Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Big brother
 Back Cover

Group Title: Cosy corner series
Title: Big brother
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082094/00001
 Material Information
Title: Big brother
Series Title: Cosy corner series
Physical Description: 58 p., 8, 2, 4 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Johnston, Annie F ( Annie Fellows ), 1863-1931
Page Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: L.C. Page & Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1906
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adopted children -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Infants -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sick -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pets -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1906   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1906
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Summary: Big brothers understand that their little baby brothers and sisters must do some things differently until they get older.
Statement of Responsibility: by Annie Fellows-Johnston.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue precedes and follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082094
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232278
notis - ALH2670
oclc - 03128354

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Big brother
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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        Page 58
        Advertising A-1
        Advertising A-2
        Advertising A-3
        Advertising A-4
        Advertising A-5
        Advertising A-6
        Advertising A-7
        Advertising A-8
        Advertising A-9
        Advertising A-10
        Advertising B-1
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Hi H oD> bsak

The Baldwin Library


Works of
Annie Fellows Johnston

The Little Colonel Series
(Trade Mark)
The Little Colonel $ .50
The Same. Holiday Edition 1.25
The Giant Scissors .50
The Same. Holiday Edition. 1.25
Two Little Knights of Kentucky .50
The Same. Holiday Edition. 1.25
The Little Colonel Stories 1.50
(Containing in one volume the three stories, "The
Little Colonel," "The Giant Scissors," and
"Two Little Knig its of Kentucky.")
The Little Colonel's House Party 1.50
The Little Colonel's Holidays 1.50
The Little Colonel's Hero .50
The Little Colonel at Boarding-School 1.50
The Little Colonel in Arizona 1.50
The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation 1.50
Other Books
Joel: A Boy of Galilee 1.50
Big Brother .50
Ole Mammy's Torment ..50
The Story of Dago .. .50
Cicely. .... .50
Aunt 'Liza's Hero .50
The Quilt that Jack Built .50
Flip's Islands of Providence" .. .50
Mildred's Inheritance .50
In the Desert of Waiting .50
The Three Weavers .50
Keeping Tryst .. ..50
Asa Holmes 1.00
Songs Ysame (Poems, with Albion Fellows
Bacon) 1.00
200 Summer Street Boston, Mass.






Twelfth Impression, April, 1906

ROBIN Frontispiece








ETC. 43



EVERY coach on the long western-bound
train was crowded with passengers.
Dust and smoke poured in at the windows and
even the breeze seemed hot
as it blew across the prairie
cornfields burning in the July
It was a relief when the
engine stopped at last in
front of a small village depot.
There was a rush for the
lunch counter and the res-
taurant door, where a noisy
gong announced dinner.
"Blackberries! black-
berries!" called a shrill little
voice on the platform. A -
barefoot girl, wearing a sun-
bonnet, passed under the car
windows, holding up a basket full, that shone
like great black beads. A gentleman who had
just helped two ladies to alight from the steps


of a parlor car called to her and began to
fumble in his pockets for the right change.
"Blackberries blackberries sang another
voice mockingly. This time it came from a
roguish-looking child, hanging half-way out of
a window in the next car. He was a little
fellow, not more than three years old. His
hat had fallen off, and his sunny tangle of curls
shone around a face so unusually beautiful that
both ladies uttered an exclamation of surprise.
"Look, papa! Look, Mrs. Estel!" exclaimed
the younger of the two. Oh, isn't he a per-
fect picture! I never saw such eyes, or such
delicate coloring. It is an ideal head."
Here, Grace," exclaimed her father, laugh-
ingly. Don't forget your berries in your en-
thusiasm. It hasn't been many seconds since
you were going into raptures over them. They
certainly are the finest I ever saw."
The girl took several boxes from her basket,
and held them up for the ladies to choose.
Grace took one mechanically, her eyes still
fixed on the child in the window.
"I'm going to make friends with him!"
,she exclaimed impulsively. "Let's walk down
that way. I want to speak to him."
Blackberris sang the child again, merrily


echoing the cry that came from the depths
of the big sunbonnet as it passed on.
Grace picked out the largest, juiciest berry
in the box, and held it up to him with a smile.
His face dimpled mischievously, as he leaned
forward and took it between his little white
Do you want some more? she asked.
His eyes shone, and every little curl bobbed
an eager assent.
What's your name, dear," she ventured, as
she popped another one into his mouth.
"Robin," he answered, and leaned farther
out to look into her box. "Be careful," she
cautioned; "you might fall out."
He looked at her gravely an instant, and
then said in a slow, quaint fashion: Why, no;
I can't fall out, 'cause big brother's a holding' on
to my feet."
She drew back a little, startled. It had not
occurred to her that any one else might be
interested in watching this little episode. She
gave a quick glance at the other windows of the
car, and then exclaimed: What is it, papa,-
a picnic or a travelling orphan asylum? It
looks like a whole carload of children."
Yes, there they were, dozens of them, it


seemed; fair faces and freckled ones, some dim-
pled and some thin; all bearing the marks of
a long journey on soot-streaked features and
grimy hands, but all wonderfully merry and
Just then a tired-looking man swung himself
down the steps, and stood looking around him,
knitting his brows nervously. He heard the
girl's question, and then her father's reply:
"I don't know, my dear, I am sure; but I'll
inquire if you wish."
The man's brows relaxed a little and he an-
swered them without waiting to be addressed.
"They are children sent out by an aid society
in the East. I am taking them to homes in
Kansas, mostly in the country."
You don't mean to tell me," the old gentle-
man exclaimed in surprise, "that you have the
care of that entire car full of children How
do you ever manage them all? "
The man grinned. It does look like a case
of the old woman that lived in a shoe, but
there are not as many as it would seem. They
can spread themselves over a good deal of
territory, and I'm blessed if some of 'em can't
be in half a dozen places at once. There's a
little English girl in the lot fourteen years or


thereabouts that keeps a pretty sharp eye
on them. Then they're mostly raised to taking
care of themselves." Some one accosted him,
and he turned away. Grace looked up at the
bewitching little face, still watching her with
eager interest.
"Poor baby!" she said to herself. "Poor
little homeless curly head! If I could only
do something for you!" Then she realized
that even the opportunity she had was slip-
ping away, and held up the box. Here,
Robin," she called, take it inside so that you
can eat them without spilling them."
"All of 'em? he asked with a radiant smile.
He stretched out his dirty, dimpled fingers.
"All of 'em," he repeated with satisfaction as
he balanced the box on the sill. All for Big
Brother and me "
Another face appeared at the window beside
Robin's, one very much like it; grave and
sweet, with the same delicate moulding of fea-
tures. There was no halo of sunny curls on
the finely shaped head, but the persistent wave
of the darker, closely cut hair showed what it
had been at Robin's age. There was no color
in the face either. The lines of the sensitive
mouth had a pathetic suggestion of suppressed


trouble. He was a manly-looking boy, but his
face was far too sad for a child of ten.
Gracie," said Mrs. Estel, your father said
the train will not start for fifteen minutes. He
has gone back to stay with your mother.
Would you like to go through the car with me,
and take a look at the little waifs? "
Yes, indeed," was the answer. "Think how
far they have come. I wish we had found them
A lively game of tag was going on in the
aisle. Children swarmed over the seats and
under them. One boy was spinning a top.
Two or three were walking around on their
hands, with their feet in the air. The gayest
group seemed to be in the far end of the car,
where two seats full of children were amusing
themselves by making faces at each other.
The uglier the contortion and more frightful
the grimace, the louder they laughed.
In one corner the English girl whom the man
had mentioned sat mending a little crocheted
jacket, belonging to one of the children. She
was indeed keeping a sharp eye on them.
"'Enry," she called authoritatively, stop
teasing those girls, Hi say. Pull the 'airs from
your hown 'ead, and see 'ow you like that


naow! Sally, you shall not drink the 'ole en-
juring time. Leave the cup be No, Maggie,
Hi can tell no story naow. Don't you see Hi
must be plying my needle? Go play, whilst
the car stops."
Robin smiled on Grace like an old friend
when she appeared at the door, and moved over
to make room for her on the seat beside him.
He had no fear of strangers, so he chattered
away in confiding baby fashion, but the older
boy said nothing. Sometimes he smiled when
she told some story that made Robin laugh out
heartily, but it seemed to her that it was because
the little brother was pleased that he laughed,
not because he listened.
Presently Mrs. Estel touched her on the
shoulder. "The time is almost up. I am
going to ask your father to bring my things in
here. As you leave at the next station, I could
not have your company much longer, anyhow.
I have all the afternoon ahead of me, and I
want something to amuse me."
"I wish I could stay with you," answered
Grace, but mamma is such an invalid I cannot
leave her that long. She would be worrying
about me all the time."
She bade Robin an affectionate good-by,


telling him that he was the dearest little fellow
in the world, and that she could never forget
him. He followed her with big, wistful eyes as
she passed out, but smiled happily when she
turned at the door to look back and kiss her
hand to him.
At the next station, where they stopped for
a few minutes, he watched for her anxiously.
Just as the train began to pull out he caught
a glimpse of her. There was a flutter of a
white handkerchief and a bundle came flying
in through the window.
He looked out quickly, just in time to see
her stepping into a carriage. Then a long line
of freight cars obstructed the view. By the
time they had passed them they were beyond
even the straggling outskirts of the village, with
wide cornfields stretching in every direction,
and it was of no use to look for her any longer.
Mrs. Estel lost no time in making the young
English girl's acquaintance. She was scarcely
settled in her seat before she found an oppor-
tunity. Her umbrella slipped from the rack,
and the girl sprang forward to replace it.
"You have had a tiresome journey," Mrs.
Estel remarked pleasantly after thanking her.
Yes, indeed, ma'am! answered the girl,


glad of some one to talk to instead of the chil-
dren, whose remarks were strictly of an inter-
rogative nature. It was an easy matter to draw
her into conversation, and in a short time Mrs.
Estel was listening to little scraps of history
that made her eyes dim and her heart ache.

Do you mind telling me your name?" she
asked at length.
Ellen, ma'am."
But the other," continued Mrs. Estel.
We're not to tell, ma'am." Then seeing
the look of inquiry on her face, explained,


"Sometimes strangers make trouble, asking
the little ones hall sorts hof questions; so we've
been told not to say where we're going, nor
hany think helse."
I understand," answered Mrs. Estel quickly.
"I ask only because I am so much interested.
I have a little girl at home that I have been
away from for a week, but she has a father and
a grandmother and a nurse to take care of her
while I am gone. It makes me feel so sorry
for these poor little things turned out in the
world alone."
Bless you, ma'am exclaimed Ellen cheer-
fully. The homess they're going to be a sight
better than the 'omes they've left behind.
Naow there's 'Enery; 'is mother died hin a
drunken fit. 'E never knew nothing hall 'is
life but beating and starving, till the Haid
Society took 'im hin 'and.
Then there's Sally. Why, Sally's living
'igh naow-hoff the fat hof the land, has you
might say. Heverybody knows 'ow 'er hold
huncle treated 'er! "
Mrs. Estel smiled as she glanced at Sally,
to whom the faucet of the water-cooler seemed
a never-failing source of amusement. Ellen
had put a stop to her drinking, which she


had been doing at intervals all the morning,
solely for the pleasure of seeing the water
stream out when she turned the stop-cock.
Now she had taken a tidy spell. Holding her
bit of a handkerchief under the faucet long
enough to get it dripping wet, she scrubbed
herself with the ice-water, until her cheeks
shone like rosy winter apples.
Then she smoothed the wet, elfish-looking
hair out of her black eyes, and proceeded to
scrub such of the smaller children as could not
escape from her relentless grasp. Some sub-
mitted dumbly, and others struggled under her
vigorous application of the icy rag, but all she
attacked came out clean and shining.
Her dress was wringing wet in front, and the
water was standing in puddles around her feet,
when the man who had them in charge came
through the car again. He whisked her impa-
tiently into a seat, setting her down hard. She
made a saucy face behind his back, and began
to sing at the top of her voice.
One little tot had fallen and bumped its head
as the train gave a sudden lurch. It was crying
pitifully, but in a subdued sort of whimper, as if
it felt that crying was of no use when nobody
listened and nobody cared. He picked it up,


made a clumsy effort to comfort it, and, not
knowing what else to do, sat down beside it.
Then for the first time he noticed Mrs. Estel.
She had taken a pair of scissors from her
travelling-bag, and had cut several newspapers
up into soldiers and dolls and all kinds of
animals for the crowd that clamored around her.
They were such restless little bodies, impris-
oned so long on this tedious journey, that
anything with a suggestion of novelty was wel-
When she had supplied them with a whole
regiment of soldiers and enough animals to
equip a menagerie, she took another paper and
began teaching them to fold it in curious ways
to make boxes, and boats, and baskets.
One by one they crowded up closer to her,
watching her as if she were some wonder-
ful magician. They leaned their dusty heads
against her fresh gray travelling-dress. They
touched her dainty gloves with dirty, admiring
fingers. They did not know that this was the
first time that she had ever come in close con-
tact with such lives as theirs.
They did not know that it was the remem-
brance of another child,-- one who awaited her
home-coming, -a petted little princess born to


purple and fine linen, that made her so tender
towards them. Remembering what hers had,
and all these lacked, she felt that she must
crowd all the brightness possible into the short
afternoon they were together.
Every one of them, at some time in their
poor bare lives, had known what it was to be
kindly spoken to by elegant ladies, to be pat-
ronizingly smiled upon, to be graciously pre-
sented with gifts.
But this was different. This one took the
little Hodge girl right up in her lap while she
was telling them stories. This one did not pick
out the pretty ones to talk to, as strangers gen-
erally did. It really seemed that the most neg-
lected and unattractive of them received the
most of her attention.
From time to time she glanced across at
Robin's lovely face, and contrasted it with the
others. The older boy attracted her still more.
He seemed to be the only thoughtful one
among them all. The others remembered no
past, looked forward to no future. When they
were hungry there was something to eat.
When they were tired they could sleep, and all
the rest of the time there was somebody to
play with. What more could one want?


The child never stirred from his place, but
she noticed that he made a constant effort to
entertain Robin. He told him stories and in-
vented little games. When the bundle came
flying in through the window he opened it with
eager curiosity.
Grace had hurried into the village store as
soon as the train stopped and had bought
the first toy she happened to see. It was
a black dancing bear, worked by a tiny crank
hidden under the bar on which it stood. Rob-
in's pleasure was unbounded, and his shrieks of
delight brought all the children flocking around
"More dancin', Big Brother," he would in-
sist, when the animal paused. Robin wants
to see more dancin'."
So patient little "Big Brother" kept on turn-
ing the crank, long after every one save Robin
was tired of the black bear's antics.
Once she saw the restless 'Enry trying to en-
tice him into a game of tag in the aisle. Big
Brother shook his head, and the fat little legs
clambered up on the seat again. Robin
watched Mrs. Estel with such longing eyes as
she entertained the others that she beckoned
to him several times to join them, but he only


bobbed his curls gravely and leaned farther
back in his seat.
Presently the man strolled down the aisle
again to close a window, out of which one
fidgety boy kept leaning to spit at the flying
telegraph poles. On his way back Mrs. Estel
stopped him.
Will you please tell me about those two
children? she asked, glancing towards Robin
and his brother. "I am very much interested
in them, and would gladly do something for
them, if I could."
Certainly, madam," he replied deferentially.
He felt a personal sense of gratitude towards
her for having kept three of his most unruly
charges quiet so long. He felt, too, that she
did not ask merely from idle curiosity, as so
many strangers had done.
Yes, everybody asks about them, for they
are uncommon bright-looking, but it's very lit-
tle anybody knows to tell."
Then he gave her their history in a few short
sentences. Their father had been killed in a
railroad accident early in the spring. Their
mother had not survived the terrible shock
more than a week. No trace could be found
of any relatives, and there was no property left


to support them. Several good homes had
been offered to the children singly in different
towns, but no one was willing to take both.
They clung together in such an agony of grief,
when an attempt was made at separation, that
no one had the heart to part them.
Then some one connected with the manage-
ment of the Aid Society opened a correspond-
ence with an old farmer of his acquaintance out
West. It ended in his offering to take them
both for a while. His married daughter, who
had no children of her own, was so charmed
with Robin's picture that she wanted to adopt
him. She could not be ready to take him,
though, before they moved into their new
house, which they were building several miles
away. The old farmer wanted the older boy
to help him with his market gardening, and
was willing to keep the little one until his
daughter was ready to take him. So they
could be together for a while, and virtually they
would always remain in the same family.
Mr. Dearborn was known to be such an
upright, reliable man, so generous and kind-
hearted in all his dealings, that it was decided
to accept his offer.
"Do they go much farther?" asked the


interested listener, when he had told her all he
knew of the desolate little pilgrims.
Only a few miles the other side of Kenton,"
he answered.
"Why, Kenton is where I live," she ex-
claimed. I am glad it will be so near." Then
as he passed on she thought to herself, It
would be cruel to separate them. I never saw
such devotion as that of the older boy." His
feet could not reach the floor, but he sat up
uncomfortably on the high seat, holding Robin
in his lap. The curly head rested heavily on
his shoulder, and his arms ached with their bur-
den, but he never moved except to brush away
the flies, or fan the flushed face of the little
sleeper with his hat.
Something in the tired face, the large appeal-
ing eyes, and the droop of the sensitive mouth,
touched her deeply. She crossed the aisle and
sat down by him.
Here, lay him on the seat," she said, bend-
ing forward to arrange her shawl for a pil-
He shook his head. Robin likes best for
me to hold him."
"But he will be cooler and so much more
comfortable," she urged. Taking the child


from his unwilling arms, she stretched him full
length on the improvised bed.
Involuntarily the boy drew a deep sigh of
relief, and leaned back in the corner.
Are you very tired? she asked. I have
not seen you playing with the other children."
Yes'm," he answered. We've come such
a long way. I have to amuse Robin all the time
he's awake, or he'll cry to go back home."
Where was your home? she asked kindly.
" Tell me about it."
He glanced up at her, and with a child's
quick instinct knew that he had found a friend.
The tears that he had been bravely holding
back all the afternoon for Robin's sake could
no longer be restrained He sat for a minute
trying to wink them away. Then he laid his
head wearily down on the window sill and gave
way to his grief with great choking sobs.
She put her arm around him and drew his
head down on her shoulder. At first the
caressing touch of her fingers, as they gently
stroked his hair, made the tears flow faster.
Then he grew quieter after a while, and only
sobbed at long intervals as he answered her
His name was Steven, he said. He knew


nothing of the home to which he was being
taken, nor did he care, if he could only be
allowed to stay with Robin. He told her of
the little white cottage in New Jersey, where
they had lived, of the peach-trees that bloomed
around the house, of the beehive in the garden.
He had brooded over the recollection of
his lost home so long in silence that now it
somehow com- \
forted him to talk
about it to this
sympathetic lis-
tener. /
Soothed by her i.-
soft hand smooth-
ing his hair, and
exhausted by the >' \ 3
heat and his vio-
lent grief, he fell asleep at last. It was almost
dark when he awoke and sat up.
1 must leave you at the next station," Mrs.
Estel said, but you are going only a few miles
farther. Maybe I shall see you again some
day." She left him to fasten her shawl-strap,
but presently came back, bringing a beautifully
illustrated story-book that she had bought for
the little daughter at home.


Here, Steven," she said, handing it to him.
I have written my name and address on the
fly-leaf. If you ever need a friend, dear, or are
in trouble of any kind, let me know and I will
help you."
He had known her only a few hours, yet,
when she kissed him good-by and the train
went whirling on again, he felt that he had left
his last friend behind him.
When one is a child a month is a long time.
Grandfathers say, "That happened over seventy
years ago, but it seems just like yesterday."
Grandchildren say, "Why, it was only yester-
day we did that, but so much has happened
since that it seems such a great while "
One summer day can stretch out like a life-
time at life's beginning. It is only at three-
score and ten that we liken it to a weaver's
It was in July when old John Dearborn
drove to the station to meet the children.
Now the white August lilies were standing up
sweet and tall by the garden fence.
Seems like we've been here 'most always,"
said Steven as they rustled around in the hay
hunting eggs. His face had lost its expression
of sadness, so pathetic in a child, as day after


day Robin's little feet pattered through the old
homestead, and no one came to take him away.
Active outdoor life had put color in his face
and energy into his movements. Mr. Dear-
born and his wife were not exacting in their
demands, although they found plenty for him to
do. The work was
all new and pleas-
ant, and Robin
was with him ev-
erywhere. When
he fed the tur-
keys, when he
picked up chips,
when he drove the
cows to pasture,
or gathered the
vegetables for
market, Robin
followed him ev-
erywhere, like a
happy, dancing
Then when the work was done there were
the kittens in the barn and the swing in the
apple-tree. A pond in the pasture sailed
their shingle boats. A pile of sand, left from


building the new ice-house, furnished material
for innumerable forts and castles. There was
a sunny field and a green, leafy orchard. How
could they help but be happy? It was summer
time and they were together.
Steven's was more than a brotherly devotion.
It was with almost the tenderness of mother-
love that he watched the shining curls dan-
cing down the walk as Robin chased the toads
through the garden or played hide-and-seek
with the butterflies.
"No, the little fellow's scarcely a mite of
trouble," Mrs. Dearborn would say to the
neighbors sometimes when they inquired.
"Steven is real handy about dressing him
and taking care of him, so I just leave it
mostly to him."
Mrs. Dearborn was not a very observing
woman or she would have seen why he "was
scarcely a mite of trouble." If there was never
a crumb left on the doorstep where Robin sat
to eat his lunch, it was because Big Brother's
careful fingers had picked up every one. If
she never found any tracks of little bare feet on
the freshly scrubbed kitchen floor, it was be-
cause his watchful eyes had spied them first,
and he had wiped away every trace.


He had an instinctive feeling that if he would
keep Robin with him he must not let any one
feel that he was a care or annoyance. So he
never relaxed his watchfulness in the daytime,
and slept with one arm thrown across him at
Sometimes, after supper, when it was too late
to go outdoors again, the restless little feet
kicked thoughtlessly against the furniture, or
the meddlesome
fingers made Mrs.
Dearborn look at
him warningly over
her spectacles and
shake her head.
Sometimes the (
shrill little voice, Z
with its unceasing
questions, seemed "
to annoy the old 1-
farmer as he dozed
over his weekly
newspaper beside
the lamp. Then,
if it was too early
to go to bed, Steven would coax him over in a
corner to look at the book that Mrs. Estel had


given him, explaining each picture in a low voice
that could not disturb the deaf old couple.
It was at these times that the old feeling
of loneliness came back so overwhelmingly.
Grandpa and Grandma, as they called them,
were kind in their way, but even to their own
children they had been undemonstrative and
cold. Often in the evenings they seemed to
draw so entirely within themselves, she with her
knitting and he with his paper or accounts,
that Steven felt shut out, and apart. "Just
the strangers within thy gates," he sometimes
thought to himself. He had heard that expres-
sion a long time ago, and it often came back to
him. Then he would put his arm around Robin
and hug him up close, feeling that the world
was so big and lonesome, and that he had
no one else to care for but him.
Sometimes he took him up early to the little
room under the roof, and, lying on the side of
the bed, made up more marvellous stories than
any the book contained.
Often they drew the big wooden rocking-
chair close to the window, and, sitting with their
arms around each other, looked out on the moon-
lit stillness of the summer night. Then, with
their eyes turned starward, they talked of the


far country beyond ; for Steven tried to keep un-
dimmed in Robin's baby memory a living pic-
ture of the father and mother he was so soon
Don't you remember," he would say, "how
papa used to come home in the evening and
take us both on his knees, and sing 'Kingdom
Coming' to us? And how mamma laughed
and called him a big boy when he got down
on the floor and played circus with us?
And don't you remember how we helped
mamma make cherry pie for dinner one day?
You were on the doorstep with some dough
in your hands, and a greedy old hen came up
and gobbled it right out of your fingers."
Robin would laugh out gleefully at each
fresh reminiscence, and then say: "Tell some
more remembers, Big Brother! And so Big
Brother would go on until a curly head drooped
over on his shoulder and a sleepy voice yawned
" Sand-man's a-comin'."
The hands that undressed him were as pa-
tient and deft as a woman's. He missed no
care or tenderness.
When he knelt down in his white gown, just
where the patch of moonlight lay on the floor,
his chubby hands crossed on Big Brother's knee,


there was a gentle touch of caressing fingers on
his curls as his sleepy voice repeated the evening
prayer the far away mother had taught them.
There was always one ceremony that had to
be faithfully performed, no matter how sleepy
he might be. The black dancing bear had

always to be put to bed in a cracker box and
covered with a piece of red flannel.
One night he looked up gravely as he folded
it around his treasure and said, "Robin tucks ze
black dancin' bear in bed, an' Big Brother tucks
in Robin. Who puts Big Brother to bed?"


"Nooody, now," answered Steven with a
quivering lip, for his child's heart ached many
a night for the lullaby and bedtime petting he
so sorely missed.
"Gramma Deebun do it?" suggested Robin
No: Grandma Dearborn has the rheuma-
tism. She couldn't walk up-stairs."
She got ze wizzim-tizzim," echoed Robin
solemnly. Then his face lighted up with a
happy thought. Nev' mind; Robin'll put Big
Brother to bed all ze nights when he's a man."
And Big Brother kissed the sweet mouth and
was comforted.
During the summer Mr. Dearborn drove to
town with fresh marketing every morning, start-
ing early in order to get home by noon. Sat-
urdays he took Steven with him, for that was
the day he supplied his butter customers.
The first time the boy made the trip he
carried Mrs. Estel's address in his pocket,
which he had carefully copied from the fly-
leaf of the book she had given him. Although
he had not the remotest expectation of see-
ing her, there was a sense of companionship in
the mere thought that she was in the same
town with him.


He watched the lamp-posts carefully as they
went along, spelling out the names of the
streets. All of a sudden his heart gave a
bound. They had turned a corner and were
driving along Fourth Avenue. He took the
slip of paper from his pocket. Yes, he was
right. That was the name of the street. Then
he began to watch for the numbers. 200, 300,
400; they passed on several more blocks. Mr.
Dearborn drove up to the pavement and handed
him the reins to hold, while he took the crock
of butter into the house. Steven glanced up
at the number. It was 812. Then the next
one-no, the one after that-must be the
It was a large, elegant house, handsomer
than any they had passed on the avenue. As
long as it was in sight Steven strained his eyes
for a backward look, but saw no one.
Week after week he watched and waited, but
the blinds were always closed, and he saw no
signs of life about the place. Then one day he
saw a carriage stop at the gate. A lady all in
black stepped out and walked slowly towards
the house. Her long, heavy veil hid her face,
but he thought he recognized her. He was
almost sure it was Mrs. Estel. He could


hardly resist the inclination to run after her
and speak to her; but while he hesitated the
great hall door swung back and shut her
from sight. He wondered what great trouble
had come to her that she should be dressed in
deep black.
The hope of seeing her was the only thing
about his weekly trips to town that he antici-
pated with any pleas-
ure. It nearly al-
ways happened that
some time during the
morning while he was
gone Robin got into /' Ji
trouble. Nobody s.;
seemed to think that 'l"
the reason the child .,\
was usually so good
was due largely to
Steven's keeping him
happily employed.
He always tried to contrive something to keep
him busy part of the morning; but Robin found
no pleasure very long in solitary pursuits, and
soon abandoned them.
Once he took a ball of yarn from the darn-
ing-basket to roll after the white kitten. He


did not mean to be mischievous any more than
the white kitten did, but the ball was part of
Grandma Dearborn's knitting work. When she
found the needles pulled out and the stitches
dropped, she scolded him sharply. All her
children had been grown up so long she had
quite forgotten how to make allowances for
things of that sort.
There was a basket of stiff, highly colored
wax fruit on the marble-topped table in the
parlor. Miss Barbara Dearborn had made it at
boarding-school and presented it to her sister-
in-law many years before. How Robin ever
managed to lift off the glass case without
breaking it no one ever knew. That he had
done so was evident, for in every waxen red-
cheeked pear and slab-sided apple were the
prints of his sharp little teeth. It seemed little
short of sacrilege to Mrs. Dearborn, whose own
children had regarded it for years from an ad-
miring distance, fearing to lay unlawful fingers
even on the glass case that protected such a
work of art.
He dropped a big white china button into the
cake dough when Molly, the help," had her back
turned. It was all ready to be baked, and she
unsuspectingly whisked the pan into the oven.


Company came to tea, and Grandpa Dearborn
happened to take the slice of cake that had the
button in it. Manlike, he called every one's at-
tention to it, and his wife was deeply mortified.
He left the pasture gate open so that the
calves got into the garden. He broke Grand-
pa Dearborn's shaving-mug, and spilled the
lather all over himself and the lavender bows
of the best pin-cushion. He untied a bag that
had been left in the window to sun, to see what
made it feel so soft inside. It was a bag of
feathers saved from the pickings of many geese.
He was considerably startled when the down
flew in all directions, sticking to carpet and cur-
tains, and making Molly much extra work on
the busiest day in the week.
But the worst time was when Steven came
home to find him sitting in a corner, crying
bitterly, one hand tied to his chair. He had
been put there for punishment. It seemed
that busy morning that everything he touched
made trouble for somebody. At last his ex-
ploring little fingers found the plug of the
patent churn. The next minute he was a woe-
begone spectacle, with the fresh buttermilk
pouring down on him, and spreading in creamy
rivers all over the dairy floor.


These weekly trips were times of great anx-
iety for Steven. He never knew what fresh
trouble might greet him on his return.
One day they sold out much earlier than
usual. It was only eleven o'clock when they
reached home. Grandma Dearborn was busy
preparing dinner. Robin was not in sight.
As soon as Steven had helped to unhitch the
horses he ran into the house to look for him.
There was no answer to his repeated calls. He
searched all over the garden, thinking maybe
the child was hiding from him and might jump
out any moment from behind a tree.
He was beginning to feel alarmed when he
saw two little bare feet slowly waving back
and forth above the tall orchard grass. He
slipped over the fence and noiselessly along
under the apple-trees. Robin was lying on his
stomach watching something on the ground so
intently that sometimes the bare feet forgot to
wave over his back and were held up motionless.
With one hand he was pulling along at a
snail's pace a green leaf, on which a dead
bumble-bee lay in state. With the other he
was keeping in order a funeral procession of
caterpillars. It was a motley crowd of mourn-
ers that the energetic forefinger urged along


the line of march. He had evidently collected
them from many quarters, little green worms
that spun down from the apple boughs over-
head; big furry brown caterpillars that had
hurried along the honeysuckle trellis to escape
his fat fingers; spotted ones and striped ones;
horned and smooth. They all straggled along,
each one travelling his own gait, each one bent
on going a different direction, but all kept in
line by that short determined forefinger.
Steven laughed so suddenly that the little
master of ceremonies jumped up and turned a
startled face towards him. Then he saw that
there were traces of tears on the dimpled face
and one eye was swollen nearly shut.
"0 Robin! what is it now?" he cried in
distress. "How did you hurt yourself so
"Ole bumble !" answered Robin, pointing to
the leaf. He flied in ze kitchen an' sat down
in ze apple peelin's. I jus' poked him, nen he
flied up and bit me. He's dead now," he
added triumphantly. "Gramma killed him.
See all ze cattow-pillows walking' in ze p'ces-
So the days slipped by in the old farmhouse.
Frost nipped the gardens, and summer vanished


entirely from orchard and field. The happy
outdoor life was at an end, and Robin was like
a caged squirrel. Steven had his hands full
keeping him amused and out of the way.
"Well, my lad, isn't it about time for you to
be starting to school?" Mr. Dearborn would
ask occasionally. "You know I agreed to
send you every winter, and I must live up to
my promises."
But Steven made first one pretext and then
another, for delay. He knew he could not take
Robin with him. He knew, too, how restless
and troublesome the child would become if
left at home all day.
So he could not help feeling glad when Molly
went home on a visit, and Grandma Dearborn
said her rheumatism was so bad that she needed
his help. True, he had all sorts of tasks that
he heartily despised, -washing dishes, knead-
ing dough, sweeping and dusting,- all under the
critical old lady's exacting supervision. But
he preferred even that to being sent off to
school alone every day.
One evening, just about sundown, he was out
in the corncrib, shelling corn for the large flock
of turkeys they were fattening for market. He
heard Grandma Dearborn go into the barn,


where her husband was milking. They were
both a little deaf, and she spoke loud in order
to be heard above the noise of the milk patter-
ing into the pail. She had come out to look at
one of the calves they intended selling.
It's too bad," he heard her say, after a while.
" Rindy has just set her heart on him, but Arad,
he thinks it's all foolishness to get such a young
one. He's willing to take one big enough to
do the chores, but he doesn't want to feed and
keep what 'ud only be a care to 'em. He
always was closer'n the bark on a tree. After
all, I'd hate to see the little fellow go."
"Yes," was the answer, "he's a likely lad;
but we're getting' old, mother, and one is about
all we can do well by. Sometimes I think
maybe we've bargained for too much, trying' to
keep even one. So it's best to let the little
one go before we get to setting' sech store by
him that we can't."
A vague terror seized Steven as he realized
who it was they were talking about. He lay
awake a long time that night smoothing Robin's
tangled curls, and crying at the thought of the
motherless baby away among strangers, with
no one to snuggle him up warm or sing him to
sleep. Then there was another thought that


wounded him deeply. Twist it whichever way
he might, he could construe Mr. Dearborn's last
remark to mean but one thing. They con-
sidered him a burden. How many plans he
made night after night before he fell asleep!
He would take Robin by the hand in the
morning, and they would slip away and wander
off to the woods together. They could sleep
in barns at night, and he could stop at the
farmhouses and do chores to pay for what they
ate. Then they need not be a trouble to any
one. Maybe in the summer they could find
a nice dry cave to live in. Lots of people had
lived that way. Then in a few years he would
be big enough to have a house of his own. All
sorts of improbable plans flocked into his little
brain under cover of the darkness, but always
vanished when the daylight came.
The next Saturday that they went to town
was a cold, blustering day. They started late,
taking a lunch with them, not intending to come
home until the middle of the afternoon.
The wind blew a perfect gale by the time
they reached town. Mr. Dearborn stopped his
team in front of one of the principal groceries,
saying, Hop out, Steven, and see what they're
paying for turkeys to-day."


As he sprang over the wheel an old gentle-
man came running around the corner after his
hat, which the wind had carried away.
Steven caught it and gave it to him. He
clapped it on his bald crown with a good-
natured laugh. "Thanky, sonny!" he ex-
claimed heartily. Then he disappeared inside
the grocery just as Mr. Dearborn called out,
"I believe I'll hitch the horses and go in too;
I'm nearly frozen."
Steven followed him into the grocery, and
they stood with their hands spread out to the
stove while they waited for the proprietor. He
was talking to the old gentleman whose hat
Steven had rescued.
He seemed to be a very particular kind of
"Oh, go on! go on!" he exclaimed pres-
ently. "Wait on those other people while I
make up my mind."
While Mr. Dearborn was settling the price
of his turkeys, the old gentleman poked
around like an inquisitive boy, thumping the
pumpkins, smelling the coffee, and taking oc-
casional picks at the raisins. Presently he
stopped in front of Steven with a broad,
friendly smile on his face.


"You're from the country, ain't you?" he
"Yes, sir," answered Steven in astonishment.
"Came from there myself, once," he con-
tinued with a chuckle. "Law, law! You'd
never think it now. Fifty years makes a heap
o' difference."
He took another turn among the salt bar-
rels and cracker boxes, then asked suddenly,
"What's your name, sonny? "
"Steven," answered the boy, still more sur-
The old fellow gave another chuckle and
rubbed his hands together delightedly. "Just
hear that, will you! he exclaimed. Why,
that's my name, my very own name, sir Well,
well, well, well! "
He stared at the child until he began to feel
foolish and uncomfortable. What image of
his own vanished youth did that boyish face
recall to the eccentric old banker?
As Mr. Dearborn turned to go Steven
started after him.
Hold on, sonny," called the old gentleman,
" I want to shake hands with my namesake."
He pressed a shining half-dollar into the
little mittened hand held out to him.


That's for good luck," he said. I was
a boy myself, once. Law, law! Sometimes I
wish I could have stayed one."
Steven hardly knew whether to keep it or
not, or what to say. The old gentleman had
resumed conversation with the proprietor and
waved him off impatiently.
"I'll get Robin some candy and save all the
rest till Christmas," was his first thought; but
there was such a bewildering counter full of
toys on one side of the confectioner's shop that
he couldn't make up his mind to wait that long.
He bought some shining sticks of red and
white peppermint and turned to the toys.
There was a tiny sailboat with a little wooden
sailor on deck; but Robin would always be
dabbling in the water if he got that. A tin
horse and cart caught his eye. That would
make such a clatter on the bare kitchen floor.
At last he chose a gay yellow jumping-jack.
All the way home he kept feeling the two little
bundles in his pocket. He could not help
smiling when the gables of the old house came
in sight, thinking how delighted Robin would be.
He could hardly wait till the horses were
put away and fed, and he changed impatiently
from one foot to another, while Mr. Dearborn


searched in the straw of the wagon-bed for a
missing package of groceries. Then he ran to
the house and into the big, warm kitchen, all
out of breath.
Robin," he called, as he laid the armful of
groceries on the kitchen table, "look what
Brother's brought you. Why, where's Robin? "
he asked of Mrs. Dearborn, who was busy stir-
ring something on the stove for supper. She
had her back turned and did not answer.
"Where's Robin," he asked again, peering all
around to see where the bright curls were hiding.
She turned around and looked at him over
her spectacles. "Well, I s'pose I may's well
tell you one time as another," she said reluc-
tantly. Rindy came for him to-day. We
talked it over and thought, as long as there
had to be a separation, it would be easier for
you both, and save a scene, if you wasn't here
to see him go. He's got a good home, and
Rindy'll be kind to him."
Steven looked at her in bewilderment, then
glanced around the cheerful kitchen. His slate
lay on a chair where Robin had been scrib-
bling and making pictures. The old cat that
Robin had petted and played with that very
morning purred comfortably under the stove.


The corncob house he had built was still in the
corner. Surely he could not be so very far away.
He opened the stair door and crept slowly
up the steps to their little room. He could
scarcely distinguish anything at first, in the dim
light of the winter evening, but he saw enough
to know that the little straw hat with the torn
brim that he had worn in the summer time
was not hanging on its peg behind the door.
He looked in the.washstand drawer, where his
dresses were kept. It was empty. He opened
the closet door. The new copper-toed shoes,
kept for best, were gone, but hanging in one
corner was the little checked gingham apron he
had worn that morning.
Steven took it down. There was the torn
place by the pocket, and the patch on the
elbow. He kissed the ruffle that had been
buttoned under the dimpled chin, and the little
sleeves that had clung around his neck so
closely that morning. Then, with it held tight in
his arms, he threw himself on the bed, sobbing
over and over, It's too cruel! It's too cruel!
They didn't even let me tell him good-by! "
He did not go down to supper when Mrs.
Dearborn called him, so she went up after a
while with a glass of milk and a doughnut.


"There, there! she said soothingly; "don't
take it so hard. Try and eat something; you'll
feel better if you do."
Steven tried to obey, but every mouthful
choked him. "Rindy'll be awful good to him,"
she said after a long pause. "She thinks he's
the loveliest child she ever set eyes on, but she
was afraid her husband would think he was too
much of a baby if she took him home with
those long curls on. She cut 'em off before
they started, and I saved 'em. I knew you'd be
glad to have 'em."
She lit the candle on the washstand and
handed him a paper. He sat up and opened
it. There lay the soft, silky curls, shining like
gold in the candle-light, as they twined around
his fingers. It was more than he could bear.
His very lips grew white.
Mrs. Dearborn was almost frightened. She
could not understand how a child's grief could
be so deep and passionate.
He drew them fondly over his wet cheeks, and
pressed them against his quivering lips. Then
laying his face down on them, he cried till he
could cry no longer, and sleep came to his relief.
Next morning, when Steven pulled the win-
dow curtain aside, he seemed to be looking out


on another world. The first snow of the
winter covered every familiar object, and he
thought, in his childish way, that last night's
experience had altered his life as the snowdrifts
had changed the landscape.
He ate his breakfast and
did up the morning chores
mechanically. He seemed
to be in a dream, and won- / .
dered dully to himself why
he did not cry when he felt
so bad.
When the workwas all done
he stood idly looking out of
the window. He wanted to
get away from the house
where everything he saw
made his heart ache with the
suggestion of Robin.
"I believe I'd like to. go to
church to-day," he said in a
listless tone.
"Yes, I'd go if I were you," \
assented Mr. Dearborn read-
ily. Mother and me'll have to stay by the fire
to-day, but I've no doubt it'll chirk you up a
bit to get outdoors a spell."


He started off, plodding through the deep snow.
"Takes it easier than I thought he would,"
said Mr. Dearborn. Well, troubles never set
very hard on young shoulders. He'll get over
it in a little while."
As Steven emerged from the lane into the
big road he saw a sleigh coming towards him,
driven by the doctor's son. As it drew nearer a
sudden thought came to him like an inspiration.
"O Harvey!" he cried, running forward.
" Will you take me with you as far as Simp-
son's? "
Why, yes, I guess so," answered the boy
He was not surprised at the request, know-
ing that Mrs. Dearborn and Mrs. Simpson were
sisters, and supposing that Steven had been sent
on some errand.
It was three miles to the Simpson place, but
they seemed to have reached it in as many
minutes. Harvey turned off towards his own
home, while Steven climbed out and hurried
along the public road.
"Half-way there! he said to himself. He
was going to town to find Mrs. Estel.
He was a long time on the way. A piercing
wind began to blow, and a blinding snow-storm


beat in his face. He was numb with cold,
hungry, and nearly exhausted. But he thought
of little Robin fifteen miles away, crying at the
strange faces around him; and for his sake he
stumbled bravely on.
He had seen Mrs. Dearborn's daughter
several times. She was a kind, good-natured
woman, half-way afraid of her husband. As
for Arad Pierson himself, Steven had conceived
a strong diElike. He was quick-tempered and
rough, with a loud, coarse way of speaking that
always startled the sensitive child.
Suppose Robin should refuse to be comforted,
and his crying annoyed them. Could that black-
browed, heavy-fisted man be cruel enough to
whip such a baby? Steven knew that he would.
The thought spurred him on. It seemed to
him that he had been days on the road when he
reached the house at last, and stood shivering
on the steps while he waited for some one to
answer his timid ring.
"No, you can't speak to Mrs. Estel," said
the pompous colored man who opened the
door, and who evidently thought that he had
come on some beggar's mission. She never
sees any one now, and I'm sure she wouldn't
see you."


Oh, please!" cried Steven desperately, as
the door was about to be shut in his face.
" She told me to come, and I've walked miles
through the storm, and I'm so cold and tired!
Oh, I can't go back without seeing her."
His high, piercing voice almost wailed out
the words. Had he come so far only to be
disappointed at last?
"What is it, Alec ?" he heard some one call
He recognized the voice, and in his despera-
tion darted past the man into the wide reception
He saw the sweet face of the lady, who came
quickly forward, and heard her say, "Why,
what is the matter, my child ?"
Then, overcome by the sudden change from
the cold storm to the tropical warmth of the
room, he dropped on the floor, exhausted and
It was a long time before Mrs. Estel suc-
ceeded in thoroughly reviving him. Then he
lay on a wide divan with his head on her lap,
and talked quietly of his trouble.
He was too worn out to cry, even when he
took the soft curls from his pocket to show her.
But her own recent loss had made her vision


keen, and she saw the depth of suffering in the
boy's white face. As she twisted the curls
around her finger and thought of her own fair-
haired little one, with the deep snow drifting
over its grave, her tears fell fast.
She made a sudden resolution. "You shall
come here," she said. "I thought when my
little Dorothy died I could never bear to hear
a child's voice again, knowing that hers was
still. But such grief is selfish. We will help
each other bear ours together. Would you
like to come, dear? "
Steven sat up, trembling in his great excite-
O Mrs. Estel! he cried, couldn't you
take Robin instead? I could be happy any-
where if I only knew he was taken care of.
You are so different from the Piersons. I
wouldn't feel bad if he was with you, and I
could see him every week. He is so pretty
and sweet you couldn't help loving him! "
She stooped and kissed him. "You dear,
unselfish child, you make me want you more
than ever."
Then she hesitated. She could not decide a
matter involving so much in a moment's time.
Steven, she felt, would be a comfort to her, but


Robin could be only a care. Lately she had
felt the mere effort of living to be a burden,
and she did not care to make any exertion for
any one else.
All the brightness and purpose seemed to
drop out of her life the day that little Dorothy
was taken away. Her husband had tried every-
thing in his power to arouse her from her
hopeless despondency, but she refused to be
Steven's trouble had touched the first re-
sponsive chord. She looked down into his
expectant face, feeling that she could not bear
to disappoint him, yet unwilling to make a
promise that involved personal exertion.
Then she answered slowly, "I wish my hus-
band were here. I cannot give you an answer
without consulting him. Then, you see the
society that sent you out here probably has
some written agreement with these people, and
if they do not want to give him up we might
find it a difficult matter to get him. Mr. Estel
will be home in a few days, and he will see
what can be done."
That morning when Steven had been seized
with a sudden impulse to find Mrs. Estel he
had no definite idea of what she could do to


help him. It had never occurred to him for an
instant that she would offer to take either of
them to live with her. He thought only of
that afternoon on the train, when her sympathy
had comforted him so much, and of her words
at parting: If you ever need a friend, dear,
or are in trouble of any kind, let me know and
I will help you." It was that promise that
lured him on all that weary way through the
cold snow-storm.
With a child's implicit confidence he turned
to her, feeling that in some way or other she
would make it all right. It was a great disap-
pointment when he found she could do nothing
immediately, and that it might be weeks before
he could see Robin again.
Still, after seeing her and pouring out his
troubles, he felt like a different boy. Such a
load seemed lifted from his shoulders. He
actually laughed while repeating some of Rob-
in's queer little speeches to her. Only that
morning he had felt that he could not even
smile again.
Dinner cheered him up still more. When
the storm had abated, Mrs. Estel wrapped him
up and sent him home in her sleigh, telling him
that she wanted him to spend Thanksgiving


Day with her. She thought she would know
by that time whether she could take Robin or
not. At any rate, she wanted him to come,
and if he would tell Mr. Dearborn to bring her
a turkey on his next market day, she would
ask his permission.
All the way home Steven wondered ner-
vously what the old people would say to him.
He dreaded to see the familiar gate, and the
ride came to an end so very soon. To his
great relief he found that they had scarcely
noticed his absence. Their only son and his
family had come unexpectedly from the next
State to stay over Thanksgiving, and every-
thing else had been forgotten in their great
The days that followed were full of pleasant
anticipations for the family. Steven went in
and out among them, helping busily with the
preparations, but strangely silent among all the
Mr. Dearborn took his son to town with him
the next market day, and Steven was left at
home to wait and wonder what message Mrs.
Estel might send him.
He hung around until after his usual bed-
time, on their return, but could not muster up


courage to ask. The hope that had sprung
up within him flickered a little fainter each
new day, until it almost died out.
It was a happy group that gathered around
the breakfast table early on Thanksgiving
"All here but Rindy," said Mr. Dearborn,
looking with smiling eyes from his wife to his
youngest grandchild. "It's too bad she could-
n't come, but Arad invited all his folks to spend
the day there; so she had to give up and stay
at home. Well, we're all alive and well, any-
how. That's my greatest cause for thankful-
ness. What's yours, Jane? he asked, nodding
towards his wife.
As the question passed around the table,
Steven's thoughts went back to the year before,
when their little family had all been together.
He remembered how pretty his mother had
looked that morning in her dark-blue dress.
There was a bowl of yellow chrysanthemums
blooming on the table, and a streak of sun-
shine, falling across them and on Robin's hair,
seemed to turn them both to gold. Now he
was all alone. The contrast was too painful.
He slipped from the table unobserved, and
stole noiselessly up the back stairs to his room.


The little checked apron was hanging on a
chair by the window. He sat down and laid
his face against it, but his eyes were dry. He
had not cried any since that first dreadful
There was such a lively clatter of dishes down-
stairs and babel of voices that he did not hear
a sleigh drive up in the soft snow.
Steven," called Mr. Dearborn from the foot
of the stairs, I promised Mrs. Estel to let you
spend the day with her, but there was so much
goin' on I plum forgot to tell you. You're to
stay all night too, she says."
The ride to town seemed endless to the im-
patient boy. He was burning with a feverish
anxiety to know about Robin, but the driver
whom he questioned could not tell.
Mrs. Estel will be down presently," was the
message with which he was ushered into the
long drawing-room. He sat down uncomfort-
ably on the edge of a chair to wait. He al-
most dreaded to hear her coming for fear she
might tell him that the Piersons would not give
Robin up. Maybe her husband had not come
home when she expected him. Maybe he had
been too busy to attend to the matter. A dozen
possible calamities presented themselves,


Unconsciously he held himself so rigid in his
expectancy that he fairly ached. Ten minutes
dragged by, with only the crackle of the fire on
the hearth to disturb the silence of the great
Then light feet pattered down the stairs and
ran across the broad hall. The portiere was
pushed aside and a bright little face looked in.
In another instant Robin's arms were around
his neck, and he was crying over and over in an
ecstasy of delight, Oh, it's Big Brother! It's
Big Brother! "
Not far away down the avenue a great church
organ was rolling out its accompaniment to a
Thanksgiving anthem. Steven could not hear
the words the choir chanted, but the deep music
of the organ seemed to him to be but the echo
of what was throbbing in his own heart.
There was no lack of childish voices and
merry laughter in the great house that after-
noon. A spirit of thanksgiving was in the
very atmosphere. No one could see the over-
flowing happiness of the children without shar-
ing it in some degree.
More than once during dinner Mrs. Estel
looked across the table at her husband and
smiled as she had not in months.


Along in the afternoon the winter sunshine
tempted the children out of doors, and they
commenced to build a snow man. They tugged
away at the huge image, with red cheeks and
sparkling eyes, so full of out-breaking fun that
the passers-by stopped to smile at the sight.
Mrs. Estel stood at the
library window watching
them. Once, when Robin's
fat little legs stumbled and
sent him rolling over in the
I'\ j snow, she could not help
-4 Slaughing at the comical
It was a low, gentle laugh,
SI but Mr. Estel heard, and,
S* laying aside his newspaper,
joined her at the window.
He had almost despaired
-of ever seeing a return to
the old sunny charm of face
!i, and manner.
They stood there together in silence a few
moments, watching the two romping boys, who
played on, unconscious of an audience.
"What a rare, unselfish disposition that little
'Big Brother' has! Mr. Estel said presently.


" It shows itself even in their play." Then he
added warmly, turning to his wife, Dora, it
would be downright cruel to send him away
from that little chap."
He paused a moment. "We used to find
our greatest pleasure in making Dorothy
happy. We lavished everything on her. Now
we can never do anything more for her."
There was another long pause, while he turned
his head away and looked out of the window.
Think what a lifelong happiness it is in our
power to give those children! Dora, can't we
make room for both of them for her sake? "
Mrs. Estel hesitated, then laid both her hands
in his, bravely smiling back her tears. Yes, I'll
try," she said, for little Dorothy's sake."
That night, as Steven undressed Robin and
tucked him up snugly in the little white bed,
he felt that nothing could add to his great
happiness. He sat beside him humming an
old tune their mother had often sung to them,
in the New Jersey home so far away.
The blue eyes closed, but still he kept on
humming softly to himself, Oh, happy day!
happy day! "
Presently Mrs. Estel came 'in and drew a low
rocking-chair up to the fire. Steven slipped


from his place by Robin's pillow and sat down
on the rug beside her.
Sitting there in the fire-light, she told him
all about her visit to the Piersons. They
had found Robin so unmanageable and so
different from what they expected that they
were glad to get rid of him. Mr. Estel had
arranged matters satisfactorily with the Society,
and they had brought Robin home several days
"I had a long talk with Mr. Dearborn the
other day," she continued. He said his wife's
health is failing, and their son is trying to per-
suade them to break up housekeeping and live
with them. If she is no better in the spring,
they will probably do so."
"Would they want me to go? asked Steven
It may be so; I cannot tell."
Steven looked up timidly. I've been want-
ing all day to say thank you, the way I feel it;
but somehow, the right words won't come. I
can't tell you how it is, but it seems 'most like
sending Robin back home for you and Mr.
Estel to have him. Somehow, your ways and
everything seem so much like mamma's and
papa's, and when I think about him having


such a lovely home, oh, it just seems like
this is a Thanksgiving Day that will last al-
ways /"
She drew his head against her knee and
stroked it tenderly. "Then how would you
like to live here yourself, dear?" she asked.
" Mr. Estel thinks that we need two boys."
"Oh, does he really want me, too? It's too
good to be true! Steven was kneeling beside
her now, his eyes shining like stars.
Yes, we both want you," answered Mrs.
Estel. "You shall be our own little sons."
Steven crept nearer. "Papa and mamma
will be so glad," he said in a tremulous whisper.
Then a sudden thought illuminated his earnest
"0 Mrs. Estel! Don't you suppose they
have found little Dorothy in that other country
by this time, and are taking care of her there,
just like you are taking care of us here?"
She put her arm around him, and drew him
nearer, saying: My dear little comfort, it may
be so. If I could believe that, I could never
feel so unhappy again."
Robin and ze black dancin' bear" were not
the only ones tucked tenderly away to sleep
that night.


The sleigh bells jingled along the avenue.
Again the great church organ rolled out a
mighty flood of melody, that ebbed and flowed
on the frosty night air.
And Big Brother, with his head pillowed
once more beside Robin's, lay with his eyes
wide open, too happy to sleep -lay and
dreamed of the time when he should be a man,
and could gather into the great house he meant
to own all the little homeless ones in the wide
world; all the sorry little waifs that strayed
through the streets of great cities, that crowded
in miserable tenements, that lodged in asylums
and poorhouses.
Into his child's heart he gathered them all,
with a sweet unselfishness that would have
gladly shared with every one of them his new-
tound home and happiness.

It is the intention of the publishers that this series shall
contain only the very highest and purest literature, -
stories that shall not only appeal to the .children them-
selves, but be appreciated by all those who feel with
them in their joys and sorrows.
The numerous illustrations in each book are by well-
known artists, and each volume has a separate attract-
ive cover design.
Each, I vol., I6mo, cloth .50
The Little Colonel. (Trade Mark.)
The scene of this story is laid in Kentucky. Its
heroine is a small girl, who is known as the Little
Colonel, on account of her fancied resemblance to an
old-school Southern gentleman, whose fine estate and
old family are famous in the region. This old Colonel
proves to be the grandfather of the child.
The Giant Scissors.
This is the story of Joyce and of her adventures in
France, -the wonderful house with the gate of The
Giant Scissors, Jules, her little playmate, Sister Denisa,
the cruel Brossard, and her dear Aunt Kate. Joyce is
a great friend of the Little Colonel, and in later volumes
shares with her the delightful experiences of the House
Party" and the Holidays."

Two Little Knights of Kentucky.
In this volume the Little Colonel returns to us like an
old friend, but with added grace and charm. She is
not, however, the central figure of the story, that place
being taken by the two little knights."
B- I


Cicely and Other Stories for Girls.
The readers of Mrs. Johnston's charming juveniles
will be glad to learn of the issue of this volume for
young people.

Aunt 'Liza's Hero and Other Stories.
A collection of six bright little stories, which will
appeal to all boys and most girls.

Big Brother.
A story of two boys. The devotion and care of
Steven, himself a small boy, for his baby brother, is the
theme of the simple tale.

Ole Mammy's Torment.
"LOle Mammy's Torment" has been fitly called "a
classic of Southern life." It relates the haps and mis-
haps of a small negro lad, and tells how he was led by
love and kindness to a knowledge of the right.

The Story of Dago.
In this story Mrs. Johnston relates the story of Dago,
a pet monkey, owned jointly by two brothers. Dago
tells his own story, and the account of his haps and mis-
haps is both interesting and amusing.

The Quilt That Jack Built.
A pleasant little story of a boy's labor of love, and
how it changed the course of his life many years after
it was accomplished.

Flip's Islands of Providence.
A story of a boy's life battle, his early defeat, and his
final triumph, well worth the reading.


A Little Puritan's First Christmas.
A story of Colonial times in Boston, telling how
Christmas was invented by Betty Sewall, a typical child
of the Puritans, aided by her brother Sam.
A Little Daughter of Liberty.
The author's motive for this story is well indicated by
a quotation from her introduction, as follows:
One ride is memorable in, the early history of the
American Revolution, the well-known ride of Paul
Revere. Equally deserving of commendation is another
ride,- the ride of Anthony Severn. which was no less
historic in its action or memorall ii its consequences."
A Loyal Little Maid.
A delightful and interesting story of Revolutionary
days, in which the child heroine, Betsev Schuyler,
renders important services to George Washington.
A Little Puritan Rebel.
This is an historical tale of a real girl, during the
time when the gallant Sir Harry Vane was governor of
A Little Puritan Pioneer.
The scene of this story is laid in the Puritan settlement
at Charlestown. The little girl heroine adds another to
the list of favorites so well known to the young people
A Little Puritan Bound Girl.
A story of Boston in Puritan days, which is of great
interest to youthful readers.
A Little Puritan Cavalier.
The story of a Little Puritan Cavalier" who tried
with all his boyish enthusiasm to emulate the spirt and
ideals of the dead Crusaders.

The Little Lame Prince.
A delightful story of a little boy who has many adven-
tures by means of the magic gifts of his fairy godmother.

Adventures of a Brownie.
The story of a household elf who torments the cook
and gardener, but is a constant joy and delight to the
children who love and trust him.

His Little Mother.
Miss Mulock's short stories for children are a constant
source of delight to them, and His Little Mother," in
this new and attractive dress, will be welcomed by hosts
of youthful readers.

Little Sunshine's Holiday.
An attractive story of a summer outing. Little Sun-
shine is another of those beautiful child-characters for
which Miss Mulock is so justly famous.

A new edition, with new illustrations, of this exquisite
and touching story, dear alike to young and old.

Story of a Short Life.
This beautiful and pathetic story will never grow old.
It is a part of the world's literature, and will never die.

A Great Emergency.
How a family of children prepared for a great emer-
gency, and how they acted when the emergency came.


By OUIDA (Louise de la Ramde)
A Dog of Flanders: A CHRISTMAS STORY
Too well and favorably known to require description

The Nurnberg Stove.
This beautiful story has never before been published
at a popular price.

The Little Giant's Neighbours.
A charming nature story of a "little giant" whose
neighbours were the creatures of the field and garden.

Farmer Brown and the Birds.
A little story which teaches children that the birds
are man's best friends.

Betty of Old Mackinaw.
A charming story of child-life, appealing especially to
the little readers who like stories of "real people."

Mother Nature's Little Ones.
Curious little sketches describing the early lifetime, or
childhood," of the little creatures out-of-doors.

How Christmas Came to the Mul-
A bright, life-like little story of a family of poor chil-
dren, with an unlimited capacity for fun and mischief
The wonderful never-to-be-forgotten Christmas that came
to them is the climax of a series of exciting incidents


The Farrier's Dog and His Fellow.
This story, written by the gifted young Southern
woman, will appeal to all that is best in the natures of
the many admirers of her graceful and piquant style.

The Fortunes of the Fellow.
Those who read and enjoyed the pathos and charm
of The Farrier's Dog and His Fellow" will welcome
the further account of the adventures of Baydaw and
the Fellow at the home of the kindly smith.

The Best of Friends.
This continues the experiences of the Farrier's dog and
his Fellow, written in Miss Dromgoole's well-known
charming style.

Down in Dixie.
A fascinating story for boys and girls, of a family of
Alabama children who move to Florida and grow up in
the South.

Loyalty Island.
An account of the adventures of four children and
their pet dog on an island, and how they cleared their
brother from the suspicion of dishonesty

Theodore and Theodora.
This is a story of the exploits and mishaps of two mis-
chievous twins, and continues the adventures of the
interesting group of children in Loyalty Island."


Helena's Wonderworld.
A delightful tale of the adventures or a little girl in
the mysterious regions beneath the sea.
Aunt Nabby's Children.
This pretty little story, touched with the simple humor
of country life, tells of two children who were adopted
by Aunt Nabby.
For His Country.
A sweet and graceful story of a lidle boy who loved
his country; written with that charm which has endeared
Miss Saunders to hosts of readers.
Nita, the Story of an Irish Setter.
In this touching little book, Miss Saunders shows
how dear to her heart are all of God's dumb creatures.

This little story will recall in sweetness and appealing
charm the work of Kate Douglas Wiggin and Laura E.
The Great Scoop. By MOLLY ELLIOTI
A capital tale of newspaper life in a big city, and of a
bright, enterprising, likable youngster employed thereon.
John Whopper.
The late Bishop Clark's popular story of the boy who
fell through the earth and came out in China, with a
new introduction by Bishop Potter.


The Little Christmas Shoe. By JANE
A touching story of Yule-tide.

A story of two orphan children, the tender devotion ot
the eldest, a boy, for his sister being its theme and set-
ting. With a bit of sadness at the beginning, the story
is otherwise bright and sunny, and altogether wholesome
in every way.

The King of the Golden River: A
Written fifty years or more ago, and not originally
intended for publication, this little fairy tale soon became
known and made a place for itself.

A Child's Garden of Verses. By R. L,
Mr. Stevenson's little volume is too well known to
need description. It will be heartily welcomed in this
new and attractive edition.

Rab and His Friends. By DR. JOHN
Doctor Brown's little masterpiece is too well known
to need description. The dog Rab is loved by all.



The most delightful and interesting accounts possible
of child-life in other lands, filled with quaint sayings,
doings, and adventures.
Each I vol., 12mo, decorative cover, cloth, with six
full-page illustrations in color by L. J. Bridgman.
Price per volume o.6o
Our Little African Cousin
Our Little Armenian Cousin
Our Little Brown Cousin
Our Little Cuban Cousin
Our Little Eskimo Cousin
Our Little German Cousin
Our Little Hawaiian Cousin
Our Little Indian Cousin
Our Little Irish Cousin
Our Little Italian Cousin
Our Little Japanese Cousin
Our Little Jewish Cousin
Our Little Mexican Cousin
Our Little Norwegian Cousin
Our Little Philippine Cousin
Our Little Porto Rican Cousin
Our Little Russian Cousin
Our Little Siamese Cousin
Our Little Swiss Cousin
Our Little Turkish Cousin
Our Little English Cousin
Our Little French Cousin
Our Little Canadian Cousin
Our Little Chinese Cousin
Our Little Korean Cousin


By Charles G. D. Roberts


Charles Livingston Bull
as follows:
The Lord of the Air
The King of the Mamozekel
The Watchers of the Camp-fire
The Haunter of the Pine Gloom
The Return to the Trails
The Little People of the Sycamore
Each I vol., small 12mo, cloth decorative, per vol-
ume $0.50
Realizing the great demand for the animal stories of
Professor Roberts, one of the masters of nature writers,
the publishers have selected six representative stories, to
be issued separately, at a popular price. Each story is
illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull, and is bound in a
handsome decorative cover.


(Trade Mark.)
Each, I vol, large I2mo, cloth decorative, per vol. $1.50
The Little Colonel Stories.
(Trade Mark.)
Being three Little Colonel" stories in the Cosy
Corner Series, The Little Colonel," Two Little
Knights of Kentucky," and The Giant Scissors," put
into a single volume.
The Little Colonel's House Party.
(Trade Mark.)
Illustrated by Louis Meynell.
The Little Colonel's Holidays.
(Trade Mark.)
Illustrated by L. J. Bridgman.
The Little Colonel's Hero.
(Trade Mark.)
Illustrated by E. B. Barry.
The Little Colonel at Boarding
(Trade Mark.)
Illustrated by E. B. Barry.
The Little Colonel in Arizona.
(Trade Mark.)
Illustrated by E. B. Barry.
The Little Colonel's Christmas
(Trade Mark.)
Illustrated by E. B. Barry.
Since the time of Little Women," no juvenile heroine
has been better beloved of her child readers than Mrs
Johnston's Little Colonel."


Joel: a Boy of Galilee.
New illustrated edition, uniform with the Little Colonel
Books, I vol., large Izmo. cloth decorative $ 50
A story of the time of Christ, which is one of the
author's best-known books, and which has been trans-
lated into many languages, the last being Italian.
Asa Holmt s; ,,, AT THE CROSS-ROADS. A
sketch of Country ile and Country Humor. By
ANNIE FELLOWS Ji HaSTuN. With a frontispiece
by Ernest Fosbery
Large i6mo, cloth, gilt top $.
"'Asa Holmes; or, At the Cross-Roads'is the most de-
lightful, most sympathetic and wholesome book that has been
published in a long while. The lovable, cheerful, touching
incidents, the descriptions of persons and things are wonder-
fully true to nature."-Boston Times.
In the Desert of Waiting: THE LEGEND
The Three Weavers: A FAIRY TALE FOR
Each one volume, tall I6mo, cloth decorative. $o.60
There has been a constant demand for publication in
separate form of these two stories, which were originally
included in two of the Little Colonel books, and the
present editions, which are very charmingly gotten up, will
be delightful and valued gift-books for both old and young.
"' The Three Weavers' is the daintiest fairy-story I
ever read," wrote one critic, and the Louisville Post calls
" In the Desert of Waiting a "gem, an exquisite bit of
work. Mrs. Johnston is at her best in this web of delicate
fancy, woven about the deep centre truth." Those who
have read the stories as they originally appeared will be
glad to find them published individually.
B- lit


Little Lady Marjorie. By FRANCES MAR-
GARET FOx, author of Farmer Brown and the
Birds," etc.
I2mo, cloth, illustrated $1.50
A charming story for children between the ages of ten
and fifteen years, with both heart and nature interest.
The Sandman: His FAIM SToR)E-, By
WILLIAM J. HOPKINS. With fifty illustrations by
Ada Clendenin Williamson.
One vol., large Izmo, decorative cover $1.50
"An amusing, original book, written for the benefit of
children not more than six years old, is The Sandman: His
Farm Stories.' It should be one of the most popular of the
year's books for reading to small children." Buflalo Express.
Mothers and fathers and kind elder sisters who take the
little ones to bed and rack their brains for stories will find this
book a treasure." Cleveland Leader.
WILLIAM J. HOPKINS, author of "The Sandman:
His Farm Stories."
Library Izmo, cloth decorative, fully illustrated, $1.50
Mr. Hopkins's first essay at bedtime stories has met with
such approval that this second book of Sandman tales has
been issued for scores of eager children. Life on the farm,
and out-of-doors, will be portrayed in his inimitable manner,
and many a little one will hail the bedtime season as one of
A Puritan Knight Errant. By EDITH
ROBINSON, author of "A Little Puritan Pioneer," A
Little Puritan's First Christmas," A Little Puritan
Rebel," etc.
Library Izmo, cloth decorative, illustrated $1.50
The charm of style and historical value of Miss Robinson's
previous stories of child life in Puritan days have brought
them wide popularity. Her latest and most important book
appeals to a large juvenile public. The "knight errant" of
this story is a little Don Quixote, whose trials and their ultimate
outcome will prove deeply interesting to their reader.


The Rival Campers; OR, THE ADVENTURES
12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated $1.50
Here is a book which will grip and enthuse every boy
who is lucky enough to secure it. It is the story of a
party of typical American lads, courageous, alert, and
athletic, who spend a summer camping on an island off
the Maine coast. Every boy reader will envy them their
adventures,- yacht-racing, canoeing, and camping,--
which culminate in their discovery and capture of a gang
of daring robbers; but the influence of wholesome, out-
door life in the development of manly character is well
brought out. Henry Burns, the leader of the boys, is a
character in juvenile fiction of whom we are likely to
hear again.

The Young Section Hand; OR, THE AD-
STEVENSON, author of The Marathon Mystery," etc.
12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated $1.50
Every branch of railroading fascinates the average
American boy. The shops, the telegraph and signal
systems, the yard and track work, the daily life of
danger which confronts every employee, whether he be
the ordinary workman or the engineer of a limited ex-
press train, and the mysterious '" office" which controls
every branch of the work, each holds out its allure-
ments to him.
In this story Mr. Stevenson's hero is just the right
sort, a manly lad of sixteen who is given a chance as a
section hand on a big Western railroad, and whose ex-
periences are as real as they are thrilling. He is perse-
cuted by the discharged employee whose place he took,
and becomes involved in complications which nearly
cause his undoing; but his manliness and courage are
finally proven, and the reward is his for duty done at
any cost.



& CO.

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