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ILLUSTRATIONS BY IDA WAUGH
â€œISBISTER AND COMPANY Lrmirep
r5 & 16 TAVISTOCK STREET COVENT GARDEN
Printed by BALLANTYNE, Hanson & Co.
London and Edinburgh
MY SISTER'S â€œLITTLE MAIDENS,â€
MAY AND AMY,
THESE STORIES ARE LOVINGLY
6 LHEY were delighted, the shadow people, for all their
lives long they had been trying to attract notice,
and now in the heart of a great city, on this New
Yearâ€™s Eve, they were to be seen more plainly than
ever before; and, strange to say, as is the case so often in a big
city, the night was to become their play-time rather than the
â€œQho! Mr. Sun,â€ laughed one little wizened creature,
dimly seen under a tree, â€œwe do not need you now to show
us off. You may get angry, and hide yourself whenever you
please, we do not care.â€ |
â€œAha! Mr. Sun,â€ said a graceful, swaying figure that
danced up and down on the walk, â€œI can dance to-night too, if
I wish, and not depend upon you, nor the moon either.â€
Then the shadow people twisted themselves and poked out
their pointed chins, and nodded their peaky-capped heads in
It was nearly dark ; people were hurrying home laden with
packages; ladies from their shopping, shop-girls with their
baskets, working-men with their pails, trooped through the
square in one continuous stream, which thinned into groups,
and finally only one or two at a time straggled along. Then
the square became nearly empty.
Suddenly such a burst of light, whiter than moonlight,
was shed over everything; and quite as suddenly all the
shadow people came out from their hiding-places, big and
little, tall and short; they crowded the place, and oh, how
plainly they could be seen! Every little twist and turn
showed distinctly. :
â€œSee the electric lights,â€ said some one, â€œ how strong they
are; and look, our pathway is carpeted with the loveliest
designs in black and white.â€
How the little elfish heads nodded as that couple passed on!
As one after another went through the square, some noticed
the shadowsâ€™ fantastic drawing, some saw that they were
shadows, but nothing more, and many never noticed them at
all; very few knew of the quaint little figures which danced
when the trees swayed.
It was nearly ten oâ€™clock when a little girl crept slowly
_and timidly along the walk; ragged and hungry, she stopped
by a bench and looked eagerly around to see if one of the
. little ones who had been playing in the afternoon sunshine
had dropped a cake or a cracker; none there, she passed on
to the next, and so on till she was rewarded by a few bits of
biscuit which the birds had failed to find. Then she crept
under the bench.
How the shadow people danced! â€œSee us! See us!â€ they
said to her. â€œYou must look; we are to be seen so plainly.â€
And the little girl looked, at first seeing only the tracery of
twigs and branches, but soon there was something more: little
faces peered out at her, hands waved to her, long fingers
â€œWhat are you?â€ she asked.
â€œWe are the shadow people,â€ answered they.
â€œT have a shadow too, sometimes,â€ said the little girl.
â€œYes,â€ said the shadow people, â€œ but your shadow changes,
changes, changes,â€ and as they said the word they all bobbed
up and down. â€œWhen you were a little baby it was a different
shadow, and when you are grown it will be a different shadow.
We are not that kind: we know no change but winter and
summer; we do not run around after folks; we stop here and
dance, dance, dance,â€ all bobbing up and down again. â€œWe
are not the kind of shadows either that people are hoping will
follow the Old Year when he goes out to-night; we are not
those dreary things. Your shadow creeps along beside you
like a dog and is not merry. See how merry we are.â€
â€œYou would not be merry either,â€ returned the little girl,
â€œif your father had kicked you out into the street, and if you
were cold, and hungry, and sore all over.â€
The shadow people all stopped dancing. â€œ Poor little girl,â€
they whispered, â€œI wonder if we can do anything for you; we
will try, try, try,â€ they all said, bobbing again. â€œGet farther
from the tree, and farther under the bench, or the policeman
will see you.â€
So the little girl dragged herself farther along, and the
shadows bobbed all over the bench. She stretched out an arm
toward them, and they put their fingers on her hand.
â€œTake care!â€ they whispered, â€œtake care! Donâ€™t put your
hand out again till we tell you. We have an idea, if we can
only use it when the New Year is coming in. Go to sleep till
we waken you.â€ -
She went to sleep, and slept for nearly two hours, then she
was awakened, and she heard the sound of feet and the murmur
of voices. People were coming from the theatre; it was so
light that, at first, the little girl thought it must be daylight,
but when she saw the shadow people she knew better, and lay
â€œHow bright it is!â€ she heard some one say. â€œ Do look
at these dancing shadows, Philip; are they not beautiful? Let
us stop and look at them a moment; one could almost fancy
there were little faces among them. Are they the shadows
of the Old Yearâ€™s follies, or are they the elves who come to
attend the birth of the New Year?â€
How the shadows danced then, and laughed silently!
â€œShe'll do! she'll do!â€ they said; but the lady did not hear
them, or, if she had heard, she would have thought it only the
rustle of dry leaves on the ground,
â€œSee that one,â€ she went on; â€œit looks like an old woman;
no, like a man with a cap on; and, I declare, that is a real hand
with a pointing finger.â€
â€œStretch out your hand!â€ cried the shadows to the little
girl, and she stretched out her poor little hand from under the
â€œTJ wonder if it is pointing at anything,â€ the lady went on,
â€œYou are full of fancies to-night,â€ said the man she had
called Philip. â€œAre you moonstruck by these bright moons on
the end of a pole? Come, dear, it is New Yearâ€™s morning: the
clocks are striking twelve. You will get cold, mild as it is,
â€œIt is pointing at something,â€ cried the lady, eagerly.
â€œSee that poor little hand; that is not a shadow, though it is
thin enough.â€ |
The man stooped down and spied the little girl curled up
under the bench. â€œWhat are you doing there, child?â€ he
asked. â€œCome out and give an account of yourself.â€
â€œGo! go!â€ cried the shadow people.
She crept out, and stood up in all the misery of rags and
10 â€˜ ELSIE.
â€œWhat is your name, and where did you come from?â€
asked the man. .
â€œMy name is Elsie,â€ said the little girl, â€œand father kicked
me out, so I came here, and the shadows told me to go to sleep.â€
The lady smiled. â€˜So you saw the shadows too,â€ she said.
â€œ Have you no mother?â€
â€œT had, in the country, but she died, and father came here;
then he married another woman-who had a shop, but she lost
all her money and used to send me out begging, but I could
not beg very well, and when I brought home nothing she
would beat me. She scolds so that father drinks all the time,
and to-night they said it cost too much to keep me, so I might
go where I could, and they kicked me out. It isnâ€™t so very
cold under the bench,â€ she said, raising her blue eyes to the
The man looked down at his wife. â€˜Shall we try it?â€ he
â€œOh, yes,â€ she answered. â€œWould it not be a good way
to greet the New Year? Oh, how those bells are chiming! as
if they still echoed the Christmas song â€˜ Peace and good will.â€™
Can we listen to them and turn away from this little homeless
waif? And, Philip, she may be a great help to us.â€
â€œ Will you go home with us, Elsie?â€ asked the man. â€œI
am a doctor; we have only a tiny house, but if you are honest,
and can help us keep it clean and neat, we shall be glad to give
you a home.â€
So home she went that early New Yearâ€™s morning,
leaving sorrow, and wretchedness, and woe with the Old Year.
And she was honest and learned fast, running errands with
willing feet, or washing dishes and dusting about, till she has
become a tidy, helpful little maid, and is very proud of her
housekeeping, and of having a word of praise from the doctor.
As for the doctorâ€™s wife, there never was such a lovely
lady, to Elsie, and she tells the shadow people so every time
she goes through the square, and the shadows bob up and down
and say, â€œ We knew it! we knew it!â€ for they are wise little
shadows and see a deal of life in the square, see and hear more
than we could ever imagine.
LHE wind was whispering among the corn, rustling
about the long blades, waving their green lengths
back and forth, and swinging the tasselled tops,
which rose high above the head of a little child
almost hidden by the tall stalks. Rhoda was wandering about
the cornfield, peeping up at the blue sky which she could see
between the waving corn. â€œI wish I had a doll to play with,â€
thought Rhoda. â€œIf Lizzie had not broken my Annette I
could play with her.â€ The little girl sat down disconsolately
upon a stone; presently up hopped a little dusty toad and
squatted down close beside her: he blinked at her with his
funny pop-eyes. Rhoda looked at him. â€œ What an ugly doll -
you would make, toady !â€ she said. â€˜â€œ Now, maybe I have hurt
his feelings,â€ exclaimed she. â€œNever mind, little toady, you
might be a great deal uglier.â€
The toad hopped away.
â€œI wonder if his feelings really are hurt?â€ said Rhoda.
â€œAh, there is a dear â€˜Bob Whiteâ€™ whistling down by the
hedge. I should love a Bob White to play with, but I never
could catch one in the world.â€
She rested her chin in her hands, and watched the white
clouds sailing over the sky. The crickets were chirping in
the grass, and every little while a grasshopper would suddenly
rise up and, with a whir, fly past her.
â€œDear me!â€ said Rhoda, â€œI have been playing with grass-
hoppers all summer long, and cats. Cats do very well indeed.
I have nothing in the world to say against the dear pussy
cats, but one does get tired of them, they are so very lively
Just then a little brown wren came and alighted on an ear
of corn close to where Rhoda was sitting; he turned his little
sleek head first this way and then that, suddenly bursting into
one of the sweetest little songs imaginable. He looked at Rhoda,
gave a peck or two at the corn, and then flew away.
â€œWhat a dear little fellow he is!â€ thought Rhoda. â€œI
wish he would tell me where to get a doll to play with.â€
In a moment the bird came flying back, and alighted on
the same spot.
â€œWhy, here he is back again!â€ said Rhoda. â€œ Little bird,
what shall I get to play with?â€
The little bird hopped back and forth on the corn, then
pecked at the ear once or twice, giving a look at Rhoda as he
14 : RHODA:
did so; then he lifted up his pretty head, gave another burst
of song, and flew away.
â€œWhy,â€ exclaimed Rhoda, clapping his hands, â€œif he
hasnâ€™t shown me the nicest doll!â€ And she ran up to the ear
of corn and broke it off, then went to the house as quickly
as she could. In a few minutes she had an apron carefully
wrapped around her new nursling, and was sitting contentedly
on the back porch, singing her dolly to sleep.
Her mother stopped on the way to the garden to say,
â€œWhat dolly have you to-day, Rhoda, old puss or one of the
â€œT have a lovely new dolly,â€ said Rhoda, looking up with
a shining face. â€œHer name is Corn Silk. See, mother, what
beautiful brown hair she has; real hair.â€ And Rhoda passed a
caressing hand over the flowing tresses which hung down her
â€œ Where did you get her?â€ asked Rhodaâ€™s mother, laughing.
â€œShe grew for me,â€ replied Rhoda, â€œand there are plenty
~ more like her. She looks very nice when you cover her up
well, but she hasnâ€™t any feet; mother, donâ€™t you tell that, for
I want to forget it myself.â€
Her mother promised not to tell, and went on.
Rhoda rocked little Corn Silk to sleep, and then put her
in a little bed made of a box-full of leaves. She covered her
over with a handkerchief, and the long hair was carefully
spread outside the quilt, so as to show to the best advantage.
Then Rhoda went off to the orchard to get a summer apple
while Corn Silk was taking her nap. She found a sweet yellow
apple, and walked on toward the road, but concluded, if she were
going to take a walk, that Corn Silk had better go too, for she
might wake up and miss her. So she ran back to the house,
picked up Corn Silk from her crib, wrapped the brown gingham
apron closely around her, and went back through the orchard.
The orchard ran along by the road on one side, and Rhoda
_ would sometimes sit on the fence and watch to see if any one
would pass by. On mail-days there would be quite a number
of carriages, wagons, or horsemen, but on other days it was
very quiet, and she would see only a stray traveller. Although
this was not mail-day, Rhoda thought she should enjoy sitting
on the fence and showing the road to Corn Silk, who, she
knew, had never seen it. a
â€œNow, Corn Silk,â€ she said, â€œI am going to sit on the
fence, and put you in this little corner where the rails stick up.
You mustnâ€™t try to get down, for you might fall; however, I
know you cannot break; that makes you ever so much nicer
than other dolls, for, even if you should fall out of a tree, you
would be as good as ever. I really think you are the nicest
doll I ever had.â€ And Rhoda held her off admiringly before
she settled her in the corner.
As soon as they were comfortably seated Rhoda thought of
her apple; it was sweet and juicy, and had a fine summery
flavor. She gravely shared it with Corn Silk, and had just
thrown away the core when she saw a light carriage coming
down the road. There was no one in the carriage but a lady,
who, seeing Rhoda, stopped her horse.
â€œCan you tell me how far it is to the Cross Roads?â€ she -
â€œTt is about a mile, straight ahead,â€ replied Rhoda, who
had picked up Corn Silk, and had jumped down from her
â€œThen which way do you turn to go to Dr. Newtonâ€™s?â€
â€œTo the right,â€ said Rhoda; â€œbut there is a nearer way
than that, only you have to go through the bars, but I will let
them down for you; they are just at the end of the orchard.â€
And, without waiting, Rhoda ran on, reaching the bars almost
as soon as the horse did.
â€œNow, if you go straight on through the woods, you will
come to Dr. Newtonâ€™s place,â€ said Rhoda. â€œ You will come in
back of the barn, and you will save nearly a mile.â€
â€œThank you so much,â€ said the lady. â€œ Wonâ€™t you tell me
â€œTt is Rhoda Converse,â€ replied the little girl.
â€œT see you have a doll,â€ said the lady. â€œ What beautiful
hair she has!â€
â€œYes,â€ said Rhoda, proudly stroking it; but, unfortunately,
at that moment the apron in which the doll was dressed
became loosened, and down poor Corn Silk fell, showing her
legless and armless condition.
Rhoda Jooked down rather shamefacedly; but, catching
the ladyâ€™s eye, she laughed, and so did her new friend, who
â€œT think she is a very nice doll, anyhow; I never saw one
like her before. Do you like her better than the ones you
buy in the shops ?â€ .
â€œYes, I believe I do,â€ replied Rhoda, â€œfor all I have to
do is to go out to the cornfield and get her, and she never
breaks. I had a lovely doll, but some one broke it.â€
â€œThat was too bad,â€ responded her friend. â€˜â€œ What is
your dollâ€™s name?â€
â€œCorn Silk,â€ answered Rhoda.
â€œ But. what will you do when it gets cold, and there are no:
more dolls growing in the field ?â€
Rhoda looked distressed. â€˜I donâ€™t know,â€ said she. Then
she looked up brightly. â€œ Perhaps Santa Claus will bring me
a new one,â€ she added.
â€œT have no doubt of it,â€ said the lady, nodding. â€œAnd
now I must goon. Good-by, Rhoda. You have been quite
a help to me.â€
| Rhoda picked up Corn Silk and turned toward home, for
it was near dinner-time.
For a long time Corn Silk and Rhoda had good times.
together: they had parties down by the spring, and they went
fishing in the creek; they swung in the old apple-tree in the
orchard, and they went to sleep together in Rhodaâ€™s little bed.
â€˜The man in the moon laughed when he saw them lying asleep
together, and he gave an extra smile to the cornfield for
Rhodaâ€™s sake. 7
Every week Rhoda would go to the cornfield for a new
Corn Silk, though it was always the same one to her. She
pretended that the shrivelled and wrinkled one, of the last
week, had taken a bath and changed her clothes. She would
always go down late Saturday evening and lay the discarded
ear of corn under a corn-stalk, and on Monday morning she
would go to a different stalk to get a fresh one.
But the day came when the corn was yellow, and the har-
vesters came to gather it in. So that was the end of it all for
poor Rhoda. She sobbed over the last ear she could play
with, and mournfully lay Corn Silk, for the last time, out in
the moonbeams. The man in the moon looked down at her,
still smiling, for he knew a secret, and a day or two after
Rhoda had a great surprise. A neighbor drove up to the gate
and handed her a box, which he said he had found at the
express-office for Miss Rhoda Converse. Rhoda could hardly
wait till she found her mother, and together they opened the
box, in whichâ€”oh, delight !â€”they found a lovely doll, dressed _
beautifully in a little silk dress just the color of green corn;
a bewitching little hat rested upon her wavy hair, which was
as soft as corn silk. Rhoda screamed with joy, while her
_ mother read from a card, â€œFrom Eunice Alden, with a loving
remembrance of Rhoda and Corn Silk.â€
â€œOh, mother!â€ cried Rhoda, â€œI know it is the lady for
whom I let down the bars, for no one else could have known
Rhoda is a big girl now, but she still has the doll named
after Eunice Alden, and, though she loves her very much,
she never sees a cornfield that she does not givea sigh for her
dear little Corn Silk.
N an old-fashioned house, with great white pillars in
front, lived a little girl with her mother and her
grandfather. A broad river flowed within sight of
the house, which was on @ high bluff, and toward
the river sloped a great old garden, part of which was under
cultivation and part was a tangle of wild blackberries, with
here and there a stray stalk of corn or a bunch of aspar-
agus, which had chosen to retire from their more sociable
neighbors to live a life off to themselves. There were some
rose-bushes, too, which found their way through the weeds, and,
side by side with the blackberries, sent out slender briery
shoots, bearing sweet yellow roses. A low stone wall ran along
one side of the garden, and beyond that was the orchard.
Agnes was a quiet, thoughtful child, and, having no play-
mates, she wandered over the old place talking to birds and
trees, or else she would go down to the old quarters where
Mammy Pris and Uncle â€™Rius lived; they were the only ser-
vants left on the place, and loved every inch of it, still holding
to the greatness of the â€œfamâ€™ly,â€ from which the glory had
indeed departed, for the old house had seen its best days,â€”
pieces of plaster were continually falling, floors were sunken,
and stairways unsteady ; but Uncle â€™Rius still maintained it
was the finest place in the land, and Mammy Pris drew herself
up proudly when she talked of â€œwe-allsâ€ former grandeur.
Old Judge Nelson, bent with the weariness of years and
the weight of sorrow, lived in the past, and sat by the open
fire day in and day out, once in a while taking his stick and
walking to the back porch, where he would feast his eyes on
the view, give a long sigh, and then return to his old leather
chair by the chimney corner.
Agnesâ€™s mother was a sweet, sad woman, who had lost hus-
band and brothers in the war, and in trying to keep together
the clothing and household linen of the family found her time
fully occupied in mending and patching.
Agnes had lessons every day from old-fashioned books,
such as her father had studied in his boyhood, and which, even
then, were somewhat out of date; but her store of knowledge
was sound, and gave a soberer bent to her thoughts than more
modern study would have done. Lessons done, she ran, often
barefooted, over the place, picking berries, rambling through
the garden, or she sat by the hour perched ona high rock
overlooking the river. How many ships came up that river to
Agnes, and what fairy freight they held! But, alas! they were
only phantom ships, whose name was always â€œ Day Dream,â€
and they vanished away with the practical sense of hunger
which would overtake Agnesâ€™s musings, and send her back to
the house to dinner or supper, often too scanty a meal for a
healthy appetite. But Agnesâ€™s chief employment was digging;
that might seem very queer unless one knew her reason.
During the war the family valuables, including quite a sum
in gold coin, had been buried hastily by one of the servants,
a trustworthy man, who was left by the family to watch the
place, as they hurriedly made their escape, fearing danger to
the baby Agnes and her mother. The old man, Jonas, was
found dead a few days later, shot through the heart; whether
accidentally or not was never found out, but the secret of
the hiding-place died with him, and no one was ever able to
discover it. :
â€œMamma,â€ Agnes said, as she ran in one day, â€œI am
afraid my shoes will not stand another cobbling, and I have
tried to run barefoot all I could this summer.â€ .
â€˜said,â€” ah Ge
â€œTJ cannot bear to have you run barefoot, daughter. Take Â»
your shoes to â€™Rius, and see what he can do with them.â€
_Uncle Darius was Jack-of-all-trades, and to so many dif- |
ferent mendings he turned his hand that it is almost a wonder
he was not expected to mend the fortunes of the family, though,
poor old man, he did his best even in that direction, by keep-
ing up a part of the garden, raising chickens, and bringing in
fish from the river.
Agnes took her shoes in her hand, and ran down to the
quarters where Uncle â€™Rius was mending the axe-handle.
â€œUncle â€™Rius,â€ said the little girl, â€œI donâ€™t see how you can
do anything to these shoes; they have been patched and mended
till there is nothing left to mend.â€
The old man turned them over and over. Scratching
his head, he said, â€œDey sholy is bad; what we gwine do,
honey ?â€ .
â€œIndeed I donâ€™t know, unless I go barefoot all the time,â€
said Agnes, looking down at her slender feet, that were already
scratched and brown.
â€œFim! Hm! dat wonâ€™t do,â€ said Mammy Pris, coming to
the door. â€œâ€™Rius, yoâ€™ ainâ€™t gwinter let dat chile go barfooty,
cole weather cominâ€™ on, frosâ€™ in de grounâ€™? My! my! to think
dem little baby footies what I done been so keerful of gwine
â€™thout shoes. No, â€™Rius. You â€™bleedged to cobble â€™em some-
*Rius looked ludicrously puzzled. â€œI â€™clarâ€™, Pris,â€ he said,
â€œ T donâ€™ see how I gwine fix â€™em; dey is plum wore out.â€
â€œYer â€™bleedged to fix â€™em,â€ Pris persisted.
â€œTf I only might have a new pair,â€ Agnes said, wistfully ;
â€œbut, "Rius, mamma cannot afford to get them. Grandpa needs
new flannels, and we cannot get flannels and shoes at the same
time, that is out of the question; and of course I can go with-
out better than grandpa can.â€
Rius shook his head, still contemplating the dilapidated
shoes, then he gave a long sigh. â€œWe'll get â€™em somehow,
honey,â€ he replied. â€œTâ€™ll do my besâ€™, anâ€™ maybe deyâ€™ll hold
out a day or two; but dey sholy is plum wore out.â€
â€œOh, Uncle â€™Rius, if we only could find the box!â€ said
Agnes, clasping her hands. â€œWe have never needed it so
much before. We must, must find it!â€ she said, stamping her
little foot fiercely on the ground. â€œUncle â€™Rius, wonâ€™t you
help me to-day ?â€
_ The old man again shook his head: â€œHoney, dere is a
heap to be done, anâ€™ Uncle â€™Rius must do it. How yoâ€™ anâ€™
yoâ€™ ma anâ€™ yoâ€™ granâ€™pa gwine to have anything to eat if "Rius
ainâ€™t jesâ€™ a-wuckinâ€™, a-wuckinâ€™?â€ ,
â€œBut Pl help you, Uncle â€™Rius, indeed I will; and if we
could only find the boxâ€”why, Uncle â€™Rius, there is five hun-
dred dollars in it, and I donâ€™t know how much jewelry,â€”dia-
monds and pearls, and I donâ€™t know what all.â€
â€œYes, I know, honey chile,â€ the old man said, soothingly,
though he had long ago given up all hopes of finding the box.
â€œT is â€™bleedged to mend de cow-shed,â€ he went on, â€œ anâ€™ I musâ€™
caâ€™y de corn to de mill, so we-alls kin have nice corn pone, anâ€™
I musâ€™ tote de chickens to town to sell, so yoâ€™ ma kin git yoâ€™
â€œOh, dear! if I were only a boy I could do so much,â€ said
Agnes, turning sorrowfully away.
She wandered to her favorite place on the great rock to
think over the matter. Never had a winter approached
with so many needs staring them in the face. Grandpa was
growing more feeble every day. Agnes thought of her
motherâ€™s sad eyes and thin hands, she thought of Uncle â€™Rius
growing old and yet so willing and helpful, â€œ when he ought to
be provided for,â€ she thought, â€œhe and Aunt Pris have been
so faithful; that is the way it would have been if papa had
lived.â€ And the tears rolled down the childâ€™s mournful little
face, till she started up and set forth to dig hopefully.
But the sun went down, and no trace of the buried
treasure was discovered, and Agnes went to bed weary and
disheartened. She did not sleep very soundly, and toward
midnight she awoke with the bright moon-beams streaming
in at the window. She though she heard a noise, and get-
ting up, she saw a figure in the moonlight, and heard the
sound of a pickaxe. Thud! thud! thud! â€œUncle â€™Rius is
digging,â€ she said. â€œPoor old Uncle â€™Rius, and he must be
Slipping on her clothes ana wrapping a shawl around her,
she stole softly down-stairs, out the door, and ran, to where
Uncle â€™Rius was at work.
He started when he saw her. â€œLaw! baby,â€ he said,
â€œwhat is yoâ€™ doinâ€™ up dis time er night? Go back to bed,
honey ; Uncle â€™Rius jesâ€™ felt like a little swing er de pick gwine
- mek him sleep mighty well.â€™
â€œOh, Uncle â€™Rius,â€ said Agnes, â€œlet me stay! Iam nota
bit sleepy, and I do want to so much.â€
The old man put down his pick, and going to the house,
_he brought out an old fur robe, which he wrapped carefully
around the little girl, bidding her tell him the instant she felt
â€œT couldnâ€™t feel chilly, Uncle â€™Rius, I am so wrapped up,â€
laughed Agnes. â€œDo you know, Uncle â€™Rius, I thought to-
day of a new place. Did you ever try over by the old well?
There is a big flat stone there all grown over. I was going
to try there, but it was too late. Could it be under that
â€œDey ainâ€™t no sayinâ€™ whar. it is,â€™ the old man replied.
â€œT donâ€™t reckon itâ€™s hyar. I been a-digginâ€™ hyar dis half-
â€œThen let us try the well,â€ returned Agnes. And, with her
fur robe trailing after her like a queenâ€™s ermine, she led the
way to the old disused well, and pointed out the spot where
she had found the stone.
Clearing away the dry weeds and the earth that had
accumulated, Uncle â€™Rius began to pry up the stone.
â€œMighty heavy,â€ he said, breathing hard, after several
fruitless efforts to dislodge it.
â€œLet me help,â€ said Agnes.
The old man laughed. â€œ Yoâ€™ mighty strong, I reckon.
Yoâ€™ can pick it up â€™thout half tryinâ€™,â€ he said.
â€œNow, Uncle â€™Rius, donâ€™t laugh at me,â€ said Agnes; â€œjust
a little more is all that is needed.â€
So together they tugged and pulled, and finally the big
stone began to move; by continued efforts it was soon removed,
far enough for Uncle â€™Rius to dig under it, and in a few
minutes his spade struck something hard.
â€œOh!â€ exclaimed Agnes, breathlessly.
â€œ Jesâ€™ another stone, honey, I reckon,â€ said the old man,
though his own heart was beating fast, for it. did not feel like
a stone. :
With redoubled energy he worked away, and Agnes ran
for her own spade, unchidden by Uncle Darius, who was now
working with all his might.
They both forgot how the time passed, and it was nearly
morning when their work was done and a large box stood
Agnes threw her arms around â€™Rius, laughing and crying
~ in one breath.
â€œBless de Lord!â€ said the old man, solemnly taking off
his ragged hat. â€œNow, chile, go home anâ€™ go to bed, anâ€™
we'll do de resâ€™ in de morninâ€™.â€
_ Agnes was soon cuddled up again under the covers, but no
sleep visited her eyelids, and as soon as it was light she was up
again and by Uncle â€™Riusâ€™s side to make sure of the discovery.
Then she ran to her motherâ€™s room, and awoke her with the
ery â€œIt is found! It is found!â€
Needless to say that Agnes had her shoes, and that many
other things were bought to add to the happiness of the entire
family, for the contents of the box revealed themselves unhurt
by their long burial.
As â€œit never rains but. it pours,â€ not long after an offer
came from a land association for a good part of the old place.
Reserving the house and garden, with a few more acres, the
rest was sold for a sum large enough to insure comfort to them
all for the rest of their lives, Uncle â€™Rius and Mammy Pris
And so Agnes was never shoeless again, and though she
went away to school, and in time saw much of the world, her
heart always yearned for her own home, and it was a happy
girl who, when school days were over, came home â€œfor good
and all,â€™ as Mammy Pris said. Uncle â€™Rius, though his eyes
were too dim to see her, blessed her in his trembling voice, â€”
and Mammy Pris wept over her baby, and again launched
forth into tales of the family grandeur, whose fortunes were,
she felt, fully restored by the home-coming of so fine a young
OROTHY was a dear, frolicsome little lass, who
made friends with every one, even the ash-men and
the coal-heavers, and it seemed to each person that
she must be fonder of him or her than of any one
else, for she had such loving, confiding little ways; but she
did not care for one more than another, except her papa and
mamma, who always came first of course.
It was hard to keep her out of the kitchen, the cellar, or
the back yard, for whatever was going on she wanted to see ;
and she would sit perched up on the fence when the man was
emptying the ashes, or would clamber up on the kitchen-table
and sit there Turk fashion while the maids were busy, or
would even curl up on top of a barrel in the cellar while the
man was at work there. It seemed impossible to keep her
from these places, and in consequence her father said, â€œWe
shall have to send Dorothy to school, young as she is, for she
is learning all kinds of things by her strange friendships; for
instance, she often says â€˜I done it,â€™ for â€˜I did it.â€™â€
â€œ And the other day,â€ replied her mother, â€œshe told me the
cook â€˜learnedâ€™ her to iron; besides, she is getting a most
remarkable knowledge of slang.â€
So to school Miss Dorothy went, and for a time it was hard
work for her, but she was a favorite with her teachers, and
â€˜rather liked the walk and the importance of carrying books
and a lunch-basket. But spelling was a terrible trial to her,
and she streaked her face with tears and made her nose shine
by the hard rubbing of it while she sniffed over her double
Ws and silent hâ€™s, till one day she said she would not try any
more, she should like to grow up to be a cook like Susan or
a housemaid like Betty; she thought it was nice not to mind
whether you said I done it or I did it, and Miss Townsend
couldnâ€™t learn her anyhow.
â€œWhy, Dorothy,â€ her mother said, â€œthat is dreadful! You â€”
do not want your mamma to be ashamed of her little girl, do you?
Besides, it is you who learn, and Miss Townsend who teaches.
Try, daughter, to remember not to say â€˜she learned meâ€™ again.â€
â€œOh, dear!â€ responded Dorothy, â€œif I had known what a
hard time I was going to have, I believe I would have died
when Iwasa baby. I donâ€™t see how I am going to learn it all;
Miss Townsend teached me over and over this morning and I
cannot remember. There, mamma! I did say that right. I
didnâ€™t say â€˜she learned meâ€™ that time.â€
- DOROTHY. i 31
Her mother laughed. â€œglhat was a little better, but you
should have said â€˜she taught me.â€™ â€
â€œThere it is again,â€ said Dorothy, wofully ; â€œit is always
some mistake. No, mamma, please let me be a cook. I will
make such nice cake.â€
Her mother shook her head: â€œ No, little gir1, papa and I do
not want to have you reproach us when you are older, and
have you say, Why didnâ€™t you make me go to school ?â€
â€œ Well, I will try once more,â€ said Dorothy, despondently,
returning to her books.
Her mother left her in the quiet library, and Dorothy sat
there saying over and over s-i-ll sill, r-i-ll rill, in a sing-
song voice, till one of the Dream people took pity on her and
carried her away to the town of Think-Thought, which lies on
the river Slumber, and is bounded on the north by Daylight,
on the south by Dark, by Sunset on the west, and Sunrise on
the east. It is a queer place, and there is a street in it called
Topsy-turvey, where people gallop along on nightmares, or
turn into books, pictures, and all sorts of things; and there
is Flying Street, where one can float along like a cloud; and
there is Falling Street, where every few minutes one goes
down suddenly and has to make a jump to get on a level
again. It is a very queer place altogether, and one travels
there so fast, that five minutes after Dorothyâ€™s mamma left her
the little girl was in the very midst of Think-Thought, in
what seemed to be a large hall. Dorothy thought it was a
- 32 = DOROTHY.
school-room, though it did not seem to be that exactly. There
was so much noise, every one was studying or saying over
something aloud except one queer-looking individual who
never said a word.
â€œDonâ€™t you ever speak?â€ inquired Dorothy of him. The
being looked at her, but did not answer.
â€œYou must not pay any attention to him; he does not like
it,â€ said one of the Dream people.
â€œWho is it?â€ asked Dorothy.
â€œWhy, that is â€˜Silent H.â€™ Donâ€™t you know him when you
â€œNo,â€ said Dorothy. â€œI shall never be able to know
â€œOh, yes, you will,â€ said her companion; â€œyou will have.
to learn to recognize him, even if you donâ€™t notice him; that
is one of the laws.â€
Just then Dorothy heard a babble in her ears. Some one
was saying â€œ She learned me, she learned me.â€ .
Dorothy turned around. â€œThat is queerâ€ she said.
â€œWhat are you saying ?â€
â€œT say, she learned me.â€
â€œWho learned me?â€ asked Dorothyâ€™s friend. _
â€œShe did,â€ said a little creature, pointing to Dorothy. She
learned me last week; m, e, me; that is what she learned; she
knows me by heart.â€ .
â€œOf course I do,â€ said Dorothy ; â€œm, e, me.â€
â€œThat is the only way you can learn me,â€ said the creature.
â€œIsn't it? I never heard of any other way.â€
â€œYes, that is right,â€ said the Dream Fairy.
â€œWho are those sitting along on that bench?â€ asked
â€œWhy, they are the vowels,â€ was the answer. â€œA, E, I,
O, U, and sometimes W and Y. It is quite a large family.
. A, E, I, O; and U are always in one class, but W and Y go
over to the other class sometimes. There is Y over there now;
he is helping somebody to spell you.â€
â€œQh,â€ said Dorothy, â€œthat is very funny !â€
â€œYou see he is at the head of the word,â€ said her friend,
â€œand so he has to be among the consonants.â€
â€œ Ah, I understand,â€ said Dorothy ; â€œI never did before.
But what in the world are those two doing? They are exactly
alike, and they follow each other about everywhere.â€
â€œThose are the Double Ilâ€™s,â€ said the Dream Fairy.
â€œYou see how exactly alike they are; they are. twins. Some-
times it is very puzzling, for you see one and, of course, you
think you must see the other, and she is not anywhere about.
There is a law about them too, but you can learn that later
Dorothy looked very much interested. â€œOh,â€ she said,
â€œwho is that poor little fellow with his head between his
shoulders? He looks so unhappy, as if he had hardly any
head at all.â€
34 | DOROTHY.
â€œThat is a little i, which some one has forgotten to dot.
See, I will dot him, and you will notice how lively he will
The fairy went over and ee a small lack ball at the
little i, and immediately he brightened up and looked very
â€œT will never forget to dot another i,â€ said Dorothy.
â€œNo, donâ€™t forget,â€ replied the Dream Fairy, â€œfor it
makes them really miserable; and there is another thing I
want to show you. Do you see that queer unfinished lot of
objects over there? One cannot tell just where they belong,
and sometimes they miss their supper because they are too late
â€œWhy,â€ exclaimed Dorothy, â€œ how is that?â€
â€œNobody crosses them,â€ replied the fairy, â€œand of course
we cannot tell where they belong.â€
â€œQh, do cross them!â€ returned Dorothy.
â€œWell, I will,â€ she answered; â€œbut you will have to help
So they went over and crossed all the tâ€™s, who thanked
them and said they were so glad they could get their proper
places that evening.
â€œWhat a very interesting place it is!â€ said Dorothy.
â€œT did not think you would care for it. Do you really
like it?â€ asked her companion.
â€œT should smile,â€ replied Dorothy.
DOROTHY. ; 35
â€œThen why donâ€™t. you? Why donâ€™t you?â€ clamored a
chorus of voices. â€œIf you should, you ought to, and if you
â€˜ought to, why donâ€™t you? Smile! smile!â€ they said.
Dorothy was really quite frightened at the confusion, and
felt like anything but smiling; but they insisted so sharply
that she finally gave a faint little smile.
â€œT wouldnâ€™t say that again,â€ said her friend, gently.
â€œYou see it is not just correct, and nothing disturbs these
people like incorrectness.â€
Dorothy looked a little ashamed, and said she would try to
remember, for. she wanted them to like her.
Just then it was perfectly silent in the room.
â€œWhy, what is the matter?â€ asked Dorothy.
~ â€œThey have all come to a full stop,â€ said her friend.
â€œ Donâ€™t you see it?â€
Dorothy looked up and saw a perfectly round ball, around
which all the people in the room were gathered. â€œThat
means it is over for to-day,â€ said ker guide, â€œ and we must
So they passed out the door, and down the street of
Fancy, and over the river Slumber, out of the town of Think-
Thought, back to Dorothyâ€™s own home, where the Dream
Fairy softly kissed her on each eyelid, and left her sitting in
her little chair rubbing her eyes.
â€œOh, mamma!â€ she cried, â€œhere you are. How long you
have been gone! I have been so far since I saw you!â€
â€œT havenâ€™t been long,â€ said her mother; â€œit hasnâ€™t been
ten minutes since I left the room.â€
Dorothy looked amazed, and told her mamma all about
the trip to Think-Thought, and ended by saying, â€œ And,
â€˜mamma, I am going to study hard, because I want to know all
those queer people better, and I may never go again if I donâ€™t
try to learn.â€
Her mother smiled and said she was much obliged to the
Dream Fairy for helping her little girl, and she hoped she
would never look upon lessons as ugly tasks again.
Wal Ry . HEN Millicent opened her sleepy eyes on Saturday
) morning, she did not have to rub them very hard
WAT before she found out that the sun was shining
"brightly, and so her first thought was that it would
be a good day to wash and iron the clothes of the family.
Now, the family was quite a large one: there was Hildegarde,
the eldest, she had beautiful brown eyes and hair, and was an
especial favorite when there was a tea-party on hand; next
came Ernestine, she had very blue eyes and very light hair,
and stood next in favor to Hildegarde; after her was Rosalind,
she had yellow hair and dark-blue eyes, but her hair was not
as fine as that of the others, and she was rather loose-jointed,
so she was kept at home more than the rest, though she really
had a lovely little face, and at one time had been put forward
very often on account of her beauty; the other three children
were very small, there names were Trixy, Minnie, and Eva.
There were no boys in this family, and in thinking over the
washing to be done Millicent did not have to count shirt-
â€œTet me see,â€ thought Millicent, as she lay there cuddled
under the covers, â€œI must wash a dress for each of them, their
white dresses get soiled so soon; then their skirts and under-
clothes, and the little blanket I put over the carriage. Per-
haps I had better put in the sheets and pillow-cases from
Hildegardeâ€™s bed; that will make quite as much as I can
Having settled the matter in her mind, Millicent put her
rosy toes out of bed, and was soon ready for breakfast.
Saturday mornings she had the play-room to herself: the
boys were always off playing ball, or nutting, or somewhere or
other, and the baby was out most of the time, or else she was:
asleep; so Millicent quite enjoyed having a busy time. After
breakfast she put on an old apron and made her way to the |
play-room. She went to work with all the system of a real.
washerwoman, and had her tubs ready and her clothes sorted
before very long; then she put up her line, fastening it to the
chairs. â€˜The family sat around looking at her, so as to â€œkeep
me company,â€ Millicent said. With sleeves tucked up and
soapy arms, Millicent rubbed away till even her young little
back began to feel tired. She had just hung up the last piece
when the two boys came into the room with arush. Harry
was chasing Philip, trying to get a ball from him; over went
the chairs, down went the line, and all the clothes lay in
confusion on the floor.
â€œOh, boys! boys! see what you have done!â€ cried Milli-
cent, almost in tears.
But they were off with a dash; Harry, casting a look be-
hind him, only said, â€œ Pooh! they are nothing but a lot of
dollsâ€™ clothes. What difference does it make?â€
This was poor consolation, and Millicent stood looking in
despair at the nice clean clothes all streaked and dusty, but
she was a brave little maid, and in a few minutes the clothes
were back again in the tubs, and Millicent was rubbing
away as hard as ever. The next time she carried her
clothes down-stairs and hung them out in the yard, away
from further danger. Then she went into the kitchen and
poured her grievance into the sympathetic ears of Lizzie, the
â€œDeed, Miss, I has had that trouble myself,â€ said Lizzie.
â€œTI done had my clothes up one day, and the line broke, and
down they comes. I had to doâ€™em all over again. I was put
out shoâ€™ *nough.â€
â€œThen you know just how tired I am,â€ said Millicent;
â€œand they must all be ironed this afternoon, for the children
will want clean clothes for next week, and I shall not have
time for anything but lessons till next Saturday.â€
â€œYou bring â€™em in here,â€ said Lizzie, â€œand after I has
washed up the kitchen and has the cake in baking, I can help
40 ; MILLICENT.
you. We'll have â€™em done in no time, and I'll bake a little
cake in your patty-pan.â€
â€œThat will be fine,â€ said Millicent. â€œ You are real good,
Lizzie, and I thank you so much; it makes it seem real easy
About three oâ€™clock, the clothes being all dry, Millicent
took them in and sprinkled them; then, the cake being in
the oven, she wiped the dishes that had been soiled in the
cake-making, and both she and: Lizzie were ready for the
In a marvellously short time, with Lizzieâ€™s help and skill,
the clothes were nicely ironed, piled in a basket, and carried
up-stairs. The little patty-pan cake went up too, to be eaten
with the family, who were silently waiting for food and clothes.
â€œYou poor things!â€ said Millicent, â€œit is too bad; you
have had to sit here all day without being dressed. I should
have put you all to bed, and then you would, at least, have
been comfortable. I declare, Hildegarde, you actually look
pale. Come here and let me dress you, for I am going to
take you over to Claraâ€™s to tea this evening, and you shall
wear this nice, clean, white dress. I almost hate to put it on
you, too. I donâ€™t believe I will. You shall wear your pink
cashmere, and J will save the white one. Here, eat this bit
of cake; you may be hungry before supper-time, and you know
you donâ€™t care for apples. Clara always has so much apple at
her tea-parties. There! you are as fresh as a rose. Now I
must dress the others, No, I do not believe I will; they may
as well go to bed, it is so near evening.â€
So the rest of the family were night-gowned and put in
their beds between the freshly-ironed sheets. And Millicent
with Hildegarde set out for Claraâ€™s home, where there was less
apple than usual and a more abundant supply of candy,
besides some little, sweet crackers, of which Millicent declared
Hildegarde was so fond, that Clara generously insisted upon
her taking home all that were left in the bag.
in oneâ€™s ears, and its salty smell always in oneâ€™s
nostrils. Lois went to sleep at night to the sound
of the waves booming upon the shore, and when
she awoke in the morning the first thing that she saw from
her little window was the long blue line of the ocean against
the horizon, unless there was a fog, and then all was gray,
and the fog-horns blew so dismally that, as a tiny child, Lois
would hide her head under the bedclothes for fear. But as
she grew older all these things were so familiar to her that
she would have grieved were she away from any one of them,
even the fog-horns. She was great friends with the waves,
and frolicked with them by the hour; and she would lie on
the sand half the day, looking along the beach, laughing at
the funny little fiddler-crabs, who looked as if they were
walking on tiptoe, hurrying along so fast that there seemed
danger of their tumbling over one another; but this they
never did; instead, they appeared to melt away into the sand
as soon as the water touched them.
Then there were beautiful pebbles and shells all along the
shore, bits of sea-weed too,â€”the ragged pieces lying along the
sand looking dark and uninteresting till they were wet, when,
if picked carefully out and laid upon paper, they would show
beautiful colors, and were as fine as those other earth-weeds in
form,â€”these flowers of the sea.
Lois used to think no one could have more playthings
than she, and yet it was not all play-time to her, for her father
was a fisherman, and the little hut in which they lived, though
it had strange ornaments from the great deep hanging upon
the walls, yet it many a time had a very bare larder ; for, even
if one gets tired of fish and potatoes, they are much better
than nothing at all.
Besides, when storms came up, and all the fishermen were
out in their boats, it was a very anxious time to those left at
home, and little Lois would sit with her head in her motherâ€™s
lap, listening to the roar of the waves and hiding her eyes
from the sharp flashes of lightning, that showed only the more
plainly how dark and terrible it must be out on the water.
But it was not always stormy, and when the sunlight
danced on the water, and everything looked fresh and lovely,
Lois forgot about the storms, and scampered about the beach ~
and over the rocks in high glee.
She was a helpful little girl, this fishermanâ€™s maiden, and
could boil a fish, make a fire, and boil potatoes as well as any
one. She had her own little duties, finding play-time all the
better for them.
One morning she went down to the shore where old Silas
sat mending a net. Silas and she were very fond of each
other; he was an old man, and had been a fisherman almost
all his life; many were the wonderful tales he told Lois, and
many queer toys he made her. But the one she liked the best
was a doll carved out of wood by Silasâ€™s skilful hands; it was
not a beauty, though Silas had used some of the paint with
which he painted his boat to give it red cheeks, very black
hair and eyes, and very white skin; but Lois thought it a
marvel of lovÃ©liness, and called it Silence, partly because the
name was something like Silas, and partly because it seemed
appropriate for a doll who could say neither â€œPapaâ€ nor
â€œMammaâ€ as some dolls can say.
Lois and Silence found Silas busy at work; he was a
wrinkled; tanned old man, with a gray stubbly beard and
shagey eyebrows. Lois went up behind him and put her .
little hand on his.
â€œ Ah, my little maid!â€ said he. â€œHere you are with your
baby. What are you busy about to-day ?â€ ,
â€œT have finished my work,â€ said Lois, â€œand so I came to
find you, Silas. What are you going to do?â€
â€œJT am going out in the boat as soon as I have finished
mending this net. Donâ€™t you want to go with me?â€
â€œOh, yes, I should like dearly to go,â€ replied Lois. â€œI
will run and ask mother if I may.â€
These trips in Silasâ€™s boat were Loisâ€™s chief delight, though
they were not very frequent. Loisâ€™s mother allowed her to go
with no one but her father or Silas. She knew the old man
was so fond of the little girl that he would let no danger come
near her if he could help it, and he was a safe boatman, having
been so many years buffeted by the winds and waves.
In a few minutes Lois came running back with Silence,
and was soon safely seated in the boat, which Silas pushed off
from the shore, and they were afloat on the great wide sea.
The little craft careered up and down upon the waves, but Lois
was used to it, and did not mind the tossing about any more
than the rocking of a cradle. The sea-gulls flew around them
and the wind came fresh and full in their faces. They went
outâ€”out into the water; the great black rocks towered up
behind them, and scowled down angrily at the little waves
which foamed up around their feet. Silas did not go often
nowadays with the big fishing-parties; he was getting old, and
preferred his own boat and the company of Lois to that of a
crowd of men.
Silence lay in Loisâ€™s lap, staring up at the sky above her,
and Lois chatted away with Silas while he hauled in the fish.
â€œ Doyyou think you will catch a-big lot, Silas ?â€ she asked.
â€œTam glad you donâ€™t go â€™way off like the other men, for then
I couldnâ€™t go. Silas, if you had a little girl, a daughter or a
grand-daughter, would you take her with you and leave me at
Silas laughed. â€œI donâ€™t know, chick,â€ he said; â€œbut as I
hayenâ€™t, I donâ€™t believe it makes any difference.â€
â€œOh, Silas,â€ said Lois, â€œhow gray it is getting! We can
hardly see the island.â€
Silas turned around hastily ; he had been busy for the last
half-hour, and had not noticed the sky very particularly.
â€œThatâ€™s so,â€ he said; â€œwe must hurry home. Thereâ€™s a
storm coming, and we are farther away than I care to be with
ladies aboard. Hm!â€ he said to himself, â€œI donâ€™t like the
looks of this; thereâ€™s ugly weather ahead.â€ He took up an old
pea-jacket and bade Lois wrap it smartly around her, then,
picking up the oars, he began to pull rapidly, but the storm
was upon them in all its fury before they were half-way home.
The old man labored against the stiff wind and the ever-
increasing waves till the veins stood out on his forehead.
Poor little Lois cowered in the bottom of the boat, which
pitched and tossed about, every moment threatening to fill, or
be carried where the black rocks frowned down on them.
â€œLord, save us!â€ said the old man, under his breath; and
Lois sent up a little prayer to be brought safely home. She
thought of her motherâ€™s anxious face, wondered if her father
were safe, and if she were drowned what would they do with
no little girl, for she was their only one. With her hands
tightly clasped, and the wind blowing her wet hair about her
face, she said never a word to Silas, who was straining every
muscle to keep the boat from the rocks; but presently a wild
gust of wind sent it upon one of the outlying boulders and
drove a hole through it; quickly it began to fill.
â€œThere is nothing to do but to swim for it,â€ said Silas, and
he caught the little one, bidding her keep still and not struggle
or they would both be drowned.
The next thing Lois knew she was lying on the shore, with
anxious faces bending over her and kind hands chafing her
little cold ones. She opened her eyes. â€œSilas,â€ she said.
â€œHe is safe,â€ they told her, and wrapping her in warm
blankets they carried her home with her mother beside her.
The poor mother had gone down to the shore at the first sign â€”
of a storm, fearing for her darlingâ€™s safety. Unheeding the
rain and wind, she strained her eyes for a sight of the little
boat, and, seeing it helplessly driven toward the rocks, she
hurried to the neighbors, and they all ran to the spot in time
to save the little girl and the old man, just as the latter had
swum the last stroke he was able to, and the eager hands drew
them in, and they were safe. .
It nearly broke the old manâ€™s heart to think that death
should come so near his pet when she was with him, but they
comforted him by telling him the winds and waves were not in
his hands, and that no man could have done more.
Poor Silence had a hard time of it; when the boat was
broken up on the rocks she floated out, being made of wood,
48 : LOIS.
and was knocked about for several days in the water. But one
bright morning she was tossed ashore, and Lois, by that time
having given her up as lost, was overjoyed at finding her
again, rather the worse for her adventure; however, Silas gave
her a new coat of paint, and she was more smiling and black-
eyed than ever. Of course she is much more highly prized,
for who would not be proud of a doll who was shipwrecked
and washed ashore after swimming about with the fishes for
nest ey eee
IT is too bad your head aches so, poor little
mother,â€ said Janet. â€œNow please let me be
mother to-day, and you lie still, for I know I can
do everything all right. First I will get fatherâ€™s:
breakfast. There! baby is awake. Come here, precious, to.
Baby put out his hands to be taken, and Janet carried him
to the kitchen, where, in a high chair, he watched her bustling
about. . The fire was already made, father had done that, and
the kettle was singing merrily; it seemed cosey and warm
inside, for the ground was covered with snow, and Janet was.
gid she did not have to go to the wood-pile. She ground
the: coffee, set the table, and then went to work to fry some
potatoes and some ham and eggs. It was not easy to break
the eggs without getting them all over her fingers, but she
50 | JANET.
managed pretty well, and. by the time her father came in from
the barn everything was ready.
â€œWhy, little girl!â€ said he, as he stamped the snow from
his boots. â€œHow is this? Where is mother?â€ Pe
â€œT am motherâ€ said Janet, as she put the coffee-pot on
â€œWell, youâ€™ve changed mightily overnight,â€ responded
her father. â€œCold weather has made you shrink, hey ?â€
Janet laughed, and then said, â€œNo, but poor little mother
has such a headache, and vo know I must learn some time.
So I began this morning.â€ .
â€œ First-rate,â€ said her father. â€œHalloo! You here, Robin?â€
he said, addressing the baby. who was busy trying to get the
eat, who sniffed around the table. â€œI'll not disturb mother
till after breakfast, and then I will take her a cup of coffee,â€
he went on. â€œTâ€™ll feed the chickens for you this morning,
daughter, and see to the fires, and I donâ€™t doubt but what we
can let mother have a good rest to-day.â€ |
After breakfast was over Janet went to work with. a will;
- she washed dishes, swept and dusted, and cleaned up generally,
and finally decided to give the baby his bath. He was a
sturdy little fellow, and it was not easy to hold him, as he
â€˜splashed, and crowed, and jumped; but Janetâ€™s was a loving
little heart, and they made a frolic of it all, so that baby never
eried once, but settled down into a long nap in the most good-
Then Janet was really tired, but she did not stop to rest:
she went into the kitchen, toasted a piece of bread delicately
brown, made a good cup of tea, and carried them to her
mother, who opened her eyes and smiled as she saw the
pleasant little face at her side.
â€œDear little girl! You are doing too much, I am afraid;
and where is baby? I have not heard him this morning.â€
. â€œOh, he is asleep,â€ replied Janet. â€œHe has had his bath,
and was as jolly as you please: we hada real frolic. Come,
mother, eat this bit of toast and drink this tea ; you have eaten
nothing this morning, and you must be faint.â€
Her mother took the tray, and, when the last mouthful
had disappeared, lay back again on the pillow with a little
color in her pale cheeks.
â€œThere! . You look better already,â€ said Janet. â€œNow
try to sleep, and I will see about dinner. This is the quiet
time, you know, when Robin is taking his nap.â€
â€œT-ought to get up,â€ said her mother.
â€œOh, no!â€ exclaimed Janet. â€œYou must not. I am
mother to-day, and you must mind me and lie still.â€
Mrs. Boyd smiled, and said she would be a good girl and
So Janet went softly out of the room, shutting the door
carefully after her. She was soon busy over her preparations
for dinner; but when everything was steaming away on the
stove, she sat down for a few minutes taking. her first rest.
â€œHow tired mother must get!â€ she thought, â€œand yet she
never says a word. I wish I could have gone to school to-day ;
it is the first day I have missed, and I am afraid I shall not
take the prize. But there! I will not think about it; mother
wouldnâ€™t if it were she.â€ And she rose from her chair, stepping
busily back and forth from table to stove, humming a little
song, till it was dinner-time, and she saw her father drive up
from the woods, where he had been hauling rails.
â€œStill housekeeper,â€ he said. â€œ You are doing pretty well,
girlie. See what I found in the woods this morning.â€ And he
produced a little squirrel which had hurt itself in some way.
â€œPoor little thing!â€ said Janet. â€œI will try to keep it till
it gets well. Where shall I put it, father?â€
â€œThere is an old bird-cage in the wood-house which will
do for the present. I will get it after dinner.â€
So little Bunny was put in his new home, and, though he
was very much frightened at first, he soon became less timid, .
and looked around with his bright eyes when Janet came near.
Before the dinner dishes were cleared away Robin was
awake and had to have his dinner, but he was still in a good
humor, and was so entertained by watching the squirrel that
Janet finished her work without any trouble; but just as she
put away the last dish she looked up to see her mother stand-
ing in the door-way.
â€œWhy, mother,â€ she said, â€œ what did you ae up for ?â€
â€œT felt so much better,â€ she answered. â€œMy nap did me
a world of good, and I wanted to see my little mother and the
Janet laughed. â€œWell, here they are,â€ she said. â€œSee
our little Bunny, mother. Isnâ€™t he cunning? Father caught
him in the woods. He seemed very lame when father brought
him in, but he is hardly a bit so now. Oh, mother, while it
is warm and sunny may I take baby out for a breath of air?
He always sleeps so muchâ€™ better when he has been out-doors.â€
â€œT am afraid it is rather too cold.â€
â€œOh, no, mother; the air is delightful when you get out in
it, and I will wrap him up real warm, and not go far. Then
you can sit here and be quiet for a while.â€
Mrs. Boyd gave her consent, and soon Janet was trudging
- through the snow with Robin in her arms; he was as happy
as could be. After a short excursion to the road, they stopped
at the barn where their father was at work.
He looked up, surprised to see them. â€œWhy, who are
these?â€ he said. â€œCome, Robin, you may see the horses.â€
_ And as this was Robinâ€™s especial joy, he was soon laughing
and calling â€œ Whoa!â€ at the top of his voice.
â€œNow I will take him home,â€ said Mr. Boyd. â€œYou
have carried him far enough, little girl.â€
So Robin went home on his fatherâ€™s shoulder, while Janet
trotted behind, very glad to be relieved of her heavy load.
It was a weary little girl who crept into bed that night,
but she was a happy one too, although she had one regretful
thought for the prize which had been sacrificed by her day at. -
â€œThat is a good child, Margaret,â€ said her father to his
wife, after she had gone to bed. â€œI donâ€™t believe in paying
people for doing their duty, but the next time I go to town she
shall have something nice, as sure as my name is Robert Boyd.
What shall I get her?â€
Mrs. 'Boyd thought for a few moments. â€œ There is a book
she wants very much; it is called â€˜Little Women.â€ Suppose
you get that, if it is not too expensive.â€
â€œTl go without something myself but what she shall have
it,â€ said he, as he bolted the door before going to bed.
When Janet went to school the next week there were many
cries of â€œOh, Janet!â€ and â€œ Ah, Janet! you will not get the
But the little girl did not mind, and she smiled upon Nettie
Graves so sweetly that the latter almost wished she were not |
the one who would take it in Janetâ€™s place.
The next Saturday night when Mr. Boyd came in, laden
with baskets and bundles, among them was a package for
Janet. She took it wonderingly.
â€œWhat is this for, father ?â€ she asked.
He smiled at the unconscious manner of the child as he
said, â€œ Reward of merit.â€
â€œFor the Sunday-school?â€ she asked, turning it over,
without opening it.
_ â€œNo, for you,â€ answered her father.
Janet. looked up without understanding any tte, and
then began to untie the string. As the book revealed itself,
and she saw what it was, she flung herself, with a cry of delight,
into her fatherâ€™s arms and gave him a good hug.
â€œOh, you dear man!â€ she said. â€œHow did you know?
Now I shall not mind Nettieâ€™s having it â€ Then she
stopped short, for she had not meant to tell of her being so near
to the prize and yet losing it by her faithful day at home.
â€œ Mind what?â€ asked her mother.
â€œOh, nothing. Never mind,â€ she replied, hurriedly. â€œDo
look, mother! Isnâ€™t it lovely? You dear book, how I do love
It was not till the prize was given at Christmas that her
father and mother understood the extent of her faithfulness.
When a copy of â€œLittle Womenâ€ was handed to Nettie
Graves they knew why she had won it, and Mr. Boyd, leaning
over, said to Janet in a whisper, â€œ You came first, after all,
daughter, didnâ€™t you? for you had your prize two weeks ago.â€
Janet nodded and gave his hand a little pat, showing that
she understood. She is called â€œLittle Motherâ€ so much of
the time by her father, that she declares they will have to find
some other name for the real mother, and Mr. Boyd often says,
mysteriously, that he found he had a prize, too, about the time
Janet received hers.
LLNEY ran as fast as her little fat legs could carry
her down the beach, away from mammy. Now
mammy was old, and, though she called, coaxed,
and threatened her darling, she could not win
anything more than a backward look now and then; and a
gleeful laugh was her. only reply as she cried, â€œ Now, honey,
donâ€™t make poâ€™ ole mammy run after yoâ€™. Yoâ€™ gwine mek poâ€™
ole mammy cry if yoâ€™ run away from â€™er.â€
Presently mammy tried another way. â€œMammy ainâ€™t
gwine no furder; she gwine to set right down hyar, anâ€™ Olney
has to come back alone.â€ And down she sat. ;
Olney stopped and surveyed her gravely from a distance ;
but being pretty sure from past experience that mammy
would not go away, she ran on with her little spade in her
hand, every now and then looking over her shoulder to see
if mammy were still sitting in the same spot. Presently the
little one looked up, and saw an old gentleman looking at her Â©
with an amused expression. She stopped, and, looking mis-
chievously at him from under her long lashes, said, â€œI is
â€œSo I see,â€ remarked the old gentleman. â€œWhere are
you â€˜ wunninâ€™ ?â€
â€œWay, â€™way off, over the whole world,â€ said Olney,
â€œThat is a long way,â€ returned her friend. â€œCome here
and tell me about it.â€ .
Olney shook her head shyly.
â€œCome,â€ repeated her friend, â€œand I will show you my
watch with a pretty picture in it.â€
Olney could never withstand the attractions of a watch, so
she advanced cautiously, as if she expected to be grabbed up
any moment; but the gentleman only smiled, and in a few
minutes she felt sufficiently brave to stand close to him while
he showed her the wonders of the watch, in the back of
which was the picture of a dear little girl.
â€œTs you a papa?â€ asked Olney.
â€œYes,â€ he answered ; â€œ but my little girl was naughty, and
I havenâ€™t seen her for a long time.â€
â€œHas she wunned away ?â€ asked Olney, with a merry little
Her new friend looked quite grave as he said, â€œ Yes; that
is just what she did.â€
â€œDid it make you kwy?â€ asked Olney, cuddling up close
to him and patting his serious face.
' â€œYes,â€ he said; â€œshe was.all the little girl I had.â€
â€œNaughty little girl,â€ said Olney. â€œWhy donâ€™t you go
and find her, and tell her she must come home?â€ bringing
one little fat hand down on the other with all the violence she
Her friend was silent; and Olney, on his knee, sat looking
at him with her innocent eyes.
â€œ Doesnâ€™t you love her?â€ she presently inquired, in a
grieved voice. â€œMy papa loves me, oh, so hard,â€”forty
bushels; but my grandpapa doesnâ€™t; mammy says he doesnâ€™t,
and mamma says he does, so maybe he does. Is you a grand-
papa?â€ she asked.
Her friend put her down from his knee and walked away
for a few steps. Olney stood still, putting up a grieved lip;
seeing this her friend came back, and, taking her up in his
arms, he hugged and kissed her over and over.
â€œTs you a grandpapa?â€ she repeated. |
â€œYes, my darling,â€ he said. â€œI have a little grand-
daughter whom I have never seen.â€
â€œOh,â€ said Olney, â€œthat is too bad! Let me kiss you for
her, and I want to see my grandpapa and kiss him, â€™cause I
know he is good; mamma says so.â€
Her friend stroked back the hair from the little earnest
face, and said,â€” .
7 OLNEY. 59
. â€œHe cannot help loving you, dear. You must believe
your mamma is right.â€
â€œArenâ€™t you ever, ever going to see your little girl, and
your little grand-girl?â€ asked Olney. â€œOh, yes, please go and
see them. ae they want to see you velly, velly much.â€
â€œT cannot go,â€ replied he, sadly.
â€œBut why?â€ persisted Olney. â€œWhat will your little girl
do without any papa?â€ Slowly shaking her little head.
â€œShe doesnâ€™t love me, or she would not have run away,â€
â€œOh, yes,â€ returned Olney, â€œshe does. Why, I love my
papa, and I yaad away ever so many times. I wunned
away to-day to you.â€
â€œSo you did,â€ he replied. â€œ Maybe y: you are right, after all.â€
â€œAnd my papa is so good,â€ Olney went on; â€œhe loves me
and mamma so hard, and he tells me nice stories about when
he was a little boy, and mamma tells me about when she was
a little girl and had a nice papa like mine; and oh! we have
such good times; but mammy will put me to bed too soon.
Oh, I forgot mammy! She will think I have wunned all
around the world, and I donâ€™t want to make my papa kwy.â€
So she scrambled down from her friendâ€™s arms, holding out her
hand and saying, â€œ Come.â€
â€œWhere?â€ asked her friend
â€œCome wif me,â€ said Olney.
So, taking the little warm hand in his, he walked down the
60 | OLNEY.
beach with her till they came to where mammy was still
Olneyâ€™s companion delivered her safely into mammyâ€™s
keeping and turned to retrace his steps; but this did not suit
Olney at all, and she strove with all her wiles to detain him.
While the matter was still under dispute Olney spied a figure
approaching, and, not letting go her hold of her friend, she
cried, â€œMamma! mamma! come here! Here is a nice man,
and his little girl wunned away just like me, but he loves her,
and Iam so sorry he hasnâ€™t any little girl any more.â€
Olneyâ€™s mother drew nearer, smiling, but when within a
few steps of the group she turned very pale and stopped
short. Olney felt her friendâ€™s hand tremble as he, too, stood
still. Olney looked curiously from one to the other, and then
began to ery, why she could hardly have told. With a few
swift steps her mother was by her side, folding her arms
closely around her. Kneeling there, she looked up into the
face of Olneyâ€™s friend, and said, â€œ Father !â€
For a moment there was absolute silence. Old mammy,
standing a little way off, folded her wrinkled hands and lifted
up her eyes to the clear sky above them, while her lips moved.
Presently the stillness was broken by a sob from the old
man, who, kneeling down on the sand, put his arms around
Olney and her mother, drawing them closer and closer as he
kissed them both. Olney looked up, and, with an arm about
each neck, whispered, â€œ Donâ€™t kwy any more. I love you.â€
â€œJT am your grandfather, darling,â€ her new friend said,
softly ; and, transferring her other arm to his neck, the little
girl clung closely to him, patting his face and calling him all
sorts of pet names, cooing over him like some happy little bird.
Very shortly they were all walking down the beach
towards the cottage where Olneyâ€™s parents were stopping for
Olneyâ€™s papa was sitting upon the porch. Seeing the party
approaching, he went to meet them. No greeting passed between
the two men, but each stretched out a hand and clasped the
otherâ€™s in a warm grasp.
Olney was so pleased with her new grandpapa that she
could not be induced to leave him, but plied him with ques-
tions, some very embarrassing, and some so funny that the
embarrassment was swallowed up in amusement.
â€œTf you are my mammaâ€™s papa, then she must be your
little girl, and she isnâ€™t a little girl at all,â€ Olney said.
â€œ But you are my little girl,â€ he answered.
â€œ But you said she wunned away.â€
â€œ And didnâ€™t you run away ?â€ he asked.
That settled it, and Olney was content.
Through the long summer days Olney was her grandpapaâ€™s
constant companion; the good times they had no one can tell.
Looking upon the two laughing merrily one day, Olneyâ€™s
father smiled down at his wife, saying, softly, â€œAnd a little
child shall lead them.â€
(||UCH a shrinking, blushing, little figure it was, hiding
: partly behind the portiÃ©re, with cyes full of wonder
at the gay scene before her. â€œA hundred chil-
. dren,â€ she thought, â€œand all the girls have on
party dresses but me!â€ She looked down at her dark-blue
merino dress and white apron with a feeling of discontent, and
drew in her feet lest some one should spy the laced shoes and â€”
white stockings and make some jeering remark about them.
Never before in Berthaâ€™s life did she remember feeling so
entirely out of place. She had lived a strange, unchildlike
life, shut up in a great house with her grandmother and her
governess. Even the big garden, in which Bertha was allowed
to play quietly, was surrounded by a high stone wall, so that
she knew little of the outside world. To be sure, she drove out
nearly every day in state with her grandmother, but the drive
was always in a close carriage; and though Bertha sometimes
saw children playing games of which she had never even heard,
and sometimes wished she might be dressed as was some
specially attractive child, it was seldom that she had an oppor-
tunity of noticing much beyond her immediate surroundings. |
Her governess was as old as her grandmother, having been,
in fact, a schoolmate of that estimable lady.
This was Berthaâ€™s first glimpse of that real world of chil-
dren in which most little ones are so much at home, and she
was at first puzzled and amazed, next she was filled with a
longing to be as other children. As she sat there alone, the
dearest old lady in the world came up to her; she had the
whitest hair and the brightest eyes, the pinkest cheeks and the
sweetest smile, you ever saw.
â€œThis is Bertha Grey, is it not?â€ she asked.
â€œYes, maâ€™am,â€ replied Bertha, in her old-fashioned way.
â€œT know your grandmother very well,â€ said the old lady,
sitting down on the sofa beside Bertha. â€œWe were girls
together. I am so glad you could come this evening, my dear.
Why are you not out there playing with the others ?â€
Bertha blushed. â€œIdo not know any of the games,â€ she
said, â€œnor any of the little girls.â€
â€œThat is too bad,â€ returned her friend. I am Aunt
Joanna to all the children, even my own grandchildren, so you
must call me so too,â€ she said, smiling at Bertha. â€œNow, as
I wrote the note to your grandmother asking her to let you
come this evening for my sake, you are my special guest.
Would you rather sit here and talk to me, or go out there and
Bertha hesitated; she should like very much to play, but
she dreaded the notice she would, as a stranger, attract, so she
decided she would stay with Aunt Joanna.
â€œT should prefer to remain here,â€ she said, in her quaint
Aunt Jo laughed, and said she thought that was a great
compliment. Bertha looked at her with a serious face, not at
all understanding about compliments.
â€œNow tell me all about yourself,â€ Aunt Joanna continued ;
â€œwhat you study, what you play, and all about it. You do
not go to school, do you?â€
â€œNo, maâ€™am; I have my tasks with Miss Long. I hae a
study hour in the morning, directly after breakfast, and then
my recitations go on till twelve oâ€™clock. I then have a walk
in the garden with Miss Long, then I practise till two oâ€™clock,
and we have dinner; after that I go to drive with grandma ;
the rest of the time is my own, to dispose of as I please.â€
â€œ And I suppose you play very hard all evening to make
up for studying hard all morning.â€
â€œOh, no, maâ€™am; in the evening I read or do some fancy
work while Miss Long reads aloud, and at half-past eight I
â€œ And can you do fancy work ?â€
â€œYes, maâ€™am. I have crocheted twenty-four mats.â€
â€œYou have!â€ exclaimed Aunt Joanna, smiling at the
thoughÃ© of what one could do with twenty-four mats. â€œHave
you no dolls ?â€
â€œT have one,â€ replied Bertha; and here the childishness
came to the surface. â€œAnd I love her so; but I wish, I wish
I could dress her as I want to.â€
â€œWhy, canâ€™t you?â€ .
â€œGrandmamma would not approve of it,â€ said Bertha.
â€œ Grandmamma is very good and kind, but I do not believe
she knows just how little girls feel,â€ she continued, after a.
pause, looking up into Aunt Joannaâ€™s face.
Aunt Joanna smiled and looked down into the wistful eyes.
â€œWell, dear,â€ she said, â€œI believe your grandmother is a
dear good woman, but I think with you that she forgets that
you are not seventy too. Come, donâ€™t you want to play a
little? I will bring my grand-daughter to make friends with
So saying she went away, and in a few minutes came back
with a dear little girl about Berthaâ€™s age. She had on a pretty
white frock and a sash, and had a happy, merry little face.
â€œThis is my little grand-daughter, Myra,â€ said Aunt
Joanna. â€œNow I want to see Bertha having a good time,
Myra, so I leave her to you.â€ And Aunt Joanna left them
Myra took Bertha by the hand and led her to a group of
children who were playing â€œ blind-manâ€™s-buff,â€ and in a few
moments Bertha was as interested as the rest; but, somehow or
other, she was always caught, and finally she knew the reason,
for she heard one little girl whispering to another, â€œOf course
any one could tell her by her apron. Did you ever hear of
going to a party in an apron?â€ Then they both laughed, and
the other one said, â€œAnd did you ever see such shoes and
stockings? She must have come out of the ark.â€
All Berthaâ€™s fears returned, and as soon as she could she
slipped out of the game and hid herself more closely in the
corner, behind the portiÃ©re. Myra, having seen Bertha enjoy-
ing the game, had gone to another room, and so the poor little
girl was unnoticed for some time.
After a while Aunt Joanna spied her, and going up to her
retreat, said, â€œ Why, little Bertha, I thought you were out
playing with the others. Where is Myra?â€
â€œT was playing, but I became tired,â€ replied Bertha; how-
ever, the distressed little face showed there was some other
cause for her seclusion.
Aunt Joanna looked at her kindly for a moment, and then.
said, â€œCome, let us go into the library and the dining-room ;
I want you to see how pretty the tables are before they are
Bertha put her hand confidingly into Aunt Joannaâ€™s, and
they went together. After looking at the tables, lighted by
candles, adorned with flowers, and loaded with good things,
Aunt Joanna drew the little girl into the library; here she
â€˜took her on her lap, and passed her hand lovingly over the
curly hair, which never would lie smooth, with all grand-
â€œNow, dearie, just tell me what gave you that woe-begone
face,â€ said the dear old lady, tenderly.
The great tears stood in Berthaâ€™s eyes as it was finally
drawn from her that she felt queer and awkward in her dress,
and that she had overheard the slighting remarks upon her
| â€œPoor little girlie!â€ said Aunt Joanna, kissing her.
â€œnever mind, dear; the little girls were very rude to speak so
of any one.â€™
â€œBut you donâ€™t know,â€ Bertha went on, â€œhow hard it is;
and I should like so much if I only once could wear a real
party dress and have a sash. I know grandmamma would call
it folly, and say I should not care for such things, but it would
be such a comfort to be like other little girls just once.â€ And
she put her curly head down on Aunt Joannaâ€™s shoulder.
â€œWell, dear, you shall,â€ said Aunt Joanna, with determi-
nation. â€œI havea plan.â€ And she unfolded it to Bertha, so
that when ten oâ€™clock came, and the little girl was called for by
the old coachman, after being carefully wrapped up by Aunt
Joanna, it was with a very glad little heart that she kissed
her good-by, and nodded a smiling â€œYesâ€ to Aunt Joannaâ€™s
â€œRemember, next Friday.â€
The next day Berthaâ€™s grandmamma called her. â€œ Bertha,â€
she said, â€œI have just received a note from Mrs. Carlisle
asking me to allow you to spend next Friday afternoon and
night with her. She is going to have a little company at her
house. I am not sure that I approve of so much dissipation
for you, but I have a very-high regard for Mrs. Carlisle, and
I think I shall allow you to go.â€
Berthaâ€™s eyes sparkled as she threw her arms around her
grandmotherâ€™s neck and thanked her. .
So, next Friday, with many injunctions from her grand-
mother, she took her departure, carrying her doll, and went to
Aunt Joannaâ€™s home. This was a little way from the house
where Bertha had attended her first party, which was given by
Aunt Joannaâ€™s little grand-daughter. Bertha was very glad
that Aunt Joanna did not live with her daughter, but had a
home of her own.
The old lady met her with open arms, and took her up
to a dear little room all pink and white. On the bed lay a
charming white dress with dainty ruffles, and by it was a pink
â€˜sash, with stockings and slippers to match.
Bertha turned her sweet eyes gratefully upon Aunt
Joanna, for this was part of their secret.
After a happy afternoon, which was spent for the most part
in dressing the doll just as Bertha would have her dressed,
they had tea, and the little girl became so merry, and her
eyes were so full of joy, that when she was dressed in her
_ party dress, and stepped down-stairs in her pink slippers, she
- looked so bright and wore such a look of blissful content, that
Aunt Joanna kissed her again and again.
Such a lovely evening it was, and the little girl felt so
at her ease, and was naturally so witty and funny, that she
became a great favorite, and began friendships that evening
which lasted all her life.
That was the beginning of a change in Berthaâ€™s life, for
Aunt Joanna persuaded her grandmother to allow her to go to
school, since Miss Longâ€™s health was failing; and the little
girl spent many a Saturday and Sunday with Aunt Joanna,
taking back with her such freshness and happiness into her
own home that her grandmother gradually relaxed her ideas
of severity, until she really was quite like other people. Aunt
Joanna had much to do with it, for she insisted upon some
radical changes, yet in such a sweet way that grandmamma
felt flattered by being asked to make them. She is a dear
grandmamma, Bertha says, and tells her she grows sweeter as
she grows older, so grandnamma allows white dresses and an
occasional frivolous time with smiling consent.
[UNCH,â€ said Margery one afternoon, â€œ Minnie has
come; let us go down and see her.â€
Punch wagged his tail almost off, and followed
his mistress down-stairs.
â€œT came for my exercise book,â€ said Minnie, as she
greeted Margery. .
â€œVery well, I will get it,â€ replied Margery; â€œit is with
my books. I am ever so much obliged. I copied all your
questions, for I knew I did not get mine quite right when I
took them from the black-board. Oh, Minnie! who do you
suppose will get the medal? Donâ€™t you hope you will?â€
â€œYes, and donâ€™t you hope you will?â€
They both laughed and settled down to a long talk about
the morrowâ€™s examination.
Punch, meanwhile, finding himself in the background
where school interests were mentioned, trotted off in search of
something amusing. Margeryâ€™s books lay on a chair in the
hall, with them the borrowed exercise book for which Minnie
had called; it was lying apart from the others, and, as Punch
stood on his hind legs sniffing at the books, it struck him that
it would make rather a nice plaything. So he carefully drew
it off, and taking it in his mouth to the library, where there
was a glowing fire in the grate, he speedily dislodged the catâ€”
with whom he was not on intimate termsâ€”and lay down to
enjoy himself. Finding the fire rather warm, for the day
was mild, he finally concluded to go under the sofa with the
book, where he amused himself for some time without being
While this was going on, the girls had exhausted their
subject, and Minnie was ready to go.
â€œT will get your book,â€ said Margery, running into the
hall; but the book was, of course, not there, and she was
obliged to return without it.
â€œ Just wait a minute, Minnie,â€ she said; â€œsome one must
have taken it up-stairs.â€
â€œWell, do hurry,â€ returned Minnie, â€œfor I must have it
this afternoon to finish the examples, and I hardly have time
now, for I have all my other lessons to learn.â€
Margery searched high and low, but no book was to be
found, and she came back with a distressed face, saying,â€”
â€œOh, Minnie, I donâ€™t see what has become of it! Mine
wouldnâ€™t do you much good, for I havenâ€™t any of the examples
worked out: I learned my lessons first; but if you will take
the questions we could copy them again.â€ .
â€œNo, I donâ€™t want them,â€ cried Minnie, bursting into tears,
â€œand I believe you have just kept my book on purpose, so I
wouldnâ€™t get the medal; and, besides, your book hasnâ€™t my
other questions in it, and I think you are a mean, horrid girl.â€
Margery stood still in astonishment, knowing her own
innocence in the matter.
â€œT shall just tell all the girls how sneaky you are,â€
â€œJT am not sneaky,â€ returned Margery, indignantly, â€œand
I donâ€™t know anything about your book. I would get it ina
minute if I could. I believe you have it anyhow, for it was
in the hall when you came in, I know, and I shall never speak
to you again, Minnie Murray.â€
â€œ Nobody wants you to,â€ retorted Minnie, by this time too
angry to cry, â€œand I donâ€™t want you ever to come to my
house again.â€ And she whisked by Margery, and flew out the
door like a whirlwind.
Margery ran up to her room, and sat down to have a good
cry, for Minnie had always been her dearest friend.
By this time Punch had missed his mistress, and, going
up to her door, whined and scratched to be let in. Margery
opened the door for him. Seeing her in tears, he set to work
to comfort her, not knowing he was the cause of all her
trouble; he jumped up on her lap, tried to push her hands
away from her face, and every now and then gave her cheek
little furtive licks.
â€œYou love me, donâ€™t you, Punch?â€ said the little girl,
hugging him up, and having her cry out. After a while she
got up and bathed her eyes, then sat down again to think the
matter over. â€œI donâ€™t see what I am to do,â€ she thought.
â€œT havenâ€™t an idea where the book can be. Oh, dear! if she
only hadnâ€™t been so angry we could have done the examples
over together ; but there is no use thinking of that now. How
could she say I was sneaky! She will tell all the girls, and
if I should get the medal, they will not think it-was fair. I
have her ring, too; I must send that back.â€ And taking it
off, she laid it on the bureau.
Just then the tea-bell rang, and Margery went down-stairs,
forgetting to call Punch, who was standing with his paws on
the window-sill gazing into the lighted street.
He missed his mistress in a few moments, and flew to the
door in a transport of agony.
To be shut out from the delights of the tea-table! To miss
sitting by the side of his mistress! Not to receive sly bits from
her plate! It was too much, and he lifted up his voice and
howled. He was a very much spoiled dog, but, moreover, a
sensible one, and, finding it availed nothing to make a noise,
he straightway proceeded to amuse himself as best he could.
First there were Margeryâ€™s slippers; he picked up one and ran
around the room with it; but this was poor fun when there
was no one to chase him and take it away, so he soon dropped
that. Standing on his hind legs, he could just reach the top
of the bureau; something bright and beautiful lying there
attracted his eye, and with his nose he poked off Minnieâ€™s
ring, then, lying down on the floor, he tried to chew it up; he
was in the midst of this proceeding and had succeeded in get-
ing the setting out, when Margery returned.
â€œYou dreadful dog!â€ she exclaimed. â€œHow came I to
leave you here! What have you been up to now? What is
this? Minnieâ€™s ring, with the setting gone! Now, what
shall Ido! I cannot send it back till it is mended. Luckily,
you havenâ€™t swallowed the stone. Bring that ring to me, sir!â€
Punch turned over on his back and held up deprecating
â€œCome this instant!â€ cried Margery.
Punch grovelled on the floor, and crept along as if his legs
were no more than an inch long; he put the ring in his
mistressâ€™s hand, and then appealingly wagged his tail.
â€œVveamind to whip you, you bad little thing!â€ exclaimed
she. â€œGo down-stairs !â€
Punch flew, only too glad to get out. Margery followed
him to the library door, where her father and mother were
â€œDo you think this can be mended ?â€ she asked her father,
handing him the ring.
He took it, turned it over, and said he thought it could.
Â» Margery gave an account of her afternoonâ€™s misfortunes,
and her father put the ring in his pocket, saying he would
take it to be repaired.
â€œWhere is Punch?â€ he asked.
â€œHe came in here,â€ replied Margery. â€œI have no doubt
but that he is somewhere about. Oh, mamma, where do you
suppose that book can be? I couldnâ€™t have dropped it on the
street, for I am positive I saw it on the chair in the hall with
my other books.â€
Just then a noise under the sofa drew their attention to
â€œDo see what he has there,â€ said Mrs. Douglas. â€œ He is
always pulling something to pieces.â€
Margery went down on her hands and knees and pulled
Punch out, with the lost exercise book, badly torn, in his
â€œQh, look!â€ she cried. â€œIt is the book, and it is all torn.
Oh, if only the right part is there I shall not care!â€ And she
hurriedly turned over the pages. â€œYes, itis all right. Papa,
please go with me to Minnieâ€™s; perhaps she can finish the
work, after all. I shall be so glad if she gets the medal.â€
Her father willingly put on his hat, and in a few minutes
they were at Minnieâ€™s door.
â€œOh, Minnie, see! you will believe me now,â€ cried
Margery, when Minnie made her appearance.
Minnie was too glad to regain her book to say much, and
she had long since become ashamed of her ill temper, so she
only hugged Margery and the book together, and Margery
went home quite happy. -
Punch met her at the door, as glad to see her as if she had
been gone a year, and was so perfectly sure that she was glad
to see him, that she hadnâ€™t the heart to scold him.
Minnie won the medal, after all, and if any girl was
envious it was not Margery; but Minnie felt so bad at having
even suggested a suspicion of her, that she insisted upon
Margeryâ€™s keeping the ring forever.
=-LAMMA,â€ said Mary, â€œwhat is a commencement?
What do they do with it? I want one. Cecil is
going to have one, and I want one too.â€
Her mother laughed: â€œ Well, dear, I donâ€™t see
how you can have one very well.â€
â€œWhy not, mamma? Cecil says they are going to have
ice-cream and cake, and they are going to learn things to
recite, and they are going to have music, and they are going
to wear white dresses and sashes. Mamma, couldnâ€™t I have
â€œAll to yourself, little girl? It would be rather funny.
You know you are mammaâ€™s girl, and you do not go to school
as Cecil does; you study at home with mamma.â€
â€œYes, I know, mamma; but I do want one so very much.
Could we have one, just you and I? I will learn something
to recite, and you can play on the piano for me, and then we
can sing and have ice-cream. I think it would be perfectly
â€œWe might have it,â€ replied her mother; â€œbut it will be
very funny. However, if you have so set your heart upon it,
we will have one.â€
â€œOh, mamma, you are a dear! May we have it the day
after the other one?â€
â€œWhen will that be?â€
â€œVery well. I see no objection.â€
Mary danced out of the room, and down-stairs, two steps
at atime. Then she ran out on the front porch to watch for
Cecil on her return from school.
As soon as she saw her, Mary ran down to the gate.
â€œOh, Cecil,â€ she cried, â€œI am going to have a commence-
There were two or three girls with Cecil, and they all
laughed but Cecil. â€œWhy, how can you?â€ they asked.
â€œVery easily,â€ replied Mary, who did not like being
laughed at. â€œI donâ€™t see any reason why I cannot. I can
learn something to recite as well as you can. And I donâ€™t see
why my mamma doesnâ€™t know how to play on the piano and
sing as well as any of your teachers, and I am sure we can eat
ice-cream as well as you can.â€
The girls laughed again.
â€œThat is all you are going to do, isnâ€™t it?â€ Mary said,
appealing to Cecil.
â€œ About all,â€ she replied.
â€œJT never heard of one girl having a commencement all to
herself. Did you, girls?â€ asked one of the number.
â€œNo, I never did,â€ returned each of the others.
Mary turned around to go in, much hurt at the manner in
which her great news had been received.
Cecil hastily bade good-by to the others, and ran after
' Mary, who was going slowly up the steps with her eyes full of
Cecil overtook her, and put her arm around her. â€œOh,
Mary,â€ she said, â€œI am so glad you are going to have a com-
mencement! I was just going in to ask you if you couldnâ€™t
come to ours. We can ask two persons, and I want to invite
mamma and you.â€
Maryâ€™s face brightened. â€œAnd J will ask mamma if I
may invite you to mine, Cecil,â€ she said, giving Cecil a little
squeeze. â€œOh, Cecil, I should love to go to yours! What are
you going to do?â€
â€œJT am going to recite a little poem, and I am going to sing
a little French song, and of course I shall march in with the
others and sing in the choruses. Now, good-by! Be sure to
ask your mamma if you may go.â€
In this new excitement Mary forgot her hurt feelings, and
went in to her mother with a radiant face.
â€œMamma,â€ she said, â€œmay I go to Cecilâ€™s commencement
with her mamma? I will be, oh, so good! And then, mamma, I
can tell just how we must have ours. And may Cecil come to.
ours? It would be so nice to have her help eat the ice-cream.â€
Mrs. Warner laughed: â€œ Which question shall I answer
first? If it is a pleasant day I think you may go with Cecilâ€™s
mamma, and you may certainly ask Cecil to come here.â€
Mary was very happy. â€˜â€œ Now, mamma,â€ she said, â€œI wish
you would find me something to learn to recite, for I havenâ€™t
very long to study, and we shall have to. have some songs.
Oh, mamma! could you teach me a French song?â€
â€œPerhaps so,â€ replied her mother. â€œ Why do you want a
â€œ Because Cecil is going to sing one.â€ .
â€œThen suppose you sing a German song, for a change. I
can think of a cunning little German song I can teach you.â€
â€œThank you, mamma; I will try very hard to learn it
well,â€ said Mary, throwing her arms around her motherâ€™s
For the next week Mary was very busy, and looked for-
ward with all the interest of a graduate to her commencement
day. On Wednesday morning she started out with Cecilâ€™s
mamma to the commencement of Miss Fosterâ€™s school, and paid
such attention to all the exercises that Mrs. Crawford was .
much amused by the absorbed expression on the little oneâ€™s
face. ~ Her own little girl was two years older than Mary, but
they were great friends, for all that, and played so peaceably
together that their mammas were glad to have them play-
â€˜Now, you will be sure to come at ten oâ€™clock to-morrow,â€
said Mary, as she parted with Cecil. â€œI know just what to do;
and, Cecil, your song was lovely. I do hope I shall do mine as.
well,â€ she said, clasping her hands with as much fervor as if
she expected an audience of a hundred persons.
â€œYou are sure to do well,â€ returned Cecil, nodding a
smiling good-by. .
Mary was all excitement .the next morning and could
hardly stand still long enough for her mamma to tie her sash,.
but when the all-important moment arrived, she marched into.
the room, to her motherâ€™s music, with all the solemnity of one
heading a procession of fifty girls. She took her place in a
little chair by the side of her motherâ€™s desk, while Cecil sat
in state in a large arm-chair on the other side of the room.
When Mrs. Warner had finished playing, she announced
that there would be a recitation by Miss Mary Warner; and
with a trembling voice Mary began:
â€œThere is no dew left on the daisies and clover,â€
but in a few moments her courage came back to her, and she:
finished it quite distinctly.
Cecil applauded loudly, and then Mrs. Warner played
again; after came Maryâ€™s little song, which she sang very
sweetly in her little childish voice. Cecil then presented her
with a dear little basket of flowers, and Maryâ€™s cup of happi-
ness was full, especially as ice-cream and cake came next on
the programme, and was not the least enjoyable part of it.
After they had consumed all the refreshments good for
them, they laid aside all formality and ran to the play-room
for the dolls, each congratulating the other on the success of
the day. That was Maryâ€™s first commencement, but she has
never enjoyed another any more, .
-EEP in the green woods lived a violet, and near by
the high-road lived a little girl. Audrey was her
name, and when the first wild flower peeped up its
head, Audrey was sure to be the one who spied it;
and when the last daisy sprang up by the wayside, or a dande-
lion, forgetting how near it was to winter, would smile from
between the stones, Audrey said loving words to the daisy, or
gave an answering smile to the venturesome dandelion.
One day, as the little girl was running about the woods,
she saw, down at her feet, the dear little violet, who looked at
her with its dewy blue eyes. Audrey bent over to gather it,
but drew back again. â€œI will not take you, little violet,â€ she
said, â€œfor you are only one, and you might be lonely.â€ So
she stooped down and kissed it, then went on gathering other
flowers till she had her hands full to carry to sister Helen.
They were great friends, though sister Helen was ten years
older than Audrey; they liked nothing better than to sit
together in Helenâ€™s cosey room, while the sun shone in brightly
and the bird in the window sang blithely. Sister Helen would
tell Audrey long fanciful tales, which were the more delightful
that they were all her own. So to sister Helen Audrey bore
her flowers, when they were placed in a glass pitcher and set
in the window. Audrey told her sister of the one little violet
she had left in the woods. â€œWould you have gathered it,
sister?â€ she asked. â€œIt would have faded so soon, and I felt
as if it would be happier in its own woods. I wish you would
tell me a story about it,â€ she went on, after a pause.
Sister Helen sat quietly sewing for a few minutes, then she
â€œA busy time there was underground: the moles were be-
stirring themselves, and the field-mice twirled their long tails
about at a great rate, sitting with their whiskers close together
and their black eyes sparkling with excitement.
â€œ No wonder, for it was time for the field-fairies to come;
already the grass was quite green; tiny yellow buttons on the
buttercups showed that they were nearly ready to receive some
â€œÂ¢T am quite sure that the violets have arrived,â€™ said a mole.
â€œÂ¢Flumph !â€™ returned a field-mouse, â€˜ you have no eyes; Iâ€™d
like to know how you are to tell.â€™
- â€œ* Never mind,â€™ replied the mole; â€˜I have a nose and can
_ â€œAt which the mouse whisked his tail mockingly, and ran
off to tell one of his neighbors; for the mice and moles were
quite jealous of each other, and, though the mice had sharp
eyes, the moles had a quiet way of scuttling about, finding out
everything, which was quite provoking.
â€œÂ¢ Ves,â€™ said the mole, â€˜I know there are violets about.â€™
And he began with both hands to make his way to the upper
_ â€œAh! here we are,â€™ said he, as a breath of spring air shot
through the last handful of earth.
â€œWhat on earthâ€”or, rather, under the earthâ€”are you
doing ?â€™ said a voice.
â€œFinding my way out into the sunshine,â€™ returned the
mole. â€˜Excuse me, but, not being blessed with the best of eye-
sight, [am not quite certain to whom I am speaking, though ~
from your few remarks, miss, I should judge you to be one of
the violet fairies.â€™
â€œ<Â«You are quite right,â€™ said the violet, who now appeared
from under the green leaves, where she had hidden herself,
and, with head one side, stood looking at the mole. â€˜It isa
pity you cannot see better, for I am quite taken with your
â€œâ€œThank you, miss; you honor me,â€™ said the mole, laying
his hand on his heart. â€˜Though you may not know it, I am
quite handy; it is nothing to me whether I walk backward or
forward. Now, is there anything I can do for your ladyship â€
â€œÂ«Yes; if you will take away a few of these leaves I will
peep out and see what is going on in the world, for by the
orders of our queen I must. stop here till midnight, and that
is quite a long way offâ€™
â€œâ€œ*So it is,â€™ replied the mole, as he bit off some of the leaves
which were growing around the violetâ€™s head. â€˜ Now, what can
I offer you to eat? A few roots, for example?
â€œ* Roots! No,â€™ cried she, â€˜such food! There are plenty of
dew-drops under here, and the bees will be along with honey
after a while.â€™
â€œ*T beg your pardon,â€™ said the mole; â€˜there are things
underground demanding my attention. And, with a hurt
look, he vanished.
â€œ*What a stupid creature!â€™ exclaimed the violet, as she
shook out her purple skirts. â€˜Roots, indeed! But just then
she heard a slight cough, and quickly drew in her head;
however, the bright eyes of a little field-mouse soon spied
â€œ*Donâ€™t hide,â€™ said he. â€˜I have just been taking a little
dash around the field; had a most delightful chat with Miss
Buttercup ; she is looking very bright this morning.â€™
â€œÂ¢ How did you know I was here? asked the violet.
â€œ*Oh, I saw you; and if I had not seen you, my heart
would have told me,â€™ he replied, gallantly.
â€œViolet hung her head shyly : â€˜ You have such bright eyes
that I am afraid of you.â€™
_ â€œ*Buttercup was not,â€™ said the mouse, brushing his long
whiskers. â€˜Really, now, I am not so very terrible.â€™
â€œ<Â«That may be; but I wish you would go away, for I
cannot come out while you stand there peeping at me.â€™
you will have more acceptable callers than I seem to be. Good-
morning!â€™ And away ran the mouse.
â€œÂ¢QOh, dear! I wish he had let me alone, said Violet. â€˜I
shall be afraid to look out at all now.â€™ But as no one came
that way for some time, she ventured a short distance, and sat
sunning herself, when a bee stopped to ask if she were hungry.
â€œ<Â«T be sure,â€™ she answered.
â€œShe took it gladly, and away flew the bee, saying he had
to serve so many that he could not stop.
â€œÂ«Going to the ball to-night? said a butterfly, as he
alighted on a leaf near by.
â€œÂ¢ Perhaps,â€™ returned Violet, smiling out from her shelter.
â€œ*No,â€™ said he; â€˜I dance all day, and am nearly worn out
by night; but the night-moths will be there, and you will not
lack for partners, I know. Good-by! I must be off.â€™
â€œ<Â« Dear me!â€™ said Violet, â€˜he is in such a hurry, and I quite
like him; but that is always the way with these butterflies.â€™
And, as it was now high noon, she curled herself up in her
purple gown and settled down under a leaf to take a nap.
â€œWhen she awoke the cows were going home, cropping the
grass as they went along; one coming quite near frightened
her nearly to death, but after a gentle â€˜Moo!â€™ the cow moved
lazily along, switching her tail as she went. Then the evening
breeze stirred the leaves, and Violet sat up quite smartly in
the midst of her bower. Hearing a gentle sigh, she looked
around and saw the mole.
â€œ* Back again,â€™ was her greeting.
â€œ< Yes,â€™ he said, in a down-hearted way.
â€œÂ¢ Well, what is it now? asked she.
you to the ball to-night.â€™ .
â€œTo the ball? Really, I had thoughtâ€”â€”â€™ And she
hesitated, for she did not like to say she had thought one of
the night-moths might ask her.
â€œÂ¢T am rather a clumsy partner, I know,â€™ the mole con-
tinued, â€˜but I can do better than you would think; I can
forward and back beautifully.â€™
â€œWell,â€ said Violet, determining to make the best of a
bad bargain, â€˜I will go with you.â€™
â€œÂ«Thank you,â€™ said the mole. â€˜Twelve sharp.â€™ And he
scuttled away, leaving Violet rather dissatisfied.
â€œJust then a fine spotted moth flew by, and, spying her,
went back. â€˜You sweet little thing, said he. â€˜Donâ€™t you
want to go to the ball with me to-night ?â€
â€˜I cannot,â€™ replied Violet; â€˜I have promised the mole.â€™
surprise. â€˜What can you want to go with that blind fellow
â€œ*Ffe asked me,â€™ answered Violet, hanging her head, â€˜and
I didnâ€™t like to say no.â€™
â€œâ€œNever mind,â€™ said the moth, â€˜you go with me. I will
come for you a little early, and as he is half blind, he will
â€œ*But that wouldnâ€™t be kind; it might hurt his feelings.â€™
â€œÂ«Feelings! I donâ€™t believe he has any. Iam coming for
you, anyhow.â€™ And away he flew.
â€œA few minutes before midnight, back came the moth; the
- mole was already on his way, for they heard him scratching
the earth beneath them.
â€œCome, let us fly,â€™ said the moth; and Violet, never stop-
ping to think, flew off with him, leaving the poor mole to find
â€œNothing daunted, however, he made his way to the glen
where the first ball of the season was to be held. Already
there was quite a sprinkling of guests. The field-mouse
walked arm in arm with Buttercup; a portly frog looked
lovingly on a daisy; while a grasshopper, in green coat and
waistcoat, escorted a delicate little anemone in a pink striped
â€œSoon the air was full of the rustle of skirts. We human
creatures would call it the night-wind, but it was only the
swish of fine fairy robes, and the hum of fairy voices we would
think an incessant chirp.
â€œThen the music struck up. â€˜Toot! toot! Ting! ting!
from the orchestra of frogs, beetles, and crickets.
â€œThen what a whirling, dipping, tripping back and forth!
what a light skimming of feet over the green grass!
â€œOnly the mole had no partner, and stood disconsolately
listening to the merriment about him. Once, as Violet and the
moth swept by, he called â€˜ Violet! Violet but she was gone in
a twinkling, and the bass-viols, drums, and guitars kept twang-
ing and banging. The moths fluttered around gayly, and the
flower-fairies in their dainty robes looked like floating moths.
â€œ All was going on finely, when suddenly came a soft whirr
of wings, and pouncing down came a large night-bird, who
seized the spotted moth in his beak and made off with him.
*â€œ At once the music stopped, for it was a bold and dreadful
thing for an enemy to enter the glen at suchatime. Even
the queen was aghast at such a daring act. It cast so deep a
gloom over the company that they soon betook themselves to
their different homes, some going this way, some that.
â€œPoor little Violet stood alone, drooping and wretched, but
presently the mole crept up to her and said, â€˜ Dear Violet, I
will see you safely home; donâ€™t be afraid.â€™ .
â€œShe gladly put her hand in his, and they skimmed along
under the starlight till she was safe again in her own bower. |
â€œAll summer long her most faithful attendant was that
same blind mole, and her leaves flourished, for he helped her
tend them, and he kept off all evil bugs.
â€œWhen at last her time of blossoming was over, she bade
adieu to the mole with tears in her eyes, and told him she
would think of him till the next spring, and be glad to return
to her bower.
â€œSo he went contentedly to his mound, underground, to
dream of her sweetness till another spring.â€
â€œTs that all?â€ said Audrey, with a long sigh of satisfaction.
â€œTsnâ€™t it enough?â€ asked Helen, with a smile. â€œYou
know her blossom-time is nearly over.â€
â€œTam so glad I left her,â€ said Audrey ; â€œ now the mole can
see her next year.â€
ele . SS) 4 ES
BS oy ae SY es
GAN you stay in the nursery a little while, Kath-
ST erine?â€ asked her mamma. â€œNurse will be out this
afternoon, I am obliged to send Ellen on an errand,
and I have company. Now try and keep baby
quiet, and donâ€™t tease him.â€
Katherine went very slowly into the nursery where baby
Alfred was sitting in his little chair. â€œTI will play that I am
going to make a portrait of him,â€ said Katherine. â€œ Does
Alfred want sister to play with him?â€ she asked.
â€œPay! pay!â€ said Alfred, banging his rattle on the little
shelf in front of him. .
Katherine brought a stool, and sat down in front of Alfred,
with a slate and pencil. â€œNow sit very still,â€ she said, â€œand
hold-your rattle in your hand!â€
â€œNo, no!â€ said Alfred.
â€™ KATHERINE. ~ 93
â€œYes, you must,â€ returned Katherine. â€œSister is going
to make a pretty picture.â€
Alfred reached out his hands for the slate.
_ â€œNo, you cannot have it, naughty boy!â€ said Kath-
â€œGood boy,â€ said Alfred, complacently.
â€œOh, do keep still!â€ Katherine cried, impatiently. â€œI
never saw such a child. Canâ€™t you keep quiet a minute?â€ And
she gave him a little twitch to make him sit up straight.
That was too much for Alfred; down went his toys, and he
burst out crying.
â€œThere!â€ said Katherine, â€œyou are the crossest baby I
ever saw. Here, when Iâ€™m trying to amuse you, and am
staying in this old nursery just for you, you must go on like
that. Do hush! hush! I say!â€ and she shook her fingers
at him threateningly. But baby only cried the harder,
and Katherine, whose stock of patience was very small to
begin with, lost even the little she had, and scolded away, her
voice rising higher and higher, while Alfredâ€™s screams rose in
When the trouble was at its height the door opened, and
their mamma camein. â€œ Why, Katherine! what is the matter?
What has happened to the baby ?â€ she asked. |
â€œNothing, mamma; he is just crying because he is
naughty. I told him to sit still while I made a pretty picture
of him, and he wouldnâ€™t, but just got mad and cried.â€
â€œ He is such a little fellow,â€ her mother said. â€œDid you
try to soothe him and amuse him some other way ?â€
â€œNo,â€ replied Katherine; â€œTI am sure he ought to be glad
to have me amuse him any way.â€
â€œBut that was not amusing him. It is very hard for a
grown person to sit still while one is making a portrait of him,
and how could you expect a little baby to like it? AndIam
sure, Katherine, I heard a very angry voice speaking to him.
He is not used to being scolded.â€
Katherine tossed her head, with a defiant look upon her
face, and, giving her shoulders a little jerk, she turned away.
The baby, now in the arms of his mother, soon stopped his
â€œT think we do not need you,â€ said her mother â€œand I
would rather not see you again this afternoon.â€™
Katherine tossed her head again, and walked very slowly
out of the room, with the air of a much-injured person.
She went into her own room, and thought she would play
with her dolls, but somehow she did not feel very comfortable,
and she twitched the poor dolly about till she tore her frock,
and then she threw her down and went to the window.
Sitting in a big chair, with her elbows on the window-sill,
she watched a flock of sparrows which were twittering and
hopping about on the roof and the tree outside; they turned
their little heads from one side to the other, and peeped up at
Katherine, giving sharp little chirps as they did so.
Katherine sat watching them. â€œTI wish I were a bird,â€ she
thought, â€œthen I could fly far, far away, and mamma would
be sorry she was so mean to me, for I wouldnâ€™t come back for
years and years.â€
Just then a little bird hopped on the window-sill close
to her. He sat very still, and Katherine looked at him very
steadily ; as she was looking she noticed that he began to grow
larger and larger, till soon he was twice as large as Katherine,
and she saw that the little cap upon his head was made of
black silk, and that he wore spectacles, over which he looked
gravely at Katherine. As she looked around her, somewhat
abashed by the way the bird was regarding her, she saw that
there was a large number of these great creatures, all stead-
fastly looking at her. She began to feel very uncomfortable
and very small; and when they came closer to her, and one of
them began to speak in a harsh, rasping voice, she was abso-
-lutely terrified, and thought of how she could make her escape ;
but she saw that she was the centre of a large circle of huge
birds. So she stood still, her attention being drawn to the bird
who was speaking.
â€˜We will take her portrait,â€ he said, and immediately each
one whipped out from under his wing a large tablet and began
to draw rapidly.
â€œ Keep still!â€ cried one of them in a loud voice.
Katherine trembled, and tried to be very quiet.
â€œTurn this way!â€ called another.
â€œStand up straight!â€ said a third, shaking his pencil
menacingly at her.
â€œHold up your head !â€ directed another.
Poor Katherine was shaking with terror, not knowing
what to do next, and presently began to cry with fright.
â€œHush up!â€ â€œStop that!â€™ came from every side, while
Katherineâ€™s tears rolled down her cheeks faster and faster.
â€œCome here!â€ called one of the birds.
And Katherine, who never liked to obey any one the
moment she was bidden to, began slowly to walk toward the
â€œCome on!â€ called he. â€œMind me!â€
â€œT am minding you,â€ she answered. â€œI am coming.â€
â€œThat is not the way to mind,â€ said the bird. â€œ You are
minding because you are afraid not to mind, and you mean
when you mind that way that you donâ€™t want to. When you
take your own time it is not minding. Come, I say !â€
At this the rest of the birds crowded up so close behind
her that she was obliged to go fast to get out of their way.
â€œLook at this,â€ said the bird, holding out the drawing he
had just made.
Katherine looked at the picture, and saw what seemed to be
herself, but with such an ugly, cross expression, that she felt
â€œThat is the way you looked when you were scolding the
baby,â€ said the bird.
Then another held out his paper, bidding her look at that.
She saw herself with a defiant, scornful look upon her face.
â€œThat is the way you looked when your mother spoke to
you,â€ said this bird. .
A third showed her his picture. In this a scowl and a
pout took away all charm from the face. â€œThat is the way
you looked when you went to your room,â€ said he.
Another held out his paper, but said never a word. This.
was a picture of her dear mother, and the expression was, oh,
so sad! it seemed to Katherine that the sorrowful eyes could
read her very heart. It made her feel so bad that she could
scarcely bear to look upon it, and yet, for some reason, she
could not look away, and the longer she looked the worse she
No one said a word, but her own conscience seemed to:
whisper, â€œThat is the way your mother looks when you are
â€œTake it away! Take it away!â€ she cried.
But the bird would not take it away, and she was com-
pelled to look upon her motherâ€™s sorrowful face till it seemed
to her that her heart would break, and she longed to go to her
own dear mother and throw her arms around her, begging
her to love and forgive her.
As soon as she felt this way the pictures all began to fade,
and in a few minutes not a trace of them was left. Then the
birds began to grow smaller and smaller, and in a few minutes.
they were the size of common sparrows, and, looking out of
the window, she saw them hopping about the roof chirping and
twittering the same as ever; but all her rebellious naughty
feelings had gone, and, jumping up, she ran to her motherâ€™s
door and knocked timidly. There was no answer, and she
opened the door softly ; no one was there. i
She went on to the nursery. Ellen was there with the baby,
who, seeing Katherine, turned away, saying, â€œNo, no, not
naughty boy.â€ This made Katherine feel quite hurt as, with
a quivering lip, she closed the door and went down-stairs. â€”
The parlor was quiet and deserted, but, going into the
library, she saw her mother sitting in a large chair near the
window ; her head rested against the back of the chair. It was
nearly dark, but the evening light fell on her motherâ€™s facÃ© as
she sat there, and it seemed to Katherine to wear just the
expression it had worn in the picture the last bird had shown her.
With a little cry she ran forward, and, kneeling down by
her mother, she buried her face in her lap and began to cry
â€œWhy! my â€˜little girl, what is the matter?â€ said her
mother, gently stroking her hair. ;
â€œOh, mamma! mamma! your face is so sad. If you will
only smile I never will be so naughty again,â€ sobbed Katherine.
Her mother bent over and kissed her, and when Katherine
looked up her mother was smiling, though there were tears in
her eyes. |
[UTH lived with her two great-aunts; they meant to
be very kind to her, but it had been so long since
they were little girls that they could not realize
what really would make a little girl happy.
â€œTt is a strange thing, sister,â€ said Miss Maria, sitting up
very straight, while her knitting-needles clicked sharply,â€” it
is a strange thing why Ruth will not be broken of these fits of
crying. I cannot remember our weeping so frequently when
we were children.â€
Miss Sophia removed a small speck of dust from her black
silk apron, and answered, â€œ No, I have no recollection of being
given to tears in my childhood. It is expected of maturer
persons that they should have occasion for grief, but when a
â€˜child has plenty to eat, comfortable, even luxurious clothing,
and a home of which even a Sybarite might be proud, I
cannot see any reason for the slightest expression of discon-
tent. Now, when we were young, I distinctly remember that
we had very few such luxuries about us as Ruth has. You
will recall, Maria, how we used to sleep in a bitterly cold room,
where the ice froze in the pitcher so that we had to break it
before we could use the water; and how we trudged through
all sorts of weather to school, which was two miles away. As
for candy, we never saw it; and dolls! did either of us ever
have a doll? I am sure I never did.â€
â€œNor I,â€ returned Miss Maria; â€œand yet, forsooth, Miss
Ruth says she has nothing but two small china dolls, which
we would have considered more than enough.â€
â€œWell, I donâ€™t know, it seems a useless expenditure, and I
should not like to encourage the child in habits of extravagance,
but if she is unhappyâ€”â€”â€
â€œOh, nonsense!â€ interrupted Miss Maria; â€œshe will be no
happier with a doll than without it. We were not put in the
world merely to be happy. Ido not countenance the fostering
of self-indulgence.â€ |
Just then Ruth came in. â€œHave you wiped your feet,
Ruth?â€ asked Miss Maria. â€œThere, child, do not sit down
without first removing your wraps and putting away your
books. â€˜Order is Heavenâ€™s first iaw.â€™ After you have at-
tended to those matters properly, come to me;'I wish to
question you upon your progress at school.â€
Ruth turned away, but she very soon came back, and sat
down obediently, with folded hands.
â€œWhat have you learned to-day?â€ inquired Miss Maria,
looking severely at her over the tops of her spectacles.
â€œT donâ€™t know exactly,â€ replied Ruth; â€œI had :
â€œDonâ€™t know!â€ exclaimed Miss Maria. â€œThat is a very
remarkable confession. You have been studying and attending
â€˜recitations for five hours, and you do not know what you have
â€œBut I have the best report in school this week,â€ Ruth
went on, handing her aunt a folded paper.
â€œOh, sister,â€ interposed Miss Sophia, â€œI am sure that is
very creditable.â€ .
â€œTt is no more than should be expected of her,â€ returned
Miss Maria, coldly. â€œReally, Sophia, you should have more
judgment than to indulge the childâ€™s vanity in that way. I
repeat, Ruth, that unless you can tell me less evasively what
you have learned to-day, I shall consider that your report is
either due to the partiality of your teacher or to some deceit
upon your part.â€
Ruthâ€™s eyes filled with tears, and everything she had ever
learned went immediately out of ber head at this dreadful |
accusation. â€œI cannot tell,â€ she said. â€˜Indeed, Aunt Maria,
I have done the best I could.â€ |
â€œThen prove it,â€ said Miss Maria, calmly, â€œor your own
silence will prove your deceit.â€
â€œT am not deceitful,â€ cried Ruth, the tears forcing them-
selves down her cheeks.
â€œWhat! you contradict me?â€ Miss Maria exclaimed.
_ â€œGo to your room, and stay there till I call you.â€
â€œOh, sister!â€™ Miss Sophia interposed again.
â€œSophia, remember that I am the eldest, and in that rela-
tion must beg leave to have my prerogatives respected,â€ said
Miss Maria, in a dignified tone.
Miss Sophia lapsed into silence, and Ruth left the room,.
with a storm of indignation in her little heart.
â€œJT will not stay here; I will run away!â€ she said, passion-
ately, as she shut the door of her room. â€œI donâ€™t care what.
becomes of me.â€ And hastily putting on her hat and coat,
she fled down-stairs and out the front door, which closed softly
after her. Down the street she sped away from it all; where,.
she did not think. She soon found herself in the busy part
of the city among the shops, and suddenly remembered one
in the window of which were some lovely dolls; it might
comfort her to look at them, even if she were never to be the
fortunate possessor of anything so beautiful. There was one
in pink which stood among the others, upon which her eyes
feasted ; she almost forgot her sorrow in the contemplation of
this lovely object. It was very hard to hear the other girls
talk of their dolls, their doll-parties, this pretty new gown or
hat which mother or sister had made for this or that favorite
dolly, and then to think of the two poor little six-inch creat-
ures. which were all the dolls lonely little Ruth owned. It
was even difficult to get pieces to dress them in, for Miss Maria
religiously saved every scrap for quilts, as her mother did
before her. A rush of tears came again to Ruthâ€™s eyes, and
she turned to go away from the fascinating display before her.
Hardly seeing where she stepped, she ran into a gentleman
He caught her low â€œI beg your pardon,â€ and looked
down into the tearful eyes with a smile. â€œI hope I didnâ€™t hurt
you,â€ he said.
â€œOh, it was my fault!â€™ exclaimed Ruth, â€œT didnâ€™t see
â€œNo wonder,â€ he thought. â€œYou were looking at the
lovely dollies, were you not? So, of course, you didnâ€™t see
Ruth smiled at his pleasant tone, but the pathetic look was
still in her eyes and won the interest of the gentleman, who
wondered why a well-dressed, pretty little girl should seem so
troubled. He looked so kindly and steadfastly that Ruth
choked down a little sob and turned to go away.
â€œWait a minute,â€ he said. â€œ Donâ€™t think I am rude, but I
should really like to know who you are and where you live.
You remind me of some one I have known.â€
â€œMy name is Ruth Armistead,â€ said the little girl, â€œand I
live with my great-aunts, the Misses Wylie. I have been with
them since my parents died.â€
â€œMy cousin Ruth! Yes, that is it,â€ he said. â€œMy dear
child, do you know I am your cousin?â€ And he took the little
hands in his. â€œDo you know you look like your mother, who
was my cousin too? Poor little Ruth! I remember now they
told me she left a little girl. Now let us walk a little way
together, and tell me all about the dragons.â€
â€œThe dragons!â€ said Ruth, looking up.
â€œ Yes, that is a pet name I used to have for your aunts when
I was a boy. You know they are my real aunts, and not my
great-aunts, so, of course, I may call them pet names.â€
Ruth smiled shyly, and was soon so at her ease that he
drew from her an account of her dreary daily life, and of the
cause of the tearful eves, which now, however, were cleared of
all traces of grief.
After her recital was over her cousin was silent a few
moments before he said, â€œ Well, Ruth, you know I have been
away for many a long year and have just returned to settle
down in the old home. Iam your cousin John Wylie, and I
am going with you to call on your aunts; but first I want to
stop at the shop, where I first saw you, to pick out a doll for a
little girl I know. It is fortunate I met you, for I should
never know how to select it.â€
So back they went to the shop, and it was something to
Ruth to hold in her hands, even for a few minutes, the beau-
tiful creature which she had so fondly gazed upon from outside.
â€œYou think she will do?â€ said her cousin John, smiling at
the tender kiss which Ruth furtively bestowed upon the doll,
as she regretfully gave her up to be put into a box.
â€œNow I propose that we go to your house. I will go in
first, and, while the man is announcing me to your aunts, you
can slip up to your room. I do not want you to have a scold-
ing, and you must not run away again,â€ he said, kindly.
Ruth was too accustomed to direct obedience not to follow
his advice, and was soon in her room.
About dusk she was called down-stairs, and found her aunts
amiably chatting with their nephew. He made no allusion to
their former meeting, but before he left said he had heard of a
little cousin Ruth and brought her a small gift, at the same
time handing her the box containing the lovely doll.
Ruth could hardly speak her thanks, but the delight in her
face gave them truthfully.
Cousin Johnâ€™s visit was such an event to the old ladies that
Ruth received no more lecturing that evening, but was allowed
to go to her room with her doll and gloat over it to her heartâ€™s
The next day when Ruth returned from school she flew to
her room for a glimpse of the dear darling, but what was her
horror to find her precious doll lying upon the floor with a
great dreadful hole in her face. Poor little heart-broken
Ruth! this last grief seemed more than she could bear. And as
she did not come down to supper her Aunt Maria went to seek
her. The swollen eyes and tear-stained face told their own
tale. For a moment Miss Maria was inclined to be sympa-
thetic, but the repression of a lifetime was too much for her,
and, with a true Puritan scorn for undue affection, she spoke
â€œWhat are you making such a fuss over, Ruth? Yes, I
see your doll is broken. Iam sorry. It was done by the man
who put up the curtains to-day: he let something fall from
the ladder upon your doll. Let it be a lesson to you, Ruth,
not to set your affections upon things below. Dry your eyes
now and come down to supper.â€
Ruth rose mechanically, and soon followed her aunt down-
stairs. Miss Sophia pressed a peppermint drop into her hand,
and furtively passed her hand over the childâ€™s head, when
Miss Maria was not looking, but her sympathy could go no
Just after supper Cousin John again made his appearance.
He drew Ruth to him and looked inquiringly into the downcast
â€œWhat is the matter to-day?â€ he whispered. â€œDo you
cry every day ?â€
Ruth shook her head, and he turned to Miss Sophia, who
was making apologies for Ruthâ€™s red eyes and was explaining
â€œNever mind,â€ Cousin John said; â€œI can easily have that
set straight. If you will bring the doll to me, you shall have
her to-morrow evening as good as new.â€
Ruth ran for the doll, and upon her return met with such
an astounding piece of news that, for a moment, the doll was
almost forgotten, for she was told that henceforth her home
would be with her cousin John; he and his wife were lonely
with no children of their own.
And so Ruth was to exchange the great dreary house for
a sunny cottage almost in the country, where so few tears were
her portion that she has nearly forgotten how to cry.
Miss Maria and Miss Sophia still sit stiffly up and dis-
course upon the follies of the present day; and, though Miss
Sophia sometimes expresses a small regret that Ruth should
have left them, Miss Maria always says, â€œ You know, Sophia,
she was a great care and expense,â€ and that concludes the
Ruth has learned how sweet affection and sympathy can
be to a hungry little heart, and repays it all with such love
and devotion to Papa John and Mamma Alice that they bless
the day when they took her home.
SSLELENA had been looking at Tiptoe for the space of
ten minutes. Now, there was nothing in the world
the matter with Tiptoe; she was carefully washing
her face, licking first one black paw and rubbing it
over one side, and then doing the same with the other; finally
she finished her toilet. Tucking her paws neatly under her,
and curling her tail around out of the way, she prepared to
take a nap, gazingâ€™at Helena till the round, green eyes became
two slits, then closed altogether just as Helena came out of
her brown study.
â€œWell, Tiptoe,â€ said she, â€œif you are going to sleep I will
not disturb your nap. You look so very wise when you are
_ wide awake, and I almost think you could help me out of my
troubles if you were to give them a thought.â€
Tiptoe opened her eyes a little way, but closed them again,
and began to purr.
â€œThat sounds very comfortable, but it doesnâ€™t sound as if
you sympathize with me,â€ Helena went on. â€œHowever, I sup-
pose a cat cannot be expected to understand how little girls feel
when they want to do something all themselves. Now, Tiptoe,
I really and truly want to do good, but I do not know how to
begin. I donâ€™t know any one who wants my coat, and it is in
my Sunday-school lesson that if any one asks for your coat
you must give him your cloak too. I donâ€™t think that is quite
fair; but maybe I donâ€™t understand it, and I will do just what
it says if it is really right.â€
Just then a hand-organ outside struck up a lively tune,
and Helena ran to the window. â€œOh, Tiptoe,â€ she cried,
â€œthere is a monkey and a little girl!â€ And she caught up
Tiptoe, regardless of her desire to nap, and held her up to
the window. The little girl below smiled and held out her
â€œOh, dear!â€ said Helena, â€œI have no money, and mamma
is out, what shall Ido? And here is such a good chance to help
some one. Maybe the little girl would like my coat; she has
only a shawl over her shoulders and nothing on her head.â€
Putting Tiptoe down, Helena ran out of the room, and
presently appeared at the front door with her school coat and
her mackintosh over her arm. The little girl with the tam-
bourine advanced. â€œI havenâ€™t any money, but you may have
these if you want them,â€ said Helena, piling the two garments
into the arms of the little girl, who nodded and smiled,
saying, â€œGrazia!â€ And Helena returned to the sitting-room
window where she had been standing.
After a while the hand-organ moved away, and soon after
-Helenaâ€™s mother returned.
â€œOh, mamma,â€ cried the child, throwing herself into her
motherâ€™s arms, â€œI have been doing such good!â€
â€œHave you?â€ said her mother, smiling. â€œAnd what have
â€œT have given away my coat, and my cloak also; but it was
my school coat, mamma; I kept the one with the fur on it.â€
â€œWhy, my child, what have you done? That was not
â€œOught I to have given my best coat?â€ asked Helena,
innocently. - .
Her mother could not forbear smiling. â€œNo, you should
not have given any without consulting mamma.â€ -
Helenaâ€™s face fell. â€œOh,â€ she said, â€œmamma, it was in my
lesson for to-morrow, and I thought it meant I ought to do
good. Mamma, when you told me that you were going to
that meeting, and I wanted you to go down-town with me, and
you told me all about the poor people, and how we.ought to
help them all we could, I thought while you were there try-
ing to do good I would try at home, and I am s0 sorry.â€
And the blue eyes looked very moist.
Her mamma drew her to her side. â€œ Dearie,â€ she said,
â€œyou were a dear little girl for thinking as you did, but little
HELENA. | 111
girls are not wise enough to know when to give and what to
give. There are many ways of helping beside that, and when
you want to doa real charity, you must ask me. I have no
doubt money would have helped the little tambourine girl, and
that her father will sell the garments you gave; perhaps the
child will never have any benefit from them.â€
â€œWell, mamma,â€ Helena replied, with a sigh, â€œI will
know better next time. I will do something else when I want
to be charitable.â€
The idea seemed to have taken such hold of the childâ€™s
mind that, a few days afterwards, her mother was. very much
surprised to see her lugging a very ugly, very dirty little poten
up the steps and into the house.
â€œWhy, Helena,â€ said Mrs. Travers, â€œ whose child is that ?â€
â€œA poor womanâ€™s, mamma. Isnâ€™t it a nice little baby?
Wonâ€™t you let me keep it?â€ she asked, as if it were a small
puppy or a kitten. .
â€œWhy, no, dear, of course not. I cannot allow you to
Helenaâ€™s face fell. â€œOh, dear!â€ she said, â€œwhat shall I
do? The woman was begging, mamma, and she said she was
glad to be rid of the brat. Think of calling the poor little
thing a brat!â€
Mrs. Travers re as she looked at the very unattractive
infant, who was now sitting in round-eyed wonder upon the
floor. â€œWhere did you leave the woman ?â€ she asked.
â€œIn the kitchen. I told Jane to give her something to
eat. You do not mind, mamma?â€ she asked, anxiously.
â€œNot in the least,â€ returned Mrs. Travers, rising. â€œ Wait
here, Helena; I will see her.â€
She soon returned, saying that the woman was a well-
known beggar, who had been helped times often, and that the
child was not her own.
â€œSo, dear, we will send the poor baby where it can be
well taken care of and let the woman go.â€
â€œ Do let the baby stay to-night,â€ said Helena, â€œand let me
take care of it. I should so like to.â€
After much persuasion on Helenaâ€™s part and some thought
upon the part of her mother, it was arranged that the baby
should remain where it was till the next day; but even after it
was washed and dressed in better clothing, the little waif was
as stolid as ever, though Helena gazed at him with admiring eyes.
â€œOh, mamma,â€ she said, â€œisnâ€™t he sweet? I wish I could
keep him forever, he is so much nicer than Tiptoe.â€
But a sorry time the little girl had that night. The baby
was put to sleep in a little unused crib, which was placed in
Helenaâ€™s room, and Helena gazed fondly upon him, as she:
sat there with a book, all the evening. Just about bedtime,
however, the baby awoke with a severe attack of colic, due,
probably, to over-feeding from Helena, and not until some
hours had passed was he quieted.
â€œDear me!â€ said Helena, as she sat up in bed, with very
sleepy eyes, watching the maid tending the baby, â€œI didnâ€™t
know babies were so much trouble.â€ Then she cuddled down
and was almost asleep, when the baby cried again. This went
on the entire night, and by morning Helena was quite ready
to have the baby taken away.
Her ardor was somewhat dampened by this experience, but
the loving little heart could not know of want without a desire
to lessen it. And one day, when she was playing out under the
trees in the front garden, she saw a little girl peeping through
the palings; her bare feet and scraggy hair showed that she was
not one of the fortunate ones. She eyed eagerly Helenaâ€™s feast,
which was spread out upon a bench, and before which Helena
and her dolls were sitting. Helena nodded brightly toward
the little spectator, and then ran to the gate; opening it, she
called, â€œ Little girl!â€™ The child stood still, and Helena called
again. This time the little girl slowly approached. â€œCome
- in,â€ said Helena, holding open the gate. The child shyly
entered. â€œCome,â€ said Helena, â€œand help us have a party.â€
The little girl looked wonderingly at her, but allowed her-
self to be taken by the hand and led to the spot where the
dolls were assembled.
Helena hovered around her visitor, who was overcome
with amazement and delight. â€œHow many dolls youâ€™ve got!â€
she said. â€œTI ainâ€™t got none.â€
â€œYou havenâ€™t!â€ exclaimed Helena. â€œWhy, how do you
manage to get along? I could never have a good time at all
without my darling babies. This is my favorite,â€ she said,
taking up her largest one. â€œShe came all the way from Paris â€”
in mammaâ€™s trunk.â€ .
â€œT like that one best,â€ returned the little girl, pointing to
one much less showy.
â€œDo you?â€ asked Helena. â€œHer name is Grace; she
isnâ€™t half as pretty as Marguerite.â€
â€œT like her,â€ persisted the child, whether from a real fancy
or from contrariness Helena could not tell.
They soon became quite merry over the feast, and Helenaâ€™s
mother from her window watched them playingâ€™ happily.
together, unconscious of any difference of station.
When it was time for Helena to go in, her little friend
helped her to put away the dishes and carry the dolls to the
porch; then she was about to turn regretfully away, when
Helena called her back.
â€œ Nancy !â€ she called,â€”for the little girl had said that was
her name,â€”â€œ Nancy, here!â€ And she ran forward with the
doll Grace and a big orange in her hand. She thrust them
into Nancyâ€™s hands. The child at first could not understand
that they were for her very own. â€œThey are yours,â€ said
Helena. â€œTI want you to have Grace.â€
â€œMine? all mine?â€ exclaimed Nancy, delightedly.
â€œYes, all yours. Take them, for mamma is calling me. -
~ Come again, Nancy, and bring Grace, and we will have some
more plays.â€ And the little girls parted.
â€˜Helena went to her mother, saying, â€œMamma, I am sure
this time I didnâ€™t do wrong: I gave Grace to Nancy.â€
Her mother kissed her forehead. â€œ You did right, darling,â€
she said. â€œGrace was your very own, and you had a right to
do as you chose with her, for it was not interfering with the
rights of any one else. You niust only be careful not to play
with naughty children, and must not give away anything
which would cause mamma trouble or expense to replace; that
is all, dearie.â€
Helena smiled up in her motherâ€™s face, while the blessed-
ness of giving filled her little heart with peace.
It was a forlorn little figure with a very happy face which
wended her way to a squalid street; but Grace made it seem
less miserable, and poor little Nancy did not mind going
supperless to bed when she could hold Grace in her arms all
The orange she shared the next day with a sick child on
the next floor, and the two sat and whispered over it, with the
doll between them, till rags and poverty vanished away in a
vision of blue skies and flowers, dainty food and eternal play-
time. . :
T was such a mixed-up family that you never in
the world could tell how they were related to one
another. First there was Curtis: he was Aunt
Maryâ€™s brother; and then there were Clare and
Allen, who were Mr. Danforthâ€™s children, for he was a
widower when he married Theoâ€™s mother, a widow, whose only
child Theo was; last of all came Gwendoline, who belonged to
everybody, for Clare and Allenâ€™s father was her papa, and
Theoâ€™s mother was her mamma, while Curtis was her motherâ€™s
brother, and Aunt Mary her motherâ€™s sister. It was a very
mixed-up household as far as relationship goes, but it was a
very harmonious one in every other respect. |
It was Christmas-eve, and even Curtis, though he was
_ fourteen, was not too big to hang up his stocking; only Allen
declared he wanted to see what was going on, and hung his
stocking at the foot of his bed, though the rest hung theirs
by the nursery fireplace, where there was an open-grate fire.
Gwendoline was very much afraid that Santa Claus would
burn his â€œ footies,â€ but she was told by Curtis that his shoes
were made of asbestos; and, though she did not in the least
know what asbestos was, she was perfectly satisfied, and was
borne off by Aunt Mary with the assurance that Santa Claus
was not to be disheartened by open fires or anything else,
-and that he would surely come.
â€œJT want to see dear, nice, good, beautiful Santa Claus,â€
said Gwendoline, whose eyes were shining with excitement.
â€œOh, no, you must not!â€ said Curtis, for all the children
were going up-stairs â€œ chick-a-my, chick-a-my, craney-crow.â€
Curtis was holding Aunt Maryâ€™s gown, and Clare had hold of
Curtisâ€™s jacket, Allen of Clareâ€™s apron, and Theo of Allenâ€™s
â€œNo, you must not,â€ said the others.
â€œ He doesnâ€™t like any one to see him filling stockings.â€
â€œ Filling stockingsâ€ came last from Theo, far in the rear,
for Clareâ€™s apron-strings had become unfastened, and there was
a long gap in that part of the procession.
â€œ But why ?â€ asked Gwendoline, leaning over so she could
see Theoâ€™s yellow head. â€œWhy, Feo?â€
â€œ Because,â€ said Theo from below, â€œhe has to nibble off
the candy canes when they are too long, and he doesnâ€™t like to
be caught doing it.â€
A burst of laughter greeted this and the children
â€œchick-a-my, craney-crowedâ€ up-stairs till the nursery was
â€œNow, all go to bed, and go to sleep as soon as you can,â€
said Aunt Mary, â€œfor Santa Claus may come early, and if any
of you are awake he might not stop.â€
â€œNot at all?â€ exclaimed Gwendoline, in dismay.
â€œOh, yes,â€ interposed Theo, â€œhe would come back; but
the nicest toys might be gone by that time.â€
So Gwendoline cuddled down in her bed, only once sitting
up and saying in a loud whisper to Theo, who was nearly
asleep in her little bed on the other side of the room, â€œ Feo,
has he come yet ?â€
â€œNo,â€ replied Theo, sleepily. And Gwendoline settled
back again among her pillows.
Soon they were all sound asleep, though Allen, as his father
stopped by his door, roused up and looked at his empty stock-
ing, saying, â€œ He ainâ€™t come yet ;â€ but he was soon asleep again.
After a while the whole house was wrapped in slumber except
Lilypaws, who was on the alert for mice in the kitchen, and
whose great round eyes were the only ones open. She may
have heard Santa Claus, but no one else did, and cats, fortu-
nately, can keep a secret. However, Santa Claus had come
and gone when two rosy lips began to whisper in their sleep,
and soon two blue eyes opened and looked around the room.
Gwendoline was wide awake. She sat up in bed; how quiet it
was! The moon was shining broadly in through the window,
and, with the electric lights outside, filled the room with
â€œTt must be morning,â€ thought Gwendoline; but, spying
the moon, she concluded it was still night. â€œI wonder if
Santa Claus has come,â€ thought she. â€œI believe I will go
and see. I can just peep; so he wonâ€™t see me if he is there.â€
So she slipped down softly from bed, the dear little baby feet
making no noise upon the carpet, and then she crept quietly into
the next room, which was the nursery. She stood a moment in
the door-way, looking like a little cherub in her white gown.
She listened,â€”there was not a sound; it was rather dark, for
the curtains were drawn in front of the bay-window where the
tree stood, but Gwendoline could soon see quite plainly by the
light of the fire. She looked around at the fireplace; surely
the stockings looked very humpy, and there was something
sticking out of the top of each. Gwendoline ran forward, and
peeped into every one. â€œI bâ€™lieve I fordot which is mine,â€
she said. â€œMaybe I can tell if I take eâ€™vâ€™y one down.â€ The
stockings were all the same size, having been bought especially
for this purpose, for it would never have done to hang up
Gwendolineâ€™s tiny little one by the side of Curtisâ€™s big one;
there was no telling, therefore, by the size.
Gwendoline climbed upon a chair, and taking down each
stocking, she laid: it on the floor in front of the fire, then she
sat down on the rug and drew out the different articles. The
stockings contained much the same things: in the toe a piece
of money wrapped in many papers: then nuts; next Christmas
candies, dogs, and monkeys, and roosters, all clear red or
yellow; then there was a gingerbread boy in each of the boysâ€™
stockings, and a gingerbread girl in each of the girlsâ€™; next
came an orange, figs, and raisins; a candy cane was the last
thing, while scattered through the spaces were little gifts, each
marked with the name of him or her in whose stocking it was.
Gwendoline decided quite soon which was hers, though she
was somewhat divided between her desire for the things which
suited her babyhood and those for Theo, which were nearly as
attractive to her. She sucked vigorously at the end of her
candy cane, sitting in the fire-light in the most contended
manner, like a little kitten. As she sat there her eyes wan-
dered to the other side of the room. What did she see in the
dim, shadowy corner? The most beautiful doll. That was too
much for Gwendoline; down went the stocking, and she ran
over to where the beauty was sitting. Taking it in her sticky
fingers, unheeding the fact that there were other toys and gifts
upon the table and behind the curtain, she bore the doll back
to her place before the fire. â€œIt is mine,â€ she said. â€œOf
course it is mine. Didnâ€™t I ask Santa Claus to send me a
doll?â€ And she gazed at it with fond eyes, examining all the
details of the dollyâ€™s costume.
Presently she heard a little noise, which somewhat scared
her: it was only the mice scampering about in the walls; but
she hastily filled the stockings again, getting the contents sadly
mixed. She hung them up again, though she had a great time
trying to do this, for they were heavy and would slip from her
baby fingers; but finally she managed it, and, with the doll
clasped in her arms and her fingers grasping the candy cane,
she trotted back to bed again.
It was broad daylight when â€œMerry Christmas!â€ was
shouted by Allen, who waked up to find his stocking still
empty at the foot of his bed; but, determining not to seem
. disappointed, shouted his greeting lustily.
Mrs. Danforth and Aunt Mary soon came in, and found the
children all dancing with excitement, while Gwendoline stood,
still clasping the doll and the cane.
â€œWhy, baby! where did you get those?â€ asked her
â€œSanta Claus brought them,â€ she replied, smilingly. â€œTI
wented in and found them.â€
â€œWhy, when did you go?â€
- â€œOh, just now,â€ replied Gwendoline, who did not realize
that she had been asleep for four hours since her exploit.
By this time the other children had found their stockings,
Allen among them. â€œOh,â€ cried they, as they drew out the
contents, â€œ how mixed up they are!â€
â€œClare,â€ cried Curtis, â€œhere is a box of yours in my
stocking ; it has â€˜ Clareâ€™ on it.â€
â€œ And here is something with â€˜Curtisâ€™ on"it in mine; and,
besides, I have a gingerbread boy instead of a girl,â€ said Theo.
Aunt Mary and Mrs. Danforth looked at each other.
â€œWhat can it mean ?â€ said they.
Gwendoline stood by, serenely sucking her candy cane.
â€œ You little mischief!â€ exclaimed Clare, â€œI believe you did it.â€
â€œYes,â€ said Gwendoline, sweetly, â€œI did it. I wanted to
see which was mine own. You know, it was pretty dark, and
I fought I heard Santa Claus coming back, so I had to hurry
They could not help laughing, and the children rather -
enjoyed sorting out the different mixtures till each had his or
her own property.
After the stockings had been discussed and the children
were dressed, they all reassembled to see the tree and the rest
of the presents.
Aunt Mary had vainly tried to persuade Gwendoline to
give up the doll, for it bore a paper saying â€œ For Theo,â€ but no
manner of persuasion could induce her to give it up; yet there
were â€œohsâ€ and â€œahsâ€ in such number that for a while Theo
did not realize that one of her gifts had been appropriated,
and, dear, good, little girl that she was, when she did discover
it she said never a word, only stood by looking admiringly at
the doll she knew to be hers.
â€œTt is Theoâ€™s, dearie,â€ said Mrs. Danforth. â€œSanta Claus
brought you another one.â€
â€œBut I want dis one,â€ persisted Gwendoline, holding her
â€œ But the paper on it says â€˜ For Theo,â€™â€ said Aunt Mary.
Gwendoline looked for the paper, which she picked off and
â€œNow it isnâ€™t Feoâ€™s,â€ she said, with a beaming face.
They found it would really spoil her pleasure to take it
from her; and she was so sure Santa Claus had meant it
for her, being utterly unconscious of doing anything naughty,
that Aunt Mary drew Theo into her room, and told her she
should have a doll quite as good, or better, if she would allow
Gwendoline to keep this. Theo bravely smiled down the
rising tears, and was so sweet about it, that Mr. Danforth
added a lovely little bedstead for the new doll when the
purchase was made that same day; for Aunt Mary and Mr.
Danforth took Theo down to the shop Christmas morning,
when she chose her own doll, and came home perfectly content
to let Gwendoline keep the other; while the little sister was so
happy, and had so many lovings and kissings for everybody,
that no one had the heart to even suggest that she was a
naughty girl, and Iam sure Santa Claus himself forgave the
T was far up at the top of an old house that Made-
line lived with her dear mamma, that dear petite
mamnan who was always so sad now, even when
there was the music of marching soldiers in the
street below, and when the sun shone on the box of flowers
in the window so cheerily as to entice the one rose-bud on
the bush into bloom. It is true that Madelineâ€™s papa was
in heaven, and that when Madeline wanted a special treat
mamma would shake her head and say, â€œNo, my little one,
the sous in mammaâ€™s purse are much too few for us to go to St.
Cloud or Versailles.â€ But then one does not really need a treat
to make one happy when one can look down on gay Paris, and
when the concierge is good-natured and will allow visitors in
her room, who can behold the wonders of feather flowers and
stuffed birds, and may be permitted to nurse a whole family of
kittens at once.
â€œMadame Virot,â€ said Madeline, â€œwhy is it that my
mamma is so sad ?â€
Madame Virot shrugged her shoulders. â€œAh, my little
one,â€ she said, â€œit is that the chÃ©re petite maman longs for her
old home in the chateau at Auvers and for the embrace of her
â€œThen, why does she not go there, and take me? I should
~ be made happy to see my grandmother.â€
â€œIn truth, my little one, but madame your grandmother
would not find herself charmed to see you; she has great
discontent of your mother.â€
â€œOf my precious mamma! her own daughter! And
â€œBecause of her marriage with the American gentleman,
your father, of whom your grandmother had great disapproval.
You ask a great many questions, chÃ©re petite.â€
Madeline sat nursing the family of kittens and ponder-
ing over this strange news, of which her mother had never
told her a word. â€œAnd does she live near by, madame my
grandmother?â€ asked she presently.
â€œNot so far,â€ returned Madame Virot. â€œI am from her
neighborhood, and it is for that reason your mamma, chose
â€œAnd madame my grandmother, what is she like, I
wonder? She must be very cruel to turn away from mv dear
â€œNot cruel, my child.. She does not think it. She does
not know that your mother is living here; she thinks of her in
America, the home of your papa. She is stern, unforgiving,
but the heart suffers, I know, and if she knew all she would
be torn with grief.â€
â€œThen I will go and teil her.â€
â€œImpossible!â€ cried Madame Virot, with uplifted hands.
â€œNo, ma chÃ©re, it is not to be. I entreat you say nothing; I
assure you it would be useless. Say nothing to the mother of
what I have said; you will but make her more unhappy.â€
â€˜Madeline put down the kittens, who were mewing for their
mother, and went up-stairs to her own room. She sat long at
the window, no longer wondering at the quiet sadness of her
mother. Suppose it were she, and her mamma were so angry
that she would not speak to her, not come near her. Madelineâ€™s
eyes filled at the very thought. Could she then care for the
merry ta-ra, ta-ra of the drums beneath the window? or should
she smile over a new rose-bud? Surely, no. â€œWhat can I
do?â€ thought Madeline; and she sat soberly thinking till the
last sunbeams struck the towers of Notre Dame and glanced
across the spires of St. Etienne.
The next day Madeline went again to Madame Virot. She
had been busily forming plans to meet her grandmother, and
wanted to know more of her.
â€œDo you ever go, Madame Virot, to your old home near
the chateau of my grandmother?â€ she asked.
â€œSeldom, my child.â€
courage of her desire.
â€œOh, no; impossible! â€˜Your grandmother would not
receive you. She is old; she remains always at home; she
receives not a visitor; you would not be permitted to enter
even the lodge.â€
That was discouraging, and still Madelineâ€™s longing to see
â€˜her motherâ€™s old home was so great that, by dint of much
coaxing, she finally extracted a promise from the good-natured
woman that the next time she visited her relatives Madeline
should go with her, provided she did not make any attempt
to see her grandmother.
So one fair May morning they started off, Madeline having
obtained permission to take a little trip with Madame Virot,
but neither telling of their destination.
It was an exciting moment to Madeline, that in which
she beheld from afar the home of her motherâ€™s child-
Madame Virot, talking volubly with her old neighbors,
gave assent when Madeline begged to go a little nearer.
â€œOnly to the crossing of the roads,â€ charged Madame
Virot, and Madeline promised.
She gazed about her at the landscape so familiar to her
mother, and stood with clasped hands before the cross which
marked the roadways.
â€œOh, dear God,â€ said the little one, â€œit is so sad for: my
dear mamma! Let her mother love us both.â€
As she stood there looking up, an old woman approached,
and, stopping a little distance off, watched the little maiden
with the earnest look upon her face. Soon she came nearer,
and Madeline turned toward her as the little girl was about to
return to Madame Virot; but she quickly turned and walked
away. Madeline stood looking after her, and then retraced
her steps to the cottage where she had left Madame Virot.
On her way back she saw something shining in the road,
and stooping, she picked up a twenty-franc piece.
â€œ Whose can this be?â€ she said, turning it over and over.
There was no one in sight but the old woman; she was not
near enough to be overtaken, and disappeared from view as .
Madeline looked after her. â€œIt must be hers, poor old woman,â€
Madeline continued. â€œI wish I knew how to return it to her.â€
And she walked slowly toward the cottage.
â€œCome, ma petite, we must return; chÃ©re maman will be
desolated at your long absence,â€ said Madame Virot.
And amid many adieux and much chatter, they took their
Madeline noted very particularly every landmark, for she
had made up her mind to return the next day and, if possible,
find the old woman, who must have dropped the gold coin.
For this purpose she took from her little bank a long-
hoarded five-franc-piece, and, true to her decision, made her
way alone to Auvers the next day. Again she stood before the
wayside cross and offered up her little prayer for her grand-
motherâ€™s love, and again she saw the old woman approaching.
This time Madeline went toward her.
â€œTI think you dropped some money yesterday,â€ she said,
sweetly. . ,
â€œYes, you are right; I did,â€ replied the old woman; then
she bent over and looked steadfastly in the childâ€™s face. â€œThe
same, the same,â€ she said, in a low tone. â€œAh, my little
Madeline with the brown eyes and sweet smile, it is lonely,
lonely without you!â€
â€œWhat does she mean? Is she crazy ?â€ thought Madeline.
â€œTam Madeline,â€ she said, â€œbut I am afraid I do not know
who you are.â€
â€œAh, no; my little Madeline would remember old Ga-
brielle,â€ said she. â€œBut you are very like her, my child, the
little Madeline Dumonteau.â€
â€œWhy,â€ said Madeline, â€œthat is my name,â€”Madeline Du-
â€œ Qiel !â€ said the old Gabrielle, covering her face with her
hands, â€œit is the American child; it is the child of the lost
Madeline!â€ And the tears flowed down her furrowed cheeks
as she gazed fondly at the surprised little girl, who held out
the money toward her.
She pushed it gently away. â€œIt is yours, not mine,â€ said
â€œOh, no,â€ replied Madeline; â€œI never had so much money
in my life.â€ .
The old woman shook her head, repeating, â€œIt is yours,
little one.â€ And no manner of inducement could make her
â€œAnd. your mother, the daughter of my old mistress,
Madame Dumonteau, where is she?â€ she asked.
â€œYes, the same.â€
â€œShe is in Paris.â€
â€œ And is she happy ?â€
â€œAh, no!â€ said Madeline, sadly. â€œOh, if you know my
grandmamma, will you tell her how unhappy my dear mamma
is, and that since my papa died she has no one but me to love
her, and she must want her mother just as I want her?â€
â€œHe is dead, then, the American gentleman ?â€
â€œMy papa? Yes, he died two years ago, and we came to
Paris, for mamma could not bear to be so far away from her
The old woman stood leaning on her stick, lost in thought.
â€œLittle one,â€™ she said presently, â€œcan you come here
again, the day after to-morrow ?â€
â€œYes, I think so,â€ replied Madeline; â€œI came away to-day
alone, for I did not want Madame Virot to know, nor mamma.â€
â€œYou could not bring your mamma?â€
â€œTam afraid not; she will never go to Auvers, and the
tears come when I speak of her home. I should never have
come but for Madame Virot.â€
â€œTell your mamma that it is old Gabrielle who bids her
come; tell her to remember that it was she who saved her
from the fire; that it was she who gave her the letters from the
brave American gentleman; that it was she who watched her
grow from a tiny baby to a gracious woman. â€˜Tell her the
Madame Dumonteau sits always alone, with dreary eyes, and
that her proud spirit is broken; that one sight of the face
of her lost Madeline will cause the old love to spring forth
as waters from a rock. Ah, my child! bid her come for the
sake of old Gabrielle.â€
And Madeline promised to deliver faithfully the message,
when old Gabrielle turned away, and the little girl made haste
to get back to her mother.
That evening, when the sky was touched with rosy clouds,
when the towers of Notre Dame showed darkly against the
evening sky, Madeline, with her head in her motherâ€™s lap
and her hands clasping those of her mother, told her of the
message of old Gabrielle.
â€œDear old Gabrielle!â€ said her saoiler: â€œdear, loving,
faithful old nurse! And you went there all alone? How did
you manage to do it?â€
â€œTI watched very carefully when I went with Madame
Virot, and every one was very kind. I had no trouble,
mamma. Dearest mamma, you will go to Auvers for the
sake of old Gabrielle, and for my sake, my own mamma?â€
â€œ Yes, little one, mamma will go, for her love of you and
of her dear old nurse.â€
_ A trembling old woman sat in her room in the lonely
old chateau. Her proud heart yearned for the darling of her
life, her daughter, whom she deemed lost to her forever. She
rememberedâ€”ah, how well!â€”the touch of baby hands, the
caressing voice of childhood calling, â€œMaman ! chÃ©re maman !â€
she remembered, too, the tears her darling had shed that day
when she sent her away, unforgiven, to her American home.
She could almost fancy now that there were childish footsteps
again upon the stair, that there was again a voice calling,
â€œMamma! dear mamma!â€ The spring sunshine which
opened the hearts of the flowers turned the icy waters again
to trickling streams, and down the cheeks of the lonely old
woman the tears slowly ran.
Hark! What is that? Is she dreaming? Surely, surely
itisadream. â€œMaman! chÃ©re maman !â€
In the door-way she stands, her little one, her Madeline;
the same brown eyes, the same tender voice. With a cry the
mother holds out her arms: â€œ Madeline, my little one! my
baby! my one love!â€ And the arms of the two mothers were
around each other, and around the little girl, while old Gabrielle
crept away to weep glad tears before the cross of Auvers.
The old chateau is the home of the little Madeline and
her mother, while Grandmamma Dumonteau has taken a new
lease on life, and lives again ber motherhood in the interest
she feels for her grandchild.
The calm stars look down on the wayside cross; the rains
beat upon it; the flowers spring around it; the grass grows at
â€œ Godâ€™s in his heaven,
Allâ€™s well with the world.â€
COPE! Cope! Cope!â€ called Margaret, and the little
ra, sheep all came quickly running, crowding around
her, as she made ready to go with them to pasture.
â€œThere, Woolly, you are too affectionate,â€ she
said, as one of them rubbed up against her too vigorously.
â€œHere, Mopsy, you mustnâ€™t run away,â€ as another one was
going in the wrong direction. â€œCome, Curly, donâ€™t lag
behind.â€ And with a word here and there she had the flock |
about her, being helped in her effort by Dee, the collie dog,
who was running hither and thither after the flock.â€™ After
a little they were all together, and Margaret started off with
The mists were rolling down from the mountain-tops and
up from the river; the dew was yet upon the grass and
flowers. The sheep trotted along on their nimble feet, while
Dee watched them with a careful eye, lest none should stray.
_â€œT will take my dinner with me, father,â€ said Margaret, as
she left home, â€œand I have dinner all ready for you on the
shelf. Do you think you can hobble so far?â€
â€œYes, daughter, with my crutch I can get about very
comfortably ; but I weary sadly to be here idle all day while
you are doing my work.â€
â€œNever mind, daddy,â€ replied the girl, â€œyou will soon be
about again, and I do love the little sheep; Nanny is so
funny. It isnâ€™t a bit of a hardship for me, and you know I
enjoy nothing more than being out in the fields and up on the
mountain. J am going to the high pasture to-day, so I shall
not be home till late. Now donâ€™t worry, daddy, for that rheu-
matism must have the best chance you can give it.â€
â€œWell, well, Margie, I will not worry any more than I can
help, but it was a bad day for me when I had that rheumatism
â€œNow, daddy, that isnâ€™t fair; you know everything is going
â€œYes, I know; I suppose I havenâ€™t much patience.â€
â€œWell, I must be off. Good-by, father.â€ And Margaret
nodded cheerfully as she went out.
On her way up the mountain path one little sheep kept
close beside her; this was Nanny, whom Margaret had cosseted
and petted as a tiny lamb till now she was almost like a
human being. Dee was her dearest friend, and the two were
constantly together. No fence too high for Nanny to climb,
no ramble in the woods too long if her beloved Dee were her
companion. She was perfectly at home in the cottage too, and
would walk in and out at her pleasure, would help herself to
a slice of bread or lie on the hearth by the side of Dee in the
most confident way.
Up, up they went till the valley was far below them and
the river a thread of silver. The little flock finally reached
the high pasture, and set to work nibbling the short grass,
hopping lightly over stones, or lying peacefully in little
groups, the lambs close to their mothers.
Margaret sat down on a big boulder, with the faithful Dee
at her feet and Nanny not far off. Nanny wore at her neck a
little bell, which tinkled, tinkled, as she cropped the grass.
It was very quiet: far off a bird was calling; a little
mountain stream sang along its stony bed, but those were the
only sounds, save the tinkling of Nannyâ€™s little bell and the
nibble-nibble of the grass by the sheep.
Margaret was very happy, though she had a busy life. She
was her fatherâ€™s housekeeper since her mother had died five
years before, and she now had the care of the sheep, for her â€”
father a month before had contracted a hard attack of rheu-
matism; in consequence the little girl was housekeeper and
shepherdess both; but she loved her little flock, and it was
restful work, wher she could sit, as she did now, with the blue
sky above her and the sights and sounds of nature about her.
â€œShe was not lonely, for she could talk to Nanny and to
Dee, who would lie on each side of her while she told them all
sorts of things, laughing at her own nonsense and the serious
way in which it was received by her companions.
â€œDee,â€ said she, â€œI wish I knew what you and Nanny
talk about; I am sure you do talk, and I dare say you gossip
dreadfully. I can fancy Nanny saying, â€˜Dee, did you ever
see such airs as Mopsy gives herself? You would think her
the belle of the flock.â€™ And, Dee, you probably say, â€˜ Yes,
we all know who is the belle.â€™ And then Nanny might say,
â€˜I saw one of the Turnersâ€™ dogs on the road yesterday, and
he told me he could fight you if you would let him.â€™ And
when I spoke of the Turnersâ€™ dogs, for you do despise
Dee wagged his tail and looked up in her face as if he
There, Dee! I knew you would toss your head
As it was now noon, Margaret took her lunch-basket and
settled down to enjoy her meal, dividing it with Dee, who
relished hugely the sharing of his mistressâ€™s dinner; there was
bread and meat, a bottle of milk, and a piece of pie. After
the dinner was over, Margaret felt thoroughly rested, and
thought she would walk about a little. Looking around her,
she saw that a fog was settling in the valley below, and that it
was growing darker and darker. â€œTI do believe we shall have
a storm,â€ she said. â€œI must look for some shelter.â€ She
remembered a place where some overhanging rocks formed a
sort of cave, and towards this she made her way; none too
soon, for the storm was upon her before very long.
With the sheep huddled about her, she watched the rain as
it swept along, blown by the wind, which, fortunately, blew it
from instead of toward her.
She did not feei afraid: the mountains were her friends,
she had seen them all her life; those silent, immovable moun-
tains, seeming so near heaven, peaceful in their silent strength.
When the thunder muttered or the lightning flashed, Mar-
garet thought only of the beauty of the wild clouds and the
grandeur of the scene before her.
When the storm was over, Margaret decided it would be as
well to start for home; for, although the rain had stopped, it
was still very misty, and she would have to go slowly in order
to make her way.
Getting the little flock in order, she set forth confidently,
but before long she found herself on unfamiliar ground.
â€œT must have missed the turning,â€ she said. â€œ Dee, what
do you think about it?â€
Dee put his nose to the ground and ran back a little way,
but, not being sure of her intention, returned and looked up
in her face earnestly.
Margaret went on a little way farther and then stopped
again. â€œI do believe I have lost my way,â€ she said. â€œIf it
were only not so foggy I could tell.â€ She stood still, thinking
over what it would be best to do, when, for a moment, the
clouds lifted and the sun shone forth. She went to the highest
point within easy access, and stood there looking about.
Yes, she had taken the wrong turn, and would have to try
another way; but the sun went in again under a cloud, and
being now low in the sky, it grew darker and darker. Mar-
garet was really alarmed and thought it best to try returning
to the rocks she had left.
By slow degrees she managed to reach the spot, and sank
down on the rocks quite tired and distressed.
â€œWhat will poor father do?â€ she thought. â€œHe will be so
worried, and will think I have fallen or that something dreadful
has happened to me.â€ She sat very still, while the sheep stood
crowded up in a little bunch, not seeming to know what was to
be done next.
Calling Dee to her, Margaret took his brown head between
her hands. â€œ Dee,â€ she said, â€œyou must go and tell father. It
will be pitch dark before long, and it would be night before I
could reach home. I must stay here till morning.â€
Dee ran away a few steps, then came back; pulling her
dress, he tried to make her come too.
â€œNo, Dee,â€ she said, â€œI do not dare venture.â€ Then
Nanny came and rubbed her head against the little girl.
â€œPoor little Nanny,â€ said Margaret, â€œyou do not know what
is the matter, do you?â€
Dee was giving little short barks and plunging in the
direction of home, but did not seem to think he ought to go
alone. After a while Margaret made him understand, and he
started off. Seeing him start on the homeward journey,
Nanny, too, would persist in going, and, all Margaret could
do, would not be detained.
She trotted off side by side with Dee, her little bell tinkling
till it was lost to the ear.
With Dee and Nanny gone, Margaret felt very lonely, and
sat there in the silence of the mountains, a helpless little figure
in the embrace of the great peaks looming up about her.
After the sun went down it grew very dark, and Margaret
could distinguish no farther than a few rods away. The sheep
looked like little white patches upon a sombre background.
Margaret began to be very hungry, but there was no way of
getting a supper, as she could not nibble with the sheep. As
the night wore on it cleared away, and after a while the stars
came out one by one through the rifts of the clouds. It
seemed very solemn and impressive up there, so near the
clouds, with no one to see her, and the quiet stars only
looking down upon her. Margaret was calmed by it all and
felt no fear, she even forgot to be hungry, and after a while
went to sleep, with the little white sheep cuddled about her,
her head on one, her arms about another.
She was awakened by joyous barks and the tinkle, tinkle
of a little bell. Dee and Nanny were returning. Margaret
sat up and rubbed her eyes, for a minute forgetting where she
was. The mountain peaks were litup by the morning sun; the
world was awakening; the flowers, which had folded their
petals about them, were spreading their dainty robes in the
light of day. The world was again a near thought, the
heavens seemed farther away, and Margaret ran forward to
greet Dee, Nanny, and one of her fatherâ€™s neighbors, who had
come up to find the little girl.
He brought food, and the news of a heavy stormâ€™ in the
valley below. Swollen streams and broken bridges had made
the road so unsafe that had Margaret attempted to cross in the
dark, she would probably have been lost in the rushing waters.
â€œYour father was very much alarmed,â€ said Mr. Turner,
â€œand but for your dog I should not have found you.â€
Margaret stooped to kiss the broad forehead of Dee, who
was frisking about her and, with Nanny, seemed to be delighted
to find her again.
â€œTJ couldnâ€™t keep the sheep back,â€ explained Mr. Turner.
â€œShe would go wherever the dog did.â€
Margaret laughed, and told him how the two had been
comrades since Dee was a little puppy and Nanny a tiny
Mr. Turner brought such a supply of provisions that
Margaret insisted upon his leaving her there for the day, as
the way home would be safer by afternoon, when the waters
should have subsided.
So she passed another quiet day on the mountain heights
with the sheep clustering about the rocks, and reached home
safely in the evening, with no storm to disturb her on the
â€œPoor, dear daddy,â€ she said, â€œyour patience must be all
gone by this time. How did you manage to get to Mr.
Turnerâ€™s in all the storm ?â€
He smiled as he held the dear face close to his. â€œAh, my
darling,â€ he said, â€œterror gave me wings, and I believe it
helped rather than harmed my rheumatism. I forgot all my
own ills in thinking of my darlingâ€™s dangers. I shall never
let you go so far again; I have arranged to have Mr. Turner
look after the sheep till I get well.â€
Margaret was half sorry for this, but still she was such a
busy housekeeper that she did not mind it very much, espe-
cially as Dee and Nanny spent much time with her, for Dee
would never go with the sheep when the Turner dogs were
with their master, and of course Nanny would not go unless
T was a long brown house, with two high-ceilinged
rooms below, and four low ones above, beside the
attic; then there was the kitchen, which was a log
house a little way off from the main house. Hop-
vines grew over the kitchen door, woodbine over the back
porch, and roses over the front. The house was two miles
from the village, and the village was fifty miles from the city.
Gertrude lived in the brown house; she was the eldest of four
children; Robin camc next, then there was Walter, after him
the baby, whose name was Mabel.
Gertrude used to think it would be very nice if Mabel had
been Robin, and Robin Mabel, so she could have a sister near
her own age to play with, for, of course, Robin and Walter
were generally together, and â€œdidnâ€™t want a girl tagging after
them.â€ Still, she had plenty to amuse her, for somehow â€”
children in the country have the most surprising number of
things to play with: there are blackberries and apples, sheep-
sorrel and pepper-grass, with lots of other things, when one
wants a. party for the dolls; and as for dishes, one has only
to pick a few leaves and there they are, not to mention acorn
cups. Then one can make the most fascinating grottos lined
with pebbles and bits of moss, with a lake in the centre, made
by covering a hole with a piece of glass. â€˜Dolls are very fond
of these grottos, and they also enjoy sitting in the bushes like
birds, or hiding under the leaves like rabbits.
Sometimes Gertrude and her brothers would go off to the
woods and play Robin Hood. Gertrude could be Maid
Marian, you know, and Walter, Little John; while Robin had
part of the name already, and had only to add the Hood to
make it all right.
But there was one place which was especially Gertrudeâ€™s
own; it was a funny little place, too. Over the kitchen there
was a sort of loft where were kept dried fruits, vegetables,
and such like things, the preserves too; next this was a rather
large closet, or, in fact, a little room, divided from the rest,
and having a door which opened into the main loft; the roof
sloped very much, but it was high enough for Gertrude, and
here she brought all her treasures. It was a nice out-of-the-
way place; a little window gave it plenty of light, and an old
chair, whose legs had been sawed off to within about six inches
GERTRUDE. . 145
of the seat to match one broken one, was an excellent thing
to sit upon.
One rainy day Gertrude repaired to her roost, as she called
it; the boys were in the wood-house making some indescrib-
able something out of an old wheel, a pulley, and some bits of
board. The dolls never cared to be played with on rainy
days in summer, for it was much more amusing to be out of
doors, where there were birds and butterflies and. flowers, than
in the house with a lot of stupid people about. So Gertrude
thought, at least, and she therefore seldom en with her
dolls on rainy days.
â€œT know what I shall do,â€ said Gertrude: â€œI ail paint.â€
Painting was a great amusement, and a great secret; the paints
were of the most remarkable description, and were not. many
in number,â€”blue, red, pink, and black. Gertrude longed for
yellow, but she did not know of what to make it, for all her
paints were of her own making; the blue was indigo left in a
bottle which had been had for laundry use; the red was brick-
dust pounded very fine and mixed with water; the pink was
the juice of pokeberries, and the black was ink. Gertrude
had tried vainly to discover something which would make
yellow,â€”flowers, butterfliesâ€™ wings, the juice of fruits; but
nothing turned out right, and she was obliged to hold to the
very simple palette she had manufactured.
â€œOh, dear!â€ said the little girl, as she drew out her mix-
tures, â€œmy blue is almost gone, and I am afraid I shall have
to ask for more; then they will wonder why I want it, and
every one will ask questions,â€ for she guarded her secret most
â€œ How I should love to paint a really green tree!â€ she went
on; â€œmine all have to be gray or purple. They do look so
sometimes, but green is much more apt to be the color.â€ She
put down her brushâ€”made of the ends of her own hair, bound
tightly upon a stickâ€”and sat with chin in hand looking out
the window. The rain was falling steadily; there were puddles
all about the yard and a sodden appearance about the build-
ings; the chickens stood around with forlornly drooping
feathers, only the ducks were having a good time paddling
about. Gertrude sat watching them.
â€œHow yellow the water is in the puddles! I wonder if
it would be any use to try it,â€™ she said. Slipping down the
stairs and through the kitchen, she took an empty tin can to
the yard and filled it from the yellowest puddle, carrying it
carefully back to her retreat. Joy of joys! it left a yellow
stain upon the paper when she tried it, for she had happened
upon a small deposit of ochre which had washed down in the
puddle. Gertrude could hardly believe her good fortune ; and
although her greens were not remarkable for brilliancy, they
were really greens, and Gertrude had a most exciting time the
rest of the afternoon..
â€œWhy, Gertrude, what makes your eyes so bright?â€ said
her father, pinching her cheek, when he came in to supper.
She smiled as she said, â€œI have had a fine time this after-
â€œWhat have you been doing?â€
â€œT know,â€ broke in Walter, with his mouth full of biscuit:
â€œsheâ€™s been up in her closet doing some silly thing; I believe
she makes medicines or something, for I saw her go out and
get a whole canful of dirty water.â€
â€œWhat were you boys doing?â€ said Gertrude, laughing.
â€œOh, we were making an invention.â€
â€œT should like to see it,â€ returned Gertrude. â€œ What is it
â€œWe donâ€™t know exactly; if it turns out one way it will
be a corn-husker, and if it turns out another it will be a
Gertrude joined in the laugh which followed, and so the
attention of the family was turned from her afternoon occu-
For a long time she had wanted a paint-box, a real paint-
box with ever so many colors, and real brushes, but she was
so shy of her wish that she never told any one, for the little
girl really had talent, and her small attempts were not always
so far out of the way. It was her true love of art which
made her keep her strong desire to herself, and many were the
dreams which she had of a day when beautiful pictures should
be her very own, and when she herself could paint what she
saw about her.
Not long after this a young lady came to board for a few
weeks in the country. She was a distant cousin, and had
written to ask if Gertrudeâ€™s mother would allow her to be with
them for a while, as she wanted a real quiet farm life.
Gertrude begged that they would admit Miss Torrance;
and when she came the little girl was in a state of transport
when she found out that a real artist was before her.
She could hardly wait till Miss Torrance should begin to
sketch, and then a new world was opened to the child. â€œDo
you mind my looking?â€ she asked, timidly, as Miss Torrance
began rapidly to sketch in a corner of the fence, where an
apple-tree stood, and beyond which a meadow stretched away.
â€œ Not at all,â€ replied Miss Torrance.
Gertrude stood immovably till the sketch was finished;
she was so absorbed and quiet. that Miss Torrance forgot her
presence, and was only aware of it by a startled â€œOh, donâ€™t!â€
when she began to clear off her palette.
â€œDonâ€™t what?â€ she said, turning smilingly around. â€œI
forgot you were there, Gertrude.â€
The child blushed. â€œTI only thought it seemed so dreadful
to waste all those paints,â€ she said.
â€œWhy, I cannot use them again; they will be dry by the
next time I want to paint.â€
â€œAre you going to throw them away?â€ asked Gertrude in
consternation, as Miss Torrance was about to bring her palette-
knife-into use a second time.
Gertrude paused, drew a long breath, and said, in despera-
tion, â€œOh, if I only might have them !â€
Miss Torrance laughed at her tone, and said, â€œCertainly
you may have them; though I cannot see what use you can
make of them.â€ .
But Gertrude waited to hear nothing but that she might
have the colors, and flew to the house for an old plate on which
to put them.
Miss Torrance took them off carefully, as she saw that it
was more than a passing fancy. â€œNow, if you keep them
under water,â€ she said, â€œthey will last for some time; they are
oil colors, you know.â€
Gertrude bore her treasure to her little nest under the
eaves, and seemed so earnest- about the matter, that Miss
Torrance was quite curious to know what would be the result
of her use of the colors.
So the next day, learning where Gertrude hid herself, she
went softly to the little closet over the kitchen. Gertrude was
so absorbed that she did not hear the tap on the door, and was
unconscious of Miss Torranceâ€™s presence till she heard her
â€œUpon my word, little girlie, you are doing wonders.â€
Gertrude started up with a flushed face; she was repro-
ducing upon a piece of board, as nearly as possible, the
sketch which Miss Torrance had made the day before.
Miss Torrance was touched by the spirit and ambition of
the child, and from that day helped the little girl, giving her
lessons in drawing, and always talking to her of the best and
highest aims of an artist.
There was one day after her return to the city when Ger-
trude was surprised by a whole outfit of materials, and there
never was such a happy child. To-day the picture-loving
little maid is an earnest student, and among her treasures,
hidden away with her childish toys, is a box which holds her
first pictures of purple trees and gray grass, and there are
a broken bottle of indigo blue, some dry pokeberries, and a
little lump of yellow earth,
LOME, Amy, wake up! You mustnâ€™t go to sleep be-
fore supper,â€ said May.
Amy sleepily opened her eyes. â€œSupper isnâ€™t
weddy,â€ she replied.
â€œNo, but you are such a sleepy head. Do wake up! I
want to tell you something.â€
Amy roused herself, and May informed her that they were
to have waffles for supper. This was a favorite dish, so Amy -
became quite wide awake, and the little girls went down-stairs
together, as supper was then on the table. -
Amy ate so heartily of the waffles that the next day she
was not well, and was made to eat very sparingly. May stayed
in the nursery and played with her, so she did not mind having
to keep in-doors.
During the morning, while they were playing with their
dolls, Amy dropped her favorite, Rosy-Posy, and the poor
doily was broken.
â€œOh, dear! oh, dear!â€ wailed Amy. â€œOh, mamma, isnâ€™t
it drefful? I have broken my dear dolly.â€
They comforted her as well as they could, and mamma
promised she should have a new one on her birthday, which
was not far off, and after a while Amy was pacified.
â€œNow,â€ said May, â€œ letâ€™s pretend your little girl died, and
you came to see me.â€
â€œWell,â€ replied Amy, â€œ letâ€™s.â€
â€œ Good-morning, Mrs. Jones,â€ said May, effusively. â€œHow
is your little girl ?â€
â€œShe is all dead,â€ responded Amy.
â€œOh, what was the matter ?â€
â€œShe had the measles.â€
â€œT wouldnâ€™t have it the measles, Amy,â€ said May. â€œWe
had the measles and we didnâ€™t die. Pretend she had the
â€œYes,â€ replied Amy, â€œit was the fits.â€ â€”
â€œWell, Mrs. Jones,â€ May continued, settling herself com-
fortably in her little rocking-chair, â€œtell me all about it.
How was it, Mrs. Jones? Did you come home and find her
all dead ?â€ |
â€œYes,â€ replied Amy, sorrowfully. â€œAll dead.â€
May, with a show of added interest, â€œThen what.did you
â€œOh,â€ said Amy, in the most onnene manner, â€œI frowed
her away; she wasnâ€™t worf anysing zen.â€™
â€œMamma,â€ said May, laughing, â€œdid you ever eae of
people throwing away their children, even if they are dead ?â€
Their mamma laughed. â€œI never did,â€ she answered.
â€œ And, mamma,â€ May went on, â€œdo you think Amy ought
to want to go out this afternoon, when her child died only this
â€œT do not think she need stay in on that account, but I
think she had: best not go till she is feeling quite well.â€
â€œMamma,â€ said Amy, â€œwhat are we going to have for .
dinner ?â€ 7
â€œ Amy is going to have some nice broth and some toast,â€
her mother replied.
â€œ And nuffin else ?â€
â€œ Not to-day.â€
â€œOh, dear,â€ Amy said, â€œI wiss I was going to have waffles
for supper dis ebeinâ€™ â€™stead a yesaday, and zen I wouldnâ€™t eat
â€œT am afraid the mischief is done, little girlie. You are
too late with your wish.â€
Amy sat thinking. â€œMamma,â€ she said, â€œ was it naughty
to eat so much ?â€.
â€œT think it was, this time, for you were not satisfied when
mamma said you had enough, but went back and begged
Bethiah to give you more in the kitchen.â€
154 7 AMY.
Amy was silent a few minutes, then she asked, â€œ Mamma,
if Tis a naughty girl, and I sâ€™ould die, wouldnâ€™t they let me
in at the door of heaben if I knocked ?â€
â€œ Perhaps not.â€
â€œWell,â€ she said, triumphantly, as she jumped down from
her chair, â€œI dess I could do in at the side gate.â€
Just then May, who had been out of the room, came in.
â€œMamma,â€ she said, â€œsee what I have found,â€”a five-leaf
clover. What is the sign when you find a five-leaf clover?
I know a four-leaf clover is good luck.â€
â€œT believe,â€ her mamma replied, â€œthat they say when you
find a five-leaf clover you will see the fairies.â€
â€œOh, that would be so nice! and they might let me make
a wish, and I should have a beautiful something just for the
Amy, who had been looking out the window, turned
toward them; she had only half heard what was being said,
and had her thoughts intent upon the question of admittance
into heaven. â€œI dess Iâ€™m doing to see an angel,â€ she
â€œWhat makes you think so?â€ asked her mamma.
â€œâ€™Cause I saw a free- or four-legged grass the ozer
They laughed at her idea of five-leaf clovers, ae then all
went down to dinner.
When Amyâ€™s broth was brought her, she pushed it away,
AMY. â€œ 155
. saying, â€œI donâ€™t want any old brof, I donâ€™t like it; I want fiss,
and sweet a-tatoes, and corn on the cob, and nice meat.â€
â€œBut you cannot have all that, dear. You must eat what
mamma bids you,â€ returned her mother.
This Amy refused to do, and sat gazing at the dinner-table
with full eyes and an empty stomach till May whispered to
her, â€œ Never mind, Amy, you are going to have a birthday
soon, and if you donâ€™t get well, you know, you cannot eat any
birthday cake.â€ i. -
This was a dreadful prospect; so Amy concluded it was
well to make the best of a bad bargain, and fell to eating the
broth till she had finished the last mouthful.
â€œNow, May, letâ€™s go and play,â€ she said.
â€œNo,â€ said May; â€œletâ€™s talk about the birthday.â€
â€œOh, yes,â€ Amy responded, as she usually followed in
. Mayâ€™s lead, â€œletâ€™s talk about birfdays. May, what do you
wiss I-was doing to have?â€
â€œT wish you were going to have a box of candy and a
big cake, â€™cause then I could have some, too. You would give
me some, wouldnâ€™t you, Amy ?â€
â€œCourse I would; and I wiss I would have a doll, a lubly
new one, zen I could pâ€™tend it was the ozer dear Rosy-Posy
come back again. Oh, May, if I do have a new doll, letâ€™s
have a party for her.â€
â€œAll right ; we will. Donâ€™t you wonder how she will be
dressed? Amy, I hope she will be just the size of Rosy, for
she can wear all her clothes then. Letâ€™s ask mamma not to
get her any bigger cae Rosy; you know she had such a
pretty little coat and hat.â€™
â€œWell, we will ask mamma. May, donâ€™t play with your
big doll, â€™cause it makes me feel so dreffully I almost aay
when I see her.â€
May very generously put her large doll away, and they
agreed to play only with paper dolls till the birthday.
By the time the birthday came Amy was quite well again,
but something occurred which absorbed the whole family.
In the first place a despatch came saying that the childrenâ€™s
brother Horace, who was at school some distance away, was
very sick; this was about a week before the birthday.
Papa kissed the little girls good-by with a very serious
face, and mamma went to her room sobbing. It seemed dread-
ful to see mamma cry; the little girls only remembered once
before seeing her look so, and that was when grandpapa died.
They crept away to the nursery very quietly, ce in
whispers over their play.
â€œOh, dear!â€ said Amy, â€œperhaps I will not have any doll
aster all, for mamma cannot sink about it, I know.â€
â€œWell, you can play with my big doll half the time,â€ said
May, reassuringly, â€œand we will save up our pennies till we
have enough to buy a new head for Rosy-Posy.â€
After a little mamma came from her room, but, though her
eyes-were red, she did not cry any more, only started every
time she heard the bell ring and listened for every footstep
upon the stair.
The days went by till Amyâ€™s birthday came. Early in the
morning the little girls were about to run to their mammaâ€™s
room, when a strange woman met them at the door, saying,
â€œSsh! ssh!â€™ They looked up wonderingly.
â€œDonâ€™t make a noise, dears,â€ she said; â€œyou may see
your mamma after a while.â€
They went sorrowfully down to breakfast: no papa; no
mamma; no birthday greetings; no merry-making.
â€œT feel dess like one of zose â€™ittle norphans,â€ said Amy,
â€œas if I had to wear a bâ€™ue fwock all â€™e time. Donâ€™t you,
May ?â€ i
â€œYes,â€ said May, sighing. â€œHere comes Bethiah; she
looks natural, anyhow ; let us eat breakfast in the kitchen with
So forlorn and lonely did they feel that they slipped down
from their chairs, despite the maidâ€™s protests, and took their
plates. to the kitchen, where they sat up to the table, while
Bethiah in the goodness of her heart made an extra effort to
give them tidbits, and after breakfast took Amy up on her lap.
â€œSiahâ€™s baby shall have its birthday,â€ she said, for she
had been Amyâ€™s nurse till a year pefore, and the dear old soul
was devoted to the little one. â€œSiah will make her a nice
cake,â€ she continued, â€œand she shall. have a party, so she
Amy cuddled down in Bethiahâ€™s ample lap, and looked
up in her face. â€œI lub you, Siah,â€ she said. â€œSiah, what
makes you black ?â€
â€œDeed I dunno, honey; de Lord made me so.â€
â€œWell, never mind, Siah, when you get to heaben Iâ€™ll ask
Dod to make you white, and I'll fly wis you, Siah.â€
â€œBless her heart!â€ said Bethiah, â€œshe is Siahâ€™s baby.â€
Just then the strange woman they had seen up-stairs
opened the door. â€œYour mamma wants to see you, little
girls,â€ she said. And they joyfully followed her up-stairs_to
their mammaâ€™s room.
Mamma held out her hand as they went softly in. â€œCome
here, darlings,â€ she said. â€œ Here is a birthday gift for Amy.â€
They went to the bedside and saw, lying close to their
mamma, the dearest, pinkest little baby.
â€œOh,â€ exclaimed Amy, in ecstasy, â€œit is a live doll Is
it for me? Oh, mamma! mamma!â€
â€œFor you, and all of us. It is a dear, little, new brother.â€
â€œOh, may I hold him?â€ asked Amy.
The nurse bade her sit down, and carefully placed the
treasure in her lap. This was perfect bliss to Amy, and May
had the next privilege.
Then they went back to the kitchen to tell Bethiah all.
â€œOh, Siah !â€ exclaimed Amy, â€œthere is a real live doll up-
stairs,â€”a bruver doll. Isnâ€™t that lubly?â€ And she was so
excited that there was no holding her. Such an interesting
birthday gift never was; the little girls talked of it all day.
- Bethiah made a wonderful cake, and they had a party in
the garden, carefully putting aside a little of everything for
the new baby. After the party they carried the plateful of
goodies up-stairs, and were quite disappointed when they found
the baby could not eat any of them.
â€œ Hasnâ€™t he any toofies?â€ asked Amy, in distress. â€œ Wonâ€™t
he ever have any ?â€
â€œOh, yes,â€ the nurse said.
â€œ Mamma says he is named Arthur,â€ said May, as the two
were sitting on the steps in the lower hall. â€œ Wonâ€™t it be nice
to have him to sâ€™prise papa? I wish papa would come.â€
Just then the front door opened, and in walked papa with
Horace, the latter looking very pale, but quite himself other-
The little girls threw themselves into papaâ€™s arms with
_ glad cries, telling him of the little new brother. â€œA live doll
for me,â€ said Amy; â€œhe is my birfday gift, papa.â€ .
. â€œOh, yes, it is your birthday, isnâ€™t it? Here, Horace,
open that valise, son, and take out those packages, while I go
up-stairs to see this wonderful baby,â€ papa said.
And in a trice Amy had in her arms another Rosy-Posy,
and there was a box of candy for herself and one for May,
which papa had brought for the birthday.
â€œOh May,â€ said the little one, as they were preparing for
bed, â€œwasnâ€™t it a lubly birfday, aster all? We had evâ€™ysing.
Iâ€™m not doing to say â€˜ Dod bâ€™ess evâ€™ybodyâ€™ to-night. Iâ€™m doing
to say mamma, and papa, and Horace, and May, and Arfur,
and Siah, and Rilla, and the nurse, and the pâ€™leeceman, and
the posâ€™man, and the poor norphans, and evâ€™ybody I canâ€™ sink
of, â€™cause â€™m so awful glad.â€
Gon 44 |e