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By AMY E. BLANCHARD
ILLUSTRATIONS BY IDA WAUGH
ISBISTER AND COMPANY LIMITED
15 & 16 TAVISTOCK STREET COVENT GARDEN
Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co.
London and Edinburgh
MY SISTER'S "LITTLE MAIDENS,"
MAY AND AMY,
THESE STORIES ARE LOVINGLY
THEY 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
Year'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
"Oho! Mr. Sun," laughed one little wizened creature,
dimly seen under a tree, "we do not need you now to show
us off. You may get angry, and hide yourself whenever you
please, we do not care."
"Aha! Mr. Sun," said a graceful, swaying figure, that
danced up and down on the walk, I can dance to-night too, if
I wish, and not depend upon you, nor the moon either."
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
See the electric lights," said some one, how strong they
are; and look, our pathway is carpeted with the loveliest
designs in black and white."
How the little elfish heads nodded as that couple passed on!
As one after another went through the square, some noticed
the shadows' 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 o'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! "See us! See us!" they
said to her. "You must look; we are to be seen so plainly."
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
"What are you?" she asked.
"We are the shadow people," answered they.
I have a shadow too, sometimes," said the little girl.
Yes," said the shadow people, but your shadow changes,
changes, changes," and as they said the word they all bobbed
up and down. When 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," all bobbing up and down again. "We
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."
You would not be merry either," returned the little girl,
"if your father had kicked you out into the street, and if you
were cold, and hungry, and sore all over."
The shadow people all stopped dancing. "Poor little girl,"
they whispered, I wonder if we can do anything for you; we
will try, try, try," they all said, bobbing again. Get farther
from the tree, and farther under the bench, or the policeman
will see you."
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.
"Take care !" they whispered, take care! Don't put your
hand out agdin 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."
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
"How bright it is!" she heard some one say. 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 Year's follies, or are they the elves who come to
attend the birth of the New Year ?"
How the shadows danced then, and laughed silently!
"She'll do! she'll do!" 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.
See that one," she went on; it 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."
"Stretch out your hand!" cried the shadows to the little
girl, and she stretched out her poor little hand from under the
I wonder if it is pointing at anything," the lady went on,
"You are full of fancies to-night," said the man she had
called Philip. Are you moonstruck by these bright moons on
the end of a pole? Come, dear, it is New Year's morning: the
clocks are striking twelve. You will get cold, mild as it is,
"It is pointing at something," cried the lady, eagerly.
"See that poor little hand; that is not a shadow, though it is
The man stooped down and spied the little girl curled up
under the bench. "What are you doing there, child ?" he
asked. "Come out and give an account of yourself."
"Go! go !" cried the shadow people.
She crept out, and stood up in all the misery of rags and
"What is your name, and where did you come from?"
asked the man.
My name is Elsie," said the little girl, and father kicked
me out, so I came here, and the shadows told me to go to sleep."
The lady smiled. So you saw the shadows too," she said.
"Have you no mother ?"
"I 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 isn't so very
cold under the bench," she said, raising her blue eyes to the
The man looked down at his wife. "Shall we try it ?" he
"Oh, yes," she answered. "Would 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 'Peace and good will.'
Can we listen to them and turn away from this little homeless
waif? And, Philip, she may be a great help to us."
"Will you go home with us, Elsie ?" asked the man. "I
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."
So home she went that early New Year'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 doctor'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, We knew it! we knew it!" for they are wise little
shadows and see a deal of life in the square, see and hear more
than we could ever imagine.
SIHE 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. I wish I had a doll to play with,"
thought Rhoda. "If Lizzie had not broken my Annette I
could play with her." 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. "What an ugly doll
you would make, toady !" she said. Now, maybe I have hurt
his feelings," exclaimed she. Never mind, little toady, you
might be a great deal uglier."
The toad hopped away.
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"I wonder if his feelings really are hurt?" said Rhoda.
"Ah, there is a dear 'Bob White' whistling down by the
hedge. I should love a Bob White to play with, but I never
could catch one in the world."
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.
"Dear me!" said Rhoda, "I 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.
"What a dear little fellow he is!" thought Rhoda. "I
wish he would tell me where to get a doll to play with."
In a moment the bird came flying back, and alighted on
the same spot.
"Why, here he is back again!" said Rhoda. Little bird,
what shall I get to play with ?"
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
did so; then he lifted up his pretty head, gave another burst
of song, and flew away.
"Why," exclaimed Rhoda, clapping her hands, "if he
hasn't shown me the nicest doll!" 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,
"What dolly have you to-day, Rhoda, old puss or one of the
"I have a lovely new dolly," said Rhoda, looking up with
a shining face. "Her name is Corn Silk. See, mother, what
beautiful brown hair she has; real hair." And Rhoda passed a
caressing hand over the flowing tresses which hung down her
"Where did you get her ?" asked Rhoda's mother, laughing.
"She grew for me," replied Rhoda, "and there are plenty
more like her. She looks very nice when you cover her up
well, but she hasn't any feet; mother, don't you tell that, for
I want to forget it myself."
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.
"Now, Corn Silk," she said, "I am going to sit on the
fence, and put you in this little corner where the rails stick up.
You mustn'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." 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.
"Can you tell me how far it is to the Cross Roads ?" she
"It is about a mile, straight ahead," replied Rhoda, who
had picked up Corn Silk, and had jumped down from her
"Then which way do you turn to go to Dr. Newton's ?"
"To the right," said Rhoda; "but 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."
And, without waiting, Rhoda ran on, reaching the bars almost
as soon as the horse did.
"Now, if you go straight on through the woods, you will
come to Dr. Newton's place," said Rhoda. You will come in
back of the barn, and you will save nearly a mile."
"Thank you so much," said the lady. "Won't you tell me
"It is Rhoda Converse," replied the little girl.
"I see you have a doll," said the lady. "What beautiful
hair she has!"
Yes," 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 lady's eye, she laughed, and so did her new friend, who
I 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 ?"
"Yes, I believe I do," replied Rhoda, "for 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."
"That was too bad," responded her friend. "What is
your doll's name?"
"Corn Silk," answered Rhoda.
"But what will you do when it gets cold, and there are no
more dolls growing in the field ?"
Rhoda looked distressed. I don't know," said she. Then
she looked up brightly. "Perhaps Santa Claus will bring me
a new one," she added.
"I have no doubt of it," said the lady, nodding. "And
now I must go on. Good-by, Rhoda. You have been quite
a help to me."
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 Rhoda's little bed..
The man in the moon laughed when he saw them lying asleep
together, and he gave an extra smile to the cornfield for
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 Rhbda Converse. Rhoda could hardly
wait till she found her mother, and together they opened the
box, in which-oh, delight!-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, "From Eunice Alden, with a loving
remembrance of Rhoda and Corn Silk."
"Oh, mother!" cried Rhoda, "I 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 give a sigh for her
dear little Corn Silk.
I 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 a 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
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trees, or else she would go down to the old -quarters where
Mammy Pris and Uncle '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 family," from which the glory had
indeed departed, for the old house had seen its best days,-
pieces of plaster were continually falling, floors were sunken,
and stairways unsteady; but Uncle 'Rius still maintained it
was the finest place in the land, and Mammy Pris drew herself
up proudly when she talked of "we-alls" 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.
Agnes'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 on a 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 Day Dream,"
and they vanished away with the practical sense of hunger
which would overtake Agnes's musings, and send her back to
the house to dinner or supper, often too scanty a meal for a
healthy appetite. But Agnes'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
"Mamma," Agnes said, as she ran in one day, "I am
afraid my shoes will not stand another cobbling, and I have
tried to run barefoot all I could this summer."
A distressed look passed over her mother's face as she
"I cannot bear to have you run barefoot, daughter. Take
your shoes to 'Rius, and see what he can do with them."
.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 'Rius was mending the axe-handle.
Uncle 'Rius," said the little girl, I don't see how you can
do anything to these shoes; they have been patched and mended
till there is nothing left to mend."
The old man turned them over and over. Scratching
his head, he said, "Dey sholy is bad; what we gwine do,
"Indeed I don't know, unless I go barefoot all the time,"
said Agnes, looking down at her slender feet, that were already
scratched and brown.
"Hm! Hm! dat won't do," said Mammy Pris, coming to
the door. "'Rius, yo' ain't winter let dat chile go barfooty,
cole weather coming' on, fros' in de groun' ? My! my! to think
dem little baby footies what I done been so keerful of gwine
'thout shoes. No, 'Rius. You 'bleedged to cobble 'em some-
'Rius looked ludicrously puzzled. I 'clar', Pris," he said,
"I don' see how I gwine fix 'em; dey is plum wore out."
Yer 'bleedged to fix 'em," Pris persisted.
"If I only might have a new pair," Agnes said, wistfully;
" but, '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."
Rius shook his head, still contemplating the dilapidated
shoes, then he gave a long sigh. "We'll get 'em somehow,
honey," he replied. "I'll do my bes', an' maybe dey'll hold
out a day or two; but dey sholy is plum wore out."
"Oh, Uncle 'Rius, if we only could find the box!" said
Agnes, clasping her hands. "We have never needed it so
much before. We must, must find it!" she said, stamping her
little foot fiercely on the ground. "Uncle 'Rius, won't you
help me to-day ?"
The old man again shook his head: "Honey, dere is a
heap to be done, an' Uncle 'Rius must do it. How yo' an'
yo' ma an' yo' gran'pa gwine to have anything to eat if 'Rius
ain't jes' a-wuckin', a-wuckin' ?"
"But I'll help you, Uncle 'Rius, indeed I will; and if we
could only find the box-why, Uncle 'Rius, there is five hun-
dred dollars in it, and I don't know how much jewelry,-dia-
monds and pearls, and I don't know what all."
"Yes, I know, honey chile," the old man said, soothingly,
though he had long ago given up all hopes of finding the box.
" I is 'bleedged to mend de cow-shed," he went on, an' I mus'
ca'y de corn to de mill, so we-alls kin have nice corn pone, an'
I mus' tote de chickens to town to sell, so yo' ma kin git yo'
Oh, dear! if I were only a boy I could do so much," 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
mother's sad eyes and thin hands, she thought of Uncle 'Rius
growing old and yet so willing and helpful, when he ought to
be provided for," she thought, he and Aunt Pris have been
so faithful; that is the way it would have been if papa had
lived." And the tears rolled down the child'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! "Uncle 'Rius is
digging," she said. "Poor old Uncle '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 'Rius was at work.
He started when he saw her. "Law! baby," he said,
"what is yo' doin' up dis time er night? Go back to bed,
honey; Uncle 'Rius jes' felt like a little swing er de pick gwine
mek him sleep mighty well.'
"Oh, Uncle 'Rius," said Agnes, "let me stay! I am not a
bit sleepy, and I do want to so much."
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
"I couldn't feel chilly, Uncle 'Rius, I am so wrapped up,"
laughed Agnes. "Do you know, Uncle '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
"iDey ain't no sayin' whar it is," the old man replied.
"I don't reckon it's hyar. I been a-diggin' hyar dis half-
Then let us try the well," returned Agnes. And, with her
fur robe trailing after her like a queen'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 'Rius began to pry up the stone.
"Mighty heavy," he said, breathing hard, after several
fruitless efforts to dislodge it.
Let me help," said Agnes.
The old man laughed. "Yo' mighty strong, I reckon.
Yo' can pick it up 'thout half trying, he said.
"Now, Uncle 'Rius, don't laugh at me," said Agnes; "just
a little more is all that is needed."
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 'Rius to dig under it, and'in a few
minutes his spade struck something hard.
"Oh!" exclaimed Agnes, breathlessly.
"Jes' another stone, honey, I reckon," said the old man,
though his own heart was beating fast, for it did not feel like
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 'Rius, laughing and crying
in one breath.
"Bless de Lord!" said the old man, solemnly taking off
his ragged hat. "Now, chile, go home an' go to bed, an'
we'll do de res' in de morning. "
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 'Rius's side to make sure of the discovery.
Then 'she ran to her mother's room, and awoke her with the
cry "It is found! It is found !"
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 "it never rains but it pours," 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 '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 "for good
and all," as Mammy Pris said. Uncle 'Rius, though his eyes
were too dim to see her, blessed her in his trembling voice,
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
Sthe 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, "We
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 'I done it,' for 'I did it.'"
"And the other day," replied her mother, "she told me the
cook 'learned' her to iron; besides, she is getting a most
remarkable knowledge of slang."
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
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
Oil's and silent h'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
couldn't learn her anyhow.
"Why, Dorothy," her mother said, that is dreadful! You
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' she learned me' again."
"Oh, dear!" responded Dorothy, if I had known what a
hard time I was going to have, I believe I would have died
when I was a baby. I don'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
didn't say she learned me' that time."
Her mother laughed. "Tihat was a little better, but you
should have said she taught me.'"
"There it is again," said Dorothy, wofully; "it is always
some mistake. No, mamma, please let me be a cook. I will
make such nice cake."
Her mother shook her head: No, little girl, papa and I do
not want to have you reproach us when you are older, and
have you say, Why didn't you make me go to school?"
"Well, I will try once more," 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-11 sill, r-i-1 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 Dorothy'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
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.
"Don't you ever speak?" inquired Dorothy of him. The
being looked at her, but did not answer.
You must not pay any attention to him; he does not like
it," said one of the Dream people.
"Who is it ?" asked Dorothy.
Why, that is 'Silent H.' Don't you know him when you
"No," said Dorothy. "I shall never be able to know
"Oh, yes, you will," said her companion; "you will have
to learn to recognize him, even if you don't notice him; that
is one of the laws."
Just then Dorothy heard a babble in her ears. Some one
was saying She learned me, she learned me."
Dorothy turned around. "That is queer" she said.
"What are you saying ?"
"I say, she learned me."
Who learned me ?" asked Dorothy's friend.
"She did," 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."
"Of course I do," said Dorothy; m, e, me."
That is the only way you can learn me," said the creature.
"Isn't it? I never heard of any other way."
"Yes, that is right," said the Dream Fairy.
"Who are those sitting along on that bench?" asked
Why, they are the vowels," was the answer. "A, 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."
Oh," said Dorothy, "that is very funny !"
"You see he is at the head of the word," said her friend,
"and so he has to be among the consonants."
Ah, I understand," said Dorothy; I never did before.
But what in the world are those two doing ? They are exactly
alike, and they follow each other about everywhere."
"Those are the Double 11's," said the Dream Fairy.
"You 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. "Oh," she said,
"who is that poor little fellow with his head between his
shoulders? He looks so unhappy, as if he had hardly any
head at all."
"That 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 threw a small black ball at the
little i, and immediately he brightened up and looked very
"I will never forget to dot another i," said Dorothy.
"No, don't forget," replied the Dream Fairy, "for 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
"Why," exclaimed Dorothy, "how is that ?"
"Nobody crosses them," replied the fairy, "and of course
we cannot tell where they belong."
"Oh, do cross them!" returned Dorothy.
"Well, I will," she answered; "but you will have to help
So they went over and crossed all the t's, who thanked
them and said they were so glad they could get their proper
places that evening.
"What a very interesting place it is!" said Dorothy.
"I did not think you would care for it. Do you really
like it ?" asked her companion.
I should smile," replied Dorothy.
"Then why don't you? Why don't you?" clamored a
-chorus of voices. "If you should, you ought to, and if you
'ought to, why don't you? Smile! smile !" 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.
"I wouldn't say that again," said her friend, gently.
" You see it is not just correct, and nothing disturbs these
people like incorrectness."
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.
"Why, what is the matter ?" asked Dorothy.
They have all come to a full stop," said her friend.
" Don't you see it?"
Dorothy looked up and saw a perfectly round ball, around
which all the people in the room were gathered. "That
means it is over for to-day," said her guide, 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 Dorothy's own home, where the Dream
Fairy softly kissed her on each eyelid, and left her sitting in
her little chair rubbing her eyes.
"Oh, mamma!" she cried, "here you are. How long you
have been gone! I have been so far since I saw you!"
"I haven't been long," said her mother; "it hasn't been
ten minutes since I left the room."
Dorothy looked amazed, and told her mamma all about
the trip to Think-Thought, and ended by saying, "And,
: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 don't
try to learn."
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.
EN Millicent opened her sleepy eyes on Saturday
morning, she did not have to rub them very hard
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-
"Let me see," thought Millicent, as she lay there cuddled
under the covers, "I 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
Hildegarde'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. The family sat around looking at her, so as to keep
me company," 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 a rush. 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.
"Oh, boys! boys! see what you have done!" cried Milli-
cent, almost in tears.
But they were off with a dash; Harry, casting a look be-
hind him, only said, "Pooh! they are nothing but a lot of
dolls' clothes. What difference does it make ?"
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
"'Deed, Miss, I has had that trouble myself," said Lizzie.
"I done had my clothes up one day, and the line broke, and
down they comes. I had to do 'em all over again. I was put
out sho' enough. "
"Then you know just how tired I am," said Millicent;
"and 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."
"You bring 'em in here," said Lizzie, "and after I has
washed up the kitchen and has the cake in baking, I can help
you. We'll have 'em done in no time, and I'll bake a little
cake in your patty-pan."
"That will be fine," said Millicent. "You are real good,
Lizzie, and I thank you so much; it makes it seem real easy
About three o'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 Lizzie'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.
"You poor things!" said Millicent, "it 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 Clara's to tea this evening, and you shall
wear this nice, clean, white dress. I almost hate to put it on
you, too. I don't believe I will. You shall wear your pink
cashmere, and I will save the white one. Here, eat this bit
of cake; you may be hungry before supper-time, and you know
you don'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."
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 Clara'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.
HERE Lois lived the noise of the sea was forever
in one's ears, and its salty smell always in one'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
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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,-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,-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 laider; 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 mother'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 fisherman'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 Silas'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 loveliness, 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 "Papa" nor
"Mamma" 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
shaggy eyebrows. Lois went up behind him and put her
little hand on his.
"Ah, my little maid!" said he. "Here you are with your
baby. What are you busy about to-day ?"
"I have finished my work," said Lois, "and so I came to
find you, Silas. What are you going to do ?"
"I am going out in the boat as soon as I have finished
mending this net. Don't you want to go with me ?"
"Oh, yes, I should like dearly to go," replied Lois. "I
will run and ask mother if I may."
These trips in Silas's boat were Lois's chief delight, though
they were not very frequent. Lois'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
out-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 Lois's lap, staring up at the sky above her,
and Lois chatted away with Silas while he hauled in the fish.
Dojyou think you will catch a big lot, Silas ?" she asked.
"I am glad you don't go 'way off like the other men, for then
I couldn'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. "I don't know, chick," he said; "but as I
haven't, I don't believe it makes any difference."
"Oh, Silas," said Lois, "how gray it is getting! We can
hardly see the island."
Silas turned around hastily; he had been busy for the last
half-hour, and had not noticed the sky very particularly.
"That's so," he said; we must hurry home. There's a
storm coming, and we are farther away than I care to be with
ladies aboard. Hm!" he said to himself, "I don't like the
looks of this; there's ugly weather ahead." 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.
"Lord, save us !" said the old man, under his breath; and
Lois sent up a little prayer to be brought safely home. She
thought of her mother'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.
There is nothing to do but to swim for it," 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. "Silas," she said.
"He is safe," 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
of a storm, fearing for her darling'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 man'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 ddne 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,
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
,7 1- r-1
T is too bad your head aches so, poor little
mother," said Janet. "Now please let me be
mother to-day, and you lie still, for I know I can
do everything all right. First I will get father'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
iAside, for the ground was covered with snow, and Janet was
glad 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
managed pretty well, and by the time her father came in from
the barn everything was ready.
"Why, little girl!" said he, as he stamped the snow from
his boots. "How is this? Where is mother ?"
"I am mother" said Janet, as she put the coffee-pot on
"Well, you've changed mightily overnight," responded
her father. Cold weather has made you shrink, hey ?"
Janet laughed, and then said, "No, but poor little mother
has such a headache, and you know I must learn some time.
So I began this morning."
"First-rate," said her father. Halloo! You here, Robin ?"
he said, addressing the baby. who was busy trying to get the
eat, who sniffed around the table. "I'll not disturb mother
till after breakfast, and then I will take her a cup of coffee,"
he went on. "I'll feed the chickens for you this morning,
daughter, and see to the fires, and I don't doubt but what we
can let mother have a good rest to-day."
After breakfast was over Janet went to rork 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
splashed, and crowed, and jumped; but Janet's was a loving
little heart, and they made a frolic of it all, so that baby never
cried 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.
"Dear little girl! You are doing too much, I am afraid;
and where is baby? I have not heard him this morning."
Oh, he is asleep," replied Janet. "He has had his bath,
and was as jolly as you please: we had a real frolic. Come,
mother, eat this bit of toast and drink this tea; you have eaten
nothing this morning, and you must be faint."
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.
"There! You look better already," said Janet. "Now
try to sleep, and I will see about dinner. This is the quiet
time, you know, when Robin is taking his nap."
I ought to get up," said her mother.
"Oh, no!" exclaimed Janet. "You must not. I am
mother to-day, and you must mind me and lie still."
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.
"How tired mother must get!" she thought, "and 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
wouldn't if it were she." 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.
"Still housekeeper," he said. "You are doing pretty well,
girlie. See what I found in the woods this morning." And he
produced a little squirrel which had hurt itself in some way.
"Poor little thing!" said Janet. "I will try to keep it till
it gets well. Where shall I put it, father ?"
"There is an old bird-cage in the wood-house which will
do for the present. I will get it after dinner."
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.
"Why, mother," she said, what did you get up for ?"
I felt so much better," she answered. My nap did me
a world of good, and I wanted to see my little mother and the
Janet laughed. "Well, here they are," she said. "See
our little Bunny, mother. Isn'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 much-better when he has been out-doors."
I am afraid it is rather too cold."
"Oh, 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."
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. "Why, who are
these?" he said. "Come, Robin, you may see the horses."
And as this was Robin's especial joy, he was soon laughing
and calling "Whoa!" at the top of his voice.
"Now I will take him home," said Mr. Boyd. "You
have carried him far enough, little girl."
So Robin went home on his father'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
"That is a good child, Margaret," said her father to his
wife, after she had gone to bed. "I don'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 ?"
Mrs.'Boyd thought for a few moments. There is a book
she wants very much; it is called Little Women.' Suppose
you get that, if it is not too expensive."
"I'll go without something myself but what she shall have
it," said he, as he bolted the door before going to bed.
When Janet went to school the next week there were many
cries of "Oh, Janet and 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 Janet'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.
"What is this for, father ?" she asked.
He smiled at the unconscious manner of the child as he
said, "Reward of merit."
"For the Sunday-school?" she asked, turning it over,
without opening it.
No, for you," answered her father.
Janet looked up without understanding any better, and
then began to untie the string. As the book revealed itself,
and she saw what it was, she flung herself, with a cr'y of delight,
into her father's arms and gave him a good hug.
Oh, you dear man!" she said. "How did you know?
Now I shall not mind Nettie's having it-- 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.
"Mind what ?" asked her mother.
Oh, nothing. Never mind," she replied, hurriedly. Do
look, mother! Isn'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 "Little Women" was handed to Nettie
Graves they knew why she had won it, and Mr. Boyd, leaning
over, said to Janet in a whisper, You came first, after all,
daughter, didn't you'? for you had your prize two weeks ago."
Janet nodded and gave his hand a little pat, showing that
she understood. She is called "Little Mother" 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.
LNEY ran as fast as her little fat legs could carry
Sher down the beach, away from mammy. Now
S 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, "Now, honey,
don't make po' ole mammy run after yo'. Yo' gwine mek po'
ole mammy cry if yo' run away from 'er."
Presently mammy tried another way. "Mammy ain't
gwine no furder; she gwine to set right down hyar, an' Olney
has to come back alone." 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
-,sf .d- ,-
little one looked up, and saw an old gentleman looking at her
with an amused expression. She stopped, and, looking mis-
chievously at him from under her long lashes, said, "I is
"So I see," remarked the old gentleman. "Where are
you wunnin' ?"
"'Way, 'way off, over the whole world," said Olney,
"That is a long way," returned her friend. "Come here
and tell me about it."
Olney shook her head shyly.
"Come," repeated her friend, "and I will show you my
watch with a pretty picture in it."
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.
"Is you a papa ?" asked Olney.
"Yes," he answered; "but my little girl was naughty, and
I haven't seen her for a long time."
Has she wunned away ?" asked Olney, with a merry little
Her new friend looked quite grave as he said, "Yes; that
is just what she did."
"Did it make you kwy ?" asked Olney, cuddling up close
to him and patting his serious face.
"Yes," he said; "she was all the little girl I had."
"Naughty little girl," said Olney. "Why don't you go
and find her, and tell her she must come home?" 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.
"Doesn't you love her?" she presently inquired, in a
grieved voice. "My papa loves me, oh, so hard,-forty
bushels; but my grandpapa doesn't; mammy says he doesn't,
and mamma says he does, so maybe he does. Is you a grand-
papa?" she asked.
Her friend put her down from his knee and walked away
for a few steps. 01ney 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.
"Is you a grandpapa ?" she repeated.
Yes, my darling," he said. "I have a little grand-
daughter whom I have never seen."
Oh," said Olney, that is too bad! Let me kiss you for
her, and I want to see my grandpapa and kiss him, 'cause I
know he is good; mamma says so."
Her friend stroked back the hair from the little earnest
face, and said,-
S"He cannot help loving you, dear. You must believe
your mamma is right."
"Aren't you ever, ever going to see your little girl, and
your little grand-girl?" asked Olney. "Oh, yes, please go and
see them. Maybe they want to see you velly, velly much."
"I cannot go," replied he, sadly.
"But why ?" persisted Olney. "What will your little girl
do without any papa ?" Slowly shaking her little head.
"She doesn't love me, or she would not have run away,"
"Oh, yes," returned Olney, "she does. Why, I love my
papa, and I wunned away ever so many times. I wunned
away to-day to you."
So you did," he replied. Maybe you are right, after all."
"And my papa is so good," Olney went on; "he 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 don't want to make my papa kwy."
So she scrambled down from her friend's arms, holding out her
hand and saying, "Come."
"Where?" asked her friend
Come wif me," said Olney.
So, taking the little warm hand in his, he walked down the
beach with her till they came to where mammy was still
Olney's companion delivered her safely into mammy'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, "Mamma! mamma! come here! Here is a nice man,
and his little girl wunned away just like me, but he loves her,
and I am so sorry he hasn't any little girl any more."
Olney's mother drew nearer, smiling, but when within a
few steps of the group she turned very pale and stopped
short. Olney felt her friend's hand tremble as he, too, stood
still. Olney looked curiously from one to the other, and then
began to cry, 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 Olney's friend, and said, "Father !"
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, Don't kwy any more. I love you."
"I am your grandfather, darling," 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 Olney's parents were stopping for
Olney'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
other'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.
"If you are my mamma's papa, then she must be your
little girl, and she isn't a little girl at all," Olney said.
But you are my little girl," he answered.
"But you said she wunned away."
"And didn't you run away ?" he asked.
That settled it, and Olney was content.
Through the long summer days Olney was her grandpapa's
constant companion; the good times they had no one can tell.
Looking upon the two laughing merrily one day, Olney's
father smiled down at his wife, saying, softly, "And a little
child shall lead them."
SUCH a shrinking, blushing, little figure it was, hiding
partly behind the portiere, with -yes full of wonder
at the gay scene before her. "A hundred chil-
dren," she thought, "and all the girls have on'
party dresses but me!" 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
white stockings and make some jeering remark about them.
Never before in Bertha'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
, r'-: ,
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 Bertha'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.
"This is Bertha Grey, is it not ?" she asked.
Yes, ma'am," replied Bertha, in her old-fashioned way.
"I know your grandmother very well," said the old lady,
sitting down on the sofa beside Bertha. "We were girls
together. I am so glad you could come this evening, my dear.
Why are you not out there playing with the others ?"
Bertha blushed. "I do not know any of the games," she
said, "nor any of the little girls."
"That is too bad," returned her friend. I am Aunt
Joanna to all the children, even my own grandchildren, so you
must call me so too," she said, smiling at Bertha. Now, 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.
"I should prefer to remain here," 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.
"Now tell me all about yourself," Aunt Joanna continued;
"what you study, what you play, and all about it. You do
not go to school, do you ?"
No, ma'am; I have my tasks with Miss Long. I have a
study hour in the morning, directly after breakfast, and then
my recitations go on till twelve o'clock. I then have a walk
in the garden with Miss Long, then I practise till two o'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."
"And I suppose you play very hard all evening to make
up for studying hard all morning."
"Oh, no, ma'am; in the evening I read or do some fancy
work while Miss Long reads aloud, and at half-past eight I
"And can you do fancy work ?"
"Yes, ma'am. I have crocheted twenty-four mats."
"You have!" exclaimed Aunt Joanna, smiling at the
thought of what one could do with twenty-four mats. "Have
you no dolls ?"
"I have one," replied Bertha; and here the childishness
came to the surface. "And I love her so; but I wish, I wish
I could dress her as I want to."
"Why, can't you ?"
Grandmamma would not approve of it," said Bertha.
Grandmamma is very good and kind, but I do not believe
she knows just how little girls feel," she continued, after a
pause, looking up into Aunt Joanna's face.
Aunt Joanna smiled and looked down into the wistful eyes.
"Well, dear," she said, "I believe your grandmother is a
dear good woman, but I think with you that she forgets that
you are not seventy too. Come, don'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 Bertha's age. She had on a pretty
white frock and a sash, and had a happy, merry little face.
"This is my little grand-daughter, Myra," said Aunt
Joanna. "Now I want to see Bertha having a good time,
Myra, so I leave her to you." And Aunt Joanna left them
Myra took Bertha by the hand and led her to a group of
children who were playing "blind-man's-buff," 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, Of course
any one could tell her by her apron. Did you ever hear of
going to a party in an apron ?" Then they both laughed, and
the other one said, "And did you ever see such shoes and
stockings ? She must have come out of the ark."
All Bertha'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 portiere. 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, "Why, little Bertha, I thought you were out
playing with the others. Where is Myra ?"
"I was playing, but I became tired," 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, "Come, 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 Joanna'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
took her on her lap, and passed her hand lovingly over the
curly hair, which never would lie smooth, with all grand-
"Now, dearie, just tell me what gave you that woe-begone
face," said the dear old lady, tenderly.
The great tears stood in Bertha'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
"Poor little girlie!" said Aunt Joanna, kissing her.
"never mind, dear; the little girls were very rude to speak so
of any one.'
But you don't know," Bertha went on, "how 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." And
she put her curly head down on Aunt Joanna's shoulder.
"Well, dear, you shall," said Aunt Joanna, with determi-
nation. "I have a plan." And she unfolded it to Bertha, so
that when ten o'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 "Yes" to Aunt Joanna's
"Remember, next Friday."
The next day Bertha's grandmamma called her. Bertha,"
she said, "I 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."
Bertha's eyes sparkled as she threw her arms around her
grandmother'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 Joanna's home. This was a little way from the house
where Bertha had attended her first party, which was given by
Aunt Joanna'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
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 Bertha's life, for
Aunt Joanna persuaded her grandmother to allow her to go to
school, since Miss Long'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 grandmamma allows white dresses and an
occasional frivolous time with smiling consent.
UNCH," said Margery one afternoon, "Minnie has
come; let us go down and see her."
Punch wagged his tail almost off, and followed
his mistress down-stairs.
"I came for my exercise book," said Minnie, as she
"Very well, I will get it," replied Margery; "it 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? Don't you hope you will?"
"Yes, and don't you hope you will?"
They both laughed and settled down to a long talk about
the morrow's examination.
Punch, meanwhile, finding himself in the background
where school interests were mentioned, trotted off in search of
something amusing. Margery'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 cat-
with whom he was not on intimate terms-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.
"I will get your book," said Margery, running into the
hall; but the book was, of course, not there, and she was
obliged to return without it.
Just wait a minute, Minnie," she said; "some one must
have taken it up-stairs."
"Well, do hurry," returned Minnie, for 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."
Margery searched high and low, but no book was to be
found, and she came back with a distressed face, saying,-
"Oh, Minnie, I don't see what has become of it! Mine
wouldn't do you much good, for I haven't any of the examples
MAR GER Y,
worked out: I learned my lessons first; but if you will take
the questions we could copy them again."
No, I don't want them," cried Minnie, bursting into tears,
"and I believe you have just kept my book on purpose, so I
wouldn't get the medal; and, besides, your book hasn't my
other questions in it, and I think you are a mean, horrid girl."
Margery stood still in astonishment, knowing her own
innocence in the matter.
"I shall just tell all the girls how sneaky you are,"
"I am not sneaky," returned Margery, indignantly, "and
I don't know anything about your book. I would get it in a
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."
"Nobody wants you to," retorted Minnie, by this time too
angry to cry, "and I don't want you ever to come to my
house again." 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
MAR GER Y.
away from her face, and every now and then gave her cheek
little furtive licks.
"You love me, don't you, Punch?" 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. "I don't see what I am to do," she thought.
"I haven't an idea where the book can be. Oh, dear! if she
only hadn'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." 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 Margery'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 Minnie'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.
"You dreadful dog!" she exclaimed. "How came I to
leave you here! What have you been up to now? What is
this? Minnie's ring, with the setting gone! Now, what
shall I do! I cannot send it back till it is mended. Luckily,
you haven't swallowed the stone. Bring that ring to me, sir!"
Punch turned over on his back and held up deprecating
"Come this instant!" 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
mistress's hand, and then appealingly wagged his tail.
I've a mind to whip you, you bad little thing !" exclaimed
she. "Go down-stairs !"
Punch flew, only too glad to get out. Margery followed
him to the library door, where her father and mother were
Do you think this can be mended ?" she asked her father,
handing him the ring.
He took it, turned it over, and said he thought it could.
MAR GER Y.
o Margery gave an account of her afternoon's misfortunes,
and her father put the ring in his pocket, saying he would
take it to be repaired.
"Where is Punch ?" he asked.
"He came in here," replied Margery. "I have no doubt
but that he is somewhere about. Oh, mamma, where do you
suppose that book can be? I couldn't have dropped it on the
street, for I am positive I saw it on the chair in the hall with
my other books."
Just then a noise under the sofa drew their attention to
Do see what he has there," said Mrs. Douglas. "He is
always pulling something to pieces."
Margery went down on her hands and knees and pulled
Punch out, with the lost exercise book, badly torn, in his
Oh, look !" she cried. It is the book, and it is all torn.
Oh, if only the right part is there I shall not care!" And she
hurriedly turned over the pages. Yes, it is all right. Papa,
please go with me to Minnie's; perhaps she can finish the
work, after all. I shall be so glad if she gets the medal."
Her father willingly put on his hat, and in a few minutes
they were at Minnie's door.
"Oh, Minnie, see! you will believe me now," 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 hadn'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
Margery's keeping the ring forever.
AMMA," said Mary, "what is a commencement?
SWhat do they do with it? I want one. Cecil is
going to have one, and I want one too."
Her mother laughed: "Well, dear, I don't see
how you can have one very well."
Why 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, couldn't I have
"All to yourself, little girl? It would be rather funny.
You know you are mamma's girl, and you do not go to school
as Cecil does; you study at home with mamma."
"Yes, 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
"We might have it," replied her mother; "but it will be
very funny. However, if you have so set your heart upon it,
we will have one."
"Oh, mamma, you are a dear! May we have it the day
after the other one?"
"When will that be?"
"Very well. I see no objection."
Mary danced out of the room, and down-stairs, two steps
at a time. 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.
"Oh, Cecil," she cried, "I am going to have a commence-
There were two or three girls with Cecil, and they all
laughed but Cecil. "Why, how can you ?" they asked.
"Very easily," replied ,Mary, who did not like being
laughed at. "I don't see any reason why I cannot. I can
learn something to recite as well as you can. And I don't see
why my mamma doesn'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."
The girls laughed again.
"That is all you are going to do, isn't it ?" Mary said,
appealing to Cecil.
"About all," she replied.
"I never heard of one girl having a commencement all to
herself. Did you, girls ?" asked one of the number.
No, I never did," 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. "Oh,
Mary," she said, "I am so glad you are going to have a com-
mencement! I was just going in to ask you if you couldn't
come to ours. We can ask two persons, and I want to invite
mamma and you."
Mary's face brightened. "And I will ask mamma if I
may invite you to mine, Cecil," she said, giving Cecil a little
squeeze. Oh, Cecil, I should love to go to yours! What are
you going to do?"
"I 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."
In this new excitement Mary forgot her hurt feelings, and
went in to her mother with a radiant face.
"Mamma," she said, "may I go to Cecil'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."
Mrs. Warner laughed: "Which question shall I answer
first? If it is a pleasant day I think you may go with Cecil's
mamma, and you may certainly ask Cecil to come here."
Mary was very happy. Now, mamma," she said, I wish
you would find me something to learn to recite, for I haven't
very long to study, and we shall have to. have some songs.
Oh, mamma! could you teach me a French song ?"
"Perhaps so," replied her mother. "Why do you want a
French song ?"
"Because Cecil is going to sing one."
"Then suppose you sing a German song, for a change. I
can think of a cunning little German song I can teach you."
"Thank you, mamma; I will try very hard to learn it
well," said Mary, throwing her arms around her mother'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 Cecil's
mamma to the commencement of Miss Foster's school, and paid
such attention to all the exercises that Mrs. Crawford was
much amused by the absorbed expression on the little one'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-
Now, you will be sure to come at ten o'clock to-morrow,"
said Mary, as she parted with Cecil. I know just what to do;.
and, Cecil, your song was lovely. I do hope I shall do mine as.
well," she said, clasping her hands with as much fervor as if
she expected an audience of a hundred persons.
"You are sure to do well," returned Cecil, nodding a
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 mother'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 mother'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:
There is no dew left on the daisies and clover,"
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 Mary's little song, which she sang very
82 MAR Y.
sweetly in her little childish voice. Cecil then presented her
with a dear little basket of flowers, and Mary'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 Mary'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. "I will not take you, little violet," she
said, "for you are only one, and you might be lonely." 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
A UDRE Y.
older than Audrey; they liked nothing better than to sit
together in Helen'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. "Would you have gathered it,
sister ?" she asked. "It 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," she went on, after a pause.
Sister Helen sat quietly sewing for a few minutes, then she
"A 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.
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
"'I am quite sure that the violets have arrived,' said a mole.
"'Humph!' returned a field-mouse, 'you have no eyes; I'd
like to know how you are to tell.'
"'Never mind,' replied the mole; 'I have a nose and can
"At 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.
"'Yes,' said the mole, 'I know there are violets about.'
And he began with both hands to make his way to the upper
"'Ah! here we are,' said he, as a breath of spring air shot
through the last handful of earth.
"'What on earth-or, rather, under the earth-are you
doing?' said a voice.
"'Finding my way out into the sunshine,' returned the
mole. 'Excuse me, but, not being blessed with the best of eye-
sight, I 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.'
"'You are quite right,' 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. It is a
pity you cannot see better, for I am quite taken with your
"'Thank you, miss; you honor me,' said the mole, laying
his hand on his heart. '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?'
"'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 off.'
"' So it is,' replied the mole, as he bit off some of the leaves
which were growing around the violet's head. 'Now, what can
I offer you to eat? A few roots, for example?'
"'Roots! No,' cried she, 'such food! There are plenty of
dew-drops under here, and the bees will be along with honey
after a while.'
"'I beg your pardon,' said the mole; 'there are things
underground demanding my attention.' And, with a hurt
look, he vanished.
"'What a stupid creature!' exclaimed the violet, as she
shook out her purple skirts. '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
"'Don't hide,' said he. '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.'
"'How did you know I was here?' asked the violet.
"'Oh, I saw you; and if I had not seen you, my heart
would have told me,' he replied, gallantly.
"Violet hung her head shyly: You have such bright eyes
that I am afraid of you.'