The Baldwin Library
A L&L~ fgEnrL
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ILL USTRA TED.
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY,
By PODD, MEAD & COMPANY.
"10 H, father, do let me go!" said
k_ Harry West, as he folded a letter
received from a former playmate.
"Go ? Go where?" asked his father.
Why, to Brooks' Academy.' Kit
says they have the jolliest kind of times,
no end of fun, and I could room with him,
and-oh, do say I can go ?"
Well, I don't see the sense of it," said
Mr. West. If I sent you to school I
should want you to learn something be-
Oh, I would, of course !" interrupted
"And Kit Calyer, as I remember him,
8 HEEDLESS HARRY.
wasn't the sort of a boy I should want
you to room with."
But you'll let me go, won't you,
father?" was his next appeal. "I am
awfully tired of staying at home, and
Well, what does Parker say ?"
Harry blushed, and hung his head.
" Parker says," he began slowly, as if half
ashamed to make the confession, "that
I'll never be anything but a dunce if I don't
go out in the world and mix with other
"Did Parker say that?" asked Mr.
Yes, sir," responded Harry with con-
siderable animation; "and he said the
College of Hardknocks was the best col-
lege for any boy to graduate from."
HEEDLESS HARRY. 9
"There's a good deal of sense in that.
Well-I'll think about it," said Mr.
West, as he took up his hat and went out
the front door.
Harry knew that when his father spoke
in that way his mind was more than half
made up, so he wrote to Kit that he had
strong hopes of joining him at the acad-
emy and sharing in his wonderful advent-
Sure enough it was not many days be-
fore Mr. West told Harry he thought
favorably of his scheme, and as business
called him to Europe he would rent the
house and have his son remain at Brooks'
Academy until his education was com-
Harry was delighted. He was an only
child, left to do pretty much as he liked,
and continually falling into pretty bad
IO HEEDLESS HARRY.
scrape on account of his heedlessness.
He was thirteen years old and very wise
in his own conceit, intensely fond of out-
door sports, and opposed to being in lead-
He and Kit had planned many an ad-
venture, which they had never succeeded
in carrying out, as they were so carefully
watched, and Harry was impatient for
the freedom of the country, and Brooks'
The day of departure came at last.
Harry kissed his mother good-by without
a tear, and after a two hours' ride in the
cars he and his father arrived at Fair-
ville. Not being familiar with the place,
Mr. West stopped at a cottage to inquire
the way to Brooks' Academy.
"Sure an' yer not goin' to send that
nice boy among them young divils, are ye
HEEDLESS HARRY. 13
now?" asked the woman who had given
the necessary directions.
"I think something of it," said Mr.
West with a smile.
Bad luck to him then, for it's jist pur-
gatory Oh, the likes of them ye never
see !" and the woman threw up her arms
with an expression more eloquent than
Shall we turn back, Harry ? It is not
Oh no, father. I feel more than ever
inclined to go on."
I don't doubt it," said his father.
" It is the old story : those who are out
want to get in, and those who are in want
to get out."
Kit's welcome was in itself sufficient
to reconcile Harry to the new order of
things, and he soon felt at home with the
14 HEEDLESS HARRY.
boys, whose ages ranged from six to six-
Kit Calyer was the ringleader in all
the mischief, and, like most ringleaders,
very careful to keep on the safe side him-
self, so that he seldom was punished as
Harry was familiar with summer pleas-
ures, having spent the long vacations in
the country, but had little knowledge of
the winter sports, which had a peculiar
fascination for him.
Dr. Brooks and Sandy," as the boys
called Mr. Alexander, his assistant, were
always ready to help the boys in all their
lawful fun, and enjoyed teaching them
how to set snares and hunt game, how
to catch fish and track rabbits, and Harry
was always delighted to go on such ex-
C 1111 ,,,, ,I
I I i:' i
'' i' ''':' '
;IFg.;;U 1I8&hWiiBr ii
HEEDLESS HARRY. 17
It was on these occasions that Kit Cal-
yer made some excuse for remaining at
home, that he might have full swing in
engineering some plot which would get
somebody into trouble. He amused
Harry with accounts of winter frolics,
and told with great glee of one adventure
that threatened to close the doors of
"There was a heavy fall of snow, just
sticky enough," said Kit, making imita-
tion snow-balls, and we had a bang-up
fort out on the school-grounds. But some
of us got tired of that kind of sport-
there's no fun in being under orders all
the while-so we went off on the sly and
made a snow-man in front of Parson
Winslow's house. The parson was a
nice old man, who preached forgiveness
to enemies and all that kind of nonsense,
18 HEEDLESS HARRY.
and we thought he wouldn't make much
fuss any way. I told the youngsters to
fire at any one who came near before we
got the work done, and I nearly died
laughing to see them pegging away at
Parson Winslow. Wasn't it a good
"Capital!" said Harry, joining in the
laugh. What did he say ?"
"Say?" exclaimed Kit. He didn't
have a chance to say much of anything,
for a snowball struck him plump in the
face, and he turned away looking as white
as the snow-man himself. He had a long
fit of sickness after this, and nearly died,
and if he had died there'd have been a
big funeral at Brooks' Academy. All
Fairville was in arms; everybody vowed
vengeance, and Dr. Brooks delivered
lectures day in and day out."
HEEDLESS HARRY. 21
The ice-king at last had control of Fair-
ville, and not even the sight of a blazing
wood-fire could tempt the boys to remain
within doors. Harry had dreams of polar
regions, of the ice-king's throne fringed
with icicles and glittering with diamonds,
and meant, when a man, to visit the Arctic
Sea, about which people were talking so
much. He didn't mind the cold, and an
accident was needed to spice up an ad-
This is too tame !" said Harry, as he
and two of the larger boys in company
with Sandy were shovelling snow, for
exercise, on the brow of the hill adjoining
the academy. "Can't we have some
"Easy," said Kit. There's a splen-
did chance for coasting. Let's get the
22 HEEDLESS HARRY.
It was not a suitable place for coasting,
but Kit didn't think it necessary to men-
tion that, and Harry was easily persuaded
to take the first ride down the steep hill.
He knew nothing about steering, had
nothing to steer with, and had gone half
way down at a tearing rate before he ob-
served the danger he was in.
There was no way of stopping; the
boys shouted, but he could not hear them;
he was tempted to jump out of the sled,
but at the speed he was going the danger
was almost as great, so he held on and
seemed to live a lifetime during his swift
descent. There were a couple of stakes
by the shore. If he struck those he
might be thrown out on the ground at the
risk of hurting himself badly, but if he
went on he would surely be drowned, for
the sled was heavy and the ice not strong.
HEEDLESS HARRY. 25
It all happened so quickly that every-
body was stunned except Dr. Brooks,
who chanced to be walking along the
shore with two of the senior pupils, to
whom he gave directions how to save
Harry's life. It was no easy matter, for
the ice crumbled under Harry's fingers,
which were soon so benumbed as to be past
feeling, and had he been farther from the
shore the accident would have resulted far
As it was, a severe cold served to re-
mind him of his heedlessness for some
time, and Kit Calyer escaped without any
blame for his share in the adventure.
After this mishap Harry West began
to be a little suspicious of Kit Calyer, and
felt more disposed to* seek the society of
the other boys at the academy, who liked
honest fun, and did not need watching
26 HEEDLESS HARRY.
every minute. None of the older schol-
ars ever went with Kit Calyer ; they knew
his "tricks and his manners;" but a new
one he made a tool of and a fool of until
the boy's own good sense came to the
Harry had an easy way of tumbling
into trouble. He never seemed to stop
long enough to think whether it was best
to undertake anything, but plunged right
ahead, and had many wonderfully nar-
row escapes. On one occasion he fast-
ened his sled behind Doctor Russell's gig,
intending to have a nice long ride through
the streets, for doctors were always kind
and considerate, and would not object to
having a string of boys cutting on be-
But the doctor was in the house attend-
ing to Mrs. Dunlap's baby, and the driver
d .i 1t H
*~- E, x
* =.--4 ~i-
HEEDLESS HARRY. 29
.knew that the horse would seriously ob-
ject to having too many boys at his heels.
So those who came up with their sleds,
prepared to hitch on, were warned off
and threatened with the whip. Most
of the boys withdrew their ropes, but
Harry, feeling secure, and paying little
heed to good example, kept his position
on the sled and congratulated himself on
escaping the driver's attention.
Presently the horse became uneasy, and
kept backing and backing until Harry
and his sled were between the wheels of
the gig, and Dr. Russell came out of the
house just in time to save the boy from
being kicked to death under the horse's
If he climbed a tree he was sure to go
out on a rotten limb that wouldn't bear
his weight, and for some reason or other
30 HEEDLESS HARRY.
he never appeared to gain wisdom by ex-
perience, but went on in this headlong
fashion, to the astonishment of the friends
and neighbors, who were wont to declare
that Harry West had nine lives."
The love of adventure makes boys both
fearless and daring, and it is this spirit
that animates the breast of all great
navigators and discoverers. Indeed, the
world would be the loser if there were
not men ready to plunge into the heart
of Africa, or to go to the frozen zone, or
to wrest the secrets from the innermost
and uttermost parts of the earth.
Harry West and Kit Calyer thought
Themselves equal to almost any great
task, not considering the amount of prep-
aration necessary to the undertaking of
any perilous enterprise, and at ten years
of age had planned to go among the
HEEDLESS HARRY. 31
Comanche and Apache Indians and bring
home a wagon load of scalps and toma-
Harry thought it would be fine fun, and
swelled himself out so prodigiously that it
was difficult to keep the buttons on his
jacket, and at twelve years of age he was
still planning to do great things.
At that time Kit Calyer was sent to
boarding-school, which was a cause for
congratulation in the West household, as
Harry seemed to pause for a while in his
"I wish I knew what would interest
the boy," said Mrs. West to her husband.
"I have tried everything. There are
plenty of books in the house, and I try to
interest him in indoor games such as I
used to play when I was a child. But he
seems to prefer outdoor sports."
32 HEEDLESS HARRY.
Naturally. And I don't object," said
Mr. West. It is good for his health to
romp about, and climb, and wrestle, for
when he plays he plays all over; but what
troubles me is the company he gets
And Harry doesn't seem to have any
judgment in selecting his friends."
No; he is just as heedless in that re-
spect as he is in any other. There he
goes now !" and his parents looking out
the window saw him scurrying along with
a lot of rough boys, who were evidently
having a jolly good time.
Harry's propensity to get into trouble
kept his mother in a state of continual
anxiety and distress of mind. If the
door-bell rang suddenly, she was sure he
was being brought home on a shutter,
or had met with some serious injury, and
HEEDLESS HARRY. 33
she never felt altogether easy about him
Until he was safely in bed and the house
Securely locked for the night. Even then
her imagination conjured up visions of
terrible things; and when she read in the
papers of the accidents that had over-
taken other boys about Harry's age, she
felt a great sympathy for their mothers,
and wondered if all boys were alike, and
if the heedless ones, who were not really
bad, ever turned out great and good
Mr. West had been brought up under
a tight rein himself, and was rather more
easy with Harry on that account, feeling
that the boy must have a chance to de-
velop his individuality.
Harry's all right at heart," he would
say, and will get over his pranks as he
got over the measles and mumps. It's
34 HEEDLESS HARRY.
better for him to have them young, you
"Yes, I know," sighed Mrs. West,
" but boys never seem to think of the
worry they cause us. When Harry had
the measles I had him right under my
eye, and could love him and take care of
him; but when he has the riotous fever
and is rebellious under restraint, I am un-
easy all the time."
Well, mother him all you can," said
Mr. West, "and be thankful you have
only one boy to manage. There is Mrs.
Scott with her six--
And I doubt if they give her as much
trouble as my one," interrupted Harry's
mother, "for they control and amuse
each other. Hark What is the mat-
The outer door closed with a bang;
HEEDLESS HARRY. 35
there was a scuffling of feet in the hall,
a rush up the stairs, and Harry entered
in a state of mud and misery most fearful
Where have you been ? What have
you done ? Are you hurt ?" asked Mrs.
West, almost breathless in her anxiety to
know the extent of Harry's injuries.
No," said Harry, answering the last
question first. We were playing ball,
and 1 was 'third base,' and Pat Hickey
gave it such a rousing bat that it went
clean over everybody's head, and landed
ever so far off. I ran with all my might,
and slipped into an awful lot of some-
thing. What is it, I wonder?"
Mr. West held him at arm's length,
and could not refrain from smiling at his
appearance. There's mortar enough
on you to build a respectable house, you
36 HEEDLESS HARRY.
heedless boy. If you keep on in this way
you'll not only ruin your clothes, but
your reputation. If there had been a
ditch you'd have gone in it, I suppose."
"Yes, sir," said Harry, meekly, ex-
amining with a rueful countenance the
jacket his mother was helping him out
I'm thankful no bones were broken,"
said Mrs. West as she patiently pursued
her task, and removed from her bespat-
tered boy every trace of the recent dis-
aster. Do try to be more careful,
Harry, or some of these days you will
not escape so easily."
Harry promised, being penitent after
so thorough a cleansing; but what do
the promises of a heedless boy amount
to? The next day, if he had half a
chance, he would be in another scrape
HEEDLESS HARRY. 37
as severe as the one from which he had
just recovered, and which Mr. West des-
ignated as a wholesale appropriation of
The constant recurrence of these acci-
dents made Harry's father and mother
feel that a change of discipline was need-
ed, and they thought that perhaps the
daily contact with other boys of good
families would help him to cultivate more
refined tastes, even while indulging in
Harry was not fond of letter-writing,
and neither his father nor mother knew
much of the life at Brooks' Academy,
nor how much their son was under the
influence of Kit Calyer.
But Harry's involuntary bath seemed
to have washed the scales from his eyes,
and it was astonishing what a change it
38 HEEDLESS HARRY.
made in his powers of observation and
At the beginning of the spring term a
new boy was admitted, a big overgrown
fellow who had been treated like a baby
at home, and had no taste for school or
for study. Kit saw that he was fair game,
and began immediately to play tricks
upon him, which in the larger colleges is
known as hazing." At first Kelly-the
new boy-felt flattered by Kit's atten-
tions, thinking he was the smartest boy in
the whole school, and it wasn't until he
"jumped into a bramble-bush" that he
had his eyes opened to Kit's true charac-
Kit dared him to jump off the bank to
get some cat-tails growing below, and
Kelly, not knowing the nature of the
ground, went plump into the mud, and
HEEDLESS HARRY. 41
screamed lustily for help. The "Signal
Service Boys," who had pledged them-
selves to help everybody who needed
help, and whose ranks Harry had lately
joined, ran as fast as they could to Kelly's
assistance and soon had him safe on firmer
Kit's victim was both muddy and mad,
and without stopping to consider any-
thing but his own injuries presented him-
self before Dr. Brooks and told just how
Kit Calyer had abused him. Determined
to make a clean breast of it, he also con-
fessed that Kit was to blame for Harry's
accident, and for many other "tricks"
that had given the academy a bad name
in the neighborhood.
Dr. Brooks had long been suspicious
of Kit, but never having succeeded in
catching him at his tricks, and hoping his
42 HEEDLESS HARRY.
present smartness would develop into a
better kind of genius, was always kind
and considerate to the incorrigible scape-
Boys will be boys," said Dr. Brooks
in the lecture delivered before the assem-
bled school the morning after Kelly's
mud-bath, which Kit said would strength-
en his backbone. Boys will be boys,
and I like to have them so, but there's no
need of their being ruffians. When they
disobey laws and train others to be dis-
obedient, then they are not fit for decent
society, and must be regarded as danger-
ous creatures." Then he told all the dis-
graceful things that had occurred during
the years Kit had been at school, and the
boys involuntarily looked at the "ring-
leader" and rejoiced that they were not
in his shoes.
" =. -_ -
_. ? -- :-.._
HEEDLESS HARRY. 45
Not one heroic deed had he ever done !
Kit was expelled from the Academy-
sent home in disgrace-and as he was
more disposed to rule others than to rule
himself, he was immediately put into the
regular army, where he could be taught
discipline. Here there was no chance
for him to get into mischief himself or to
lead others astray, and any disobedience
of orders would be severely punished.
Many are the lonely hours he spends,
and although he writes glowing letters to
Harry West, telling of the charms of mili-
tary life and urging him to enlist in the
same regiment, the truth is that he is anx-
ious for his time to expire, that he may re-
turn to civilization, and be his own master.
Harry, no longer heedless and ready
to be tripped up in his career by every
sly rogue, continued his studies at Brooks'
46 HEEDLESS HARRY.
Academy, and by his diligent attention
and manly character did much toward
improving the reputation of the school,
which had been seriously injured by Kit
*fv s*^ ': ~.. .:-;&
THE GHOST IN THE
T HE garret was a. most delightful
place to play in. Clara and I pre-
ferred it to any other room in the house,
because there we could leave our dolls
and baby-houses without fear of finding
them disturbed in any way. The dark
corners furnished convenient places for
banishment, whenever any of the doll
family were disposed to be disobedient
or unruly ; and the garret itself was full
of just such treasures as children most
Clara and I would stroll around by the
48 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
hour together in long skirts and old-
fashioned bonnets, perfectly delighted
when Aunt Jane came up, as she did oc-
casionally for thyme, or catnip, or some
of the "weeds"-we called them-that
hung in bunches around the rafters.
Aunt Jane always entered into our
sports, and helped us to make-believe in
the nicest kind of a way.
Well, Mrs. Nipper," said Aunt Jane,
addressing Clara, whose face could hardly
be seen inside of the immense poke-bon-
net that had been worn by our great-great-
grandmother, how are all the children
"Pretty well, 'cept Angeline; she's
got the measles."
"Dear me! You don't tell me! Give
her plenty of saffron tea, and don't let the
dear child take cold. And how is Mrs.
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 49
McFarland ?" said Aunt Jane, addressing
"I ain't well. My froat is sore, and
there's hot chills running up and down
my back, and oh Aunt Jane, won't you
please open that closet for us ? "
What! exclaimed Aunt Jane, rather
taken aback by my sudden change of
symptoms. I was just about to go after
the doctor to attend to your case, when
you furnish the key."
Oh, have you got it? cried Clara.
Got it? "
The key, you know," I explained.
"Oh! I thought you meant measles,
or scarlet-fever. I've had them; and
that other disease of five syllables which
affects the eyes and fingers so badly. Let
me see," she added, lifting Clara's chin
so that her bonnet fell back over her
50 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
shoulders; "yes, you're coming down
with it; and "-here the calashe I had on
went back with such a jerk that it set me
coughing-" Natalie has it very bad. It
is so contagious."
For a moment I was scared. A num-
ber of my playmates had been seriously
ill, the schools were closed, and the
thought of a disease of five syllables was
enough to terrify any child.
Aunt Jane's hearty laugh dispelled my
fears, and I returned to my position in
front of the closet door. "Please open
it! I exclaimed; and Please open it,
dear Aunt Jane!" echoed Clara, in a
pretty, coaxing way.
Aunt Jane smiled, twitched her dress
first out of Clara's hands, then out of mine,
and hurried down the garret stairs pur-
sued by her tormenting nieces. "You
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 51
must be quarantined," she said, speaking
through the crack of the stair door,
"until you recover from that dreadful
disease, c-u-r-i-o-s-i-t-y!" and then she
It was a long narrow affair that stood
near the west window, and although we
were at liberty to use any of the clothing
that hung around, and to rummage in the
trunks that were unlocked, we had been
repeatedly cautioned against making any
effort to open this particular closet, which
in our imaginations held some wonderful
We rehearsed Blue Beard before it,
,,and had there been any way of obtaining
a key, I would not have hesitated to
perform the part of the luckless Fatima.
It was aggravating not to know what was
behind that door; and whenever Aunt
52 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
Jane appeared in the garret when we were
there, we were sure to beseech her to
gratify our daily increasing curiosity.
One rainy afternoon when Clara and I
were very busy making dolls' clothes, Aunt
Jane having furnished us with some pink
and blue tarletan for party dresses; Fred
came up with Ollie Morton and Karl
Engleman. Ollie and Fred were near of
an age, but Karl was much older, and a
rough kind of a boy, we thought, and
both Clara and I looked displeased at
this intrusion into our play-room.
"Don't you be so much alarmed;
don't you cry, you shan't be harmed! "
sang Fred, as he marshalled his men on
the other side of the garret, and we de-
cided to heed his admonition, for if we
interfered with them they would certainly
interfere with us.
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 53
Fred was organizing a company of
cadets, and spent the most of his time in
drilling recruits, and studying the mili-
tary tactics. Not a broom in the house
was safe from his depredations, and as he
never stacked his arms or put them away
in any safe place, there was always a hunt
for them at every drill meeting.
Clara and I became so much interested
in the military that we quite neglected
our dolls, who were nearly smothered
under the finery we had heaped over
"Right-face! About-face! Order
-arms !" cried Fred; and down came
the broomsticks-rat-tat-tat-on the gar-
That isn't right! you ought to know
- better than that! Fred never had any
patience with other folks' ignorance.
54 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
"Now try again! Attention! Shoul-
der-arms Right shoulder-shift! Pre-
sent-arms! Order-arms !" Down came
the broomsticks this time with more pre-
cision, and the captain and his company
were wonderfully elated.
"There are not enough of us," said
Fred. We can't do half the movements.
Now I'm Captain; Karl, you'll be First
Lieutenant, and Ollie-let me see-you'll
have to be Orderly."
"What does he do?" asked the new
recruit, who was made an officer before
he had got out of the awkward squad.
Oh, he attends to everything. Hunts
up recruits, and gives the Captain's or-
ders to the men, and-and makes himself
generally useful. Do you suppose Al
Carter will join? "
Oh, yes," said Ollie. He's wild to.
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 55
And I know lots of other boys we can
get. Don't you, Karl?"
Yes, lots would like the chance, if we
only had real swords and muskets and
could march around the streets. That
would be the biggest kind of a card for
the Hamilton Cadets. Let's try it."
"Well, maybe we will," said Fred;
"but we're not ready yet for a public ex-
hibition." At this moment he spied Clara
and me, who sat on the top step of the
garret stairs watching the manoeuvres of
the cadets and feeling confident they
would eclipse those of West Point if only
The three boys put their heads to-
gether and looked at us girls in a way we
didn't like, and we were preparing to
claim our right to the territory they had
invaded, and to resist bravely if they
56 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
attempted to put us out, when Ollie-in
the capacity of Orderly-came up and
saluted us just like a real soldier.
We were invited to meet and drill with
the cadets, and you should have seen how
we tumbled our dolls and baby-rags into
the old hair trunk that was getting too
small for our many possessions.
After this we shared in the fun the
boys had in the garret, and soon became
quite expert in handling a gun-broom-
stick I mean-and could keep step, and
wheel about, and face, and go through
all the manual as nicely as any of them.
Mother was opposed to Fred's having
more than two boys in at a time, and it
was only on rainy days that Clara and I
had a chance to go through the manual
of arms, or to feel that we belonged to
the Hamilton Cadets.
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 57
When the drill was over, and we had
marched and manoeuvred until we were
tired, then the boys would sit down and
tell stories, or give recitations.
Karl knew how to tell real scary stories,
about ghosts and queer things, that would
make me have horrid dreams; and some-
times I'd scream out in my sleep after
I was so afraid of ghosts.
Once he told about a gold arm, and this
is the way he told it :
A little black boy used to wait on a
lady who had a great many jewels and
lived like a princess. She had fallen from
a horse when she was a little girl and
broken her arm, so that it had to be cut
off. Her father, who was very wealthy,
had bought her a gold arm which cost a
big handful of money. i At last she died
58 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
-or disappeared-in a mysterious man
ner, and one night the black boy woke up
and saw his mistress sitting-in her coffin
beside his bed.
He opened his eyes in amazement,
"' Where are the beautiful eyes you
used to have?'
All gone to dust,' was the reply, in
a deep sepulchral voice.
Where is the beautiful hair you used
to have ?'
All gone to dust.'
"'Where are the beautiful teeth you
used to have?'
All gone to dust.'
"' Where are all the fine clothes you
"'All gone to dust.'
'Then the black boy's teeth began to
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 59
rattle in his head like pop-corn on a hot
shovel, and his eyes stood out like head-
lights on a locomotive, as he tremblingly
"' Where's the gold arm you used to
With a loud shriek Karl exclaimed,
YOU'VE GOT IT !"
Which invariably scared Clara and me
almost out of our wits.
Although we knew pretty well when
it was coming, we could not prepare
ourselves for the shock to our nerves,
and there was so much fascination about
these horrible stories that we were always
on hand to listen to Karl's recitals. It
was fun for the boys to see us girls so
scared, and I think Fred urged Karl to
tell the worst he knew for our benefit.
One afternoon Karl was sauntering
60 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
around the garret, looking into this corner
and that, and doing "stunts" for the
other boys to imitate. All at once he
happened to observe the closet, which
was partially concealed by 'the clothing
hung in front of it.
Hello What's this ? he inquired.
" Looks something like a coffin set up
on end. What's in it, Fred ?"
I-don't-know," said Fred, imitating
the black boy very cleverly.
Don't know !" exclaimed Karl.
"You don't mean to say you've never
seen the inside of it "
It's locked," said Fred.
"Locked? All the more reason for
opening it. Do you dare me to do it? "
"Yes," said Fred with a light laugh,
hardly supposing that Karl would attempt
such a thing.
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 61
Clara and I were in a fever of curiosity,
and did not think of remonstrating.
There's a ghost in there, you may de-
pend," said Karl, knocking on the door
of the closet. I'll rattle your bones "
he added, shaking it furiously, so that we
actually heard a rattling sound from
As timid as I was I stood directly in
front of the door, eager for the first
glimpse of that which had been so long
Karl sprang on to the sill of the west
window and swung himself along the
edge of the closet so that he could 'move
a button at the very top of the door.
Then he gave several kicks, and I never
knew exactly how it happened, but all at
once the door gave way, something struck
me on the head and knocked me senseless,
62 THE GHOST IN THE GARRET.
just as I was about to scream A ghost!
Fred and the boys ran out of the house
as fast as they could go, not imagining
that I was much hurt, and Clara sat in a
heap on the floor crying as if her heart
Aunt Jane had heard the noise, and
suspecting that all was not right hurried
up-stairs to find me in a woful predica-
ment, the open closet door revealing the
guilt I was powerless to deny.
As I had had more curiosity than the
others I suppose it was only right that I
should suffer as I did, and when I was
able to tell just how it happened-without
throwing too much blame on Karl Engle-
man-father said I was another illustra-
tion of the fact that "history repeats
THE GHOST IN THE GARRET. 63
The old-fashioned musket that had
knocked me down just when I was on the
point of having my curiosity gratified,
was once the property of my great-great-
grandfather, who was wounded at the
battle of Yorktown. A British officer
finding him half dead on the field struck
him a blow with that musket which
roused my great-great-grandfather's
anger so that he recovered from his
wound, and made up his mind to live and
be revenged. That and other relics of
the Revolution and later days were kept
in the Blue-Beard closet, and hidden from
our eyes until we were old enough to
I think Fred must have told about
Karl's performance, for he was never in-
vited to the house again, and the -Hamilton
Cadets had no more drills in our garret.
ft .. ........W