Daddy Darwin's dovecot

Material Information

Daddy Darwin's dovecot a country tale
Ewing, Juliana Horatia Gatty, 1841-1885
Caldecott, Randolph, 1846-1886 ( Illustrator )
Roberts Brothers (Boston, Mass.) ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
Roberts Brothers
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
62, [2] p. : col. ill. ; 18 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Country life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Almshouses -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Diligence -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Tumbler pigeons -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1885 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1885
Publishers' advertisements ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Illusustrated title page.
General Note:
Illustrations and text printed in brown.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text and on back cover.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Juliana Horatia Ewing ; illustrated by Randolph Caldecott.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026683651 ( ALEPH )
ALG6211 ( NOTIS )
23851607 ( OCLC )

Full Text

Au.ih or of

I- L .TE

RA fl0,7P H


,0 .
,-. , .... . .. ,(,1




The Balduwin Libran
J nE UL3 L, Pl
u 111B n^




~ .~in"
~-------~.L~e~: ~k~l::~~,~


r, J
;; I ;I 'ii


A Country Tale by -A
A~uhor of






SUMMER'S afternoon. Early
in the summer, and late in
the afternoon; with odors
and colors deepening, and
shadows lengthening, tow-
ards evening.
Two gaffers gossiping,
seated side by side upon a
Yorkshire wall. A wall of
sandstone of many colors,
glowing redder and yel-
lower as the sun goes down;
well cushioned with moss and lichen, and deep set in
rank' grass on this side, where the path runs, and in
blue hyacinths on that side, where the wood is, and
where- on the gray and still naked branches of
young oaks -sit divers crows, not less solemn than
the gaffers, and also gossiping.
One gaffer in work-day clothes, not unpicturesque
of form and hue. Gray, home-knit stockings, and
coat and knee-breeches of corduroy, which takes tints
from Time and Weather as harmoniously as wooden
palings do ; so that field laborers (like some insects)


seem to absorb or mimic the colors of the vegetation
round them and of their native soil. That is, on
work-days. Sunday-best is a different matter, and in
this the other gaffer was- clothed. He was dressed
like the crows above him fit excepted: the reason for
which was, that he was only a visitor, a revisitor to
the home of his youth, and wore his Sunday (and
funeral) suit to mark the holiday.
Continuing the path, a stone pack-horse track,
leading past a hedge snow-white with may, and down
into a little wood, from the depths of which one
could hear a brook babbling. Then up across the
sunny field beyond, and yet up over another field to
where the brow of the hill is crowned by old farm-
buildings standing against the sky.
Down this stone path a young man going whistling
home to tea. Then staying to bend a swarthy face to
the white may to smell it, and then plucking a huge
branch on which the blossom lies like a heavy fall
of snow, and throwing that aside for a better, and
tearing off another and yet another, with the prodigal
recklessness of a pauper; and so, whistling, on into
the wood with his arms full.
Down the sunny field, as he goes up it, a woman
coming to meet him with her arms full. Filled by
a child with a may-white frock, and hairshining with
the warm colors of the sandstone. A young woman,
having a fair forehead visible a long way off, and
buxom cheeks, and steadfast eyes. When they meet
he kisses her, and she pulls his dark hair and smooths


her own, and cuffs him in country fashion. Then
they change burdens, and she takes the may into her
apron (stooping to pick up fallen bits), and the
.child sits on the man's shoulder, and cuffs and lugs
its father as the mother did, and is chidden by her
and kissed by him. And all the babbling of their
chiding and crowing and laughter comes across the
babbling of the brook to the ears of the old gaffers
gossiping on the wall.
Gaffer I. spits out an over-munched stalk of
meadow soft-grass, and speaks:
D' ye see yon chap?"
Gaffer II. takes up his hat and wipes it round with
a spotted handkerchief (for your Sunday hat is a
heating thing for work-day wear) and puts it on, and
makes reply:
"Aye. But he beats me. And -see thee -he 's
t' first that's beat me yet. Why, lad! I've met
young chaps to-day I could ha' sworn to for mates
of mine forty year back if I had n't ha' been i' t'
churchyard spelling over their fathers' tumstuns! "
"Aye. There's a many old standards gone home
o' lately."
What do they call him "
T'young chap?"
They call him Darwin."
"Dar win? I should know a Darwin. They're
old standards, is Darwins. What's he to Daddy
Darwin of t' Dovecot yonder? "


"He owns t' Dovecot. Did ye see t' lass?"
"Aye. Shoo's his missus, I reckon?"
"What did they call her? "
"Phoebe Shaw they called her. And if she'd been
my lass but that's another here nor there, and he's
got t' Dovecot."
Shaw? They're old standards, is Shaws. Phoebe?
They called her mother Phcebe. Phcebe Johnson.
She were a dainty lass! My father were very fond
of Phoebe Johnson. He said she allus put him i'
mind of our orchard on drying days; pink and
white apple-blossom and clean clothes. And yon's
her daughter? Where d' ye say t' young chap come
from? He don't look like hereabouts."
He don't come from hereabouts. And yet he do
come from hereabouts, as one may say. Look ye
here. He come from t' wukhus. That's the short
and the long of it."
The workhouse?"
Stupefaction. The crows chattering wildly over-
And he owns Darwin's Dovecot? "
He owns Darwin's Dovecot."
And how i' t' name o' all things did that come
about? "
"Why, I '11 tell thee. It was i' this fashion."

Not without reason does the wary writer put gossip


in the mouths of gaffers rather than of gammers.
Male gossips love scandal as dearly as female gossips
do, and they bring to it the stronger relish and ener-
gies of their sex. But these were country gaffers,
whose speech like shadows grows lengthy in the
leisurely hours of eventide. The gentle reader shall
have the tale in plain narration.

NOTE. It will be plain to the reader that the birds here described
are Rooks (corvus p7 ',-..' -..' I have allowed myself to speak of
them by their generic or family name of Crow, this being a common
country practice. The genus corvus, or Crow, includes the Raven, the
Carrion Crow, the Hooded Crow, the Jackdaw, and the Rook.


NE Saturday night (some eighteen
years earlier than the date of this
gaffer- gossiping) the parson's
daughter sat in her own
room before the open
drawer of a bandy-legged
Black oak table, balancing
Sh/er bags. The bags were
S-- money-bags, and the mat-
f ter shall be made clear at
In this parish, as in
others, progress and the
multiplication of weapons with which civilization and
the powers of goodness push their conquests over
brutality and the powers of evil, had added to the
original duties of the parish priest, a multifarious and
all but impracticable variety of offices; which, in ordi-
nary and laic conditions, would have been performed
by several more or less salaried clerks, bankers, ac-
countants, secretaries, librarians, club-committees,
teachers, lecturers, discount-for-ready-money dealers
in clothing, boots, blankets, and coal, domestic-ser-


vant agencies, caterers for the public amusement, and
preservers of the public-peace.
The country parson (no less than statesmen and
princes, than men of science and of letters) is respon-
sible for a great deal of his work that is really done
by the help-mate woman. This explains why five
out of the young lady's money-bags bore the follow-
ing inscriptions in marking-ink: Savings bank,"
"Clothing club," Library," Magazines and hymn-
books," Three-halfpenny club ;" and only three
bore reference to private funds, as "House-money,"
"Allowance," Charity."
It was the bag bearing this last and greatest name
which the parson's daughter now seized and emptied
into her lap. A ten-shilling piece, some small silver,
and two-pence halfpenny jingled together, and roused
a silver-haired, tawny-pawed terrier, who left the
hearthrug and came to smell what was the matter.
His mistress's right hand absently caressing -
quieted his feelings; and with the left she held the
ten-shilling piece between finger and thumb, and
gazed thoughtfully at the other bags as they squatted
in a helpless row, with twine-tied mouths hanging on
all sides. It was only after anxious consultation with
an account-book that the half sovereign was ex-
changed for silver; thanks to the clothing-club bag,
which looked leaner for the accommodation. In
the three-halfpenny bag (which bulged with pence)
some silver was further solved into copper, and the
charity bag was handsomely distended before the


whole lot was consigned once more to the table-
Any one accustomed to book-keeping must smile
at this bag-keeping of accounts; but the parson's
daughter could never bring her mind" to keeping
the funds apart on paper, and mixing the actual cash.
Indeed, she could never have brought her conscience
to it. Unless she had taken the tenth for charity"
from her dress and pocket-money in coin, and put it
then and there into the charity bag, this self-imposed
rule of the duty of almsgiving would not have been
performed to her soul's peace.
The problem which had been exercising her mind
that Saturday night was how to spend what was left
of her benevolent fund in a treat for the children of
the neighboring workhouse. The fund was low, and
this had decided the matter. The following Wednes-
day would be her twenty-first birthday. If the chil-
dren came to tea with her, the foundation of the
entertainment would, in the natural course of things,
be laid in the Vicarage kitchen. The charity bag
would provide the extras of the feast, nuts, toys,
and the like.
When the parson's daughter locked the drawer of
the bandy-legged table, she did so with the vigor of
one who has made up her mind, and set about the
rest of her Saturday night's duties without further
She put out her Sunday clothes, and her Bible and
Prayer-book, and class-book and pencil, on the oak


chest at the foot of the bed. She brushed and
combed the silver-haired terrier, who looked abjectly
depressed whilst this was doing, and preposterously
proud when it was ,done. She washed her own hair,
and studied her Sunday-school lesson for the morrow
whilst it was drying. She spread a colored quilt at
the foot of her white one, for the terrier to sleep on-
a slur which he always deeply resented.
Then she went to bed, and slept as one ought to
sleep on Saturday night, who is bound, to be at the
Sunday School by 9.15 on the following morning,
with a clear mind on the Rudiments of the Faith, the
history of the Prophet Elisha, and the destination of
each of the parish magazines.


,%, ATHERLESS mother-
/ y less homeless !
A little workhouse
S boy, with a swarthy
face and tidily-cropped
black hair, as short
--- and thick as the fur of
a mole, was grubbing,
not quite so cleverly
-- as a mole, in the work-
house garden.
',. ',1.. He had been set to
4. weed, but the weeding
S'1 was very irregularly
Sl / performed, for his eyes
and heart were in the
7' clouds, as he could
see them over the big
boundary wall. For
there-now dark against the white, now white against
the gray- some Air Tumbler pigeons were turning
summersaults on their homeward way, at such short
and regular intervals that they seemed to be tying
knots in their lines of flight.


It was too much! The small gardener shamelessly
abandoned his duties, and, curving his dirty paws on
each side of his mouth, threw his whole soul into
shouting words of encouragement to the distant
"That's a good un! On with thee! Over ye go!
Oo-ooray! "
It was this last prolonged cheer which drowned the
sound of footsteps on the path behind him, so that if
he had been a tumbler pigeon himself he could not
have jumped more nimbly when a man's hand fell
upon his shoulder. Up went his arms to shield his
ears from a well-merited cuffing; but Fate was kinder
to him than he deserved. It was only an old man
(prematurely aged with drink and consequent pov-
erty), whose faded eyes seemed to rekindle as he
also gazed after the pigeons, and spoke as one who
"Yon's Daddy Darwin's Tumblers."
This old pauper had only lately come into "the
House" (the house that never was a home!), and
the boy clung eagerly to his flannel sleeve, and plied
him thick and fast with questions about the world
without the workhouse walls, and about the happy
owner of those yet happier creatures who were free
not only on the earth, but in the skies.
The poor old pauper was quite as willing to talk as
the boy was to listen. It restored some of that self-
respect which we lose under the consequences of our
follies to be able to say that Daddy Darwin and he


had been mates together, and had had pigeon-fancying
in common many a long year afore" he came into
the House.
And so these two made friendship over such mat-
ters as will bring man and boy together to the end of
time. And the old pauper waxed eloquent on the
feats of Homing Birds and Tumblers, and on the
points of Almonds and Barbs, Fantails and Pouters;
sprinkling his narrative also with high-sounding and
heterogeneous titles, such as Dragons and Archan-
gels, Blue Owls and Black Priests, Jacobines, English
Horsemen and Trumpeters. And through much
boasting of the high stakes he had had on this and
that pigeon-match then, and not a few bitter com-
plaints of the harsh hospitality of the House he had
come to" now,-it never seemed to occur to him to
connect the two, or to warn the lad who hung upon
his lips that one cannot eat his cake with the rash
appetites of youth, and yet hope to have it for the
support and nourishment of his old age.
The longest story the old man told was of a "bit
of a trip" he had made to Liverpool, to see some
Antwerp Carriers flown from thence to Ghent, and he
fixed the date of this by remembering that his twin
sons were born in his absence, and that though their
birthday was the very day of the race, his missus
turned stoopid," as women (he warned the boy) are
apt to do, and refused to have them christened by
uncommon names connected with the fancy. All the
same, he bet the lads would have been nicknamed the


Antwerp Carriers, and known as such to the day of
their death, if this had not come so soon and so sud-
denly, of croup; when (as it oddly chanced) he was
off on another bit of a holiday" to fly some pigeons
of his own in Lincolnshire.
This tale had not come to an end when a voice of
authority called for" Jack March," who rubbed his
mole-like head and went ruefully off, muttering that
he should catch it now."
Sure enough! sure enough! chuckled the un-
amiable old pauper.
But again Fate was kinder to the lad than his friend.
His negligent weeding passed unnoticed, because he
was wanted in a hurry to join the other children in
the school-room. The parson's daughter had come,
the children were about to sing to her, and Jack's
voice could not be dispensed with.
He cleaned himself" with alacrity, and taking his
place in the circle of boys standing with their hands
behind their backs, he lifted up a voice worthy of
a cathedral choir, whilst varying the monotony of
sacred song by secretly snatching at the tail of the
terrier as it went snuffing round the legs of the group.
And in this feat he proved as much superior to the
rest of the boys (who also tried it) as he excelled
them in the art of singing.
Later on he learnt that the young lady had come
to invite them all to have tea with her on her birth-
day. Later still he found the old pauper once more,
and questioned him closely about the village and the


Vicarage, and as to which of the parishioners kept
pigeons, and where.
And when he went to his straw bed that night, and
his black head throbbed with visions and high hopes,
these were not entirely of the honor of drinking tea
with a pretty young lady, and how one should behave

t; ( '''* ; '* i

himself in such abashing circumstances. He did not
even dream principally of the possibility of getting
hold of that silver-haired, tawny-pawed dog by the
tail under freer conditions than those of this after-
noon, though that was a refreshing thought.


What kept him long awake was thinking of this.
From the top of an old walnut-tree at the top of a
field at the back of the Vicarage, you could see a hill,
and on the top of the hill some farm buildings. And
it was here (so the old pauper had told him) that
those pretty pigeons lived, who, though free to play
about among the clouds, yet condescended to make
an earthly home in Daddy Darwin's Dovecot.


O and two, girls and
boys the young lady's
guests marched down
to the Vicarage. The
< Ischool- mistress was
S anxious that each
should carry his and
her tin mfig, so as to give as little trouble as possible;
but this was resolutely declined, much to the chil-
dren's satisfaction, who had their walk with free
hands, and their tea out of teacups and saucers like
anybody else.
It was a fine day, and all went well. The children
enjoyed themselves, and behaved admirably into the
"bargain. There was only one suspicion of miscon-
duct, and the matter was so far from clear that the
parson's daughter hushed it 4up, and, so to speak, dis-
missed the case.
The children were playing at some game in which
Jack March was supposed to excel, but when they
came to look for him he could nowhere be found.
At last he was discovered, high up among the
branches of an old walnut-tree at the top of the field,
and though his hands were unstained and his pockets


empty, the gardener, who had been the first to spy
him, now loudly denounced him as an ungrateful
young thief. Jack, with swollen eyes and cheeks be-
smirched with angry tears, was vehemently declaring
that he had only climbed the tree to have a look
at Master Darwin's pigeons," and had not picked so
much as a leaf, let alone a walnut; and the gardener,
"shaking the truth out of him" by the collar of his
fustian jacket, was preaching loudly on the sin of
adding falsehood to theft, when the parson's daughter
came up, and, in the end, acquitted poor Jack, and
gave him leave to amuse himself as he pleased.
It did not please Jack to play with his comrades
just then. He felt sulky and aggrieved. He would
have liked to play with the terrier who had stood by
him in his troubles, and barked at the gardener; but
that little friend now trotted after his mistress, who
had gone to choir'-practice.
Jack wandered about among the shrubberies.
By-and-by he heard sounds of music, and led by
these he came to a gate in a wall, dividing the Vicar-
age garden from the churchyard. Jack loved music,
and the organ and the voices drew him on till he
reached the church porch; but there he was startled
by a voice that was not only not the voice of song,
but was the utterance of a moan so doleful that it
seemed the outpouring of all his own lonely, and out-
cast, and injured feelings in orie comprehensive howl.
It was the voice of the silver-haired terrier. He
was sitting in the porch, his nose up, his ears down,


his eyes shut, his mouth open, bewailing in bitterness
of spirit the second and greater crook of his lot.
To what purpose were all the caresses and care
and indulgence of his mistress, the daily walks, the
weekly washings and combings, the constant com-
panionship, when she betrayed her abiding sense of
his inferiority, first, by not letting him sleep on the
white quilt, and secondly, by never allowing him to
go to church?
Jack shared the terrier's mood. What were tea and
plum-cake to him, when his pauper-breeding was
so stamped upon him that the gardener was free to
say -" A nice tale too! What's thou to do wi' doves,
and thou a work'us lad? "-and to take for granted
that he would thieve and lie if he got the chance?
His disabilities were not the dog's, however. The
parish church was his as well as another's, and he
crept inside and leaned against one of the stone pil-
lars, as if it were a big, calm friend.
Far away, under the transept, a group of boys and
men held their music near to their faces in the waning
light. Among them towered the burly choir-master,
baton in hand. The parson's daughter was at the
organ. Well accustomed to produce his voice to
good purpose, the choir-master's words were clearly
to be heard throughout the building, and it was on
the subject of articulation and emphasis, and the like,
that he was speaking; now and then throwing in an
extra aspirate in the energy of that enthusiasm with-
out which teaching is not worth the name.


"That'll not do. We must have it altogether dif-
ferent. You two lads are singing like bumble-bees
in a pitcher order there, boys it's no laughing
matter put down those papers and keep your
eyes on me inflate the chest (his own seemed
to fill the field of vision) "and try and give forth
those noble words as if you'd an idea what they
No satire was intended or taken here, but the two
boys, who were practising their duet in an anthem,
laid down the music, and turned their eyes on their
"I'11 run through the recitative," he added, and
take your time from the stick. And mind that OH."
The parson's daughter struck a chord, and then
the burly choir-master spoke with the voice of
melody, -
My heart is disquieted within me. My heart-
my heart is disquieted within me. And the fear of
death is fallen is fallen upon me."
The terrier moaned without, and Jack thought no
boy's voice could be worth listening to after that of
the choir-master. But he was wrong. A few more.
notes from the organ, and then, as night-stillness
in a wood is broken by the nightingale, so upon
the silence of the church a boy-alto's voice broke
forth in obedience to the choir-master's uplifted
Then, I said I said "
Jack gasped, but even as he strained his eyes to


see what such a singer could look like, with higher,
clearer notes the soprano rose above him Then
I sa-a-id," and the duet began:
OH, that I had wings Oh, that I had wings like
a dove!"
Soprano.-"Then would I flee away." Alto.-
"Then would I flee away." Together. And be at
rest -flee away and be at rest."
The clear young voices soared and chased each
other among the arches, as if on the very pinions for
which they prayed. Then--swept from their seats
by an upward sweep of the choir-master's arms--
the chorus rose as birds rise, and carried on the
It was not a very fine composition, but this final
chorus had the singular charm of fugue. And as
the voices mourned like doves, "Oh, that I had
wings! and pursued each other with the plaintive
passage, "Then would I flee away then would I
flee away--," Jack's ears knew no weariness of the
repetition. It was strangely like watching the rising
and falling of Daddy Darwii's pigeons, as they tossed
themselves by turns upon their homeward flight.
After the fashion of the piece and period, the cho-
rus was repeated, and the singers rose to supreme
effort. The choir-master's hands flashed hither and
thither, controlling, inspiring, directing. He sang
among the tenors.
Jack's voice nearly choked him with longing to
sing too. Could words of man go more deeply


home to a young heart caged within workhouse
Oh, that I had wings like a dove Then would
I flee awa~y-" the choir-master's white hands were
fluttering downwards in the dusk, and the chorus
sank with them -" flee away and be at rest!"


ACK MARCH had a busy lit-
S tie brain, and his nature was
r' not of the limp type that sits
Down with a grief. That most
memorable tea party had
fired his soul with two dis-
tinct ambitions. First, to be
a choirboy; and, secondly,
a -l._ the to dwell in Daddy Darwin's
5// Dovecot. He turned the
matter over in his mind, and
patched together the following facts:
The Board of Guardians meant to apprentice him,
Jack, to some master, at the earliest opportunity.
Daddy Darwin (so the old pauper told him) was a
strange old man, who had come down in the world,
and now lived quite alone, with not a soul to help
him in the house or outside it. He was not to say
mazelin yet, but getting helpless, and uncommon
A nephew came one fine day and fetched away
the old pauper, to his great delight. It was by their
hands that Jack despatched a letter, which the


nephew stamped and posted for him, and which was
duly delivered on the following morning to Mr. Dar-
win of the Dovecot.
The old man had no correspondents, and he looked
long-at the letter before he opened it. It did credit
to the teaching of the workhouse school-mistress:

They call me Jack March. I 'm a workhouse lad,
but, Sir, I'm a good one, and the Board means to 'prentice me
next time. Sir, if you face the Board and take me out you shall
never regret it. Though I says it as should n't I'm a handy lad.
I 'll clean a floor with any one, and am willing to work early and
late, and at your time of life you're not what you was, and them
birds must take a deal of seeing to. I can see them from the
garden when I 'm set to weed, and I never saw nought like
them. Oh, Sir, I do beg and pray you let me mind your pig-.
eons. You'll be none the worse of a lad about the place, and
I shall be happy all the days of my life. Sir, I'm not unthank-,
ful, but, please GOD, I should like to have a home, and to be
with them house doves.
From your humble servant hoping to be -

Mr. Darwin, Sir. I love them Tumblers as if they was
my own."

Daddy Darwin thought hard and thought long
over that letter. He changed his mind fifty times
a day. But Friday was the Board day, and when
Friday came he faced the Board." And the lit-
tle workhouse lad went home to Daddy Darwin's

^ A ] ] 5 ."

"Daddy Darwin faces the Board." -Page 27.


< HE bargain was oddly
made, but it worked
Swell. Whatever Jack's
parentage may have
been (and he was
named after the stormy
month" in which he had
been born), the blood that ran in his veins could not
have been beggars' blood. There was no hopeless,
shiftless, invincible idleness about him. He found
work for himself when it was not given him to do,
and he attached himself passionately and proudly to
all the belongings of his new home.
Yon lad of yours seems handy enough, Daddy, -
for a vagrant, as one may say."
Daddy Darwin was smoking over his garden wall,
and Mrs. Shaw, from the neighboring farm, had
paused in her walk for a chat. She was a notable
housewife', and there was just a touch of envy in her
sense of the improved appearance of the doorsteps


and other visible points of the Dovecot. Daddy
Darwin took his pipe out of his mouth to make way
for the force of his reply:
Vagrant! Nay, missus, yon'sno vagrant. He's
fettling up all along. Jack's the sort that if he finds
a key he '11 look for the lock; if ye give him a knife-
blade he'll fashion'a heft. Why, a vagrant's a chap
that, if he'd all your master owns to-morrow, he'd
be on the tramp again afore t' year were out, and
three years would n't repair t' mischief he'd leave be-
hind him. A vagrant's a chap that if ye lend him
a thing he loses it; if ye give him a thing he abuses
That's true enough, and there's plenty servant-
girls the same," put in Mrs. Shaw.
Maybe there be, ma'am maybe there be; va-
grants' children, I reckon. But yon little chap I got
from t' House comes of folk that's had stuff o' their
own, and cared for it choose who they were."
"Well, Daddy," said his neighbor, not without
malice, I '11 wish you a good evening. You've got
a good bargain out of the parish, it seems."
But Daddy Darwin only chuckled, and stirred up
the ashes in the bowl of his pipe.
"The same to you, ma'am-the same to you.
Ay! he's a good bargain a very good bargain is
Jack March."
It might be supposed from the foregoing dialogue
that Daddy Darwin was a model householder, and
the little workhouse boy the neatest creature breath-


ing: But the gentle reader who may imagine this is
much mistaken.
Daddy Darwin's Dovecot was freehold, and when
he inherited it from his father there was still attached
to it a good bit of the land that had passed from
father to son through more generations than the
church registers were old enough to record. But the
few remaining acres were so heavily mortgaged that
they had to be sold. So that a bit of house property
elsewhere, and the old homestead itself, were all that
was left. And Daddy Darwin had never been the
sort of man to retrieve his luck at home, or to seek it
That he had inherited a somewhat higher and more
refined nature than his neighbors had rather hindered
than helped him to prosper. And he had been un-
lucky in love. When what energies he had were in
their prime, his father's death left him with such poor
prospects that the old farmer to whose daughter he
was betrothed broke off the match and married her
elsewhere. His Alice was not long another man's
wife. She died within a year from her wedding-day,
and her husband married again within a year from
her death. Her old lover was no better able to mend
his broken heart than his broken fortunes. He only
banished women from the Dovecot, and shut himself
up from the coarse consolation of his neighbors.
In this loneliness, eating a kindly heart out in
bitterness of spirit, with all that he ought to have
had -


To plough and sow
And reap and mow -
gone from him; and in the hands of strangers, the
pigeons, for which the Dovecot had always been fa-
mous, became the business and the pleasure of his
life. But of late years his stock had dwindled, and
he rarely went to pigeon-matches or competed in
shows and races. A more miserable fancy rivalled
his interest in pigeon fancying. His new hobby was
hoarding; and money that, a few years back, he
would have freely spent to improve his breed of
Tumblers or back his Homing Birds he now added
with stealthy pleasure to the store behind the secret
panel of a fine old oak bedstead that had belonged
to the Darwyn who owned Dovecot when the six-
teenth century was at its latter end. In this bedstead
Daddy slept lightly of late, as old men will, and he
had horrid dreams, which old men need not have.
The queer faces carved on the panels (one of which
hid the money hole) used to frighten him when he
was a child. They did not frighten him now by their
grotesque ugliness, but when he looked at them, and
knew whick was which, he dreaded the dying out of
twilight into dark, and dreamed of aged men living
alone, who had been murdered for their savings.
These growing fears had had no small share in de-
ciding him to try Jack March; and to see the lad
growing stronger, nimbler, and more devoted to his
master's interests day by day, was a nightly comfort
to the poor old hoarder in the bed-head.


As to his keen sense of Jack's industry and care-
fulness, it was part of the incompleteness of Daddy
Darwin's nature, and the ill-luck of his career, that he
had a sensitive perception of order and beauty, and
a shrewd observation of ways of living and qualities
of character, and yet had allowed his early troubles
to blight him so completely that he never put forth
an effort to rise above the ruin, of which he was at
least as, conscious as his neighbors.
That Jack was not the neatest creature breathing,
one look at him, as he stood with pigeons on his
head and arms and shoulders, would have been
enough to prove. As the first and readiest repudia-
tion of his workhouse antecedents he had let his hair
grow till it hung in the wildest elf-locks, and though
the terms of his service with Daddy Darwin would
not, in any case, have provided him with handsome
clothes, such as he had were certainly not the better
for any attention he bestowed upon them. As re-
garded the Dovecot, however, Daddy Darwin had
not done more than justice to his bargain. A strong
and grateful attachment to his master, and a pas-
sionate love for the pigeons he tended, kept Jack
constantly busy in the service of both; the old
pigeon-fancier taught him the benefits of scrupulous
cleanliness in the pigeon-cot, and Jack "stoned"
the kitchen-floor and the doorsteps on his own
The time did come when he tidied up himself.


ADDY DARWIN had made the first breach
in his solitary life of his
own free will but it was
S" fated to widen.
SThe parson's
S/ \ daughter soon
Heard that he
,l' had got a lad

I house, the very
Sboy who sang
1d so well and had
S S climbed the
.- .._ I .walnut-tree to
look at Daddy
Darwin's pigeons. The most obvious parish ques-
tions at once presented themselves to the young
lady's mind. Had the boy been christened? Did
he go to Church and Sunday-school? Did he say
his prayers and know his Catechism? Had he a
Sunday suit? Would he do for the choir? "
Then, supposing (a not uncommon case) that the
boy had been christened, said he said his prayers,
knew his Catechism, and was ready for school, church,


and choir, but had not got a Sunday suit a fresh
series of riddles propounded themselves to her busy
brain. Would her father yield up his every-day
coat and take his Sunday one into week-day wear?
Could the charity bag do better than pay the tailor's
widow for adapting this old coat to the new chorister's
back, taking it in at the seams, turning it wrong-
side out, and getting new sleeves out of the old tails?
Could she herself spare the boots which the village
cobbler had just resoled for her-somewhat clumsily
and would the allowance bag bear this strain?
Might she hope to coax an old pair of trousers out
of her cousin, who was spending his Long Vacation
at the Vicarage, and who never reckoned very closely
with his allowance, and kept no charity bag at all?
Lastly, would that old curmudgeon at the Dovecot"
let his little farm-boy go to church and school and
I must go and persuade him," said the young lady.
What she said, and what (at the time) Daddy Dar-
win said, Jack never knew. He was at high sport with
the terrier round the big sweetbrier bush, when he
saw his old master splitting the seams of his weather-
beaten coat in the haste with which he plucked crim-
son clove carnations, as if they had been dandelions,
and presented them, not ungracefully, to the parson's
Jack knew why she had come, and strained his ears
to catch his own name. But Daddy Darwin was
promising pipings of the cloves.


"They are such dear old-fashioned things," said
she, burying her nose in the bunch.
"We're old-fashioned altogether, here, Miss," said
Daddy Darwin, looking wistfully at the tumble-down
house behind them.
"You're very pretty here," said she, looking also,
and thinking what a sketch it would make, if she
could keep on friendly terms with this old recluse,
and get leave to sit in the garden. Then her con-
science smiting her for selfishness, she turned her big
eyes on him and put out her small hand.
"I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Darwin,
very much obliged to you indeed. And I hope that
Jack will do credit to your kindness. And thank you
so much for the cloves," she added, hastily changing
a subject which had cost some argument, and which
she did not wish to have reopened.
Daddy Darwin had thoughts of reopening it. He
was slowly getting his ideas together to say that the
lad should see how he got along with the school
before trying the choir, when he found the young
lady's hand in his, and had to take care not to hurt
it, whilst she rained thanks on him for the flowers.
You're freely welcome, Miss," was what he did
say after all.
In the evening, however, he was very moody, but
Jack was dying of curiosity, and at last could contain
himself no longer.
"What did Miss Jenny want, Daddy?" he asked.
The old man looked very grim.


First to mak a fool of me, and i' t' second place to
mak a fool of thee," was his reply. And he added
with pettish emphasis, They're all alike, gentle and
simple. Lad, lad! If ye'd have any peace of your
life never let a woman's foot across your threshold.
Steek t' door of your house if ye own one and
t' door o' your heart if ye own one and then
ye'll never rue. Look at this coat! "
And the old man went grumpily to bed, and
dreamed that Miss Jenny had put her little foot over
his threshold, and that he had shown her the secret
panel,' and let her take away his savings.
And Jack went to bed, and dreamed that he went
to school, and showed himself to Phcebe Shaw in his
Sunday suit.
This dainty little damsel had long been making
havoc in Jack's heart. The attraction must have
been one of contrast, for whereas Jack was black
and grubby, and had only week-day clothes -which
were ragged at that Phcebe was fair, and exquisitely
clean, and quite terribly tidy. Her mother was the
neatest woman in the parish. It was she who was
wont to say to her trembling handmaid, I hope I
can black a grate without blacking myself." But
little Phoebe promised so far to outdo her mother,
that it seemed doubtful if she could black herself"
if she tried. Only the bloom of childhood -could
have resisted the polishing effects of yellow soap, as
Phoebe's brow and cheeks did resist it. Her shining
hair was compressed into a plait that would have


done credit to a rope-maker. Her pinafores were
speckless, and as to her white Whitsun frock Jack
could think of nothing the least like Phoebe in that,
except a snowy fantail strutting about the dovecot
roof; and, to say the truth, the likeness was most
It has been shown that Jack March had a mind to
be master of his fate, and he did succeed in making
friends with little Phcebe Shaw. This was before Miss
Jenny's visit, but the incident shall be recorded here.
Early on Sunday mornings it was Jack's custom to
hide his work-day garb in an angle of the ivy-covered
wall of the Dovecot garden, only letting his head
appear over the top, from whence he watched to see
Phoebe pass on her way to Sunday-school, and to
bewilder himself with the sight of her starched frock,
Sand her airs with her Bible and Prayer-book, and class
card, and clean pocket-handkerchief.
Now, amongst the rest of her Sunday parapher-
nalia, Phoebe always carried a posy, made up with
herbs and some strong-smelling flowers. Country-
women take mint and southernwood to a long hot
service, as fine ladies take smelling-bottles (for it is a
pleasant delusion with some writers, that the weaker
sex is a strong sex in the working classes). And
though Phoebe did not suffer from fainty feels like
her mother, she and her little playmates took posies
to Sunday-school, and refreshed their nerves in the
steam of question and answer, and hair-oil and cor-
duroy, with all the airs of their elders.


One day she lost her posy on her way to school,
and her loss was Jack's opportunity. He had been
waiting half-an-hour among the ivy, when he saw her
just below him, fuzzling round and round like a kitten
chasing its tail. He sprang to the top of the wall.
Have ye lost something? he gasped.
My posy," said poor Phoebe, lifting her sweet
eyes, which were full of tears.
A second spring brought Jack into the dust at her
feet, where he searched most faithfully, and was
wandering along the path by which she had come,
when she called him back.
"Never mind," said she. "They'll most likely
be dusty by now."
Jack was not used to think the worse of anything
for a coating of dust; but he paused, trying to solve
the perpetual problem of his situation, and find out
what the little maid really wanted.
"'Twas only Old Man and marygolds," said she.
"They're common enough."
A light illumined Jack's understanding.
'4 We've Old Man i' plenty; wait, and I'11 get thee
a fresh posy." And he began to reclimb the wall.
But Phoebe drew nearer. She stroked down her
frock, and spoke mincingly but confidentially. My
mother says Daddy Darwin has red bergamot i' his
garden. We've none i' ours. My mother always
says there's nothing like red bergamot to take to
church. She says it's a deal more refreshing than
Old Man, and not so common. My mother says


she's always meaning to ask Daddy Darwin to let
us have a root to set; but she doesn't often see
him, and when she does she doesn't think on. But
she always says there's nothing like red bergamot;
and my Aunt Nancy, she says the same."
"Red is it?" cried Jack. "You wait there, love."
And before Phcebe could say him nay, he was over
the wall and back again with his arms full.
"Is it any o' this lot?" he inquired, dropping a
small haycock of flowers at her feet.
"Don't ye know one from t' other?" asked Phcebe,
with round eyes of reproach. And spreading her
clean kerchief on the grass she laid her Bible and
Prayer-book and class card on it, and set vigorously
and nattily to work, picking one flower and another
from the fragrant confusion, nipping the stalks to
even lengths, rejecting withered leaves, and instruct-
ing Jack as she proceeded.
"I suppose ye know a rose? That's a double
velvet.1 They dry sweeter than lavender for linen.
These dark red things is pheasants' eyes; but, dear,
dear, what a lad! ye've dragged it up by the roots!
And eh! what will Master Darwin say when he misses
these pink hollyhocks? And only in bud, too!
There's red bergamot; 2 smell it! "
It had barely touched Jack's willing nose when it
was hastily withdrawn. Phoebe had caught sight of

SDouble Velvet, an old summer rose, not common now. It is de-
scribed by Parkinson.
2 Red Bergamot, or Twinflower. Afonarda Didyma.


Polly and Susan Smith coming to school, and crying
that she should be late and must run, the little maid
picked up her paraphernalia (not forgetting the red
bergamot), and fled down the lane. And Jack, with

equal haste, snatched up the tell-tale heap of flowers
and threw them into a disused pigsty, where it was
unlikely that Daddy Darwin would go to look for his
poor pink hollyhocks.


ZI'RIL was a busy
"- ,'' month in the Dove-
cot. Young birds
.-I .' were chipping the
".-- '. egg, parent birds
were feeding their
young or relieving each other on the nest, and Jack
and his master were constantly occupied and excited.
One night Daddy Darwin went to bed; but, though
he was tired, he did not sleep long. He had sold
a couple of handsome but quarrelsome pigeons to
advantage, and had added their price to the hoard in
the bed-head. 'This had renewed his old fears, for
the store was becoming very valuable; and he won-
dered if it had really escaped Jack's quick observa-
tion, or whether the boy knew about it, and, perhaps,
talked about it. As he lay and worried himself he
fancied he heard sounds without the sound of foot-
steps and of voices. Then his heart beat till he could
hear nothing else; then he could undoubtedly hear
nothing at all; then he certainly heard something
which probably was rats. And so he lay in a cold


sweat, and pulled the rug over his face, and made up
his mind to give the money to the parson, for the
poor, if he was spared till daylight.
He was spared till daylight, and had recovered
himself, and settled to leave the money where it was,
when Jack rushed in from the pigeon-house with a
face of dire dismay. He made one or two futile
efforts to speak, and then unconsciously used the
words Shakespeare has put into the mouth of Mac-
duff, All my pretty 'uns and so burst into tears.
And when the old man made his way to the pigeon-
house, followed by poor Jack, he found that the eggs
were cold and the callow young shivering in deserted
nests, and that every bird was gone. And then he
remembered the robbers, and was maddened by the
thought that whilst he lay expecting thieves to break
in and steal his money he had let them get safely off
with his whole stock of pigeons.
Daddy Darwin had never taken up arms against
his troubles, and this one crushed him. The fame
and beauty of his house-doves were all that was left
of prosperity about the place, and now there was
nothing left-nothing! Below this dreary thought
lay a far more bitter one, which he dared not confide
to Jack. He had heard the robbers; he might have
frightened them away; he might at least have given
the lad a chance to save his pets, and not a care had
crossed his mind except for the safety of his own old
bones, and of those miserable savings in the bed-head,
which he was enduring so much to scrape together


(oh satire!) for a distant connection whom he had
never seen. He crept back to the kitchen, and
dropped in a heap upon the settle, and muttered to
himself. Then his thoughts wandered. Supposing
the pigeons were gone for good, would he ever make
up his mind to take that money out of the money-
hole, and buy a fresh stock? He knew he never
would, and shrank into a meaner heap upon the settle
as he said so to himself. He did not like to look his
faithful lad in the face.
Jack looked him in the face, and, finding no help
there, acted pretty promptly behind his back. He
roused the parish constable, and fetched that func-
tionary to the Dovecot before he had had bite or
sup to break his fast. He spread a meal for him and
Daddy, and borrowed the Shaws' light cart whilst
they were eating it. The Shaws were good farmer-
folk, they sympathized most fully; and Jack was glad
of a few words of pity from Phcebe., She said she
had watched the pretty pets many a score of times,"
which comforted more than one of. Jack's heart-
strings. Phcebe's mother paid respect to his sense
and promptitude. He had acted exactly as she
would have done.
"Daddy was right enough about yon lad," she
admitted. He's not one to let the grass grow
under his feet."
And she gave him a good breakfast whilst the
horse was being put to." It pleased her that Jack
jumped up and left half a delicious cold tea-cake


behind him when the cart-wheels grated outside.
Mrs. Shaw sent Phcebe to put the cake in his pocket,
and the" Maester" helped Jack in and took the reins.
He said he would see Daddy Darwin through it,"
and added the weight of his opinion to that of the
constable, that the pigeons had been taken to "a
beastly low-place" (as he put it) that had lately been
set up for pigeon-shooting in the outskirts of the
neighboring town.
They paused no longer at the Dovecot than was
needed to hustle Daddy Darwin on to the seat beside
Master Shaw, and for Jack to fill his pockets with
peas, and take his place beside the constable. He
had certain ideas of his own on the matter, which
were not confused by the jog-trot of the light cart,
which did give a final jumble to poor Daddy Darwin's
No wonder they were jumbled! The terrors of
the night past, the shock of the morning, the com-
pleteness of the loss, the piteous sight in the pigeon-
house, remorseful shame, and then after all these
years, during which he had not gone half a mile from
his own hearthstone-to be set up for all the world
to see, on the front seat of a market-cart, back to
back with the parish constable, and jogged off as if
miles were nothing, and crowded streets were nothing,
and the Beaulieu Gardens were nothing; Master
Shaw talking away as easily as if they were sitting in
two arm-chairs, and making no movie of "stepping
into a lawyer's office, and going on to the Town


Hall, than if he were talking of stepping up to his
own bedchamber or going out into the garden!
That day passed like a dream, and Daddy Darwin
remembered what happened in it as one remembers
visions of the night.
He had a vision (a very unpleasing vision) of the
proprietor of the Beaulieu Gardens, a big greasy man,
with sinister eyes very close together, and a hook
nose, and a heavy watch-chain, and a bullying voice.
He browbeat the constable very soon, and even
bullied Master Shaw into silence. No help was to be
had from him in his loud indignation at being sup-
posed to traffic with thieves. When he turned the
tables by talking of slander, loss of time, and com-
pensation, Daddy Darwin smelt money, and trem-
blingly whispered to Master S.haw to apologize and
get out of it. "They're gone for good," he almost
sobbed; "gone for good, like all t' rest! And I'll
not be long after 'em."
But even as he spoke he heard a sound which made
him lift up his head. It was Jack's call at feeding-
time to the pigeons at the Dovecot. And quick
following on this most musical and most familiar
sound there came another. The old man put both
his lean hands behind his ears to be sure that he
heard it aright the sound of wings the wings
of a dove!
The other men heard it and ran in. Whilst they
were wrangling, Jack had slipped past them, and had
made his way into a wired enclosure in front of the


pigeon-house. And there they found him, with all
the captive pigeons coming to his call; flying, flut-
tering, strutting, nestling from head to foot of him,
he scattering peas like hail.
He was the first to speak, and not a choke in his
voice. His iron temperament was at white heat, and,
as he afterwards said, he cared no more for yon dirty
chap wi' the big nose, nor if he were a ratten I in a
"These is ours," he said shortly. I'11 count 'em
over, and see if they're right. There was only one
young 'un that could fly. A white 'un." ("It's
here," interpolated Master Shaw.) "I'll pack 'em
i' yon," and Jack turned his thumb to a heap of
hampers in a corner. "T' carrier can leave t' bas-
kets at t' toll-bar next Saturday, and ye may send
your lad for 'em, if ye keep one."
The proprietor of the Beaulieu Gardens was not
a man easily abashed, but most of the pigeons were
packed before he had fairly resumed his previous
powers of speech. Then, as Master Shaw said, he
talked on the other side of his mouth." Most willing
was he to help to bring to justice the scoundrels who
had deceived him and robbed Mr. Darwin, but he
feared they would be difficult to trace. His own
feeling was that of wishing for pleasantness among
neighbors. The pigeons had been found at the Gar-
dens. That was enough. He would be glad to settle
the business out of court.
I Anglic? Rat.

Daddy Darwin heard the chink of the dirty man's
money, and would have compounded the matter then
and there. But not so the parish constable, who saw
himself famous.; and not so Jack, who turned eyes of
smouldering fire on Master Shaw.
"-Maester Shaw! you'll not let them chaps get off?
Daddy's mazelin wi' trouble, sir, but I reckon you '11
see to it."
If it costs t' worth of the pigeons ten times over,
I'll see to it, my lad," was Master Shaw's reply.
And the parish constable rose even to a vein of satire
as he avenged himself of the man who had slighted
his office. "Settle it out of court? Ay! I dare
say. And send t' same chaps to fetch 'em away again
t' night after. Nay bear a hand with this hamper,
Maester Shaw, if you please-if it's all t' same to
you, Mr. Proprietor, I think we shall have to trouble
you to step up to t' Town Hall by-and-by, and see
if we can't get shut of them mistaking friends o'
yours for three month any way."
If that day was a trying one to Daddy Darwin, the
night that followed it was far worse. The thieves
were known to the police, and the case was down to
come on at the Town Hall the following morning;
but meanwhile the constable thought fit to keep the
pigeons under his own charge in the village lock-up.
Jack refused to be parted from his birds, and re-
mained with them, leaving Daddy Darwin alone in
the Dovecot. He dared not go to bed, and it was
not a pleasant night that he spent, dozing with weari-


ness, and starting up with fright, in an arm-chair
facing the money-hole.
Some things that he had been nervous about he
got quite used to, however. He bore himself with
sufficient dignity in the publicity of the Town Hall,
where a great sensation was created by the pigeons
being let loose without, and coming to Jack's call.
Some of them fed from the boy's lips, and he was the
hero of the hour, to Daddy Darwin's delight.
Then the lawyer and the lawyer's office proved
genial and comfortable to him. He liked civil ways
Sand smooth speech, and understood them far better
than Master Shaw's brevity and uncouthness. The
lawyer chatted kindly and intelligently; he gave
Daddy Darwin wine and biscuit, and talked of the
long standing of the Darwin family and its vicissi-
tudes; he even took down some fat yellow books,
and showed the old man how many curious laws had
been made from time to time for the special protec-
tion of pigeons in dovecots. Very ancient statutes
making the killing of a house-dove felony. Then I
James I. c. 29, awarded three months' imprisonment
"without bail or mainprise" to any person who
should "shoot at, kill, or destroy with any gun,
crossbow, stonebow, or longbow, any house-dove or
pigeon; but allowed an alternative fine of twenty
shillings to be paid to the churchwardens of the par-
ish for the benefit of the poor. Daddy Darwin hoped
there was no such alternative in this case, and it
proved that by 2 Geo. III. c. 29, the twenty-shilling


fine was transferred to the owner of birds; at which
point another client called, and the polite lawyer
left Daddy to study the laws by himself.
It was when Jack was helping Master Shaw to put
the horse into the cart, after the trial was over, that
the farmer said to him, I don't want to put you
about, my lad, but I 'm afraid you won't keep your
master long. T' old gentleman 's breaking up, mark
my words! Constable and me was going into the
George for a glass, and Master Darwin left us and
went back to the office. I says, 'What are ye going
back to t' lawyer for? and he says, 'I don't mind
telling you, Master Shaw, but it's to make my will.'
And off he goes. Now, there's only two more things
between that and death, Jack March! And one's
the parson, and t' other's the doctor."


ITTLE Phcebe Shaw
coming out of the day-
school, and picking her
way home to tea, was
startled by folk running past her, and by a sound of
cheering from the far end of the village, which grad-
ually increased in volume, and was caught up by the
bystanders as they ran. When Phoebe heard that it
was Constable, and Master Shaw, and Daddy Dar-
win and his lad, coming home, and the pigeons along
wi' 'em," she felt inclined to run too; but a fit of shy-
ness came over hler, and she demurely decided to wait
by the school-gate till they came her way. They did
not come. They stopped. What were they doing ?
Another bystander explained, "They're shaking hands
wi' Daddy, and I reckon they're making him put up
t' birds here, to see 'em go home to t' Dovecot."
Phoebe ran as if for her life. She loved beast and
bird as well as Jack himself, and the fame of Daddy


Darwin's doves was great. To see them put up by
him to fly home after such an adventure was a sight
not lightly to be foregone. The crowd had moved to

.'r, ", i-.

,.' 7_k. .

a hillock in a neighboring field before she touched
its outskirts. By that time it pretty well numbered
the population of the village, from the oldest inhabi-


tant to the youngest that could run. Phoebe had her
mother's courage and resource. Chirping out feebly
but clearly, I 'm Maester Shaw's little lass, will ye
let me through? she was passed from hand to hand,
till her little fingers found themselves in Jack's tight
clasp, and he fairly lifted her to her father's side.
She was just in time. Some of the birds had hung
about Jack, nervous, or expecting peas; but the
hesitation was past. Free in the sweet sunshine--
beating down the evening air with silver wings and
their feathers like gold- ignorant of cold eggs and
callow young dead in deserted nests sped on their
way by such a roar as rarely shook the village in
its body corporate--they flew straight home--to
Daddy Darwin's Dovecot.


'- WIN lived a
good many
S. --- years after
._-- making his

u _.. prospered in
his hands.
It would
be more
just to say
that it
in the
hands of Jack March. By hook and by crook he
increased the live stock about the place. Folk were
kind to one who had set so excellent an example to
other farm lads, though he lacked the primal virtue
of belonging to the neighborhood. He bartered
pigeons for fowls, and some one gave him a sitting of
eggs to see what he would make of 'em." Master
Shaw gave him a little pig, with kind words and good


counsel; and Jack cleaned out the disused pigstyes,
which were never disused again. He scrubbed his
pigs with soap and water as if they had been Chris-
tians, and the admirable animals, regardless of the
pork they were coming to, did him infinite credit,
and brought him profit into the bargain, which he
spent on ducks' eggs, and other additions to his farm-
yard family.
The Shaws were very kind to him; and if Mrs.
Shaw's secrets must be told, it was because Phcebe
wias so unchangeably and increasingly kind to him,
that she sent the pretty maid (who had a knack of
knowing her own mind about things) to service.
-Jack March was a handsome, stalwart youth now,
of irreproachable conduct, and with qualities which
Mrs. Shaw particularly prized; but he was but a
farm-lad, and no match for her daughter.
Jack only saw his sweetheart once during several
years. She had not been well, and was at home for
the benefit of native air." He walked over the hill
with her as they returned from church, and lived on
the remembrance of that walk for two or three years
more. Phcebe had given him her Prayer-book to
carry, and he had found a dead flower in it, and had
been jealous. She had asked if he knew what it was,
and he had replied fiercely that he did not, and was
not sure that he cared to know.
"Ye never did know much about flowers," said
Phcebe, demurely; it's red bergamot."
I love red bergamot," he whispered penitently.


"And thou owes me a bit. I gave thee some once."
And Phcebe had let him put the withered bits into
his own hymn-bdok, which was more than he de-
Jack was still in the choir, and taught in the Sun-
day-school where he used to learn. The parson's

N 1-


daughter had had her way; Daddy Darwin grumbled
at first, but in the end he got a bottle-green Sunday-
coat out of the oak-press that matched the bedstead,
and put the house-key into his pocket, and went to
church too. Now, for years past he had not failed


to take his place, week by week, in the pew that was
traditionally appropriated to the use of the Darwins
of Dovecot. In such an hour the sordid cares of the
secret panel weighed less heavily on his soul, and the
things that are not seen came nearer the house not
made with hands, the treasures that rust and moth
corrupt not, and which thieves do not break through
to steal.
Daddy Darwin died of old age. As his health
failed, Jack nursed him with the tenderness of a
coman; and kind inquiries, and dainties which Jack
could not have cooked, came in from many quarters
where it pleased the old man to find that he was held
in respect and remembrance.
One afternoon, coming in from the farmyard, Jack
found him sitting by the kitchen-table as he had left
him,.but with a dread look of change upon his face.
At first he feared there had been "a stroke," but
Daddy Darwin's mind was clear and his voice firmer
than usual.
My lad," he said, fetch me yon teapot out of
the corner cupboard. T' one wi' a pole-house 1
painted on it, and some letters. Take care how ye
shift it. It were t' merry feast-pot 2 at .my christen-
ing, and yon 's t' letters of my father's and mother's
names. Take off t' lid. There s two bits of paper
in the inside."

1 A pole-kouse is a small dovecot on the top of a pole.
2 Merry feast-pot" is a name given to old pieces of ware, made in
local potteries for local festivals.


Jack did as he was bid, and laid the papers (one
small and yellow with age, the other bigger, and
blue, and neatly written upon) at his master's right
Read yon," said the old man, pushing the small
one towards him. Jack took it up wondering. It
was the letter he had written from the workhouse
fifteen years before. That was all he could see.
The past surged up too thickly before his eyes, and
tossing it impetuously from him, he dropped on a
chair by the table, and snatching Daddy Darwin's
hands he held them to his face with tears.
GOD bless thee! he sobbed. "You've been a
good master to me "
Daddy," wheezed the old man. "Daddy, not
masterr" And drawing -his right hand away, he laid
it solemnly on the young man's head. GOD bless
thee, and reward thee. What have I done i' my feck-
less life'to deserve a son? But if ever a lad earned
a father and a home, thou hast earned 'em, Jack
He moved his hand again and laid it trembling on
the paper.
Every word i' this letter ye've made good.
Every word, even to t' bit at the end. I love them
Tumblers as if they were my own,' says you. Lift
thee head, lad, and look at me. They are thy own !
Yon blue paper's my last will and testament,
made many a year back by Mr. Brown, of Green
Street, Solicitor, and a very nice gentleman too; and


witnessed by his clerks, two decent young chaps, and
civil enough, but with too much watch-chain for their
situation. Jack March, my son, I have left thee
master of Dovecot and all that I have. And there's
a bit of money in t' bed-head that'll help thee to
make a fair start, and to bury me decently atop of
my father and mother. Ye may let Bill Sexton toll
an hour-bell for me, for I'm a old standard, if I never
were good for much. Maybe I might ha' done better
if things had happed in a different fashion; but the
Lord knows all. I'd like a hymn at the grave, Jack,
if the Vicar has no objections, and do thou sing if
thee can. Don't fret, my son, thou 'st no cause.
'Twas that sweet voice o' thine took me back again
to public worship, and it's not t' least of all I owe
thee, Jack March. A poor reason, lad, for taking up
with a neglected duty a poor reason-- but the
Lord is a GOD of mercy, or there 'd be small chance
for most on us. If Miss Jenny and her husband
-come to t' Vicarage this summer, say I left her my
duty and an old man's blessing; and if she wants
any roots out of t' garden, give, 'em her, and give
her yon old chest that stands in the back chamber.
It belonged to an uncle of my mother's a Derby-
shire man. They say her husband's a rich gentle-
man, and treats her very well. I reckon she may
have what she's a mind, new and polished, but
she's always for old lumber. They're a whimsical
lot, gentle and simple. And talking of women, Jack,
I've a word to say, if I can fetch my breath to say it.


Lad! as sure as you're master of Dovecot, you '11
give it a missus. Now take heed to me. If ye fetch
any woman home here but Phcebe Shaw, I '11 walk,
and scare ye away frpm t' old place. I 'm willing for
Phcebe, and I charge ye to tell the lass so hereafter.
And tell her it's not because she 's fair- too many
on 'em are that; and not because she's thrifty and
houseproud her mother's that, and she's no favor-
ite of mine; but because I 've watched her whenever
t' would cat 's let her be at home, and it's my belief
that she loves ye, knowing nought of this" (he laid
his hand upon the will), and that she '11 stick to ye,
choose what her folk may say. Ay, ay, she's not
one of t' sort that quits a falling house like rattens."
Language fails to convey the bitterness which the
old man put into these last two words. It exhausted
him, and his mind wandered. When he had to some
extent recovered himself he spoke again, but very
Tak' my duty to the Vicar, lad, Daddy Darwin's
duty, and say he's at t' last feather of the shuttle, and
would be thankful for the Sacrament."

The Parson had come and gone. Daddy Darwin
did not care to lie down, he breathed with difficulty;
so Jack made him easy in a big arm-chair, and raked
up the fire with cinders, and took a chair on the other
side of the hearth to watch with him. The old man
slept comfortably, and at last, much wearied, the
young man dozed also.


He awoke because Daddy Darwin moved, but for
a moment he thought he must be dreaming. So
erect the old man stood, and with such delight in
his wide-open eyes. They were looking over Jack's
All that the lad had never seen upon his face
seemed to have come back to it -youth, hope, reso-
lutioni, tenderness. His lips were trembling with the
smile of acutest joy.
Suddenly he stretched out his arms, and crying,
" Alice!" started forward and fell-- dead- on the
breast of his adopted son.

--- RAW! Craw! Craw! The
S crows flapped slowly home,
_and the Gaffers moved .off
too. The sun was down,
-, and "damps" are bad for
S J" rheumatics."
It's a strange tale," said
Gaffer II., but if all's true
ye tell me, there 's not too
S: many like him."
S. "That's right enough,"
S' Gaffer I. admitted. He 's
i- been t' same all through, and
ye should ha' seen the bury-
ing he gave t' would chap.
He was rare and good to him by all accounts, and


never gainsaid him ought, except i' not lifting his
voice as he should hp' done att' grave. Jack sings
a bass solo as well as any man i' t' place; but he
stood yonder, for all t' world like one of them crows,
black o' visage, and black wi' funeral clothes, and
choked with crying like a child i'stead of a man."
"Well, well, t' would chap were all he had, I reckon,"
said Gaffer II.
That 's right enough; and for going backwards,
as ye may say, and setting a wild graff on an old
standard, yon will's done well for DADDY DARWIN'S


R 188


% ,torp of the plains.




i I

P"~~ --- r~g--UruruU..rC~yyl-nrr;u~jClj~E-i~cl~ y.;n;l;r~i~uW-- :I=~iiCr;;ii~iiri~I~"~ ~~.~-

.-- .. ....* r.r.. -5,v m s a

"Everything Mrs. Ewing writes is fill of talent, and also lull ol per-
ception and common sense" *.,iv.rDApn Raviw

Undform cd i n. I!Ju.i lied I .., cluir i PriCe eiJ.
% rh crrts in-o b', %' L. i Ten |liur byi[ ..r,. by Hfi..M i'
-.. L. SIX TO SIXTEEN. .\ Storv
S. r d .l l J .Fr. r r : '
i ,. ., ,,- i l -'
i-i A [lu: rrr rl .. r~. h a ..

i'.,ni ti-, JI .iI. Ei EM .lA\NL E:-
r I rE r- E i t; -, ..r -. hz i a .'I, I div
m -..- : ..i. t :I. r.: : i Ir a l r .e Ii-. c er


i .. h .-.- 1r,, .:r ad --. r \ .r ct irc ard
lu ," ._hL er [.c o .. .- ,

A I-t .i F ItlE FLA IN..
By Mrl j H. EWING.
nh Fl.ven Illutri'tiiir MrI A .l .i .1-1 r A i intl l.. pi-rfcl.:v t-s Pri trn ScTn, S

1, FSlOM P.\ .\ E iN THC Li FE OF AN ONLY ,-' N. .
1 ["-! r illu r b...r L Ir ... i' i 4,'4...ll i ,p -: r'= Pr.ce N.. c-r.i%
i- ill \r *n 7. il. ;rl -ir..cnl.-rI 1-c.nI.I 4^'lo...-,pu,. A0 4'1-

\',ii, lll: ' t. i. LI.-i .'.. DE.:or r P.i :r :.vei,. PT:t: (t en;-


., :-

-r.- ~ m rni-.\ -~- rat i-e: I h-