The Baldwin Library
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SInto the woods."
5WEETH EAT TRKWELLER)
A CHILD'S r OO, FOR ChILntR6C. FOR. W'OMl&N
AND FOR M.GK.
AUTHOR. OF "THLc STI-KIT Ml'IKTC C "HTL RAIDLRs5,
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CopyrighA I895 in the United States of America by
Frederick A. Stokes Company.
To all who have Sweethearts
of their own.
And to those others
Who only wish they had.
I KNOW well that I cannot give these vagrom
chronicles their right daintiness. I have
grown too far from the grass and the good smell
which it used to give when it came well-nigh to
my knee. They ought to be full of the glint
of spring flowers, when they are wet and the sun
shines slantways upon them; full of freshening
winds and withdrawing clouds, and, above all,
of the unbound gladness of children's laughter.
But when I come to look at them, they seem
little better than hill flowers in a herbarium,
pinched and pulled, pasted and ticketed, correctly
enough, no doubt-but not the wind flowers and
harebells that curtseyed and bent as the breezes
blew every way off the sea.
Yet, because four years ago these papers were
written to be read in the quietest of rooms, to
one who could not otherwise accompany our
wanderings, I cannot be content to leave them
in a drift of dead magazine leaves. For they
brought to the eyes of their first and kindliest
critic and only begetter, sometimes the unac-
customed delight of happy laughter, and again
the relief of happy tears.
After a little time some of the papers came
to be printed in various fugitive forms, and
presently there came back to me many letters
from those who have never quite been able to
put away childish things.
Truthfully the book is not mine but Sweet-
heart's. For love was it first written, and the
labour of making it ready for the mart of books
has been also one of love, akin to that of dress-
ing Sweetheart herself for the morning ride. For
who could look to see better days than those of
that deep summer time by brook-side and meadow,
or high upon the cliffy corn-lands which look so
quietly out upon the rushing tides of Solway?
Not I, at all events. Yet I am glad, for once
at least, to have tasted so keenly and in such
gracious company, the divine goodliness of life.
S. R. CROCKETT.
I. MIIDSUMMER DAY'S DREAM .. I
II. THE LION-SLAYER 8
III. RUTHERFORD'S KIRK 13
IV. TWINKLE TAIL, STROKE FACE, AND LITTLE MAPPIT 17
V. THE HONOURS OF WAR 23
VI. SWEETHEART'S TEA-PARTY. .30
VII. THE SWALLOWS ON THE KITE-STRING 35
VIII. SWEETHEART'S TEN-SHILLING DONKEY 48
IX. THE UNSTABLE EQUILIBRIUM OF GRIM RUTHERLAND 54
X. OF HUZZ AND BUZZ-ALSO OF FUZZ AND MUZZ .64
XI. HILL PASSES AND COAST LANDS 79
XII. THE PEARL OF POLICEMEN 92
XIII. THE JONESES OF CRICCIETH 97
XIV. THE HOME-COMING OF DAVID ROBERTS o6
XV. UNWIDDER-LIKE DEEDS 114
XVI. THE LOST LAND OF LLEYN 124
XVII. A CHILD'S PARADISE 131
XVIII. SWEETHEART'S SWEETHEARTS 135
XIX. THE PHILANTHROPY OF BIRDNESTING 146
XX. THE MAGIC OF THE RAIN 155
XXI. SWEETHEART TRAVELLERS IN WINTER WOODLANDS 166
XXII. DRIPPY DAYS 18
XXIII. THE REVOLT OF THE SWEETHEARTS 188
XXIV. SWEETHEART PAYS CALLS 194
XXV. HUGO'S OPINIONS UPON PIGTAILS 205
XXVI. BY THE BOGLE-THORN 214
XXVII. THE ROGUE WITH THE LUMINOUS NOSE 229
XXVIII. HEART OF GOLD 241
XXIX. CRIMINALS IN HIDING 251
XXX. I ENJOY QUIET. 262
XXXI. THE MISDEMEANOURS OF BINGO 278
XXXII. WHEN LOVE WAS IN THE MAKING 285
XXXIII. THE TRANSMIGRATIONS OF THE PRINCESS MELINDA 299
XXXIV. GOOD-NIGHT, SWEETHEART 306
' ," .* I- "
iir I ~" 2Oit'5
INTO THE WOODS .
SWEETHEART TRAVELLERS .
MY SWEETHEART TROTTED HERE AND THERE
A MAN FAR IN FRONT .
TEA OR DINNER? .
"SHE WANTED TO MARRY ME" .
A TEA-PARTY IN THE NURSERY
"IF YOU PLEASE, MISTER FATHER"
THE DRAGON HAD THE SPLENDIDEST LONG TAIL
ABOVE THE TOPS OF THE HIGHEST TREES .
FEEDING THE ROBINS .
A GOOD AVERAGE TRAMP
THE TRAMP INCREASED HIS SPEED
GRIM GETS THE BENEFIT OF GOOD INTENTIONS
ON THE WAY TO CONWAY .
THROUGH THE NARROW CONWAY STREETS.
"HAD NO ENGLISH"
List of Illustrations
THE LAW WOULD HAVE HAD A BAD CHANCE 72
A BUNCH OF FLOWERS 75
THE ROAD IS MENDED-. 83
HE ROSE AND SENT AFTER US A SHRILL HOWL OF DERISION 85
TREMADOC .. 92
GATHERED MIGHTY STORE OF COWSLIPS 99
HE DISCOURSED UPON THE GLORIES OF CRICCIETH 102
THE HOME-COMING OF DAVID ROBERTS 106
RESTING ON A HEAP OF STONES 108
SHE LOOKED VERY HARD AT US III
NEVIN BEACH 114
THE JOLLY FARMER RESPONDED WITH HIS WHIP RIGHT
OUT UPON THE GREAT CLIFFS BEFORE NIGHTFALL 121
THE LOST LAND OF LLEYN 124
"A FAIR PASSAGE" 127
A GREAT PLAIN OF SAPPHIRE SEA 131
" IS IT ABOUT FAIRIES? 135
"HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT YOURSELF?" 146
"WHY DOES HE NOT SETTLE DOWN TO HOUSEKEEP?" 151
THE MAGIC OF THE RAIN 155
WE LOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW 156
BIRDS OF THE FIELDS AND WOODLANDS 166
THE SILENCE OF THESE WINTER WOODS 169
SHE HAS BEEN CARRYING ONE FOOT OFF THE GROUND 173
DRIPPY DAYS 181
List of Illustrations xv
SWEETHEART WILL BE BETTER ON MY BACK 86
THE REVOLT OF THE SWEETHEARTS 18
SWEETHEART PAYS CALLS 194
WE FOUND HIM RECLINING 201
COUSINS TWICE REMOVED 204
WE WERE ONLY SAVAGES 211
BY THE BOGLE-THORN 214
SWEETHEART TURNED HER HEAD TO COUNT THE MILE-
STONES WHICH WE PASSED 217
HE GAZED SOLEMNLY AT US .220
I LEFT SWEETHEART TO RUN ON BY HERSELF 227
AT THE FOOT OF THE BANK .229
I LIFTED A DOUBLE HANDFUL TO SWEETHEART'S LIPS .237
SHE THREW HERSELF DOWN 241
HUGO WAS PLAYING WITH HIS HORSES 245
BY THE LOCH-SIDE 251
THE DUTCHMAN 262
WE MADE QUITE A HIGH CASTLE .273
SHE RETIRED HASTILY 278
MEEKLY AND DEVOTEDLY WILL BINGO FOLLOW 282
CONWAY CASTLE 285
A LAUGHING-STOCK TO EVERY SELF-RESPECTING FISH .295
UNDER-GARDENER-THAT IS, ONE WHO PULLS THE FRUIT 299
GOOD-NIGHT, SWEETHEART 310
MIDSUMMER DAY'S DREAM
[ Mid-Galloway, 1891.]
S^Y SWEETHEART is sweet.
Also she is my heart of hearts.
To look into her eyes is to break
a hole in the clouds and see into
heaven, and the sunshine lies
asleep upon her hair. As men and women, care-
weighted with the world, look upon her, you
can see the smiles break over their faces. Yet
am I not jealous when my Sweetheart smiles
back at them. For my Sweetheart is but four
years old, and does not know that there is a
shadow on all God's world. To spend a day
with her in the open air is to get a glimpse
into a sinless paradise. For there is no Eden
anywhere like a little child's soul. One Jesus, a
wayfarer, thought so also, for he said that with
such is peopled the kingdom of heaven.
Not once or twice only have I run off with this
sweetheart of mine. For there is a seat woven
of cunning wicker-work, on which she sits safely
between my arms, as the swift tricycle, rimmed
with the prisoned viewless wind, bears us onward.
There was a blue sky and a light warm wind that
morning of our first adventure. It was just such
a morning as completely to satisfy the mother of
the little maid that she might safely be entrusted
to my "courser of the air." So the charger was
brought to the door, a miracle of shining steel
and winking silver plate. And now-
"Boot, saddle, to horse, and away "
My lady mounted-making a charming Little
Red Riding-Hood in her cap and cloak, warmly
tucked about also as to her feet while we spin
through the air. "Good-bye, darling, good-bye!"
the home-keeping folks said. From cottage
doors the women ran out to wave us a last
good-speed. The smiths, half-way up the village,
stopped the ringing anvil and looked after us a
moment, shading their eyes with duskiest hands.
Midsummer Day's Dream 3
Presently we were out into the high-road be-
tween low hedges which led us to the moors.
The track was perfect as the day itself-hard,
stoneless, flecked with alternate sunshine and
shadow. A light breeze came in our faces and
lifted the tangles of my Sweetheart's hair.
It was the very height of living. It was
hardly ordinary breath we breathed, but some
amplerr ether, some diviner air." Who was it
that in haste and ignorance declared all "riding
upon bi-, tri-, or other cycles no better than a
vain wriggling upon a wheel ?" Poor man This
proves that he never could have run off with
a sweetheart like mine upon a good steed of
Haven't we only just left home ?" asked in a
little while the runaway maid. She turned round
and glanced at me through the sunny ripples of
her hair in a distracting way. It is pleasing to
be able thus to praise her in print of which she
cannot read so much as a letter. For though it
is her private opinion that she knows the letter 0
by sight, it is a fact that she has been known
upon occasion to pass even that favourite vowel
without recognition. But then the cut direct is
the privilege of her sex.
[I am commanded by Sweetheart to be sure to
add in this place that she was only four and quite
little when she said and did most of the things
hereafter recorded. This is important, because I
know she will of a certainty look to see if I have
kept my promise. For now Sweetheart is quite
grown up, and as far as words of two syllables.]
It'll be ever such a long time before we have
to go home?" she continued, "we are getting
very far away from home, are we not, father ? "
The sense of being out almost alone in the
wide world, and thus sitting still between the
galloping hedges, pleased her like sweetcake.
She was silent for a long time as we whirled
along, ere she turned her face upward again with
a wistful look in it that I know well.
"What are you looking at, Sweetheart?"
I was only looking to see if you were really
my own dear officer," she said; "it's such a long
way from home!"
Now this was a distinct breach on Sweet-
heart's part of our unwritten agreement to make
no "references to allusions."
It was during the last ride we had together.
We were passing some barracks where the
soldiers were tramping steadily to and fro.
Midsummer Day's Dream 5
Some non-commissioned officers, off duty, were
working in their little garden patches.
"Where is Nelly Sanderson's father's obser-
vatory?" my companion asked, as we passed
the residence of a playmate.
Nelly Sanderson's father has no observatory.
He is a soldier, you know."
A pause for thought, and then:
"But I thought that all fathers had obser-
vatories ?" was the interrogation.
This also was somehow explained, and the
small bright logical faculty went upon its way.
"Well, then, if Major Sanderson is a soldier,
why is he not working in his garden ? "
This was a state of things which Major San-
derson's commanding officer ought manifestly to
look into. Then, sudden as a flash struck from
a flint came the words:
"Father, do you know what makes those
soldiers walk so smart? "
"Why, no, Sweetheart, what might it be?"
"It's their ossifers that makes them walk so
Again a little pause. Then triumphantly, as
though recording the solution of a problem which
had long been troublesome:
"And, father, do you know who it is that
makes you walk so smart?"
"No, my Sweetheart, who is it?"
"It's mother that makes you walk smart! It's
my own dear mother-she's your ossifer! "
But this, after all, is too serious a subject for
even my Sweetheart to make a jest upon. So at
this point we changed the subject.
"Do you see those pretty sparrows there on
the hedge?" I said, as we continued to skim
Solwaywards along a level road.
I did not look at the birds very particularly,
being, as it were, occupied in hunting easy water.
But the little maid immediately gave them her
best attention. The result is not to my credit.
She looked at me with a kind of crushing and
pitying scorn :
"Those are not sparrows," she said, "those
Again the conversation closed. And as we
went, this four-year-old, who did not know a
letter of the alphabet, told me the name of every
tree we flew past, of every bird that perched on
the hedgerows or flew athwart the path. Anon
as we halted to rest in some quiet dell, she ran
hither and thither to pick the mosses from the
Midsummer Day's Dream 7
wall, and the flowers from the banks for the dear
mother" so sadly left at home. She wrapped
them, a damp and rather dirty love-token, in the
folds of her cloak, trusting that the resultant
"mess" would be forgiven, inasmuch as "her
little girl fetched them because she loved her"
-a forgiveness upon which she did well to
braes and followed the road as
it plunged into the dark shadows
of an over-arching wood, Sweet-
heart suddenly gave reins to her
There is bears and wolves here, I know," she
said, in a far-reaching whisper. "Yes, indeed, I
see their noses and some of their teeth! They
are just a-waiting till we pass by, and then they
are going to jump on us, and grab us, and eat
us all up-yes, every little bit! "
Yet this most alarming prospect seemed rather
to delight Sweetheart than otherwise.
"Hush, father," she whispered, "we must go
by so softly and quickly. Ole Father Bear, he's
waiting just round that corner. Now, let us
And so according to instructions we did indeed
The Lion-Slayer 9
buzz. Round the descending curves of the road
we glided, flashing through the rivers of sunlight
which barred the way here and there, and plung-
ing again like lightning into the dark shadows of
the Forest of the Wolves."
"I would not let a wolf come and eat my
father! You are not frightened when you are
with me, are you, father? I have got a gun,
and pistols, and a big two-handed sword. It has
cut off the heads of twenty-six lions, besides
In this place followed a sanguinary catalogue
which, I regret to say, carried on its face the
marks of inaccuracy. If only half of it were
true, Mr. Gordon Cumming bears no compari-
son with the Nimrod whom I carried before me
on my saddle. Even Mr. Selous himself might
hide his diminished head.
And if a wicked man were to come and want
to kill my father, I would shoot him dead, and
then tell him-' Go away, you wicked man !'"
All which was extremely reassuring, and cal-
culated to make a timid traveller feel safe,
journeying thus under the protection of such a
desperate character, all arrayed from head to
foot in fine military scarlet.
Now came a long uphill push. We left sleepy,
Dutch-looking Kirkcudbright to the south. We
were soon climbing the long hill which leads over to
Gatehouse by the Isles of Fleet. My Sweetheart
trotted here and there, as I pushed the machine
slowly uphill, weaving an intricate maze to and
fro across the road. Suddenly there was a quick
cry of distress from the undaunted lion-slayer. I
looked back and saw the little maid putting a hand
to her mouth, wailing most bitterly the while.
0 father! come quick, get a dock-leaf," she
cried. "A naughty, horrid nettle has stung me
on the hand just when I was pulling a flower."
The required leaf was not at hand, but I pulled
a sorrel, in hopes that the juice would do as well.
Once more I found that I had reckoned without
father!" she said, with a hurt expression
showing through her tears, "that's not a dock-
leaf; that's only a 'soorock.' Get a docken,
Obediently I searched high and low, and finally
discovered one under the hedge. Thereupon the
sore-wounded member was duly anointed and
kissed, and with all the honours the hurt made
" My Sweetheart trotted here and there."
GAIN we mounted and rode. The
workers in the neighboring field
among the corn, above the blue of
Solway, waved us greeting.
"Did you see that man on the
top of the cart smile at you, father? said my
I had indeed noticed the circumstance of a smile
passing over a countenance peculiarly saturnine.
But I also knew that it was entirely unconnected
with myself. Soon we glided into the clean,
French-looking village of Gatehouse, after a most
delightful spin downhill through leafy glades and
long-vistaed woodland paths. We were not to
'put up' here, so I made my way into a little baker's
shop, kept by the kindest of women, who not
only provided us with biscuits for our hunger, but
added also of her tender heart some milk for "the
bairn." I went out with these and found the little
maid the centre of a somewhat clamorous throng
of school children. They were fingering all parts
of the machine-trying the bell, the valves of
the pneumatic wheels, and generally driving my
Sweetheart into a pretty distraction. Her mood
at the moment was the imperative affirmative,
her expression most threatening.
Don't touch father's machine, bad children!"
she was saying, or I'll shoot you And, besides,
I will tell my father on you."
The turmoil magically ceased as I approached,
and in the midst of a deeply interested and fairly
silent company my Sweetheart ate and drank as
composedly and sedately as a queen eating bread
and honey among her courtiers.
Again we were up and away! In a moment
the shouting throng fell behind. Barking and
racing curs were passed as we skimmed with
swallow flight down the long village street.
Then we turned sharp to the right at the bottom
along the pleasant road which leads to Anwoth
Kirk. Here in Rutherford's Quiet Valley of Well
Content the hazy sunshine always sleeps. Hardly
a bird chirped. Silence covered us like a gar-
ment. We rode silently along, stealing through
the shadows and gliding through the sunshine,
only our speed making a pleasant stir of air about
us in the mid-day heat.
We dismounted and entered into the ivy-clad
walls of Rutherford's kirk. It is so small that we
realized what he was wont to say when asked
to leave it :
Anwoth is not a large charge, but it is my
charge. And all the people in it have not yet
turned their hearts to the Lord !"
So here we took hands, my Sweetheart and I,
and went in. We were all alone. We stood in
God's house, consecrated with the words of
generations of the wise and loving, under the
roof of God's sky. We uncovered our heads,
my little maid standing with wide blue eyes of
reverence on a high flat tombstone, while I told
her of Samuel Rutherford, who carried the inno-
cence of a child's love through a long and stormy
life. Perhaps the little head of sunny curls did
not take it all in. What matter? The instinct
of a child's love does not make any mistake, but
looks through scarcely understood words to the
true inwardness with unfailing intuition-it is the
Spirit that maketh alive.
The sands of time are sinking," we sang. I
can hear that music yet.
A child's voice, clear and unfaltering, led.
Another, halt and crippled, falteringly followed.
The sunshine filtered down. The big bees
hummed aloft among the leaves. Far off a
wood-dove moaned. As the verse went on,
the dove and I fell silent to listen. Only the
fresh young voice sang on, strengthening and
growing clearer with each line:-
"Dark, dark hath been the midnight,
But dayspring is at hand,
And glory-glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's Land!"
As we passed out, a man stood aside from the
doorway to let us go by. His countryman's hat
was in his hand. There was a tear on his cheek
also. For he too had heard a cherub praise the
Lord in His ancient House of Prayer.
TWINKLE TAIL, STROKE FACE, AND
been asking what my Sweetheart
is like when she goes a-riding.
It is all very well," they say, to
tell us of golden hair here and of
blue eyes a little further on. But do not forget
that there are other people's sweethearts who
have golden hair and blue eyes. What more is
this Sweetheart of yours than any other sweet-
heart ? "
No more and no better, dear mothers in Israel,
save only in this, that she is mine. And that she
and I have passed many a hundred weary miles
of road through between the steely circlets of our
Her special care was the sweet-chiming bell
clasped on the shining handle-bar which crossed
in front of us both. It was her duty to clear
the way. Let us say that we were on a long
stretch of road. There was a man far in front.
"Ting-a-ling-ting !" went the bell.
The man, tramp by profession, but now bent
and aged, moved not an inch aside, steadily plod-
ding on his way.
Ting-a-ling-ting-TING !! again went the bell,
with more emphasis this time, for Sweetheart's
feelings were getting the better of her. But still
there was no move till we came within ten yards.
Then the well-seasoned tramp moved reluctantly
to the side of the road and stood at gaze to watch
us pass. My Sweetheart wished to stop and
bestow a copper. The tramp received it, louting
low with professional reverence.
Mannie," asked the imperious little maid, "did
you not hear us? We might have hurt you !"
"Thank you, miss; yes, miss!" replied the
"Why does he call me miss!" was the next
question as we sped off, leaving the trudging
cadger shifting his meal-pokes far in the rear.
For this was a new name for our Little Red
Riding-Hood, who has as many names as there
are people in our village.
I told her that I could not tell, but thought it
might very probably be because we did not hit
him. The little one accepted the explanation with
a simple faith which might well have made me
ashamed. So we journeyed on, well content, the
little birds in our hearts singing their sweetest.
Presently a small hand was shifted along the
handle-bar till it lay on mine.
I like to feel your hand, father. It is so nice
And so is your heart, my dear," very promptly
I replied, as a lover ought.
When we mounted our patient steed at the
lych-gate, our eyes were yet wet after the sweet
singing in Rutherford's kirk-which, being now
roofless and deserted, with only the tombs about
it, seemed to have reverted to its original title of
" God's Kirk and Acre." The Little Maid, like
the child of whom Wordsworth wrote, was "ex-
quisitely wild." Her merriment brimmed over.
The mood of silent reverence for something
solemn, she knew not what, among the grave-
stones, the ivy-clad walls, and under the summer
stillness, had now rippled into contagious mirth.
There was a tinkle in her laughter like water
running over loose pebbles, or the lap of wavelets
within a coral cave. A rabbit scudded across our
path. It was enough to set her romancing.
Old Brer Rabbit, he knows! Oh, he knows!
He's taking his little girl out to-day, too, on zis
tricycle. Go on, old Brer Rabbit, or Maisie and
her father will beat you. And then your little
girl '11 cry! Did you know, father, Little Girl
Rabbit's name is Twinkle Tail? Yes, indeed!
Twinkle Tail 21
Her mother's name is Strokie Face, but her
father's is just plain old Brer Rabbit. And little
Twinkle Tail has a dolly, and her name is Little
"And where do they all live, Sweetheart ?"
"Why, don't you know? God gave them a
lovely hole to live in. And you have to crawl
far in, and the first thing you see when you get
in is a bit of blue sky."
The Sir Walter of the wondrous eyes looked
up, to see if there was any twinkle of unbelief in
the older and duller eyes that glanced down into
hers. But to-day we were all bound for the land
of Faery, and the faith she saw was satisfactory
in its perfect trustfulness. She went on:
Yes, a bit of blue sky, and then you come
out (if you are a little rabbit) in a country where
it is all blue sky-the houses are built of bricks
of blue sky, and the windows are just thinner
bits of blue sky, and Little Mappitt herself is just
a bit of blue sky, dressed in the old twinks of last
year's stars-- Oh, what a pretty bird That's
a Blue Tit. He's a bit of blue sky too, and he
lives in a rabbit-hole. Yes, indeed, I saw him
come out among the leaves!"
We were coasting along, now through the arches
of the trees, now bending to the left along the sea-
shore. The roar of the swift Skyreburn, heavy
with last night's rain, came to our ears. Father,
there is 'Mac.' Stop, father! cried the Lady of
the Bell. And very obediently the brake went
down and we stopped. It was a painter of our
acquaintance, an old admirer and present flame
of the Little Maid's. She now responded to his
renewed and honourable proposals by vehemently
expressing a wish for an immediate matrimonial
alliance-as she did, alas! the faithless maiden,
in many other cases. But I was compelled to
shut down, in the character of the ruthless parent
of melodrama, upon "love's young dream," and
speed incontinently onward while the swain with
the fishing-rod was left lamenting. But woe
worth the day for the inconstancy of woman!
As soon as we were out of sight the lady said
frankly, Isn't it nice to be able to run off when
you want." For Sweetheart is evidently of the
easy-hearted lovers who love and ride away-
at least, at the age of four.
THE HONOURS OF WAR
OON we were crossing the rocks of
the Solway side-a pleasant land
open to the south and the sun, with
cornfields blinking in the hazy light,
and reaping-machines "gnarring"
and clicking cheerfully on every slope. Past
Ravenshall we went, where the latest Scottish
representatives of the Chough or Red-legged
Crow were a few years ago still to be found-
a beautiful but unenterprising bird, long since
shouldered out of his once wide fields and lord-
ships by the rusty underbred democracy of the
Rook. We passed a fountain of clear, cool water,
sequestered from the sun beneath a tree, where
a little streamlet "seeps" its way through the
ambient granite. It was the place for which the
little maid had been looking all day.
"Where was it that Sir James gave mother
a drink out of a leather cup ?" the question had
been asked a hundred times already.
Here was the spot. Alas! no more will Sir
James Caird, greatest of agriculturists and most
lovable of men, pursue his pastoral avocations-
"watering his flocks," as he loved to say, by
taking out his guests to taste "the best water
in the Stewartry," at this well by the wayside,
fresh from the lirks of the granite hills.
There, at last, was the old tower of Cassencary
looking out from its bosoming woods across to
the Wigtown sands, where two hundred years ago
the martyr women perished in the grey ooze of
the Blednoch. The small girl Sweetheart had
heard of this also. And having to-day passed a
series of monuments to the martyred men and
women of the Covenant, she now wanted to know
if any one would want to drown her for saying her
prayers. If so, she frankly avowed her intention
of saying them after se got into bed-the degene-
rate little conformist and latitudinarian that she is!
She does not want to be drowned. So instead
The Honours of War
she is going to play "Wigtown martyrs" with
the oldest and least considered of her dolls as
soon as she gets home. Thus history and
martyrology have their uses.
Presently we wheeled peacefully into Creetown,
and dismounted at a quiet-looking house over
which, upon a small, fixed sign, was promise of
refreshment. While the kind and motherly hostess
prepared the eggs and ham, and spread the white
cloth, an important question was discussed.
Father, is this tea or dinner ?"
Dinner, of course, my dear."
Then why did you tell the lady it was tea? "
"Well, Sweetheart, let us call it tea."
"Then, whether am I to get no dinner to-day,
if this is tea-or no tea, if this is dinner ? "
The conversation was suffered to drop at this
point, but the interest did not lapse.
"Well, father dear, I hope it is dinner; for if
it is dinner, we might get tea further on. But if
it is tea, then we have passed dinner somewhere
without noticing !"
For the angel is mundane on the subject of
meals and sweets. Also upon another subject.
The hostess had two comely boys who were
brought, all dumbly resistant and unwilling, off
the street to be introduced, clinging shyly to their
mother's skirts. The Little Maid, as became a
traveller and a woman of experience in affairs of
the heart, went forward to make the advances,
. e w d to
S' "She wanted to many me."
which is a graceful thing at four. But inexperi-
ence as to the proper method of saluting little
girls with hair all a-spray about scarlet-cloaked
shoulders, kept the bright lads silent and abashed,
The Honours of War
in spite of maternal encouragement. Plainly they
meditated retreat. There, 'tis done--a chaste
salute, which each gallant swain wipes carefully
off with the back of his hand !
At home there was once upon a time a parallel
case. A mother, friend and neighbour of ours,
heard her little boy come into the house bemoan-
ing his lot with tears and outcries.
What is the matter now, Jack ?" she said,
thinking that at last IT had happened.
"O-hu-hu-hu! The little girl hit me on the
head because she said she wanted to marry me
and I said I wouldn't."
Nor, even when expostulated with, could the
erring young woman be brought to see the im-
propriety of her action.
"But it served him right!" said Beauty, for
even in a certain place there is no fury like a
woman scorned. And taking everything into
consideration there is no doubt that it did.
Being thus refreshed, we mounted once again,
and the long clean street of the village sank
behind us. We climbed up and up till we were
immediately beneath the railway station, where
signals in battle array were flanked against the
sky; then down a long descent to the shore levels
at Palnure. It was now nearly four in the after-
noon, and we paused at the entrance of the long
hill road to New Galloway, uncertain whether to
attempt it or not. A man drove along in a light
spring-cart. Of him we inquired regarding the
state of the road.
Ye're never thinking' o' takin' that bairn that
lang weary road this nicht ?" he asked.
It seemed that the road was fatally cut up with
the carting of wood, that much of it was a mere
moorland track, and the rest of it unrideable.*
This might do for a man, but it would not do for
little Sweetheart at four o'clock of a September
day. Therefore we thanked our informant, who
raced us, unsuccessfully but good-humouredly,
along the fine level road toward Newton-Stewart,
which smoked placidly in its beautiful valley as
the goodwives put on the kettles for their Four-
Here we were just in time to wait half an hour
for the train-as usual. During this period the
Little Maid became exceedingly friendly with
every one. She went and interviewed a very
dignified stationmaster, and inquired of him why
he was keeping her waiting for the train.
It is now very much improved, and is quite rideable all the way.
The Honours of War
But the train did come at last, when we were
whirled with some deliberation through the wild
country to the eastward, and disembarked at the
lonely little moorland station of New Galloway.
It was growing dusk as we wheeled home along
the dusty lanes by the side of the placid beauties
of Grenoch Loch, the Lake of Fair Colours. We
entered the village of our sojourn with the honours
"Were you not frightened, Sweetheart ? asked
the Lady of the Workbox when we sat down to
"a real tea," the stains of travel having disap-
Oh no, certainly not! Even father was not
much frightened when I was with him. Do you
know, mother, we shotted fourteen-yes, more
than a hundred lions and tigers-we did, didn't
we, father ?"
A pause of corroboration, during which I blush,
for really we had not destroyed quite so many
"Yes, indeed, and father and I went down a
rabbit-hole, and- "
HERE was a state tea-party in the
nursery to-day. Sweetheart, Hugo
and Baby Brother sent out the in-
vitations. At least, Sweetheart did,
for she is nearly five. Hugo did
nothing but watch for a chance at the box of
rusks. And as for Baby Brother he also did
nothing but knock over the tea-table after it was
all set. So he had to be tied in. his tall chair
by fastening his broad blue sash through the bars
at the back. Then he said very loud that he
did not like it at all-so loud that he brought
in mother off the stairs. This was a chance for
Sweetheart to ask mother if she would come to
Sweetheart's Tea-Party 31
the tea-party, and if she might take the note of
invitation to the study, where father was working,
and must not be disturbed.
So mother said she might, and Sweetheart
came down and knocked
very gently at the study
"Come in cried some
one within, so quickly that
Sweetheart was quite
"If you please, Mister
Father," she said very
politely, "Lady Jane How-
ard, Sir Hugo, and Lord
Baby Brother request the
pleasure of your company
to tea in the Castle Nur-
That was the way Sweet-
heart said it, for she liked
If you please,
to pretend that she was Mister Father."
either a duchess or a
schoolmistress. She was quite determined to be
somebody really great. Of course she liked best
to be a school teacher, for it is so nice to whip
the chairs with a little cane when they are
naughty-and then, you know, they mostly are.
Now, it happened that "Mister Father," as
Sweetheart called him, was a little tired, or per-
haps a little lazy (such things, alas! have been),
and so he thought it would do him good to go
up to tea in the nursery. He came in after the
guests were all seated, looking very grave and
solemn, as Sweetheart thought, when he peered
over the top of his glasses.
Then Sweetheart, whose hands shook with the
pleasure and dignity, made tea in a beautiful set
of little cups without any handles, which had been
given her at Christmas. This is how she did it.
First she put a pinch of tea into each cup, and
then she poured hot water out of a little teapot
upon the tea. This pleased father very much.
"That is just the way that tea ought to be
made," he said. Do you know that in China,
where tea first came from, that was the old way
of making tea ? "
Here Mr. Father looked very wisely through
his glasses at the little cup and sipped his tea.
Sweetheart felt a little anxious.
"This is very nice," she said to herself, "but
I do hope it's not going to be improving."
Sweetheart's Tea-Party 33
But father went on, without hearing her:
"Do you know, Sweetheart, that all the tea
used to come from China in tall ships. And when
the captains got their cargoes of fresh tea on
board, they used to try all their might who would
get first to England. Famous races there used
to be. Sometimes two or three of the fast-sailing
ships would keep within sight of each other all
the way, and the sailors grew so anxious for their
ship to win that they could hardly go to bed
"Why did they want to get to England so
fast ? asked Sweetheart.
Because they could get more money for the
tea in the market, and then the captain and all
the sailors would get something for themselves
for winning the race."
That was nice," said Sweetheart. I wish
I had been there. I like to run fast, and I hate
to go to bed."
Baby Brother here intimated that he had not
had enough, by hammering on the tray in front of
his chair with his little tin cup, which he held
upside down. Sweetheart went to him and gave
him a little piece of biscuit, which, grievous to
relate, he instantly threw on the floor.
"It's more sugar you want, I know," she said
sadly, "and that's just what you can't have."
"I'll take another cup, if you please, Lady
Jane Howard," said father.
Lady Jane was very proud of being asked for
another cup of her very own tea, and made it out
instantly. Then she was ready to listen again.
"Do you know," Mr. Father continued, "that
in a strange wild place called Tartary, the people
boil the tea into a kind of porridge with butter
and flour? How would you like that for break-
fast ? "
Baby Brother could have that. He likes por-
ridge," answered Lady Jane Howard, promptly.
After this the tea-party was broken up, for
nurse came to the door to dress Lord Baby
Brother for his perambulator. And as Lady Jane
washed up the tea-things she said to herself:
It was very nice, and not so very improving,
after all! We shall ask Mister Father again, I
THE SWALLOWS ON THE KITE-STRING
g OW Sweetheart meant to do just
the very same next day. But
nothing ever does happen just
the same way twice over. It is
a way things have, and there is
Sno reasoning with them.
But something quite as nice happened, and the
way of it was this.
Lady Jane Howard has many friends. "Can
you fly a kite, Sweetheart?" said one of them
next morning. Perhaps he was trying to in-
gratiate himself at the expense of Sweetheart's
other friends. (Young men have even been
known to do this when there is a sweetheart in
the question. Sad but so it is.)
"No," answered Sweetheart promptly; "but
I have seen a kite fly."
"And where might that have been, Sweet-
heart ? said he.
"It was up among the great big hills, once
when I was with my father, and a brown bird
flew quickly out of a wood. It floated very fast,
but it made no noise. So I asked father what
bird that was. He told me it was a kite. So it
was a kite. I have seen a kite fly."
"But," said her friend, "that may be one kind
of kite; but did you ever see a paper kite fly ?"
Go 'way," said Sweetheart indignantly;
"paper kites don't fly-only feather kites with
legs and wings."
For Sweetheart does not like to be imposed
"But for all that paper kites do fly, Sweet-
heart," urged her friend patiently.
"I know paper things," said the little girl-
and you must remember that she had never been
to school and was at that time only five years
of age. "I know paper things," said Sweet-
heart again, with much decision; "once, a great
many years ago, when I was quite a little girl,
I had a paper dolly. Her name was Edith
Marjory !" interrupted her friend; "surely-"
Sweetheart looked at the daring man with a
sudden flashing eye.
Swallows on the Kite-String 37
Did you name that dolly, or did I ?" she said.
"Oh, you did, of course," said the friend
I should think so. Well, then, the dolly's
name was Edith Margarine!"
Sweetheart paused for a reply, but there was
none. The critic was crushed. So be it ever.
"Of course I knew the dolly's name, for I
was its mother-at least, at that time," Sweet-
heart added forgivingly. "Afterwards I gave
her to Essie Maxwell for a doll's rocking-chair.
But I was her mother at that time-so, of course,
I knew her name."
Of course," said her friend.
And I did not so much as know you to speak
to at that time-except just to say, 'Oh, look at
the funny man that's coming down the road?'
That was the way I first knew you," said Sweet-
Indeed?" said her friend.
"Yes, and mother said- "
But as there is no Assurance company in
the world which would undertake the fearful
risks of what Sweetheart might say next, and
no one rich enough to pay the premiums if there
were, her mother struck in :
"But you have not asked about the paper
kites, Sweetheart. I am sure Mr. Friend will
tell you all about them."
Sweetheart put her hands on her knees, as
she does when she plays marbles or sails boats.
Then she looked fixedly at Mr. Friend, who was
smiling. Finally she decided that he was worthy
of her confidence.
"Well," she said, "you don't look as if you
would tell improving things. You can go on
about the paper kites."
"Thank you!" said the friend, with a great
deal of gratitude and submission.
"When I was a boy," began he, "I used to
make kites of paper and fly them away up in
"As high as this house?" asked Sweetheart,
who has a passion for details.
"Oh, much higher," said Mr. Friend; "and
sometimes they pulled so hard on the string that
the kite nearly lifted me off my feet."
How do you make that kind ?" asked Sweet-
heart, who thought it might be in the same way
that her kind friend, Marion the cook, made
"Well," said Mr. Friend, "you take five or
" The dragon had the splendidest long tail."
Swallows on the Kite-String 41
six thin light pieces of lath, and you join them
"No, I don't," interjected Sweetheart un-
expectedly; "you come and do it yourself to-
morrow, and then I'll know how!" said Sweetheart,
who never could understand explanations.
Mr. Friend looked across the room, to see
if this proposition had due sanction. Mother
smiled, and the bargain was made.
Next day Mr. Friend came, true to his pro-
mise, and he made a beautiful kite, which he
called "St. George and the Dragon." The
dragon had the splendidest long tail, made of
crumpled pieces of newspaper.
Sweetheart soon knew all about kite-making,
and got herself so sticky with paste, that she
said it was just lovely. She had never been so
happy. But then she had got on an old dress on
purpose, because her mother also remembered what
kite-making was like not so very many years ago.
When IT was finished Sweetheart said:
"You won't be able to wash it when it gets
dirty, will you? "
"Why do you think so, Sweetheart?" asked
her friend, who always liked to know what
Sweetheart was thinking.
"Well, because once I put Edith Margarine
into the bath when she was dirty, and she began
to come all to pieces. She was made of paper,
though not so thin as the kite. It was after
that that I gave her to Essie Maxwell for the
rocking-chair," added Sweetheart thoughtfully.
Do you know that, far away, big grown men
fly kites?" said the friend, slipping in a bit of
information artfully, as he was putting on a beau-
tiful dragon's head with red paint.
"I suppose they fly grown-up kites there?"
"Yes; that is just right, Sweetheart. They
are very big kites, and all the gentlemen of a
town go out and try whose kite will go the
"My father's kite would go highest if he
tried! said Sweetheart sharply.
Mr. Friend asked why, without looking up.
Sweetheart was surprised and a little hurt at
"Why, because he is my father, of course,"
she said. Which settled it.
I wish I had a little girl to stick up for me
like that!" said Mr. Friend, sighing.
"'Well," said Sweetheart encouragingly, "per-
,'Above the tops of the highest trees.'
Swallows on the Kite-String 45
haps, if you are very good, you may get one
some day. Of course, not as good as me," she
added hastily, to prevent undue expectations;
"for you would not be so nice a father, you
I see," said Mr. Friend, again smiling across
the room to some one who smiled back again.
Then they went out into the field at the back
of the house, and Mr. Friend had a large ball of
string. He soon let the twine go a little, and with
a great many pulls and slackenings he got the
kite up high in the air.
Sweetheart jumped with joy as she saw it
growing tinier high up into the sky. She danced
as it went above the tops of the highest trees.
And when it sailed away into the blue till it was
just a little diamond-shaped dot on the heavens,
Sweetheart almost cried, she was so pleased.
Now, you can hold it yourself," said Mr.
Friend, giving her the string.
"Oh, can I ?" said Sweetheart breathlessly.
Something would keep bobbing up and down like
a little mouse at the bottom of her throat. She
felt so happy and frightened all at once. She
held both her hands high above her head to let
the kite out as far as possible, and she danced on
tiptoe as she felt it pulling like a living thing
away up near the clouds.
It was almost too much happiness for a little girl.
I think this is nicer kite-flying than any old
Chinaman's with a pigtail," said Sweetheart,
when at last she gave up the string to Mr.
Friend, who stuck a peg into the ground and put
the string round it. Then the kite rose and fell,
dipping and soaring all by itself, while Sweet-
heart watched it with a glad heart.
I wonder if our kite can see the China boys'
kites flying on the other side of the world ? said
the little maid, into whose head all sorts of things
came of their own accord.
No," said Mr. Friend; "it sees a good way,
and many things that we do not see. But the
other side of the world is rather a long way off,
Then Mr. Friend got up, and taking a sheet
of note-paper from his pocket, he put the end of
the string through it. Away it went up the
curved string, rising and leaping joyfully, like a
That is what we call a messenger," said Mr.
Friend; "it goes up to the kite to take it a
message from us."
Swallows on the Kite-String 47
Soon the messenger reached the flying kite.
It was just like a point of light in the blue.
Now the messenger has got there," said Sweet-
heart. But what are these swallows doing ?"
She clapped her hands. "They are perching on
the string, I declare! she said.
Mr. Friend looked up. The young maid's
eyes had been more watchful than his own. A
family of young house-swallows were playing
about the string, and every now and then one
of them lighted on it. Then as soon as he was
comfortably swinging on the slender line, one of
his brothers would fly at him and knock him off.
They played for all the world like boys on the
street-noisily and merrily, but a little roughly.
Each of them screamed and argued all the time,
without ever attending to what the others said.
I think," said Sweetheart, after meditating
for some time, "that the swallows stay six
months here with us to make us glad. And
after that, they fly away to perch on the kite-
strings of the little children on the other side
of the world. That is the way of it."
And, do you know, perhaps it is.
SWEETHEART'S TEN-SHILLING DONKEY
WEETHEART often goes with-
out bread at dinner just to have
the pleasure of feeding the robins
outside on the garden walk.
"They need it more than me,"
she says, her heart being better than her gram-
mar, "because, you see, they never get any soup
to their dinner! "
The Ten-Shilling Donkey 49
But too much attention is not good for child
or bird, and our garden robins had become very
spoiled urchins indeed. There was one with
breast plump as a partridge and ruddy as a
winter apple, who stood every day and defied all
his own kind to come near a large loaf on which
there was enough and to spare for fifty snippets
such as he. He erected his head. He drooped
his wings, trailing them on the ground like a
game-cock. He strutted and swelled himself
like a perfect Bobadil. He would even fly like
a dart at a blackbird or a thrush, so exceedingly
self-confident and pugnacious did he become.
But this morning Sweetheart forgave him.
Perhaps he had not any mother to teach him
better," she said, "or never was allowed to go
walks with his father."
Sweetheart appreciates the benefits of a sound
commercial education. In fact, just at present
she is saving up for a donkey, and she is not
backward in announcing the fact.
Not a gingerbread one, you know, like what
you buy at the fair, with currants in the places
where the eyes should be. But a real live
donkey that stops in a stable, and makes a noise
inside him-like he had whooping-cough and
it wouldn't come up right. You know the
I did know the kind.
"And when I get enough money," Sweetheart
went on, "then we shall put the real donkey in
a stable, and Hugo and I shall attend to it, and
dress it with ribbons-and sometimes ride on it,
when it is not too tired! "
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals will have nothing to do for its subscrip-
tions round about Sweetheart's house.
But the thrifty resolve has also its draw-
When our small maid goes a-walking, she
informs every person worthy of confidence that
she is going to get such a donkey, and that
"And I have nearly plenty to buy a first-rate
one now-I have seven silver shillings and four-
pence all my own, in the bank!" she said
"And I have dot two pennies and a little wee
one!" cried Hugo, who was going to turn the
concern into a joint-stock company of which he
should be general manager-this being about the
amount of stock usually requisite for the purpose.
The Ten-Shilling Donkey
"Sweetheart shall lead the donkey by the bridle
and I shall ride on it!" he explained.
"Just like a boy!" answered Sweetheart,
sharply; "boys is made of slugs and snails--"
But w'y was girls made at all ?" interrupted
Having no answer ready, Sweetheart recurred
to the general subject. Hugo had no right to
be a rude boy. But then he was very young-
not nearly grown up-and could not be expected
to know any better.
am going to buy the donkey, but some-
times I shall allow you to feed it, Hugo!" said
But it's my donkey," answered Hugo, sticking
manfully to his point; "'cause w'y, I've dot two
bid pennies and a little wee one."
"What's two pennies ?" said Sweetheart scorn-
fully, "they're only copper, and coppers is what
you give to beggar-men-and put in the church-
plate on Sundays!"
Sweetheart has been learning too many of the
evil ways of the neighbourhood. This putting of
coppers in the offertory is a habit which, when
once acquired, is not easily got rid of. We must
see to this.
But there were certain curious consequences
which sprang directly from Sweetheart's public
declaration that she was going to buy a donkey.
I was informed one roaring black night that
there was a boy at the door wishful to see me.
"Well, my lad," I remarked, standing a little
back, for the wind made the rain-drops splash
into the hall, "what can I do for you? "
"If ye please, sir, I heard that ye was gaun
to keep twa horses and a carriage. I'm used
wi' pownies; so I thought I wad like to tak' the
But, my lad, I never thought of keeping even
a pony. Who told you such a thing ?" I replied.
The boy's countenance fell. There was a
moment of hesitancy. At last, a little unwillingly,
the answer came:
"It was Geordie Parton that said that his
brother Tam had heard a woman tell another
woman on the street, that your wee lassie said
it last Tuesday fortnight! "
It is a long lane that has no turning, a long
Scottish explanation which is not finished at last.
But the thing itself was clear. From Sweet-
heart's ten-shilling donkey and Hugo's joint-
stock investment of twopence halfpenny, a coach
The Ten-Shilling Donkey 53
and horses of my own had grown within the
brief space of ten days. It was an instructive
local object-lesson, with the old fable of the three
black crows for a text.
Once upon a time there was a man in Fife, not
famous for the excellence of his stud of horses.
He was on his way to the market town one
morning to supply the place of a recent loss.
As he went his way he passed the window at
which his wife was washing dishes.
"Hey, John, bide a wee!" cried the acting
head of the house.
Whaur are ye gaun, guidman?" asked his wife.
I'm gaun to Cupar to buy a horse," said her
Hoo muckle siller hae ye wi' ye? "
"A pound," quoth John promptly, with the
consciousness of ample enough means to buy a
"Hoot, man," cried his wife, "tak' either five
shillin's an' get a guid yin-an' no' kae them aye
Sweetheart's ten-shilling donkey is to be of
eitherr five-shilling" kind. It is not to be "aye
THE UNSTABLE EQUILIBRIUM OF GRIM
ST must have been for some hidden
reason of contraries that our large
collie Grim was so named. Peace
S\ and goodwill were written broadly
upon his countenance. Welcome
shone benevolently from his eye. There was
no possible guile in him. He was too fat for
guile. Also he had been brought up along with
Sweetheart, and had become inured, like the
renowned Brer Fox in the fascinating tale of
Uncle Remus, to being made "de ridin' hoss of
de rabbit family." Sweetheart rode upon him
for years, then Hugo had his turn. And now
all unreproved and fearless, Baby Brother twists
tiny hands savigerously into Grim Rutherland's
For Grim was placid by nature, and had
become, besides, a dog of some philosophy.
When he had had enough of his rider, he
simply sat down. Then the laws of gravitation
(which, as every sixth standard boy knows, were
invented by Sir Isaac Newton), took their course,
and-but it is obvious what happened. For
family reasons connected with washing-day, this
performance has been systematically discouraged
on muddy afternoons. Such a tyrant does pre-
judice become in the domestic relations.
Not that Grim had any particular prejudices.
He was quite ready to sit down anywhere.
Indeed if anything he rather preferred a puddle.
For he is a utilitarian, and submitted to carry
weight only so long as it was clearly for his good.
He sat down, therefore, so soon as he was tired.
Usually he did this suddenly and without warning
-even maliciously, like an Anarchist explosion.
Then a new packet of Hudson's Extract of Soap
had to be ordered. The traveller for that article
has noticed a marked increase in the orders
from our village. But he did not know the
cause. Sweetheart knew. It was all owing to
the unstable equilibrium of Grim Rutherland.
It is a strange thing that there is no Society
for the prevention of Cruelty BY Animals. If
there were, we hold to it that both Sweetheart
and Hugo have good ground for applying for a
warrant against Grim, on account of wilful and
mischievous damage done to the most sacred
interests of dignity and cleanliness.
However, to square the reckoning as it were,
many a tramp might also lodge informations, and
then Grim's master might find it hard to find
adequate defences. For the mild-mannered collie
was ever a mighty respecter of persons. He
was, indeed, glad to see every new visitor. But
to none did he tender a warmer welcome than to
a good average, slouching, hang-dog, foot-shuffling
tramp. Grim might be couched in the shape of a
very thick capital Q under the table in the kitchen.
He might be sound asleep in his kennel in the yard.
He might even be dreaming of the Elysian fields
to which all good dogs go (where there are plenty
of rabbits, a light sandy soil, and no rabbit-holes
more than three feet deep). But so surely as the
gate clicked and a tramp slouched past the kitchen
window, there was Grim up and raging like a fury.
It is related in the rhyme of Thackeray how the
"Immortal Smith O'Brine
Was raging like a line "-
but Grim raged like an entire menagerie-indeed
like a zoological gardens of some pretensions.
If he happened to be shut up alone in the
house, the visitor hastily retired and tried the
front-door bell. But, on the other hand, if Grim
happened to be in the yard, and loose, he added to
his already extensive collection of tramps' trouser-
legs. We all collect something in our house. One
postage stamps, another damaged toys, a third
stones of price. Or yet another personal "wanity"
may be a library of rare volumes of unattain-
able editions, concerning the price of which the
collector certainly prevaricates when put to the
question. Wives will certainly have a deal to
answer for some day. But assuredly this is too
large a question. To return-Grim Rutherland
was a plain dog, and dwelt in kennels. He did
not attempt to collect anything really esoteric, but
simply continued to amass his precious frayed
fragments of tramps' trouser-legs.
A horrid thought occurred to Sweetheart the
other day which surprised and pained me.
"Are there never any bits of legs along with
them ?" she said.
For, indeed, to the disinterested observer, the
process of collection seemed a rough one. The
"The tramp increased his speed."
enemy was usually retiring in some disorder
down the road. Grim was following and shak-
ing his head from side to side, steadily harassing
the rear. Suddenly there would come an explo-
sive rent, the tramp increased his speed-and
Grim had made an addition to his collection.
But Sweetheart was not easy in her mind
about the question of the possibly enclosed leg.
For Grim is unquestionably carnivorous. No per-
fectly unprejudiced person could watch his habits
and customs for a single day without coming to
"Horrid dog!" says Sweetheart, "I hope it
is not true. I never could love you again if you
did. And you getting as much nice clean dog-
biscuit as ever you can eat! "
Sweetheart does not approve of the miscellan-
eous feeding of dogs-at least she draws the line
at feeding them on tramps.
"And you are actually getting fat, too, Grim "
she continued severely.
Grim licked his lips and wagged a tail like a
branch of spruce. He thought he was going to
get something good to eat. But Sweetheart went
on to give him a lecture instead.
"Are you aware that the butcher's boy com-
plained of you to-day, Grim Rutherland, you
wicked, naughty dog? "
I do not think I mentioned the fact before, but
it may be as well to say that the family name
was Rutherland. Consequently our dog's name
is Grim Rutherland. By that he is known all
over the village, and even as much as a mile into
the next parish.
But undoubtedly sometimes Grim Rutherland
presumed upon his good name, and the head of
the house had to suffer-as is usual in such
It was, for instance, wholly certain that of late
Grim had been getting too fat. He was, indeed,
regularly and sparsely fed, as Sweetheart had
said, upon dog-biscuit. But, all the same, like
a certain famous person, he waxed fat and
attached himself to many tramps.
And to this also there was a reason annexed.
One day, in the broadest sunshine of the
forenoon, the horrid fact was made abundantly
manifest. Grim Rutherland was a freebooter, a
cataran, a wild bandit. There he sat crouched
like a wolf, and crunched the thigh-bone of an
ox upon the public highway.
So that the passers-by justly mocked and said
among themselves, What an example "
Thus disgrace is brought upon innocent house-
Sad to relate, Grim Rutherland proved himself
a bad character of long standing and consummate
hypocrisy-a lamentable fact which we found out
as soon as ever we had started out to make
inquiries. He had been obtaining credit on the
family good name-trading on his name and
address, indeed, like many other amiable gentle-
men. After he had partaken of a good meal at
home, he regularly started out to make the grand
tour of the butchers' shops. And we found that
the rascal's effrontery had grown to such a pitch,
that he would march straight into a shop without
even the poor preface of an apology. Nor did he
return alone. He brought out a bone with him,
in precisely the same fashion as that in which he
brings a stick out of the water. He did not even
hurry himself like an ordinary malefactor. For his
name was Grim Rutherland, and he had never
yet known what it was to have his entrances
retarded or his exits accelerated by such a pro-
jectile as a pound weight-as would assuredly
have happened in the case of any ordinary dog
less respectably connected. For that is the kind
of dog Grim Rutherland is.
You would never have thought it to look at
him, as he basked upon the sunny part of the
walk in front of the door. A conscious rectitude
and tolerance pervaded his whole being. He
looked as if he might almost have stood beside
the plate on Sundays himself-a very proper
elder's dog. But yet he was entirely a fraud.
Grim could listen to a first-rate sermon with his
mind upon the delights of rabbiting-which, of
course, could not be the case with a real elder,
who never gives his mind while in church to
anything but the divisions of the text. Or so,
at least, we have been informed.
Yet you must not say that Grim Rutherland
is an out-and-out bad dog. Every child in the
village would contradict you if you did. And,
besides, you would certainly forfeit the friendship
and countenance of Sweetheart-which in a thinly
populated district is a serious matter. For Sweet-
heart's friends have many privileges.
Grim is not a bad dog," she would say, daring
you to contradiction.
You try hard (but fail in your attempt) to
appear credulous. Sweetheart looks at you with
an air which says that you must be an indivi-
dual of very indifferent morals indeed, to harbour
such bad thoughts against a blameless "dumb
"But he lets you drop in the mud, Sweet-
heart!" you urge pitifully on your own behalf.
"I know," she says, a little sadly; "but then,
you know, his head means all right. After all,
it is only one end of him that sits down."
And so Grim Rutherland gets the benefit of the
~ --*. 'T'E
, / ,, '. :
., ._:-,.,i -
"Grim gets the benefit of good intentions."
good intentions of his nobler part, instead of being
judged by the actual transgressions of his worse.
Even so may it be with all of us.
OF HUZZ AND BUZZ, ALSO OF FUZZ AND MUZZ
HERE was not a cloud in the sky,
and the painters were busy giving
to Conway station its spring clean-
ing. "Walk close behind, Sweet-
Sheart and keep the red cloak
clean"-I was on the point of adding, Re-
member, mother will not be pleased if you get
paint on it." But I recollected that this was not
quite the time to recall "mother" to a little four-
year-old. A small heart is always a little sore
till the wash of leaves, the steady push of the
wind which drives the fair curls back like spray
over the brim of the red cap, and the rush of
wheels, bring the anodyne of distance to its
aching. It is a standing sorrow with the maid
"Through the narrow Conway streets."
Of Huzz and Buzz
that there is only room on the tricycle for one
passenger. It is also true, on the one hand, that
if there were room for another even of Sweet-
heart's fighting weight, the unfortunate engineer
would come to an early grave at the first long hill.
Outside the station we sprang at once to the
saddle, and through the narrow Conway streets we
wheeled, sharp-featured, dark-haired Welsh women
looking out in sympathy upon us, shrilly commend-
ing my Sweetheart's curls, and deprecating the
hazardous quest on which she was bent. It was
still and hot in the deep valley, and before we
were clear of the town altogether, there were pro-
visions to buy, for we were going into an unknown
land. We entered the shop, leaving the steed
surrounded by a reverent crowd of shy Welsh
children. With whom-O happy and unusual
experience!-it was perfectly safe. We laid in
our stores with appropriate gravity and delibera-
tion. Chocolate was the staple of life-" creams"
for the front and "plain" for the rear rider. Then
a reprint of some good old fairy tales in cheap
wrapper for the reading of both. It is indeed
most fortunate when two sweethearts travelling
upon one horse have the same literary tastes.
A difference in taste as to what constitutes a jest
is more fatal to domestic peace than a difference
in religion. But as neither of us have ever yet
got beyond Jack the Giant-Killer, and as we both
loathe the Folk-lore Society (or at least all its
commentaries), everything went merrily as a
marriage-bell-which for Sweetheart Travellers
is certainly an auspicious comparison.
It is hilly, lumpy country out from Conway.
After we got down into the valley it was a long
and fairly steady pull for a good many miles.
The road straggled off out of the straight path
in quite an unattached manner, looking like any-
thing in the world but what it was-the main-
travelled road to the important towns and villages
of the Conway Valley. We asked a man which
of two roads was the right one for Llanrwst.
He told us. We had not gone five hundred
yards down this road before we met another
man, who manifested an interest in us, and
immediately informed us that the one we had
just left was the only correct road to Llanrwst.
The day was hot, and so were we. We hastened
back, my Sweetheart and I, to express ourselves
vigorously to the first misinformant, but he had
seen us coming and escaped over into a field.
We shouted anathemas, but he only shook his
Of Huzz and Buzz
head and said that he "had no Enklish." Yet ten
minutes ago he had enough to tell a great lie!
We were now on the crest of the ridge. We
dismounted, walked a little, and lo! we were
looking into a gulf of air through which we
were about to project ourselves down to the
depths of a great blue valley. It was very still,
L "Had no Enklish.
and the blue sky had come ever so much nearer
to the earth. The horizon seemed to have pulled
a navy-blue cap about its ears. As we paused,
Sweetheart as usual tempered the observation of
nature with chocolate. She was always great at
"What a lot of blue things there are here,
father-all different "
That may be true enough, but it does not seem
the observation of a child, says a wiseacre. Now
that is just the thing that is most delightful about
the Sweetheart. She never says what she is
expected to say-and, indeed, very seldom what
she ought to say. It is true that there were a lot
of blue things there-all different. There was the
sky, for instance, not far from ultramarine, so dark
and infinite it was, yet apparently by no means far
off. There was the nearer light-blue haze in the
shallow hollows of the valley, and last of all there
were the azure pools where one looked away into
the "blind hopes and lirks o' the hills" on the
skirts of the Snowdonian highlands.
When Sweetheart was not yet three years old,
it is recorded in the book of the chronicles of
Rutherland that a conversation was conducted
somewhat in this fashion.
There was a deep wooded valley underneath her
private drawing-room (commonly called nursery)
window. Sweetheart was standing, finger on lip,
gazing into the haze which filled it-unexpectedly
quiet, and therefore probably plotting further mis-
chiefs. Her mother looked up to make inves-
tigations. It is a terrible thing to have a bad
character. The innocent are so often misjudged.
Of Huzz and Buzz
No; the crockery was safe. There was no actual
transgression connected with jam. What, then,
could be the matter?
The little one's eyes were looking wistfully
across the valley. There dwelt a deep puzzlement
on the puckered forehead. At last it came.
Mother, is leaves gween ? "
Why, yes, Sweetheart; of course leaves are
But those leaves over there is blue!"
And they were-the blue of ultramarine ash-
only our older eyes had not seen so clearly. We
often said at this time that if Sweetheart treated
all her other friends as brusquely as she treated
her two principal lovers, conversations would have
a way of dying a natural death.
But to return to our high-poised hamlet over-
looking the Conway Valley, a kind of natural
lookout tower both seaward and hillward.
There is a policeman," said Sweetheart.
She was always friendly with these officers of
the law. Perhaps Sweetheart is like the cautious
old Scotswoman who, when her minister reproved
her for praying for the devil, said :
"It's as easy to be ceevil as unceevil to the
chiel, an' wha kens hoo sune ye may need a frien'?"
So my Sweetheart smiled upon the best-
looking and most kindly of portly Welsh police-
men. It occurred to us that on the hill above
Llanrwst, this particular representative of the
law would have a bad chance in pursuit of an
evildoer-specially if his steed, like ours, hailed
"The law would have a bad chance."
from "Beeston, Notts." But there was not an
ounce of evil intent among the three of us. It
was all downhill, we heard with joy-from now
all the way to Bettws. So we were at peace
with all men.
So we skimmed downwards, and ran races with
the pheasants which scurried along the road in
Of Huzz and Buzz
front of us, apparently forgetting till we were quite
upon them, that they possessed such things as
wings at all. Then, whirr! they were over the
dyke and away to the woods, flying swift and low
A big brown bee, homeward bound, blundered
waveringly alongside of us for some distance,
either heavy laden with pollen or a little tipsy
with heather honey. If he does not mind where
he is going he won't get home till morning."
I repeated this to Sweetheart, and the tender
little heart was instantly so much concerned that
I was ashamed of the reference-to her happily
meaningless. She seized the situation, however
as was her habit, for this was a part which exactly
suited her. It was wonderful how long we could
see the bee's great bulk, like the end of a black
man's thumb which had somehow flown off by
itself. At last he went from sight, but Sweet-
heart followed him with her eyes.
His name is Buzz, father; did you know ?"
"No, Sweetheart; how should I know? "
"Well, he told me-yes, indeed! His name is
Buzz, and he lives in a hole in a hollow tree."
No, dear; in a meadow, surely!"
"Well, I don't know-but" (severely) ie
said 'in a hollow tree.' And his wife's name is
Huzz. And he has two little baby bees, and
their names are Fuzz and Muzz-at least he said
so-and he has to work so hard to buy bread and
butter for them. He works a typewriter at home,
and old Mother Huzz she makes their clothes
and puts Fuzz and Muzz to bed. And every
night when it is time to go to sleep, Fuzz puts
his head in his mother's lap and says, 'Bless
father and mother, and make Fuzz a good little
bumble-bee, for-- "
"That will do, Sweetheart!" I interjected
hastily, for there was not the least guarantee as
to what might come next. It is time we were
Now in our fateful journeyings we came to the
long village of Llanrwst. We flashed through it
at a great speed, and the children came running
to see us pass. Outside the town we paused
a moment to get a drink out of Sweetheart's
favourite drinking-cup, being the joined palms
of her faithful slave's hands. It is wonderful
how daintily water can be drunk. You could
not believe what a charming sight it can be un-
less you had seen my Sweetheart sip that water
from the Welsh hills.
A little girl stepped up and gave the Red
Of Huzz and Buzz
Riding-Hood a bunch of flowers. Now it is the
only unpleasant thing about these little Cymri,
A bunch of flowers.'
that they do continually pester the traveller with
bunches of flowers-by no means expectant of
nothing in return. But the way in which my
Sweetheart said, "Thank you, little girl, for your
pretty flowers!" was such a natural lesson in
gratitude, that I must perforce spoil the effect
of it by adding a penny. For so the manner of
blundering man is.
We went on in the quiet evening light until we
reached the inn at Bettws-now, alas! a stately
hotel. Here there was dinner, where we had the
best of company-that is, we were left entirely
to ourselves. But at another table four young
men told one another in loud tones what great
fellows they were. Mercifully they had only eyes
for themselves, and did not heed, save to despise,
the two wayworn and disreputable wanderers.
"I like two dinners in one day," remarked a
mercenary maid, presently.
And the working partner agreed that (at least
while cycling in Wales) three would be no over-
The sun was dropping down-hill rapidly as
we took the broad, beautifully surfaced road- to-
wards Capel Curig. There was a white haze in
the valley, and the workmen were coming home.
It was a cheerful time. The crisp suggestion of
fried bacon and eggs carried far, and the children
were calling one to the other in shrill Cymraeg.
Of Huzz and Buzz
As we approached the scattered lakes of Capel
Curig, with inns peppered casually among them,
we hesitated a little whether we should dismount
and abide here, or whether we should try the
bolder adventure of distant Pen-y-Gwryd.
The lady, of course, was all for the bolder
course. Also, equally of course, she got her way.
In a little, therefore, we were parting the mist
with resolute shoulders, and leaving beneath us,
ghostly in the gathering whiteness, the lakes of
Llyniau Mymbyr. Up and up we went. There
was no sound save the sough which the light wind
makes as it forever draws to and fro through the
valley, airing it out, as it were, before the light
sheets of the night-mist are spread over it.
Are you warm, Sweetheart ?" I asked.
"Yes, father dear, warm and cosy. And I
want a chocolate."
The road had recently been metalled, and there
were long interludes of pushing. It was very
lonely up here. Gradually the mist drew down
beneath us, and we seemed to be riding on the
clouds. Across the sea of white the summits of a
long featureless range of hills stood black against
the western sky. In the middle of the darkness
the light of a farmhouse gleamed. It looked
78 Sweetheart Travellers
gladsome to think of hearth fires flickering
cheerily on the bleak hillside. Suddenly the
ghost of a great house started out of the night-
mist before us, and an open door threw a gush
of warm welcome across the road.
"Jump down, Sweetheart. It is Pen-y-Gwryd
at last, and here is kind Mrs. Owen!"
We had arrived.
HILL PASSES AND COAST LANDS
HEN we arose betimes, we were
astonished to look out and see
the wind of the morning off the
western sea, steadily pushing back
the mists from the mountain-tops,
exactly as a shepherd "wears his flocks on the
hill when his dogs are working well together.
"I thought you told me, father," said the
Sweetheart, "that it always rains here ?"
She was speaking to me through the closed
window so eagerly that the little nose, not
naturally "tip-tilted," flattened itself at the point
in a way calculated to give pain to any lover
~ ~-''3 Ir,
less devoted than I. But for all that she was a
singularly attractive Juliet.
She was referring to a hasty speech of the
night before, made when we were pushing up
the long, slate-covered glen from Capel Curig.
The cheery lights, gleaming hospitably from the
long dark slopes of the valley opposite to our
painful way, looked altogether too aggravating
as they winked comfortably through the mist.
And the contrast led to the unsupported assertion
that "there never was such a hole as Pen-y-
Gwryd for rain "-a remark, doubtless, which has
been made about every place where travellers
happen to arrive in a shower. But then Sweet-
heart always takes everything literally-perhaps,
like others of her sex, desiring to compound for
her own romancing by requiring an exact and
inflexible veracity from all the world beside.
It was a pleasant scene which greeted our eyes
as we looked out of the window. The crest of Moel
Siabod, falling back a little like a wave which has
not quite succeeded in breaking, showed silver
gleams of leaping rivulets from last night's rain
amid the flat blue of its higher slopes. All night
we had heard the storm beat against the windows.
Yet the morning came so brightly as to make us
Hill Passes and Coast Lands
forget that there had ever been such a thing as
damp night-mist closing in about us and the rain
running in streams from our mackintoshes. But
the pools on the roadway and the sad state of our
hastily stabled steed were evidence convincing
enough. Sweetheart romped wildly about the
roadway, while with rag and vaseline I groomed
the noble animal, which stood patient and still,
proudly arching his silver-plated Stanley head.
So steep are the slopes in this land of Wales,
that the rains seem to run off almost as soon as
they fall. Whenever it is blue above, the road
beneath is dry. So that it was no long time before
we were again in the saddle, and had committed
ourselves to one of the primary powers of nature-
that of gravitation-in order to take us down the
steep pass of Nant Gwynant, which begins almost
at the door of the hotel. Most happily, a complete
trust in back-pedalling and the strength of our
new band-brake, enabled us to regard the abrupt
descent with equanimity. The road lay beneath
us, in long winding loops and circles, like an apple-
peeling which some Snowdonian giant had thrown
over his shoulder for luck. At least it looked thus
fair and inviting while yet we were high above
it. But when we came actually upon it, even
Sweetheart became anxious for the safety of
the pneumatic tyres. For it was not upon honest
road-metal that we had to progress, but over the
most unadulterated and natural of rocks. The
ways of the Cymric Celt in road-mending among
his own mountains are happily unique. A road
there is to mend. Taffy has the job committed
to him. That is well. He is just the man to
carry it through. He betakes himself up the
hillside to do his duty, for Taffy is an honest man
and no "thief," as has frequently been libellously
asserted. He fully intends to mend the road, and
also he means to make a job of it which will last.
So he loosens rocks from the side of the moun-
tains-stones monstrous, shapeless, primeval-
boulders last moved by the ice rivers of the
glacial period. These he blasts and crowbars
down, till to be rid of him they roll of their own
accord upon the road. There he lets them lie.
The road is mended. Then he goes to chapel
a-Sundays, and sings and prays as if there were
no Judgment Day.
Thus very slowly we staggered downwards
amid this ddbris of creation and Taffy, and at a
walking pace we finally conquered these difficulties
-powdered resin giving some stability to our
Hill Passes and Coast Lands 83
band-brake, which had been wheezing and com-
"The road is mended. "
plaining all the way from Pen-y-Gwryd. A small
boy contemplated us with surprising disfavour
from the top of a wall, on which he lay prone
with his legs in the air till we had passed, where-
upon he rose and sent after us a shrill howl of
"What dirty boy is that ?" asked Sweetheart,
to whom the animal was unknown, but who
had returned the look of disfavour with usury
"Only a silly boy who does not know any
better," I answered sententiously, after the man-
ner of parents when they have no information, but
who desire nevertheless to retain an appearance
"I know," said Sir Walter of the Red Cap
briskly, rending the futile make-believe without
an effort. "He used to be a little puppy dog,
that barked and whined after everybody. And
one day he did it to a good fairy, and she turned
him into a bad little boy on the top of a wall,
who makes faces as people go by."
Let us hope," I interjected, "that his father
will give him something else as a present."
I know what," cried the much-experienced
maid, quick as a flash, a whipping! "
Then, after a pause, and very thoughtfully,
" Whipfings is good for boys !"