Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 The Delft cat
 Eleanor's Christmas
 Jack's fox-hunt
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: The Delft cat : and other stories
Title: The Delft cat
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084080/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Delft cat and other stories
Physical Description: 71, 1 p. : ill. ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Russell, Robert Howard
Smith, F. Berkeley ( Frank Berkeley ), b. 1869 ( Illustrator )
R. H. Russell & Son ( Publisher )
Oliver Wendell Holmes Library Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: R. H. Russell & Son
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1896
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1896   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Robert Howard Russell ; illustrated by F. Berkeley Smith.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084080
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236848
notis - ALH7326
oclc - 53477820
lccn - 08001798

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Half Title
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The Delft cat
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Eleanor's Christmas
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Jack's fox-hunt
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Back Matter
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


The Baldwin Library I
Umu~ m
*m of I



Page 31



Copyright 1896

To a Little Girl.

Well," said the Delft Cat, I'm get-
ting awfully tired of this Here I have
to sit on this blue and white cushion
day in and day out, and stare at the
ceiling. Just think of it! I never sat
on anything else in all my life. Now,
why aren't people content to follow na-
ture when they are making a cat and
not inseparably attach one for the rest
of his days to a blue and white cushion ?
"Why, even the common live cats,
which are ever so much cheaper and
more plentiful than Delft, are free from

The Delft Cat. 11

such ridiculous attachments. Of course,
I don't mind it so much in the daytime,
when I rest contentedly enough on it,
although even then I must confess that
I have sometimes longed to sit on a
hard hearthstone for a change. One
gets so frightfully tired of continually
sitting on a cushion. It's like having
sponge cake all the time when you want
But what hurts me most of all is the
ridiculous figure that I cut when I get
down from the mantle-piece every night
at twelve o'clock to mingle with my
friends, and have to take that con-
founded cushion with me.
"You see, in the house where I live
there are lots of cats, and, although I
am very particular as to my friends, I
must say that two or three of them are
worthy of the friendship and esteem of
any cat in the world, no matter what
his lineage. There is the little crystal
cat from Japan, Miss Koto, and the
bronze cat from France, Miss Barye,

12 The Delft Cat.

and then Fleurette! Ah, ma chere
Fleurette !
"Fleurette is a French porcelain cat,
and I must admit that she has com-
pletely captivated me. It was those
blue eyes of hers that did it. I never
saw such eyes in a cat, and what's more,
I don't believe any one else ever did
either, and, of course, being so much
out of the ordinary, they give her a
very distinguished appearance.
I don't want to boast, about such a

The Delft Cat. 13

delicate matter, but if you wish to dis-
cover how fondly she returns my affec-
tion just look at her any day as she sits
on the top of the book case, with her
head twisted round, and her beautiful
blue eyes gazing straight at me all day
long, without so much as a wink. Of
course, it makes me very proud, and I
find by actual measurement that I carry
my nose three-quarters of an inch higher
in the air than I did when I left Hol-
land six years ago. Those Dutchmen
are so stupid, though, that they never
would believe it even if I should send
them a photograph of myself. They

The Delft Cat.

would say that it was a distorted print.
I should like to go back there some
time, however, and see the man that
made me, and give him a few points.
"In the first place, I should tell him
that if he must make cushions, to make
them detachable. You have no idea of
the mortification which I have suffered
from the undignified appearance this
undetachable cushion lends me when
I walk about.
"Why, the first night I came here,
when I joined my new friends, a few
minutes after twelve, I was greeted with
roars of laughter, and the Viennese cat

The Delft Cat.

orchestra struck up 'Where Did You
Get That Mat.'
"Of course, it was very painful for me
to be submitted to their taunts, and the
next day, in order to show my contempt
for the low-bred felines who had in-
sulted me, I turned my back to them all
day long, but this did not have the de-
sired effect, and all through the day I
could detect their amused glances, and
at night they laughed harder than ever
at me.
Fleurette, in whose kind heart had
sprung up a feeling of pity for me-
which has since ripened into one of un-

The Delft Cat. 17
disguised admiration-whispered to me
;that night, that they were laughing at
the flowers on my back, and I have since
discovered, by means of a mirror, that
the stupid Dutchman who made me has
painted a wreath of flowers in the center
of my back. Now, did you ever hear
of anything so entirely inappropriate
and so utterly foolish? It's enough to
make one revile his maker. Ever since
that night I've had to hold my nose
higher than ever in the daytime, and
to look as dignified and impressive as
possible, for if I don't some of the ill-
bred cats in the place are sure to take
advantage of my unbending, and chaff
me about my floral decoration, and if
there's anything in the world I hate, it's
undue familiarity from cheap cats.
"One day I really lost my temper.
A paltry little cat of imitation bronze,
standing in a ludicrous attitude on a
billiard ball, was the latest addition to
our circle; in his paws he held a billiard
cue, and as soon as he discovered the

18 The Delft Cat.

floral decorations on my back he took
a position on the mantel near me, and,
with an exasperating grin, stood point-
ing his cue at my back.
"I stood it as long as I could, but
after two or three days it made me so
nervous that I grew irritable and de-
pressed, so I waited for an opportunity
when the parlor maid was dusting us,
to fall backward on him and break his
tail off.
"Of course, no one could attach any
blame to me,for every one supposed that
the parlor maid had been careless and
knocked me over. However, it was a

The Delft Cat.

great triumph for me as Vignaux was de-
posed from his place on the mantel, and
after having his tail treated with stratena,
was locked up in a little dark cabinet
on the other side of the room where no
further accident would be apt to happen
to him. If he had been real bronze
his tail wouldn't have broken so easily,
but blood will tell, and when you try to
make bronze cats out of pewter they
have to suffer for it sooner or later.
"Well, I must be going, for I prom-
ised to meet Fleurette on the library
table at twenty-five minutes of one, to
look at the rubber fish. You know
manufactured cats never eat, but we
have a much better way of enjoying
food. We just devour it with our eyes.
It's much the best way, as it does not
destroy the food, and entirely does
away with indigestion, which by the
way, is what I heard your mother say
you had when she put you to bed to-
After Fleurette and I have satisfied

20 The Delft Cat.

our appetites by looking at the rubber
fish we are going to the paper theatre
to see the Japanese paper cats in a new
play. This is the first night and I am
told it is to be very thrilling, with a be-
heading scene in it. After the theatre
we shall refresh ourselves by seeing the
little Delft milkmaid milk the Delft
If you should happen to be awake
to-morrow night about this time I will
tell you how the play went, and, by the
way-if it isn't putting you to too much
trouble-if you could get a good fat
bronze mouse for Fleurette and me to

The Delft Cat. 2

look at we would be awfully obliged,
for, even when one eats only with one's
imagination, a change of diet is desira-
ble, and I haven't seen a decent mouse
since I lived on a shelf in a Fifth Ave-
nue store.
"Well, good-by. I'm awfully glad to
have seen you, and you wont forget that
mouse, will you? There's a good chap!"
With these words the Delft Cat van-
ished, and when the little chap awoke
in the morning he was not quite sure
whether he had dreamed that he had
been talking to the Delft Cat, or whether
he had really enjoyed the pleasure of

22 The Delft Cat.

his conversation. He looked in the
parlor and there was the cat on the
mantel, with his nose in the air. He
examined the blue and white cushion
on which he sat, and found that it was
not detachable, and on turning him
round found that a wreath of flowers
was painted on his back just as he had
said. This, of course, served to con-
vince the little chap that he had really
been favored by a talk with him, and
ever since he has tried to keep his eyes
open until after twelve in order to hear
about that play, but he gets so drowsy
before ten o'clock that he falls asleep

The Delft Cat.

and does not wake up until morning,
when the Delft Cat is back in his place
on the mantel again, as silent as a

E L E AMS rd1 W

The day was raw and cold; the street
fakirs paused occasionally in their cries
to promote their circulation by slap-
ping their arms vigorously about their
chests, or to blow little clouds of warm
breath through their chilled fingers.
Their trays, baskets and push-carts were
laden with queer collections of toys,
bric-a-brac and catch-penny devices
from all parts of the world. One cart
was filled with an assortment of gaily-
painted tin cats, each pursuing a tiny

28 Eleanor's Christmas.

mouse, which was just beyond the reach
of its nose. The pedlar would place
them on the sidewalk, and then off they
would go in a mad dash over the stones,
only stopping when run down, when, by
winding up a spring concealed in the
anatomy of the tin cat, the mouse was
made to jump again, and the cat to re-
sume the hopeless task of overtaking it.
Further on were little equilibrists,
who never lost their balance on top of
rolling barrels, no matter how hard they
were pushed. Another pedlar was sell-

Eleanor's Christmas.

ing remarkably small coins, with the
Lord's Prayer engraved on them, sus-
pended from golden swords by a bright
bit of red ribbon, and looking for all
the world like a distinguished foreign
decoration, which could be had for the
inconsiderable sum of five cents. The
neighboring fakir, who may very possi-
bly have been in partnership with the
coin-vender, was offering powerful mi-
croscopes with which to decipher the
inscriptions on the coins, for a like sum
of money.
Near by was a basketful of tall, dig-
nified looking Japanese storks, with
wire legs and long bills; they had beau-
tiful white wings, and red spots on their
heads, while their backs were sprinkled
with silver and gold, and their tails
were trimmed in correct imitation of
fashionably-cut swallow-tail coats. An-
other vender, further down the street,
was shouting in a hoarse voice: Here
y'are, Popper and Mommer, two for a
nickel; only fi' cents fer the two of

Eleanor's Christmas.

'em." At his feet lay a large clothes-
basket filled with tiny little Japanese
people, not more than four inches high,
who looked very cold and uncomfort-
able with their gay paper gowns and
bare feet, and the little man which the
pedlar held between his thumb and
forefinger gave a plaintive squeak
whenever he was pressed in the middle,
which seemed to be his only sensitive
spot. I had already purchased a tin
cat and a stork, but still had a capa-
cious empty pocket in my overcoat,
and the pretty little Japanese lady
looked at me so entreatingly, although
she could not squeak like her husband,
that I thought it would be an act of
charity to find a home for these two
friendless little foreigners, and in a
minute more they were snugly stowed
away in the warm lining of my deep
I knew a poor little rich girl who had
never owned a single inexpensive toy
hat she could play and do as she liked

Eleanor's Christmas.

with. Her parents were so very rich
that they only knew rich people, and
as they always went to the most ex-
pensive shops they never even saw any

nice cheap toys, and all the people that
sent presents to the poor little rich girl
did not dare send any but the most ex-
pensive ones, because they knew that if

Eleanor's Christmas.

they sent any other kind her parents
might not approve of it, so of course
the poor little rich girl could not play
with her toys, as the happy little poor
children do, for fear that she would
break them or muss the beautiful Par-
isian gowns of her handsome dolls.
Whenever the poor little rich girl
wanted to play, she had a nurse who did
almost all of her playing for her. This
nurse would get the handsome dolls out
of their elegant doll-houses and set
them in a row; then she would wind
up the automatic toys and the musical
boxes, while the poor little rich girl
looked on and tried to imagine that she

Eleanor's Christmas. 33

was having a good time, but if she even
lifted her hand to touch the dolls or the
toys, her nurse would say: "Do be
careful, Miss Eleanor; Mrs. Wealthy
Smith sent you that, and I don't know
what your mamma would say if you
should break it." And the poor little
rich girl would sometimes think that
she would like to break something just
to see what her mamma would say, for
she very seldom had the opportunity
of hearing her mamma say anything, for
what with operas and theatre parties
and dinners and balls her mamma had
very little time to devote to her, and

34 Eleanor's Christmas.

sometimes she would hardly see her for
days at a time. So, of course, the poor
little rich girl was rather afraid of her
mamma's displeasure, as she did not
know her very well, not nearly so well
as she knew her nurse, because she had
to spend the most of her life in com-
pany with her nurse, and had not had
the opportunity of being much with her
mamma, although they lived in the
same house.
Sometimes the poor little rich girl
would stand in the window of the ele-
gant drawing-room and look out envi-
ously at the happy little poor children

Eleanor's Christmas.

who were playing in the streets and
throwing snowballs at each other, for
she had never even made a snowball
in her life, although she longed to do
so, but, of course, when she went out in
the street she had to be dressed up in
very fine clothes and had to wear little
kid gloves, and her nurse would not let
her touch the snow because it would
have ruined her gloves, not to speak of
her beautiful clothes.
I was sorry for the poor little rich
girl, and so I sent her the tin cat, the
stork, and the two little Japs, all done
up carefully in a box. When her nurse
opened the box and saw what inexpen-
sive toys they were, she turned up
her nose at them and let the poor little
rich girl have them to play with as
much as she pleased, hoping that they
would soon be destroyed, as she con-
sidered such inexpensive toys a dis-
grace to the nursery; but the poor little
rich girl was delighted with them, for
she had never had any toys before that

36 Eleanor's Christmas.

she could do as she pleased with, and
after she had played with them all day
she placed them on a table at the side
of her bed, so that she could see them
the moment she awoke in the morning.
When she had said good-night to
them, and had fallen asleep, the nurse
went down stairs to talk to the new
butler and left her all alone, and then
the strangest thing happened. She
was awakened by hearing the little man
squeak several times, and looking over
at the table, she saw that the tin cat,
whose spring had not quite run down,
was poking the tin mouse at the lower
ribs of the little Japanese man, and al-
though he did not seem to be afraid of
the mouse, or of the cat either for that
matter, he was so constituted that he
simply had to squeak when anything
touched him there, and so he was
simply obeying a law of his nature.
The poor little rich girl was surprised
at this performance, and, sitting up in
bed, she said:

Eleanor's Christmas.

"Seems to me you are making a
great deal of noise."
I bega thousand pardons, Madame,"
said the little Japanese man, bowing to
the ground. "Allow me to introduce
myself, in order that I may offer you a
suitable apology. My name is Koto-
biki, which in Japanese means 'long
life.' This is Min6, my wife, and I can
assure you that neither of us would
have willingly disturbed you for the
world. It was all the fault of Shari
Neko, the Tin Cat over there."
Well," said the Tin Cat, I like that;
didn't you get right in front of me when
I wanted to run down? Somebody left
me half wound up, and I can never
sleep when I am wound up, and I was
just letting myself run down when you
got in the way. I'm never so happy as
when I'm run down, and that's why I
can't understand why people who are
run down go to the doctor's. Why,
every day I see advertisements in the
papers saying, 'Do you feel run down?

Eleanor's Christmas.

If so, take Good's Sarsaparilla for that
tired feeling.' If people only knew
they could be happier if they were
run down instead of wound up, they
wouldn't buy patent medicines or pay
doctors' bills."
"Ker-choo! Ker-choo! Perhaps you
could tell me what tb do for a cold in
the head," sneezed Kotobiki. "I knew
I should catch one; in fact, I told Min6
so when we were lying in the basket on
that cold sidewalk yesterday. If you
would examine me, you would see that
there are only two things that I can
catch very well-chilblains and colds

40 Eleanor's Christmas.

in the head. You see, I haven't any
body, but my clothes are just stuffed
with paper from my head to my feet, so,
of course, having only my head and my
feet to get ill with, the variety of dis-
eases to which I am liable is limited;
but when I do get a cold in the head I
have a frightful time. Quinine pills do
me no good, for if I take them they
only fall through the bottom of my
neck and drop on the top of my feet,
where they rattle about and annoy me."
"Well," said the Tin Cat, "you're
better off than I am. It's much better
not to have any body than it is to have

Eleanor's Christmas.

one which is filled with springs and
wheels and cogs, which squeak and rat-
tle so that you can't hear yourself think.
Why, only last week my mainspring
was paralyzed so that I couldn't move,
and I had to be strapped down on my
back in a machine shop and have it re-
moved and a new one inserted. How's
that for torture? I never suffered so
since the day I was soldered."
"I suppose we all have our troubles
to bear," said Min6," and that reminds
me that Nagai, the Stork over there,
seems to have something on his mind
which is troubling him very much. I

Eleanor's Christmas.

called him Nagai Hashi, which means
'long legs,' yesterday, and I think that
annoyed him, but I am afraid he has a
more serious trouble to-day, he looks
so sad and depressed."
"I'll ask him what's the matter," said
the Tin Cat, and with a little whirr of
his wheels, he crossed the table where
Nagai was standing and questioned him.
Nagai shook his head dolefully as he
answered: I've been thinking--"
"Ha! ha! ha! laughed the Tin Cat.
"This is really too good; you've been
thinking, have you? Well, take my ad-
vice, and never do it again, for if your
head should get heavy from thought
you'd topple over and break your neck;
you're too tall to risk thinking."
When you have finished with your
irrelevant and discourteous interrup-
tion," said the Stork, coolly, I will
"Oh, that's all right, old chap," said
the Tin Cat. I didn't mean to hurt
your feelings, but the idea was rather

Eleanor's Christmas. 43

ridiculous. Come, now, wasn't it?"
To a thoughtless and frivolous per-
son, like yourself, it may have appeared
so," returned Nagai, sternly; but to
resume my statement: I was thinking
that the man who would not buy me
because I was not for anything was
right. You see, just before I was bought
and brought here with the rest of you,
a man came along and was going to
buy me. He held out the money for
me to the pedlar, who was wrapping me
up, and was about to take me, when he
suddenly withdrew his hand and asked
the pedlar what I was for.
"' Nothing,' said the pedlar.
"'Well, if he isn'tfor anything, I don't
see how I can use him,' said the man,
and passed on.
Since then I have been terribly de-
pressed, for I think it was true, and I
am not for anything. If I were I think
I should know it. I have tried to stick
pins in my breast, to see if I were a pin-
cushion, but I'm not; and this after-

44 Eleanor's Christmas.

noon it occurred to me that I might
possibly be a paper weight, so I climbed
up on the desk and stood on some pa-
pers for an hour, when somebody
opened the library door and the draught
blew me over and I fell into the waste-
paper basket, although the door did not
make enough wind to disturb the pa-
pers. It has since occurred to me that
my bill, which is made of two pieces of
bamboo; might have been intended for
toothpicks, but if that is so, what was
the use of making the rest of me?"
Dear me," said the Tin Cat, some
people are never satisfied. If you only
knew it, you are much better off than I
am. Look at me; nobody can say that
I am not for something, for my vocation
is plain. It is to run after that mouse.
Nobody ever sees me that he doesn't
wind me up and start me off again, and I
never stop until I run down or bump
into the leg of a chair. They all know
just as well as you and I do that it is a
physical impossibility for me to catch

Eleanor's Christmas.

the mouse, for he is held in place by a
strong wire that always keeps him an
inch ahead of my nose, but they never
tire of starting me afresh on the useless,
hopeless chase, and sometimes I get so
awfully sick of it all that I wish somebody
would step on me and break my wheels
so that I could never run again. You
don't have anything like that to worry
you. All you have to do is to stand
still and do nothing."
"Say," interrupted Kotobiki, "it's
nearly twelve o'clock, and it will be
Christmas in a minute. Min6 you watch
the long hand on the clock, and when
it points to twelve o'clock we'll all say
'Merry Christmas' together to Miss
Eleanor, and thank her for the beauti-
ful home we have now, for it is cer-
tainly much more comfortable for us to
be here, than on that cold sidewalk."
Just then the hands of the clock
reached twelve, and the Stork opened
his bill wide, and they all shouted
"Merry Christmas" together, and then

Eleanor's Christmas.

the poor little rich girl tried to say,
"The same to you, and many of them,"
but the words would not come, no matter
how hard she tried, and she could feel
her head nodding and her eyelids clos-
ing up tight, and then she didn't know
anything of what went on until the next
morning, when her nurse waked her and
showed her lots of new expensive toys
that had been brought to her by the
Santa Claus that brings presents to lit-
tle rich girls; but she turned her back
on all of them, and kissed the little
Japanese woman, and the little Japa-
nese man, and petted the Stork, and

Eleanor's Christmas. 47

held the Tin Cat in her arms, for she
felt that she knew them better than the
others, and besides, hadn't they all sat
up until very late the night before, just
to wish her a Merry Christmas?

614 A~



Jack Dale was a city boy, and the
greater part of his years, which num-
bered fifteen, had been spent between
walls of brick and mortar; consequently,
when one day a letter arrived from
Jack's uncle, Col. Phillips, inviting him
to come down to his plantation in Vir-
ginia and make him a visit, Jack did
not rest until he had obtained per-
mission to go.
So one bright morning found Jack
snugly stowed away in the cushioned
chair of a Pullman car, watching the
panorama of woods, rivers and fields, as

52 Jack's Fox-hunt.

the train sped along toward Baltimore,
where his uncle was to meet him.
Col. Phillips was waiting at the station
as the train came in, and Jack was
whisked into a cab and was on his way
to the boat before he fairly knew what
he was about, his uncle explaining as
they drove on that the train was late
and that it was past the time for the
boat to sail. However, he had tele-
phoned to his friend, the captain, ask-
ing him to wait until he arrived, before
sailing. As the cab drove to the end
of a long covered dock stored with
cotton, Jack saw that his uncle had not
relied on the good nature of the captain
for nothing, for there the big boat lay
all cleared away and ready to start, but
with a plank out for Jack and his uncle.
As soon as they were on board, the
plank was hauled in, and with a hoarse
screech the steamer backed out into the
Patapsco and pointed her prow for the
Old Dominion. After supper Jack
turned in, to dream of the rides and the

Jack's Fox-hunt.

shooting which his uncle had promised
him. Soon after daybreak the next
morning the whistle announced that the
boat was nearing some landing, and
peering out of the state-room window
Jack saw in the red glow of the morn-
ing sun the little round stone fort known
as the Rip-raps, which lies at the en-
trance to Hampton Roads. Dressing
quickly, he was on deck before the boat
had reached the wharf. Before him
were two great hotels, and beyond he
could see the parapets and earthworks
of Fortress Monroe, and some soldiers

54 Jack's Fox-hunt.


in bright uniforms just coming out of
the sally-port.
After breakfasting at the hotel, Jack
and his uncle were off again in a smaller
boat. As they steamed up the bay, in-
numerable ducks, disturbed at their
feeding-grounds, arose and flew to the
right and left, with startled cries. Soon
Jack could see long stretches of shining
sand, and points covered with pine
woods, and here and there on the bay
the triangular sail of a fleet Virginia

Jack's Fox-hunt.. 55

Presently the boat landed at a long
wooden wharf, where Jack and his uncle
were piled with bag and baggage into
a large canoe manned by good-natured-
looking darkies, which was waiting for
them, and a sail of a mile or two brought
them to the point where the Colonel's
carriage was waiting to take them to the
After driving through long lanes,
which skirted the wooded swamps where
the air was fragrant with the odor of
pine trees, they came to an avenue of
magnolias, at the end of which Jack

56 Jack's Fox-hunt.

could see the great house, with a group
of colored servants about the door,
waiting to welcome the Colonel and his
Col. Phillips had not forgotten them,
and soon the whole retinue, from
Esther the cook, and Victoria the house-
maid, down to the smallest pickaninny,
were smiling over some trifle that he
had brought forth from his capacious
While they were at breakfast the fain
sound of a horn was heard. Col. Phil-
lips's superintendent was on his feet at
once. I declare," said he, if I hadn't
clean forgot that I promised to meet
Major Yancy at Hickory Forks this
morning, with my dogs, for the fox-hunt.

Jack's Fox-hunt. 57


Perhaps Jack would like to go along
and see how we kill foxes in Virginia."
"I am not going to have Jack go on
a fox-hunt the very first day he gets
here, sir, and break his neck," said the
Colonel. "I don't even know that he
knows how to ride a horse. Do you,
Jack ? "
Jack's entire experience as an eques-
trian had been limited to rides in the
park, at ten cents a ride, on the backs
of ponies led by boys, and as he had
outgrown the ponies, even this experi-
ence was not recent; but never doubt-
ing that this was a sufficient training,

58 Jack's Fox-hunt.

Jack unhesitatingly answered, Oh yes,
sir! I commenced very early."
"Well, then, Mr. Taylor," said the
Colonel, tell Casar to pick him out a
quiet horse, and let him go along with
you; but mind, he is not to leave the
road and try any neck-breaking per-
formances at riding cross country, so if
you start a fox, send Jack home. How-
ever, I reckon he will get enough riding
by the time you get to the meet, and be
ready to come home in a wagon. So
have Caesar hitch up the cart and drive
after you, so that he can ride Jack's
horse home."

Jack's Fox-hunt. 59

In a few minutes the horses were at
the door, and Jack, not without some
fear, was surveying the animal which
was to carry him. He looked so much
bigger than he had expected, somehow,
and Jack even thought he could detect
a wicked look in his eye, and com-
menced to wish that he had not pro-
fessed to be a good horseman. How-
ever, there was no time to think it over,
and Jack had to decide at once, and be-
ing a plucky little chap at heart, he had
the horse brought beside the block and
bestrode the saddle, while Caesar ad-
justed the stirrups for him.
It was pretty hard work for Jack at
first, as they went along at a sharp trot,
and many times he had narrow escapes
from falling off, and when the road was
hard the jolting would bring tears to his
eyes; but nevertheless he managed to
stick on, and to give to Mr. Taylor, who
was riding ahead with the dogs, a
cheery answer when he called back to
know how he was getting along.

Jack's Fox-hunt.

Arrived at the cross-roads they found
the hunters assembled, only waiting for
Mr. Taylor's arrival to put the dogs into
the woods. To Jack's eye it was a
curious sight. His conception of fox-
hunting had been formed by looking at
the colored prints in such books as
Hanley Cross, Sponge's Hunting Tour
and Mr. Facey Romford's Hounds in his
father's library; but here were no red
coats, varnished boots, top hats and
white ties, but men of widely varying
ages dressed in their farming clothes,
with slouch hats and heavy calf boots,
and, strung under their arms, old cows'
horn trumpets on which to sound the
blast when the fox was away.
* The horses were amotley collection of
every color and in every stage of ap-
parent decrepitude, although there was
not one among them who would not
prick up his ears and set a good pace
across country at the sound of the dogs
in cry. Several negro sportsmen were
riding mules on which they had strapped

Jack's Fox-hunt.

the remnants of old army saddles, worn
to the tree and re-enforced by many
mendings of string and leather.
The dogs were also a miscellaneous
collection, as the county did not sup-
port a pack, but every man who hunted
kept two or three, and for the meet
every man brought his best dog, and
each boasted that for sagacity, speed
and keen nose his particular hound was
Jack was introduced to Major Yancy
one of the oldest fox-hunters in the
country, and as they rode along toward
the strip of pine woods where they were
to put the dogs in, the old fellow gave
Jack some kindly hints which he fol-
lowed as best he could, and found that
he obtained a much better seat in his
saddle in consequence.
Arrived at the woods the Major ad-
dressed the dogs. Hie in there, you
Music! Hush, you Blunder! Whoo-
oop, you Echo! you come heah, you
rascal! Thunder! Venus, you all of you

Jack's Fox-hunt.

git in there! Git him out! Git him
out! Hie away! Hie away!" And
the dogs, obedient to his call and eager
for the chase, bounded into the woods,
and with short low yelps commenced
to quarter the ground for a hot scent.
The hunters took positions where
they could survey the road and the sur-
rounding fields, and from time to time
urged on the dogs with shouts and
Once the hounds started in full cry,
and away went the riders helter-skelter
over the low Virginia snake-fences and
into the woods, only to reappear in a
few minutes, and reply to Jack's excited
questioning that it was nothing but an
ole har'." False starts and long searches
in damp woods took up the morning,
and it was long past midday when the
hunters, finding themselves near the
head of one of the many estuaries of
the Chesapeake which divided the
county into a series of peninsulas, ad-
journed to a fine old colonial house

Jack's Fox-hunt.

-' 9?
. ,

which stood near the water, and enjoyed
a lunch of biscuit, and delicious raw
oysters just out of the river. Then
mounting their horses the party started
for home. Jack, although somewhat
stiff, was commencing to consider him-
self quite a horseman by this time, and
cantered to the side of a charming
young lady who had joined them for
the ride home.
Miss Carter was twenty-one, six years
older than Jack, but Jack's heart had
gone over to her in boyish admiration
when Mr. Taylor had told him, before
presenting him to her, that she was the

64 Jack's Fox-hunt.

best horsewoman in the county, and
that few men could outride her in a fox-
hunt. She was mounted on a beautiful
jet-black mare which she called Lenore,
and as Jack rode up she called to him:
I see that you are riding Telegram;
what a pity you did not have a run!
There's not a horse out to-day that
would have headed him."
Oh," said Jack, I had no intention
of following if they had started a fox.
Why, I have never jumped a fence in
my life."
"You will soon learn down here.
Why, it is the easiest thing in the world.
All you have to do is to ride straight at
the fence, and before you know it you
are over."
Just then Mr. Taylor rode up and
called to Jack: "Say, Jack! you ride
along with Miss Carter. I'll catch up
with you before you get to Pointer's
store. Major Yancy and I are going to
put the dogs in this little strip of woods
for a last try. There used to be a big

Jack's Fox-hunt.

gray in there last winter, and he may
be there yet."
The Major and Mr. Taylor rode
across to the woods, followed by all of
the hunt excepting Jack and Miss Car-
ter, who kept on down the sandy lane.
They had not gone far before Miss
Carter reined Lenore up sharply, and
"Hark!" said she; "the dogs are
running. They are going towards Chap-
pahoosic. You must see some of the
run. Now follow me, and we will cut
over to the end of the woods where
they must come out, and we can get
there before any of them. There is
only this one fence by the road, and
Telegram will take you over that be-
fore you know it. Come on!"
And before Jack could remonstrate,
Miss Carter, with sparkling eyes and
the color in her cheeks, had touched
Lenore with her crop, and Jack was left
alone in the lane; but only for a mo-
ment, for if Jack was undecided Tele-

66 Jack's Fox-hunt.

gram was not. With ears pricked for-
ward and nostrils dilated he had waited
a minute, until he saw Lenore's heels
disappear over the fence, and then, with
a little snort, as though a trifle vexed
at being outdone at the start by a lady,
he made a dash at the fence.
Jack never remembered exactly how
it was, but he found himself seated on
Telegram's neck, holding on to his
ears, and crying, "Whoa, sir! Whoa,
sir!" But Telegram did not stop. The
fence was behind, and Lenore was half
a field ahead, and he must catch her.
With great effort Jack managed to slide
back into the saddle and get his feet in
the stirrups, and by the time they
reached Miss Carter's side he had the
reins in his hand again, and showed no
signs of his discomfiture excepting that
he was slightly out of breath and his
heart was beating very hard.
"Well done, Mr. Dale," said Miss
Carter. We will make a fox-hunter
of you yet."

Jack's Fox-hunt.

Fortunately for Jack, she had not
turned to see him take the fence, or
she might have laughed at him instead
of praising him, and he never would
have won the reputation he did that
The hounds were now rapidly near-
ing the head of the woods, and Miss
Carter, who knew the voice of each,
listened with growing excitement.
Old Thunder is in the lead! Just
listen to his notes! And Music is not
far behind. Now watch, and we shall
see them come out near that tall pine."
The words had hardly left her lips
when Jack saw a magnificent gray fox
break from the woods, with the dogs
close behind. Telegram saw them, too,
and before Jack could stop him he was
off with mad rush, and was flyingatthe
fence ahead. Jack's heart was in his
mouth, but he managed to keep his
seat this time, and having found that
he could not stop Telegram, he devoted
himself to doing his level best towards

.68 Jack's Fox-hunt.

keeping on his back. On they flew,
through ploughed fields, over fences,
across ditches, with poor Jack bounc-
ing up and down in the saddle, with the
breath nearly shaken out of his body.
His feet had lost the stirrups, which
were dealing blows as they swung
about, first to Jack's ankles and then to
Telegram's sides, urging him on.
Jack shut his eyes as a bigger fence
than usual appeared in front of him,
and opened them again as they landed,
with a jolt, in a big field of corn. The
high stalks hit Jack in the face, and
threatened to brush him off the saddle,
so he bent low and put his arms around
Telegram's neck, and shut his eyes
again, when of a sudden Telegram
stopped short. Jack felt himself fly-
ing through the air, and before he knew
it he had landed on his back in an open
ploughed field, and the whole pack of
dogs were around him, barking and
jumping about as though they intended
to eat him.

Jack's Fox-hunt. 69

Jack felt something 'soft and warm
under him, and springing up, he discov-
ered the gray fox.
The dogs had just killed him, and
Telegram, emerging from the cornfield,
had stopped short, in order not to
trample on the hounds, and Jack had
been thrown in the midst of them upon
the fox himself.
Jack had just picked up the fox and
was beating back the dogs when Miss
Carter rode up.
Well, such a chase as you have led
me!" she exclaimed. "And to think

70 Jack's Fox-hunt.

of your telling me that you never rode
across country! Why, there is not a
man in the county who would dare ride
at that fence with the broad ditch in
the last field, and I had to go around it
myself to get here."
Jack concluded that discretion was
the better part of valor, and tried to
wear his newly won honors modestly
when the rest of the hunt came up to
congratulate him upon his skill and
daring riding; but as he rode home in
the dusk beside Miss Carter, who wore
the brush which he had gallantly pre-
sented to her, he was a very proud
though very tired boy.
Arrived at the house, the news of his
achievement had preceded him, and
the Colonel stood on the porch to wel-
come him home.
Jack, you rascal," said he, didn't
I tell you not to follow the hounds?
What do you mean, sir, by disregard-
ing my commands and trying to break
your worthless neck, you scoundrel! I

Jack's Fox-hunt. 71

shall send you back North to-morrow."
But Jack could see a merry twinkle
in the old gentleman's eye, for in fact
Jack himself was not half so proud of
what he had done as was his uncle.
Caesar understood this also, and when
the Colonel called him up and threat-
ened him with all sorts of terrible things
for having given Jack Telegram to ride
instead of some quiet old horse, all he
answered was:
Fo' de Lawd, sir, I done knowed
he cud ride as soon as I sot eyes on






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