Bob's father


Material Information

Bob's father
Series Title:
Firelight stories
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 18 cm.
Putnam, Eleanor, 1856-1886
D. Lothrop & Company ( Publisher )
D. Lothrop and Company
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1882   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1882   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1882
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston


Statement of Responsibility:
by Elanor Putnam and other stories by famous authors ; illustrated.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002236356
notis - ALH6827
oclc - 52416722
System ID:

Full Text
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And other stories by famous authors







Y OU may remember him. I don't mean the
father, but Bob. Bob Richards, a fellow that
we broke in" in a queer way one Christmas down
at our school. I wrote it all out like a story, and my
sister Nell copied it for me (for how can a fellow
write when he's lying flat on his back with a broken
leg?) and then I sent it to the publisher- not
that I ever supposed I should have it taken. When
Will (that's my brother, a little fellow two years and
three months younger than I am) came home for
spring recess, I was just well off my smashed leg,
and I was going back to school when Will went. I
told him about the story. He didn't like it very well,
because he never likes to have me do anything that
he can't do.
"Ho!" says Will in a hateful kind of way he has


sometimes, "I bet they won't take it! you write a
story! ho! big writer you are! you've given your-
self dead away, that's all you've done !"
I didn't say anything to Will then, because, you
see, I rather thought he was right about it; but the
very week after we went back to school I got a letter
saying that they were going to print my story. Then
a good while after that the magazine came one day,
and there, sure enough, was my story in black and
white. As soon as I saw it I went after Will to
show it to him. He was in the woodshed mending
his base ball. "My story has come at last Will!"
said I.
"In your mind !" said Will, sort of huffy.
"No, honest Injun," said I.
SI held up the book, but. for a few minutes ,Will
never looked up, but just sat there jerking the needle
through his ball and giving a kind of whistle every
time it came through, as if all he cared for was to get
his old ball mended. You see he was sort of jealous
about my writing a story; but in just a minute he
looked up with a red face.
"Well," says he, "that's the boss, isn't it, Tom ?


Let's look at the pictures. Come on, let's go and
show it to the fellows."
Then he jumped up and put his arm across my
shoulders, and was all over his huff in no time. And
that night while we were undressing he says, Tom,"
says he, that was the boss story, but I never knew
before that real people wrote 'em."
"Real people wrote what? said I.
"Stories and such things," said he.
"Who did you think wrote 'em ? said I.
"Oh, I don't know," said Will; "only I never
thought it was just common people like you." Pretty
soon he said, with his mouth full of tooth-brush,
"Why don't you write about Richard's father ? That
would make a bang-up one!"
"Nobody would believe it," said I.
"You try," said Will. "I guess they'll believe it
if you tell 'em that it is a 'pon-honor true story."
So I'm going to write it all down; and if you don't
believe it, all the same it is a 'pon-honor true story.
You see, when school broke up in June, there were
some of us fellows that couldn't go home for vaca-
tion. Will's and my people had gone to Switzerland


to stay till September, unless aunt Jocelyn went over
in July, and then they'd have to go to Syria with her;
but anyhow they were in Switzerland while aunt
Jocelyn was deciding whether to be a missionary or
not, so Will and I had to stay at the school.- Then
Jeff Ryder couldn't go home on account of his twin
sister's having the measles, and his grandmother
being visiting there and not liking boys, and they
were moving into a new house; and his big sister
wrote him a letter and told him that his clumpy shoes
would disturb the twins, and he would have a good
time if he stayed at school all summer. Then there
was little Richards: he expected to go home to see
his mother and sister, but he got a letter without the
money to pay his way on the boat, and saying how
much they wanted to see him, and how they were
poorer than ever and were afraid the house would
have to go, and they hadn't any money to send him;
but the sister sent her love, and Dr. Thomas had
promised to let him stay at the school all summer
and pay his board by weeding the garden and taking
care of the horse. It was hard on little Richards,
but he stood it a sight better than Will and I stood


not going home. He made us feel cheap, he was such
a man about it. Well, when we found that we were
all going to stay at the school, we asked the doctor
if we couldn't go down to Gull Island and camp out;
but the doctor's wife said she shouldn't feel easy
about us if we were sleeping in a tent and doing our
own cooking; so we had to give that up.
But one day the doctor came out where we were
painting up an old boat that Harry Thorndike left be-
hind him for the fellows to use on the duck pond. He
had a letter with him, the doctor had, and he said,
Boys, I have a letter here from Captain Douglas,
who lives on Gull Island. He says he'll keep you at
his house as long as you care to stay. We will send
you down and let you have a boat and be taught to
manage it, and we will put you on your honor not to
go outside the harbor: what do you say ?"
We were all rolling on the grass by that time, and
Will was so excited that he sang out before he
thought, "You better believe you can, sir." The
doctor made us all shake hands on it, and then Jeff
Ryder said, without thinking, which is mostly the way
he speaks, "There's Richards, he can't go; seems


to me he is most always not going somewhere."
"I have arranged," said the doctor, speaking in his
kind, slow way, "I have arranged that Richards shall
go too. Captain Douglas keeps a store, and he is
going to let Richards copy his books off neatly for
him as part payment of his board, and Mrs. Douglas
will find some things for him to do."
I wouldn't go any other way, sir," said little
Richards quickly. "I would not go if I could not
earn my board."
Then the doctor put his hand on Richards' shoul-
der. "I don't believe you would," he said; "you
are like your father; I don't believe you would, I
don't believe you would."
Little Richards could hardly believe that he was
going; and I don't think he ever really did believe
it till at last one afternoon we were seated in the
Rockford stage ready to start for Gull Island. The
doctor's wife stood on the doorstep with the baby in
her arms. "Good-by, boys," she said; "be careful
when you are out in that dreadful boat; don't swim
in deep water, and don't go with wet feet."
" "Good-by," said the doctor's wife's cousin, hand-


ing us up a paper bag full of gingerbread. "I wish
I was going too; be sure you bring me some shells."
"Good-by, boys," said the doctor; "remember,
" pon honor,' you know."
And we all shouted 'Pon honor, 'pon honor, doc-
tor!" and off we started in a cloud of dust that set us
all a-sneezing.
Now let's eat the gingerbread," said Will, as soon
as we got down over the hill; but 1 wouldn't, not
while we were in the town; but I suppose Will was
too young to know any better. We rumbled away
down the hill, and through the covered bridge, and
up hill the other side into Burnham, and drew up in
big style in front of the post-office. The post-master
brought out the leather mail bag and threw it in, and
said he hoped we'd enjoy our parstime," but we
none of us knew what he meant by "parstime;" so
we thanked him, and then we stopped at a store for
a box of tomato plants, and then at last we started
in earnest. We rode up over Burnham Hill, and
through the pines and over the blueberry-plains, and
by lots of farm-houses and a cider mill, and boat-
builders' places. So then we opened the gingzr-


bread bag and ate it. There were little post-offices
all along by the gates of the farm-houses, like boxes
stuck on hitching posts; and the driver let us take
turns getting out to drop the letters into them; only
my letter was a bundle, so it wouldn't go into the slit,
and I had to leave it on top. So at last things be-
gan to smell salty; and we passed more boat-builders'
and ship-yards, and the barns had little ships for
vanes, and there were old lobster cages on the side
of the road, and nets drying on the stone walls, with
wooden floats; and we stopped at a yellow farm-
house, and an old lady came out, and another woman
came out behind her, bringing her bundles; she was
a very cross-looking woman, with a wart on her chin,
and Jeff said he should think the old lady would be
glad her visit on her was over anyhow. The stage
driver helped the old lady in, and the cross woman
handed up a plant in a tomato-can, and a paper of cat-
nip, and a bundle of slips from geraniums, and a big
bandbox tied up in a calico bag.. The old lady
looked round as soon as she got in. Boys!" said
she, just as if she had said "Bears !" and then she
shut her mouth together again like a rat-trap.


"Yes, they be boys," said the driver; "but I guess
they won't bother ye; they're the ser'us kind, they
be! they've been ter'ble glum and quiet all the way
down!" Then he looked at us, and such a wink as
he gave us you never saw in your life.


I abominate boys!" said the old lady. "I've
stood Alminy's six as long as I can abide 'em; now
I'm going to try darter-in-law Esmeraldy's house a
spell, and see if I can git any peace and quiet there !"


After this she took out a piece of flagro6t, not the
sugary kifd, but a big knobby root, and made the
driver cut her off a piece. "I hain't got no front
teeth to bite it with," said she; "1 haven't r'al'y
enjoyed a meal of victuals for twenty year. I hain't
but two teeth that mash together;" then she turned
round and looked at little Richards as cross, and
says, Medicine did it; medicine sp'ilt my teeth!"
She looked as if she was mad with Richards because
her teeth were gone; and Richards said, Yes'm, "
because he didn't know what else to say; and then
she said that boys were always gabbling, which we
thought was rather rough on Richards. So after
that we didn't do much talking, she was such a very
cross old lady; but once Will said he wished we
hadn't eaten up all the gingerbread, and she said
she'd gingerbread him if he didn't stop scroop-
ing round so.
Then at last we got to a church, and a white cot-
tage without any steps to the front door; but if
there'd been any you couldn't have got in, for there
were boards nailed across it, and a grape-vine grow-
ing over it. We stopped here, and the old lady said,


"There's Esmeraldy hangin' out washin' a Thursday I
shif'less! I'll give her a tunin'!" So we thought
Esmeraldy would be sorry to see her coming.
After we left the old lady, we began to talk again,
and by this time we could see the water blue and
shining on both sides of us. We stopped at a store,
and a man came out in a leather apron and took the
mail bag; then we drove on over the longest hill you
ever saw, and then down and over a causeway, till we
turned short round to the left; and there, sure enough,
was the wharf.
We scrambled out, and the driver said he hoped
we'd enjoy our "parstime," just as the postmaster at
Burnham had done. We supposed we should find
Captain Douglas looking for us; but there was no-
body round the wharf at all except one old man who
looked as if he grew there. He wore a big hat, and
his face was covered with white whiskers. He was
sitting on a mackerel keg, whittling, but he certainly
wasn't looking for anybody. So we hung round and
looked at a boat that was tied down by the slippery
wharf stairs; and then we tried to get into a sail-loft
there was over the fish-house, but it was locked; and


we cut open some dead porgies we found on the
wharf, and tasted some of the salt fish spread out on
the flakes to dry; and Jeff blew up the gingerbread-
bag and busted it; and then we didn't know what to
do; but we looked into the barrels of cod livers, and
then we edged up to the man on the keg, and I
asked him if he could tell us if Captain Douglas had
been over from Gull Island that afternoon. The
man stopped whittling and looked up. Do you
mean Cap'n 'Lias Douglas," says he, "or do you
mean Cap'n Eph Douglas?"
I guessed Cap'n Eph at a venture, though I
didn't know his name.
"Cap'n Eph Douglas is dead," said he.
"Did he," says Jeff Ryder in his queer, brisk way,
"did he die very sudden ?" He said afterwards
that he thought he might have died of heart disease
after he wrote that letter to Dr. Thomas.
"Wal," said the queer old man, "he died tol'able
sudden, nine year ago come next October, up in
Back Bay deestrick."
"Well, then," says Jeff, "we mean Captain 'Liast
I, suppose he isn't dead too, is he ?"




The old man gave the biggest haw, haw! you

ever heard in your life, and brought his hand down


The old man gave the biggest haw) haw I you:

evrher n or ie adbouh hshnddw


on Jeff's shoulder with a great whack that sent him
off tumbling among the cod-liver barrels. "Oh, no, he
ain't dead says he, "not r'al'y to say dead, just yet,
Cap'n-'Lias ain't, fact : he's liver than most men of his
age, I flatter myself." Then he hit me a clip on my
shoulder that sent me after Jeff, and says he, "I'm
Cap'n 'Lias Douglas," says he; haw, haw! I fooled
ye! I fooled ye I fooled ye Come down to my boat,
ye rascals, and I'll set ye over to Gull Island afore
ye can wink."
So he took us to the boat that was tied to the
wharf stairs, and told us to "pile in;" and all the
way over to the island he kept sort of chuckling to
himself and saying, "No, not r'al'y dead! I fooled
ye I fooled ye!"
It was six o'clock by the time we got to the island.
Cap'n 'Lias ran us into a little cove, and landed us
at a wharf that ran out over the flats; we went
through a kind of fish-house, across the road and up
over a pasture to a yellow farm-house. A woman
was standing in the door; she was a very fat woman,
and wore a string of gold beads in one of the creases
of her neck.


Here they be, mother," said Cap'n 'Lias.
Sure enough, father, sure enough! said the fat
woman. I've been looking' for ye nigh on to an hour;
walk right in, boys, and make yourselves to home;
sit up to table and make free of the victuals, do !"
Now we hadn't eaten a thing since dinner, except
our gingerbread, and we were not slow in sitting
down to supper, you better believe. Such a supper!
brown bread and white bread and cheese and dough-
nuts and dried-apple sauce and fried clams and
custard-pie and pickles and gingerbread and milk,
and a huge blue platter piled up with cold boiled
beef and pork and potatoes and cabbage and turnips.
Mrs. Douglas said that father was "powerful fond
of cold biled dish for supper," and I guess she
thought we boys were powerful fond of it too, by
the way we ate. Cap'n Douglas said it made him
think of old times, before his seven boys went away
from home.
When we were about half through supper, a queer-
looking man, with silly, light-blue eyes, slunk in and
sat down.
"This is my nephew, Elnathan Simpson," says the


captain; "he can teach ye all there is to l'arn about
sailin' a boat in Rockford Harbor; ye know we've
hired ye a boat !"
Elnathan didn't say a word, but every time he'd
look up and see us he'd burst out laughing and cover
his mouth with his hand.
"Elnathan's dretful pleased ye've come," said
Mrs. Douglas; "he's ben talking about ye nigh all
After supper she told us that Elnathan was
"cur'us; that his brains somehow had never grown
up with his body, and though his body was eighteen,
his brain was only about five.
So then we went to bed up in a big attic chamber;
there were two beds, and Mrs. Douglas told us there
were nine hundred and ninety-nine pieces in the
spreads; and we fell asleep while Will and Jeff
were trying to find how many pieces there were in
I will say that of all the places in the world for
boys to have a right up-and-down immense time,
Gull Island beats them all; and if you don't believe
it, just you go and try it yourself. There are more places


to climb up and jump off of; and you help Cap'n Douglas
tend store, and you dig clams and have bakes in Lov-
ett's cave; and swim and sail and go for gulls' eggs;
and sometimes it storms and you can't get over to the
mainland, not if you were dying, and you have a
big driftwood fire, and lie down on the hearth and
get Cap'n Douglas to tell you stories about when he
went to sea, and you roast potatoes in the ashes,
and you feel like Robinson Crusoe or the Swiss
Family, or some of those fellows who got wrecked
on high old desert islands, and had no end of jolly
Will says if I'm going to tell you the story about
Bob's father, to tell it and not beat round Robin
Hood's barn any longer. So I'll tell about the time
we went to the lighthouse. You see we'd planned
to go ever since we'd been at Gull Island; but
we'd always end by landing somewhere, to explore
some robber's cave, or spouting horn, or pirate's den;
but at last we said that we'd start one Wednesday
morning, and that no matter if we met a whale, or a
pirate, or a mermaid, or a revenue cutter, we wouldn't
so much as look at them, but would keep on to


the lighthouse, no matter what should happen.
So Mrs. Douglas packed our dinner in a pail and
a butter-box painted red, and we got aboard the
Curlew (which I forgot to tell you was the name of
our boat) quite early. Elnathan was going with us,
for Mrs. Douglas said she always felt safe if Elnathan
was at the heliumm;" and it was queer, but he did
seem to be bright about the boat. He came down
to the wharf, laughing behind his hand the way he
always did. Jeff used to say the reason he held his
hand up so was for fear we'd some of us tumble in
and get lost in his mouth; and it was almost
big enough, on my word. He had a big bundle of
dried apple, and a wooden pail that he said had calf's
head and pluck for his aunt Cath'ryne; though what
a pluck is we fellows don't.know. His aunt Cath'-
ryne was Cap'n Douglas' only daughter that was
married, and lived on Cow Island.
"We've got to stop t'the Cow," said Elnathan, gig-
gling. "Aunt Samanthy, she's sent some things over
to aunt Cath'rine."
Cap'n Douglas stood on the wharf to see us off.
"Don't ye do nothing rash," said he; "a geniwine


sailor isn't rash. Elnathan, mind what you do, now!"
Elnathan giggled, and ran up the mainsail, and we
worked out of the little cove. For a while we went

pretty lively, though, the wind being wrong, we had
to keep tacking; but all of a sudden the wind left
us when we were pretty near Cow Island. "Wal,
now, by hen!" said Elnathan, which was the only
"swear-word" he ever used: now, by hen, we shan't
get to aunt Cath'ryne's till midnight, I'll bet ye! "
"I don't care so much about Cow Island," said
Jeff, "as I do about the lighthouse. I call it shabby
of the wind to leave us in the lurch this way-let's
So we whistled till we hadn't any more breath left,
and Elnathan giggled and said "By hen a good
many times, but that didn't seem to do much good;
and so we lay there and tumbled up and down on
the swell, and rolled and rose and sank, and never
got ahead an inch.
"I tell ye what, now," said Elnathan : "ef we could
only get to the Cow I'd show ye what's fun! "
"Well, if we could only get to the lighthouse,"
says Will, I'd show you the lantern;" and just then


there came a little puff of wind; just the least puff
that ever was; but if you'll believe it, it took us right
in to Cow Island, almost too near the ledges, and
there we stopped again with the sails flapping and
"Now, by hen!" says Elnathan, "ef that ain't
cur'us that wind done just what I wanted !"
We didn't care so very much about getting to the
island ourselves. Elnathan put his hands to his mouth
and shouted, and pretty soon a tow-headed boy came
round over the rocks and saw us. "Come and get
me, Sile !" says Elnathan; then he held up the pail
that had the calf's head in it.
The tow-headed boy scrambled down the rocks,
and tumbled into a dory and pulled out to us.
Elnathan got in. "I'll be back soon," he said;
" guess I shall find ye pretty nigh where I leave ye!
he/ he! /he" So they went off and went out of
sight round the island.
Then we rowed the Curlew out where she could
catch the breeze if any came; but she was so square
and heavy it wasn't much fun to row her. Then we
lay and rolled about again, and by and by we had our

: ir


dinner, and saved Elnathan's for him. And still
there was no wind. The sky wasn't blue any longer,
but a sort of smoky gray with an ugly coppery look
low down, and the water looked as if oil had been
poured over it.
I wish," said Richards in a sort of uneasy way,
"that we were back on Gull Island! I don't like
the sky!"
"Ho!" says Will, "you think you know a sight,
don't you?"
And then I spoke kind of rough. "Don't croak!"
says I; "don't be a milk-sop! "
But all the same I wished I wasn't the oldest of
the crew. Even Elnathan would have been a com-
fort just then. So we began to call him: Elnathan !
oh, Elna-a-a-than! But we didn't hear anything
except the echoes of our voices against the cliffs,
and the ugly cry of the squaks flying over our heads.
So we called again: "Oh, Elna-a-a-a-athan !" But
he did not come. There was something ugly and
hateful about that noon, with the hot, smoky sky,
and the still, oily water. I never like to think of


Well, while we were sitting there we saw all of a
sudden, away off across the water, a little dark streak
coming nearer and nearer, nearer and nearer, and
by and by we saw that it was a ripple, though a very
small one; and just as it reached the island a little
flaw filled the sails and spun us round the end of the
island; the water grew black too, and stopped look-
ing oily.
"I bet there's a squall coming!" says Jeff; and
his face was white, you better believe.
Don't!" said Will, as if you'd stuck a pin in him.
Let's go home," said Jeff; "we don't want to
make Mrs. Douglas worry, you know!"
But it was all very well to say, Let's go home;"
but you see it was another thing to go home, with
the water growling among the island ledges, and
Elnathan on shore; though he had taught Jeff and
me to manage the boat pretty well.
We shouted once more for Elnathan; and just as
we were shouting, a flaw came round the island and
struck us like (Jeff said) a great hand. The Curlew
careened and shipped a lot of water, and skimmed
along on her side for a minute, as you may have seen


a dove do, dragging its wing in the dust. But Jeff
and I shifted sails, and the others bailed her, and in
a minute we were skimming along like fun, cutting
through the water like a flash of lightning. By
this time the sky was almost black, only low down it
was like the blast furnaces in the iron-works where
Will and I go sometimes, -red and ugly looking; the
waves were black and choppy, and all broken into
foam on the tops. As we flew by the islands we
heard the breakers roar like wild beasts in a
But it was not long before we left the islands
away behind us; the wind was rising every minute,
and the Curlew flew along like a race-horse. How
we wished for Elnathan about that time! Jeff and I
looked at each other every now and then, but we
didn't say much: we had enough to do to keep
the boat righted and look for flaws. The great
lighthouse was growing taller and nearer every mo-

"I guess," puffed Will, "that we shall go to the
lighthouse to-day, whether we want to or not!"
And it seemed as if the wind took it up and howled


it: Whether-you-- want- to- or -not!" over
and over again; and the sky grew darker, and the
waves grew whiter and foamier, and by and by we
heard the roar of the breakers on the lighthouse
ledges. I don't believe that one of us fellows
thought a word about Swiss Family Robinson then.
Will said afterwards that he kept 'thinking how bad
the Curlew man would feel if his boat was lost.
At last we got so near the lighthouse we could see
the little jetty built of stone, and a man in a red
shirt waving his arms to show us where to land; and
in a minute more we were safe at the jetty, with the
man to help us with the boat; and if ever anybody
was thankful I think it was the four boys in the
Cnrlew. We got the boat into safe quarters, and
followed the .man up a path in the rocks to the light-
house. We weren't much too soon either, for twenty
minutes after we landed, the storm was on us in
earnest. We were in the kitchen of the lighthouse.
There were two keepers; the one that helped us
with our boat was called Ben. He was an oldish
man with a good-natured smile. The other man had
a good deal to say about its being aginn the law


of the Board to harbor people over night at the
"That's as may be, Harskill," said our man. "I
don't put them youngsters afloat on a night like
this; I cal'ate there's a law above the law of the
Board, which is my law to-night."
It was only a little after four o'clock, but almost as
dark as night. The keeper built a fire and made
some tea; but we don't any of us drink tea, so we
had some pilot bread and butter, and a plate of cold
pork and potatoes, and the water tasted. of tea-
kettle, because the big tank was only filled twice a
year. The keeper, whose name was Ben, told us
that we could go to bed in two little bunks against
the wall; but it wasn't really time to go to bed, only
it was very dark, and the storm made it seem darker.
We talked with the keeper that we liked (the other
one was smoking and greasing his boots behind the
stove) while he washed up the dishes; and Jeft
helped him wipe 'em, and smashed a yellow bowl.
We talked more than common that night, being,
perhaps, excited by the storm and the strangeness
of the place; but little Richards was quieter even


than common, and stood looking out through the
narrow window that was like a slit cut in the thick
stone wall, and never said a word.
By the time it was eight o'clock we were all sleepy,
though we'd meant to sit up all night, and' Will and
Jeff and I piled into our bunks. But little Richards
wouldn't come. Jeff said he was acting silly, because
he asked him what he was doing, and Richards said
he was "watching;" and when Jeff said "watching
for what? he said, I don't know; but he wouldn't
come to bed. So we went to sleep; but the sea
roared and the breakers and the wind; and the light-
house rocked, sir, like a card-tower. I was most
asleep once, when Will punched me: What do you
s'pose mother'd say if she knew where we were ?"
says he.
"Go to sleep," says I; but I was wondering about
that very thing myself.
Whether it was the bunk, which was hubbly and
smelt like an old hay-mow, or the noise of the storm
and the rocking of the lighthouse, or because it was
crowded in the bunk, and Will kicked like a good
one whatever it was I don't know; anyhow I had


bad dreams -all kinds of bad dreams; of great,
awful waves, and sinking ships, and Will and I float-
ing on a single plank, and dead faces of people I
knew looking up out of the water, and dreadful light-
ning, and great peals of thunder booming in my ears.
Then at last I got half awake and sat up in my bunk.
The little room was dark, only the fire shone through
the five chinks in the slide in the front of the stove,
like the teeth of a Jack-o'-lantern. I didn't see the
faces any more, nor the wrecks, nor the lightning;
but the thunder kept right on, boom, boom, BoO-o-o-OM !
then the wind and the surf, and then the thunder
again, boom boom BOOM.
Then I heard the two keepers talking in the room;
one had taken down a lantern from a hook in
the walls and was lighting it. I jumped out of
my bunk. "It isn't thunder, Will," said I, "it's
"Right you are, youngster," said the keeper;
"guns it is."
"What time is it?" said little Richards coming,
from the window; for he hadn't been in bed at all, if
you'll believe it.


"It's close onto midnight, shipmate," said our
keeper; and a bad midnight it is."
Then little Richards said in his quick, soft way,
" Oh, if you please; sir, where are you going ?"
"We are going, me and my mate, to see if there's
any mortal thing to be done with our small
"Oh, if you please," said Richards again, "would
you take me with you in the boat ? oh, if you only
would." We just stood and stared at him, he
looked so small and white; but nobody laughed at
him. Only our keeper said, No, lad, it's no place
for you; it's a doubt if we can as much as get the
boat out, let alone doing any good. I'll tell ye what
to do: go above and sit on the stairs of the lantern
room. Don't ye go into the room, nor get between
the lamps and the glass, but you watch the lantern,
and ef ye see the flame flicker or smoke or act queer
in any way, just you run for me or my mate."
I will," said little Richards; and up the stairs he
goes like a cat.
By this time Jeff and Will are awake, and all the
while, with hardly two minutes between, boom / boom


BOOM! we heard the great guns calling for help out
in the storm.
"Oh, why! said Jeff, what is that noise ? why,
it's a cannon !"
"Yes, youngster, it's a cannon, sure enough.
There's a vessel going down off the sunken ledges to
Why," said Jeff, jumping out of his bunk- and I
suppose he was so near asleep that he didn't know
how like a fool he sounded -but says Jeff, "why,
wh-wh-what's it going down for?"
Then the keeper that we didn't like, said he
thought like enough the ship was going down to get
a look at the mermaids; but we didn't any of us
laugh, though : somehow a fellow didn't feel much
like laughing with that boom! boom! BOOM! in his
ears. By this time the keepers had gone down-stairs,
and we boys had followed them.
Oh, but wasn't the wind blowing when we got down
into the tank-room! Round and round the light-
house, howling and yelling as if all the wild Indians
I ever read about were dancing a war-dance and try-
ing to get in! The door opened out, and on my


word, it took all the strength of the two men and us boys
to push it open against the storm outside and when
at last we got it open, the rain and the spray rushed in
like a whirlwind; we could hardly stand. I never
knew before how awful it could be. There was a
railing on one side of the path among the rocks, and
we all hung on to that till it gave away, and over we
went, one on top of the other, like a row of bricks.
Then we crawled down the path on our hands and
knees. They got out the boat, and the two men drew
her down, and we pushed. When we got down to the
jetty, the noise of the surf was so loud that we could
hardly hear the guns from the ship, boom, booming
through the storm. And the breakers! if you could
only have seen them 1 even in that black night you
could see the froth and foam, boiling and bubbling
and hissing below!
"Going to try it, Ben ? said the other keeper.
I must try it. I can't rest if I don't try it," said
our man.
"Wal," said the other man, "I shan't go. I call
it flyin' in the face of Providence; ye can't so much as
get the boat through the surf, let alone nothing else."


"I shall try," said our man again.
And he did try; he waited till the wave was just
right, and then he made us push out the boat with
him in it; but the boat was rolled over, and top-side
up, and then gone from sight in a second, before
you could say Jack Robinson!
"He's a goner!" said Will; and in another minute
he was thrown up out of the breakers, and dashed up
on the rocks. We thought at first he was dead, but he
wasn't; only strangled with the water, and a big gash
on the side of his face. So then we crawled back up
the path, to the lighthouse, and the keeper got some
whiskey and made our man drink it, and Richards
fixed his cut with strips of plaster from his pocket-
case, most as good as Dr. Mason did Will's cheek
when Fred Lewis' dog bit him.
Then all of a sudden we heard that the guns had
stopped firing (if you can hear anything stop). It
was about three o'clock then. What does it mean ?"
said Richards, "why have the guns stopped fir-
It means, lad," says our keeper, "that the guns are
under water; or it may mean that the coast guard


have got to 'em, though in such a storm I don't
know; I r'al'y don't know."
Then we sat round without talking, and it began to
grow light a little; and the wind, instead of howling,
began to sound exactly as if it was crying. So when
it grew pretty lightish, we all went out to see if we
could see the wreck; but we couldn't, not one sign of
her, nothing but great, greenish-gray waves, and clouds
of spray, and the breakers rushing up across the
ledges; and out by the sunken ledges, where the guns
had been firing, only a long streak of white foam,
dashing high up into the air, and looking as soft as
"Let's go round the other side,' says little Rich-
"Oh, what for?" says Jeff, who always wants a
reason for things.
I don't know," says Richards, only I want to go
you needn't come with me if you don't want to." But
we all went.
But there was nothing to see except the same big gray
waves and breakers, soft as soap-suds, rushing and
roaring and curdling among the rough black rocks.


Jeff and Will crawled down the cliff to see if the
boat-house was gone; but in a minute they came
piling up over the rocks like goats, with the very
scaredest faces that ever I saw in my life. They ran
by us toward the lighthouse, yelling, Dead man down
there! dead man down there!" The two keepers ran
down, and we boys followed, but not to go way down;
and there, sure as my name's Tom Belknap, there was
a dead sailor wedged in among the rocks, half out of
water, except when the breakers swept up over him.
The keepers rushed right into the water, and tugged
and pulled till they got him out from between the
rocks. He was tied to some kind of spar with ropes,
and his shirt was all torn off him. Then Ben speaks
quick and sharp: Go back to the light, lads, quick!
see to the fire! quick! run !" And we did run like
mad, you better believe! over the rocks and up into
the room where the stove was.
Will and Jeff were there, and we all worked like
beavers building up the fire and heating whiskey and
getting the blankets out of the bunks. Little Rich-
ards seemed to know just what to do, and took the
lead of us all. He said to me as he was filling the stove

with wood, "Oh, I hope he isn't dead Only think,
Tom, if somebody could have done this for my father
he might have been living now! "
Just then the keepers came up the stairs very slow
with the man; the water was running in streams from
his clothes, and he had awful cuts and gasheson his head
and face. They put him on the floor; and they rolled
him, and punched him, and pummelled him worse
than I did Jesse Wilson out behind the Gram-
mar school one Wednesday noon. They stood,
him on his head to let the water run out, and
on his feet to let it run back, I guess (I don't know
why else), and then rolled him, and lifted him up and
pressed his chest, and pressed his back, and put hot
blankets round him, and pried his teeth open and
poured in hot whiskey drop by drop.
Will and Jeff kept. saying, "Sp'ose he's dead?
s'pose he's dead ?" till at last I had to tell them to
shut up. At last, when it was broad daylight and
I tell you it. seemed as if it was three years instead
of three hours since we found the sailor down in the
surf -our man, Ben, looks up and says, Listen !"
And we listen, and we hear a sigh; the very least

f 1

,r r

I= _______

x _, 7,\

- -f -


and smallest kind of sigh that you ever heard. It
sounded as if a man was sighing away out some-
where behind the lighthouse; but you better believe
it was the very jolliest sigh I ever heard in my life;
for then we knew our sailor wasn't dead.
Then Jeff and Will, they changed and began to say,
"S'pose he's alive ? s'pose he's alive ?" till I had to
shut them up on that tack too.
Then the sighs grew longer and longer, and pretty
soon he tried to speak. There was a long time be-
tween the words. His voice sounded as if he was in
a hogshead, and as if his mouth was full of stones,
like Scipio's, or whatever his name was that used to
spout in Rome or Greece or Patagonia; and says
he, -
"Where away shipmates -where away- ship-
mates !"
Little Richards had never looked at the man be-
fore, he'd been so busy heating blankets, and filling
the stove, and shaking the whiskey in a little basin;
but the minute he heard the thick, slow voice of
the drowned sailor, I mean the sailor who wasn't
drowned, he dropped the blanket he was warming


and went right to him. He knelt down on the floor
and pushed the long wet hair back from his face.
He didn't say a word, but he looked whiter than I
ever saw him, and his eyes were enough to scare
Then the sailor opened his eyes and shut them
as if his eyelids weighed a ton; then he opened
them again, very slowly, and looked right at little
Richards. "Why- Martha -" says he, in that same
queer voice, as if he'd got the whole Atlantic Ocean
inside of him; and I guess he had got as much
as he ever wanted. "Why-Martha-" says the
"Father," says little Richards, "don't you knox\
me ? I'm Bob, father: don't you know Bob ? "
Then the sailor opens his eyes again, and looks
at Richards.
Why it's- the little lad !" says he, "it's
the little -lad -the little lad -and--he's got-his
-mother's- eyes! "
Now perhaps you don't believe that it really was
Richards' father, but it was, though If you don't
believe it, just you ask Ben the keeper, or Will, or


Jeff Ryder, or little Bob Richards himself, if this

isn't an honest-Injuri, black-and-blue, wishermaydie,

true story; and if they say it isn't, then, sir, my

name is not Tom Belnap.

~i; 'i


T WENT Y-TWO years ago, when a spring evening
was moist and cloudy over all the region about
Mud Creek, Paris and Betsey Lane came sauntering
to the woods cabin, from school.
Betsey was an inch or two taller than Paris, though
he was ten years old and she only nine. He looked
like a deliberate and thoughtful small old man in
butternut-colored trowsers reaching nearly to his
arm-pits, and corresponding coat and vest which
hung unbuttoned, exposing his hickory shirt. His
red feet had found themselves sandals of mud in
crossing Mud Creek Flat, and he felt with pleasure,
which half-shivered, the soft stuff still sponging up
between his toes.
Paris carried the dinner-basket, so Betsey had
nothing to hamper her, and stepped out as freely as


her straight dress, which struck her heels at every
step, would let her. Both of them carried sprigs of
young sassafras, and marked their way with nibbled
leaves and peeled sticks. Betsey's dress was made
just like her mother's, and hooked in front; below its
hem appeared the toes of her cowhide shoes; above the
corded top, her round, ague-tinted face and flaxen hair.
Before they could see home through the timber, the
cows' voices came down the road, and their dog
barked as if he scented them afar off, and felt grate-
ful to them for this one daily occasion for making the
lonesome Illinois woods ring. First they saw the
stable: it was a rail pen covered with corn-stalks,
and the door hung open on wooden hinges.
Pap ain't home yet," said Paris, shifting the din-
ner basket to his other arm. I don't see the horses
or wagon."
But there's Safe," said Betsey; for Safe, like a
loyal yellow dog, rushed to meet them as if making
the effort of his life. And there was the house
crowded by trees, with the whole woods for a door-
yard; and on the log step was mother, little Elihu
and Hiram just behind her.


Paris and Betsey smelt supper as they approached.
Well did they know that a corn pone was browning
in the Dutch oven upon the hearth, coals beneath
and above it; that the sassafras or spicewood tea
was steeping, to be tinctured with new milk and maple
sugar, and become the most delightful draught any-
body ever drank; they snuffed the perfume of fried
wild onions, which grew rank and early along the
creek, and a hint of chicken gravy almost strong
enough to make them suspect there was company.
However, no neighbor appeared within when Bet-
sey passed her mother and entered.
Your pap ain't come home yet," said Mrs. Lane,
looking up the woods road uneasily. He ought to
be here with his last load o' wood. It'll soon be
Mud Creek is higher'n I ever saw it," remarked
Paris, venerably. It's most up to the bridge. If it
keeps on rainin' we can't get across the flat to school."
The' isn't going to be any higher waters," said
Betsey from the gourd dipper, yet dripping from its
visit into mother's jar of spring beer.
The mortal who never tasted it can have no con-


ception of this drink all the roots and barks and
spicy odors it suggested; its yeasty lightness and
keen tang; its honey sweetness and wholesome bit-
terness; and the beneficial effect the drinker imme-
diately felt on his blood!
"We can't go to the exhibition if Milford bridge is
washed away," continued Betsey, hanging up the gourd
by its string.
I know it," said Paris, pensively; "and I've got
my piece by heart so I'm almost sick of it."
Mother," said Betsey, "they're all going to wear
white dresses, and the boys'll wear white pants. The
master plays on his flute, and we got songs learnt to
sing all together."
Don't bother me with your exhibitions now," said
Mrs. Lane, drawing her eyebrows down as she strained
her sight up the woods road.
"Betsey felt constrained at least to give a sample
of the music. So she sung in a high voice:

"When shall we meet again,
Meet ne'er to sever ?
When shall Peace wreathe her chain
Round us forever ?"


Upon which Mrs. Lane turned around and ex-
"You and Paris run along a little ways and see if
you can see anything of him."
I'll go," said Elihu.
I go," said Hiram.
Elihu wore an apron over his trousers, and, Hiram
was a fuzzy-headed youth yet in the thraldom of a yel-
low-flannel petticoat and calico gown with a drawing-
string. Their feet were bare on the puncheon
You needn't any of you come," said Paris, setting
his dinner-basket inside the door. "I'm going to
ride back on the load."
Mrs. Lane turned to silence the clamor which Elihu
and the baby set up; and Betsey ran after her cap-
tain without his leave.
They had trudged so many miles together to and
from school, and knew right well the necessity of
each other's companionship. Paris was not afraid of
bears in the woods, but it afforded him satisfaction to
say so to Betsey, and to rehearse his piece as they
went along, to make himself a little surer and sicker


of it. It was culled from his Second Reader, and
was about the Silent Traveller, a bear that travelled
all night with a man in a stage-coach.
'This is a very warm coat you have on,' droned
Paris, emphasizing every word.
Pap ain't coming, said Betsey, drawing his atten-
tion to the fact that the road was clear as far as they
could see. Dusk was sifting thick around them. One
could not be sure that a tall stump was not another
Silent Traveller. The foliage looked thin yet, for
no leaf was the broad and open hand it would be a
month later; but loamy smells, with now a tincture of
pennyroyal and now a breath of sycamore,-came to
their nostrils.
Do you think mother's scairt ?" inquired Betsey,
as they pursued the turns of the wood-road in which
their father's wagon-wheels had left deep cuts.
"Ho scouted Paris.
But she said he ought to be home," quivered
Betsey, on whom the humid evening was not without
its effect.
"Well, an' ain't he coming' ? said Paris. Yon-
der's the wagon now. I can beat you to it! "


Betsey grasped her skirts and accepted the chal-
The spatting of their feet in the soft road might
have startled the farm horses to a faster gait than a
walk, for no hand held the lines which were 'wrapped
around one of the standards, and no father was to be
discovered on the load, or hidden anywhere among
its knots and sticks, though Betsey craned her neck
in such a search.
"Whoa !" cried Paris, when this fact struck
The horses stood still, and untying a hitching
strap, Paris turned them out of the road and tied the
near horse to a tree.
Betsey began to cry. Not in a loud and helpless
manner, but as if the sturdy heart under her straight
waist was startled.
"0 Paris, where's pap ?."
I don't know," replied Paris, quavering. "We've
got to hunt him."
"I know he's fell in the creek!"
He could swim out. He can swim in the deep-
est hole that ever was "


"A snake's bit him! Mebby he chopped a tree
down and it fell on him !"
Mebby he did," quavered Paris, as they ran.
"Le's look where he was choppin'."
When they came to the cleared place, panting, the
scant light showed a number of stumps with glaring
white tops in the general dimness, and piles of
brush, and a log or two yet unsubdued by the axe.
But there was no lately felled tree, and no father any
Down the slope, cross-laced by intervening limbs,
they could see Mud Creek bayou which the freshet
had expanded to a lake. Away on the other side, half
screened by islanded trees, was Mud Creek proper,
the milldam, and Milford. The bayou had the gurgle
of running water. In some places it was swift as
a mill-race. Whenever Mud Creek rose, it made
this bayou a broad yellow flood, and loosened half
the trees in the bottom-land.
I tell you," said Paris as they paused staring at
this expansive stain: "I'll go along beside the
by-o; you go look t'other side of the road."
"I heard something," whispered Betsey ; listen !"


It's just a screech-owl."
It sounded mournfully indeed; a prolonged "oo
- ---- 00 "
'S-somebody yellin' said Betsey. She clinched
upon the bottom of Paris' short coat. "They've got
pap down poundin' him to death !"
This was a dreadful state of affairs. In what
remote spot they had him or who they might be,
Betsey in her terror took no time to conjecture.
Gigantic figures, tall as the trees, swarmed through
her mind, and she remembered that Joseph's own
brethren put him into a pit!
The children ran towards the caller. Paris was
mindful of Betsey, and, when she fell over a log or
stuck fast in a brier thicket, pulled her up or out and
dragged her ahead, their rough little hands stuck
fast together.
"Which way are you ? called Paris, when the
voice stopped, and they stood bewildered in a lone-
some dark place near the bayou.
Directly in front of them they heard a croaking
exclamation for help.
Help! Will somebody help me out ?"

-~~:nmp :::: '-:r,-=n

..... .~ ..... .
....... ..........I



.. .......

..... ......-~--- -

DOWN -rmnB -0


But just here the children paused longest. That
voice sounded strange. The minute was so silent
they heard only the breathing of the water and that
other respiration peculiar to woods at night.
Paris Are you up there ? Didn't I hear you ?"
To atone for his hesitation, Paris plunged down a
slope, and Betsey, hanging to him like a faithful Jill,
went plunging after.
"Watch out there Don't you come any nearer!"
shouted their father. "Don't you take another
step !"
It was quite dusky in that hollow, but when they
were a few yards away from him they could see him
standing down in the ground and looking like a man
who had only waist, shoulders and head. His hat
was gone, his wamus unfastened, and his hair and
bushy beard made his face look like a pale blur.
"0 pap! wailed Betsey.
"It's well you come," said the settler. "I'm
sinkin' fast. Paris, get a rail: get it as quick as you
The nearest rail was probably more than a mile
away. Paris' thoughts flew to the stable, but while


he went and returned dragging a heavy rail, his father
might sink out of sight in that hole, which seemed to
remain in a gully that had contributed all its water
to the bayou.
A limb of a tree's nigher," said Paris, trembling.
Get something' quick. I'm goin' down so fast I
don't know whether I can pull myself out at all or
The children ran around on the slope. Paris
started for tthe clearing, but on the way he tripped
across a small log, and, jumping up unconscious that
he had broken a finger-nail in the fall, dragged it,
.and shouted to Betsey to come and help.
Betsey had thrown her father some chunks on
which he was trying to prop his elbows. She came
and tugged. It was well for the Lane family that
these two children were used to exertion. Their
stout muscles, strained and tense, labored success-
fully. They tugged the log like two butternut-colored
ants struggling with forage many times larger than
themselves, and pushed it out to father. Then, with
lungs panting, and while he pulled himself up by his
props, they hauled an uprooted stump to him, then


broken limbs; they brought pieces of wood from the
clearing; and while half these things sunk out of sight
the settler was able to buoy himself up by them, and
finally to creep out on the log and get on solid ground.
I left one of my boots in there," he observed,
breathing deeply as he felt the good earth under his
naked foot.
The three climbed up the slope and started home.
Like true western settlers, now that the danger was
past, they had little to say about it. They came to
where the horses waited, scaled the load of wood and
rode slowly home.
And all that the settler said to his wife when she
came to the door with a candle and Elihu and Hiram,
and saw this procession which Safe heralded as
friskily as if he was not too old and lazy a dog to
follow the horses far -was this :
"I got stuck fast in a quicksand, over there fernent
the by-o, while I was looking' round for the shoats,
and couldn't get out till the children helped. me."
He was in up to his waist," remarked Paris,
"It's a good thing I sent them," said Mrs. Lane


" You better come in and get your supper and put on
some other clothes as soon as you can."
Before the wagon creaked on, Betsey climbed
down over a wheel and went into the savory-smelling
cabin. So chilly was the evening by this. time, that
the mother had a back-log as well as a fore-stick,
with a superstructure of brush and chunks, burning
in the fireplace. Before this flame father and Paris
were soon standing, like mature men of different
sizes; the home-made tea sent up its steam; the
big-eyed younger children leaned against Betsey, and
she went on with the second part of the school-song:

"Soon shall we meet again,
Meet ne'er to sever -
Soon shall Peace wreathe her chain
Round us forever."



I WONDER if mamma remembers the morning she
came out into the garden at six o'clock. I re-
member it very well. Willie and I were weeding the
strawberry beds, and eating any odd berries that were
left. Stanton was hoeing carrots, and pretending
they were as nice to eat as strawberries. Mary was
making up a basket of red and white currants to send
to a sick friend, and May and Hope were weeding
among the phlox and mignonette.
Presently I looked up with a jump munch, munch,
close beside me, hidden by the grapevine trellis! It
made my hair stand up straight, for there was Blos-
som, our red heifer, chewing the early Minnesota
corn that was nearly fit for eating. A few steps off
Clover and Primrose were standing, one on the lawn,
and the other biting the ends of a grapevine.


I called the rest of the boys, and we each picked
up a stalk of corn that they had overlooked, and
Stanton ran and brought some salt, and they fol-
lowed, followed, until we got them safe into the barn-
yard and closed the gate with a big bang. Then we
tied them in and went back to our work, after we had
discovered that every head of early cabbage had been
Presently out came mamma. She walked straight
up to the tall white lilies, that smell so nice, and
bent over them as if she were saying her prayers.
Then she pulled a few weeds from around their stalks,
picked a late rose that grew near, and began to look
around. She is always so pleased over our garden-
First of all she saw the big deep footmarks over
the melon hills; then some of the little blue nemoph-
ila looked up "broken and reproachful," May said
afterwards; and then she saw the cabbage patch; and
then she called to us:
Boys, have the cows been in the garden? "
Yes, ma'am," piped Norman, who always is glad
to tell any bad news.


She glanced at the corn, followed the tracks, and
then questioned:
"How did they get in ? "
And that was a question we could not answer.
Everything looked right-- the orchard fence, the
barnyard gate, all secure. Yet there they had been
for hours, and the garden was nearly ruined. No-
body was to blame, and after the men-folks had
searched in vain for the loop-hole, we went in to
And mamma, what do you think made me remem-
ber? Why, there was a heaped-up dish of black-
cap raspberries on the table for breakfast, and sud-
denly it flashed on my mind that the night before,
Herbert Tatley and I discovered a bush, just loaded,
by the lane fence, where the cows came down to be
milked. .We sat on the fence to eat them, and it
slipped and sank a little; the bush was bent a little too
as we picked them; and then we went away in a
hurry to have a game at lacrosse. There was a
shower at daybreak, and the raspberry bush would
rise up and cover the place that slpped, so nobody
would see it. But I remembered. After breakfast I


went down and looked. They had come over that
place. I didn't tell mamma then. I knew she would
say it was letting the slipping go that night that
* did it, and that it was hiding a sin, and it was sure to
come to light some day, just as it did at once. I
wonder what she would call the bush that rose up and
covered the place. Well, if she sees this she will
know I really didn't mean to hide; but it takes
some courage for a fellow to tell on himself. But that
is just how they got in, as sure as my name's



T HERE are few young people who have not
S had some acquaintance with Jacob Abbott
through his numerous works. Thousands who never
saw him felt they had lost a friend when he died;
for, as the author of the "Rollo Books," the Fran-
conia Stories," and a host of other volumes, he
had endeared himself to a multitude the world
Jacob Abbott was born in Hallowell, Maine,
Nov. 14, 1803, and died at" Fewacres," his coun-
try residence, in Farmington, Maine, on Oct. 31,
The purpose of this article is simply to touch upon
one trait in his character, which, always prominent,
seemed specially conspicuous in his latter years--


his wonderful faculty of combining amusement and


44 to? *


Mr. Abbott was a lover of children and young
people. Never was he more happy, apparently, than
when surrounded by them; certainly they were never


happier than when they unconsciously found head
and hands occupied in following his plain, practical,


(PAGE 2.)

yet often humorous, directions. The work he gave
them to do was play, in that he made it more enter-
taining than ordinary amusement; and the play he


devised was work, in that it taught some useful lesson
without making it one bit the lessplay.

,, I 4 [ [I

(PAGE 3.)

There was a personal magnetism about him that
attracted both old and young in the social circle, but
to children this was perfectly irresistible. The)


loved, admired and revered him, were never afraid

of him, yet instinctively yielded to his firm and gentle



Li iii, 'L ,-i

(PAGE 4.)

A few illustrations of his methods of combining

amusement with instruction will show the prevailing


spirit of his intercourse with the young. And if our

readers will picture to themselves a gentleman some-

l I


(PAGE 5.)

what above middle height, with a peculiarly benig-

nant and kindly bearing, an unvarying courtesy in

word and ways, a genial smile, a cordial outstretched


hand, and a quick apprehension of a child's pleasure,
trouble and wants, they may understand a little better

o( 4t74 e8f.ik w

(PAGE 6.)

with what reverent love he was regarded by the little
folks who knew him personally.
When Mr. Abbott's sons were quite small, one


of their favorite amusements was "keeping store "-
a pastime which every child understands--and a


(PAGE 7.)

brisk trade was carried on with a few "shops kept
by village playmates. But in that long-ago time some
articles were scarce. Children's books, for example,


were few; and those for sale in these "shops" were
often "home-made.". One little volume, in size
about two and a half by three and a half inches,
somewhat worn and torn, survives, rescued from de-
struction by a careful purchaser. It is covered with
marbled paper, and consists, title-page and all, of four
leaves, written and illustrated by the hand that
penned the Rollo Books."
Afac simile of the entire book is here given.
Twenty-five and thirty years later, Mr. Abbott
would often amuse his grandchildren, at the frequent
family gatherings, by an auction-sale of pictures or
little fancy articles. The value of these "goods"
was enhanced, at least in the eyes of the children, by
the fact that they had been collected by Mr. Abbott
during his travels abroad. He had a fancy for
bringing home, after a European trip, not valuable
gifts, but curious and pretty trifles, worth little intrin-
sically, but peculiar to the foreign cities in which he
had found them. He always had in reserve a quan-
tity of these oddities for the amusement of his
youthful friends. On the occasion of an "auction,"
colored pasteboard "money" served a good purpose;


and he always committed to one of the grandchildren
the care of things.
"I want to send the pictures up beforehand," he
wrote on one occasion to his eldest grandson,
then about six years old, "so as to have them all
ready; and I want somebody to be store-keeper
to take care of them. Should you be willing to
be the store-keeper? You will have to take the
pictures when I send them up, and take good
care of them, and bring them out when the time
comes for the sale, and see that nobody tumbles
them, or injures them in any way so as to hurt the
sale of them."
Mr. Abbott carried on a familiar correspondence,
not only with his grandchildren, but with many
other young friends in whom he was personally
interested. Regarding expression of thought by
writing as an important part of education, he thus
encouraged an easy use of the pen. He often wrote
little notes to them in French; for in a familiar, de-
lightful way he was accustomed to give them some
instruction in that language, in the use of which, dur-
ing his residence in Paris, he had acquired special


fluency. He would skilfully introduce a few. French

words into a game -he was always ready to join in

amusements or, if a little break occurred in sport,

in doors or out, he would often say, "Now shall

we have a five-minute French lesson?"-and it

was promptly ended before the interest began to

His little French letters were very simple. For
BOSTON, 24 Juillet.
MON CHER ARTHUR, Je suis a present a Boston. Demain
je vais a New York.
J'ai ete ce matin a un "Agricultural store," pour voir les
nouveaux outils.
J'ai achete trois outils dejardin pour nettoyer les allies de
Fewacres. Je les ai envoyees a la tante Clara, B Farming-
ton, par express.
Voulez-vous bien les prendre, et les essayer sur les allies?
Je desire aussi que Joseph les essaye, et ecrirer-moi ce que.
vous pensez et ce que Joseph pense.
Vous pouvez me repondre en anglais. GRANDPAPA.
Demandez a la tante Clara de payer l'express pour moi.

NEW YORK, 30 Juillet.
MON CHER ARTHUR, Le horned frog est mort Je l'ai
vue chez M. Dana, ou il reste en paix dans une bouteille remplie
d'alcool. La cause de sa mort reste en obscurity mais on
croit qu'il cessa de vivre faute de nourriture.


J'ai rassemble tous vos morceaux de bois, et Je les en em-
balles dans un seul pacquet lequel j'ai marque V.
Comment avez-vous trouve les nouveaux outils ?
Voulez-vous bien donner l'incleuse a la tante Sallucia et la
tante Clara ? GRANDPAPA.

Without any formality, the boys and girls of the
neighborhood, who esteemed it a privilege to visit
him, would receive a daily or semi-weekly conversa-
tional lesson in French; and when this was finished,
the class was metamorphosed into a coasting party
in winter, or, in summer, the garden, the meadow or
the work-shop afforded pleasant diversion.
His devices for helping children to govern them-
selves were numerous and ingenious. In study or
work, they were encouraged to keep their own record
of punctuality, of time spent, of faithfulness, and
of what was accomplished. He trusted children,
and they trusted him in return. Reproof and pen-
alty sat in the background in the little classes com-
posed of his grandchildren or of youthful acquaint-
ances. If a fault was committed, perhaps a story
would be forthcoming after a while, in which the sad
results of the misbehavior of the fictitious "Bill


Booby" were presented; or the happiness which fol-
lows right-doing was illustrated by incidents in the life
of the equally mythical "John True." Such gentle
discipline, in his hands, was sufficient.
As a humorous incitive, and also as indirect
commendation, he sometimes sent letters purporting
to be written by the above-mentioned mythical per-
sonages, such as the following: -

FARMINGTON, Oct. II, 1869.
DEAR ARTHUR, I heard something bad about you the
other day, or rather something foolish that you were study-
ing pretty hard and trying to be a good scholar. That's all non-
sense. It is too much bother. By and by if people find out
that you don't know much, you can tell 'em, as I do, that I might
have known as much as they do if I'd been a mind to, but 'twas
too much bother.
I want you to send word to your grandfather to let me have
your screw-chuck from your lathe, to make a top of. I can file
the screw part to a point, and drive an iron plug into the other
side, and make a top of it. It is so heavy that if I can once get
it a-spinning, it will spin a long while.

In his dealings with children, Mr. Abbott did not
attempt to enforce obedience by giving reasons for
his directions. In cases of importance there was a


simple command, and the little folks knew there
were good reasons in the background, and gave
prompt obedience. But often, when the immediate
result of the matter in question was of minor im-
portance, he taught them how to govern themselves
by setting before them two lines of conduct, explain-
ing clearly the consequences of each course, and
then- leaving the child to decide for himself.
He used to keep in one of his secretary drawers a
collection of bright-colored French and German
pictures some on large sheets, some on long strips
of paper, folded. into book form. He would, per-
haps, give several of these to a little granddaughter
to amuse herself with while he was busy writing,
and say:
"Now if you aie careful, and do not crumple or
tear these pictures, and bring them all back to me
when you are done with them, you can see some
others to-morrow; but if you are careless, and leave
them scattered around on the floor, all the pictures
will have to be imprisoned in my drawer a whole
The usual result was that the pictures were re-


turned in good order. But if, by and by, the little
girl disappeared, and they were found strewn over
the floor, the next time she wanted them he would
say, smilingly:
I am very sorry that they must stay shut up in
my drawer to-day. Somebody left them scattered
all over the floor yesterday; but I can lend them
to you to-morrow."
And the little lesson was remembered.
If she was blowing soap-bubbles he would explain
that if she put the pipe down quickly on the hard
marble table, it would probably break; and he would
place a folded towel for her to put it on, saying:
"Now you will probably forget all about it, but
I would try to lay it on the towel."
If the pipe was broken, there was no reproof;
but the child had learned something.
One grandson was very fond of working with a
turning-lathe which Mr. Abbott kept in one of his
rooms. It was the rule that if the little boy did not
clear up all the shavings and sawdust and put things
in order when he was done working, he could not
use the lathe the following day. Sometimes he did


not feel at all like putting things in order; but if he
did not, he was always sorry the next day. Some-
times he would ask:
Must I put all the things away, grandpapa ?"
"Oh, no," would be the reply, you can do just
as you please about it."
"But I am afraid I shall want to work on the
lathe to-morrow."
"Yes, I suppose you will."
"And I can't if I don't put everything in order.
Would you fix them up, grandpapa ? "
Yes, I would if I were you; then you can finish
your top to-morrow. But you may do just as you
prefer on the whole."
The tools were seldom left in disorder, and all
the litter was carefully brushed up and put into
the dust-box.
No inflexible rules were given, but faithful study-
ing was done in the little Fewacres University,"
which was in session whenever any of the grand-
children came to spend a few weeks with "grand-
"You have studied so diligently this morning,"


he would say to one, "that I shall be able to help
you on your bird-house two hours this afternoon."
It was seldom needful, but if he disappointed
expectations, by mentioning, without any obvious
reason, that he could help in the favorite recreation
with tools only half an hour, the young student
drew his own inference of neglected studies,
and was doubly attentive to his lessons the next
The encouragement and help he gave to little folks,
indirectly, in forming orderly habits, is also pleas-
antly illustrated by a note written to a seven-year old
NEW YORK, July 17, I86i.
DEAR ARTHUR, How do you get along in Farmington ? I
expect you are having an excellent time.
I heard that you had caught a squirrel. Has he got away
yet ? If he has not, you can make a cage for him out of a
wooden box. But you must line the inside of the box with tin,
or he will gnaw out. You will have to buy the tin in sheets at
the tinman's, and then cut it to fit the sides of the box with my
tin-shears. These are great stubbed shears that I keep in the
high desk in the office.
If you should borrow my shears of aunt Sallucia to cut the tin,
it would be a very extraordinary thing if you should remember
to carry them back again. I don't mean extraordinary for you -


for you always bring back the things I lend you but extraor-
dinary for a boy of your age in general.
I am coming to Farmington in the course of a month or six
weeks, and I am depending upon finding you there to play with
me. I will help you make a squirrel cage when I come, if you
wish. Give my best love to your father and mother, and also to
grandpapa and grandmamma Titcomb. I told them, when I was
in Farmington, that you were an excellent good boy, and I want
you take care and make my words good.
Grandmamma Abbott sends her love to you and to all; and I
am your very affectionate grandfather, JACOB ABBOTT.

The cosey homestead at Fewacres was a delightful

spot when "grandpapa" was there. The long, low
outbuildings and the ample grounds supplied inex-
haustible amusement and occupation when he was
the inspiring genius. The "office," the tool-house,
the granary, the swing-room, the loft with its wonder-
ful resources; the winding paths, and undulating
grounds dotted with arbors and rustic seats bearing
familiar household names these all resounded with
the music of children's voices in summer-time, and
not unfrequently in the coasting season, famous in
Maine winters.
One novel plan of Mr. Abbott's was the institution
of the "Bank of Fewacres."


On a miniature scale, the business of this bank
was conducted after the manner of a real State bank.
A little bank building was constructed about a foot
and a half in height, with interior arrangements mod-
elled after the style of a money safe. There was a
president, a cashier, paying teller, clerk, board of
directors, and stockholders. It is true, the capital
of this bank was not the result of the purchase of
shares by the youthful stockholders, but simply a
certain sum mysteriously deposited -for of course
the bank was simply grandpapa's own pocket-book
in disguise. Certificates were printed by one of the
grandsons, on a little toy printing press; and each
grandchild became the holder of a certain number of
shares, varying with his age. The directors held
their regular business meetings; the capital was put
out to interest- to grandpapa" of course though
a far more complicated investment was ostensibly
made. Every little while, the interest having accu-
mulated, a dividend was declared, and each stock-
holder received a portion corresponding to the num-
ber of shares held. It was a curious peculiarity of
his to make gifts in some such indirect way as this.


He always avoided anything which would place

him in a position to receive thanks. Some ingen-

ious device was contrived by which things were pur-
chased by the children, or acquired as compensation

for some service, or as the legitimate result of a busi-

ness transaction.

It was once proposed, for special reasons, to

change the name of the "Bank of Fewacres;" and

the following circular was issued:

To the stockholders of the Grainville Bank, formerly the Bank of
Fewacres :
MAY 3, 1874.
At a meeting of the Legislature of Fewacres, held this day, a
petition was presented from the President of the Bank of Few-
acres praying that the name of the bank might be changed to
that of the Grainville Bank, and assigning reasons therefore.
The petition was referred to the Committee on Corporations.

MAY 4, 1874.
The Committee on Corporations, having considered the peti-
tion of the President of the Bank of Fewacres for a change of the
name of that institution to the Grainville Bank for certain rea-
sons specified in that petition, reported that they had considered
the reasons assigned, and found them sufficient, and recom-
mended that the name should be changed accordingly.
Whereupon it was


That the report of the committee be accepted, and that the
Bank of Fewacres be designated hereafter as the Grainville
A true copy of the proceedings.
By the Clerk.

After many years, the feeble health of Mr. Abbott
leading to the discontinuance of the bank, the capital
was divided among the young stockholders in pro-
portion to the shares held by each one.
Mr. Abbott had acquired much skill in sketching
with pen and ink or pencil, in an easy off-hand

style; and the young folks about him thoroughly
enjoyed his instructions in this art. One of his
familiar lessons is conveyed in the following letter to
a young granddaughter:-

SFEWACRES, Feb. 22, 1872.
DEAR ALICE, I received your letter of the i6th a
few days since; and according to
your request I will give you a little
instruction about drawing trees. /
A good way to represent any-
thing round, like the trunk of a
tree, is to shade it off gradually
from each side towards the middle,
.. y, 7f/ f ^ Ij.V -
making it darker on the side sup- .. -, _
posed to be the shadiest, as in fig. I. How TO SHADE. (FIG. .)


SIt is the same with anything round -
a tub or firkin for instance, as in fig. 2.
You can have the darkest shading on
either side you please, according as
--. you suppose the light to come in from
SHADED TO LOOK one side or the other.
ROUND. (FIG. 2.) It will be very good practice for you

to draw a number of stumps and logs and stems of trees on
these principles, the forms to be according to your own fancy.
(Fig. 3.)

(FIG. 3.)

It is a good plan to make a faint sketch of your stump, first,
in pencil, very faint, so as not to have any pencil marks to rub out,
as shown in the margin. [Here an outline of a stump was
faintly drawn.]


Now comes the question of foliage. The simplest mode


of representing foliage is by a peculiar movement of the point
of the pen or pencil, as in fig. 4.
It is very. difficult to get this movement, and .it requires a
great deal of prac-
tice. The little FIG. 5.
curves ought all
to be portions of z /^-
circles, whereas FIG. 6.
beginners are very
apt to make them portions of ovals. They acquire this habit
from the practice of writing. Thus, instead of drawing as
in fig. 5, they draw as in fig. 6, making the foliage look like
It is very difficult to get into the way of carrying the point
of the pen up as in fig. 7, instead of as in fig. 8. If you try
you will find how difficult it is.
C7 By combining these different ele-
ments we get one way of drawing
tIo . p, ,.
a tree. (Fig. 9.)
There is an immense quantity of snow here, so much that yes-
terday Lawrence and Joseph walked, or rather waded, up-
on the top of the house, on the back side of the meal room,
over the drifts which there in one place reach to the roof, then
wallowed over the roof to the front side, and then jumped off


in the drifts under the office ,
window, which reached up
there a little higher than the -
middle of the sash in the al-
cove window. This is very
convenient for us, as it saves
us the trouble of drawing down C1-
the shades in the evening. .

Another letter gives v

the following plain and THE COMPLETED TREE. (FIG. 9.)

simple directions about perspective drawing.

Feb. 3, 1873.

received your note
and the drawing a
"few days since. We
were all much sur-
prised and pleased to
see how much prog
ress you have made.
Lawrence came on
Friday, and, happen-
ing to see the draw-
ing on my desk, his
attention was im-
THE PICTURE MARKED "A." mediately attracted


toward it, and he asked eagerly, "Grandpapa, who drew. that ?"
"Alice," said I, coolly.
"Oh grandpapa, please not joke about it! Who did draw
it, really ? "
When I told him seriously that you did really draw it, he
seemed very much surprised.
When you come to Fewacres again I will give you and
Lucy some lessons in what is called perspective. One of the
principles of perspective is that all the lines which in
reality run directly back from the front of the picture, are
drawn in the picture so as to meet in one point in or near the
picture, which is called the point of sight. We can easily find
the point of sight of any picture by laying a ruler down on
one of these directly receding lines, and drawing a
....line, and then do-
ing the same with
any other; and
Where these lines
cross each other
will be the point
of sight for that
picture. Some-
times the point
comes a little off
-THE ENGRAVING MARKED B." the picture, as it
the picture, as it
does in the picture marked A," so that I had to gum a little
piece of paper on. You will see how all the directly receding
lines in the picture, such as the edge of the bed, the sides of the
table, the bars on the side of the room, all are drawn
so as to run towards it. But the top and bottom lines of


the window, and the hori-
zontal lines of the bars of
the window, do not run to-
wards it, for they are not re-
ceding lines. The point of
sight is marked S."
It is the same with re-
i ceding lines in a picture,
whether they are the outside
lines of a, building or inside lines. In the engraving marked B,"
you see the lines of the buildings meeting, or nearly meeting,
at a point towards the left.
They are meant to meet ex- ". """---::,
actly, but these engravings ,0 10 f*
are not always perfectly cor- /
rect. o
It is a great help in draw- /
ing to know about the point /
of sight. For after you have 7
drawn the fronts of any
buildings, you have only to choose where you will have
the point of sight--which may be anywhere--and then you
know that all the receding lines must be drawn directly to-
wards it. Without a point of sight it is very difficult to know
how to draw them, and you are very apt to get them all wrong.
For instance, suppose you are drawing a simple house.
You first draw the front, thus (fig. i), the front of the chimney
and all. Then you choose your point of sight, which may be
one side or the other, according to which side of the house
you wish to show. Say we have it at S. Then you draw


lines faintly in pencil from all the necessary corners towards it,
as in fig. 2. Then you cut off such a portion of the pen-
cil lines as you think suffi-
cient, and ink them, and the -.
outline, of your drawing is
complete, as in fig. 3. Then ,
you shade it, and your work
is done scientifically, that is,
understandingly according to
the right principles, as in
fig. 4.
You will have to read this
letter very attentively, and
even then you may not fully understand it; but I have no doubt
your aunt Mary will readily explain to you what you do not
understand. If you do understand it, it would be well, perhaps
for you to read and explain it to some one of your school-
mates who is learning to draw. That will make you under-
stand and remember the
Principle yourself. Your
"" .- aunt Mary, perhaps,
would help you to find
Where the point of sight
is in any other pictures you
F rmay happen to have.

S Advancing age did

not lessen Jacob Abbott's love for children. To the end

of life, the presence of a child seemed to awaken inter-


est, and to touch the deepest feelings of his heart.
And when, a short time before his death, while scarce-
ly able to speak, a message of love from his young-
est granddaughter was given him, it was only a
final outbreathing of the spirit of his whole life that
he should murmur in response:
"Dear little girl!"



T HE dear old grandmother who so often told
me this bear story has been twenty years in
her grave. She was eighty when she died, and this
happened to her when she was only ten years old.
She lived with her father and mother in one of the
pretty villages in eastern Massachusetts; but they
were not very well off, and the family was large, and
they grew poorer and poorer every year, until at last
her father and mother thought they would leave their
old home, and go away off in the northern woods
where they could have more land to raise food. So,
with half a dozen of their old neighbors, who were as
poor as themselves, they went up among the green
New Hampshire hills. There were no railroads in
those days, and it took as long to journey over the
hundred miles as it would now to make a voyage to


Europe. There were but few good roads, and most
of the way led through forests, so that all they carried
had to be strapped on the horses' backs.
Grandmother was then eight years old, and they
thought her large enough to walk; and walk she did
the entire hundred miles. Her mother and the
two younger children rode on one horse, and their
few goods were strapped on the other one. There
were five other families with them, and as there were
children belonging to each household, the little folks
at least had jolly times on the journey. At night
they slept on the sweet pine boughs, by the side
of a great fire that roared and crackled all night
They were almost two weeks going to their new
homes; but at last, when they were beginning to be
thoroughly tired, they came to the place; a broad
beautiful table-land shut in on every side by lofty
mountains, just growing green in the bright spring
sunshine. Here, on the banks of a lovely little lake,
they made their homes, and not very near each other.
At first they had pretty hard times, and they could
not help being a little homesick when they thought of


the blue sparkling sea that they had seen every day
of their lives until now. The mountains seemed to
shut them in impassably from their old homes and
neighbors, and it was hard work, clearing the land,
planting and gathering in crops; but women and
children worked together with the men-folk, and the
clearings grew larger and larger each year.' They
raised cows and sheep, and at last each family owned
a yoke of oxen.
"Then," said grandmother, and here she always
began to warm in her narration, we thought our-
selves pretty forehanded. There was only one churn
in the neighborhood, and that belonged to Mrs. Craig,
who lived on the river road about a mile from our
house. One night when father went over to borrow
the churn, Mrs. Craig told him to be sure and bring
it back sometime in the morning as she wanted to use
it herself. So mother hurried round and got the cream
in before sunrise, and came to my bed and told me if I
would jump up and churn I might carry the churn
It was about ten o'clock when I started for Mrs.
Craig's. It was a warm lovely spring day, and the


churn was light in my sturdy little arms, and I en-
joyed my walk, which lay along the banks of the little
river, now swollen with the late spring rains till it
rushed foaming and tumbling over the stones. I
went happily along, now and then stopping to pick a
violet, till just as I got about half way there I heard a
great noise of crackling bushes, and then, right in the
path before me, came a great black bear with a white
face. He was dripping wet, as if he had just come
up out of the water, and he seemed surprised to see
me, for he stopped and looked at me as much as to
say, 'Well, little girl, where did you come from ?'
But he didn't offer to touch me.
At first I was too frightened to run, and I only
stood and stared at him. I suppose this must have
saved my life, for since I have often heard that a wild
beast never attacks any one who has the courage to
look him steadily in the face. Anyway the bear
didn't offer to touch me, and by and by I began to
think I might get away. So I set the churn down
carefully, and then began to go backwards, all the
time looking straight at the bear, who sat down like a
big dog and looked after me, but did not offer to follow.


"At last a turn in the road hid him from sight, and
then I ran as fast as I could. Father was at work in
a field only a little way off, and I ran all the way
there. He stopped working when he saw me coming,
and I suppose I must have looked singular enough,
for I had lost my bonnet, and my hair was flying in
the wind; and I jumped right over the low fence,
and ran up to him and put my arms round him and
began to cry.
"'Why, Betty!' he said, what's the matter ?'
"But I couldn't speak.
"' Betty,' he cried, 'tell me quick what is the mat-
ter ? Are the children or your mother sick or dead ?'
I shook my head. 'No,' I managed to say, it's
the bear.'
"' The bear!' he exclaimed, looking quickly
around. 'Why, child, there's nothing here Did you
think you saw a bear?'
"By this time I had grown a little calmer, and I
said, 'I did see one. Mother sent me to carry the
churn home, and just as I got by the Bend, I heard a
.noise, and a great black bear with a white face stood
right in the road before me.'


Oh, how father laughed at that!
"'Why, Betty,' he said, 'there never was a bear
with a white face. It was only Mrs. Craig's black
sheep: you know that has a white face.'
"'But I know it was a bear,' I persisted, and it
sat right down just like Carlo, and watched me out of
"'Well,' said father, 'I s'pose I must go with you
and see about it, but I guess you'll find it was noth-
ing but a sheep,' and he laughed again. I said noth-
ing, but took his hand and we went back to the road.
'Well,' said father as we came in sight of the
churn still standing where I had left it; 'well, Betty,
there's your churn, but where's your bear?'
"' I don't know where he is now, but he sat in the
road the other side of the churn when I ran off,' I
Father went up to the churn, still holding my hand,
and stooping down looked at the ground. When he
got up, he was not laughing, but he held my hand
tighter than before as he said, "A bear sure enough,
and a big one too! Why, Betty, child! Where were
your eyes that you didn't see him before?'





"'Why, he came out of the bushes,' I said.
Father looked at the tracks again. 'Well, he's gone
off into the woods now, and I guess you and I had
better carry this churn home, and then I'll see you
safe back to mother.'
"So he picked up the churn, and still holding me
tightly by the hand, we went on to Mrs. Craig's.
"' Why, Mr. Cross,' cried Mrs. Craig as she saw us,
'did you leave your work to bring that home ? Now
that's too bad. I thought one o' the children could
do it, or I shouldn't have said a word about its being
brought home this morning. '
"Then father had to tell her about the bear, and
finished by saying, 'She was so frightened that she
really thought it had a white face.'
"'Well, it did have a white face,' I cried.
"Mrs. Craig laughed. 'I don't wonder you
thought so, child,' she said. 'Why, it scares me to
think of it.'
"Then father went home with me, and mother was
frightened enough when she heard the story. 'I
shan't dare to let one of you children out of my
sight again,' she said; but she too laughed a little


over the white face. I suppose I must have been a
little cross about this; anyway, father told me not to
say again that it had a white face, and mother told
me to go and lie down a little while, and I didn't
dare to disobey either of them; so I went and lay
down on my trundle-bed, and I cried a little, but I
kept saying to myself, 'It did have a white face, I
know it did !'
Well, it was not long before everybody in town
knew that Betty Cross had come pretty near being
eaten by a bear, and was so frightened that she
thought it had a white face; and of course every-
body laughed at that. I didn't say anything, but I
knew I was right; and oh, how I did hope somebody
would kill the bear, and then others would know I
was right.
" Well, one day my eldest brother came home from
the mill, where he had been to have some corn
ground. He was greatly excited, and as soon as he
came into the house he exclaimed, 'Well, Betty's in
the right on't! The bear did have a white face.
I've just seen Burns who lives the other side of the
river, and he saw the bear. He says it's the great-


est wonder Betty wasn't killed, for the bear was so
hungry that he tackled one of his two-year old steers,
and would have killed it if he and his hired man
hadn't drove him off with pitchforks, and the bear
sprang into the river and swam across, and must have
come right up in front of Betty, for Mr. Burns says it
was close by the Bend.'
Oh, how I clapped my hands! and I cried, 'I knew
it had a white face, I knew it had "
"Mother didn't say much then; but when I went
to bed that night she kissed me and said, 'Thank
God, my little daughter is safe at home;' and I knew
she was thinking of the bear.
"We heard a few weeks after that the bear was
killing sheep in the other part of the town, and there
all the men turned out and had a grand bear-hunt,
and at last tracked him to his den in the woods,
where he was soon killed. He was an immense ani-
mal, and almost everybody went to see him, but I
didn't care to. I thought I had seen him all I needed
to; and I have never since seen nor heard of a white-
faced bear."