Citation
"Carrots,"

Material Information

Title:
"Carrots,"
Creator:
Molesworth, 1839-1921
Copeland, Charles, b. 1858 ( Illustrator )
Thomas Y. Crowell & Co ( Publisher )
C.J. Peters & Son ( Typographer )
Place of Publication:
New York ;
Boston
Publisher:
Thomas Y. Crowell & Company
Manufacturer:
Typography by C.J. Peters & Son
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
231 p., [9] leaves of plates : ill (some col.) ; 22 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Amusements -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Nannies -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Honesty -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Frontispiece, illustrated by Copeland, printed in colors and text in a floral gilt border.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Mrs. Molesworth.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026879950 ( ALEPH )
ALH4902 ( NOTIS )
227209851 ( OCLC )

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Full Text




i :
ae
5

Ee pia ta erate tay ncgterg ;

MRS MOLESWORTH



BY





geeerererr mens:



ILLUSTRATED























‘ Cope and



SCARROLS”

BY

MRS. MOLESWORTH

AUTHOR OF ‘THE CUCKOO CLOCK”



NEW YORK: 46 East 14TH STREET
THOMAS Y. CROWELL & COMPANY

BOSTON: 100 PuRCHASE STREET



CopyriGuT, 1895,

Tuomas Y. Crowett & Company.

TYPOGRAPHY BY Cc. J. PETERS & SON,

BOSTON.



TO

Six Little Cousins

MORIER, NOEL, BEVIL, LIONEL, EDWARD, AND.

BABY BRIAN

EDINBURGH, 1876









"Is it then a great mistake
That Boys were ever made at all?”





GON TE NES:

CHAPTER I.

FLoss’s BABY

CHAPTER II.-
Stx YEARS OLD

CHAPTER III.

CHAPTER IV.

THe Lost HALF-SOVEREIGN

CHAPTER V.

CARROTS IN TROUBLE

CHAPTER VI,
CarroTs ‘‘ ALL ZIGHT’’ AGAIN

CHAPTER VII.
A Lone Aco Story .

CHAPTER VIII.

‘©THE BEWITCHED TONGUE”’ .

CHAPTER IX.





CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X,
A JOURNEY AND ITs ENDING .

CHAPTER XI.
Happy AND Sap .

CHAPTER XII.
“THE Two Funny Litrie Trots’?

CHAPEE REx TI:
Goop ENDINGS





FLOSS’S BABY.

Where did you come from, Baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here?

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here!
G. MAcDONALD.

His real name was Fabian. But he was
never called anything but Carrots. There
‘were six of them, — Jack, Cecil, Louise, Mau-
rice, commonly called Mott, Floss, dear, dear
Floss, whom he loved best of all, a long way

the best of all, and lastly Carrots.

Why Carrots should have come to have his

history written I really cannot say. I must
leave you, who understand such things a good
deal better than I, you children, for whom the







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“CARROTS.”

history is written, to find out. I can give you
a few reasons why Carrots’s history should zor
have been written, but that is about all I can
do. There was nothing very remarkable about
him ; there was nothing very remarkable about
the place where he lived, or the things that
he did; and on the whole he was very much
like other little boys. There are my 0 rea-
sons for you. But still he was Carrots ; and
after all, perhaps, that was ¢he reason! I
shouldn’t wonder.

He was the baby of the family. He had
every right to be considered the baby, for
he was not only the youngest, but very much
the youngest; for Floss, who came next to.
him, was nearly four years older than Car-.
rots. Yet he was never treated as the baby.
I doubt if even at the very outset of his little
life, when he was just a wee pink ball of a crea-
ture, rolled up in flannel, and with his funny
curls of red hair standing crisp up all over
his head, I doubt if even then he was ever
called “baby.” I feel almost sure it was al-































oh
At Age Es

Seat +
Cy YS



FLOSS’S BABY. 9



ways “Carrots.” He was too independent
and sensible to be counted a baby; and he
was never fond of being petted—and then,
too, “Carrots”? came so naturally !

I have said that Carrots loved his sister
Floss better than anybody or anything else
in the world. I think one reason of this was
that she was the very first person he could
remember in his life; and a happy thing for
him that it was so, for all about her that
there was to remember was nice and good.
and kind. She was four years older than he,
—four years old, that is to say, when he first
came into the world, and looked about him
with grave inquiry as to what sort of a place
this could be that he had got to. And the
first object that his baby-wise eyes settled
upon with content, as if in it there might be
a possible answer to the riddle, was Floss!

These children’s father and mother were
not very rich; and, having six boys and girls,

:
é
|

you can quite easily imagine they had plenty



to do with their money. Jack was a great

ee ee











“ CARROTS,”

boy at school when Carrots first joined the
family party, and Cecil and Louise had a
governess. Mott learned with the governess
too, but was always talking of the time when
‘he should go to school with Jack ; for he was
a very boy-ey boy, very much inclined to
look down upon girls in general, and his sis.
ters in particular, and his little sister Floss
in particularest. So, till Carrots appeared on
the scene, Floss had had rather a lonely time
of it; for “of course” Cecil and Louise, who
had pockets in all their frocks, and could play
the “March of the Men of Harlech” as a
duet on the piano, were Jar too big to be
“friends to Floss,” as she called it. They
were friendly and kind in an elder-sisterly
way; but that was quite a different sort of
thing from being “friends to her,” though it
never occurred to Floss to grumble or to
think, as so many little people think nowa-
days, how much better things would have
been arranged if she had had the arranging
of them.




















om eG Sy

5 A Ps ION
Â¥ a ; te wie
.





FLOSS’S BABY.

There was only one thing Floss wished for
very, very much; and that was to have a
brother or sister, she did not much care which,
younger than herself. She had the most moth-
erly heart in the world; though she was such
a quiet little girl that very few people knew
anything about what she was thinking, and the
big ones laughed at her for being so outrage-
ously fond of dolls. She had dolls of every
kind and size, only alike in one thing, that
none of them were very pretty, or what you

would consider grand dolls. But to Floss

they were lovely, only, they were only dolls!

Can you fancy, can you in the least fancy,
Floss’s delight —a sort of delight that made
her feel as if she could n’t speak — when one
winter’s morning she was awakened by nurse,
to be told that a real live baby had come in
the night, a little brother ; and “such a funny
little fellow,” added nurse, “his head just cov-
ered with curly red hair. Where did he get
that from, I wonder? Not one of my children
has hair like that; though yours, Miss Flossie,
has a touch of it, perhaps.”




























“CARROTS.”

Floss looked at her own tangle of fluffy hair
with new reverence. “Hair somesing like my
hairs,” she whispered. “QO nursie, dear nur-
sie, may Floss see him?”

“Get up and let me dress you quickly, and
you shall see him; no fear but that you ’ll see
more of the poor little fellow than you care
about,” said nurse, though the last words were
hardly meant for Floss.

The truth was, that though of course every

Pr yaks

one meant to be kind to this new little baby,
to take proper care of him, and all that sort
of thing, no one was particularly glad he had
come. His father and mother felt that five
boys and girls were already a good number to
bring up well and educate and start in life,
not being very rich, you see; and even nurse,
who had the very kindest heart in the world,
and had taken care of them all, beginning with

felt, I think, that they could have done without
this red-haired little stranger. For nurse was

no longer as young as she had been; and as

Jack, ever since they were born, —even nurse -













“ Get up and let me dress you quickly.”
— Page 12.





FLOSS’S BABY.

the children’s mother could not, she knew,
very well afford to keep an under-nurse to
help her, it was rather trying to look forward
to beginning again with all the “worrit” of
a new baby, — bad nights and many tiring
climbs up the long stairs to the nursery, etc. ;
though nurse was so really good that she did
not grumble the least bit, and just quietly
made up her mind to make the best of it.
But still Floss was the only person to give
the baby a really hearty welcome. And by
some strange sort of baby instinct he seemed
to know it almost from the first. He screamed
at Jack, and no wonder ; for Jack, by way of sal-
utation, pinched his poor little nose, and said
that the next time they had boiled mutton for
dinner, cook need not provide anything but
turnips, as there was a fine crop of carrots all
ready, which piece of wit was greatly applauded
by Maurice and the girls. He wailed when
Cecil and Louise begged to be allowed to hold
him in their arms, so that they both tumbled

him back on to nurse’s.lap in a hurry, and

























2 tb SESS OBE oa aR 34 ae |
et?

14 “ CARROTS.”

called him ‘a cross, ugly little thing.” Only
when little Floss sat down on the floor, spread-
ing out her knees with great solemnity, and
smoothing her pinafore to make a nice place
for baby, and nurse laid him carefully down in
the embrace of her tiny arms, “baby” seemed
quite content. He gave a sort of wriggle, like
a dog when he has been pretending to burrow a
hole for himself in the rug, just before he set-
tles down and shuts his eyes, and in half a
second was fast asleep.

’

“ Baby loves Floss,” said Floss gravely ; and:
as Jong as nurse would let her, till her arms.
really ached, there she sat on the floor, as still
as a mouse, holding her precious burden.

It was wonderful how trusty she was. And
“as handy,” said nurse, “indeed, far more
handy than many a girl of five times her age.”
“J have been thinking,” she. said one day to
Floss’s mother, “I have been thinking, ma'am,
that even if you had been going to keep an
under-nurse to help with baby, there would
have been nothing for her to do. For the help.





FLOSS’S BABY, 15.

I get from Miss Flossie is really astonishing,
and Master Baby is that fond of her already,
you'd hardly believe it.”

And Floss’s mother kissed her, and told her
she was a good little soul; and Floss felt, oh,
so proud! Then a second thought struck her.
“Baby dood too, mamma,” she said, staring up:
into her mother’s face with her bright, search-
ing gray-green eyes.

“ Yes,” said her mother with a little sigh,
“poor baby is good too, dear;” and then she
had to hurry off to a great overhauling of
Jack’s shirts, which were, if possible, to be:
made to last him another half-year at school.

So it came to pass that a great deal of
Floss’s life was spent in the nursery with Car-
rots. He was better than twenty dolls; for
after a while he actually learned, first to stand
alone, and then to walk, and after a longer
while he learned to talk, and to understand all.
that Floss said to him, and by and by to play’
games with her in his baby way. And how
patient Floss was with him! It was no wonder’

he loved her.






























“CARROTS.”

This chapter has seemed almost more about
Floss than Carrots, you will say perhaps; but
I couldn’t tell you anything of Carrots’s history
without telling you a great deal about Floss
too, so I dare say you won’t mind. I dare say,
too, you will not care to hear much more about
Carrots when he was a baby; for, aftér all,
babies are all very like each other, and a baby
that wasn’t like others would not de a baby.
To Floss, I fancy, he seemed a remarkable
baby; but that may have been because he was
her very own, and the only baby she had’ ever
known. He was certainly very good, in so far
as he gave nurse exceedingly little trouble; but
why children should give trouble when they are
perfectly well, and have everything they can
possibly want, I have never been able to de-
cide. On the whole, I think it must have
something to do with the people who take care

of them, as well as with themselves.

Now we will say good-by to Carrots as a








SIX YEARS OLD.

CHAPTER II.

SIX YEARS OLD.

“As for me, J love the sea.
The dear old sea!
Don't you ”
SONG.
I tHInK I said there was nothing very re-
markable about the place where Carrots lived; ©
but, considering it over, I am not quite sure that
you would agree with me. It was near the sea,
for one thing; and ¢hatz is always remarkable, is
it not? How remarkable, how wonderful and

changeful, the sea is, I doubt if any one can tell

a i a

who has not really lived by it; not merely vis-
ited it for a few weeks in the fine summertime,
when it looks so bright and sunny and inviting,
but lived by it through autumn and winter too,
through days when it looks so dull and leaden,.
that one can hardly believe it will ever be smil-











“CARROTS.”



ing and playful again, through fierce, rough
days, when it lashes itself with fury, and the



wind wails as if it were trying to tell the



reason.



Carrots’s nursery window looked straight out



upon the sea; and many and many an hour



Floss and he spent at this window, watching



their strange, fickle neighbor at his gambols.



I do not know that they thought the sea at all



wonderful. I think they were too much ac-



customed to it for that; but they certainly



found it very zuteresting. Floss had names for’



the different kinds of waves; some she called



“ribs of beef,” when they showed up sideways.



in layers as it were of white and brown; and



- some she called “ponies.” That was the kind



that came prancing in, with a sort of dance, the



white foam curling and rearing and tossing



itself, just exactly like a frisky pony’s mane.



Those were the prettiest waves of all, I think.



It was not at all a dangerous coast where:



the Cove House, —that was Carrots’s home, —



stood. It was not what is called “ picturesque.”





























F
se. HR 2 arma ae SRl ox Bee So we
ee ry eg Ag: Sey ag?



SIX YEARS OLD. .- Ig

It was a long, flat stretch of sandy shore, going
-on and on for miles just the same. There were
very few trees, and no mountains, not even hills.

In summer a few, just a very few, visitors
used to come to Sandyshore for bathing. They
were always visitors with children; for every
one said it was such a nice safe place for the
little people.

But, safe as it was, it wasn’t till Carrots was
growing quite a big boy, nearly six, I should
think, that Floss and he got leave to go out and
play on the shore by themselves, the thing they
had been longing for ever since they could re-
member.

This was how they did get leave at last.
Nurse was very, very busy one day; really
quite extra busy, for she was arranging and
helping to pack Jack’s things to go to a new
school. Jack was so big now, about sixteen,
that he was going to a kind of college, or
grown-up school, the last he would go to before
entering the army. And there was quite a fuss
in the house. Jack thought himself almost as



“CARROTS.”

grand as if he was an officer already, and Mott

was overpowered with envy. Everybody was

fussing about Jack, and no one had much time
to think of the two little ones.

They stood at the nursery window, poor little
souls, when Floss came up from her lessons,
gazing out wistfully. It was a nice spring day ;
not exactly sunny, but looking as if the sun
were only hiding himself to tease you, and
might come out any minute.

“If we might go down to the shore,” said
Floss, half to herself, half to Carrots, and half
to nurse. I shouldn’t have said it so, for there
can’t be three halves of anything ; but no doubt
you will understand.

‘«Go down to the shore, my dear?” repeated
nurse. “I wish you could, I’m sure ; but it will
be afternoon at least before I have a minute to
spare to take you. And there’s no one else to-
day; for cook and Esther are both as busy as
busy. Perhaps Miss Cecil and Miss Louise will
take you when they have done their lessons.”

«We don’t care to go with them much,” said





























a
ee ee et le, BESS
»g |

Vas SIX YEARS OLD. 2T

Floss ; “they don’t understand our plays. We
like best to go with you, nursie, and you to sit
down with your sewing near — that’s the nicest

1”

way. O nurse!” she exclaimed with sudden
eagerness, “wouldn’t you let us go alone?
You can peep out of the window and see us
every few minutes, and we'll be so good!”

Nurse looked out of the window doubtfully.

“Couldn't you play in the garden at the
back, instead?” she said. “Your papa and
mamma won’t be home till late, and I am
always in a terror of any harm happening
while they are away.” i

«We won't let any harm happen,” said Floss ;
“and we are so tired of the garden, nurse.
There is nothing to play at there. The little
waves are so pretty this morning.”

There was certainly very little to play at
on the green at the back of the house, which
was called the garden. Being so near the sea,
the soil was so poor that hardly any flowers
would grow, and even the grass was coarse
and lumpy. Then there were no trees; and

what is a garden without trees?





Nes. Aa |
- ; : io Bee ERIE ar , ne
ROE | Be SS cole aa fiers ys San SES (

a
Gente SRT Cy Se, :
























22 “ CARROTS.”

Nurse looked out of the window again.

“Well,” she said, “if you will really be very
good, I think I might trust you. Now, Master
Carrots, you will promise to do exactly what
Miss Floss tells you?”

«Yes; I promise,’ said Carrots, who had
been listening with great anxiety, though he
had not hitherto spoken — he was not a great
talker; “I promise, nurse. I will do exactly
what Floss tells me, and Floss will do exactly
what I tell her ; won’t you, Floss? So we shall
both be #z¢e good that way, won't we?”

«Very well,” said nurse gravely, though she
felt very much inclined to laugh; “then run
and get your things as fast as you can.”

And oh how happy the two were when they
found themselves out on the shore all alone!
They were so happy, they did not know what
to do; so, first of all, they ran races to run
away a little of the happiness. And when they
had run themselves quite hot, they sat down on
a little heap of stones to consider what they
should do next. They had no spades with






























q.

SIX YEARS OLD. 23



them, for they did not care very much about
digging. Children who live always by the sea
never care so much about digging as the lit-
tle visitors who come down in the summer,
and whose very first idea at the sight of the
sea is “spades and buckets.”

«What shall we play at, Carrots?” said
Floss. “Iwish it was warm enough to paddle.”

Carrots looked at the little soft, rippling
waves contemplatively.

« When I’m a man,” he said, “I shall paddle
‘always. 1 shall paddle in winter too. When
I’m a man I won't have no nurse.”

“Carrots,” said Floss reproachfully, “that
isn’t good of you. Think how kind nurse is!”

“Well, then,” replied Carrots slowly, “1
‘qill have her, but she must let me paddle
always when I’m a man.”

’

«When you are a man, Carrots,” said Floss,
solemnly still, “I hope you will have something
better to do than paddling. Perhaps you ’ll be
a soldier, like Jack.”

«Killing people isn’t better than paddling,”























24 “ CARROTS.”

retorted Carrots. “I'd rather be a sailor, like
papa.”

«Sailors have to kill people too sometimes,”
said Floss.

“ Hlave they?” said Carrots. Then he sat
silent for a few minutes, finding this new idea
rather overwhelming. ‘Naughty people, do
you mean, Floss?” he inquired at’ last.

“Yes,” said Floss unhesitatingly ; “naughty
people, of course.” :

« But I don’t like killing,” said Carrots ; “not



killing naughty people, I don’t like. I won’t be



a soldier, and I won’t be a sailor, and I won’t
bea butcher, ’cos butchers kill lambs. Perhaps
Til be a fisherman.”

« But fishermen kill fish,” said Floss.

“Do they?” said Carrots, looking up in her
face pathetically with his gentle brown eyes.
“I’m so sorry. I don’t understand about
killing, Floss. I don’t like it.”

«TJ don't either,” said Floss; “but perhaps it



has to be. If there was no killing, we'd have’
nothing to eat.”



SIX YEARS OLD.

“Egos,” said Carrots; “eggs and potatoes,
and — and — cake?”

«But even that would be a sort of killing,”
persisted Floss, though feeling by no means.
sure that she was not getting beyond her
depth. “If we didn’t eat eggs, they would
grow into chickens, and so eating stops them ;.
and potatoes have roots, and when they’re pulled
up they don’t grow; and cake has eggs in, and
—oh, I don’t know; let’s talk of something
else.”

« What?” said Carrots. “ Fairies?”

“Jf you like; or supposing we talk about:
when auntie comes and brings Sybil.”

«Yes,” said Carrots; “I like that best.”

«Well, then,” began Floss, “supposing it is.
late in the evening when they come. You
would be in bed, Carrots, dear; but I would
have begged to sit up a little longer, and”? —

«No, Floss; that isn’t nice. I won't talk
about Sybil, if you make it like that,” inter-.
rupted Carrots, his voice sounding as if he
were going to cry. “Sybil isn’t any bigger
than me. I wouldn’t be in bed, Floss.”

aN
































“CARROTS.”



“Very well, dear. Never mind, darling. I
won't make it like that. It was very stupid of
me. No; Sybil and auntie will come just about
our teatime, and we shall be peeping along the
road to see if the carriage from the station is
coming ; and when we hear it we'll run in, and
perhaps mamma ‘will say we may stay in the
drawing-room to see them. You will have one
of your new sailor suits on, Carrots, and I shall
have my white gigué and blue sash, and nurse
‘will have made the nursery tea-table look so
nice — with a clean tablecloth, you know, and
quite thin bread and butter, and jam, and per-
haps eggs.”

“T won't eat one,” interrupted Carrots; “I
won’t never eat eggs. I'll keep all mine that
I get to eat, in a box, till they’ve growed into
chickens.”

«But they're boiled when you get them,”
said Floss; “they wouldn’t grow into chickens
when they’re boiled.”

”

Carrots sighed. “Well, never mind,” he

said; “go on, Floss.”






SIX YEARS OLD.

« Well, then,” started Floss again, “you see,




















the nursery tea would look so nice, that Sybil
' would be szre to ask her mamma to let her
have tea with us, even though it was the first
evening. Perhaps, you know, she would be
rather siy just at first, till she got to know
us. So we would be very, very kind to her;

and after tea we would show her all our things,

dolls are getting rather old.”

« Are they?” said Carrots sympathizingly.
«When I’m a man I'll buy you sucha J/ot of
new dolls, Floss, and Sybil, too, if she likes
dolls — does she, Floss?”

I should think so,” said

«When papa and mamma went to see

«JT don’t know.
Floss,
auntie, they said Sybil was like a doll herself.
I suppose she has beautiful blue eyes and long
gold curls. That was a year ago; she must
be bigger now. Carrots!”

« What?”
«We must get up and run about a little

now. It’s too cold to sit still so long; and if

—the dolls—only, Carrots, I’m - afraid the




























“ CARROTS.”

we get cold, nurse won't let us come out
alone again.”

Up jumped Carrots onto his sturdy little
less ellen sEloss ane rsaid:

“Floss,” he began, when they stopped to
take breath again, “once I saw a little boy
-with a hoop. It went so nice on the sands.
I wish I had a hoop, Floss.”

«“T wish you had, dear,” said Floss. “I'd
buy you one if I had any money. But I
haven't ; and we couldn’t ask mamma, because
I know,” and Floss shook her head mysteri-
ously, “I know poor mamma fasz't any money
to spare. J must think of a plan to get some.”

Carrots kept silence for about three-quarters
of a minute. “Have you thinkened, Floss?”
he asked eagerly.

“Thought,” gravely said Floss; “not think-
ened, — what about ?”’

’

« About a plan,” replied Carrots. He called
it “a pan,” but Floss understood him.
Oh, dear, no!” said Floss; “plans take a

great lot of thinking. They’re real things,































we

‘ SIX YEARS OLD.

you see, Carrots; not like fancies about fairies
and Sybil coming.”

«“ But when Sybil does come, that'll be real
then,” said Carrots.

«Of course,’ agreed Floss; “but fancying
about it before isn’t real.”

It took Carrots a little while to get this
into his head. Then he began again, —

«Whene will you have thinkened enough,
Floss? By teatime?”

«JT don’t know. No;I1 think you had better
wait till to-morrow morning, and then perhaps
the plan will be ready.”

«Very well,” said Carrots, adding, with a
little sigh, “to-morrow morning is a long time,
tn Hossa

«Not very,” said Floss consolingly. “Now,
Carrots, let’s have one more race, and then we

d



must go in,’





RS

ae

Ay oO
AY), Le S B Vk oh ali = Se ie : , oe.
Lae | fp ES |
: i ¢ ( i OAKS |
|




















Ye
——S

“CARROTS.”

CHAPTER III.

PLANS.

“Have you invented a plan for it?” Alice inquired.
“ Not yet,” said the knight.

THROUGH THE Looxinc-Giass.

THE next morning Carrots woke very early,.
and the first thing he thought of was the plan.
Floss and he slept in the night nursery, in
two little beds, and nurse slept in a small
room that had a door opening into the nursery.
She used to sleep there herself; but now that
Carrots was so big, Floss and he were quite
safe by themselves, and poor old nurse en-
joyed having her own little room.

Floss was still asleep ; so Carrots only climbed.
out of his own cot into hers, and crouched
himself down at the foot, watching for her
to wake. Floss looked very nice asleep; her

“fuzzy” hair was tumbling over the pillow, and






Ges os aoe

PLANS. — Bile




























her cheeks looked pinker than when sne was.
awake.

“I wonder what being asleep is,’ thought.
the little boy as he looked at her. “I always.
go away, such a long way, when I am asleep..
I wonder if Floss does.”

She couldn’t have been very far away just:
then ; for somehow, though Carrots sat so still,
she seemed to know he was there. She:
turned round and half opened her eyes, then
shut them, as if she were trying to go to
sleep again, then opened them once more, quite
wide this time, and caught sight of the funny
little figure beside her.

« Carrots,’ she said in a sleepy voice, “ Car-
rots, dear, what are you doing there? You'll
catch cold.”

“No, I won't. May I come in aside you,.
Floss? I was only watching for you to wake.
I didn’t wake you, did I?” said Carrots, as.
Floss made room for him, and he poked his.
cold little toes down into a nice warm place.
“JT did so want to know if it was ready ; for it’s.

to-morrow morning now.”
























“CARROTS.”

“If what’s ready?” said Floss, for she was
rather sleepy still.

“The plan for getting money.”

“Oh!” said Floss. “YVYes,’ she went on
after thinking for a minute, “ yes, it’s nearly
ready ; at least, I’m almost sure it is. But it’s
not quite ready for telling yow yet, Carrots.”

Carrots looked terribly disappointed.

“JT think,” went. on Floss, “I think it will
be ready for telling you after breakfast. And
if you like, you may listen to something I am
going to ask nurse at breakfast, and perhaps
that will help you to guess what the plan is.’

At breakfast-time Carrots was all ears. All
ears and no tongue, so that nurse began to
wonder if he was ill.

“TI shouldn't like you to be ill the very day _
after Master Jack has gone,” she said anxiously.
Jack had gone up to town by the night train
with his father. “One trouble at a time is quite
enough for your poor mamma.”

“Ts Jack’s going to the big school a trouble?”

asked Floss, opening her eyes very wide. “I



thought they were all very glad.”



















PLANS.

“My dear,’ said nurse solemnly, “ one may
be glad of a thing, and sorry too. And changes
mostly are good and bad together.”

Floss did not say any more, but she seemed
to be thinking about what nurse had said.
Carrots was thinking too.

«When I’m a man,’ he said at last, “I
won't go to a big school if Floss doesn’t want
me to.”

Nurse smiled. “There’s time enough to see
about that,” she said. “Get on with your break-
fast, Master Carrots ; you'll never grow a big



boy if you don’t eat plenty.”
“Nurse,” said Floss suddenly, “what’s the
dearest thing we eat? What costs most?”’
“Meat nowadays, Miss Flossie,” said nurse.
“Could we do without it?” asked Floss.
Nurse shook her head.








“What could we do without?” continued
the child. “We couldn't do without bread or
-milk, I suppose. What could we do without
that costs money?”




“Most things do that,” said nurse, who





“ CARROTS.”




began to have a glimmering of what Floss

was driving at; “but the money's well spent



in good food to make you strong and well.”



«Then, isn’t there anything we could do



without — without it hurting us, I mean?” said



Floss in a tone of disappointment.



“Oh, yes,” said nurse; “I dare say there is.



Once a little boy and girl I knew went with-



out sugar in their tea for a month, and their



grandmother gave them sixpence each instead.”



« Sixpence!” exclaimed Floss, her eyes



gleaming.



«« Sixpence each,” corrected nurse.



“Two sixpences; that would be a shilling.



Carrots, do you hear?”



Carrots had been listening with might and



main, but was rather puzzled.



«“ Would two sixpennies pay for two hoops?”



he whispered to Floss, pulling her pinafore
till she bent her head down to listen.

“ Of course they would. At least, I’m almost



sure. I'll ask nurse. Nurse dear,’ she went



on in a louder voice, “do you think we might









do that way — Carrots and I —about sugar,
I mean?”
“IT don’t see that it would do you any harm,”
said nurse. “ You must ask your mamma.”
But Floss hesitated.

“TY shouldn’t much like to ask mamma,” she



said ; and Carrots, who was listening so intently
that he had forgotten all about his bread and
milk, noticed that Floss’s face grew red. “I
shouldn’t much like to ask mamma, because,
nurse dear, it is only that we want to get
money for something for ourselves; and if we
told mamma, it would be like asking her to give

us the money. It wouldn’t be any harm for



us not to eat any sugar in our tea for a month;
and you could keep the sugar in a packet all
together, nurse, and ¢hen you might tell mamma

that we had saved it, and she would give us a




shilling for it. It would be quite worth a shil-




ling, wouldn’t it, nurse?”




“Oh, yes,” said nurse; “I am sure your




mamma would say it was.’ Then she con-




sidered a little. She was one of those truly














































36 “CARROTS.”

trustworthy nurses whose notions are strong
on the point of everything being told to
“mamma.” But she perfectly understood
Floss’s hesitation; and though she might not
have been able to put her feeling into words,
she felt that it might do the child harm to
thwart her delicate instinct.

«Well, nurse?” said Floss at last.

«Well, Miss Flossie, I don’t think for once
I shall be doing wrong in letting you have a
secret. When will you begin? This is Thurs-
day; on Saturday your mamma will give me
the week’s sugar. Suppose you begin on Sun-
day? But does Master Carrots quite under-
stand?”

“Oh, yes,” said Floss confidently ; “he un-
derstands; don’t you, dear?”

“Oh, yes,” said Carrots; “we won't eat not
any sugar, Floss and me, for a great long
time, and nurse will tie it up in a parcel with
a string round, and mamma will buy it, and
give us a great lot of pennies, and then, and

then’? —he began to jump about with delight









PLANS.



— “Floss and me will go to the toy-shop and
buy our hoops; won’t we, Floss? Oh, I wish




it was time to go now; don’t you, Floss?”




“Yes, dear ; a month’s a good while to wait,”




said Floss sympathizingly. “May we go out




on the shore again by ourselves this afternoon,




nurse?”




“Tf it doesn’t rain,’ said nurse; and Floss,




who had half an hour to wait before it was time




for her to join her sisters in the schoolroom,




went to the window to have a look at the




weather. She had not stood there for more



than a minute when Carrots climbed up on to




a chair beside her.




“Tt’s going to rain, Floss,” he said; “there




are the little curly clouds in the sky that




Matthew says come when it rains.”




Floss looked up at the sky and down at the
sce




“The sea looks cross to-day,” she said.

There were no pretty ripples this morning ;




the water looked dull and leaden.




“Floss,” said Carrots with a sigh, “I do get





“CARROTS.”

so tired when you are at lessons all the morn-
ing and I have zucken to do. Can’t you think
of a plan for me to have something to do?”
Carrots’s head was running on “plans.”

Floss considered.

«Would you like to tidy my drawer for
me?” she said. “This isn’t the regular day
for tidying it; but it is in a mess, because I
turned all the things upside down when I was
looking for our race-horses’ reins yesterday.

Will you put it gate tidy, Carrots?”

« Oh, yes; guite, dear Floss,” said Carrots.

«T’ll put all the dolls neat, and all the pieces,
and all the sewing things. O dear Floss, what
nice plans you make!”

- So when Floss had gone to her lessons, and
nurse was busy with her morning duties, in and
out of the room, so as not to lose sight of Car-
rots, but still too busy to amuse him, he, with
great delight, set to work at the drawer. It cer-

’

tainly was much in need of “ tidying ;”’ and after
trying several ways, Carrots found that the best

plan was to take everything out, and then put





the different things back again in order. It
took him a good while, and his face got rather
red with stooping down to the floor to pick up
all the things he had deposited there; for the
drawer itself was too heavy for him to lift out
bodily, if, indeed, such an idea had occurred to
him. It was the middle drawer of the cup-
board, the top part of which was divided into
shelves, where the nursery cups and saucers and
those sorts of things stood. The drawer above
Floss’s was nurse’s, where she kept her work
and a few books and a little note-paper, and so
on; and the drawer at the bottom, so that he
could easily reach it, was Carrots’s own.

One end of Floss’s drawer was given up to
her dolls. She still had a good many; for
though she did not care for them now as much
as she used, she never could be persuaded to
throw any of them away. But they were not
very pretty ;-even Carrots could see that, and
Carrots, to tell the truth, was very fond of
dolls.

“Tf I had some money,” he said to himself,

&





















“ CARROTS.”

“T would buy Floss such a most beautiful doll!
I wish I had some money.”

For the moment he forgot about the hoops
and the “plan,” and sat down on a little stool
with one of the unhappiest-looking of the dolls
in his arms.

“JT wish I could buy you a new face, poor
dolly!” he said. “I wish I had some money.”

He got up again to put poor dolly back into
her corner. As he was smoothing down the
paper which lined the drawer, he felt something
hard close to dolly’s foot; he pushed away the
dolls to see. There, almost hidden by a crum-
ple in the paper, lay a tiny little piece of
money —a little shining picce, about the size
of a sixpence, only a different color.

“A yellow sixpenny! Oh, how nice!” thought .
Carrots, as he seized it. “I wonder if Floss
knowed it was there. It would just do to buy
anew doll. I wzsk I could go to the toy-shop
to buy one to surprise Floss. I won’t tell
Floss I’ve found it, I'll keep it for a secret,
and some day I'll buy Floss a new doll. I’m





as, Qepolank,



« A yellow sixpenny! Oh how nice! ”’
— Page 40.































sis CES,

PLANS, 4Ir

sure Floss doesn’t know; I think the fairies
must have put it there.”

He wrapped the piece of money up carefully
in a bit of paper; and after considering where
he could best hide it, so that Floss should not
know till it was time to surprise her, he fixed on
a beautiful place. He hid it under one of the
little round saucers in his paint-box—a very
old paint-box it was, which had descended from
Jack, first to Mott, and then to Carrots, but
which, all the same, Carrots considered one of
his greatest treasures. é

When nurse came into the room, she found
the tidying of the drawer completed, and Car-.
rots sitting quietly by the window. He did not
tell her about the money he had found; it never
entered into his little head that he should speak
of it. He had got into the way of not telling
all the little things that happened to him to any



but Floss; for he was naturally a very quiet
child, and nurse was getting too old to care
een Br
about all the tiny interests of her children as ge Ww
she once had done. Besides, he had deter- Re;



“ CARROTS.”

mined to keep it a secret even from Floss, till
he could buy a new doll with it; but very
likely he would have told her of it after all,
had not something else put it out of his head.

The something else was that that afternoon
nurse took Floss and him a long walk, and a
walk they were very fond of.

It was to the cottage of the old woman who,
ever since they had come to Sandyshore, had

washed for them. She was a very nice old

woman, and her cottage was beautifully clean ;

and now and then Floss and Carrots had gone
with nurse to have tea with her, which was a
great treat. But to-day they were not going
to tea; they were only going because nurse had
to pay Mrs. White some money for washing up
Jack’s things quickly, and nurse knew the old
woman would be glad to have it, as it was close
to the day on which she had to pay her rent.

Floss and Carrots were delighted to go; for
even when they did not stay to tea, Mrs. White
always gave them a glass of milk, and gener-
ally a piece of home-made cake.





Before they started, nurse went to her drawer

and took out of it a very small packet done up

in white paper ; and this little packet she put

into her purse.

It was, after all, a nice fine day. Floss and
Carrots walked quietly beside nurse for a little;
and then she gave them leave to run races,
which made the way seem very short till they
got to Mrs. White’s. ;

“How nice it will be when we have our
hoops, won’t it, Carrots?” said Floss.

Carrots had almost forgotten about the hoops ;
but now that Floss mentioned them, it put him
in mind of something else.

«Wouldn't you like a new doll, Floss?” he
said mysteriously, “a most beautifullest new
doll, with hair like —like the angels’ hairs in
the big window at church, and eyes like the
little blue stones in mamma’s ring?”

“Of course I would,” said Floss; “and we’d
call her Angeline, wouldn’t we, Carrots? But
it’s no good thinking about it; I shall never
have one like that, unless the fairies send it





“ CARROTS.”

“Tf the fairies sended you money to buy

one, wouldn't that do?” said Carrots, staring
up in her face with a funny look in his eyes.

But before Floss had time to answer, nurse
called to them. They were at the corner of
the lane which led to Mrs. White’s.

Mrs. White was very kind. She had baked
a cake only a day or two. before, and cut off a
beautiful big piece for each of the children,
then she gave them a drink of milk; and they
ran out into her little garden to eat their
cake and look at the flowers, till nurse had
finished her business with the old washer-
woman, and was ready to go home.

Floss and Carrots thought a great deal of
Mrs. White’s garden. Small as it was, it
had far more flowers in it than their own
garden at the back of the Cove House; for it
was a mile or two farther from the sea, and
the soil was richer, and it was more sheltered
from the wind.

In summer there was what Floss called quite

?

a “buzzy” sound in this little garden. She





meant that sweet, lazy-busy hum of bees and
butterflies and all sorts of living creatures
that you never hear except in a real old-
fashioned garden where there are lots of clove-
pinks and sweet-williams and roses; roses es-
pecially, — great, big cabbage-roses, and dear
little pink climbing roses, the kind that peep
in at a cottage window to bid you “ good-morn-
ing.” Oh, how very sweet those old-fashioned
flowers are! though “ rose fanciers,” and all the
clever gardeners we have nowadays, wouldn't
give anything for them! J think them the
sweetest of all. Don’t you, children? Or is
it only when one begins to grow old-fashioned
one’s self, and to care more for things that used
to be than things that are now, that one gets
to prize these old friends so?

I am wandering away from Floss and Car-
rots waiting for nurse in the cottage garden.
You must forgive me, boys and girls. When
people begin to grow old, they get in the habit
of telling stories in a rambling way; but I don’t

find children so hard upon this tiresome habit |








“CARROTS.”

as big people sometimes are. And it all comes:
back to me so—even the old washerwoman’s
cottage I can see so plainly, and the dear
straggly little garden!

For you see, children, I am telling you the
history of a veal little boy and girl, not fancy
children ; and that is why, though there is noth-
ing very wonderful about Floss and Carrots,
I hope the story of their little pleasures and
sorrows and simple lives may be interesting to
you.

But I must finish about the visit to the:
washerwoman in another chapter. I have made.

this one rather too long already.




























THE LOST HALF—-SOVEREIGN.

CHAPTER IV.

THE LOST HALF—SOVEREIGN.

Children should not leave about
Anything that’s small and bright ;
Lest the fairies spy it out,
And fly off with it at night.

POEMS WRITTEN FOR A CHILD.

THERE was no buzzy sound in Mrs. White’s.
garden this afternoon. It was far too early in
the year for that ; indeed, it was beginning to-
feel quite chilly and cold, as the afternoons
often do of fine days in early spring; and by
the time Floss and Carrots had eaten their
cake, and examined all the rose-bushes to see
if they could find any buds, and wished it were
summer, so that there would be some straw-
berries hiding under the glossy green leaves,
they began to wonder why nurse was so long,.
and to feel rather cold, and tired of waiting.

“Just run to the door, Carrots dear,” said
Floss, “and peep in to see if nurse is coming.’”



“CARROTS.”

She did not like to go herself; for she knew
that nurse and Mrs. White were fond of a com-
fortable talk together, and might not like to
be interrupted by her. ° But Carrots they would
not mind.

Carrots set off obediently; but before he
got to the door he met nurse coming out. She
was followed by Mrs. White, and both were talk-
ing rather earnestly.

«You'll let me know, if so be as you find it,

“Mrs. Hooper; you'won’t forget ?”’ Mrs. White

was saying, — Hooper was nurse’s name, — “ for

I feel quite oneasy —I do that — for you.”

“Tl let you know, and thank you, Mrs.
White,” said nurse. “I’m glad I happened to
bring some of my own money with me too; for
I should have been sorry to put you to any ill-

convenience by my carelessness, though how

I could have been so careless as to mislay it,

”

I’m sure it’s more than I can say.
“Jt is, indeed, and you so careful,” said Mrs.
White sympathizingly.
Just then nurse caught sight of Carrots.






























ee THE LOST HALF—-SOVEREIGN. 49

3 t «Come along, Master Carrots,” she said; “I
was just going to look for you. Wherever’s
BY Miss Floss?) We must be quick; it’s quite
f time we were home.”

“Tl tell Floss,’ said Carrots, disappearing
again down the path; and in another moment
Floss and he ran back to nurse.

Though they had been very quick, nurse
seemed to think they had.been slow. She even
scolded Floss a very little, as if she had been
kept waiting by her and Carrots, when she was
in a hurry to go; and both Floss and Carrots
felt that this was very hard, when the fact was
that they had been waiting for nurse till they
were both tired and cold.

“Tt wasn’t Floss’s fault. Floss wanted you
to come quick, and she sended me to see,” said
Carrots indignantly.

“Hold your tongue, Master Carrots!” said
nurse sharply.

Carrots’s face got very red; he gave nurse
one reproachful look, but did not speak. He
took Floss’s hand, and pulled her on in front.



“ CARROTS.”

But Floss would not go; she drew her hand
away.

’

“No, Carrots, dear,” she said in a low voice ;
“it wouldn’t be kind to leave nurse all alone

when she is sorry about something.”

“Ts she sorry about somesing ?”’ said Car-

rots.

« Yes,” replied Floss; “I am sure she is.
You run on for a minute. I want to speak to.
nurse.”

Carrots ran on, and Floss stayed behind.

“Nurse,” she said softly, slipping her hand
through nurse’s arm, which, by stretching up:
on tip-toe, she was just able to do, “nurse,
dear, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing much, Miss Flossie,” replied nurse:
patting the kind little hand; “nothing much ;.
but I'm growing an old woman, and easy put
out —and such a stupid-like thing for me to:
have done!”

“What have you done? What is stupid?”
inquired Floss, growing curious as well as sym-

pathizing,







“ Carrots ran on, and Floss stayed behind.”
— Page 50.





























THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN. 5.

“T have lost a half-sovereign —a ten-shilling

)

piece in gold, Miss Flossie,” replied nurse.

“Out of your pocket? Dropped it, do you
mean?” said Floss.

“Oh, no! I had it in my purse; at least, I
thought I had,” said nurse. “It was a half-
sovereign of your mamma’s, that she gave me
to pay Mrs. White with for Master Jack’s things
and part of last week that was left over; and I
wrapped it up with a shilling and a sixpence
— jit came to eleven and six altogether — in
a piece of paper, and put it in my drawer in
the nursery; and before I came out I put the
packet in my purse. And when I opened it
at Mrs. White’s, no half-sovereign was there!
Only the shilling and the sixpence!”

“You didn’t drop it at Mrs. White’s, did
you? Should we go back and look 2?” said
Floss, standing still, as if ready to run off
that moment.

“No, no, my dear! It’s not at Mrs. White's.
She and I searched all over, and she’s as hon-

est a body as could be,” replied nurse. “ No;





























4
vs (ayn

BS ae Wins Gs Ky, >

is

52 “ CARROTS.”

there’s just the chance of its being in the
drawer at home. I feel all in a fever till I
get there to look. But don’t you say any-
thing about it, Miss Flossie; it’s my own fault,
and no one must be troubled about it but my-
self.”

“Poor nursie,” said Floss; “I’m so sorry.
But you're sure to find it in your drawer.
Let’s go home very fast. Carrots,’ she called
out to the little figure obediently trotting on
in front, “Carrots, come and walk with nursie
and me now. Nursie isn’t vexed.”

Carrots turned back, looking up wistfully in
nurse’s face.

« Poor darlings!” said the old woman to her-
self; “such a shame of me to have spoilt their
walk !”

And all the way home, “to make up,” she
was even kinder than usual.

But her hopes of finding the lost piece of
money were disappointed. She searched all
through the drawer in vain; there was no half-

sovereign to be seen. Suddenly it struck her






be
x i, = ee. = j ie
SE ORS 23h Hho, BRET
¢ a

ees THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN. 53


























that Carrots had been busy “tidying” for Floss
that morning.

“Master Carrots, my dear,” she said, “ when
you were busy at Miss Floss’s drawer to-day,
you didn’t open mine, did you, and touch any-
thing in it?”

«Oh, no,” said Carrots at once; “I’m quite,
quite szre I didn’t, nursie.”

“You're sure you didn’t touch nurse’s purse,
or a little tiny packet of white paper, in her
drawer?’ inquired Floss, with an instinct that
the circumstantial details might possibly recall
some forgotten remembrance to his mind.

“ Quite sure,” said Carrots, looking straight
up in their faces with a thoughtful, but not un-
certain, expression in his brown eyes.

«Because nurse has lost something out of
her drawer, you see, Carrots dear, and she is
very sorry about it,” continued Floss.

“What has she lost ? But I’m sure,” repeated
Carrots, “I didn’t touch nurse’s drawer, nor
nucken in it. What has nurse lost?”

« A half-sovereign ’— began Floss; but nurse

interrupted her.



DE Cae Se SOE

“ CARROTS.”






























54



“Don’t tease him any more about it,” she
said; “it’s plain he doesn’t know, and I
wouldn’t like the other servants to hear.
Just forget about it, Master Carrots, my dear ;
perhaps nurse will find it some day.”

So Carrots, literally obedient, asked no more
questions. He only said to himself, with a
puzzled look on his face, “A half-sovereign !
I didn’t know nurse had any sovereigns. I
thought only Floss had—and I never saw
any broken in halfs!”

But as no more was said in his hearing
about the matter, it passed from his innocent
mind.

Nurse thought it right to tell the children’s
mother of her loss, and the girls and Maurice
heard of it too. They all were very sorry for
nurse, for she took her own carelessness rather
sorely to heart. But by her wish nothing was
said of it to the two other servants, one of
whom had only lately come, though the other
had been with them many years.

“Td rather by far bear the loss,” said nurse,

“than cause any ill-feeling about it, ma’am.”



THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN. 55

And her mistress gave in to her. “Though
certainly you must not bear the loss, nurse,”
she said kindly; “for in all these years you
have saved me too many half-sovereigns, and
whole ones too, for me to mind much about
the loss of one. And you've asked Carrots,
you say; you're sure he knows nothing about
te? oF

“ Quite sure, ma'am,” said nurse unhesitat-
ingly.

And several days went on, and nothing more
was said or heard about the half-sovereign.

Only all this time the little yellow sixpenny

lay safely hidden away in Carrots’s paint-box.
In a sense he had forgotten about it. He

knew it was safe there, and he had almost
fixed in his mind not to tell Floss about it
till the day they should be going to the toy-
shop to buy their hoops. Once or twice he
had been on the point of showing it to her,
but had stopped short, thinking how much
more delightful it would he to “surprise” her.
He had quite left off: puzzling his head as





“ CARROTS.”

to where the little coin had come from. He
had found it in Floss’s drawer; that was quite
enough. If he had any thoughts about its

history, they were that either Floss had had

“the sixpenny”’ a long time ago, and had for-

gotten it, or that the fairies had brought it;
and, on the whole, he inclined to the latter
explanation, for you see there was something
different about this sixpenny to any he had
ever seen before.

Very likely “ fairies’ sixpennies”” are always
that pretty yellow color, he thought.

One day, about a week after the loss of the
half-sovereign, Maurice happened to come into
the nursery just at the little ones’ teatime.
It was a half-holiday, and he had been out for
a long walk with some of his companions ; for
he still went to school at Sandyshore, and
now he had come in tremendously hungry
ana thirsty.

“IT say, nurse!” he exclaimed, seating him-
self unceremoniously at the table; “I’m awfully

hungry, and mamma’s out, and we sha’n’t have





THE LOST HALF—-SOVEREIGN. 57

tea for two hours yet. And Carrots, young
man, I want your paint-box; mine’s all gone
to smash, and Cecil won't lend me hers, and
I want to paint flags with stars and stripes.
for my new boat.”

«Tars and tipes,”’ repeated Carrots ; “ what's.
tars and tipes? ”

«“ What’s that to you?” replied Mott politely.
“Bless me, I am so thirsty! Give me your tea,
Carrots, and nurse will make you some more.
What awful weak stuff! But I’m too thirsty
to wait.”

He seized Carrots’s mug, and drank off its.
contents at one draught. But when he: put
the mug down he made a very wry face.

“What horrible stuff!” he exclaimed.
“Nurse, you've forgotten to put in any
sugar.”

“No, she hasn't,” said Carrots bluntly.

Nurse smiled, but said nothing, and Floss.
looked fidgety.

“What do you mean?” said Mott. “ Don't

you like sugar — eh, young’un ?”

> sound
as





“ CARROTS.”

«Yes, I do like it,’ replied Carrots; but ©
he would say no more.

Floss grew more and more uneasy.

«© Mott!” she burst out, “please don't
tease Carrots. It’s nothing wrong; it’s only
something we've planned ourselves.”

Mott’s curiosity was by this time thoroughly
‘aroused. |

«A secret, is it?” he exclaimed, pricking

up his ears; “you'd best tell it me. I’m a

duffer at keeping secrets. Out with it!”

Floss looked ready to cry; and Carrots shut
his mouth tight, as if determined not to give
in. Nurse thought it time to interfere.

“Master Maurice,’ she said ,appealingly,
«don’t tease the poor little things; there’s a
good boy. If it is a secret, there’s no harm
in it, you may be sure.”

“Tease!” repeated Mott virtuously; “I’m
not teasing. I only want to know what the
mystery is. Why shouldn't I? I won't in-
WIS,”

Now, Mott was just at the age when the































THE LOST IIALF-SOVEREIGN. 59

spirit of mischief is most apt to get thorough
hold of a boy; and once this zs the case, who
can say where or at what a boy will stop?
[very opposition or contradiction only adds
fuel to the flames; and not seldom a tiny
spark may thus end in a great fire. Nurse
knew something of boys in general, and of Mott
in particular ; and, knowing what she did, she
decided in her own mind that she had better
take the’ bull by the horns without delay.

“Miss Floss,” she said seriously, “and Mas-
ter Carrots, I think you had better tell your
brother your secret. He'll be very kind about
it, you'll see, and he won't tell anybody.”

«Won't you, Mott?” said Floss, jumping up
and down on her chair in her anxiety. “ Prom-
aIsejla

“Honor bright,’ said Mott.

Carrots opened his mouth as if about to
speak, but shut it down again.



“What were you going to say?” said Mott.
ot “ Nucken,” replied Carrots.
“People don’t open their mouths like that,



“ CARROTS.”

if they've ‘nucken’ to say,” said Mott, as if
he didn’t believe Carrots.

«“T didn’t mean that I wasn’t goimg to say
nucken,” said Carrots; “I mean I haven't
nucken to say now.”

« And what were you going to say?” per-
sisted Mott.

Carrots looked frightened.

“T was only sinking if you knowed, and
nurse knowed, and Floss knowed, and I
knowed, it wouldn’t be a secret.”

Mott burst out laughing.

«What a precious goose you are!” he ex-
claimed. ‘ Well, secret or no secret, I’m going
to hear it; so tell me.”

Floss looked at nurse despairingly.

«You tell, nurse, please,” she said.

So nurse told, and Maurice looked more
amused than ever. “What an idea!” he ex-

claimed. “I don’t believe Carrots ’ll hold out

for a month, whatever Floss may do, unless

he has a precious lump of ac—ac— what is

it the head people call it ?— acquisitiveness.























THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN.

for his age. But you needn’t have made such
a fuss about your precious secret. Here,
nurse, give us some tea,and you may put in
all the sugar Floss and Carrots have saved
by now.”

Floss and Carrots looked ready to cry; but




nurse reassured them.

« Never you fear,” she said; “he shall have
what’s proper, but no more. Never was such
a boy for sweet things as you, Master Mott!”

“Jt shows in my temper, doesn’t it?” he
said saucily. And then he was so pleased
with his own wit, that for a few minutes he
forgot to tease, occupying himself by eating
lots of bread and butter instead, so that tea

went on peaceably.





“ CARROTS.”

CHAPTER V.

CARROTS IN TROUBLE.
“But bitter while they flow, are childish tears.”

“Now, Carrots,” said Mott, when he had
eaten what he considered might possibly sup-
port him for the next two hours, “now, Carrots,

let’s have the paint-box. You needn’t disturb

ourself,’ he continued; for Carrots was pre-
2 )

paring to descend from his high chair. “I
know where you keep it; it’s in your drawer,
isn’t it? Which is his drawer, nurse? It'll be
a good opportunity for me to see if he keeps
it tidy.”

“No, no; let me get it myself!” cried Carrots,
tumbling himself off his chair anyhow in his.
eagerness. “Nurse, nurse! don’t tell him which
is mine; don’t let him take my paint-box; let

me get it my own self.”





CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 63:

Nurse looked at him with some surprise; it.
was seldom the little boy so excited himself.
“ Master Mott won't hurt your drawer, my
dear,” she said; “you don’t mind his having
your paint-box, I’m sure. But do let him get
it out himself, if he wants, Master Maurice ;.

’

there’s a dear boy,” she continued ; for Maurice
was by this time ferreting in Floss’s drawer
with great gusto, and in another moment would.
have been at Carrots’s. But Carrots was at it.
before him. He pulled it open as far as he
could; for in consequence of Mott's investi-
gations in the upper story, he could not easily
penetrate to his own quarters. But he knew
exactly where the paint-box lay, and managed

_ to slip it out without Maurice’s noticing what.

he was doing. His triumph was short-livel,
however ; before he could open the box, Mott.

was after him.

«Hi, you young sneak!” he cried; “what
are you after now? Giveme the box. I believe:
you want to take the best paints out before
you lend it to me;” and he wrenched the paint-
box out of his little brother’s hands.





“ CARROTS.”

“I don’t; I don’t!” sobbed Carrots, sitting

down on the floor, and crying bitterly. “You
may have all the paints, Mott; but it’s my
secret, oh, my secret!”

«What are you talking about?” said Mott
roughly, pulling out the lid as he spoke. The
box had been all tumbled about in the struggle,
and the paints came rattling out, —the paints
and the brushes and the little saucers, — and
with them came rolling down onto the floor,
children, you know what,—the “ fairies’ six-
penny,” the little bright, shining yellow half-
sovereign !

A strange change came over Mott's face.

“ Nurse!” he cried, “do you see that? What
does that mean ?”

Nurse hastened up to where he was stand-
ing ;

ishment at the spot on the carpet to which the

she stared for a moment in puzzled aston-

toe of Maurice’s boot was pointing, then she
stooped down slowly and picked up the coin,
still without speaking.

«Well, nurse,” said Maurice impatiently,
“what do you think of that?”





2 wa
Q ’ “SD























CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 65

“ My half-sovereign,” said nurse, as if hardly
believing what she saw.

“Of course it’s your half-sovereign,” said
Mott, “it’s as plain as a pikestaff. But how
did it come there? that’s the question.”

Nurse looked at Carrots with puzzled per-
plexity. “He couldn't have known,” she
said in a low voice, too low for Carrots to
hear. He was still sitting on the floor sob-
bing ; and through his sobs was:to be heard
now and then the melancholy cry, “ My secret!
oh, my poor secret!”

“You hear what he says,” said Maurice;
“what does his ‘secret’ mean but that he
sneaked into your drawer and took the half-
sovereign, and now doesn’t like being found
out. I’m ashamed to have him for my, brother,
that I am, the little cad!”

“But he couldn’t have understood,” said
nurse, at a loss how otherwise to defend her
little boy. “I’m not even sure that he rightly
knew of my losing it; and he might have taken
it, meaning no harm, not knowing what it was,

indeed, very likely.”





“CARROTS.”

“Rubbish,” said Maurice. “A child that
is going without sugar to get money instead
must be old enough to understand something
about what money is.”

“But that was my plan; it wasn’t Carrots
that thought of it at all,” said Floss, who
all this time had stood by, frightened and
distressed, not knowing what to say.

“Hold your tongue, Floss,’ said Maurice
roughly; and Floss subsided. “Carrots,” he
continued, turning to his brother, “leave off
crying this minute, and listen to me. Who
put this piece of money in your paint-box?”’

“T did, my own self,” said Carrots.

« What for?”

“To keep it a secret for Floss,’ sobbed
Carrots.

Maurice turned triumphantly to nurse.

= Phere he saidjacsyou see Andes the

continued to Carrots again, “you took it out of

nurse's drawer — out of a little paper packet ?’”
“No,” said Carrots, “I didn’t. I didn’t.
know it was nurse’s.”





CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 67

“You didn’t know nurse had lost a_half-
sovereign !’’ exclaimed Mott. “Carrots, how

dare you say so?”

“Yes,” said Carrots, looking so puzzled that

for a moment or two he forgot to sob; “I did
know: Floss told me.”

“Then, how caz you say you didn’t know this
was nurse’s?” said Mott.

“Oh, I don’t know —I didn’t know —I can’t
under’tand!” cried Carrots, relapsing into fresh
sobs.

“T wish your mamma was in, that I do,”
said nurse, looking ready to cry too; by this
time Floss’s tears were flowing freely.

“She isn’t in, so it’s no good wishing she
was,’ said Maurice; “but papa is,” he went
on importantly, “and I'll just take Carrots
to him and see what e’/ say to all this.”

“Oh, no, Master Mott! don’t do that, I beg
and pray of you,” said nurse, all but wringing
her hands in entreaty. “Your papa doesn’t
understand about the little ones: do wait till

your mamma comes in.”

























“CARROTS.”

“No, indeed, nurse; it’s a thing papa should
be told,” said Mott, in his innermost heart half
inclined to yield, but working himself up to im-
agine he was acting very heroically. And, not- .
withstanding nurse’s distress and Floss’s tears,
off he marched his unfortunate little brother to
the study.

“ Papa,” he said, knocking at the door, “may
Icome in? There’s something I must speak
to you about immediately.”

«Come in, then,’ was the reply. «Well,




and what’s the matter now? Has Carrots
hurt himself?” asked his father, naturally
enough, for his red-haired little son looked
pitiable in the extreme as he crept into the
room after Maurice, frightened, bewildered, and,
so far as his gentle disposition was capable
of such a feeling, indignant also, all at once.

“No,” replied Maurice, pushing Carrots for-
ward, “he’s not hurt himself; it’s worse than
that. Papa,” he continued excitedly, “you
whipped me once, when I was a little fellow,
for telling a story. I am very sorry to trouble






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CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 69

you, but I think it’s right you should know;
I am afraid you will have to punish Carrots
more severely than you punished me, for he’s
done worse than tell a story.” Maurice stop-
pel to take breath, and looked at his father
to see the effect of his words. Carrots had
stopped crying to listen to what Maurice was
saying; and there he stood, staring up with

his large brown eyes, two or three tears still



struggling down his cheeks, his face smeared
and red, and looking very miserable. Yet he
did not seem to be in the least ashamed of
himself, and this somehow provoked Mott and
hardened him against him.

«What's he been doing?” said their father,
looking at the two boys with more amuse-
ment than anxiety, and then glancing regret-
fully at the newspaper which he had been
comfortably reading when Mott’s knock came
to the door.

“He's done much worse than tell a story,”
repeated Maurice, “though for that matter he’s

told two or three stories too. But, papa, you



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“ CARROTS.

know about nurse losing a_half-sovereign?
Well, Carrots had got it all the time; he took
it out of nurse’s purse, and hid it away in his
paint-box, without telling anybody. He can’t
deny it, though he tried to.”

“Carrots,” said his father sternly, “is this
Ieee

Carrots looked up in his father’s face; that
face, generally so kind and merry, was now all
gloom and displeasure—why? Carrots could
net understand, and he was too frightened and
miserable to collect his little wits together to
try to do so. He just gave a sort of little
tremble and began to cry again.

“Carrots,” repeated his father, “is this
Glee yeey

“T don’t know,” sobbed Carrots.

Now, Captain Desart, Carrots’s father, was,

as I think I have told you, a sailor. If any of

you children have a sailor for your father you
must not think I mean to teach you to be
disrespectful when I say that sailors are, there
is no doubt, inclined to be hot-tempered and









CARROTS IN TROUBLE. is

hasty. And I do not think, on the whole, that
they understand much about children, though
they are often very fond of them and very
kind. All this was the case with Carrots’s
father. He had been so much away from his
children while they were little that he really
hardly knew how they had been brought up or
trained, or anything about their childish ways ;
he had left them entirely to his wife, and
scarcely considered them as in any way “ “zs

”

business,” till they were quite big boys and
girls.

But once he did begin to notice them, though
very kind, he was very strict. He had most
decided opinions about the only way of check-
ing their faults whenever these were serious
enough to attract his attention; and he could
not and would not be troubled with arguing,
or what he called “ splitting hairs,” about such
matters. A fault was a fault; telling a false-
hood was telling a falsehood; and he made no
allowance for the excuses or “palliating cir-
cumstances” there might be to consider. One







































sts CLs
BR YK Se eee pe oh.
eager wu : ! A GaE rel Soh Mees



72 “CARROTS.”



child, according to his ideas, was to be treated
exactly like another; why the same offence
should deserve severer punishment with a self-
willed, self-confident, bold, matter-of-fact lad,
such as Maurice, than with a timid, fanciful,
baby-like creature, as was his little Fabian,
he could not have understood had he tried,

Nurse knew all this by long experience ; no
wonder, kind though she knew her master to
be, that she trembled when Mott announced
his intention of laying the whole affair before
his father.












But poor Carrots did not know anything
about it. “Papa” had never been “cross”
to him before, and he was far from clearly
understanding why he was “cross” to him
now. So he just sobbed, and said, «I don't
know,” which was about the worst thing he
could possibly have said in his own defence,
though literally the truth.

“No or yes, sir,” said Captain Desart, his
voice growing louder and sterner,— I think he
really forgot that it was a poor little shrimp of















Q

CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 73



six years old he was speaking to,— “no non-

sense of ‘don’t knows.’ Did you, or did you

not, take nurse’s half-sovereign out of her

drawer and keep it for your own?”

“No,” said Carrots; “I never took nucken
out of nurse’s drawer. I never did, papa, and
I didn’t know nurse had any sovereigns.”

“Didn’t you know nurse had Jost a half-

sovereign? Carrots, how can you say so?’

interrupted Mott.

“Yes, Floss told me,” said Carrots.

“And Floss hid it away in your paint-box,.
I suppose?” said Mott sarcastically.

“No, Floss didn’t. I hided the sixpenny my
own self,” said Carrots, looking more and more
puzzled.

“Hold your tongue, Maurice!” said his.
father angrily. “Go and fetch the money and
the tomfool paint-box thing that you say he
had it in.”

Mott did as he was told. He ran to the
nursery and back as fast as he could; but,.
unobserved by him, Floss managed to run.



















“CARROTS.”

after him and crept into the study so quietly
that her father never noticed her.

Maurice laid the old paint-box and the half-
sovereign down on the table in front of his
father; Captain Desart held up the little coin
between his finger and thumb.

“Now,” he said, “Carrots, look at this.
Did you, or did you not, take this piece of
money out of nurse’s drawer and hide it away
in your paint-box?”’

Carrots stared hard at the half-sovereign.

“T did put it in my paint-box,” he said, and
then he stopped.

“What for?” said his father.

“T wanted to keep it for a secret,” he replied.
“T wanted to— to’ —

“What?” thundered Captain Desart.

“To buy something at the toy-shop with it,”
sobbed Carrots.

Captain Desart sat down and looked at Mott
for sympathy.

“Upon my soul,” he said, “one could hardly
believe it. A child that one would think





CARROTS IN TROUBLE.

scarcely knew the value of money! Where
can he have learnt such cunning? you say you

are sure he was told of nurse’s having lost a.

half-sovereign ?” ;

“Oh, yes!” said Mott ; “he confesses to that
much himself.”

“ Floss told me,” said Carrots.

«Then, how can you pretend you didn’t know
this was nurse's ?— taking it out of her drawer,
too,” said his father.

“T don’t know. I didn’t take it out of her
drawer; it was ‘aside Floss’s doll,” said Car-
rots.

“He’s trying to equivocate,” said his father.
‘Then he turned to the child again, looking more
‘determined than ever.

“Carrots,” he said, “I must whip you for this.
Do you know that I am ashamed to think you
are my son? If you were a poor boy you
might be put in prison for this.”

Carrots looked too bewildered to understand.
«Tn prison,” he repeated. “ Would the prison-

man take me?”

WGK E

SU gH

te)























“CARROTS.”




“What does he mean?” said Captain Desart..

Floss, who had been waiting unobserved in
her corner all this time, thought this a good
opportunity for coming forward.

“He means the policeman,” she said. “O
papa!” she went on, running up to her little
brother and throwing her arms round him, the
tears streaming down her face, “O papa! poor
little Carrots! he doesn't understand.”

“Where did you come from?” said her
father gruffly, but not unkindly, for Floss was.
rather a favorite of his. “What do you mean
about his not understanding? Did you know
about this business, Floss ?”’

“Qh no, papa,” said Floss, her face flush-
ing; “I’m too big not to understand.”

“Of course you are,” said Captain Desart ;
“and Carrots is big enough, too, to understand
the very plain rule that he is not to touch
what does not belong to him. He was told,
too, that nurse had lost a half-sovereign, and
he might then have owned to having taken it,.
and given it back, and then things would not.










CARROTS IN TROUBLE.

have looked so bad. Take him up to my dress-
ing-room, Maurice, and leave him there till I
come.”

“May I go with him, papa?” said Floss
very timidly.

“No,” said her father, “you may not.”

So Mott led off poor weeping Carrots, and
all the way up-stairs he kept sobbing to him-
self, “I never touched nurse’s sovereigns. I
never did. I didn’t know she had any sov-

ereigns.”
“Hold your tongue!” said Mott; “what is

the use of telling more stories about it?”

“I didn’t tell stories. I said I hided the
sixpenny my own self, but I never touched
nurse’s sovereigns; I never did.”

«I believe you’re more that half an idiot,”
said Mott angry and yet sorry—angry with
himself, too, somehow.

Floss, left alone with her father, ventured
on another appeal.

“You won't whip Carrots till mamma comes

in, will you, papa?” she said softly.





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“CARROTS.”

“Why not? Do you think I want her to
help me to whip him?” said Captain Desart.

“Oh no! but—I think perhaps mamma

would understand better how it was, for, O
papa dear, Carrots isn’t a naughty boy; he
never, never tells stories.”

“Well, we'll see,” replied her father; “and
in the meanwhile it will do him no harm to
think things over by himself in my dressing-
room for a little.”

“ Oh, poor Carrots!” murmured Floss to her-
self; “it'll be getting dark, and he’s all alone.

I wisk mamma would come in!”



























AO oP Wise, BOT SS er

CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT’”’ AGAIN. 79:

CHAPTER VI.

CARROTS ‘ALL ZIGHT’’ AGAIN.

“ When next the summer breeze comes by,
And waves the bush, the flower is dry.”
WALTER SCOTT.

FLoss crept up-stairs to the dressing-room
door. It was locked. Though the key was.
in the lock, she knew she must not turn it ;:
and even had it been open she would not have:
dared to go in, after her father’s forbidding it.
But she thought she might venture to speak
to Carrots, to comfort him a little, through
the door. She was dreadfully afraid that he
might feel frightened in there alone if it got
dark before he was released ; for sometimes he
was afraid of the dark —he was such a little
boy, remember.

Floss tapped at the door.

“ Carrots,” she said, “are you there?”



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“CARROTS.”





“Yes,” said Carrots; “but you can’t come
in, Floss; Mott has locked me in.”

“I know,” said Floss; “what are you doing,





Carrots?) Are you very unhappy?”




“Not so very. I’m crying —I’m crying
a great lot, Floss; but I don’t think I’m so

very unhappy —not now you’ve come to the
door.”






“Poor Carrots!” said Floss, «I'll stay by
the door if you like. I'll. just run down to the
front door now and then, to see if mamma is
coming, and then I’ll come straight back to
you.”

‘All zight,” said Carrots. Whenever he
wanted to seem very brave and rather a big
boy, he used to say “all zight;” and just now
he was trying very hard to be like a big boy.

There was silence for a minute or two,











then Carrots called out again.




“Floss,” he said, “are you there?”

“Yes, dear,” replied faithful Floss.

“I want just to tell you one thing,” he said.
“Floss, I never did touch nurse’s sovereigns.
I never knowed she had any.”








oq f
9



CARROTS ‘‘ ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN. 81

“Tt wasn’t a sovereign, it was a /alf-sov-
ereign,” corrected Floss.

“J don’t under’tand how it could be a half-
sovereign,” said Carrots. “ But I never touched
nurse’s drawer, nor nucken in it.”

“Then, where add you find the half-sov-
ereign?” began Floss; “and why — O Car-
rots!” she broke off, “I do believe that’s the
front-door bell. It'll be mamma coming. I
must run down.”

« Allzight!” called out Carrots again. “ Don’t
be long, Floss; but please tell mamma all
about it. I don’t under’tand.”

He gave a little sigh of perplexity, and lay
down on the floor near the window, where the
room was lightest; for the darkness was now
beginning to creep in, and he felt very lonely.

Poor Mrs. Desart hardly knew what to think
or say, when, almost before she had got into
the house, she was seized upon by Maurice
and Floss, each eager to tell their own story.
Carrots naughty, Carrots in disgrace, was such

an extraordinary idea!



























* CARROTS.”

“Nurse!” she exclaimed, perceiving her at
the end of the passage, whence she had been
watching as anxiously as the children for her
mistress’s return, “nurse, what is the mean-
ing of it all?”

“Indeed, ma'am,” nurse was beginning, but
she was interrupted. “Come in ene wale eyes
said Captain Desart to his wife, opening the
study door; “come in here before you go up-
stairs.”

And Mrs. Desart did as he asked; but Floss
again managed to creep in too, almost hidden
in the folds of her mother’s dress.

“I can’t believe that Carrots is greedy or
cunning or obstinate,” said his mother, when
she had heard all. “I cannot think that he
understood what he was doing when he took
the half-sovereign,”

“But the hiding it,” said Captain Desart,
“the hiding it; and yet to my face persisting
that he had nevér touched nurse’s_half-sov-
ereign. I can’t make the child out.”

“He says he didn’t know nurse had any
sovereigns,” put in Floss,

Ze se OEN
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CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN.” 83

« Are you there again, you ubiquitous child?”
said her father.

Floss looked rather frightened — such a long
word as ubiquitous must surely mean some-
thing very naughty ; but her father’s voice was
not angry, so she took courage.

“Does he know what a sovereign means?”
said Mrs. Desart. “Perhaps there is some
confusion in his mind which makes him seem
obstinate when he isn’t so really.”

“He said he knew J/ had sovereigns,” said
Floss, “and I couldn’t think what he meant.
O mamma!” she went on suddenly, “I do

believe I know what he was thinking of. It

was my kings and queens.”

And before her father or mother could stop
her she had darted off to the nursery. In
two minutes she was back again, holding out

to her mother a round wooden box —the sort

of box one often used to see with picture alpha-
bets for little children ; but instead of an alpha-
bet Floss’s box contained a set of round cards,
each about the size of the top of a wineglass,





“ CARROTS.”

with the heads of all the English kings and
queens, from William the Conqueror down to
Victoria.

»?

«« Sovereigns of England,’ mamma, you see

she exclaimed, pointing to the words on the
lid, and quite out of breath with hurry and ex-
citement, “and I very often call them my
sovereigns; and of course Carrots didn't un-
derstand how there could be a “a/f one of them,
nor how nurse could have any.”

“Tt must be so,” said Mrs. Desart to her
husband ; “the poor child really did zo¢ under-
stand.”

“But still the taking the money at all, and
hiding it,” said Captain Desart. “I don’t
see that it would be right not to punish him.”

“He has been punished already — pretty
severely for him, I fancy,” said Floss’s mother,
with a rather sad smile. “You will leave him
to me now, won't you, Frank?” she asked
her husband. “I will go up and see him, and
try to make him thoroughly understand. Give
me the sovereigns, Floss dear; I’ll take them





CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN. 85

Somewhat slowly Carrots’s mother made her
way up-stairs. She was tired and rather
troubled. She did not believe that her poor
little boy had really done wrong wilfully, but
it seemed difficult to manage well among
so many children; she was grieved, also, at
‘Maurice’s hastiness and want of tender feel-
ing; and she saw, too, how little fitted Carrots
was to make his way in this rough-and-ready
world.

“How would it be without me? My poor

a2

children she thought with a sigh.

But a little hand was slipped into hers.

“Mamma, dear, I’m so glad you thought
of the sovereigns. I’m sure Carrots didn’t
mean to be naughty. Mamma dear, though
he zs so little, Carrots always means to be
good ; I don’t think he could even be frightened
into doing anything that he understood was
naughty, though he is so easily frightened
other ways.”

“My good little Floss, my comforter,” said
her mother, patting Floss’s hand, and then





“ CARROTS.”

they together made their way to the dressing-
room.

It was almost dark. The key was in the
lock, and Mrs. Desart felt for it and turned ite §
but when she opened the door it was too dark
in the room to distinguish anything.

“Carrots,” she said; but there was no an-

swer. ‘Where can he be?” she said rather

anxiously. “Floss, run and get a light.”

Floss ran off; she was back again in a min-
ute, for she had met nurse on the stairs with
a candle in her hand. But even with the light
they could not all at once find Carrots, and
although they called to him there was no
answer.

“Can he have got out of the window?”
Mrs. Desart was beginning to say, when Floss
interrupted her.

“Here he is, mamma!” she exclaimed. « Oh,
poor little Carrots! mamma, nursie, do look!”

There he was, indeed, fast, fast asleep !
Extra fast asleep, for his troubles and his tears

had worn him out. He was lying in a corner







*¢ My bonnie wee man.”
— Page 87.























gee? 8 Figs Be Je BAe

’

CARROTS ‘“‘ ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN. 87

of a large closet opening out of the dressing-
room. In this closet Captain Desart hung up
his coats and dressing-gowns, and doubtless
Carrots had crept into it when the room began
to get dark, feeling as if in the hanging gar-
ments there was some comfort and protection ;
and there he lay, looking so fair and innocent,
prettier than when he was awake, for his cheeks
had more color, and his long eyelashes, reddy-
brown, like his hair, showed clearly on his fair
skin.

« Poor little fellow! how sweet he looks!”
said Mrs. Desart. “Nurse, lift him up and
try to put him to bed without waking him.
We must wait to disentangle the confusion in

his mind till to-morrow morning.”



And very tenderly nurse lifted him up and
4 carried him off.
§ ve “My bonnie wee man,” she murmured ; for
oa, though it was many and many a day since she
) had seen her native land, and she had jour-
Cut neyed with her master and mistress to strange

we countries “far over the sea,” she was apt,



TERE PEEL NEE









88 “ CARROTS.”

when her feelings were stirred, to fall back
into her own childhood tongue.

So no more was said to or about Carrots
that evening; but Floss went to bed quite
happy, and satisfied that “mamma” would put
it all right in the morning. I don’t think
Mott went to bed in ‘so comfortable a mood ;
yet his mother had said nothing to him.

Cecil and Louise had, though. Cecil told
him right out that he was a horrid telltale ;
and Louise said she only wished fe had red

hair instead of Carrots; which expressions of







feeling on the part of such very grown-up young




ladies meant a good deal, for it was not often




they troubled. themselves much about nursery
matters, — Cecil, that is to say ; for Louise, who
was fair-haired and soft and gentle, and played
very nicely on the piano, was just a shadow
of Cecil; and if Cecil had proposed that they
should stay in bed all day and get up all night,
would have thought it a very good idea.

And the next morning Mrs. Desart had a
long talk with Carrots. It was all explained and














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CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT” AGAIN. 89:

made clear, and the difference between the two:
kinds of “sovereigns” shown to him. And he
told his mother all —all, that is to say, except
the “plan” for saving sugar and getting money
instead, which had first put it into his head to:
keep the half-sovereign to get a new doll for
Floss. He began to tell about the plan, but
stopped when he remembered that it was
Floss’s secret as well as his own; and when
he told his mother this she said he was quite
right not to tell without Floss’s leave, and that,
as nurse knew about it, they might still keep.
it for their secret, if they liked, which Carrots.
was very glad to hear.

He told his mother about his thinking per-
haps the fairies had brought the “sixpenny ;”
and she explained to him that nowadays, alas !
that was hardly likely to be the case, though
she seemed quite to understand his fancying it,
and did not laugh at him at all. But she spoke
very gravely to him, too, about ever taking
anything that was not his; and, after listening
and thinking with all his might, Carrots said he
thought he “kite under’tood.”



“ CARROTS.”

“Tam never, never to take nucken that I’m

not sure is mine,” he said slowly. “And if

ever I’m not sure I’m to ask somebody, — you,

or nursie, or Floss, or sometimes, perhaps, Cecil.
But I don’t think I’d better ask Mott, for per-
haps he wouldn’t under’tand.”

But Mott’s mother took care that before the
day was over Mott should “ under’tand ” some-
thing of where and how he had been in fault ;
that there are sometimes ways of doing right

which turn it into “wrong ;” and that want of
pity and tenderness for the wrong-dver never,

never can be right.





A LONG AGO STORY.

CHAPTER VII.
A LONG AGO STORY.

You may laugh, my little people,
But be sure my story’s true;
For I vow by yon church steeple
I was once a child like you.

Tue LAND oF Lone AGo.

Ir any of you children have travelled much,
have you noticed that on a long journey there
seem to come points, turns, —I hardly know
what to call them, —after which the journey
seems to go on differently? More quickly, per-
haps more cheerfully, or possibly less so, but
certainly differently? Looking back afterwards
you see it was so —“ from the time we all looked
out of the window at the ruined abbey we

seemed to get on so much faster,” you would

say, or— “after the steamer had passed the

Spearhead Point we began to feel dull and

tired, and there was no more sunshine.”







“CARROTS.”




I think it is so in life. Suddenly, often quite:



unknowingly, we turn a corner sometimes of




our history, sometimes of our characters, and




looking back long afterwards, we make a date




of that point. It was so just now with my little
Carrots. This trouble of his about the half-

sovereign changed him. I do not mean to say





that it saddened him, and made him less happy
than he had been, —at his age, thank God!
few, if any, children have it in them to be so:








yay
_ ee
POs “hen












2 deeply affected,—but it changed him. It was
y &= his first peep out into life, and it gave him his

first real thoughts about things. It made him
see how a little wrong-doing may cause great
sorrow; it gave him his first vague, misty
glimpse of that, to my thinking, saddest of all
sad things — the way in which it is possible for
our very nearest and dearest to mistake and

misunderstand us.



He had been in some ways a good deal of
a baby for his age, there is no doubt. He had
a queer, babylike way of not seeming to take in

ee, RN

quickly what was said to him, and staring up in.





Full Text






i :
ae
5

Ee pia ta erate tay ncgterg ;

MRS MOLESWORTH



BY





geeerererr mens:



ILLUSTRATED














‘ Cope and
SCARROLS”

BY

MRS. MOLESWORTH

AUTHOR OF ‘THE CUCKOO CLOCK”



NEW YORK: 46 East 14TH STREET
THOMAS Y. CROWELL & COMPANY

BOSTON: 100 PuRCHASE STREET
CopyriGuT, 1895,

Tuomas Y. Crowett & Company.

TYPOGRAPHY BY Cc. J. PETERS & SON,

BOSTON.
TO

Six Little Cousins

MORIER, NOEL, BEVIL, LIONEL, EDWARD, AND.

BABY BRIAN

EDINBURGH, 1876






"Is it then a great mistake
That Boys were ever made at all?”


GON TE NES:

CHAPTER I.

FLoss’s BABY

CHAPTER II.-
Stx YEARS OLD

CHAPTER III.

CHAPTER IV.

THe Lost HALF-SOVEREIGN

CHAPTER V.

CARROTS IN TROUBLE

CHAPTER VI,
CarroTs ‘‘ ALL ZIGHT’’ AGAIN

CHAPTER VII.
A Lone Aco Story .

CHAPTER VIII.

‘©THE BEWITCHED TONGUE”’ .

CHAPTER IX.


CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X,
A JOURNEY AND ITs ENDING .

CHAPTER XI.
Happy AND Sap .

CHAPTER XII.
“THE Two Funny Litrie Trots’?

CHAPEE REx TI:
Goop ENDINGS


FLOSS’S BABY.

Where did you come from, Baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here?

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here!
G. MAcDONALD.

His real name was Fabian. But he was
never called anything but Carrots. There
‘were six of them, — Jack, Cecil, Louise, Mau-
rice, commonly called Mott, Floss, dear, dear
Floss, whom he loved best of all, a long way

the best of all, and lastly Carrots.

Why Carrots should have come to have his

history written I really cannot say. I must
leave you, who understand such things a good
deal better than I, you children, for whom the




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“CARROTS.”

history is written, to find out. I can give you
a few reasons why Carrots’s history should zor
have been written, but that is about all I can
do. There was nothing very remarkable about
him ; there was nothing very remarkable about
the place where he lived, or the things that
he did; and on the whole he was very much
like other little boys. There are my 0 rea-
sons for you. But still he was Carrots ; and
after all, perhaps, that was ¢he reason! I
shouldn’t wonder.

He was the baby of the family. He had
every right to be considered the baby, for
he was not only the youngest, but very much
the youngest; for Floss, who came next to.
him, was nearly four years older than Car-.
rots. Yet he was never treated as the baby.
I doubt if even at the very outset of his little
life, when he was just a wee pink ball of a crea-
ture, rolled up in flannel, and with his funny
curls of red hair standing crisp up all over
his head, I doubt if even then he was ever
called “baby.” I feel almost sure it was al-




























oh
At Age Es

Seat +
Cy YS



FLOSS’S BABY. 9



ways “Carrots.” He was too independent
and sensible to be counted a baby; and he
was never fond of being petted—and then,
too, “Carrots”? came so naturally !

I have said that Carrots loved his sister
Floss better than anybody or anything else
in the world. I think one reason of this was
that she was the very first person he could
remember in his life; and a happy thing for
him that it was so, for all about her that
there was to remember was nice and good.
and kind. She was four years older than he,
—four years old, that is to say, when he first
came into the world, and looked about him
with grave inquiry as to what sort of a place
this could be that he had got to. And the
first object that his baby-wise eyes settled
upon with content, as if in it there might be
a possible answer to the riddle, was Floss!

These children’s father and mother were
not very rich; and, having six boys and girls,

:
é
|

you can quite easily imagine they had plenty



to do with their money. Jack was a great

ee ee








“ CARROTS,”

boy at school when Carrots first joined the
family party, and Cecil and Louise had a
governess. Mott learned with the governess
too, but was always talking of the time when
‘he should go to school with Jack ; for he was
a very boy-ey boy, very much inclined to
look down upon girls in general, and his sis.
ters in particular, and his little sister Floss
in particularest. So, till Carrots appeared on
the scene, Floss had had rather a lonely time
of it; for “of course” Cecil and Louise, who
had pockets in all their frocks, and could play
the “March of the Men of Harlech” as a
duet on the piano, were Jar too big to be
“friends to Floss,” as she called it. They
were friendly and kind in an elder-sisterly
way; but that was quite a different sort of
thing from being “friends to her,” though it
never occurred to Floss to grumble or to
think, as so many little people think nowa-
days, how much better things would have
been arranged if she had had the arranging
of them.




















om eG Sy

5 A Ps ION
Â¥ a ; te wie
.


FLOSS’S BABY.

There was only one thing Floss wished for
very, very much; and that was to have a
brother or sister, she did not much care which,
younger than herself. She had the most moth-
erly heart in the world; though she was such
a quiet little girl that very few people knew
anything about what she was thinking, and the
big ones laughed at her for being so outrage-
ously fond of dolls. She had dolls of every
kind and size, only alike in one thing, that
none of them were very pretty, or what you

would consider grand dolls. But to Floss

they were lovely, only, they were only dolls!

Can you fancy, can you in the least fancy,
Floss’s delight —a sort of delight that made
her feel as if she could n’t speak — when one
winter’s morning she was awakened by nurse,
to be told that a real live baby had come in
the night, a little brother ; and “such a funny
little fellow,” added nurse, “his head just cov-
ered with curly red hair. Where did he get
that from, I wonder? Not one of my children
has hair like that; though yours, Miss Flossie,
has a touch of it, perhaps.”

























“CARROTS.”

Floss looked at her own tangle of fluffy hair
with new reverence. “Hair somesing like my
hairs,” she whispered. “QO nursie, dear nur-
sie, may Floss see him?”

“Get up and let me dress you quickly, and
you shall see him; no fear but that you ’ll see
more of the poor little fellow than you care
about,” said nurse, though the last words were
hardly meant for Floss.

The truth was, that though of course every

Pr yaks

one meant to be kind to this new little baby,
to take proper care of him, and all that sort
of thing, no one was particularly glad he had
come. His father and mother felt that five
boys and girls were already a good number to
bring up well and educate and start in life,
not being very rich, you see; and even nurse,
who had the very kindest heart in the world,
and had taken care of them all, beginning with

felt, I think, that they could have done without
this red-haired little stranger. For nurse was

no longer as young as she had been; and as

Jack, ever since they were born, —even nurse -










“ Get up and let me dress you quickly.”
— Page 12.


FLOSS’S BABY.

the children’s mother could not, she knew,
very well afford to keep an under-nurse to
help her, it was rather trying to look forward
to beginning again with all the “worrit” of
a new baby, — bad nights and many tiring
climbs up the long stairs to the nursery, etc. ;
though nurse was so really good that she did
not grumble the least bit, and just quietly
made up her mind to make the best of it.
But still Floss was the only person to give
the baby a really hearty welcome. And by
some strange sort of baby instinct he seemed
to know it almost from the first. He screamed
at Jack, and no wonder ; for Jack, by way of sal-
utation, pinched his poor little nose, and said
that the next time they had boiled mutton for
dinner, cook need not provide anything but
turnips, as there was a fine crop of carrots all
ready, which piece of wit was greatly applauded
by Maurice and the girls. He wailed when
Cecil and Louise begged to be allowed to hold
him in their arms, so that they both tumbled

him back on to nurse’s.lap in a hurry, and






















2 tb SESS OBE oa aR 34 ae |
et?

14 “ CARROTS.”

called him ‘a cross, ugly little thing.” Only
when little Floss sat down on the floor, spread-
ing out her knees with great solemnity, and
smoothing her pinafore to make a nice place
for baby, and nurse laid him carefully down in
the embrace of her tiny arms, “baby” seemed
quite content. He gave a sort of wriggle, like
a dog when he has been pretending to burrow a
hole for himself in the rug, just before he set-
tles down and shuts his eyes, and in half a
second was fast asleep.

’

“ Baby loves Floss,” said Floss gravely ; and:
as Jong as nurse would let her, till her arms.
really ached, there she sat on the floor, as still
as a mouse, holding her precious burden.

It was wonderful how trusty she was. And
“as handy,” said nurse, “indeed, far more
handy than many a girl of five times her age.”
“J have been thinking,” she. said one day to
Floss’s mother, “I have been thinking, ma'am,
that even if you had been going to keep an
under-nurse to help with baby, there would
have been nothing for her to do. For the help.


FLOSS’S BABY, 15.

I get from Miss Flossie is really astonishing,
and Master Baby is that fond of her already,
you'd hardly believe it.”

And Floss’s mother kissed her, and told her
she was a good little soul; and Floss felt, oh,
so proud! Then a second thought struck her.
“Baby dood too, mamma,” she said, staring up:
into her mother’s face with her bright, search-
ing gray-green eyes.

“ Yes,” said her mother with a little sigh,
“poor baby is good too, dear;” and then she
had to hurry off to a great overhauling of
Jack’s shirts, which were, if possible, to be:
made to last him another half-year at school.

So it came to pass that a great deal of
Floss’s life was spent in the nursery with Car-
rots. He was better than twenty dolls; for
after a while he actually learned, first to stand
alone, and then to walk, and after a longer
while he learned to talk, and to understand all.
that Floss said to him, and by and by to play’
games with her in his baby way. And how
patient Floss was with him! It was no wonder’

he loved her.



























“CARROTS.”

This chapter has seemed almost more about
Floss than Carrots, you will say perhaps; but
I couldn’t tell you anything of Carrots’s history
without telling you a great deal about Floss
too, so I dare say you won’t mind. I dare say,
too, you will not care to hear much more about
Carrots when he was a baby; for, aftér all,
babies are all very like each other, and a baby
that wasn’t like others would not de a baby.
To Floss, I fancy, he seemed a remarkable
baby; but that may have been because he was
her very own, and the only baby she had’ ever
known. He was certainly very good, in so far
as he gave nurse exceedingly little trouble; but
why children should give trouble when they are
perfectly well, and have everything they can
possibly want, I have never been able to de-
cide. On the whole, I think it must have
something to do with the people who take care

of them, as well as with themselves.

Now we will say good-by to Carrots as a





SIX YEARS OLD.

CHAPTER II.

SIX YEARS OLD.

“As for me, J love the sea.
The dear old sea!
Don't you ”
SONG.
I tHInK I said there was nothing very re-
markable about the place where Carrots lived; ©
but, considering it over, I am not quite sure that
you would agree with me. It was near the sea,
for one thing; and ¢hatz is always remarkable, is
it not? How remarkable, how wonderful and

changeful, the sea is, I doubt if any one can tell

a i a

who has not really lived by it; not merely vis-
ited it for a few weeks in the fine summertime,
when it looks so bright and sunny and inviting,
but lived by it through autumn and winter too,
through days when it looks so dull and leaden,.
that one can hardly believe it will ever be smil-








“CARROTS.”



ing and playful again, through fierce, rough
days, when it lashes itself with fury, and the



wind wails as if it were trying to tell the



reason.



Carrots’s nursery window looked straight out



upon the sea; and many and many an hour



Floss and he spent at this window, watching



their strange, fickle neighbor at his gambols.



I do not know that they thought the sea at all



wonderful. I think they were too much ac-



customed to it for that; but they certainly



found it very zuteresting. Floss had names for’



the different kinds of waves; some she called



“ribs of beef,” when they showed up sideways.



in layers as it were of white and brown; and



- some she called “ponies.” That was the kind



that came prancing in, with a sort of dance, the



white foam curling and rearing and tossing



itself, just exactly like a frisky pony’s mane.



Those were the prettiest waves of all, I think.



It was not at all a dangerous coast where:



the Cove House, —that was Carrots’s home, —



stood. It was not what is called “ picturesque.”


























F
se. HR 2 arma ae SRl ox Bee So we
ee ry eg Ag: Sey ag?



SIX YEARS OLD. .- Ig

It was a long, flat stretch of sandy shore, going
-on and on for miles just the same. There were
very few trees, and no mountains, not even hills.

In summer a few, just a very few, visitors
used to come to Sandyshore for bathing. They
were always visitors with children; for every
one said it was such a nice safe place for the
little people.

But, safe as it was, it wasn’t till Carrots was
growing quite a big boy, nearly six, I should
think, that Floss and he got leave to go out and
play on the shore by themselves, the thing they
had been longing for ever since they could re-
member.

This was how they did get leave at last.
Nurse was very, very busy one day; really
quite extra busy, for she was arranging and
helping to pack Jack’s things to go to a new
school. Jack was so big now, about sixteen,
that he was going to a kind of college, or
grown-up school, the last he would go to before
entering the army. And there was quite a fuss
in the house. Jack thought himself almost as
“CARROTS.”

grand as if he was an officer already, and Mott

was overpowered with envy. Everybody was

fussing about Jack, and no one had much time
to think of the two little ones.

They stood at the nursery window, poor little
souls, when Floss came up from her lessons,
gazing out wistfully. It was a nice spring day ;
not exactly sunny, but looking as if the sun
were only hiding himself to tease you, and
might come out any minute.

“If we might go down to the shore,” said
Floss, half to herself, half to Carrots, and half
to nurse. I shouldn’t have said it so, for there
can’t be three halves of anything ; but no doubt
you will understand.

‘«Go down to the shore, my dear?” repeated
nurse. “I wish you could, I’m sure ; but it will
be afternoon at least before I have a minute to
spare to take you. And there’s no one else to-
day; for cook and Esther are both as busy as
busy. Perhaps Miss Cecil and Miss Louise will
take you when they have done their lessons.”

«We don’t care to go with them much,” said


























a
ee ee et le, BESS
»g |

Vas SIX YEARS OLD. 2T

Floss ; “they don’t understand our plays. We
like best to go with you, nursie, and you to sit
down with your sewing near — that’s the nicest

1”

way. O nurse!” she exclaimed with sudden
eagerness, “wouldn’t you let us go alone?
You can peep out of the window and see us
every few minutes, and we'll be so good!”

Nurse looked out of the window doubtfully.

“Couldn't you play in the garden at the
back, instead?” she said. “Your papa and
mamma won’t be home till late, and I am
always in a terror of any harm happening
while they are away.” i

«We won't let any harm happen,” said Floss ;
“and we are so tired of the garden, nurse.
There is nothing to play at there. The little
waves are so pretty this morning.”

There was certainly very little to play at
on the green at the back of the house, which
was called the garden. Being so near the sea,
the soil was so poor that hardly any flowers
would grow, and even the grass was coarse
and lumpy. Then there were no trees; and

what is a garden without trees?


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a
Gente SRT Cy Se, :
























22 “ CARROTS.”

Nurse looked out of the window again.

“Well,” she said, “if you will really be very
good, I think I might trust you. Now, Master
Carrots, you will promise to do exactly what
Miss Floss tells you?”

«Yes; I promise,’ said Carrots, who had
been listening with great anxiety, though he
had not hitherto spoken — he was not a great
talker; “I promise, nurse. I will do exactly
what Floss tells me, and Floss will do exactly
what I tell her ; won’t you, Floss? So we shall
both be #z¢e good that way, won't we?”

«Very well,” said nurse gravely, though she
felt very much inclined to laugh; “then run
and get your things as fast as you can.”

And oh how happy the two were when they
found themselves out on the shore all alone!
They were so happy, they did not know what
to do; so, first of all, they ran races to run
away a little of the happiness. And when they
had run themselves quite hot, they sat down on
a little heap of stones to consider what they
should do next. They had no spades with



























q.

SIX YEARS OLD. 23



them, for they did not care very much about
digging. Children who live always by the sea
never care so much about digging as the lit-
tle visitors who come down in the summer,
and whose very first idea at the sight of the
sea is “spades and buckets.”

«What shall we play at, Carrots?” said
Floss. “Iwish it was warm enough to paddle.”

Carrots looked at the little soft, rippling
waves contemplatively.

« When I’m a man,” he said, “I shall paddle
‘always. 1 shall paddle in winter too. When
I’m a man I won't have no nurse.”

“Carrots,” said Floss reproachfully, “that
isn’t good of you. Think how kind nurse is!”

“Well, then,” replied Carrots slowly, “1
‘qill have her, but she must let me paddle
always when I’m a man.”

’

«When you are a man, Carrots,” said Floss,
solemnly still, “I hope you will have something
better to do than paddling. Perhaps you ’ll be
a soldier, like Jack.”

«Killing people isn’t better than paddling,”




















24 “ CARROTS.”

retorted Carrots. “I'd rather be a sailor, like
papa.”

«Sailors have to kill people too sometimes,”
said Floss.

“ Hlave they?” said Carrots. Then he sat
silent for a few minutes, finding this new idea
rather overwhelming. ‘Naughty people, do
you mean, Floss?” he inquired at’ last.

“Yes,” said Floss unhesitatingly ; “naughty
people, of course.” :

« But I don’t like killing,” said Carrots ; “not



killing naughty people, I don’t like. I won’t be



a soldier, and I won’t be a sailor, and I won’t
bea butcher, ’cos butchers kill lambs. Perhaps
Til be a fisherman.”

« But fishermen kill fish,” said Floss.

“Do they?” said Carrots, looking up in her
face pathetically with his gentle brown eyes.
“I’m so sorry. I don’t understand about
killing, Floss. I don’t like it.”

«TJ don't either,” said Floss; “but perhaps it



has to be. If there was no killing, we'd have’
nothing to eat.”
SIX YEARS OLD.

“Egos,” said Carrots; “eggs and potatoes,
and — and — cake?”

«But even that would be a sort of killing,”
persisted Floss, though feeling by no means.
sure that she was not getting beyond her
depth. “If we didn’t eat eggs, they would
grow into chickens, and so eating stops them ;.
and potatoes have roots, and when they’re pulled
up they don’t grow; and cake has eggs in, and
—oh, I don’t know; let’s talk of something
else.”

« What?” said Carrots. “ Fairies?”

“Jf you like; or supposing we talk about:
when auntie comes and brings Sybil.”

«Yes,” said Carrots; “I like that best.”

«Well, then,” began Floss, “supposing it is.
late in the evening when they come. You
would be in bed, Carrots, dear; but I would
have begged to sit up a little longer, and”? —

«No, Floss; that isn’t nice. I won't talk
about Sybil, if you make it like that,” inter-.
rupted Carrots, his voice sounding as if he
were going to cry. “Sybil isn’t any bigger
than me. I wouldn’t be in bed, Floss.”

aN





























“CARROTS.”



“Very well, dear. Never mind, darling. I
won't make it like that. It was very stupid of
me. No; Sybil and auntie will come just about
our teatime, and we shall be peeping along the
road to see if the carriage from the station is
coming ; and when we hear it we'll run in, and
perhaps mamma ‘will say we may stay in the
drawing-room to see them. You will have one
of your new sailor suits on, Carrots, and I shall
have my white gigué and blue sash, and nurse
‘will have made the nursery tea-table look so
nice — with a clean tablecloth, you know, and
quite thin bread and butter, and jam, and per-
haps eggs.”

“T won't eat one,” interrupted Carrots; “I
won’t never eat eggs. I'll keep all mine that
I get to eat, in a box, till they’ve growed into
chickens.”

«But they're boiled when you get them,”
said Floss; “they wouldn’t grow into chickens
when they’re boiled.”

”

Carrots sighed. “Well, never mind,” he

said; “go on, Floss.”



SIX YEARS OLD.

« Well, then,” started Floss again, “you see,




















the nursery tea would look so nice, that Sybil
' would be szre to ask her mamma to let her
have tea with us, even though it was the first
evening. Perhaps, you know, she would be
rather siy just at first, till she got to know
us. So we would be very, very kind to her;

and after tea we would show her all our things,

dolls are getting rather old.”

« Are they?” said Carrots sympathizingly.
«When I’m a man I'll buy you sucha J/ot of
new dolls, Floss, and Sybil, too, if she likes
dolls — does she, Floss?”

I should think so,” said

«When papa and mamma went to see

«JT don’t know.
Floss,
auntie, they said Sybil was like a doll herself.
I suppose she has beautiful blue eyes and long
gold curls. That was a year ago; she must
be bigger now. Carrots!”

« What?”
«We must get up and run about a little

now. It’s too cold to sit still so long; and if

—the dolls—only, Carrots, I’m - afraid the

























“ CARROTS.”

we get cold, nurse won't let us come out
alone again.”

Up jumped Carrots onto his sturdy little
less ellen sEloss ane rsaid:

“Floss,” he began, when they stopped to
take breath again, “once I saw a little boy
-with a hoop. It went so nice on the sands.
I wish I had a hoop, Floss.”

«“T wish you had, dear,” said Floss. “I'd
buy you one if I had any money. But I
haven't ; and we couldn’t ask mamma, because
I know,” and Floss shook her head mysteri-
ously, “I know poor mamma fasz't any money
to spare. J must think of a plan to get some.”

Carrots kept silence for about three-quarters
of a minute. “Have you thinkened, Floss?”
he asked eagerly.

“Thought,” gravely said Floss; “not think-
ened, — what about ?”’

’

« About a plan,” replied Carrots. He called
it “a pan,” but Floss understood him.
Oh, dear, no!” said Floss; “plans take a

great lot of thinking. They’re real things,




























we

‘ SIX YEARS OLD.

you see, Carrots; not like fancies about fairies
and Sybil coming.”

«“ But when Sybil does come, that'll be real
then,” said Carrots.

«Of course,’ agreed Floss; “but fancying
about it before isn’t real.”

It took Carrots a little while to get this
into his head. Then he began again, —

«Whene will you have thinkened enough,
Floss? By teatime?”

«JT don’t know. No;I1 think you had better
wait till to-morrow morning, and then perhaps
the plan will be ready.”

«Very well,” said Carrots, adding, with a
little sigh, “to-morrow morning is a long time,
tn Hossa

«Not very,” said Floss consolingly. “Now,
Carrots, let’s have one more race, and then we

d



must go in,’


RS

ae

Ay oO
AY), Le S B Vk oh ali = Se ie : , oe.
Lae | fp ES |
: i ¢ ( i OAKS |
|




















Ye
——S

“CARROTS.”

CHAPTER III.

PLANS.

“Have you invented a plan for it?” Alice inquired.
“ Not yet,” said the knight.

THROUGH THE Looxinc-Giass.

THE next morning Carrots woke very early,.
and the first thing he thought of was the plan.
Floss and he slept in the night nursery, in
two little beds, and nurse slept in a small
room that had a door opening into the nursery.
She used to sleep there herself; but now that
Carrots was so big, Floss and he were quite
safe by themselves, and poor old nurse en-
joyed having her own little room.

Floss was still asleep ; so Carrots only climbed.
out of his own cot into hers, and crouched
himself down at the foot, watching for her
to wake. Floss looked very nice asleep; her

“fuzzy” hair was tumbling over the pillow, and



Ges os aoe

PLANS. — Bile




























her cheeks looked pinker than when sne was.
awake.

“I wonder what being asleep is,’ thought.
the little boy as he looked at her. “I always.
go away, such a long way, when I am asleep..
I wonder if Floss does.”

She couldn’t have been very far away just:
then ; for somehow, though Carrots sat so still,
she seemed to know he was there. She:
turned round and half opened her eyes, then
shut them, as if she were trying to go to
sleep again, then opened them once more, quite
wide this time, and caught sight of the funny
little figure beside her.

« Carrots,’ she said in a sleepy voice, “ Car-
rots, dear, what are you doing there? You'll
catch cold.”

“No, I won't. May I come in aside you,.
Floss? I was only watching for you to wake.
I didn’t wake you, did I?” said Carrots, as.
Floss made room for him, and he poked his.
cold little toes down into a nice warm place.
“JT did so want to know if it was ready ; for it’s.

to-morrow morning now.”





















“CARROTS.”

“If what’s ready?” said Floss, for she was
rather sleepy still.

“The plan for getting money.”

“Oh!” said Floss. “YVYes,’ she went on
after thinking for a minute, “ yes, it’s nearly
ready ; at least, I’m almost sure it is. But it’s
not quite ready for telling yow yet, Carrots.”

Carrots looked terribly disappointed.

“JT think,” went. on Floss, “I think it will
be ready for telling you after breakfast. And
if you like, you may listen to something I am
going to ask nurse at breakfast, and perhaps
that will help you to guess what the plan is.’

At breakfast-time Carrots was all ears. All
ears and no tongue, so that nurse began to
wonder if he was ill.

“TI shouldn't like you to be ill the very day _
after Master Jack has gone,” she said anxiously.
Jack had gone up to town by the night train
with his father. “One trouble at a time is quite
enough for your poor mamma.”

“Ts Jack’s going to the big school a trouble?”

asked Floss, opening her eyes very wide. “I



thought they were all very glad.”
















PLANS.

“My dear,’ said nurse solemnly, “ one may
be glad of a thing, and sorry too. And changes
mostly are good and bad together.”

Floss did not say any more, but she seemed
to be thinking about what nurse had said.
Carrots was thinking too.

«When I’m a man,’ he said at last, “I
won't go to a big school if Floss doesn’t want
me to.”

Nurse smiled. “There’s time enough to see
about that,” she said. “Get on with your break-
fast, Master Carrots ; you'll never grow a big



boy if you don’t eat plenty.”
“Nurse,” said Floss suddenly, “what’s the
dearest thing we eat? What costs most?”’
“Meat nowadays, Miss Flossie,” said nurse.
“Could we do without it?” asked Floss.
Nurse shook her head.








“What could we do without?” continued
the child. “We couldn't do without bread or
-milk, I suppose. What could we do without
that costs money?”




“Most things do that,” said nurse, who


“ CARROTS.”




began to have a glimmering of what Floss

was driving at; “but the money's well spent



in good food to make you strong and well.”



«Then, isn’t there anything we could do



without — without it hurting us, I mean?” said



Floss in a tone of disappointment.



“Oh, yes,” said nurse; “I dare say there is.



Once a little boy and girl I knew went with-



out sugar in their tea for a month, and their



grandmother gave them sixpence each instead.”



« Sixpence!” exclaimed Floss, her eyes



gleaming.



«« Sixpence each,” corrected nurse.



“Two sixpences; that would be a shilling.



Carrots, do you hear?”



Carrots had been listening with might and



main, but was rather puzzled.



«“ Would two sixpennies pay for two hoops?”



he whispered to Floss, pulling her pinafore
till she bent her head down to listen.

“ Of course they would. At least, I’m almost



sure. I'll ask nurse. Nurse dear,’ she went



on in a louder voice, “do you think we might






do that way — Carrots and I —about sugar,
I mean?”
“IT don’t see that it would do you any harm,”
said nurse. “ You must ask your mamma.”
But Floss hesitated.

“TY shouldn’t much like to ask mamma,” she



said ; and Carrots, who was listening so intently
that he had forgotten all about his bread and
milk, noticed that Floss’s face grew red. “I
shouldn’t much like to ask mamma, because,
nurse dear, it is only that we want to get
money for something for ourselves; and if we
told mamma, it would be like asking her to give

us the money. It wouldn’t be any harm for



us not to eat any sugar in our tea for a month;
and you could keep the sugar in a packet all
together, nurse, and ¢hen you might tell mamma

that we had saved it, and she would give us a




shilling for it. It would be quite worth a shil-




ling, wouldn’t it, nurse?”




“Oh, yes,” said nurse; “I am sure your




mamma would say it was.’ Then she con-




sidered a little. She was one of those truly











































36 “CARROTS.”

trustworthy nurses whose notions are strong
on the point of everything being told to
“mamma.” But she perfectly understood
Floss’s hesitation; and though she might not
have been able to put her feeling into words,
she felt that it might do the child harm to
thwart her delicate instinct.

«Well, nurse?” said Floss at last.

«Well, Miss Flossie, I don’t think for once
I shall be doing wrong in letting you have a
secret. When will you begin? This is Thurs-
day; on Saturday your mamma will give me
the week’s sugar. Suppose you begin on Sun-
day? But does Master Carrots quite under-
stand?”

“Oh, yes,” said Floss confidently ; “he un-
derstands; don’t you, dear?”

“Oh, yes,” said Carrots; “we won't eat not
any sugar, Floss and me, for a great long
time, and nurse will tie it up in a parcel with
a string round, and mamma will buy it, and
give us a great lot of pennies, and then, and

then’? —he began to jump about with delight






PLANS.



— “Floss and me will go to the toy-shop and
buy our hoops; won’t we, Floss? Oh, I wish




it was time to go now; don’t you, Floss?”




“Yes, dear ; a month’s a good while to wait,”




said Floss sympathizingly. “May we go out




on the shore again by ourselves this afternoon,




nurse?”




“Tf it doesn’t rain,’ said nurse; and Floss,




who had half an hour to wait before it was time




for her to join her sisters in the schoolroom,




went to the window to have a look at the




weather. She had not stood there for more



than a minute when Carrots climbed up on to




a chair beside her.




“Tt’s going to rain, Floss,” he said; “there




are the little curly clouds in the sky that




Matthew says come when it rains.”




Floss looked up at the sky and down at the
sce




“The sea looks cross to-day,” she said.

There were no pretty ripples this morning ;




the water looked dull and leaden.




“Floss,” said Carrots with a sigh, “I do get


“CARROTS.”

so tired when you are at lessons all the morn-
ing and I have zucken to do. Can’t you think
of a plan for me to have something to do?”
Carrots’s head was running on “plans.”

Floss considered.

«Would you like to tidy my drawer for
me?” she said. “This isn’t the regular day
for tidying it; but it is in a mess, because I
turned all the things upside down when I was
looking for our race-horses’ reins yesterday.

Will you put it gate tidy, Carrots?”

« Oh, yes; guite, dear Floss,” said Carrots.

«T’ll put all the dolls neat, and all the pieces,
and all the sewing things. O dear Floss, what
nice plans you make!”

- So when Floss had gone to her lessons, and
nurse was busy with her morning duties, in and
out of the room, so as not to lose sight of Car-
rots, but still too busy to amuse him, he, with
great delight, set to work at the drawer. It cer-

’

tainly was much in need of “ tidying ;”’ and after
trying several ways, Carrots found that the best

plan was to take everything out, and then put


the different things back again in order. It
took him a good while, and his face got rather
red with stooping down to the floor to pick up
all the things he had deposited there; for the
drawer itself was too heavy for him to lift out
bodily, if, indeed, such an idea had occurred to
him. It was the middle drawer of the cup-
board, the top part of which was divided into
shelves, where the nursery cups and saucers and
those sorts of things stood. The drawer above
Floss’s was nurse’s, where she kept her work
and a few books and a little note-paper, and so
on; and the drawer at the bottom, so that he
could easily reach it, was Carrots’s own.

One end of Floss’s drawer was given up to
her dolls. She still had a good many; for
though she did not care for them now as much
as she used, she never could be persuaded to
throw any of them away. But they were not
very pretty ;-even Carrots could see that, and
Carrots, to tell the truth, was very fond of
dolls.

“Tf I had some money,” he said to himself,

&


















“ CARROTS.”

“T would buy Floss such a most beautiful doll!
I wish I had some money.”

For the moment he forgot about the hoops
and the “plan,” and sat down on a little stool
with one of the unhappiest-looking of the dolls
in his arms.

“JT wish I could buy you a new face, poor
dolly!” he said. “I wish I had some money.”

He got up again to put poor dolly back into
her corner. As he was smoothing down the
paper which lined the drawer, he felt something
hard close to dolly’s foot; he pushed away the
dolls to see. There, almost hidden by a crum-
ple in the paper, lay a tiny little piece of
money —a little shining picce, about the size
of a sixpence, only a different color.

“A yellow sixpenny! Oh, how nice!” thought .
Carrots, as he seized it. “I wonder if Floss
knowed it was there. It would just do to buy
anew doll. I wzsk I could go to the toy-shop
to buy one to surprise Floss. I won’t tell
Floss I’ve found it, I'll keep it for a secret,
and some day I'll buy Floss a new doll. I’m


as, Qepolank,



« A yellow sixpenny! Oh how nice! ”’
— Page 40.




























sis CES,

PLANS, 4Ir

sure Floss doesn’t know; I think the fairies
must have put it there.”

He wrapped the piece of money up carefully
in a bit of paper; and after considering where
he could best hide it, so that Floss should not
know till it was time to surprise her, he fixed on
a beautiful place. He hid it under one of the
little round saucers in his paint-box—a very
old paint-box it was, which had descended from
Jack, first to Mott, and then to Carrots, but
which, all the same, Carrots considered one of
his greatest treasures. é

When nurse came into the room, she found
the tidying of the drawer completed, and Car-.
rots sitting quietly by the window. He did not
tell her about the money he had found; it never
entered into his little head that he should speak
of it. He had got into the way of not telling
all the little things that happened to him to any



but Floss; for he was naturally a very quiet
child, and nurse was getting too old to care
een Br
about all the tiny interests of her children as ge Ww
she once had done. Besides, he had deter- Re;
“ CARROTS.”

mined to keep it a secret even from Floss, till
he could buy a new doll with it; but very
likely he would have told her of it after all,
had not something else put it out of his head.

The something else was that that afternoon
nurse took Floss and him a long walk, and a
walk they were very fond of.

It was to the cottage of the old woman who,
ever since they had come to Sandyshore, had

washed for them. She was a very nice old

woman, and her cottage was beautifully clean ;

and now and then Floss and Carrots had gone
with nurse to have tea with her, which was a
great treat. But to-day they were not going
to tea; they were only going because nurse had
to pay Mrs. White some money for washing up
Jack’s things quickly, and nurse knew the old
woman would be glad to have it, as it was close
to the day on which she had to pay her rent.

Floss and Carrots were delighted to go; for
even when they did not stay to tea, Mrs. White
always gave them a glass of milk, and gener-
ally a piece of home-made cake.


Before they started, nurse went to her drawer

and took out of it a very small packet done up

in white paper ; and this little packet she put

into her purse.

It was, after all, a nice fine day. Floss and
Carrots walked quietly beside nurse for a little;
and then she gave them leave to run races,
which made the way seem very short till they
got to Mrs. White’s. ;

“How nice it will be when we have our
hoops, won’t it, Carrots?” said Floss.

Carrots had almost forgotten about the hoops ;
but now that Floss mentioned them, it put him
in mind of something else.

«Wouldn't you like a new doll, Floss?” he
said mysteriously, “a most beautifullest new
doll, with hair like —like the angels’ hairs in
the big window at church, and eyes like the
little blue stones in mamma’s ring?”

“Of course I would,” said Floss; “and we’d
call her Angeline, wouldn’t we, Carrots? But
it’s no good thinking about it; I shall never
have one like that, unless the fairies send it


“ CARROTS.”

“Tf the fairies sended you money to buy

one, wouldn't that do?” said Carrots, staring
up in her face with a funny look in his eyes.

But before Floss had time to answer, nurse
called to them. They were at the corner of
the lane which led to Mrs. White’s.

Mrs. White was very kind. She had baked
a cake only a day or two. before, and cut off a
beautiful big piece for each of the children,
then she gave them a drink of milk; and they
ran out into her little garden to eat their
cake and look at the flowers, till nurse had
finished her business with the old washer-
woman, and was ready to go home.

Floss and Carrots thought a great deal of
Mrs. White’s garden. Small as it was, it
had far more flowers in it than their own
garden at the back of the Cove House; for it
was a mile or two farther from the sea, and
the soil was richer, and it was more sheltered
from the wind.

In summer there was what Floss called quite

?

a “buzzy” sound in this little garden. She


meant that sweet, lazy-busy hum of bees and
butterflies and all sorts of living creatures
that you never hear except in a real old-
fashioned garden where there are lots of clove-
pinks and sweet-williams and roses; roses es-
pecially, — great, big cabbage-roses, and dear
little pink climbing roses, the kind that peep
in at a cottage window to bid you “ good-morn-
ing.” Oh, how very sweet those old-fashioned
flowers are! though “ rose fanciers,” and all the
clever gardeners we have nowadays, wouldn't
give anything for them! J think them the
sweetest of all. Don’t you, children? Or is
it only when one begins to grow old-fashioned
one’s self, and to care more for things that used
to be than things that are now, that one gets
to prize these old friends so?

I am wandering away from Floss and Car-
rots waiting for nurse in the cottage garden.
You must forgive me, boys and girls. When
people begin to grow old, they get in the habit
of telling stories in a rambling way; but I don’t

find children so hard upon this tiresome habit |





“CARROTS.”

as big people sometimes are. And it all comes:
back to me so—even the old washerwoman’s
cottage I can see so plainly, and the dear
straggly little garden!

For you see, children, I am telling you the
history of a veal little boy and girl, not fancy
children ; and that is why, though there is noth-
ing very wonderful about Floss and Carrots,
I hope the story of their little pleasures and
sorrows and simple lives may be interesting to
you.

But I must finish about the visit to the:
washerwoman in another chapter. I have made.

this one rather too long already.

























THE LOST HALF—-SOVEREIGN.

CHAPTER IV.

THE LOST HALF—SOVEREIGN.

Children should not leave about
Anything that’s small and bright ;
Lest the fairies spy it out,
And fly off with it at night.

POEMS WRITTEN FOR A CHILD.

THERE was no buzzy sound in Mrs. White’s.
garden this afternoon. It was far too early in
the year for that ; indeed, it was beginning to-
feel quite chilly and cold, as the afternoons
often do of fine days in early spring; and by
the time Floss and Carrots had eaten their
cake, and examined all the rose-bushes to see
if they could find any buds, and wished it were
summer, so that there would be some straw-
berries hiding under the glossy green leaves,
they began to wonder why nurse was so long,.
and to feel rather cold, and tired of waiting.

“Just run to the door, Carrots dear,” said
Floss, “and peep in to see if nurse is coming.’”
“CARROTS.”

She did not like to go herself; for she knew
that nurse and Mrs. White were fond of a com-
fortable talk together, and might not like to
be interrupted by her. ° But Carrots they would
not mind.

Carrots set off obediently; but before he
got to the door he met nurse coming out. She
was followed by Mrs. White, and both were talk-
ing rather earnestly.

«You'll let me know, if so be as you find it,

“Mrs. Hooper; you'won’t forget ?”’ Mrs. White

was saying, — Hooper was nurse’s name, — “ for

I feel quite oneasy —I do that — for you.”

“Tl let you know, and thank you, Mrs.
White,” said nurse. “I’m glad I happened to
bring some of my own money with me too; for
I should have been sorry to put you to any ill-

convenience by my carelessness, though how

I could have been so careless as to mislay it,

”

I’m sure it’s more than I can say.
“Jt is, indeed, and you so careful,” said Mrs.
White sympathizingly.
Just then nurse caught sight of Carrots.



























ee THE LOST HALF—-SOVEREIGN. 49

3 t «Come along, Master Carrots,” she said; “I
was just going to look for you. Wherever’s
BY Miss Floss?) We must be quick; it’s quite
f time we were home.”

“Tl tell Floss,’ said Carrots, disappearing
again down the path; and in another moment
Floss and he ran back to nurse.

Though they had been very quick, nurse
seemed to think they had.been slow. She even
scolded Floss a very little, as if she had been
kept waiting by her and Carrots, when she was
in a hurry to go; and both Floss and Carrots
felt that this was very hard, when the fact was
that they had been waiting for nurse till they
were both tired and cold.

“Tt wasn’t Floss’s fault. Floss wanted you
to come quick, and she sended me to see,” said
Carrots indignantly.

“Hold your tongue, Master Carrots!” said
nurse sharply.

Carrots’s face got very red; he gave nurse
one reproachful look, but did not speak. He
took Floss’s hand, and pulled her on in front.
“ CARROTS.”

But Floss would not go; she drew her hand
away.

’

“No, Carrots, dear,” she said in a low voice ;
“it wouldn’t be kind to leave nurse all alone

when she is sorry about something.”

“Ts she sorry about somesing ?”’ said Car-

rots.

« Yes,” replied Floss; “I am sure she is.
You run on for a minute. I want to speak to.
nurse.”

Carrots ran on, and Floss stayed behind.

“Nurse,” she said softly, slipping her hand
through nurse’s arm, which, by stretching up:
on tip-toe, she was just able to do, “nurse,
dear, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing much, Miss Flossie,” replied nurse:
patting the kind little hand; “nothing much ;.
but I'm growing an old woman, and easy put
out —and such a stupid-like thing for me to:
have done!”

“What have you done? What is stupid?”
inquired Floss, growing curious as well as sym-

pathizing,




“ Carrots ran on, and Floss stayed behind.”
— Page 50.


























THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN. 5.

“T have lost a half-sovereign —a ten-shilling

)

piece in gold, Miss Flossie,” replied nurse.

“Out of your pocket? Dropped it, do you
mean?” said Floss.

“Oh, no! I had it in my purse; at least, I
thought I had,” said nurse. “It was a half-
sovereign of your mamma’s, that she gave me
to pay Mrs. White with for Master Jack’s things
and part of last week that was left over; and I
wrapped it up with a shilling and a sixpence
— jit came to eleven and six altogether — in
a piece of paper, and put it in my drawer in
the nursery; and before I came out I put the
packet in my purse. And when I opened it
at Mrs. White’s, no half-sovereign was there!
Only the shilling and the sixpence!”

“You didn’t drop it at Mrs. White’s, did
you? Should we go back and look 2?” said
Floss, standing still, as if ready to run off
that moment.

“No, no, my dear! It’s not at Mrs. White's.
She and I searched all over, and she’s as hon-

est a body as could be,” replied nurse. “ No;


























4
vs (ayn

BS ae Wins Gs Ky, >

is

52 “ CARROTS.”

there’s just the chance of its being in the
drawer at home. I feel all in a fever till I
get there to look. But don’t you say any-
thing about it, Miss Flossie; it’s my own fault,
and no one must be troubled about it but my-
self.”

“Poor nursie,” said Floss; “I’m so sorry.
But you're sure to find it in your drawer.
Let’s go home very fast. Carrots,’ she called
out to the little figure obediently trotting on
in front, “Carrots, come and walk with nursie
and me now. Nursie isn’t vexed.”

Carrots turned back, looking up wistfully in
nurse’s face.

« Poor darlings!” said the old woman to her-
self; “such a shame of me to have spoilt their
walk !”

And all the way home, “to make up,” she
was even kinder than usual.

But her hopes of finding the lost piece of
money were disappointed. She searched all
through the drawer in vain; there was no half-

sovereign to be seen. Suddenly it struck her



be
x i, = ee. = j ie
SE ORS 23h Hho, BRET
¢ a

ees THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN. 53


























that Carrots had been busy “tidying” for Floss
that morning.

“Master Carrots, my dear,” she said, “ when
you were busy at Miss Floss’s drawer to-day,
you didn’t open mine, did you, and touch any-
thing in it?”

«Oh, no,” said Carrots at once; “I’m quite,
quite szre I didn’t, nursie.”

“You're sure you didn’t touch nurse’s purse,
or a little tiny packet of white paper, in her
drawer?’ inquired Floss, with an instinct that
the circumstantial details might possibly recall
some forgotten remembrance to his mind.

“ Quite sure,” said Carrots, looking straight
up in their faces with a thoughtful, but not un-
certain, expression in his brown eyes.

«Because nurse has lost something out of
her drawer, you see, Carrots dear, and she is
very sorry about it,” continued Floss.

“What has she lost ? But I’m sure,” repeated
Carrots, “I didn’t touch nurse’s drawer, nor
nucken in it. What has nurse lost?”

« A half-sovereign ’— began Floss; but nurse

interrupted her.
DE Cae Se SOE

“ CARROTS.”






























54



“Don’t tease him any more about it,” she
said; “it’s plain he doesn’t know, and I
wouldn’t like the other servants to hear.
Just forget about it, Master Carrots, my dear ;
perhaps nurse will find it some day.”

So Carrots, literally obedient, asked no more
questions. He only said to himself, with a
puzzled look on his face, “A half-sovereign !
I didn’t know nurse had any sovereigns. I
thought only Floss had—and I never saw
any broken in halfs!”

But as no more was said in his hearing
about the matter, it passed from his innocent
mind.

Nurse thought it right to tell the children’s
mother of her loss, and the girls and Maurice
heard of it too. They all were very sorry for
nurse, for she took her own carelessness rather
sorely to heart. But by her wish nothing was
said of it to the two other servants, one of
whom had only lately come, though the other
had been with them many years.

“Td rather by far bear the loss,” said nurse,

“than cause any ill-feeling about it, ma’am.”
THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN. 55

And her mistress gave in to her. “Though
certainly you must not bear the loss, nurse,”
she said kindly; “for in all these years you
have saved me too many half-sovereigns, and
whole ones too, for me to mind much about
the loss of one. And you've asked Carrots,
you say; you're sure he knows nothing about
te? oF

“ Quite sure, ma'am,” said nurse unhesitat-
ingly.

And several days went on, and nothing more
was said or heard about the half-sovereign.

Only all this time the little yellow sixpenny

lay safely hidden away in Carrots’s paint-box.
In a sense he had forgotten about it. He

knew it was safe there, and he had almost
fixed in his mind not to tell Floss about it
till the day they should be going to the toy-
shop to buy their hoops. Once or twice he
had been on the point of showing it to her,
but had stopped short, thinking how much
more delightful it would he to “surprise” her.
He had quite left off: puzzling his head as


“ CARROTS.”

to where the little coin had come from. He
had found it in Floss’s drawer; that was quite
enough. If he had any thoughts about its

history, they were that either Floss had had

“the sixpenny”’ a long time ago, and had for-

gotten it, or that the fairies had brought it;
and, on the whole, he inclined to the latter
explanation, for you see there was something
different about this sixpenny to any he had
ever seen before.

Very likely “ fairies’ sixpennies”” are always
that pretty yellow color, he thought.

One day, about a week after the loss of the
half-sovereign, Maurice happened to come into
the nursery just at the little ones’ teatime.
It was a half-holiday, and he had been out for
a long walk with some of his companions ; for
he still went to school at Sandyshore, and
now he had come in tremendously hungry
ana thirsty.

“IT say, nurse!” he exclaimed, seating him-
self unceremoniously at the table; “I’m awfully

hungry, and mamma’s out, and we sha’n’t have


THE LOST HALF—-SOVEREIGN. 57

tea for two hours yet. And Carrots, young
man, I want your paint-box; mine’s all gone
to smash, and Cecil won't lend me hers, and
I want to paint flags with stars and stripes.
for my new boat.”

«Tars and tipes,”’ repeated Carrots ; “ what's.
tars and tipes? ”

«“ What’s that to you?” replied Mott politely.
“Bless me, I am so thirsty! Give me your tea,
Carrots, and nurse will make you some more.
What awful weak stuff! But I’m too thirsty
to wait.”

He seized Carrots’s mug, and drank off its.
contents at one draught. But when he: put
the mug down he made a very wry face.

“What horrible stuff!” he exclaimed.
“Nurse, you've forgotten to put in any
sugar.”

“No, she hasn't,” said Carrots bluntly.

Nurse smiled, but said nothing, and Floss.
looked fidgety.

“What do you mean?” said Mott. “ Don't

you like sugar — eh, young’un ?”

> sound
as


“ CARROTS.”

«Yes, I do like it,’ replied Carrots; but ©
he would say no more.

Floss grew more and more uneasy.

«© Mott!” she burst out, “please don't
tease Carrots. It’s nothing wrong; it’s only
something we've planned ourselves.”

Mott’s curiosity was by this time thoroughly
‘aroused. |

«A secret, is it?” he exclaimed, pricking

up his ears; “you'd best tell it me. I’m a

duffer at keeping secrets. Out with it!”

Floss looked ready to cry; and Carrots shut
his mouth tight, as if determined not to give
in. Nurse thought it time to interfere.

“Master Maurice,’ she said ,appealingly,
«don’t tease the poor little things; there’s a
good boy. If it is a secret, there’s no harm
in it, you may be sure.”

“Tease!” repeated Mott virtuously; “I’m
not teasing. I only want to know what the
mystery is. Why shouldn't I? I won't in-
WIS,”

Now, Mott was just at the age when the




























THE LOST IIALF-SOVEREIGN. 59

spirit of mischief is most apt to get thorough
hold of a boy; and once this zs the case, who
can say where or at what a boy will stop?
[very opposition or contradiction only adds
fuel to the flames; and not seldom a tiny
spark may thus end in a great fire. Nurse
knew something of boys in general, and of Mott
in particular ; and, knowing what she did, she
decided in her own mind that she had better
take the’ bull by the horns without delay.

“Miss Floss,” she said seriously, “and Mas-
ter Carrots, I think you had better tell your
brother your secret. He'll be very kind about
it, you'll see, and he won't tell anybody.”

«Won't you, Mott?” said Floss, jumping up
and down on her chair in her anxiety. “ Prom-
aIsejla

“Honor bright,’ said Mott.

Carrots opened his mouth as if about to
speak, but shut it down again.



“What were you going to say?” said Mott.
ot “ Nucken,” replied Carrots.
“People don’t open their mouths like that,
“ CARROTS.”

if they've ‘nucken’ to say,” said Mott, as if
he didn’t believe Carrots.

«“T didn’t mean that I wasn’t goimg to say
nucken,” said Carrots; “I mean I haven't
nucken to say now.”

« And what were you going to say?” per-
sisted Mott.

Carrots looked frightened.

“T was only sinking if you knowed, and
nurse knowed, and Floss knowed, and I
knowed, it wouldn’t be a secret.”

Mott burst out laughing.

«What a precious goose you are!” he ex-
claimed. ‘ Well, secret or no secret, I’m going
to hear it; so tell me.”

Floss looked at nurse despairingly.

«You tell, nurse, please,” she said.

So nurse told, and Maurice looked more
amused than ever. “What an idea!” he ex-

claimed. “I don’t believe Carrots ’ll hold out

for a month, whatever Floss may do, unless

he has a precious lump of ac—ac— what is

it the head people call it ?— acquisitiveness.




















THE LOST HALF-SOVEREIGN.

for his age. But you needn’t have made such
a fuss about your precious secret. Here,
nurse, give us some tea,and you may put in
all the sugar Floss and Carrots have saved
by now.”

Floss and Carrots looked ready to cry; but




nurse reassured them.

« Never you fear,” she said; “he shall have
what’s proper, but no more. Never was such
a boy for sweet things as you, Master Mott!”

“Jt shows in my temper, doesn’t it?” he
said saucily. And then he was so pleased
with his own wit, that for a few minutes he
forgot to tease, occupying himself by eating
lots of bread and butter instead, so that tea

went on peaceably.


“ CARROTS.”

CHAPTER V.

CARROTS IN TROUBLE.
“But bitter while they flow, are childish tears.”

“Now, Carrots,” said Mott, when he had
eaten what he considered might possibly sup-
port him for the next two hours, “now, Carrots,

let’s have the paint-box. You needn’t disturb

ourself,’ he continued; for Carrots was pre-
2 )

paring to descend from his high chair. “I
know where you keep it; it’s in your drawer,
isn’t it? Which is his drawer, nurse? It'll be
a good opportunity for me to see if he keeps
it tidy.”

“No, no; let me get it myself!” cried Carrots,
tumbling himself off his chair anyhow in his.
eagerness. “Nurse, nurse! don’t tell him which
is mine; don’t let him take my paint-box; let

me get it my own self.”


CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 63:

Nurse looked at him with some surprise; it.
was seldom the little boy so excited himself.
“ Master Mott won't hurt your drawer, my
dear,” she said; “you don’t mind his having
your paint-box, I’m sure. But do let him get
it out himself, if he wants, Master Maurice ;.

’

there’s a dear boy,” she continued ; for Maurice
was by this time ferreting in Floss’s drawer
with great gusto, and in another moment would.
have been at Carrots’s. But Carrots was at it.
before him. He pulled it open as far as he
could; for in consequence of Mott's investi-
gations in the upper story, he could not easily
penetrate to his own quarters. But he knew
exactly where the paint-box lay, and managed

_ to slip it out without Maurice’s noticing what.

he was doing. His triumph was short-livel,
however ; before he could open the box, Mott.

was after him.

«Hi, you young sneak!” he cried; “what
are you after now? Giveme the box. I believe:
you want to take the best paints out before
you lend it to me;” and he wrenched the paint-
box out of his little brother’s hands.


“ CARROTS.”

“I don’t; I don’t!” sobbed Carrots, sitting

down on the floor, and crying bitterly. “You
may have all the paints, Mott; but it’s my
secret, oh, my secret!”

«What are you talking about?” said Mott
roughly, pulling out the lid as he spoke. The
box had been all tumbled about in the struggle,
and the paints came rattling out, —the paints
and the brushes and the little saucers, — and
with them came rolling down onto the floor,
children, you know what,—the “ fairies’ six-
penny,” the little bright, shining yellow half-
sovereign !

A strange change came over Mott's face.

“ Nurse!” he cried, “do you see that? What
does that mean ?”

Nurse hastened up to where he was stand-
ing ;

ishment at the spot on the carpet to which the

she stared for a moment in puzzled aston-

toe of Maurice’s boot was pointing, then she
stooped down slowly and picked up the coin,
still without speaking.

«Well, nurse,” said Maurice impatiently,
“what do you think of that?”


2 wa
Q ’ “SD























CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 65

“ My half-sovereign,” said nurse, as if hardly
believing what she saw.

“Of course it’s your half-sovereign,” said
Mott, “it’s as plain as a pikestaff. But how
did it come there? that’s the question.”

Nurse looked at Carrots with puzzled per-
plexity. “He couldn't have known,” she
said in a low voice, too low for Carrots to
hear. He was still sitting on the floor sob-
bing ; and through his sobs was:to be heard
now and then the melancholy cry, “ My secret!
oh, my poor secret!”

“You hear what he says,” said Maurice;
“what does his ‘secret’ mean but that he
sneaked into your drawer and took the half-
sovereign, and now doesn’t like being found
out. I’m ashamed to have him for my, brother,
that I am, the little cad!”

“But he couldn’t have understood,” said
nurse, at a loss how otherwise to defend her
little boy. “I’m not even sure that he rightly
knew of my losing it; and he might have taken
it, meaning no harm, not knowing what it was,

indeed, very likely.”


“CARROTS.”

“Rubbish,” said Maurice. “A child that
is going without sugar to get money instead
must be old enough to understand something
about what money is.”

“But that was my plan; it wasn’t Carrots
that thought of it at all,” said Floss, who
all this time had stood by, frightened and
distressed, not knowing what to say.

“Hold your tongue, Floss,’ said Maurice
roughly; and Floss subsided. “Carrots,” he
continued, turning to his brother, “leave off
crying this minute, and listen to me. Who
put this piece of money in your paint-box?”’

“T did, my own self,” said Carrots.

« What for?”

“To keep it a secret for Floss,’ sobbed
Carrots.

Maurice turned triumphantly to nurse.

= Phere he saidjacsyou see Andes the

continued to Carrots again, “you took it out of

nurse's drawer — out of a little paper packet ?’”
“No,” said Carrots, “I didn’t. I didn’t.
know it was nurse’s.”


CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 67

“You didn’t know nurse had lost a_half-
sovereign !’’ exclaimed Mott. “Carrots, how

dare you say so?”

“Yes,” said Carrots, looking so puzzled that

for a moment or two he forgot to sob; “I did
know: Floss told me.”

“Then, how caz you say you didn’t know this
was nurse’s?” said Mott.

“Oh, I don’t know —I didn’t know —I can’t
under’tand!” cried Carrots, relapsing into fresh
sobs.

“T wish your mamma was in, that I do,”
said nurse, looking ready to cry too; by this
time Floss’s tears were flowing freely.

“She isn’t in, so it’s no good wishing she
was,’ said Maurice; “but papa is,” he went
on importantly, “and I'll just take Carrots
to him and see what e’/ say to all this.”

“Oh, no, Master Mott! don’t do that, I beg
and pray of you,” said nurse, all but wringing
her hands in entreaty. “Your papa doesn’t
understand about the little ones: do wait till

your mamma comes in.”






















“CARROTS.”

“No, indeed, nurse; it’s a thing papa should
be told,” said Mott, in his innermost heart half
inclined to yield, but working himself up to im-
agine he was acting very heroically. And, not- .
withstanding nurse’s distress and Floss’s tears,
off he marched his unfortunate little brother to
the study.

“ Papa,” he said, knocking at the door, “may
Icome in? There’s something I must speak
to you about immediately.”

«Come in, then,’ was the reply. «Well,




and what’s the matter now? Has Carrots
hurt himself?” asked his father, naturally
enough, for his red-haired little son looked
pitiable in the extreme as he crept into the
room after Maurice, frightened, bewildered, and,
so far as his gentle disposition was capable
of such a feeling, indignant also, all at once.

“No,” replied Maurice, pushing Carrots for-
ward, “he’s not hurt himself; it’s worse than
that. Papa,” he continued excitedly, “you
whipped me once, when I was a little fellow,
for telling a story. I am very sorry to trouble



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CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 69

you, but I think it’s right you should know;
I am afraid you will have to punish Carrots
more severely than you punished me, for he’s
done worse than tell a story.” Maurice stop-
pel to take breath, and looked at his father
to see the effect of his words. Carrots had
stopped crying to listen to what Maurice was
saying; and there he stood, staring up with

his large brown eyes, two or three tears still



struggling down his cheeks, his face smeared
and red, and looking very miserable. Yet he
did not seem to be in the least ashamed of
himself, and this somehow provoked Mott and
hardened him against him.

«What's he been doing?” said their father,
looking at the two boys with more amuse-
ment than anxiety, and then glancing regret-
fully at the newspaper which he had been
comfortably reading when Mott’s knock came
to the door.

“He's done much worse than tell a story,”
repeated Maurice, “though for that matter he’s

told two or three stories too. But, papa, you



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“ CARROTS.

know about nurse losing a_half-sovereign?
Well, Carrots had got it all the time; he took
it out of nurse’s purse, and hid it away in his
paint-box, without telling anybody. He can’t
deny it, though he tried to.”

“Carrots,” said his father sternly, “is this
Ieee

Carrots looked up in his father’s face; that
face, generally so kind and merry, was now all
gloom and displeasure—why? Carrots could
net understand, and he was too frightened and
miserable to collect his little wits together to
try to do so. He just gave a sort of little
tremble and began to cry again.

“Carrots,” repeated his father, “is this
Glee yeey

“T don’t know,” sobbed Carrots.

Now, Captain Desart, Carrots’s father, was,

as I think I have told you, a sailor. If any of

you children have a sailor for your father you
must not think I mean to teach you to be
disrespectful when I say that sailors are, there
is no doubt, inclined to be hot-tempered and






CARROTS IN TROUBLE. is

hasty. And I do not think, on the whole, that
they understand much about children, though
they are often very fond of them and very
kind. All this was the case with Carrots’s
father. He had been so much away from his
children while they were little that he really
hardly knew how they had been brought up or
trained, or anything about their childish ways ;
he had left them entirely to his wife, and
scarcely considered them as in any way “ “zs

”

business,” till they were quite big boys and
girls.

But once he did begin to notice them, though
very kind, he was very strict. He had most
decided opinions about the only way of check-
ing their faults whenever these were serious
enough to attract his attention; and he could
not and would not be troubled with arguing,
or what he called “ splitting hairs,” about such
matters. A fault was a fault; telling a false-
hood was telling a falsehood; and he made no
allowance for the excuses or “palliating cir-
cumstances” there might be to consider. One




































sts CLs
BR YK Se eee pe oh.
eager wu : ! A GaE rel Soh Mees



72 “CARROTS.”



child, according to his ideas, was to be treated
exactly like another; why the same offence
should deserve severer punishment with a self-
willed, self-confident, bold, matter-of-fact lad,
such as Maurice, than with a timid, fanciful,
baby-like creature, as was his little Fabian,
he could not have understood had he tried,

Nurse knew all this by long experience ; no
wonder, kind though she knew her master to
be, that she trembled when Mott announced
his intention of laying the whole affair before
his father.












But poor Carrots did not know anything
about it. “Papa” had never been “cross”
to him before, and he was far from clearly
understanding why he was “cross” to him
now. So he just sobbed, and said, «I don't
know,” which was about the worst thing he
could possibly have said in his own defence,
though literally the truth.

“No or yes, sir,” said Captain Desart, his
voice growing louder and sterner,— I think he
really forgot that it was a poor little shrimp of












Q

CARROTS IN TROUBLE. 73



six years old he was speaking to,— “no non-

sense of ‘don’t knows.’ Did you, or did you

not, take nurse’s half-sovereign out of her

drawer and keep it for your own?”

“No,” said Carrots; “I never took nucken
out of nurse’s drawer. I never did, papa, and
I didn’t know nurse had any sovereigns.”

“Didn’t you know nurse had Jost a half-

sovereign? Carrots, how can you say so?’

interrupted Mott.

“Yes, Floss told me,” said Carrots.

“And Floss hid it away in your paint-box,.
I suppose?” said Mott sarcastically.

“No, Floss didn’t. I hided the sixpenny my
own self,” said Carrots, looking more and more
puzzled.

“Hold your tongue, Maurice!” said his.
father angrily. “Go and fetch the money and
the tomfool paint-box thing that you say he
had it in.”

Mott did as he was told. He ran to the
nursery and back as fast as he could; but,.
unobserved by him, Floss managed to run.
















“CARROTS.”

after him and crept into the study so quietly
that her father never noticed her.

Maurice laid the old paint-box and the half-
sovereign down on the table in front of his
father; Captain Desart held up the little coin
between his finger and thumb.

“Now,” he said, “Carrots, look at this.
Did you, or did you not, take this piece of
money out of nurse’s drawer and hide it away
in your paint-box?”’

Carrots stared hard at the half-sovereign.

“T did put it in my paint-box,” he said, and
then he stopped.

“What for?” said his father.

“T wanted to keep it for a secret,” he replied.
“T wanted to— to’ —

“What?” thundered Captain Desart.

“To buy something at the toy-shop with it,”
sobbed Carrots.

Captain Desart sat down and looked at Mott
for sympathy.

“Upon my soul,” he said, “one could hardly
believe it. A child that one would think


CARROTS IN TROUBLE.

scarcely knew the value of money! Where
can he have learnt such cunning? you say you

are sure he was told of nurse’s having lost a.

half-sovereign ?” ;

“Oh, yes!” said Mott ; “he confesses to that
much himself.”

“ Floss told me,” said Carrots.

«Then, how can you pretend you didn’t know
this was nurse's ?— taking it out of her drawer,
too,” said his father.

“T don’t know. I didn’t take it out of her
drawer; it was ‘aside Floss’s doll,” said Car-
rots.

“He’s trying to equivocate,” said his father.
‘Then he turned to the child again, looking more
‘determined than ever.

“Carrots,” he said, “I must whip you for this.
Do you know that I am ashamed to think you
are my son? If you were a poor boy you
might be put in prison for this.”

Carrots looked too bewildered to understand.
«Tn prison,” he repeated. “ Would the prison-

man take me?”

WGK E

SU gH

te)




















“CARROTS.”




“What does he mean?” said Captain Desart..

Floss, who had been waiting unobserved in
her corner all this time, thought this a good
opportunity for coming forward.

“He means the policeman,” she said. “O
papa!” she went on, running up to her little
brother and throwing her arms round him, the
tears streaming down her face, “O papa! poor
little Carrots! he doesn't understand.”

“Where did you come from?” said her
father gruffly, but not unkindly, for Floss was.
rather a favorite of his. “What do you mean
about his not understanding? Did you know
about this business, Floss ?”’

“Qh no, papa,” said Floss, her face flush-
ing; “I’m too big not to understand.”

“Of course you are,” said Captain Desart ;
“and Carrots is big enough, too, to understand
the very plain rule that he is not to touch
what does not belong to him. He was told,
too, that nurse had lost a half-sovereign, and
he might then have owned to having taken it,.
and given it back, and then things would not.







CARROTS IN TROUBLE.

have looked so bad. Take him up to my dress-
ing-room, Maurice, and leave him there till I
come.”

“May I go with him, papa?” said Floss
very timidly.

“No,” said her father, “you may not.”

So Mott led off poor weeping Carrots, and
all the way up-stairs he kept sobbing to him-
self, “I never touched nurse’s sovereigns. I
never did. I didn’t know she had any sov-

ereigns.”
“Hold your tongue!” said Mott; “what is

the use of telling more stories about it?”

“I didn’t tell stories. I said I hided the
sixpenny my own self, but I never touched
nurse’s sovereigns; I never did.”

«I believe you’re more that half an idiot,”
said Mott angry and yet sorry—angry with
himself, too, somehow.

Floss, left alone with her father, ventured
on another appeal.

“You won't whip Carrots till mamma comes

in, will you, papa?” she said softly.





eS
ins

SREP
fy a

S He a4 >
ae

SUSY

oS
LR
“CARROTS.”

“Why not? Do you think I want her to
help me to whip him?” said Captain Desart.

“Oh no! but—I think perhaps mamma

would understand better how it was, for, O
papa dear, Carrots isn’t a naughty boy; he
never, never tells stories.”

“Well, we'll see,” replied her father; “and
in the meanwhile it will do him no harm to
think things over by himself in my dressing-
room for a little.”

“ Oh, poor Carrots!” murmured Floss to her-
self; “it'll be getting dark, and he’s all alone.

I wisk mamma would come in!”
























AO oP Wise, BOT SS er

CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT’”’ AGAIN. 79:

CHAPTER VI.

CARROTS ‘ALL ZIGHT’’ AGAIN.

“ When next the summer breeze comes by,
And waves the bush, the flower is dry.”
WALTER SCOTT.

FLoss crept up-stairs to the dressing-room
door. It was locked. Though the key was.
in the lock, she knew she must not turn it ;:
and even had it been open she would not have:
dared to go in, after her father’s forbidding it.
But she thought she might venture to speak
to Carrots, to comfort him a little, through
the door. She was dreadfully afraid that he
might feel frightened in there alone if it got
dark before he was released ; for sometimes he
was afraid of the dark —he was such a little
boy, remember.

Floss tapped at the door.

“ Carrots,” she said, “are you there?”
ef SB os WM 40 : YNE
2 Se 5 mk Cages ea



“CARROTS.”





“Yes,” said Carrots; “but you can’t come
in, Floss; Mott has locked me in.”

“I know,” said Floss; “what are you doing,





Carrots?) Are you very unhappy?”




“Not so very. I’m crying —I’m crying
a great lot, Floss; but I don’t think I’m so

very unhappy —not now you’ve come to the
door.”






“Poor Carrots!” said Floss, «I'll stay by
the door if you like. I'll. just run down to the
front door now and then, to see if mamma is
coming, and then I’ll come straight back to
you.”

‘All zight,” said Carrots. Whenever he
wanted to seem very brave and rather a big
boy, he used to say “all zight;” and just now
he was trying very hard to be like a big boy.

There was silence for a minute or two,











then Carrots called out again.




“Floss,” he said, “are you there?”

“Yes, dear,” replied faithful Floss.

“I want just to tell you one thing,” he said.
“Floss, I never did touch nurse’s sovereigns.
I never knowed she had any.”





oq f
9



CARROTS ‘‘ ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN. 81

“Tt wasn’t a sovereign, it was a /alf-sov-
ereign,” corrected Floss.

“J don’t under’tand how it could be a half-
sovereign,” said Carrots. “ But I never touched
nurse’s drawer, nor nucken in it.”

“Then, where add you find the half-sov-
ereign?” began Floss; “and why — O Car-
rots!” she broke off, “I do believe that’s the
front-door bell. It'll be mamma coming. I
must run down.”

« Allzight!” called out Carrots again. “ Don’t
be long, Floss; but please tell mamma all
about it. I don’t under’tand.”

He gave a little sigh of perplexity, and lay
down on the floor near the window, where the
room was lightest; for the darkness was now
beginning to creep in, and he felt very lonely.

Poor Mrs. Desart hardly knew what to think
or say, when, almost before she had got into
the house, she was seized upon by Maurice
and Floss, each eager to tell their own story.
Carrots naughty, Carrots in disgrace, was such

an extraordinary idea!
























* CARROTS.”

“Nurse!” she exclaimed, perceiving her at
the end of the passage, whence she had been
watching as anxiously as the children for her
mistress’s return, “nurse, what is the mean-
ing of it all?”

“Indeed, ma'am,” nurse was beginning, but
she was interrupted. “Come in ene wale eyes
said Captain Desart to his wife, opening the
study door; “come in here before you go up-
stairs.”

And Mrs. Desart did as he asked; but Floss
again managed to creep in too, almost hidden
in the folds of her mother’s dress.

“I can’t believe that Carrots is greedy or
cunning or obstinate,” said his mother, when
she had heard all. “I cannot think that he
understood what he was doing when he took
the half-sovereign,”

“But the hiding it,” said Captain Desart,
“the hiding it; and yet to my face persisting
that he had nevér touched nurse’s_half-sov-
ereign. I can’t make the child out.”

“He says he didn’t know nurse had any
sovereigns,” put in Floss,

Ze se OEN
% 20 ua

















CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN.” 83

« Are you there again, you ubiquitous child?”
said her father.

Floss looked rather frightened — such a long
word as ubiquitous must surely mean some-
thing very naughty ; but her father’s voice was
not angry, so she took courage.

“Does he know what a sovereign means?”
said Mrs. Desart. “Perhaps there is some
confusion in his mind which makes him seem
obstinate when he isn’t so really.”

“He said he knew J/ had sovereigns,” said
Floss, “and I couldn’t think what he meant.
O mamma!” she went on suddenly, “I do

believe I know what he was thinking of. It

was my kings and queens.”

And before her father or mother could stop
her she had darted off to the nursery. In
two minutes she was back again, holding out

to her mother a round wooden box —the sort

of box one often used to see with picture alpha-
bets for little children ; but instead of an alpha-
bet Floss’s box contained a set of round cards,
each about the size of the top of a wineglass,


“ CARROTS.”

with the heads of all the English kings and
queens, from William the Conqueror down to
Victoria.

»?

«« Sovereigns of England,’ mamma, you see

she exclaimed, pointing to the words on the
lid, and quite out of breath with hurry and ex-
citement, “and I very often call them my
sovereigns; and of course Carrots didn't un-
derstand how there could be a “a/f one of them,
nor how nurse could have any.”

“Tt must be so,” said Mrs. Desart to her
husband ; “the poor child really did zo¢ under-
stand.”

“But still the taking the money at all, and
hiding it,” said Captain Desart. “I don’t
see that it would be right not to punish him.”

“He has been punished already — pretty
severely for him, I fancy,” said Floss’s mother,
with a rather sad smile. “You will leave him
to me now, won't you, Frank?” she asked
her husband. “I will go up and see him, and
try to make him thoroughly understand. Give
me the sovereigns, Floss dear; I’ll take them


CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN. 85

Somewhat slowly Carrots’s mother made her
way up-stairs. She was tired and rather
troubled. She did not believe that her poor
little boy had really done wrong wilfully, but
it seemed difficult to manage well among
so many children; she was grieved, also, at
‘Maurice’s hastiness and want of tender feel-
ing; and she saw, too, how little fitted Carrots
was to make his way in this rough-and-ready
world.

“How would it be without me? My poor

a2

children she thought with a sigh.

But a little hand was slipped into hers.

“Mamma, dear, I’m so glad you thought
of the sovereigns. I’m sure Carrots didn’t
mean to be naughty. Mamma dear, though
he zs so little, Carrots always means to be
good ; I don’t think he could even be frightened
into doing anything that he understood was
naughty, though he is so easily frightened
other ways.”

“My good little Floss, my comforter,” said
her mother, patting Floss’s hand, and then


“ CARROTS.”

they together made their way to the dressing-
room.

It was almost dark. The key was in the
lock, and Mrs. Desart felt for it and turned ite §
but when she opened the door it was too dark
in the room to distinguish anything.

“Carrots,” she said; but there was no an-

swer. ‘Where can he be?” she said rather

anxiously. “Floss, run and get a light.”

Floss ran off; she was back again in a min-
ute, for she had met nurse on the stairs with
a candle in her hand. But even with the light
they could not all at once find Carrots, and
although they called to him there was no
answer.

“Can he have got out of the window?”
Mrs. Desart was beginning to say, when Floss
interrupted her.

“Here he is, mamma!” she exclaimed. « Oh,
poor little Carrots! mamma, nursie, do look!”

There he was, indeed, fast, fast asleep !
Extra fast asleep, for his troubles and his tears

had worn him out. He was lying in a corner




*¢ My bonnie wee man.”
— Page 87.




















gee? 8 Figs Be Je BAe

’

CARROTS ‘“‘ ALL ZIGHT”’ AGAIN. 87

of a large closet opening out of the dressing-
room. In this closet Captain Desart hung up
his coats and dressing-gowns, and doubtless
Carrots had crept into it when the room began
to get dark, feeling as if in the hanging gar-
ments there was some comfort and protection ;
and there he lay, looking so fair and innocent,
prettier than when he was awake, for his cheeks
had more color, and his long eyelashes, reddy-
brown, like his hair, showed clearly on his fair
skin.

« Poor little fellow! how sweet he looks!”
said Mrs. Desart. “Nurse, lift him up and
try to put him to bed without waking him.
We must wait to disentangle the confusion in

his mind till to-morrow morning.”



And very tenderly nurse lifted him up and
4 carried him off.
§ ve “My bonnie wee man,” she murmured ; for
oa, though it was many and many a day since she
) had seen her native land, and she had jour-
Cut neyed with her master and mistress to strange

we countries “far over the sea,” she was apt,
TERE PEEL NEE









88 “ CARROTS.”

when her feelings were stirred, to fall back
into her own childhood tongue.

So no more was said to or about Carrots
that evening; but Floss went to bed quite
happy, and satisfied that “mamma” would put
it all right in the morning. I don’t think
Mott went to bed in ‘so comfortable a mood ;
yet his mother had said nothing to him.

Cecil and Louise had, though. Cecil told
him right out that he was a horrid telltale ;
and Louise said she only wished fe had red

hair instead of Carrots; which expressions of







feeling on the part of such very grown-up young




ladies meant a good deal, for it was not often




they troubled. themselves much about nursery
matters, — Cecil, that is to say ; for Louise, who
was fair-haired and soft and gentle, and played
very nicely on the piano, was just a shadow
of Cecil; and if Cecil had proposed that they
should stay in bed all day and get up all night,
would have thought it a very good idea.

And the next morning Mrs. Desart had a
long talk with Carrots. It was all explained and














tz:

Ark



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ry Fe Le . f * 7 a
; - | a ohana r oe
aN 4 os Z + Sab? ape
yaad TACHA AS OB tats Ny reel OE’ fe
UU ELT * SS CRB Rago, SURES "




DN

So elo,”

eee
























CARROTS “ALL ZIGHT” AGAIN. 89:

made clear, and the difference between the two:
kinds of “sovereigns” shown to him. And he
told his mother all —all, that is to say, except
the “plan” for saving sugar and getting money
instead, which had first put it into his head to:
keep the half-sovereign to get a new doll for
Floss. He began to tell about the plan, but
stopped when he remembered that it was
Floss’s secret as well as his own; and when
he told his mother this she said he was quite
right not to tell without Floss’s leave, and that,
as nurse knew about it, they might still keep.
it for their secret, if they liked, which Carrots.
was very glad to hear.

He told his mother about his thinking per-
haps the fairies had brought the “sixpenny ;”
and she explained to him that nowadays, alas !
that was hardly likely to be the case, though
she seemed quite to understand his fancying it,
and did not laugh at him at all. But she spoke
very gravely to him, too, about ever taking
anything that was not his; and, after listening
and thinking with all his might, Carrots said he
thought he “kite under’tood.”
“ CARROTS.”

“Tam never, never to take nucken that I’m

not sure is mine,” he said slowly. “And if

ever I’m not sure I’m to ask somebody, — you,

or nursie, or Floss, or sometimes, perhaps, Cecil.
But I don’t think I’d better ask Mott, for per-
haps he wouldn’t under’tand.”

But Mott’s mother took care that before the
day was over Mott should “ under’tand ” some-
thing of where and how he had been in fault ;
that there are sometimes ways of doing right

which turn it into “wrong ;” and that want of
pity and tenderness for the wrong-dver never,

never can be right.


A LONG AGO STORY.

CHAPTER VII.
A LONG AGO STORY.

You may laugh, my little people,
But be sure my story’s true;
For I vow by yon church steeple
I was once a child like you.

Tue LAND oF Lone AGo.

Ir any of you children have travelled much,
have you noticed that on a long journey there
seem to come points, turns, —I hardly know
what to call them, —after which the journey
seems to go on differently? More quickly, per-
haps more cheerfully, or possibly less so, but
certainly differently? Looking back afterwards
you see it was so —“ from the time we all looked
out of the window at the ruined abbey we

seemed to get on so much faster,” you would

say, or— “after the steamer had passed the

Spearhead Point we began to feel dull and

tired, and there was no more sunshine.”




“CARROTS.”




I think it is so in life. Suddenly, often quite:



unknowingly, we turn a corner sometimes of




our history, sometimes of our characters, and




looking back long afterwards, we make a date




of that point. It was so just now with my little
Carrots. This trouble of his about the half-

sovereign changed him. I do not mean to say





that it saddened him, and made him less happy
than he had been, —at his age, thank God!
few, if any, children have it in them to be so:








yay
_ ee
POs “hen












2 deeply affected,—but it changed him. It was
y &= his first peep out into life, and it gave him his

first real thoughts about things. It made him
see how a little wrong-doing may cause great
sorrow; it gave him his first vague, misty
glimpse of that, to my thinking, saddest of all
sad things — the way in which it is possible for
our very nearest and dearest to mistake and

misunderstand us.



He had been in some ways a good deal of
a baby for his age, there is no doubt. He had
a queer, babylike way of not seeming to take in

ee, RN

quickly what was said to him, and staring up in.




‘which is in you all, which may grow into so



























A LONG AGO STORY.

-your face with his great oxen-like eyes, that did
ca little excuse Maurice’s way of laughing at him,
and telling him he was “half-witted.” But no
one that really looked at those honest, sensible,
tender eyes could for an instant have thought
there was any “want” in their owner. It was
all there, —the root of all goodness, cleverness,
and manliness, —just as in the acorn there is
the oak; but of course it had a great deal of
growing before it, and, more than mere grow-
ing, it would need all the care and watchful
tenderness and wise directing that could be
given it, just as the acorn needs all the rain
and sunshine and good nourishing soil it can
‘get to become a fine oak, straight and strong
and beautiful. For what do I mean by “it,”
children? I mean the “own self” of Carrots,
the wonderful “something” in the little child-
ish frame which the wisest of all the wise men
of either long ago or nowadays have never yet
‘been able to describe, —the “soul,” children,

beautiful, so lovely, and perfect a thing; which
“ CARROTS.”

may, alas! be twisted and stunted and starved

out of all likeness to the “image” in which it
was created.

Do you understand a little why it seems
sometimes such a very, very solemn thing to.
have the charge of children? When one
thinks what they should be, and again when
one thinks what they may be, is it not a
. Solemn, almost too solemn a thought? Only
we who feel this so deeply, take heart when
we remember that the Great Gardener, who
never makes mistakes, has promised to help.
us, even out of owr mistakes to bring good.

As I have said, the affair of the lost half-
sovereign did not leave any lastingly painful
impression on Carrots; but for some days he
seemed unusually quiet and pale and a little
sad. He had caught cold, too, with falling
asleep on the dressing-room floor, nurse said,.
for the weather was still exceedingly chilly,.
though the spring was coming on; s0, alto-
gether, he was rather a miserable-looking little.
Carrots.




























e 7
Dhestp a ee ee eT
BE PS Bas BOERNE 38

A LONG AGO STORY. 95:

He kept out of the way, and did not com-
plain; but “mamma” and nurse and Floss did
not need complaints to make them see that
their little man was not quite himself, and
they were extra kind to him.

There came just then some very dull, rainy
days, regular rainy days, — not stormy, but to:
the children much more disagreeable than had
they been so; for in stormy weather at the
seaside there is too much excitement for any
one to think whether it is disagreeable or not.
There is the splendid sight of the angry,
troubled sea; there are the wonderful “storm
songs” of the wind to listen to. Of course,
as Carrots used to say, at such times it is.
“dedful” to think of the poor sailors; but



xy even in thinking of them there is something
that takes one’s thoughts quite away from
wit one's self, and one’s own worries and troubles,

: —all the marvellous stories of shipwreck and.
2 adventure, from Grace Darling to old Sindbad,
Me come rushing into one’s mind, and one feels.
Sn as if the sea was the only part of the world.
worth living on.


yy : , SS ‘ sti fe
NS



“CARROTS.”





But even at the seaside, regular, steady, .



“stupid” rainy days are trying. Carrots sat




at the nursery window one of these dull after-




noons, looking out wistfully.




«“ Floss,” he said, for Floss was sitting on the




floor learning her geography for the next day,




«Floss, it zs so raining,”
i 2




“T know,” said Floss, stopping a minute




in her “principal rivers of Northern Europe.”




«“T wish there wasn’t so. much rain, and then




there wouldn't be so many rivers; or perhaps




if there weren’t so many rivers there wouldn’t




be so much rain. I wonder which it is?”




“Which beginned first —rivers or rain?”




said Carrots meditatively, “/¢at would tell.”




“T’m sure I don’t know, and I don’t believe




anybody does,” said Floss, going on again with




her lesson. “Be quiet, Carrots, for one min-



ute, and then I'll talk to you.”




Carrots sat silent for about a minute and




a half, then he began again.




“Floss,” he said.




“Well,” replied Floss, “I’ve very nearly
done, Carrots.”




Seto ste Elo, “Bek

s ; ‘\ % ae
FOR Si 4 : AO — SS
Y

A LONG AGO STORY.

“It’s werry dull to-day, Floss. The sea looks
dull too; it isn’t dancey a bit to-day, and the
sands look as if they would mever be nice for
running on again.”

“Oh, but they will, Master Carrots,” said
nurse, who was sitting near, busy darning
stockings. “Dear, dear! don’t I remember
feeling just so when I was a child—in win-
ter thinking summer would never come, and
in summer forgetting all about winter?”

“Ts it a werry long time since you were a
child?” inquired Carrots, directing his atten-
tion to nurse.

“Tt’s getting on for a good long time, my
dear,” said nurse with a smile.

«“ Please tell me about it,” said Carrots.

“ Oh, yes, nursie dear, do!” said Floss, jump-
ing up from the floor and shutting her book.
“ve done all my lessons, and it would just
be nice to have a story; it would amuse poor
little Carrots.”

«But you know all my stories as well as, or
even better than, I do myself,” objected nurse;






















eee AE :


























“ CARROTS.”

“not that they were ever much to tell, any of
them.”

«Oh, yes, they were! They are very nice:
indeed,” said Floss encouragingly. “And I’m
very fond of what you call your mother’s stories,
too —aren’t you, Carrots?— about the chil-

dren she was nurse to— Master Hugh and



Miss Janet. Tell us more about them, nursie.””

«“ You've heard all the stories about them,
my dears, I’m afraid,’ said nurse; “at least,
I can’t just now think of any worth telling but.
what you've heard.”

«Well, let's hear some not worth the tell-.
ing,” said Floss persistently. “Nurse,” she
went on, “how old must Master Hugh and
Miss Janet be by now? Do you know where:
they are?”

«Master Hugh is dead,” said nurse, “many —
a year ago, poor fellow! and little Miss Janet
—why she was fifteen years older than I!
mother only left them to be married when
Miss Janet was past twelve. She must be

quite an old lady by now, if she is alive — with.
A LONG AGO STORY.

grandchildren as old as you perhaps. How

strange it seems |”

“She must have been a very nice little girl,
and so must Master Hugh have been —a nice
little boy, I mean. That story of ‘Mary Ann
Jolly’ was so interesting. I suppose they zever
did anything naughty?” said Floss insin-
uatingly.

“Oh, but they did!” replied nurse, quite
unsuspicious of the trap laid for her. “Master
Hugh was very mischievous. Did I never tell
you what they did to their dog Cesar?”

“No, never,” said both the children in a
breath; “do tell us.”

«Well, it was one Sunday morning, to tell
it as mother told me,’ began nurse. “You
know, my dears,” she broke off again, “it
was in Scotland and rather an out-of-the-way
part where they lived. I know the place well,
of course, for it wasn’t till I was seventeen
past that I ever left it. It is a pretty place,
out of the way even now, I’m told, with rail-

ways and all, and in those days it was even


“ CARROTS.”

more out of the way. Six miles from the church,

and the prayers and the sermon very long
when you got there. Many and many a time
Ive fallen asleep at church, when I was a
little girl. Well, to go back to Master Hugh
and Miss Janet. It was on a Sunday morn-
ing they did the queer piece of mischief I’m
going to tell you of. They had been left at
home with no one but an old woman, who
was too deaf to go to church, to look after
them. She lived in the lodge close by, and
used to come into the house to help when the
servants were busy, for she was a very trusty
old body. It was not often the children were
left without mother, or perhaps one of the
housemaids, to take care of them; and very
often in fine weather they used to be taken
to church themselves, though it was tiring
like for such young things. But this Sunday
everybody had gone to church because it was
the time of the preachings ”’ —

“The what, nurse?” said Floss. “Isn't
there preaching every Sunday at church?”





















A LONG AGO STORY. IOl

“Oh yes, my dear! but what we call the
preachings in Scotland means the time when
there is the communion service, which is only
twice a year. You can’t understand, my dear,”
seeing that Floss looked as mystified as ever ;
“but never mind. When you are older you
will find that there are many different ways of
saying and doing the same things in churches,
just like among people. But this Sunday I
am telling you of the services were to be very
long indeed, too long for the children, consid-
ering the six miles’ drive and all; so they
were left at home with old Phemie.”

“Did they mind?” said Carrots.

“Ohno! I fancy they were very well pleased.
They were always very happy together, the two
of them and Cesar.”

“And of course they promised to be very
good,” said Floss.

“ No doubt of that,” said nurse, with a smile.
“Well, they certainly hit upon a queer way
of amusing themselves. Mother came home

from church one of the earliest ; she had a lift




102 = “CARROTS.”




in one of the farmers’ carts, and came in at
the lodge gate just as the carriage with her



master and mistress and the young ladies was



driving up. They all got out at the big gate,



and let the coachman drive round to the stable



the back way, and mother came quietly walk-



ing up the drive behind them. They were



talking seriously about the sermon they had



heard, and feeling rather solemn-like, I dare



say, when all at once there flew down the



drive to meet them the most fearsome-like



creature that ever was seen. It was like noth-



ing in nature, my mother said, about the size



of a large wolf, but with a queer-shaped head



and body, — at least they looked queer to them,



not knowing what it was, —and not a particle



of hair or coat of any kind upon it. It rushed,



up to my lady, —that was Miss Janet's mother



—and tried to leap upon her; but she shrieked



to her husband, and he up with his stick, — he



always took a stick about with him, —and was



just on the point of giving it a fearful blow,



never thinking but what it was one of the






















se

we ;

A LONG AGO STORY. 103

beasts escaped from some travelling show, when
-one of the young ladies caught his arm.

«Stop, father!’ she cried. ‘Don’t you see
who it is? It’s C@sar.’

“<«Cesar?’ said he. ‘My dear, ¢hat’s never
Ceesar.’

« But Ceesar it was, as they soon saw by the
way he jumped and whined, and seemed to beg
them to understand he was himself. He was
frightened out of his wits, poor doggie! for he
hhad never felt so queer before, and couldn’t
understand what had come over him.”

« And what Aad come over him?” asked the
children eagerly.

“Why, Master Hugh and Miss Janet had

spent the morning in cropping him!” replied



nurse. ‘The hair—and he had great long,
thick hair — was cut off as close and as neat
as if it had been shaved ; it was really wonder-
se ful how clean they had done it, without cutting
y or wounding the poor doggie. They had taken
ANd great pains about it, and had spent the best
part of the morning over it — the two of
“CARROTS.”

them, — Master Hughie with the great kitchen
scissors, and Miss Janet with a wee fine pair
she had found in her mamma’s work-box, the
little monkey! And such a sight as the
kitchen dresser was with hair! For they told
how they had made Czesar jump up on to the
dresser and lie first on one side and then on
the other, till all was cut off.”

«Were they punished?” asked Floss anx-
iously; and at this question Carrots looked
very woe-begone.

«They were going to be,” said nurse; “ but
somehow, I cannot justly say how it was,
they were let off. The whole thing was such
a queer idea, their father and mother could
not but laugh at it, though they didn’t let
the children see them. And what do you
think my lady did? She took all poor Czesar’s

hair and spun it up into worsted for knitting,

mixing it, of course, with long yarn.”

“Did she spin?” asked Floss. “I thought
you said she was a lady.”

« And that she was, Miss Flossie; and none





s e Meo. Ss ee Y Pad My ee Shy wy
J op
Y



A LONG AGO STORY. 105



the less so for being able to spin and to knit,
and to cook too, I dare say,” said nurse.




“ But ladies, and high-born ones too, in those




days turned their hands to many things they




think beneath them now. I know Miss Janet's




mother would never have thought of letting
any one but herself wash up her breakfast





and tea services. The cups were a sight to




be seen, certainly, of such beautiful old china e




they were worth taking care of; and that’s
how old china has been kept together. There





isn't much of what’s in use nowadays will




go down to your grandchildren and great-
grandchildren, Miss Flossie, with the smash-
ing and dashing that goes on. My lady had
a white wood bowl kept on purpose, and the
napkin of the finest damask, and a large apron
of fine holland that she put on, and, oh yes!
a pair of embroidered holland cuffs she used

to draw on over her sleeves up to the elbow;









and a lady she looked, I can assure you, rins-




ing out and drying her beautiful cups with
her pretty white hands!”



ee
D Aye
?

“Did you ever see her?” asked Floss.



























“ CARROTS.”

“Yes; when she was getting to be quite an
‘old lady. I’ve seen her several times when I’ve
been sent up with a message by mother to the
house ; for my mother was a great favorite of
hers. I never went there but my lady would
have me in to have a piece.”

“A piece ?”” repeated Floss.

Nurse laughed. “A slice of bread and jam,
I should say, my dear. I forget that I’m far
away from the old life when I get to talking
of those days. And to think that I’m getting
‘on to be quite an old woman myself, — older
in some ways than my lady ever was; for my
hair is fast turning gray, and hers had never
a silver streak in it to the last day of her life;
and she died at eighty-four!”

Carrots was getting a little tired, for he
hardly understood all that’ nurse was saying.
‘To create a diversion, he climbed up on to her
knee, and began stroking her face.

“Never mind, nursie,” he said. “I'll always —

love you, even when your hair’s £z¢e gray, and I



CSW oN

i Kees Z
APT Sp en





5S

LS ee
RY
.



ets

















| BE ORLA OE Oe

eae A LONG AGO STORY. 107



would marry you if you like when I’m big, only
I’ve promised to marry Floss.” i

“Oh, you funny little Carrots!” said Floss.
« But, nurse,” she went on, “what did Janet’s
mamma do with the hair when she had spun
ae

«She knitted it into a pair of stockings for
Master Hughie,” said nurse; “but they weren’t
much use. They were well enough to look at,
but no mortal boy could have worn them with-
out his legs being skinned, they were so pricky.”

« And what became of Czesar?” said Floss.
“Did his hair ever grow again ?”

c@Ohweyes: & asalcmunse,jc1ne Mineelte cid,
though I believe it never again looked so
silky and nice. But Czesar lived to a good
old age, for all that. He didn’t catch cold;
» for my lady made mother make him a coat
yey ry of a bit of soft warm cloth, which he wore
Se | for sometime.”
“How funny he must have looked,” said

aNd Floss.

co “What are you talking about?” said a voice

4, fe Ee
Qe
aN)



“ CARROTS.”

behind her ; and, turning round, Floss saw Cecil,
























who had come into the room without their
hearing her.

«About a doggie,” answered Carrots. “O
Cis! nurse has been telling us a lubly story
about a doggie. Nursie, dear, won’t you tell
us another to-morrow?”

““My stories are all worn out, my dear,” said
nurse, shaking her head.

“Couldn’t you tell us one, Cis?” said Car-
rots.

“Make up one, do you mean?” said Cecil.
«No, indeed, I’m sure I never could. Are
they always at you to tell them stories, nurse ?
If so, I pity you.”

“ Poor little things!’ said nurse, “it’s dull for
them these wet days, Miss Cecil, and Master
Carrots’s cold has been bad.”

Cecil looked at her little brother’s pale face
as he sat nestling in nurse’s arms, and a queer
new feeling of compunction seized her.

“T couldn't ¢e// youa story,” she said ; “ but if
you like, the first afternoon it’s rainy, and you
A LONG AGO STORY. 109

can’t go out, I'll read you one. Miss Barclay
lent me a funny, old-fashioned little book the
other day, and some of the stories in it are
fairy ones. Would you like that, Carrots?”

Floss clapped her hands, and Carrots slid
down from nurse’s knee, and coming quietly
up to Cecil, threw his arms round her neck
and gave her a kiss.

“T hope it'll rain to-morrow,” he said

gravely.





“Tt zs kind of Miss Cecil,’ said nurse; and
as Cecil left the nursery she added to herself,
«it will be a comfort to her mother if she
begins to take thought for the little ones;
and I’ve always felt sure it was in her to do

so, if only she could get into the way of it.”




“CARROTS.”

CHAPTER VIII.
“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.”

“Thou wilt not fail
To listen to a fairy tale.”

Lewis CARROLL.

It dd rain the next day; and Cecil did
not forget her promise. Just as the old nur-
sery clock was striking four, a full hour still
to her tea-time, she marched into the room
with a little old brown book in her hand.
I wonder if any of you have ever seen that
little old book, or one like it I should say?
It was about the size of the first edition of
«Evenings at Home,” which some of you are
sure to have in your bookcases; for I should
think everybody's grandfathers and grandmothers.
had an “ Evenings at Home”’ among their few

dearly prized children’s books.

Do you know how very few those books.




“A little old brown book in her hand.”
— Page 110.
“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” IIL

were? You may have heard it, but I scarcely
fancy you have ever thought over the great.
difference between yourselves and long-ago-
children in this respect. Nowadays, when you.
have galloped through all the brilliant blue and.
green and scarlet little volumes that have been
given to you on birthdays and Christmas Days,.
you come with a melancholy face to your
mother, and tell her you have “nothing to
read.” And then, most likely, when your
mother goes to the library she chooses a book

a

for you out of the “juvenile department ;” and.
when it is done you get another, till you can
hardly remember what you have read and what:
you haven’t. But as for reading any book

twice over, ¢hat is never to be thought of.



Not so was it long ago? Not only had no.

children many books, but everywhere children

gor “; had the same. There was seldom any use in
: we little friends lending to each other, for it was

" \
G always the same thing over again: “ Evenings
“

ay, at Home,” “Sandford and Merton,’ “Orna--
3 ments Discovered,” and so on.







DYE iREe.« ani SERTRRRS 2 AD
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“CARROTS,”

You think, I dare say, that it must have
been very stupid and tiresome to have s¢0 little
variety, but / think you are in some ways mis-
taken. Children really read their books in those
days ; they put more of themselves into their
reading, so that, stupid as these quaint old
Stories might seem to you nowadays, they
never seemed so then. What was wanting
in them the children filled up out of their
own fresh hearts and fancies, and, however
often they read and re-read them, they always
found something new. They got to know the
characters in their favorite stories like real
friends, and would talk them over with their
companions, and compare their opinions about
them in a way that made each book as good
as, or better than, a dozen.

So there is something to be said for this

part of the anczen régime —if you do not un-

derstand what that means, you will some day

—after all.
The volume that Cecil Desart brought into

the nursery was called “ Faults Corrected ; or,”




Pa Modoc, oe Se2

“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.”




(there was always long ago an “or” in the
titles of books) “ Beneficent Influences.”
“Some of the stories are stupid,” said Cecil,
as she sat down. “Miss Barclay said it was
her mother’s when she was a little girl, so
it must be rather ancient; but I think I’ve

found one that will amuse you, and that Car-

rots can understand.”

“What's it called?” said Floss, peering over
her sister's shoulder. “Faults Corrected Ola
Ben — ben —’ what word’s that, Cecil?”

“Sit down, Floss, and be quiet, or I won't
read to you,” said Cecil emphatically. «That’s
the name of the whole book you are looking at ;
and you wouldn’t understand the word if I told
it you. The name of the story I am going to
read to you is, ‘The Bewitched Tongue ; or,
Think before you Speak. A Fairy Tale.’”

Floss would have liked to clap her hands,
but she was afraid of another snub from Cecil,
so she restrained her feelings.

“When there come very long words,” con-

tinued Cecil, —“ there often are in old books,—
“ CARROTS.”

I'll change them to easy ones, so that Carrots.
may understand. Now, be quiet all of you, I’m
going to begin. ‘The Bewitched Tongue, etc.’
I’m not going to read all the title again. ‘In

a beautiful mansion’ (that just means a fine

house, Carrots) “surrounded by pleasure grounds.

of great extent, there lived, many years ago,
a young girl named Elizabetha. She was of
charming appearance and pleasing manners ;
her parents loved her devotedly, her brothers
and sisters looked upon her with amiable affec-
tion, her teachers found her docile and intelli-
gent. Yet Elizabetha constantly found herself,
despite their affection, shunned and feared by
her best and nearest friends, and absolutely
disliked by those who did not know her well
enough to feel assured of the real goodness of
her heart.

««This sad state of things was all owing to
one unfortunate habit. She had a hasty tongue.
Whatever thought was uppermost in her mind
at the moment, she expressed without reflec-

tion; she never remembered the wholesome


“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” IIs

adage, “Think before you speak,” or that other
excellent saying, « Second thoughts are best.”

“« Her disposition was far from unamiable or

malicious, yet the mischief of which she was

the cause was indescribable. Every servant in
the household dreaded to hear the sound of her
voice, for many had she involved in trouble
and disgrace; and as her temper was naturally
quick and impetuous, and she never attempted
to check her first expressions of provocation,
small and even trifling disagreements were by
her foolish tongue exaggerated into lasting dis-
cord, long after all real cause of offence had
passed from her mind.

““«« My brother will not forgive me,” she con-
fessed one day to her mother, with many tears ;
“and the quarrel was only that he had broken
the vase of flowers that stand on my table. J
forgave Am, —I would rather lose twenty vases
than his affection, — and yet he will not speak
to me, and passes me by with indignant looks,”

“<«« And did you at once express your forgive-
ness to him, Elizabetha?” said her mother,


116 “CARROTS.”

‘When you first discovered the accident, what
words escaped you?”

«« Rlizabetha reflected, and presently her color
rose,

«eT fear, ma’am,” she said, “I fear that at
the first sight of the broken vase I spoke un-
guardedly. I exclaimed that without doubt
Adolphus had thrown down the ornament on
purpose to annoy me, and that I wished so
mean-spirited a youth were not my brother.
My little sister Celia was beside me at the
time—can she have carried to him what I
said? I did not really mean that; my words
were but the momentary expression of my vex-
ation.”

««TTer mother gravely shook her head.

«e«Tt igs your own doing altogether, Eliza-
betha,” she said, “and you cannot complain
that your brother resents so unkind and un-
true a charge.”

“¢ Elizabetha burst into tears; but the harm
was done, and it was some time before Adol-
phus could forget the pain of her unjust and
hasty words.

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“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” 9

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«¢ Another day her little brother Jacky had
just, with great pains and care, written out his
task for the next morning, when, having been
called to supper, he found, on his return to
the schoolroom, his exercise book all blotted
and disfigured.

««« Who can have done this?” he cried in
distress.

««Elizabetha was just entering the room.

«««QOh!” she exclaimed, “it is Sukey, the
under housemaid, that you have to thank for
that. I saw her coming out of the room; and
she had no reason to enter it. Out of curi-
osity she has been looking at your books, and
blotted your exercise.”

“« Jacky was but eight years old, full young
for prudence or reflection. Down-stairs he flies,
his face inflamed with anger, and meeting the
unfortunate Sukey at the door of the servants’
hall, upbraids her in no gentle terms for her %
impertinence. In vain the poor girl defends Ce wy

herself, and denies Master Jacky’s accusation ;

i TEP
Spe.
9

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ACA

Zs

the other servants come to the rescue, and

RP
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118 “ CARROTS.”





the whole household is in an uproar, till sud-




denly Miss Elizabetha is named as the source




of the mischief.




««« Ah!” says the old housekeeper, “do not




distress yourself, Sukey; we all know what




Miss Elizabetha’s tongue is!”




“And thereupon the poor girl is freed from
blame. She had only gone to the schoolroom




by the desire of an upper servant to mend the




fire, and the real offender was discovered to




have been the cat.




“««This affair coming to the ears of Eliza-




betha’s father, he reproved her with great




severity. Mortified and chagrined, she, as




usual, wept bitterly, and, ashamed to meet the
cold looks of the household, she hastened out





into the garden and paced up and down a
shady walk, where she imagined herself quite

hidden from observation,’ ”’






“Cis!” interrupted Carrots at this point.
“I don’t understand the story.”





“I’m very sorry,” said Cecil. “I didn’t notice
what a lot of long words there are. Shall I
leave off?”

























“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” 11g

“7 understand it,” said Floss.

«Then read it for Floss, please, Cis,” said
Carrots. “Ill be kite still.”

«You're a good little boy,” said Cecil. «I
suppose I may as well finish it, as I have begun.
We're coming to the fairy part now. Perhaps
you'll understand it better. Where was I?
Oh yes! ‘imagined herself quite hidden from
observation. But in this she was mistaken, as
my readers will see.

««She walked slowly up and down. “O
my tongue! my cruel tongue!” she exclaimed ;
“what trouble it is the cause of! How can I
cure myself of my rash speech ?”

“««« T)o you in all sincerity wish to cure your-
self, Elizabetha?” said a voice beside her;
and, turning in surprise at its sound, the
young girl perceived at a few steps’ distance
a fair and sweet-looking lady, clad in silvery-
white, adorned with wreaths of the loveliest
flowers.

««« Assuredly I do, gracious~lady,” replied
Elizabetha, mastering, as well as she was able,


ahs
Ay I $5 ert aS

120 “CARROTS.”




her surprise; for she felt that this beautiful

lady must be a fairy of high degree.
“««Then J will help you,” said the lady, « but

on one condition, hereafter to be explained.





You are content to agree to this beforehand ?”




“«« To anything, kind fairy,” replied the young
girl, “if only my unhappy fault can be cured.”
“




murmured; “however, in ¢#zs instance you




shall have no reason to regret your words.
Put out your tongue, Elizabetha.”’





“ «Trembling slightly, the young girl obeyed.




But her fears were uncalled for — the fairy
merely touched the unruly member with her
wand, and whispered some words the meaning
of which Elizabetha could not understand.





“«« Meet me here one week hence,” said the




fairy ; “till then your tongue will obey my com-
mands. And if you then feel you have reason




to feel grateful to me, I will call upon you to




redeem your promise.”
“And before Elizabetha could reply the
lady had disappeared.





ie Se :
7 pete gle Bee

“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” I2I






















“« Full of eagerness and curiosity, Elizabetha
returned to the house. It was growing dusk,
and as she sped along the garden paths some-
thing ran suddenly against her, causing her
to trip and fall. As she got up she perceived
that it was Fido, the dog of her brother Adol-
phus. The creature came bounding up to her
again, full of play and affection. But in her
fall Elizabetha had bruised herself; she felt
angry and indignant.

“«« Get off with you, you clumsy wretch!”
she exclaimed, or meant to exclaim. But, to
her amazement, the words that issued from
her mouth were quite otherwise.

««<« Gently, gently, my poor Fido. Thou didst
not mean to knock me down, however,’ she
said in a kind and caressing tone, which the
dog at once obeyed.

“ «Hardly knowing whether she were awake
or dreaming, Elizabetha entered the house.
She was met by her sister Maria.

««« Where have you been, Elizabetha?” she
inquired. “Your friends the Misses Larkyn


“CARROTS.”




have been here; but no one could find you, so
they have gone.”



“«Elizabetha felt extremely annoyed. She



had not seen her friends for some weeks, and



had much wished for a visit from them.

«¢«T think it was most ill-natured of none




of you to look for me in the garden. You



might have known I was there, if you had cared



to oblige me,” were the words she intended



to say, but instead of which were heard the



following : —



«««T thank you, my dear Maria. Iam sorry



to have missed my friends, but it cannot be
helped.”
«« And when Maria, pleased by her gentle-





ness, went on to tell her, that, knowing that



her disappointment would be great, and as the



Misses Larkyn had been too pressed for time



to linger, she had arranged to walk with Eliza-



betha the following day to see them, how re-
joiced was Elizabetha that her intended words
of unkindness had not been uttered! “Kind





fairy, I thank thee!” she whispered to herself.


“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” 123

“« The following day the same state of things

‘continued. Many times before its close did

Elizabetha’s hasty temper endeavor to express
itself in rash speech, but each time the tongue
remained faithful to its new mistress. When-
ever Elizabetha attempted to speak hastily
the words that issued from her lips were ex-
actly the opposite of those she had intended
to utter; and as her real disposition was ami-



able and good, not once did she regret the
metamorphosis.

«¢ Her parents, her brothers and sisters, and
even the servants of the family, were amazed
and delighted at the change.

“<«Go on as thou hast begun, my child,”
-said her father, on the morning of the day on
which Elizabetha was again to meet the fairy,
“and soon the name of Elizabetha will be asso-
ciated with gentleness and discretion in speech
as in deed.” ;

“« Elizabetha blushed. She would have liked

to confess that the credit of the improvement

‘was not her own; but a moment’s reflection

>

Ai OHS
2
x
SO wh, ;

0) cy

reminded her that she had not received per-

mission to divulge the secret, and kissing af-
fectionately her father’s hand, she thanked him
for his encouragement.

««« At the appointed hour she was on the spot,
awaiting the fairy, who soon appeared. A be-
nignant smile overspread her features.

««« Well, Elizabetha,” she said, “and hast
thou found that I have deserved thy grati-
tude?”

««« Kind fairy!” cried the young girl. “I



cannot thank thee enough. Ask of me what
thou wilt, I shall be only too ready to perform
it.

”

«« The fairy smiled. “My condition is a very

,

simple one,” she said. “It is only this: when-
ever, Elizabetha, you feel yourself in the least
degree discomposed or out of temper, utter
no word till you have mentally counted the
magic number seven. And if you follow this
rule it will be but seldom that your tongue,
of which I now restore to you the full control”

(she touched it again with her wand as she
“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.”

spoke), “ will lead you into trouble. Your dis-
position, though generous, is naturally hasty
and impulsive, and till by a long course of
self-restraint you have acquired complete mas-
tery over yourself, you will find that I was
right in my experiment of obliging your tongue
to utter the exact opposite of what you, in your
first haste, would have expressed.”

«« And before Elizabetha could reply she had
disappeared.

«“<«But Elizabetha kept her promise; and to
thus following her fairy friend’s advice she owes
it that she is now the object of universal es-
teem and affection, instead of being hated,
despised, and feared as the owner of “a hasty
tongue.” ’”’

Cecil stopped.

«Js that all?” said Carrots.

“Yes, that’s all. Did you like it?”

“TI did understand better about the fairy,”
Carrots replied. “I think she was a werry
good fairy ; don’t you, Floss?”

“ Very,” said Floss, “I think,” she went on,

Sts ESOT IE:

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“ CARROTS.”

“whenever I am cross, I shall fancy my tongue
is bewitched, just to see if it would be best to
say the opposite of what I was going to say.
Wouldn't it be fun?”

«Better than fun, perhaps, Miss Flossie,”
said nurse. “I think it would be a very good
thing if big people, too, were sometimes to
follow the fairy’s rule.”

“People as big as you, nursie?” asked Car-
rots.

« Oh yes, my dear!” said nurse. “It’s a les-
son we're all slow to learn; and many haven't
learnt it by the end of their threescore years
and ten—‘to be slow to anger,’ and to keep
our tongues from evil.”

“ That’s out of the Bible, nursie, all of it,”
said Floss, as if not altogether sure that she
approved of the quotation.

Cecil laughed.

« What are you laughing at, Cis?” said Floss.
“Tt zs out of the Bible.”

“ Well, no one said it wasn’t,” said Cecil.

“Cis,” said Carrots, “will you read us an-

other story, another day?”


“THE BEWITCHED TONGUE.” 127

«Tf I can find one that you can understand,”

said Cecil.

«“ Never mind if I can’t,” replied Carrots..
“I like to hear you reading, even if I can’t.
under'tand. I like your voice. I ¢’imk,” he:
added, after a pause, “I ¢’zz%, Cis, T’Il marry
you too, when I’m big. You and Floss and.
nurse.”

So Cecil had good reason to feel that she.
was greatly appreciated in the nursery.




















“ CARROTS.”

CHAPTER IX.
SYBIL.

“The children crowned themselves with wishes,

And every wish came true,”

CROWNS FOR CHILDREN.

Bur it is not always, or even often, that
wishes “come true,’ is it, children? Or if
they do come true, it is in a different way ;
so different that they hardly seem the same.
Like the little old woman in the ballad, who
turned herself about, and wondered and puz-
zled, but couldn’t make out if she was herself
or not, we stare at our fulfilled wishes and
examine them on every side, but in their
altered dress — so different from, and very
seldom, if ever, as pretty as that which they
wore in our imagination — we cannot believe
that they are themselves!

Do you remember the fancies that Carrots


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SYBIL. 129

and Floss used to have about their cousin
Sybil, and how they wished for her to come
to see them? Well, about a fortnight after
the affair of the lost half-sovereign, Sybil ac-
tually dd come to see them,— she and her
mamma. But it all happened quite differently
from the way the children had planned it, so
that just at first they could hardly believe it
was “a wish come true,” though afterwards,
when it was over, and they began to look back
to it as a real thing, instead of forward to it
as a fancy, they grew to think it had really
turned out nicer than any of their fancies,

You would like to hear all about it, I dare
Say.

It took them all by surprise, —this sudden
visit of Sybil and her mother, I mean. There
was no time for planning or arranging any-
thing. There just came a telegram one after-
noon, to say that Mrs.—no, I don’t think I
will tell you the name of Sybil’s mother, I
want you just to think of her as “auntie” —

and her little girl would arrive at Sandyshore

























“ CARROTS.”

late that same evening, “to stay one day,”
said the telegram, on their way to some other
place, it does not matter where.

It was several years since Captain Desart
had seen his sister—that is, “auntie.” He
had been abroad at the time of her marriage,
for she was a good many years younger than
he, and since then, se and her husband had
been a great deal out of England. But now
at last they were going to have a settled home;

and though it was a good way from Sandy-

shore, still it was not like being in another

country.

“I am sorry Florence can only stay one day,”
said Mrs. Desart to her husband; “it seems.
hardly worth while for her to come so far out
of her way for so short a time.”

“Tam sorry too,’ said Captain Desart ;
“but a day’s better than nothing.”

Floss and Carrots were sorry ¢oo; but what
they were most sorry for was not that Sybil
and her mamma were only going to stay there

one day, it was that they would not arrive till







SR 22. SS Ses

N) Sa



SYBIL. I31




after the children’s bedtime, —so much -after

that there could not even be a question of their




“sitting up till they come.” There was even a
doubt of Cecil and Louise doing so; and Floss





could not help feeling rather pleased at Mott’s
getting a decided snub from his father when he
broached the subject on his own account.






«Sit up till after ten o’clock — nonsense!
Nobody wants you. Go to bed as usual, of
course,’ said Captain Desart.

“How tired that poor little girl will be!”
said Mrs. Desart pityingly. “Children, you
must all be quiet in the morning, so as not to









wake her early. And you must be very gentle




and kind to her, for you know she is not accus-




tomed to companions.”




“Yes, mamma,” said Floss and Carrots
promptly. Mott said nothing, for, of course,
the speech could not have been addressed to





him. Mr. Maurice Desart, nearly thirteen



years old, could not be supposed to be a com-




panion to a mite of a girl of six.




“It won't be difficult to be quiet to-morrow


; 2 ee sf ee ey +
oe ee iy OE ras QR Se Be ce S of EES
























132 “ CARROTS.”



morning,” said Floss to Carrots, “for I expect
I shall be very sleepy, as I have gaite made up
my mind to stay awake to-night till I hear
them come.”

It was then eight o'clock, and Floss was go-
ing to bed. Carrots had been in bed nearly an
hour, but was not yet asleep. He soon dropped
off, however ; and how long do you think Floss
kept awake? Till twenty-three minutes past
eight, or not so late probably, for that was the
time by the nursery clock when nurse came in
to see that her charges were tucked up for the
night, and found them both fast asleep !

They were in a state of great expectation the
next morning when they were being dressed,
but they remembered their promise and were
very quiet.

“When shall we see Sybil?” asked Carrots ;
‘will she have breakfast in the nursery?”

‘Of course not,” said Floss; “she won’t be
up for ever so long, I dare say.”

‘Poor little thing! she must be very tired,”

said nurse.
co, Se

ik,
LR SW.c ‘ os wie, “SRY ag Watt og
spe OR #3 Sx aoe ¥ ASH Z





SYBIL. 133

“Did you see her last night?” asked Floss
eagerly.





Nurse shook her head. “It was past ten
when they arrived,” she said. “The little lady

was put to bed at once; your mamma and






sisters only saw her for a minute.”
So Floss and Carrots ate their bread and

milk in undiminished curiosity. Not long after-






wards the beil rang for prayers in the dining-




room as usual, and the two, hand in hand, went




in to take their places among the others.




They were rather late. Captain Desart had
the Prayer Book and Bible open before him,





and was looking impatient, so Floss and Car-

rots sat down on their little chairs and left




“good-mornings ” till after prayers. There was




a strange lady beside their mother, and, yes,




beside the strange lady a strange little girl!
Was that Sybil? Where was the fair-haired,
blue-eyed, waxen-dolllike Sybil, they had ex-





pected to see?




What they did see was worth looking at,




however. It was a very pretty Sybil, after all.




“ CARROTS.”

Small and dark, dark-eyed, dark-haired, and
browny-red as to complexion, Sybil was more
like a gypsy than an angel, as they had fancied
her. She had very pretty, very bright, no-
ticing eyes, and she was pretty altogether.
She was dressed in black velvet, with a bright
crimson sash, and her hair was tied with crim-
son ribbon ; her neat little legs were clothed in
black silk stockings, and there were buckles
on her tiny shoes,

Floss and Carrots hardly dared to stare at
her, for her eyes seemed to be noticing them
all over; and when prayers were finished, and

their mamma called them to come to speak to

their aunt and cousin, do you know they actually

both felt quite shy of Sybil, small as she was ?
More shy of her than of their aunt, somehow ;
she seemed more like what they had expected,
or, perhaps, the truth was they had “ expected”
much less about her. Besides, no children ever
were shy with auntie,—such a thing would
have been impossible.

They kissed Sybil, Floss feeling very tall






















and lanky beside her compact, tiny cousin, and
Carrots feeling I don’t know how. He just
looked at Sybil with his soft, wondering, brown
eyes, in such a solemn way that at last she
burst out laughing.

“What a funny boy you are!” she ex-
claimed. “Mother, dear, zsz’¢ he a funny
boy?”

“Aren't you very tired, Sybil?” said Floss,
afraid that she would be laughed at as “a
funny girl,” next.

“No, thank you,” said Sybil, quite grave,
and like a grown-up person, all in a minute.
“I’m becustomed to travelling. I’m not tired
at all; but I'll tell you what I am —I’m,” and
out broke her merry laugh again, “I’m very
hungry.”

“That's a broad hint,” said Captain Desart,
laughing too. “Florence, your daughter is
ready for breakfast, do you hear? Where will
you sit, Miss Sybil? Beside your old uncle,
elie

“Yes, thank you,” replied Sybil, “if you




5 A She US Oe es




136 “* CARROTS.”

won't call me Miss Sybil, please. And may



this little boy sit ’aside me?”

“This little boy and this little girl have had
their breakfast,” said Mrs. Desart. “Run off,
Carrots and Floss; you are both to have a





whole holiday you know, so Sybil will see plenty
of you.”





“I wish they could see more of each other,”




said auntie, as the children left the room.




“Some time you' must let them both come




and pay us a long visit, when we are really




settled, you know.”




Auntie gave a little sigh as she said this —
she felt so tender and kind to Carrots and

Floss, and something made her a little sorry





for them. Though they were healthy, happy-




looking children, and their dress was neat and
cared for, they did not look like her Sybil,
whose clothes were always like those of a





little princess. Floss’s frock was rather faded-
looking, and there was a mark where it had
been let down, and Carrots’s brown holland
blouse had arrived at a very w/itey-brown shade,

through much wear and washing.













SYBIL, Tey

“It must be hard work, with so many chil-
dren, and such small means,” she thought to.
herself ; for auntie had been married young to
a rich man, and knew little of « making both
ends meet,” but aloud she only said, “how
lovely little Fabian would look in black velvet,
Lucy! What a complexion he has!”

“Yes, if you can forgive him his hair,” said
Mrs. Desart.

“JT think his hair is beautiful,” observed
Sybil, and then went on eating her break-
fast.

They all laughed, but there was still a little
sigh at the bottom of auntie’s heart, There
was reason for it greater than the sight of her
little nephew’s and niece’s shabby clothes.

But there was no sigh in the hearts of Floss
and Carrots.

“Carrots,” said Floss, as they made their
way to the nursery to decide which of their
small collection of toys were fit for Sybil’s.
inspection, “Carrots, did you hear?”

“What auntie said?” asked Carrots, « Yes,

aay

ae Sy







138 “CARROTS.”

I heard. Do you think mamma will ever let






















us go?”

« Some day, perhaps,” said Floss; and oh,
what dreams and plans and fancies hung on
that « perhaps!” “Fancy, Carrots, we should
go in the railway, you and me, Carrots, alone
perhaps.”

“O Floss!” said Carrots, his feelings being
beyond further expression.

That “some day” was a good way off, how-

”

ever, but “to-day” was here, and a nice, bright-
looking to-day it was. How happy they were!
How happy Sybil was!

For, somehow, though she was dressed like
a princess, though since babyhood she had had
everything a child could wish for, though very
often, I must confess, she had had “ her own
way” a good deal more than would have been
good for most children, little Sybil was not
spoilt. The spoiling dropped off her like water
down a duck’s back, and auntie never found |
out it had been there at all. Perhaps after all
there is a kind of spoiling that isn’t spoiling —

by CFR
ie ns
v7.
(tenth Sa
YAS

>









love and kindness, and even indulgence, do not
spoil when there is perfect trust and openness,
and when a child at the same time is taught
the one great lesson, that the best happiness
is trying to make others happy too.

They played onthe sands nearly all day,
and Sybil, to her great delight, was covered
up from damage by one of Carrots’s blouses.
The sun came out bright and warm, and they
built the most lovely sand-house you ever saw.

“Td like to live in it always,” said Carrots.

“OQ you funny boy!” said Sybil patron-
izingly; “and what would you do at night,
when it got cold, and perhaps the sea would
come in?”

“ Perhaps the mermaids would take care of
him till the morning,” said Floss.

«What are the mermaids?” asked Sybil.

“Pretty ladies,” said Carrots, “who live at
the bottom of the sea, only they’ve got tails.”

« Then they can’t be pretty,” said Sybil
decidedly ; “not unless their tails are beauti-

ful and sweeping out, like peacocks. Are





\ ee
ot
a





















A My, Chats
MeO
ESOP
























“CARROTS.”

they? One day I tied a shawl of mother’s.
on,—it was a red and gold shawl,—and I
sweeped it about just like a peacock, — that
would be pretty.”

“T don’t think mermaids’ tails are like that,”
said Carrots doubtfully; “but they ave pretty
ladies, aren’t they, Floss?”

“ Beautiful,” said Floss; “but they’re very
sad. They come up to the shore at night and
comb their hair, and cry dreadfully.”

“What do they cry for?” asked Sybil and
Carrots, pressing up to Floss, and forgetting
all about the lovely sand-house.

«Because they—no, you couldn’t wunder-
stand,” she broke off; “it is no good telling

“Oh do tell!” said the children.

“Well,” said Floss, “I read in a book of
Cecil’s, they cry because they haven’t got any
souls. When they die they can’t go to heaven,
you see.”

Sybil and Carrots looked very solemn at
this; then a sudden thought struck Carrots.














awe So Le
ESATA OY Cth
PS iia!
















SYBIL. IAI

“How can they cry if they haven’t got
souls, Floss?” he said; “nurse says it’s our
souls that make us glad and sorry. Are you
sure the poor mermaids haven’t got souls?”

“T’m only telling you what I read in a
book,” said Floss. “I dare say it’s all a sort
of fairy tale. Don’t you like fairy tales, Sybil?”

“No,” said Sybil, “ I like stories of naughty



boys and girls best —very naughty boys and



girls.” 3 QS

or ah ae e R Sf sn

«© Sybil!” said Carrots. “J don’t, because Ssh
they are always unhappy in the end.” A “Vig

“No, they’re not; sometimes they all get
good, Mother always makes them get good at
the end,” replied Sybil.

“Does auntie tell you stories?” said Floss.




« Yes, of course, for I can’t read them to my-




self yet. I’m learning; but it is so hard,” said
Sybil dolefully.
“I wish auntie would tell ws stories.”






“Praps she will when you come to my

house,” said Sybil encouragingly. “Would



you think that a treat?”




















“CARROTS.”



“It would be a ’normous treat.”
“We're going to have a treat to-day,” said
Floss. «We're going to have tea in the dining-
room with you, Sybil, and auntie and every-
body; and I think it’s time to go in now,
because we must change our frocks,”

Carrots, had never had tea in the dining-
room before, and felt a little overpowered by
the honor. He sat very still, and took what-
ever was offered to him, as nurse had taught
him. Cecil poured out the tea, and to please
the children she put an extra allowance of
sugar into their cups. Carrots tasted his, and
was just thinking how very nice it was, when
it flashed across his mind that he should not
have had any sugar. He put down his cup
and looked round him in great perplexity.
If only he could ask Floss. But Floss was
at the other side of the table; she seemed
to be drinking her tea without any misgiving.
Wasn't it naughty? Could she have forgotten ?
Carrots grew more and more unhappy; the
tears filled his eyes and his face got scarlet.


«“ What’s the matter, dear?” said auntie,

who was sitting next him, “is your tea too

hot? Has it scalded your poor little mouth?”
She said it in a low voice. She was so kind

and “understanding,” she knew Carrots would

not have liked everybody round the table to

begin noticing him, and as she looked at him

more closely, she saw that the tears in his.

eyes were those of distress, not of “scald-

“No, thank you,” said Carrots, looking up:

in auntie’s face in his perplexity; “it isn’t

”

in.

« And you don’t like sugar? Poor old man!

Never mind, Cecil will give you another cup.
You're not like Sybil in your tastes,” said

auntie kindly; and she turned to Cecil for

some sugarless tea for her little brother.

«No, no, auntie! Oh, please don’t!” whis-

pered Carrots, his trouble increasing, and pull-
ing hard at his aunt’s sleeve as he spoke. “I

do like sugar werry much; it isn’t that. But:

that. My tea is werry good, but it’s got sugar

RE

5)

vy

*






“ CARROTS.”

mamma said I was never, mever to take nucken
that wasn’t mine; and sugar won’t be mine
for two weeks more, nurse says.”

Auntie stared at her little nephew in blank
bewilderment. What adhe mean? Even her
quick wits were quite at fault.

“ What do you mean, my dear little boy?”
she said.

Suddenly a new complication struck poor
Carrots.

“Oh!” he exclaimed, “it’s a secret! it’s a

secret! and I’m telling it;” and he burst into
tears, i

It was impossible now to hide his trouble.
Everybody began to cross-question him,

“Cry-baby!” muttered Maurice; and even
Mrs. Desart said, “ Carrots, I wonder at your
behaving so when your aunt and cousin are
here. Floss, do you know what is the matter
with him?”

“No, mamma,” said Floss, looking as she
always did when Carrots was in distress, ready
to cry herself.








sy) SR te:

SYBIL, 145



“Carrots,” said Captain Desart sharply, “go




to the nursery till you learn to behave prop-




erly |”




Carrots got slowly down off his high chair,




and crept away ; but everybody looked troubled
and uncomfortable.




Auntie hated to see people looking troubled




and uncomfortable. She thought a minute,
and then she turned to Mrs. Desart.





”

“Lucy,” she said, “ will you let me try what




I can do with the poor little fellow? Iam sure




it was not naughtiness made him cry.”




And almost before Mrs. Desart could reply,




auntie was off to the nursery, in search of




‘Carrots.



He had left off crying, and was sitting quietly
by the window, looking out at his old friend the
sea,




Oe, “What are you thinking about, my poor old




4) man?” said auntie fondly.




Carrots looked up at her. “I like you to
call me that,” he said. “I was thinking about





our hoops, and what a long time four weeks is.”






“ CARROTS.”



“Has that to do with you having no sugar?”
asked auntie.



“Yes,” said Carrots. “How aid you guess?



You're like a fairy, auntie.’ But then his face



grew troubled again. “I forgot,” he went on,



“it’s a secret. It’s Floss’s secret, too. I would

so like to tell you, for I don’t know what to do.




I don't mind having no tea, but they all thought
I was naughty.”



«Wait a minute,” said auntie. She hurried



out of the room, but was back in a minute.



“I've asked Floss,” she said, “and she gives.



you leave to tell me. So now, perhaps, when I



know all about it, I can tell you what to do.”



The telling did not take Carrots long; he



was so glad to show auntie he had not meant



to be naughty. Auntie listened quite gravely,
and when he had finished she said she thought



he was quite right not to take any sugar.
“But do you think Floss did?” said Carrots
anxiously.





“Perhaps having tea in the dining-room
made her forget,” said auntie. “We'll ask











SYBIL.



her afterwards, and if she did forget, I'll tell
you what she must do; she must go without
one day longer than you. Now come along
with me, and I'll make it all right, you'll
see.”

When they got back to the dining-room
auntie quietly lifted Carrots on to his chair
again, and said to his mamma with a smile,

“Tt was all a mistake; I thought it was;





- Carrots was not naughty at all, and he is quite



happy again now.”
And Mrs. Desart smiled too, so Carrots
really did feel happy again. But he wondered

FP

FFP SW












what auntie would do about the tea, which
was still standing there as he had left it; “and
it would be wrong to ‘waste’ it,’ thought
Carrots.

Sybil was sitting on auntie’s other side; and
auntie, glancing at her cup, saw that it was
empty. So auntie quietly put Carrots’s cup
before Sybil, and gave Carrots the empty one.

“Cecil,” she said, “will you give Carrots

some tea without any sugar?”
“ CARROTS.”

Cecil saw that auntie had some reason for
asking this, so she gave Carrots the tea as
auntie said; and Carrots drank it, and ate his
bread and butter and a piece of cake, with
great content.

The only person who did not seem quite
contented was Sybil.

“Mother,” she whispered, “I don’t like hav-
ing Carrots’s tea; it’s quite cold.”

But as Carrots didn’t hear it, it didn’t much
matter. For you see, Sybil had had one cup
of nice hot tea, so she was not so badly off
after all.

And, alas! the very next morning auntie

and Sybil had to go away. And the long
talked-of and fancied-about visit was over.


SOR soy < x Ks oa ais, “S ¢ “ARM

A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. 149

CHAPTER X.

A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING.
“The way was long, the wind was cold.”

Soon after auntie’s visit, summer really be-

_ gan to come. It was very pleasant while it



lasted ; but this year it was a very short sum-
mer, and the winter that came after was a very
severe one, and made many people ill. It did
not make Carrots ill, nor Floss, nor any of the
Desart children, for they were all strong; but
it was very bad for their mother. As the win-
ter went on, she seemed to get weaker and
weaker; there were very few days on which
she could go out, and if the spring had not
been an early and very mild one, I hardly
think her strength would have lasted.

But with the finer weather she seemed to
get better again. The children were, of course,

ANE




es 2 4 Ph bn,
PELE col oh e8 oes ox





‘“ CARROTS,”




very glad, but still they had not felt frightened
by her illness. It had come on so slowly and
gradually that they had got accustomed to it,
as children do. They thought it was just the
cold wintry weather that had made her ill
and that when the spring came she would get
better. And when the spring came and she
did get better, they were perfectly satisfied and
happy.

By the end of ¢kzs summer Carrots was
seven years old— no longer in the least a
baby, though he was not tall for his age. He

could read, of course, perfectly, and write a






2








little. Now and then he wrote little letters




to Sybil, in answer to hers; for she was very
particular about getting answers. She was

only just beginning to learn to write; and





sometimes when she got tired of working away
at weal“ sand. Biss anda© sine her
letters, she would dash off into a lot of “ scrib-









ble,” which she said was “children’s writing,”
and “if Carrots didn’t know what it meant he

must be very stupid, as he was a child too.”





A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. ISI

Carrots aidu't know what it meant; but he
never liked to say so, and I dare say it did
not much matter. But /zs letters to Sybil
were quite real. Any one could have under-
stood them. .

Long ago Floss and he had bought their
hoops. They were quite “old friends” now.
They had bought them at the toy-shop, just as
they had planned; and curiously enough, when
their mamma and nurse counted up how much
was owing to them for the sugar, it came to
exactly the price of the hoops.

But I must tell you what happened just about
the time Carrots had his seventh birthday. The
summer was nearly over again, and already the
cold winds, of which there were so many at
Sandyshore, were beginning to be felt. Floss
noticed that her mother very seldom went out
now, and even in the house she generally had

to wrap herself up in a shawl.

“Mamma, I hope the cold weather isn’t go-

ing to make you ill again,” Floss said one
day when she and Carrots came in from a race

on the sands, all hot and rosy with running.




“ CARROTS.”

“T don’t know, dear,” said her mother with
a little sigh.

““ would make you so hot,” said Carrots.

Mrs. Desart smiled. Just then her glance
happened to fall on Floss’s boots. « My dear
child,’ she said, “those boots are really not
fit to go out with. There is a great hole at
the side of one of them.”

“T know, mamma,” said Floss; «but they're

a good while longer if they’re mended. I
hope they will, for I know you always have so
many new things to get when winter begins
to come; haven’t you, mamma?”

Mrs. Desart sighed again.

“T should have liked all your things to be
so nice,” she said, more as if speaking to her-
self than to Floss, “but it can’t be helped.”

Something in her tone caught Floss’s at-
tention.

“Why, mamma?” she asked; « why did you
want our things to be so nice?”

ae

going to be mended. Nurse thinks they'll do.

as



























A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. 153.

“ Because, dears, you may be going away

from home,” replied Mrs. Desart.

Floss and Carrots stared with astonishment.
“Going away from home,” Floss repeated, ut-
terly unable to say more. Carrots could say
nothing at all; he could oz/y stare.

“Yes,” continued Mrs. Desart; “I had
meant to tell you all about it before, but
I have kept putting it off’ —she stopped,
and seemed to hesitate.

«Why, mamma?” said Floss again. “Don’t
you like us to go?) Are you coming with us,.
mamma?”

« Are we going to auntie’s?” said Carrots.

_ His asking this seemed to please his mother.

« You would like to go to auntie’s, wouldn’t
you, Carrots?” she said.

Carrots stroked his mother’s shawl up and
down two or three times before he answered.

“T’d like to go if you would come too,” he
said at last; “but I think I would rather stay
at home, thank you, if you can’t come.”

Mrs. Desart’s eyes filled with tears. “ Poor







154 “ CARROTS.”




‘little Carrots!” she said, softly smoothing his
curls with her hand. «But if it would please
me for Floss and you to go without me?” she




‘said.




“T’ll go if you want me to go, mamma,” said
‘Carrots.




“T must explain a little,” said Mrs. Desart ;
and then she went on to tell the children how
it was. The doctor had said she must not risk
another winter at Sandyshore, and it had been

arranged for her to go to a warmer climate.






Cecil and Louise were to go with her; Captain
Desart would be with them as much as he pos-
Sibly could, and Maurice was to live at school.
And what concerned the two little ones almost





more than anything, zurse was to go too! «I
must have some one kind and sensible with me,
in case, in case” — and again Mrs. Desart hesi-
‘tated.

“In case you were very tired with travelling,
or if you were to get a bad cold again; some-
body who could make nice white wine whey,
and things like that,” said Floss, who was of





















A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING.



155

a practical turn of mind. “Oh, yes, mamma, I
quite understand.”

“Though nurse is getting old, she has been
so much accustomed to travelling too,’ said
Mrs. Desart ; “and we are going a long way —
to Algeria. Floss, do you know where that
aS

“Over the sea,’ said Floss. “I wish we
might come too, mamma, Carrots and I!” she
exclaimed. “ You will be so far away.”

«But you will be with auntie, and you know
how kind auntie is,” said her mother, forcing
herself to speak cheerfully. “And it is such
a pretty place where auntie lives.”

«Ts the sea there ?” said Carrots.

“No; but the hills are,” answered Mrs. Desart
with a smile. “I am quite sure you will like
it.” And she went on to tell them so much
about auntie’s pretty home, that for a little
they almost forgot everything but the pleasant
part of the change that was to come so soon.

And it did come very soon. It seemed but
a few days from the afternoon they had first
“CARROTS.”

heard about it all, when Floss and Carrots.

found themselves early one morning at the
little railway station with their father, waiting
for the train.

Captain Desart was to travel with them for
the first hour, to take them to the « junction i
where they were to change and get into a train
which would take them straight to Whitefriars,
near which was auntie’s house.

You will laugh, children, I dare say, and.
think Floss and Carrots very countrified and
ignorant when I tell you that they had never
been a long railway journey before. Never,
that is to say, that they could remember, for
their parents had come to Sandyshore when
Floss was a baby, and Carrots, as you know,
had been born there.

So you can hardly fancy what a wonderful
event this journey was to them.

Their little hearts were very full at first after
parting with their mother and sisters and
nurse, and all that made the Cove House home.
to them.













157

A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING.



And their mamma had kissed them so many
times, as if she could not really say good-by,
though she was not generally a very petting or
kissing mamma, but rather quiet and grave.

And nurse had the tears in her eyes, and
Louise had them pouring down her face, and
Cecil had fer face squeezed up in a sort of way
that Floss knew meant she was determined she

would not cry. Floss felt troubled in a way she

could not understand, and I think. Carrots did -

too. They had a feeling that the bigger people
knew of more reason for sorrow than had been
told to them, and yet they could not imagine
And, after all, to them the
parting for even four or five months was almost

what it could be.

as great a trouble as they could understand!
only they were going to “auntie’s” !

“And we will try to be so good, dear
mamma,” said Floss, bravely choking down
her tears. “We will try to get on with our
And

@
—and”—here a sob or two would make

lessons too, and write you nice letters.

its way, “I can’t help crying a little; but










acy

i]

ea

hiess



“ CARROTS.”

I’m sure we shall be very happy, won’t we
Carrots?”

_ “Tf mamma wants us to be happy, we’ll zy,
won't we, Floss?” said Carrots. He wiped the
tears on his mother’s cheeks with his own
little pocket-handkerchief, and looked up in
her face piteously. ‘Please don’t cry, poor
mamma,” he said; “we wll be good and
happy.”

Then their father came in and hurried them
off, and the farewells were over—that part of
them, at least; for the saying good-by to Cap-
tain Desart at the junction was rather hard too.

And at last Floss and Carrots find them-
selves at the height of their ambition, — alone
in a railway carriage, travelling to auntie’s !
But they do not seem so delighted as. they

used to fancy they would; they do not jump:

about and laugh and chatter in their overflow-
ing pleasure; they sit quite still, side by side,
holding each other’s hands, and with little quiet,
grave faces.

«Things never come the same as people






“The height of their ambition.”
— Page 158.




























A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING.



159:

fancy,” said Floss at last. “We never thought
we should go to auntie’s because poor mamma.
was ill, did we, Carrots?”

“No; we never did,’ said Carrots. ‘ But:
mamma will soon get better, won’t she, Floss,
at that nice warm place?”

“Oh, yes; of course she will,” said Floss.
«But it’s a long way away, Carrots, and I
never thought going to auntie’s would be like:
this.”

“No,” agreed Carrots again ; “ we never did.”

«“T’m so sorry to leave them all, aren’t you,
Carrots?”’ said Floss, her voice trembling a.
little.

“ Yes,” said Carrots; “and, Floss, ’m very
sorry, too, to leave the sea. I never left the.
sea before, you know.”

«But the sea won't miss you,” said Floss ;.
“and poor mamma and nursie and all of them
qzll miss us. That’s what I keep thinking of.”

“When shall we eat our dinner, Floss?’””



said Carrots, with an instinct that it would.

be as well to change the subject.
“ CARROTS,”

“Not just yet. When we've gone about
half-way would do; and papa said that great
‘big place, Millingham, would be about half-

”

way.

“ But if there were any other people to get

into the carriage?” said Carrots.

“Well, it wouldn’t matter,” said Floss.
“People must eat when they are travelling.”

“But wouldn’t we have to ask them to have
some too ?” suggested Carrots, :

“T don’t know,” said Floss ; “I never thought
of that. Perhaps it would be polite. But there
are only eight sandwiches, Carrots ; eight sand-
wiches and four sponge cakes and a packet of
Albert biscuits, I hope a great many people
won’t get in.”

No one got in at the next station, Only
the guard put his head in at the door, as Cap-

tain Desart had asked him to do, to see how
the little pair were getting on. Carrots had
thoughts of offering Azm a sandwich ; but he
disappeared before there was time to do so,
which Floss thought very fortunate when she






ie 5 ik,
‘ : a, oa Pa Wy We M4 Ol, gw,
PRS + no Pb U3 9 SEPA sie Hl op, “BRo Tes Se
“fy gS a Or I SN OP ie

q























A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. 161

heard of Carrots’s intention. “For you see,”
she said, “if we began offering them to him,
we would have to do it at every station; and if
there are eight stations before Whitefriars, all
our sandwiches would be gone.”

“He might have a biscuit for a change,”
said Carrots, submissive, but scarcely convinced.
“« He is a nice man, Floss ;he calls us ‘ Well, sir,’
and ‘Miss.’ Do you think papa told him to say
“Well, sir,’ and ‘Miss’ ?”

But before Floss had time to answer they
had stopped again, and this time some one did
get into their carriage. The new-comer was
a small, neat, oldish lady. She looked rather
grim at first: but after a while she grew decid-
edly friendly, and no wonder; for at Milling-
ham, Floss and Carrots unpacked their little
‘basket of provisions, and I don’t think the grim-
mest of maiden ladies could have remained grim
after the politeness with which the children
‘treated her.

They selected the nicest-looking sandwich,
putting it on an Albert biscuit by way of a


“ CARROTS,”

plate, and then, at a sign from Floss, Carrots:
clambered down from his seat and gravely
offered it to the lady,

“I’m sorry there’s no mustard, if you like
mustard,” said Floss; «but Carrots and I
dong slikesit -and="and ==") suppose nurse:
didn’t think of any one else.”

The oldish lady looked at the children for a.
moment before she replied.

“TI am very much obliged to you,” she said.
at last ; “but I think I won’t take a sandwich,
as I had luncheon before I left home. But:
if you will allow me I will have a biscuit. I.
am very fond of biscuits.”

“I’m so glad!” said Floss hospitably. « Now,,

Carrots,” she said in a lower voice, “you eat:

two sandwiches, and J’ll eat two, and we'll each.
have one sponge cake ; and that’ll do for dinner..
We'll eat the rest in about an houy, and pretend.
we're having tea early.”

The lady asked them a good many questions.
after this, and told them they were such well-.
behaved children, she would not mind travel-.


L We Se Ly y ue
exes Seah af

Fe













A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. 163

ling all the way to Whitefriars with them. Floss
blushed a little at this. It made her feel shy
to be praised to her face ; but still no doubt the
lady meant it kindly, and they were rather sorry
when she left them, some stations before they
got to Whitefriars. Their old friend the guard
left them here too; but he popped his head in
for the last time to say that he was going to
speak for them to “him that was coming on_
now.” And Floss thanked him, though she















: ee 1 Nn NV.

had not the least idea what he meant. Q EGU
: af pak 7.
But there must have been some mistake LA as

about it, for the new guard never came near ‘
them; and when, at the last stoppage before ie
Whitefriars, another man threw the door open
and demanded “tickets,” Floss felt too startled
by his rough manner to ask him — what they
were longing to know — how far they still
had to go. But he took away the tickets.

’

«« So we can’t have very far to go,” said Floss.
«Papa said they would take away the tickets a
little before we got to Whitefriars.”

«Will auntie be at the station?” said Car-

>
“ CARROTS.”

«Yes, I’m sure she will,’ said Floss;
“auntie, and Sybil too, perhaps. Carrots, I

do believe we're there; the train’s stopping.”

And in another minute they found them-

selves in a nice, clean-looking station with sev-
eral people standing about on the platform,
evidently waiting for the train.

The children looked out eagerly. There were
two or three ladies, one little girl, and a few
other people — but no auntie, no Sybil!

“ P’r’aps this isn’t the place,” said Carrots.

“« Please, is this Whitefriars ?” inquired Floss
of a porter who just then threw open the door.
« Whitefriars ? yes, miss. Any luggage?”

“Oh, yes,” said Floss anxiously; “a great
deal. It’s in one of the luggage carriages, and
it’s marked with our name”

The man smiled. “Will you come with me,
missie, and show me which it is, and I’ll get it
all right for you.”

“Oh, thank you!” said Floss, gathering to-
gether their cloaks and baskets, and preparing
to descend.


A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. 165

« What a £zzd man!” whispered Carrots ; and
when the porter lifted him out of the carriage
he took hold of his hand, and ran along beside

him as fast as his little legs could keep up.

Floss felt quite bewildered at first, when she
saw the heaps and heaps of luggage lying on the
platform, all labelled “ Whitefriars.” It seemed
to her that everybody must have been travelling
to Whitefriars to-day. But by degrees it was
claimed, and melted away, and the kind porter,
to whom she had already pointed out their
“ great deal,” — one portmanteau, one bag, and
a small tin hat-box,— soon picked it up, and
stood waiting for further orders.

“Where am I to take it to, please, miss?”
he said. “Is there no one here to meet
you?”

“T don’t think so; I don’t know what to
do,” said Floss, looking sadly troubled again.
In the excitement of finding the luggage she
had forgotten this new difficulty, but now it
returned in full force.

«“ Have you far to go?” asked the man.


“CARROTS,”

“Oh, no!” said Floss; “auntie’s house is
near here, I know.”

“Then perhaps little master and you had
better walk on, and send for the luggage after-
wards?” suggested the man, never doubting
from Floss’s manner that the children were ac-

customed to the place, and knew their way.

“Yes, I suppose so,” said Floss uncertainly.

“Or shall I fetch you a fly from the Blue
Boar?” said the man. “The station flies has
all drove off.”

“No, thank you; Idon’t think I have enough
money for that,” said Floss, feeling in her
pocket for her purse, which she knew contained
only her father’s parting gift of half a crown,
a sixpence with a hole in it, and three pennies
of Carrots’s. “Your auntie says she will give
you everything you want, so I need not give
you any money to take with you,” their mother
had said. Floss had no idea what a fly from
the Blue Boar would cost, but it sounded very
grand, and she hardly dared to risk it,

“Well, I dare say you'll be safest to walk,”


A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING, 167

said the porter, rather afraid of getting him-

self into a scrape if he fetched the children a
fly without proper authority, and feeling uncer-
tain, from their very plain and rather “ countri-
fied”’ appearance, if their friends belonged to
the fly patronizing class or not. “I'll keep the
luggage safe till it’s sent for—no fear,’ and
with a friendly nod he marched off with their
possessions.

Holding Carrots by the hand, Floss made her
way out of the station. For about a quarter of
a mile the road ran straight before them, and
they trudged along contentedly enough. But
after a while they came to a point where two
roads met, one leading to the little watering-
place (for the station was some way from the
town), the other out into the country. And for
the first time it struck Floss that she did not
know the way. She looked about her in per-
plexity.

“Tt cannot be far,” she said ; “ mamma always
said auntie lived zear Whitefriars. But I wish
I knew which way to go.”


#C ee Dee 9 er

ib
OS;
Wid WY Se Os SEO Ae
oni, sy
c





168 “CARROTS.”

Carrots had no suggestion to offer. To



make matters worse, it began to rain —a cold,
sleety, late October rain ; the children had no





umbrella, and were already tired and hungry.
I think that it was much to their credit that
they did not lose heart altogether.





Just as Floss was making up her mind to




take the turn leading in the distance to terraces




of houses and gardens and other signs of civili-




zation, there came jogging along the road on




a cart-horse a farmer’s boy. Joyful sight !




Floss plucked up heart.



“Can you tell me, please,” she called out,




“which is the way to Greenmays?”




The farmer’s boy pointed his thumb in the




direction of the country road. “Yonder,” he




shouted, without stopping in his jog ; “straight
on past the church, and down lane to left.”

“Ts it far?” asked Floss ; but the boy did not
seem to hear.





There was nothing for it but to go on




with their trudge. The rain was not heavy,
but very piercingly cold, and the daylight


























; - Bo BR ys ws
PRS. on MSs Se POw aie Sal oo, BMes
Sposa ASA PE ee tS AN Ee
1

A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING.



169

was beginning to fade. Two or three hot
tears at last forced their way down Floss’s
cheeks ; but she wiped them quickly away be-
fore Carrots could see them. Carrots said
nothing ; but Floss knew he was getting tired
by the way he kept lagging behind, every
now and then giving a little run to get up
to Floss again.

“T shouldn’t mind so much, Floss,” he said
at last, “if it would be home when we get there,
and if we were to find mamma and nurse and
tea in our own nursery waiting for us.”

This was altogether too much for Floss.
For a moment or two she could not speak; she
was choked with sobs. ‘Oh, how I do wish
poor mamma hadn’t got ill!” she said at last.

“Poor Flossie, dear Flossie!’’ said Carrots,
pulling down her face to kiss in spite of the
rain and the dark and the cold and everything.
“T didn’t mean to make you cry; and auntie
will be very kind when we get there, won’t she,
Floss ?”’

“Oh, yes!” said Floss, trying to speak cheer-








‘gt : oe : :
aS ORS ge
“AS Bie a 3
= OR a
SSS
“CARROTS.”

fully, though in her secret heart there was a
little misgiving. It did not look very kind not
to have sent to meet them at the station; and
even without this, Floss, though she had not
said so, had felt a little shy and frightened at
the thought of meeting auntie and the strange
uncle, and even Sybil again. It was nearly
two years since the visit to Sandyshore, and
two years is a lifetime to a child; it seemed
to Floss like going altogether among strangers,
She clasped her little brother’s hand tighter
as these feelings passed through her mind.
“Tt won't be so bad for Carrots,” she reflected ;
“anyway, he will have me.”

They seemed to have walked a very weary
way when at last the church of which the
farmer’s boy had spoken came in sight, — very
dimly in sight, for the daylight was fast dying
away. Floss would have passed the church
without noticing it, but the road divided in

two just at this place, and she was obliged to

think which way to go. Then the boy’s direc-
tions came into her mind.




[ae

“Look, Carrots! there is a light in the cottage window.”
— Page 171.
A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. I71I

“To the left, past the church, didn’t he say,
‘Carrots?’ she said. - ;

«¢ Down lane to left,’ he said,” replied Car-
rots.

“Then it must be this way,” said Floss; and
“on they trudged.

In a few minutes they came to large gates,

on one side of which stood a pretty little

house; but such a little house, hardly bigger
than a cottage.
“Js that auntie’s house?” said Carrots.
“Tm afraid it’s too little to be auntie’s

house,” said Floss. “I wish it was. I would
much rather auntie lived in a cottage.”

«Just like Mrs. White’s,” said Carrots.

Floss could not help laughing at him ; it had
left off raining, and her spirits were rising a
little.

“ Look, Carrots!” she said; “there is a
light in the cottage window. We'd better
knock at the door, and ask if it is auntie’s
house. It’s getting rather like a fairy story,

isn’t it, Carrots? Fancy if somebody calls


“ CARROTS.”

out, ‘Pull the string, and the latch will
open’ !””

«But that would be the wolf, Floss,” said
Carrots, pressing closer to his sister.

It was no wolf, but a nice, tidy-looking
woman with a white cap and a baby in her
arms who opened the door, and stood staring
at the two little wayfarers in bewilderment.
Floss grew afraid that she was angry.

«T’m very sorry —I mean I beg your par-
don,’ she began. “I didn’t know this was
your house. We thought perhaps it was
auntie’s. Can you tell me, please, where
Greenmays is?”

« This zs Greenmays,” said the woman.
Floss stared. The door opened right into the
kitchen ; it couldn’t be auntie’s house.

“This is the lodge,” continued the woman.
“Tf it’s some one at the big house you're want-
ing, you must just go straight up the drive.

I’d show you the way,” she went on, “but my
husband’s up at the stables, and it’s too cold for

baby. You seem wet and tired, you do; have

you come far?”


Se Os,

x
2 BSS
7 ae v2
: QO

A JOURNEY AND ITS ENDING. 173

“Yes,” said Floss wearily; “very far. We
thought auntie would meet us at the station,
but there wasn’t anybody.” .

“They must be kin to the housekeeper,
surely,” thought the woman. And yet some-
thing indescribable in Floss’s manner, and in
the clear, well-bred tones of her small, childish
voice, prevented her asking if this was so.
“T wish I could go with you to the house,” she
repeated, curiosity and kindliness alike prompt-
ing her; “ but,” she added, looking doubtfully at
the sleeping child in her arms, “I’m afeared for
baby.”

«Oh, it doesn’t matter, thank you,” said
Floss; “we can find the way, I dare say.
Good-evening;" and, taking Carrots by the
hand, she turned to go.

“ Good-evening,” said little Carrots also.

“ Good-evening, and I hope you'll find your
auntie in,” said the woman. And for a few
minutes she stood at the door straining her

eyes after the two forlorn little figures, till she

could distinguish them no longer in the dark-


“CARROTS.”

ness of the trees bordering the avenue. “ Who-
can they be?” she said to herself. “Such a
pretty-spoken, old-fashioned little pair I never
did see!”


HAPPY AND SAD.

CHAPTER XI.

HAPPY AND SAD.

’T is gone—and in a merry fit
They run up-stairs in gamesome race.

A moment’s heaviness they feel,
A sadness at the heart.

THE MOTHER’S RETURN.

Ir was very dark in the drive, and Carrots.
crept close to Floss. But Floss felt far less.
afraid of the dark than of the light, when at last
the house came in view, and the brightly lit-up.
windows shone out into the gloom.

“Oh what a big house!” said Floss. “O:
Carrots, how I do wish that little cottage had.
been auntie’s house, even though the door did
open right into the kitchen! Don’t you, Car-

rots?” °

“TI don’t know,” replied Carrots; “auntie:

will be very kind to us, won’t she, Floss?”


lp

3 8

Ye

Oe
i

ae

Sr

WZ

“ CARROTS.”

“Oh, yes, said Floss; “but supposing she
is having a party to-night, Carrots?”

“Well, we could have tea in the nursery,

and go to bed,” said Carrots philosophically.
“O Floss! qozldn’t you like some nice hot tea
and bread and butter ?”

“ Poor Carrots!” said Floss. And her anxiety
to see her little brother in comfort again gave
her courage to ring the bell as loudly as she
could.

A man servant opened the door. Very tall
and formidable he looked to the two children,
whose eyes were dazzled by the sudden light,
after their long walk in the dusk.

“Tf you please,” said Floss, “is auntie at
home?”

The man stared. “ What did you say?” he
inquired. “Is it a message from some one?”

“Oh, no,” said Floss; “it’s just that we’ve
come, Carrots and I. Will you please tell
auntie? We've walked all the way from the
station, because there was no one to meet

”

us.






























Pig Be Hlog, BOT

HAPPY AND SAD. 177

The man still stared. He had heard some-
thing about a young lady and gentleman, his
mistress’s nephew and niece, being expected on
a visit, but his ideas were rather slow. He
could not all at once take in that the dilapi-
dated little couple before him could possibly be
the looked-for guests.

But just then another person came upon the
scene. A little figure with bright, dark eyes
and flying hair came dancing into the hall.

«“Who’s there, Fletcher?” she said. “Is it
the post?”

“No, miss,” said Fletcher, rather glad of
some one to consult in his perplexity. “I don’t
know who it is—that’s to say, it’s a little boy
and girl who say as they’ve come from the
station; but I can’t justly make out who it is
they want.”

“How funny!” said Sybil, coming forward,
* and peering out from under Fletcher’s arm.
« Perhaps they’ll tell #e what they want. Who
are you, little girl? Is it my mother you want?
Will you give me your message?”
“CARROTS.”

She looked more like a little princess than
ever. She was dressed to go down to the draw-
ing-room before dinner —all white embroidery
and lace and rose-colored ribbons. Floss and
Carrots looked at her with a sort of dazzled ad-
miration, mingled with shy bewilderment. It all
seemed more of a mistake than ever. Sybil
was evidently not expecting them. If only the
railway station had not been so dreadfully far
away, Floss felt as if she would have liked to
take Carrots by the hand, and go away back
again, all the long, weary way to Sandyshore !

But Carrots’s faith in auntie and Sybil was
unshaken, and his childlike confidence less
susceptible of chill. Partly from mortification,
partly to hide that she was crying, Floss stood
perfectly silent; but Carrots pressed forward.

“Tt is Flossie and me, Sybil. Don’t you re-
member us? We've walked such a long way,
and there was nobody to meet us at the station,
and we are so cold and so hungry!”

Sybil gave a sort of leap into the air..
“Floss and Carrots!” she cried. “O mother,







HAPPY AND SAD.

mother! come quick! Here are Floss and
Carrots!”

She seemed to fly across the hall in one
second, and, darting down a passage, disap-
peared, crying out all the way, “Flossie and
Carrots! O mother, mother! come!”

And before the children had time to consider
what they had best do, and dong before the very
deliberate Mr. Fletcher had collected his wits
sufficiently to decide upon inviting them to
come in, Sybil was back again, closely followed
by her mother, whom she had dragged out of
the drawing-room without any other explana-
tion than her cry of “Floss and Carrots! O
mother! Flossie and Carrots!”

And when Floss saw auntie running to
them, with her kind face all eagerness and
anxiety, the shyness and the disappointment
and the mortification all seemed suddenly to
melt away. She rushed into the hall, and threw
herself sobbing into auntie’s arms. “O auntie!”
she cried, “ we are so tired — poor Carrots is I

mean, and so hungry, and I thought you had
































































180 “ CARROTS.”

forgotten us, and we're so far away from
mamma!”

- Auntie understood all about it in a moment.
She hugged Floss tight, and only let go of her
for an instant to get hold of Carrots and hug
him tight too. And then, when she saw the
two tired little white faces, and felt how wet
they were, and saw the tears on Floss’s cheeks,
she sat down on the hall floor, still clasping
them tight, and actually cried too.

“My two poor dear little babes in the
wood!” she exclaimed. “What a dreadful
mistake! What a cruel auntie you must have
thought me!” -

“I didn’t know if you wanted us; I thought
perhaps you had forgotten about us coming,”
whispered Floss.

«No wonder!’ said auntie; “but, Flossie
darling, I haven’t got any letter to say what
day you were coming. That was why we
were not at the station. Sybil and I had been
making such delightful plans about how we
should meet you at the station. Do you think



HAPPY AND SAD.

your father and mother could have forgottén to
write to tell me the day?”




“Oh, no!” said Floss ; “I know papa wrote



to tell you. He wrote the day before yester-
day, for I heard him tell mamma so. And this





morning when the post came, just as we were




leaving, he wondered a little that there was no




letter from you ; but he said perhaps you hadn’t




thought it worth while to write, as you had




said any day this week would do for us to




come.”




“Of course I would have written,” said



auntie; “but what can have become of the
letter?” =




It had evidently gone astray somehow ; and




that very evening the mystery was explained,




for the postman brought it —a very travel-worn




letter indeed, with two or three scrawls across
it in red ink: “ Missent to Whitehurst,” “Try
Whitefield,” etc.

_ “Whenever a letter does go wrong, which







certainly is not very often, it is sure to be one




of consequence,” said auntie. But long before







“CARROTS.”

the letter came, Floss and Carrots had forgot-
ten their troubles— at least, if they hadn’t it
was not auntie’s fault; for I can’t tell you how
kind she was, and what a fuss she made about
them. She took them up to Sybil’s nice, beau-
tiful, warm nursery, and all their wet things
were taken off, and Floss was wrapped up in
a dressing-gown of auntie’s, and Carrots in one
of Sybil’s, and then they had the most lovely
tea you can imagine.

Sybil’s father was away that night, and was
not coming back till the next day; and auntie
was to have dinner alone, with Sybil beside her,
you may be sure, to “keep her company,” and
help her to get through dinner by opening her

’

little mouth for “tastes” every now and then.
But auntie had to manage alone, after all, for
of course Sybil would not leave Floss and
Carrots; and auntie sent up the very nicest
things from the dining-table for the children
to eat with their tea, and Sybil did get some
“tastes,” I can assure you.

And they laughed at each other in the dress-

















































x
Ses pp ME 9 ore oes, Spo

HAPPY AND SAD. 183

ing-gowns, and Floss quite forgot that she had
expected to feel shy and strange. Only when
auntie came up to the nursery again after din-
ner, and made Floss tell her about all the long
walk in the cold and the dark, and about the
“kind porter,” and the oldish-looking lady, and,
farther back still, about the leaving home in
the morning, and how poor mamma kissed them
“so many, many times,” Floss could not help
crying again a little, nor could auntie either.
And though Carrots and Sybil did not cry,
their little faces looked very solemn, and as if
‘they almost thought they should cry, as they
sat side by side on the rug in front of the high
nursery guard, Carrots in the funny red flannel
dressing-gown, which made him look so “ old-
fashioned,” and Sybil in her white embroidery
and rose ribbons, crumpling them all up “any-
how” in a way which really went to Floss’s
heart, though auntie did not seem to mind.
Then came bedtime, — such a nice bedtime ;
for auntie had prepared for them two dear little
rooms, with a door between, that they should





er es seo

184 “CARROTS.”




not feel far away from each other. And though




it was the very first time in Carrots’s life that




he had gone to bed without kind old nurse to




tuck him up, he did not feel unhappy ; for Floss




reminded him what a good thing it was that




their mother had nurse with her now she was
ill, and besides, Sybil’s French maid Denise




was very kind and merry, and not at all “stuck




up” or grand.




And the waking the next morning!




Who does not know those first wakings in a




strange place? Sometimes so pleasant, some-




times so sad, but never, I think, without a




strange interestingness of their own. This




waking was pleasant, though so strange. The




sun was shining for one thing —a great thing,
I think I should call it, and the children felt it
to be so.





They woke about the same time, and called
out to each other; and then Floss got out of




bed, and went to see how Carrots was looking,




after all his adventures.




“You haven’t caught cold, I hope, Carrots,”




she said in a motherly tone.


HAPPY AND SAD.

“Oh, no! I’m guzte well,” replied Carrots ;
“T haven’t even a cold in my nose. And isn’t
it a nice morning, Floss? and isn’t this a lovely
room ?” ‘

“Yes,” said Floss ; “and so is mine, Carrots.”

« And auntie zs kind, isn’t she, Floss ?”’

“Oh, very!” said Floss.

“Tsn’t it nice to see the sun?” said Carrots.
“Floss, I can’t understand how it can always.
be the same sun, however far we go.”

«But don’t you remember what I showed
you,” said Floss, “about the world being like
a little ball, always going round and round a

great light? So of course the great light must.

always be the same.”

“Yes,” said Carrots dreamily ; “but still it
seems funny. Will mamma see the sun at
that nice warm place over the sea?”

,

«Why of course,” said Floss; “it’s the sun
that makes that place nice and warm.”

“Js it?” said Carrots. “Is that place nearer
the sun than Sandyshore is, Floss?”

“No, not exactly; at least, it is in a sort of


peer mee
AVR

Ch te,
yom

“ CARROTS.”

away. The sunshine falls straighter on it ; but
I couldn’t explain without a globe and a lot of

fuss,” said Floss. “ Never mind just now, Car-

rots ; perhaps auntie can show you.”

“ But, Floss,” persisted Carrots, “I do want

to know one thing. Shall we see the sun in
heaven ?”’

“No,” said Floss decidedly ; “ certazuly not.
It says in the Bible there will be no sun or
moon in heaven.”

“Then I don’t think I shall like it at all,”
said Carrots, ‘for there won’t be any sea there
either. JI can’t think ow it can be a nice
place.”

’

«But, Carrots dear,” said Floss in some dis-
tress, “you mustn’t think of heaven that way.
It isn’t like that. Heaven isn’t like a place
exactly, mamma says. It is just being guwzte
good.”

“ Being guzte good,” repeated Carrots thought-
fully. “I wish I could be quite good, Floss ;
I wish everybody could, don’t you?”

“Yes,” said Floss. “But really you must





Oped
gp Melon, Beet.

HAPPY AND SAD. 187

get up, Carrots dear; that will be good for
just now. Being good always comes in little
bits like that.”

« But in heaven the being good will be all in
one great, big piece ; that’s how it will be, isn’t
it?” said Carrots, as he got out of bed and
>egan hunting for his slippers.

- I cannot tell you half the history of that first

day at Greenmays, or of many others that fol-
lowed. They were very happy days; and they
‘were full of so many new pleasures and inter-
ests for Carrots and Floss, that I should really
have to write another book to tell you all about
them. Everybody was kind to the children,
and everything that could be thought of to
make them feel “at home” was done. And
Greenmays was such a pretty place! Carrots
could hardly miss his dear old sea, once he had
learned to make friends with the hills. At first
he could do nothing but gaze at them in aston-
ishment.

“T didn’t think hills were so big, or that they

would have so many faces,’ he said to Floss

a 1 Sy K










































































“CARROTS.”

and Sybil the first morning when they were out:
* in the garden together.
Sybil burst out laughing. “Oh, you funny
Carrots!” she said; “you're just like a boy in.
a fairy story — you've got such queer fancies.”
«But they’re zo¢ fancies, Sybil,” said Carrots.
gravely, turning his great brown eyes on his.
cousin, “The hills Zave got lots of different:
faces; that one up there, the one with the-
round, knobby top, has looked gwzte different.
several times this morning. First it looked.
smiley and smooth, and then it got all cross
and wrinkly, and zow it looks as if it were:
going to sleep.”
Sybil stared up.at the hill he was pointing to..
«JT see what you mean,” she said; “but it’s.
only the shadows of the clouds.”
3% “ That’s pretty,” said Carrots. “Who told.
oy & “Sts2 you that, Sybil? I never thought of clouds.
having shadows.”
“Nobody told me,” said Sybil; “I finded’
it out my own self. I find out lots of things,”



she continued importantly. “I dare say it’s be-



















HAPPY AND SAD.

cause of my name. Papa says my name means



I should find out things, like a sort of a fairy,
you know.”

“Does it?” said Carrots in a rather awe-
struck tone. “I should like that. When you
were little, Sybil,’ he continued, “were you
ever frightened of shadows? J was.”

“No,” said Sybil; “I only thought they were
funny. And once papa told me a story of a
shadow that ran away from its master. It went
across the street at night, you know, when the
lamps were lighted. There were houses op-
posite, you see, and the shadow went into such
a beautiful house, and wouldn’t come back
again |”

«And what after that?” asked both Floss
and Carrots in a breath.

« Oh, I can’t tell it you all,” said Sybil; “you
must ask papa.”

“Does he often tell you stories?” asked
Floss. .

« Bits,” said Sybil; “ne doesn’t tell them all

through, like mother. But he’s very nice about


AY
Shy

ay. t
NH 06

“ CARROTS.”

answering things I ask him. He doesn’t say,

‘You couldn’t understand,’ or, ‘You'll know

when you're older,’ that horrid way.”

“He must be nice,’ said Floss, who had
secretly been trembling a little at the thought
of the strange uncle.

And he did turn out very nice. He was older
than Floss had expected; a good deal older
than auntie, whom he sometimes spoke to as.
if she were quite a little girl, in a way which
amused the children very much. At first he
seemed very quiet and grave; but after a while
Floss found out that in his own way he was
very fond of fun, and she confided to auntie
that she thought he was the funniest person
she had ever seen. I don’t know if auntie told
him this, or if he took it as a compliment, but
certainly he could not have been offended, for
every day, as they learned to know him better,
the children found him kinder and kinder.

So they were very happy at Greenmays, and.
no doubt would have gone on being so but for
one thing. There came bad news of their

mother.


. p— = a, “SRS . Pek Wh F- =e We ee we, Be
peor edt Whe BOE

























HAPPY AND SAD. IQL




This was how they heard it. Every week at:
least for several weeks, Floss or Carrots, and.
sometimes both, got a letter from their mother,
or from Cecil and Louise; and at first these
letters were so cheerful, that even the little bit
of anxiety which the children had hardly known
was in their hearts melted away.

«What a good thing mamma went to that.
nice warm place, isn’t it, auntie ?”’ Carrots used
to say after the arrival of each letter ; and auntie:
most heartily agreed with the happy little fel-.
low. But at last, just about Christmas-time,
when the thin, foreign-looking letter that the:
children had learned to know so well made its.
appearance one morning on the breakfast-table,
it proved to be for auntie. Zat of course they
did not object to, had there been one for them

too; but there was not.

xi ee « Auntie dear, there is no letter for us,” said
os Floss, when auntie came into the room. “Will
; U you please open yours quick, and see if there is.

AG one inside it?”



“JT don’t think there is,” said auntie; “it.

doesn’t feel like it.”
“CARROTS.”

However,. she opened the letter at once.

No, there was no enclosure; and Floss, who

"was watching her face, saw that it grew trou-

bled as she ran her eyes down the page.
“My letter is from your father. I cannot
read it properly till after breakfast, for uncle
is waiting for me to pour out his coffee. Run
off now, dears, and I’ll come to the nursery
and tell you all about it after breakfast,” she

said, trying to look and speak just the same

as usual.

But Floss saw that she was. ¢ryzng, she did
not persist, however, but took Carrots by the
hand, and went off obediently without speak-
ing, only giving auntie one wistful look as she
turned away.

«What's wrong, Florence?” said Sybil’s ©
father, as the door closed after the children.

“It is about Lucy,” said auntie. ‘She is
much worse ; very ill indeed. She has caught
cold somehow, and Frank seems almost to have
lost hope already.”

Two or three tears rolled down auntie’s face


HAPPY AND SAD. 193

as she spoke. For a minute or two Sybil’s
father said nothing.

“ How about telling the children?” he asked
at last.

“That’s just it,” replied auntie. “Frank
leaves it to me to tell them or not, as I think
best.. He would not let Cecil or Louise write ;
as he thought if it had to be told I had better
do so as gently as I could, by word of mouth.
But they must be told —they are such quick
children; I believe Floss suspects it already.
And if —and if the next news should be worse,”
continued auntie with a little sob, “I should
never forgive myself for not having prepared
them, and they would be full of self-reproach for
having been happy and merry as usual. Floss
would say she should have known it by in-
stinct.”

«Would they feel it so much? Could they

realize it? They are so young,” said Sybil’s
father.

Auntie shook her head. “Not too young to
feel it terribly,” she said. “It is much better


2. ait Je
le

ay) ¢

“ CARROTS.”

to tell them. I could not hide the sorrow in
my face from those two honest pairs of eyes,
for- one thing.”

“Well, you know best,” said her husband.

A sad telling it was, and the way in which
the children took it touched auntie’s loving
heart to the quick. They were so quiet and
“pitiful,” as little Sybil said. Floss’s face
grew white; for, with a child’s hasty rush at
conclusions, she fancied at first that auntie was.
paving the way for the worst news of all.

“Is mamma dead?” she whispered; and
auntie’s “Oh no, no, darling! Not so bad as.
that,” seemed to give her a sort of crumb of
hope, even before she had heard all.

And Carrots stood beside auntie’s knee, clasp-
ing his little mother Floss’s hand tight, and
looking up in auntie’s face with those wonder-
ful eyes of his, which auntie had said truly one
could not deceive ; and when he had been told
all there was to tell, he just said softly, “O poor
mamma! Auntie, she kissened us so many:
times!”


os

‘ 0, Ss









eee nb * ead ¢ Se Oh a Rs
WY Sy a Sap



HAPPY AND SAD.



105




And then, which auntie was on the whole

glad of, the three children sat down on the rug




together and cried; Sybil, in her sympathy, as




heartily as the others, while she kept kissing




and petting them, and calling them by every




endearing name she could think of.




« When will there be another letter, auntie?”’




said Floss.



\



“The day after to-morrow,” said auntie.




“Your father will write by every mail.”




In her own heart auntie had not much hope.




From what Captain Desart said, the anxiety




was not likely to last long. The illness had




taken a different form from Mrs. Desart’s other





attacks. “She must be better or worse in

a day or two,” he wrote; and auntie’s heart




sorely misgave her as to which it would be.




The sorrowful day seemed very long to the




children. They did their lessons as usual, for



auntie told them it would be much better to




do so.




«Would it please mamma?” said Carrots;




and when auntie said, “ Yes, she was quite


es












“CARROTS.”

sure it would,” he got his books at once, and
“tried”’ even harder than usual.

But after lessons they had no heart to play,
and there was no “must” about that. By
bedtime they all looked worn out with crying
and the sort of strange excitement there is
about great sorrows — above all to children —
which is more exhausting than almost any-
thing.

“This will never do,” thought auntie.
“Hugh” (that was the name of Sybil’s father)
“will have reason to think I should have taken
his advice, and not told them, if they go on
like this.”

“Sybil,” she said, “Floss and Carrots will
make themselves ill before the next letter
comes. What can we do for them?”

Sybil shook her head despondently.
“T don’t know, mother dear,” she said}







“T've got out all my best things to please
them, but it’s no good.” She stood still for a
minute, then her face lightened up. “ Mother,”





she said, “s’posing you were to read aloud


we

ae

































g
yy



HAPPY AND SAD. 197

some of those stories you're going to get
bounded up into a book some day? They
would like ¢haz.”

Floss hardly felt as if she could care to hear
any stories, however pretty. But she did not
like to disappoint kind auntie by saying so,
especially when auntie told her she really
wanted to know if she and Carrots liked her
stories, as it would help her to judge if other
children would care for them when they were
“bounded up into a book.”

So the next day auntie read them some, and
they talked them over, and got quite interested
in them. Fortunately she did not read them
all that day ; for the next day there was still
more need of something to distract the chil-
dren’s sorrowful thoughts, as the looked-for
letter did not come. Auntie would have liked
to cheer the children by reminding them of
the old sayings that “ No news is good news,”
and “It is ill news which flies fast;” but she
dared not, for her own heart was very heavy

with anxiety. And she was very glad to see





BISA
AXA mig

=< ee a 2 WwW
A OPS

pets
Ke











“ CARROTS.”

them interested in the rest of the stories for
the time.

~ I cannot tell you these stories, but some day
perhaps you may come across the little book
which they were made into. But there is one
of them: which I should like to tell you, as it is
not very long, and in the children’s minds it
was always associated with something that hap-
pened just as auntie had finished reading it.
For it was the last of her little stories, and
it was called :—
Ss

fas

VY

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we

po

Cs
“7 Nee,

ESE Ls

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(rex



“
o



o

“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 199

CHAPTER XII.

“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.”

Like to a double cherry.

A MipsuMMER-NIGHT’s DREAM.

“O mamma!” cried I, from the window by
which I was standing, to my mother who was
working by the fire, “ do come here and look at
these two funny little trots.”

[Auntie had only read this first sentence of
her story when Sybil interrupted her.

“Mother dear,’ she said in her prim little
way, “before you begin, do tell us one thing:
Does the story end sadly?”

Auntie smiled. “You should have asked me
before I ad begun, Sybil,” she said. “But
never mind now. I don’t really think I can
tell you if it ends sadly or not. It would be
like telling you the end at the beginning, and

PS

NY

a

Re























; Rp Ss = y .

200 : “ CARROTS.”




it would spoil the interest, if you understand
what that means.”




“Very well,” said Sybil resignedly ; “then I
suppose I must wait. But I qwon’t like it if it
ends badly, mother; and Floss won't, and Car-
rots won’t. Will you, Floss and Carrots ?”

“I don’t think Floss and Carrots can say
till they’ve heard it,” said auntie. « Now,
Sybil, you mustn’t interrupt any more. Where

was I? Oh, yes!”]— “do come and look at
these two funny little trots,”








My mother got up from her seat and came
to the window. She could not help smiling
when she saw the little couple I pointed out
to her.






“Aren’t they a pair of fat darlings?” I
said- “I wonder if they live in our terrace?”

We knew very little of our neighbors,
though we were not living in London, for we
had only just come to St. Austin’s, We had
come there to spend the winter, as it was a
mild and sheltered place; for I, then a girl of
sixteen, had been in delicate health for some

































q

aS “THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 201



time. [‘ You wouldn’t believe it to see me
now, would you?” said auntie, looking up at
the children with a smile on her pretty, young-
looking face, “but it was quite true all the
same.”] I was my mother’s only girl [she
went on, turning to her manuscript again], and
she was a widow, so you can fancy what a pet
Iwas. My big brothers were already all out
in the world, in the navy, or the army, or at
college; and my mother and I generally lived
by ourselves in a country village much farther
north than St. Austin’s, and it was quite an
event to us to leave our own home for several
months, and settle ourselves down in lodgings
in a strange place.
It seemed a very strange place to us; for we
3 had not a single friend or acquaintance in it,
and at home in our village we knew everybody,
ae and everybody knew us, from the clergyman
down to Farmer Grinthwait’s sheep-dog, and
\} nothing happened without our knowing it. I
AN suppose I was naturally of rather a sociable
turn. I know my mother used sometimes in






SRA. AI,
5S

SBu-Â¥

“CARROTS.”

fun to call me “a little gossip,” and I really
very much missed the sight of the accustomed

friendly faces. We had been two days at St.

Austin’s, and I had spent most of those two
‘days at the window, declaring to my mother
that I should not feel so “strange”’ if I got to
know some of our neighbors by sight, if noth-
ing more.

But hitherto J had hardly succeeded even in
this. There did not seem to be any “neigh-
bors” in the passers-by ; they were just pass-
ers-by who never seemed to pass by again, and
without anything particular to distinguish them
if they did. For St. Austin’s was a busy little
place; and our house was on the south Espla-
nade, the favorite “promenade” for the visitors,
none of whom, gentlemen, ladies, or children,
had particularly attracted me till the morning
I first caught sight of my funny little trots.

I do think they would have attracted any
one — any one certainly that loved children. I
fancy I see them now, the two dears! coming
slowly and solemnly along, each with a hand









Doe san US, SPD Me Med oo AEM ano
acs a SELND, : ~
— iD Seip OA eS abs: Se ex
























“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 203

of their nurse, pulling we// back from her, as if
the effort to keep up, even with her deliberate
rate of walking, was almost too much for their
fat little legs. They looked exactly the same
size, and were alike in everything, from their
dresses, — which this first day were brown hol-
land, very easy about the bodies, very short
and bunchy about the skirts —— to the two white
woolly lambs clasped manfully by each in his
or her disengaged hand. Whether they were
boys or girls I could not tell in the least, and
to this day I do not know.

“Aren't they darlings, mamma?” I said.

“They certainly are two funny little trots,”
she replied with a smile, using my own ex-
pression.

Mamma went back to her knitting; but I
stayed by the window, watching my new
friends. They passed slowly up the Esplanade,
my eyes following them until they were out
of sight, and then I turned away regretfully.

“They are sure not to pass again,” I said,

“and they are so nice.”




“CARROTS.”

“Tf they live near here, very likely the Es-
planade is their daily walk, and they will be:
passing back again in a few minutes,” said
my mother, entering into my fancy.

I took up her suggestion eagerly. She
was right; in about a quarter of an hour my
trots appeared again, this time from the other
direction; and, as good luck would have it,
just opposite our window, their nurse happen-
ing to meet an acquaintance, they came to a.
halt.

“Mamma, mamma!”’ I exclaimed, “ here they
are again!”

Mamma nodded her head and smiled with-
out looking up. She was just then counting
the rows of her knitting, and was afraid of
losing the number. I pressed my face close
to the window. If only the trots would look
my way! I could hardly resist tapping on
the pane.

Suddenly a bright thought struck me. I

seized Gip, my little dog, who was asleep on.

the hearth-rug, and held him up to the window.


% ;

. “THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.”























205

«TN ss,)Giploe Dissweat! > eAt her! atcher !2?
T exclaimed.

Poor. Gip had doubtless been having de-
lightful dreams; it was very hard on him to
“be waked up so startlingly. He blinked his
eyes, and tried to see the imaginary cat; no
doubt he thought it was his own fault he
‘did not succeed, for he was the most hum-
ble-minded and unpresuming of little dogs,
and his faith in me was unbounded. He
could not see a cat, but he took it for granted
that 7 did; so he set to work barking vigor-
ously. That was just what I wanted. The
trots heard the noise, and both turned round;
then they let go their nurse’s hands, and made
a little journey round her skirts till they



met.

x “Dot,” said one, “ pretty doggie.”

oe “Doll,” said the other, both speaking at
oe once, you understand, “pretty doggie.”
2] I don’t mean to say that I heard what they

“G said; I only saw it. But afterwards, when I
had heard their voices, I felt sure that was






“ CARROTS.”




what they had said, for they almost always




spoke together.




Then they joined their disengaged hands
(the outside hand of each still clasping its.





woolly lamb), and there they stood, legs well




apart, little mouths and eyes wide open, star-




ing with the greatest interest and solemnity




at Gip and me. At Gip, of course, far more.




than at me. Gip was a dog; / was only a




irl! uite a middle-aged person, no doubt,
s gea p




the trots thought me, if they thought about me




at all, — perhaps they did a little, as I was Gip’s




owner, —for I was sixteen, and they could not.




have been much more than three,




But all this time they were so solemn! I




wanted to make them laugh. There was a.




little table in the window, —a bow window, of




course, aS it was at the seaside, and certain to




catch winds from every quarter of the heavens




— upon which I mounted Gip, and set to work.




putting him through his tricks. I made him




perform “ready, present, five,” with a leap to:




catch the bit of biscuit on his nose. I made.


a Se i PQ Np We So se
S R2., ; -3 Cue ay
Cs

es
aye:
10 WU QV way.





















“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 207

him “beg,” “lie dead,” like Mother Hubbard’s.
immortal pet, and do everything a well-educated.
dog could be expected to do. And, oh, how
funny it was to watch the trots! Evidently
they had never seen anything of the kind
before ; they stared at first as if they could
hardly believe their eyes, and then they smiled,
and at /ast they laughed. How prettily they
laughed! They looked more like two fat.
cherubs than ever.



But their laughing attracted their maid’s.



attention. She too turned round; and I was.



pleased to see that she had a pleasant, pretty
young face. “I shouldn’t have liked those-
dear trots to have a cross old nurse,” I said.
to myself ; and the maid still further raised her-.
self in my good opinion by laughing and smil-
ing too. In a minute or two, when she thought
“that was enough for to-day,” she stooped and
whispered to the trots. They immediately
lifted their little hands, the right of one, the.
left of the other,—for nothing, you see, could
have persuaded them to let go of their precious.




















to me, and I could see them say, “ Zank zou,

208 “ CARROTS.”

lambs, —to their rosy mouths, and blew a kiss

lady ; zank zou, doggie.”

You may be sure I kissed my hand to them
in return; and off they toddled, each with a
hand of “ Bessie,’ as I afterwards heard them
call their maid, and hauling back manfully as
before, which gave Bessie the look of a very
large steam-tug convoying two very little ves-
sels. ae |
I watched them till they were quite ‘out of
sight. Then I turned to my mother.

“I have made two friends here, anyway,
mamma,” I said. ‘The trots are sure to stop
every time they pass. It will be something to
watch for.” 5

Mamma smiled. She was pleased to see
me pleased and interested; for she had been
beginning to fear that the dulness and strange-
ness of our new life would prevent St. Austin’s
doing me as much good as she had hoped.

“ To-morrow, dear, ’’she said, “if it is fine,
I hope you will be able to go a little walk, and



we'll look out for your little friends,”
ae




























“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.”’ 209

It was fine the next day, and we did go out,
and we did meet the trots!

They caught sight of me (of Gip, rather, I
should perhaps say), and I of them, just about
the same moment. I saw them tug their nurse,
and when they got close up to me they stopped
short. It was no use Bessie’s trying to get
them on; there they stood resolutely, till the
poor girl’s face grew red, and she looked quite
ashamed. Gip, who I must say had a wonder-
ful amount of tact, ran up to them with a
friendly little bark. Bessie let go the trots’
hands, and stooped to stroke him.

«He won't bite, miss, will he?” she said
gently, looking up at me.

«« Oh, dear, no!” I said; and the trots, smil-
ing with delight, stooped —not that they had so
very far to stoop —to stroke him too.

“Pretty doggie,” said Doll.

«“ Pretty doggie,” said Dot.

Then they held up their dear little mouths
to kiss me. “Zank zou, lady,” they said; and
each taking a hand of Bessie again, they pro-

ceeded on their way.




By GF alpen hn
~. ove j
yea a G





varinew sia hanicciy


“ CARROTS.”

After that day not many passed without

my seeing them and talking to them, and mak-

ing Gip show off his tricks. Sometimes our
meetings were at the window, sometimes on
the road; once or twice, when there came
some unusually fine, mild days, mamma let me
sit out on the shore, and I taught the trots.
to dig a hole for Gip and bury him in the sand,
all but his bright eyes and funny black nose;
that was a beautiful game! I never found out
exactly where my friends lived: it was in one
of the side streets leading on to the Esplanade ;
that was all I knew. -I never knew, as I said,
if they were boys or girls, or perhaps one of
each. Mamma wanted one day to ask Bessie,
but I wouldn’t let her. They were just my two.
little trots; that was all I wanted to know.

“It would spoil them to fancy them grow-
ing up into great boys or girls,” I said. «I
want them to be always trots— nothing else.”

And as Bessie called them simply Doll and
Dot, without any “master” or “miss,” I was.

able to keep my fancy.




é a2, Mee 2
gu, wl cs va Prd NX oe
Sb ES 9 SPO sie aloo, AAeteaS

3 eye



“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 2II

When the weather grew colder, the trots came
out in a new costume, — sealskin coats, sealskin
caps, and sealskin gloves ; they were just little
balls of sealskin, and looked “trottier” than
ever. About this time they left off carrying
their woolly lambs. I suspect the reason was
that their extreme affection for the lambs had
resulted in these favored animals growing more
black than white, and that Bessie judged them
unfit for appearing in public; but if this was
the case, evidently Bessie had been obliged to
resort to artifice to obtain their owners’ con-
sent to the lambs being left at home. For
when I asked the trots where the precious
creatures were, they looked melancholy and
distressed, and shook their heads.

“Too told!” said Doll; and Dot repeated,
like mournful echo, “Too told!”

“Of course,” said I; “how stupid of me
not to think of it! Of course it’s far too cold




BS PSG Reh LON Ps FLAN


























for such very little lambs to be out.”
Bessie looked gratefully at me. “We're
going to buy some cakes for tea,’ she said





















“CARROTS.”

with a smile; and sure enough, in about half
an hour the trio reappeared again, and came
to a standstill, as usual, opposite our window.
And, instead of a lamb, each trot hugged a
little parcel, neatly done up in white paper.
I opened the window to hear what they were -
Saying, they looked so excited.

“Takes for tea!” they both called out at
once ; “takes, for tea! Lady have one! Dip
have one!”

And poor Bessie was obliged to open the
parcels, and extract one “take” from each,
and hand them up to me, before my little
dears would be satisfied.

Can you fancy that I really got to love the
trots? I did not want to know who they were,
or what sort of a father and mother they had,
—they were well taken care of, that was evi-
dent, —for somehow, knowing anything more
about them would have spoilt them for being
my funny little trots.

But for several weeks of the three months
we spent at St. Austin’s, the sight of these








“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.”

happy little creatures was one of my greatest
pleasures, and a day without a glimpse of them
would have seemed blank and dull.

There came a time, however, when for
many days I did not see my little friends.
The weather was bad just then, and mamma
said she was sure they had got colds, that
would be all that was wrong with them; but
somehow I felt uneasy. I asked our doctor,
when he called, if there was much _ illness
about, and he, fancying I was nervous on my
own account, replied, “Oh, no! with the excep-
tion of two or three cases of croup, he had no
serious ailments among his patients; it was a
very healthy season.”

I got frightened at the idea of croup, and
cross-questioned him, to discover if my trots
were among the sufferers; but he shook his
head. All his little patients were mere infants ;
he did not even know the trots by sight.

Then mamma suggested another very rea-

sonable explanation of their disappearance.
“They have probably left St. Austin’s,” she


ms
OX

Cs

“CARROTS.”

said. ‘Many people come here for only the

very worst of the winter, and that is about over

”

now.

But even this did not satisfy me. I was
certain something was wrong with Doll and
Dot; and I wasted, I should be ashamed to
say how many hours gazing out of the win-
dow in hopes of catching sight of the familiar
little figures.

At last one day, when I had almost left off
hoping ever to see them again, suddenly so
figures appeared on the Esplanade, a stone’s
throw from our window.

Who were they? Could it be—yes, it
must be ove of the trots, led by, not Bessie;
no, this maid was a stranger. Where could
Bessie be? And oh, where was my other
little trot? For, even at some yards’ dis-
tance, I saw something sadly different in the
appearance of the one little figure, slowly com-
ing along in our direction. It was dressed —
hat, coat, gloves, socks and all — it was dressed

in deep mourning.




















TRS2 ¥ uy Steg Fo sf KOS

: rN est ie 4 : % Leama ee Sa $a
qe
Q

= “THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 215

I seized my hat and rushed out to meet
them. Mamma thought I was going out of
my mind I believe. When I found myself in
the open air, I tried to control myself and
look like the rest of the people walking quietly
along, though my heart was beating violently,
and I felt as if I could not speak without cry-
ing. But when I got up to the one little trot
and its attendant, the sight of her strange
face composed me. She was so different from
Bessie — old and stiff and prim-looking. I
stooped to kiss the child, Dot or Doll, I knew
not which. “How are you, darling?” I said.
And where is’’—TI stopped short.

The trot looked up in my face.

“© lady,” it said, “ Dot is all alone. Doll
is done to ’Ebben,” and the great tears gathered
in Dot’s mournful eyes and rolled down Dot's
rosy cheeks.

“Hush, hush, my dear! You mustn't cry.
You'll make yourself ill if you cry any more,”
said the hard-looking nurse.

A moment before I had intended turning





216



“ CARROTS.”

to her and asking for some particulars of the
baby’s sad words; but now I felt I could not,
she was so stiff and unsympathizing. I could
not bear her to see me a stranger, crying
about what I had heard. Besides, what good
would it do? Why should I bear any more?
I shrank from doing so. The bare fact was

enough. I just bent down and kissed the
solitary darling.









“ Good-by ; my trot,” I said. I could not say
another word.

“Dood-by ; don’t ky,” said Dot, stroking my
cheek. “Doll won’t tum back, but Dot will
do to ’Ebben too some day.”







That was quite too much for me. _ I turned
away, and hurried back home as fast as I could.

“Mamma!” I exclaimed, rushing into our
sitting-room, and throwing myself down on
the sofa, “it’s just what I thought. I wish
you would come away from St. Austin’s at
once. I shall never, never like it again!”

“What zs the matter, Florence?” said poor
mamma, quite startled.












“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 217

It’s about the trots,” I said, now fairly
sobbing. “I have just seen one—in deep:
mourning, mamma, — and— and —the other
one is dead.”

“Poor little angel!” said mamma. And the
tears came into her eyes too.

I did not see Dot again after that day. I
fancy that was its last walk before leaving St.
Austin’s for its regular home, wherever that
was. And a very short time after we our-
selves left too.

I never forgot the trots. Of course the

pleasure of going back to our own dear home

again, and seeing all our old friends, raised
my spirits, and softened the real grief I had
felt. But whenever we spoke of St. Austin’s,
or people asked me about it, and mentioned
the Esplanade or the shore, or any of the
places where I had seen the trots, the tears.
would come into my eyes, as again I seemed
to see before me the two dear funny little
figures. And whenever our plans for the fol-.


“CARROTS.”

lowing winter were alluded to, I always said

one thing; “Wherever you go, mamma, don’t

go to St. Austin’s.”

My mother gave in to me. When did she
not? How patient she was with me, how
sympathizing, even in my fancies, and how
unselfish! It was not till long after we had
left St. Austin’s that she told me what anxiety
she had gone through on hearing of my having
kissed little Dot. For how sadly probable it
seemed that Doll had died of some infectious
illness, such as scarlet-fever, for instance, which
I had never had.

“But Dot couldn’t have been ill, mamma,”
I said. “Dot looked perfectly well.”

“Did he?” said my mother. Sometimes





she called the trots “he’’ and sometimes “ she,”
in the funniest way! “I wonder what the other
little dear died of ?”
“So do I,” I replied. “Still, on the whole,
J think I am just as well pleased not to know.”
Our uncertainty for the next winter ended

in what was to me a delightful decision. We



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“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 219



determined to go to the South of France. I
could amuse you children by a description of
our journey, —journeys in those days really
were much more amusing than now, —but I
must hasten on to the end of my story. We
had fixed upon Pau as our headquarters, and
we arrived there early in November. What

a different thing from our November at home!
















I could hardly believe it cas November; it




would have seemed to me far less wonderful
to have been told I had been asleep for six
months, and that really it was May, and not

November at all, than to have awakened as I






did, that first morning after our arrival, and




to have seen out of the window the lovely

sunshine and bright blue sky and summer-





look of warmth and comfort and radiance!




We had gone to a hotel for a few days,

intending to look out for a little house, or





apartement (which, children, does not mean




the same thing as our English lodgings, by




any means), at our leisure. Your grandmother




was not rich, and the coming so far cost a






EIS OS eRe Pe



“ CARROTS.”

great deal. The hotel we had been recom-
mended to was a very comfortable one, though

not one of the most fashionable; and the land-

lord was very civil, as some friend who had

stayed with him the year before had written
about our coming. He showed us our rooms.
himself, and hoped we should like them; and
then he turned back to say he trusted we
should not be disturbed by the voices of some
children in the next “salon.” He would not
have risked it, he said, had he been able to
help it; but there were no other rooms vacant,
and the family with the children were leaving
the next day. Not that they were noisy chil-
dren by any means: they were very chers petits ;
but there were ladies to whom the very name
of children in their vicinity was—here the
landlord held up his hands and madea grimace !

“Then they must be old maids!” I said,
laughing, “which mamma and I are not. We
love children ;’’ at which Mr. Landlord bowed
and smiled, and said something complimentary

about mademoiselle being so “ aimable.”


“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 221

I listened for the children’s voices that even-
ing, and once or twice I heard their clear,
merry tones. But as for any “disturbance,”
one might as well have complained of a cuckoo
in the distance, as of anything we heard of our.
little neighbors. We did not see them; only
once, as I was running along the passage, I
caught a glimpse at the other end of a little
pinafored figure led by a nurse, disappearing
through a doorway. I did not see its face; in
fact, the glimpse was of the hastiest. Yet
‘something about the wee figure,—a certain
round-about bunchiness, and a sort of pulling
back from the maid,—as she went into the

room, recalled vaguely to my heart, rather than

to my mind, two little toddling creatures that

far away across the sea I had learned to love
and look for. When I went into our room
there were tears in my eyes; and when mamma
asked me the reason, I told her that I had
seen a child that somehow had reminded me
of my two little trots.

« Poor little trots,’ said mamma. “I won-


SS SS ee



)




























USS ee pare OE, . Cus

222 “ CARROTS.”

der if the one that was left still misses the
other ?”

But that was all we said about them.

The next morning I was in a fever to go
out and see all that was to be seen. I dragged oh



hs
poor mamma into all the churches, and half AS
the shops, and would have had her all through QIN fc

the castle too, but that she declared she could. THe
do no more. So we came to a halt at the great.
« Place,” and sat down on a nice shady seat to.
watch the people; I consoling myself with the
reflection that, as we were to be four months
at Pau, there was still a /¢t/e time left for
sight-seeing.

It was very amusing. There were people
of all nations, chzldren of all nations, — little
French boys and girls, prettily but simply
dressed, some chatting merrily, some walking
primly beside their white-capped donnes ; little
Russians, looking rather grand, but not so
grand as their nurses in their rich costumes
of bright scarlet and blue, embroidered in gold ;,
some very pert, shrill-voiced Americans; and a
“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 223.

few unmistakable English. We amused our-
selves by guessing the nationality of all these
little people.

“ Those are Italians or Spaniards, mamma ;

look what dark eyes they have! and “hose are”
—I suddenly stopped. “O mamma!” I ex-
claimed ; and when she looked at me, she saw
I had grown quite pale, and in, another mo-
ment, seeing to what I was pointing, she un-
derstood the reason. There, right before us,
coming slowly up the middle of the Place,.
Bessie in the middle, each child with a hand
of hers, tugging back manfully in the old way ;
each, yes, really, each under the other arm
hugging a woolly lamb, came the two funny
little trots!

I felt at first as if I were dreaming. Could
it be the trots? I sat still in a half-stupid way,
staring ; but Gip —I was forgetting to tell, you
that of course Gip had come with us to Pau —
Gip had far more presence of mind than I. He
did not stop to wonder ow it could be the
trots; he was simply satisfied that it was the
































“ CARROTS.”

trots, and forwards he darted, leaping, barking
furiously, wagging his tail, giving every sort
of welcome in dog language that he could
think of.

“Dip, Dip! See, Bessie, here is a doggie
like Dip,” said one trot.

«Dip, Dip, pretty Dip,” said the other!

The sound of their voices seemed to bring
back my common-sense. They were my own
dear trots. ‘Dip, Dip!” would have satisfied
me, even if I had not seen them. The trots
never coulda manage the letter “G”! I flew
forwards, and kneeling down on the ground,
little caring how I soiled my nice new dress,
or what the people on the Place thought of
me, I regularly hugged my two pets.

“Here is Dip’s kind lady too,’ they both
said at once, smiling and happy, but not by
any means particularly surprised to see me.
I looked up at Bessie at last, and held out my
hand. She shook it heartily.

“I am pleased to see you again, miss, to be
sure; who would have thought it?” she said.

























“THE TWO FUNNY LITTLE TROTS.” 225

« And they haven’t forgot you, haven’t Doll and
Dot. They are always speaking of Gip and
you, miss.”

«But, Bessie,” I began, and then I hesi-
tated. How: could I tell her what I had
thought? “How was it you: left St. Austin’s
so suddenly?” The trots were not in mourn-
ing now; they were prettily dressed in dark
blue sailor serge, as bunchy as ever.

Bessie thought for a minute.

«“ Let me see,” she said; “oh, yes, I remem-
ber! We did leave suddenly. My mistress’s
father died, and she was sent for off to Edin-
burgh, and she took Doll and me, and left Dot
to keep her papa company. Master said he’d
be lost without one of them, and he couldn't
get off to Edinburgh for a fortnight after us.
But we'll never try hat again, miss. Dot did
nothing but cry for Doll, and Doll for Dot.
Dot, so Martha the housemaid said, was always
saying, ‘Doll's done to ’Ebben,’ till it was
pitiful to hear; and Dot was just as bad in
Edinburgh about Doll.”
| Ea NP Pa, “CARROTS.”

| «But Dot dd do to ’Ebben,” said Doll, who
| & Be as well as Dot was listening to what Bessie
| ‘ ei was saying. “And then Doll tummed to ’Eb-

ben too,” said Dot; “and then ’Ebben was

nice.”

I kissed the pets again, partly to prevent

Bessie seeing the tears in my eyes. I under-



stood it all now without asking any more, and
tes Bessie never knew what it was I “ad thought.

X5 Oe Only you can fancy how sorry I was to find
| ee 2 - : aN the trots were leaving Pau that very afternoon !
a ¢ They were the children whose dear little voices
I had heard ‘through the wall, whom the landlord
| Ks aa had feared might disturb us. They were go-



ing on to Italy for the winter.
SN “Tf only I had known last night who they
Seed -5 were!” I said to mamma regretfully.
| i Mamma, however, was always wise. “Think,
wie s =» rather,” she said, “how very glad you should
be to know it this morning. And who can
tell but what some time or other you may see
the trots again?”

But I never did!


fife . 5
2 Ne
x NG TS ary AS f P29 SK 2 a 4
TR See son Vb SES 9 SPO Sie SL op. Se, RES aa

a Sie ahs oa eh Me
ee RSS ae
A

GOOD ENDINGS. 227,


















CHAPTER XIII.

GOOD ENDINGS.

“But I lost my happy childhood.

It slipped from me you shall know,
It was in the dewy alleys
Of the land of long ago.

Not in sadness,
Nor reproach, these words I say,
God is good, and gives new gladness
When the old he takes away.”

“You never did? Oh, what a pity!” ex
claimed Sybil. “You really never, never did,
mother?”

Auntie looked rather “funny,” as the chil-
‘dren called it.

« As trots I never saw them again,” she said ;
‘and at the time I wrote out that story I had

not seen them again at all.”






2 OKO ty ve ERS
; SO Hs Lo Ss SEADSy
a oS ple ye

228 “ CARROTS.”

“ But you've seen them since,” cried all the
three children at once; “you've seen them
since they’ve grown big. O auntie, O mother,
do tell us!”





“T couldn’t just now, truly I couldn’t,” said





auntie; “it would lead me into another story
which isn’t written yet. All that I know about




‘the two funny little trots’ I have told you.
Do you like it?”

« Awfully,” said Sybil.

“ Very much,” said Floss.







“It’s lovely,” said Carrots. .
Auntie smiled at the children. They looked

so pleased and interested, it was evident that





for the time they had forgotten their sorrow
and anxiety. Suddenly, just as she was think-




ing sadly how soon it must return to their





minds, there came a loud ring at the bell.

They all started, they had been sitting so





quietly.

“Tt must be the post,” said Sybil. Auntie
had thought so too, but had not said it, as it
was very unlikely this post. would bring any



letter from Captain Desart.








“ Fletcher appeared.”
— Page 229.
GOOD ENDINGS.

It did however! Fletcher appeared with one
in another minute,—the thin, large envelope,
and the black, rather scrawly writing that
Floss and Carrots knew’ so well. It would

have been no use trying to conceal it from

them, so auntie opened it quickly; it was not -

a long letter, and then she looked up with
the tears in her eyes. “Children, dear chil-
-dren,” she said, “it zs good news. Your dear
mother is a little better, and they have good
‘hopes of her.”

Oh, how glad they were! They kissed auntie
and Sybil and each other, and it seemed as if
a great heavy stone had been lifted off their
hearts. There was still of course reason for
anxiety, but there was hope, “good hope,”
‘wrote Captain Desart, and what does not that
‘mean? Auntie felt so hopeful herself that
‘she could not find it in her heart to check
‘the children for being so.

“It is because you made the story of the
‘trots end nicely that that nice letter came,”
said Sybil; and nothing that her mother could

Es as ip
test >
= < ie 63.

—






‘“ CARROTS.”

say would persuade her that se had nothing
to do with the ending, that she had just told





it as it really happened !



Zam telling you the story of Floss and Car-



rots as it really happened too, and I am so.
glad that it—the story of this part of their
young lives, that is to say—ends happily too.
Their mother did get better, wonderfully bet
ter, and was able to come back to England in








the spring, looking stronger than for many years.
To England, but not to Sandyshore. Captain.
Desart got another appointment much farther






south, where the climate was milder and better,
and the winters not to be dreaded for a delicate:

person. So they all left the Cove House.





Their new home was of course by the sea.



too; but Carrots never would allow that it was.



the same sea. His own old sea stayed behind.
at Sandyshore; though if he were to go to look.
for it there now I doubt if he would find it.
When old friends once get away into the coun-
try of long ago, they are hard to find again; we
learn to doubt if they are to be found anywhere:

except in their own corners of our memory.












ERR LAL

: LEM \eiatg ae









pe a

v4 A
> i oes






GOOD ENDINGS. 231

And it is long ago now since the days when




Carrots and his dear Floss ran races on the




sands and made “plans” together. Long ago,-




in so far that you would not be able anywhere




to find these children whom I loved so much,




and whom I have told you a little about. You




would, at least I Zope you would, like to know




what became of them, how they grew up, and




what Carrots did when he got to be a man.




But this I cannot now tell you; for my little




book is long enough, —I only hope you are not




tired of it, —only I may tell you one thing. If




any of you know a very good, kind, gentle, brave




man—so good that he cannot but be kind,




so brave that he cannot but be gentle, I should




like you to think that, perhaps, whatever he




is, clergyman, doctor, soldier, sailor, it doesn’t




matter in the least, perhaps when that man was




a boy, he was my little Carrots. Especially if




he has large, “ doggy-looking”’ brown eyes, and




hair that once mzght have been called “red.”