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The Baldwin Lbray
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LAURA S. H. COOKE
JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY
BY LAURA S. H. COOKE.
All rights reserved.
JON WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.
LU AND KARL,
TWO BONNY BOYS,
TO WHOM ALL STORY-LAND IS BRIMFUL OF EAGER JOY,
ETiLs ittle aooif
IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED.
DIMPLE DOPP; OR, THE LITTLE BROWN HOUSE
OVER THE WAY . ..... .11
CAT LORE . . . . . . . 55
KARL KRIEGER; OR, THE TANGLED-UP BOY. 95
"HE LED HER OUT WITH ONE HAND ". . Frontispiece.
"DIMPLE DOPP LOOKED OUT". . . . . .. 13
" WILL THE BLUE PRINCE GIVE ME HIS HAT ? . 19
"THERE WAS A GRAND CONSULTATION ".. ..... 29
"DOWN LONG FLIGHTS OF STAIRS, BETWEEN TWO GRIM
SOLDIERS"........ ........... 36
"'THAT IS NOT SITTING DOWN,' SAID DIMPLE" . . 41
"THE LITTLE MAN BEGAN TO SING" ........ 47
"HE SHOOK HIS LITTLE FIST AT IT ". . . .. 53
THE COTTAGE . . . . . . ... .57
"TO CATCH THE LAST GLIMPSE OF HER RETREATING
FORM" ........ ....... 61
"SITTING IDLY ON THE BENCH CLOSE BY THE WELL" 68
"A NICE OLD CAT APPEARED AT THE WINDOW" . 71
X ILL USTRA TIONS.
"LOOKING DOWN THUS ONE DAY" . . . . 81
"'Mow, Mow!' SIGHED THE Cow" . . . . 85
" A LARGE STRING OF CAT'S-EYE PEARLS" .. . 89
"BUT HE LINGERED ON THE ROSE-COVERED PORCH" .94
" AMUSED AT THE APPEARANCE OF HIS LITTLE CUS-
TOMER". ... . . . . . . 103
"THE MAN CAUGHT HIM FIRMLY BY THE ARM" . . 109
"TO SAY THEIR PRAYERS AT HER KNEE" . . . 115
"HANS ON HIS WAY TO THE WOODS". .. .... 118
"THEY SAT DOWN ON A MOSSY LOG"... ..... . 121
"IT LOOKED LIKE A LITTLE FAIRY SNOW HOUSE" .. 128
"FILLS HIS PIPE, AND HANDS IT CAREFULLY TO HIM" 133
"BEGAN TO SHOUT AS LOUDLY AS HE COULD". . . 137
THE LITTLE BROWN HOUSE OVER THE WAt.
ONE morning, little Dimple
SI; Dopp looked out of
ii p the nursery window,
Sand w wondered w hat he
Should do all day long.
T ruth to tell, Dimple
had "jumped out of the
Wrong end of the bed"
an hour before, and
there had been a great
war in the nursery;-
not a war of the roses,
", '' although two big ones were
glowing on Dimple's cheeks
Before peace was declared, -
but it might have been called a civil
war, although very uncivil.
14 DIMPLE DOPP.
Midggie the parrot screamed, because D. D.
threw his doll at nurse; dolly's head tum-
bled off and fell in the wash-basin; D. D.
grasped nurse by the apron and twisted it all
around his head, so that she could not touch
one curl with the comb; the apron-strings
gave way, and D. D. tumbled on the floor
and rolled over a stool, and raised an awful
bump over his eye; and nurse gave in her
verdict, that he got his head combed with
a three-legged stool, and it served him right."
And now there was a suspension of hostilities.
Dimple Dopp had a plaster over one eye
that made him see crooked; the dolly's
head had been fished out of the wash-basin;
the parrot was quietly eating a chestnut,
and now and then throwing a sly glance at
Dimple, as if asking him when he intended
to get up another jolly row for her amuse-
Nurse put another log of wood on the fire,
and swept the hearth clean, and shook out
the rug; and Snowball, the old black cat,
DIMPLE DOPP. 15
came and laid down upon it, and, after a
yawn and a stretch, went purring off to
Tib, the dog, looked in through the crack
of the door, and, seeing that the doll did not
fly around any more, and all was tranquil,
came in and put up his nose for Dimple to
pat; and then laid himself down on the other
side of the fire, and went off to sleep in com-
pany with Snowball.
Nurse put a red ball in the heel of a stock-
ing, and sat down to darn.
The pendulum of the clock went tick . .
tick! .. and nurse told a story of a bad boy
who was hung in the trees by the hair ot
his head, -" A very bad boy," she said;
and added, that if he had been made to
have his hair combed when a child, and kept
out of tangles, such a fate would probably
never have been his."
Dimple fell into a pensive mood.
He put his little fat face against the win-
dow pane, and looked off over the mountains.
16 DIMPLE DOPP.
Away off in the distance, Dimple could see
the hills covered with trees, and the leaves
red and brown, with spots of bright yellow,
like a peep through the kaleidoscope that
Santa Claus put in his stocking last Christ-
Nearer, there was a pretty park, with a
brook running through it, full of bright peb-
bles, and the water flashed and danced over
them, as full of sparkle as Dimple himself,
when turned out for a frolic.
Then, best of all, there was a pretty rustic
summer-house, with seats, and a flight of
steps, leading down into the park, sur-
mounted by a little brown bird house, -
beautiful and perfect in proportions, with
four gables, many piazzas, and a tower, -
where the birds had flown in and out all
summer, and taken airy flights from its
"Tick! tick!" went the clock, and
Dimple grew every moment more quiet and
pensive, and his little head began to wonder
DIMPLE DOPP. 17
about that house, whether there were stairs
going up, just inside the front door, if little
fairy coaches ever drove up there at night,
when nurse and all were asleep.
Dimple laid himself back on the nursery
lounge, and found he could just see the front
door of the little house from where he lay.
The sky looked blue above it, and a fleecy
white cloud was floating by, like a great
bird, with wide spreading wings, and....
suddenly the white cloud came quite down to
the window, and crept in over Dimple, until
he lost himself, and could not quite tell which
was Dimple and which was cloud. .... In-
deed, for a time he could not tell whether
the cloud was dimpled, or Dimple was
Just then, the carriage stopped at the door
of the little brown house over the way.
The footman jumped down and threw open
the door; the horses pranced and threw a
great deal of dust in the air, but the coach-
man reined them in; and Dimple stepped out
"1 8 DIMPLE DOPP.
in his best blue velvet suit, with his hat with
a white ostrich plume and silver buckle.
I wish I had let nurse curl my hair bet-
ter this morning," he said to himself; "but
never mind, no one will see my back when I
go in, and as I am going to see the Princess,
I can back out, as is proper at court."
So Dimple went up the steps, and saw that,
instead of the stairs going up just inside of
the door, there was a spacious vestibule,
opening into a grand hall, paved with mar-
ble, in the centre of which there was a great
fountain with a white basin, and a stained
glass dome over it, where the water flashed
out rosy in the sunlight, which streamed down
A footman came up to Dimple, and, bowing
to the ground, said, Will the Blue Prince
give me his hat ? "
Dimple resigned his hat, and followed the
footman, thinking all the time it would have
been better to have kept it on his head, as the
feather would have helped to cover his hair.
f i *
, IS I "'I i-- ''
"'s"1 the -Bu :P ne gve m ha '
S I .- : ... - --. '
Will the Blue Prince give me his hat ?"
DIMPLE DOPP. 21
The footman showed him the way to a
dressing-room, and, opening the door, ushered
him into a beautiful apartment, the walls
covered with gray satin and mirrors, and the
chairs and sofas with blue.
Wherever he turned, he saw a prince in
blue velvet, with a white lace frill around his
neck, and curling hair, a good deal tangled.
"I wish I had let nurse comb my hair a
little better this morning," thought he; "but
never mind; after I have been dancing a
little, the Princess will never know the dif-
In the window there was a great stand of
plants, with sweet-smelling flowers, and hun-
dreds of yellow butterflies were fluttering
around them, hunting a sip of dew in their
Dimple went near to seek a rose-bud for
his button-hole, when lo the butterflies arose
in a swarm, and alighted on Dimple's head,
every one choosing the heart of a curl for his
own little nest, while a long black darning-
22 DIMPLE DOPP.
needle selected the topmost curl for a throne,
and waved and flapped his great wings, until
Dimple, getting a glimpse of himself in a
mirror, caught hold of a door-knob, for fear
they would fly away with him.
Now, here is a snarl! said he to him-
self; "if I had only brought a comb! "
Just then some one knocked on the door,
and two porters brought in a large trunk.
The Prince's baggage," said they, and,
kneeling down, they unlocked the trunk,
threw open the lid, and, bowing to the
ground, went out.
Now, if nurse has only sent a comb !"
thought Dimple, and advancing to the trunk,
he peeped in.
What was it ? A broad ivory something,
studded with brass points, was all that was
visible, filling the trunk to the top.
What could it be ? Squeezing his hand
down one side, he felt the shape of great long
teeth, and he at last comprehended that it
was a huge comb, but so heavy he could not
DIMPLE DOPP. 23
What should he do Suddenly he thought
of prizing it out; and, with great labor in-
serting the back of a chair between the
trunk and the comb, he laid himself along
the legs of the chair, and bore on with all
Whiz bang! The comb landed up in the
big chandelier overhead, the chair turned
topsy-turvy, and poor Dimple discovered
with horror that he had a new bump on his
head, and the back of his blue velvet coat
was torn, showing his white linen shirt
through the rent. The butterflies tried to
fly away, but so many wings were entangled
in the curls they fluttered in vain, and Dim-
ple saw the reflection of a poor little Prince
looking at him from the walls, with a fist in
each eye, and a great fluttering of wings
around his head, while the big darning-needle
seemed to mock him from its airy perch.
At this instant the band began to play, and
two footmen came to say that the Princess
was ready to receive the Blue Prince.
24 DIMPLE DOPP.
Never mind," thought Dimple, it is well
the tear in my coat is behind, like my tangled
curls; perhaps I shall do very well after all."
Thus thinking, he followed the footmen
through long halls, smooth with polished
marble floors, -so smooth Dimple could
see his face looking up at him, every step
At last they arrived before the doors of the
grand drawing-room, which were flung wide
open at their approach. The Blue Prince
from Dimpledom," was called out in a loud
voice, and Dimple found himself in the pres-
ence of the Princess and her court.
The vast room was quite crowded with the
attendants of the Princess, and her Prime
Minister stood at her right hand.
Dimple had no time to think of his head or
He advanced slowly up the room; but as
he approached, he detected a look of sur-
prise on the faces of the Princess and her
minister. They spoke together in low tones,
DIMPLE DOPP. 25
but the Princess smiled encouragingly, and
Dimple overheard her saying, just as he
dropped upon one knee, "Butterfly dressing,
probably all the fashion in Dimpledomr";
and she graciously extended her hand to be
kissed. After this ceremony was concluded,
the Princess sat down on her throne, and
motioned Dimple to seat himself beside her,
on a crimson velvet chair, with a high and
curiously carved back; and she began a
very pleasant conversation with him, glan-
cing often at his head, with a radiant smile
upon her lips, but continuing to converse so
sweetly, that Dimple took courage, and be-
gan talking also, and became quite ani-
And what a pretty little princess she was !
how gay and bright But Dimple could only
see a little rosy mouth and white teeth; eyes
so blue it made him think of looking out of
the nursery window into the sky, when he
looked down into them; and brown curls,
all in beautiful order, as if the wind had
26 DIMPLE DOPP.
never dared to frolic with them; and such a
white fleecy dress floating around her, Dim-
ple's head grew quite confused looking at
The Princess told him nearly all her past
life, and with other things confided to him
that she was very fond of butterflies, and
every summer, while in the country, she al-
ways chased butterflies, while the court
played croquet, and she thought it much
the better amusement of the two.
Again the band began to play, and the
master of ceremonies came and explained to
Dimple that he was expected to open the ball
with the Princess.
Dimple thought of the hole in his coat, but
a glance from the Princess made him willing
to brave any danger; and he took her by the
hand, and began to rise from the chair, when
something arrested him.
He threw a glance over his shoulder,
and oh horrors his hair had become
entangled with the curious carving of the
DIMPLE DOPP. 27
back of his chair, and he was held fast, a
He struggled to free himself, but no, lie
was fast bound.
If it had been only his curls, it would
have been well; but the tangles were too
complicated to come out with a pull, and
every effort in that direction only seemed to
make him more securely fast.
Poor little prince! The Princess looked
at him with grief, and even put out her royal
hands to help untwist the snarls; but all in
What was to be done ? The band played,
the ball waited to be opened, and the little
Princess at last wept tears of disappointment
so freely that the whole court was in danger
of all the perils incurred by wet feet; but the
hair was still untwisted.
At last the Lord High Chamberlain be-
thought him of a little yellow prince present,
who had been almost forgotten, and he was
brought forward to open the ball with the
28 DIMPLE DOPP.
There was a grand consultation afterwards
over the little Blue Prince and the condition
of his hair.
The court barber thought it was necessary
to cut off all his hair; but the chair-back was
so much in the way, it was found impossible
to reach it.
Then the court physician, being fond of
surgery, gave as his opinion, that the hair
was in such a maze of snarls it would be
necessary to take the head off at once; but
while poor Dimple was trembling with terror
at the thought, the little Princess sent the
court upholsterer, who immediately ordered
instead, that the back of the chair should be
So this was done, and poor Dimple was set
free, only he had to carry the back of the
chair under his arm, to keep the weight from
pulling his head off.
Never mind," thought he; "I can lead
the Princess through the dance with one
hand, but I wish I had let nurse comb my
S.... .. _.
"There was a grand consultation."
DIMPLE DOPP. 31
By this time the little Princess had come
back from dancing, and was so glad to see
the Blue Prince free, that she began to talk
so sweetly with him, and looked so kindly
sorry for his past trouble, that he forgot all
about it, and began to enjoy himself.
When it was time for the Princess to dance
again, he led her out with one hand, and
managed to dance so gracefully, that, as the
chair-back was gilded and in the form of a
harp, he looked like a little fairy boy, with
his butterflies, and his harp under his arm,
and quite won the heart of the little Princess.
Then afterwards there was a game of
" Hide the Handkerchief," and the Princess
gave Dimple her own handkerchief, a cob-
web of lace, to hide, and they ran all over
the halls and stairs; and he put the handker-
chief in the cup of a lily that grew by the
fountain, and there was a great shout when
the Yellow Prince pulled it out.
Then, as it was the turn of the Yellow
Prince to hide it, and he did not like little
32 DIMPLE DOPP.
Dimple because the Princess loved him so
well, he slipped the handkerchief, when no
one was looking, into the hole in Dimple's
coat, and let them hunt for it for an hour.
When every one was tired of looking, the
Princess spied a corner peeping out from the
hole; and then every one saw there was a
hole, and some one started a whisper that
the Blue Prince blushed when the Princess
discovered her handkerchief, and added that it
looked as if he was not honest.
The court attendants began to look curi-
ously at Dimple, and the Mistress of the
Robes said to the Princess she had better
not dance again with him, at least not that
So the little Princess said she would not
dance any more, and told Dimple to come
and sit down on a bank of moss close by the
fountain with her, taking pains to look care-
fully first to see that there was nothing near
to endanger Dimple's being again made a
DIMPLE DOPP. 33
In the smiles of the Princess, Dimple quite
forgot his trouble and its source.
The little maiden told him all her past
court experiences, and that she did not like
the Yellow Prince at all, and that blue was
her favorite color; that she saw the naughty
Yellow Prince hiding the handkerchief in his
coat, but she did not find it at once, because
she saw it was a hole, and thought it better
not to draw the attention of the court that
way, until she saw there was no other way
to finish the game.
In this confiding and pleasant chat, the
little Princess quite forgot herself, and, lift-
ing her hand, passed her fingers carelessly
through the tangled maze of Dimple's curls,
-the little golden rings were so pretty, and
the butterflies looked so very tempting.
Whether the wicked darning-needle pricked
her, or it was the angry gleam of the Prime
Minister's eyes, who had detected the action,
I know not, but the court was startled by
a piercing scream, and the little Princess
34 DIMPLE DOPP.
started up frightened, but alas the hand was
held fast !
Band after band of golden hair was tangled
and twisted around all the pretty fingers, -
in and out amongst the jewelled rings she
wore, even around the bracelet on her
Dimple pulled until the tears ran down his
cheeks, and the Princess pulled until her
hand was blue. The court physician de-
clared this time the head should come off;
but the Princess stamped both feet, and said
she would lose her hand before she would
allow it; and the lords and ladies all talked
at once, and the Prime Minister raved terri-
bly, until at last the court barber cut all the
curls close on that side of Dimple's head and
released the hand, but not without scraping
half the skin from the fingers of the Princess,
who tried hard not to cry, wondering audi-
bly, while rubbing her smarting fingers, why
they wore their hair so snarly in Dimpledom.
But the Prime Minister said he believed the
DIMPLE DOPP. 35
Blue Prince was an impostor; because,
though it might be the fashion to wear the
hair in an outlandish way in Dimpledom, still
no prince of the blood ever came to court
with a ragged coat before; and he had
spoiled a chair, attempted to steal a hand-
kerchief, and at last tried to possess him-
self even of the rings on the Princess's
fingers; and he should at once commit
him to the lowest dungeon.
At this, the Yellow Prince clapped his
hands; but the little Princess screamed her-
self hoarse, until the Prime Minister said she
would be sent to bed if she continued. So
she wiped her eyes, and, as Dimple was hur-
ried sobbing past her, she held out her hand
and gave him a chestnut, which comforted
him a little, she looked so kindly at him
at the same time. Then poor Dimple was
hurried down long flights of stairs between
two grim soldiers, who at last opened a door,
and thrust him into a large room all paved
with stone, with only one little window close
36 DIMPLE DOPP.
up to the top of the wall, from which he
could see very little.
"Between two grim soldiers."
"I didn't know the brown house had a
dungeon," said Dimple; "but never mind; I
won't be catching people and things in my
hair any more down here."
DIMPLE DOPP. 37
Just then some one unlocked the door,
and a man came in with a big log of wood
on his shoulder, and said that Her Royal
Highness, the Princess Regent, had been
praying the Prime Minister to let a fire be
made in the dungeon, as it was apt to be
damp, and the Minister had graciously con-
sented." So he went to work and piled the
fireplace full of logs, and made a rousing fire,
which crackled and glowed, and threw out
its warm light all around the dungeon, until
Dimple felt almost comforted. He drew a
chair to the hearth and sat down astride of it,
with his face to the back, and began to think.
He heard faintly the sound of the court
band, playing high above in the halls, min-
gled with the hum of voices and the splash-
ing of fountains; and he wondered if the
little Princess was still sad for him.
Thinking. of the Princess made him re-
member her chestnut, and he drew it from
his pocket. It was a very pretty chestnut,
very large, brown, and glossy.
38 DjIPL.E DOPP.
That would be nice roasted," thought he,
"and I am hungry now, I remember, but
my hair has kept me so busy I forgot all
So saying, he kneeled down on the hearth
and drew out a bed of hot ashes and cinders,
and laid his chestnut down in the middle of
it, and then went back to his chair, and fell
to thinking again. Suddenly lie thought he
heard a little surprised-like voice say, "How
hot I am!"
Dimple looked around, and jumped up
and looked in all the corners, even up to
the window; and then, not knowing where
else to look, he got down and looked under
his chair, and at last up the broad open
"That sounded like the Princess's voice,"
he thought, "I must have fallen asleep
and dreamed about her." So he resumed
his chair and his musing.
"Hotter than blazes!" cried out the
same little voice again; and while Dim-
DIMPLE DOPP. 39
pie, greatly amazed and almost frightened,
was getting down from his chair, "Bang!
whiz!"' went something. The ashes flew in
the air, and the chestnut popped into the
middle of the dungeon, and a funny little
ball, tumbling out of it, unrolled itself into
a quaint little figure, sparkling all over from
head to foot, with a pointed cap on its head,
pointed shoes on its feet, and two merry
twinkling eyes looking out from its face.
This small body walked around Dimple,
and burst into a roar of laughter.
"A pretty way to treat your friends, Mr.
Frizzle Tumble! said he. "Do you roast
all your acquaintances?" Then he began
walking around Dimple again, laughing all
Dimple by this time was standing on his
feet, and moved a step nearer his strange
friend; when he pushed him back with little
shouts of laughter, and, looking him all over,
said, So you are a walker, are you? I
thought you were a flyer. What in the
40 DIMPLE DOPP.
world is all that top-rigging for ? "- and he
pointed to the yellow wings still peeping out
from the curls.
Dimple put up his hands, and found that
the big darning-needle was standing on end
on the top of his head, and making frantic
efforts to escape. "Oh!" said he, a little
confused, "the Princess said it was the fashion
to wear the hair that way in Dimpledom."
"The Princess! said the little man, "I
know all about her; I am her foster brother.
She knew all the time it was only because
you would n't have your hair combed, but
she thought the Prime Minister was so stupid
he would n't know; but he is getting too wise
for her." And he added, "When a Prime
Minister gets too wise to see through his
Princess's eyes, he has to be suppressed;
and the Princess intends to take his head
off after his next truffle supper, if he sleeps
"Oh, but that would be dreadful!" said
Dimple, thinking all the time his little Prin-
I -i .1. .
1? ^ '-Ii I
" That isnotsitting-wn sd im e "
"That is not sitting down,' said Dimple."
DIMPLE DOPP. 43
cess could never be so cruel for a difference
"Would it? said the little man. "You
don't know the ways of our Princess."
Dimple was just going to ask more about
those ways, when he noticed he could see
the wall and the cracks between the stones
through the little man, and cried out, "But
I can see right through you!"
"Can you though?" said the little man.
"Not a bad thing in a friend; I will venture
to say you cannot see through all your
"N . .," said Dimple, "but I don't
believe you can sit down."
"Can't I, though?" said the little man;
and seizing the chair on which Dimple had
been sitting, he tossed it upside down, bal-
anced it on the back, and perched himself
upon the end of one of the legs.
"That is not sitting down," said Dimple.
"I call that sitting up!"
"You're a pretty fellow," said the lit-
44 DIMPLE DOPP.
tie man, splitting straws like a lawyer.
You had better turn your attention to your
own case, or they will have you hanged to-
morrow, if you don't get your head out of
that snarl,"- saying which, he turned the
chair down, and gravely seated himself upon
"But I can't," said Dimple; "I have
tried until my head is full of little aches and
But, how did you get in such a way, Mr.
Snarly Top ?" asked the little man, eying
all the time the cause of Dimple's troubles.
"No more names now," said Dimple, "and
I will tell you the whole story."
So Dimple began at the beginning, his
unwillingness to have his hair combed, the
flight of the butterflies, the complication of
the chair, the Princess's fingers, telling all
"Come now," said the little man, "I like
that, and I will help you. Let's make a
night of it!"
DIMPLE DOPP. 45
"If we let it alone, it will make a night
of itself," said Dimple; there's the evening
star in front of the window now."
The little man threw a curious glance at
Dimple; but seeing him quite grave, he
hopped up and drew a table out from the
wall, and, placing a chair at the head and
another at the foot of it, gracefully seated
Dimple in the chair at the head of the
Then he began at the darning-needle, and,
with much trouble and many pricks, he re-
leased him from the fetters of silky hair, and
set him on his feet on the table; when he
immediately keeled over on his other end,
and looked like a little decanter, half full of
something clear and sparkling.
Good said the little man, and immedi-
ately began on the butterflies.
One by one he released them from their
golden bonds, and set them carefully on the
table, when, by a manceuvre like that of the
darning-needle, they turned into little goblets
46 DIMPLE DOPP.
Then the little man took the chair-back
in hand, and soon had it free, though not
without some severe pulling and many
"Ohs!" from Dimple. Quite out of breath
at last, he leaned it against the wall, and
seated himself opposite Dimple.
"What will you take ? said the little man
across the table.
"Bread and milk," said Dimple.
Straight ? said the little man.
It never is straight," said Dimple; "mine
is always full of lumps."
Unsophisticated said the little man.
"You promised not to call names any
more," said Dimple; "and if you talk Latin
I can't understand, for I have not begun it
"But how will you take your bread and
milk ?" said the little man.
"Scalded," said Dimple.
So the little man set a bowl of bread and
milk on the fire, and turned out a glass of
something strong from the decanter, and
DIMPLE DOPP. 47
drank it, after which he laughed louder
than ever, and became very jolly.
Then he turned over the decanter, and, as
the darning-needle was on the other side of
The little man began to sing."
it, he set him to sewing up the rent in Dim-
ple's coat. After which he drew his chair up
to the harp and began to play.
"Hollo !" said Dimple, "if I had known
it was a harp, and had music in it, I would
not have thought it so heavy to carry."
48 DIMPLE DOPP.
The little man began to sing: -
The harp that once through Tara's halls- "
Stop !" cried Dimple; "if you had been
trying to hide a tear in your coat as long
as I have, you would n't introduce any such
unpleasant subject in a song."
The little man twinkled a look at Dimple
and began again: -
She wore a wreath of roses, the- "
"No, no!" said Dimple, interrupting; "I
could see very plainly they were daisies, as
I sat beside her."
Daft!" said the little man, and would
have added something else, but was inter-
rupted by a clear, bell-like voice, singing at
the window: -
Come, 0, come with me! the moon is beaming-"
"Who is that?" cried Dimple, quite full
of amazement, seeing a beautiful little boy
no larger than himself, wearing a suit of
DIMPLE DOPP. 49
silver mail, and seated astride moonbeam
outside of the window.
"That!" said the little man; "0, that is
Mr. John Frost."
"Any relation to Jack ? asked Dimple.
"Second-cousin," said the little man; "and
don't you think you ought to ask him to
come in ? "
Surely," said Dimple; and with that the
little man climbed up the wall, putting his
toes in the cracks between the stones until he
reached the window and threw it open, -
when in danced Mr. John Frost.
He was a bright little thing, so full of
glitter and sparkle that he seemed to fill all
the room, and he caught the little man by
the shoulders and turned him around so
fast! Dimple had never seen anything like
it in his life before, and it almost took away
his breath looking on.
"Hollo!" said Mr. John, stopping sud-
denly before Dimple, "what's the matter
with your head, Mr. Fuzzle Pate ?"
50 DIMPLE DOPP.
"Oh," said Dimple, "it. wants combing,
and my hair never curls well but in very
cold weather "
"I could curl it for you," said Frosty
John, "but I must not stay long; I have not
half finished work for the night."
"And what do you do? asked Dimple.
"Oh, I've been touching up the trees on
the hills; you'll see how they look in the
morning. And I have the brook to finish yet
to-night; it's tired of running, and wants to.
go into winter quarters."
Oh, I hope you left the violets, close by
the park wall !" said Dimple.
Not I," said Frosty John; I detected a
woodsy smell as I came by, and turned and
gave them a kiss, and you should have seen
"Oh!" said Dimple, "how could you?
how naughty! Did they die ? "
Die Yes, they just turned their leaves
over their eyes and went off, easy as babies,"
said Frosty John, taking an icicle out of
his pocket and beginning to smoke it.
DIPLE DOPP. 51
He blew out great puffs of steam, that rose
in heavy clouds, and then settled back over
his silver mail, until it was all covered with
a network of fleecy frost-lace, that was so
sheeny and beautiful that little Dimple danced
around him with delight.
"Come to the fire," said he, "and share
my bread and milk."
But Frosty John shook his head until his
white hair clattered. No, no said he;
"if I were once to get in a melting mood,
I should drown you out."
With that, he spied the harp against the
wall, and, as it suggested music, he began to
whistle a strange wild music, like the wind in
pine-trees. W- h - e - w - - it swept
through the dungeon, and the butterfly dishes
spread their wings and sailed upward to the
remotest corner of the dungeon wall before
it, and the darning-needle followed them
swiftly; and Dimple began to shiver, and his
hair to curl up so very tightly it made him
cry out with the pain. And lie found himself
52 DIMPLE DOPP.
gliding over the stone floor; now glittering
and icy, before the cold blast; and the little
man came gliding after him, and the table
and chairs and harp after 'him, and the
shovel and tongs after them, round and
round; and the harder Frosty John whistled,
the faster they moved. Lower and lower
burned the fire, gleaming out fitfully now
and then until it died out in blackness.
Colder and colder blew the blast, until the
fire-dogs and chimney were all hung with
glittering icicles; and Frosty John danced
and whistled on the backlog, and faster flew
the table and chairs, Dimple and the little
man, round and round. Colder and colder
blew the blast, and and -
"Why, Dimple, how hard you are breath-
ing !" said Nurse, looking up from the heel
of her stocking. "And I believe you will
take cold lying by that window, the air
comes in around it so."
Dimple stood up quietly, and went and
looked in the looking-glass.
DIMPLE DOPP. 53
His eyes were quite heavy with sleeping,
and the plaster was still sticking to the bump
over one of them.
He put his land up to his head, and found
)' I \
i.! ) J/ i. !
: ] ` ^ ",, _"__ i '
"He shook his little fist at it."
it was in a pretty tumble; but all the curls
were there still.
Then he walked slowly to the window,
54 DIMPLE DOPP.
and took a good look at the little brown
house over the way. I believe he shook his
little fist at it; but I came away just then to
see another little boy I know, and so cannot
be perfectly sure.
S' 1ji' I t lll 11
v" 1t --I I11, 1h 1-11111t
r7 *t-l'tt;-i',"( ill n 'l 1r "-it>.- I llll ll '\t
Sa wi,1-w anl11i hel t 1 ;o ,liiqh-
t lr The e,**tta 'e_ w; a ]li'--ttY,
1-<* v''l l.ill ', w h,',.-.e r,-,,,t"
'- ct. nlll 11i arlv t tl- .ihri11'i11, anill
was almost hidden by clinging vines and
58 CAT LORE.
In front, the door was reached by a broad
stone step, and behind the house sloped the
old-fashioned garden, with borders of box
and hedge of green, and broad, sunny walks,
lined with beds of flowers and thickets of
roses, a very wilderness of sweets.
Across the back of the cottage ran a broad
porch, shut in with lattice-work, over which
the honeysuckles and roses twined, where
humming-birds and butterflies flew in and
out, and bees went buzzing from flower to
flower all the day long.
Here, upon the porch, when the frugal
repasts were eaten and the work of the
morning done, came Ruth and Hilda, the
widow's two daughters, in fresh and pure
garments, to pass the time in knitting and
spinning. The little wheel stood before the
window, with its spindle full of flax, and a
low bench, which ran the length of the porch,
furnished a resting-place for a sleek old gray
cat, who often lay where a stray sunbeam
crept in through the leaves.
CAT LORE. 59
At one end of the porch was a well, whose
mouth yawned wide and deep, and whose
swinging bucket dripped ever with its cool
and refreshing freight of limpid water.
The widow (who had seen better days)
was often sorely tried to find means to pro-
vide for three, and yet retain unencumbered
her treasured home, sole relic of other and
more prosperous days. Her little store of
money was often eked out with the bit of
spinning done and the stockings knit after
the drudgery of the day was over.
But the widow had a sadder trial than want
of money which caused her heart to ache.
Of her two daughters, Hilda was the
elder, and had been so beautiful in person
from her infancy, that it was not until she
was nearing maidenhood that her mother had
been obliged to realize that she was most
wilful and unlovely in mind and heart.
She would yield to most terrible fits of
rage, and was never known to do a kind act;
but seemed only to think of her own ease
60 CAT LORE.
and comfort, letting Ruth and her mother
toil on, while she passed her time lying in
the sunshine, reading some idle book not
worth remembering, teasing the cat, or doing
some other useless or wicked thing.
Often, when told to finish a piece of knit-
ting needed for market, she would slily
break the yarn, and throw her ball down the
well, pretending it had fallen in by accident;
and thus she could sit idle while another was
Thus it came that the whole labor of pro-
viding for the family fell upon Ruth and her
This daughter seemed to have been sent
as a compensation for the other; for though
exceedingly plain in appearance, almost to
ugliness, she was of so lovely a disposition
that, after being by her side for an hour,
you could only say, What a dear, lovable
girl! how good she is! It was Ruth who
was always sent on visits of charity to poorer
neighbors, with the little pail of soup or loaf
CAT LORE. 61
of white bread; for, though poor herself, the
good widow loved' to do a kindly act, and
'' _.^,.,^ .., .
"To catch the last glimpse of her retreating form."
often scrimped herself to help those more
62 CAT LORE.
The old women loved to see the little
plain-faced maiden in her gray cloak and
bonnet; and would stand at the door after
she had gone, or at the rustic gate, shading
their eyes with their hands to catch the last
glimpse of her retreating form.
She was such a little, helpful, busy maiden,
and would set her bucket or basket on the
table, and take the broom from weak old
hands and tidy up the floor; and lay fresh
fagots on the hearth; and perhaps sit long
enough by the fireside to read from the
blessed Bible, until they said she was "eyes
to the blind, and feet to the lame"; and
many an old soul, very near heaven, sent up
earnest prayers for her.
Not so with Hilda the beautiful. Some-
times her mother had attempted to send
her to relieve some poor persons; but her
conduct had been so rude and disrespectful,
that only love for the good widow and gentle
little sister at home had restrained them from
turning her forcibly from the door.
= q ; '- _- --
.- ,, ,
Sitting idly on the bench close by the well."
''Sitting idly- on the bench close by the w-ell."
CAT LORE. 65
One afternoon in summer, when there was
a large basket of stockings to get ready for
market, and some spinning to finish, the
widow bade Ruth sit down to her wheel, and
gave a piece of knitting to Hilda, who had
been wilfully idle for several days, saying
that both must be finished before night; and
adding, "If any one drops a ball into the
well, they shall go down and get it!"
The widow went into the cottage, and
Ruth began to make the little wheel go
round. "Whir! whir! it sang under her
nimble feet, while she glanced from time
to time at her sister, sitting idly on the
bench close by the well, pulling leaves from
the roses within her reach. Even the cat,
lying idly in the sunshine, now and then
blinked and opened her sleepy eyes, seem-
ingly wondering how far laziness and dis-
obedience could be pursued.
At last Hilda sprang up, broke her ball
from her knitting-work, and went swiftly to
the well and threw it in. It bounded from
66 CAT LORE.
side to side, caught once on a mossy ledge
and came near resting there, but rolled off
and plunged into the far depths below. A
faint, faint splash, a little murmuring as if
the waters were whispering together, and
then perfect silence.
Ruth hid. her face in her hands and wept;
but Hilda laughed mockingly, while the
widow appeared at the cottage door.
"I thought the wind was rising," she said.
"Something sounded like distant music."
And seeing the knitting lying tangled on
the porch, she grasped her daughter by the
arm. "0 unfortunate and wicked child!',
she said. "Have you again dared to brave
my sorrow and my anger? Must you be
grievously and terribly punished, to bring
you to repentance and goodness? Go down
into the well, search and find the missing
ball, or never let me see your face, perfect as
it is, again."
Ruth threw herself on her knees at her
mother's feet, pleading for her sister, but
CAT LORE. 67
"She must go down!" her mother said;
and, leading her to the side of the well,
she helped her over the stone curbing, and,
laying her hands upon her head, she kissed
her, saying, "Come back a better child, or
come not back at all," -showing that even a
mother's loving heart may be so pained and
grieved that she would prefer living without
her child, rather than to see it continue in
disobedience and wickedness. And so Hilda
began the descent of the well.
It was of peculiar construction, and the
stones were laid so irregularly that they fur-
nished a good support for hands and feet;
while here and there a mossy ledge was
broad enough for Hilda to sit upon, and gain
breath for her farther descent.
So she travelled on, and on, and on.
Looking up at last, she could only see the
far blue sky with twinkling stars, and now
and then a fleecy cloud floating over, like a
white dove up there. At last, all light from
above faded out, and darkness fell upon the
68 CAT LORE.
poor child; but groping still on, light began
at last to shine up from below, and soon she
was at the bottom of the well. And lo! a
fair and beautiful country lay spread out
before her,-the loveliest she had ever seen.
Just beneath the well was a pool of pure
water, and floating on its surface her ball;
but, like her old giddy self, she did not stop
to regain it, but walked on to see the fair
land before her.
While coming down the well, Hilda had
been more deeply touched than ever before in
her life,-with fear at first, and afterwards, in
the darkest part of the journey, with a yearn-
ing for home, and the sister who had ever
been so loving, and the mother she had so
grieved. But on arriving in this wonderful
and beautiful land she even forgot the errand
for which she had been sent on this perilous
journey, and the anxieties of those at home,
thinking only of her own selfish enjoyment.
So she wandered on, by fields of violets,
and meadows of daisies, and groves white
CAT LORE. 69
with orange blossoms, and over pathways
whose pebbles seemed of jewels, so brightly
they sparkled and glistened in the sunshine.
At last she came to a spreading tree, and sat
down to rest beneath its shade. Birds flew
amongst its leaves, and its branches were
bending almost to the ground with their load
of great yellow fruit; and a sighing and
shivering and moaning were audible; and
the leaves rustled, and a voice murmured,
"Shake me, fair maiden, shake me, or my
boughs will break! Shake me !"
But Hilda only laughed mockingly, and
said, Then break if you must, I don't care."
And as she fled away, the great tree groaned
and swayed, and crash! it lay upon the
But Hilda was not quick enough to escape
the penalty of her sins; for the end of one of
the branches fell upon her foot, and, after an
hour spent in crying and rubbing the bruised
foot, she went limping on her way.
Not long after, in passing a meadow, she
70 CA T LORE.
saw a pure white cow, with large, gentle
eyes, lying on the grass, whose bag was so
heavy with milk she could not stand up; and
she lowed in pitiful tones.
Mow, mow! said the cow. Milk me,
pretty maiden, or my bag will burst! Milk
"Milk you! Not I!" said Hilda. "Do
you think my hands were made to milk old
cows ?" And she picked up a stone and hit
the poor cow on the head; and immediately
the cow's bag burst, and there was a great
rush of snow-white milk; and it came flow-
ing and dashing along, almost lifting Hilda
from her feet, until she ran and threw her-
self upon a huge log that lay near. But the
torrent of milk rushed on, covering the
ground, the shrubs and fences, and at last
Hilda on her log floated away on its snowy
bosom, a river, foaming and dashing over
the land. In peril for her life, too late Hilda
bewailed her cruelty, and labored always to
keep her position on the log, which bumped
"A nice old cat appeared at the window."
CAT LORE. 73
against many obstacles in its course, until,
wearied and worn, Hilda was at last dashed
unconscious on the strand.
Opening her eyes after many hours, she
sat up, and found she was only bruised and
very hungry, and going down to the stream,
for the river had dwindled to a brook, she
made a cup of her hand, and took a long
drink of the sweet white milk.
And now, refreshed, she again started on
her way, arriving soon at a queer little house
by the wayside. She knocked at the door,
and immediately a nice old cat appeared at
the window, in cap and spectacles, with her
knitting in her hands.
Meow," said she, in a kindly voice.
"What do you want?"
"I want to stay with you for a while,"
What can you do ? said the cat.
"I can knit, and spin, and sew, and do all
kinds of housework," said Hilda.
The old cat took out one of her knitting-
74. CAT LORE.
needles and slipped the end under her cap
border to scratch her head, and was for a
moment lost in deep thought, after which
she said, "Come in, I will keep you";
and she opened the door wide, and Hilda
Now, undoubtedly, you children have
dreamed of old cat's houses, but have never
seen one, unless in your dreams, so I will
tell you all about this one.
It was a quaint little dwelling, with low
lattice windows, and diamond-shaped panes
of glass. When you entered, it was like a
museum, so full was it of curious and pretty
things, the walls almost covered with the
skins of bright birds, and the window cur-
tains made of bat's wings, fringed with mice
tails. Long strings of dried beetles and
butterflies festooned the ceiling, a bunch of
catnip hung in the chimney corner drying,
and a bunch of fine plump robins hung in
the opposite corner, ready to be cooked for
CAT LORE. 75
A little cat's cradle stood in one corner,
lined with the skins of white mice, bordered
with humming-birds' wings, in which lay cud-
dled up, in round, soft balls, three lovely kit-
tens, of which Mrs. Cat seemed very proud.
"Spottie, the eldest," she told Hilda, "so
called from its beautiful black and white
"Jettie, because of its glossy blackness;
and little Waggletail was the baby and pet
of the family."
Mrs. Cat took Hilda around, and showed
her most of her treasures, and then began
tying on a clean cap.
"I am going out to tea," she said, "and
shall be gone several hours. During my
absence you must scour the floor until it is
as white as snow; wash the kettle clean, and
make me some catnip soup; and then make
me a fine savory robin stew, saving the
giblets for Spottie and Jettie, who are just
beginning to vary their milk diet. Then,
when all this is done, take up my little
76 C.4,T LORE.
kittens and wash and wipe them softly, and
rock them to sleep again." Thus saying,
Mrs. Cat took her knitting-work and walked
out of the front door, intent on seeing her
neighbor, Mrs. Gray, a fine Maltese.
After she had gone, Hilda went to the
window and looked after her until she was
out of sight; then drew a low rustic chair
(made of cat-tails from the brook and cush-
ioned with their down) close to the hearth,
and, drawing a novel from the pocket of her
dress, began to read.
A little hour-glass whose sands were of
tiny mice teeth told the hours, and still
Hilda read on, the floor unscoured, the din-
ner uncooked, the kittens neglected. At last,
starting up, she threw the catnip into the
unwashed kettle, and hung it over the fire;
flung the robins into the stewpan and set
them on the hob, and again sat down to
finish her book, and so read on.
At last came a feeble "Meow!" from the
cradle in the corner, which gradually in-
CAT LORE. 77
creased to three "meows" in concert; and
when some time had passed and no one
rocked the cradle or attended to the baby
kittens, they all set up such a kitten-wauling
that Hilda in a passion threw down her book,
caught up the kittens, and threw them out of
the window. Then when silence reigned,
she again sat down to her book.
At last the latch was softly raised, and
Mrs. Cat in her velvet shoes walked in.
She looked at the floor.
The water from the kettle had boiled over,
and long, green puddles lay at her feet.
She raised the lid, and found the kettle had
boiled dry, while the fine bunch of catnip
sent up a burnt, sickly odor. The stew had
fared no better, and was reduced to a few
The cat's eyes grew larger and larger
until she turned to the cradle, and, finding
it empty, she flew at Hilda and buried her
claws in her beautiful face. Hilda's screams
and the cat's dreadful wauls filled the house;
78 CAT LORE.
and when at last she released the poor girl,
to go and find her kittens, Hilda's face was
a mass of scratches frightful to behold.
She lay exhausted on the floor, while the
kittens were being brought in and warmed
and fed by the fire; then Mrs. Cat forced
her to go out of the back door, which was
very small, and composed of tar, and as she
passed through covered her with the black,
sticky substance, which clung to her hair in
masses, and dripped from her garments.
"Go home," screamed the cat, "and never
be seen again in our country, or you shall
be beaten with cat-o'-nine-tails until you are
frightened into catalepsy, and caterpillars
shall crawl over you; and you shall be
thrown into the dark catacombs, and torn
with wild-cats, until no cataplasm can cure
And poor Hilda, still lame from the blow
of the tree, and bruised from her voyage on
the log, with bleeding face and tar-begrimed
hair and garments, hurried home.
CAT LORE. 79
Arriving at the well, she hurried, weak
and exhausted, up the uneven and rugged
way, until at last she gained the top, and fell
fainting at her sister's feet.
Ruth, in lier neat, gray gown, and snowy
handkerchief crossed on her breast, sat sing-
ing at her wheel, when this sad apparition
fell at her feet; and it was some time before
she could believe it was her once beautiful
sister, so changed, so wretched.
Once convinced, however, everything was
laid aside to minister to her needs; and the
good widow spent day and night in striving
to remove from the hair, once so beautiful,
all traces of tar, and heal the scarred face,
trusting the lesson would bring repentance
and reformation. To all questions regard-
ing her stay in the well Hilda maintained a
grave silence, until they forbore to trouble
her, and left her to lie for days enveloped
in healing salves, made by Ruth, while her
beautiful hair was finally all shorn, to relieve
her of the mass of tar clinging to it.
80 CAT LORE.
And now Ruth, as before the return of her
sister, sat alone on the pleasant porch, day
after day, hurrying the little wheel to do its
work, and again knitting until the needles
clicked and darted in and out, striving to do
double work to relieve her poor mother,
who had scarcely smiled since the return of
her sister. And as she spun and knit, her
thoughts ever brooded over her sister's mis-
fortune, and the mystery of the well.
Sometimes she would get up from -her
wheel, and spare a moment to go and lean
over the curb and look down into its depths,
where only cool mossy stones could be seen,
and a faint shimmer of water--far, far
Looking down thus one day, with her
knitting in her hand, the ball slipped from
her fingers and dropped into the well, land-
ing on a projection below, while she strove
by gently drawing on the yarn to regain it,
but in vain. A sharp stone over which it
passed cut the thread, and her despairing
l -- _ -_ i ,
77 4 Rr
Lookig dow thusone dy.'
CAT LORE. 83
eyes watched the ball as it bounded from
side to side and was gone.
Sobbing, she sought her mother and drew
her to the side of the well, pointing at the
knitting-work which lay on the porch be-
"My child, my child!" said the widow.
"And you too have met with this misfor-
tune; but I know it is a misfortune, and not
a crime with you, who have never deceived
or given me pain. Go seek the ball. As
your sister went, so go you; but I shall
count the hours until your return. And may
all good spirits bring you safely to my arms
again So saying, she embraced her child,
and Ruth began her journey.
After long and toilsome climbing, and
many rests by the way, Ruth, as her sister,
arrived in safety at the bottom of the well,
to find with amazement and joy, instead of
"a fearful cavern, as she had begun to dread,
"a beautiful vision of hill and dale spread
before her, and her ball, floating in company
84 CAT LORE.
with that of her sister, on the bosom of the
clear pool beneath the well.
Carefully fishing them out, she dried them
with her handkerchief, and put them safely
in her pocket. Then she walked slowly on,
trusting to find the cause of her sister's
misfortune, and perhaps a remedy for her
Thus walking she came to a wide-spread-
ing tree, whose boughs were bending with
their load of fruit; and the tree murmured
through all its branches, Shake me, or my
boughs will break And the little maiden
hastened to get hold of the heavily laden
branches, and tugged and shook with all
her might, until the ground lay thick with
golden fruit, luscious and ripe. And Ruth
ate and refreshed herself; and then, filling
her apron as full as she could carry it, con-
tinued her journey, coming soon to where
a lovely white cow, with mournful eyes, lay
panting by the road-side.
"Mow, mow!" sighed the cow. "Milk me,
CAT LORE. 85
little maiden, or my bag will burst! And
the little maiden kneeled down on the grass
and milked the good cow; and then, rolling
"Mow, mow !" sighed the cow.
a large leaf in the form of a cup, she filled it
full, and took a long drink of the foaming
milk. As she drank, her face became more
beautiful, her skin more pure, and a new
light came into her eyes.
Whether it was the light or a good deed
done, shining through, or really the draught
of new milk, I could not say; but she was
more beautiful than her sister had ever been.
And again she went happily on her way, and
arrived quite fresh and bright at the old cat's
house. Here she knocked very gently at
the door, and Mrs. Cat came and looked at
her long and gravely, from the window, over
Meow, meow !" said the cat. You had
better go away."
"I want to stay a little," said Ruth. I
am far away from home, and would like to
help you if I can, to pay my way."
I am afraid of strange girls," said the cat.
" One did me a bad turn, only a week or
so ago, and gave my kittens fits; and they
have been delicate ever since."
"But I will do my best," said Ruth; and
looked so gently and pleadingly at the old
cat that her heart relented. And she opened
wide the door, and Ruth walked into the
snug little room.
CAT LORE. 87
Here, as before, the fire was crackling on
the hearth, and the kittens lay cuddled in
their soft white cradle, and the old cat showed
them with pride to little Ruth, whose eyes
sparkled at the pretty sight, while she stroked
their soft coats.
At last Mrs. Cat, who had been watching
her children since Hilda left, began to think
she could venture on another journey abroad,
and again tied on her company cap, and
took her knitting in her hand. I think I
will go out to tea," she said. "I begin to
feel the want of fresh air. While I am gone,
you must scour the floor as white as snow,
and then make me a tempting rat pie. You
will find a fine one hanging behind the cellar
door. And stew me the pair of bats in the
dish on the pantry shelf. And then take up
my kittens, wash them and curl their front
hair, trim their whiskers, and put on clean
ribbons, and let them play on the hearth."
So saying, Mrs. Cat tripped over the door-
sill, holding up her tail, and disappeared
around the corner of the house.
88 CAT LORE.
Ruth shut the door carefully to keep out
the draught, and, going to the chimney-piece,
turned the little hour-glass, whose pearly
sands had just run through. Then she
turned up and pinned the skirt of her dress
behind her, put on the cat's long apron,
which hung behind the pantry door, and
began her work. Down on her knees she
went, and any cat would have been hard to
please indeed, who was not satisfied with the
beautiful whiteness of the floor, in whose
polish you could almost see your face re-
flected, when Ruth had finished.
Next, the rat pie was made, with white,
puffy crust,- enough to tempt a king, or
the king of cats; and then the bats were
put on to stew with savory herbs, and an
appetizing odor of them filled the room.
Then the kittens were taken up, and han-
dled so gently, not a "meow" disturbed the
quiet of the scene; and just when they were
frolicking and frisking on the hearth, in all
the beauty of freshly dressed hair and new
S I :
III Q jl-
A large s o s
" A ae r c s p a. rls.
-= -- -
"Alrg trn o atsey eal.
CA T LORE. 91
ribbons, the latch was softly lifted, and Mrs.
Cat in her velvet shoes stepped in. Ruth
was seated on the hearth enjoying the frolic,
her fair face lighted up with the sweet con-
sciousness of duty done.
The floor was so well polished that Mrs.
Cat almost feared to put her paws upon it;
the tempting pie sat on the table, and the
odor of the stew made the cat's eyes
Advancing softly to the side of Ruth, she
patted her gently with her paw, and said,
"Best and most trusty of maidens, you will
never repent having come to our country.
Remain with me, and share my home, and
all I have."
"But I cannot," said Ruth; my mother
would be very unhappy, and she could not
live without me. I have staid too long al-
ready, for she is getting too old to work, and
I knit, and spin, and sew for her."
"Good child," said the cat, as she hung a
large string of cat's-eye pearls around her
92 CAT, LORE.
neck; "keep these for my sake, and you
shall go out of my golden door."
So she led her to the side door, which
was made of solid gold; and as she passed
through, a shower of gold-dust fell upon her,
and all her garments changed to cloth of
gold, and glistened in the light. And her
hair was full of the golden shower; and as
she walked, it fell from her on the way. So
she hurried home, Mrs. Cat walking with her
as far as the pool, and seeing her safely on
her journey up the well.
And so she flashed out upon the widow
and poor Hilda, who remained still a crip-
ple, supported by pillows on the bench on
the porch. At first, they were afraid; but
soon learned that it was indeed little Ruth,
fresh and bright as a rose, and dropping
gold-dust from her hair and garments at
every step; while the fruit she carried in her
apron was found to be of priceless value, -
every peach a topaz, every plum a sapphire,
and every cherry a ruby, while the leaves
CAT LORE. 93
were composed of emeralds, and the dew-
drops that still glistened upon them proved
to be diamonds of the first water. So our
little Ruth was enabled to provide a princely
fortune for her mother, and the best of medi-
cal advice for her sister, who, I am sorry to
say, remained a cripple for life.
The fame of the well went through all
the country, and the king's son, who had a
taste for exploration, came with a company
of his subjects to go down and examine the.
marvellous country below; but, after toiling
for days to reach the bottom, they only
found a deep cavern, full of water, pure and
limpid, but of great depth.
So the young prince failed to find the
marvellous country below; but he lingered
long enough on the rose-covered porch above
to see and love the sweetest rose of all, -
the gentle Ruth, who became thus a Princess.
The only proof of the story of the wonder-
ful country once at the bottom of the well
was the great wealth of Ruth and her family,
94 CAT, LORE.
and the possession of the string of cat's-eye
pearls, preserved with great care in the
family of the Prinii", f-r nImv ..: i-"
generations afterwzaril: :-
as the possession, *I
them was believ'l.! -
to bring hapin e.,s
and good fortune.
Hilda was tend.-r- I l" -
ly watched over with
loving care, andgr:- w\
so gentle and ,,is
through her aftlic -
tion, and so char-
itable, that she -
was after- -: -
wards known 'i'
as "the good -i .. -
Hilda ; while But he lingered on the rose-covered porch."
Ruth lived for
many years, adored by her husband, and be-
loved by all.
THE TANGLED-UP BOY.
K ARL, the little boy of whom I write,
was a dear little fellow, about eight or
nine years old, with big blue eyes and brown
hair; and would have been greatly beloved
by all, if it had not been for one thing.
Now you all, every one of my little
readers, I suppose, have known some boy
or girl who was very nice, and you almost
loved them; but there was some one thing
that prevented you.
Thus it was with little Karl. He looked
very lovable; and often was so sweet and
good that all the world might love him, but,
again, no one'could even attempt it.
He would get up in the morning and
look cross and troubled; then, having begun
wrong, he would go on, and if his nurse put
98 KARL KfREGER.
on one shoe, he would say it hurt him; and
when she had taken it off, he would say
the other stocking was too tight; and then
he would fight over being washed, and cry
over having his hair combed; and so go on
until his poor nurse was almost tired out.
Then he would want to go down stairs
to his breakfast; but by the time he had
reached the nursery door, he would conclude
to have his nurse bring it up, and sometimes
mamma would have to come in and punish
her boy; and even that would fail to make
him good, and so mamma would call him
her "tangled-up boy," and wonder what she
should do to get the naughty snarls all out
Papa would take him on his knee and say,
"It was a blessing he was not as snarled up
bodily; for there would then be no way of
getting the kinks out of him." But Karlie
used to have some good and happy days in
spite of all; and then his mamma would say
that she hoped in time he would become a