feeling uppermost in
his mind, and it was this-Why should that gentle-
man be so anxious for the salvation of others ? He
knew he was not paid for it, and he thought there
must be something in that religion which could
make the preacher so anxious that others should
possess it.

-- '.- _

CnhM7TE i: In,



r HILST the Signor
tramped along the
road, these thoughts
S/) came to his mind. I
need not say he was
4 1' l thIinking, too, of his
ri" '" '*^ friends at Barton,
and wondering g how
S little Flo was getting
--- SI_'- ', i on. His first impulse
was not to go near them until he had found
some employment, but then he thought he might
be some time out of a berth, and that when
he found one, it might be at a considerable distance
from Barton. He was anxious, too, to tell Mrs.


Kiddle that Chigwcll had determined not to
employ her and Flo again, as he had told him that
the mother was not worth keeping without the
daughter, and he was sure the Zephyr would never
be able to perform as she had done.
The Signor was afraid that Mrs. Kiddle might be
in a hurry to return to the show, and perhaps impede
Flo's complete recovery.
But on the other hand, he did not like to pre-
sent himself at Barton without any means of sub-
sistence, as it would look like '.. *_ii ; so, after
turning the whole matter over in his mind, he
resolved to make for some of the large towns, where
he knew that one or other of the circuses was likely
to exhibit for the winter months, and try and get
It is often difficult enough to got employment in
the ordinary occupations of life, but in the calling
which the Signor followed it is even more so; for
the fair-season was now over, and few shows were
travelling. Then the roving nature of the calling
unfits and unsettles those that pursue it for steady
manual labour of any kind.
I know many boys are much charmed with the


idea of such a life-the constant change, the travel-
ling, the performances in public, the applause, the
glitter and tinsel, and apparent jollity of the life,
render it very attractive. However, it needs but
to see the other side of the picture, it needs but to
know what goes on behind the curtain, it needs but
to see these performers in private, to make us
thankful to our Heavenly Father that such is not
our lot.
Many long weary miles did the Signor trudge,
but everywhere was he unsuccessful. He walked
the whole of the distance he travelled, for his little
fund of ready money was well nigh exhausted.
He managed to pay for his bed and meals, some-
times at little country inns, by performing in the
tap-room, and making a collection afterwards;
and, as his manner was always pleasing, and he
could make himself very agreeable, he often got
much more from some individuals, than they would
have ever paid to see him in a show.
I need not follow him through all his journey-
ings, save but to say that his thoughts dwelt much
on what Miss Esther had said to them the evening
after the benefit.


He often felt, as he trudged along, that he had
no friend in the world; then he thought of Miss
Esther's kindness to Flo, and her own account of
what prompted it; and he felt that if she was so
kind, for her Master's sake, to a little waif and
stray like that, how kind must He be Himself to
those who were outcast and forsaken.
Nor need I follow him through all the states of
mind through which he passed, before he began to
see clearly his position as a sinner before God;
but when he was most in despair at this thought,
there would come the remembrance of Miss
Esther's words, that he was still a child of an ever
merciful Father; and he clung to that assurance
as a shipwrecked sailor clings to the rope that is
thrown to him from the vessel.
He was most anxious to change his mode of
getting a living, but he could hear of nothing likely
to suit him.
One market-day he was performing in a country
town with a small troupe to which he had joined
himself, when his attention was directed to a
gentleman who had stopped to witness the per-
formance. His face seemed familiar, and, on

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Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs