The Baldwin Library
I'M A MAN
Little Saint Christopher
"THE OLD HOUSE IN TIE SQUARE," AT SIXES AND SEVENS
CURLY'S VICTORY," ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY W. H. C. GROOME
Capable of conceiving and choosing a life's task with far-off issues, yet capable of
the unapplauded heroism which turns off the road of achievement at the call of the nearer
duty,-whose effect lies within the beatings of the hearts that are close to us."
E. P. DUTTON & CO.
31 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET
[ The Righis of Translation and Reproduction are Reserved.]
ETHEL AND MAIMIE
AN D A
I. AUNTS AND NURSES,
II. A MAN IN A BATH-CHAIR,
IV. GLAZEBURY COURT,
V. I WON'T,
VI. PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT,
VII. JAM AND DUNGEONS,
VIII. OTHER PEOPLE AND SAM,
IX. QUITE A REAL ADVENTURE,
X. CAKE AND ADVENTURES,
XI. AGES AGO,
XII. THE SEARCH BEGINS,
XIII. A FRIEND IN NEED,
XIV. WORSE THINGS,"
XV. LITTLE SAINT CHRISTOPHER,
LIST OF FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.
"Why, Master Chris!" exclaimed James reprovingly; "hiding from your
What a tremendous start he gave on hearing a voice behind him say,
Well done that's nine times running!" 21
Until at last Aunt Connie's little Skye terrier Sandy came and begged
beside his chair, and then he said, "I've seen some one just like Sandy
this evening," .
If only Nurse did not catch Chris But alas a footstool did it 41
Then Mrs. Fleed stooped down, and with her hands on her knees, looked
into Christopher's face, 49
Sam grinned again. My grandmother used to tell of it. Her said her'd
seed it upon the big down yonder," 89
"You two children are up to mischief," he said through his beard, 92
He still waved the spade on high, though his ruddy face was turning paler
and paler, 102
" Do you think you would oblige me by emptying that pail of yours, my boy ?
for the crab is dangerously near my nose," .
It was lying on its side, and quite empty, saving the seaweed, i1I
And the child cried out, Muvver muvver! 121
" I can hold the crutch like this, under one arm, and when I am over the
wall-Here I come!" .. I6
WHEN I'M A MAN.
AUNTS AND NURSES.
IS father was going away, and he was his father's
only son, and his name was Christopher. Once
upon a time he had had a mother, and that was
how his name had come to him. Eight years
ago, eight years before this story of Christopher
begins, a lady-young and bright and pretty-was sitting in the
cosiest of rooms in a London house. Think of the cheeriest
nursery, the nicest schoolroom, the most charming drawing-
room you have ever seen; shake them all into one, take away
some bits of each-namely, the untidiness and broken toys of
a nursery, the sober brown and greyness of a schoolroom, the
mirrors and lights of a drawing-room, and the result will be-
a comfortable morning-room. Once it had been really a
schoolroom, where this bright and young and sweet-looking
lady had pored over books and slates and maps; and now
she pored over a little scrap of a baby boy who was lying on
her lap in front of the fire, crumpling up the funniest little
pink hands on each side of his head, and fixing clear staring
eyes on the shadow of the lamp as it flickered on the ceiling.
I have thought of a name for him this afternoon," said
the face bending over the baby; "he shall be called
The baby's Grandmamma and the baby's three aunts quite
WHEN I'M A MAN
jumped; or, perhaps it would be nearer the mark to say that
the Grandmamma rustled in a sudden manner. There was
a tinkling amongst the teacups from Aunt Jessie, as she
Why give a poor little baby such a horrible name ?"
"Because I have been reading the legend of Saint
Christopher this afternoon, and it is a beautiful story. I
should like my boy to have that name."
Then Aunt Victoria, who had just left school, and thought
herself quite grown up, said,-
Boys never grow up like their names."
But little Aunt Constance, who was only just going to
school for the first time, and dreaded the going very much,
and was trying to be strong about it, but felt dreadfully
weak, because she loved her home, said softly,-
"Saint Christopher was a very strong man."
"Oh, nonsense, Connie! what do you know about it?"
exclaimed her sisters. Here comes Guy; see what he says
to it, Maisie."
Maisie was the baby's mother, and Guy was the baby's
father. As he came into the room, obedient to the call of
the kettle and the tinkling of the teacups, he was greeted
by three cries.
My dear Guy, do insist upon baby being named after you,"
came piteously from Grandmamma.
"Guy, do tell Maisie it is odious from Jessie.
"Tell her it is a shame to give a boy a grand name, which
perhaps he will never grow up to from Victoria.
But little Constance stood silently shaking her curls for the
laughing baby to catch; and Maisie only looked up, smiling,
from her boy to his father, and said,-
I want him to be called Christopher. Do you mind,
"And Christopher he shall be called," said the baby's
father at once.
But now it is eight years afterwards, and Christopher's
father is going to France for a month. And Christopher's
AUNTS AND NURSES.
mother went away to angel-land a long, long time ago-
before he had cut his first tooth.
It was a pouring wet day early in September, his father's
last day at home. If you had asked Christopher whether he
was sorry that his father was going away, he would have said
at once, Of course I am ;" and he would have meant it too.
But something else was making him so very glad, that he did
not see much room left for being sorry, and that something
else was this,-he was to go and stay with his Grandmamma
and his favourite aunt at the seaside; and the seaside to
Christopher meant scuttling crabs, sand castles, and valiant
sailors. His Grandmamma had taken this house for a year,
and Aunt Vic and Aunt Jessie would be staying away some-
where else, so it would only be Grannie and Aunt Connie;
that youngest aunt of his, who never came to keep house for
his father because Grannie said she was "too young." And
Christopher supposed Grannie was afraid she would eat the
sugar and dip her fingers into the jam, as he used to do once
upon a time, when they said he was too young to be left
alone in the dining-room with the breakfast things on the
table. Even now they were always telling him that he was
" not old enough" for this or that, which was so vexatious to
Christopher that it made him feel strongly for his young
aunt. His Grandmamma and Aunt Victoria had called this
very wet afternoon that I am writing about, and, finding his
father out, had walked into the dining-room. They did not
know that Christopher was hiding under the table because he
knew that his hands were very grimy and his mouth sticky.
They looked all round without seeing him, and Aunt Vic put
the chairs straight, swept some crumbs off the table, put some
fresh flowers into the glasses, whilst Grandmamma stood
gazing at a picture that hung over the sideboard,--a picture
that she loved; and when she said at last with a sigh,-
"Dear Maisie!" Aunt Vic looked at it too, and then
Christopher heard her say gently,-
But still I do wish dear old Guy would remember that
WHEN I I'M A MAN.
he is too young to vow "- And then she suddenly stopped,
for they were passing out of the room, and were rustling
through the hall where James the butler had been waiting to
open the door for at least five minutes. As they drove away
in the carriage, Christopher crept out from under the table.
"Why, Master Chris!" exclaimed James reprovingly;
"hiding from your Grandma !"
No, James; only from Aunt Vic," said Chris penitently.
"I do get so tired of her always telling me that my hands
ought to be clean, and that I ought not to eat toffee; it's the
only thing she tells me I'm too old for. And you're not too
old for it yet, are you? for you ate half my last box, and
Nurse says you're fifty if you're a day."
"Aunts and nurses aren't always correct, Master Chris-
topher," retorted James, with his chin high in the air; and
Chris was very much afraid that he had hurt his feelings
somewhere, for he stamped down-stairs to his pantry without
another word, and he and Chris were excellent friends
It's a funny thing," mused Chris, scrambling up-stairs to
the nursery on all fours, like a long-legged spider. Some
people seem to mind being thought too old, and others seem
to mind being thought too young."
How it did rain, to be sure, all that afternoon, and all the
evening dashing against the windows as if buckets of water
were being hurled at them; and the wind went shrieking and
whistling down all the chimneys, and through all the key-
holes, like some restless spirit in search of a home. In the
dining-room, when dessert was ready, Chris thought it was
very snug and very comfortable; for the window-curtains were
drawn, a fire had been lighted to keep out the damp, and it
was blazing away cheerily, whilst he stood against his father's
knee, cracking his walnuts for him, and peeling them with his
small fingers, before popping them on to his father's plate.
Father, what is it Aunt Vic thinks you are too young
for ?" he asked gravely, slipping the last piece of walnut that
he had peeled between his own white teeth, whilst he stretched
" Why, Master Chris exclaimed James reprovingly ; "hiding from your Grandma "
WHEN TM A MAN.
out a black velvet arm for the crackers to begin on another.
But his father made no answer, and Chris always liked an
answer; he thought a cross one was better than none at all.
So, as he pinched that other fat walnut, he tossed back his
thick dark hair, and looked up into his'father's face with his
big brown eyes. His father was not looking at him,-one
hand was playing with his wine-glass, and the other supported
his head as he sat gazing up at the picture over the side-
board. Chris looked at him still and very solemnly, and at
last he said, holding the walnut that was such a hard one to
crack silently between the crackers,-
"Aunt Vic says you are too young to vow-something
-I couldn't hear what; but I think you look as old as James
to-night, almost-you would quite if you had his bald head and
your front tooth out. I can't think what Aunt Vic meant!"
"Aunt Vic does not always know what she means herself,
my boy," said his father, who, in spite of his son's words,
looked young enough, people thought, to be his elder brother.
He pushed his wine-glass away from him, and his boy too,
gently, as he rose to his feet, and placed himself with his back
against the mantelpiece, and raised his face once more to
Nurse calls Aunt Vic a cheeky chit," was Christopher's
answer, whilst he puckered his face up into a hundred
puckers, as, squeezing his walnut with might and main, he
crunched the shell to atoms.
"Christopher! I will not have you speak of your aunt in
that way !" said his father sternly.
I don't care, now I've cracked my walnut! it was jolly
hard. You said I should have it if I could break it, and you
never thought I should-now did you, dad ?" And Chris-
topher's eyes sparkled and danced under his elf-brown locks,
whilst he chipped away at the shell, and began eating the
contents like any little monkey. But at his father's next
words his hands dropped and the sparkle went out of his eyes.
Christopher," said his father, more sternly than before,
"go to bed this minute!"
A UNTS AND NURSES.
What! now, father ?" exclaimed Chris sorrowfully; "on
our last night ? "
Yes, now, for saying you 'don't care' to your father."
Chris dropped his walnut silently into his father's plate, for
somehow all relish for walnuts had suddenly gone; then he
lifted his face, and his father as silently stooped to kiss it;
and then, without another word between them, Chris marched
out of the room to bed. He met James on the staircase, and
he begged him to break it gently to Nurse, now at supper,
that he would rather she did not come in to tuck him up that
night. He slept in his father's dressing-room ; but the clock
struck nine, and ten, and eleven that night before he was
asleep; and as it struck eleven he heard his father's footstep
on the stairs, then he heard him lock his door, then he heard
him set his candle down on the table near the dressing-room
door; and he knew that his father had come to bed. Chris-
topher sat up in his little bed, and whispered in a loud
whisper, "Father! "
How delighted he was to hear in reply,-
I am coming, my boy," and then, in the dim light, to
see him come in and seat himself upon the bed, and then-
to feel that father's arm all round him.
"Why, my dear little lad, I didn't think anything could
ever make you cry!" was murmured, as lips were pressed
upon the little rough dark head now leaning against the
Only you can, dad," sobbed Chris. I thought, as I lay
here-p'raps I'd better leave if I don't give satisfaction !"
"What in the world do you mean, my boy ?"
"Why "-sob-" it's what James says "-sob-" every
time you tell him his plate isn't rubbed bright; and you
really are very strict now, dad, sometimes. You never"-
sob-" used to be."
The great hug and the twenty kisses Chris got for that
made him wonder; and as he raised his head, and looked up
in the face above,-almost as young as his own now,-he said
IVIIEN T~I' A iMAN.
"iWhy, father, I am so sorry! I've put one of my big
tears into your eye! I'll kiss it off. Why-I don't believe
it is mine! Are you crying too, dad ? Aren't you too old
to cry? Uh, you are such a dear father! I do love to feel
your hand and your wedding-ring against my cheek!"
For a little while there was silence in that room; then his
father said tenderly,-
Listen to me, my boy, my dear little Christopher: I was
very sad to-night at the thought of leaving you, and very
cross too; I had no right to be 'that. I want you to grow
like that picture, Chris, you know. I want to be proud of
you some day."
A UNTS AND NURSES.
When you come home, do you mean ?"
That would be rather too soon, perhaps; some day will
"When you come home-be proud of me "-murmured
Christopher drowsily; and his father held him for a few
minutes longer, then laid him down on his pillow fast asleep.
Early the next morning, whilst Christopher was still
asleep, his father started. London smoke had not besmutted
the clear atmosphere, as he drove along the quiet streets in
his cab; the houses stood there, closed and still, like great
shut-up story-books, with-oh, so many stories inside them,
behind the window-blinds and the bolted doors !-for every life
is a story. And the golden sunshine, like a sudden smile of
God, was soon rising above the houses, with hope for all.
A MAN IN A BATH-CHAIR.
THER people who were travelling that day by
the same line of railway as Christopher, his
Grandmother, and his Aunt Connie, stood still
sometimes, for a moment, on the platform, to
look at the boy standing at one of the railway
carriage windows,-a boy whose big dark eyes seemed to be
looking at everything that there was to be seen, from luggage
and porters and labelled dogs, to milk-cans and advertisement
placards and stationmasters' gardens; whilst, apparently, he
talked about it all too.
Poor Gran! and poor Aunt Connie! what dozens of
questions they had to answer!
His Grandmother was not fond of answering questions,
and so she sometimes pretended to be dozing. Aunt Connie
always tried to answer them when she could; and when
she could not, she said, "I really don't know, Chris! I
would tell you if I could, but I can't; everybody doesn't
Gran thinks she does," whispered Chris in a loud
whisper; "but she doesn't know how to whistle on her
fingers as father does, and she can't read Latin either as
father does, and she doesn't know how he ever DID learn
to jump so high as he did when he was at Oxford."
Upon which Gran smiled, as she sat in the far corner of
the carriage, a stately, delicate-looking old lady, with a high
nose, wavy white hair, and a very deep, sweet voice.
I think your voice is like the church-organ, Gran," Chris
had said one day; "and when you have a cold, it is like the
A MAN IN A BATH-CHAIR
organ when the blower hasn't blown quite long enough, you
know-wheezy rather-and it goes wooff."
She doted upon Chris, which means, she loved him very,
very dearly; there was scarcely a moment when she was not
thinking of him in some way.
And yet, Gran, you told father not to let me have jam
for tea every night, when you found out Nurse always let
me have it: how can you say you love me?" He had said
this reproachfully to her only the other day, when she had
held him very closely to her, and whispered to him, as she
kissed him, that it was his mother's birthday.
Yes, my boy, because when we love, we never spoil,"
had been her answer.
All the same, she did spoil him terribly whenever she had
the chance, and in every other respect. As to Nurse's jam
she would never have said anything about it if it had been
home-made, but she had always a strong prejudice against
jam that was bought in shops.
They were all out of the train at last, and packed into an
open fly, one of those charming old-fashioned seaside carriages
that are lined with browny-speckly chintz, which Christopher
thought so tasteful that he wished his father had seen it before
having his brougham re-lined with dark green leather. Then,
as they drove out of the station, a delicious salt breeze, from
the sea somewhere, met them; and when, in a few minutes, the
fly turned a sharp corner and stopped before a pleasant white
house in a terrace, there in front of the terrace lay the sea,
spread out before their very windows. Nurse, who had
arrived by an earlier train, stood at the door, looking as if she
had lived there all her life; she and the flyman between them
carried in the luggage as if it had been quite an easy, pleasant
weight; and then she turned upon her boy," and said,-
Come in, my dear, now; don't stand staring at the water
any longer. I want to get you ready for tea." But tea was not
to be thought of for another hour; Aunt Connie was going
to put Gran to rest on a sofa, whilst she herself would unpack
with Nurse; and there lay the great wide sea, and there,
WHEN I'M A MAN.
too, lay a long path at the top of the beach, that seemed
to Christopher to be running a race with the sea to reach
the setting sun first. No! he was not coming in to be
made tidy; he was going to look for adventures first,-
only this intention was kept closely locked up in his own
mind. He stood looking straight out to sea, with his back
to them all, for they were waiting for him in the doorway,
and he stood on the lowest step, as he said,-
Gran, you trust me, don't you ? "
"Yes, my love, of course I do," she answered in very
tired tones, as she leaned on Aunt Connie's arm.
Then do let me go along there," and he pointed with
outstretched arm, "to see what I shall see."
Not alone, Chris!"
Why not, Gran ? I am not a baby; and the sun is still
shining." He had only one fear-darkness; it was foolish
of him ; he lost it at last.
"Let him go, mother," urged Aunt Connie, adding
something in a low tone about what his father said,"
and "making a man of him." So he was allowed to go
alone for a quarter of an hour.
He went with three springs across the road, looked back
to kiss his hand, then charged like a pony along the Parade,
until at last the Parade ended, and there was just a wild path
going on and on, where tamarisk blossom, like sea foam,
fluttered softly, and sea-poppies, all yellow, spread out their
delicate petals to the breeze. And it was just there that a
very strange thing happened. Christopher stood looking
around, with the far-reaching, cushiony downs behind him in
the distance, with the wide, wet sands before him, where there
must have been so many of those little crabs which he used to
long after in London, rock-pools where shrimps must be play-
ing hide-and-seek all day long,-and had he not dreamt of
shrimps for the last night or two? He stood there thinking of
neither crabs nor shrimps, neither buckets nor spades, as he
stared at the great wide sea, and listened to the dash of the
little waves; it was a sound like a long, low, sobbing sigh, and
L '- i
What a tremendous start he gave on hearing a voice behind him say,-
Well done that's nine times running! "-Page 22.
,i i 3 .
r s-~C ;ri
c~S~ ~ '
WHEN PM A MAN.
poor little Christopher gave a long, low, sobbing sigh too, at
last; for somehow the sea had suddenly brought back the
thought of his father, and he felt so awfully lonely all at once,
that he actually sobbed out,-
"I wish you were here, dad! I wish you hadn't gone
over the sea! Oh dear! I wish you hadn't!"
It was not at all like him to behave so, but then we are
not always like ourselves; we are often what Christopher
would have called babyish," when we have been over-excited
and are very tired without knowing it, and want our tea badly,
particularly when some one we love very much has just gone
away from us. We think we want nothing but a spade to
dig castles in the sands and a bucket to catch crabs in;
and then, when we have built our castle and caught our crab,
we look round for our some one, to show how well we have
done; but it is of no use looking, for that some one has
gone away over the sea.
That was what Christopher felt; and yet he was so angry
with himself for being what he called a baby," that he
stamped and clenched his fists, and took up big stones and
dashed them at the wooden breakwater, until at last his tears
had stopped for some time, because he had come to think
only of a certain spot on the wooden post that was slimy
from the seaweed clinging around it, and he was trying how
many times he could hit it out of twelve throws. What a
tremendous start he gave on hearing a voice behind him say,-
Well done! that's nine times running!"
A bath-chair had crept up behind him, without his hearing
it, one with silent wheels; and at first, when Christopher
turned, he could see no one in it. Like a bed upon wheels it
looked, and as, slightly hesitating, he drew near, he saw in it a
man, lying flat on his back.
How could you see me?" were Christopher's first
I was raised on my elbow," came from the chair, till I
got cramp, and had to go flat again. You see that man-
servant wandering along by the hedge, looking for blackberries
A MAN AN BA TI-CHAIR.
where they never grow ? Just run and ask him to come and
turn my chair round and raise my pillow, will you ? His
name is Mark."
Christopher was glad enough to have an excuse for
running away for a minute, that he might whisk out his
pocket-handkerchief and prelcnd to blow his nose, but
really that he might at the same time rub away all signs
of tears from his eyes.
Mark!" he cried breathlessly ; "come and turn the chair
round, please, and shake up the pillows."
Mark was almost as much startled by the sight of this
stranger boy who seemed to know him so well, as Christopher
had been by the voice from the bath chair; but, like a
thorough bred servant, he expressed no surprise, simply
hurried back at once to do his master's bidding. Christopher
stood by watching. He saw on the raised pillows a face that
looked full of fun, and below the face, in his buttonhole, was a
deep yellow rosebud. And the hand that lay on the fur rug
covering him had a ring on the little finger "just like father's,"
thought Christopher. Only yours is not a wedding-ring,"
he said gravely, gazing steadily at it, and uttering his thoughts
aloud, as he very usually did; "and your hands are thinner
than father's." The young man laughed.
"Anything else ?" he asked. "Is my face like
No, not a bit; but your moustaches and your hair are
very much like Aunt Connie's Skye terrier Sandy."
Such a laugh came from the bath chair then that
Christopher laughed too.
And who is Aunt Connie?"
My favouritest aunt!" exclaimed Christopher fervently.
" She is a darling! Not at all old, you know-aunts needn't
always be old; but Gran and Aunt Vickey are always
telling her she's too old for some things, and too young
for other things. It's very tiresome for her. But I'm
going to be old enough for anything down here, for I only
mind father, and he's away "-
WVIHEN I'M A MAN
Father's away, is he ?" repeated the invalid gently, look-
ing kindly at the boy, whose soft dark eyes were now gazing
seawards. "And where has he gone?"
"Well, he's gone-he's gone"-once more that horrid
lump in his throat made Christopher almost choke, once more
he tried to go on: "He's go-gone to"-then came a tre-
mendous gulp, and Chris tossed up his head and went on
bravely-" to see a lot of places in France. He's going to
lose his rheumatism at some place where so many people go to
get cured of it, that they leave it behind them, Aunt Connie
says ; and so it is called Aches' something. I forget the rest."
"Aix-le-Bains ? suggested the bath-chair.
"Yes; that's it! how clever you are! But, you know,
father's not an old man, though he does have rheumatism.
He's quite young still; he's got all his teeth. Nurse always
says, 'Give me my teeth back again, Master Chris, and I
should look thirty at once '--she looks quite sixty now."
But what have you done with her teeth ?"
Christopher screamed with laughing.
That's only a way she has," he said.
Maniere de farler, eh ? So father's quite young, is
he ?" the stranger went on.
"Yes; and oh, so strong! That's why I only do what
he tells me, because he's so strong. I don't think I should
care for a weak father, one bit! He used to do such
wonderful things at Oxford! He could jump higher than
any other man there! and in the races-he could run!-
What's the matter ? Is anything hurting you ?" for the boy
saw a sudden change in the face before him; then, almost as
suddenly, the light flashed back into it again, as he said,-
Only a twinge-nothing to speak of-never mind-it's
nothing. But, I say, ought you to be out here all alone?
Won't they wonder what has become of you, don't you think ?"
"I forgot. Yes; Gran said 'only for a quarter of an
Then you must run home at once. But, before you go,
tell me, what is your name?"
A MAN IN A BATH-CHAIR.
My name is Christopher too," said the other, with a smile.
Is it?" exclaimed little Christopher, delighted. And
I wonder what you are going to be! I am going to be the
strongest man that ever was; but you"- He stopped short,
then went on more slowly, "You are ill now, aren't you? but
you will be well some day."
Some day-yes. Meanwhile, call me Sandy, after your
Aunt Connie's dog. Now go! "
"Mr. Sandy-I like that," murmured Chris softly. Then
standing on tiptoe, he leaned over and kissed the brown-
moustached mouth, and so left this new Christopher lying there
in the evening sunlight, with the waves sobbing gently on
the shore, and the wind whispering softly through the reeds.
Oh, Chris!" said his Grandmother, when he reached the
house, all breathless, hair tumbling about his eyes, gloves left
far away in the region of the bath-chair. Oh, Chris, my
dear! you must not do this again! You don't know how
very anxious I have been about you!" She was seated in
an arm-chair in the pleasant dining-room bay-window, and
her face looked paler and more delicate than usual, although
the sea-breeze was blowing straight in upon it.
Aunt Connie was making tea at the large round table that
stood in the middle of the room, covered with all sorts of
meats and breads and cakes. Run along, dear," she said,
"and wash your hands and come down to tea as quickly as
But before he went up-stairs, Chris said, standing in the
doorway, I'm sorry if I frightened you, Gran. It seems as
if I must always be frightening you, and always be vexing
father. I'd rather," he added with a tremble about his
mouth, "frighten you of the two-if you don't mind my
saying so." Then he turned away quickly and ran up-stairs,
stamping as he went, because that lump was coming again in
his throat, and somehow it seemed to bring tears. And
if he made a great noise, somehow it seemed to keep the
tears down. Nurse met him at the top of the stairs, with her
WHEN I'M A MAN.
hand to her heart. She caught him in her arms and hugged
him, gasping out,-
Master Christopher you have given us all such a turn!
Don't you go a-straying along by them sea waves all by your-
self again, there's a dear! Your poor dear Grandma was
saying all the time you was gone, she ought never to have let
Christopher struggled hard' to free himself from being
pressed against some very prickly bead trimming on his Nurse's
dress, and finally succeeded, as he dashed into a bedroom,
and was sponging his face in a basin the next moment.
I've made a friend," he spluttered out, whilst rubbing his
face in a towel ; "a man in a bath-chair."
Good gracious, Master Christopher!" exclaimed Nurse,
pausing as she brushed his hair; you shouldn't go and talk
to invalids promiskus! there are numbers who get all sorts
of catching complaints, and come down here to lose them.
Now whatever shall we do, if you've been and gone and
caught something already ? I'm sure your poor dear Grand-
ma has enough to be anxious about without scarlet fever or
Chris vouchsafed no answer, as he wrenched himself away
from her brush, tossed his hair back, and bounded down-stairs
again ; and, walking into the dining-room softly, he sat down
to tea, with his Grandmamma and aunt, very hungry, very
tired, and, for a wonder, very silent. His Grandmother stroked
his cheek from time to time; his aunt filled his plate with
good things; but he ate his tea-cake and his bread and jam,
and drank his tea silently, until at last Aunt Connie's little
Skye terrier Sandy came and begged beside his chair, and
then he said,-
"I've seen some one just like Sandy this evening,-
a poor man lying down in a bath-chair. He talked to me,
and I talked to him."
My dear!' interrupted his Grandmother, "some of these
poor people are impostors. I remember a man who used to
go about London in a bath-chair, begging, and saying he had
Until at last Aunt Connie's little Skye-terrier Sandy came and begged beside his chair, and then he said,-
I've seen some one just like Sandy this evening."-Page 26.
WHEN I'M A MAN
lost his legs, and we always believed him till one day, when
the wind blew up the apron "-
Oh, Gran! and Chris was rolling on his chair in fits of
laughter; "this was a gentleman, not a poor man begging/
And his name is Christopher-isn't that funny ? and I like
him awfully and sometimes he looks as if he was in pain,
and most times he looks as merry as father does when he
beats you at chess, Gran. I think, please, I should like to
go to bed now," he added hastily, turning to his aunt. She
had young strong arms, that aunt, and she tenderly lifted the
little idolized nephew, so tired and so homesick for his father,
just this one night, and carried him all the way up-stairs to
bed. When he was tucked up snugly, and she sitting on the
end of his bed, "till the dear old dustman came," she said,
he asked her this grave question,-
"What are people proud of generally ?"
"What are they proud of, Chris ?" she repeated; "well,
some are proud of one thing, some of another."
No, but what are fathers proud of?"
Proud of their sons generally;" and here Aunt Connie
leaned over him, and, putting back his thick hair, kissed the
smooth white forehead.
Yes, but, Aunt Connie,"-and here there was a plunge
under the bedclothes,-" aren't they proud of very strong
sons ? Wouldn't father like me to be very strong, don't you
I am sure he would."
"Very well," said Chris, turning round on his pillow, and
settling down with a great sigh of restfulness, "then Gran
really must not mind what I do; she must not use that horrid
word 'anxious' about me any more! Because I mean to do
wonderful things whilst I am here-perhaps dreadful ones!-
I mean to look for adventures all day long. Good-night,
Aunt Connie darling! Aren't you sorry you can never be a
strong man ?"
Aunt Connie said, No, she didn't think she was, very;"
then she went away on tiptoe, for he was very nearly asleep.
HRIS woke up the next morning with a kind of
idea that the world was full of adventures.
Now it happened that his Gran and Aunt
Connie had so many letters to read that morn-
ing at breakfast-time, that they did not notice
how eager he looked; eager his face always was, but this morn-
ing it was eager as a hawk. He gobbled down his bread and
milk, rapidly devoured his bread and butter, quickly crunched
his toast; but his Grandmamma was too intent on one special
letter to tell him what she certainly would have told him at
any other time, namely, that little boys who ate their food too
fast never grew up into tall men, and Christopher wished
much to be tall as well as strong.
It is a most extraordinary coincidence !" exclaimed Mrs.
Powis, for that was his Grandmother's name,-" a most
strange thing, dear Connie! Here is a letter from my old friend
and schoolfellow, Mrs. Ferrars, from whom I have not heard
for years and years, telling me that she is living down here, a
mile or so away from the town, and she begs me to go and
see her as soon as I can. She was at this house only the
other day, looking after lodgings for some friends, and that
was how she heard we were coming here. If I recollect
rightly, her only son met with an accident in the hunting-field
a year or so ago, but I forget if he was killed or not. I
remember reading about it in the paper, and I always meant
to write to her afterwards, but I never did. Chris, my boy !
where are you going ?"
Out, Gran, please! The sea does look so jolly, like gold,
WHEN I'M A MAN.
in the sun! and just look at the sands! Don't they make
you wish you had a spade, Gran, to come and dig castles
with me ?"
He was standing now, spade and bucket in one hand, hat
in the other.
Chris dear," said Aunt Connie, "another day you must
wait till Gran and I have done breakfast; we have not said
"I have, Aunt Con, I have really; I whispered it to
myself, for fear of interrupting Gran when she was talking
of Mrs. Ferrars. Mayn't I go now ?"
Then some murmured words passed between his Grand-
mother and his aunt about Nurse" and "his father wanted
him to do without her," and about being "not quite old
Aunt Connie stood meditating for a moment or two:
certainly Mrs. Powis must not run about after Chris that hot
morning, and certainly she herself must go out and see what
the shops were like, and choose the beef and mutton and fish
for dinner, the bread for tea, the jam for puddings; and at last
Chris dear, we are going to trust you to go out alone.
\Ve think we can trust you, and you will be home by) one
o'clock for dinner."
He promised; and then vanished like a flash of lightning
out at the front door, which stood wide open to the sunny
Parade and the sea, as the fashion is at the seaside. And
Mrs. Powis, as she rose from the breakfast-table, declared that
she should not know a moment's happiness until she saw him
back again; it was in vain for Aunt Connie to remind her
that his father wished them to make a man of him.
Boys are made into men in many ways, and girls into
women likewise. It is not only by eating sugar and spice
and all that's nice" that the best boys and girls are made, I
assure you. Your mother, my dear little girl, with your soft
cheek against hers now as she reads you this book-your
father, my dear little boy with the mischievous nose-both had
"to do some things they had never dreamt of doing, and to
bear some things they had never dreamt of suffering, before
they grew into the father and mother you know now. For
everything grows, and everything has to give up something
for something else.
Christopher was rushing headlong to the end of the
Parade, to see if the bath chair were there, when he was
Do you think he tumbled down ?
No, he did not; he was much too sure-footed to do any-
thing so foolish.
Do you think he suddenly remembered that he had for-
gotten something ? his last pennyworth of sweets, perhaps,
which he always carried in his pocket with his knife, and a ball
of string, and a few crumbs in case he should meet with any
hungry birds ?
No, it was not sweets, it was not anything forgotten, that
suddenly stopped him with a great, round, full stop on the
Parade. It was the sight of a little girl in a brown holland
frock and red silk sash, with long yellow hair that streamed
away below her sailor hat. She was standing all alone on the
sands, a little way from the Parade; and she was leaning on
her wooden spade and looking down into the depths of her
wooden bucket, as she said, in a sort of sing-song,-
Oh, how I wish I had a little crab! if only I might have
a little crab! Why mayn't I have a little tiny crab! How I
wish there was no such thing as croup! Why was there ever
such a thing as croup ? I wish I had never, NEVER, NEVER had
Chris thought this a most extraordinary song, and, after
looking at her in the distance for a moment, he went slowly
over the bit of beach to the sand where she was standing.
She turned round as he drew near, and, facing him, said,-
Have you ever had the croup ?"
No," he replied, astonished. I don't know what it is;
is it a live thing ?"
It's a thing that won't let you go on wet sand."
WHEN I'M A MAAN
Then it must be a Nurse or a Grandmamma," observed
The little girl laughed.
Oh, no, no!" she cried, shaking her head; "it's an illness,
and I had it in the winter, and so I'm not allowed to go on
wet sand ever. Nurse doesn't know how lovely it is to go
where the baby-crabs live, and it's a baby-crab I want!"
"But I've not had the croup," said Chris, and so I can go
and find you a crab."
"Oh, but haven't you a Nurse who would say,' You naughty,
tiresome child you give your poor mamma a world of trouble
in doctors' and shoemakers' bills if you will get your feet so
wet on those nasty ojious'-that's how Nurse says odious-
I shouldn't mind my Nurse if she did tell me not to get
my feet wet," was his answer, and he laughed as he said it.
Then he added in graver tone, And my mamma is with the
angels, and father doesn't talk about shoemakers' or doctors'
bills. Besides, I am going to be a strong man who can do
anything. So now I'll go and look for a baby-crab."
Hardly had he uttered the last word, when a voice, like a
wheelbarrow wheel that wanted oiling, called out from an
upper window of a house in the terrace on the Parade,-
Miss Eveleen come in this minute, and have your hair
The little bucket was instantly caught up, the spade
shifted into her left hand, as she held out her right,
Good-bye, you kind boy. That's my cross Nurse, and I
must go." And she did go, then and there, up the beach,
across the road, and into the house. And Chris, as he
watched her vanishing, determined to try and see her again
the next morning, when he would get her the little crab,
nurse or no nurse. On second thoughts, why should he not
look for one that very morning? Of course he would!
Only, first he must go and see if his friend, Mr. Sandy, had
come out in his bath-chair to the same place where they had
met yesterday evening. So he left the beach, and ran along
to the end of the Parade. Yes, there he was lying just in
the same way, except that this morning he was reading the
newspaper ; and Mark, who had evidently got tired of look-
ing for blackberries where they never grow, was wandering
along the sands looking for shells instead. The newspaper
went down as Chris drew near.
"Ah, it's you, is it?" said that other Christopher. "I
thought I should see you."
"Good morning," said Chris politely, taking the very
white hand in his brown little paw. I can't stay long this
morning, because I am going to find a crab down there in the
wet sands for a little girl who must never get her feet wet."
And may you get yours wet ?'
WHEN 'M A MAN.
Of course! because I'm a boy, and very strong."
"Oh!" replied his friend. That was all he said; but, as
he lay there looking at Chris, there was a wonderful, wonder-
ful look in his eyes which made it quite impossible for Chris
to help looking at him.
Who have you come here with ? he asked Chris at last.
"With your Grandmamma and a large number of aunts ? "
"Oh no! only Aunt Connie and Gran. May I sit up
here, just at this end ? because the crabs can wait for me a
little bit. Thank you; that is very nice and comf'able. Gran
and Aunt Connie have taken a house farther down the
Parade, that way-the house with a box full of nasturtiums
and mignonette in the dining-room window. They would
bring Nurse too; but I know I'm not to be much with her,
because- You know I heard something the other day-I
didn't mean to, but Gran is rather deaf, and father was talk-
ing rather loud to her just outside the drawing-room door,
and I was in the drawing-room. Gran had come in before
dinner, as she does sometimes. I don't think father always
likes it. My father is a lawyer, and he wears a wig; but he's
not at all old. And he's often so tired when he comes home.
And sometimes he has just sat down in the drawing-room
sofa-corner, and I come down in my black velvet suit, and
cuddle up close to him for a story, when ring-a-ting-ing goes
the door-bell, and up comes Aunt Vickey or Aunt Jessie, and
they say that they have just run in on their way home with a
message from Gran. She wants to know if the new cook
does, or sometimes she wants to know if my sore throat is
better (if I have one); and father always looks very
annoyed when they come in like that. But Gran came in
herself that evening, and father is very fond of Gran; but I
know he doesn't like people coming in late when he's tired.
Gran had been in the afternoon with Aunt Vickey, but father
was not home then. And almost the first thing Gran said,
was what she always says: 'Guy,'-that's father-' I am
anxious about Chris.' She didn't mean me to hear. I had
gone into the back drawing-room, and I did say, 'Gran, don't
speak in such a loud whisper;' because you know you can't
help hearing, though you don't mean to listen. Then they
went to the drawing-room door together, and father said,
'Anxious? so am I. Only, I am anxious about'-and then
he said something about 'servants' and 'spoiling,' and 'Aunt
Vickey and Aunt Jessie being no good.' And, you know,
I'm sure father meant that he'd like me to have other com-
panions besides James and Nurse. I have a governess every
morning at home, but only for two hours. I know father's
afraid of my not being strong like a man. The last words he
WHEN I'M A MAN.
said to Gran were, 'Make aman of him.' And so I'm going
to find lots of adventures down here, and then, when father
comes home, he will be pleased "-
"And do you think your Grandmamma will be pleased ?
Does she know where you are now ? "
Chris said that he thought not, but she knew he was out
And now I must go crab-hunting," he said, slipping off
his perch; adding, I'm sure father would like me to have
you as a friend very much. You are not at all like Nurse or
James. You are more like father himself, only-I wish-I
wish you could come down on the rocks with me."
Upon this, Mr. Sandy held out his hand and gave
Chris's hand a squeeze, as he said,-
"Thanks, my boy; I wish I could." Then again Chris
saw the laughing look go out of his face, and again he went
close up to him, and, standing on tiptoe, leaned over and
Good-bye, Mr. Sandy," he said gently. "Now I am going
to find crabs, but I shall look for you here every day."
What a never-to-be-forgotten morning that was! First
of all, there was the delight of going squtash into that grey and
shiny sand, that looked at first sight like a beautiful sheet of
glass; and then, as he trod on it, how it oozed over his feet
in goloshes of mud! Then there were the deep, clear rock-
pools, where the long green seaweed, like mermaids' hair,
floated and sank. And then-oh, rapture !-the sight of the
first little scuttling brown crab that went hurrying and scurry-
ing across a patch of sand between the rocks, panting to
reach a shelter among the thick rock-seaweed, before that
dreadful boy with his broad hands could clutch it. But Chris
pounced upon it, and popped it into his bucket, with some
seaweed for a bed." Then another, a little sister of the
prisoner, came hurrying down to the sea, trying hard to escape
from that terrible little pail in the air just over its head.
Pounce went Chris again, and now the brother and sister crab
are together once more, but--in a bucket. Back again over
the sands galloped Chris, in boots that were now sand-colour
instead of being black, his hair even was splattered, and his
cheeks were smeared. Back to the bath-chair he went. Down
went the newspaper once more at the sound of his footsteps.
"I've got them! I've got two!" he shouted; "and she
shall have them now. I know her house! and the door stands
open like ours."
Mr. Sandy was just then reading a part of the Times
which said, "They have the courage of their convictions, and
the enthusiasm of a great cause." And he told Chris that he
had the same, although, he said, Chris would not understand
what he meant, still he would know all about it as he grew
older; but did Chris really think that his courage and his
enthusiasm would blind that terrible Nurse whose voice he
had heard at the window to the horror of his muddy state ?
Chris only stared at him by way of an answer; then Mr.
Sandy, throwing away his cigar end, laughed outright as he
said, Come and tell me.all about it to-morrow," which Chris
promised to do ; and in another minute or so he was running
up the steps of the little girl's house, where he had never been
before, nor had he the least idea whom he was going to see;
and certainly he did look more like a fisherman's boy than
what Nurse used to call him, her "little nobleman."
You see, it is not a usual thing to do, to go into somebody
else's house in a sudden and violent way, when you do not
know that somebody else,-when you have not called," as the
saying is, and as mothers have to do first,-more especially
when somebody else is just sitting down to luncheon, and
when your legs and boots and hands are so covered with wet
and gritty sand that you leave some of it on the hall floor as
you walk, and on the door-handle as you touch it--which was
what Chris did. lie dashed into the neat, clean hall, bucket
in hand, flung open the first door he came to, which was the
dining-room, where three little ladies were just sitting down
Now it had not occurred to Chris that when people go
down to the sea-side, they very often only take rooms for a
WHEN I'M A MAN.
time, instead of a whole house, so that in this way two or
three families may be living in the same house. These three
ladies had the dining-room and the rooms behind it, and had
nothing whatever to do with Christopher's little friend, who,
with her Nurse, had the rooms on the floor above. So, with his
bucket held triumphantly high in the air and his straw hat pushed
to the back of his head, Chris stared around him, and said,-
Where is Eveleen ? I have got two crabs for her. If
any of you are her Grandmamma, will you please give them to
her, because I must go home to dinner?"
These three Miss Kiltings were not fond of children,-
some people are not,-and so not one of them cared to be
taken for a grandmother; but they were very fond of a hot
luncheon, and nothing made them crosser than to have it
disturbed. So that, instead of laughing and telling Chris he
had made a mistake, one of them said,-
We want no little boys or crabs here!" another said,
" Go away directly, and shut the door after you;" whilst the
third said, "There's a little girl called Eveleen up stairs.
Good gracious! look at the mud on the carpet! "
Christopher fled, banging the door behind him, nearly
upsetting his crabs as he ran up-stairs, leaving more sand-
tracks on his way, and dropping sea-water from his bucket.
The drawing-room door was shut; he heard voices, and
the clatter of knives and forks. Boldly he burst that door
open, and beheld his little friend eating a mutton chop, whilst
opposite her was seated the crossest-looking of cross Nurses,
devouring crab. As Chris opened the door, he heard that
wheelbarrow voice saying,-
"Crabs are only for grown-up people, Miss Eveleen;
mutton chops are for little girls. Eat it cheerfully. Do you
suppose your mamma would give you crab for dinner if she
was here ? Certaintly not. Smells so nice ? Very likely ;-
so do a lot of things that are not good for little girls."
Then before Eveleen's tearful eyes appeared Christopher,
holding his pail in the air triumphantly once more, and saying,-
I've brought you two little live crabs; I said I would!
Here they are! look down here, deep down in my bucket,
amongst the seaweed."
He had gone round to Eveleen's chair, and was holding
his little pail over her plate that she might see, and the sea-
water was dripping into her mutton-chop gravy, and bits of
green seaweed were falling over her potatoes, as Chris poked
about to get at the little crabs. Eveleen did not quite know
whether to be frightened or delighted.
But she very soon did know.
For, like a hawk swooping down on a young chicken, that
crab-eating Nurse swooped upon poor Christopher, and, worst
of all, upon his little pail. But like a fighting chick he flew
at her, and with his sturdy hands he wrenched his treasure
away from her, and held it as his own once more; whilst, at
the same time, he kicked so violently with his wet boots that
she was obliged to let go of his collar for a minute that she
might brush the sand off her clean cotton dress. In that
moment Chris got the advantage, and an exciting chase
began, dodging round the table, over the chairs, over the sofa,
under it he dived once, up again, round and round the room,
Eveleen watching in terror and yet in considerable excite-
ment too-glad too if only her crabs could be saved! if only
Nurse did not catch Chris! But alas! a footstool did it!-
he stumbled and fell. Over the floor rolled the pail, seaweed
with baby-crabs curled up in it, all in one little heap on the
floor, scraped up in one minute by Nurse, and hurled out of
the window by her in the next. Then she turned like a whirl-
wind to pick up Chris and shake him, but he had picked him-
self up, and stood glaring at her, white as a sheet, his big
brown eyes shining and his hands clenched.
"Now you be off! she said authoritatively; take your
empty pail with you, and tell your Nurse to mind you better
another morning, instead of letting you come tramping into
!other folk's houses with enough wet sand to give me a day's
My little crabs!" wailed Eveleen, with tears streaming
over her mutton chop.
WHEN 'M A MAN
How dare you speak to me so !" spoke Chris at last.
My father is Sir Guy Mostyn, and my Nurse is never to go
out with me any more! And I won't touch my bucket again
after you've touched it, you horrible cross witch!" Then he
went up to Eveleen.
Just for a minute the Nurse did not move or speak; she
was too much astonished at being called a witch,-and, of
course, that was not nice of Christopher,-astonished, too,
by the imperious way in which he announced to her who
he was. So he went up to Eveleen, and said,-
Don't cry I'll get you some more "
"Not if I know it!" said Nurse, making a plunge;
but naughty Christopher kicked a footstool in her way, which
very nearly tripped her up; and then, dashing out of the
room, with a sore heart and a button off his collar, he hurried
It was past one o'clock when a hot, angry grandson walked
into the dining-room where those two sweet ladies; his Grand-
mamma and his Aunt Connie, were waiting for him; and when
he told them all that morning's adventures from first to last,
his Grandmother shook her head, and said,--
Ah, Chris, Chris! because you are the son of Sir Guy
Mostyn, for that very reason you ought to remember that
noblesse oblige;" which Christopher did not understand, and
when Mrs. Powis said she could not explain then, as the fish
was getting cold, he said,
I shall ask Mr. Sandy, I know he knows everything."
Upon which Aunt Connie observed, that if Mr Sandy were
his bath-chair friend, he seemed to have what Nurse called "a
mischeevious" effect upon Christopher, only she said it with a
smile, so Chris was not indignant.
There is such a wonderful difference in the way people
have of saying things.
Then Mrs. Powis said she had had a delightful letter from
her dear friend Mrs. Moreton, living in Birmingham, who told
her that her little girl Eveleen had been sent down to the sea-
side with her Nurse, after an attack of croup: would Mrs.
* *," .' '
If only Nurse did not catch Chris But alas a footstool did it !-Page 39.
42 WHEN 'AF A MAN.
Powis be kind enough to look after her occasionally, and to
let her and Christopher be companions. Her Nurse is rather
too severe, poor child," wrote Mrs. Moreton. She will leave
us on Eveleen's return home."
Where ? what house ? what number ?" cried Chris. I
do believe it is-it must be my Eveleen!"
And, on looking at the letter to find the address, Mrs.
Powis discovered that he was right.
Then now I can have my revenge on that Nurse!" said
"Now, Chris, remember!" said his Grandmother as
solemnly; "only on one condition can I let you and Eveleen
Moreton be playfellows: and that is, that you remember on
all occasions to be a gentleman, and to take care of her."
Of course I shall, Gran; but if I am to be a gentleman
I must be a man, and if I am to be a man I must be strong,
and that Nurse shall see who can be strongest!"
HAT afternoon an open fly was ordered for
Chris and his Grandmother; they were going
to drive to Glazebury Court, where Mrs.
Ferrars lived, and on their way would call at
the house where Eveleen Moreton was staying
with her tyrannical Nurse. Aunt Connie was going down to
the shore with her sketch-book. Chris himself would have pre-
ferred the tandem goat-chaise, but then he supposed that would
hardly have been so comfortable for Mrs. Powis. Of course
he was ready first; there he was, out on the step, chatting to
the fly-driver, having discovered that he rejoiced in the name
of Jeremy Jenkins, that he was forty-five years old, that he
had lived in this seaside place of Changton forty years, and yet
he could not satisfy Chris as to what he much wanted to know,
-whether it was a place of wild adventure,-but he certainly
thought it was a pretty fair country.
"Mrs. Ferrars, did he say, of Glazebury Court? It was
the best house in the county, he'd be bound, as fine a place
as you could wish to see."
Christopher thought this flyman quite charming, and on his
asking him if he liked chocolates, and receiving for answer,
that he didn't know as he'd ever tasted them." he ran up the
steps straightway, just as Mrs. Powis was coming down them,
charged full tilt into the dining-room, and, finding his box of
chocolate creams on the table, returned with them in triumph.
"Chris, my boy, I am waiting," was his Grandmother's
WHEN I'M A MANi
I wanted to give Mr. Jeremy Jenkins just a taste of
chocolate," was the rather astonishing answer. Then, after
squeezing two chocolate creams into the whip-hand of the
coachman, who now sat on his box like a statue, looking
neither to the right nor left, Chris perched himself on the
front seat by his Grandmother, saying in a tone of supreme
"I have three friends now, all since yesterday,-Mr.
Sandy, this flyman, and Eveleen. I don't think you quite
care for Jeremy Jenkins, Gran, but if he teaches me to drive
you will. A man must know how to drive."
Chris, my dear boy, you are not a man yet," objected his
"No, but I shall be some day. Hallo! here we are at
He was bubbling over with excitement as he thought
of the effect his stately Grandmamma would have upon
tIat Nurse, and how he would hold himself drawn up
defiantly at her side, looking his very tallest. But alas!
they were told Miss Eveleen and her Nurse had gone out."
Then we must drive on to Glazebury Court," said Mrs.
As fine a place as you could wish to see," drawled Chris
in broad Sussex, but not loud enough for his friend on the box
to hear him ; that's how Jeremy Jenkins said it exactly."
Mrs. Powis said that no doubt Mr. Jenkins was an excellent
man, but she did not wish Chris to talk as he did. I will
write a note to Eveleen," she added, "and to her Nurse too,
asking her to come and spend to-morrow afternoon with us."
Well, then, look here, dear darling pet of a Gran!" said
Chris imploringly, giving her a hug which pushed her bonnet
all on one side and untied the strings, "promise me this!
promise that we may go about together alone! promise you
will trust me You know I am strong, Gran."
So she promised; for whenever Chris looked up out of
his eyes at her, as he did just then, he looked so like his
mother that she could not say No" to him.
They were driving through pretty country lanes, where
the hedges were bright with the wreaths of wild bryony, and
before them stretched the swelling soft green hills, whilst
behind them lay the blue sea, sparkling in the September
I like all this much better than London," said Chris; it's
more creamy somehow." To which his Gran replied in her
sweet, deep tones,--
"An old poet once said, 'God made the country, man
made the town;' but then we must remember that God
made man, and that thought makes some people love London.
Now, here we are, dear boy, at Glazebury Court."
As they drove in at the gates, they seemed to Christopher
to be driving through a vast forest, which was really the
avenue; it reminded him of what he had read in fairy stories
WHEN TIM A MAN.
of dark groves haunted by sprites, from which you suddenly
emerge into the most lovely fairyland of a garden.
As to the house itself, Chris thought, whilst he followed
his Grandmamma across the spacious hall, and gazed up the
broad staircase and at the gallery overhead, what a capital
house it must be for hide-and-seek!
The hall seemed to have doors all round it, one of which
was thrown open by the very grave butler, and they were
ushered into a charming little room, sweet with the scent of
roses and mignonette, and noisy with the rapture of many
canaries. An elderly lady rose from an arm-chair in the open
window as they were announced, and, almost running up to
Mrs. Powis, cried out,-
Oh, Victoria, my dear girl, how glad I am!"
And Mrs. Powis in her gravest, most loving manner,
murmured, "Lucy, my dear child! I should know your
Chris stood by, staring in astonishment. It was so very
funny to hear his Grandmamma called by her Christian name,
which he had never heard before and never thought of her
possessing; and then to hear her, his silver-haired, "very old
Gran" called a "dear girl!" and that other old lady, who
he thought must be even older than his Gran, called
by her a "dear child!" When did people grow really old
enough ? he wondered; he almost despaired of ever being a
man, if with white hair you are still liable to be called a child.
And this is Maisie's little Christopher! said Mrs. Ferrars,
turning to him; and in the next moment he experienced a
feeling that he had only felt once before-one day some time
ago, when he had played at hide-and-seek with Aunt Connie
when the beds were being made, and he had laid himself down
on his Grandmother's feather-bed and pulled her eider-down
quilt over him; so very soft, so very warm, was Mrs. Ferrars
as she hugged him.
My poor boy is Christopher too," she said, with a sigh,
as she let him go at last, and stood beaming at him, whilst
she clasped his Grandmother's hand.
GLAZEB URY COURT.
"Oh, have you a boy?" cried Chris; "and is he at
home ? May I go out in that jolly garden with him ?"
"He is out, my dear little love-and he is not a boy
like you, but a man; still, always a boy to me, my dear.
They never grow old to us, do they, Victoria ? But you shall
go out into the garden at once if you like, and go just wher-
ever you like, whilst Gran and I have a talk. Evans shall
sound the gong for you when it is time to come in to tea."
Oh, thank you!" said Chris, making a sudden bound
at the window, that stood open like a door, on to a long
terrace walk; and so headlong was Christopher's bound,
that stout Mrs. Ferrars had suddenly to jump aside to
get out of his way, at which he laughed till he cried.
I am very sorry," he said; I don't mean to be rude,
but I never knew you could jump like that-it was just like
Aunt Connie's dog Sandy after a bluebottle. Then I may
go wherever I like in the garden? Thank you! And you
will ask Gran to sit down, won't you? because you have
kept her standing for such a long time; and I know she'll
never tell you, but," this in a loud whisper, one of her knees
is very weak, and it does tire her to stand on it long."
My dear Christopher !" exclaimed Mrs. Powis ; "any one
would imagine me to be an old horse."
Father told me I was to take care of you, Gran," he said
gravely; and then both ladies disappeared from his eyes and
his thoughts, for he had run out into the garden, and he
thought that Christopher Ferrars, whether he were boy or
man, must be happy all day long in such a place.
Lawns that were like velvet made Chris long to have
some one with him who would run races; trees that threw
great shadows over those lawns, and held out great embrac-
ing arms, as if they were saying, "Come, climb us ;" walks
with flower-beds along them like bright ribbons, so gay were
they, only they were sweet as well; other walks there were
with no flowers, but dark-green yew-hedges; kitchen
gardens full of fruit, which made Chris once more think
of that other Christopher as a happy individual, who could
WHEN I'M A MAN.
come and gather pears and apples and plums, when they
were ripe, whenever he liked. From the last kitchen garden
he wandered into a large court-yard, and he discovered that
the buildings all around were farm buildings, and very soon
he was making the acquaintance of many pigs. There were
black pigs with sharp, inquisitive eyes; there were white pigs
with round, self-asserting snouts; there were spotted pigs;
there were infant pigs, which to Chris were so superior to
kittens, that he wondered whether he could, accustom one to
lie on the rug before the nursery fire and drink milk out of
Then came the cows, just driven in to be milked.
Alderney cows with their large, meek eyes, broad, smooth
noses, wide foreheads, and soft, furry ears. Chris was just
going to ask the cowman whether he might watch him, when
he was prevented by a neat, trim little woman stepping
across the yard, who evidently had urgent and pressing
business with the cowman. She was Mrs. Fleed, the dairy-
woman. Seeing Christopher, she stopped short, and said,-
If you're the young gentleman whose Grandma is with
the mistress, you're wanted, sir, to go in directly."
But I wanted so much to see the cows milked, and to
see everything! and the little chickens, and the pigeons!"
Then Mrs. Fleed stooped down, and, with her hands on
her knees, looked into Christopher's face; and he looked
into hers, and, with his unfortunate way of speaking his
thoughts aloud, said,-
I don't like your face half as much as the Alderneys!
It is like a rosy apple that has been kept in the sideboard
Upon this Mrs. Fleed laughed till she shook, as she said,-
You shall see all the animals, my dear little gentleman,
and the poultry too, next time you come, if only you re-
member to ask for Betsy Fleed; but one thing you must do
now, my dear, and that is, what you're told to do."
I think I am getting too old for that, Betsy Fleed!" said
Chris, thrusting his hands down in his pockets and holding
Then Mrs. Fleed stooped down, and, with her hands on her knees,
looked into Christopher's face.- fa;e 48.
WHEN 'M A MAN.
his head very high as he turned away, and walked back, the
way he came, towards the house, recollecting himself, though,
sufficiently to look back over his shoulder at the dairy-woman
and the cowman, as they stood in the late afternoon sunshine,
watching him, with their cows all round them, and the pigeons
wheeling over their heads.
"I'm very much obliged, though," he called back, for
what you said about showing me everything;" which made
Mrs. Fleed say,-
Bless his heart for being a little gentleman !"
Chris found his Grandmother and Mrs. Ferrars at tea,
and a little tea-table all by itself had been arranged for him in
a little bow window, unlike any other window in the room.
And as he sat there, eating the thinnest of bread and butter
and the thickest of rich cake, and drinking the hottest and
sweetest of tea, he could hear the voices of the two ladies
over their teacups, whilst he listened to a piping bullfinch, in
a cage just above his head, whistling a little Scotch tune.
He wished that bullfinch could have screeched like a parrot,
to prevent his overhearing what he thought sounded like
"secrets from the other tea-table.
Of course not, my dear," Mrs. Ferrars was saying, and
her voice was very feather-beddy and eider-down-quilty;
" it will never do for him to talk to every one, to every
stranger he meets, I don't wonder that it makes you
anxious and nervous." To which his dear Gran replied in
her deep, clear tones,-
Perhaps I am over-anxious, but one does hear such
queer stories in these days."
And there are such impostors said the fat voice again.
"Chris declares he is a gentleman," said Mrs. Powis;
"but still "- She sighed.
My dear Victoria," and here a comfortable hand was
placed on the thin gloved one, "so he may be, but still he
may be no fit companion for little Chris! "
Hush-sh-sh said Gran, holding up her finger
warningly, whilst at that moment Chris began a terrific
GLAZEBURY COURT. 51
drumming with his heeled boots against the bar of his chair,
at the same time rattling his cup and spoon in the saucer
and bursting out into song at the top of his voice. Both
ladies started up.
Chris, my dear boy!" exclaimed his Grandmother.
He stopped instantly, and explained.
Gran dear, I can't help it; father always tells me not
to listen, but how can I help hearing your secrets if I don't
make a noise?"
"A very honourable darling!" cried Mrs. Ferrars; and
a shower of kisses was on the point of following her words,
when the servant announced that Mrs. Powis's carriage was
waiting. Then Chris heard of a delightful plan made by
kind Mrs. Ferrars; they were all to come and stay with her
to-morrow-Gran, Aunt Connie, Chris, and Nurse.
But Eveleen !" exclaimed Chris, suddenly remembering,
in the midst of his delight, that she was to have spent to-
morrow afternoon with them.
"Eveleen is coming too, for Mrs. Ferrars knows her
mother well, and only wrote to her yesterday, telling her
that she should have her little daughter to stay at Glazebury
"And that Nurse ?" interrupted Chris.
No," replied his Grandmamma, smiling; Mrs. Ferrars
is going to make some arrangement with Mrs. Moreton by
which that Nurse need not come." Chris was a little dis-
appointed that now all hopes of a mighty revenge had been
dashed to the ground, but his Grandmother's next words
drove all thoughts of the Nurse out of his mind.
Chris, my dear boy," she said,-he was watching a
peacock butterfly flitting about the hedge, as they drove
along, at the time, and did not pay much attention to those
first four words, but he started round as she went on to say,-
"will you, to please me, give up your bath-chair friend ?"
I will have my head cut off first, Gran replied Chris
superbly;-which he knew his Grandmother was not at all
likely to do.
UT Gran meant what she said, and so did Chris
at the time he said it, and when two people
mean to have their own way, when one says
"you will and the other says I won't," it is
usually the stronger who wins.
Aunt Connie found Chris lying on his back on the dining-
room sofa after his return from their drive, with little Sandy
sitting on his knees, and Sandy was looking sorrowfully into
Christopher's face, for Chris was looking sorrowfully at Sandy.
Why, my dear old man! what is the matter ?" asked
Aunt Connie, as she knelt down beside the sofa.
If you feel choky, and somebody you love asks you
what is the matter, in a tone like Aunt Connie's, you are
pretty sure to cry; but Chris kicked his crossed leg in the
air instead, which sent Sandy sliding down ever so far, as
he asked his aunt this rather puzzling question,-
"Aunt Connie, when a man is very strong indeed, must
he always obey his Grandmamma ?"
Aunt Connie said she thought very few strong men had
Grandmammas ; they were the property of boys generally.
No, but Gran is not the same as father, is she? And
besides, father told me to take care of Gran; and if I am
to take care of her, I can't always do what she tells me,
because that's making me like a baby-and how can a
baby take care of her? If Gran wants me to take care of
her, she mustn't think I'm going to give up my friends
because she tells me to-for I won't."
Another kick with that last word, and this time poor
little Sandy was shot off sideways, thump down on the floor.
"Was that because I said I won't' ?" asked Chris
remorsefully, as Sandy jumped up again cheerfully, and
cuddled into his outstretched arms.
Most likely," said Aunt Connie, as she pushed Chris-
topher's thick hair off his forehead and kissed it; "but look
here, Chris: the strongest men say 'I will,' to their Grand-
mothers, not 'I won't!'"
Very well," replied wicked Chris; I'll say, 'I will keep
my friend Mr. Sandy,' instead of' I won't give him up.'"
Oh, Chris!" and Aunt Connie tried hard not to laugh,
but she could not succeed, for she was not yet old enough
always to keep grave when she wanted very much to
"No, but I say-what do you think Gran says?" and
Chris raised himself upon his elbow.
Just here his Gran came into the room, and, hearing
his words, she finished them for him,-
Gran says that Chris and Aunt Connie had better have
a run out on the Parade before sunset; it is lovely there
now. I will sit in the window with my book and watch you."
Then Chris was seized with a sudden idea: he would take
Aunt Connie far down to the other end of the Parade,
where he had first met his bath-chair friend; he would just
go and see if he were there, and he would ask him if he
must obey his Gran in this matter or not; he would know,
Chris felt sure of that. He did not mean to say a word
to Aunt Connie; after they had reached the quiet sea-walk
he would ask her to play at "leading," which meant, going
with her eyes shut, holding his hand, a very favourite game
of his when they were out together. Then suddenly he
would say, "Open your eyes!" And, if the bath-chair
were there, she would suddenly see before her this new
friend of Christopher's, with the wonderful eyes, and Chris
would say, Now could he hurt me, Aunt Connie ?"
But, should Mr. Sandy himself say, "You must obey
WHEN I'M A MAN.
your Grandmother," Chris made up his mind to say good-
bye to him then and there, because he believed that what
his new friend said must be right. All this passed through
his mind as they walked along the Parade together; and
Aunt Connie wondered why he was so silent, excepting
once, when they were passing Eveleen's house, and he caught
sight of her at the drawing-room window; then he waved
his hat in the air, and she waved a handkerchief, and
suddenly disappeared, as though somebody clawed her from
"That's that Nurse, I know!" indignantly said Chris;
adding directly afterwards, Now, Aunt Connie dear, here
we are at the end of the Parade on this nice sea-walk. Do
let's play at 'leading,'-there's nobody here,-and let me be
They had left the Parade and all its people far behind,
and they were treading along the shingly path, just above
the beach, where the tamarisk waves and the sea-poppies
blow, and where the rooks fly across from the woods that lie
-right away inland on your right, over the sea-walk and down
to the wet seaweedy sands on your left; for in the sands
are worms, and the rooks know it. Far away from the
people, nearer to the sunset land-all pink and green and
gold above the blue sea and the 'soft downs; -only poor
Aunt Connie could not see all those beautiful things, because
she kept her eyes obediently closed; nor could she see-oh,
joy! how Chris jumped when he saw it!-a long bath-chair
in the distance. There it was, as large as life! And
Chris clasped his aunt's hand tighter still as he said,-
You're quite sure they are shut, Aunt Connie ? You're
not shamming ? "
"Quite sure, dear; I'll keep them shut till you tell me I
may open them-only promise not to take me into a ditch,
or run me down on the sands suddenly; and, Chris! I won't
have a frog or anything of that sort put on to me-now
No, I promise I won't; I'm going to show you some-
thing very, very nice. Hush! don't speak now." They
were about a dozen yards behind the bath-chair, drawn
up just on the top of the beach. On tiptoe went
Christopher, leading his aunt; then, suddenly grasping her
*hand tighter than ever, so that she could not free it if
she would, he said in one and the same breath,-
-- .ak -- -
"You may open them now! Oh, dear Mr. Sandy,
I think I have come to say good-bye to you! And this
is Aunt Connie-for Gran says she thinks you may be
dangerous, and I want Aunt Connie to see that you are
WHEN IM A MAN.
It was a trying position for Aunt Connie and for that
other Christopher; it would be difficult to say which was the
more astonished and startled of the two.
In another minute, the invalid was holding out his hand
to Chris, saying to Aunt Connie as he did so,-
You will excuse my raising my cap; you see it would
be an impossibility in my present position. We have struck
up a great friendship, your nephew and I."
Chris was beginning to say something very vehement,
when Aunt Connie stopped him by saying, with heightened
I am afraid we have taken you by storm. I am sorry.
Chris was leading me with my eyes shut. He is very
tiresome, very naughty sometimes. Come, Chris, we must
There was an amused smile in the bath-chair, a smile
which the moustaches tried to hide, but it crept out at
the eyes. Chris was now irrepressible.
"I am not going home till I have asked Mr. Sandy
something," he said firmly; "and if you are like Gran, Aunt
Connie, and think him dangerous as she does, you'd better
She had already gone; and was wandering slowly down
the beach, apparently intent on going to hunt for little crabs
on the wet sand.
"You have frightened your aunt away," said Mr Sandy
"Women are such bothers," sighed Chris, leaning his
arms on the bath-chair, as his eyes followed in the direction
of his friend's eyes; "even Aunt Connie sometimes. Oh,
I see Mark is down there, so I daresay they will be very
Suppose you tell me what all this means," said his friend,
so decidedly that Chris began without any hesitation.
Why, it means that we are all going to stay with Mrs.
Ferrars at Glazebury Court to-morrow, and I was determined
to come and look for you to say good-bye to, because Gran
says I'm not to come and be your friend any more, because
she says it makes her anxious, and some men in bath-chairs
are dangerous. I don't know what she means. It isn't
even as if you were a flyman like Jeremy Jenkins, and I'm
sure if she saw you she'd love you, and I thought
Aunt Connie would see that you weren't dangerous, but I
suppose she does think you are, as she has run away.
And what am I to do? Mustn't I come ever to see you
Mr. Sandy's first words were no answer, for he only said,
with a brimming-over smile in his eyes,-
"So you are all going to stay at Glazebury Court, are
"Yes. Gran and I went there this afternoon, and she
has such a jolly place."
Has she? What's it like ?"
"Oh, I don't know!" replied Chris impatiently; I don't
care for anything, if I am never to come here and speak
to you again!"
There was a silence. Chris thought it almost unkind
of his friend to laugh. Yes! he was laughing, actually
shaking under his rug; but when he saw how grave Chris
looked, he said quite gravely,-
I wonder what your Grandmamma thinks I might do
to you ?"
"I don't know," and Chris shook his head doubtfully;
"it isn't as if you were a dog and might bite, or a horse
and might kick, or a savage who gives a war-whoop, and
knocks you down with his club, and then eats you. That
would be a splendid adventure, but still that isn't you. I
think Mrs. Ferrars frightened Gran about you."
Mrs. Ferrars!" and here the invalid regularly exploded
into a peal of laughter.
"Yes, it was very silly of her," said Chris, looking
perplexed as he wondered what there was so very amusing
in what he had just said; "and perhaps I ought not to say,
because I don't think I ought to have heard."
WHEN I'M A MAN.
"Then don't talk about it. And if your Grandmother
said, 'Chris, don't go and talk any more to the man in
the bath-chair,' why do you stand talking here now?"
Because I like you;" and Chris turned his great eyes
full upon his friend with those words, and, seeing him look so,
Mr. Sandy laid a hand upon the boy's shoulder, saying,-
"Ah! but we must do what we are told to do."
"Then must I say good-bye, and never, never see you
again ?" asked Chris in tragic tone.
Yes, we must say good-bye now," replied his friend
once more with a smile creeping out at the corner of his eyes.
He was not prepared for the way in which the boy
answered. Throwing himself upon him, with something
very like a sob, he said,-
Good-bye, dear, dear Mr. Sandy. I do think Gran
is a very, very wicked old lady "
I say! hallo! no-I can't allow that," said Mr. Sandy,
as the soft cheek raised itself from a rub against his. Never
call people wicked just because you don't understand them-
especially Grandmothers. Some day we shall all understand.
Now, not a word more. Here comes your aunt. I hope
you will enjoy yourself at Glazebury Court."
Good-bye, dear, DEAR, DEAR Mr. Sandy, who never
did anybody any harm!"
But killed all the mice in the Glazebury farm,"
muttered the invalid, sotto voce.
Sorrowfully, very sorrowfully, Chris walked away back-
wards, that he might see the very last of the bath-chair.
He saw Mark come up and draw it slowly away, and
then he could see no more; and, not thinking of where
he was going, still walking backwards, he would have
suddenly stumbled and fallen over a bit of rough ground,
only his Aunt Connie, who had been standing at the end
of the path waiting for him, caught him in her arms just
in time. This made him very cross, which was very
unreasonable of him, and instead of thanking her, he said,--
"Aunt Connie! how can you ? How you do all tr.at me
as if I was a baby! You forget all that father says about
making a man of me Wait till I'm a strong man, and then
see if I don't have friends in bath-chairs all over the world,
and walk backwards over most awfully dangerous places "
PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT.
0 they all went together to Glazebury Court
the next day, Gran and Aunt Connie, Chris
and little Eveleen, and they drove in a large
Eveleen's Nurse and Christopher's Nurse
were going by train, and it had been arranged between Mrs.
Ferrars and Eveleen's mother that that Nurse was only to
stay for the first day or two, and then to go home.
Gran tells me," said Chris to Eve confidentially,
"that there is a Colonel Ferrars, and all Colonels are strict,
and so I shall only have to complain to him if your Nurse
is unkind, and he will punish her at once."
How would he punish her, do you think?" asked
Eveleen. He wouldn't send her to prison, would he? I
shouldn't like that, even for Nurse."
Oh, I daresay he has a dungeon underground some-
where. Glazebury Court is an immense place."
Eveleen did not much like the sound of Colonel Ferrars
and dungeons, but she was not going to show Chris that she
was afraid of course not. This talk had taken place on
the balcony, when they were waiting for the fly to come;
Gran and Aunt Connie were tying up little parcels and
umbrellas in the drawing-room; and the two Nurses were
talking together down in the hall.
Up came the fly at last, and Eveleen pulled on her
long black silk gloves, caught up her little sunshade, and
making hold of Chris with the other hand, said,-
PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT.
Sit by me in the carriage, won't you ? "
But Chris said he really must sit on the box by Jeremy
Jenkins, who was going to teach him to drive, and he was
going to teach him in return how to recite Casabianca;
or, The heroic boy." Chris clambered up on to the coach-
box like a monkey, and poor Mrs. Powis from that moment
sat with her eyes shut and her hands clasped, quite silent,
until they reached Glazebury Court.
Eveleen said to Aunt Connie,--" I think boys get their
own way more than girls, don't you ? but perhaps Chris is
spoilt, rather;" and Aunt Connie laughed and said nothing.
Glazebury Court looked more charming even than the
day before; it was so hot that all the doors and windows
stood open, and all the autumn roses seemed to be sending
out sweet scents to greet them; and as they drove through
the shady avenue of lime-trees, it seemed like turning into
a great dark forest, out of a dry sandy desert. So the chil-
dren thought; and Chris looked down from his coach-box,
and, nodding kindly to them all, pointed with his whip, for
Jeremy Jenkins had given it up to him, and said,-
"Look, Eveleen, amongst those dark trees; I daresay
there are lots of hobgoblins and wild animals and horrible
Then he turned round again, and chatted to Jeremy
Jenkins about the horse's left ear, from which a piece had
been nicked out; and poor Eveleen shuddered to herself,
whilst -Mrs. Powis said,-
My dear, you must not believe all that Chris tells you."
And Aunt Connie put her arm round her, and kissed the
little determined mouth, thinking she might be feeling shy as
they were drawing near the house. But who could feel
shy with Mrs. Ferrars? There she stood in the doorway,
ready to receive them all with kisses and hugs; and Eveleen
looked for Colonel Ferrars behind her, but only saw the
butler and the footman. And there were many dogs patter-
ing about the doorstep-by the bye, Sandy had come, of
course, and was now saying how d'ye do to all the other dogs.
WHEN 1'M A MAN.
And there was a great cage of birds far back at the end of
the hall, almost an aviary, with a tree in it, and all sorts
of little birds flying about; and Chris went straight up to
it, and discomfited good Mrs. Ferrars by exclaiming,-
Oh, how cruel! Father says it is so cruel to keep a
lot of birds in a cage; he says it isn't right. Mayn't I open
the door and let them all out ? they would fly out so nicely
at the open hall-door into the beautiful forest."
"Oh, Chris!" gasped Eveleen in horror, and-
"Chris! they are not your birds!" cried Aunt Connie,
PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT
whilst Gran swept an arm around him like a warning
angel, and Mrs. Ferrars exclaimed, whilst she laughed
Bless the dear boy! Why, do you know, Chris, these
little birds are all quite tame, and were almost all hatched
"Did you sit on their little wee eggs?" asked Chris,
astonished, which showed Mrs. Ferrars that she must be
more accurate in her way of expressing herself.
"I took care of them whilst they were hatching," she
explained. Victoria, you look tired to death, my dear
"That's Gran," whispered Chris to Eveleen. "She
was a girl once-isn't it funny ? "
Come this way," continued Mrs. Ferrars, with an arm
round Mrs Powis. And you too, Connie, and the children;
tea is ready, and they are going to have it with us. Dear
little things! I wish they could every day! Perhaps we
shall be able to arrange it so." Mrs. Ferrars had a happy
faculty of arranging most things comfortably for everybody.
" But we shall be a houseful, for I am expecting three
by the 5.30 train, and so we shall have finished our snug
tea cosily before they arrive, which will not be till nearly
time to dress for dinner. Colonel Ferrars was sorry he had
to be in town this afternoon."
Eveleen was glad; as she dreaded to see any one who
must be so like all she had ever read of an ogre.
Neither she nor Chris ever forgot their first afternoon
tea together at Glazebury Court. She said it was like a
book; he said it was better than any book, because it was
real. They sat together at the same little table where Chris
had sat before, close to the small bow-window, and under
the bullfinch-cage. And Mrs. Ferrars and Gran and Aunt
Connie sat at their table in the French window, which was
wide open on to the terrace and flower-beds and tennis
lawns. And the tea and the cream and the sugar were
on the silver tray on Mrs. Ferrars' table, also a hot tea-cake;
WHEN I'M A MAN.
but Chris and Eve had before them bread and butter and
greengage jam, and a plumcake that was golden with rich-
ness and snowflaked with almonds.
But, indeed, it will not hurt them," said Mrs. Ferrars,
as Gran's eyebrows went up when she saw the slices that
were being cut for the children; for it is home-made, and
all my cakes are wholesome."
And Chris and Eveleen drank their creamy tea-sweet
with many lumps of sugar-and crunched their almond
cake; and they looked into one another's eyes and laughed,
as they thought what a very happy world it was at Glaze-
What a time they are over their tea! Must we wait ?"
whispered Eveleen at last, glancing at the other table.
"Yes; aren't they ?" returned Chris in low tones.
" Grown-up people always are; they take little sips out of
their tea-cups, and break such tiny bits of cake."
Certainly it would have looked rather strange if Mrs.
Powis and Mrs. Ferrars and Aunt Connie had buried
their faces in their tea-cups, and taken long draughts of
tea like Chris, or if they had taken what he called "huge
bites out of their cake, as he did.
"Oh, now they are beginning to talk about people!"
groaned Chris in a low tone of despair. "When Gran
begins to talk about people in that sort of whispering tone,
they are sure to go on for such a long time! Look at
Aunt Connie-she is putting her cup down, and taking
up a book to look at; she's getting tired of it."
Aunt Connie heard her name, and, putting the book
down came over to them, and, with a hand on each chair,
"Mrs. Ferrars thinks you would both like to go into
the garden now, if you have done tea."
You always know what every one likes, Aunt Connie,"
cried Chris, throwing his arms back over his head, and,
catching her round the neck, drew her face down that he
might kiss it, and so very nearly throttled her.
PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT.
In another moment the children were out on the
terrace, and, rushing down the steps, scampered across the
lawns together,-those very lawns where Chris had longed,
when he was there before, to have some one to run races
with him. Such lawns! Such garden-seats in shady places!
Such summer-houses in remote corners at the end of shrub-
bery walks Such yew-hedges that went winding about into
a regular maze at last, where Chris dodged Eveleen, until
she begged him to show her the way out, which he did at
Only," he said, "we'll get your Nurse into this maze,
and we will not show her the way out."
But supposing she could never find her way out!"
',All the better," said Chris, "and we would come and
throw buns to her as if she were a bear in the Zoological
But don't you think the gardener might help her ?" said
Chris was afraid it was most likely.
Then from the maze they ran into those superb kitchen
gardens, where vegetables, fruit, and old fashioned flower-
borders were a perfect delight, both to eyes and nose; and
as they wandered along a broad gravel path between espalier
apple -trees, they came to a tall iron gate, not locked; so
Chris lifted the latch, and said, Come through," to Eveleen.
And after they had gone through, and shut the gate behind
them, they stood on green sloping ground, which seemed to
rise and fall for miles away, and they saw that they were
in the park, and that on their right lay the lime-tree avenue,
or "the forest," as they called it, which they had driven
through. But here, in front of them, was open ground
dotted with trees,-far and wide lay the park, and it looked
at last as if it touched the downs, and as if the patches of
wood in the distance, with farmhouses and cottages peeping
up between, all belonged to it, but they did not really. And
from far away there came a sound like a great sobbing sigh;
WHEN I'M A MAZN
-over and over again came that sound, sometimes louder,
sometimes softer, as the wind brought it to them or carried
it away ; and Eveleen saw Christopher's face with a strange,
soft look upon it, and she said in a half whisper,-
"What is that, Chris?" and she looked at him still
more wonderingly, for there were tears in his eyes, as he
That's the sea-and it makes me think of father-he's
gone away over the sea. And it makes me think of Mr.
Sandy too, for he goes down to the sea-shore every day, and
Gran doesn't wish me to speak to him again."
Who is he ?" asked Eveleen, still awestruck.
I'll tell you some day-not now, because I can't some-
how," was the answer, with a dash of his hand across his
eyes; "but, I say, Eve, I'll tell you this," he added in quite
another tone, and with a bright flash in his eyes ;" it's a great
secret, but you'll keep it, won't you ? "
She promised, almost panting with eagerness to hear
what it could be. He took her hand as he said,-
"Come down to that old stump of a tree, and I'll tell
Together they walked to the gnarled stump of an oak
tree that was smooth as a table on the top; together they sat
there, as Chris said solemnly,-
I have made up my mind to be a strong man, and to
obey only strong people. And I mean to look for all sorts
of adventures. I shan't be afraid of anything. You and I
will do all sorts of things together : won't it be jolly? You
don't look as if you liked it! Why, you're never afraid of
things, are you ?"
"N-no," faltered Eveleen, "except of black beetles.
Don't ask me to go where there are black-beetles, please,-
for I HATE them!"
"Oh, I daresay you will have to, for you and I must
explore all over the house, and there are sure to be black-
beetles in the dungeons; but, of course, if you are afraid, I'll
go alone. I forgot you were only a girl."
PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT.
Upon which Eveleen said earnestly that she would try
and not be afraid even of black-beetles. Something came
just then with a wheeling, droning whi: against her face, and
bounced away again through the air, and she very nearly
screamed, but by pinching her lips very tightly she kept the
scream shut up. Anything was better than to be thought a
coward by Chris, who said approvingly,-
"That was only a cockchafer. I see you do mean to be
brave. I don't believe now you will even be afraid of
Colonel Ferrars, or a black-beetle."
Then a great bell was heard ringing up at the house, and
Chris hopped off the stump, pulling Eveleen after him, as he
That's the dinner-bell, and everybody has come, and
now everybody is going to dinner. What a jolly hunt Nurse
WHEN I'M A MAN.
must have been having for us both! Let's come in now,
Eveleen, and go all over the house-dungeons and all.
Eveleen went in fear and trembling, but determined not
to show that she was afraid,-not so much at the thought of
possible black-beetles, but at the idea of what Nurse might
say at her having been out so long. For the dew was
falling, and the grass was long, and her shoes were not
thick. Still, with Christopher, who could be afraid ?
Back across those velvety lawns stole the children. It
was twilight now, but it was not dark yet, although lights
were glancing about the house; the children could see them
flitting about as they looked up at the windows. The
drawing room window still stood open, and they went
through it, then hand-in-hand darted out of the door, and
across the hall. There they both stood still for a moment,
to listen to the clamour and clatter of voices and plates from
What a smell of soup said Christopher.
How they all talk at once !" said Eveleen; I wonder
Colonel Ferrars allows them."
I daresay, if we wait a minute, we shall hear him thump
his hand on the table, and say, 'Silence!'-then there will
not be a sound, but himself grinding his own teeth," said
Chris reassuringly, at which Eveleen clutched his hand still
tighter, and dragged him to the broad staircase, with pictures
all over the walls and statues on the landing.
"Now then! we will begin to explore!" said Chris, as,
on the first landing, they turned under an arch between two
red curtains drawn back on each side, and as they turned,
alas they ran against two she-dragons-their Nurses!
Eveleen was clutched; Christopher was hugged.
Eveleen's Nurse led her away, telling her that she was a
"most tiresome and naughty child to have led her such
a dance-hunting for her all over the house!"
Christopher's Nurse told him she zas glad to find him,
for she had begun to be afraid he had lost himself in the
PERHAPS CHRIS IS SPOILT.
woods and wilds." That was a favourite expression of hers.
Chris never knew exactly what the "wilds" meant in her
"And if I had been, what would you have done?" he
asked, as she held his chin in her left hand, whilst she parted
his thick brown hair with the comb in her right.
"What should I have done, my dear? Looked for you
till I dropped."
P'r'aps you'll have to do it one day," he said thought-
fully; adding impatiently, Faugh! how sticky your hand is!
I wish you wouldn't hold my chin as if you were shaking
hands with it."
When the hair-brushing was over, hands had been
washed, and his brown velveteen suit exchanged for one
of black velvet, she said,-
"Now, Master Chris dear, there's a lot of company
down-stairs. And you and Miss Eveleen will go prettily
into the drawing-room, won't you? and wait there quietly
till dinner's over, and you're told to go in to dessert."
He was out of the room before she could hear his answer,
springing down stairs and into the drawing room, where
he found Eveleen sitting in a white frock and blue sash, and
ribbon to match in her hair.
Are you ready ?" he said in a loud whisper.
"What for?" she asked, looking up from a photograph-
book in her lap.
Ready to explore, of course," he said.
"Oh, Chris! not in my evening frock!" she exclaimed,
looking down at it. It might get dirty in the dungeons."
"Oh, well, if you're going to think of keeping your
frocks clean, you'll never be able to look for adventures with
me," said Christopher, almost contemptuously.
And Eveleen felt that she could not bear that. She
would do anything rather than let Chris think her "a silly."
So she started up and said she would go with him at
JAM AND DUNGEONS.
HEN they left the drawing-room theydid not quite
know which way to turn. It was such a very
large hall, with so very many doors around it.
The dining-room door was shut now, and all was
comparatively quiet. So Eveleen whispered,-
"Shall we go up-stairs first? I know Nurse has gone
/down-stairs to the housekeeper's room."
So up-stairs they tripped, turning under an archway
exactly opposite that other one where they had been
caught before. Then they found themselves in a long
passage or gallery, with bedrooms all the way down it.
All the doors stood a little bit open, and in some of the
rooms were candles burning on the mantelpiece; others
had only the light from the sunset. The children peeped
into the first room, and, pushing the door gently open,
went in. On the floor lay a Gladstone bag, half-unpacked,
its contents strewn about the floor and sofa, "all anyhow,"
as Eveleen observed. And amongst shirt-collars and hand-
kerchiefs lay an enormous sponge.
Did you ever see such a large one, Chris!" exclaimed
Eve. "He might have put it on his washstand, but it's
quite dry and new, so it won't hurt."
"It looks very like father's room," said Chris. For
he is very untidy too."
I don't think he can ever have had a Nurse to teach
him to put his things away," said Eveleen, looking all
round the room. "A tennis racket and a riding-whip on
the bed. And oh, what a heap of boots lying here! "
JAM AND DUNGEONlS.
Come here, Eve," said Chris in an ecstacy from the toilet-
table, with one finger in a little bottle. Here's something
that says it can make moustaches and whiskers grow. Fancy if
I could have them before father came home." Without another
word, he was standing before the glass stroking the brilliantine
in streaks down each cheek and across his upper lip.
Oh, Chris, doz't!" almost shrieked Eveleen. If they
have grown by to-morrow, you will look such a little, little
"I don't care for that, so long as I have them. Look
here, Eve; here's a pipe, and here's a silver cigarette case.
Father has one like it, only much better, with his monogram
on it. This looks more like nursery teaspoon silver."
I've been thinking," said Eveleen meditatively, whether
it wouldn't- be rather fun to peep into all the bedrooms,
and try to make out what the people are like from their
things; only I think we'd better not touch. What sort of
a person has this room, should you think ?"
"A giant, I should think, by the size of his sponge," returned
Chris. Colonel Ferrars is the Ogre, you know, in this house.
And we will call this person 'The Giant of the Sponge.' "
Eveleen thought it a delightful name, and looked forward
with keen pleasure to the discovery of this giant when they
went into dessert.
The next room was "as neat as a new pin." So Chris
expressed it, quoting from Nurse. It was a most charming
bedroom, the children thought. Flowers were on the mantel-
piece and tables. There were books which Chris said
looked like some of Gran's favourite books, "only much
better bindings." There were some very small slippers;
some ivory-backed brushes; a pale blue dressing-gown lying
on the bed; a harp standing in the corner; a small glove lying
on the toilet, and lying near it was a very small gold case,
which, as Christopher said, might be a large locket, or a small
snuff-box, and which they were too well-bred to open.
"Very neat and small this person must be, mustn't
she ?" said Eve.
WHEN.-PA A AlAN.
"Yes; a little old lady, I should think," replied Chris.
Let's call her 'Miss Tippity Twitchet.' A kind little old
fairy, who is good to the poor prisoners in the dungeons
when the Ogre and the Giant of the Sponge are too
Eveleen gave an involuntary shudder at this, but
declared that she thought it a capital sort of game.
Chris was beginning to think it rather "girlish," and
to long for his adventure quest.
"Just one more," pleaded Eveleen, as they left Miss
Tippity Twitchet's, and turned into a room of a very
different description. It was bare of all ornament or
decoration, with matting on the floor; no curtains to the
windows; a long wicker-work reclining chair at the end
of the bed. A half unpacked portmanteau proclaimed
this also to be a guest-chamber. In one corner stood
fishing rods and tackle; across the mantelpiece hung a
gun, on the mantelpiece were many pipes. On the table
lay a sketch-book, which the children longed to open but
did not, a tobacco-pouch, and a large natural history book.
There's not much to look at here," said Chris. It's
a poor-looking room, isn't it ?"
Yes; this we'll call 'The Poor Man's Room,' said Eve
compassionately. He doesn't seem even to have a sponge."
"P'r'aps he hasn't unpacked it yet. Oh, I say, Eve!
what have you done? What is it?" for Eve had at that
moment stepped on something that jumped up from the floor
with a sort of yell. A great hairy figure was all they saw;
for both children had started away to the door at once,
Eve clinging to Chris, as she cried out,-
Oh, Chris, what can it be? Was it his tail I trod on,
do you think ? "
The "thing,' whatever it was, had subsided again between
the portmanteau and the table, where it had evidently been
lying before; and Chris, who would not for the world have
shown that he was frightened, said magnanimously, as he took
JAM AND DUNGEONS.
"I think we had better leave it whilst it is quiet, and come
out and shut the door."
It sounded like a dog rather," faltered Eveleen, as they
went down the passage.
"Shall we come back and see ?" suggested Chris, stopping
short. Eveleen thought she would rather not.
"I think it must be the poor man's faithful animal of
some sort," said Chris, beginning to romance again. Don't
you know what you read about in story-books ? Sometimes
it's a faithful lion, or a dear pet bear. Hallo! this must be the
way to the dungeons." For they found themselves at the end of
the gallery, having come to a large door, with two little round
glass eyes in its top panel. Chris pushed this door open, and
led Eveleen through, and then they stood at the top of a
twisting, half-lighted stone staircase. On tiptoe they went
down the stairs, and at the bottom there were passages "in
every direction," so Eveleen described it, but she exaggerated
slightly, for there were only two, and Christopher said,-
"See! here are two long passages: one with red carpet,
and lighted up, and room doors all the way along; the other
looks very dark and stony and dungeony. I'll take one, and
you shall take the other. I should think you very brave if
you chose the dark one; which one will you explore ?"
Then Eveleen, with an ardent desire to be thought very
brave by Christopher, said she would explore the dark and
stony passage. She declared she could see a dim light at
the end of it. And Chris turned into the brilliantly-lighted
and comfortable-looking passage, which he soon discovered to
have in it such rooms as the pantry, the servants' hall, and the
kitchens; no dungeons.
Hearing servants' voices, he followed them, and, pushing
a door open, he was received by an exclamation of surprise
from cook and kitchen-maid.
It was one of Mrs. Powis' few strict rules, that Chris was
not to go down into the kitchen at home. So he turned very
red, and said humbly,-
I beg your pardon; I did not mean to come into the
WHEN I'M A MAN.
kitchen." Here a friendly face was bent down upon him, and
Betsy Fleed of the dairy exclaimed, -
Bless my heart, if it isn't my little young gentleman!
c ~~~;* 4*
And when are you coming to taste the first morning's milk?
Yes, if you please," said Chris very meekly, and still
growing red, for all the servants were gathered round now in
fAM AND DUNGEONS.
admiration of the dark-eyed boy, in his black velvet suit and
black silk stockings; "but I think I heard the dessert-bell
just now ?"
The cook told him it had rung twice already, and that
she would show him a short way up-stairs at the other end of
the passage. He entirely forgot Eveleen as he followed his
guide, who let him through into the hall by one of the
innumerable doors. There she left him, for cooks are like
moles, in that they do not often show themselves above
And just as Chris was wondering which door would admit
him to dessert, one opened, and out came the butler, walking
quickly; who, when he saw Chris, said to him,-
"The bell has gone twice, sir, for you and the young
But where is Eveleen ?" exclaimed Chris; I quite for-
got all about her !"
The butler looked doubtful as he replied that no doubt
she was in the drawing-room, and he turned towards that door.
"No, no! she is not!" cried Christopher; "because she
went to the dungeons, and I don't believe she has come back.
Oh, do please go and look for her! and take the poor man's
pet beast with you to fight all the witches and ogres; and I'll
come with you if you just wait while I go and get my clasp-
knife! Stop here till I come."
Chris went scampering up-stairs; and is it to be wondered
at that the butler stood gazing after him, thinking him one of
the strangest young gentlemen he had ever heard speak ?
Meanwhile, one of the footmen down-stairs had heard very
strange sounds, which can only be explained by going back to
Eveleen, when Chris had left her groping her way along
the stone passage and towards the light at the end of it.
The light was dim, and it was burning in a room, and from
the open door of this room as she drew nearer issued the
most delicious scent; it was an odour of plumcake, and jam,
and of all sorts of good things-and lo! it was the store-
room into which Eveleen had found her way!
IVWEIN I'M A MAN.
Now it is not often that you find yourself alone in a store-
room; some children are never allowed to go in at all. I
once knew a little girl who was always longing to have a
good time in a storeroom all to herself-something more
than just the occasional peep in when her mother went down
in the morning to put out the stores; and one day she might
easily have had her wish gratified, but, strange to say, when
she had it, she did not care for it! This was what hap.
opened: her mother had half-filled the sugar-basin, and told
her little daughter that she might put the rest of the sugar
in, whilst she herself went to the kitchen to order the dinner.
As soon as she was alone, little Mary went tiptoeing about,
peeping on to all the shelves as far as she could sniff with
her little nose; and whilst she was so engaged, a big brother,
who was a great tease, banged the door to and turned the
key, calling out through the keyhole,-
-"Now's your chance, Molly! Eat away, Greedy! as
much as you like! "
But poor Molly did not like such freedom together with
such imprisonment, and so she screamed to be let out. And
when those who were laughing outside unlocked the door,
of course, at once, she hopped out speedily into the hall,
feeling that to be with the rest of the household once more and
without sweetmeats, would be far sweeter than being locked
up in the storeroom with permission to eat as much candied
peel and sugar as she liked.
So thought poor little Eveleen, when, by an involuntary
push which she never intended, the storeroom door swung
away from some weight that had held it back, banged to,
and, in that bang, locked itself, as Eveleen discovered the
next moment! For it was made on the principle that only
Mrs. Ferrars' keys could open it, and it had been left open
that evening for the servant to go in and out. By the dim
light from an oil lamp that had been left standing on the
shelf, Eveleen could see the jars and pots that at any other
time would have looked so tempting, but now they appeared
to her like wicked things placed in her way by some dread
JAM AND DUNGEONS.
ogre to tempt
her. Indeed, with
the strange magi-
cal clasping of the
door-lock, the idea
of its being a real
fainter, and it be-
gan to look truly
very like some
dungeon to en-
trap little girls,
arranged by the
If she could have
seen her face in a
glass, she would
have seen it as
white as that stone
jar full or raisins
on the shelf. How
ever know that
she was there?
If she were left
there all night,
how could she
sleep ? how could
she keep herself
warm ? for an un-
room is a chilly
place even on a
There were not
even leaves to
WHEN AM A MAN.
cover herself with, supposing there had been robins to bring
them, only paper bags, too small to creep into, and tea-chest
paper, which is so very hard and scratchy. And if they did not
find her there for days, could she live on what there was in the
storeroom ? She had seen a packet of dates, and she had
learnt that Arabs can live on a very few dates in a day; she did
not think she could. Macaroni was nice with milk, and she
remembered how her mother had given her a little piece
from the jar at home, and she had pretended to smoke it
like a pipe; but oh, how dry it would be to eat in any
quantity of pipes! A pot of jam she was sure would make
her ill: there must have been a hundred pots all standing
staring at her; apricot with its golden treasure; green-
gage with its luscious juiciness; but what was the good of
either, if she could find no biscuits ? and she had seen none
yet. What was the good of anyt/inzg, when it might be all
poison ?-poison prepared by the grim ogre for the little
children who had come to rampage about his house!
At that point in Eveleen's gloomy meditations, the lamp
seemed to burn dimmer,-naturally because tears were gather-
ing in her eyes,-and in the dark corners of the storeroom
seemed to lurk all sorts of horrid things, and she covered
her face with her hands, and sobbed,-
"Oh, Chris, Chris! I can't be brave! I can't really!
I wish you were strong enough to come and let me
out! Let me out! oh, do let me out!" and her sobs rose
higher and higher, until at last they grew into howl upon
And Colonel Ferrars, seated at the end of his dinner-
table, heard that sound, and, looking up the length of the
tablecloth, and round the large maiden-hair fern in the centre,
at his wife, he said suddenly,-
My dear! surely we hear the wind howling very much
to-night. Can there be any door or window left open in the
west gallery ?"
As he spoke, the butler came into the dining-room, and,
going up to the chair of one of the guests, a gentleman with
JAM AND DUNGEONS.
a long brown beard, brown face, and very deep-set dark eyes,
said to him in sepulchral tones,-
"If you please, sir, have you shut up your hound any-
where ? for he is howling terribly somewhere."
In the meantime, Christopher, before he had heard those
howls which had suddenly startled the butler, dashed up-stairs
headlong to the "poor man's chamber," and, bursting open
the door, cried out in his excitement,-
Come along, you great hairy creature, whatever you are,
and help me to find Eveleen !"
In an instant, startled out of slumber, and only too glad
to be released for a possible meeting with his master, the
magnificent deer-hound sprang up, bounded past Chris, and
was in the dining-room in no time, and at his master's side,
very nearly knocking over the butler, and calling forth
"ohs !" and half screams, and very much surprise.
Christopher was stopped in his headlong course of
bounding after the dog, because his acute ear had caught
the wailing sounds from below, to which now all in the
dining room were listening. Following them at express
speed, and running against cook, kitchen-maid, house-maid,
and many maids all clustering around the storeroom door,
and asking, Who is it ? with terrified faces, Chris thrust
them all impatiently aside, and, putting his mouth to the
Is ityou, Eve dear ? "
Oh yes!" she sobbed out. The door has locked itself,
and it is a dungeon What shall I do ? Don't tell Colonel
Ferrars, or else he'll keep me here all night p'r'aps. Aren't
you strong enough to open it, Chris ? Do try!'
Whereupon, Chris tugged and kicked, and there was a
general chorus of, Bless his heart!" Did you ever!" etc.,
and then some one said, The mistress has the key!" and
some one ran up stairs to the dining-room, and told the
footman outside, who went in and told the butler. All in
the dining-room were still listening, except the hound, who
lay on, the floor peacefully, having pinned poor Mrs. Powis
IIIWHEN FAi A AFAN.
fast to her chair by laying his two fore-paws and nose on
the folds of her black velvet dress.
And Mrs. Ferrars produced a key from her pocket,
and now it was her turn to look down the table at the
Colonel, as she held it up, saying, to everybody's astonish-
My dear, would you mind going down at once to the
storeroom, please ? That poor darling Eveleen has in some
wonderful way got locked up there."
Perhaps Chris had never been more surprised than
when he saw a noble-looking gentleman, with most kindly
face, for whom the servants all made way, draw near the
door, put the key in the lock, throw the door open, hold his
arms out, saying,-
My poor dear little girl!" and to hear that this was
Colonel Ferrars !
What he saw, was a boy in black velvet, with a fearless
look in his big dark eyes, as he stood staring up at him
and said, You are Colonel Ferrars, then?" and a little
girl, with tears streaming down her cheeks, as she stood
shivering from fright and anxiety, in her pretty white
frock and blue sash, whose first words were,-
Oh, Chris, it has been so dreadful!" and then, seeing
through her tears that noble-looking, gentle-faced gentleman,
with grey moustaches, who spoke so kindly to her, she put
her hand into his, and wished very much that her eyes were
not quite so red from crying. Chris walked behind them,
feeling very much puzzled, only he never thought long
without speaking. Just as they all came through the red baize
door into the hall, the Colonel said in the most charming
Now, my little lass, you are coming in for some sweets
with us;" and then Chris said eagerly,-
"She did not go after the sweets, you know; we were
looking for dungeons underground, but we don't think you
are a bit like an ogre now! Upon which Colonel Ferrars
gave such a shout of laughter, that every one in the dining-
JAM AND DUNGEONS.
room, except poor Mrs. Powis, who could not move, came
out into the hall. So that the Colonel, holding Eveleen by
one hand and Chris by the other, stood the centre of a
wondering circle, looking as if they were going to play at
some game; and before any one could speak, that Nurse
appeared through the baize door, with an extremely red face,
and said in her most creaking voice,-
Miss Eveleen must come to bed at once, if you please,
sir 1 She has been a very naughty girl "
Great was the delight of Chris when Colonel Ferrars
calmly faced her, with the words,-
Miss Eveleen is coming into dessert with me;
and when it is time for her to go to bed, I shall take her
The Nurse disappeared, and Eveleen kissed the Colonel's
hand. Then every one melted away into the dining-room
again, and subsided into their seats. Mrs. Powis tried to
look very gravely at Chris and Eveleen, as they sat one on
each side of the Colonel ; and Chris told them all about it
whilst he ate his macaroons, as if there were no one else
present but his Gran and Colonel and Mrs. Ferrars. But
Eveleen occasionally lifted her eyes from her almonds and
raisins, and glanced shyly round the table, wondering who
everybody was, and who belonged to which room, until at last
she heard Chris saying in cheerful tone's,
"We began the evening, you know, by going into every-
"My dear Chris!" interrupted Mrs. Powis; "how ex-
cessively rude and inquisitive "
"No, Gran, I don't think it was, because we never
meant to be rude; it was a voyage of discovery before we
explored for the dungeons. Only I don't know," he added,
looking wonderingly at every one in turn,-" I don't know
where that very large man can be !"
Here Mrs. Ferrars moved, with a smile which seemed to
go all round the table, and then Mrs. Powis moved, and all
the ladies moved, taking the children with them; and the
WHEN I'M A MAN.
Colonel opened the dining-room door, and said in low tones
to his wife as they passed him by, "This will amuse
Christopher vastly ;" and she nodded, smiling again, and led
the way into the drawing-room.
And then, as besides themselves there were only Mrs.
Ferrars, Aunt Connie, and a young lady with a face like the
sun, and hair like gold, and yellow roses on her black dress,
Mrs. Powis felt she could really look grave, so, laying a hand
on a shoulder of Chris and Eveleen, she said,-
My dears you have really made us all so anxious, and
given so much trouble, that I think you had better go to
bed at once."
At this, poor Chris hung his head, and Eveleen looked
sad; whilst the two girls said, Poor little mites!" and
Mrs. Ferrars said jubilantly,--
Oh no, no! indeed they must not do anything of the
kind. Colonel Ferrars would be quite disappointed; and
besides, my boy will be here directly."
"Your boy!" said Chris wonderingly; "why, I thought
he was away !"
No, he is here," replied Mrs. Ferrars, advancing, as the
folding-doors at the end of the room were opened on the
other side; and the ladies followed her, and they all went
up to a couch in that other room-a long, low couch with
some one lying upon it. The children followed shyly, when
suddenly Chris stopped short, then sprang forwards with
the two words-"Mr. Sandy!" And he might have been
alone with the bath-chair on the sea-shore for all he thought
of others watching him, whilst he put his arms about his
friend and laid his face against his.
"This is my boy Christopher," said Mrs. Ferrars to
Mrs. Powis and Aunt Connie, and then she laughed till
she cried, as Chris said,-
"This is my bath-chair man, Gran! Now do you think
he can be dangerous ?"
And poor Mrs. Powis, looking at the laughing face on
its pillows before her, said humbly,-
J4M AND DUNGEONS.
"You know I really had no idea that little Christopher's
invalid was my old friend's son!" Aunt Connie murmured
much the same.
"How could you?" he replied gently; adding, as Chris
now perched himself beside him, It is Christopher rampant
and Christopher couchant, isn't it ?"
Chris thought them two delightful titles, and begged
every one in the room to remember them. And whilst they
all established themselves in easy chairs in that cosy and
charming room, Chris remained perched on the couch itself,
as he had perched on the bath-chair-there is a great deal
in association. And all that they talked about, with all the
laughter, all the consideration, all the thought, seemed to
come first from that couch, and to be caught up afterwards
by the others, who carried it on; so that really the invalid,
to all appearance helpless, was, in fact, a leader.
Mrs. Ferrars and Mrs. Powis each took a little nap at
last, from which Mrs. Ferrars woke up with a start when
the gentlemen came in from the dining-room, and, nodding
at Mrs. Powis, said knowingly,-
"Ah, Victoria, my dear, you have been napping!"
which Mrs. Powis did not deny, only she thought she might
have told Mrs. Ferrars that she had been doing the same.
Eveleen's eyes were closing too, so Colonel Ferrars
carried her off in his arms to bed, and rang the bell for a
nice lady's-maid to come and undress her, and all he said to
Eveleen, when she asked in dismay whether Nurse would
not be very angry, was,-
My dear, your mother told us she was only to bring
you here, and, as I never allow bullies in my house, she
When Aunt Connie looked in upon Chris to say good
night to him, he was half asleep, but he roused himself to
I know three nice men now besides father,-Mr. Sandy,
Jeremy Jenkins, and Colonel Ferrars; but Mr. Sandy is
best of the three "
OTHER PEOPLE AND SAM.
SHE next morning, Chris was waiting for
Eveleen by the red curtain at the top of the
staircase, and they went down together to
The dining-room was full of morning sun-
shine, and pleasant faces and pleasant voices. Every one
seemed to have so much to say, which astonished the children,
who thought they must have said everything last night, from
the Babel of tongues at dinner-time. They themselves had,
of course, been taught never to speak much at meals, when
there were many grown up people present. So they sat,
silently listening, one on each side of Colonel Ferrars, who
insisted upon having them there, and who arranged that,
when they had finished bread and butter, they should have
toast, and when they had eaten their broiled ham, they
should have marmalade; and all the while Mrs. Ferrars
was constantly peeping round the silver kettle, and saying,
" Is any one taking care of those dear children ?" And when
she was not doing that, she would look at her neighbour's
plate, and say, Mr. Danvers, you are eating notingg"
Mr. Danvers was the dark-eyed, dark-faced, brown-
bearded man, who sat with his great deerhound Lufra
stretched behind his chair. Chris thought he had a
tremendous appetite, only he ate so fast that he deceived
Mrs. Ferrars; and once Chris very nearly called out, "Why,
he has eaten two eggs-and ham-and three bits of toast
already!" but he thought it would not be quite polite.
OTHER PEOPLE AND SAM.
Colonel Ferrars called him Our Traveller," and the others
spoke to him as if he had been all over the world. And
he spoke to them very quietly, and as if all he had seen and
done were a very little thing. Once, when Colonel Ferrars
said to him, "Ah, Danvers, you did not get steak done like
that when you were in the Ipselopsi country,"-he replied,
with a curious silent laugh, "We learned to do without a
good many things."
And then a small young man whom they called Captain
Wynyard," and whose long fair moustaches Chris thought
were so like some he had once worn for acting, said,-
It's astonishing how soon one can accustom oneself to
do without things. I remember, out in the Soudan, when
all our fellows' baggage went wrong for a month, I was
toothbrushless and spongeless for that time-a state of
things I could not have stood for an hour, if my luggage had
simply been missing at a junction in England; but when a
thing is hopeless, one just resigns oneself. My sisters always
chaff me, too, about my weakness for a gigantic sponge."
This was too much for any feelings of delicacy; Chris
and Eveleen both stared hard at Captain Wynyard, and
Chris said eagerly,-
"Then I suppose that very large sponge is yours! We
thought it must belong to a giant, and so we called your
room, the room of the Giant of the Sponge. That was
when we thought Colonel Ferrars was an ogre, you know.
How curious that you should have such a very enormous
one! added Chris meditatively, as he looked scrutinizingly
at Captain Wynyard with his head on one side.
There were shouts of laughter from the gentlemen,
rebukes from Gran, smiles from all. And Chris, em-
boldened, said in the same gentle little voice,-
"Mrs. Ferrars, I wish you would tell us who has that
very poor man's room? So bare it looks! with no carpet,
and nothing comfortable. Lufra was in it, but I don't see
any one like a very poor man here.".
Again there was laughter, except from Gran, who said,-
WHEN I'M A MAN.
"Chris, my dear boy, these are personal remarks, which
you know are never allowed at home."
It is only because we like to know who every one is,
Gran. We have found the Giant, but we can't find the very
poor man, and we haven't found the good fairy Miss Tippity
Twitchet, yet, have we, Eve ?"
Then the young lady, who had a face still more like the
sun this morning, laughed merrily, and said to Mr. Danvers,-
Max, Mrs. Ferrars indulges your peculiar tastes to
such an extent, that soon you will be known as the man who
can do without most things. And pray what was Miss
Tippity Twitchet's room like?" she asked, turning upon the
children with what was meant to be a very fierce frown, but
was really a most bewitching smile.
"It had blue slippers," whispered Eveleen, "and a little
golden snuff-box was on the table, but we didn't touch."
Then the children saw this lady with a face like the
morning sun holding up her watch-chain, and from her chain
dangled the golden snuff-box.
"Miss Tippity Twitchet, the good fairy!" laughed the
Colonel behind his grey moustaches. Excellent name for
"And some witches' snuff-boxes carry a charm within
them," she said softly, replacing the locket, for such it was.
"We never called you a witch," exclaimed Chris,
crimsoning; "and now I should like to call you 'The Shining
One,'-out of the 'Pilgrim's Progress.' But it is only my name
for you-nobody else's."
All thought it an admirable title, and then somebody said
something which showed the children that The Traveller"
and The Shining One were brother and sister.
The children were so astonished at this discovery, that
the Traveller observed in his low, deep voice, rather like a
very sweet toned organ with the softest stop out, that
"They evidently did not think such a Shining One could
possibly be related to such a poor man ;" upon which Mrs.
Ferrars most earnestly explained to Chris and Eveleen that
OTHER PEOPLE AND SAM.
Mr. Danvers was so much accustomed to do without luxuries
that he really did not like to have them about him.
What are luxuries ?" asked Chris.
"What every man must learn to be able to do without,"
said Colonel Ferrars. Chris was thoughtful for a moment,
and then he said solemnly,-just as Captain Wynyard had told
Aunt Connie that Tosti's "Good-bye" was the finest song
"Jeremy Jenkins tells me he has gone without chocolate
all his life; I wonder if I could!"
Some of them laughed, and said, "Who in the world is
Jeremy Jenkins?" but Chris will never forget the way in
which the Colonel laid a kind hand upon his head, saying,-
My boy, you could give up anything, if you made up
your mind to be a strong man."
Somehow those words made Chris suddenly think of his
father, and of the sea-shore, and of the first time he had seen
Mr. Sandy. But Mrs. Ferrars scattered all such thoughts to
the winds with the words,-
"Every one has finished. It is far too beautiful a
morning to stay indoors, and I know those dear children are
longing to get out into the garden." So they scampered
up-stairs for their hats, those two, and on the back staircase
they saw a corded box being carried down-stairs; and that
box belonged to that Nurse"-and the hearts of the
children were glad.
Mrs. Ferrars proposed that they should both go into
the kitchen garden and help one of the under-gardeners to
pick some beans for their dinner. A charming occupation
they thought it would be, and they were soon hurrying along
the terrace-walk on their way to the kitchen garden.
Hallo!" called a voice. They looked round, and saw
that they were passing Mr. Sandy's window.
"Come in and say good morning," he said from his
couch, drawn up near the window, so that the sweet dewy
scent of the flowers might reach him. The children stepped
in at the open French window. Mr. Danvers was with
WHEN .TM A MAN.
Mr. Sandy, and so was Captain Wynyard, and they were all
three smoking, and they seemed to have a great many letters
to read and to write, and newspapers to look at.
Won't you come with us and pick beans ? asked Chris
of the Traveller and the Giant, as he stood with his hand in
Mr. Sandy's; but they said their bean picking days were
over, for which Eveleen pitied them scornfully, as she and
Chris went their way once more across the lawns.
It was rather hot in the kitchen garden; and Sam the
gardener looked so delightfully cool in his shirt-sleeves, that
Chris threw off his velveteen jacket and waistcoat, threw them
actually on to the cabbages. He only wished that his fingers
were thick and black at the tips like Sam's, it gave them
such a manly look, he thought. They liked his face very
much. Chris thought it so honest and healthy." Eveleen
said he was what Nurse would call "a man of colour" because
he had what she described as "vermilion cheeks," correcting
herself to Indian red." All this criticism went on in
whispers behind one row of beans, whilst Sam was on the
other side of the next row. He was evidently not gifted
with brilliant conversational powers; they were sure they must
have been gathering beans with him quite ten minutes, and he
had not spoken a word except, Thank you, missy," Thank
you, sir," when they emptied their little baskets into his larger
one. At last Eveleen whispered to Chris,-
Perhaps he is deaf." And Chris whispered in answer,-
"I'll try." So he went with his basket to the same row
where Sam was gathering, and, going close up to him, said in
a voice that was like the bellow of a young bull,-
"Do you want any more?" Then, seeing how very
much he was startled, Chris apologized in that gentle little
voice of his, saying,-
I beg your pardon, but we thought you might be deaf. I
hope I have not made you deaf now by shouting into your ear."
Sam entirely disclaimed all right to any sympathy as
regarded deafness, which encouraged Chris in his sociable
way to open up a conversation with him at once.
c" 3 ~ -
Sam grinned again. My gran'mother used to tell of it. Her said her'd seed
it upon the big down yonder. "-Page 9o.
J^;p *2P' ^b ^MBI
0. -f W -il-; .1 i
WHEN I'M A MAN.
"I suppose this is a very wild country, isn't it?" he
began; "lots of adventures to be had, aren't there ? "
Sam shook his head. Can't say, sir, I'm sure. Always
thought it a quiet country myself."
No wild boars, or foxes, or wolves ?" went on Chris.
Foxes a plenty, but I've never heerd tell of boars or
wolves. Oncet there was a scar/ker about, folks said; but I
never seed it."
"A scarker /" cried both the children. Oh, that sounds
like a very dreadful thing! Do tell us about it!"
Sam grinned again.
My grandmother used to tell of it. Her said her'd seed
it upon the big down yonder, Fleetingbury Crown. Her
used to make my flesh creep when I was a little chap, telling
about that there scarker."
Oh, do tell us about it! What was it like ?" cried the
children again ; and isn't there one left now ?"
Sam grinned still more broadly.
I don't believe there was ever one such thing," he
answered; but some folks did, and my gran'mother said it
had lived up on Fleetingbury Crown since the Flood. It got
left up there all in the cold like, and never cored down since."
And there it is still, I believe," said Chris gravely, draw-
ing himself up to his full height and looking away towards
the downs. Eveleen, standing beside him, watching his
determined face, half-whispered,-
"And can you fancy what it is like, Chris ?"
"It has a long, long body," he said slowly, "something
between an enormous worm and a huge lizard; and it has
only two feet, just in front, and it has no eyes; but it can
smell for miles. I shouldn't wonder if it can scent us out now
from there, as we stand here." Eveleen shuddered. Chris
had a wonderful power of making her shudder. "And it
laughs like the hyena in the Zoological Gardens," he went
on, only much, much louder."
Oh, please don't say any more, Chris! implored Eveleen.
OTHER PEOPLE AND SAAM
Just then the quiet sound of slow wheels was heard advanc-
ing along the paths. It was Mr. Sandy in his bath-chair,
drawn by Captain Wynyard, and pushed by Mr. Danvers.
Sam instantly pulled himself up, and, touching his hat, said,-
Them boys have been at it again, sir, with their bat
fowling nets down by the North Lodge; and the Colonel is
Send them to me, Sam. this evening, if you catch them,"
was the answer; and Chris noticed that, at the twinkle in his
master's eyes, Sam grinned again, as he went away with his
Ay! you'd manage 'em, sir, if anybody could."
There is lunch for you two small people under the beech
on the lawn," said Mr. Sandy,-" gigantic slices of cake and
tankards of milk, and they are afraid it is not quite enough
"Sam has been telling us"-began Eveleen, but Chris
said Hush!" and the bath-chair was moving on again, for
Captain Wynyard thought the shade of the beech tree would
be pleasanter than the glare of the sunshine in the kitchen
garden. But the Traveller lingered, standing looking at the
children, as they stood looking at him, before starting in quest
of their luncheon.
"You two children are up to mischief," he said through
I'm sure we are not! protested Eveleen indignantly.
"We are only going to explore everywhere, that's all!"
said Chris. "Tell us this evening where youz have explored,
won't you? Aunt Connie says you have been all over the
"And if you were to explore all over the world, children,"
replied that grave gentleman, "you would not find a sweeter
herb than grows in one corner of this kitchen garden, and
which you will treasure more than all the fruit one day.
Fruit is sour sometimes; this herb has its sweetness
always." Then he went on with his cigar and his lounge,
and left the children wondering.
"You two children are up to mischief," he said through his beard.--PFe 91.
OTHER PEOPLE AND SAM.
"A fairy-herb is it, do you think?" asked Eveleen, in
awestruck tones, "like the herb that I've read about in a
fairy-story, that would make a nose grow yards long? or the
herb that changed whoever tasted it into a donkey ? If it
did, how 1 should have liked to have found it before Nurse
went away! Things don't happen like that now though,"
she added dolefully; "these are not fairy-days !"
But they are adventure-days, when scarkers may have
to be killed! said Chris valiantly.
"Then there may be fairies too ?" suggested Eveleen
rather timidly, because she was half afraid that Chris might
think her silly. But he answered quite gravely,-
I don't think so; because if there were good fairies, as
there used to be, I think Mr. Sandy would be made able to walk
about with the touch of a wand, just as the Beast, you know,
was changed into his prince's shape again by the fairy."
Eveleen said she should so like to know why1 Mr. Sandy
was obliged to lie always on his back; and Chris told her
it was no use asking, because children might never ask ques-
tions, except boys sometimes. This brought them to the
beech tree, where every one was sitting or lounging about
in the shade on garden seats, and Mrs. Ferrars and Mrs.
Powis were there under large parasols. And Captain
Wynyard had hidden Eveleen's cake in the Colonel's coat
pocket, and whilst she was hunting for it, Chris made her eat
his, saying nobly that he could wait. At that moment the
second post came in, with heaps of letters for everybody,
and so everybody forgot all about the cake, except the chil-
dren, who had no letters. Eveleen had just finished the
last crumb of Christopher's when the servant appeared with
the tray of letters. Chris stood with his hands in his pockets,
waiting, but no cake turned up. Everybody had forgotten.
Now to have such a thing as cake forgotten sometimes brings
the tears into one's eyes; but Chris began to whistle instead
and was angry, very angry with himself, because he could not
help caring about it. Suddenly he became aware that Mr.
Sandy had put down his letters, and was fixing those wonderful
IIHEN I'M A MAN.
eyes upon him ; his chair was a little apart from the rest, and
his eyes drew Chris to his side, as he intended they should.
Well ?" he said, as Chris leaned over him.
I thought you wanted me ?" said the boy.
So I did; to tell you that you will be a strong man one
day. Look at poor Eve; how long has she been waiting
there for you, with that ball in her hands ? "
Chris went up at once for a game at ball. What strange
power had Christopher coc/hant that he could not only draw
Christopher rampant to his side whenever he willed, but
could also constrain him so readily to do the thing that was
right? When, an hour later, the luncheon-bell rang, and
books and letters and work were gathered up, and all went
cheerily towards the house, Captain Wynyard once more
drawing the bath-chair, Mr. Sandy said to him,-
"Wynyard, you never told that poor little chap after all
where his cake was, and it's too late now, for my father has
been sitting on it for the last hour."
Wynyard was deeply penitent. But Chris and Eveleen,
running along together the short way, which obliged them
to leap flower-beds, agreed that plumcake was not worth
thinking about, if there were scarkers in the land. It was
all very well for Eveleen, who had eaten and enjoyed
"Would you be afraid of starting for that down to-night,
Eve ?" Chris asked her.
"To-night! oh, Chris !"
"Why not ? Well, perhaps it would be better to plot, and
arrange, and prepare first."
Besides"-and she hesitated; mightn't I have my little
crab first? you promised me one !"
"Very well. If I promised, I will. We'll go down to
the shore this afternoon, if we can, and we'll plot all the time!
Such arrangements! it may take days, perhaps, after all,
before we can hunt the scarker! "
And such a hunt it was, when it came!
QUITE A REAL ADVENTURE.
DON'T think it will do to leave the children
quite to themselves this afternoon, will it ?"
said Mrs. Powis after luncheon, when the
carriage was waiting for her and Mrs. Ferrars
and the Colonel. Aunt Connie, with Miss
Danvers and her brother, had started for a long walk over
the downs, and Captain Wynyard was going with Mr. Sandy
down to the sea-shore.
You see Eve's Nurse has gone, and Guy did not want
our Nurse to be about with Chris at all, otherwise I should
certainly tell her to look after the children this afternoon;
but Guy said so much about making the boy independent! "
This was said with a deep sigh and most anxious face;
but Mrs. Ferrars, who had almost too great an idea of
leaving children to themselves, only made answer,-
My dear Victoria! just think what we should have
liked at their age! Those dear children are good as gold;
and we know they cannot go astray in exploring for any
more dungeons, for they know there are none to explore.
We must be off now, dear, for the horses will not stand.
Where is the Colonel ?"
The Colonel was out in the garden, having sauntered
over the lawn to a large tulip tree which the children had
climbed, and were now perched in its branches.
"Oh, do come up here, Colonel Ferrars!" cried
Eveleen, peeping down; "there is a lovely forked branch
which will hold you so nicely."
WHEN PM A MAN.
But Colonel Ferrars did not think he should care to
squeeze himself into a forked branch; he preferred standing
there, looking up at them, as he puffed blue clouds from
"Did you and Mrs. Ferrars ever climb trees?" asked
Once upon a time," he replied, long, long ago."
"When so many nice, wonderful things happened!"
sighed Chris, his great bright eyes bent upon the kindly
grey-moustached face beneath him; when there were giants
and fairies, and such strong men, hundreds of years ago!"
Colonel Ferrars removed his cigar from his lips, that he
might laugh; and Mrs. Ferrars, who, according to Chris, had
lived centuries back, called from the terrace, so that the
Colonel had only time to say,-
"Giants and fairies may be found still, and plenty of
strong men too; here come two of them."
So saying, he left the tulip tree; and down the gravel
walk came slowly Mr. Sandy's bath-chair, drawn by Cap-
tain Wynyard. And the children thought it exceedingly
funny that this man who was not able to walk, and was
always on his back, and that little man with the long fair
moustaches and tiny hands, should be called strong" by
They did not see the children, and Chris urged Eveleen
to keep quite still. They drew up under the tree, and it
was evident that they had been, and still were, discussing some-
thing of great interest; for Captain Wynyard pushed his hat
back and knitted his brows, and Mr. Sandy was moving his
fingers in the way Chris noticed that he often did when he
It is a tremendous evil, Wynyard," he was saying;
"it has lasted for years and years, and how can any party of
men expect to destroy it or settle it in a day ? "
Of course they can't; it is a monster that cannot be
destroyed at a blow. I know that; but still, not one true
man can tolerate its existence."
QUITE A REAL ADVENTURE.
Is it the scarkcer they mean?" whispered Eveleen.
"Very likely," returned Chris ; "but we mustn't listen, it's
deceitful." Then he gave a long low whistle; he had learnt
it from the starlings on the London chimneys. Mr. Sandy
and Captain Wynyard looked up.
Come up here too, won't you, Captain Wynyard ?" cried
Eveleen. It is so lovely you can see all over the world!"
"And over the edge of it ? inquired Mr. Sandy. What
are you children going to do this afternoon ? Has everybody
left you in the lurch ?"
"Well, no, not exactly, because we came here of our own
accord directly after dinner," said Chris, sliding down the
tree, Eveleen following like a little cat. Oh, if Nurse had
seen her frock and hands after that scramble! "I was
going down to the sands, and Eve was coming too; we
were going to look for little crabs, she does want one so !"
Shall we let them come with us, Wynyard ?"
Nobody ever said "no" to any proposal of Mr. Sandy's;
so, when Mark appeared, they all set off together. The
children walked on each side of "the small giant," as Eveleen
would persist in calling him when she and Chris were alone;
he gave a hand to each, and helped them along the dusty
road that lay between Glazebury Court and the sea-shore,
and he had to answer about a hundred questions from Chris
and fifty suppositions from Eveleen; he even carried her
bucket and spade for her when she wanted to run along the
top of a bank, because Chris did it. When they reached
the shore, Mr. Sandy charged Mark to "keep an eye on
.the kids," and then said,-
"Now, Wynyard, to return to what we were talking
about just after lunch"- Upon which Chris led Eveleen
away over the sands.
Because," he said, I know whenever father says to
any one that he is going to return to what he was saying
before, he means that he doesn't care about having children
So on they went, down to the clear rock-pools, and Mark
WHEN TM A MAN.
quite forgot to keep his eye upon them, because he was a
collector of wild-flowers, and he had seen some in the neigh-
bouring field across the ditch, that tempted him to stray;
and Mr. Sandy and Captain Wynyard had returned so far to
what they had been talking about, that they too had forgotten
the children; and the children themselves remembered only
that there were little crabs in the world, and forgot croup, and
tide, and everything else.
Have you ever stood out on the last point of sand,
watching the tiny waves rippling up at your feet, with their
crisp little splash up and their slower dash back ? and have
you, as you stood, smelt the brisk, salt smell of the sea, and
felt the salt itself on your lips, seeing absolutely nothing before
you but one great stretch of sky and water ? You, and the
fishing-boats out there, seem to be the only things in all the
world. How is it possible that you can remember there is
such a thing as a tide coming in, creeping in, soon crawling
all round you, in the invisible progress made by those dear
tiny waves ?
Eveleen never gave it half a thought, as she stood on her
small peninsula, with her frock tucked up, digging a canal, some-
times stopping in her work to wave her spade over her head
as a signal to that fishing-boat with its tawny sails that had
been lying out at sea for so long; she thought it might be
cheerful and pleasant for the fishermen to see that here on
the shore was a little girl quite ready to claim acquaintance
with them, without waiting to be introduced.
Chris was amongst the rocks, a little farther back, looking
with all his eyes for crabs for Eveleen. He had found one,
quite a gigantic one, and had put it into his bucket, under a
bunch of seaweed, for it was actually too large to squeeze
into the bottle of sea-water which hung at his side-a bottle
which once had contained Eno's Fruit Salt, but was now
to be a nursery of infant crabs-when caught.
Between him and Eveleen was a large white rock, rather
like an ottoman.
Suddenly she called out,-